Independent Democracy

Thought provoking commentary

Bayer One A Day men’s multivitamin threatened with lawsuit over misleading health claims

If you are a man over 50, you’ve likely seen ads for Bayer One A Day men’s multivitamins that claimed the mineral selenium helps reduce risk of prostate cancer or otherwise promotes “prostate health.”

There’s a big problem however:  It’s not true.

In fact, for most men, taking too much selenium may actually promote more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.  And, previous studies warned against supplementing with selenium since men taking selenium developed more cases of diabetes than men in control groups who did not.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has threatened Bayer with a lawsuit over those claims, and just last month, we asked the Food and Drug Administration to seize existing stockpiles of One A Day Men’s Health Formula and One A Day Men’s 50+ Advantage.

As CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt said at the time, “Bayer is exploiting men’s fear of prostate cancer just to sell more pills.”  And, a group of some of the most prominent prostate cancer researchers in the country wrote that “Bayer Healthcare is doing a disservice to men by misleading them about a protective role for selenium in prostate cancer.”

If you purchased either of these One A Day Men’s Multis on the belief the product would help reduce your risk of prostate cancer or promote better prostate health, we would like to hear from you.  Please email us at cwalsh@cspinet.org so we can learn about your experience with One A Day men’s multis.  Together, we may be able to help other men from being ripped off by Bayer’s misleading and illegal claims.

Sincerely,
Steve Gardner
Director of Litigation
Center for Science in the Public Interest

August 8, 2009 Posted by | Current Events, Health, Helpful Resources, News, Newspaper, Politics | Leave a comment

Crutchfield $20 coupon code

If you’re looking for a coupon code for Crutchfield, one of leading retailers for electronic products, use the coupon code below.  You’ll save $20 on your first order.  Just copy/paste the code into the applicable section of your shopping cart or give the code to the salesperson for an easy $20 savings.

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November 15, 2008 Posted by | Animals, Barack Obama, Books, Cult, Current Events, Election 2008, Entertainment, Environment, Florida, Fun Stuff, Health, Helpful Resources, Humor, Iraq, John McCain, Letters to the Editor, Magazines, Military & War, Money, Movies, Music, News, News of the Wierd, Newspaper, Politics, Radio, Random, Religion, Rhode Island, Sarah Palin, Shopping, Sirius, Sirius Radio, Sports, Tampa Tribune, Television, Uncategorized, Utah, Utne, XM, XM Radio | Leave a comment

Pacific Coast Feather Company coupon code save 20%

Here’s a coupon code for Pacific Coast Feather Company for those of you who need it.  They offer a wide variety of down comforters, pillows, and feather beds.  This coupon is 20% off your next web purchase.

Code is: DOWNTWENTY

http://www.pacificcoast.com/

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Helpful Resources, Money, Random | 2 Comments

Questions for Pinellas Florida School Board candidates – District 1

The best way to learn about the candidates is to ask them.  So I did.  As a military member who is faithful about voting, I always take the time to learn about the candidates before I cast my ballot.  It’s amazing to me how many people either don’t vote, vote for a candidate because of their gender or race, or simply take the lazy approach and vote for whoever is endorsed by their local newspaper.  As I have for the last 3 years, I vote via absentee because I do not currently reside in Florida.  I listen to Tampa area talk shows via the internet (my favorite local host is Daniel Ruth), or I read the St Pete Times online to learn more about the candidates and ballot issues.

This year I decided to email each of the candidates in the Pinellas School Board District 1 race and ask them some questions that were important to me.  Tampa Bay.com has a good summary of the candidates positions but they’re not the questions I would have asked.  Below are the questions I did ask our District 1 candidates and their answers (in no particular order).  Hopefully you will find it useful in your voting decision.  Feel free to leave your comments or contact the candidates yourself.

Thank you to the candidates for answering my questions.  I sincerely appreciate your time.

My questions to the candidates:

1. Do you support the constitutional provision for a separation between church and state? What, specifically, do you think it means for public schools?

2. What are your views on the role of religion in the public schools? (For example, the teaching of religion, teaching creationism, evolution, etc.)

3. What are your views on reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by students?

4. What are your thoughts on school voucher programs that allow parents to choose which school their children attend and authorize tax dollars to pay for private tuition regardless of family income or what type of school they attend?

And here are the responses:

Ms. Janet R. Clark

Thanks for your interest, Mr. Evans. I’m glad you’re taking the time to research issues before voting…I wish everyone did.

1. One of the wisest things the framers of the Constitution did was to provide for a separation of church and state. In public schools. This means that no religion can be supported or promoted by the school or employees of the school. This does not mean religion should be prohibited as a topic in appropriate classes, such as history or cultural studies. I do not object to extracurricular clubs that have religion as a focus, as long as membership is optional and meetings are held after school hours.

2. I touched on this in my previous answer. I think students should learn about the tenets of most of the world’s religions in their social studies classes and Comparative Religions would be a good class to offer our upper level students. I believe science should be taught in science classrooms. Creationism and intelligent design are not science.

3. Students do not leave their rights at the schoolhouse door and can’t be forced to participate in the recitation of the Pledge. (I think this was the finding of a recently appealed court case.) When I taught middle school and had to deal with students who rebelliously refused to recite the Pledge, I explained to them that while they could not be forced to recite it, they also could not disrupt the rights of the other students to recite it and they were expected to sit or stand quietly. I would also share my personal experiences of traveling outside of the US for my daughter’s gymnastics events and how we and citizens of other countries stand to show respect during the playing of foreign national anthems.

4. I do not support vouchers. They are unconstitutional and are not held to the same accountability standards that publics schools are.

Since you are out of state, I hope you are paying attention to the amendments that will be on the November ballot. Three of them specifically address public education and could cause untold damage. The following link provides info on 5, 7 & 9 (and other stuff you might or might not be interested in).  http://www.fsba.org/briefsupdates.asp#2008electionsconstitutionalamendments

Mr. Grant Smith

Thanks for your extra effort in determining your vote as well as your service to our country.

1. I do support the constitutional provision separating church and state.  What I believe it means for public schools is that activities and curriculum must not promote or endorse a specific denomination or faith.

2. I believe more education is better than less but we have to prioritize curriculum.  First we have to determine what specific information is necessary for students to succeed and second is the information available elsewhere.   As for the teaching of religion, I do not oppose its teaching as I believe a value base is a critical component in student success.  However I do oppose teaching of religion if it takes time away from subject areas that are not freely available elsewhere.  Considering the free and accessible nature of religious education offered by churches I believe it is not necessary to be taught in the public schools.In regards to evolution and creationism…I do not support teaching creationism within a science curriculum.  I believe the teaching of evolution should be limited to cellular level adaptation, zoology and the empirical evidence associated with the development of man on earth  and not as a definitive theory on the origins of life. My reasons for not teaching creationism are simple…I would rather rely on my church to teach my children, creationism does not meet the criterion for science and finally I am fearful that the biblical account of creationism will be marginalized if it is not taken in the context of a more comprehensive bible study that aligned the prophecies of the old testament with the realization of events in the new testament.

3. I believe the pledge allegiance should be recited every day in school.

4. I oppose the use of tax dollars to fund private tuition.

Jennifer Crockett

I just want to be sure you understand that while these are important issues, local school boards do not have authority within their districts over most of your concerns.  Thank you for taking the time to contact me and feel free to contact me with any other issues that you may have.

1. Yes, I do support the separation.  While I am a Christian and I’m very active within the children’s ministry within my church, a school board member needs to remain neutral regarding religion within public schools.

2. I feel that there can be a place for religion studies in elective courses; however, I do not feel that creationism should be part of a mandatory science curriculum.

3. The Pledge of Allegiance is part of our country’s foundation; however, if a student does not participate due to their own religion, they should not be reprimanded.

4. I favor families having options, such as private schools or homeschooling; however, I am opposed to vouchers paid for by tax dollars.  In Florida, our private schools are not held to the same accountability measures as public schools.

Mr. Max Loden

Thank you for the opportunity to address your questions.

1. I do support the constitutional provision for a separation of church and state and as a public school employee for 35 years I have always respected the letter and spirit of the law regarding separation of church and state.  I believe what it means for public schools is that we, as educators, should never abuse the trust parents place upon us by promoting a specific religious doctrine in the public classrooms as the only correct doctrine or by forcing students to participate in a religious observance. We should always remember what the basic purpose of the public education system is and why it was founded. The role of the school is to teach the academic skills necessary for students to become self-sufficient, productive citizens. The role of parents and the church is to teach religious doctrine.

2. Religion has played a tremendous role throughout history. Public schools should be able to teach regarding the impact religion has had around the world both historically and culturally. Public school curriculum should include historical facts and how religion may have affected events in history.

3. I believe public schools should teach  the Pledge of Allegiance to students as soon as they begin school in kindergarten and students should participate in reciting the Pledge at an early age.  As students grow older we need to make sure that the school curriculum is also teaching the importance of patriotism, the cost of freedom and the meaning of the Pledge. There comes a time, however, when students will reach an age when some students will question the practice of reciting the Pledge. Schools should always begin the day with the opportunity for students and staff to recite the Pledge, but for those students, usually middle and high school age, that rebel at participating you have to allow them the right to not participate. Although we can not mandate a display of patriotism, we can require that all students respect the rights of those that do want to participate in the Pledge and that they not disrupt that exercise or disrespect those that participate.

4. I do not support the school voucher plan that permits parents to utilize tax revenue for private school tuition. I believe the plan violates the intent of the separation of church and state provision.

August 11, 2008 Posted by | Current Events, Helpful Resources, News, Newspaper, Politics, Religion | 5 Comments

10 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Credit

Before you read this post, I want to recommend a great book that clearly explains (in simple language) how to improve your credit score. It’s called The Road to 850 (Proven Strategies for Increasing Your Credit Score) by Al Bingham. I recently attended one of his seminars then went home and bought the book. He really knows his business and the tips have been a wealth of knowledge and have greatly helped me improve my score. Please consider purchasing his book The small cost for the book will come back to you many times over with a better credit score. Amazon.com is the only place I know that sells it. Click the link or the book image to order it.

It’s really sad that about.com is more interested in driving traffic to their website in an effort to increase profits than allowing a blog to pass on some useful information to help people. The original post here was listed on the about.com website. LaToya Irby, the author of the original article sent me the following comment:

Hi! I appreciate your interest improving credit. However, this article is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission from About.com. If you would like to purchase reprint rights, you can do so through advertise.about.com.

Threfore, this blog post has been changed to give credit to about.com and LaToya Irby for every tip listed. I’s unfortunate that a company can provide some good information but at the same time still care more about profits than anything else.

An about.com article I read authored by LaToya Irby said “blemished credit is both stressful and costly, but it’s not the end. As hopeless as the situation might seem, bad credit won’t last forever.” LaToya Irby says “there are things you can do right now to begin improve your credit score.” The tips listed below originally appeared on about.com. Each tip is given the proper source credit.

1. Stop using your credit cards
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “in a bad credit situation, one of the worst things you can do is continue accumulating debt by making credit card purchases.” LaToya Irby says “put your credit cards away until you have more control of the situation.”

2. Get a copy of your credit report
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “you can’t begin repairing your credit until you know exactly what you need to work on.” LaToya Irby’s advice is to “obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus to find out which accounts need work and which are just fine.”
How to Get a Free Credit Report

3. Clean up your credit report.
According toLaToya Irby on about.com, “if your credit report contains incorrect information, you have the right to have it removed. Your credit report will include information about disputing inaccurate information with the credit bureaus.”
How to Dispute Credit Report Entries

4. Get current on delinquent accounts
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score.” LaToya Irby says “getting current on your delinquent accounts will have a great impact on your credit.”
5 Principles of Making Credit Card Payments

5. Don’t put in any more credit applications
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “as long as your credit is in repair mode, you should avoid making any more applications for credit.” LaToya Irby went on to say “it’s likely that you’ll get turned down for credit and the applications will only decrease your credit score.”
How Inquiries Affects Your Credit

6. Keep accounts with balances open
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “you might be tempted to close out credit card accounts that have become delinquent, but wait. Before you close any account make sure it won’t negatively affect your credit.”
Five Credit Cards You Should Never Close

7. Call your creditors
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “right now they’re certainly the last people you want to talk to, but you’d be surprised at the help you might receive. Talk to your creditors about your situation.” LaToya Irby said “many of them have temporary hardship programs that will reduce your monthly payments until you can get back on your feet.”

8. Pay off your debts
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “you will have to start paying off your debts to improve your credit situation. If you don’t have the money on hand, sell some of your belongings to speed up the process.” LaToya Irby says “it will be a sacrifice, but the financial freedom you gain will be worth it.”
Making a Get-Out-Of-Debt Plan

9. Get professional help
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “resources, like consumer credit counseling, are available to assist you. If you are overwhelmed by your credit situation, seek professional assistance. You can locate a credit counseling agency through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling“.
Credit Counseling Basics

10. Be patient
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “your credit wasn’t damaged overnight, so don’t expect it to improve in that amount of time.” LaToya Irby says “continue paying your debts and over time you will see an improvement in your credit.”

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Helpful Resources, Money | | Leave a comment

15 Things That Hurt Your Credit Score

Before you read this post, I want to recommend a great book that clearly explains (in simple language) how to improve your credit score. It’s called The Road to 850 (Proven Strategies for Increasing Your Credit Score) by Al Bingham. I recently attended one of his seminars then went home and bought the book. He really knows his business and the tips have been a wealth of knowledge and have greatly helped me improve my score. Please consider purchasing his book The small cost for the book will come back to you many times over with a better credit score. Amazon.com is the only place I know that sells it. Click the link or the book image to order it.

It’s really sad that about.com is more interested in driving traffic to their website in an effort to increase profits than allowing a blog to pass on some useful information to help people. The original post here was listed on the about.com website. LaToya Irby, the author of the original article sent me the following comment:

Hi! I appreciate your interest improving credit. However, this article is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission from About.com. If you would like to purchase reprint rights, you can do so through advertise.about.com.

Threfore, this blog post has been changed to give credit to about.com and LaToya Irby for every tip listed. I’s unfortunate that a company can provide some good information but at the same time still care more about profits than anything else.

An article I read on about.com said “Your credit score is an important number. It’s how creditor and lenders quickly decide if you are creditworthy.” The following tips were listed on the about.com website and authored by LaToya Irby. She said they can “hurt your credit score, so you can stay away from them.”

1. Paying late
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “thirty-five percent of your credit score is your payment history. Consistently being late on your credit card payments will hurt your credit score.” Irby says you need to “pay your credit card bills on time to preserve your credit score.”

2. Not paying at all
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “completely ignoring your credit cards bills is much worse than paying late.” Irby went on to say “each month you miss a credit card payment, you’re one month closer to having the account charged off.”

3. Having an account charged off
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “when creditors think you’re not going to pay your credit card bills at all, they charge off your account.” Irby says “this account status is one of the worst things for your credit score.”

4. Having an account sent to collections
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “creditors often use third-party debt collectors to try to collect payment from you. Creditors might send your account to collections before or after charging it off.” Irby says “A collection status shows that the creditor gave up trying to get payment from you and hired someone else to do it.”

5. Defaulting on a loan
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “loan defaults are similar to credit card charge-offs. A default shows that you have not fulfilled your end of the loan contract.”

6. Filing bankruptcy
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “bankruptcy will devastate your credit score.” They said “it’s a good idea to seek alternatives, like consumer credit counseling, before filing bankruptcy.”

7. Having your home foreclosed
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “getting behind on your mortgage payments will lead your lender to foreclose on your home.” Irby went on to say “in turn, the late payments will hurt your credit score and make it harder to get approved for future mortgage loans.”

8. Getting a judgment
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “a judgment shows you not only avoided your bills, the court had to get involved to make you pay the debt. While they both hurt your credit score, a paid judgment is better than an unpaid one.”

9. High credit card balances
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “the second most important part of your credit score is level of debt, measured by credit utilization. Irby also says “having high credit card balances (relative to your credit limit) increases your credit utilization and decreases your credit score.”

10. Maxed out credit cards
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “maxed out and over-the-limit credit card balances make your credit utilization 100%. This is least ideal for your credit score.”

11. Closing credit cards that still have balances
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, when you close a credit card that still has a balance, your credit limit drops to $0 while your balance remains.” Irby also says “this makes it look like you’ve maxed out your credit card, causing your score to drop.”

12. Closing old credit cards
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “another component of your credit score, 15%, is the length of your credit history – longer credit histories are better.” Irby also said “closing old credit cards, especially your oldest card, makes your credit history seem shorter than it really is.”

13. Closing cards with available credit
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “if you have several credit cards some with balances and some without, closing those credit cards without balances increases your credit utilization.”

14. Applying for several credit cards or loans
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “credit inquiries account for 10% of your credit score.” LaToya Irby went on to say “Making several credit or loan applications within a short period of time will cause your credit score to drop. Keep applications to a minimum.”

15. Having only credit cards or only loans
According to LaToya Irby on about.com, “mix of credit is 10% of your credit. When you have only one type of credit account, either loans or credit cards, your credit score could be affected.” LaToya Irby says “this factor mostly comes into play when you don’t have much other credit information in your credit history.”

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Helpful Resources, Money | | 3 Comments

Tips to Tackle Tough Stains

Good Housekeeping Tells You How to Clean Your Carpet and More

The art of stain removal really is more like a science. Old wives’ tales and myths float around about using club soda or other items to remove stains. But, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute actually has determined what works. Learn about how you can remove stains on carpets and even furniture. Check out the suggestions below.

Scribbles, Scuffs and Stickers

Crayon Scribbles on the Walls
Use Citrus-Based Cleaner
Use a citrus-based cleaner like Goo Gone. It costs about $5. It performed very well in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests. Apply it with a soft cloth, and once the stain disappears, wash the area with soap and water. Then, let it air dry.

Scuffs and Scrapes
Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
If your spray cleaner and sponge don’t do the job, then try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which costs about $3. Just wet the pad and press only as hard as necessary, to avoid marring the paint.

Safely Removing Stickers and Decals
Use a Hair Dryer
This is a clever solution that doesn’t require you to buy anything. Soften the adhesive with heat from a blow dryer for 10 seconds or so, then peel. Repeat if necessary. If there’s gunk left behind, saturate a cotton swab with laundry prewash stain remover. Rub until it penetrates the residue. Scrape it off with a credit card or spatula. Blot with a damp cloth and allow it to dry.

Nail Polish on Upholstery
Use Nail Polish Remover
A few drops of acetone or an acetone-containing nail polish remover. Avoid removers with other ingredients, like moisturizers, because they can stain.

Carpet Care

Muddy Footprints on Carpet
Let Stain Dry, Then Vacuum
The solution here is to go against conventional wisdom and let the stain dry first. Then vacuum it up. Most of it will be gone by then and it may only need a light cleaning. A dry mud stain is much easier to remove than a wet one.

Red Wine on Carpet
Let Table Salt Sit Overnight
This one is actually much easier than you might think and you can find the ingredient right in your home. Just use table salt. Then, let the stain sit overnight and wash away the remainder in the morning.

After the Stain
Pile Paper Towels on Spot, Leave Them Overnight
After removing a stain from carpeting, pile on a stack of paper towels and weigh it down with a heavy pot or vase. Leave it overnight to absorb any residual stain. In the morning, toss away the paper towel and fluff the carpet. This prevents the stain from reappearing as the carpet dries.

Click here for more stain busting tips to clean just about every smudge, spot and spill imaginable.

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Helpful Resources | Leave a comment

What companies do you boycott and why?

Here’s an interesting question:

Do you boycott companies that don’t line up with your values or have wronged you in some way?

A few examples of this I can think of:

  • A person who believes in protecting the environment refuses to shop at a retailer known for harmful environmental practices.
  • Someone who avoids a company because some of their policies are unfair in that person’s view (for instance, many people think Wal-mart’s policies towards its workers are unfair.)
  • A couple who doesn’t buy from a particular manufacturer because that company promotes products that are inconsistent with their religious beliefs.
  • People who don’t support certain businesses because of what those businesses don’t do (such as they don’t offer benefits to same-sex partners.)

Are there any companies you refuse to do business with because of their stance/actions? Who are they and why do you boycott them?

I’ll start this off. I currently boycott Wal-mart, Fox News, and Jiffy Lube.

First I’ll start with Wal-mart. I’ve had more than a few unhappy experiences at Wal-mart. In addition to not liking the store for the damage they do to the businesses around them, low wages, lack of health care for all employees, and forbidding of organizing by their employees (unions), I’ve had repeated bad shopping experiences there. Long lines is not a fair trade off for saving 75 cents on a bag of dog food. Can’t they afford to open some more checkout lanes before the line gets 20 customers deep? After all, it’s not like they pay their employees much above minimum wage. (No disrespect to employees of Wal-mart. I have no issues with the people who work there. It’s better to have a minimum wage paying job at Wal-mart than no job at all. My problem is how the company treats it’s employees and the damage it does to a community.).

There was one time about a year ago I shopped there out of convenience and bought a bunch of stuff for my office. A couple of days later I went to another store just for kicks to check out their prices for the exact same items. Out of the 13 items I bought at Wal-mart, 11 items were cheaper at the other store. I was so aggravated, I returned all 13 items and haven’t shopped at Wal-mart since. Low prices my ASS. How does a company who supposedly offers low, low prices still make a gagillian dollars in profit every year? I really dislike Wal-mart.

Next is Fox News. That news network (and I use that term very loosely) is very far right biased. I’ll admit, other networks like CNN and MSNBC are not totally innocent, but neither network is in the league of Fox News. The outright lies and right-wing propaganda that spew out of that news department is pathetic. Just this week, anchor John Gibson joked at the death of Heath Ledger because he played a gay guy in the film Brokeback Mountain. See my previous post on the subject. How disrespectful is that? I’ve always said that if the acronym CNN wasn’t already used, Fox News could use it and call themselves the Conservative News Network. Then they could change their catch phrase to: Fox News, we lie you decide. Or Fox News, we lie you idiots watch us.

Jiffy Lube, it may be convenient, but I don’t need some jackass trying to sell me (each time I go there) an overpriced set of windshield wipers, a fuel injection thrust cleaning, a radiator reverse flush, an A/C recharge, or a brake fluid stabilizer (or whatever dumb ass phrase they use). There was a time I did go to Jiffy Lube out of convenience. But after repeatedly getting harassed over and over again to purchase one add-on service after another, that wasn’t needed, I just got tired of it. I would say no to one item, they would mention another, and another, and another, and another. They would go down their list of overpriced services and I would have to reply with no, no, no, no, and no. And it would happen each time I went there, guaranteed. It got to a point that I would always answer the right answer after every question.

Mr. Evans, when was the last time you had your fuel injector cleaned? Last month, I don’t need it done again. Next. Mr. Evans, when was the last time you had your cooling system reversed flushed? I did that last week, I don’t need it done again. Next. Mr. Evans, when was the last time you had your dip stick serviced? None of your business. Next. And it would go on and on. It felt like I was being cross examined in a court of law.

I finally just got tired of it and never went back. It’s been more than 4 years now and I’m happy to say my dip stick still sticks and my fuel injectors still spray (man, you have a dirty mind).

Anyway, please leave your reply if you have any companies you avoid. Tell me who they are and why you boycott them.

January 24, 2008 Posted by | Current Events, Fun Stuff, Helpful Resources, Humor, Money, News, Politics, Random | , , | 2 Comments

Top 10 Signs You’re a Fundamentalist Christian

10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

9 – You feel insulted and “dehumanized” when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.

7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the “atrocities” attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in “Exodus” and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in “Joshua” including women, children, and trees!

6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.

4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs — though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most “tolerant” and “loving.”

3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in “tongues” may be all the evidence you need to “prove” Christianity.

2 – You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

dogmanew.jpg

November 18, 2007 Posted by | Books, Current Events, Helpful Resources, News, Politics, Random, Religion | 2 Comments

Store and share your holiday photos online with Smugmug

I’ve tried trial versions of about a half-dozen photo sharing/storage sites and Smugmug is by far the best. There are numerous reasons why I love Smugmug which I’ve listed below. The age old saying is you get what you paid for. In the crowded field of online photo sharing services, Smugmug has been everything I’ve ever needed and then some.

If you want to try out the service free for 14-days and get $5 off a new membership, use this link:  Sumgmug $5 coupon code

Hey, it’s free, and you don’t even need to provide a credit card. Why not give it a try?

Things I love about Smugmug and why I chose it over other competing services:

  • They allow you to try the service free for 14 days. You can try EVERY feature they offer without any restrictions
  • Your photos are safe and secure. They keep 4 backup copies of each photo in 3 states so you’ll always have access to them
  • You can lock galleries with passwords to keep them private
  • Smugmug doesn’t send you SPAM and there are NO ADS on the site
  • You can share your photos with friends & family without them having to register with Smugmug
  • A+ customer service. It’s fast, friendly, and professional
  • Basic account offers UNLIMITED storage
  • Prints can be ordered right from Smugmug. No need to get them ordered with a different company
  • Comments, tags, keywords, and compatibility with blogs and forums – very convenient!
  • Video clips are allowed with a Power User account
  • Very helpful and friendly forum called “Digital Grin” who can answer just about any photo related question you can think of
  • The company is FAMILY OWNED and not run by some internet conglomerate like Yahoo or Kodak
  • Company has always been profitable so there’s no risk of them going out of business then you lose all your files

November 12, 2007 Posted by | Animals, Blogroll, Books, Current Events, Environment, Fun Stuff, Health, Helpful Resources, Humor, Iraq, Letters to the Editor, Military & War, Money, Movies, Music, News, News of the Wierd, Politics, Random, Religion, Rhode Island, Sports, Television, Utah | Leave a comment