A lot of part-time jobs came out of the woodwork in September if the most recent stats from the Labor department are legit. The unemployment rate ticked down 30 basis points from 8.1% to 7.8%, but it was driven by over a half-million new part-time jobs showing up.
That seems fishy, and conservatives are crying foul and the MSM is calling them truthers and conspiracy theorists. Both might be right; the numbers are fishy, but it's likely not some cabal of liberal stats folks cooking the books.
As a tweak of the old saw goes, don't chalk up to malice what can be better explained by dumb luck; if you were going to fudge the numbers, you wouldn't throw in a huge outlier like that. At least that's how I would do it if I wanted to make the boss look good; this one is too odd to be made-up, unless it's being fudged by someone who knows nothing about labor economics.
Since the household survey used is essentially a poll, it is vulnerable to outliers from time to time. Conservative should just let it go at that and just hammer the point that the numbers took a tick in the right direction with part-time employment being the driver.
Signs of the 21st century; a Democratic challenger in a Maine state senate race, Collleen Lachowicz, has a bit of 'tude in her spare time.
Lachowicz, a Democratic challenger running for a Republican-held state Senate seat that encompasses the area between Lewiston and Bangor, is a World of Warcraft fan–she’s a level 85 orc in the popular multi-player online role-playing game. Lachowicz’s gaming hobby came to light earlier this week, and Republicans have jumped on it, launching a website called “Colleen’s World” which highlights comments made by Lachowicz’s warcraft alter-ego, Santiaga.
It turns out that Santiaga has said some not-so-nice things about Republicans, including conservative tax icon and promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” Grover Norquist. Santiaga commented that she “may have to go and hunt down Grover Norquist and drown him in my bath tub.”
Nah; you apply a poison to the casing of G-Rover's cell phone. Harder to trace that way and more the way of a rogue assassin.
That might actually be a positive for our orcish friend; she'll get the gamer vote. She also wouldn't be labeled as being soft on crime; she's hard core for it... at least on line.
Interesting piece on NBA rookie Royce White, who has a fear of flying as part of a broader package of psych issues he's dealing with. He's looking for an OK from both his new Houston Rockets team and the NBA to let him be driven to road games where possible rather than fly with the team.
What I found disheartening is the number of fans dissing White and anyone having sympathy for him, along with a bunch of armchair psychoanalysis that made me glad I hadn't had lunch, yet.
Kindness is one of the Fruits of the Spirit, but it isn't common in the sports world, or even many churches when it comes to psych issues; a lot of churchmen would be questioning the faith of someone struggling with such issues. A lot of such problems are more medical than self-inflicted; as much as churches might hate psychology and psychiatry for it's problematic take on a number of issues, it does have its place.
To the jocks who were dissing White and have the latest copy of Madden; your dude had the same problem. He would take the Maddencruiser between Monday Night games; he did have the luxury of having a week between games, which White won't have. Back-to-backs in Orlando and Detroit would mean a 18-hour drive and a snug fit.
Interesting use of metaphor from Red State's top dog-
Instead of John Kerry for a debate partner, the President should have just gone through airport security a few times or embraced BOHICA as a debate preparation strategy.
That's "bend over, here it comes again" as a Navy vet at Sullivan U taught me back in the day. If that's the case, Romney must have forgotten to get a rubber glove on last night in that episode of forensic proctology.
Great Rhymes With Orange strip today. Guy's at the Pearly Gates
"But I'm a Legacy!"
"That's not how our admission process works."
Matthew 3:9 got there two millennia ago; here's Jesus dissing the Jewish elders of the day-
9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
God has no grandchildren. Plenty of children, but no grandchildren. God's looking for people who know and follow Him, not folks who know people who know Him.
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Working back to the old Jewish system of sacrifices, Jesus throws a stopper; He's both the priest and the sacrifice to end them all. We sometimes take that for granted; the Catholics seem to have a better handle on that, for they lean towards a crucifix with Jesus still on the cross rather than a empty cross.
The case for a blank cross is that Jesus moved on and rose again, but Jesus did die not just for the sins of this generation, but the ones to come. In that way, His death is an ongoing saving reality as well as His eternal life. I'm not quite to a point of saying He is dying for our sins rather than He died for our sins, but the cross doesn't lose its freshness two millennia in.
We're getting a new twist on bad winter storms; the Weather Channel is setting up a naming system like the one for tropical storms. The names are drawn from various mythoi, from Greek (Athena, Zeus) to Star Trek (Khan, Q; TWC doesn't acknowledge either root) to Masters of the Universe (I learned that Orko is from MotU and is also a Basque thunder god).
Even Yogi Bear (or a generic yoga practitioner, your choice) gets the honor of being on the inaugural list, although it would be a rather nasty winter that would have the global warming crowd on its heels (or switching gears to climate change as the issue) if we got to a Y-storm.
Unlike tropical storms, which has the National Weather Service as its namers, this new system is farmed out to the private sector. It will be interesting to see if Winter Storm Athena and Brutus are acknowledged broadly if and when they do come.
Interesting food for thought here. Most evangelical churches (and quite a few others) will claim to be following the Bible and not any tradition; Sola Scriptura is the Latin for that concept. Here's the beginning of a John MacArthur take on it-
The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. It is not a claim that all truth of every kind is found in Scripture.
The touchy word here is implicitly. A lot of church doctrine is implicit, since it isn't clearly stated in the Bible text. Early theologians had at over the nature of Jesus; is He a godly human, God in a human-looking shell, or what? "Fully God and fully human" was what they hacked into.
Other doctrine is less settled. Arminians and Calvinists will have at it, both quoting scripture in their arguments. Young-earthers will insist upon a one-day=24 hours definition of day, while old-Earthers will read it as "eras." Baptists will not be big on things like healings, prophecy and tongues while charismatics will insist upon a "full gospel" that includes such stuff, and they both claim to be Bible-based.
Catholics have a Magisterium, a body of settled doctrine beyond raw Scripture, and Protestants have it, too. The latter don't admit it. Their "Bible-only" is really "the Bible as we see it and apply it", which is often open to debate.
The people screaming the loudest over voter-ID requirements are black activists. Since blacks tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic, folks there might be want people to be counted, even if they can't make it to the polls.
If you work under the assumption that your black constituents vote Democratic, you're doing them a favor for voting for them, getting someone to vote for you in proxy, saying that they're you. It they happened to be Republican...well, you just covered for their craziness and got the correct vote down.
If turnout turns out to be higher than normal; you can chalk it up to good GOTV efforts. You just used alternative methods to get it out.
The first presidential debate is tomorrow. It might be the first time some swing voters took a good look at Romney. The Republican-leaning crowd had a regular dose of him during the copious number of debates during the primary, but we've been in a lull since then.
If Romney can come up with a good back-track on the 47% line, it might well carry the day. Also, he'll need to get at least one dig on the "You didn't build that" front.
Boko Haram seems to have lived up to its name on this one, shooting up a Nigerian college; You can't get much more "western education" sounding than Federal Polytechnic for "Western ed's not kosher" to attack. However, they aren't quite ready to chalk it up to BH; there are some gang-related activities that could possibly explain it, but there were BH backers on campus.
Good times for a Tigers fan; they clinched the AL Central last night and saw Cabrera move into sole posession of first place in all three Triple Crown stats. The bias writers have towards winners might give Cabrera a nod over Mike Trout, given that the Angels came up short out west, albeit with a record two games better than Detroit.
We had a first-of-the-month prayer service at church over the noon hour. As we were in a reflective point in the service, I was looking at the stained-glass windows that look out upon Eastman Road, the main north-south drag in Midland. Or, would look out had the windows been normal; all you got to see were silhouettes of cars and trucks driving past the church.
Looking in from the outside, folks would get a comparable view or lack thereof. The church looks hazy and shadowy from the outside.
The news doesn't help much. Where we make news is either for political interaction on some sexual issue, where (to borrow from an old Moral Majority put-down) the church becomes the meek that inhibit the earth, or for some moral failing, where the pastor gets caught taking a teenage girl across state lines or worse. No reference to what the Gospel is, who Jesus is and why He's important, just a bunch of nosy, repressed folks who are a bunch of hypocrites given all the pulpit-pounding pedophiles and perverts that do make the news.
We do get some good press from time to time, but not much. Missions that have a poverty-fighting element do get good press; liberals like Nick Kristof will give credit where credit is do for those good works, but even there, the reason for the largess is still largely under wraps.
That vision comes interesting into play with yesterday's sermon, where this passage from Judges 2 was mentioned
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.
That wouldn't be a bad descriptor of the modern-day US (and the rest of the Anglosphere as well, if not even more so); people might serve their balls rather than the Baals, but (if we put it in a New Testament setting) they don't know Jesus and what He had done for mankind.
We need to remedy that where possible, letting them know what they're missing and what they don't know about God. That isn't going to happen if the only exposure folks have is what they see in the news or the shadows of people in the pews on a Sunday morning as they head out Eastman Road to the mall quadrant.
Jews have an annual day of seeking forgiveness (Yom Kippur).
Orthodox Catholics make seeking forgiveness a lifestyle, or at least they used to, as Cardinal Dolan notes in a blog bost.
Mainliners make forgiveness a corporate affair, focusing on collective sins rather than individual ones.
Evangelicals often assume that forgiveness is a one-time affair handled at Golgotha and forget to look for forgiveness for the stuff done since then.
The Catholics seem to be on to something, although it plays into an open-ended salvation where you're not sure of your salvation until death; making sure as many sins as possible are repented of seems to be crutial in that setting (although I paint with a rather broad brush there).
We can cut out the middle man of the confession booth and ask God directly for forgiveness. We're (or at least I) just not as used to doing so as we should.
Another Sunday bombing in Nigeria, but this time, it's of a Muslim school; the Sunday School bombing of the week happened in Kenya.
Gunmen detonated a bomb Sunday near an Islamic boarding school in northern Nigeria and later exchanged gunfire with security forces, causing unknown casualties in the region's latest round of violence, officials said.
Boko Haram has attacked mosques and killed Muslims in the past. The Zaria boarding school near Sunday's bombing is run by Awwal Adam Albani, who is a critic of Boko Haram and a follower of the ultraconservative sect of Islam known as Salafi.
The Salafi are a back-to-basics bunch within Islam; while they have a few jihadist in their midst (the Blind Sheik from the first World Trade Center bombing is one), terrorism isn't their strong suit and many of them have preached against such terrorism. When the Salafi aren't radical enough for you... things are getting out there. If the Salafis are Islam's answer to the King James only Baptists, then Boko Haram is more like Fred Phelps gone violent.