News & Opinion

  • Yahoo/NY Times: As rabbis face facts, Bible tales are wilting

    As someone who has studied the Jewish scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament, or First Testament) in the course of obtaining a degree in Bible, I can say that this news story is ridiculous. While there are revisionists who believe all of scripture is a myth and will not accept any story that is not backed by outside history, the majority of Biblical scholars see scripture as having a great deal of historical accuracy, and also recognize that due to the ancient authorship of these texts, some events will not be backed up through secondary sources. This silence on the part of secondary sources does not mean that the events didn’t happen, but rather that the events are so old that secondary sources have fallen into the silence of lost history. This story makes it appear that the evidence debunking historical events of the OT is overwhelming, which is simply not true.

    I am not a fundamentalist in my understanding of scripture, but I do believe that the original texts as penned by the original authors is God-breathed, and is 100% accurate for the purposes it was written for. I don’t neccesarily believe that the science or even history is 100% accurate, with our modern understanding of these fields, but that is only because God is far beyond human beings, that He had to lower the level of understanding with regards to science to communicate with ancient peoples. If the Bible was written afresh today, Genesis 1 would like describe the “Big Bang” event, the beginnings of life, etc.

  • MSNBC: Young consumers face world of debt

    High interest credit card debt is a serious concern, but this story makes it seem trivial. Listen to this excerpt…

      JESSICA COLEMAN, 23, faced with $4,500 in credit card debt and a $300 monthly car payment, has put off buying a computer and an armoire. She’s scouring for bargains at TJ Maxx and Ross Stores and eats salads at TGI Fridays instead of dining on steaks at French restaurants.

      “I really have to budget now,” said Coleman, a Santa Monica, Calif., resident, who used to splurge on a new outfit with each paycheck.

    Sheesh, you’re not that poor if you’re eating at TGI Fridays all of the time. If Jessica thinks this is “living frugally” then she has a lot to learn.

  • Reuters/Yahoo: Long-Time Pot Users Show Mental Deficits

    I’m glad this research is being done, but I wish that all aspects of marijuana were explored. The claims of medicinal marijuana users should be investigated. It would be a crime if millions were deprived of a drug that would help them.

  • Mother Jones: Don’t leave college without it — Universities are cutting big-dollar deals with credit card companies, and students are paying the price.
      First USA offers cards through 200 schools, including Yale, Notre Dame, and Duke, and now markets them through fraternities and sororities. The University of Oklahoma has a 10-year, $13 million deal that gives the company exclusive rights to market Visa cards to all employees, alumni, and students. The company is also the only lender allowed to set up tables at school football games, offering a special Sooners card to some 80,000 fans each week. “Every major university has a credit card agreement,” explains Jeff Hickman, an Oklahoma spokesman.

      Every major university also has students burdened by massive debts that they have little hope of paying off. Sean Moyer, a National Merit Scholar, racked up more than $12,000 on 12 credit cards while enrolled at the universities of Oklahoma and Texas. In 1998, even though he was working two jobs to pay off the cards, he believed his debt would prevent him from attending law school. “He just said he felt like he was a failure,” recalls his mother, Janne O’Donnell. Nine days after confessing his fears, the 22-year-old Moyer hung himself in his bedroom closet.

    Screw the $13 million.

    OU should break the contract and get credit card venders off campus. One life lost like this should be enough, and spokesman Hickman’s “everybody’s doing it” excuse doesn’t cut it. Credit card companies are leaches on society and should be stopped from preying on those who do not need high interest revolving credit.

      Congress is considering a bill that would require companies to offer students starter cards with lower credit limits and to provide more information about fees and penalties. “There simply has to be some limit on credit card companies before more students end up in bankruptcy,” says O’Donnell. Although the bill has support from Democrats, it is unlikely to win approval from the Republican-controlled House — ensuring that many students will have to work for years to pay off cards marketed to them when they were teenagers.

    Hmm… I wonder why the Republicans think it’s ok for credit card companies to enslave students under these kinds of interest rates. . . because they are bought and paid for.

      By the time Jon Selden graduated from Brigham Young last year, he had accumulated $8,000 in debt. Now enrolled in law school, he lives with his parents and waits tables rather than filing for bankruptcy. “Was I stupid to run up that debt?” says Selden. “You bet. But I was 18.”

    One thing story doesn’t mention is that bankruptcy is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Frankly, Mr. Selden might be better off declaring bankruptcy, or at least negotiating with his creditors to reduce the amount he owes.

  • MSNBC/WSJ: China stem cell research leaps ahead
      “We will either condemn them [the Chinese] as godless members of an evil empire, or we will say ‘Hey, wait a second, we can’t be left out of this race,’” predicts Paul Berg, a Nobel laureate in chemistry at Stanford University.

    You hit the nail on the head Mr. Berg. The People’s Republic of China is a godless evil empire that oppresses the rights of their people.

      The researchers say they also tried adding DNA from different types of cells to the egg, including skin cells from aborted fetuses. They say that because these cells aren’t yet fully developed, it might be easier for the egg to reprogram their DNA.

    Skin cells from aborted fetuses… if they are doing this, then likely China will begin growing skin for plastic surgery using skin cells from aborted fetuses. This is the future folks, and it’s time we stopped this from getting worse. We should serious consider not allowing Chinese scientists to visit the US and get technology from us, if they are going to use it for such evil purposes.

  • MSNBC/WSJ: U.S. to seek cigarette restrictions

    Some of the items discussed in this story sound good, such as requiring full disclosure of additives, but otherwise this goes too far. The government is not our nanny. Full disclosure is right, but the restrictions Ashcroft is proposing go too far in the way of restricting freedom.