Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders 07.27

Newsworthy

Lift high the cross. Arthur Blessitt is an evangelist best known for having carried a 12-foot cross around the world during his 44 years of ministry. Blessitt, who lives in the Denver area, did not have to travel quite so far this week. He took his cross to the Aurora, Colo., movie theater where a mass shooting took place last week. "People rush to the cross, touching it, crying, praying, and then we sing a song and some people bring flowers," Blessitt told The Christian Post. Dozens and hundreds of people have been coming to the crosses. They find comfort and hope and see the love of Jesus. It's moving beyond words-a light in darkness.

GOP money backs SSM. The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage, but a small group of wealthy Republicans is backing an effort to legalize gay marriage in four states that have the issue on the ballot in November. According to the Financial Times, money is pouring in to Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington from Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire and one of the Republican Party's biggest donors, and Cliff Asness, the founder of AQR Capital Management. Dan Loeb, an activist investor who recently shook up the management of Yahoo! and Seth Klarman, the founder of Baupost, a private equity group, also back the campaign. They have donated money to Freedom to Marry, a pro-homosexual group, and American Unity, a Super PAC that backs pro-homosexual Republicans. Singer was a key fundraiser for George W. Bush and is now one of Mitt Romney's top money guys. He's also given nearly $10 million to gay rights causes.

Back to the future. It's been interesting to note how much bad reporting has been in the news that Greenland's massive ice sheet experienced a sudden melting this month. Most news stories jump straight from the fact that a wave of warm air caused surface ice to melt to dire predictions about global warming and worldwide rises in ocean levels. Many of the reports leave out that melting patterns such as the one we're seeing this year occur in Greenland from time to time, with one very similar to this year's happening in 1889. It's hard to blame that one on the automobile. The breathless accounts also make it sound like the Greenland ice sheet suddenly disappeared. It did not. The wave of warm air simply drove the temperature above freezing, and temporarily. NASA scientist Tom Wagner acknowledged that the Greenland ice sheet is still thousands of feet thick and whatever melt did occur this month seems to be refreezing again.

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News of print's death exaggerated. Media geeks like me sat up straight when we heard Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and the new owner of Newsweek, say that a plan to end Newsweek's print edition is coming as soon as this fall. His comments came in IAC's quarterly earnings call and were first reported in a two-sentence story by Bloomberg News' Sarah Frier. Only problem is, Frier may have jumped the gun. What Diller actually said was, "The transition will happen. The transition to online from hard print will take place. We're examining all of our options." And there can be no question that Newsweek has big problems. Reuters reports that IAC this quarter had to take "an after-tax non-cash charge of $16.2 million, or 18 cents a share," because of the magazine. Diller, who famously keeps his eye on the bottom line, won't let that go on for long without making changes.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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