Wednesday, September 28, 2005

ARCTIC ICE MELT

Warming causes record Arctic ice melt: U.S. report
By Timothy GardnerWed Sep 28, 7:16 PM ET



The Arctic ice shelf has melted for the fourth straight year to its smallest area in a century, driven by rising temperatures that appear linked to a buildup of greenhouse gases, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday.
Scientists at NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which have monitored the ice via satellites since 1978, say the total Arctic ice in 2005 will cover the smallest area since they started measuring.
It is the least amount of Arctic ice in at least a century, according to both the satellite data and shipping data going back many more years, according to a report from the groups.
As of September 21, the Arctic sea ice area had dropped to 2.05 million square miles, the report said.
From 1978 to 2000, the sea ice area averaged 2.70 million square miles, the report said. It noted the melting trend had shrunk Inuit hunting grounds and endangered polar bears, seals and other wildlife.
The report warns that if melting rates continue, the summertime Arctic may be completely ice-free before the end of the century, echoing last year's findings from the Arctic Council, an eight-nation report by 250 experts.
The melting trend increasingly appeared to be caused by a buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the scientists said.
"It's increasingly difficult to argue against the notion that at least part of what we are seeing in the Arctic, in terms of sea ice, in terms of warming temperatures ... is due to the greenhouse effect," Mark Serreze, a research scientist at NSIDC, said in an interview.
"We've put a hit on the system and we are in the midst of a grand global experiment," Serreze said about the impact of global warming and ice melting on humans and animals. "We will have to live with the outcome."
The NSIDC, part of the University of Colorado at Boulder, helps NASA analyze satellite data.
Most scientists believe greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide that is released mainly from cars and utility smokestacks, cause global warming by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. Many believe global warming can lead to catastrophic consequences, including raising sea levels and strengthening weather events such as hurricanes.
One Arctic variation, known as Arctic Oscillation, an atmospheric circulation pattern that can push sea ice out of the area, had become less of an influence in the region since the mid-1990s, the report said.
Inuit hunters threatened by the melting of Arctic ice plan to file a petition in December accusing the United States of violating their human rights by fueling global warming. The Bush administration has opted out of the Kyoto Treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Inuit number about 155,000 people in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.
Scientists say the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the globe because water or bare earth, once uncovered, soaks up more heat than ice and snow. That process means melting can spur even warmer temperatures and more melting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050928/wl_canada_nm/canada_environment_arctic_col_1&printer=1;_ylt=Aj0OIxHgU1py7.vHtMxE1aR19L4F;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:19 PM   0 comments links to this post

The Word of the Day for September 28 is:

duffer • \DUFF-er\ • noun

To hear the word click the following link:
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?duffer01.wav=duffer


1 a : a peddler especially of cheap flashy articles b : something counterfeit or worthless*
2 : an incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person; especially : a mediocre golfer

Example sentence:Max had said he was just a duffer, but we knew otherwise when we saw his first drive land squarely on the green.

Did you know?Duffers have never really been straight shooters—on or off the golf course. The original duffers of the mid-18th century were shysters of the first order, merchants who palmed off trashy goods as if they were highly valuable (they often implied to unwary buyers that the goods had been smuggled and were very rare). Over time, the meaning of "duffer" was extended from a no-good peddler to anyone who was "no good," not just because the individual had low morals, but because he or she was incompetent or stupid. The term has been applied to hopelessly bad golfers since at least 1897.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:38 AM   0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 26, 2005

WHEN A FOOTBALL IS MORE THEN A GAME

Weis uses play called by 10-year-old boy dying of inoperable brain tumor
By TOM COYNE, AP Sports WriterSeptember 25, 2005

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Charlie Weis doesn't usually let anyone else call plays on offense. He made an exception for 10-year-old Montana Mazurkiewicz.
The Notre Dame coach met last week with Montana, who had been told by doctors weeks earlier that there was nothing more they could do to stop the spread of his inoperable brain tumor.
``He was a big Notre Dame fan in general, but football especially,'' said his mother, Cathy Mazurkiewicz.
Weis showed up at the Mazurkiewicz home in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend, and talked with Montana about his tumor and about Weis' 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has global development delay, a rare disorder similar to autism.
He told Montana about some pranks he played on Joe Montana -- whom Montana was named after -- while they were roommates at Notre Dame.
``I gave him a chance to hammer me on the Michigan State loss, which he did very well. He reminded me of my son,'' said Weis, whose son, Charlie Jr., is 12 years old.
Weis said the meeting was touching.
``He told me about his love for Notre Dame football and how he just wanted to make it through this game this week,'' Weis said. ``He just wanted to be able to live through this game because he knew he wasn't going to live very much longer.''
As Weis talked to the boy, Cathy Mazurkiewicz rubbed her son's shoulder trying to ease his pain. Weis said he could tell the boy was trying not to show he was in pain.
His mother told Montana, who had just become paralyzed from the waist down a day earlier because of the tumor, to toss her a football Weis had given him. Montana tried to throw the football, put could barely lift it. So Weis climbed into the reclining chair with him and helped him complete the pass to his mother.
Before leaving, Weis signed the football.
``He wrote, 'Live for today for tomorrow is always another day,''' Mazurkiewicz said.
``He told him: 'You can't worry about tomorrow. Just live today for everything it has and everything you can appreciate,'' she said. ``He said: 'If you're (in pain) today you might not necessarily be in pain tomorrow, or it might be worse. But there's always another day.''
Weis asked Montana if there was something he could do for him. He agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington on Saturday. He called ``pass right.''
Montana never got to see the play. He died Friday at his home.
Weis heard about the death and called Mazurkiewicz on Friday night to assure her he would still call Montana's play.
``He said, 'This game is for Montana, and the play still stands,''' she said.
Weis said he told the team about the visit. He said it wasn't a ``Win one for the Gipper'' speech, because he doesn't believe in using individuals as inspiration. He just wanted the team to know people like Montana are out there.
``That they represent a lot of people that they don't even realize they're representing,'' Weis said.
When the Irish started on their own 1-yard-line following a fumble recovery, Mazurkiewicz wasn't sure Notre Dame would be able to throw a pass. Weis was concerned about that, too. So was quarterback Brady Quinn.
``He said what are we going to do?'' Weis said. ``I said we have no choice. We're throwing it to the right.''
Weis called a play where most of the Irish went left, Quinn ran right and looked for tight end Anthony Fasano on the right.
Mazurkiewicz watched with her family.
``I just closed my eyes. I thought, 'There's no way he's going to be able to make that pass. Not from where they're at. He's going to get sacked and Washington's going to get two points,''' she said.
Fasano caught the pass and leapt over a defender for a 13-yard gain.
``It's almost like Montana was willing him to beat that defender and take it to the house,'' Weis said.
Mazurkiewicz was happy.
``It was an amazing play. Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased,'' she said. ``I was just so overwhelmed. I couldn't watch much more.''
Weis called her again after the game, a 36-17 victory by the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish, and said he had a game ball signed by the team that he wanted to bring to the family on Sunday.
``He's a very neat man. Very compassionate,'' she said. ``I just thanked him for using that play, no matter the circumstances.''

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:36 PM   0 comments links to this post

WORD OF THE DAY FOR SEPTEMBER 26 2005

clarion • \KLAIR-ee-un\ • adjective : brilliantly clear; also : loud and clear

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?clario01.wav=clarion

Example sentence:Frances issued a clarion call to action, convincingly describing the flaws in the proposed legislation and detailing actions people could take to stop it.


Did you know?In the Middle Ages, "clarion" was a noun, the name for a trumpet that could play a melody in clear, shrill tones. The noun has since been used for the sound of a trumpet or a similar sound. By the early 1800s, English speakers had also started using the word as an adjective for things that ring as clear as the call of a well-played trumpet. Not surprisingly, "clarion" ultimately derives (via the Medieval Latin "clario-") from "clarus," which is the Latin word for "clear." In addition, "clarus" gave English speakers "clarify," "clarity," "declare" ("to make clearly known"), and "clear" itself.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:35 AM   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A HOME ON THE MOON

There is no doubt that there are a lot of problems on earth, like Famine, disease, war, and natural disaters. One man thinks the answer can be found on the moon!

Chip Proser, believes the moon holds the key to solving many impending problems facing mankind, including global climate change and dwindling energy resources. Using technology that already exists, Proser asserts that we could colonize the moon and build solar arrays there that beam microwave power back to Earth, safely supplying the energy needs of the planet. Proser has created a DVD documentary called Gaia Selene that examines how humanity can forge an exciting new life on the moon and save Earth in the process. Watch a video preview here.

Chip Proser will be a guest on Coast to Coast am. You can listen to the program at
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:28 PM   1 comments links to this post

WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY MOUNTAIN DEW?

Prank leaves bad taste in victim's mouth
By Larisa Terkeltaub, Court TV Fri Sep 23, 5:33 PM ET

(Court TV) — A shopper at a Deltona, Fla., convenience store found more than Yellow No. 5 turning his newly purchased bottle of Mountain Dew phosphorescent yellow.
After drinking the soda, the victim, whom police have identified as L.T., started to vomit in the parking lot. When he took the bottle back to the Pix Convenience Store for an explanation, the store manager attributed the incident to "bad syrup."
If by "bad syrup," the manager meant urine, then he was correct. Daniel Nevins, the victim's lawyer, claims tests have confirmed the presence of urine in L.T.'s Mountain Dew, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Detectives might not have solved the crime if a Pix employee didn't overhear two others bragging about it.
According to police reports, store clerks Anthony Mesa and William Bonilla launched their foul prank on Aug. 30. Mesa considered using a bottle of Gatorade or Corona beer before picking the Mountain Dew. He opened the bottle, walked into the freezer, shut the door, and reemerged moments later with the cap retightened. He then placed in the drink cooler for sale.
When a coworker heard the men boasting about it, she reported it to her manager, who in turn interrogated Mesa. According to police, the clerk came clean.
"I did it," Mesa said. "I peed in the Mountain Dew."
Prosecutors have charged Mesa with a first-degree felony for tampering with a product. They have not decided whether to file criminal charges against Bonilla.
In a public statement, Mesa wrote, "It was all me. Therefore I don't care if I'm fired and prosecuted because I deserve it. Sorry for being immature."

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:23 PM   0 comments links to this post

LIGHT IN THE NIGHT

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:02 PM   2 comments links to this post

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:53 PM   0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 23, 2005

WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?

Mother - " Hey son, why don't you grab your bike and go ride down at the beach?"
Son - "But Mom, I thought a hurricane was coming!"
Mother - "Ahh, don't worry about a little hurricane."

A picture is worth a million words. What parent would allow their child near the ocean when a hurricane is coming? I have to sit back in disbelief! I've been watching over the last month how people have chosen to react to to the hurricanes. They live in a area where they know it could be destroyed, yet they choose to stay. What is amazing is if one of those waves ripped that child off the bike and pulled him out into the ocean and he died, the parents would be crying and yelling, "why?" and would probably try to blame someone for it.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:56 PM   4 comments links to this post

Man-Made Hurricanes?

With most of the news media focusing on hurricane Rita and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the following story may have been missed. I thought I would post it here so people can at least know what is going on out there in our strange world!

Scott Stevens Quits
Idaho weatherman Scott Stevens made his final forecast on Thursday night, leaving a nine-year stint at KPVI News Channel 6 to pursue his weather research full-time. Stevens believes there is evidence that suggests the world's weather is being manipulated and, in a recent FOX News story, alleged the Japanese mafia caused Hurricane Katrina as revenge for the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
Credit: Idaho State Journal

Tonight on the national syndicated radio program Coast to Coast Stevens will talk more about why he left TV weather reporting and what he'll be doing next. You can listen to the radio program at http://www.coasttocoastam.com/



Credit: Idaho State Journal

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:04 PM   1 comments links to this post

Weather Channel Blog

For those who may be interested, The Weather Channel has a blog. You can check it out at:

http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:22 AM   1 comments links to this post

Hurricane Rita

Submitted by: Marc Dudley
Photo Date: 9/20/2005
Photo Location: Miami, Florida, United States

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:13 AM   3 comments links to this post

24 KILLED IN BUS FIRE

As Many As 24 Killed in Texas Bus Fire
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050923/ap_on_re_us/rita_bus_explosion_hk1&printer=1;_ylt=Ajxktti2gg8WC4cuxw1VQvZH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

By SHEILA FLYNN, Associated Press Writer 8 minutes ago

A bus carrying elderly evacuees from Hurricane Rita caught fire and was rocked by explosions early Friday on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 24 people, authorities said.
"Deputies were unable to get everyone off the bus," Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokesman Don Peritz said. He said he believes 24 people were killed, but that number could change.
The bus, with about 45 people on board, had been traveling since Thursday. Peritz declined to give details on who the passengers were except to say they were from a nursing home in Bellaire, an upscale enclave within Houston.
Early indications were that it caught fire because of mechanical problems, then passengers' oxygen tanks started exploding, Peritz said. He said the brakes may have been on fire.
The bus was engulfed with flames, causing a lengthy backup on Interstate 45 already congested with evacuees from the Gulf Coast. The bus was reduced to a blackened, burned-out shell with large blue tarps covering many seats, surrounded by police cars and ambulances.
Tina Jones, a nurse from Ennis, was driving behind the bus when she saw it start to smoke and pull to the side of the road.
"I saw the smoke and then there was an explosions," said Jones, who pulled over and helped treat cuts and bruises. She said she saw at least six bodies.
"I'll probably go home and have a good cry," she said.
Peritz said the driver survived. "It's my understanding he went back on the bus several times to try to evacuate people," he said.
Interstate 45 stretches more than 250 miles from Galveston through Houston to Dallas. The crash site is roughly 17 miles southeast of downtown Dallas.
Gov. Rick Perry spokeswoman Kathy Walt said traffic on I-45 would be diverted at Ennis, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. She said it was unclear how far the gridlock extended.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:58 AM   1 comments links to this post

Mysterious 'Ball Of Fire' Seen In Florida skies

You can read and watch the video of the story at the following link:

http://www.local6.com/news/5000311/detail.html

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 1:46 AM   0 comments links to this post

Soldiers Spooked by New Orleans Spirits

Video report documents California National Guard sightings. --CBS5.com

To see the Video follow this link:

http://cbs5.com/video/?id=6789@kpix.dayport.com

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:15 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The eye of a hurricane



This image features the eye of Hurricane Ivan at center, partially framed by solar array panels on the International Space Station. One of the strongest hurricanes on record, Ivan was photographed on September 11, 2004 from an altitude of about 230 miles by Astronaut Edward M. (Mike) Fincke, NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer, aboard the orbital outpost. At the time, Ivan was in the western Caribbean Sea and reported to have winds of 160 mph. Click to enlarge.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:00 PM   0 comments links to this post

Rita is George Bush’s fault

Considering the fact that President Bush has been blamed for everything from September 11, 2001, to hurricane Katrina, we should all just go ahead and blame Bush now for hurricane Rita! I am not the only one who thinks we should do this! I found a great article posted at the following blog:

http://www.blogexplosion.com/headlines/view.php?showPost=1285

It is a sarcastic look at why hurricane Rita is Bush's fault! Well worth your time to read:


Rita is George Bush's fault

Blogged by Tony as News Tony Thu 22 Sep 2005 9:03 am
I've never really broke an exclusive on my site so I figured I'd go ahead jump in and claim this one. I'm even tempted to swing on over to elijahlist.com and register myself as a prophet. Someone else might have already beat me to the punch with this one, but I'm claiming that the idea was in my head before anyone else. There is no real way to prove it, so in my own little world I win. So mark it down: George Bush is to blame for Hurricane Rita and all the destruction and chaos that follows.
That's right, I'm beating the media on this one. Isn't it obvious? It's headed towards Texas, and since W used to be the Gov there he still holds mystical control over the weather in that area. It's part of the job description for Texas Governor. And since the current Governor of Texas is also a Republican they can use their weather control powers in conjuction to make Rita a category 8 hurricane so it can be really nasty.
Why would the Axis of Texas do such a thing to their beloved state? Once again, isn't it obvious? Oil. Dubya owns all the oil in Texas so he looks to make a killing by raising all the gas prices in the wake of the hurricane. The biased conservative media is already hyping up how short we'll be on gas and oil production, despite the fact that they know that months ago, while he was planning his "natural disaster", Dubya already pumped out all the oil and hid it in Alaska so we wouldn't lose any. He's able to accomplish this with his huge army of future-amnesty-impowered Mexicans.
Also, don't forget that many of the refugees (oh, I'm sorry, I mean evacuees) from New Orleans were moved to Texas, so now Bush can finally finish off all the people that he wasn't able to get when he blew up that levee.
It all makes perfect sense. Why wouldn't Bush do such a thing? I mean, he's obviously pure evil, isn't he? He sent us to war so he and Cheney could go from being multi-millionaires to...more...multi-millionairery. Maybe he can call in a favor from the President of the Country of Cali-Fornya to go ahead and create that earthquake we've been waiting on to knock LA into the ocean...after evacuating all the Mexicans, of course.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:21 PM   1 comments links to this post

HERO

Artist:
Superchick
Album:
Last One Picked
Song:
Hero

No one sits with him, he doesn’t fit in But we feel like we do when we make fun of him Cause you want to belong do you go along Cause his pain is the price paid for you to belong It’s not like we hate him or want him to die But maybe he goes home and thinks suicide Or he comes back to school with a gun at his side And a kindness from you might have saved his life

CHORUS
Heroes are made when you make a choice You could be a hero Heroes do what’s right You could be a hero You might save a life You could be a hero, You could join the fight For what’s right for what’s right for what’s right

No one talks to her, she feels so alone She’s in too much pain to survive on her own The hurt she can’t handle overflows to a knife She writes on her arm, wants to give up her life Each day she goes on is a day that she is brave, Fighting the lie that giving up is the way, Each moment of courage her own life she saves When she throws out the pills a hero is made

[Repeat Chorus]

No one talks to him about how he lives He thinks that the choices he makes are just his Doesn’t know he’s a leader with the way he behaves And others will follow the choices he’s made He lives on the edge, he’s old enough to decide His brother who wants to be him is just nine He can do what he wants because it’s his right The choices he makes change a nine year old’s life

[Repeat Chorus]

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:03 PM   1 comments links to this post

Just what we need! A Giant Pink Bunny


The world is facing terrorists who want to kill and destroy. America is facing a second devastating hurricane, before we have even cleaned up after the first one! A War in Iraq is continuing. Gas prices continue to rise. On top of all of that, the world faces the everyday challenges of crime, poverty, and disease. So what do the Italians do? They place a giant Pink Bunny on a mountain!

You can read the entire story at:
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1541732.html

Maybe we all should take the time to send the Italians a thank you card for the big pink bunny :)

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:58 AM   0 comments links to this post

Oil Prices Climb above 68$ a Barrel!

Oil Prices Climb Above $68 a BarrelSep
22 9:46 AM US/Eastern

By EN-LAI YEOHAssociated Press Writer
SINGAPORE

Crude oil prices climbed above $68 a barrel Thursday as Hurricane Rita closed in on Texas, raising fears it would hit key production facilities along the Gulf Coast that were largely untouched by Hurricane Katrina's onslaught three weeks ago.
The Category 5 hurricane _ the highest category possible _ with 175- mph winds was expected to strike Texas, the heart of U.S. oil production, on Saturday. More than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana _ including hundreds of oil workers _ were ordered to evacuate.
"No question, prices are driven by Hurricane Rita," said Energyintel analyst Sam Dale in Singapore. "The fuse is that it will force refinery closures, and if these facilities close it is going to reduce inventories."
Light sweet crude for November rose $1.25 to $68.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On London's International Petroleum Exchange, November Brent crude oil futures gained 97 cents to $65.70 a barrel.
Nymex oil prices are around 40 percent higher than a year ago, though still below the intraday record of $70.85 they hit Aug. 30 when Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, damaging and shutting down numerous oil refineries and other facilities.
Now Texas, which produces more than 25 percent of total U.S. crude, is bracing for possibly similar havoc from Rita.
Eighteen of its 26 refineries, with a combined distillation capacity of 4 million barrels daily, are located near the Gulf of Mexico. Nine of those facilities, representing 12 percent of U.S. refinery capacity have shut, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
"Some of those refineries in Texas, they're at sea level. It's a table top, it floods very easily," said Ed Silliere, vice president of risk management at Energy Merchant LLC in New York.
The U.S. Minerals Management Service said Wednesday that 469 platforms in the Gulf are unstaffed, up sharply from 136 on Tuesday. More than 73 percent of oil production in the region was blocked, up from 58 percent Tuesday.
The International Energy Agency said Thursday it will be able to act quickly to release more oil stocks if Hurricane Rita does major damage to energy facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
"If any supply disruption occurs again we can make a speedy decision," IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil said.
Earlier this month the IEA released 2 million barrels a day for 30 days in strategic stocks to help offset supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Guy Caruso, criticized OPEC for constraining production to keep prices high _ days after the oil cartel pledged to make available an additional 2 million barrels daily to cope with high demand.
"Without question," Caruso said Wednesday when asked during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has contributed to soaring oil prices.
"OPEC policy has been to constrain production and collude ... Under the FTC definition of collusion and price-fixing, yes," he said. The EIA is the statistical and analytical wing of the U.S. Department of Energy.
OPEC members, responsible for a third of global output, have said the problem is insufficient refining capacity not the amount of crude available.
The Department of Energy said Wednesday that U.S. gasoline inventories rose 3.4 million barrels to 195.4 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 16. Inventories of distillate fuels, which include heating oil, rose 800,000 barrels to 134.1 million while crude inventories dropped 300,000 barrels to 308.1 million, but are nearly 12 percent above year-ago levels.
Natural gas kept rising, up 82 cents to $13.42 per 1,000 cubic feet _ making the key winter heating fuel commodity more than 50 percent higher from the same period in 2004. Gasoline rose more than 10 cents to $2.1600 a gallon (3.8 liters) while heating oil rose nearly 5 cents to $2.0860 a gallon.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:53 AM   0 comments links to this post

Katrina donations found at Official's home!

Storm Donations Found at Official's Home
Thu Sep 22, 7:25 AM ET

Police found cases of food, clothing and tools intended for hurricane victims at the home of the chief administrative officer for a New Orleans suburb, authorities said Wednesday.
Officers searched Cedric Floyd's home because of complaints that city workers were helping themselves to donations for hurricane victims. Floyd, who runs the day-to-day operations in the suburb of Kenner, was in charge of distributing the goods.
Police plan to seek a charge of committing an illegal act as a public official against Floyd, and more charges against other city workers are possible, police Capt. Steve Caraway said.
The donations filled a large pickup truck four times. "It was an awful lot of stuff," Caraway said.
The donated materials must be processed as evidence but eventually will be distributed to victims. "We have lots of families that are begging for these supplies," said Attorney General Charles Foti, whose office assisted in the investigation.
Attempts to reach Floyd were unsuccessful at home numbers listed under his name in Kenner. His office number went unanswered after business hours.
Philip Ramon, chief of staff to Kenner Mayor Philip Capitano, has said city officials were investigating the alleged pilfering but added that many employees were themselves hurricane victims.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:51 AM   0 comments links to this post

CRAZY TIMES PART 2

After a violent day in Iraq, U.S. death toll tops 1,900

By STEVEN R. HURST
of The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The war in Iraq passed a sobering milepost Tuesday when U.S. officials reported 12 more Americans were killed - eight of them members of the armed forces, raising to more than 1,900 the number of U.S. service members who have died in the country since the invasion


World finally wakes up to threat of bird flu pandemic
1 hour, 29 minutes ago

After treating bird flu as a largely Asian problem, the world is now waking up to the danger that millions of people could die from a pandemic if drastic counter-measures are not put in place.
US President George W. Bush has called for an "international partnership" against the threat with the dreaded H5N1 virus now creeping into Europe, and countries are stocking up on flu medicine as scientists search for a vaccine.

The fear is that the H5N1 virus in domesticated poultry and migratory birds will develop into a strain that is easily transferable among humans.
Experts fear there will only be a window of a few weeks to contain an outbreak before a pandemic virus spreads with lethal speed.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:18 AM   2 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

CRAZY TIMES

Rita Could Be Strongest Storm to Hit Texas

http://www.yahoo.com/s/135781/*http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050922/ap_on_re_us/rita


By PAM EASTON,
Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago

Gaining strength with frightening speed, Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast a Category 5, 175-mph monster Wednesday as more than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were sent packing on orders from authorities who learned a bitter lesson from Katrina.
With Rita projected to hit Texas by Saturday, Gov. Rick Perry urged residents along the state's entire coast to begin evacuating. And New Orleans braced for the possibility that the storm could swamp the misery-stricken city all over again.
Galveston, low-lying parts of Corpus Christi and Houston, and mostly emptied-out New Orleans were under mandatory evacuation orders as Rita sideswiped the Florida Keys and began drawing energy with terrifying efficiency from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters said Rita could be the most intense hurricane on record ever to hit Texas, and easily one of the most powerful ever to plow into the U.S. mainland. Category 5 is the highest on the scale, and only three Category 5 hurricanes are known to have hit the U.S. mainland — most recently, Andrew, which smashed South Florida in 1992.

The U.S. mainland has never been hit by both a Category 4 and a Category 5 in the same season. Katrina, at one point became a Category 5 storm, weakened slightly to a Category 4 hurricane just before coming ashore.

Late Wednesday, Rita was centered about 570 miles east-southeast of Galveston and was moving west near 9 mph. Forecasters predicted it would come ashore along the central Texas coast between Galveston and Corpus Christi. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 70 miles from the center of the storm.

But with its breathtaking size — tropical storm-force winds extending 370 miles across — practically the entire western end of the U.S. Gulf Coast was in peril, and even a slight rightward turn could prove devastating to the fractured levees protecting New Orleans.
In the Galveston-Houston-Corpus Christi area, about 1.3 million people were under orders to get out, in addition to 20,000 or more along with the Louisiana coast. Special attention was given to hospitals and nursing homes, three weeks after scores of sick and elderly patients in the New Orleans area drowned in Katrina's floodwaters or died in the stifling heat while waiting to be rescued.Galveston, a city of 58,000 on a coastal island 8 feet above sea level, was the site of one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history: an unnamed hurricane in 1900 that killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people and practically wiped the city off the map.
The last major hurricane to strike the Houston area was Category-3 Alicia in 1983. It flooded downtown Houston, spawned 22 tornadoes and left 21 people dead.
Rita approached as the death toll from Katrina passed the 1,000 mark — to 1,036 — in five Gulf Coast states. The body count in Louisiana alone was put at 799, most found in the receding floodwaters of New Orleans.
The Army Corps of Engineers raced to fortify the city's patched-up levees for fear the additional rain could swamp the walls and flood the city all over again. The Corps said New Orleans' levees can only handle up to 6 inches of rain and a storm surge of 10 to 12 feet.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin estimated only 400 to 500 people remained in the vulnerable east bank areas of the city. They, too, were ordered to evacuate. But only a few people lined up for the evacuation buses provided. Most of the people still in the city were believed to have their own cars.
Crude oil prices rose again on fears that Rita would smash into key oil installations in Texas and the gulf. Hundreds of workers were evacuated from offshore oil rigs. Texas, the heart of U.S. crude production, accounts for 25 percent of the nation's total oil output.
Rita is the 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, making this the fourth-busiest season since record-keeping started in 1851. The record is 21 tropical storms in 1933. The hurricane season ends Nov. 30.
___
Associated Press Writers Lynn Brezosky in Corpus Christi, Alicia Caldwell in Galveston and Juan A. Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.
___
On the Net:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov



Katrina's Death Toll Climbs Past 1,000
By ADAM NOSSITER,
Associated Press Writer 58 minutes ago

http://www.yahoo.com/s/135782/*http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050922/ap_on_re_us/hurricane_katrina_hk2

Searchers smashed through doors in New Orleans on Wednesday, bringing their hunt for the dead to homes that had been locked and to blocks hardest hit by Katrina's flooding. Behind those doors, officials said they expected a sharply escalating body count even as the overall death toll passed 1,000.
"There still could be quite a few, especially in the deepest flooded areas," said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jeffrey Pettitt, who is overseeing the retrieval of bodies. "Some of the houses, they haven't been in yet." Officials said searchers are beginning to find more children.
The death toll in Louisiana stood at 799 on Wednesday, an increase of 153 bodies since the weekend and nearly 80 percent of the 1,036 deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina across the Gulf Coast region. Pettitt and other officials would not speculate on what the final tally could be. They said the effort could last another four to six weeks.


Experts see Rita pushing fuel over $3
By Randy FabiWed Sep 21, 2:05 PM ET


Hurricane Rita will push U.S. gasoline prices over $3 a gallon again, but the rise is likely to be limited as the higher pump price caps consumer demand, oil analysts said on Wednesday.
Rita's impact on oil refineries and oil production could be a "national disaster," according to the head of the nation's biggest maker of gasoline, Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO - news).
"If it hits the refineries, and we're short refining capacity, you're going to see gasoline prices well over $3 a gallon at the pump," said Valero Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Greehey.
The Gulf Coast, which accounts for about a third of domestic crude oil production, braced for the second major hurricane in less than a month.
Rita was upgraded on Wednesday to a powerful Category 4 storm as it headed across the Gulf of Mexico on a course that could take it to Texas, home to a fourth of U.S. oil refinery production.
Federal officials said 18 Texas oil refineries stood in Rita's projected path, which account for 23 percent of U.S. refining capacity.
The storm comes just three weeks after Hurricane Katrina damaged numerous rigs, platforms and refineries near the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

Southern India storm death toll mounts
22.09.05 5.20am
At least 1000 people are missing in southern India and hundreds of fishermen are unaccounted for in Bangladesh after a severe storm in the Bay of Bengal killed 50 people. Indian authorities said about 100,000 people were homeless after heavy rains caused flooding in coastal districts of the southern Andhra Pradesh state. Most of the victims were either electrocuted or died in house collapses. In Bangladesh about 300 fishermen are missing after the storm triggered high waves and heavy rain along the coast.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:54 PM   0 comments links to this post

Watching TV is bad for children!

Watching TV 'is bad for children'

Children under two should not be allowed to watch any TV, experts say.
Older children should watch no more than two hours a day, the researchers at the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Centre in Seattle said.
Each hour in front of the TV increased a child's chances of attention deficit disorder by 10%, their research in the Pediatrics journal showed.
The study of 1,345 children showed three hours TV a day made children 30% more likely to have the disorder.
Dr Dimitri Christakis at the children's hospital led the study. He said: "The newborn brain develops very rapidly during the first two to three years of life. It's really being wired."
TV can cause the developing mind to experience unnatural levels of stimulation Dr Dimitri Christakis
Children who were exposed to the unrealistic levels of stimulation at a young age continued to expect this in later life, leading to difficulty dealing with the slower pace of school and homework, he said.
"TV can cause the developing mind to experience unnatural levels of stimulation," he said.
Rapid
This was made worse by the rapid image change that television makers used to keep young children interested, Dr Christakis added.
Parents were questioned about their children's viewing habits and asked to rate their behaviour at age seven on a scale similar to that used to diagnose attention deficit disorders.
The youngsters who watched the most television were more likely to rank within the top 10% for concentration problems, impulsiveness, restlessness and being easily confused.
Frederick Zimmerman of the University of Washington in Seattle, another of the authors, said it was impossible to say what a "safe" level of TV viewing would be for children between the ages of one and three.

"Each hour has an additional risk. You might say there's no safe level since there's a small but increased risk with each hour," he said.
"Things are a trade-off. Some parents might want to take that risk. We didn't find a safe level in that sense."
Between three and five per cent of children in the US are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.
The researchers admitted there could be problems in the study as the parents' views may not be totally accurate.
Also it was not possible to know whether the children already had attention problems early on that attracted them to TV viewing.

Story from BBC

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:33 PM   0 comments links to this post

Horrifying story about Hurricane katrina not true!

After hurricane Katrina struck the accusations of who to blame began to fly. One notable example came from The president of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans, Aaron Broussard. He said some of the following:

Speaking of the response to hurricane Katrina:
One of the Worst Abandonments of Americans on American Soil Ever.

Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast.


Now those are some very large accusations but to drive his point home, Broussard told the tragic personal story of a colleague, and broke down:

I want to give you one last story and I'll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I am in, Emergency Management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming? and he said, Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody's coming to get us. Nobody's coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody's promised. They've had press conferences. I am sick of the press conferences. For gods sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.

But what has been ignored by many in the media is this story is simply not true!

Fox News is reporting that the facts are as follows:

1. The Mother never called her son for help

2. The Mother died the day the hurricane hit, not four days after!

I am going to continue to look for reports on this story. If any one finds anymore details please e-mail them to me at:

tsrk30@sbcglobal.net



MSNBC now has a story about this: check out
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9368952/

you can watch a video of the interview.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 5:45 PM   4 comments links to this post

Safest And Least Safe Places In The U.S.

In the wake of Katrina, a review of which places are less likely to have natural disasters. To see th report please follow the following link:

http://www.forbes.com/realestate/2005/08/30/safestplaces-insurance-realestate-cx_sc_0830home_ls.html

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 5:09 PM   0 comments links to this post

ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES


Americans don't like to face the consequences of our actions. If you spill a cup of hot coffee in your lap, sue the restaurant! If you ignore evacuation warnings when a category 5 hurricane is coming, blame the government. If you smoke and get cancer, sue the tobacco company. If you are the president of the United States and it is discovered that you have been having sexual relations with your intern, blame a right wing conspiracy. You can blame and point fingers all day, but it doesn't remove the consequences of your actions. When a person serves as President of the United States, he wants to be remembered for his polices, the good he accomplished. But when he engages in activities that are not wise, he has to be prepared for the consequences. Years after Bill Clinton's sexual activies with Monica Lewinsky was exposed to the world, the consequences can still be seen. What is Clinton remembered for? Some would try to point to his policies and say what a wonderful president he was, but the following may show exactly what he is rememberd for:

Clinton finds himself on cover of condom packs
Can Clinton overtake Trojan Horse?


The former US president is known for many things among the Chinese public, including his sexual peccadilloes and promotion of AIDS awareness and prevention.
But he may be surprised to know that his monicker is now being used as a brand name by a condom manufacturer in southern China - together with that of Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern with whom he had an affair.
Guangzhou Haojian Biotech Company recently announced the launch of the Clinton and Lewinsky brands of condoms. General manager Liu Wenhua proudly declared that his was the first company in China to have registered an international celebrity's name as a trademark.
No, he did not need to pay a single penny to use the names, he explained, because these are just "ordinary Western names" and having them as trademarks would not constitute an infringement on intellectual property rights.
Both brands are for males, with the former priced at 29.8 yuan (US$3.7) for a pack of a dozen and the latter 18.8 yuan (US$2.3) a dozen. The "Clinton" is for the upscale market while the "Lewinsky" for the mass market, Liu elaborated.
As if this were not enough to raise a few eyebrows, Liu claimed that since last April, when the company could legally use the former president's name, he had received an offer of 10 million yuan (US$1.23 million) from a Beijing company for a transfer of name rights. "I said 'No way.' We're not selling the brands for any price."
The condom packet comes with a card inside - one side is a picture, in classic Chinese style, depicting an erotic pose, and on the other an adult-themed joke.
One needs to buy 12 packs before collecting the whole set of cards. It is intended to publicize a "healthy adult culture" and "impart knowledge about sex and love," said Liu.
Hu Bingguang, an official with the Administration of Press, Publication, Radio and Television of Guangzhou Municipality, said that it would be "inappropriate" for a vendor to enclose pornographic pictures. But if they were not for sale, it would be okay as long as the company files the card with his office. However, Hu remarked that he had never seen such a filing.
Yao Jun, a Guangzhou-based attorney for H.J.M. International Law Offices, which specializes in intellectual property rights issues, doubts the claim that the two brands are registered.
"Filing for registration and being registered are two different things."
Yao told China Daily that the law stipulates that no trademark should violate public interest or the existing value system.
"The Clinton and Lewinsky brands can be rejected on these grounds."


Source: China Daily
http://english.people.com.cn/200509/21/eng20050921_209880.html


The moral of this story: If you don't want your face to end up on a box of condoms, consider your actions before you do them!

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:17 AM   0 comments links to this post

Katrina™, The Drink?

I found this onThe Drudge Report.

Katrina™, The Drink?


Louisiana lawyers in sleazy bid to cash in on deadly hurricane
SEPTEMBER 20--With dead bodies still floating in the streets of New Orleans, a pair of Louisiana lawyers are seeking to cash in on the killer hurricane by slapping the name Katrina on alcoholic beverages. In a new filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Andrew Vicknair and Harold Ehrenberg provided federal officials with a logo--reproduced above--bearing the word Katrina, the phrase "Get Blown Away," and a small satellite image of the deadly storm. The trademark application was filed on September 4, just six days after the hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1000 residents and leaving thousands homeless. The filing by Vicknair, 31, and the 47-year-old Ehrenberg--both of whom are graduates of New Orleans-based Loyola University's law school--does not detail what kind of booze products will bear the Katrina name. But it's a safe bet that these wannabe profiteers are plotting some variation on The Hurricane, the Bourbon Street staple. According to their trademark application, Vicknair (pictured top left) and Ehrenberg (pictured bottom left) operate from an office in Metarie, Louisiana, a New Orleans suburb that suffered heavy hurricane damages. The property, which apparently was not flooded during the storm, also houses Ehrenberg's chiropractic office. A beta version of his web site includes a picture of "Dr. Harold" sandwiched between the words "Attorney" and "Chiropractor." The graphic also includes a series of six roman columns, three of which are actually human spines. Neither Vicknair nor Ehrenberg returned TSG phone messages seeking comment on their trademark bid. (4 pages)

What is it about American ingenuity and a national tragedy?

TUNE IN: Smoking Gun TV encore airs Friday at 11:30 PM (E/P) on Court TV



To see the complete article follow this link:


http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0920051katrina1.html

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:40 AM   0 comments links to this post

'Ugly' woman sues TV show in death of sister

Tue Sep 20,10:45 AM ET

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE



A Texas woman has sued ABC's popular reality show "Extreme Makeover" for more than $1 million claiming among other things that an abrupt cancellation of her appearance on the program led to her sister's death.
Deleese Williams of Conroe, Texas, claims she came to Los Angeles to be a contestant on the show after undergoing a series of medical exams to determine if her crooked teeth and droopy eyes could be fixed and her small breasts enhanced, according the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The suit starts with the blunt description: "Deleese Williams is considered ugly" and says one doctor promised her "a Hollywood smile like Cindy Crawford."
To prepare for the show, the producers sent a crew to Texas in January 2004 to interview Williams and her family.
The suit claims the "Extreme Makeover" crew manipulated Williams' sister, Kellie, into making cruel statements about Williams' looks.
The night before Williams was to begin her makeover, the show's producers told her it would take too long for work on her jaw to heal. They canceled her appearance and sent Williams home where Kellie, distraught over what she had said about her sister, eventually killed herself, according to the suit.
"Sometimes Deleese blames herself for Kellie's death," the suit said.
An ABC spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:37 AM   0 comments links to this post

Captain's Blog

I am posting a link to a blog that many of you may find interesting. There is much that I disagree with, but there is plenty to read and much to think about.

Here is the link:

Captain's Blog

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:45 AM   0 comments links to this post

The Word of the Day for September 21

whelm • \WELM\ • verb

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?whelm001.wav=whelm


1 : to turn upside down usually to cover something : cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect*
2 : overwhelm
3 : to pass or go over something so as to bury or submerge it


Example sentence:Marya was a bit whelmed by the new and unfamiliar task.
Did you know?"It is not overwhelming and it is not underwhelming. You leave the production feeling merely whelmed." Thus wrote Michael Phillips in the Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2001. Recently, writers like Phillips have begun using "whelm" to denote a middle stage between "underwhelm" and "overwhelm." But that's not how "whelm" has traditionally been used. "Whelm" and "overwhelm" have been with us since Middle English (when they were "whelmen" and "overwhelmen"), and throughout the years their meanings have largely overlapped. Both words early on meant "to overturn," for example, and both have also come to mean "to overpower in thought or feeling." Around 1950, however, folks started using a third word, "underwhelmed," for "unimpressed," and lately "whelmed" has been popping up with the meaning "moderately impressed."*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:38 AM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

THE COST OF WAR

Whether you are for the War in Iraq or against it, we should all know how much the war is costing America!
this link will take you to a Cost of War calculator. It shows you a running total!

http://costofwar.com/

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:18 PM   1 comments links to this post

ART AND INDEPENDENT FILMS

Ok, I know they don't have a million dollar budget. I also realize that they are at times difficult to figure out. But art films and independent films are usually a lot more thought provoking then the usual Hollywood offerings. If you live near Abilene Texas you have the opportunity to see some very creative films in October:


October 2005 ~

Thurs. 13 October PARAMOUNT ART FILM - "Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut," 7:30 pm. From 26-year old first time director Richard Kelly comes this provocative film, a genre busting fable that blasts the American suburban drama into a wildly imaginative realm of time travel, alternate universes, and the manipulation of one's fate. At it's core, however, this unique film is the simple story of a boy trying to make a stand in a lonely, chaotic world. Originally screened at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, "Donnie Darko" became one of the festivals most talked-about and heatedly debated films. The director's cut features 20 minutes of never-before-seen footage, new & enhanced visual effects, and new music. 2004, color, scope, 133 minutes. Rated R for language and some violence. For more information visit http://www.donniedarko.com/. This screening also serves as the opening film of the 2005 WESTfest Short Film + Video Competition.



Fri. 14 October WESTfest 2005 SHORT FILM + VIDEO COMPETITION - Public Screenings of competition Program A, 7:00 pm. This annual film competition for student and independent filmmakers, now in it's eighth year, features works of 15 minutes or less in a variety of categories including dramatic, documentary, animation, and experimental. The juried competition consists of two competition programs, screened over two consecutive nights. Cash awards are given to the top films, including an Audience Award voted on by the festival audiences. All seats $5. For more information visit www.paramount-abilene.org/westfest.



Sat. 15 October WESTfest 2005 SHORT FILM + VIDEO COMPETITION - Public Screenings of competition Program B, 7:00 pm. This annual film competition for student and independent filmmakers, now in it's eighth year, features works of 15 minutes or less in a variety of categories including dramatic, documentary, animation, and experimental. The juried competition consists of two competition programs, screened over two consecutive nights. Cash awards are given to the top films, including an Audience Award voted on by the festival audiences. All seats $5. For more information visit www.paramount-abilene.org/westfest.


You should know that many times these films will present a point of view that will be completely opposite to the one you hold. But I can assure you they will give you much to think about. I usually do not agree with the majority of these films. I usually will not watch the type of material that is presented during the film festival. I do make an exception for the film festival so I can see what philosophical point of view will be presented by Hollywood in the years to come.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 3:50 PM   0 comments links to this post

Praying Mantis Part 2

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:58 PM   0 comments links to this post

Praying Mantis!

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:56 PM   0 comments links to this post

Bored?

Ok, it is Friday night and you are complaining that there is nothing to do. You can sit and watch TV, or go out to watch a movie. Or maybe you could go out and get a bite to eat. But all of those things are so common, so BORING! But I have a suggestion that may be a little out of the ordinary! Yes some may think it is a little weird. But if you live in Texas, specifically near Anson Texas I have a awesome suggestion. Go check out the Anson Lights. You may be thinking, but why would I want to go look at some lights? Well check out the info about this strange phenomena.

http://www.sgha.net/tx/anson/anson.html

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:32 AM   0 comments links to this post

WORD OF THE DAY FOR SEPTEMBER 20

The Word of the Day for September 20 is:

misbegotten • \miss-bih-GAH-tun\ • adjective

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?misbeg01.wav=misbegotten


1 : unlawfully conceived : illegitimate*
2 : having a disreputable or improper origin
3 : contemptible, deformed


Example sentence:"I think I've disproven that misbegotten notion that blondes aren't smart," said Susan of her perfect grade point average.


Did you know?In the beginning, there was "bigietan," and "bigietan" begot "beyeten," and in the days of Middle English "beyeten" begot "begeten," and from thence sprung "misbegotten." That's a bit flowery, but it accurately traces the path that led to "misbegotten." All of the Old English and Middle English ancestors listed above basically mean the same thing as the modern "beget," that is, "to father" or "to produce as an effect or outgrowth." That linguistic line brought forth "misbegotten" by adding the prefix "mis-" (meaning "wrong," "bad," or "not") in the mid-1500s.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:39 AM   0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina's Strays

In the aftermath of Katrina, many pets had to be left to fend for themselves. But now, as depicted in a video report ( http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/photography/2005/katrina_video/straydogs.html )

from photojournalist David Leeson, some personnel are taking drastic measures to deal with stray dogs.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:46 PM   0 comments links to this post

The beginning of the Vietnam War.

If you mention the Vietnam war, you will find everyone has an opinion. At the same time, you will discover that those who have an opinion are often ignorant of important facts about the war. Consider:
41 years ago, a murky military encounter at sea plunged the United States deeper into the war in Vietnam. On Aug. 2, 1964, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two days later, the U.S. Navy reported to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara that another American destroyer was under attack by the North Vietnamese.
Those critical events would ultimately lead the United States to send more than a half a million American troops into Southeast Asia.
But as Paul Harvey would say, "Now for the rest of the story."

The following links will provide a lot of details about the events that eventually lead the United States into the war.

An audio report from NPR news:

http://www.npr.org/dmg/dmg.php?prgCode=ME&showDate=06-Aug-2004&segNum=10&mediaPref=WM&getUnderwriting=1



http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3822657


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3810724



Here is another audio news report from NPR:


http://www.npr.org/dmg/dmg.php?prgCode=ATC&showDate=02-Aug-2004&segNum=6&mediaPref=WM&getUnderwriting=1



What is amazing about many of these reports can be summarized in the following headline:

"Faulty Intelligence Played Role in Decision to Engage Viet Cong"

Now does that not sound familiar?

Faulty intelligence led us to invade Iraq!

Maybe Americans and the leaders of America should spend a little time learning history!

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:33 PM   2 comments links to this post

THE VOICE OF GHOST

If you have seen the movie White Noise( www.whitenoisemovie.com ) then you are familiar with EVP. If you have not seen the movie, then EVP is just a mysterious acronym. So let me help you out:

EVP = Electronic Voice Phenomena. This is a way to communicate with spirits. Researchers believe that the voices of the dead can be recorded and played back on magnetic audio tape. It is the most modern way to communicate with the spirit world. Some skeptics believe that they are not voices of the dead but radio or CB transmissions.
It has been said that Thomas Edison was working on an EVP device. However the credit for discovering EVP goes to Fredrich Jurgenson when he was recording bird sonds in the Sweedish countryside and on play back he distinctly heard the voice of a man discussing nocturnal bird songs in Norwegian. He had heard nothing during the recording but many voices on playback, some giving him instructions on how to record more voices. EVPs are also called Raudive Voices after Konstantine Raudive who recorded 100,000 voices. He published "The Inaudible Made Audible". EVP research is done all over the world but most heavily in the United States and Germany. The Association for Voice Taping Research was founded in the 1970's in Germany, and American Association - Electronic Voice Phenomenon in 1982. Conferences are conducted world wide by engineers and electronics experts who devise special sophisticated equipment to record EVPs.
In 1982, engineer George Meek and psychic William O'Niell built a device called a Spiricom. Meek says a discarnate scientist old him how to build it whine contacting Meek at a seance. Meek then founded the Metascience Foundation of North Carolina. The Spiricom enabled two way conversation between the living and the dead. He Gave Spiricoms to anyone who anted them at no cost however most people reported no success. Other EVP researchers credited the initial success to the mediumship of O'Neill. Researchers continue to strive to capture on tape some evidence of survival after death. - by Pamina@theshadowlands.net


Now, I do not believe in ghosts. I believe that at death a person either goes to Heaven or Hell. But the EVP recordings that have been made are fascinating. I tend to see them as possible demonic activity. I will post some sites that you, the reader, can listen to for yourself.

This is proably one of the most famous EVP web sites.
www.ghostpix.com

This is the web site for the most intresting radio show in the country. I disagree with many of the views that this radio show promotes. I still find the program very intriguing. It helps me keep up with what many in our country are thinking. This radio show is the most popular overnight radio show in the country. For a small fee, you can subscribe and have access to all the past shows. You can listen to them or download them to your I-POD or MP3 player. They have done hundreds of programs on EVP.
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 4:54 PM   0 comments links to this post

HURRICANE TRACKER

Here is a great web site that allows you to track a hurricane. It also allows you to track hurricanes of the past. Check it out at:


http://html.nbc5i.com/sh/idi/weather/hurricanes/hurricanetracker.html

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 3:48 PM   0 comments links to this post

LOOTERS

Check this video out of looters in New Orleans.


http://www.zippyvideos.com/8911023771013466/countdown-looting-in-walmart/

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 1:09 PM   0 comments links to this post

40,000- volt charge

Power-dressing man leaves trail of destruction
Fri Sep 16,10:30 AM ET


An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.
Frank Clewer, who was wearing a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together.
When he walked into a building in the country town of Warrnambool in the southern state of Victoria Thursday, the electrical charge ignited the carpet.
"It sounded almost like a firecracker," Clewer told Australian radio Friday.
"Within about five minutes, the carpet started to erupt."
Employees, unsure of the cause of the mysterious burning smell, telephoned firefighters who evacuated the building.
"There were several scorch marks in the carpet, and we could hear a cracking noise -- a bit like a whip -- both inside and outside the building," said fire official Henry Barton.
Firefighters cut electricity to the building thinking the burns might have been caused by a power surge.
Clewer, who after leaving the building discovered he had scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car, returned to seek help from the firefighters.
"We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited," Barton said.
"I've been firefighting for over 35 years and I've never come across anything like this," he said.
Firefighters took possession of Clewer's jacket and stored it in the courtyard of the fire station, where it continued to give off a strong electrical current.
David Gosden, a senior lecturer in electrical engineering at Sydney University, told Reuters that for a static electricity charge to ignite a carpet, conditions had to be perfect.
"Static electricity is a similar mechanism to lightning, where you have clouds rubbing together and then a spark generated by very dry air above them," said Gosden.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:27 AM   0 comments links to this post

You can't even trust a Hitman!

Well, if you can't even trust a hitman..
Fri Sep 16,10:27 AM ET


A Japanese woman called in the police after a hitman she paid to kill her lover's wife failed to carry out the job.
The 32-year-old Tokyo woman was arrested Wednesday for incitement to murder, the Daily Yomiuri newspaper said Friday.
The woman contacted a private detective through a Web site last November and paid him 1 million yen in cash to murder her love rival, the paper said.
The 40-year-old detective accepted the money and suggested he could carry out the job by chasing the victim on a motorcycle and spraying her with a biological agent in a tunnel.
Police also arrested the private detective and found the alleged target safe and well, the paper said.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:16 AM   0 comments links to this post

Garfield's Assassination

Topic: Garfield's assassination

James A. Garfield, who had assumed the U.S. presidency earlier that year, succumbed to an assassin’s bullet on this date in 1881.
No doubt exists about the death date of our twentieth president, but pinning down the precise date of Garfield’s assassination can give one pause. That’s because Garfield had been shot on July second, but he didn’t die for another two and a half months. So do historians date Garfield’s assassination to the day he died, or to the day his assassin attempted to kill him?

The answer isn’t apparent in the definition of assassinate. Assassinate has two meanings: it can mean “to injure or destroy unexpectedly and treacherously”; and it can also mean “to murder a usually prominent person by sudden or secret attack, often for political reasons.”

Of course, murder can be protracted, and our research shows historians tend to spell out the details of Garfield’s assassination. We came across plenty of descriptions along the lines of “the president was assassinated on July second but survived until September.”

Our research also shows this unusual historical aside: Garfield was the victim not only of an assassin but also of unsanitary medical practices and an unsuccessful attempt to locate the bullet with a metal detector rigged up by Alexander Graham Bell.


http://www.m-w.com/wftw/091905.ram

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:33 AM   0 comments links to this post

WORD OF THE DAY

The Word of the Day for September 19 is:


coquetry • \KOH-kuh-tree\ • noun : a flirtatious act or attitude


Example sentence:In a not-so-subtle act of coquetry, Nancy smiled flirtatiously and winked at Scott as she walked past him.


Did you know?The rooster's cocky attitude has given him a reputation for arrogance and promiscuity. It has also given English several terms for people whose behavior is reminiscent of that strutting barnyard fowl. The noun "coquet" comes from French, where it is a diminutive of "coq," the French word for rooster. Originally, in the 1600s, English speakers used "coquet" to describe men who indulged in trifling flirtations. Today "coquet" can refer to male or female flirts (though "coquette," the French feminine form, is more commonly used for flirtatious women), and "coquetry" can refer to flirtation by men or women.


to listen to the word of the day go to:


http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?coquet04.wav=coquetry

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:16 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 08, 2005

NEVER READ A BIBLE VERSE

Check out this great article:



Never Read a Bible Verse
By Gregory Koukl



If there was one bit of wisdom, one rule of thumb, one single skill I could impart, one useful tip I could leave that would serve you well the rest of your life, what would it be? What is the single most important practical skill I've ever learned as a Christian?
Here it is: Never read a Bible verse. That's right, never read a Bible verse. Instead, always read a paragraph–at least.

My Radio Trick
When I'm on the radio, I use this simple rule to help me answer the majority of Bible questions I'm asked, even when I'm totally unfamiliar with the verse. It's an amazingly effective technique you can use, too.
I read the paragraph, not just the verse. I take stock of the relevant material above and below. Since the context frames the verse and gives it specific meaning, I let it tell me what's going on.
This works because of a basic rule of all communication: Meaning always flows from the top down, from the larger units to the smaller units, not the other way around. The key to the meaning of any verse comes from the paragraph, not just from the individual words.
The numbers in front of the sentences give the illusion the verses stand alone in their meaning. They were not in the originals, though. Numbers were added hundreds of years later. Chapter and verse breaks sometimes pop up in unfortunate places, separating relevant material that should be grouped together.
First, ignore the verse numbers and try to get the big picture. Then begin to narrow your focus. It's not very hard or time consuming. It takes only a few moments and a little observation of the text.
Begin with the broad context of the book. What type of literature is it–history, poetry, proverb? What is the passage about in general? What idea is being developed?
Stand back from the verse and look for breaks in the narrative that identify major units of thought. Ask, "What in this paragraph or group of paragraphs gives any clue to the meaning of the verse?"
There's a reason this little exercise is so important. Words have different meanings in different contexts (that's what makes puns work). When we consider a verse in isolation, one meaning may occur to us. But how do we know it's the right one? Help won't come from the dictionary. Dictionaries only complicate the issue, giving us more choices, not fewer. Help must come from somewhere else close by: the surrounding paragraph.
With the larger context now in view, you can narrow your focus and speculate on the meaning of the verse itself. Sum it up in your own words.
Finally–and this is critical– see if your paraphrase makes sense when inserted in the passage. Does it dovetail naturally with the bigger picture?
Here is an excellent example of how effective this paraphrase technique can be.

Jesus, the Uncreated Creator
In John 1:1 the writer states plainly that "the Word was God." In verse three he provides backup support for this claim. John writes, "All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."
John says the same thing in two different ways for emphasis and clarity: Everything that ever came into being owes its existence to the Word, Who caused it all to happen. If the Word caused all created things to come into existence, then He must have existed before all created things came into existence. Therefore, the Word could not have been created. Jesus is the uncreated Creator, God.
Those who deny the deity of Christ offer this rebuttal, though. "Wait a minute, Greg. You didn't read the verse carefully. You missed something in the text. Notice the phrase ‘apart from Him.' The apostle excludes Jesus from the count. If you said, ‘Apart from Billy, the whole family is going to Disneyland' you wouldn't mean that Billy wasn't part of the family, just that he wasn't included in the count. Every member of the family is going to Disneyland with the exception of Billy. In the same way, every created thing was created by Jesus with the exception of Jesus Himself. Jehovah created Jesus first, then Jesus created everything else. Jesus is not God."
Note that this rebuttal turns on the ability to replace "apart from Him" with the phrase "with the exception of Jesus." Allegedly they're synonymous. Okay, let's try the replacement and see what happens. The verse then looks like this: "With the exception of Jesus, nothing came into being that has come into being."
If your brow is furrowed trying to figure this out, I'm not surprised. The reconstructed phrase is nearly nonsense. Strictly speaking, it means that Jesus is the only created thing that exists. Read it again and see for yourself. Obviously, the phrase "apart from Jesus" can't mean "with the exception of Jesus." These phrases are not synonymous.
"Apart from Him" means something entirely different. It means "apart from His agency." It's the same as saying, "Apart from me you'll never get to Disneyland. I've got the car." Apart from Jesus' agency nothing came into being that has come into being. Why? Because Jesus is the Creator. He is God. That makes perfect sense in the context.
Let me give you some other examples.

Having a "Peace" about It
Colossians 3:15 is a text that is constantly misunderstood by well-meaning Christians. Paul writes, "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." Some have accurately pointed out that the Greek word for "rule" means to act as arbiter or judge. They see this verse as a tool for knowing God's will for our lives.
The conventional thinking goes something like this. When confronted with a decision, pray. If you feel a "peace" in your heart, go ahead. If you don't feel peace, don't proceed. This internal sense of peace acts like a judge helping you make decisions according to the will of God. A paraphrase might be: "And let feelings of peacefulness in your heart be the judge about God's individual will for your life." Is this what Paul means?
This is a classic example of how knowledge of the Greek can be dangerous if context is not taken into consideration. The word "peace" actually has two different meanings. It could mean a sense of inner harmony and emotional equanimity. Paul seems to have this definition in mind in Philippians 4:7: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This is the subjective sense of peace.
The word also has an objective sense. It sometimes means lack of conflict between two parties formerly at war with each other. This definition of peace is what Paul intends in Romans 5:1: "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Note the distinction between the peace of God and peace with God in these two verses.)
What sense of peace did Paul have in mind when writing to the Colossians? The Greek gives us no indication because the same word is used in all three cases. Once again, context is king. The specific meaning can only be known from the surrounding material.
In verse 11, Paul says that in the Body of Christ there are no divisions between Greek and Jew, slave and free, etc. He appeals for unity in the body characterized by forgiveness, humility, and gentleness. He then adds that harmony ("peace") should be the rule that guides our relationships.
Paul has the objective sense of peace in mind here–lack of conflict between Christians–not a subjective feeling of peace in an individual Christian's heart.
This becomes obvious when we join the suggested paraphrases with the context:
Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let feelings of peacefulness in your heart be the judge about God's individual will for your life, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
vs.
Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let harmony, not conflict, be the rule that guides you, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
The first is completely foreign to the context; the second fits right in with everything that comes before and after. In the context of Colossians 3, there is no hint of using internal feelings as a divine stamp of approval on our decisions. Personal decision-making is not the point of the paragraph. Harmony and unity in the Body is.

"If I Be Lifted Up"
John 12:32 is another case where a phrase can have two widely divergent meanings. It's not uncommon for worship leaders to quote this statement of Jesus: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
We "lift up" the Lord when we exalt Him and declare His glory. If we focus on Jesus and ascribe glory to Him, the power of Christ is released to transform the hearts of those listening and they are drawn to Him. This is the meaning the worship leader has in mind, but it isn't what Jesus is talking about.
When we apply our paraphrase test by adding the very next verse, the results look like this: "‘And I, if I be exalted before the people, will draw all men to Myself.' But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die" (John 12:32-33).
Oops. Praising Jesus will kill Him? I don't think so. No ambiguity now. In this instance, being "lifted up" clearly means to be crucified.
Understanding this phrase in context sheds light on another familiar passage, John 3:14-15: "And as Moses lifted up [raised in the air] the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up [raised in the air] that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life."
Our paraphrase looks like this: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be crucified that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life."
This makes perfect sense. Jesus had to be crucified before salvation could be offered, an appropriate lead-in to the verse that comes next, the most famous salvation verse in the world: John 3:16.

Let's try another.

"My Sheep Hear My Voice"
Many have taken this statement by Jesus in John 10 to refer to the Christian's acquired ability to "hear" God's personal instructions to him. "Hearing God's voice" is advocated as a very useful skill that aids optimal Christian living. Allegedly, this is a learned ability one gains as he matures in Christ. It enables him to sense Jesus' will in any given situation as he "hears" Jesus' voice.
Jesus has nothing like this in mind, though. I know because of the context surrounding the verse and a key clarification John himself gives early in the chapter. In verse six, John explicitly states that when Jesus speaks of His sheep "hearing His voice" He is using a figure of speech.
The word "voice," then, can't actually mean some kind of inner voice because a thing is never a metaphor of itself. It's a picture of something else. Jesus must be referring, in a figure, to something else that the phrase "hear my voice" represents. What is it?
The context tells the story. Jesus says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me," and then adds, "and I give eternal life to them" (27-28). Note the sequence: His sheep hear His voice. They follow Him in response. He then gives them eternal life. Hearing Jesus' voice is a figure of speech for the inner working of the Holy Spirit that leads to our salvation. It results in salvation; it's not the result of salvation. It's applied here to non-believers destined for the Kingdom, not believers already in the Kingdom.
This makes perfect sense in the broader context of the chapter. The Jews have no trouble hearing Jesus' words. They know what Jesus is saying. Their problem is that they don't respond with belief. Why don't the Jews "hear" Jesus by responding with belief? Jesus tells us plainly. They don't "hear" because God is not "speaking" to them. They are not among the sheep the Father has given to the Son (26).
The voice being referred to here is not the still, small voice of private direction given by God to Christians, but the effective call of the Holy Spirit bringing non-Christians to salvation.
Our paraphrase test comes to our aid once again:
You do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. Mature Christians have the ability to sense My personal direction for their lives and obey it, and as a result I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all….
vs.
You do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. The ones that the Father gives me–my sheep–are the ones that respond to my message and believe in me, and as a result I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all….
The first view actually makes salvation dependent on the ability to get personalized communications from God. The second makes salvation dependent on the Father, which is Jesus' point in the passage.
To Jesus, "hearing" God is not an advanced skill one must develop to open lines of communication to the Father. It's a figure of speech. Hearing Jesus' voice is not getting individual, personalized direction. It's getting saved. It's the result of the Father drawing the non-believer into Jesus' arms.

Daily Bread?
This raises legitimate questions about daily devotionals that build a short message from a single verse. In my view, such quiet-time helps can be inspirational, but they come with an obvious drawback.
Fortunately, the liability can be overcome by remembering our basic rule: Never read a Bible verse. Instead, read a paragraph, at least. Always check the context. Observe the flow of thought. Then focus on the verse.
Remember, meaning always flows from the top down, from the larger units to the smaller units. A reflection on a Bible passage from a sermon or a devotional may be edifying, encouraging, and uplifting. If it is not the message of the text, though, it lacks biblical authority even when the quote comes right out of the Word of God.
If you will do this one thing–if you will read carefully in the context applying the paraphrase principle–you will begin to understand the Bible as God intended. Without the bigger picture you'll be lost.
Only when you are properly informed by God's Word the way it is written–in its context–can you be transformed by it. Every piece becomes powerful when it's working together with the whole.
It's the most important practical lesson I've ever learned…and thing single most important thing I could ever teach you.


For Further Reading:
Russell, Walt Playing with Fire–How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2000.
Koukl, Gregory "The Perils of Prooftexting" Solid Ground, Sept-Oct 1999
Sire, James Scripture Twisting. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1980.
Carson, D.A. Exegetical Fallacies. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984.
Fee, Gordon, & Stuart, Douglas How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 10:00 AM   1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

AFTER THE STORM

A great article appeared today in the Wall Street Journal. I think it points out some overlooked facts about Hurricane Katrina and how the disaster was handled.


Blame Amid the Tragedy
Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents.
BY BOB WILLIAMS Wednesday, September 7, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

As the devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues to shock and sadden the nation, the question on many lips is, Who is to blame for the inadequate response?
As a former state legislator who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, I can fully understand and empathize with the people and public officials over the loss of life and property.
Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible--local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.
The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.
The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.
In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.

A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected.
The New Orleans contingency plan is still, as of this writing, on the city's Web site, and states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." But the plan was apparently ignored.
Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His Office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.
The city's evacuation plan states: "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas." But even though the city has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run, the mayor did not use them. To compound the problem, the buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The plan also states that "special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed." This was not done.
The evacuation plan warned that "if an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials." That is precisely what happened because of the mayor's failure.
Instead of evacuating the people, the mayor ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions. As a result people died, and there was even rape committed, in these facilities. Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans. Now he wants to blame Gov. Blanco and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an emergency the first requirement is for the city's emergency center to be linked to the state emergency operations center. This was not done.

The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid.
In addition, unlike the governors of New York, Oklahoma and California in past disasters, Gov. Blanco failed to take charge of the situation and ensure that the state emergency operation facility was in constant contact with Mayor Nagin and FEMA. It is likely that thousands of people died because of the failure of Gov. Blanco to implement the state plan, which mentions the possible need to evacuate up to one million people. The plan clearly gives the governor the authority for declaring an emergency, sending in state resources to the disaster area and requesting necessary federal assistance.
State legislators and governors nationwide need to update their contingency plans and the operation procedures for state emergency centers. Hurricane Katrina had been forecast for days, but that will not always be the case with a disaster (think of terrorist attacks). It must be made clear that the governor and locally elected officials are in charge of the "first response."
I am not attempting to excuse some of the delays in FEMA's response. Congress and the president need to take corrective action there, also. However, if citizens expect FEMA to be a first responder to terrorist attacks or other local emergencies (earthquakes, forest fires, volcanoes), they will be disappointed. The federal government's role is to offer aid upon request.
The Louisiana Legislature should conduct an immediate investigation into the failures of state and local officials to implement the written emergency plans. The tragedy is not over, and real leadership in the state and local government are essential in the months to come. More importantly, the hurricane season is still upon us, and local and state officials must stay focused on the jobs for which they were elected--and not on the deadly game of passing the emergency buck.
Mr. Williams is president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free market public policy research organization in Olympia, Wash.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:08 AM   0 comments links to this post

THE BLAME GAME


If there is one thing Americans are good at, it is the art of blaming others! In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina the blaming has begun. Everyone is pointing the finger at someone else. Americans are not only good at blaming other people, they are just as apt to speak without knowing what they are talking about! I think if we are going to blame people for how they did or did not respond to the disaster, we should at least take time to read the STATE OF LOUISIANA EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN:

you can read it for yourself at:
http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/plans/EOPSheltersupplement.pdf

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:44 AM   0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 02, 2005

WHY SO UNPREPARED?

Before Katrina hit, officials were concerned that New Orleans' levee system could not protect the city against a major storm. Listen to the following report

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4829443

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 3:18 PM   0 comments links to this post

HURRICANE KATRINA


What can one say about Hurricane Katrina? An entire city has, for all practical purposes, been destroyed! What I have decided to do is simply gather some links to information that may give people a different perspective on the disaster. Please let me know if you find any of the things I provide useful.

Here is a home video of some of the damage. It gives a more personal look at the disaster:

http://current.tv/blog/items/401941.htm

What is amazing about this disaster is that people have been warned for years that this was very likely to happen. Yet the warnings went unheeded. Look at the following:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4827395



We have all seen the pictures of the Superdome, but what is it like inside? Read this shocking report:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2002463400&zsection_id=2002107549&slug=katrinasuperdome01&date=20050901

Hurricane exposes issues of class and race:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20050902/cm_usatoday/hurricaneexposesissuesofclassrace&printer=1



I hope to have more information soon. If you know of a link or anything else that others may find interesting please let me know at:

tsrk30@sbcglobal.net

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:36 PM   0 comments links to this post