Christianity Today is surveying readers of its web site to determine their favorite movie of last year. Being cultural recluses we saw too few movies to make an intelligent choice ourselves, but maybe some of our readers would like to cast a vote. If so, you can do it here.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
An article in Bloomberg.com reveals that a new and extremely virulent strain of HIV has been found in a New York man. Following are excerpts from the article:
This is certainly chilling news, especially to the homosexual community. Whether it will place a chill on the incredibly promiscuous lifestyle that many of them maintain, however, remains to be seen.
While surfing the 'net, I came across this must read article:
These paragraphs hit me right between the eyes as they, and the rest of the article, articulate the point I was trying to make in my previous post very nicely...
They export to the US but they want to strengthen the other Asian countries in order to have strong neighbors that will depend in the future more and more on the Chinese economy as an engine of growth and less on the US. Chinese imports from South East Asia are growing at a very rapid pace.
In the process of industrialization, energy needs go up. China consumes 1.7m barrels of oil a day; India 0.7m barrels. The whole of Asia has 3.6bn people including Japan and it consumes 20m barrels of oil a day. The US has 295m people and consumes 22m barrels of oil a day. For sure oil demand in Asia will double to 40m barrels of oil per day. Whether it takes six years or 15 years, I don't know, but it will double. In your lifetime you won't see oil at US$12 a barrel again - ever. The Chinese used to take 6% of the world's copper market in 1990, 12% in the year 2000; now they're the largest copper user, 21%. For Iron ore they consume up 27% of total production in the world.
The incremental demands from industrialization do not come from China only, but also from India, from rising standards through this wealth transfer from the Western World to Asia, and this will lift commodity prices.
I don't know if this is article is credible but if it is, it's not good.
From the link:
The article also mentions that China has signed a deal with Venezuela for most if not all of their oil. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't start hearing about the need for military action in Venezuela soon.
I find it extraordinarily odd that given the text of the link, the country we are most indebted to is China. Something very strange is going on here. It appears that the very plan of U.S. dollar hegemony to exploit and dominate the world is going to backfire on the U.S. because China is using it as a means to our undoing.
Today, the U.S. is the world's largest debtor nation. We must borrow $2.6 billion dollars each and every day to finance our society's addiction to consumption. The lion's share of this borrowing is done with China which is going through their own industrial revolution just as we did 100 years ago. They lend us billions of dollars so we can continue to purchase goods from them creating demand which in turn fuels their growth. We are consuming and they are producing. We are now in a dangerous downward spiral.
This is not a symbiotic relationship. We have everything to lose and China has everything to gain and they are in total control of the situation. The danger is that if they were to stop lending to the U.S., we would be economically devastated. China on the other hand, would only have to open new markets for their goods. This might not be particularly easy but it could be done.
Perhaps the bigger problem is that while we fuel their economy (to the detriment of our own) we are promoting their demand for oil and other natural resources. So the side effect of our policies are creating a serious competitor for the very life blood of our country. This demand can only lessen availability and pressure the cost of these resources upward, something we can ill afford.
I wonder if all of this has something to do with my rant from the other day about the latest wave of corporate insiders selling their shares.
It would be interesting to examine the stock portfolios of our congressmen. I suspect we would see large holdings in companies involved in defense, energy and natural resources. They are directly responsible for the predicament we are in today and one can count on them "getting theirs" on the way down. Kinda' like the crew of the Titanic raiding the ship's wine cellar after hitting the iceberg.
I'd like to write more on this if time permits.
Viewpoint posted a report a couple of months ago on the case of a Swedish pastor who was convicted of hate speech and sentenced to a month in prison for preaching against homosexuality. Now that conviction has been overturned on appeal. Here are excerpts of the story from an English language Swedish newspaper called The Local:
Of course, it probably hasn't occurred to this spokeswoman that homosexual behavior is categorically different from race or ethnicity. Behavior is, or should be, legitimately subject to moral criticism. Race and ethnicity, being matters which are not chosen by individuals, are not.
Leaving aside the question of whether the pastor's judgments were correct, the idea that moral criticism constitutes hate speech and should therefore be illegal is self-refuting. After all, if it is hate speech to make public moral judgments then the public judgment that hate speech is wrong, being a moral judgment, is itself a form of hate speech and should be illegal. Thus, to condemn the pastor's behavior on the grounds that his moral objections to homosexuality constitute hate speech, is itself an expression of hate and should be prosecuted.
Closer to home the free expression of opinion about the moral standing of homosexuality and dissent from the current orthodoxy lead, perhaps, an even more precarious existence than in Sweden. Consider the case of four anti-gay protestors in the City of Brotherly Love.
In Philadelphia speech is free and unfettered as long as it conforms to politically correct norms and does not offend members of a legally privileged group. Marcavage and his friends could have stood on the corner shouting obscenities and they probably would've received a slap on the wrist from the Philadelphia police, no matter how offensive their behavior may have been to average citizens, but calling gays to repentance turns out to be beyond the pale of acceptable behavior in the City of Brotherly Love.
Frankly, we were surprised that anything was beyond the pale in Philadelphia.