Ann and I are staying in and may not make it to midnight.
Are you staying in or going out?
I have a mixed reaction to the ruling. Firstly, I think these types of loans prey on people who are either in crisis or are simply ignorant of the way that IRS returns work - refunds are usually delivered within a month.. sometimes in a few weeks. Secondly, I feel bad for Block because their competition is still able to offer these types of loans.
Block is not expected to find another lender soon, certainly not in time for customers who seek the refund loans starting next month.
Rival tax services, however, will still be able to offer the loans through their banking partners, putting Block at a competitive disadvantage.
Rabbi Levin: "Imagination does not simply play a role in faith. We could not have faith without the human imagination."The Einstein quote above has always been a favorite.. had a poster with part of it hanging in my corporate cubicle for many years. Yet I have to admit that I have never pondered the connection between faith and imagination. Wonder what many would think if I proclaimed:
Rev. Cary: "Imagination does play a role in faith. If you can’t imagine God doing great things, wondrous things, unexpected things, impossible things, then your faith has nothing to build on; it’s limited, and so is God."
Faith is more important than knowledge.Possibly, since I am not Einstein, people would not emblazon that on a poster with my image. Yet I think that faith, like imagination, is integral to embracing things that are not seen.. things that are yet to be. Here is the way that a spiritual Einstein put it:
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.I wonder if people who envision a universe without God simply suffer from a lack of imagination. Perhaps those who refuse to believe in miracles simply have small imaginations. Perhaps a lack of faith is simply a lack of imagination? Or possibly an imagination that refuses to embrace the unexplainable.. the things we can't know?
"Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born---Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!"When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us."So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child.
"No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning..."It's the most wonderful time of the year.
It is the story of a teenage girl, pregnant with a child that is not her husband's.
It is the story of a child born in a dirty animal stall.
It is the story of a family of refugees who had to flee their homeland so that their child would not be killed.
It is the story of one sent into the world in peace who was condemned to death.
It is the story of a light sent to shine in the darkness, which the world snuffed out.
It is the story of God's never-ending, self-giving mercy which was rejected and condemned.In the great work the Messiah, Handel quotes the prophet Isaiah, proclaiming that Jesus was "despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." One great theologian reminds us that we cannot come to the manger without acknowledging that it lays in the shadow of the cross.
California lawmakers enjoy a perk that seems like a luxurious amenity in a state that has been slashing billions of dollars from its budget: taxpayer-provided cars. The state purchases cars for lawmakers to drive around their districts and the capital under a decades-old program, spending more than $5 million for the latest suite of vehicles that includes a $55,000 Cadillac sedan and a $52,000 Lexus hybrid.It is so utterly revolting that "public servants" would act this way. I mean really, how do they sleep at night? They act like they are entitled to the perks of kings and queens. Ugh!
The friendly staff’s 100 years combined experience prepares and serves only the freshest and finest gourmet breakfasts and appetizing lunches sure to please any palate.Several folks over the years have suggested this place to me so I was quite anxious to try it this morning with my friend Kirk. One of the main attractions was a place that served a full breakfast menu and premium coffee. Here are a few of my thoughts:
The eggtc. Coffee Bar features prime Costa Rican blends, and Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino, and Café au Lait note a few of our gourmet delicacies prepared hot or iced.
If you do not plan to be generous with your tip then please do not pray before you eat. We do not need any more examples of cheap and stingy Christians.Over the years those words have guided me to be more generous in dealing with people - whether they know I am a Christian or not. It is always a good idea to be generous.
It was spectacular! I highly recommend it. They have transformed that whole park and made the Memorial Tower and the museum the focal point. You can tell as soon as you approach the gate. Seems very popular too; the street was lined with cars. The layout of the museum is circular. I started with the twelve minute intro movie. The first half of the circle is dedicated to the time between 1914-17 when everyone BUT the U.S. was fighting the war. That was very eye opening to me; at first I kept noticing "America" was missing from all the displays. In my ignorance, I just figured it was a demonstration of our great humility. Then my eyes opened to the fact that we didn't enter the war until 1917. The second half is dedicated to that time and half-way through they have a huge screen with a dramatic fifteen minute presentation slash diorama showing the transition. It was impressive. I decided to break at that point and go up in the tower for a great view of the city. Only waited a few seconds to get the elevator to the top. Returned to the museum and hurried through the second half expecting to save it for another visit, maybe next year. You could do it in less than two hours.Thanks Kirk! You can virtually visit them at their website for more information. I highly recommend that you give it a try if you are ever in the Kansas City area.. and please let us know if you do - maybe we will take the trip with you.
"Mr. President, in the year 2007, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States made 23.5 percent of all income," Sanders said. "The top 1 percent earned 23.5 percent of all income--more than the entire bottom 50 percent."Now I am not a fan of class warfare.. which this statement.. even though it may be true.. seems to reek of. But if you want to further examine the wealth gap I suggest that you check out the charts in an article titled 15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth And Inequality In America - the old adage of the rich getting richer while the poor gets poorer seems to be truer every day.
"If we don't want the world's wealth to be controlled by people with money then the alternative is to have the world's wealth controlled by people with guns. ... We should quit thinking about the "wealth gap" and start thinking about wealth. Wealth is good. Everybody knows that about his own wealth. If you got rich it would be a great thing. You'd improve your life. You'd improve your family's life. You'd purchase education, travel, knowledge about the world. You'd invest in wise and worthwhile things. You'd give money to noble causes. You'd help your friends and neighbors. Your life would be better if you got rich. The lives of the people around you would be better if you got rich. Your wealth is good. So why isn't everybody else's wealth good, too? Wealth is good when many people have it. It's good when few people have it."Yet I do wonder about the ways that the wealth of the rich has been obtained. I wonder if the philanthropy of the rich is sometimes an effort to atone for the ways that they got their wealth. We do not need to look back too far to understand how the ultra-rich mistreated workers in their quest to make a buck. Even today there seems to be a giant divide in the ways that corporate execs are compensated and the average wages of corporate workers.
I am not sure how you reacted to this but I am pretty appalled when I think about the impact on helpless children - the image above turns my stomach. My thinking, that kids are exposed to it in their homes, is somewhat substantiated by this part of the article:
In the first look at the global impact of secondhand smoking, researchers analyzed data from 2004 for 192 countries. They found 40 percent of children and more than 30 percent of non-smoking men and women regularly breathe in secondhand smoke.
Scientists then estimated that passive smoking causes about 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 deaths from lower respiratory disease, 36,900 deaths from asthma and 21,400 deaths from lung cancer a year. Altogether, those account for about 1 percent of the world's deaths.
Children whose parents smoke have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma. Their lungs may also grow more slowly than kids whose parents don't smoke.Hard to know what can be done except possibly educate parents and law makers about the ill effects of second hand smoke on children and other non-smokers. I think that education has been the force that helped create bans on smoking in public places in our area.
Peruga and colleagues found the highest numbers of people exposed to secondhand smoke are in Europe and Asia. The lowest rates of exposure were in the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa.
I can so relate to having this kind of mindset. I remember the days when I thought that Saint, I mean President, Ronald Reagan could do no wrong and the Democrats were evil. I remember the shocked look on a coworkers face when I pronounced that President Clinton was evil. And I remember starting to wake up when President GW Bush invaded Iraq. Something happened that day to open my eyes to my own partisanship.
How potent is the psychology of partisanship? Potent enough to influence not only policy views, but our perception of broader realities as well. A majority of Democrats spent the late 1980s convinced that inflation had risen under Ronald Reagan, when it had really dropped precipitously. In 1996, a majority of Republicans claimed that the deficit had increased under Bill Clinton, when it had steadily shrunk instead. Late in the Bush presidency, Republicans were twice as likely as similarly situated Democrats to tell pollsters that the economy was performing well. In every case, the external facts mattered less than how the person being polled felt about the party in power.
I have to admit that this just depresses me. The idea that a person would bet against their marriage seems to simply undermine the premise of 'til death do us part'. Yet I think that people these days often go into marriage with the idea that marriage is not a forever commitment. Such thinking may be realistic but I think that it can be a self fulfilling negative proposition. Add Wedlock insurance and it becomes a lethal ideological mix.
It's only been 20 years, but the NFL again saw fit to name a Chiefs quarterback as its offensive player of the month. That's what the league did with Matt Cassel for November. Cassel completed 90 of 144 passes for 1,111 yards and 12 touchdowns in four November games. Those 12 touchdown passes led the league. The Chiefs went only 2-2 in those games. The last Chiefs quarterback to be so honored was Steve DeBerg, who was given the award in September 1990.I must admit that I have not been a big fan of the Chief's $60m quarterback. He started out slow but he is making a believer of me.
Parks' act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.I thank God for the courage of this amazing woman and honor her today as I remember these things that she once said.. some of which are difficult to read.