Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Economy, polity, society

I recently finished a very interesting little book by Blair Adams, published by Colloquium Press. The title is "Severing the Roots of Unsustainability." It is called "A Basic Primer", for it is derived from other much more extensive works. It looks at how culture includes three aspects, economy, polity, and society. What determines the nature of the culture is which of those three is dominant. If economy is dominant then the other two; the public, civil life and inter-personal relationships serve only towards the goal of economic growth. What I would call raw capitalism. If polity is dominant, then the other two are subservient to the expansion of the public/civil life, an authoritarian type of system. In the type of culture where society, meaning personal relationships, is dominant then the basis of relationships is voluntary association with shared principles and values. Thus the civil government springs from the internal self-government of the people. The economy is based on meeting the needs of the individuals and the community, not focused on greater profit.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"A Republic, if you can keep it"

Dr. Benjamin Franklin was quoted as giving the response, "A Republic, if you can keep it" to the question of the outcome of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Concerning this constitutional republic, John Adams second president of the USA, said in an address to the military, Oct. 11, 1798:
"We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
As we consider the current state of the Union, from the failure of policies towards the native American Indian nations and our national monetary system controlled by a private banking cartel to global police actions and federal entitlements for the broad spectrum of special interest groups, I would say that we have not fulfilled our responsibility to keep the republic. I would further say that it is a matter of the heart. As I read John Adams' quote, because we have not kept our individual lives by self-government under God, our civil government is showing serious signs of failure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

streaming using justin.tv

Justin.tv is a streaming solution we have just started using. It is easy to setup and customize and can be used from Windows and Mac OS X. It includes a chat feature but each participant would have to have a justin.tv account to be able to chat, so not a real convenient web conferencing setup with respect to integrated chat. But for just streaming the audio/video it works well and is very simple to customize. I used the video plug-in code to make a customized page, including links for different video sizes.
We purchased a high def Canon XH-A1 camera, so that should be very beneficial for streaming to be able to zoom in with high quality to view the presentation and different people as they talk.

streaming with Windows Media Encoder

One solution which worked fairly well for us, we used Windows Media Encoder to stream the audio and video. You can share your desktop as well but it requires an additional stream. As the name implies, it only runs on Windows OS. We used Primcast as the streaming server. Accounts start at $13/month for 5GB of data which was plenty for what we needed. The bandwidth used was about 100MB/person for about 2 hours. For a camera we used a Logitech QuickCam Orbit AF. This is a nice little webcam the Windows driver supports auto-tracking, so that as the person on which the camera is centered moves the camera follows them. Occasionally it has to be adjusted manually to keep it tracking. For audio we are using high-quality wireless mics, one for the main speaker and another for those in the local meeting to participate and be heard by those streaming. To be able to get the two mics connected into the one input on the computer (so that we don't have to setup a mixing board for every meeting) we use a stereo splitter, so that one mic is the right channel and the other is the left channel on the computer input.
We use Yahoo! IM for those receiving the stream to give feedback.

Friday, December 12, 2008

streaming versus webconferencing

I am helping setup streaming for trainings, with others asking about doing it, I decided I should add this to my blog. Here are my links for streaming and webconferencing. I list the webconferencing link here to explain the differences I see. Some of the webconferencing I have found doesn't support video or support having an adjustable size video window (dimdim.com). Webconferencing does normally have the capability to share presentations, like powerpoint. dimdim.com seems like a nice solution if you don't need to make the video window real big.
I will give more details about what we have done in future posts.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mexico - USA relations

I am seeing in a new and greater way how I must work to develop a culture in my life and relationships that represents the accurate nature of Christ within me. One way is to develop more collaboration and interaction with other Kingdom minded people with different cultural backgrounds. With the current issues in connection with the USA's neighbor to the south, Mexico, here is a rather interesting article.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

the dangers of chemicals in plastics

phthalates (THAHL-ates) and bisphenol A (BPA)
If the federal government agency, The National Toxicology Program (NTP), is willing to contradict the FDA and acknowledge "some concern" over BPA exposure, I would strongly suspect that the problem is much greater.
More 2

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

running Windows on Mac hardware

Here is an excellent review of three different solutions for running Windows on Mac hardware at MacTech.
They don't mention an opensource virtualization solution by Sun Microsystems, VirtualBox. I have tried version 1.4.1-beta2 and it works ok but lacked USB support. They are now at version 2.0.4 and USB support is supposed to be working, so I need to try it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Live with a global vision

How can I live complacently and comfortably, when others around the world live in fear for their next breath?
But one example, in Iraq.

But it is not so much just what I, each of us as individuals, or even the corporate we, do but it is who we are, our character and nature, that will have the most powerful, lasting impact.
This is nothing but more groaning for the eternal Truth and purpose of God to be revealed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Recent Coltan article - used in iPhone?

Here is another article about coltan and the conflict in the Congo.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How we live, impacts people around the world

One aspect of the building of community is living with an understanding that how I live, what I do, who I am, impacts people in other parts of the world.
As the saying goes hindsight is 20/20, here is an article that dramatically illustrates this principle in a sad, negative light. A rare metal, of which I have never heard, coltan, is used in certain electronics components such as some capacitors and the Congo is a major source for this metal. According to Toward Freedom, in the 2000 launch of the Sony PS2, high demand of this metal by Sony helped fuel the astronomical rise in price from $49/pound to $275/pound. And this sharp increase in price helped fuel conflict and slave labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Involved were players such as Rwandan government sponsored militias to western mining companies, all funded by a debt-based, consumer materialistic mindset in "rich" nations.
The demand for coltan has cooled but if we are shortsighted and motivated by personal gratification then there will always come another point of conflict over the supply of some other resource to meet the demand.
We have got to be aware of how our desire for the latest, greatest, fastest whatever might be affecting people in other parts of the world. Questions such as this come to mind - Can my brother in the Congo afford one of these? Can he afford to buy food for his family to eat while I enjoy my latest luxuries?
How many are giving their lives in conflicts to mine the raw materials necessary to make this thing?
This is why we must increase in our knowledge of the truth and have the wisdom and foresight to be led by internal principles of what is right not what is merely convenient or desirable, so that we can avoid this situation of looking back at what went wrong.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Who's your Daddy? - The raw milk issue.

I'll tell you who your Daddy is not. Your Daddy is not "Big Brother", the civil government that has gotten so big and powerful that it thinks it is our all-knowing benevolent father. And the real problem is that many, MANY people are quite content to look to civil government as their daddy. Some people are diligent and work hard to keep "Father" happy, others see civil government as their "Sugar Daddy" that will give them all they ever want or need but both generally believe everything "Daddy" says and when it comes right down to it, pretty much fall in line with what is expected of them. We must take personal responsibility to be informed and make decisions based upon Truth and the personal light and understanding we have. We must understand that God has given us responsibility for our own lives before Him and no one else. Part of this responsibility is to govern government not ignorantly submit to all the politicians and bureaucrats say but that is a rather deep subject, maybe a later post. But below is a case in point.
I saw this article about the controversy between raw and pasteurized milk and what some civil government agencies are doing to "protect" us from raw food and it rather inspired me. Here is one particular stirring quote that looks at the superficial panacea of pasteurization:

Around the time that Chicago passed the first pasteurization law in the United States, in 1908, many of the dairies supplying cities had themselves become urban. They were crowded, grassless, and filthy. Unscrupulous proprietors added chalk and plaster of paris to extend the milk. Consumptive workers coughed into their pails, spreading tuberculosis; children contracted diseases like scarlet fever from milk. Pasteurization was an easy solution. But pasteurization also gave farmers license to be unsanitary. They knew that if fecal bacteria got in the milk, the heating process would eventually take care of it. Customers didn’t notice, or pay less, when they drank the corpses of a few thousand pathogens. As a result, farmers who emphasized animal health and cleanliness were at a disadvantage to those who simply pushed for greater production.

It is amazing how all problems really go back to the root of lack of personal responsibility and love for others. And man looks for the easy superficial solution rather than having to address matters of the heart.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Florida trip - beautiful beaches

Last week I had a trip to Panama City, Florida for business training. Here are some pictures of my break to the beaches there. Beautiful white sand beaches -

I didn't expect to find Mexico Beach in Florida! ;)
Mexico Beach

I rented an economy car on the Internet and this is what I got!
My economy car!
(Not as economy as I would have liked, but it actually wasn't too bad, and it was fun ;-)

With beautiful beaches like this, I could be a beach bum! ;)
It is hard to believe that this is still the Gulf of Mexico - Galveston it is not!
This is probably the prettiest beaches I have seen - I haven't been to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mauritius, etc, so I don't claim to be an expert! ;)
St. Andrews State Recreation Area
Panama City Beach, FL

clear water with a beautiful blue reflection, it is hard to capture in one dimensional pictures
clear water
clear water 2

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whole Foods Market & Organic foods

I started reading this article because I have shopped at Whole Foods some but it gives a lot of info about eating organic and healthy in general:

I definitely advocate always reading the labels. It also emphasizes buying locally grown food, vegetables and meat, like grass-fed beef.
I tried some grass-fed beef raised just northeast of Dallas. There was very little fat, grease when I cooked it and it did have a nice clean flavor to it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Electromagnetic radiation

Have you ever wondered about all the electromagnetic fields (EMF) with which we are surrounding ourselves more and more? Cell phones, microwaves, electrical power lines, cordless phones, Wi-fi computer networks, all of these transmit and/or emit varying types of electromagnetic signals. Our body also uses electromagnetic signals in our nervous system for the communication between our body and our brain. In fact, throughout our bodies, every biochemical process involves precisely choreographed movement of EMF-sensitive atoms, molecules, and ions. So, it seems logical that external EMF sources could disrupt our body's normal function. Consider that radiation used to kill cancer (and other cells which it contacts as well) is basically a high powered, focused EMF, should convince us that we must not take these things for granted - our health and very lives for the sake of our immediate need or convenience.
The evidence is inconclusive but some studies do indicate a possible link between EMF exposure and cancer, as I mentioned in a previous post:
This is a site with more info and products to measure and shield against excessive EMF exposure:
EMF Safety Superstore

We must take personal responsibility for our lives and not assume that someone else or the civil government will always take care of us.

Monday, April 21, 2008

bankruptcy of the US

In 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created, the US began to borrow our national currency from this new corporation of international bankers and so begins to owe interest on our own money. A really bizarre twist!
The following refers to what happened next. I'm not sure how factual it is but it certainly makes sense and would explain a lot. It is an excerpt from http://www.nomoreserfs.com/notice_to_public_servants.htm :
From 1913 until 1933, the United States paid the “interest” with more and more gold. The structured inevitability soon transpired: the Treasury was empty, the debt was greater than ever, and the United States declared bankruptcy. In exchange for using notes belonging to bankers who create them out of nothing on our own credit, we are forced to repay in substance (labor, property, land, businesses, resources - life) in ever-increasing amounts. This may be the greatest heist and fraud of all time.

FIAT EMPIRE - Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution

The Money Masters - How International Bankers Gained Control of America

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Soy Protein Isolate: Not So Friendly

Below is an excerpt from an article covering many aspects of the negatives of soy products. Soy protein isolate is used in a protein mix I used to take. I am noting this article here in preparation for talking with the company about why they use SPI.


Soy Protein Isolate: Not So Friendly

Soy processors have worked hard to get these antinutrients out of the finished product, particularly soy protein isolate (SPI) which is the key ingredient in most soy foods that imitate meat and dairy products, including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk.

SPI is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fiber, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution.

Acid washing in aluminum tanks leaches high levels of aluminum into the final product. The resultant curds are spray- dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder. A final indignity to the original soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Much of the trypsin inhibitor content can be removed through high-temperature processing, but not all. Trypsin inhibitor content of soy protein isolate can vary as much as fivefold.21 (In rats, even low-level trypsin inhibitor SPI feeding results in reduced weight gain compared to controls.22)

But high-temperature processing has the unfortunate side-effect of so denaturing the other proteins in soy that they are rendered largely ineffective.23 That's why animals on soy feed need lysine supplements for normal growth.

Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during spray-drying, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing.24 Numerous artificial flavorings, particularly MSG, are added to soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein products to mask their strong "beany" taste and to impart the flavor of meat.25

In feeding experiments, the use of SPI increased requirements for vitamins E, K, D and B12 and created deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc.26 Phytic acid remaining in these soy products greatly inhibits zinc and iron absorption; test animals fed SPI develop enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver.27

Yet soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein are used extensively in school lunch programs, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast food products. They are heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food giveaway programs.

In spite of poor results in animal feeding trials, the soy industry has sponsored a number of studies designed to show that soy protein products can be used in human diets as a replacement for traditional foods.

An example is "Nutritional Quality of Soy Bean Protein Isolates: Studies in Children of Preschool Age", sponsored by the Ralston Purina Company.28 A group of Central American children suffering from malnutrition was first stabilized and brought into better health by feeding them native foods, including meat and dairy products. Then, for a two-week period, these traditional foods were replaced by a drink made of soy protein isolate and sugar.

All nitrogen taken in and all nitrogen excreted was measured in truly Orwellian fashion: the children were weighed naked every morning, and all excrement and vomit gathered up for analysis. The researchers found that the children retained nitrogen and that their growth was "adequate", so the experiment was declared a success.

Whether the children were actually healthy on such a diet, or could remain so over a long period, is another matter. The researchers noted that the children vomited "occasionally", usually after finishing a meal; that over half suffered from periods of moderate diarrhea; that some had upper respiratory infections; and that others suffered from rash and fever.

It should be noted that the researchers did not dare to use soy products to help the children recover from malnutrition, and were obliged to supplement the soy-sugar mixture with nutrients largely absent in soy products - notably, vitamins A, D and B12, iron, iodine and zinc.

Marketing The Perfect Food

"Just imagine you could grow the perfect food. This food not only would provide affordable nutrition, but also would be delicious and easy to prepare in a variety of ways. It would be a healthful food, with no saturated fat. In fact, you would be growing a virtual fountain of youth on your back forty."

The author is Dean Houghton, writing for The Furrow,2 a magazine published in 12 languages by John Deere. "This ideal food would help prevent, and perhaps reverse, some of the world's most dreaded diseases. You could grow this miracle crop in a variety of soils and climates. Its cultivation would build up, not deplete, the land...this miracle food already exists... It's called soy."

Just imagine. Farmers have been imagining - and planting more soy. What was once a minor crop, listed in the 1913 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) handbook not as a food but as an industrial product, now covers 72 million acres of American farmland. Much of this harvest will be used to feed chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows and salmon. Another large fraction will be squeezed to produce oil for margarine, shortenings and salad dressings.

Advances in technology make it possible to produce isolated soy protein from what was once considered a waste product - the defatted, high-protein soy chips - and then transform something that looks and smells terrible into products that can be consumed by human beings. Flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients have turned soy protein isolate, the food processors' ugly duckling, into a New Age Cinderella.

The new fairy-tale food has been marketed not so much for her beauty but for her virtues. Early on, products based on soy protein isolate were sold as extenders and meat substitutes - a strategy that failed to produce the requisite consumer demand. The industry changed its approach.

"The quickest way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society," said an industry spokesman, "is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society."3 So soy is now sold to the upscale consumer, not as a cheap, poverty food but as a miracle substance that will prevent heart disease and cancer, whisk away hot flushes, build strong bones and keep us forever young.

The competition - meat, milk, cheese, butter and eggs - has been duly demonised by the appropriate government bodies. Soy serves as meat and milk for a new generation of virtuous vegetarians.

FDA Health Claim Challenged

Even with the change to soy protein isolate, FDA bureaucrats engaged in the "rigorous approval process" were forced to deal nimbly with concerns about mineral blocking effects, enzyme inhibitors, goitrogenicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive problems and increased allergic reactions from consumption of soy products.31


Soy And Cancer


Thousands of women are now consuming soy in the belief that it protects them against breast cancer. Yet, in 1996, researchers found that women consuming soy protein isolate had an increased incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, a condition that presages malignancies.45 A year later, dietary genistein was found to stimulate breast cells to enter the cell cycle - a discovery that led the study authors to conclude that women should not consume soy products to prevent breast cancer.46

Phytoestrogens: Panacea Or Poison?

Twenty-five grams of soy protein isolate, the minimum amount PTI claimed to have cholesterol-lowering effects, contains from 50 to 70 mg of isoflavones. It took only 45 mg of isoflavones in premenopausal women to exert significant biological effects, including a reduction in hormones needed for adequate thyroid function. These effects lingered for three months after soy consumption was discontinued.51

One hundred grams of soy protein - the maximum suggested cholesterol-lowering dose, and the amount recommended by Protein Technologies International - can contain almost 600 mg of isoflavones,52 an amount that is undeniably toxic. In 1992, the Swiss health service estimated that 100 grams of soy protein provided the estrogenic equivalent of the Pill.53

Question Marks Over GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) Status

Soy protein did have approval for use as a binder in cardboard boxes, and this approval was allowed to continue, as researchers considered that migration of nitrites from the box into the food contents would be too small to constitute a cancer risk. FDA officials called for safety specifications and monitoring procedures before granting of GRAS status for food.

These were never performed. To this day, use of soy protein is codified as GRAS only for this limited industrial use as a cardboard binder. This means that soy protein must be subject to premarket approval procedures each time manufacturers intend to use it as a food or add it to a food.

Soy protein was introduced into infant formula in the early 1960s. It was a new product with no history of any use at all. As soy protein did not have GRAS status, premarket approval was required. This was not and still has not been granted. The key ingredient of soy infant formula is not recognized as safe.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

soy in food

Here is information I have found about soy being unhealthy or downright dangerous to our bodies.
I hear that fermented soy (i.e. soy sauce) is good for us but that unfermented soy is not.
Here are excerpts from one source:
According to FDA scientists, soy can contribute to "toxicity in estrogen-sensitive tissues and in the thyroid."
"It could bind zinc and other minerals crucial to the body's immune and autoimmune function, and increase inflammation and the risk of autoimmune diseases, according to NewsMax’s Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of the Blaylock Wellness Report.
"Recent research has found direct links between high soy intake, in a pregnant or nursing mother or in a child, with a multitude of physical problems such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, pre-eclampsia and premature births.
"Adults with soy overload may experience higher rates of depression, infertility, heart attacks, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, among other disorders."
At least, omega-6, as found in soy, should be balanced 1 to 1 with omega-3.
Newsmax.com Health Alert, August 5, 2006

This site has a lot of articles about unfermented soy being unhealthy. Here is one:

What is really frustrating is soy is in just about everything now. But it is not the great health food it is made out to be. Also, MSG is a derivative of soy.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

vaccines - healthful or harmful?

This is the reason that I wrote the previous post. This is an article I found looking at vaccines and associated problems:

Here is another site with lots of info:

Do you still trust the systems of this world?

We must be alert to the motivations behind the operation of any system in which we put our trust. And of course, ultimately our trust must only rest in God. Any organization operated by men will tend to corruption. Jesus described this when talking about the rulers of the world exercise oppressive dominion over their people but that in the kinagdom of God it must not be so. When the righteous rule, the leaders are the servants of the people to empower them to function in God's purpose because the leaders operate uner God's authority and in His nature and the people rejoice.
So, in the systems of the world; whether political, legal, religious, the pharmaceutical/medical conglomerate, banking/monetary, if you are alert and educate yourself you will discern how the fundamental operations of the systems are built on wrong motivations, whether for money, power, influential control over people, etc.
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. We are not set free in Christ to be enslaved again to the wicked desires and mentalities of men. I am not talking about rebellion. I am talking about personal responsibility to walk in the character of Christ in EVERY area of our lives. This is not popular with the systems of the world.