Friday, October 20, 2006

Middle class America living on the edge?

Could your family absorb the financial strain of a job loss or medical emergency? By Debora Vrana - MSN Money

The middle class today is less prepared for an economic emergency, such as losing a job or visiting an emergency room, than at any time since the late 1970s, concludes a new study from a political think tank in Washington, D.C., that's funded by Democrats.

"Middle Class in Turmoil," produced by the Center for American Progress and the Service Employees International Union, mines data from the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, census records and other sources to paint a picture of increasing peril for those in the middle 60% of income distribution, about $18,000 to $88,000.

"People are incredibly anxious, and families are stressed out. We're seeing too many families passing like ships in the nights in the driveway," said Andy Stern, the head of the Service Employees International Union, the largest and fastest-growing union in the United States. "The rising tide is not raising all boats -- only luxury liners. It's not building the kind of America that any of us want." To see complete click Here: Middle class living on the edge?

Being overweight tied to poor memory

Substance produced by fat cells may affect the brain, study suggests-Reuters News Service

NEW YORK - Overweight middle-aged adults tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and learning ability than their thinner peers do, researchers reported Monday. The findings, they say, suggest that a heavier weight in middle age may mean a higher risk of dementia later in life. Reporting in the journal Neurology, the researchers speculate that higher rates of cardiovascular disease or diabetes might help explain the link. But it’s also possible that substances produced by fat cells, such as the hormone leptin, have direct effects on the brain. See: Fat tied to poor memory

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bad drug reactions send 700,000 to ER yearly

Accidental overdoses, allergies to common medicines cause most problems-Associated Press

CHICAGO - Harmful reactions to some of the most widely used medicines — from insulin to a common antibiotic — sent more than 700,000 Americans to emergency rooms each year, landmark government research shows. Accidental overdoses and allergic reactions to prescription drugs were the most frequent cause of serious illnesses, according to the study, the first to reveal the nationwide scope of the problem. People over 65 faced the greatest risks.

“This is an important study because it reinforces the really substantial risks that there are in everyday use of drugs,” said patient safety specialist Bruce Lambert, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s college of pharmacy. See:Drug reactions send 700,000 to ER yearly

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Greatest Fear

Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural Speech

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,but that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?Actually, who are you not to be?You are a child of God.Your playing small does not serve the world.There is nothing enlightened about shrinkingso that other people won't feel insecure around you.We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.It is not just in some; it is in everyone.And, as we let our own light shine,we consciously give other people permission to do the same.As we are liberated from our fear,our presence automatically liberates others.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Reflections on what is a CFF

by A. Yaheerah e. S. Ahdeev-KNN Dimona

Shalom to all you C.F.F. out there, far and near, whom have dedicated your lives to the greatest endeavor now being undertaken on the face of the earth – the building and expansion of the Kingdom of Yah. Yah Chai!!!

We humbly invite you to turn your attention to a topic which should be a focus of constant meditation, reflection and introspection for all of us who have been channeled into one of the largest, most vibrant and powerful entities in the Kingdom of Yah, the Chosen First Fruit. The central question for us in this season: “What is a C.F.F.?”

At first glance, it may seem that the answer to this question is obvious. A. C.F.F. is a young adult Saint from the age of coming-in to approximately 40 years of age right? If you think so, think again. Does a person automatically become a soldier because he’s reached the age to enlist in the army? Does he not have to meet and maintain a set of requirements before he can be called a soldier? Furthermore, if he does not fulfill the requirements, will you feel secure if you know that he’s the one who will be defending and representing you, just because he falls into the same age group as the other soldiers who have proven themselves? Of course not! We must view the C.F.F. in the same manner if we are to meet the requirements of the 7th year of the Marriage Realm. So we pose the question again: “What is a C.F.F.?”

For our direction, let us consider the following scripture:

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,
When you are come into the land which I give you, and
Shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf
Of the first fruits of your harvest unto the priest…

Even unto the next day after the seventh Sabbath shall
Ye number fifty days: and ye shall offer a new meal
Offering unto the Lord. Ye shall bring out of your
Habitations two wave loaves of two tenth parts; they
Shall be of fine flour; thwy shall be baked with leaven;
They are the first fruits unto the Lord…”

Leviticus 23: 10, 16-17

At your convenience, please study Leviticus 23:9-22 in order to see the full scriptural foundation specific to the C.F.F. given in this book as a part of the High Holy Day requirements.

We have narrowed our focus upon the verses above in order to highlight the significance of two words written in the original Hebrew text – ראשית and בכורים. In English, they are both translated as “first fruits”. We will extract the eternal idea from these two words via Hebraic thought, in order to round out our understanding of our purpose as C.F.F. in the Kingdom of Yah.

The root letters of the word ראשית are ראש. This is a word which means “head” or “beginning”. The first is the beginning. All things must begin in dedication unto the creator of Yah. This is what sanctifies them, placing all things (actions, cultural expressions, etc.) in the context of holiness and divinity. It properly orientates the mind, i.e. maintains our focus and respect unto the Creator as the author of all things. In this manner, we express thanks unto Yah, the source of our increase/harvest.

The word בכורים means “chosen by Yah; early crop.” The season spoken of in the scripture above is the High Holy season of Shavuote – a season of harvest. Every harvest begins with a sower – one who plants and cultivates in anticipation of the harvest. In order to be chosen or preferred by Yah, a C.F.F. must be as the early crop – ripe for harvesting. This means that a C.F.F. must be in a state of readiness that the sower may reap those things which bring benefit unto him. This is the essence of service unto Yah- rendering unto him those activities and cultural expressions which are representative of that which serves his interests, with an eye always toward productivity (fruitfulness) and expansion of Kingdom interests. Hence, our motto: Total Performance!

Shavuote is the season of lifting up a living savior. The Holy Messiah has taught us that we are the offering, the harvest that must be rendered unto Yah. We must seek to harmonize our thoughts, actions and cultural expressions with what we know to be pleasing unto the Messiah (Yah’s representative). We’ve been taught so we don’t have to guess about those things that bring pleasure unto Him and those things that do not. By keeping ourselves in cycle, we acknowledge the earthly covenant between Yah and man: We will serve Yah via following the instructions of Yah’s anointed/image/representative, the Holy Messiah.

Finally, Shavuote follows Passover – a time of cleansing, purging. We should arrive at this season in a state of purity and with a high level of focus. We should be able to present ourselves before Yah without blemish, i.e. free of the thought patterns, behaviors and cultural influences of the anti-Yah world system. Harvesting season is the culmination of a season of hard work and preparation. If there has been no preparation, there can be no harvest.

Rising tide of sewage threatens world’s oceans, endangering human health, wildlife

United Nations

While good progress has been made in curbing oil and chemical pollution, a rising tide of sewage is threatening the world’s seas and oceans, endangering human health, wildlife and livelihoods ranging from fisheries to tourism, according to a new United Nations report published today.
“An estimated 80 per cent of marine pollution originates from the land and this could rise significantly by 2050 if, as expected, coastal populations double in just over 40 years time and action to combat pollution is not accelerated,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner warned.

“We have a long way to go politically, technically and financially if we are to hand over healthy and productive seas and oceans to the next generation,” he said, with $56 billion needed annually just to address the waste water problem. Compounded by rising coastal populations, inadequate treatment infrastructure and waste handling facilities, up to nearly 90 per cent of sewage entering coastal zones in many developing countries is estimated to be raw and untreated, according to the UNEP study, the State of the Marine Environment report. See: Click here: Rising tide of sewage threatens world’s oceans, endangering human health, wildlife – UN

Powerful earthquake strikes Hawaii

Numerous aftershocks follow temblor; power out, but no tsunami alert

HONOLULU - A strong earthquake shook Hawaii early Sunday, causing a landslide that blocked a major highway on Hawaii Island and knocking out power across the state, authorities said. The state Civil Defense had unconfirmed reports of injuries, but communication problems prevented more definite reports. People were also trapped in elevators in Oahu, authorities said. The quake occurred at 7:07 a.m. local time, 10 miles north-northwest of Kailua Kona, a town on the west coast of the Big Island, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Pacific Tsunami Center reported a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, while the U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.3. It was followed by several strong aftershocks, including one measuring a magnitude of 5.8, the Geological Survey said. See : 6.3 earthquake strikes Hawaii