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Abortion debate in america part 3: Christina visits Planned Parenthood in Houston May 31, 2010

Filed under: abortion,news-opinion — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 4:32 AM
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About 5-6 months ago, you may recall that I went to Planned Parenthood to film for a class in electronic news.

Now ai think it must be heard the story-behind-the-interview; what it felt like as a Christian woman to be in Planned Parenthood.

Really, however, this must be said that it was a friend of mine named Bryant who encouraged me to conduct an interview with the Houston Planned Parenthood Spokesperson,  Rochelle Tofoya. I initially did not want to do it because I honestly felt that I, as a Christian woman, would basically lose face. I was thinking that someone from church would see me and think that I am going in there to have an abortion procedure done. The reason that I say this is because sometimes Christians judge others. Also, nobody from church really knew what I was doing because at the time I was trying to stay apolitical because I was not a member of the church at the time. I didn’t know what their stance was on this type of issue and I was in no mood to make waves – though they now know and one has even complimented the short video I made. I was not going in there for an abortion procedure and I would never do such a thing. So I went in to film the interview and nothing more.

However, God had other plans. I was unable to get alot of footage of people praying outside the Planned Parenthood building on Fannin St. and finally came to the conclusion that I had to conduct an interview with a pro choice person. The UH women’s resource center would not do an interview with me. I had no other choice. I had to go to Planned Parenthood and conduct the interview.

Also, that day was filled with alot of drama. I went by the University of Houston MD Anderson Library and, as I was told earlier that weekend, the Pro Life Cougars (which I am a member of – the only active Vineyardite/protestant in the group!) were out and about with their Genocide Awareness Project. That display, as shown in the film I made, had some extremely graphic pictures of genocide with a comparison to abortion. I somehow had an inkling about this when I first found out about it that protesters would come out and heckle these pro-life people. They did exactly that. They brought out coat hangers, wore coat hangers, and shouted many things at them. One I believe even threw a coat hanger at the organizers!

In hindsight, this had me a bit worried about what I was about to do: would those that approach the vehicles at Planned Parenthood be out in full force on a weekday? Would they be stupid enough and confuse me for someone whose going in for an abortion procedure? Would the folks at Planned Parenthood figure out that I was a Christian by the fact that I was a Christian who is basically trying to expose them by using their own words against them? The only way they could remotely have known this fact about me was by the fact that I had previously been there as a sidewalk counselor – someone who tries to convince women not to have an abortion or get a pregnancy test at Planned Parenthood. Also, if their car people were out and about, they may figure out my faith by what I was blasting (usually Amy Grant when it comes to Christian music) on my ipod through the speakers.

There were so many questions on my mind.

However, it is during these times that a Christian woman must rely on one thing: faith. So before I went, not only did I let friends know what I was doing so they could pray for me, such as the members of the Pro Life Cougars, my friend Rachel, my parents, and a few others. I believe I also told some of the members of my lifegroup – but not many because I wanted to be apolitical with them.

So I walked into the building with camera and tripod in tow. I met up with Rochelle and Laura Leona, the Public Relations specialists at Planned Parenthood. But first, I was met with a metal detector, which my camera set off. As they were looking through my stuff, I looked around and saw a picture painting of children. I thought to myself “how ironic” – but not in a good way. I also saw the lady manning the front desk and the security guard, also a woman. I could not help but think that these women, by working at this place, are nothing but traitors to their own sex. They are inflicting more pain than healing.

I also noticed, in the words of Juno MacDuff, that the place “smelled like a doctors office.” Also, I noticed a disturbing amount of pictures of happy pregnant women and families. I kept thinking, “doesn’t this defeat the purpose of your existence?”

Interviewing Rochelle, the spokesperson, I felt like I was interviewing a Nazi. They thought they were doing a public service, but in reality were doing much more harm than good. It was sorta like having the devil in disguise in your midst – you never trust a deceiver.

So after the interview, I went back to UH so I could show some of the footage to my friend Kristine and the rest of the Pro Life Cougars at the Catholic Newman Center. We discussed what went on in our various places.

The next day, I stopped by the Genocide Awareness Project so I could film. The protesting and tension was just as tense as ever! So I decided to interview the protesters. One guy was literally getting into my face as I was speaking to him. Unpleasant, yes, but it made for a great interview. However, he turned out to be a rather nice guy even if we didn’t agree on the subject matter.

Finally, I had to turn in the raw footage – or at least let my professor see it. I saw him flinch when he saw the footage! However, when I turned in the final edited project, he gave me a C. I don’t know if it was because it was late or because he didn’t agree with my stance. I think it’s the latter because he basically slammed everyone’s project. However, the funny thing was that, while editing the project, I showed it to other film students and they seemed to like it. It flowed well and looked current – like something you would see on Mtv or Fuse.

Overall, it was a journey that I will never forget. However, I hope it opened many eyes to the horror and travesty of this procedure.

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20 greatest albums everyone should at least listen to or own at one time (myself included) March 19, 2010

Filed under: entertainment,Michael Jackson,music,rock 101: who's who and what's what from mostly the past,Uncategorized — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 3:18 AM
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These are in no order whatsoever, but are just numbered. Sorry.

  1. Out of the Blue (1987) – Debbie Gibson. To many fans of the 1980’s, this is a pop gem. Also it must be noted that Gibson was the youngest person to ever help produce a record (the single Foolish Beat) at the tender age of 16.
  2. Victory (1984) – The Jacksons.
  3. Lead Me On (1988) – Amy Grant. This is perhaps the best Contemporary Christian album ever made. It has a timeless mix in both sound and lyric.
  4. Thriller (1984) – Michael Jackson. Probably one of the best R&B/pop/rock albums ever. With such gems as Human Nature, Thriller, Beat It and Wanna Be Starting Somethin’ one cannot go wrong with this classic.
  5. Kilroy Was Here (1983) – Styx. One of the great rock operas of all time. Rarely does a good album tell a moral story, and Styx knocks it out of the ballpark with the ever-popular Mr. Roboto.
  6. Dreamboat Annie (1976) – Heart. One of the most underrated albums and groups of all time. Ann Wilson is one of the greatest rock vocalist of all time. Better yet, she still sounds good even now, despite her age. Nancy is also a talented guitarist. Nancy shows off her chops on the songs Magic Man, Crazy on You, and White Lightning and Wine.
  7. God (1996) Rebecca St. James – Good things come out of Australia and Rebecca St. James is no exception. This album is better than her previous teen-pop album and has a style reminiscent of the grunge scene albeit with a twist: its Christian music. One noteworthy cover St. James does is a reworking of You’re The Voice, a song previously made popular by Heart. Other great songs to check out are God, Abba (Father), and Go and Sin No More.
  8. Boy (1980) – U2. Arguably this band is the greatest Christian rock band. However, this them before they became Christians I believe but either way, they sound great. This is one that I want to add to my collection.
  9. October (1981) – U2. Once again, U2 proves that they are one of the greatest rock bands, or even Christian rock bands, ever to chart. Only Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. can pull off such songs as Gloria, Rejoice and the hauntingly beautiful title track.
  10. Tragic Kingdom (1996) – No Doubt. This is a great introduction to ska-punk. However, the pièce de résistance is none other than Gwen Stefani’s voice. Best songs to look out for are Spiderwebs, Hey You, Sixteen, Don’t Speak, Excuse Me Mister, and Tragic Kingdom.
  11. Rhythm Nation 1812 (1989) – Janet Jackson. Smoothly produced R&B with a kick and a socially aware message.
  12. Out of the Grey (1992) – Out of the Grey. The Contemporary Christian duo has an incomparable alternative sound which is only highlighted by Christine Dente’s Debbie Harry-style voice and the excellent guitar playing of husband Scott Dente. This album is nothing short of a classic with songs like Remember This, The Dance, The Only Moment, and the duo’s swan song Wishes. Also, the songwriting on this album is not cheesy, unlike some Christian music of the time.
  13. Top Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986) – Various Artists. This is probably one of the greatest action movie soundtracks of all time. It is one action-packed soundtrack filled with such songs as Danger Zone and Playing With the Boys by Kenny Loggins – who shows he has some rock chops. Other great tracks include Mighty Wings by Cheap Trick, Lead Me On by Teena Marie, Hot Summer Nights by Miami Sound Machine and finally, the eponymous Top Gun Anthem.
  14. Raising Sand (2008) – Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Bluegrass meets hard rock. However, don’t be fooled because this album is more roots-rock with songs such as Gone Gone Gone (Done Me Wrong) and Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson.
  15. Learning to Crawl (1983-1984) – The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde is one of the greatest female frontwomen in rock music. Here she proves that she is also an accomplished guitar player and harmonicist with a song like Middle of the Road. However, this album only gets better with such songs like Back On the Chain Gang – which spawned a new meaning for the band after James Honeyman-Scott died of a drug overdose at the age of 25.  Every song on the album is one of greatness; including Time the Avenger, My City Was Gone, and Thumbelina.
  16. Here For the Party (2004) – Gretchen Wilson. In 2004, there was this little-known group in Nashville, TN called the Muzik Mafia. However, among them were such members as John Rich, Big Kenny, and Gretchen Wilson. Wilson burst onto the country music scene in 2004 with Redneck Woman, which went straight up to the top of the country charts. The whole album essentially revitalized the southern rock genre with songs like the title track, Homewrecker, and Redneck Woman.
  17. Surfer Girl (1963) – The Beach Boys. Probably one of the greatest surf-rock bands that served to usher in the greatness of the music of California. With songs like In My Room, Surfer Girl, and Little Deuce Coup, you cannot go wrong.
  18. If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears (1966) –  The Mamas and the Papas. The lush harmonies of “Mama” Cass Elliot, John Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips are introduced to the world with such songs as Monday Monday and California Dreamin’.
  19. Synchronicity (1983) – The Police. This album is probably the quintessential Police album with songs like Spirits in the Material World, King of Pain, Synchronicity II, and the ever-popular Every Breath You Take.
  20. Are You Experienced (1967) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This album is the equivalent of standing on your head musically. It is great with such songs as the title track and All Along the Watchtower.
 

Captain EO returns to Disneyland, but will it also return to Epcot? February 24, 2010

Due to the untimely death of Michael Jackson, both Michael Jackson and fans of the Disney movie Captain EO fans have spoken: they want Captain EO to return. Disney executives have honored that wish and has returned to Disneyland’s

Captain EO comes back to change the world at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA

Tomorrowland today. It replaces Honey I Shrunk The Audience.

Among a new generation of Michael Jackson fans, this film has been all but forgotten. Yet, when it premiered, it was a huge event. Many major celebrities of the time including Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Molly Ringwald, Sissy Spacek, Whoopi Goldberg and John Ritter as well as members of the Jackson family including sisters Latoya and Janet as well as Jackson’s mother Katherine attended the grand premiere at Disneyland’s Magic Eye Theater on September 18, 1986. The ride closed at all Disney parks by 1998.

One question still remains: will Captain EO return to Epcot?

It should return to Epcot for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that Michael Jackson appealed to everyone. Disneyworld attracts more people from around the world yearly and most of them would love to see the beloved King of Pop sing and dance once again – as Jackson was later more popular overseas than he was in his native USA.

Also, many of those that are visiting Disneyworld this summer, such as myself, would love to see Captain EO once again at Epcot in all its glory. The movie, though cheesy in acting, is still an excellent film when it comes to special effects. The film alone serves as a foreshadowing of other great special-effects films that were later put out by Walt Disney Pictures including the upcoming Tim Burton movie Alice In Wonderland, Toy Story, and Tron Legacy. Disney has probably updated Captain EO by giving it a restoration in both film and soundtrack.

It would be a glowing tribute to bring back Captain EO to Epcot because everyone was sad when Jackson died and it would be a great tribute to have the film play at both Epcot and Disneyworld.

Read the original examiner.com article here.

history surrounding the ride

 

Some thoughts and memories of Michael Jackson February 20, 2010

Nearly eight months ago the world lost one of its greatest entertainers, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson was the bestselling artist of all time. He died in June 2009.

For me, personally, many things come to mind when I think of Michael Jackson. First of all, a flood of memories come back. I believe the first time I ever  listened to him was when I was a freshman in highschool in 2001. I went to a private religious (lutheran) and the Invincible album came out, along with that television special that he did with his brothers, the Jackson 5 as well as Usher and Chris Tucker. I never watched it until his death when it re-aired on either BET or TVONE.

Also, that year we would have chapel and there was this chemistry teacher who would frequently give the chapel lesson. He would use the moniker of this fake movie called “Cash Money.” “Cash Money” would act like a mafioso – you didn’t pay him back, you would face consequences. Usually when cash money was about to give someone a beat-down, Beat It would be the ambient music.

That year, I got a Squire by Fender black jazz bass guitar for Christmas. One day I found Beat It while looking for bass tabs on the internet, so I printed it and tried it because it looked so easy. I also downloaded the song so I could play along. I think I got okay with the song, but not nearly as good as the bassist on that recording.

Later on, all those allegations about him being inappropriate with a child came out. Call it looking back in remorse or whatever, but it was wrong of me both as a devout Christian and US citizen to prejudge him and continually say that he was guilty when he was not. I looked at the evidence and the evidence does not render a verdict of “guilty.” It is wrong to prejudge ANYONE.

Then he died.

The weird thing is that day, and the days before he died, I remember those days rather clearly.

I was in summer school at the time, and I remember talking to one of my best friends, Briana, at her birthday party. We were at the symphony and were talking about the next big article that I wanted to do. She, being the good friend that she is, told me that I would get another mega-article.

Little did I know that a week later, that mega article would come in the form of the death of the King of Pop unfortunately.

That day is a day that I will never forget. Like I said, I was in summer school when the whole thing happened. That day I was having an interesting day because I was facing a deadline for another article. I got on the internet before class and heard the news about Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett passing away, but there was nothing about Michael Jackson. After that, I got on my facebook page (I used to have one, but no longer do) and saw my friend’s status that read “OMG Michael Jackson died” and then saw a conflicting status that said he was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but that nothing serious had happened. I believed the latter.

By the time I had arrived at a vocal lesson, my voice teacher had the tv on and was apparently watching the news. As usual we traded niceties and she told me about Jackson’s death.  I was rather shocked and it put a damper on the lesson as a whole.

When I got home, it was ALL OVER the news – there were at least 2 Barbara Walters specials about his death and Farrah’s death. Out of curiousity, I did want to watch them but was unable to due to the fact that I had a spanish test the next day.

The next morning, my friend Jenny called me because she was helping me with the previous article that I was working on. I had it on the local R&B station and they were talking about and playing his music and they were playing either Thriller or Smooth Criminal. I lamented to Jenny about what I had heard about Michael Jackson, how it was a major loss to ALL the music world – not just pop/rock (Jenny likes lots of classical music as well as country and maybe some rock, but mostly her world is classical). I even told her a few memories in regards to the artist in which she responded with her trademark phrase “good times, good times!”

Suprisingly enough, it was not really addressed at school in class. But I knew I was going to write something about Jackson’s death, so I decided to try to write something on facebook, but failed. So instead I decided (and got permission) to write a tribute article concerning Michael Jackson.

So with the editor’s blessing, I conjured up a tribute/career highlights article and, literally, stayed glued to the television the whole weekend. All the news networks, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, as well as all the music channels Mtv, Mtv2, MtvTres, VH1, VH1 Classic, and Fuse had constant videos and/or news concerning his death. Also, someone on youtube posted Captain EO in its entirety. So I watched it.

Then Sunday came and I went to church.  You would think that people would be talking about it after church – mainly those that grew up listening to Jackson’s music. Some did but the conversation was initiated by me, especially when I talked to my friend J., who apparently listened to him as a child. J, being a few years older than I, recalled that she listened to him as a child and that his music brought back childhood memories.

The next few days were rather rushed. I had to publish the article on time – the one about Michael Jackson, and also had another article about UH Concert Chorale going to Wales. Both the Michael Jackson tribute article and the Concert Chorale Wales article were in the same issue of the Daily Cougar!

The memorial service was another entity in itself that week and I ended up covering a celebration of his life at UH. It was a great and memorable celebration.

 

Post 9/11 entertainment: what changed and why – part 2 February 1, 2010

Part 2: Music

One thing that was, at times drastically altered in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks was music. This, however, was due in part not only because of the actual attacks but also in part by the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

At the onslaught of the September 11th attacks, all forms of media were forced to re-edit and re-evaluate their releases. The music industry was no exception.  The US Constitution says:

“Congress shall make no law representing an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

While, yes, the USA does not have a real form of censorship in the government sector, the country does in the private sector. Take for example Bill Maher, whose comments on US foreign policy and the War on Terror on his show Politically Incorrect quickly ended the show. Sponsors of the show pulled their ads.

Music genres changed drastically in the aftermath of 9/11. Especially country music. In the aftermath of the tragedy, country radio and popular country acts such as Toby Keith and Alan Jackson released more patriotic songs such as Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American) and Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning) respectively.

In addition to the patriotic-ness of country radio, other artists such as LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, and Lee Greenwood also saw some of their more patriotic songs chart.

Country radio was not without its own controversial songs and people during this time. In March 2003, near the impending invasion, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines, said to a London audience that “they were ashamed that the President was from Texas.” This comment, though Maines would later retract what she said and then take back her apology in the form of the 2006 release Not Ready To Make Nice, caused country stations nation-wide to ban the Dixie Chicks as well as even bulldoze their music.

Rock music, on the other hand, was more affected with censorship. Bands such as The Cranberries, The Dave Matthews Band, The Strokes, and Sheryl Crow had to alter songs or music videos. The Dave Matthews Band planned to release their new single “When The World Ends,” but scrapped that idea shortly after the attacks. The song in question for Sheryl Crow was the upcoming single Steve McQueen, which talks about the lack of heroes in the world, had her worried after the attacks that the song would not fit in with the public taste.

Mtv also turned into a solemn state. On the day of the attacks, Mtv and VH1 halted all programming on their networks and ran footage of CBS news. On September 14, 2001, Mtv’s Total Request Live with host Carson Daily returned, but the mood of the show was devoid of the usual shout-outs and applause. Instead the mood was best summed up by the shell-shocked look on the faces of the audience, which was mostly teenagers.

“Somebody said it was like MTV Nice,” recounted  Judy McGrath to Blender magazine, president of the MTV Group. “We quickly added a lot of videos, like Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” and the U2 catalog, that seemed soulful and personal.”

One of the major events that happened in music was the alleged ban on 156 records done by Clear Channel stations nationwide. Some of the songs such as Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 and any Rage Against the Machine songs were more questionable in their lyrical content; while others such as Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar and New York New York by Frank Sinatra were banned due to metaphorical language in their lyrics. However, Clear Channel denied that it was a ban but rather a call to radio programmers to be careful in their playlists. The BBC also did likewise, although more overtly with their banning of such songs as Fly Away From Here by Aerosmith and Pilots by Goldfrapp on their BBC2 station. BBC also kept clear of playing upbeat songs in light of the attacks as well as tried to stay in touch with what the listeners were feeling.

In a style reminiscent of both Live Aid,  the music world pulled together with 3 major benefit concerts: America: a Tribute to Heroes, United We Stand – What More Can I Give, and the Concert for New York City. The major artists that were included in these concerts were Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, ‘NSYNC, Michael Jackson- who debuted his new We Are the World -style anthem entitled What More Can I Give,  Usher, Pink, Backstreet Boys, P. Diddy, Destiny’s Child, Goo Goo Dolls, Mariah Carey, and numerous others. The Concert for New York City raised, initially, over $30 million to help victims affected by the attacks.  Touring for many artists, on the other hand, became quite mute: some artists like Destiny’s Child and Aerosmith, postponed or cancelled concerts. Other artists, such as the Beastie Boys and Madonna, went ahead with their tour stops – albeit with a more focus on the tragedy that happened. Madonna went as scheduled with her Thursday performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as well as the Beastie Boys performance in Toronto.

Overall, the attacks for a brief moment in history, rallied music into either “give” mode or “critical” mode.

Sources:

 

Presenting…………..the Best of Amy Grant in all forms! January 30, 2010

Best single – Christian: Lead Me On (1988). The driving guitar and impeccable lyrics are what makes this her best known-Christian song.

Best single – nonchristian: Baby Baby (1992).

Best album – Christian:

Unguarded (1985). With high-energy songs such as Love of Another Kind, Fight, Wise Up, Find A Way, and her trademark leopard-print jacket what is not to love about this peppy classic?

Best nonchristian album: House of Love (1994). Probably one of the then-most hypepd calbums ever done by a christian during that time.

Best single from the 70’s: Father’s Eyes (1979). The lyrics are more like an anthem. That is what makes this song very special.

Best single from the 80’s: Find A Way (1985). This was her first real attempt at crossing over into mainstream music.

Best single from the 90’s: Good For Me (1992).

Best single from the 2000’s: Simple Things (2003). The song that reintroduced her to Christian audiences.

Best Christmas album: tie A Christmas Album (1983) and Home For Christmas(1992).

Best video:

 

Stuff Christians like website……yes people there is one! January 29, 2010

Christian radioI found a rather interesting website. It is sorta like stuff white people like but its for christians. Though I am a rather devout Christian, I just thought I would share some personal commentary on some of these subjects.

  1. Famous Christian people – My personal favorite has always been Amy Grant. I think she has powerful lyrics (see: the both the entire Unguarded (1985) and Lead Me On (1988) albums and you will hear what I mean.)
  2. Saving seats in church – This one actually has some sad truth to this. This is really destructive and can make others feel left out or unwelcomed at church. I try not to do this, but always fail.
  3.  rooting for the christian on American Idol – ATTENTION ALL CHRISTIANS: AMERICAN IDOL SUCKS! It makes me wonder if true creativity is dead on all fronts of musicdom.
  4. not dancing – Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, this one was quite common. Apparently for some people dancing=sex when here is a thought: David danced before the Lord. Now the church I attend has dancers in the worship service – but I am a terrible dancer and I fear my dancing will end up on youtube. Acutally though I have a funny story for this one. I was at a the Amy Grant Lead Me On 20th Anniversary concert one time and, during the song Everywhere I Go, she asked everyone to get up and start dancing. However this was a rather interesting dance that just involved you bending your knees and lifting one foot after another off the ground. She explained that if this were to further progress, it would be “blasphemous” according to her late grandmother. (She was raised in the Church of Christ) It was a very funny moment from an excellent concert.
  5. Chick-fil-a is not a christian company. They may think that they are and maybe were founded by one. However, when you have to experience working there and all 3 of your bosses do not adequately train you and you mess up=they get pissed, that is not very Christ-like now is it?
  6. Christian radio – Though hopefully I will be working at a radio station like this one day, I think we need a big change in christian radio. The personalities could be a bit more honest.
  7. Not forgiving Amy Grant nearly fast enough – Every single time I bring her up with someone who either grew up listening to her (like me) or is a member of any church, there is always 2 categories that they fall in: those who have forgiven her (like me) and listen to her music and those who are still judging her. To the latter I have a word for you STOP JUDGING HER! Her divorce is in the past and God already forgave her when he sent his son to die on the cross for all sins, mine included as well as yours! Also, it is not right to judge such a public figure like that because, well, you honestly don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, such as the fact that her ex-husband had a drug problem and was jealous of her success – as seen in the Age to Age tour video. I am sorry but if I were her, I would leave that guy too.
  8. anxiously awaiting autotune to infect christian music – The last bastion of music that gave us greats like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and Nicole Nordeman should NEVER consider using autotune.
 

Everybody needs a helping hand: list of suggested places that you can give to in order to help Haitian victims January 14, 2010

Her is a list of suggested places to make donations for those affected by the earthquakes in Haiti. This is just a small list of places. No bias is meant in what I suggested.

The American Red Cross:

1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Español)

to make an online donation, go here: redcross.com

American Red Cross
PO Box 4002018
Des Moines, IA 50340-2018

Compassion International

(800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.

Mailing address
Compassion International
Colorado Springs, CO 80997

Street address
12290 Voyager Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

http://www.compassion.com/

Vineyard USA Mercy Response:

http://mercyresponse.com/cgi-bin/kingdomtools/ktpublic.rb

Lutheran World relief

http://www.lwr.org/

World Vision

http://www.worldvision.org/

The ONE campaign

http://www.one.org/us/

Doctors Without Borders

http://doctorswithoutborders.org/

Catholic relief services

crs.org

 

A Christian’s take on Pat Robertson January 13, 2010

Pat Robertson seems to think that he can speak for all Christians. He thinks that he is like a prophet of the Old Testament. However, he does not speak for all Christians and he does not speak for me, a fellow Christian.

Robertson has a history of thinking that he speaks for every Christian when he does not. He thinks that he speaks for all Christians in regards to the massive earthquake that happened in Haiti yesterday. Robertson said on his show this morning, the 700 Club, that “something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know Napoleon the 3rd and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so the Devil said, ‘Okay, it’s a deal.’ And, uh, they kicked the French out, you know, with Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by, by one thing after another, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti on the other side is the Dominican Republican. Dominican Republic is, is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etcetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”

Now is not the time to be saying that Haiti deserves to be hit by a natural disaster.

In 1999, Robertson said to a UK-based newspaper The Guardian that “you’re supposed to be nice to Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists … Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.” He basically said that these denominations of Christians were filled with the Antichrist spirit.

Perhaps by that token, some of the former presidents of the United States, are “filled with the Antichrist.” Former presidents Ronald Reagen, George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush were either Presbyterian, Methodist, or Episcopalian.

In 2007, Robertson predicted that a terrible attack of terror on the US would result in “mass killing” in late 2007. That killing or attack never occured.

In 2005, Robertson suggested  an assasination of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. He later recanted the suggestion.

Robertson has also said, in 2004, that the reason for hurricanes hitting the Florida coast was due to the Gay Days at Walt Disney World.

Now, here is the beef: Gay Days at Walt Disney World is not sponsored by the Walt Disney Company. According to gaydays.com, this event is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and gaydays.com – not Disney.

Also, since Pat Robertson claims to be a Christian, maybe he never read these Bible verse: John 8:7(KJV) which says “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Perhaps he also missed the verse in Exodus 20:13 that says “You shall not murder.” This covers wishing someone were dead as well.

Pat Robertson thinks that he can speak on behalf of the Christian community, but instead has forged a negative stereotype of all evangelical christians in the US.

Sources:

 

Changes that should be made at the House of Mouse: Disney January 12, 2010

The other day, I purchased The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2010. For those of you that love the Walt Disney Company (like I do), I highly recommend this book because, aside from things like hotel accomodations, it gives a little bit of inside info in regards to the parks and what may become extinct soon.

Reading the book, I could not help but come up with some ideas for the Walt Disney Company.

Disneyworld:

This is one great place that Disney could make some changes.

Epcot:

  • Where the Wonders of Life pavillion used to be, make another ride. One idea that would work well would be a 4D spectacular ride called Space Paranoids – based on the 1982 Disney cult classic and video game Tron and the December 2010 release of its sequel, Tron Legacy. It would take elements of the Toy Story Midway Mania ride and expand on them. The preshow area would consist of narration and instruction by a man named Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and there you would recieve your 4D helmets which would come in adjustable sizes. The interior of the place would look alot like Flynn’s arcade in the original movie. These helmets would look like the ones in the new movie – complete with surround sound and a clear shield that would show you things such as targets. The preshow area and helmets would be designed by the original Tron designers Syd Mead, Peter Lloyd, and Jean Giraud (a.k.a Moebius). The ride would start off as a virtual track ride where each participant would ride in a light-cycle and would be guided by bit, who can only tell you in yes-or-no fashion whether a data bit is safe to merge with. The second game in the ride would be the light-cycle race, where (in virtual form) the object of the game is to cut off the other light-cycle. The last one standing would be the winner. In the final game, it would be a shooter style game where you shoot down enemy spacecraft. The helmets would look like what is seen in this trailer.

Epcot World Showcase

  • Another country needs to be added. My recommendation would be Australia so that you could do the outside exterior of the Sydney Opera House which would house The Rescuers Down Under ride.  There, you could add a Rescuers Down Under-style 4D show where Cody, Bernard, Miss Bianca, and Marahute rescue a red kangaroo from the clutches of fur-hunters. The Sydney Opera House structure at Epcot could also house other live acts such as Austrailian cover bands that would cover such artists such as Rebecca St. James, Men at Work, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban, INXS, AC/DC, and Olivia Newton-John. As far as retail shops go, a Billabong surf shop would be a great aspect to the Australia pavillion. They would offer shipping of your surfboard or skateboard (should you choose to purchase one) to anywhere in the world. Swim and skatewear would also be sold. Next door there would be a shop where children could purchase toys such as boomerangs, rugby balls, stuffed kangaroos, as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed up as surfers. For dining, 2 restaurants – one being a fine dining/bar and the other being a quick-service restaurant would be a great choice. These choices would be Uncle Tony’s Kebab’s, an actual fast food restaurant based in Australia that serves kebabs but in this case would also serve vegemite sandwiches, and Quay.
  • The Germany Pavillion would have a new live-music act entitled 99 Luftballoons that would play popular music from Germany. Included in their setlist would be the german version of 99 Red Ballons by Nena and both Der Kommisar and Rock Me Armadeus by Falco.
  • The England pavillion would lose the cover band “The British Invasion”- a Beatles tribute band in favor of a ride entitled Yellow Submarine – based on the upcoming Disney film of the same title, which has been in talks by Disney for a remake directed by Robert Zemeckis. To replace the cover band, there would be a Top of the Pops-style show that would feature 1 band that would cover lots of British artists and bands such as the Eurythmics, Coldplay, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Clash, Yes, the Who, Queen, Kate Bush, Duran Duran, the Pretenders, etc.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formely MGM studios)

  • The Great Movie Ride, while it is a good ride on its own, needs a little updating. It was suggested in the forementioned travel guide that they are thinking of getting rid of the soundstage set for Alien (1979) and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). In place of those soundstages, some suggested great assets to these sets would be the soundstages for Poltergeist (1982), Blade Runner (1982), and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).  Some suggested scenes that could be used would be the scenes from Poltergeist where Carol Ann Freeling is getting messages from the static in the tv and exclaims “They’re heeree!” , the scene where mom gets possessed , or when Carol Ann gets rescued . The most appropriate scene from Blade Runner would be the following scene . Any scene would do from The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
  • Get rid of Sounds Dangerous starring Drew Carey. Instead, why not a show about how special effects are done?

The Magic Kingdom

  • Get rid of Stitch’s Great Escape. Replace it with a 3D space adventure-motion simulator ride.
 

20 greatest moments from “The office” January 11, 2010

  1. Dwight Schrute as “Hannibal Lecter” –  This was disturbingly funny!
  2. The Dundies – The whole episode! 
  3. The Dinner Party – Once and for all we are shown that Jan is nothing short of a psycho.
  4. Dwight Schrute’s Speech when he accepts an award – He sounds like a dictator. I would fear him as president!
  5. Michael Scott and Oscar Martinez kiss – Oscar did not want that kiss.
  6. Michael sings “Goodbye Toby”…………complete with a band!
  7. Meredith takes ‘casual day’ literally and too far: she wears no panties. No video available.
  8. Dwight Schrute prepares Michael for “childbirth.” No video available.
  9. Andy gives Erin the 12 days of christmas and they wreak havoc on Erin and each other. 4 calling birds, 3 french hens, 2 turtle doves, you get the idea of what could happen. (No video available)
  10. Jan Levinson-Gould goes to a sperm bank to be imp regnated. Michael offers to be the baby’s daddy but calls her “ass-turd” instead of her proper name Astrid. No video available.
  11. The Kiss between Pam and Jim. No video available.
  12. Phyllis gets flashed. No video available.
  13. Jim gets a wooden mallard (a recording device) from Dwight Schrute. No video available.
  14. Dwight loses his desk.
  15. Pavlov’s dog and Dwight schrute. See above video.
  16. Dwight Schrute’s rules for life.
  17. Anytime Michael Scott says “that’s what she said.”
  18. Phyllis catches Dwight and Angela having sex on Oscar’s desk. No video available
  19. Stanley yells at Michael.
  20. Creed Bratton. Need I say more?
 

Houston Rodeo 2010 lineup? Eh?

According to the ktbx.com website, the 2010 Houston Livestock show and rodeo. The lineup is as follows:

Alan Jackson will kick the rodeo off on tuesday, March 2 at the Reliant Stadium.

The other acts include:

Wednesday, March 3-Dierks Bentley
Thursday, March 4 -Kenny Chesney
Friday, March 5 – Mary J. Blige
Saturday, March 6-Aldean
Sunday, March 7-Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato
Monday, March 8-Tim McGraw
Tuesday, March 9-Darius Rucker
Wednesday, March 10-Rascal Flatts
Thursday, March 1-Brad Paisley
Friday, March 12-Toby Keith
Saturday, March 13-Blake Shelton
Sunday, March 14-Pesado, El Trono De Mexico
Monday, March 15 -Lady Antebellum
Tuesday, March 16-Keith Urban
Wednesday, March 17-Gary Allan
Thursday, March 18-Black Eyed Peas
Friday, March 19-Eli Young Band
Saturday, March 20-Brooks & Dunn — The Last Rodeo Tour
Sunday, March 21-Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber

Ticket sales begin on Saturday, January 16 at 10 a.m., at all Ticketmaster locations, http://www.rodeohouston.com and 1.800.726.1313. Tickets cover admission costs to Reliant Stadium, Reliant Arena, Reliant Center and the carnival with kids under two years of age admitted free.

Okay, is it just me or does this lineup suck?! I think it does. Here’s who I would want in the lineup this year in lieu of some acts like The Black Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Eli Young Band, Kenny Chesney, and Toby Keith. Instead, why not acts like  Jeff Foxworthy and Jerry Seinfeld for a double-header comedy night, Trisha Yearwood, Gretchen Wilson (she released a new album recently, so why not let her promote it here in Houston?), Lee Ann Womack, and Casting Crowns (for a special ksbj night).

 

Post 9-11 entertainment: what changed and why January 8, 2010

Part 1: television

One thing that is rarely looked at as far as how the world has changed after the horrible events of September 11 is how entertainment media changed. Whenever a major event or catastrophe happens, the entertainment portion of the media reacts.

Take for instance the current hit NBC show The Office. In the 2009 season, one of Michael Scott’s (played by Steve Carell) excuses for not being able to take a call is that he is at an “Obama fashion show.” This was no exception in 2001 in the days after 9/11 – albeit with a serious tone. Post-9/11 ratings for television show such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart soared. Some viewers proclaimed the show as their “bonafide news source.” Other comedy shows, such as The Late Show with David Letterman, opened with a more somber tone where a rather nervous and sad Letterman lamented to the audience about hwo the attacks “made any goddamn sense.”

Television was heavily afftected byy the attacks with a major blow producer David Angell, who was on board hijacked American Airlines Flight 11. Angell was a producer and co-creator of NBC’s Frasier. In Frasier’s final episode, Niles and Daphne have a baby and name their son David as a tribute to Angell.

Other television shows inevitably had to write in plots dealing with terrorism and grief. Shows such as The West Wing aired non-story arch episodes that dealt with the attacks. The West Wing episode Issac and Ishmael opened with a plea from the cast to donate to charities for those that were lost in the 9/11 attacks. Other shows, such as NBC’s Third Watch, directly dealt with the attacks by including them into their storylines.  The start of the fall season of television for new shows was delayed or it had to be altered due to the show’s content.

Other mainstay shows had to quickly pull episodes that dealt with some form of terrorism. Reruns of certain episodes of  shows such as Married……..With Children and The Simpsons were pulled from syndication. The Simpsons episode The City of New York vs. Homer, there are scenes that prominently display the World Trade Center. After the events of September 11, many thought that, despite the relative innocence of the scenes in question, that viewers might have been too sensitive to seeing images of the building intact (even in cartoon form), with the events of that day still fresh on the minds of the people. This episode has since been put back into syndication as time has passed. The episode in question in regards to Married…..With Children was the episode Get Outta Dodge where Al Bundy is approached by some Arabs who want to buy his old Dodge car and also ask Bundy for directions.

After September 11, 2oo1, FOX notified all of its syndicated carriers of the show about the episode in question and left the decision up to the discretion of the individual stations. A number of TV stations in the US did temporarily pull the episode and showed other reruns in its place. As time passed and sensitivity lessened, the episode began being aired again regularly.

Awards shows were also affected. The 2001 Emmy Awards were postponed twice due to the terrorist attacks, the then-impending US airstrikes against Afghanistan and the bakckout of Don Mischner Productions – who was producing the show. The telecast finally aired on November 4, but cost CBS millions of dollars. The 74th Annual Academy Awards held a tribute to New York-themed films hosted by Woody Allen.

Sources:

http://www.film.com/features/story/tv-after-911/16331988

http://www.guardian.co.uk/pictures/image/0,8543,-10404256105,00.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106004/trivia

http://www.twiztv.com/cgi-bin/transcript.cgi?episode=http://dmca.free.fr/scripts/thewestwing/season3/thewestwing-300.txt

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Emmy_Awards/2001

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313162/trivia

http://www.snpp.com/guides/lisa-5.html#5.2.7

http://www.bundyology.com/hpg/817.html

 

The reason that we celebrate Christmas December 23, 2009

Filed under: music,Uncategorized — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 3:27 PM
Tags: , , , , ,
The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord.12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15When the angels had left them and gone 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 about.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Love Has Come by Amy Grant

Since the words are a bit inaudible, I am posting the lyrics for you.
Hurry now wake up your eyes,
Time for little ones to see.
Daddy’s got a big surprise
Hiding there beneath the Christmas tree.
How they are like the child in me!
See the wonder in their eyes,
Like a fairytale come true.
One more time I realize
All the love our lives found in You.

Love has come
For the world to know,
As the wisemen knew
Such a long time ago.
And I believe that angels sang
That hope had begun,
When the God of Glory,
Who is full of mercy,
Sent His Son.

If I could have a special dream
Coming true on Christmas morn’,
I would want the world to see
How His Father smiled when Christ was born.
The greatest gift the world has known!
So come on kids, look high and low
For all the toys you’ve dreamed to find,
But I believe you’ll never know
A greater joy than Jesus’ love inside.

(You gotta know!)
(Know!)
Love has come
For the world to know,
As the wisemen knew
Such a long time ago.
And I believe that angels sang
That hope had begun,
When the God of Glory,
Who is full of mercy,
Yes, the God of Glory,
Sent His Son.

(Don’t you know that)
Love has come
For the world to know, (know)
As the wisemen knew
Such a long time ago.
And I believe that angels sang
That hope had begun,
When the God of Glory,
Who is full of mercy,
Yes, the God of Glory,
Sent His Son.

Love has come
For the world to know,
As the wisemen knew
Such a long time ago.
And I believe that angels sang
That hope had begun,
When the God of Glory,
Who is full of mercy,
Yes, the God of Glory,
Sent His Son.

(Don’t you know)
Love has come
For the world to know,
As the wisemen knew
Such a long time ago.
And I believe that angels sang
That hope had begun,
When the God of Glory,
Who is full of mercy,
Yes, the God of Glory,
Sent His Son.

(I can see that)
Love has come
For the world to know,
As the wisemen knew
Such a long time ago.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
 

Happy Festivus!

Alas, another year has come to pass and once again we as a nation are brought to this day, 23 of December, better known to all Seinfeld fans (like myself) as “Festivus.”

If you are not familiar with the holiday of Festivus, the holiday has a rich history that starts with a man, Frank Costanza, who explains here in this video how festivus came to pass:

Instead of using a Christmas tree, it is required that you use an aluminum pole so that participants won’t be distracted by the tinsel.

“The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances.”

With that said, it is now time for 2009’s Airing of Grievances!

  • Ex boyfriend: Things were going just fine between us and then you had to break it off just days before one night in heaven event, my birthday, and valentines day. You suck!
  • Facebook and whoever posted U2 concert photos on that site: You became an addiction for me. I had to rid myself of you because frankly I do not care about who posted U2 concert photos. Furthermore, I do not care that the rich church-fakery-playboy named Matt Ferstler went to the U2 concert and was in that little circle. He probably paid off the band or his rich daddy did! Thanks for rubbing it in of what I don’t have and what some don’t deserve!
  • People who leave me out of things such as invites, parties, etc: I may understand if we are not close, but I frankly don’t need to know about your dumb party all over facebook. Thank you for not inviting me, you suck!
  • The band “Heart” a.k.a “Ann and Nancy Wilson:” In 2008, you put on a rockin’ show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion with Journey and Cheap Trick. The air was hot (as it is in Houston when it is summertime) but the concert was cheap for lawn seats – $29.oo for me and my friend Caitlyn to go. In 2009 you come back to Houston, TX to the Htown Arena Theater with just the band and no other acts like Journey or Cheap Trick and you jack up the ticket prices to a whopping $65!  So guess who could not go to your concert? Two great fans of yours named Christina (me) and Caitlyn! Thanks! Other than that your music still rocks!
  • Jon and Kate Gosselin (of the tv show “Jon and Kate Plus 8): Kate you must change your attitude! You are mean on that show and mega-harsh!
  • The “De-friend” option on facebook: Oh how I love to know that people I thought were my friend were, well, not!
  • Healthcare public option: There is a reason that people come from all over the world for healthcare. Yes, systems have flaws and our private healthcare is no different; but getting the government involved will not solve any issues, but will make things worse. Just look at how other countries are having troubles with public healthcare, therefore their citizens are coming to the USA.

Now all of you must try to wrestle. Don’t knock yourselves over.

 

Captain EO returns, but does that mean that other classic rides will follow soon?

Disney announced that, after 23 years of being absent, Captain Eo, starring the late Michael Jackson, will be returning to Disneyland for a limited engagement in February 2010.

However, does this mean that other classic rides will follow suit and re-emerge? Will we see a reboot of such classics as Cranium CommandMission To MarsThe Timekeeper, or ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter?

cranium command

Cranium Command was an attraction at Epcot that ran from October 19, 1989 through January 4, 2004. The ride starred Jon Lovitz, George Wendt, Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey as various parts of the body.

Alien Encounter opened in June 1995 and closed in 2003. It was a much darker-toned Disney attraction due to the ride's intensity and carried a warning to parents of potential riders.

It would be nice to see these great rides and experiences return

Mission to Mars, an attraction sponsored by Mcdonnell Douglas, opened in 1975 at both Disneyland and Disneyworld. Since the inception of Disneyworld, the attractions that have been housed at the pavillion that housed "Mission To Mars" have been entirely devoted to space exploration.

because it would bring them to a new generation of children and adults alike. However, it must be done right because some of the technology is rather dated.

The Timekeeper opened in France in 1992 but finally came to the US in November 1994. It was one of the few attractions that had to be altered after the events of September 11, 2001 due to images of the World Trade Center in the film. The ride closed in April 2006.

However, some of these rides would be a welcome return, but they must not replace some of the more newer, sophisticated rides such as Mission: Space.

 

Captain EO to launch once again at Disneyland December 22, 2009

Captain EO

Captain EO, starring the late Michael Jackson, originally ran for over 10 years at Disneyland. All incarnations of the ride closed in 1998

LOS ANGELES – “Captain EO” will once again return to Disneyland in February 2010. The theme park said last week that plans have been enacted to bring back the 3-D film starring the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The 17-minute film starred the late King of Pop as a song-and-dance intergalactic space captain. The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola with George Lucas serving as executive producer.

In the film, Jackson leads a rag-tag team consisting of an alien and a robot as they battle the evil queen played by a nearly-unrecognizable Anjelica Huston. “Captain EO” originally debuted in 1986 at Disneyland’s Tommorrowland in  and ran for more than a decade. Identical versions later opened at other Disney theme parks. They were all closed by 1998.

Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

Associated Press

 

“If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat it” December 19, 2009

Imagine a world where……..

  • all of New York is crawling in fear.

    Here, the New York skyline shows off its marvel of architecture, the World Trade Center

  • you are notified via a PA system at a place called “The Happiest Place On Earth” that ” due to circumstances beyond our control, the Magic Kingdom is now closed. Please follow the direction of the nearest Cast Member.” However, there is not an impending hurricane.
  • the FAA grounds all outgoing and incoming airplanes.
  • thousands of people lose their lives by just going to work or leaving on a jet plane in Manhattan, Shanksville, PA, and Washington DC.

Unfortunately, this day did occur 8 years and 3 months ago, September 11, 2001; in New York City,The Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a field in Shanksville, PA when the World Trade Center

September 11, 2001

However, the twin towers ceased to exist as of September 11, 2001, which launced the United States into what has become known as the War on Terror.

and the Pentagon were hit by commercial airliners in an attempt by the Taliban and Osama Bin Ladin to bring America to her knees and cry. This birthed the post 9-11 world, the world that we currently reside in. The plane that crashed in Shanksville, PA was headed for the White House.

Once again, we have entered a pre-9/11 mindset. President Barack Obama has decided to shut down Gitmo and house the prisoners in Thomson, Ill. Also, a decision has been made by the Obama administration to try those accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks in New York City which, in essence, gives them rights equivalent to a criminal in the US. To top it all off, the attacks at Ft. Hood have gone unavenged.

If the Obama administration keeps this up, they will put us on the fast-track to another terrrorist attack. Former President Bill Clinton did nothing to retaliate against those who lost their lives on October 12, 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked by Taliban suicide bombers. Clinton also did nothing about the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya.

If we do nothing to evoke a harsher stance towards terrorism and keep the course in Afghanistan, we will indeed face another tragic day like September 11, 2001.

Sources:

 

September 11, 2001 – the defining moment of the decade December 18, 2009

As the decade comes to a close in a few days, there will be only one thing that truly defines the decade: the fatefule events of September 11, 2001.

Her is my recount of where I was and what I was doing on that fateful day in September.

But first, let me give you a history of that whole year so that you can understand the change of the mindset of everyone, including myself.

The summer of 2001 was a rather interesting one due to the fact that I went on a mission trip for the first time as a Christian entitled “Houston 2001.” (Now known as “The Houston Project.”) I did it with the youth group that I was in at the time.

I was also about to enter highschool. I was slated to attend a local private highschool in my hometown: Houston, TX. The week that school started was a rather innocuous one – very innoccent. The entire class went on a retreat and we played a game called “Romans and Christians” – a Christian version of the classic game of chase.

A few weeks before, I remember my father and I were looking for camera equipment and we stopped by the local AudioVideo Plus store on Richmond ave (now an adult megaplexx place, ick!) and we just looked around the video store and the old videos. It was a rainy, but sunny day in Houston.

Then 9/11 happened a few days later. I went to class as usual and, according to the timeline of events (Houston is on central time), I was in World History Class because classes started at 7:45 am. But nobody told us about the event at first. The next class I had was a typing class and another fellow classmate, a boy, came into the class and exclaimed to the teacher that 3 planes had crashed. Knowing this boy to be obnoxious, I ignored him and thought that this sorta thing, plane crashes, happen everyday.

But little did I know that what I was about to hear in the announcements period on that Tuesday was a very life-altering event for everyone. The next period I went to announcements and sat down next to my friend, Brittan Braddock, and the principle, a native new yorker himself, made the shocking announcement that the world trade center had been hit as well as the pentagon by muslim extremists.

The whole room went into a state of disbelief and questioning. The next class period, women’s chorus, was no exception either because the teacher stayed silent in regards to helping us understand what happened in New York.

The rest of the day was filled with lots of talk about what happened, along with the two types of Islam. They even had televisions out broadcasting the news. Everything that day was cancelled. I remember that I was a little glad that handbell practice was cancelled because I was starting to not like handbells. So I was picked up by my father and left the school.

When my father picked me up, he told me that there was a call from the church that we attended saying that the wednesday youth group meeting was going to be cancelled and that there was going to be a church (or citywide since this particular church is a megachurch – not like Joel Osteen’s Lakewood.) prayer meeting. It was pretty crowded.

Friday, I went to my first highschool football game. It was a time of fun, yet still remembering what happened.

Sunday was a rather busy day. I had to go to two separate churches, a local lutheran church to sing and then Houston’s First Baptist because I wanted to go to my home church. At the lutheran church, we sang Great is the Lord by Michael W. Smith and Lord of All by First Call. It was such short notice that we didn’t change our performance and, like the rest of the congregation, we were in equal shock and disbelief. By the time I got to First, it was a pretty packed congregation. The day was a rather big blur but I do remember confiding in my friend Shannon and telling her that I did want to cry. She told me it was okay to do so.

The following week I went to see the Avalon “Oxygen tour” at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion. I and my friend were late to the concert, but we made it just in the nick of time for Avalon to take the stage with their then-upcoming single Wonder Why. Many things suprised me that night. For starters, neither I, my father (who was also in attendance), nor my friend were searched in any way. I was also suprised that Avalon did not show any footage or even mention the terrible events that had happened in the US during the song Picture Perfect World. Instead, during that song, they showed a video montage of the band doing work with Compassion International. I personally thought that this gesture was a little conceited and selfish – like they were giving glory to themselves and not Jesus.

However, looking back, they were playing to an audience filled with families and maybe those families were looking to escape, but at least maybe one of the members, such as Janna Long or now-former member Cheri (who is from Rhode Island – nearby), could have said something like “Tonight as we sing this song [Picture Perfect World] our hearts, minds and prayers are with those that are suffering tonight in New York City, Washington D.C, and Shanksville, PA.” Other than that, it was a good concert. I still have (and wear) my Oxygen Tour tshirt.

Other than that, the year was a normal one for me. I had a good Christmas – I got my very first bass guitar that year as a gift along with a new Out of the Grey cd. I experienced my first real crush on a boy named Owen – a senior no less!

A year and 4 months later, I got to visit Ground Zero on a choir tour of New York. It was a very moving experience being at that site, as well as a sad one. We all cried when we spontaneously sang Ein So Lord Jesus Quickly Come and another song called Sanctuary. Everybody cried while at that site.

 

transcripted interview with Christine Kasper of Houston Coalition for life December 10, 2009

Filed under: abortion,controversial stuff — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 12:11 AM
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Here lies the audio interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsz12B4OINE

We were able to catch up with Christine Casper of Houston Coalition for life and we asked about what exactly happens to a woman mentally when they get an abortion procedure and what does she have to gain or lose during this procedure.

CHRISTINE KASPER: “I would say that during the actual procedure, many of the women, begin to realize the reality of what they’ve done. A lot of them are thinking of the problem and are trying to find solutions to that problem. During and immediately after the procedure a lot of women experience the loss and the emptiness of their wounds and so, at that time, I think it starts to actually sink in as to what has actually occurred.”

We also talked about the views of the church – more specifically, the Catholic Church and their views on the abortion procedure. This is what she had to say.

CHRISTINE: “I know I can speak for the teachings of the Catholic church and that is that all human life is sacred from the moment it’s conceived until natural death; and so we have to do our utmost to respect each life and to protect each life. Abortion would never be allowed in any circumstance because it is the taking of an innocent unborn human being. Of course, we have to mention too that, if and when a woman does commit an abortion that there is healing and open-arms welcoming her back because Christ offers healing no matter what we have done wrong. The Catholic Church wants to welcome those women back on to be able to accept that forgiveness and be welcomed back into the church. Abortion is considered a very serious sin, and, by doing something of that nature you are actually separating yourself from God and from the church. So you have to be reconciled with him in order to come back.”

There are also many spiritual repercussions that a woman can go through if she has an abortion procedure, which is another thing that Christine and I talked about. However, there is healing for those that get that along with the healing that the woman goes through after the abortion. More specifically, the aspects of healing, both spiritual and mental.

CHRISTINE: The pamphlet entitled “Women hurt” goes through kind of the steps of the healing process and, specifically, the 3rd step that the refer to is forgiveness from God. So typically what happens is that, what a woman will go through is a lot of feelings of guilt and shame, even staying away from church and anything having to do with God and Jesus because basically they feel that shameness. They feel that they are not welcome anymore and they think “how can God forgive me when I have done something like this. One of the important steps in the healing process is asking God for forgiveness and accepting that forgiveness. That is what is said here [in the pamphlet] that came, as a surprise is that 98% of women who are counseled after their abortion were not churched. They needed to experience divine forgiveness. They didn’t realize that they needed to experience that. Along with Alcoholics Anonymous, this is a psychological problem that, in almost every case, can only be solved by divine forgiveness. In other words, a woman who goes through with an abortion procedure; the only way that she can truly heal from this procedure is to ask God for forgiveness…”

One rather silent group that suffers from abortions is men. We took a look at how men are affected by abortions both mentally and spiritually.

CHRISTINE: “well there are certainly differences between ways that men and women grieve about the loss of their child. A lot of the symptoms that they might go through are similar. Some of the typical post-abortion syndrome symptoms for men and women could be anxiety attacks, irritability, outbursts of anger, aggressive behavior, difficulty concentrating, sleeping disorders and the list goes on and on of different situations that they could go through. Drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, self-destructive tendencies, problems maintaining relationships. There’s all these sort of consequences that men and women [who goes through with this procedure] could experience. I think that sometimes men might carry the burden that they did not protect their woman, that they are responsible for the death of their child. A lot of times, I know in certain situations that I have talked to, men who wanted to keep their child but had no choice. Basically they were in states of anger because they couldn’t stop it and they wanted it – they missed their child. They recognize that that was their baby and they don’t want to abort their baby. So there’s a wide variety of a thing that they could do or respond upon – things they think upon: “did they want this abortion? “Did they not want this abortion to happen? It’s very difficult for the fathers as well as the mothers.”

That’s all we have for today folks. Thank you for joining our show.

 

Movie remakes versus the Original: who will win? December 4, 2009

Today in Hollywood it seems like there’s nothing short of remake mania.

Many popular classics such as Poltergeist, Adventures In Babysitting, Disney’s Flight of the Navigator (slated for a 2011 release), and RoboCop are in talks of being remade. There is also talks of a remake of Disney’s The Black Hole.

While some movies that were remakes, such as Disney’s Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap, have done well at the box office; others, such as the recent remake of Fame, which was both a critical and box-office failure.

It’s like Hollywood has lost its sense of originality!

Don’t get me wrong, however, because some movies do deserve a remake – Disney’s Flight of the Navigator being one of them mainly due to the technological advances that have been made since 1986. One must ask though when is enough enough?

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS200137+03-Sep-2008+PRN20080903

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2008/11/hollywood-back.html

http://themovingpicture.net/disney-to-remake-flight-of-the-navigator

http://www.shockya.com/news/2009/12/02/disney-set-to-remake-the-black-hole/

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10011235-fame/

 

The abortion debate in America

Filed under: abortion,controversial stuff — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 9:04 PM
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Abortion and the split between what college students think on the issue December 1, 2009

Filed under: abortion,controversial stuff — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 11:08 PM
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Ever since Roe V. Wade deemed abortion legal, the issue on abortion has been a very divisive issue. Suprisingly, among a new generation of American Christians, the tide of the abortion debate has been somewhat divided: some believe that abortion is murder and that the government should not sanction abortion and other believe that the government has no right to interfere with a woman’s right concerning the life of her unborn child. It has, in essence, become a push-pull factor.

Some young Americans, such as University of Houston student Kristine DeMatta, still hold the view that life begins at conception, which would, in essence, make abortion a murderous act. “My mom had two miscarriages and I was the only one who was born alive.  When my mom and other women talk about their miscarriages, they mourn the loss of a child, not a clump of cells that had no significance to them.  Seeing the pain my parents went through in losing their children helped me to realize the significance of every human life, whether inside or outside the womb,” says DeMatta. “I agree with it [the idea that life begins at conception] not only because it is in Scripture, but because it is scientifically proven.  When an egg and a sperm meet, their pronuclei fuse to produce a diploid cell, containing the DNA that makes that baby unique.  Human development then begins.”

Recent University of Houston alumnus Bobby Miles also concurs. “I would consider myself mostly pro life because I value the life of a child more than the convenience of a parent. I don’t personally support abortion at all, but I think if the US required a legal hearing for each abortion (example: “your honor, I aborted my child because…”), that might be a good place to start,” says Miles.

According to the Life Advocate newspaper, at the March for Life on the Mall in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2009, about half of the pro life activists that attended the event were young highschool or college students who came in large groups. Many members of these groups made their own signs containing their own messages as well. Pro-life advocacy groups are popping up and growing fast on college campuses nationwide.  On facebook alone, the UH Pro-Life Cougars boasts 250 members from the University of Houston (and alumni) alone. Students For Life, another pro-life advocacy group, serves more than 450 pro-life student groups across the nation. Students For Life of America’s aim is to educate college students on issues concerning abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

Other young christians, on the other hand, are somewhat divided on the issue. “I am personally pro-life because I believe that God is sovereign and the lives he creates are sacred, even if that means the death of me.” says University of Houston student Joanna Bonner. “I am politically pro-choice because I don’t believe the government has the right to take away choices from the people.”

Other young Christians have mixed feelings about the issue. Caitlyn Grygier, a University of Houston student says that the church considers it murder, and murder is something they are fully against . . . . I think it’s a bit much to consider it murder. I don’t know what I consider it, but murder is awfully harsh. These women who get abortions struggle with the decision and are not lunatics.”

Many young American christians argue that the Bible is their justification for being pro-life, often quoting the passage in Psalms 139:13-16 which states:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I         praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are             wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was     made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,         your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in         your book before one of them came to be.”

Also, in the book of Jeremiah 1:5, it states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

The political and even moral landscape of the Christian faith is changing. Whereas some are called to action in debates such as the abortion and right to life issue, others are either alienated or do not care.

 

College system in America: good system or insider club? April 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 11:28 PM
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An article was put out by WSJ.com about college rejection letters. Many of the most successful and famous have never been to college or didn’t get into places like Harvard or Yale. Yet year after year, many college students are told that they are not accepted to Harvard or Yale or any type of institution of higher learning.

This is mostly due to the legacy system – where students whose parents attended the college get top priority admissions.

This makes a person wonder: what if the college system in America really is like an insiders club? What I mean by this is that you must know someone that goes there or be related to them in order to go to that college, therefore succeed?

 

actual dumb questions on yahoo answers. February 18, 2010

Some people are just plain stupid.

Anyways, I found some dumb questions on yahoo answers. It makes me wonder what were people thinking when they asked this? Were their brains made out of plastic? So I have come up with a list of these dumb questions – complete with both an honest answer by me and by one of the users.

Okay who’s the sexsiest: Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Selena Gomez or Barney?

Actual Response: Barney.

Why Barney? He scares me. Dinosaurs eat people you know.

So if you never want children, should you never have sex……ever?

Actual Response: Don’t judge.

Have you never heard of contraception. Apparently you have. But there is this thing called the 14-day rule or something like that: don’t have sex on the 14th day after your period.

Why do cats come and visit my 2 spayed female cats?

Because your cats are either whores or other cats want sex without consequences.

Who’s better: Axl rose or Brett Michaels?

This is a rare one that I agree with. Guns & Roses is awesome and Poison is for idiots.