Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Headlines 09.27.11

The Solyndra That Wasn’t: Solar Trust Declined Energy Department Loan for $2.1 Billion (Wash Post)

‘L-Word’ Star Escorted off Southwest Flight for Kissing Girlfriend (Wash Post)

Senate Reaches Deal to Avert Government Shutdown (NYT)

Obama’s Jobs Bill Makes It Illegal to Discriminate against ‘Unemployed’ in Hiring (NYT)

Study: Caffeine Averts Depression but May Make You Less Charitable (LA Times)

Georgia Company Claims It Can Make Motor Fuel from Wood (NYT)

White House Won’t Seek to Delay Supreme Court Health Care Bill Review (The Hill)

Facebook Creates Its Own PAC in Washington (The Hill)

European Union Climate Chief ‘shocked’ at US Debate over Issue (The Hill)

Congressional Staffers Getting Taxpayer-Provided iPads (The Hill)

Therapists Seeing Patients Online (NYT)

Wife of Mexican Drug Lord Gives Birth to Twins at California Hospital (MSNBC)

Washington Monument to Remain Closed ‘Indefinitely’ (Wash Times)

Grandmother Killed Child to Spite Father (Wash Times)

Obama Heckled: ‘[You’re] the Antichrist’ (Politico)

Rihanna Told to Cover Up by Christian Farm Owner during Irish Video Shoot (Telegraph)

AP Called Racist for Transcribing Obama Speech as Delivered, without ‘g’s (Yahoo)

Lobbying Group Opposes New Administration Rule Barring All Gifts to Federal Employees (The Hill)

Romney Meets Privately with Donald Trump (The Hill)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Headlines 09.21.11

American Hikers Freed in Iran, State Media Report (NY Times)

Mexican Horror: Gunmen Dump 35 Bodies on Avenue During Rush Hour (USA Today)

Obama: “No shortcut” for Palestinians (NY Times)

Experts: Pilot Likely Blacked Out Before Crash (WSJ)

Moody’s Lowers Ratings on Three Big Banks (NY Times)

America Ranks 26th in Internet Speed (NY Times)

Supreme Court Halts Texas Execution of ex-Army Recruiter (USA Today)

ROTC Back at Harvard after 40 Years (Boston Globe)

Young Adults Make Gains in Health Insurance Coverage (NY Times)

Turkey Bans Men from Soccer Stadiums (AP)

Solyndra Executives to Plead Fifth at Hearing (The Hill)

Shutdown Fight Looms Over Disaster Aid (The Hill)

US Building Secret Drone Bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula (Wash Post)

Congressman Wants to Eliminate Dollar Bill (AZR)

Air Force Puts Grounded F-22s Back in Service (LA Times)

West Hollywood Bans Fur Sales, Leather Okay (LA Times)

San Francisco Okay’s “Bird-Safe” Building Standards (LA Times)

Study: 1 in 3 Texters Would Rather Text than Talk (NY Times)

Utah Tightens Already Restrictive Liquor Laws (USA Today)

House Creates Intern Program after Ending Page Program (The Hill)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Headlines 09.20.11

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Expires (CNS News)

AP Fact Check: The Rich Already Pay More (AP)

Germany Reaps Rewards of Entitlement Cuts (Wash Post)

City’s Day Laborer Law Ruled Unconstitutional (LA Times)

Israel has Dumped 46% of Its US Treasury Bills; Russia 95% (CNS News)

In 3 Weeks, Gamers Crack AIDS Puzzle that Stumped Scientists for a Decade (Fox News)

World’s Biggest Sperm Bank Turning Away Redheads (Fox News)

US Alleges Full Tilt Poker Was Ponzi Scheme (WSJ)

Child Brings Mom’s Crack Pipe for Show-and-Tell (AP)

USDA Secretary: Americans Must Learn to Like Eating Healthier Food (CNS News)

PETA to Launch Porn Site for Animal Rights (Reuters)

Rivera Sets New Record with 602nd Save (NY Times)

Wednesday Is Anti-Trust Day in Washington (IT World)

Some Hotel “Safes” Opened by 00000 Code (USA Today)

Chaz Bono Makes “Dancing” Debut (AP)

Jesse Jackson’s Employee Says He Was Fired for Being Gay (Findlaw)

Changes in Controversial Organ Donation Method Stir Fears (Wash Post)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Headlines 09.19.11

10th Person Dies from Injuries in Reno Air Crash (AP)

Fighting Erupts for Second Day In Yemeni Capital (AP)

Obama Vows Veto if Deficit Plan Has No Tax Increases (NYT)

UK Hires “Affluence Team” to Audit Super-Wealthy (AP)

Headlight Flashing Tests FL Law as Free Speech (USA Today)

“Modern Family” Takes Home Five Emmy’s (NYT)

Poll: Obama Favorability Lowest Ever (CBS News)

Goats Used to Clear Land in Downtown Portland (AP)

Gallup: Southerners Less Likely to Visit Dentist (Huff Po)

Dental Survey Data (Gallup)

Wendy’s Remakes Its Burgers (USA Today)

Netflix Apologizes for Mishandling Changes (USA Today)

Court Orders Casey Anthony to Pay $97,000 (WSJ)

FBI: Violent Crime Down by 6% Last Year (AP)

Cleaver: If Obama Weren’t President, We Would Be “Marching on the White House.”(The Hill)

Cheerleaders’ New Miniskirts Are Too Short for Class, Violate School Dress Code (LA Times)

Obama Claims Re-election Likely (Talking Points Memo)

Obama’s Twitter Plan Backfires (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Headlines 09.16.11

Religion and Inequality Go Hand in Hand (Christianity Today)

NFL Wants Pat-Downs from Ankles up at All Stadiums (USA Today)

Bloomberg Predicts Riots If Jobs Don’t Show Up (NY Daily News)

McAfee: Heidi Klum Most Dangerous Online Search (Today Show)

Abbas Says He Will Seek Palestinian State at the Security Council (NYT)

Obama Agrees to Sell Arms to Taiwan, F-16A/Bs (Wash Times)

Obama to Sign Patent System Overhaul (The Hill)

Obama’s a Flop in States He Flipped in 2008 (Wash Times)

Toe Sucker Targeting Arkansas Women (AP)

2 Men Take Dead Pal to Strip Club (AP)

Pre-Born to “Speak” through Live Ultrasounds on Capitol Hill (Christian Post)

Supreme Court to Hear Prison Strip-Search Case (Findlaw)

Chinese Drywall Homeowners Can Sue On Own (Findlaw)

Can You Get a Divorce for No Sex in Marriage? (Findlaw)

Postal Service Faces Grim “New Reality” (The Hill)

Ten-Foot Fingernails New World Record (AP)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Headlines 09.15.11

Islamists Emerge in Force in New Libya (Wash Post)

Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Resigns Over Global Warming (Fox News)

DC Schools Prepare for Nation’s First Sex-Ed Standardized Testing (Wash Post)

Unemployment Applications Hit 3-Month High (AP)

New Australian Passport Allows Third Gender Option (BBC)

UBS Hit by $2 Billion in Unauthorized Trades (WSJ)

NJ Appeals Court Rejects Woman’s Fight to Go Topless in Public (NJ.com)

Law School Sperm Donor Discovers He’s Fathered Over 70 Children (Boston Globe)

Central Banks Act Together To Ease Fears on European Debt (NYT)

Pat Robertson Tells Viewer It’s Okay To Divorce a Spouse with Alzheimer’s (Christian Post)

Tight Standards Make Mortgates Tough to Get (USA Today)

Democrat Congressman: Government Isn’t Obligated to Pay Social Security Benefits (CNS News)

Woman’s $10 Million Suit Against Toyota Over Ad Prank Allowed to Proceed (Daily Mail)

“Jew or Not Jew” App Riles Anti-Racism Group (AP)

Henry Winkler Receives British Title (BBC)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Headlines 09.14.11

Twin Defeats Spark Democractic Fears (Politico)

NASA Unveils New Rocket Design (WSJ)

Income Slides to 1996 Levels (WSJ)

Final Oil-Spill Report Chastises BP, Others (WSJ)

Credit Card Debt Is on the Rise Again (Smart Money)

Vegans Who Starved Baby, Convictions Upheld (Findlaw)

Afghan Militants Smuggled Weapons for Kabul Attack by Wearing Burquas (Wash Post)

PA Judge Declares Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Unconstitutional (Philly Inquirer)

Girl Slain, 2 Wounded in Apparent Retaliation for Good Deed (LA Times)

EEOC Says Walgreens Violated ADA in Firing Diabetic Employee for Eating Bag of Chips (Findlaw)

Bieber Wears Women’s Jeans (Yahoo)

Son Kills Mother, Father Sues Psychiatrist (Findlaw)

Mom Beats Up Daughter’s Bully (NBC NY)

Students Lift Car off Utah Biker After Fiery Crash (AP)

State Dept. Names Worst Religious Freedom Violator Nations (Christianity Today)

Islamic Bloc Refuses to Condemn All Terrorism (CNS News)

Mariano Rivera Gets 600th Career Save (AP)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Headlines 09.13.11

US Hikers Jailed in Iran May Be Released After Bail Is Paid (CNN)

Insurgents Attack US Embassy and NATO Offices in Afghanistan (AP)

Iran Gov’t Launching Spanish-Language TV to Target Latin America (CNS News)

Survey: Men Happier than Women; 42-Year-Old Professional Women Unhappiest of All (Marketwatch)

NY Man Sues White Castle: Your Narrow Seats Violate My Civil Rights! (Findlaw)

Study: Men Paid More, Jerks Paid More (Chicago Sun-Times)

First Three Winners at Belmont Sunday: 9-1-1 (NY Post)

(NY Post 09/13/11)

IBM’s Watson Supercomputer to Give Medical Diagnoses (The Hill)

Labor Dept Data: Only 1.75 Full-Time Private Sector Workers Per Social Security Recipient (CNS News)

Meetup.com Inspired by 9/11 (Meetup)

Android App Teaches How to Roll a Joint (Providence Examiner)

Study: Fatherhood Causes Drop in Testosterone (NYT)

NASCAR Trying to Go Green (NYT)

CDC to fight HIV with comic books (Politico)

Study: Parental Presence Hinders Kids’ Outdoor Activity (Wash Post)

Massive Arms Exhibition Includes “Invisibility Cloak” for Tanks (AP)

Manny Ramirez Arrested After Fight with Wife (AP)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ethics: Is urban foraging theft?

I remember reading a story last year about people in urban areas deliberately living off of the food they can find in dumpsters, not because they can’t afford better, but because it’s a sort of game and environmental exercise to them. Now, according to this fascinating story in the New York Times today, it seems people have recently started scavenging food from public places, such as fruit trees in parks or streets. Well, with all the vacant/foreclosed homes, there are a lot of unharvested vegetables and fruit, and some people are now taking to taking them from such private properties as well. So the question is whether any of this constitutes theft. The banks certainly wouldn’t permit it, but that might be for liability or paperwork reasons. It is private property, meaning that it is trespassing to pick it, and at least not their own. What might a cop do if he caught you in this situation? Isn’t it dumb to let it just go to waste? How might the principle of gleaning in the Bible be relevant here, if it is?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Theology topic: Why did the Gospel authors wait so long to write them down?

If Jesus was crucified and resurrected around 33 AD, even the earliest dates proposed for authorship of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are two or three decades later (or more). Now, given the vital importance of these events and the immense centrality of these three accounts of the life of Jesus to Christians throughout history, it’s natural to ask why they waited so long to write their accounts. Waiting obviously invites the criticism that the events are less reliably recorded, and waiting seems to put things at the mercy of memories which dim over time. Even presuming the Christian belief that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers to be inerrant, doesn’t it still seem like a bizarre delay just from the perspective of how useful those texts could have been to the very early church during those decades? So why do you think God and the disciples waited so long to write the Gospels?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ethics: Should we start thinking about social media the way we think about addictive substances?

Everyone (I presume) has heard people refer to their digital device as a “crackberry.” This is meant to be a joke that disproves the reality, but when so many other smartphone users laugh a bit uncomfortably, the joke may be a little too apropos. According to a story in the New York Post today, several studies including a new one have revealed that people react to social media and Internet deprivation in ways very similar to how drug addicts respond to detox. I’ve been saying for years (following Marie Winn’s excellent book The Plug-In Drug) that technology like television is widely misunderstood for being primarily a matter of content rather than form. Social conservatives often lament the vulgarity of what’s on television, but almost no one ever laments the medium itself and its developmental impact on children and addiction-like use by adults. The question is whether we should start thinking of non-drug things in the same way we think about drugs. And in answering that question, it’s always useful to remember that at one time in history, cocaine and heroin were both legally available in some form to any customer. So, just because we don’t regulate something at the moment, that doesn’t mean later generations won’t think us fools for our blindness on such a matter.

~Do you ever use technology and then feel regret about it afterwards?
~Do you ever feel like you can’t stop using it or don’t really understand why you do use it so frequently?
~Is drunkenness a good paradigm for technology use? Is dependence?
~How careful should we be about new technology, especially when it seems to so suddenly become ubiquitous and seamlessly integrated into our lives?
~Is Twitter a drug? Is texting? Is facebook?
~Is the parallel with drugs strong enough to justify clear moral pronouncements?
~Are people being harmed in such a way that laws might even be passed for control…even beyond things like “don’t text and drive?”
~Is it only the action of texting that matters or is texting itself an intoxicant aside from its distraction effects?
~Does the fact that drugs cost a lot of money whereas much of modern technology is free affect your answers?
~Does the fact that drugs have direct and adverse biological effects compared to technology affect your answers?

Addicts caught in the net (NY Post)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wacky Topic: Christians are hateful.

Note: Before reading the following arguments, please understand that they are not what I believe. On Wednesdays, I deliberately argue for wrong ideas, challenging my listeners to call and defend the obvious right answer, which is usually far harder than one would expect. This is a summary of what Wacky Andrew will be arguing, not a representation of what real Andrew believes.

~Ask a homosexual what he thinks. For that matter, ask anyone who simply supports gays what they think.
~Ask someone who’s had an abortion what she thinks. For that matter, ask anyone who just supports the right to get one what they think.
~Ask someone who’s gotten a divorce what they think.
~Is it loving to tell someone they go to hell if they don’t think like you do?
~Wasn’t it Christians who waged war against the MLinkuslims…because they were Muslims?
~Wasn’t it Irish Christians who waged war against other Irish Christians…because they were other Christians?
~Wasn’t it Spanish Christians who tortured all sorts of people…for being something besides what they were?
~Isn’t the core idea of Christianity that God hates you because you are a sinner?
~If hell is an eternal unending and excruciating torture, what would you label a God who ordains that if not hateful?

Can Christians escape ‘hate’ label? (CP)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Programming Note

Since the show is currently off the air, the only way to have something like a discussion is via this blog (or facebook). So, as I'm continuing to post topics, thoughts, and send out the email...I'm hoping you guys will accept this format in temporary lieu of a call-in show and have an online discussion to which I'll of course contribute. Deal? =)

Theology Topic: Is it a sin to be dissatisfied?

The Bible tells us to be content in all things, right? But when you read the Bible, does it seem to you as if most of the great heroes of the faith wander around continually satisfied with everything as if Pollyanna really were the noblest of saints? Jesus is regularly furious with the religious leaders of His day. Paul isn’t shy at expressing his contempt for those who try to jeopardize what he’s done in preaching. And David, a man who is said to be after God’s own heart, expresses such depths of angst in the Psalms that it would be downright idiotic to call him satisfied, at least at those times. So are there times or circumstances in which it is acceptable to be dissatisfied? Are there objects of frustration that even obligate us to be dissatisfied with them? And if so, how are we as Christians to distinguish either the targets of our dissatisfaction or the expressive form of our reactions to those irritants from those of the people we all were before becoming Christian? In other words, if dissatisfaction per se isn’t the issue, how does Christian dissatisfaction differ from the non-Christian kind?