Category Archives: consumerism

World Vision fires human staff, replaced by ‘biblically pure’ drones

Gregg Brekke for FCN
March 26, 2014

In its second mea culpa in a single day, in addition to a reversal of a previous policy decision extending employment opportunities to married LGBT persons, World Vision announced it will phase out ‘biblically imperfect’ human staff members in favor of what the organization is calling ‘compassion drones.’

The decision comes after World Vision president Richard Stearns and board members met with key leaders from the Evangelical religious right, being assured of continued financial support if World Vision sustained efforts to implement more strident biblical hiring policies.

“After prayerful reconsideration of our reconsideration with partners and their bank balances, we have come to the conclusion that a human workforce that complies with biblical lifestyle mandates is impossible,” said a smiling Stearns as he held an oversized check cosigned by Halliburton, Raytheon and the Koch brothers.

“Therefore, we are partnering with these fine Evangelical organizations to provide the best direct care around the world using a fleet of compassion drones designed specifically to fulfill the emotional longings of our donors,” he continued.

Citing further discord within the Evangelical community and questions about what a biblical lifestyle for his employees would entail, Stearns threw his hands in the air in frustration, almost losing control of the big check, but composed himself to respond.

“As I’ve said before, we are committed to the authority of Scripture and how we apply Scripture to our lives, including our code of conduct for World Vision employees,” he emphasized.

“I mean, we have plenty of men working at World Vision who shave their beards, and that just isn’t biblical,” he said citing Leviticus 19:27. “And who doesn’t like a good cheeseburger or pulled pork sandwich now and then? We all know what Exodus 23:19 and Leviticus 11:7-8 have to say about that!”

“And there are women here – right in our offices, in opposition to Leviticus 15:19-24, dirtying up the place when they are menstruating. I can’t just give all the women 7 days off because Aunt Flo is visiting,” he said, recognizing that anyone who touches such a woman or even touches something she touches is considered biblically unclean until sundown. “And don’t even get me started on head coverings and short hair on these women – sheesh…”

Acknowledging his own inability to live biblically, Stearns lamented, “Dangit, just look at me wearing my 80/20 Docker stretch chinos. I can’t even uphold Leviticus 19:19 which forbids wearing clothing woven of two types of material.”

In light of such admissions, World Vision board members have decided to ramp up efforts to automate delivery of its services and eliminate all human employees within the year. A small band of blind eunuchs raised in isolation will be on hand to accommodate phone calls from donors until such time as they are no longer strategically necessary.

CompassionDrone-X4

Photo by Stephen Cinch – http://www.rcgroups.com

Prototypes of World Vision’s “CompassionDrone-X4” have already been deployed to Namibia and Thailand. Using high definition imaging technologies and infrared scanning, the biblically infallible drones scour the landscape looking for people who are brown skinned and have few possessions.

On initial contact, the drone’s auditory and holographic imaging systems offer a presentation that promises clothing, food and school supplies upon conversion of the potential target (also known as a ‘sponsored child’) to a fundamentalist form of Christianity popular in their region. Once this conversion has been obtained, the drone compiles video evidence of its target living in squalor.

Potential sponsored child information is then transferred to World Vision’s central computing system, CareNet, for matching with donors in the United States. No human interaction for matching donor’s emotional needs to sponsor child’s daily necessities is entailed, as CareNet has recently become self-aware and no longer requires oversight.

“We’ll keep those eunuchs around for a while,” said a confident Stearns. “But from what we can see in these early tests, CareNet has things under control.”

Assembly of care packages will occur in an automated factory in Vietnam where CareNet will transmit packing list and distribution information. Stearns assured reporters child labor would only be employed during loading and unloading of delivery vehicles.

“Our core mission and vision is to care for those Jesus called the least of these – mostly the brown, the poor, and the forcibly converted. With the way the Vietnamese economy is growing these days, I’d hardly call them ‘the least’ of anything,” he chuckled.

But Stearn’s mood turned somber as he set the big check down and took a step back from the podium. “With all the mistakes I’ve made in the last three days, I know I’m not perfect. So in accordance with my failings of living up to Matthew 5:48 – to be perfect as my father in heaven is perfect –  I’m going out to find a cadre of righteous and biblically perfect male church elders to cast stones at me.”

As of press time, requests for comments had not been returned by any biblically impure World Vision employees.

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Vote for Change – promote bicycle transportation!

Please take a moment to click the widget below and let the incoming Obama administration know that promotion of bicycle transportation is one way we can reduce our dependency on oil, improve the environment and begin to increase the health of Americans!


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Tally Time

OK, I’ve been eating vegetarian since July and bicycle commuting for nearly two months. Thought it would be a good idea to do a tally of my energy/cost/CO2 savings to see the total impact ONE person making MINOR changes can have…

First – some of the base numbers:

  • my bicycle commute to work is 14mi round-trip
  • I’ve commuted 36 of 40 possible days for a total of 403 miles (adding in grocery runs, etc.)
  • my car gets about 22mpg in the city
  • gas averaged about $3.50/gal during this period
  • cheap downtown parking costs me $3.50/day

I’ve saved over 18 gallons of gas and reduced my CO2 emissions by 332 pounds (11.5lb/day)

I’ve saved $217 in gas and parking.

I burn an extra 336 calories per day by bicycle commuting to work.

On the vegetarian side there are additional savings…

The production of food for the average vegetarian (not vegan: I eat eggs, dairy and some fish) emits 7.3lb/day LESS in greenhouse gases versus an omnivore. That results in an extra 800lbs of reduced CO2 emissions since July.

I wanted to see what this meant FOR ME on an annual basis, so I did a little more math with the assumption that I keep going:
>> 120 gallons of gas saved
>> $1,340 saved in gas and parking
>> 2000lb (1 TON) of reduced CO2 from bicycle commuting
>> 2665lb of reduced CO2 from eating vegetarian
>> 2500 miles bicycle commuting and 75,000 calories burned!

That is some good motivation…

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Rockin’ the Flock!

Product Alert:

Is nothing sacred?

My 14 year old son (a MUCH better Christian than I am) has been totally inspired by the Guitar Hero franchise. His guitar skills and interest are enhanced by exposure to some great guitar music on the original Guitar Hero and GH3. “Anarchy in the U.K.”, “Black Magic Woman”, “The Seeker”, “Bulls on Parade” – just to name a few – offer a broad overview of musical styles.

Too bad many “Christian” companies feel they have to either sanitize what our kids see and hear or “God it up” so that it barely resembles the thing they were trying to achieve.

The music and game industries are just that – industries. As is the Christian merchandising industry. They wouldn’t be making what they are making unless it turned a buck. Profit and altruism are generally mutually exclusive. I don’t think the Digital Praise Corporation is producing a quasi-Guitar Hero game because it will make converts or better disciples – they are producing it because they hope it will make money.

As an aspiring guitarist my son needs to know less about Petra’s “Backsliding Blues” and more about Eric Johnson’s “Cliffs of Dover” (as performed at this HS talent show – WOW!!!):

Now those guitar skills are heroic!!!

I’ll reserve my final opinion until I can actually test this product (hmm, I am soon to be the editor for a major denominations news sources.)

One final note – too bad it isn’t compatible with existing Guitar Hero systems and controllers. It would have been really cool (and likely more profitable in the long run) if Digital Praise had partnered with Red Octane to produce a “Guitar Heroes – Christian Rock!” disk for their various platforms. There are lots of good rock guitarists recording on Christian labels – seems like that would have reached the broader audience that has already tapped into the craze and fame of Guitar Hero.

Admittedly, the song list for Guitar Praise (at the bottom of the project page) isn’t bad. But why is it that “Christian” products feel the need to copy what “secular” companies have already perfected?

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When the Lamb opened the seventh seal…

…there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1) Then there was this:
http://cdn.washingtonpost.com/media/podcast/audio/callHannahMontana.mp3
Sound File Copyright Washington Post from THIS ARTICLE

Brought to you by your friends at WalMart! The Disney machine offers up another young soul to the Beast…

200780801hm

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Fredder is Better!

Polly (the single speed Paragon) had two tweaks since the last post.

First, I adjusted the chainline using Sheldon Brown’s (may he RIP) excellent article.

Pretty easy using the spacers included with the Forte single speed kit. The whole thing runs a lot quieter now that I adjusted for nearly 6mm of offset that my “eyeball” method had come up with.

The second tweak was to get a more stable right front fender mount than zip ties. Here was effort #1:

The Rock Shock SID Race XC fork does not come with fender mounts. But if you are willing to possibly scratch your $500+ suspension fork, a hose clamp works fine. I bent the loopy part of the fender mount to match the fork angle, cut a bit of old latex tubing and fastened it all together like this:
Top:
Bottom:

Now that is FRED!

Oh yeah, total cost of new stuff needed to convert this bike to a single speed commuter:
Single Speed Tensioner/Cog Kit: $21
Fenders $20
Tires: 2x$8 ($16)
Bell: $7.95
Hose Clamp: $2.25
Misc Screws: $1.89

Total: $69.09

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Reduce, reuse, refurbish… (#2)

The propane grill we purchased 5 years ago was having some issues. The burner unit and flame guard had rusted through. I was certain we were in for a new grill but looking at prices ($300 and up…) I figured a repair was in order.

New burner, new flame guard, new briquette rack, new mesquite ceramic briquettes – $55.

Looks and works brand new:

Now we’re cooking (veggies) with GAS!

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