Friday, July 30, 2004

So you think you're not qualified for your calling, check out these pastoral candidates.  :)


The following is a confidential report on several candidates being considered for a pastorate.

ADAM: Good man but problems with his wife. Also one reference told of how his wife and he enjoy walking nude in the woods.

NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with not even one convert. Prone to unrealistic building projects.

ABRAHAM: Though the references reported wife-swapping, the facts seem to show he never slept with another man's wife, but did offer to share his own wife with another man.

JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart, believes in dream-interpreting, and has a prison record.

MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator, even stuttering at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.

DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor's wife.

SOLOMON: Great preacher but our parsonage would never hold all those wives.

ELIJAH: Prone to depression. Collapses under pressure.

ELISHA: Reported to have lived with a single widow while at his former church.

HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor but our people could never handle his wife's occupation.

DEBORAH: Strong leader and seems to be anointed, but she is female.

JEREMIAH: Emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, always lamenting things, reported to have taken a long trip to bury his underwear on the bank of a foreign river.

JONAH: Refused God's call into ministry until he was forced to obey by getting swallowed up by a great fish. He told us the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.

AMOS: Too backward and unpolished. With some seminary training he might have promise, but has a hang-up against wealthy people--might fit in better in a poor congregation.

courtesy of

Walking With Jesus Ministries
3 Hetley Crescent
Napier 4001
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 8449-377 International (+64) 8449-377

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused***

Kerry - as seen by Europe. Can he get more global support for the war on terrorism? Not likely, say analysts. [Christian Science Monitor | Top Stories]
John Kerry and Homelessness: Hope Is On The Way. What does it mean when people are huddled in blankets in the cold, sleeping in Lafayette Park on the doorstep of the White House itself and the number of families living in poverty has risen by three million in the... [the american street]
Speechless. For days if not weeks we've been questioning John Kerry's charisma, television charm and speech-giving prowess. The moment of truth came tonight in the Fleet Center after a week of endless build-up. And the result? It just didn't matter. The speech [electablog]

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Radical Islam grows among Iraq's Sunnis. No longer constrained or exiled by a repressive regime, some preach jihad at key mosques. [Christian Science Monitor | Top Stories]
Jobs, pay, and the score so far. The economy is growing and jobs are being created, but wages don't keep up. [Christian Science Monitor | Top Stories]
New S.Korean Cell Phone Lets Parents Track Kids (Reuters). Reuters - Parents in South Korea will now be able to track their children by using a device in a new mobile phone that has been designed for kids. SK Telecom Co. began selling Wednesday colorful cell phones with antennas that look like human ears and a built in tracker using the global positioning satellite (GPS) network. [Yahoo! News - Technology]
Medicare Will Foot the Bill for an Initial Exam at 65. The Bush administration announced plans to pay for initial comprehensive physical examinations for new Medicare beneficiaries, starting next year. By By ROBERT PEAR. [The New York Times > Health]

Friday, July 16, 2004

Labor group says states unknowingly offshore work. A study by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers indicates that numerous states have signed public contracts with foreign outsourcing firms and are funneling millions of taxpayer dollars offshore. [Computerworld News]


JULY 15, 2004 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - U.S. state governments are granting public contracts to foreign outsourcing firms and funneling millions of state taxpayer dollars offshore, in many cases without being aware of it, according to a study released yesterday by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech) in Seattle.

However, at least one of the Indian contractors named in the study questioned its accuracy.

The study found that state governments are often unaware that they're sending work abroad, and in some cases, states assume that they're dealing with a domestic company because a U.S. mailing address is used.

For example, the Georgia Department of Revenue awarded a $638,000 contract to an Indian company last year but didn't know where the work was being executed, according to the report.

"It is important for states to know where the work they have contracted is being performed, and many states have no idea that this work is sent offshore," said Philip Mattera, director of the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First.

The research group found that 18 offshore outsourcing companies, including some in India and Russia, are aggressively seeking government contract work -- primarily in IT -- in at least 30 states.

The 18 companies have captured about $75 million in state contracts and are seeking more, in part by hiring former government officials and by making state electoral campaign contributions, the report said.

That figure doesn't completely tally every offshore outsourcing company working on state contracts, according to Marcus Courtney, president of WashTech.

"That is the amount we could say with certainty that is going offshore, but we know it is much higher," said Courtney.

"For example, IBM and EDS have large offshore facilities in locations such as India that do state work.

The report's release is timed to influence offshoring discussions at the National Governors Association meeting that begins tomorrow in Seattle.

However, Wipro Ltd., which was named in the report, hasn't executed any U.S. federal or state government work, either directly or as a subcontractor, according to Sudip Banerjee, president for enterprise solutions at the Wipro Technologies division of Bangalore, India-based Wipro.

"We have stayed out of the U.S. government market because it can be time-consuming to get business from that market," Banerjee said.

Several other leading Indian outsourcing companies were mentioned in the study, including Infosys Technologies Ltd. in Bangalore and Tata Consultancy Services in Mumbai.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer

Kerry Pledges to Lift Up America's Families at NAACP and on Front Porch Tour; Begins Effort for a Stronger America;u=/usnw/20040715/pl_usnw/kerry_pledges_to_lift_up_america_s_families_at_naacp_and_on_front_porch_tour__begins_effort_for_a_stronger_america109_xml


PHILADELPHIA, July 15 /U.S. Newswire/-- Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) Thursday addressed the 95th annual NAACP convention and kicked off an election long effort to take his vision to front porches across America.

At both events, Kerry pledged to make us stronger at home by standing up for our values, expanding the middle class and growing opportunity for all Americans. "I will be a President who talks with everyone -- those who agree with me and those who don't," Kerry said. "I will be a President who truly is a uniter, not one who seeks to divide our nation by race, riches or any other label. I will be a President who shares the values of people of all colors who get up and go to work every day, try to raise their families in dignity and want to leave this world a better place for their children. I will be a President who when he is invited into your home, will always say yes."

Kerry's NAACP speech came hours before he and his running mate John Edwards (news - web sites) kicked off their campaign long "Front Porch Tour: Hometown Values for a Stronger America." Over the next four months, Kerry and Edwards will visit front porches across America, speaking with families and neighbors about their plan to restore responsible leadership in Washington and help middle- class families get ahead. While Kerry visited a family in Lansdowne, PA, Edwards today shared the Kerry plan to lift up the middle class on a front porch in New Orleans, Louisiana. "Today John Edwards and I will embark on a series of front porch tours.

We will be going to the homes of ordinary citizens across this nation and talking with them about the values that matter most to them -- values you live by every day: Family. "What better way to kick off our front porch tour than to be here in Philadelphia, on the front porch of American democracy. What better neighbors to visit with first than the NAACP." Middle-class families have been squeezed by the Bush economy.

Under George Bush, America has lost 1.8 million private-sector jobs. Wages have not been keeping up with inflation, and new jobs that are being created are primarily in low-wage industries. At the same time families are making less, the costs of college tuition, health care and college have all soared. "Today we have an administration in Washington that looks at the challenges we face here at home and around the world and says this is the best we can do. They say this is the best economy of our lifetimes.

"John Edwards and I have the vision and values to bring out country together again and build stronger communities."
Focusing on values like opportunity, responsibility and fairness, Kerry said at both events today that a Kerry-Edwards administration will fight for good paying jobs and an economy that lifts up middle-class families.

"Let me tell you what values mean to me and John Edwards," Kerry said. "Values mean creating opportunity and fighting for good paying jobs that let American families actually get ahead. It means building an America where the middle class is doing better, not being squeezed." Kerry and Edwards have a comprehensive plan to create 10 million new, better paying jobs.

They will put an end to tax breaks that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas and create the jobs of the future by strengthening America's commitment to technology and innovation. Kerry and Edwards will also make our tax code reflect our moral code. Under George Bush, the tax burden has shifted unmistakably from those most blessed by the American economy to those struggling to make ends meet.

Kerry has proposed more than twice as much tax relief for middle-class families as George W. Bush, including extending and making permanent the middle-class tax cut as part of a fiscally responsible plan that rolls back the tax cuts for families making over $200,000, invests in healthcare and cuts the deficit in half in four years.

In addition, Kerry has proposed additional tax relief, including $50 billion in tax cuts for college tuition, $177 billion in tax cuts to make health care affordable and an increase and expansion of the childcare tax credit.

Abroad, the Kerry-Edwards ticket will restore America's leadership in the world, reaching out to our allies so America once again leads mighty alliances.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime. Our health care is on the line. Our children's future is on the line.
America's role in the world is on the line," Kerry said. "My friends, the America we believe in is calling us to service once again, and we must answer.

With your help, in 2004, we can...we must...we will...bring back our mighty dream again."

The Kerry-Edwards "Front Porch Tour: Hometown Values for a Stronger America" will continue right up until Election Day.

John Kerry and John Edwards will increase the number and quality of jobs, cut taxes for middle-class families to help them live the American dream, fully fund No Child Left Behind, help more students attend and pay for college, make sure all Americans have access to quality health care, and enforce our civil rights laws.

A college degree is increasingly important to success in today's economy, but increasingly hard for average Americans to afford.

The Kerry-Edwards plan will provide tax credits to make health insurance more affordable for people and small businesses buying into the new Congressional Health Plan.

Support At-Risk Youth and Serve 2 Million Children Through GEAR UP: GEAR UP links universities and high-poverty schools to provide mentoring and counseling to encourage more kids to go to college.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Bush Campaign Seeks Solid Support Before Wooing Swing Voters

By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, July 15, 2004; Page A01

Click on the link below to read the full story


WAUKESHA, Wis., July 14 -- As President Bush addressed a rally here Wednesday, he performed the political equivalent of preaching to the choir.

Bush won a whopping 65 percent of the vote in this suburban Milwaukee county in 2000, and the Republican Party, which dispensed tickets for the open-air speech, made sure the fairgrounds were packed with Bush loyalists.

Rosemary Metzdorff, after cheering her way through a speech full of references to abortion restrictions, tax cuts, caps on jury awards and other conservative favorites, could not decide which part she liked best. "Every part -- I'm such a Bush fan," she replied, adding that the president probably did not change many minds here.

Therein lies an important key to understanding Bush's reelection strategy. Although age-old campaign rules dictate that the general-election candidate must emphasize moderate "swing" voters and political independents, Bush strategists are predicting that this election, more than previous ones, will be determined by the turnout of each side's partisans. Although not discounting swing voters, Bush is placing unusual emphasis so far on rallying the faithful.

"In close elections in today's environment, the old political strategy of focusing just on independents won't work," said Matthew Dowd, the Bush campaign's chief strategist. "Campaigns have to motivate supporters at the same time of appealing to swing voters."

There is evidence to support the Bush theory.

A study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 21 percent of registered voters are undecided or might change their minds -- at this point in 2000, it was 32 percent.

Still, Pew reasoned, "the swing vote, while smaller in relative terms, is still substantial and certainly large enough to propel either of the presidential candidates to a big victory."

"It's a new way to run for president," said James Carville, the strategist behind Bill Clinton's 1992 victory.

Whereas "usually you quietly shore up your base and aggressively court the swing voter, Bush is aggressively shoring up his base and quietly courting the swing voter."

Some Bush allies say it is more efficient to boost turnout among partisans than to sway the fence-sitters, who the campaign believes may be 10 percent of the electorate or less. "How much time and energy do you give to picking up the 10 percent, who are disengaged from politics, and how do you communicate with them even if you want to?" asked Grover G. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "You can go to the 45 percent [who already support Bush] and ask them to bring a brother or a sister or a friend to the polls."

Without question, Bush's choice of rhetoric and audience represents a more overt appeal to conservatives than he made in the 2000 race. Then, he scolded conservatives who had a "leave us alone" philosophy, and he regularly referred to himself as a "compassionate conservative" -- implying that other conservatives were not compassionate.

Polls show that Bush has the support of 90 percent of Republicans, which his campaign says is the highest of any incumbent in 30 years. But partly because of the experience of Bush's father in 1992 and partly because fewer evangelical Christians turned out to vote in 2000 than Bush's experts had forecast, the White House and the Bush campaign remain concerned about his conservative support. Bush championed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, risking a backlash from moderate voters, and economic conservatives have complained about the budget deficits that roared back under this administration

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Medicare Law Is Seen Leading to Cuts in Drug Benefits for Retirees. New government estimates suggest that employers will reduce or eliminate drug coverage for 3.8 million retirees when Medicare offers such coverage in 2006. By By ROBERT PEAR. [The New York Times > Health]

If Christ Were Here Today

THIS Is Christianity - Mark Twain is quoted as saying; "If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be - a Christian." The sad truth is the way many people who claim to be Christians today live their lives, Mr. Twain would be correct. A Christian by definition is a person who believes in and strives to live as Jesus Christ would live. Christianity is not an organized religion, it is not a certain denomination, it is a way of life. (2004-07-13)