Joe Camel in a Bottle: Alcohol Flouts Ad Rules at 2017 Super Bowl

Ads-on-Alcohol-Addiction-AlAlcohol is big business always searching to increase market share. And  youth present the opportunity for new recruits.  The 2017 Superbowl featured alcohol ads that targeted youth, typically with the party-fun theme. This flouts their own purported standards.
Alcohol is a huge financial drain on society, let alone the immense suffering and death that its frequent abuse causes.

Alcohol is the leading cause of death and disability for young males aged 15-24 in nearly every region of the world, and among young females in high-income countries. Advertising for another dangerous product, tobacco, is banned from TV and radio. Tobacco companies are also banned from event and sports sponsorship. It is not surprising that numerous scientific experts, health organizations and community groups are calling for alcohol ads to be regulated like tobacco advertising.

Posted in citizenship, Education, Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking In Refugees is Christian…and American

refugees welcomeAmerica is divided on whether to take in desperate refugees, or to shut them out.  Those who would forbid them entrance, as President Trump has recently done, cite national security as a prime reason. Others also cite logistical problems such as integration into communities, cost of initial support, language barriers, and cultural difficulties.

On the other hand, those who welcome refugees operate out of compassion. Christians should support refugees when possible, either welcoming and assisting them in their own communities or providing support to groups like World Relief. Those who disagree that this is Christian need to answer in light of Jesus.

America, which bears partial responsibility for fueling the refugee crisis (destabilizing the area through the Iraq War, for one) should welcome more refugees. The link to this article explains that Syrian refugees are few and far between, are vetted, and have not caused any trouble.

Posted in citizenship, Family, Human Rights, Peace and War, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going to College to Learn to Think? Think Again

ThinkingIn their 1995 book, The Abandoned Generation, higher education leaders Will Willimon and Tom Naylor persuasively argued that student culture on far too many college and university campuses was characterized by vice instead of virtue and specifically, that most students have an anti-intellectual outlook regarding their higher education journeys.
For too many students, college is about alcohol-fueled partying and preparing for a higher-paying career. Learning critical thinking skills and developing community-serving character are devalued. And universities, wanting enrollment dollars, play into this!
John Basie writes further on this postmodern trend.

Posted in citizenship, Education, Family | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advice From Venezuela On Handling A Dangerous Populist

President Donald Trump is a populist, one who purports to represent the interests of common people. The U.S. electorate eagerly lapped up Trump’s hard-hitting rhetoric and outlandish lifestyle and magnetic charisma. So did voters in Venezuela when they elected ChavezHugo Chavez as President. Now Venezuela is a basket case economically, politically, and socially. A Venezuelan citizen, , writes some hard-learned tips to avoid making the same mistakes.
1. Populism can survive only amid polarization. It thrives on an enemy, a scapegoat. Anyone who opposes the populist is an enemy.
2. Show no contempt. Disarm polarization, do not feed it.
3. Don’t try to force him out. This fuels the opposition.
4. Break down the tribal barriers by showing commonality with the opposition.
See convincing details on this link.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Melinda Gates on Her Foundation’s Partnership with World Vision

leader_Melinda_GatesI met Melinda Gates when we served together on a panel in 2004. The Gates Foundation had given the WV Library Commission a large grant, and I was selected to represent the face of public libraries. Melinda Gates was warm, personable, and had a humble yet confident “next-door neighbor” friendliness.
Melinda describes living with impoverished Africans and how her faith background inspired her to help others.

Posted in citizenship, Economics, Family, Human Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton Promoted Fracking In Secret Paid Speeches

hillary_frackingHillary Clinton will not be President. While hand-wringing over President-elect Donald Trump’s environmental policy prospect is certainly understandable (an understatement!), Hillary Clinton was certainly not Trump’s polar opposite on climate-related energy issues.
Clinton gave highly-paid speeches in secret meetings that pointed to her continued interest in fracking natural gas. That is, continue Obama’s program. Notwithstanding that fracking, gas transmission, and combustion combined are on par with coal for bad greenhouse gas effect. And Clinton promoted fracking technology while Secretary of State. Would Clinton have changed course if she had been elected?
See this article by Lee Fang for more details.

Posted in Environment | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Paris Climate Deal Is Not Enough. Fossil Fuel Extraction Must Stop Now!!!

stopdiggingOne year ago, December 2015, an international accord was reached in Paris to limit greenhouse gasses toward stabilizing global warming. In one sense, this was a positive step in that finally after metaphorically “fiddling while Rome was burning down” (this time, Planet Earth burning), the international community acted.
One downside is that the deal is not binding. But a far worse downside is that the climate deal even if faithfully adhered to will not be enough to avert serious and likely catastrophic climate change effects.
Oil Change International does extensive studies on coal, gas, and coal inventories and current operations, and concludes that if these assets are developed that global temperatures will rise over 2 degrees C. This is above the Paris top limit. So these assets must stay buried. A new energy paradigm must be enacted ASAP!
George Monbiot explains some of this in his article, “No Fracking, Drilling, or Digging: It’s The Only Way To Save Life On Earth.

Posted in Politics, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Former House Speaker Boehner Is Now A Tobacco Lobbyist

John Boehner Ah, the revolving door.  Spend time in government, make connections, work up a tidy pension, get out of government, then land a high salaried job as a corporate lobbyist.
John Boehner has always been a friend of Big Tobacco. Now, as a Reynolds Tobacco Co. lobbyist, he will get over $400,000 per year.  Boehner is also joining Squire Patton Boggs,  of Washington’s K Street lobbying nexus, with $25 million in federal lobbying revenue last year. But not as a lobbyist, but as a strategic advisor. Which is an end run around lobbying rules, wink and nod.When Pope Francis visited the Capitol, Boehner was on hand to warmly greet and welcome the pope.  Perhaps they should meet up again and discuss Christian virtues.
This article, the Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears, from Moyers & Company, exposes once more that the United States is a bought-and-sold sham of a democracy. Shame!

Posted in citizenship, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax-Avoiding Apple Being Assessed 13 Billion Euros Payment to Ireland

AppleIn 2014, Apple paid just $50 in tax for every million it made selling iPhones and iPads to most of the world outside America. That’s a tax rate of just 0.005%.

On a proportionate scale, if your workplace paid you $50,000 per year.. You would pay  $2.50 for your total annual tax bill. Two dollars 50cents!

he European Commission is putting multinationals on notice with its order to tech giant Apple to pay €13 billion in tax to Ireland. It’s signalling that it won’t bow to pressure from the US. Now other countries may follow with similar action. The Commission concluded Ireland granted Apple undue tax benefits. It found that selective treatment allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1% on its European profits in 2003, down to 0.005% in 2014. This was significantly less than Ireland’s tax rate of 12.5%.
Here for the article.

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Genetic Studies That Show Two Subspecies of Lions May Help Stave Extinction

LionRecent studies point to two subspecies of African Lions. One group in in East Africa, the other in Central and West Africa and Asiatic lions. Understanding species at this level is vitally important in the fight against extinction. Genetic diversity includes the evolutionary potential, referring to the genetic blue print that allows a species to adjust to a changing environment. Link here for the full article.

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment