Thursday, July 31, 2008
2) What would you possibly say on this online funeral guestbook?
3) A rating of the effectiveness of local private charities by the Acton Institute.
4) Globalisation is changing the world. This video helps explain what exactly that means for us.
5) Use your prediction of future effects to raise money for your favorite causes.
6) What if the Presidential Candidates Pandered to Economists?
7) Upload a photo and see which celebrity you look like.
8) See Congress members have voted over the years on bills affecting free trade.
9) The Circumcision Reference Library.
10) The joy of $8 gas!
*As always, you can see what I find interesting on a daily basis*
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
"Here today, in front of our friends and family, I intertwine my life with yours. I am so thankful for having known you these four years. You have helped me to further understand myself, this world, and my place in it. I am a better person for having been your friend. But friendship has turned to love, and now you have become the lens from which I perceive all romance. I cannot hear it without thinking of you.
I promise you that as long as this world holds on to me, I will hold onto you. I will delight in the periods of joy, and I will endure the times of sorrow, to cry with and for you. I commit myself to a life of submission, service, and sacrifice to you.
I say this not in my own strength, but in the confidence that our Lord has a vested interest as well. God is my strength so that I can be yours. Christ bore my burdens so that I can bear yours. The Spirit leads me, so that I may lead you. Like Christ Jesus, I promise to love, serve, and if need be, die for you, my bride."
These were said one year ago today at my wedding. I was responding to these wonderful words from my wife:
"Harrison, I love your heart, your intentions, your passion and your strength. Thank you for pursuing me when I didn't want to be pursued, for accepting me when I didn't accept myself, and for loving me with your actions, your words, and your thoughts. Experiencing your love so completely has healed wounds in my life.
Harrison, I believe in you, in who you are, and in who you will become. I commit myself to you. To support you and your dreams for the rest of our lives. To encourage you and challenge you. To serve and respect you. To forgive you and to accept your forgiveness.
Right now it's easy for me to show you love and make our relationship a priority, but I know there will be a time when it becomes more difficult. It is then that I will rely on the strength of Christ to fulfill these commitments to you. Thank you for choosing me to be your bride."
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
1) Genetic Modification: This totally ignores the huge benefits to genetically modified foods. Plus, what is the difference in what researchers are doing and what breeders do?
2) Experimenting on Humans: Does that imply nonconsensual experimentation or is consensual ok?
3) Polluting the Environment: To put it plainly, some pollution is good. In fact, some pollution is entirely unnoticeable. To ask for zero pollution is non-sense. Then there is the difficult task of deciding how much is too much.
4) Causing Social Injustice: Of the seven this makes the most sense to me, though it is a little vague. Is this trying to outlaw unfairness? What is unfair? Bill Gates makes more money in a day than I will make in a lifetime. Then again, I make more in a day then most sub-Saharan Africans will make in a lifetime. Is that fair? At least Bill Gates has helped to usher in one of the most important technological changes in the world?
5) Causing Poverty: I agree. But I wouldn't blame who most people blame. Poverty is not caused by greedy corporations; it's caused by bad governments who don't allow greedy corporations to make money.
6) Becoming Obscenely Wealthy: Again, thank you Bill Gates for helping me to have this blog. Might I also add we are all obscenely rich.
7) Taking Drugs: Don't tell my wife this; she loves her Tylenol, birth control, and Coca-Cola.
Not that the original set was God breathed or anything, but these new ones just don't have the same ring as the old. I also don't think Brad Pitt and Morgan Freedman will be signing up for the remake of the movie Seven using the new list. Wrath, envy, sloth and the other four seem to all deal with the heart, whereas these new ones are focused on the action. Maybe that's telling of the world today. We deal with our actions on the outside (behavior modification), but the motivations of the heart are rarely considered. Nevertheless, in the spirit of the day, here is my own list of the new new deadly sins (and by deadly I mean especially harmful):
1) Absolving yourself from your most basic parental duties
2) Forming your own religion based on ideas you have personally created
3) Hindering progress in protection of your own interests
4) Blaming the infamous "them", ex: terrorists, corporations, China
5) Being unproductive. If people wouldn’t pay for your services, you may not be producing anything
6) Telling people what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear
7) Making your own list of sins based on your own ideas and not those of scripture
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The former director of economic policy for John Kerry stated that Wal-Mart alone increased the welfare of American shoppers by at least $50 billion a year. In fact, most of these savings went to low and middle-class citizens because of their frequent use of the company. The poor also spend a disproportionate amount of money on groceries, which makes them the main beneficiary of lower food prices. In that same article they claim that the presence of Wal-Mart’s is responsible for a 10-20% decrease in prices. Furman even claimed that the retailer was a “progressive success story.” Now that’s not the big scary Wal-Mart you hear about.
So the customers are satisfied, but what about the workers? When Chicago got their first Wal-Mart, sadly because of politicians this was only 2 years ago, 15,000 people applied for 400 jobs. Surely these workers aren’t in a rush to get abused and underpaid. They may not all get health insurance, but they can buy it for as low as $11 a month. I bet the local shops can’t beat that.
But it must be bad for the community as a whole, right? No, in fact, employment growth is better in areas that have a Wal-Mart. A study at the University of Missouri even found that a new Wal-Mart kills 50 retail jobs, but creates 100 and without decreasing wages.
But if customers are better off, workers are better off, and even local communities are helped, surely the foreign workers must be hurt. Except that the facts say otherwise. From 1990-2002, Wal-Mart is credited with lifting 5,520,000 Chinese people out of poverty. Making knickknacks for wealthy Americans may not be your dream job, but it is for many. There have been roughly 100 million rural Chinese moving to the cities to earn more than twice what made farming.
I'm not saying that the corporation of Wal-Mart is philanthropic, or even nice. What I am trying to show is how when corporations seek profit, we all profit. I'll leave you with a quote from Michael Strong, a man who suggests Wal-Mart may deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. “Act locally, think globally: Shop Wal-Mart.”
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
US GDP per capita in 1820: $1,287.00
US GDP per capita in 1950: $9,573.00
US GDP per capita in 2005: $41,889.59
All in current US $ (so inflation is held constant).
That means, that since 1820, Americans are on average 32.54 times richer. UPDATE: To compare that, let's consider someone who makes 32.54 times more than the average American today. That comes to $1,363,087.26 a year! That means even if you were 8 times richer than the average person in 1820, you would still be considered below the poverty line in America today! You can even see the difference in the short run:
US Life Expectancy at birth in 1968: 70 years
US Life Expectancy at birth in 2002: 77 years
The biggest killer of Americans, heart disease, is a problem caused mostly by the abundant accessibility of food and the relative physical ease of our jobs.
And finally, the fact that I am able to put my thoughts here on this site and that you are able to read them was at one time unthinkable and is increasing still:
US Internet Users in 2000: 563.382 per 1,000 people
US Internet Users in 2005: 692.712 per 1,000 people
Most of this data comes from www.NationMaster.com
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Go here to figure out your Myers-Briggs Type
“Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder, and your life closer to your heart’s desire.”
It even affects how many friends you have on Facebook!