Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John McCain Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

Making An Entrance: McCain and Clinton head to the stage as co-hosts of a movie premiere in Washington – Image Credit: Brooks Kraft For TIME / Corbis

John McCain Endorses Hillary Clinton For President

Sometimes, listening to the radio can be really depressing. John McCain wins in the Florida primary last night and it is discovered that if the conservative vote was not diluted between three candidates, Mitt Romney would have won walking away. Tonight, the Republicans debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

This morning, Laura Ingraham pointed out (humorously) that John McCain had once been caught on tape endorsing Hillary Clinton as a potential "Good President".

In an interview from Tim Russert on Meet the Press given to John McCain and Hillary Clinton when the two of them were on a tour of Iraq, John McCain stated the Hillary Clinton would make a good president. The interview took place on the February 20, 2005 airing of Meet the Press.

Ahhhh, admiration! - Image Credit: New York Times/The Caucus Blogs

This excerpted from MSNBC -

Meet the Press
Transcript for Feb. 20 - Guests: Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz; Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; Katty Kay, British Broadcasting Corp.; Andrea Mitchell, NBC News; Dana Priest & Robin Wright, The Washington Post
NBC News - updated 4:48 a.m. PT, Wed., Feb. 23, 2005 - MODERATOR/PANELIST: Tim Russert - NBC News

MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: Iraq. Who will emerge as the next prime minister? How widespread is the terrorist insurgency? And how long before the Iraqis are able to secure their own country without American troops? With us: from Baghdad, Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona. Clinton and McCain from Iraq, only on MEET THE PRESS.
MR. RUSSERT: Senator McCain, a serious question: Do you think the lady to your right would make a good president?

SEN. CLINTON: Oh, we can't hear you, Tim. We can't hear you.

SEN. McCAIN: Yeah, you're breaking up. I am sure that Senator Clinton would make a good president. I happen to be a Republican and would support, obviously, a Republican nominee, but I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president.

MR. RUSSERT: Equal time, Senator Clinton. The gentleman to your left?

SEN. CLINTON: Absolutely.

MR. RUSSERT: We may have a fusion ticket right here.

SEN. McCAIN: Thanks for doing that to us. Thanks for doing that to us, Tim.

MR. RUSSERT: A fusion ticket.

SEN. McCAIN: We're both in trouble.

SEN. CLINTON: Yeah. We're in trouble now. Thanks a lot.

SEN. McCAIN: We're both in trouble.

MR. RUSSERT: Be safe, everybody.

SEN. CLINTON: Thanks, Tim.

SEN. McCAIN: Thank you.
Reference Here>>

What we, at MAXINE, are afraid of (after this vote and win by John McCain in Florida) is that Super Tuesday may give us a watered down version of a Democrat to run for the office of President ... THEN we would all be - "in trouble now".

Conservatives are in trouble and it is because John McCain is willing to negotiate away the conservative principles (in the hopes of forging political harmony) that Ronald Reagan held and pursued, without waiver, for the eight years he was in office.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It’s Time To “Buck” Up And Implement Bacteria Biofuel Solution

As syngas fermentation leads to lower ethanol concentrations than corn fermentations, the energy and cost to separate the ethanol from water is proportionally higher. To reduce this differential, Coskata has exclusively licensed membrane separation technology to reduce the energy requirements by over 50%. The vapor permeation process is amenable to separating ethanol from biofermentation broth because of the very low solids content of the broth relative to other fermentation processes. Image Credit: Coskata

It’s Time To “Buck” Up And Implement Bacteria Biofuel Solution

There was a time one could buy fuel for ones car or truck for a “Buck” a gallon … and it is a past we can embrace right now … TODAY!

Well, at least General Motors seems to think so with its investment in Biofuel processing startup Coskata.

The key to the conversion approach Coskata has perfected uses bacteria to break down the broad array of organic waste (switch grasses, twigs, corn husks, leaves, landscape waste, and other non-food sources of organic material) and make Ethanol for a fuel mix or replacement.

After the carbon-hydrogen bonds in the feedstock are "cracked" using gasification and converted into syngas, bacterial fermentation (biofermentation) of the syngas into ethanol occurs using proprietary Coskata microorganisms. Image Credit: Coskata

The real kicker is that this process not only protects our current food paradigm built upon corn for feed and food, the process uses far less petroleum fuel (about 13% as opposed to 77% - or 17 times more efficient) and water while greatly increasing the productive output per bale of feedstock in order to create a gallon of this cleaner burning substance.

Design engineer Mike Sura adjusts settings on Coskata's 150L bioreactor to make ethanol. Image Credit: Tyler Mallory/General Motors

This excerpted from WIRED -

Startup Says It Can Make Ethanol for $1 a Gallon, and Without Corn
By Chuck Squatriglia - 01.24.08 1:00 PM

A biofuel startup in Illinois can make ethanol from just about anything organic for less than $1 per gallon, and it wouldn't interfere with food supplies, company officials said.

Coskata, which is backed by General Motors and other investors, uses bacteria to convert almost any organic material, from corn husks (but not the corn itself) to municipal trash, into ethanol.

"It's not five years away, it's not 10 years away. It's affordable, and it's now," said Wes Bolsen, the company's vice president of business development.

The discovery underscores the rapid innovation under way in the
race to make cellulosic ethanol cheaply. With the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requiring an almost five-fold increase in ethanol production to 36 billion gallons annually by 2022, scientists are working quickly to reach that breakthrough.
Besides cutting production costs to fire sale prices,
the process avoids some key drawbacks of making ethanol from corn, company officials said. It wouldn't impact the food supply, and its net energy balance is high because the technique works almost anywhere using almost anything with great efficiency. The end result will be E85 sold at the pump for about a dollar cheaper per gallon than gasoline, according to the company.

Coskata won't have a pilot plant running until this time next year, and it will produce just 40,000 gallons a year. Still, several experts said Coskata shows enough promise to leave them cautiously optimistic.
Coskata uses existing gasification technology to convert almost any organic material into synthesis gas, which is a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Rather than fermenting that gas or using thermo-chemical catalysts to produce ethanol, Coskata pumps it into a reactor containing bacteria that consume the gas and excrete ethanol. Richard Tobey, Coskata's vice president of engineering, says the process yields 99.7 percent pure ethanol.

Image Credit: Coskata

Gasification and bacterial conversion are common methods of producing ethanol, but biofuel experts said Coskata is the first to combine them. Doing so, they said, merges the feedstock flexibility of gasification with the relatively low cost of bacterial conversion.
Coskata's method generates more ethanol per ton of feedstock than corn-based ethanol and requires far less water, heat and pressure. Those cost savings allow it to turn, say, two bales of hay into five gallons of ethanol for less than $1 a gallon, the company said. Corn-based ethanol costs $1.40 a gallon to produce, according to the
Renewable Fuels Association.
May Wu, an environmental scientist at
Argonne National Laboratory, says Coskata's ethanol produces 84 percent less greenhouse gas than fossil fuel even after accounting for the energy needed to produce and transport the feedstock. It also generates 7.7 times more energy than is required to produce it. Corn ethanol typically generates 1.3 times more energy than is used producing it.
Making ethanol is one thing, but there's almost no infrastructure in place for distributing it. But the company's method solves that problem because ethanol could be made locally from whatever feedstock is available, Tobey said.

"You're not bound by location," he said. "If you're in Orange County, you can use municipal waste. If you're in the Pacific Northwest, you can use wood waste. Florida has sugar. The Midwest has corn. Each region has been blessed with the ability to grow its own biomass."
"Even if you produce it county by county, you still need an infrastructure," he said. "People aren't going to go to some remote location for fuel."

Reference Here>>

The Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University - Alternative Engergy
(click image to launch video)

The biofuel developed for ASU's "Tubes in the Desert" project avoids many of the downsides presented by biofuels such as corn, cellulose or other crops/plants. Because it uses a microscopic bacteria as the fuel source, it doesn't compete with food crops and could yield a much larger amount of fuel per acre. The bacteria are grown in transparent tubes, hence the name. /// ASU researchers are also exploring the possibilities of microbial fuel cells -- tiny microbes that generate energy by feeding on waste. /// Guest interviews include: Neal Woodbury, Ph.D., the Biodesign Institute; Wim Vermaas, Professor, ASU School of Life Sciences. /// Learn More: Visit

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Ideating" Barack Obama & Trinity United Church of Christ

Trinity United Church of Christ - "A CHURCH IN BLACK ... and white". Trinity UCC was founded in 1961. Ten years later, when the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright became its pastor, the church had 87 families. Today, Trinity UCC has more than 8,000 members, 70 ministries and three Sunday worship services. Image Credit: TUCC Newsletter

"Ideating" Barack Obama & Trinity United Church of Christ

IBM has a commercial where a workgroup is lying on floormats spread out on the floor of a large room, with those pillows people use on airplanes that form around the neck. The lights are off. When a man who is checking the rooms opens the door and turns on the lights to a neon glow, he discovers this room full of people, lying on the floor in orderly rows.

The man asks, “What are you guys doing?”

A female voice calls out, “We’re ideating.”

Well, we at MAXINE, felt like doing a little “Ideating” of our own when we began to read about Barack Obama and his twenty year association with the Chicago-based Trinity United Church of Christ.

The problem isn’t that this church may/may not have practices or beliefs that many would not consider mainstream – such as have some believers who speak in tongues, or handle snakes, or think that the Devil and Jesus Christ are related in a family way, or do a bunch of faith healings in a tent, or – well you get the idea. The problem starts with what this church tells about ITSELF and what it believes on its website.

Barack Obama (pictured here with TUCC Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.) has put his religion back into the headlines, trumpeting the power and salvation of faith and asking a church audience in South Carolina to help him become “an instrument of God” and join him in creating “a Kingdom right here on Earth." Image Credit: Trinity United Church of Christ/Religion News Service via FOX News

This issue first came to our attention during a morning review of Pajamas Media through this excerpted posting –

Obama’s Creepy, Race-Obsessed Church
By Burt Prelutsky - Pajamas Media – 1/12/2007

Introduction from PJM
A leading Democratic candidate for president attends an “Afrocentric” church that bestows awards on Louis Farrakhan and practically defines itself through race-baiting. Burt Prelutsky asks, why isn’t Barack Obama’s faith-based problem making national headlines and the nightly news?

One of the obvious differences between Democrats and Republicans is the role that religion plays in their presidential campaigns. For instance, every Democrat, while pretending to believe that “separation of church and state” actually appears somewhere in the Constitution, must also insist that religion plays an essential role in his or her life.

What’s more, when questioning these people, the liberal media kindly limits itself to a yes or no question regarding the existence of God.
Why is it, I wonder, that nobody is asking Barack Obama about his religious convictions? From what I’ve gathered, they’re far more fascinating than Mitt Romney’s.
The vision statement of the TUCC is based upon something called the systematized liberation theology that began in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, “Black Power and Black Theology.” Dr. Cone believes that black Christians should not follow the “White Church,” as it had failed to support them in their struggle for equal rights in America. I suspect that most white Christians would disagree.

Trinity United boasts that it is a congregation “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.” What’s more, “it is a congregation with a non-negotiable commitment to Africa. We are an African people, and remain true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.”

Its pastor, Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., has referred to “white arrogance” and “the United States of Whiter America.” To my ears, that sounds unashamedly black, but I’m not so sure about the unapologetically Christian.

Furthermore, Rev. Wright’s church publishes a magazine, The Trumpet. Not too surprisingly, all things considered, the recipient of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Trumpeter Award for Social Justice was none other than Louis Farrakhan, the fellow who plays the race card even better than he plays his violin.
That being said, I have no idea how a member of a black church that apparently feels it owes greater allegiance to Africa than to America and that pays homage to a bigot like Farrakhan, has the gall to present himself as the one candidate who can bring us all together.
Reference Here>>

Of course we had to do some investigation of our own, and sure enough this “Ideating” stuff can get really interesting.

Again, Barack Obama states that he has been an active member of this church for the last twenty years.

The website of the Trinity United Church of Christ has several revealing and disturbing written postings that need to be read in context in order to see what all of the fuss is about.

Trinity United Church of Christ sanctuary. Image Credit: TUCC

This from the TUCC website –

Trinity United Church of Christ

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.

God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:

1. A congregation committed to ADORATION.

2. A congregation preaching SALVATION.

3. A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.

4. A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.

5. A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.

6. A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.


8. A congregation committed to LIBERATION.

9. A congregation committed to RESTORATION.

10. A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY
Reference Here>>

Image from YouTube video of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan receiving from Obama's pastor, Dr. Wright Jr., the "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright,Jr. Lifetime Achievement Trumpeteer" Award for Social Justice at the 2007 Trumpet Gala held on November 2, 2007 - Hyatt Regency Chicago - Video Credit: TRINITYCHGO - TUCC

Talking Points

Dr. Wright’s talking points (3.1.7)
[3/1/2007] for Trinity United Church of Christ its Web site and the Black Value System (in response to Erik Rush’s comments (2.28.07) on the Hannity and Colmes show):

• One of the biggest gaps in knowledge that causes the kind of ignorance that you hear spouted by this man [Erik Rush] and those like him, has to do with the fact that these persons are completely ignorant when it comes to the Black religious tradition. The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.

• Black theology is one of the many theologies in the Americas that became popular during the liberation theology movement. They include Hispanic theology, Native American theology, Asian theology and Womanist theology.

• I use the word “systematized” because Black liberation theology was in existence long before Dr. Cone’s book. It originates in the days of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. It was systematized and published by theologians, Old Testament scholars, New Testament scholars, ethicists, church historians, and historians of religion such as Dr. James Cone, Dr. Cain Hope Felder, Dr. Gayraud Wilmore, Dr. Jacqueline Grant, Dr. Kelley Brown Douglas, Dr. Renita Weems, Dr. Katie Cannon, Dr. Dwight Hopkins, Dr. Linda Thomas, and Dr. Randall Bailey.

• These scholars, who write in various disciplines, also include seminary presidents like Dr. John Kinney and professors of Hebrew Bible, like Dr. Jerome Ross. Black liberation theology defines Africans and African Americans as subjects – not the objects which colonizers and oppressors have consistently defined “others” as.

• We [African Americans] were always seen as objects. When we started defining ourselves, it scared those who try to control others by naming them and defining them for them; Oppressors do not like “others” defining themselves.

• To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else.

African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior.

There is more than one center from which to view the world. In the words of Dr. Janice Hale, “Difference does not mean deficience.” It is from this vantage point that Black liberation theology speaks.

• Systematized Black liberation theology is 40 years old. Scholars of African and African American religious history show that Black liberation theology, however, has been in existence for 400 years. It is found in the songs, the sermons, the testimonies and the oral literature of Africans throughout the Diaspora.
Reference Here>>

“IDEa … what?”, The man at the door asks the workgroup lying on the floor, on mats, while having their necks supported with custom travel pillows. Image Credit: IBM via Mikntosh3001

And last but not the least -


Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System, written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee, chaired by the late Vallmer Jordan in 1981.

Dr. Manford Byrd, our brother in Christ, withstood the ravage of being denied his earned ascension to the number one position in the Chicago School System. His dedication to the pursuit of excellence, despite systematic denials, has inspired the congregation of Trinity United Church of Christ. Prayerfully, we have called upon the wisdom of all past generations of suffering Blacks for guidance in fashioning an instrument of Black self-determination, the Black Value System.

Beginning in 1982, an annual Black Value System – Educational Scholarship in the name of Dr. Byrd was instituted. The first recipient of the Dr. Manford Byrd Award, which is given annually to the man or woman who best exemplifies the Black Value System, was our brother, Dr. Manford Byrd.

These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They consist of the following concepts:

1) Commitment to God. “The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activists, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind.

2) Commitment to the Black Community. The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of strength and continuity of the Black Community

3) Commitment to the Black Family. The Black family circle must generate strength, stability and love, despite the uncertainty of externals, because these characteristics are required if the developing person is to withstand warping by our racist competitive society.

Those Blacks who are blessed with membership in a strong family unit must reach out and expand that blessing to the less fortunate.

4) Dedication to the Pursuit of Education. We must forswear anti-intellectualism. Continued survival demands that each Black person be developed to the utmost of his/her mental potential despite the inadequacies of the formal education process. “Real education” fosters understanding of ourselves as well as every aspect of our environment. Also, it develops within us the ability to fashion concepts and tools for better utilization of our resources, and more effective solutions to our problems. Since the majority of Blacks have been denied such learning, Black Education must include elements that produce high school graduates with marketable skills, a trade or qualifications for apprenticeships, or proper preparation for college.

Basic education for all Blacks should include Mathematics, Science, Logic, General Semantics, Participative Politics, Economics and Finance, and the Care and Nurture of Black minds.

5) Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence. To the extent that we individually reach for, even strain for excellence, we increase, geometrically, the value and resourcefulness of the Black Community. We must recognize the relativity of one’s best; this year’s best can be bettered next year. Such is the language of growth and development. We must seek to excel in every endeavor.

6) Adherence to the Black Work Ethic. “It is becoming harder to find qualified people to work in Chicago.” Whether this is true or not, it represents one of the many reasons given by businesses and industries for deserting the Chicago area. We must realize that a location with good facilities, adequate transportation and a reputation for producing skilled workers will attract industry. We are in competition with other cities, states and nations for jobs. High productivity must be a goal of the Black workforce.

7) Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect. To accomplish anything worthwhile requires self-discipline. We must be a community of self-disciplined persons if we are to actualize and utilize our own human resources, instead of perpetually submitting to exploitation by others. Self-discipline, coupled with a respect for self, will enable each of us to be an instrument of Black Progress and a model for Black Youth.

8) Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness.” Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.

Those so identified are separated from the rest of the people by:

** Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.

** Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.

** Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which, while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us.”

** So, while it is permissible to chase “middleclassness” with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method – the psychological entrapment of Black “middleclassness.” If we avoid this snare, we will also diminish our “voluntary” contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright: the leadership, resourcefulness and example of their own talented persons.

9) Pledge to Make the Fruits of All Developing and Acquired Skills Available to the Black Community.

10) Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions.

Pledge Allegiance to All Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace the Black Value System.

12) Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System. To measure the worth and validity of all activity in terms of positive contributions to the general welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards freedom.
Reference Here>>

All pretty biased and somewhat inflammatory stuff if what we are seeking here is a Christian culture based on Christian values.

Self reliance is self reliance no matter how one parses it. The core cultural values in our country are designed to take advantage of one's God- given talents and it is up to the free will of each and every individual to develop them. This point of order is NOT Black, or White, or Yellow, or Brown ... just Human and American in culture.

One last thought as registered on the comments area from the Pajamas Media article "Obama’s Creepy, Race-Obsessed Church" referenced above:

Lawrence B :
Ayn Rand has written, "Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collection of ancestors."

It seems to me that until now voters have been willing to judge Sen. Obama by his own character and actions, avoiding racist standards.

However, after looking at the Trinity United website for myself, it is openly racist. The phrase, "Unashamedly Black," is precisely that — appealing to genetic lineage.

Trinity United's statement that “it is a congregation with a non-negotiable commitment to Africa. We are an African people, and remain true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization,” — is even more unsettling.

This is not religion — this is blatant racism.

If Sen. Obama expects to be President of the United States, he owes this country an explanation, not for his lineage or for his religion, but for his association with a racist organization that pledges allegiance to a foreign land.

Reference Here>>

Now that we, at MAXINE, have "Ideated" this information ... the question has to be asked:

"Is a twenty year attending member, informed from this institution with all that it believes and teaches, the right person to become the leader of the Free World for all peoples?"

Answer? - Just as in the example shown at the conclusion of the IBM commercial - "We haven't ideated that yet!"

The man who turned on the lights at the beginning of the spot says, "Good luck!"

... and as he turns to leave, the female voice says in an uplifted, melodic tone, "Thanks!"

The lights go out and as the room goes to total darkness, the following statements flash on the screen.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Episcopal Church - Working To Stop The Long, Slow Slide To The Bottom Rung (UPDATED)

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is the geographic territory encompssing the former Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, now the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Episcopal Church - Working To Stop The Long, Slow Slide To The Bottom Rung (UPDATED 1-12-2008)

It has taken eighteen months for a diocese in the Episcopal Church here in North America to change the direction of its "new" tradition.

In June of last year, The Episcopal Church elected Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to become the first woman elected to lead a church in the global Anglican Communion when she was picked to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. It was another groundbreaking and controversial move for a denomination that consecrated Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop just three years earlier.

Tradition based churches here in North America have been in a quandary ever since. The churches and their congregations had to ask themselves -- Do we stand on the side of change where Gay Marriage, and Openly Gay and/or Female leadership at the highest levels is pursued and embraced, or do we match up with the centuries old traditions that had come to define the global Anglican Communion?

Churches that are confirmed in the belief of tradition, are voting to join up and answer to church leadership that governs geography other than the leadership that features this new approach set by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Anglican traditionalists believe gay relationships violate Scripture and they have demanded that the U.S. church adhere to that teaching or face discipline.

Just as has happened last February when two Virginia churches voted 92% to leave The Episcopal Church, the U.S. wing of global Anglicanism, and join up under the leadership of Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin voted 173-22 (or 87.28%) to bolt and join up with a conservative South American congregation of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Bishop of San Joaquin, the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield. Photo taken July 31, 2007. Image Credit: geoconger (Rev. Canon George Conger)

The break is likely to spark a lengthy, expensive legal fight over the historic properties in the San Joaquin valley, which are worth tens of millions of dollars.

This excerpted from the Sacramento Bee -

Diocese votes to split with Episcopal Church

By Associated Press - Last Updated 12:45 pm PST Saturday, December 8, 2007

An Episcopal diocese in central California voted Saturday to split with the national denomination over disagreements about the role of gays and lesbians in the church.

Clergy and lay members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin voted 173-22 at their annual convention to remove all references to the national church from the diocese's constitution, according to spokeswoman Joan Gladstone.

The Fresno-based congregation is the first full diocese to secede because of a conservative-liberal rift that began decades ago and is now focused on whether the Bible condemns gay relationships.
The decision is almost certain to spark a court fight over control of the diocese's multimillion-dollar real estate holdings and other assets.

President of the [Episcopal] House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson speaks about her experiences of pastoral visits to various parishes and dioceses throughout the Episcopal Church. This person speaks for the current Episcopal Church leadership, on behalf of the United Nations program entitled "Eight Millennium Development Goals", and the 22 “Clergy and lay members” who voted against the 173 “Clergy and lay members” to secede. She is part of the machinery that is taking The Episcopal Church on its long, slow slide to the bottom rung of respected, tradition based, organized religion ladder in America. Video Credit: TECtube

The head of the U.S. denomination had warned Bishop John-David Schofield of the Fresno-based diocese against secession.

"I do not intend to threaten you, only to urge you to reconsider and draw back from this trajectory," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, head of the U.S. denomination, wrote in a letter to Schofield earlier this week.

Schofield responded that the Episcopal Church "has isolated itself from the overwhelming majority of Christendom and more specifically from the Anglican Communion by denying Biblical truth and walking apart from the historic Faith and Order."

The Fresno diocese has explored breaking ties with the American church since 2003, when Episcopalians consecrated the church's first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The resulting uproar throughout the world Anglican fellowship has moved the 77 million-member communion toward the brink of schism.
Reference Here>>

What do the United Nations "Eight Millennium Development Goals" have to do with spreading and bringing Christian ideals to the rest of the world? Just asking.

Don't get us wrong, here at MAXINE, these goals are nice if they are included as part of an overall missionary effort, but this Episcopal Church agenda seems to only lead with and extol the Eight Millennium Development Goals as opposed to leading with the Word Of God!

UPDATE January 12, 2008:

Episcopal Church officials push back and place Bishop John-David Schofield on practicing ban.
This edited and excerpted item from AP via the Sacramento Bee -

Episcopal Church bans Valley bishop from practicing for 2 months
Associated Press FRESNO - Last Updated 6:28 pm PST Friday, January 11, 2008

The Episcopal Church banned a California bishop Friday from practicing for two months after he led his congregants in seceding from the national church. Bishop John-David Schofield drew sharp criticism from the U.S.-based denomination when he urged his conservative diocese to sever its ties to the church in early December in a fight over the Bible and homosexuality.

Clergy and lay members of the Diocese of San Joaquin became the first full diocese to secede from the denomination on Dec. 6.

Schofield cannot perform any religious duties until early March, when the national denomination's leaders will meet to determine a final judgment, said the Rev. Canon Charles Robertson, Canon to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. A spokeswoman for the diocese did not immediately return calls Friday.
Reference Here>>

Excuse us for asking ... but if this Diocese has seceded, what position does the Episcopal Church have in banning the Bishop from performing duties within the Diocese of San Joaquin?

It seems to me that if a break was voted on and the Diocese is no longer operating as part of the Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Episcopal Church, Bishop John-David Schofield can do what ever the Diocese wants him to do in the course of Diocese duties. I don't expect that he will be traveling to Episcopal Church chapter of the Worldwide Anglican Communion anytime soon, however.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rob Reiner’s Latest Effort? Chopped Liver!

The Bucket List – Another loss in a streak of losses for Reiner. Image Credit: The Bucket List One-Sheet [CanMag]

Rob Reiner’s Latest Effort? Chopped Liver!

Hot on the heels of a failed effort to place a pre-school, socialist education program in the cash strapped and mismanaged California budget, Rob Reiner goes back to grinding them out with a loser of an effort known as “The Bucket List”.

Rob has not quit on his political involvement, however, and it shows up in this film where he actually directs Nicholson to one of the worst performances of his career.

Politically, “Meathead” is still placing his (and eventually our) money behind Hillary Clinton who agrees with Rob Reiner’s plan for a federally funded, socialist values, pre-school education program. Hillary's plan is similar to a plan that Rob Reiner failed with here in California (Proposition 82) re-skinned as ‘universal preschool’ K-12 … a $10 billion proposal that essentially would add a whole new grade onto the front end of the K-12 system.

This video interview is ALL one needs to see of The Bucket List ... it really does speak for itself. YouTube Video Credit: The Cinema Judge

Here is an excerpted review of “The Bucket List” from New City Chicago -

The Chemo Brothers, Kicking "The Bucket List"
Ray Pride - New City Chicago - (2008-01-08)

Rob Reiner: miracle worker.

With "The Bucket List," Reiner does something almost unthinkable: he makes Jack Nicholson painful to watch. Even when Nicholson overacts in tsunamis and torrents and waterfalls of overacting, he's got charm to burn.
Reiner does the inconceivable with his bizarre, unfunny, often dreadful latest production: he coaxes a world-class shitty performance from the 70-year-old Hollywood icon amid mirthless, pallid surroundings.

The circumstances of death are funny. Human frailty and failing are funny. "The Bucket List" is not.
But this original script by Justin Zackham for "Bucket" is the kind of treacle-ridden badness that swells the arteries, but one would hope not the bank accounts of all involved.

Nicholson plays Edward Cole, a movie-type billionaire, one whose healthcare concerns are champion cost-cutters, who meets another sufferer, car mechanic Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman, on day leave from God roles) in a cancer ward, and offers to finance a "bucket list," all the potential thrills they'd left behind as they lived their lives. (Generic name, meet generic name. Introduction of schematic conflict. Generic joke about growing old. Cliché about dying! Smile through gritted teeth.) Skydiving, visiting the Great Pyramids, Hong Kong, the Taj Mahal, bonding between bouts of puking from chemo.

The computer-generated backdrops—surely this production didn't go much beyond the Culver City limits—are often amusing, in a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "Road to Inertia" kind of way, but as the old saying goes, it's always a bad sign when you leave a movie humming the scenery or wondering how many of the scenes were constructed as Kodak Theatre moments.

James L. Brooks-style sentiment seems what's intended during the revelations of child neglect and emotional failures, but despite several wonderful films on Reiner's resume, including "Spinal Tap," "Stand by Me," "Misery" and "When Harry Met Sally," he's also helmed "Ghosts of Mississippi," "The Story of Us," "Alex and Emma," took over the botched filming of "Rumor Has It" (as a favor to his former business partner who now heads Warners and who green-lit this delight) and in 1994, wrought "North," which inspired Roger Ebert's justly famous zero-star pan:

"I have no idea why Rob Reiner, or anyone else, wanted to make this story into a movie... "North" is one of the most unpleasant, contrived, artificial, cloying experiences I've had at the movies. To call it manipulative would be inaccurate; it has an ambition to manipulate, but fails... I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."

I quote Ebert at length in order to reflect: Hmmm.
Reiner himself says the attempt to juggle a film career with his political activism damaged his work, and after several setbacks and defeats as an activist, he intends to make more movies, concentrating on the few films left to him as a man in his 60s. That's his "bucket list."
"The Bucket List"? I hated hated hated... well, I only just hated it.
Reference Here>>

I guess one could say that this movie is about as funny as a cigarette machine in a cancer ward … or a $10 Billion dollar ‘universal preschool’ K-12 socialist values based education program in a free and democratic society.

TIP: If you want to see a movie that affirms life, is funny, honest and entertains - we, at MAXINE, recommend JUNO. The movie is worth the money spent for tickets, parking, and even the popcorn.

Ebert picked JUNO to be #1 for his 2007 Top 10 Movies list.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Embarrassment Of Riches vs. Riches Of Embarrassment

In a rare televised moment, leading Presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle shook hands with one another in between Saturday night's debates in New Hampshire. Image Credit: Ida Astute / ABC News

Embarrassment Of Riches vs. Riches Of Embarrassment

The presidential primary season is now well underway. All of the candidates, Republican and Democrat alike are reeling from the reality that rhetoric, experience, and resources are not what will carry the day.

With resounding and rejective (of the presumed front runner) wins by Barack Obama for the Democrats and Mike Huckabee for the Republicans, this proves that no matter how in touch one might be with politics on a daily basis, experts have trouble predicting just how people will vote.

Clockwise from top left, Democrats Sen. Barack Obama, former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Bill Richardson, and Republicans former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Mike Huckabee are all campaigning in New Hampshire this weekend. Image Credit: AP Photo

Now the process moves on to New Hampshire and last night we were treated to another installment of the survivors of the Iowa Caucuses debating, or should we say showcasing, their qualifications to become President of the United States.

After the televised debates, many experts begin to sit down and make assessments based upon what they perceive the New Hampshire voter is looking for and how they will vote.

Pollster, Frank Luntz uses as his process to inform, polling “attitude registers” that use a rheostat dial mechanism observers move to indicate whether they feel "favorable" or "not favorable" to what they are witnessing.

After the debate, Frank Luntz processes the information gathered and then interviews the people who participated in the “attitude register” process.

One of the people Frank was interviewing about the just concluded Democrat debate, when asked who they felt "favorable" with and who would they vote for, responded that the choices of Richardson, Edwards, Obama, and Clinton presented all Democrats an “embarrassment of riches”.

At MAXINE, we wonder, what exactly are the riches one has to be embarrassed about?

What, in fact, do these candidates have to offer in terms of executive leadership in their background (save Governor Richardson who has low ratings) that would propel them to be observed as good leaders?

On the Republican side, voters in New Hampshire are leaning toward Senator John McCain over the recent winner of the Iowa Caucus, Governor (AR) Mike Huckabee, Governor (MA) Mitt Romney, and Mayor (NY) Rudy Giuliani … proven executive leaders all. Senator Fred Thompson and Congressman Ron Paul add to the debate but have little traction in New Hampshire and only match up in executive experience on a par with the Democrats.

One has to ask themselves, with the apparent favorability of politicians without direct executive experience in New Hampshire (as shown through the use of Frank Luntz’s “attitude registers”) what do we really suffer from … an embarrassment of riches or a riches of embarrassment?

Personality is winning out over the understanding of executive decision making processes ... what are the citizens thinking?

If only we, the voting public, could actually feel a sense of embarrassment in our culture anymore.

Poll Answers

More Video From The Debates

Best Debate Overview

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

L.A. Is Ramping Up To A USC 12 And 0 Glow - UPDATED 1-01-2008

A Crowded House - USC tailbacks Stafon Johnson (13), Joe McKnight (4), Hershel Dennis (34), Chauncey Washington (23), Allen Bradford (21) and fullback Stanley Havili (31) take a break during a recent practice. Coach Pete Carroll says he doesn't know right now who'll play at tailback when the season begins on Sept. 1. Image Credit: Wally Skalij / LAT

L.A. Is Ramping Up To A USC 12 And 0 Glow

This morning, we at MAXINE, went out to get the Sunday paper. At the corner station/convenience store, there, next to a pump, was parked a black Nissan 350Z convertible with a USC inscribed vanity plate surrounded with a USC Alumni license plate frame.

We decided to strike up a conversation with the owner about the prospects of USC’s football team this season and for our money, the Trojan prospects at a 12-0 season couldn’t look any better.

On the offense, nine high school All-American running backs are lined up to vie for the vaunted SC Tailback position. Seniors Chauncey Washington, Desmond Reed, and Hershel Dennis – Sophomores C.J. Gable, Stanton Johnson, and Allen Bradford - Freshmen Joe McKnight, Brodrick Green, and Marc Taylor – all could start for any other college but choose to be here at Southern California. Combine that with the fact that returning at quarterback, John David Booty has the inside track at earning the Heisman Trophy and becomming the third USC passer in six seasons to do so.

The gentleman in the “Z” though said it best … “As good as the Offense appears to be, the Defense is even better!”

This from College Football News via –

2007 USC Preview - Defense
By Richard Cirminiello - - Posted Jul 24, 2007

What you need to know:

The Trojan offense is good. The Trojan defense is scary good.

Backed by a Who’s Who of future first-day NFL Draft choices, USC is ready to unleash the nastiest and stingiest unit of the Pete Carroll era.

Led by Sedrick Ellis at the nose, Keith Rivers at middle linebacker, and Terrell Thomas at cornerback, the Trojans boast seven players capable of making a run at All-America honors in 2007.

Yeah, a few more sacks and takeaways would be nice, but this is as close to a flawless unit that there is in the country. From front to back, they’re aggressive, experienced and fast enough to create a swarming effect on the ball carrier.

Although the Trojans will give up yards to teams playing from behind, scoring meaningful points on them in the first three quarters is going to be a year-long nightmare.
Reference Here>>

Trust us on this … afternoon drivetime radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt will have a lot to trash once the season gets started. His jocular brand of Ohio loyalty and Big Ten Conference pride will have no boundaries once college football’s current "winningest" team takes the field rated AP pre-season Number One for an incredible third time in four years.

USC Head Coach, Pete Carroll’s program built its reputation on a flashy offense. Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press

And this from Associated Press Via ESPN -

USC No. 1 in preseason AP poll
By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer - August 18, 2007

NEW YORK - After a season of chasing, Southern California is again the team being chased. And that's just the way coach Pete Carroll and the Trojans like it. For the third time in the past four years, USC begins the college football season No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25.

"It's exactly where we hope and expect to be," Carroll said. "It's a symbol of what we're all about."

Southern California received 62 of 65 first-place votes and 1,622 points from a panel of media members. USC easily outdistanced No. 2 LSU in the poll released Saturday. The Tigers received two first-place votes and 1,511 points. They haven't started a season ranked this high since 1959, when they were preseason No. 1.

No. 3 West Virginia received the other first-place vote. The Mountaineers have never been ranked higher in the preseason. No. 4 Texas and Michigan round out the top five, and defending champion Florida is sixth.

USC has been the country's top program since 2002, going 59-6 with two national championships and a near-miss. This season, the Trojans expect to walk away from the BCS national championship game in New Orleans with the crystal football.

"That's what we're here for. We're here to do it better than anybody has ever done it before," Carroll said. "That's the single thought. That's what drives us. If that's the case, you want to be No. 1 forever."

For the Trojans, this is the 82nd time they've been No. 1 in the poll. Only Notre Dame (95), Oklahoma (95) and Ohio State (88) have more.
Ohio State, last year's preseason No. 1 and the loser of the national title game to Florida, is No. 11 to start the 2007 season.
The Trojans are preseason No. 1 for the sixth time overall, tying Nebraska for third most. Only Oklahoma (nine) and Ohio State (seven) have been top-ranked in the preseason by AP more often.

These Trojans have another star quarterback in John David Booty
[following in the Heisman Trophy footsteps of predecessors Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart].
"He's a natural-born quarterback," Carroll said. "He's got five years of experience. He's been through everything you need to be good."

Booty should have plenty of options, with about a half-dozen high school all-American running backs on the roster and a slew fast and talented receivers. But it's the defense that makes this USC team special.

The Trojans have potential All-Americans all over the field, and perhaps the nation's best linebackers in Brian Cushing, Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga.

"They're big and fast and smart and they know what they're doing and they love to play the game," Carroll said.

Up front, defensive end Lawrence Jackson and tackle Sedrick Ellis are the stars. In the secondary, Terrell Thomas is a lock-down cornerback and sophomore Taylor Mays has drawn comparisons to such great USC safeties of the past as Dennis Smith and Troy Polamalu.

How good can this defense be? Just ask Michigan, which had its vaunted offense smothered in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1.

"We have a lot of experience and tremendous speed," Carroll said. "We'll find out how good they are when we start playing."

If USC is as good as most believe, chasing down the Trojans could be too much to ask.
Reference Here>>

UPDATE 10-06-2007, a live blogging effort at MAXINE:

First Half - USC vs Stanford -

USC - 9 to Stanford - 0

Not Impressive!

I am going to join in with the fans at the Colisueum ...

I don’t feel so bad just now ... Florida had scored first with a field goal and intercepted LSU.
Until now - SC starts the third quarter with two quick turnovers and allows Stanford a touchdown.

End of the third quarter USC - 16 to Stanford - 7 --- Stanford at USC’s goal getting ready to score.

Start of the fourth quarter - Stanford scores 16 to 14.
LSU scores and makes it Florida - 10 to Lsu - 7.

Florida driving and on the LSU 10 yard line.
USC scores on a 46 yard play --- USC - 23 to Stanford - 14
Florida on a third and goal play --- Florida - 17 to LSU - 7

LSU drives the ball smartly with a series of successful pass plays. After a false start on the 21, LSU stalls and this brings up a field goal attempt - MISSED.

End of the half --- Florida - 17 to LSU - 7.
Stanford finds a passing game and drives the ball to the USC 9 yard line - field goal attempt - made --- USC - 23 to Stanford - 17.

5:43 left in the game at the Coliseum --- USC starts on their own 35.

USC faces a third and 16 - Interception and Stanford sets up with a first and ten at the Trojan 45 with about 2:45 left.

Interference USC - Stanford first and ten - ball on the USC 30 with 2:18 remaining.

2:07 - first down at the Troy 19. HOLD brings up a second down and 20. Third and 20 Stanford passes to an end that had stepped OTB before the catch at the two. Fourth and twenty, Stanford completes pass down the middle for a first and goal - 1:39 to go on the nine yard line.

Spot Challange by USC - Still first down for Stanford
LSU receives from Florida kick-off and begins with a good run and is about the Florida 44 yard line.
Stanford has a fourth down and goal at the five and a half with 0:54 seconds remaining. Stanford gets an illegal substitution FLAG - five yards - at the ten and a half yard line. Stanford passes - Complete - add six points. PAT GOOD!

USC - 23 to Stanford - 24

:49 seconds left - USC’s home win streak, and more, in jeopardy.

John David Booty faces a fourth and sixteen at their own forty yard line - Stanford intercepts JDB!

Turn out the lights ... the party’s OVER!

Stanford - 24 / USC - 23
What LSU does or doesn’t do, at this point, doesn’t much matter. Currently, LSU scores on their opening drive --- Florida - 17 to LSU - 14
There will NOT be a 12 & 0ooooh Glow in LA this year!


End Of Year Update January 1, 2008

Running back Chauncey Washington #23 (center of photo) of the USC Trojans runs to against the defense of Will Davis #81 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first quarter of the "Rose Bowl presented by Citi" at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 in Pasadena, California. Image Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

USC beats the Big 10 runner-up, Illinois, 49 to 17 and it was pretty impressive. Troy beat the only team to win against the current BCS #1 team, Ohio State!

That makes six consecutive eleven win seasons for the Pete Carroll USC Trojans with two Rose Bowl wins in a row for John David Booty and the third in five years for SC – FIGHT ON!

What comes after Dynasty? You won’t see the Trojans ever score forty-eight points and still lose to a 4 and 4 team as LSU did this 2007 season. Defense? Does LSU actually have a defense?

Here’s to seeing Ohio State takin’ it to LSU on Monday January 7, 2008 so that the Trojans can meet up with (and beat) a true champion to begin our 2008 season.

Oh, yes … I will eat my words again if I have too, but I am betting that I won’t have too. See you all next Monday night/Tuesday morning!

Happy New Year!

USC already has one win for the year … that is more than LSU or Ohio State can say for about six more days.

Quarterback John David Booty #10 of the USC Trojans "strikes-up" the band after defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini in the "Rose Bowl presented by Citi" at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 in Pasadena, California. USC defeated Illinois 49-17. Image Credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

This excerpted from AP via YAHOO! Sports –

(6) USC 49, (13) Illinois 17
By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer - January 1, 2008 - 10:00 pm EST

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- This would have been a perfect Rose Bowl for the USC Trojans, except for the one part they couldn't control.

They couldn't pick their opponent.

The sixth-ranked Trojans routed Illinois 49-17 on Tuesday and showed the rest of the country that, yes, maybe they are the best team in college football right now.

Certainly, a better test could have come against Georgia or Virginia Tech, or maybe next week against Ohio State in the national title game.

But the Rose Bowl wanted a Pac-10-Big Ten matchup, and the national title game didn't want Southern California. So, it wound up being USC-Illinois in the Granddaddy of 'Em All, and the Trojans made the Illini pay.

"I would love to play one more," defensive lineman Sedrick Ellis said. "I don't think any team in the NCAA could beat us right now. Not Ohio, not LSU."

Freshman tailback Joe McKnight finished with 170 of USC's Rose Bowl-record 633 yards. The 49 points tied a record, too, and the blowout gave the Trojans 11 wins for an unprecedented sixth straight season.

They have arguably been the country's best team over that span, and might have been the best this season, too. Lacking the playoff that coach Pete Carroll favors or the trip to the title game he lobbied for, the Trojans (11-2) will have to take this overwhelming display in Pasadena.

"Everything that was out there for us, we took," Carroll said. "The rest of it is up for discussion. But would I love to still be playing right now? Sure would. We'd go out there any time, any place, any venue and throw our football out there and see what we could do."
Booty threw for 255 yards and three scores to set a Rose Bowl record with seven career TDs.

USC linebacker Rey Maualuga had three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble for a defense that allowed only 79 yards in the first half.

McKnight, hyped as USC's next Reggie Bush, finished with 125 yards rushing and 45 yards receiving, and his broken play in the third quarter wasn't the only time the Trojans made something crazy and unexpected happen.

Running back Desmond Reed #23 of the USC Trojans was so open on a cross-the-field pass play that scores SC's second TD, Desmond plants his feet just before the goal line, then flips into the end zone in celebration of his touchdown against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first quarter during the Rose Bowl. That move set the tone of the game, and netted the Trojans a fifteen yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off. Image Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It started in the first quarter, when Booty lateraled to Garrett Green, who is listed as a receiver-quarterback, and Green threw crossfield to Desmond Reed for a 34-yard touchdown strike and a 14-0 lead. Reed was so open, he could've walked into the end zone, but instead did a leaping front tuck. Stuck the landing, too, but got six points instead of a perfect 10.0, and also was docked a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.
The USC Trojans Song Girls perform after the game with the Illinois Fighting Illini during the Rose Bowl presented by Citi at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 in Pasadena, California. Image Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Meanwhile, USC was said to be playing the best football of anyone when the regular season ended, and didn't do anything to debunk that theory.

Carroll, a proponent of a playoff, lobbied for the Trojans to have LSU's spot in next week's national title game, the first to include a team with two losses. But a 24-23 loss to 41-point underdog Stanford in October was USC's undoing.
The Trojans did, and earned a chance to celebrate -- or maybe wonder about what might have been.

"Let the argument go out there for the people battling with the BCS process to figure this thing out," Carroll said. "I have no answer for them. I just wish we could keep going."
Reference Here>>