The Redneck Lifestyle

The Redneck Lifestyle
Sponsor by the Redneck Coalition of the Deep South

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hottest Video Game Babes of 2008

1. Naomi Hunter - Metal Gear Solid 4 (Konami)

2. Anya Stroud - Gears of War 2 (Epic Games)

3. Kendra Daniels - Dead Space (EA Games)

4. Catwoman - MK vs. DC Universe (Midway)

5. Zoey - Left 4 Dead (Valve)

6. Sophitia Alexandra - Soul Calibur IV (Namco Bandai)

7. Natasha Volkova (Gina Carano) & Special Agent Tanya Adams (Jenny McCarthy) - Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (EA Games)

8. Trish - Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)

9. Maria Sharapova - Top Spin 3 (2K Sports)

10. Detective Chase Linh (Played by Maggie Q) - Need for Speed Undercover (EA Games)

11. Celeste - Mirror´s Edge (EA Games)

12. Elle Holloway - Silent Hill Homecoming (Konami)

13. Lola del Rio - Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar Games)

14. Chun-Li - Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Capcom)

15. Elika - Prince of Persia (Ubisoft)

16. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider Underworld (Eidos Interactive)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Executive Compensation

US: EXECUTIVE PAY -- C.E.O. Pay Keeps Rising, And Bigger Rises Faster
by Eric Dash, The New York Times


CHIEF executives' pay continued to rise in 2005, although at a slightly slower pace than in 2004.

The average total pay for chief executives rose 27 percent, to $11.3 million, according to a survey of 200 large companies by Pearl Meyer & Partners, the compensation practice of Clark Consulting.

The 123 chief executives included in the survey for the last three years saw their compensation increase, on average, 15 percent, to $11.4 million in 2005. Last year, their pay was up almost 30 percent, to $10.2 million.

Chief executives' median pay -- the point at which half are above and half are below -- was $8.4 million in 2005, up 10.3 percent from 2004. A few executives who received very large long-term bonus and option awards account for the big difference from the average.

While ordinary workers' wages and benefits were squeezed last year, chief executives were largely immune from those pressures.

The median base salary for chief executives rose about 4 percent, to $1 million. The median bonus rose 8 percent, to $1.8 million. That compares with a 38 percent increase, to $1.9 million, in 2004, when profits were growing faster.

The fastest-growing part of executive compensation in 2005 was in new grants of restricted stock and long-term incentive payouts. For the typical chief executive, they rose almost 15 percent, to $1.9 million. In 2004, they grew almost 111 percent, to $1.4 million, reflecting rising profits and a shift away from stock options.

Of the 200 executives surveyed, about half stand to collect big pensions. At least 20 percent can expect $1 million in annual benefits.

There were some big winners but few real losers last year. Chief executives of the largest oil companies, homebuilders and Wall Street investment houses had the largest paychecks in 2005.

Ray R. Irani, the chief executive of Occidental Petroleum, topped the list, with more than $63 million in total pay. Next were Bruce E. Karatz of KB Home and William E. Greehey of the Valero Energy Corporation, who each received more than $40 million in total compensation.

The heads of Wall Street's four biggest investment houses -- John J. Mack of Morgan Stanley, Henry M. Paulson Jr. of Goldman Sachs, Richard S. Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers and E. Stanley O'Neal of Merrill Lynch -- were also near the top.

Next year may reveal even bigger paydays. In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed 370 pages of rules to improve the disclosure of how -- and how much -- executives are paid.

The requirements, expected to take effect in 2007, call for companies to explain how much the five highest-paid managers and all directors receive.

Companies will also be expected to show deferred compensation, retirement benefits and severance pay -- figures so hard for investors to find that they are called ''stealth wealth.''

One area that has already changed is the disclosure of perks, which are usually reported in public filings as ''other compensation.'' This form of compensation rose 9.3 percent, to about $188,000, last year, after the S.E.C. took a more aggressive stance on perk reporting.

Companies ''are now putting a value on things that never had to be valued before,'' said Jannice L. Koors, a managing partner at Pearl Meyer & Partners. ''That affected tons of stuff with everybody: airplanes, cars, drivers, apartments. All the stuff that wasn't disclosed because it wasn't reported income now has to be disclosed as a perquisite.''

Chief executives at consumer products companies took a pay cut of about 4 percent after weaker shareholder returns. But boards at many automobile, retail and telecommunications companies appeared to ignore last year's bad news.

Gap, for example, more than doubled the compensation of its chief executive, Paul S. Pressler, to $19.1 million, even though the company posted its worst results in years. Still, the board withheld his annual bonus.

April 9th, 2006

Wall Street Versus America : The Rampant Greed and Dishonesty That Imperil Your Investments
By Gary Weiss

Friday, December 5, 2008

Playboy Braille Edition

I guess, there are people who really subscribe to the Playboy magazine for its article. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why do we, as a nation, award stupidity and mediocrity as excellence?

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of seeing people admiring so-and-so individual simply because so-and-so possesses a certain physical appearance. Yes, there is nothing wrong in wanting so-and-so because so-and-so is extremely hot. But that does not mean that we should award so-and-so just because that so-and-so individual possesses striking physical attributes. Honestly, is beauty an achievement? Nope, because it is merely having the good fortunate to have the correct attributes at the right time and place. Just think about this, a woman who is overweight would currently not fit our present sense of beauty we simply assume without much objection that thin is physically attractive. Now did you know that overweight women were considered beautiful during most of the Renaissance period? This meant that thin women were undesirable. Hence, I ask you again, is beauty an achievement? 

Okay, it is true one can fix oneself up so as to look more attractive. One could go to a plastic surgeon and acquire some good parts to enhance or in some case to completely alter one's look. Wasn't this the premise for "Extreme Make-Over" and "The Swan"? So, is beauty an achievement? Besides, does it improve the world by having another self-absorbed human being wasting our precious resource? Absolutely not! In addition, there is nothing a self-absorbed individual adds the overall good of society. True, it is nice to look at a beautiful person but as the old proverbial saying goes "beauty fades but learning lasts, and the world wanes and becomes vain, but a good name neither becomes vain nor wanes." 

Now I have nothing against beauty that is if it is in its proper context. True, beautiful people are pleasing to the eyes. And yes, most of us would pick the hottest and sexiest partner if we knew that such possibility existed (I know that such opportunity exists for some but for the vast majority of the people hunks and supermodels are out of our league). Okay, there is nothing wrong with having such desires. But there is something strangely wrong to present awards to so-and-so just because so-and-so has the look that is currently desired by many. Okay, so-and-so is extremely hot and sexy but still it does not aid in the overall progression of human evolution. Also, how does awarding so-and-so for his or her beauty going to aid us end world hunger? In addition, what does beautiful people produces to assist in the overall growth of our society? True, they cause much perspiration and some form of grunt noise. However, there is nothing a beautiful person produces to aid the community in large. Clearly, they do not produce ideas to aid in solving many of our current crises. So, in the name of sanity, can we merely look or lust after beauty but stop awarding such attribute as if it some great achievement.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Advent: Awaiting in the Future of our Past Hope


Though Advent literally means coming or arrival few of us seems to be aware of the significance of Advent - and many others are not even aware of Advent itself, particularly those churches that do not follow a liturgical calendar. Perhaps, the lack of awareness also arises because Advent precedes so closely the overly-marketed holiday of Christmas and New Year's Day. It is also possible that many in the Western Christian Tradition tend to see Advent solely as a time of preparation for the coming of a child.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the misunderstanding of Advent, one thing is clear that there is a need for us to have a re-presentation of Advent. To accomplish this, it is important to keep in perspective that Advent proclaims the coming of God into our midst - "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (Jn. 1:14a). This guarantees us that God has entered human history through the incarnation of the Son. That is, the Son became human being in the fullness of time in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the whole world. For this reason, we rejoice, proclaim, and embody this truth to all peoples.

As for Advent, however, this is first of all about the end of time or what is known as the second coming of God's Son (eschaton).  In other words, the season of Advent is a season of awaiting in the future of our past hope. It is the season of anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of wolf lying down with the lamb (Isa. 11:6a), of death being swallow up (1 Cor. 15:54b), and of every tear being wipe away (Rev. 21:4a). Hence, Advent is the awaiting of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Advent is the celebration of the promise that Christ will bring into its fullness God's kingdom - i.e., Christ will bring to an end all that is against God's ways.

The resurrection of Jesus was the first sign of things to come. That is, the resurrection is the sign of both inauguration and hope of what is yet to come in fullness. For that reason, Advent is not countdown time until the arrival of Christmas. It is much more than that! Advent is a time of considering the future promise of God's kingdom on earth. For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this the central paradoxical reality of Advent because the fact of God's coming is both a matter of glad news but also of "frightening news for everyone who has a conscience." Thus, Advent is not merely time of expectation but also time of readiness - time of joy and fear. There is no escaping the tension that exists in the season of Advent. This tension is central because Christ has come, and at the same time not all things have attained completion.

As we celebrate the arrival of Advent, we must not forget the tension that exists as we live between the period after the resurrection and before the second coming of Christ. Yes, the first week of Advent is a week of focusing on the second coming of Christ. The second week in Advent is a week of preparing the way for the coming of Christ, which is followed by the third week of anticipation and expectation. Finally, the fourth week in Advent is a week of commemoration of Christ's birth, but each of these weeks must be practiced in the tension of living both in the now and not-yet reality of God's kingdom. Thought the first Sunday of Advent is considered by many Western Christians as the beginning of a new liturgical year, perhaps, it is instead more appropriate to consider as the beginning of the very end of things. By this, it is not to be understood merely as the end of time but also the bringing into completion the central purpose of creation. We are anticipating the complete arrival of a new world, of a new heaven, and of a new earth - the promised coming of the kingdom of God on earth.

Thus, let us be prepare for Advent, as Jesus says, "Be dressed for actions, and have your lamps lit; be like hose who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for hims as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the masters finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this; if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming an unexpected hour" (Lk. 12:35-40).

Amen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Madness

Sometimes I wonder about the reality of our senses, in light of fact that most of us assume that people are in generally good. Now, honestly, is this absolutely true? I'm having a hard time believing it. Honestly, look the state of our being in this country and around the world. It is just hard to imagine anyone holding such notion that human beings are basically good as true. For example, the whole continent of Africa is in danger of extinction because of AIDS but still the world as whole seems unperturbed by such prospect. Millions of children die of starvation and still the world as whole goes on as business as usual. Truthfully, are we so apathetic and so self-absorbed? It seems that we, as a nation, particularly as the richest country in the world, are completely nonchalant as long as it does not disturb our narcissistic ideology. This egotistical worldview was well put forward by a commercial with the aphorism: "Because I'm beautiful!" Is that all that matters? Is physical beautiful all that matters? Honestly, there is nothing wrong with beauty. But, there seems to be something appalling about such endeavor particularly in light of our reality of war, hunger, and disease.

Empire Falls (Vintage Contemporaries)
By Richard Russo


Monday, November 10, 2008

M. Shawn Copeland

"Theologically, the Christian notion of charity is exemplified in the incarnation. God becomes human in Jesus Christ, taking on pain and suffering for the other humanity."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Evagrius of Pontus

"One who worship in spirit and in truth no longer honors the Creator because of his works but praises him because of himself."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Paul B. Farrell

17 reasons America needs a recession

Think positive, this 'slow motion train wreck' is good for the U.S.

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 6:53 p.m. EST Nov. 19, 2007

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Yes, America needs a recession. Bernanke and Paulson won't admit it. And investors hate them. We're all trapped in outdated 1990s wishful thinking about a "new economy" and "perpetual growth."

But the truth is, not only is a recession coming, America needs a recession. So think positive: Let's focus on 17 benefits from this recession.

To begin with, recession may be an understatement. Jeremy Grantham's GMO firm manages $150 billion. In his midyear report before the credit crisis hit he predicted: "In 5 years I expect that at least one major 'bank' (broadly defined) will have failed and that up to half the hedge funds and a substantial percentage of the private-equity firms in existence today will have simply ceased to exist."

He was "watching a very slow motion train wreck." By October, it was accelerating: "Train hits end of track at full speed."

Also back in August, The Economist took a hard look at the then emerging subprime/credit crisis: "The policy dilemma facing the Fed may not be a choice of recession or no recession. It may be between a mild recession now, and a nastier one later."

However, the publication did admit that "even if a recession were in America's long-term economic interest, it would be political suicide" for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to suggest it.

Then The Economist posed the big question: Yes, "central banks must stop recessions from turning into deep depressions. But it may be wrong to prevent them altogether."

Wrong to prevent a recession? Why? Because recessions are a natural and necessary part of the business cycle. Remember legendary economist Joseph Schumpeter, champion of innovation and entrepreneurship?

Economists love Schumpeter's "creative destruction:" Obsolete firms get destroyed and capital released, making way for new technologies, new businesses, like Google. And yet, nobody's willing to apply Schumpeter's theory to the entire economy ... and admit recessions are a natural part of the business cycle.

Instead, everyone persists in the childlike fairy tale that "all growth is good" and "all recessions are bad," a bad hangover of the '90s "new economy" ideology. So for the folks at the Fed, Treasury and Wall Street, "eternal growth" is still America's mantra.

Unfortunately, the American investors' brain has also developed this blind obsession with "growth-at-all-costs," coupled with a deadly fear of all recessions, as if recessions are a lethal super-bug more powerful than Iran with a bomb.

Our values are distorted: It's OK to be greedy and overshoot the market on the upside -- grab too many assets, take on too much debt, make consumer spending a religion, live beyond our means, ignite hyperinflation along the way. Growth is good, even in excess.

And yet, recessions are a no-no that drives politicians, economists and investors ballistic.
Well, folks, you can block all this from your mind, you can argue that recessions are not a part of Schumpeter's thinking, that they are inconsistent with your political ideology. But the fact is, we let the housing/credit boom become a massive bubble, it popped and a recession is coming. 

So think positive, consider some of the benefits of a recession:

1. Purge the excesses of the housing boom
No, it's not heartless. Not like wartime calculations of "acceptable collateral damage." Yes, The Economist admits "the economic and social costs of recession are painful: unemployment, lower wages and profits, and bankruptcy." But we can't reverse Greenspan's excessive rate cuts that created the housing/credit crisis. It'll be painful for everyone, especially millions of unlucky, mislead homeowners who must bear the brunt of Wall Street's greed and Washington's policy failures.

2. U.S. dollar wake-up call
Reverse the dollar's free fall and revive our global credibility. Warnings from China, France, Iran, Venezuela and supermodel Gisele haven't fazed Washington. Recession will.

3. Write-offs
Expose Wall Street's shadow-banking system. They're playing with $300 trillion in derivatives and still hiding over $100 billion of toxic off-balance sheet asset-backed securities, plus another $300 billion hidden worldwide. A lack of transparency is killing our international credibility. Write it all off, now!

4. Budgeting
Force fiscal restraint back into government. America has been living way beyond its means for years: A recession will cut back revenues at all levels of government and cutbacks will encourage balanced budgeting.

5. Overconfidence
A recession will wake up short-term investors playing the market. In bull markets traders ride the rising tide, gaining false confidence that they're financial geniuses. Downturns bruise egos but encourage rational long-term strategies.

6. Ratings
Rating agencies have massive conflicts of interest; they aren't doing their job. They're supposed to represent the investors, but favor Corporate America, which pays for the reports. Shake them up.

7. China
Trigger an internal recession in China. Make it realize America's not going into debt forever to finance China's domestic growth and military war machine. A recession will also slow recycling their reserves through sovereign funds to our equities.

8. Oil
Force the energy and auto industries to get serious about emission standards and reducing oil dependency.

9. Inflation
Expose the "core inflation" farce Washington uses to sugarcoat reality.

10. Moral hazard
Slow the Fed from cutting interest rates to bail out speculators.

11. War costs
Force Washington to get honest about how it's going to pay for our wars, other than supplemental bills that are worse than Enron-style debt financing.

12. CEO pay
Further expose CEO compensation that's now about five hundred times the salaries of workers, compared with about 40 times a generation ago.

13. Privatization
Stop the privatization of our federal government to no-bid contractors and high-priced mercenary armies fighting our wars.

14. Entitlements
Force Congress to get serious about the coming Social Security/Medicare disaster. With boomers now retiring, this problem can only get worse: A recession now could avoid a depression later.

15. Consumers
Yes, we're all living way beyond our means, piling up excessive credit-card debt, encouraged by government leaders who tell us "deficits don't matter." Recessions will pressure individuals to reduce spending and increase savings.

16. Regulation
Lobbyists have replaced regulation. Extreme theories of unrestrained free trade plus zero regulation just don't work; proven by our credit crisis, hedge funds' nondisclosures, private-equity taxation, rating agencies failures, junk home mortgages, and more. Get real, folks.

17. Sacrifice
"We have not seen a nationwide decline in housing like this since the Great Depression, says Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. As individuals and as a nation Americans have always performed best in crises, like the Depression or WWII, times when we're all asked to make sacrifices. Pampering us with interest-rate cuts and tax cuts during the Iraq and Afghan wars may have stimulated the economy temporarily, but they delayed the real damage of the '90s stock bubble while setting the stage for this new subprime/credit crisis.

Wake up, the train wrecked. Time to think positive, find solutions, demand sacrifices.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Most Americans still believe in Angels




The Washington Post

Friday, September 19, 2008
Half of Americans Believe in Angels
by Julia Duin

Half of all Americans believe they are protected by guardian angels, one-fifth say they've heard God speak to them, one-quarter say they have witnessed miraculous healings, 16 percent say they've received one and 8 percent say they pray in tongues, according to a survey released Thursday by Baylor University.

The wide-ranging survey of 1,648 adults, who were asked 350 questions on their religious practices last fall, reveals a significant majority who are comfortable with the supernatural.

“Mystical experiences are widespread,” said Rodney Stark, co-director of Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion.

“I'd have guessed 15 percent instead of 55,” he added, referring to the 55 percent who claimed angelic protection. “This is the taboo subject in American religion. No one studies it, but there is a lot of it out there.”

The survey, which has a margin of error of four percentage points, also revealed that theological liberals are more apt to believe in the paranormal and the occult - haunted houses, UFOs, communicating with the dead and astrology - than do conservatives. Women (35 percent), blacks (41 percent), those younger than 30 (40 percent), Democrats (40 percent) and singles who are cohabitating (49 percent) were more likely to believe, the survey said.

Baylor researchers also criticized a much-ballyhooed “new atheism” as a barely discernable trend, saying the number of Americans who are atheists has stayed at 4 percent since 1944.

Why? Atheism is a “godless revolution that never happened,” the survey said, adding that irreligion often is not effectively transmitted to children who, when they reach adulthood, often join conservative religious denominations.

Moreover, atheism is hardly taking over the world. Europe does have more atheists than the U.S., the survey said, but no country has more than 7 percent except France, which is at 14 percent of the populace. Farther to the east, Japan is at 12 percent and China is at 14 percent.

Mr. Stark dismissed the popularity of several recent books on atheism, saying they are mostly the products of “angry” people who are largely ignored by theists.

“The religious people don't care about the irreligious people,” Mr. Stark said, “but the irreligious are prickly. I think they're just angry.”

The survey also ranked church attendance at 36 percent of the populace, about eight percentage points lower than similar surveys by pollster George Gallup but more than the low 20th percentile suggested by other polls.

“There was only one decline in church attendance and that was in the late 1960s,” Mr. Stark said, “when the Vatican said it was not a sin to miss Mass. They said Catholics could act like Protestants, and so they did.”

When asked at a press conference whether he was certain that one-third of the American populace is in church every week, he allowed that some of the respondents in the poll might have exaggerated their attendance.

“I'd say 30 percent,” he said, “but it's very high.”

The survey spoke highly of the American megachurch, congregations of more than 1,000 that are often criticized for their impersonal nature. People who attend megachurches are far more conservative in their theology than are attendees of smaller churches, it said.

Their members are also younger, they share their faith more with strangers, and they perform more volunteer work than do members of small churches.

“There are many critics who think the megachurches thrive on people who enjoy dramatic Sunday services with fine music but don't wish to become very 'religious' on a day-to-day basis - that the megachurch appeal is a mile wide and an inch deep,” said “What Americans Really Believe,” a companion book to the survey.

“But it is not true. Those who belong to megachurches display as high a level of personal commitment as do those who attend small congregations.”

Mr. Stark added, “Apparently they are preaching Jesus and that's why they get so big.”

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Martin Luther

"Who loves not wine, woman, and song, 
Remains a fool his whole life long."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Inquisition

The voyage I take

Without God,

Without my sisters and brothers,

Without my kins,

And without anyone but with myself.

I pride myself as my own being

Without fear to fear,

Without disillusion to disillusion,

Without hope to hope,

  And without God to be.

I walk as my own without God

Who promised to be

  Only if faith manifest itself in me,

Which without God cannot be.

So how do I live?

If faith must be given as a gift...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Karl Barth

"If the question what God can do forces theology to be humble, the question what is commanded of us forces it to concrete obedience."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Paris 3 A.M.























In Paris With You
 
Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful
And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two.
I'm one of your talking wounded.
I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded.
But I'm in Paris with you.

Yes I'm angry at the way I've been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I've been through.
I admit I'm on the rebound
And I don't care where are we bound.
I'm in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame, 
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy

Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are, 
Learning what I am.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris, 
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There's that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I'm in Paris with you.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris.
I'm in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I'm in Paris with your eyes, your mouth, 
I'm in Paris with... all points south.
Am I embarrassing you? 
I'm in Paris with you. 

by James Fenton 

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Left Gone Nuts

Why is it that every time a liberal is in office, he decides to move to the center? Honestly, the nation has already voted for you as a liberal so act as a liberal and live as a liberal. You don't have to work to be the President for the REDNECK INC., because whether they like or not you are their President. So stop moving to the right and move the country forward into progressive thinking land.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Simple Prayer


God,

I find myself on a strange place 
Where the proclamation of the good news is merely a words.
And is it that all that it is?
Merely words to be proclaimed!

Where is the power?
The change...
The transformation that takes a hold of us all.
Doesn't the power of the gospel transform us to be  
            Truly God's children
Who have in their heart 
  The inscription of God's commandments?

Perhaps, I am naive, and I have been called that.

But is the change that it is in being baptized with Christ truly real?
   If not, then why follow this proclamation?
     Why live a pretentious baptism of water and fire? 

Can we truly live as we have been truly forgiven?

Friday, July 25, 2008

An Appropriate Poem in Time of War

Mother's Day Proclamation
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Allen Stewart Konigsberg

"I was thrown out of N.Y.U my freshman year for cheating on my metaphysics final, you know. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

David Whyte

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
Or many gods.
It wants to know if you belong or feel
Abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world
Wit its harsh need
To change you. If you can look back
With firm eyes
Saying this where I stand. I want to know 
If you know
How to melt into that fierce heat of living
Failing toward
The center of your longing. I want to know 
If you are willing
To live, day by day with the consequence of love
And the bitter
Unwanted passion of your...defeat.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Simple Rogation


Heart of desire
That passion so intoxicating
Craving for life
And finding at all the wrong places

Enjoying each and every minute of it
Paying the price of addiction
Powerless in my passion
Shame consuming my body's soul

No sorrow in my shame
For life-fullness in midst of life-lessness
May God liberate me from my paradoxy
I pray that today is that day...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Robert Johnson

"I went down to the crossroad,
Fell down on my knees.
Asked the Lord above,
'Have mercy, now, save poor Bob, if you please.'"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jeffrey Strain

10 (More) Reasons You're Not Rich

by Jeffrey Strain
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Many people assume they aren't rich because they don't earn enough money. If I only earned a little more, I could save and invest better, they say.

The problem with that theory is they were probably making exactly the same argument before their last several raises. Becoming a millionaire has less to do with how much you make, it's how you treat money in your daily life.

The list of reasons you may not be rich doesn't end at 10. Caring what your neighbors think, not being patient, having bad habits, not having goals, not being prepared, trying to make a quick buck, relying on others to handle your money, investing in things you don't understand, being financially afraid and ignoring your finances.

Here are 10 more possible reasons you aren't rich:

You care what your car looks like: A car is a means of transportation to get from one place to another, but many people don't view it that way. Instead, they consider it a reflection of themselves and spend money every two years or so to impress others instead of driving the car for its entire useful life and investing the money saved.

You feel entitlement: If you believe you deserve to live a certain lifestyle, have certain things and spend a certain amount before you have earned to live that way, you will have to borrow money. That large chunk of debt will keep you from building wealth.

You lack diversification: There is a reason one of the oldest pieces of financial advice is to not keep all your eggs in a single basket. Having a diversified investment portfolio makes it much less likely that wealth will suddenly disappear.

You started too late: The magic of compound interest works best over long periods of time. If you find you're always saying there will be time to save and invest in a couple more years, you'll wake up one day to find retirement is just around the corner and there is still nothing in your retirement account.

You don't do what you enjoy: While your job doesn't necessarily need to be your dream job, you need to enjoy it. If you choose a job you don't like just for the money, you'll likely spend all that extra cash trying to relieve the stress of doing work you hate.

You don't like to learn: You may have assumed that once you graduated from college, there was no need to study or learn. That attitude might be enough to get you your first job or keep you employed, but it will never make you rich. A willingness to learn to improve your career and finances are essential if you want to eventually become wealthy.

You buy things you don't use: Take a look around your house, in the closets, basement, attic and garage and see if there are a lot of things you haven't used in the past year. If there are, chances are that all those things you purchased were wasted money that could have been used to increase your net worth.

You don't understand value: You buy things for any number of reasons besides the value that the purchase brings to you. This is not limited to those who feel the need to buy the most expensive items, but can also apply to those who always purchase the cheapest goods. Rarely are either the best value, and it's only when you learn to purchase good value that you have money left over to invest for your future.

Your house is too big: When you buy a house that is bigger than you can afford or need, you end up spending extra money on longer debt payments, increased taxes, higher upkeep and more things to fill it. Some people will try to argue that the increased value of the house makes it a good investment, but the truth is that unless you are willing to downgrade your living standards, which most people are not, it will never be a liquid asset or money that you can ever use and enjoy.

You fail to take advantage of opportunities: There has probably been more than one occasion where you heard about someone who has made it big and thought to yourself, "I could have thought of that." There are plenty of opportunities if you have the will and determination to keep your eyes open.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mano-a-Mano


It is always interesting to hear about pastors or priests criticizing other pastors and priests or condemning others as heretical. This is quite humorous. I know the argument goes that one of them is speaking the truth for God cannot be saying two different things at the same time - and God forbids that God contradict Godself. Regardless of what one thinks about the truth, I am wondering why not settle this just like the prophet Elijah against the prophets of Baal. As Elijah said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal then follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). Perhaps, we should do the same thing with all of these so called pastors or priests of God.

Just like Elijah, the test is to see who has God on their side for real. To accomplish, we shall all go up upon a mountain and on that mountain build two altars. After building these two altars, we shall place woods on the altars then drench both altars with water (about twelve barrels of water) since both side have God on their side this will not be a problem. Now the moment of truth, each side pray to their own God and whichever side is consumed by a divine fire then that is the side with the truth. Honestly, why not do this?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Allen Stewart Konigsberg

"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Reflective Psalm


When will you, O God, hear our prayers once again?
How long will you fasten from us?

Your children cry day and night for deliverance, justice, peace.
But we walk in despair, violence, injustice.

How long must we await for your justice and peace?
Will we see your hand of salvation soon?

Where must we turn in our suffering?
For our neighbors mock in our steadfast patience for the King of Peace.

They scoff at us with great vengeance.
"See", they say, "where is this Elohim of love and justice?"

Yes, O my soul, where is the Rock of our salvation?
When will the Son of Man return once again?

When???

Preparation is Half the Fun!