The Pendulum provides a weekly survey of America’s top trending topics. This week, we cover developments in the war on terror, Lady Gaga’s ‘Judas,’ baby-proof financial plans, and much more!
1 U.S. POLITICS 2011: THE AGE OF SKEPTICISM, BEWARE!
This year, politicians, the media, and the American public have doubted everything that they have heard, and demanded proof. The latest doubt involves the death of Osama Bin Laden. The press and the general public have demanded proof, but the White House does not want to release the graphic images. In this current “skeptic culture,” how do we, as Christians, continue to have faith in things we do not see?
The US is the most powerful nation on earth for many reasons; she understands the pulse of the world and knows how to play the perfect beat to make the world dance. Recently, the US has begun a widespread attack on the reputation of Osama Bin Laden, saying he used a woman as a human shield (which was later recanted) and was “chillaxing” in a million dollar mansion when found. Despite his known terror, Bin Laden’s followers considered him a martyr after his murder. Do you think the media will be able to change their perceptions of their hero now that he has been exposed?
When Lt. Brian Brennan was hit with 44lbs of explosives, he lost his legs and was left with a brain injury. The doctors had given up, and his mother was devastated. One evening, General David Petraeus, shouted out to Brennan, “Currihee,” his unit’s nickname, which means stand alone. Brennan responded by moving his head and wounded limbs! From then on he began to improve, and recently delivered an acceptance speech at his induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Hallelujah!
I was almost offended when I first heard the song with lyrics that include, “In the most Biblical sense, I am beyond repentance…I’m in love with Judas…I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs….” But this incredibly weak and overt attempt to offend will most likely result in a backlash. I say, thank God Gaga made this awful song, so other artist will start making music, and stop merely making statements.
A class at UCLA, taught by geographer, Thomas Gillespie, used a probalistic model, using information from satellites and remote sensing systems to predict Bin Laden’s whereabouts. They predicted he would hide out in a larger town where people would be less likely to report him, and that there was an 88.9% chance that Bin Laden was hiding out in Parachinar, Pakistan – less than 300km from where he was found. Now I’d like to invite this class to tackle the oil crisis!
But they weren’t the only ones hot on Bin Laden’s trail! See more below!
6 MONEY A BABY-PROOF FINANCIAL PLAN
Case Study: Chad (biomedical engineer) and Stephanie Grant(PR), both 31, 7 year marriage, thinking about having their first baby. $200K combined in retirement accts & company stock; $8.5K cash for emergencies, and a $20K annual vacation budget. I’d argue they are not the avg. American family, but let’s look at their budget solution as the highest bar. Financial planner suggestion = sell $88K of stock + use stock sale to build a 6mo. emergency fund ($48K in savings, the rest in a safe bond) + separate spendable cash with emergency cash accounts + diversify stock in bonds and foreign stock funds. Got it? If you’re like me, have a financial planner translate ASAP!
Technology is spreading rapidly, but broadband, which is proving to be the greatest technological asset of the recent decade, is also soon to become what divides the middle class from the underprivileged. Broadband is so important that the government dedicated 7.2 billion as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Despite efforts to provide broadband in underprivileged communities, the funds have been directed toward the areas already provided with Broadband. The Black community has to focus on becoming apart of the decision makers and creators of technology in order not to be underserved.
Notoriously right-wing FOX news recently posed the question, “Is TV too gay?” Bryan Fischer of the American Family Assoc. (AFA) accuses the program, Glee, of glamourizing homosexuality. Glee featured two homosexual high-school couples on a recent episode that fired up the AFA. Gay activist, Ray Hill, retorted that “if people did not want to view the program it wouldn’t be on the air.” If you are concerned that your son might be seduced by a television program into changing his sexual orientation, then perhaps the program isn’t the only thing you should be monitoring.
On July 24, 2010, director, Kevin Macdonald prompted people all over the world to video tape a day in their lives. They received an overwhelming response of over 80,000 video clips, and narrowed it down to 1,125 of the most compelling clips. The film will release this July, courtesy of National Geographic Entertainment. Every American can finally take a day of from narcissism and appreciate the global perspective. Woo hoo!
Watch trailer below!
10 CELEB LAYING DOWN OUR CROWNS FOR A HIGHER CALLING W/ JIM CAVIEZEL
Jim Caviezel paid a price for playing Jesus in Passion of The Christ, but he admits, Mel Gibson, the film’s director, warned him. But, Caviezel felt that this was apart of his destiny. Cavaziel recently spoke at First Baptist Church of Orlando about his lack of regret; “We gave to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth.”