Monthly Archives: April 2008

UN Warns Of Imminent Starvation

… I guess we’ve got bigger problems now:

Mr Ban says 100 million people are estimated to have been pushed into poverty over the last two years.

“We see farmers in developing countries planting less, producing less, due to the escalating cost of fertiliser and energy,” he said.

Estimates are that world prices for foods like cereals, dairy, meat, sugar and oils are more than 50 per cent higher than they were at the same time last year.

Prices have soared for a number of reasons – high fuel costs, bad weather in key food producing countries like Australia, the increase in land allocated to bio-fuels, and a surge in demand, much of it from the rising middle classes of China and India.

ABC

It is interesting to see that bio-fuels are part of the cause for this. The entire relationships between economies have always fascinated me… How as one nation rises other nations even seem to fall a little bit as costs raise and the market itself begins to change. It is really a fascinating experience. Continue reading

Wright’s Comments Alarm Black Ministers

The ceaseless tragedy of James Wright continues:

African American ministers in Los Angeles expressed angst and concern Tuesday that a fresh round of comments by Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor was hurting the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign and skewing public understanding of the black church.

In a series of nationally televised appearances over the last few days, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. has defended his controversial remarks as “prophetic theology,” and said criticism of him amounted to an attack on the black church.

“This didn’t have anything to do with the black church — it was basically an attack on the individual message he proclaimed, which hurt some individuals,” said the Rev. K.W. Tulloss of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Boyle Heights. “My own members were offended by Rev. Wright’s words. His views have cast a wedge between people, and that’s the exact opposite of the unity Jesus represented.”

LA Times

And it is not hard to be offended in the least. The guy has a knack for turning Jesus Christ into liberal drivel (and I thought it took Nancy Pelosi to do that).

The article continues:

[Kerman Maddox] said he had never heard pastors curse America or proclaim, as Wright had, that the U.S. government caused AIDS among blacks. He said the common pulpit themes had long been unity, personal responsibility, loving your neighbor and improving your neighborhoods.

Hmm.. so it is not common place for Reverends to launch into South African style conspiracy theories about AIDS? Continue reading

FLDS Minor Gives Birth In Custody

One of the sadder affairs of our time is the government’s inability to enforce its own laws… I wonder if it is inability or if it is just lack of interest sometimes:

The mother is “younger than 18,” Crimmins said, and will remain with her new son in a nearby foster-care facility until a formal custody hearing will determine the pair’s fate sometime before June 5. Crimmins declined to give any other details about the girl or where she and the baby would stay.

Rod Parker, a spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a renegade Mormon sect, contends the girl is 18. State officials have the girl on a list of minors taken into state custody.

A number of girls first listed as adults were reclassified as minors as Child Protective Services, a division of Family and Protective Services, moved the children last week from a mass shelter in San Angelo to foster care facilities around the state, including some near San Marcos, in central Texas.

AP

And even look at what the BBC had to say:

More than half of the teenage girls removed from a polygamist sect in Eldorado, Texas, are either mothers or currently pregnant, US officials say.

Authorities believe that of the 53 girls aged between 14 and 17, 29 are already mothers and two are pregnant.

Isn’t this pretty black and white? Continue reading

It Is Natural, But Is It Right?

Many ideas in the arguments of morality (particularly of homosexuality) come back to the question of it being natural. I think no one can deny that the majority of mankind is heterosexual and when Christians speak of homosexuality as an unnatural desire we mean it in the general sense for mankind that it is unnatural. As surely as the most normal path for man is heterosexuality, so is the way that one should go because we were created in that image.

Even societies that were allegedly inundated with homosexuality had some interesting inconsistencies. Even in ancient Greece, an Athenian homosexual was forced to forfeit the most intrinsic right to a Greek (the right to vote). In Pagan Europe the Nordic peoples were famous for viewing homosexuality as an act that merited death — while infanticide was occasionally practiced by Viking peoples and not frowned on homosexuality was viewed as an aberration and was punished with death.

This aside, we can look at homosexuality as a largely individual phenomenon. And most assuredly, homosexuality is natural to some people as heterosexuality is to others. But here is the thing:

Nature does not inherently make something moral. This is even evident in Christian belief that our own natural desires are called to be curved.

The natural desire of mankind leans towards sexual promiscuity. Heterosexuals who desire to have promiscuous sex are committing a sin in their hearts — we are called to curb it and to not act on the urges and even try to erase them.

The natural desire of people often can be moved by passionate moments where one wants to fight somebody, lie to somebody, steal something, etc. There is no person who has not had these moments of anger where the bestial desire to come to blows or to hate is overwhelming. But again, the Christian idea of morality recognizes this as natural and something we must struggle against in our personal lives.

Humans across the board generally agree that we shouldn’t fight or steal or lie though it is natural. Most societies, even the Pagan Greek and Roman societies where their gods acted like men and engaged in immoral behavior, still condemn these actions and find the desire to act with moral uprightness.

And so, too, a man who has strong desires to fight or to be gluttonous and eat all day or to be a drunk (which I am and wish to stop) is called to stop and control themselves.

Even in societies without God homosexuality is called out as a disgusting act and one that disgraces the family. Communist China is probably upwards of 95% atheist yet homosexuals are treated terribly. Why? A dozen reasons leading back to the natural repugnance that man has for the action.

Just as most people cannot imagine having sex with an animal or with children, having sex in some extremely violent way or something along these lines they view sex with the same gender as an unnatural and wrong action. Atheist societies also frown on homosexuality. Even Communist Cuba has been famous for jailing homosexuals in spite of its’ officially atheist state. The feeling goes across the board. Continue reading

NHK: Ten North Koreans Died In Israeli Attack?

This gets more interesting as NHK is now asserting that perhaps 10 North Koreans died in the attacks in Syria:

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Ten North Koreans may have been killed in an Israeli air strike on Syria in September, NHK reported on its Web site, citing unidentified South Korean intelligence officials.

The 10 people, whose remains were cremated and returned to North Korea in October, had been helping with the construction of a nuclear reactor in Syria, Japan’s public broadcaster said. Some North Koreans probably survived the air attack, NHK said.

Bloomberg

The article was surprisingly spare and naturally one needs more proof than just whatever NHK said as apparently no source was revealed. But apparently there is even proof of the North Koreans having been ther.

The reactors are apparently quite identical and apparently there is even a video showing clearly North Korean people inside. Rick Moran of American Thinker covers this well here.

교육과학부장관 “2012 대입수능 영어 폐지”

A daring move for a country that has concentrated so much on increasing their English skills:

교육과학부장관 “2012 대입수능 영어 폐지” [조인스]
Scientific Education Department Says “By 2012 English Will be Off The College Entrance Exams)

현재 중학교 2학생들이 대학에 진학할 때 수능 영어시험 대신 치르게 될 ‘한국형 토플’인 영어능력 평가시험에서는 성적점수가 아니라 시험의 ‘통과여부(Pass or Fail)’가 표시될 전망이다.

김도연 교육과학기술부 장관은 28일자 조선일보와의 인터뷰에서 “영어교육이 대학입시와 연계되지 않도록 하겠다”며 “대학이 학생을 뽑을 때 영어 평가시험에서 일정 수준을 넘으면 합격자격을 주는 방안을 검토 중”이라고 밝혔다.
The students who are currently in their second year of middle school will not be taking an English entrance exam but simply will take a Korean style TOEFL and be given a ‘pass or fail’ score it is predicted.

Kim Doyeon, Chair of the Scientific Education Board said on the 28th to the Chosun Ilbo that “I do not want to attach English education to entrance into college and will work towards that end.” They are currently researching what should be used to measure higher scores than normal on the test.

Continue reading

Anti-Tibet Throwdown In Canberra

Chinese students showed up by the thousands to support the passing of the torch and they certainly did not forget what it means to be Chinese and to receive such criticism from outside sources. They really aren’t fond of being blasted by the liberals and their Tibet cause:

Mr Paterson said he was holding a “Free Tibet” banner and the older couple also had a pro-Tibet placard, which angered the group as it ran along the crowd side of the barrier.

“I got a flying kick in the leg, another bloke was hit in the head with a stick with a Chinese flag attached to it and our banners were torn down,” Mr Paterson said. Continue reading

Mugabe Still Holding On

In the crazy world of African politis we see the continued hardship of Zimbabwe summarized nicely:

Ever since losing his country’s March 29 presidential and parliamentary elections, Mr. Mugabe, rather than step down, has unleashed his trademark violence and intimidation to subvert the democratically expressed will of his people. On Wednesday, a Zimbabwean state newspaper floated the idea of Mr. Mugabe forming a unity government with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mr. Tsvangirai’s party won the parliamentary elections, and he likely won the presidential elections (the government has yet to release the presidential results, and this week held a rigged “recount” of 23 parliamentary constituencies).

Unfortunately, this scheme has gained the support of Jacob Zuma, likely to become the next president of South Africa. Mr. Zuma is widely praised for taking a tougher stance on Mr. Mugabe than the country’s current leader Thabo Mbeki. Yet a “power-sharing” deal with a ruthless tyrant like Mr. Mugabe will never work. After nearly a decade of struggle, Zimbabwe’s democratic opposition understands this. “We are prepared to engage progressive forces in ZANU-PF, but the future of Zimbabwe must exclude Mugabe,” Nquobizitha Mlilo, a spokesman for the MDC told the New York Times. Continue reading

Stray Dogs Save Indian Baby

If you were depressed earlier, feel a little relieved. There are good things happening in the world:

PATNA, India (Reuters) – Hundreds of villagers have flocked to a remote Indian village to see a baby girl who was saved by stray dogs after she was abandoned in a mound of mud by her mother, officials said on Tuesday.

Villagers in the eastern state of Bihar saved the newborn on the weekend after they saw three dogs barking near a baby covered with mud.

“The dogs removed the soil around and began to bark and the baby started crying which drew attention of the local villagers,” Ram Narayan Sahani, a senior government official, said on Tuesday from Bihar’s Samastipur district. Continue reading

Team Darfur Prepares For China

God knows enough things in the world aren’t politicized… And God knows that the opinions of professional athletes are vital to our knowledge. I’ve always cared deeply and emotionally for the opinions of celebrities…

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A nervous smile steals across Jessica Mendoza’s face when the U.S. Olympic women’s softball player is asked whether she plans to demonstrate her outrage over China’s policy on Darfur at the Beijing Games.

“I’ve thought about that…I don’t have a plan. My first goal is to talk to other athletes there,” said the 27-year-old Mendoza.

She is one of a handful of Olympic athletes to sign up for Team Darfur, an informal, 300-strong group created two years ago by former American speed skater Joey Cheek to draw attention to the conflict affecting millions in western Sudan. Continue reading