MUSLIM STUFF 2013 A
1881- GOAT MAN SAGA CONT.
Okay- I never thought I would write a follow up post on the Goat Man [few posts back].
But- yesterday morning I read another story about this masked [or fur coated?] man.
Yes- this time I figured I’d read the whole thing.
For those who didn’t read the post- Goat man was simply some guy- dressed like a goat- ‘living’ among the goats in Utah.
Some tourist spotted him and reported him to the cops.
So- Goat man made national news- and the story went viral.
They were looking for the guy- fearful that he might get shot.
So- the follow up story said the local authorities received a call- by a ‘very agitated man’.
He simply said- quote ‘leave Goat man alone- he’s done nothing wrong’!
Could this caller be wearing a fleece?
Yes- it was the infamous goat man on the line.
The story went on and said he was a hunter who was simply preparing for a Canadian hunt.
He made the ‘goat outfit’ using a painters type suspendered pants- and some type of hair.
Okay- maybe goat man is innocent.
But I must correct our furry friend- no sir- dressing like a goat- making it into the national news- twice- at the age of 50 something.
O- this is wrong- so very wrong.
Second- I find funny stuff in the most unlikely places.
The other morning I was listening to NPR [radio news] and they were doing a story on Muslim athletes who are competing in the Olympics.
The reporter introduced the piece by saying the Muslim fast of Ramadan has just started- and that some Muslim athletes are ‘struggling’ with whether or not to observe the daily fast.
Muslims are not supposed to eat during the day.
So- I was expecting to hear the athlete say ‘Praise Allah- I have struggled much with this decision- and…’
You know- some type of real personal turmoil over this great dilemma.
They guy comes on and says ‘Nah- I’m not gonna be doin that’.
Sounded like this Muslim brother came straight from the streets of Jersey- sort of like the Henry Hill character from Goofellas [or Depp in Donnie Brasco- take your pic].
So- over all- I had a few good laughs.
Okay- It’s been a few days since I did economics/politics.
But I must say- the news this past week has been very bad- economically.
Britain has reported a worse recession than previously thought.
China has been fudging their numbers too- they made it sound like they were doing better than they were.
And the E.U. crisis is not getting better- or even staying stagnate- but getting worse.
So- the other day after the markets looked like they were going into another sell off.
The dow was down around 200.
The Fed chairman popped into action and basically said they were going to do another Qe-3 [put more money into the system].
Normally- this would drive the market way up.
This time- it simply stopped the sell off for the day and the market has only risen a few points since then.
That’s a bad sign- even the investors are saying this won’t do.
I heard a quote from a knowledgeable guy the other day- on one of the business shows.
He said the real money- the institutional investors- they see all this Fed action as dangerous.
That to simply print money like this- and for the market to ride on it- is not good economic policy at all.
It looks like he was right.
We really should have a national debate over stuff like this.
I feel bad for the seniors who were forced out of the interest rate market [Cd’s and bonds] and were told ‘you need to be in the market- look- you can’t live on 1 % inertest’.
So- many of these older folk- who were perfectly happy with 5-7 % on their money- they were forced out of that stable market- and into this terrible market that we have had these past 12 years.
That’s the fault of the various Fed chairmen- when they decide to enact fiscal policy that says we want to keep the rates really- really low- then that leaves the seniors no other option- they get thrown into the risky stock market- and then they take a hit.
I am not a ‘right winger’ or left winger on these things- but I do see the Fed at the end of the road- they simply have done all you can do at this point.
I think they should leave the thing alone- no more stimulus- it’s just throwing money into a system that’s in the process of de-leveraging- and just like the real estate market- we simply need to let the system bottom out- because if we keep propping up the system- then it will never really get fixed.
[yeah- Krugman- it’s not that easy]
We have now seen 3 cities declare bankruptcy in the great state.
Some city is messing with the idea of actually doing Eminent Domain on the houses that are underwater.
They want to ‘seize’ the mortgages of these homeowners- and force the banks to re-do the loan- at a loss to the mortgage holder.
If they do this- trust me- your home in that town will be worth nil.
Everyone in the state will know that if you invest in a house in that city/county- that you might someday be forced to take a loss on that house- by Eminent Domain.
These ideas come from well meaning people- but for the most part they have no business experience.
Last year the president talked about stuff like this on a national level.
It wasn’t Eminent Domain- but he made the argument that if we come to some type of a deal with the banks- to ‘make’ them lower the values on these homes- that it would help everybody out.
Obama said ‘it does no good for you to have 3-5 foreclosed homes on your block- so this will prevent that from happening’.
Look- anyone who has any knowledge at all on real estate will tell you this would be an unmitigated disaster.
If you go into a neighborhood where the homes on average sell [or sold] for 150,000.
And you take half of the homes on that block and reduce the value of the homes to 100,000.
You did not do the other home owners a favor [the ones who by the way are paying their bills!]
You simply ‘revalued’ their home to a hundred thousand as well.
So all in all- sometimes people mean well ‘look- lets seize the mortgages on these struggling folk- and force the bank to take the hit’.
Sounds good- but if you do that- you will ruin the value for all the other people in that county.
Also- the biggest retirement fund in the nation- in Cali- just reported 1% growth- not the 7% it had counted on.
I think California is in danger of possibly declaring bankruptcy for the whole state.
They say ‘they way Cali goes- so goes the nation’.
Let’s hope this is not true this time around.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
1878- THE DARK KNIGHT OF THE SOUL
Well today is surely a day of mourning.
As you all know- yesterday marked another tragic day for our nation.
We had another deadly rampage in Colorado [Aurora].
Right down the road from Columbine.
James Holmes- a 24 year old student- walked into a theatre- carrying multiple guns- and shot randomly at the audience.
Last I heard- 71 shot- 12 dead.
It was at the premiere of Dark Knight Rising- the new Batman movie.
We don’t yet know the motivation for the killings- maybe we never will.
But of course- that won’t stop the media from making fools of themselves.
Brian Ross- ABC’s ‘chief investigative reporter’ had breaking news on their morning show.
He actually had the audacity to report that he found a man with the same name- James Holmes- who had a web site affiliated with the Tea Party.
Gee- I’m sure there are no other people with such an odd name that live in Aurora Colorado.
I’m sure if this were a Muslim name- I’m sure you would have reported a random find- that you found another Muslim name- sounds the same- and he’s affiliated with Al Qaeda.
The sad thing is- after a little while- Ross had to apologize- the man he ‘outed’ was not the shooter.
The shooter was a 24 year old- the Holmes from the Ross report is 54.
The 54 year old had to disconnect his phone- his family immediately became a target for revenge.
What a bang up job you did Brian- may God have mercy on your soul- and please- please go away.
It’s sad- right up the road from where I live- we had the Fort Hood shootings.
Major Nidal Hassan walked into a crowded room on the base and fired on his fellow military men and women.
Killed many- shouted ‘Allah Akbar’- and opened fire.
During the investigation we learned that Hassan carried a card that identified himself as a soldier for Islam.
He dressed in garb that indicated he was Muslim.
He made many statements thru out his career that said he was a radical.
He had on line contacts with nut sites that advocate radical Islamic terrorism.
Yet- for all this- the administration refereed to this killing as ‘work place violence’.
Yet- ABC news thought it fine to simply share- with the world- that someone with the name Jim Holmes was connected to the Tea Party.
We had another ‘attack’ just up the road from me a few years back.
The nut who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin.
The NY Times reported- on their on line forum- ‘Tea Party unhinged’.
It was later found out that the pilot was actually a communist sympathizer- not a Tea partier at all.
Gifford’s- when the congresswoman from Arizona was shot- the media spent a week trying to connect the dots- that somehow the political use of ‘targeting a district’ used by Sarah Palin- was responsible for the tragedy.
And of course- who can forget the nemesis of the large size cola.
Yes- a few years back Bloomberg [mayor of NY] referred to the Times Square bomber as ‘probably someone who is mad at Obama Care’.
We later found out- yes- once again- that the guy was a radical Islamist.
It’s sad how slow the media are to report the associations of radical Islam- when it’s obvious for everyone to see.
Yet- they go hunting- and even report innocent names- when they think there might be a connection with a right wing group.
How did Ross do his research?
You think he just stumbled upon a name that was the same?
You think he might just have googled ‘Tea Party- Jim Holmes’.
No- I’m sure the chief investigative reporter would never stoop so low.
This last week I’ve been reading Isaiah- chapters 49 thru the end.
There are so many key verses in these chapters- ones that I have memorized and quoted over the years during prayer.
In chapter 53 we read that God saw the ‘Travail of his soul and was satisfied’.
‘Because he poured out his soul unto death’.
‘He was numbered with the transgressors’.
The chapter speaks about the suffering Messiah.
Our Jewish friends apply this to their struggles as a nation.
I think both are applicable.
There is a term we use in Christianity- it’s called ‘The dark night of the soul’.
Saint John of the Cross [a famous Christian from church history] made the term popular.
Mother Theresa- we found out later- lived many of her years in this state of ‘darkness’.
It simply speaks about the trials we all go thru- times when we think all hope is lost.
Some people experience it more than others- the above chapter says this travail- this numbness- is redemptive in nature.
God uses it- and the people- nations- that go thru it for a purpose.
It was because Christ suffered- poured out his soul ‘unto death’ that he became the savior for mankind.
It was because of the struggles of the Jewish people that they have now become one of the most prosperous nations in that part of the world.
I’m not saying God ordains that a mad man shoot innocent people in a movie.
But I am saying that we as a nation can become a better people thru it all.
Yesterday Obama and Romney both suspended their campaigns for a day.
And I even heard MSNBC give credit to both men for it.
Yeah- we saw civility- by both camps- for the first time in a while.
Today we pray for the victims of Aurora.
We try and resist the stupidity of associating this mad kid’s act with any group- at least until we get more facts.
And we- as a nation- have an opportunity- we have a ‘dark night’ opportunity- we can either become worse- hate more- blame the other side for it.
Or we can reflect- we can turn our minds to the things that count.
In the end- we can find redemption in the collective ‘travail of our souls’.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
1877 CHINESE FOOD- RELIGION- POLITICS [WOW!!]
Let’s try and cover a few things today.
Yesterday I went down to the mission to see the guys.
Henry showed up- I was hanging out with Dirk and Joe for a little while.
Henry heard they were serving chili – he has stomach problems- so he invited me and Joe to go to the Chinese buffet about a block away.
Henry has been working regularly at the boat dock and he had some cash.
We walked down to the Chinese place and Joe and Henry ate- I never eat lunch [or b-fast].
We had a good time- I actually took a few pictures and my daughter will try and post them [I’m bad at that].
We talked for a while- actually the guys brought up politics on their own.
Geez- Chinese buffet- homeless outreach and politics- I thought for sure the Kingdom had come.
Henry told me ‘John- did you hear- the cops cuffed me at HEB the other day’.
He told me the story.
Henry is one of the most upstanding guys you could ever meet.
He is a deacon for church without walls [a homeless church].
He is practically a scholar when it comes to the bible- and he does not do drugs or get drunk [he drinks wine. Not a lot- he thinks it helps with his stomach- that’s actually in the bible. Paul told Timothy ‘drink a little wine for you ailments’].
So- just to let you know- Henry is not a trouble maker by any means.
Why did the cops cuff him?
He went to HEB [our local grocery] and bought lunch.
He ate- then went to catch the bus.
Someone had called the cops and said a homeless guy was threatening him if he didn’t give him money.
HEB is right next to the mission so it’s possible that one of the other guys did do this.
So- when the cops got there they thought it was Henry and they cuffed him.
Henry does get mad- over the years they have arrested him- for no reason- they were just doing a sweep of the area- business people complain about all the ‘bums’- the cops pick a bunch of them up with no real charge- Henry is not loitering- he’s not drunk- he just looks bad [check out the picture on Face Book].
So- he has had to sit in jail- without doing any crime- and of course it would piss you off- it would me.
So anyway he told me the scoop- they finally uncuffed him- and let him go.
I took a few more pictures of the guys- now that I started posting pictures of the guys- I’m like the dad that keeps making his kids pose for pics on vacation [like my dad did a lot].
The guys were like ‘why are you taking pics’?
I told them I started posting them to the site.
They said ‘wow- were gonna be famous’.
One of the guys said ‘you can’t take my pic- the cops might find me’.
I mentioned that I regret the fact that some of the guys have died and I never got a picture.
I talked about Bill.
Bill was one of the first guys I met on the street- he was about 30 years older than me and I have written a few posts on Bill over the years.
Bill eventually saw me as his ‘best friend’ almost like a son/brother.
I guess I took Bill out to eat more than any other street guy.
Bill died a few years ago.
So- as I mentioned Bill- Joe told me that they have a picture of Bill hanging up inside the mission.
I couldn’t believe it- they had one of Bill- and the camp!
I took a pic- will post it.
Many of the guys live in makeshift camps- I have visited hundreds of camps over the years.
These are little ‘tent cities’ that pop up in the vacant fields all around the area where I live.
I live on a bluff- a peninsula type jetty sticking out into the bay- right off the gulf.
So- there are lots of beach spots- and areas where the homeless can camp out.
My area is nice- it’s been developed over the years and marketed because of its closeness to Padre Island [right over the bridge and you’re at the beach- the national sea shore- you could walk it].
So- after a while the locals complain about the homeless population- and every so often they do a sweep- and go thru the camps and cut the tents [cops] and stuff like that.
I have bought tents for the guys over the years- and I get mad when I hear the cops cut another tent.
I’ll try and get these photos up loaded soon.
On the way back to the marina [where Henry works].
We started talking about all the guys who have died these past few years.
I told Henry that when I do my early morning prayers- I try to ‘see’ these guys as part of the community- the little fellowship of friends I have worked with over the years.
I told Henry- that in a strange way- I still sense Bill- Shelby- etc. – as ‘hanging out’ with us [I just looked up over my head- I have a ball cap of Bill hanging on my shot gun rack- after Bill died I found it under my car seat. He must have left it there one day when going out to eat- I kept it as a memento].
I mentioned that as Protestants- we usually neglect the biblical teaching that our Catholic friends emphasize.
The Communion of the Saints.
That even though Protestants don’t practice prayers to Mary and the saints- yet in a very real way those who have died in the faith are indeed still part of the community.
I mentioned the book of Revelation- it speaks about the prayers of the martyrs [dead Christians] going up to God as incense.
I told Henry- just because our friends have died- that does not mean they can’t still pray- even for us!
Being Henry knows the bible well- he was familiar with the passage that I mentioned- he just never saw it like that [see- there are lots of things like this in the Christian journey- that’s why we should hold judgment on other Christian denominations as much as possible- we all ‘see dimly’ at times].
Okay- I guess will end there.
I was gonna do a few news items- yesterday the ‘rebels’ in Syria bombed a key headquarters of the leader- Assad.
This was a suicide bombing- by most accounts- Al Qaeda did this.
Yet- the U.S. – and the western media continue to describe these guys as innocent civilians whom Assad is killing.
This happened in Libya as well.
I am not defending Assad- but we in the West need to stop referring to all the rebel groups in the various Arab spring uprisings as ‘innocent rebels’.
Many are not- many are terrorists- they practice such things as suicide bombings.
The one yesterday killed some key Syrian men- one was the brother in-law of Assad.
Things are getting very unstable over there.
Our recent killing of an Indian fisherman [we shot the fishing boat off the U.A.E the other day].
And yesterday’s terror attack on a bunch of Israeli tourists.
These are all signs of major unrest in that region- It’s possible that this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to Israel taking out the nuclear facilities of Iran.
Obama has been trying to get Israel to hold off on the Iranian attack- you guessed it- till after the election.
But after yesterdays bus bombing- they might decide to go.
So all in all- there’s lots of stuff going on in the world- lets pray for peace- for all people.
PEACE ON EARTH- GOOD WILL TO MEN.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
Let’s recap a few recent news events.
Yesterday Libya held their first Democratic election.
To my surprise [and glad about the thing] it seems [so far!] that they might have elected a ‘non Islamic’ guy.
Yeah- every so called Arab Spring state has gone the other way.
Yet- in Libya- maybe- just maybe they will get a good guy.
‘John- do you mean to say the Muslim Brotherhood’ are bad’?
In a way- yes.
What we have done in the Western world [especially the President] is we have sided with those who have been ‘rebelling’ in these various nations.
You might have a situation like Egypt- where we were actually good allies of the former leader- Mubarak.
Yet- he- like the other autocrats in the region- did indeed abuse his power.
His police force were brutal- and eventually the people rose up and had the historic protests in Tahrir square.
We then began calling for Mubarak to step down [the infamous words of Robert Gibbs- the former press Secy- ‘he needs to go- yesterday’]
And he did just that- he stepped down under pressure.
Now- as ‘righteous’ as the U.S. looked- we actually conspired secretly with the Egyptian military and used this inside pressure to get the guy to go.
How come we had that type of influence?
Because the top military leaders were all trained at West Point- here in the U.S.
Our generals and military guys all knew their top guys- and that’s how we did it.
Okay- the rest is history.
The Muslim Brotherhood guy just won the election in Egypt- and he is calling back the Parliament- the military dismissed them a few weeks ago- and the new guy is going up against the military.
The Parliament had a majority of Muslim Brotherhood in the ranks.
Because the Egyptian law limits the majority in parliament- one party can only hold so many seats- their high court ruled it ‘unconstitutional’ and they were ‘let go’.
So- the new Brotherhood guy wants them back.
All in all- many [most] of these countries are going the way of Islamic law.
This is not good for the rights of women- it’s not good if your gay- and it’s bad if you’re a Christian.
Yes- even though they might have been elected by the people- makes no difference- if you want to rule your country by religious law- then that’s not good- period.
Okay- then why did we just have a couple of days of worldwide media coverage about the Taliban killing the woman ‘taken in adultery’.
Look- we- the U.S.- use propaganda all the time.
We are all affected by it.
The Taliban shot a woman because she committed adultery with some military guys.
The media have been showing this ‘shocking’ tape.
We have been trying to negotiate a peace treaty with these guys.
And how have they responded?
They blew up a few buildings and killed a bunch of guy’s right after one of the recent meetings.
They are saying ‘screw you’.
So- we show how bad they are.
‘But John- isn’t it bad’.
But they do the same thing in Saudi Arabia- Bahrain- and a bunch of other places.
And we support these other leaders- even though they indeed do the same thing- based on Islamic law.
So- when we show the killing by the Taliban- make no mistake- many of ‘our friends’ do the exact same thing.
I hope Libya turns out well- but it’s too soon to tell.
Every now and then I’ll see that they’re playing that Jim Carey flick.
It’s kind of a kid’s type movie- but when I saw it years ago- it was funny.
Carey is ‘cursed’ by having to tell the truth for 24 hours.
His kid made a birthday wish and Carey becomes this saint.
So- he finds himself in these tough spots- being he is a lawyer.
He tells his secretary about the curse- but she doesn’t believe him.
He says ‘go ahead- test me- ask me something that you think I would lie about’.
So she begins questioning him about the time she asked for a raise and he said that the bosses said they couldn’t approve it because then all the other secretaries would want one.
She then recounts how he told her he offered to pay out of his own pocket- but they said no.
As she recounts the tale- Jim covers his ears and says ‘never mind- don’t ask- don’t ask’.
The next scene- she’s emptying out her desk.
His son tells him ‘dad- my teacher said that true beauty is in the heart- it’s not the outward appearance’.
Carey responds ‘that’s just something ugly people say’.
He does this all thru out the movie.
At one point the secretary answers the phone- it’s one of his regular ‘customers’.
She informs Carey that it’s him- and he’s asking for advice- he just got busted doing some drug thing- or break in.
Carey takes the phone to give him the advice- actually I hesitated on using this- I mean I did drop the F bomb in the last post- but he takes the phone and says ‘stop f$@# up- A- hole’.
What’s the solution to all these uprisings?
We are now using the same words that we used in all the other spots- we are talking the same way about Syria ‘the wrong of history- his time is short’.
I have stood on the side of the people in all these uprisings- and at first I wanted to see real democracy spring forth.
Yet- we must realize that many radicals in these countries are also using the whole ‘wrong side of history’ to see if we will come in and do the dirty work for them.
One of the militia leaders in Libya- the side we backed- is actually an Al Qaeda guy who was released from Gitmo.
Yeah- one of the prisoners we released- he‘s running a military group right now in Libya.
So- what do we do?
When various groups rise up- start an armed uprising- then say ‘look- do something- see- we are dying’.
We need to say- we support democracy- everywhere.
But- if you want our backing- then you can’t install Islamic rule- as the law of the land.
The U.S. would not permit it- so we won’t back you if you keep doing it.
Second- if your ‘rebellion’ includes the bombing of civilians- hospitals- and other ‘non military targets’ [like the Syrian rebels] then we won’t back you.
In short- we- the U.S. and the Western World- we are not responsible for all the world’s problems.
We want to help people- but not groups who are tied to Al Qaeda.
We want to support democracy- but not ‘democracies’ that elect leaders who want Islamic law.
Yeah- maybe the advice of Carey to his client is what we need to tell them- stop- well- you know.
NOTE- Let me give you one more example of ‘propaganda’.
Last year I watched a story unfold on MSNBC.
Thru out the week they did their usual Sarah Palin bashing.
Now- I have said in the past- I think she was not ready for the job of V.P.
But- that doesn’t mean open season on her- and her kids.
The story was some book writer rented the house next door to the Palin’s.
He set up all the stuff to see if he could catch them doing anything that the world might want to see.
I guess the guy had cameras and recorders rolling.
So- the response of any normal person would be to- get mad.
So they put up a bigger fence- and tried to protect their privacy.
Then- some out of town reporter showed up- he came to Alaska for the sole purpose of digging up dirt on the family.
He actually approached the younger daughter of Palin- I think it was at the school yard.
She was around 13 at the time.
When mom and dad found out- they were rightfully pissed off- like any normal parent would be.
They informed the guy- from out of state- to stay away from this minor- I mean who knows- the guy might have been some sex offender.
So- one day in town- the guy approached the daughter again.
When Sarah found out- she was fuming.
So they contacted the authorities- and they tried to press charges.
How did I find out about the story?
Well- on MSNBC- Keith Olberman’s show- before he quit.
He covered the story as ‘Sarah Palin and her nut family’.
Yeah- he had the reporter on- and they made him look like a victim.
‘Who does the daughter think she is- damn it! I mean- it’s not illegal to walk up to somebody in town!’
Yeah- you tell em Keith.
The story went on and they depicted Palin- and her minor daughter- as nut cases.
The reporter defended himself by saying after the school yard incident- he decided to leave the girl alone.
But being he flew to Alaska- he might as well not waste the ticket.
So- he went ‘sight seeing’.
As he was ‘sight seeing’ in town- low and behold- the daughter- by chance- spotted him.
He says she approached him.
Then- MSNBC made it look like the daughter was the nut ‘who does she think she is- she’s the one who was out looking for you’.
Okay- this guy is in Alaska for the sole purpose of getting dirt on Palin- yet the daughter sought him out.
It was sad that a so called news organization would do this [another reporter- Andrew Sullivan- reported a story that Sarah’s Down Syndrome son Trigg- was really the ‘bastard’child of Bristol- this story will forever live on the internet- the son- and all the family will one day read it].
It was even sadder that many believed it.
I usually have talks with my liberal friend when stuff like this happens- and they usually have swallowed the line.
‘Geez John- look how dumb Palin is- who does her daughter think she is- just because your 13 doesn’t mean adult men cant approach you’.
Say of the story were turned around- say if this happened to Sasha or Malia- the presidents girls- would we be saying the same thing?
See- that’s media bias- that’s propaganda- that’s what happens to all of us- regardless of what side of the aisle your on.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1870- THE PRAIRIE PROPHET
This week I read the book of Amos.
Amos was a prophet to the northern nation of Israel- 750-790 b.c. [though he had a few prophecies for Judah- the southern nation].
He was unlike the other Old Testament prophets- in that he was an ‘uneducated’ shepherd that came from a little village [Tekoa] about 5 miles south of Bethlehem.
Yet- Amos knew history.
He railed against the political leadership of the nation- he spoke up for the poor ‘in the gate’ and condemned the ‘church’ of his day.
He said they were spending all their time and money on religious celebration- on their own ideas of what they felt God wanted [Amos says they worshipped the ‘gods that they made’].
And yet justice was falling down in the street.
Yeah- Amos was a prophet sent from God- and the people knew it.
I watched [re watched] a documentary this week on the failed run for the presidency by George McGovern.
Now- as a news buff- I never really studied McGovern- but have heard so much about the guy [usually negative] that my view of him was formed by these little clips of his life.
McGovern is famous because his loss to Nixon in 1972 was one of the biggest landslides in presidential history.
As I watched the documentary- and read Amos- I began seeing a type of Amos in McGovern.
McGovern was from South Dakota- outside of the mainstream ‘machine’ of the Democratic Party.
He was raised in a preacher’s home- and dabbled at becoming one himself.
He would eventually enter politics- and also had a background as an historian [Amos].
They called him ‘the prairie prophet’.
He was not the favored candidate for his party’s nomination.
At first it looked like Muskie would be their man.
But old Ed didn’t seem to have the temperament for the job.
At one campaign stop he was picketed by some gay rights group.
He said- quote ‘If I have to be nice to a bunch of Soddomites to get elected- then fuck it’.
McGovern would eventually win his party’s nomination- and lose in the general election.
As I watched the rise of McGovern- the animosity- and outright hatred- from his own party.
I also saw that he indeed was a voice in the wilderness at times.
McGovern is most famous for his opposition to the Vietnam War.
It was said that just the name of McGovern being said would send Lyndon Johnson into a rage.
McGovern stood steady in his opposition- and as an historian he had read that other world watchers had predicted that there would be an uprising in Indo China and South East Asia.
They said the people groups were growing tired of colonialism- and they would eventually rebel.
So McGovern did not see the Vietnamese as a communist threat- that left unchecked would have a domino effect.
After the assassination of Bobby Kennedy he was convinced to briefly throw his hat into the ring and run for the 68 nomination.
But the 1972 nomination was his big achievement.
In the book of Amos there are some choice quotes [not like Musky].
‘Hate evil and love good- establish judgment in the land’
‘Let judgment run down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream’ [MLK’s famous line too]
‘Woe to them that are at ease in Zion’ [the present day church]
The one that caught my eye the most-
‘He strengthens the spoiled against the strong so that they come against the fortress’.
At times in history there are voices that rise- sometimes they are Prairie Prophets.
Sometimes we don’t realize the importance of what they are saying- until after they are gone.
Rulers- people in power- they are not all corrupt- but many are.
LBJ referred to Vietnam as a ‘little piss ant of a country’.
He [and Nixon] bombed the hell out of the land- not wanting to be seen as week.
A small- little ‘piss ant’ country in South East Asia.
Hundreds of thousands would die needlessly.
Men like McGovern- for all their critics- saw the writing on the wall.
At the present day- as I write- we have been at war in Afghanistan for around 11 years now.
We just reopened a key ground [truck] route thru Pakistan- it has been shut for 7 months because we killed around 30 Pakistani soldiers in a mistaken identity case.
NATO was flying over the border- we were fired upon from the ground- and we bombed them.
We thought they were Taliban- they were Pakistani.
Pakistan got pissed off- and they forbid us to use the key supply route until we apologized.
We just did.
We are now having talks with the Taliban- to come to some type of Peace Terms with them.
Our goal at the start was to remove them from power because they gave Al Qaida a place to operate from.
At the start we were warned that the Taliban [and the Afghanis in general] are a resilient people.
That to enter into a ground war- in some ‘piss ant’ part of the Arab world would be foolish.
We are now trying to find a way to untangle ourselves from this mess.
Yeah- after 11 years- our guys coming home without their body parts.
Thousands dead- many of them women and children.
Yeah- after 11 years our only response is.
Well- in the immortal words of Ed Muskie #$@^%$
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1866- MARY- THE MOTHER OF GOD- WHAT DID SHE SAY? [or- I am the Egg Man]
As we close the week- lets recap a few highlights.
Of course the SCOTUS ruling was the biggest news- and we also had congress vote- and pass- the contempt of congress charge against Holder.
But there were a few other ‘lesser’ stories that in a slower news week would have gotten more attention.
The enemy of all conservatives- yes- the peanut farmer from Georgia- Jimmy Carter- got some heat over his criticism of Obama.
What did he say?
He made some comments about our Drone war tactics- and said there is no doubt that the U.S. is violating human rights.
The drone planes are remote controlled unmanned planes- Bush was the first to ‘arm’ them- and Obama followed his lead.
We used to use them as surveillance planes- but when we stuck bombs on them we started using them to go after the enemy.
Being we don’t have pilots in the planes- we are basically doing our best to hit the target by remote control- and we often kill civilians in these strikes.
We are doing this in Yemen and Pakistan as I speak.
So- after years of killing lots of the wrong folk- these people are outright pissed off.
In Pakistan- there is some lawyer representing the families of the victims- and they have been saving the debris from the bombs- writing down the serial numbers and all- and using them for evidence on some future court case against the U.S.
We recently found out [thru leaks?] That the way the U.S. counts the amount of terrorists that are killed in the strikes is ‘every adult male killed in the vicinity is considered to be a terrorist’.
Yup- that’s the rule.
So if we accidently kill- let’s say 15 men- and even if the remote control operator messed up- and hit the wrong spot- we count this as ‘15 bad guys dead’.
Geez- with scoring like this- how can you lose?
So- Carter came out and said this type of killing is wrong.
Was he right?
Of course he was- we have killed a lot of women and kids- that’s wrong- in everyone’s book.
Then why don’t we stop it?
The newly elected president of Egypt- the Muslim Brotherhood guy- he has already given signs to Iran that he wants to form some sort of an alliance with them.
He has also told the U.S. that he wants us to turn over the Blind Sheik.
If you remember- years before 911- we had another attempted bombing of the World Trade Towers.
They traced the original plot to some Muslim radical who was based in New Jersey.
I remember the case because as I watched the story- the guy had his office/mosque set up right on a storefront street- and when I saw the spot- I recognized the street as one of the places I walked passed as a kid [I think one time I illegally rode my dirt bike right passed the area- you know- one of those late night street rides when the cops chase you].
So- the new Egyptian president wants the guy released and sent back to Egypt.
And we have hailed this election as a great thing- we forced a former leader out- who we were actually allies with- and we [Obama] publicly supported the Brotherhood.
This is sad.
And last but not least- I told you the other day that Holder sued Florida [man- he needs to stop suing cities/states- this guy is out of control].
He sued the Repub governor- Rick Scott- because Scott ‘purged’ the voter rolls of non citizens.
Yeah- Scott actually identified real non citizens who were on the roles- and he tried to take them off.
It is against the law to vote if you’re not a citizen.
Why the suit?
Holder believes that the states that are doing this are really trying to hurt the Dems by going after minorities.
Okay- but say if we know- for a fact- that the people he’s removing are only non citizens- would that be okay?
According to Holder- no.
Yes- Holder said the state does not have the right to remove NON CITIZENS from the rolls- because it is within 90 days of an election- and darn it- those non citizens have rights too!
So- the case went to a federal judge- and the judge said- in so many words ‘are you nuts man- it’s against the law for non citizens to vote. The state and governor can actually be held liable if they don’t purge the voter rolls- of course Scott can do this- it’s required by law’.
I mean even the judge- a Dem appointed judge- thought Holder must be delusional – because they were upholding federal law.
As a side note- Holder has also sued some Egg farm.
Because he said they were requiring too much proof- from non citizens- to prove they were not illegal’s.
Yes- he sued this private business- not because they were requiring the proof from citizens- but from non citizens.
Why did the egg company do this?
If you get caught hiring an illegal- you pay a fine or go to jail.
They just raided a pizza place here in Corpus for this.
So- if the Egg man actually got caught hiring an illegal- then off to jail he goes.
So- he simply tried to make sure that the people he was hiring were in fact citizens- Holder sued him for this.
These are the things that have really riled up some on the other side.
I mean who cares if your Black, White or Green- this guy is absolutely off his rocker.
Okay- lets end with a bible thing here.
I mentioned the other day that I read some chapters about John the Baptist this week.
One of the big [and long] chapters was Luke 1.
In the chapter we read about the angel Gabriel appearing to both Mary- the Mother of Jesus- and Elisabeth- Mary’s cousin.
Elisabeth and her husband Zacharias were older folk and were never able to have a baby.
Then one day God does a miracle and Elisabeth gets pregnant and has John the Baptist.
The miracle was not the same as when Mary gets pregnant- but the miracle was they were older now- past the normal time to have kids.
Mary is told about this and when she gets pregnant with Jesus she visits Elisabeth and when Mary- who is carrying Jesus in her womb- sees Elisabeth- who is pregnant with John- the bible says the ‘baby leaped in her womb’.
It was John the Baptists purpose in life to be the fore runner of Jesus.
And even before he was born- he still responded this way as Christ showed up in the womb of Mary.
When the angel reveals to Mary that she will bare Christ- she bursts into this prayer/proclamation of praise.
Scholars call this Mary’s Magnificat [her magnifying of God].
If you have time- read this prayer in Luke one.
It does not sound like the prayer of some humble- quiet little lady.
It’s more like a prophetic blast of Gods rule.
Mary says things like ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of low degree’ ‘He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich hath he sent away empty’.
I mean these are some of the same themes we see in the teachings of Christ.
As I write and blog about politics- I do try to be fair.
I know it must have been hard these last few months for my friends on the left side of the aisle.
Trust me- about a year or 2 ago my friends on the right went thru the same thing.
My ‘job’ is to not simply pick a side- and then defend that side at all costs.
I think that’s the mistake many in the church have made.
We have really lost our prophetic voice as the people of God.
The modern Evangelical church [and the televangelist world] has lost the true social justice message of the church.
They [we] have traded that message in for one of self help- how to become wealthy- how to be happier- how to have a better life.
We have lost the prophetic voice of the church- the one that speaks out against the murder of the innocents [drones] or the lying about killing terrorists- just because we count ‘all adults in the area’ as the enemy.
Yes- the ‘church’ is supposed to have a voice for the defenseless in society.
No- we are too busy having an American party.
Beware- Mary said ‘the high he will bring down- the rich he hath sent away empty- the famous/proud will be bring low’.
I can’t think of a better description of the church today- can you?
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1857- LIBYA REDUX
I was going to post this morning on ‘secondary causes’.
That in nature- and the created world- there are what we call secondary causes.
That means God does not ‘create’ everything you see- as he did the original creation.
We see trees- plants- fish- even humans- and even though it is proper for us to refer to these as Gods creation- yet we can also examine the natural process of reproduction- seeds falling to the ground- and even ‘test tube’ babies- and this is still a creation from God [man can’t duplicate life- even in the lab] yet- these creations are not direct- as the original creation.
Anyway- maybe I’ll do this tomorrow.
What I want to do today is simply re hash some of the posts from the last year.
The other day when I checked my site [Face Book] I had a few comments about my political posts.
At the time I did not realize I knew the person.
She is a good friend who was an original church member form the church I started years ago in Kingsville.
I did feel bad a little- that I responded to the comments- not in a bad way- but without first saying hi.
Then after thinking ‘geez- this name sounds familiar’ I realized it was my friend.
Actually – she does have a good story to tell.
Janie met her husband- Emit [or Emmet? I never knew the correct spelling] at our little church.
Emit was one of the first ‘drug addicts’ that joined our church.
He was a friend of Elias [another addict I met while preaching at the jail] and our little home church was made up of these families.
Anyway- Emit- and Aunt Bee- the aunt who raised Emit- and Emits son [Emit Jr.] were all church members.
Emit Jr’s wife- Veronica- and her mom- Yolanda- all came too- I mean Kingsville is a small town- and after a while you meet the whole crew.
I was happy to see Janie and Emit meet- and later marry.
I would visit her and the boys [she has lots of boys- and a sweet daughter- Rhonda].
I knew these kids when they were young- I’m sure they look different today.
Janie and Emit and the family made a nice family.
Then one day I heard Emit died.
As far as I knew Emit was clean- not on drugs anymore.
And his son told me his dad died because his liver was bad- after all the past years of drugs.
I don’t know the whole story- but this was what his son told me.
By the way- Emit Jr still keeps in contact with me till this day.
So- before I get into the political debate- I wanted to tell the story of Janie and her family- it really is a good story to tell.
Okay- in some of the comments- it’s hard to re-tell all the posts I did last year- and the comment section on Face Book is too small to really do it justice.
One of the debates was over whether or not Gadhaffi slaughtered his people.
Did we [Obama] intervene in Libya because the leader was slaughtering his people?
I disagreed- and this is the reason why.
There was an ongoing policy debate within the administration [the president’s team].
There were some on one side- Susan Rice, Samantha Powers- and the other side was pretty much made up of the defense secretary and the military folk.
I remember reading/hearing about this particular debate- because some in the media made it sound like ‘the women’ won over the men.
Basically the debate was ‘should we- the U.S. – and the Obama presidency- should we set a new precedent that says- we will use military force- BEFORE a slaughter takes place’.
What you had in Libya was a very public ‘civil’ unrest.
90% of the population lives right off the Mediterranean coast- in the West you had the capitol city- Tripoli.
In the east the main city was Benghazi.
The rebels from the east rose up against Tripoli.
Gadhaffi and his men were attacked by the east- they made it all the way up until the western stronghold of Tripoli.
[Note- these guys raped- killed- and committed ‘crimes against humanity’ on the way- that’s a fact]
After a few weeks of fighting- Gadhaffi re grouped and began his trek east- and wound up at the gates of Benghazi.
Okay- was there a slaughter that took place?
No. It was GOING TO TAKE PLACE- at least that’s what the threat seemed to be.
Gadhaffi was saying- very publicly- that he would go in and go from house to house and get all those who are siding with the rebels.
Some think this was just a threat- that he wanted the city to abandon the rebels cause- and this was simply bravado.
Anyway- on both sides- there was killing- but no slaughter [slaughter is what took place in Rwanda- a million dead].
President Obama and his team admit this- this was their argument ‘we acted first- before the slaughter took place’.
Now- I don’t want to re hash the whole thing- nor do I think it profitable to get into debates like this- with my friends.
It’s just some of the comments said I basically was an idiot and had no idea what I was saying- and I felt like I needed to respond.
I actually am on the side of Obama right now- in his decision to not act in Syria.
There are those calling for military intervention- but we [the U.S.] have intervened too much already- very rarely does military force do the job.
In Libya- before we acted- people living in Tripoli had a good life.
I used to see actual documentaries on the open markets of the city- venders selling olives and fish and all the wonderful produce form the Mediterranean region.
You had doctors and professors- kids going to school- you went to the hospital- just like here in the U.S.
After the killing of Gadhaffi- that city is ruined.
If you take your kid to the hospital now- there are opposing militia groups [terrorists] who walk through the hospital- carrying guns.
They are all saying ‘we are in charge- no- we are’.
I heard this from an interview from a doctor- it was on NPR radio- a very reliable news source.
The non Black leaders that were from the east- the group we sided with- they have taken the Black women and children and have made them- well- slaves.
The leaders we backed- they hate Blacks- with a passion.
I explained why this is in the past- basically Gadhaffi loved the Black skinned Africans. So the ‘friend of my enemy is my enemy’.
There are many reports that these wonderful Black people- I mean some were doctors and school teachers- you need to see how bad this is.
These Black people are now actually doing slave labor- they have them cleaning up the streets and working as slaves- these are reports I heard from multiple reliable sources.
I mean how would you feel if the U.S. came to your city- and your Black kids were used like this?
Taken out of school- their future gone- their dads castrated.
This has been going after the death of Gadhaffi.
How can anyone think this is good- that we helped these people?
Libya- Egypt- and yes- Iraq- they are all worse off than before.
This debate is not about whether or not someone’s favorite president did better than the other president.
It’s about U.S. intervention- it’s about the use of force.
It’s about the plight of the Blacks in Libya.
No- Obama did not go in because Gadhaffi was slaughtering his people- he went in to prevent what he said would be a slaughter.
Either way- we ruined that country- for good.
1854- WEEKEND WARNING
Before I forget- the odds of the market selling off today are high.
If you are in- and have been for a while- no big deal.
But if you are one of those types that buy and sell every couple of days/weeks.
Then I wouldn’t buy today.
Okay- have a lot to cover and not much space.
I found it interesting to watch the narrative that I have been talking about these last few days to have been so blatant yesterday.
On MSNBC the hosts are now regular telling people that the Euro zone crisis is a direct result of austerity measures [spend less than you have].
This is an outright lie- I wrote about this lots the last few weeks and don’t want to re hash the thing.
The point is the entire network is now saying this- and if you are someone that’s invested in world events- you are being lied to- daily.
I caught the morning NPR show yesterday- I usually catch the early show [sometimes right at 5 am].
I’m an early riser- been up since 3:30 this day.
So- it was interesting- right at 7:05 the report was some bad housing numbers- foreclosures were up from last month.
They were up 16% from this time last year- 9 from last month.
Bad- but not surprising [to me].
Then- at 8:05 am- the report said ‘good news for the housing market’.
I mean- you can’t make stuff like this up.
Why are these bad numbers not a surprise?
Last year many of the banks put a hold on their foreclosures.
You had the Robo Signing scandal [people just rubber stamping foreclosures- using fake names].
And you had the president purposefully do a short moratorium on foreclosures.
Okay- so what would happen when these temporary fixes were over?
Foreclosures go up.
Then why don’t the financial guys tell you this- why do they make it sound like all is well?
I don’t think these guys are purposefully lying [most of them] but when your whole career is based on the market- then you have a natural tendency to hear [say] what you want- not what’s necessarily the truth.
Why am I so negative on the market today?
Yesterday we had a short run up- primarily because the central banks [in Europe and presumably us- the Fed] made it sound like they might help the cash strapped European states and pump ‘liquidity’ [cash] into the system.
Okay- so the Dow went up- not because we had good economic news- but bad.
That is- things look so bad- the world banks said ‘we might help’.
Okay- why does this help the market?
These last few years- our nations bank- the Federal Reserve- has pumped trillions of dollars into the system.
Some think this is bad monetary policy- others say it’s good.
Now- as a matter of simple math- if you put extra money into the system- this money has to go somewhere.
And eventually a large part goes into the market.
This in reality is a fake way to ‘stimulate’ the market.
So that’s what you saw yesterday.
Yesterday the high court disbanded the entire Parliament.
The military are still in control- and it looks like Democracy has failed.
Now- do I think this is a bad thing?
Look- the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power after the protests.
These guys just had thousands in the streets calling for the destruction of Israel.
They are indeed radicals- and if they run the country you will have another theocracy like Iran.
This is not good for the rights of women- Christians- and many other groups.
The economy of Egypt has been ruined.
For centuries people have been going to visit the pyramids- that whole thing is now dead.
Tourism was a major part of their economy.
We have not helped the cause of these people- we might have meant well by toppling Mubarak- but the aftermath is bad.
Oil prices are down 12 %- because of a global slowdown.
Asia [China] is slowing down faster than anyone thought- China just took financial action to try and counteract this.
In the beginning of the year many were projecting 3.5- 4 % growth for the U.S.
The Bulls and Bears were just about split [I was- am still a bear].
Half way thru the year- the estimates are now 1.7 % growth- terrible.
There is no way we are going to see an upturn for the rest of the year- not possible.
Now- will the markets go up?
I don’t think so- but people do crazy stuff.
I’m saying the global economic outlook is terrible- very very bad- The E.U. crisis is very bad.
Spain and Italy are in trouble- not just Greece.
Greece is on the verge of exiting the Euro- and many investors have taken their money out of Spain and Italy.
Italy is really ‘too big to fail’.
If the Italian economy crashes- the Euro\zone is over.
Now- Do I think the worst will happen?
I don’t know for sure- but for financial advisors to be telling people that the ‘fundamentals’ are strong is ridiculous.
This has been the mantra the last year.
That U.S. companies [and banks] have much more cash on hand- the price for stock- compared to ‘projected’ growth/income of the company is cheap.
And some paint this rosy picture.
If you own a McDonalds on your block- and your ‘fundamentals’ are strong- but if everyone on the block is going broke- it makes no difference how strong the fundamentals are- the customers are broke.
That’s what the E.U crisis means- they are our number one trading partner- yes- they beat China.
If they are having all these very real problems- then we are in danger of another recession.
Most of the recent numbers seem to be saying this.
The last few weeks we are seeing a rise in the weekly unemployment numbers.
Our economy is softening- and the trend is not your friend.
With all this going on- the message of the president makes no sense.
He gave a speech yesterday- he basically is saying ‘do you want what we had the last 10 years- look what Bush gave you’.
I mean he acts like he has not been in charge for the past 3.5 years.
Look- I’m starting to worry about the man.
One interesting thing to keep note of.
The markets play into what they think might happen.
If the Supreme Court shoots down Obama care this month- markets WILL LIKE THAT.
And- the truth be told- if they think Romney is going to win [the odds look much better for him now than 3 months ago] the markets will factor that in as a positive sign.
All in all- today might be a rough day for stocks.
We do need to batten down the hatches for the rest of the year and realize at midyear- we have made a turn for the worse.
Don’t worry- don’t panic- but make sure your listening to good advice.
I am not a total doomsayer when it comes to this [Beck type]- but I see the writing on the wall- the global economy is slowing down- we are on the verge of a double dip recession- and the Euro Zone looks very bad- despite the central banks action.
1842- BAD CAMPAIGN IDEA- YOU THINK?
Well it’s been a long Memorial Day weekend.
Late Friday one of the big banks of Spain asked for a 40 billion dollar bailout.
Bankia is strapped with billions of dollars of failed mortgages- and the S and P downgraded them to junk status.
Spain- like many of the other European nations- is in big trouble.
There unemployment rate is 25 %.
Yesterday the Dow closed over 12,500.
There was a mini surge in the market.
The Dow is funny- it is not always an indicator of how well the economy is doing.
For example- the jobs numbers for April came out- late Friday [we try to release bad news on Fridays- after the markets close- so people have to sit and wait until Monday [or Tuesday] before they can respond.]
Yeah- the numbers were not good- total jobs for the month were around 115,000.
So- this makes investors think ‘geez- the economy is in trouble- maybe the Fed. will print more money’.
And the big investors will add that into to their calculations- and Walla- the Dow goes up.
As we hit the middle of the year- after 3 months of bad jobs numbers [they need to be around 250,000 a month] it sure looks like we are not recovering well from the Great Recession.
Yes- once again it made headlines.
There were reports of lots of civilians killed again.
Many of them kids.
Assad [the leader] denied it was his men.
The killers were indeed militia men- in uniform- not standard govt. fighters.
But it seems as if they are working for Assad.
Russia at first questioned it- they are strong supports of Assad.
They thought maybe it was Al Qaida- who are operating in the country.
They bombed a military hospital a few weeks back and killed civilians.
But Russia seems like they might be changing their tune a little- they are also speaking out more forcefully against Assad.
I watched Tom Freidman on the Charlie Rose show.
Freidman is a writer for the N.Y. Times- he’s usually right on.
He’s calling for a No Fly Zone in Syria.
I must ask these guys ‘what do you mean’?
Assad is not using planes to attack the rebels- just like Gadhaffi in Libya.
So what would a true no fly zone accomplish?
The term ‘no fly zone’ has come to mean ‘we will go in to your country- under the guise of NATO- but the U.S. will pay for most of it- do most of it- and we will bomb the hell out of your leader’.
Oh- then after were done- Al-Qaida- or any radical Islamist group- will rule the land.
So- because of our action in Libya- this is the new definition of a no fly zone.
I don’t want to sound like I support Assad- I don’t- but this strategy has failed.
In Egypt- where we forced the leader to step down [Mubarak].
They just had their election- and it’s a runoff between a former govt. man and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The president has supported the Muslim Brotherhood [our president!]
He had them at the White House a few weeks back.
This gave them an aura of support from the West- for a U.S. president to invite one of the groups of an upcoming election to have a personal sit down in the White House is showing favoritism.
So the actual protestors who gave their lives in Tahrir square- their voices are not being heard.
The moderate candidates did not win.
The Muslim Brotherhood might not be as bad as Al-Qaida [Might!] but they do advocate for Shariah law.
Egypt was not an Islamic run state in the past- we ousted out Mubarak and now it looks like they will become one.
Why is this bad?
Let’s see- gay folk- yeah- we catch you in the act- we kill you.
Women- caught cheating- we stone you.
Christians- if we think you blasphemed Allah [like witnessing for Jesus] your dead too.
Should I go on?
Yet the president and many in the western media hail the recent elections as a great victory for Democracy- after all it is a real vote.
I wonder how many of these same reporters would think the same if some Western nation elected a bunch of radical Christian fundamentalists who wanted to kill gays and women.
We see the double standard- and it’s huge.
And let’s end with politics.
Yes- the lines are drawn and Obama has made it clear that his strategy to go after Bain capital is going to be their campaign.
Okay- Bain capital is the financial firm that Romney ran.
This firm used PRIVATE MONEY to go into hurting companies and provide cash.
In some cases- not all- they had to downsize.
They laid off workers- cut back- and even closed some businesses down.
In other cases they saved the company- and the businesses went on to become great successes [Staples- the office supply chain is one example].
So- the President is criticizing Bain because in some cases they lost jobs.
Let’s look at his record for a moment.
One of the things that Obama likes to do is invest PUBLIC TAX MONEY into private business- businesses that have direct ties to him and his friends.
Yes- he sunk tons of money into Solyndra [a solar energy company].
This company- now famous for having gone under [yikes- you mean you invested money into a private company- TAX MONEY- and it shut down- sounds like Bain to me].
And when the company was on the verge of going under- it was right before the midterm elections- the president changed the govt. loan- against the law- and made it favor one of his top money guys.
Yes- this is fact- it all came out- in the news- on a bunch of Fridays no less.
The loans that the govt. makes to these private companies has a law that says ‘if the company ever goes bust- the taxpayers get paid back first- before any private investors’.
The law puts the tax payer over the ‘private equity money’ that is- Bain money.
Okay- the law protects you and me- and it makes the Bain’s of the world get paid last.
So what did the Pres do?
His campaign guy- who had invested money into the company- told the Pres ‘look- I will put more money into Solyndra- to keep them afloat before the election- but if they go bust- I want my money back first- before the taxpayer’.
Now- this is against the law that governs these loans.
So- after all this came to light- an email/memo came out that said ‘it looks like your wanting to change the law to benefit your friend might be illegal’. This was an internal memo from Obama’s people.
Yeah- Obama’s own people wrote this.
They advised ‘you need to get the approval of the justice dept. before you change this loan’.
He never did.
He changed the loan- his top campaign guy got his money first- and you and I got the short end of the deal.
Now- after all this- the presidents main campaign message is ‘look at Romney- he has a past of using private money to bail out companies- his dealings with private money are bad’.
You think with a history like Solyndra the last thing you would want to bring up is private money deals versus the U.S. taxpayer.
Being its Passion week- I do at least want to recommend everyone try and read Isaiah 50.
This chapter speaks about the willingness of Christ to bear the reproach of the Cross ‘he gave his back to be whipped- his beard to be pulled out’.
In Christian theology we call this the Kenosis [Philippians] it’s the willing act of Jesus to empty himself of all the Divine privileges- his glory- while at the same time retaining his deity.
Many of the early church councils struggled with this division- that is how to understand that Jesus always was God- and yet he ‘gave up’ the unique privileges of that deity when he hung on the Cross.
The bible says he ‘emptied himself and became obedient unto death- even the death of the Cross- therefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name above every name- that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord- to the glory of God the father’.
Yes- this is what distinguishes the Christian faith from all the other religions of the world.
That’s not to say that the other world religions have no value- they do.
Many teach good virtues- loving your fellow man.
Others hold to the traditional belief in God and hold to the same apologetic arguments that the Christian church uses.
But the distinguishing factor is we believe that Jesus died for our sins- the founder of ‘our religion’ didn’t just give us good precepts- or examples.
No- we believe he actually died for us- and redeemed us back to God the father by his death and resurrection.
The epistle to the Romans says ‘we therefore have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Amen- and amen.
Okay- now a few notes.
2 or 3 posts back I mentioned how we should get ready to see a new narrative- how the media will begin telling us a particular kind of story about the Supreme Court and the political wrangling going on over health care.
Sure enough- to my surprise- the next day the President cane out and took on the court in an unprecedented way.
Many legal experts- on both sides of the aisle- were shocked.
The president used language like ‘a bunch of unelected judges overturning the will of the people’.
He said how there were many judges and legal experts who believe that the law [health care] is constitutional and should not be overturned.
He used language that was kind of deceptive- making it sound like the possible overturning of the law would almost be an illegal act.
I mentioned this in the other post- that if you carefully followed this law getting challenged in the courts- it split about 50-50.
And as I listened to the various arguments- to me it is not a stretch to think the law will be overturned.
But the president made it sound like the overturning of it would be political judicial activism.
I don’t think he actually knows what that means- when the term political activism is used it’s referring to judges who ‘legislate from the bench’.
That is they make new law- law that has not been in existence until their ruling.
A good example would be the Roe v Wade case [abortion].
The court found a ‘new’ constitutional ‘right to privacy’ in their ruling.
Now- however you believe about the ruling- the point is that’s what ‘judicial activism’ refers to- not the possibility of the court finding a new law unconstitutional.
The president also said if the court overturned his law- that it would be unprecedented.
The court has declared around 150 laws to be unconstitutional since the late 1700’s.
This would not be unprecedented in any way.
The day after he made these charges- he got so much criticism for overstepping his boundaries- there are 3 branches of govt.- Judiciary, Executive and Congress- and for any president to try and influence a decision like this is usually considered way out of bounds.
It is true that FDR had battles with the court- as well as other presidents- but for a president to use the language Obama did- well it was way over the line.
So yesterday he back peddled some.
I mean it was so bad that one of the other challenges to the law- taking place right now in the 5th circuit court of appeals- the judge interrupted the lawyer for the govt. and asked her if the president believes the courts have the right to rule against the law.
He told the lawyer for the justice dept to bring back a 3 page- single spaced- explanation form Eric Holder to explain their position.
This judge basically let the administration know that the courts are not going to put up with such a public attack on their independence.
So anyway that’s where it stands as of now- hopefully some things will settle down and we will see what happens when the ruling comes out in a couple of months.
Okay- try and read the chapter I mentioned today- maybe read Philippians chapter 2 as well- that’s the chapter I quoted from- and mediate on the death and resurrection of Jesus- he died for the whole world.
When Jesus was born the angels said ‘peace on earth and good will towards men’.
Christ came into the world to bring peace- to offer to all mankind a new and living way.
As Christians- it’s not our job to condemn all the other religions of the world- but to show them the difference between the Christian faith and the other well meaning faiths- and to let them know that Jesus died for all- all are welcome.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1818- WHO IS BARRY?
Last night I was channel surfing the news shows- and I caught Lawrence O’Donnell doing another one of his ‘anti Mormon’ critiques.
Yes- MSNBC has an ongoing narrative where they speak about Romney as a ‘strange- weird- cult member’.
I saw this months ago- and they have been faithful to their task.
So anyway O’Donnell is covering the ancient teaching of Brigham Young [the co-founder of the Mormon religion- a follower of Joseph Smith] and he’s quoting all the racist teachings that he held to.
Specifically that mixed marriages are wrong.
Now- I could quote the actual Christian bible- yes- the Protestant/Catholic bible- and find this teaching in there.
Yes- the bible O’Donnell believes in!
But that would solve nothing.
Many old time preachers did teach this doctrine- from many various denominations.
Do we [I] believe that mixed marriage is wrong?
But you do have some fundamentalist groups who still teach this.
So O’Donnell is fulfilling his task to portray Romney as a cult guy- and he spends a big portion of the show telling everyone that Romney’s religion is racist.
Now- you could find stuff like this out- with all the other candidates- even the President- yet this network is really not a news network- they are simply Obama devotees.
Axelrod- the presidents campaign guy- a few weeks back tweeted that Romney’s religion does not allow women to enter the temple when they are menstruating.
He left the tweet up for a little while then pulled it.
I have heard other Mormons say this is a false charge- I really don’t know if the church ever taught it- but it’s possible.
Again- you do have certain health standards in the Old Testament- that if you read them- they speak about ‘uncleanness’ when a woman is menstruating.
We find verses on Dwarves not being able to serve God.
People [men] whose ‘stones’ are crushed not being able to serve God [testicals are stones].
So if you wanted- you could trace all these things- not just to Brigham Young or Joseph Smith- but you could also tie them in to the Christian faith.
Now- do most sane Christians believe these ‘strange’ teachings are still in effect?
Thank God- no.
But if your goal is to simply slander the opponent- then have at it.
Over the last few years- as a news watcher/reader- you pick up on certain clues along the way.
Maybe a story won’t make it into the mainstream [for various reasons- to cover up for a person- etc.] But as you read the other columnists- you see little pieces of the puzzle.
So- one of the charges that the ‘right’ has made against Obama is that he had a different name when he grew up- and went to school.
Some say he held the name ‘Barry Sotero’.
They claim his identity is in question because he might have been legally adopted by his stepdad- thus throwing the whole citizenship issue back into play.
Now- I have never read/heard a ‘mainstream news’ report on this- so I never brought it up [to me- it’s just as bad as raising the history of Romney’s church up- a belief he- and most Mormons do not hold to].
But as an avid reader of all stripes [both Liberal and Conservative writers].
I noticed something about a year ago- Maureen Dowd- a liberal columnist who writes for the N.Y. Times- she started referring to the president as Barry.
She gives no reason for it- she does not try and defend her use of it- she simply knows that he did indeed use this name- from what I can tell- all the way right up into his years in college.
Then why would you have never heard about this until now?
Because the media have a narrative- a story they want to tell [and also believe in].
They tell one that has the opponents of the president as a bunch of weird cult members- people who reject mixed marriages- people whose women can’t attend church when they are on their period- who have houses that have elevators for their cars [Romney].
These same media people were so entranced by a particular image of a man- an unrealistic messianic image- that they were so taken captive by- that one of them quit their job as a reporter- right on the spot- to simply join the most ‘transformative presidency’ in the history of man [Linda Douglas- who was reporting on the 2008 election].
You had another reporter [George Stephanopoulos] who admitted on national TV that he cried- very loudly [I guess like when you can’t get a word in type thing?] when he watched the inauguration of the president.
Chris Matthews famously said a thrill goes up his leg when he simply hears words proceeding from the presidents mouth.
Now- I don’t hate the man.
I don’t even like Romney.
But as you attempt to navigate between what’s best- what’s true- what’s fake.
For us to get treated to the 200 year old teaching of some strange leader of a religious sect- and yet for us to not even know that the current president never even came to the mainland of the U.S. until college- is striking.
Yes- the president lived in Indonesia- spent time in Kenya- visited the African continent- wrote about the anti Imperial mindset of the African colonies.
He was influenced by stories and people whose view of America was negative.
He lived among them- went to school with them.
Wore their Muslim garb [yes].
Prayed the Muslim prayer.
Used the name Barry.
And never stepped on the lower 48 until college.
Now- does this mean he’s a bad man?
But for us to know that menstruating Mormons cant attend temple- and to not know any of this- well that’s what you call media bias.
That’s not journalism.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1816- CASA DI MI PADRE
This is the latest Will Ferrell flick to hit the big screen.
It’s in Spanish [no joke] and Ferrell speaks all his lines in Spanish.
I caught his interview on Jon Stewart- plugging the movie- and it looks funny.
I do like Ferrell- I clipped an article [so I would remember to mention it] and just about 5 minutes ago as I re-read the thing- I couldn’t stop laughing.
It shows a picture of Ferrell- all made up to look like a Mexican drug lord [I think he plays a brother of one in the movie] and he’s holding this rifle- in a real awkward way- and he looks like an idiot.
That’s what makes me laugh about the guy- he’s just funny.
The movie is a spoof of the Spanish Telenovela movies- he’s basically making fun of the genre- and at the same time trying to appeal to both Spanish and English speaking audiences.
As the week ends- there have been some surprises in the news world.
Most observers think the Health Care law has more of a chance of being struck down by the court than less of a chance.
It was not so last week- so this is a major story.
Also about 2 weeks ago I wrote some posts on the Syrian situation- if you remember both Russia and China rejected the U.S. lead effort [in the U.N.] to condemn Assad [the Syrian president] and call for his ouster.
At the time I said the U.S. needs to realize that we can’t keep calling for the ouster of leaders- even bad ones- every time a rebellion rises up.
Because the radical Islamist groups see this- and that’s why you started having various protestors calling for ‘NO FLY ZONES’.
They were reading us- and at times trying to simply manipulate us to do their bidding.
Now- after our U.N. resolution failed [because of China and Russia voting it down] Susan Rice- the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.- made a public statement- calling it ‘unconscionable’ and using language that you normally don’t see by ‘fellow negotiators’ from the U.N.
As I watched the fallout- I saw that experts at how the U.N. process works- they said Rice was incompetent- and her reaction showed her inability to handle the job.
These criticisms came from both sides- Russian and U.S.
I also said at the time that the U.S. needs to basically listen to what Russia’s objections are- and we need to move in their direction on this- and not the other way around.
Russia basically was fed up with the West coming in and backing rebel groups- unseating the leaders of the countries- and then leaving the place a mess [Libya- Egypt].
Russia [and China] saw the writing on the wall- and they called for a ceasefire on all sides- and for everyone to sit down at the table.
I thought this was the best way to go as well.
But Rice [U.S.] called for Assad to step down [which means he will get tried and executed- as various Al Qaeda groups take the country over].
So just the other day- the news headlines read ‘Russia capitulates to U.S. position’.
As I read the article- the opposite happened.
We agreed to the Russian position- not the other way around.
But every article on it- bar none- made it look like ‘we prevailed’.
That Obama and his team were the real experts- standing up for liberty- and the other side lost.
How many people knew enough to see that the articles were wrong- how many just read the headlines and thought ‘wow- what a bang up job that Susan Rice is doing at the U.N.’
This is how media bias works- sometimes I think they even believe their own stuff- even when it’s obviously wrong.
In the next week or so I’m going to try and wrap up a few more posts on Philosophy.
We started around 6 months ago- with the pre Socratic Philosophers [7-800 years B.C.] and made it all the way up to the Existentialists of the 19th century.
I hate to stop there- because we were right at the time of the rise of the Atheistic existentialists- the Nihilists- who saw no hope in existence.
These guys ‘stole’ existentialism from its founder- a Christian- Soren Kierkegaard- and developed a purposeless philosophy- a ‘man without hope’ future world.
Guys like John Paul Sartre and Camus [20th century] were writing/saying things like ‘the only question now left is the viability of suicide’.
Books with the simple title ‘Nausea’ or ‘no exit’ [a play]- describing the fate of man.
As I watch/read the current trends- it is tempting to see our future in this way.
I mean society is struggling for meaning- Arab nations are going thru tremendous times of questioning- and some observers are grasping at the solutions that the 19th century Atheists already espoused- and failed.
Men like Sam Harris [the End of Faith] blame all society’s ills on religion itself- pointing to Islamic terrorism- and making statements like ‘almost all wars are religion based’.
I mean his argument sounds good- he’s just wrong.
Out of all recorded major wars- around 1700- under 10 % are considered religious in nature.
But who really has time for facts like this?
So- over the next few weeks- as I watch the scene- maybe catch the Ferrell flick- I will keep in mind another famous line of Ferrell’s.
He was talking to Christina Applegate- in his classic film ‘Anchorman- the Legend of Ron Burgundy’.
And there sitting at some lookout- viewing the city of L.A.
And Ferrell waxes eloquent about the city- he says ‘L.A. – the city named after..’
Well- it’s kinda crass- he basically says it was named after the female part of a whale.
Christina looks at him- puzzled- and says ‘I think its name means City of Angels’.
Ferrell disagrees- he tells her ‘well- we will just have to agree to disagree’.
She says ‘no- I’m pretty sure I’m right’.
I’m glad the country is having a debate about what’s right and wrong- the Trayvon Martin case- the ethical responsibility that society has to the poor [Health care arguments].
Our role as a lead nation ‘among nations’- how to side with the protestors- in a responsible way that doesn’t leave the nations in a mess when where done.
All of these debates are ethical in nature- the questions we are asking is ‘is this right or wrong’.
And contrary to some modern thinkers- there is a right and a wrong on these issues- yes- sometimes we compromise- sometimes we ‘agree to disagree’ and sometimes it takes one side to tell the other ‘no- I think you are wrong on this’.
Do it in love- do it with boldness- ‘speaking truth to power’ but when you see the need- then do it.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1811- ETCH A SKETCH
The top story of the day- the big- no- huge- breaking news.
What was it?
You aint gonna believe me.
Yes- the Etch a Sketch controversy!
During the day yesterday some campaign aid for Romney said when they get to the general election- they will move to the center and do like the Etch a Sketch- shake the game and clear the slate.
Okay- was this the smartest thing to say? No.
Sure- it played into the charge that Romney is a ‘change agent’ [he changes his position to suit the day].
But top news? Please.
What should be top news?
I have covered a bunch of important overlooked stories these last few weeks- there are so many I could write one a day- but let’s hit a couple for now.
The top government leader in Libya has just said- quote ‘the central govt. is incapable of protecting or governing the nation’s vital institutions since the capture and killing of Gadhaffi’.
Yes- we over through that govt. by force- and we left the country in a mess.
Egypt- this week they just acquitted 9 terrorists who belonged to Al Qaeda and were part of the Islamic Jihad movement.
They had charges against them from trying to overthrow the former regime- Mubarak- who we forced to step down.
Yes- the people we enabled to be in charge- they acquitted our so called number one enemy in the world- Al Qaeda.
So why do these important stories- stories that demand headline news coverage- why do they get put on the back burner- and instead we have room for the Etch a Sketch.
It’s because the media do not want to report stories that would have a negative effect on Obama.
John- do you really believe this?
Hillary Clinton believed it to.
During her run against Obama for the nomination- her insider political people knew that the media were purposefully covering for Obama.
It has been reported- credibly- that her people actually contacted Hannity from Fox news- and told him that they were grateful that Fox was the only network willing to cover Obama.
A book just came out by David Corn- a liberal supporter of Obama- works for Mother Jones.
In the book Corn says how Obama has told his supporters that his poll numbers are down because Fox news accuses him of being a Muslim 24/7.
I watch Fox- as well as all the news channels- I have never heard a hard news report that claimed Obama was a Muslim.
Now- the president himself has indeed made so many statements in the past- calling Islam ‘my Muslim faith’.
He has said that he studied the Koran- he has prayed the Muslim prayer at sunset- and it was- quote ‘a beautiful thing’.
He has made statements like this over and over again- nonstop- over the years.
So- you would have thought that during the campaign some media people would have simply asked ‘why did you say this- a lot’.
Not one question- instead the media began a campaign to get people to think ‘geez- why are they always accusing Obama of being Muslim’.
The news reporters would ask the opposing candidates ‘do you think he’s Muslim’.
They would ask ‘should you make so and so apologize because he thinks Obama is Muslim’.
Yet not one story on his own statements associating himself with Islam.
Many of you probably never heard the few I just quoted in this post.
Okay- am I on this anti Muslim rant- trying to associate Obama with Islam?
But the book just came out- and this is a charge he makes- that the other side are ‘24/7’ calling him a Muslim- that’s just not true- and any other candidate who made the statements he has in the past- they would have not gotten ‘a pass’.
I talked about the atheist Nietzsche in the last post.
One of the famous comments he made was- man- like the Superman- should ‘will to power’ he should live for what he deems best- and strive for the top- even if you have no real reason for your own existence. He said man should ‘build his house on Vesuvius’ [an active volcano].
As the year progresses- as the top stories of the day become a stupid Etch a Sketch comment- or how one side is so right- while the other so wrong- we need to read between the lines.
There are many serious- important stories to cover.
Innocent people being killed- leaders oppressing their people.
Children starving around the world in vast numbers.
These are all very serious issues that we need to know about- pray about- and if we can- do something about.
But no- we want the Etch a Sketch- we want the stories that have no real value- no true meaning.
Yes- we are building our house on Vesuvius- and we don’t even know it.
1807- HAVE A FINE WINTER TIME IN THE POCON…- NAH- HOW BOUT BARQA.
Have you heard the good news?
Yes- the world community has just added another nation to the pot.
It’s this wonderful coastal state that sits right off of the Mediterranean [club med?].
You know- the northern part of Africa- on the border with that other famous tourist spot- Egypt.
Yes folks- last week the eastern half of Libya broke away from its capital [Tripoli] and launched their own state.
The new ‘leaders’ of Libya- they said it was an Arab conspiracy to destroy the nation.
Why are the new leaders- the guys we installed- crying?
Let’s see- the eastern half of the Arab nation has all the oil- oh- so what we did in Libya- the military action that is regularly touted as the new successful model- it split the nation in half and will probably send them into a long term civil war.
In the last post or 2 I also mentioned how the new leaders are guilty of war crimes and are continuing to oppress the part of the population that supported Gadhaffi.
Yes- the new nation is called Barqa- and I bet this is the first time you heard the ‘good news’.
Why is this stuff important John?
Because what we did- did not work out well at all.
Yet the media- and the supporters of the president- continue to talk about our action [with NATO] as a great success.
As far as I can tell- it’s turning into a mess.
Yes- after all the blood spilled- both American and Iraqi- how are things working out?
The leader- Malaki- he has charges against the vice president [of another sect] and he’s trying to try the guy on terrorist charges- he’s hiding out in the north- the Kurdish region.
It looks like Iraq will also divide into 2 or 3 territories.
The leader- Malaki- is a supporter of Iran- and is even supporting the Syrian dictator- the one we are trying to get out- yes- the guy we backed in Iraq is supporting Iran and Syria- and not us.
Last but not least- Afghanistan.
Yes- we had the tragic incident of one of our guys leaving the base and killing 16 innocent civilians in cold blood- many of them women and children.
We have had Afghans protesting in the streets- images of Obama being lynched [did you see it? I did].
After all this time- trying to pretend that the Afghans see us as their liberators- they see us as occupiers- and we are their oppressors.
The Taliban put out a statement after the killing of the civilians- it said that if the U.S. military blames this on a mentally unstable person [he was a staff sergeant who had suffered a previous bran injury].
They said then it shows you that the U.S. is so bankrupt- that they are putting guns in the hands of their mentally unstable soldiers and sending them to our country.
Don’t tell me these Taliban are not smart.
Yes- after all this time- all the blood and money and time- it seems like all the nations we have been involved with militarily- well they are either worse off- or just as bad- as before we got involved.
Isaiah chapter 2 says at the end of time the Lords kingdom will prevail over all kingdoms- men will take their military weapons and turn them into instruments of peace [swords into Plowshares ring a bell?]
Yes- the ultimate goal is ‘war no more’ [this is also in the chapter- learn WAR NO MORE].
I’m not a pacifist- I believe we have the right to defend ourselves with force if need be.
But we must use it as a last resort- we must see that force- military action rarely wins the hearts and minds of people.
And for a Western ‘Christian’ nation to go into the heart of the Arab world- even with good intentions- and to think that our killing of other Arabs/Muslims can with the hearts and minds of the people- then we are on a fool’s errand.
Yes- maybe well intended- maybe justified in the sense that we had the right to strike back- but the overall strategy is failing- terribly.
Oh well- maybe if we all take a vacation things will look better when we get back- how bout we all go to the sandy shores of Barqa- I hear the Margaritas are great.
1805- GROUND ZERO- ABOTTOBAD [Pakistan]
Let’s start with an article I read this week on the last days of Bin Laden.
Now- I must admit when I got about halfway thru I could not stop laughing.
I sit in the yard during the day when reading- and yes- I was outside- laughing loud.
The story covered how during the last few months of Bin laden on the lamb- that his oldest wife ‘showed up’ one day at the compound.
Yes- the article repeats this- she ‘showed up’.
It made it sound like they did not want her to know where he was living.
Understand- his 3 story compound- which we have all seen on the news- was considered the world’s most top secret hiding spot- hidden right by the Pakistani military academy- to protect it from the U.S.- and we spent years trying to track him down.
Even on the day of the famous seal team 6 raid- we still did not know for sure that he was there.
Yet- this oldest wife- well- she ‘showed up’ one day [just a warning to all you players out there].
Now- the story goes that everyone in the compound [28 people in total] were all afraid that she was going to rat them out.
Bin Laden lived on the 3rd floor with his youngest wife- from Yemen.
And he had another wife living with them on the 3rd floor- she slept in the computer room.
But the oldest wife- the one who just ‘showed up’ she stayed on the 2nd floor- right below Bin laden.
Now- one of the sons of the other wives kept asking her ‘what are you doing here?’- And she finally said- I’m quoting from the article now ‘I HAVE ONE LAST DUTY TO PERFORM FOR MY HUSBAND’.
The son immediately ran to the 3rd floor to inform the world’s most feared terrorist- the man who masterminded the worst terrorist attack to ever hit our shores- 3,ooo dead.
The son tells him the ominous tone of the woman’s voice.
It is said that Bin Laden simply replied ‘the will of Allah be done’ [okay- I hedged some- the article states he simply felt fate would take over].
Fate taking over- Allah’s will be done- come on man- do something about it.
Now- as a Christian blogger I usually don’t advocate for murdering a disgruntled spouse- but I just saw this past week how some American took his wife ‘deep sea diving’ and was charged with killing her- they think he turned off the air valve.
Okay- rank amateur- American born- you would think Bin Laden could have done more than say ‘the will of Allah be done’.
Okay- the famous night of the raid- he’s living on the 3rd floor- a compound within a compound- everyone in the home fears for their lives- not from the U.S. – but from the oldest wife.
Then all of a sudden- you hear a commotion- guns going off- we have all seen the depiction of Bin Laden standing by the bed- reaching for a gun- when the door breaks and seal team 6 arrives to save the day.
Yes- the cartoon depiction [we have no real video] left one thing out- Bin Laden probably said ‘Oh thank Allah- it’s just you guys’.
I will end the Bin Laden saga with one last quote- the article states that after Bin laden’s death- the Pakistani intelligence people- who just happen to have actual Taliban and terrorist within their ranks- when they interrogated the older wife- they said- quote ‘She is so aggressive- she borders on being intimidating’.
They basically were afraid of being in the room with the woman- now we know why we have all the videos of Bin Laden sitting in his room- looking at that TV screen- isolated- alone.
The reports were he was sick- and some questioned his mental health.
Yes- it looks like seal team 6 did save the day- for the U.S. – and Bin Laden.
Okay- wasted too much time on that one- and too risky.
You say ‘John- you do have readers in some of these countries in the Arab world- should you so freely be joking like this?’
To which I have one reply ‘who’s John’?
Okay- like I said in the last post or 2- the backlash of the Rush ‘slut’ comment- which caused him to lose advertisers- has provoked a response from the right- they have now gone and found the statements of Bill Maher- and have made a short UTUBE clip about them.
I don’t want to repeat the ones from the previous post- but be warned- these get bad- real bad.
Maher referred to Palin getting the job at fox ‘Palin is now going to comment on fox- her night job is like her day job- talking to Down Syndrome people all day’.
Note- Down Syndrome is a serious problem- one of the stigmas of it is many people used to confuse it with other more serious mental retardation issues.
How anyone can say this on national TV- and at the same time be a major supporter of the president- it’s beyond me.
Okay- he also refers to Palin- as ‘that C-U-N- and then a T’ [I mean- it’s so bad I have to find ways to say it- without ‘saying it’.]
As the week progressed- and the comments came out- some on the right are simply saying ‘this guy is a major funder of Obama’s PAC- he has made all the rounds on TV- he even called Plain a MILF [mothers I’d like to f—k] on CNN- and the news media are not asking Obama or his supporters if he should apologize’.
Yes- Obama needs to give the blood money back- disconnect from this idiot- and part ways.
But wait- as I was listening to right wing radio- Hannity- they had some Democrat woman on- who said these comments were acceptable- because they were made in a political environment- and were not a personal attack against all women.
Calling her the C word- bringing her sons sickness into it- acceptable? Unbelievable.
And last but not least- the videos and connections Obama has had with radical left wing Black activists.
A video came out that showed Obama supporting/introducing a Black racist.
The video simply showed Obama at Harvard introducing Derrick Bell- a radical racist activist who is anti White and Anti Semitic.
Now- Obama did not just do a onetime introduction- when Obama taught at the University of Chicago- he had this man’s books as required reading for a law class he taught.
Bell advocates for ‘radical race theory’- an idea that says the ‘JEWS’ conspired with the Whites in order to keep the Black man down- and that the only solution is to ‘abolish the White race as a social category ‘[actual quote].
Okay- a few years ago I remember when Trent Lott- the leader of the Repubs in the senate- he made a silly/stupid comment at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond.
When Strom was younger- he did run as a presidential contender in the south- and the Repubs and the Dems have a history of racism in the south- actually the Dem’s have a more racist history in the south [Dixiecrats].
So Lott says ‘things would have been a whole lot better if you won’
Okay- the media and the Dems went nuts- were you saying you wished that the south ‘won’ and the racists took over?
He simply apologized and said it was a stupid statement he gave at a party- he shouldn’t have done it.
Now- Lot lost his spot as the top leader over this.
Yet Obama has endorsed- spoken kindly about- and even recommends the books of a man who hates Jews- wants to ‘abolish the White race as a social category’- and has said these things openly before the whole world.
‘Well John- you don’t believe Obama believes this- do you’?
I have no idea- the point is he does have all these bad connections with people- things the media ignores- and at the same time he calls for a more civil discourse- on the right side of the aisle.
Okay- will end with one last quote- this came up on the Opie and Anthony show- the guy was some type of Democrat ‘entertainer’- he referred to Sarah Palin’s son- who has Down Syndrome ‘that retarded piece of &^%$ that came out of her C—T’.
Yes folks- you heard it- this same man was scheduled to speak/entertain at a Dem fundraiser later in the year.
I have not heard one prominent Democrat rebuke these comments- the things Maher has said- on video- not one Democrat has come out with the same ‘righteous outrage’ that they felt when a Republican called a lady- a Slut.
If we want civil discourse Mr. Obama- then let it start with your supporters- because it seems like they never heard the phrase.
1801- LOVE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOUR SORRY- I THOUGHT.
Let’s end the week with a few top news events. Yes- once again we have had the burning of the Quran- and the violent aftermath.
What happened this time? Well- it was not an outright insult to Islam- like the Florida pastor who hosted ‘burn the Koran day’.
These Korans were part of a ‘detention’ library facility [gee- maybe that’s the 1st problem?] where prisoners have access to religious material.
They were available to Afghani’s who were being held as prisoners of war.
So- our side found possible hidden notes in them- and yeah- we burned the stuff.
Okay- was this a bad thing to do? Sure.
But the nonstop apologies- the reaction of Muslims rioting and killing- all over the world- not just in Afghanistan- this reaction needs to be condemned.
We are falling into a trap- a mindset that says ‘we will tolerate- and overlook intolerance- because after all- it’s not as bad as 9-11’.
Yesterday Iran was going to execute a Christian pastor because he refused to denounce his faith.
You say ‘yea John- but we condemn Iran anyway’.
But they do stuff like this in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain too- and these are our ‘good friends’.
I was watching a show the other night- it was a defense of Islam- against those who have a ‘crusade’ against it.
Though the show portrayed the people against Islam as bigots- they showed a few clips and interviews with a woman who was raised in a predominantly Muslim land- and she now lives in the U.S. and she feels that many in the U.S. media are overlooking the very real prejudices against women who live in these countries.
So- during the interview- intended to make her look bad- they ask her something like ‘but what about all the Muslims who reject violence’.
The reporter wanted her to commend those in Islam who reject violence [Muslim Brotherhood groups] yet still advocate for Shariah law.
The ‘radical’ anti Islam woman’s response ‘so- you want me to give credit to people just because they don’t want to kill me’.
The lady was right- she warns people against the rise of Shariah law- as the ‘law of the land’ and even though some of these groups are trying to achieve their goals peacefully- thru the ballot box- yet the end result is a society that executes Christians because they believe.
So as the week has passed- we have been apologizing nonstop- writing personal letters [Obama to Karzai].
Showing clips of our commanders instructing our soldiers to not react- to not ‘get upset’ that Muslims are rioting and killing them.
Look- we made a mistake- on the scale of ‘crimes against humanity’ the mistake rates at around zero.
Yes- we understand that to Muslims it’s a blasphemous act- and we did not do this out of disrespect for Islam.
But we must say- loud and clear- if your religion justifies the killing of people simply because they burn a book- or write a comedy sketch- or do any of a number of things that most of the civilized world do- then you need to either change your religion- or come up with a better interpretation.
Because we can’t all live in a world where stuff like this continues to happen- and we in the West seem to say ‘we understand your side’- no- when your side kills because of it- then we must condemn that side- whether it be Christian or Muslim.
1791- PICTURES OF ME WITH BLACK PEOPLE
Well it’s been a sad couple of days- yes- we lost the beautiful angel Whitney Houston.
I never was really a fan of Whitney- I mean she had a great voice and all- I just never bought any of her music.
As I watched the media cover her death- I began to realize how interesting her journey was- even with all the failures.
She was from Newark N.J. – I never knew that [right around the area I grew up].
She started her singing ‘career’ in a church choir.
As I saw all the clips the past few days- I saw her singing some Christian songs [I didn’t know that either].
And the last clip of her being recorded- a few days before her death- she sang a note from the famous kids bible song ‘Yes Jesus loves me’.
I know many in the media- and ‘church world’ have a tendency to judge people when they die- many seem to know ‘for sure’ who made it to heaven- and who did not.
I have learned a long time ago- I’m not the judge on stuff like that.
I saw Bill O’Reilly do his shtick. He tried to do the ‘real guy’ stuff- you know- like when he had on Bernie Goldberg- a Jewish friend- who was trying to outdo Bill on the ‘I am a friend of the Black man’.
Goldberg brought out a photo of him with a Black rapper- Ice Cube.
As Bernie shows the photo- to say ‘look- I even hug Black men’.
He refers to Cube as ‘Ice T’.
Bill- as a true brother- corrects Bernie and tells him ‘it’s not T but Cube’.
Bernie gets mad- you can see the look on his face ‘how dare you correct me’.
Then someone from off camera must have yelled ‘listen- Bills right- its Cube- not T’.
And Bernie quickly back tracks.
I guess Bernie got the picture from his file ‘pictures of me with Black people’.
So anyway- O’Rielly does the section on Whitney and he kind of goes hard on her.
He talks about her choice to do drugs- and basically says she was looking to die- she made the choice.
I realize what he was saying- but I found it to be the wrong time to say it.
A few years ago I heard a radio preacher talking about the funeral of a gang member that he preached at.
He said the mother and family and all the gang bangers were there- and he ‘told it like it was’.
He went on and said how he preached ‘this kid is in hell right now- screaming his brains out- he has no rest- he’s burning- forever!!’
He said how the mom ran out crying- his family was distraught- I thought he was lucky that he didn’t get gunned down right in the pulpit.
Yes- we need to have grace in these situations.
So- after seeing all the clips of Whitney- I believe she very well might be with God right now- and sure- I know she messed up lots- but I am certainly not in the position to judge the angel.
The other day I was reading Psalms 147.
I read how God counts the stars and gives them names.
It reminded me of the book of Revelation- where there is this vision of Jesus [chapter 1].
John the disciple sees Jesus- he has hair like wool- these eyes of fire- and feet like brass- burned in a furnace.
As Jesus is standing there- he is surrounded by 7 golden lamp stands- and he has 7 stars in his hand.
The vision is revealed to John- the lamp stands are the churches [of Asia Minor] and the stars are the ‘angels of the 7 churches’.
Now- as a theology buff- I know many bible folk say these angels are Pastors- because the Greek word simply means messenger.
But as I have read this over the years- I have come to believe these are actually angels.
What does the bible say about angels?
In the book of Hebrews we read that they are ‘ministering spirits- sent forth to minister to those who are inheriting salvation’.
We often hear that angels in the bible look like men- they are not things with wings!
Actually- this is another ‘fable’.
While it is true that many appearances of angels in the bible do look like men- and Hebrews also says that we should entertain [show hospitality] to strangers- because some have helped angels and they didn’t even know it.
Yet- there are also angels ‘with wings’.
We call these creatures Cherubim and Seraphim.
In the book of Exodus we read the story of the 10 commandments [chapter 20].
We read the first commandment as not having other gods before God- and not to make graven images of anything.
Over the centuries the church has had some debates over Christian art- is it right or wrong?
After all- much of it is statues and pictures depicting people and creatures and angels and God.
So during the Protestant Reformation [and the rise of Islam] you had occasions where people went out and destroyed the statues and paintings of other groups.
A few things should be noted here.
The commandment- however you take it- does not say ‘go and smash the statues of other religions’ [a few years ago the famous statues of Buddha were destroyed- I think in India- but radical Muslims did this because they felt the statues violated the commandment on angels]
Also- after Moses gets the 10 commandments from God- he puts them inside a box called ‘The Ark of the Covenant’.
This box has a lid on it [called the Mercy Seat] and on the lid you had 2 statues of Angels [Cherubim].
So- the actual box that held the commandment not to make idols- had religious art on it!
So we need to be careful before we start going around smashing statues [by the way- this smashing of the statues was called Iconoclastic].
So- we see that angels are spirits- created by God- and they are here to help us.
In Revelation 1 we read about a war in heaven- Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon and his angels.
We read that Michael prevails and the devil loses.
It says ‘the accuser of the brothers is cast down- the devil- who accused them before God day and night’.
There are only 2 named angels in the bible [3- if you include the Catholic apocrypha].
They are Michael- Gabriel- and Raphael.
Yes- angels are real- they war on our behalf- and they fight in a specific way- they cast down the dragon [satan] who accuses the believers.
This day I am happy in a way for Whitney- she struggled a long time- she was such a beautiful ‘angel’.
I would like to think she is with God right now- getting ready for ‘church’ this Sunday- yes- I know she is not ‘an angel’ in the biblical way.
But let’s stretch some- yes- she will be singing in the angelic choir once again.
Let’s not accuse her this day.
I read a statement from the French President- Nicholas Sarkozy. He was speaking about the dire situation in Syria [Syria has been fighting rebels in a city called Homs- they have been using deadly heavy artillery to bomb buildings and homes- many civilians have died].
Sarkozy said a military response [Like what he- and we- did in Libya] was no longer a legitimate solution.
I found this insightful- France was thee number one supporter of the ‘no fly zone’ in Libya. France had their planes bombing many spots- they were more ‘pro war’ than the U.S. and the Brits.
Many in the political scene in France have accused Sarkozy of wanting to develop the image of a mini Bush- that is a leader who is willing to engage in violence in order to defend ‘just causes’ in the world.
Right after the Libyan action began- some in the Arab/Muslim world began saying that France and NATO should be seen as the enemy- not Gadhaffi.
In Afghanistan- where France has troops like us under the NATO banner- they just had an Afghan soldier- one who is supposedly on our side- gun down a bunch of French troops in cold blood.
The French president then called for a quicker withdrawal of forces than the U.S. wanted [2013- instead of 2014].
Sarkozy realized- that no matter how just your cause might seem- there are never any situations where one side is 100 % right- while the other 100% wrong [let’s say rarely].
In Egypt- Libya- and now Syria- you do not have [did not] complete agreement on the protests. Many who had stable lives and lived for many years in these countries- they felt like the rebels were wrong about the way to have their ‘revolution’.
Many in the Christian minority saw the revolutions as dangerous to their own survival. Our actions in Iraq have decimated the Christian population there.
Though we did not mean to do this- the result is we have installed a more anti Christian regime in the country.
The same has now happened in Egypt- the original Tahrir square protestors might have been a majority of simple pro- democracy groups- but after the recent parliamentary elections- the Muslim Brotherhood took over about 50 % of the parliament.
Though this group has rejected violence and terrorism as a means to gain power- yet they still advocate for an extreme religious view if they gain power.
They want Shariah law as the law of the land- and this type of ‘democratic govt.’ is really not good- even if it is voted in by a majority.
We in the West have different values than some in other parts of the world.
We tend to side with those who want to ‘throw off the shackles of dictators- free the voice of the people’.
Yet we underestimate the very real danger of sounding this mantra every time a nation has rebels rise up in the streets.
Say if all you saw on the news every night was the Occupy Wall street protests. And say if there rose up a few hundred thousand that marched nightly on Washington [which we never want to happen!]
But say if that’s all you saw every night- and it got so dangerous that troops- or cops- had to actually shoot some protestors.
We would understand why we had to do this- we would not be calling for the president to step down- or for his family to be submitted to a trial by ‘right wing’ conservatives who just might execute you and your kids.
Now- I am not saying all these leaders in these nations are equal to the American system- but it’s foolish for us to look at all these situations thru the lens of Western style Democracy.
We [the West] seem to think that when we side publicly with the rebels [whoever they be- Libya- Syria- etc.] that we are on the ‘right side of history’ that we are a part of a true democratic movement that will spread thru the world and in a few years down the road we will be living n a world with many truly just democracies.
That picture- that hope- as just as it might seem to those who keep using this type of language [like John McCain- who I like!] is simply not a realistic view.
Where did the idea of Democracy come from? Did world governments have democratic style govts for thousands of years?
No- the idea rose up during the Enlighten period [17th– 18th century] and was promoted by men like John Locke.
If you remember- we studied the philosophy of Locke this past year.
Locke played a key role in the transition of popular philosophy from Rationalism to Empiricism.
We covered that in the posts- don’t want to do it again.
But Locke- like other thinkers of the time- began writing on a new idea of govt- a govt ‘by the people- and for the people’.
Many people living at the time resented the rule of kings- and the role religion [Catholic countries] played in society as a whole.
One of the first experiments with people saying ‘we will throw off the church and king’ was what we call the French Revolution.
It took place right at the end of the 18th century- right before the Napoleonic wars.
It was a Secular [non religious] effort to depose the rule of govt we call Monarchy [King and Queen] and it resulted in the Guillotine and beheading of many Catholic priests and leaders.
It was truly a rebellion that got way out of hand.
Yesterday- one of the current Repub candidates for president made headlines when he compared Obama’s recent ‘anti religious’ actions to the French Revolution.
One commentator [CNN] said the rebels were all Catholics and that to say the revolution hurt the church was wrong.
This man [Paul Begala] had no idea what he was saying- its sad that they say misinformed statements like this to such a wide audience.
Some of our founding fathers were fans of John Locke [Jefferson] and our country drew up the founding documents during a time when these ideas were ripe and were seen as a new type of govt. for the people.
Thus- we have our Democracy today- for which I am grateful- do indeed think it’s the best in the world today- but it is not inherently ‘more just’ than all other styles.
The govt. we see in the bible is Monarchy [mostly- Rome was Imperial- did have a senate and all- but in no way was it a democracy like we think of].
When we try to help these countries- when people rise up and protest- we must not simply jump to the conclusion that all of these rebellions are seeking- or will end up like the U.S.
We must not condemn all ‘monarchies’ as evil- the bible says there are just ones.
Kings can rule justly- be fair- and do good.
We should not assume that all ‘non western style democracies’ are evil- they are not.
Most of these present uprisings are in countries where you have what’s called Autocratic rule- not full ‘kingdoms’ with kings in the way we think.
Yes- I do think our experiment- based on the Enlightenment idea of govt. by and for the people is the best- but we must not assume all other types are inherently evil- nor should we be so quick to side- militarily will all rebels- like some already calling to arm the rebels in Syria.
The end result of these protests are not secure at all- it is highly doubtful that any of them will become ‘little U.S. of A’s’.
So we should call for non violence on all sides- we should stand on the side of innocent victims- be against all regimes that use military force on their people- but be realistic about the situation- violence [on all sides] is very rarely the answer- Sarkozy learned this lesson the hard way.