RECENT STUFF 2013- A
1800- THE CHURCH LADY
I caught the debate last night [number 20!] and was surprised that King only asked one question on ‘social issues’ [I think?].
He did bring up the ‘controversy’ over birth control.
Now- up until a few weeks back- starting with the question by Stephanopoulos [a Dem insider- worked for Clinton- admitted- on air- that he cried while sitting at home during the Obama win. You say ‘so what John- Boehner cries too!’ Yeah- but he’s smart enough not to admit it when he weeps in private].
Yeah- when Stephanopoulos brought up the silly question on whether states had the right to ban birth control- right after that the media jumped on the band wagon and have been saying how the Repubs want a war on women’s right to health.
The media keep parading women across the screen- decrying the attack on their health- after all- birth control cures cancer! [The truth be told- there are many more health risks to abortion and birth control then there are health benefits].
Yes- they want the country to see the Repubs as right wing ‘satan hatin’ preachers!
I just read an article the other day- 2 ‘women’s health clinics’ were fined in Texas- their disposal company was dumping the bodies of aborted babies in the city dump.
A woman’s right? I wonder how many of these little bodies belonged to future women.
So the debate goes on- and the populace drinks it in.
They have been showing the clips of a speech by Santorum- he talked about evil as a reality and satan as an enemy.
Okay- he was speaking at a Catholic university forum- it was about 4 years ago- what’s the big deal?
‘Well- you never know- say if he starts talking like this in office’
You mean like Obama?
Yes- 2 weeks ago the Pres was speaking- at a political/religious forum- in Washington- and he defended his tax policies by saying they are based on Jesus’ teachings in the gospel of Luke.
He quoted Jesus ‘to whom much is given- much is required’.
Okay- I see the point he’s trying to make- asking the rich to pay more.
But for a sitting U.S. president to say that his tax policy- as opposed to the other side- is the ‘Jesus one’ well- that would have been world news for days if it were Bush.
So the satan speech- given at a catholic school- geez- give it a break.
The media would have you think that Santorum is the church lady from SNL [Saturday night live].
Dana Carvey did the Church Lady- he would often come up with some circumstance- and then reply ‘hmmm- could it be satan’.
Yeah- that’s Santorum!
This week I have been reading Ezekiel chapter 34.
It talks about the leaders- shepherds of the people. They are being rebuked because they are like ‘shepherds who feed themselves- they kill the sheep- eat the meat and wear the wool as clothes’.
In the New Testament Jesus alludes to this when he says ‘beware of false prophets- they are like wolves in sheep’s clothing’.
Yes- that’s where the term comes from.
The term means more than meets the eye.
It’s speaking about a mindset- one that sees people- church people- citizens- any group of people being ‘ruled’ by others.
And the mindset is ‘I can benefit in some way from my position over them’. This usually means financially.
I have written much about this over the years- and I’m convinced that many good men in modern ministry do not see the violation of scripture they engage in when they enter ‘ministry’ and constantly appeal for money- even to the point of thinking that their becoming rich off of the giving of people is ‘Gods way’.
But also in the broader sense- God is rebuking the leaders because they really don’t have the true concerns of the people at the fore front.
Good leaders- politicians- presidents- congressman. They should be willing to make the right decisions- even if those decisions seem less popular at the time- they should do it because it’s right.
The Pres put out a policy yesterday that said he wanted to lower corporate tax rates and eliminate tax loopholes.
Now- I haven’t read the thing- and I know some say it’s really a scam- I don’t know.
But if it has some truth in it- then it would be a good thing.
Because most analysts say that’s really a major step in the right direction.
Dems and Repubs- responsible ones- have already said this needs to be done.
So if the thing is accurate- then we should support the pres.
The other major thing that the next pres must deal with is the entitlement programs- but whoever gets in- whether it be Romney- Obama- or the Church Lady- they will need to govern for the people- not pander to them for personal gain [popularity that will help them win again].
Don’t get me wrong- as a Christian I’m glad the Pres talked about Jesus- and that Santorum talked about satan.
But the reality is- the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ looked/talked just like sheep- that’s how they kept getting into the sheepfold- but all they really wanted was personal gain- they saw the sheep [people] as a means to an end- and that’s what gets us in trouble- every time.
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.
1802- THE HARVARD PROFESSOR
Caught an interesting show the other night- a Harvard economist [liberal] gave a lecture on economics.
Now- when I say ‘liberal’ I do not use the term in a derogatory way- no- he was the type of economist that would fit into the category of a Paul Krugman.
Krugman writes for the N.Y. Times and often [always?] gives you the Keynesian view.
So anyway this Harvard prof. made some good points.
But he blundered somewhat in his defense of Socialism/communism.
He talked about Karl Marx [the ‘founder’ of the system] and said that what happened in the Silicon Valley boom [the Dot.com businesses] was a type of Marxism.
The internet boom companies had a different view of the business structure- instead of the ‘bosses’ being over the working class stiff- you would have the actual employees run the show.
Yeah- when you watch the documentaries on Facebook [and other Companies like it] you do see an environment where all these young ‘hipsters’ are calling the shots- and they do have a sense of freedom that you don’t see in the standard business model.
But the Harvard Prof. went a step too far when he compared this to Marx.
Marx was raised in Germany- he was a Jew.
His father had to re-locate his business and join the Lutheran church in order to fit in with the people he needed to do business with.
Marx would eventually go to ‘university’ in England- and he developed his ideas in an environment where the industrial revolution took off.
He witnessed the plight of the working class man [proletariat] and how he became a victim of the factory system.
In England you did see many hopeless workers fall prey to a lifestyle that had you going to work at the factory all day- often in a dark and dingy environment.
You would come home to a gloomy existence and often drink yourself to sleep.
Marx saw the working class as victims of the Ownership class [the original 99 versus the 1%].
Marx saw that those who ran the system- and ‘owned the tools’ had the true influence in society- and according to Marx- they used two primary means of controlling the masses.
Law and Religion.
So Marx advocated for a violent overthrow of the system- thru Revolutionary means- in order to free the working class slave from the power of the few.
Now- where the Harvard Prof missed it is he compared Marx’s idea to the Dotcom business model.
Facebook and other internet businesses- they tried to empower the worker by making him part owner.
When Facebook went public this last month [Initial public offering] it was said to have made many millionaires overnight.
Because those who got in at the start [even the kid who painted the Graffiti on the walls of the building] were offered the option of cash or stock.
Those who took the stock became rich when the company went public [it actually will go into effect if a couple of more months].
So- this model empowers the working class person by making him part owner.
Okay- Marx wanted to ‘level the field’ by putting the State in charge.
He felt like if you took the power away from the private owner [capitalism] then you could even out the scales by making the state decide how much pay was fair- and the state would literally own ‘the tools’ of the system.
Most of us know by now that his system failed pretty badly [Soviet Union].
Though he meant well- trying to defend the hopeless worker- yet he created a Monster State- and the state would become the new oppressor of the people- and take away the incentive that the private ownership model gave.
So all in all- the Harvard prof had some truth to what he said- but he went a step too far.
In today’s political climate- we all have a tendency to hear one side- and if we lineup with that side- we very rarely question those who advocate the way we believe.
It’s important to hear both sides- to give credit to the ideas that are good- and then reject the ideas that are bad.
Marx had some very legitimate concerns- the founder of the Salvation Army- William Booth- began his ministry to the same class of people that Marx saw.
Marx rejected religion because he believed the ownership class used it to keep the masses under.
Any truth to this?
Many of the Black slaves were encouraged to attend church and keep singing their Black spiritual songs.
Many of the themes of these great songs did indeed encourage the suffering servant to just hold on until he/she gets to the Promised Land.
As a matter of fact- many of the themes taught that if you rebelled against the slave owner then you would forfeit your reward in the hereafter.
Marx experienced the power of religion- and the role it played in his own family in Germany- his father had to join the Lutheran church- even though he was Jewish- just so he could be in contact with the people of influence in his town.
So yes- it’s good to hear both sides- give credit when you can- and also reject what you must.
Yeah- the Harvard Prof seemed to be a good guy- he knew his stuff- just not well enough.
1803- A MONKEY- A BLOGGER- AND- WELL- A ‘SLUT’.
Okay- once again we have spent a news week- with some very important stories to cover [Syria- etc] and some stupid stuff.
So what was the stupid/silly stuff?
Well- as a 70’s generation kid- sure- I liked the Monkees [Hey- Hey with the Monkees- …].
Its Saturday morning- can you just hear the song in your mind as you read the above line?
If so- then you- and me- are actual nerds.
Big deal- Yeah- I watched the thing- and even walked to school with a Beatles lunchbox- you know- the metal kind- hey- it beat having a Brady Bunch one.
Davy Jones- the lead singer- seemed to be a nice guy- he passed away- and it was sad to see him go- I prayed for his wife and kids.
Then we had the passing of the right wing blogger- Andrew Brietbart.
He was known for his bold- in your face style.
Famous for bringing down Tony Weiner- the N.Y. Dem who liked texting his genitals to unknown women on his Facebook sight.
He was also famous for posting a video of Shirley Sherrod- a Black woman who worked for the govt. – she handled loans for farmers.
This dept. has been sued in the past for discriminating against Black farmers and they settled a big lawsuit a few years back.
Anyway- Shirley gave a speech at some Lib/Dem thing- and in part of the speech she said how when White farmers came in for loans- she thought to herself ‘why should I help this white guy- it’s now his turn to get the bad end of the stick’.
Later in the speech- she said she now knows these thoughts were wrong- and she said how God rebuked her for it.
Okay- when the short clip got out- only showing the first part- there was a firestorm and Obama fired the lady.
Later we found out about the whole clip- and he offered to rehire her- she said forget it.
So- the media- all over- every day- accused Brietbart of only showing the bad part of the clip- and not the good part.
Actually- in his original post- he showed both the good and the bad.
It was Glenn Beck and a few others who only showed the bad part.
But the media- who all feed off of each other- kept going with the fake story that he only posted the bad stuff.
Till this day- they still believe it.
So just this last week Brietbart was on a progressive [liberal] show- Cenk Ugyr- Young Turks- and Cenk accused him once again of the false accusation.
For the first time on TV- Brietbart corrected the accusation and rebuked Cenk on air- Brietbart revealed the false charge that the media kept reporting- that he only showed the bad stuff.
Then a few days later I noticed he was invited on a number of more liberal news shows- to sit as a commentator on the election.
I think some of these news guys [Piers Morgan- CNN] might have double checked the story and found out that yes indeed- they all ran with the fake story- even till this day.
So- what do you know- Brietbart dies at the age of 43- and Andrea Mitchell- Shep Smith- and a few other news reporters once again repeated the charge- the false one- that he was famous for railroading Sherrod by only posting the racist part of the video- not the repentant part.
Ah- what can he do to defend himself- he’s dead- Yippee!!
And last- but not least- we had the uproar over the Rush comments about Sandra Fluke- the Georgetown University student who testified before congress about her having to pay for her own birth control- which cost a lot- damn you!
Yes- Rush made fun of the girl- and said she was ‘a slut’- and he wanted her to post her ‘extra curricula’ actives on line for all to see- because she wants the tax payer to pay for her birth control.
So the media thought this important enough to bill as a top story- right up there with the deaths of the Syrians in Homs.
They are asking all the Repub candidates to make Rush apologize- on and on.
Now- was Rush wrong?
Of course- I mean no one should be using this type of language.
But to hammer the Repubs on it- like they are responsible- heck- they don’t control the guy.
Then yesterday as I was musing on the thing- I thought ‘Tomorrow I’ll write on it- and I’ll use Bill Maher as the counter argument’.
Sure enough- as the day went on- all the shows already got to him.
Maher is the Dem supporter- who just this last week donated 1 million to Obama- he has had his show ‘politically incorrect’ [or Correct?] on HBO for years.
I really don’t like the guy- for a bunch of reasons- but he often uses real off color language when referring to Repubs.
Okay- WARNING- this part will get rough.
A few weeks ago when Tebow lost the game- Maher tweeted ‘Jesus f—ked Tebow’.
As you know- Tebow is the Christian Quarterback that is outspoken for the faith.
Sarah Palin- a book came out that said she once slept with a famous Black NBA player.
Maher made a comment- about a woman who ran for office- a politically active Repub- former Alaska Governor- who has kids- ‘she would have f—cked him too- if he was Black’.
He was referring to some White guy.
Speaking about a Repub ‘he can suck my d—k’.
Now- all these things- and more – were said on national TV.
This guy just made a 1 million dollar donation to Obama- as he made the rounds on the news shows- not one time was he- or Obama- or any other Dem asked ‘do you think you/he should apologize for these remarks’.
What if Rush spoke about Michele Obama like this?
That she would ‘f—k’ some guy if he were White.
Do you think that story would get covered?
The whole point is the media plays selective outrage- sure- all of this language is wrong- but Limbaugh does his thing- Maher his- and if you want to go down the road of making political figures responsible for what others say- then that’s a long road to walk.
This week I read Jeremiah chapter 33.
This chapter has some great promises in it- the famous verse ‘call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you know not’.
But the bulk of the chapter is God reassuring his people Israel that he will indeed keep the promise that he made to them years before.
A while back we covered the Old Testament and I said how you can almost sum up the whole O.T. by saying it’s the story of one man and his family.
That man was Abraham.
In Genesis chapters 12 and 15 we read about the promise God made to him- that if he left his home town and went on a journey to the promised land- then God would make him into a great nation- he would have kings sitting on the throne for generations to come- and they would be a great people.
Yet- at the time of Jeremiah the people were divided- they were captive- and things looked really bad.
In chapter 33 God tells them ‘do you think my promise will fail? If you can break my promise to the day and night- that day and night will happen every 24 hours- then you can break my promise to you’.
God was telling his people that even though things looked bad- yet he would fulfill his word- and bless them like he said.
One of the verses in the chapter even speaks to the divided nation accusation ‘some say these 2 nations will never be a great people’ and God rebukes that accusation.
As I look out over the terrain of our nation- and all the stuff ‘all of the above’ it does look at times hopeless- a whole week on some commentator calling a girl a slut- please!
Yet I still see some light at the end of the tunnel- congress and the President actually passed some stuff these past few weeks- stuff that seemed like was never going to get done- so yeah- maybe we can see the light right now.
But if a huge donor to the Obama campaign can get away with saying ‘Palin would have f—ked him if he were Black’ on national TV- and not one reporter asks Obama if he should ask Maher to apologize- then maybe we should dial down the rhetoric on the ‘slut comment’ a little- you think?
1804- THE NEW ISAAC
So a few days have gone by- and the number one media story- the story that topped the deaths in Syria- the U.N. report that says we and NATO backed a group that committed ‘war crimes’- yes- the top story- that Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke as ‘a slut’ and that he finally apologized- yes this was the headline of the week.
What U.N. story John?
Glad you asked.
If you remember during our ‘kinetic action’ in Libya- I wrote a bunch of critical posts about our involvement.
I kept saying that we were using the wording of the U.N. resolution- that said we had the authority to go in and use DEFENSIVE means to protect civilians- well that wording became twisted [by us] to mean we can chase down Gadhaffi and his family [and his friends] and simply kill them.
When some observers began questioning this act- we said we were using ‘defensive’ means to knock out the ‘command and control’ of Gadhaffi- and that’s how we justified it.
Now- this whole thing was a farce- there never was any ‘command and control’ in the buildings we bombed- we simply thought Gadhaffi might have been there.
So we bombed his sons house in a private neighborhood- killed his grandkids- but missed him.
Okay- the U.N. did a yearlong study to see if we did indeed violate human rights by lying like this.
The report came out- and it said we tried to reduce the civilian causalities- but did kill around 60 innocent people under the guise of ‘taking out command and control’.
They found that there was no evidence at all that these buildings we targeted were command and control centers.
Yes- the report also states that the rebel group we backed did commit war crimes- now- the report says Gadhaffi’s side committed ‘crimes against humanity’ [far worse] but that our side did commit war crimes- and till this day the new ‘govt.’ will not investigate the possible crimes committed when they killed innocent people.
So- this story was a small article in the back of the paper- it should have been headline news- not ‘the slut’ comment.
Okay- in the last post I commented on Jeremiah chapter 33.
This was the promise God made to Israel that he would fulfill his promise and they would be restored into a strong nation.
I referenced the earlier story we find in Genesis [chapters 12-15] where God makes this promise to Abraham.
If you read these 2 chapters- plus 17 and 22- you will get the main promise.
God called Abraham to leave his homeland and go on a journey. In this new land God would bless Abraham and he would have tons of kids and grandkids and eventually become a nation [the nation of Israel].
So over a period of time- thru many dangers and trials- he finally has a son- named Isaac- and this son is the promised child thru whom all the others will come from.
In chapter 22 of Genesis- when Abraham was an old man- Gods tests him and says ‘Abraham- go and take Isaac- your only beloved son- and offer him up to me on Mount Moriah’.
Abraham went thru many years of doubt and struggle before he finally received the promised son [read chapters 17-18 of Genesis].
And when Sarah finally had the child- it was a miracle.
So when God says ‘offer this boy up’- to Abraham it was putting at risk the whole purpose of his life- the very reason he left his friends and family and moved to a strange land.
But the bible says he took the child- and when they got near the range of mountains where mount Moriah was- he told the servants ‘you guys wait here- me and the boy will go to worship- and we will BOTH BE BACK’.
This phrase is picked up in Hebrews chapter 11- the writer says Abraham simply believed that God would raise the boy from the dead- that’s how he justified in his mind the order to offer his son- and this same son being the child thru whom the others would come.
So as Abraham approaches the mountain- he takes the wood for the offering- the ‘fire’- and no animal.
He puts the wood on Isaac’s back- to carry up the hill.
Isaac asks his dad ‘dad- we have the wood and all- but where is the animal for the offering’
Abraham simply tells his boy ‘God will provide himself a lamb for the offering’.
As they get to the top of the hill- Abraham ties Isaac with the rope- and puts him on the altar and takes out a knife to slay him. At that moment- an angel calls out to him and says ‘STOP!’
The whole thing was a test- to see if Abraham would do what God said- even if it seemed contrary to Gods promise and purpose for his life.
It should be noted that the Rabbi’s tell us that Isaac was not a young boy at the time- he was probably an older teen- strong enough to carry the wood up the hill.
This signifies that Isaac could have probably put up a fight- and won!
But he heard all the stories about God’s miracles- his dad recounted all the great signs and things that God did in their lives- and when Abraham got to the point of offering up his son- maybe Isaac simply accepted that God was in control and he would do whatever needed to be done.
Over a thousand years later- Jesus would walk the dusty streets of Jerusalem- he too was a promised son.
He preached and healed and was a true miracle worker.
He often used ‘Father Abraham’ as an example to prove his teachings- one time he said ‘before Abraham was- I AM’.
This incensed the hearers and they took up stones to kill him- the words I AM- are the words that refer to God [during Moses time he told Moses he was the I AM].
So the day comes for Jesus to ‘take the wood’ of the sacrifice- and go up the hill- called Calvary.
History tells us that Calvary is in the same range of mountains that Moriah sits on.
Jesus- the ‘second Isaac’ took the wood of the Cross- just like Isaac- and carried it to the top.
In the story of Abraham- when the angel said STOP- they looked around and found a ram in the brush- they used the ram as a sacrifice.
But this day- the day of Jesus- no ram was to be found- he looked up to his God- and he said ‘why do you forsake ME LIKE THIS’.
Yes- Jesus was the lamb that Abraham prophesied of- he was the ultimate sacrifice.
Sometimes we go thru things that seem contrary to the true purpose- things that we see as course changers.
When Jesus died- all of his followers thought the goal was gone- they thought he was going to lead a present day rebellion against Rome and become the new Messiah ruling out of Jerusalem.
When he died on the Cross- they could not harmonize what they thought was the whole purpose- and this gruesome death.
Yet 3 days after they saw the true purpose- the ultimate reality.
Are you at Mount Moriah?
The place that seems like all is lost.
Trust God- after 3 days everything will look totally different.
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.
1806- THE 2% LIE
I want to talk a little bit about how we perceive things- the way the media and politicians use propaganda to sway the way people think.
This weekend I spoke with my liberal friend from N.J. – by the way- when I use examples from our talks- these are real discussions that I have had with this friend for the last 30 years.
This is not a ‘made up person’.
Okay- one of the first things they said was ‘can you believe these Repub candidates- all they want to talk about is birth control’.
Now- I told my friend that this was a perfect example of how the propaganda machine works.
If you remember back to the first time birth control came up during this election- it was a question by George Stephanopoulos.
He asked Romney if states have the right to ban Birth control.
Everyone on the stage- and in the audience were shocked- surprised. Why in the heck would you ask a question like this- no one on the trail is talking about it [until then] and it simply was not part of the ‘conversation’.
A few days later- Stephen Colbert had Stephanopoulos on his show [Colbert Report] and he asked him ‘why would you ask a question like that’?
He responded ‘I had a bet with Dianne Sawyer that I could get Romney to admit that birth control was a good thing’.
What really happened was the Dem strategists had a plan- they knew that it would be difficult for the President to run on the economy [even though now the numbers are looking better- to his credit].
So they had a strategy to turn the conversation into one on birth control and ‘the war on women’.
The president was just about to announce his new rule on birth control- that the Catholic church would no longer be able to not provide it thru their plans- and this whole conversation was orchestrated to get the average person to wake up one day and say ‘geez- look at all these stupid stone age Republicans- all they want to talk about is birth control’.
And Walla- my friend swallowed the bait- hook line and sinker.
Now- do both sides do this?
Sure- I’m just showing you how.
Now- the present problem [in my mind] is that Obama has been unable to distinguish between speaking honestly as a president- and speaking ‘politically’ as a campaigner.
What do I mean?
The last 2 weeks the president has been going around making public speeches and saying ‘when these Repubs say “drill baby drill” they are lying to you about the problem- even if we drill- we use 20% of the world’s oil- and only have 2% of the oil reserves here in the U.S.’.
Now- he has said this more than once- and sometimes he qualifies the statement by saying ‘proven oil reserves’.
But as you hear the words- you- the average Joe [Mary] think ‘geez- if we only posses 2 % of the world’s oil- and we use 20%- then just doing more drilling is not the answer’.
Okay- do we only have 2% of the world’s Oil here in the U.S.?
No- if you opened up ALL the oil rich regions- both offshore and on land- we would have 100% of our oil needs met- for 250 years.
Yes- you heard me- we would have so much oil- that we would not have to import any- nada.
So John- how can Obama say we only have 2%?
Well- put aside the ability to lie for a moment- and realize [like the birth control] that the political insiders for Obama realized that the gas/oil issue does have the potential to derail the presidents bid to get re-elected.
So they devised a strategy to respond to the Repubs argument that gas is going up- and blame Obama.
Now- here’s the tricky part.
When Obama uses language like this- he is using a little known definition of ‘proven oil reserves’ that the OMB uses.
This definition of proven oil reserves actually means- all the oil reserves that we are currently tapping into- and the ones that the govt. /pres has already approved down the road.
In essence- Obama is saying ‘out of all the oil reserves THAT I AM GOING TO APPROVE- we can only get 2%’.
And when the ‘drill baby drill’ folk say ‘let’s drill’ they are talking about all the reserves that we are not drilling from.
So- in essence- Obama simply lied.
Now- did he lie- like under the legal definition of Bill Clinton ‘were you ever alone with Lewinsky’?
Reason ‘there were other people in the building at the time’.
Okay- he was alone with her in the Oval Office- but in his mind- if there were other people in the building- or lets say in D.C.- or lets say ‘in the world’ well yes- you can technically say that none of us ‘are ever alone’.
But to the average mind- well- you were ‘alone’.
So- when you hear the president- saying over and over again [he has now stopped- I think- he got caught] ‘we only have 2% of the world’s oil reserves’ well- he’s using Clinton language.
When you campaign- and do stuff like this- okay- they all do it- it’s not right- or good- but they do it.
When you are actually holding the office- and people hear you say this- you are purposefully deceiving folk- you know they think something other than what you are saying.
I mean who thinks ‘Ah- he’s using the OMB definition for oil reserves- not true human speak’.
Who remembers where we left off on our Philosophy posts?
We were in the 18th century and were discussing Empiricism- the idea that we obtain true knowledge about things thru the things themselves- the empirical evidence.
One of the famous philosophers that falls into this category was a Bishop named Berkeley.
Even though he is called an Empiricist- he kind of had some ideas that were also Idealist- those that saw ideas and the Metaphysical world as the main source of knowledge.
You might not have ever heard of Berkeley- but most of you are familiar with his famous statement ‘If a tree falls in the forest- and no one’s there- does it still make a sound’.
Or the modern version ‘if a man speaks in a room- and no woman is there- is he still wrong’.
Berkeley grappled with the debate of what role does the observer play in the actual existence of things.
Does reality depend upon an observer- if something is not being perceived- does it really exist?
His conclusion was- things do depend upon an observer to exist [I don’t hold to this view by the way] and that God is the ultimate observer- he is observing all things at all times- therefore all things really do exist.
As you can see- Philosophy does get fuzzy at times.
When people use language- ‘2% of the world’s oil reserves’ they expect you to be using language that most humans agree upon.
When you say ‘I did not have sex with that woman- Miss Lewinsky’.
They don’t realize that your definition of sex does not include oral sex- or any other sex- outside of standard missionary position intercourse.
So as we progress over the next few months- yes- both sides are going to be using propaganda- the media- to make their point.
And some things are true- others are not.
Reality/truth is not something that changes- or depends upon an observer- if the tree falls- yeah it makes a noise- whether you are there or not.
When you say ‘2%’ of the world’s oil- yes- it makes a difference that you are using a definition that MOST HUMANS ARE NOT OPERATING BY- and whether an ‘observer’ catches you or not- it’s still wrong.
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.
1808- 22 DAYS- AND COUNTING
As we end the week it’s been 22 days since Obama has held possession of the 1 million dollars that Bill Maher gave him.
I’m not sure how much longer he will keep it- all the clips of Maher calling women bad stuff- well they have been going viral on the net.
I even heard Ed Rendell- a big Democrat insider- say that he has Democrat women telling him that Obama needs to give the money back.
Maher just did a sold out show here in Texas [San Antonio] – he talked about giving up the ‘cu-t’ line about Palin [he also speaks of her as a ‘twat’ and makes fun of her Down syndrome child].
He said he gave up the ‘cu-t’ line [left the n out] even though it was the funniest line in his routine- that everyone loved it.
If that’s the funniest line on your show- then you have one dull show.
Sinbad [the Black comedian] is funny- you laugh when he does stand up- and you never hear any stuff like this out of him- if you need to degrade women and Down syndrome children to get laughs- then you have a problem.
The sad thing is- Obama and his guys are still 100% behind Maher- defending him on TV [Axelrod].
I heard Axelrod give a defense of Maher just the other day- while at the same time accusing the Repubs of waging a ‘war on women’.
Too much- that’s funnier than all the Maher skits combined.
Okay- let’s ‘keep em honest’ [as Cooper says].
As the debate heats up- Obama has been denying- vehemently- that he wants higher gas prices.
He told one reporter at a news presser- ‘do you really think that a president- in an election year- wants gas to go up’?
Actually- I don’t.
Then why ask this?
One of the political positions that some have taken over the years [Gore] believe that in order to wean the nation off of fossil fuels- that you have to get the gas prices high enough that it would then make the alternative clean fuels more economically feasible.
At the same time- this view believes that the Govt. should invest in clean fuel companies [thus Solyndra] and help them get off the ground.
Okay- has Obama and his Energy secretary ever espoused views like this?
Yes- many times- in public- on camera- on utube- even in the last couple of years.
Okay- do we have the right to be suspicious?
Obama- and Chu [energy secretary] have both said there goal was to get fuel prices higher- Chu said 8 dollars would be about right [a gallon].
This administration has touted clean fuel companies and has even been caught [emails] telling one company that was about to go under [Solyndra] ‘wait until after the midterm elections before you go bust’.
They have held this anti fossil fuel position for a long time.
Then why is it so unreasonable to simply ask ‘do you still hold to your past position- one you are on record as having- that you want gas prices to go up’.
Yet- the MSNBC crowd- and the other supporters of Obama in the media- they cant believe that anyone would ever believe that Obama and Chu would want gas to go higher.
Chu was confronted this week at a congressional hearing- the congressman asked him if he still held to the words he spoke a few years ago when he said he wanted gas to go up in price.
Chu said- ‘no- I don’t hold to that view anymore’.
Geez- this was your life long mission- something you advocated for- for many years- you’re were on that side- the Gore idea- and now you say ‘I don’t hold the view’.
Who do we believe man?
As MSNBC continues their ‘war on women’ accusation- we now have clips of Sharpton making the rounds [UTUBE] where he calls the Greek Philosophers [the ones I have been teaching on this least year] ‘a bunch of Homo’s’.
How wonderful- Sharpton- a guy- flim flam man- who holds a regular show on msnbc- he degrades Jews- calls Greeks ‘Homo’s’ speaks of Whites in terrible ways- yet he is lauded as some great civil rights guy- and he is a major supporter of Obama.
This week- the justice dept just overturned a Texas voter I.D. law.
Some states have been passing laws that say you need picture I.D. to vote.
Holder [attorney general- who has said that the civil rights laws are only meant to protect Blacks- not Whites- he did say this by the way].
He overturned Texas’ law because he said it was racist- because more minorities don’t have I.D.’s.
A few years ago- there was a video making the rounds- a Democrat woman [I think Ca.?] she was onstage talking to an Hispanic audience- she said ‘go tell your friends and neighbors to vote- even if they don’t have documentation- because they are not allowed to check at the polls’.
So some states have passed laws- trying to make sure that only citizens are voting.
In 2008- Georgia’s first vote after they passed voter I.D. laws- they had MORE Blacks show up to vote.
In 2008- the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter I.D. law- Justice John Paul Stevens- a liberal- wrote the majority decision.
He simply said that states have a real interest- not racist- to make sure only eligible voters are voting.
He said there was absolutely no evidence to suggest that requiring people to have picture I.D.’s to vote is racist.
Yet Holder says that states that are trying to pass voter I.D. laws are trying to ‘undo’ the civil rights gains that men like John Lewis fought for in the 60’s.
This guy is unbelievable.
So we have an administration- whose public defenders- who’s attorney general- whose energy secretary- and all the other people around him- hold to paranoid views on race and energy and all types of things.
They call women the nastiest manes in the book- they speak about Jews and Whites as groups that conspired against Blacks and who need to be ‘eliminated as a social class’ [Bell].
Yet- at the same time they are also running a media campaign that says ‘look at all the Repubs- they are anti woman- they are racist- they call women sluts’.
And then when 2 polls come out [this week- Washington Post and N.Y. Times] they cant believe that Obama’s approval actually fell- even among women.
Yes- after the Super Tuesday results- when Santorum won a large amount of women voters- you had the pundits on MSNBC shocked- even mad ‘I guess these southern women are too stupid- that they would vote for a guy who wants to take away their birth control’.
Now- Southern women- Northern Women- women from all regions and colors- they have daughters and sons who need jobs- who have a very bleak future ahead of them- if the economy does not start really producing jobs.
These women are paying 75 dollars to fill up their cars/vehicles.
These women- they have real concerns about real issues.
And for the media to have really thought that their contrived War on Woman campaign- to have thought that women would go out in huge numbers to vote for their ‘right to have birth control- paid for by everyone else’ for them to have thought this was demeaning- condescending.
Yes- women are concerned about health care issues- and the CBO said this week that Obama care will cost twice as much than what he said [1.7 trillion instead of 900 billion].
And that private employers would drop around 20 million people from their rolls [not 1 million as Obama said].
Yes- these health care issues matter to women- it matters to women that your major supporters degrade women on a regular basis- accuse Jews and Whites of conspiracies.
These things matter too.
But no- the media can’t understand how Obama’s approval actually went down among women- not up.
I guess they don’t realize that Jews and Whites and Hispanics and all other races- well they are women too.
And even though Eric Holder does not believe that these ‘other races’ are covered under the civil rights laws- and that states that simply want citizens to vote- whether they be Mexican or White or Black- they want to make sure only eligible voters vote.
Well Holder says that those states are trying to turn back the civil rights gains made over the past 60 years.
It’s no wonder why the numbers are going down- women see these things- women of all races- and its condescending to have thought that women were going to abandon the other side in huge numbers and support Obama- all because a Georgetown university student- who pays 40 thousand a year tuition- can’t afford 9 dollars a month at wal mart for birth control.
It’s a surprise for me to think that any woman- Black- White- North- South- would have swallowed a line like that.
1809- 3 THINGS
First- Sanford Florida.
The case of Zimmerman and the Black kid.
As most of you have heard by now- Zimmerman was this neighborhood watch guy and he saw a Black kid walking thru the area.
To Zimmerman- for whatever reason- he thought the kid looked suspicious [you know- Black kid walking- yeah- very strange!]
So as any good citizen would do- he stalked the kid!
As you listen to the 911 calls- it seems as if this Black kid realized some guy in a vehicle is following him and he gets scared.
Even though the dispatcher tells Zimmerman not to follow the kid- Zimmerman replies ‘these type always get away’.
Then you hear from the 911 tapes- Zimmerman confronts the scared kid- the kid is screaming for his life- and Zimmerman kills him- you know- with the gun he uses for ‘self defense’.
No arrest- the cops say it was self defense.
Geez- if this was self defense- keep me away from Sanford.
Obviously Zimmerman murdered the kid in cold blood.
Sure- maybe he should not get convicted for the most severe type of murder- but this guy needs to go to prison for this stunt.
Second- George Clooney.
This past week Clooney has made the rounds on the talk shows- and even got arrested at the Sudanese embassy in D.C.
He has been bringing awareness to the tragedy going on in the Sudan [Africa].
Last year I wrote a few posts on the situation. Sudan had a referendum and the south split from the north.
Clooney did say ‘this is the world’s most recent nation’.
Actually he got that wrong [go back a post or 2 and read my post on Barqa].
But overall he did well.
What’s going on in Sudan is actually worse than what’s happening in Syria.
In Syria- the president- Assad- has indiscriminately bombed civilian cities [Homs] – it is an overreaction that has killed many innocent people [some estimates are around 10,000].
But yet- it is a ‘reaction’.
A response to a popular uprising in the country.
In Sudan- the govt. is simply dropping [literally- rolling them off the planes] bombs on women and children- to get them to move out of the Nuba mountain area- so the govt. can take the land.
The people living in the area- they have already missed the last year of the planting season- and they can’t plant this year because of the bombs- many are on the verge of starvation- and they are living under rocks and in caves because of the bombing.
This truly is a tragedy- and I commend Clooney for his activism.
And last but not least- sergeant Bales.
Yes- we now have had a few reports on the soldier accused of killing 16 civilian Afghans.
As the portrait is being drawn- we see a sad story.
By all accounts Bales grew up as a great kid- well liked and a truly good guy.
He joined the military a few months after 911- and was one of those kids who said ‘this won’t happen on my watch’ type of thing.
He had already seen multiple tours of duty in combat zones- and suffered some severe injuries as a result [lost part of his foot and had some head injuries].
He is married and has 2 small kids.
He owned 2 homes- one was foreclosed on- the other he agreed to sell at a 50,000 dollar loss- one of those unfortunate guys who is ‘underwater’ on his mortgage [you owe more than the house is worth].
On his wife’s blog- she wrote that they were trying to deal with these losses by the possibility that their next tour of duty would be in Germany- Italy or maybe Hawaii.
Bales said the military told him they would not send him back into a combat zone.
Then he got the news that they were going to Afghanistan instead.
Now- all these things obviously do not justify the killing of civilians- but we need to see that our govt. also plays a role- a responsibility- if we are stressing guys to the limit.
The day before the incident- Bales witnessed his friend getting his leg blown off.
Everybody in the company was upset about the injury.
It is said that Bales was drinking the day of the killings- and by all accounts- it looks like a tragic story of a good man- who snapped.
In all these cases- the killing of the Black kid- Sudan- and Bales- we as a nation get mad.
We see the injustices- the victims- and even the very real humanity of those who perpetrate the crime [Bales].
We want- and should- give people the benefit of the doubt.
But we should also make sure we are not simply overlooking a real crime- because it’s just easier to say ‘oh- self defense’.
The 2 chapters I recommend for the week are John chapter 3 [born again- Jesus] and Ephesians chapter 2 [saved by grace].
If I remember I will comment on them before the week is out.
But they do talk about forgiveness- God sending his Son into the world- not to condemn the world- but to save it.
As we pray for these situations- and also seek justice where it needs to be done [Sudan- Fla.] we need to keep in mind both sides [Bales].
While we never want to overlook a serious offense- we also want to be aware of the overall situation.
Are we stressing our guys too much?
Should guys who have had multiple serious injuries- loosing parts of their limbs- should we be sending them into combat zones 3 or 4 times?
Like I said- no excuses for the wrong done- but have we also done wrong- by putting him there?
1810- THE CRUCIFIED ONE
Yesterday I shopped at the local grocery store- and as my habit is- I started at the vegetable/fruit section.
When I grab the little bags to put the stuff in- I usually grab a few extra- and if I don’t use them I’ll take them home and stick them in the cabinet.
So, as I’m checking out- the lady asks me ‘oh- do you want me to throw these out’. I think she knew I was gonna confiscate them for personal use.
So- as a joke- I say ‘no- that’s fine- I sell them to the homeless guys out front’ [The store is a couple of hundred yards from the homeless mission where I hang out- everyone in the area knows about the ‘homeless guys’].
As I tell her the joke- both she and the bagger- they don’t seem to think it’s funny.
They look pretty mad- to be honest.
I tell them ‘no- I’m kidding- I take them home and use them for the onions and stuff’.
Their look didn’t change one bit- they did not want me to get those damn bags!
Right now in Texas we have an ongoing war with the Obama administration. In all my years as a political observer- I have never seen someone as petty as this current president.
I have written about him denying us federal aid when we applied because of wild fires we had a few years back.
Then the recent accusation that Texas is racist because of the voter I.D. laws.
Plus- the E.P.A. rules that are shutting down parts of our power grid- this coming year Texas is going to face some blackout problems because of this.
So- this week the president cut the federal funds for the WHP program.
This program gives care to poor women.
There are over 2400 hundred providers in Texas that will lose the majority of their funding because of this.
Why would the president do this?
Texas- like a few other states- passed a law that prevents tax payer money going to clinics that provide abortions.
The federal money supplies about 90 % of the funding- the federal govt. said if you deny any funding for the Planned Parenthood clinics- then we will cut all the funding to all of the 2400 clinics.
Now- did they have to do this?
How many Planned Parenthood clinics are in this group of over 2400 providers?
If you simply listen to the media- you would think that just about all of them are- or maybe half.
Out of the over 2400 providers- Planned Parenthood makes up 44.
The president cut off funding for 2400 clinics- that do breast screenings and mammograms.
That actually treat cancer and other diseases.
He cut them all off- because Planned Parenthood would not be in the group any more.
Planned Parenthood does not treat for breast cancer- does not offer pre natal care- and does not even have mammogram machines.
Many of the 2400 clinics that the president cut off do all of these services.
So why would you cut off over 90 % of the clinics that actually do these real- needed services?
Because of the political ideology of being pro abortion.
Obama has positioned himself as being on the side of abortion and his supports want that.
So- to appease his base- he cut off 2400 poor women’s clinics in Texas- this was a choice he made- not Perry.
A poll was done the other day- they asked women ‘would you like free birth control- or have to pay for it yourself’?
Now- if you ask just about anybody ‘would you like free dental- or health insurance- or beer’ what do you think the majority of people would say?
So after they did the poll- they said ‘see- most people support the position the president takes on abortion and birth control’.
See how the media shapes the conversation? You can ask a question in a way that gets a certain answer- and Walla- they achieved the goal.
Society has a decision to make- can we as a people live without any ethical requirements.
Should ethics- making a distinction between right and wrong- should this be part of the conversation?
In our Philosophy study- as scattered as it has been- we ended right around the 18-19th centuries.
We were coming up to the Existentialists.
Existentialism is a difficult philosophy to pin down [as most are].
But the easiest short definition I have found is it’s the philosophy of Existence.
That is real life- It’s not just a matter of intellectual data- it’s what we learn and experience as passionate people- people who have real problems and issues- yet they strive for meaning.
The father of Existentialism was the 19th century thinker- Soren Kierkegaard.
Kierkegaard was a Christian- he challenged the dead church of Denmark- the state church- and he called for a more adventurous approach to the faith.
Some notable followers of this philosophy took a different approach- they were the atheistic existentialists.
One of the most famous being Frederick Nietzsche.
Nietzsche taught that men should abandon all hope of a future afterlife- that the whole field of ethics was futile ‘do what you need to do to excel- step on the other people on the way up the ladder- and that’s what life is all about’.
He called this the Superman- man coming into this new age of science and reason- and rejecting the old forms of religion and ethics- which keep man down.
Nietzsche spent the last years of his life in an insane asylum.
His sister sold tickets to the ‘audience’ who wanted to see the madman.
She exercised her ‘superwoman’ and did what would benefit her- financially- without any worry about whether it was right or wrong.
The last couple of years of his life- Nietzsche signed his letters ‘the crucified one’.
In his rejection of God- he lost his mind and took the identity of Jesus Christ- the ethical one.
As we grapple with what’s right and wrong- as states pass laws that say ‘we don’t want our tax payer money supporting abortions’.
Then we are going to have to deal with the backlash- those who at the time have the power [money] to cut the states off who see ethics as a priority.
Yes- the Superman [Feds] can deny that ethics play a role in women’s health- they can say ‘no money for any of your 2400 clinics’ just because you won’t fund 44 Planned Parenthood clinics.
People can get mad- and even take polls that say ‘we want free things’ [don’t we all? My grocery bags!]
At the end of the day- right and wrong do make a difference.
Trying to live a life- a worldview [philosophy] in a passionate way- that’s a good thing- we are all real people who deal with real issues.
But when you leave God/ethics out of the picture- then you are on a crash course- you might wake up one day- having lost your mind- and signing you letters as The Crucified One.
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.
1812- John 3- Ephesians 2 [and the chicken!]
I want to cover the 2 bible chapters that I mentioned the other day- John chapter 3 and Ephesians chapter 2.
But first- some business.
I wrote a post the other day about ‘confiscating’ the little plastic bags at my local grocery store [HEB].
And some of you might be thinking ‘see- crime does pay’.
For your information- the bags were probably worth about 25 cents.
The other day I went to take out the chicken thighs for dinner- I couldn’t find them!
Then I thought ‘gee- my truck has been smelling like dead bodies lately’.
Yes- the chicken was left under the back seat for 2 days- cost- about 6 dollars.
Lesson? Don’t steal the bags anymore- cost? Priceless.
Okay- John chapter 3 is the famous chapter where Jesus tells Nicodemus ‘a man cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’ [or born from above].
We also have the famous John 3:16 verse ‘for God so loved the world…’
If you read the chapter- both Jesus- and John the Baptist speak about those who believe- they are not condemned- and those who do not believe are judged.
Yet Jesus says he came into the world- not to condemn it- but to save it.
In Ephesians chapter 2 the apostle Paul says we are ‘saved by grace- not of works- lest any man should boast’.
Both chapters emphasize the role faith plays in salvation.
Okay- where did I come up with these chapters for the reading of the week?
They were both quoted from during the mass on Sunday [as a Protestant- I always try and watch the mass on Sunday- as well as doing our own home church meeting].
‘John- do Catholics believe in being born again’?
Yes- very much so.
Being born again is actually a vital doctrine within Catholicism.
For a brief review of Catholic/Protestant teaching- on my blog- on the front page to the left- you will see a bunch of studies that I have highlighted- click the ‘Protestant Reformation- Luther’ and you will get a more in depth discussion on some of the differences- and points of agreement.
But for this brief post- Catholics [and Orthodox] believe the new birth takes place at baptism- for the most part Protestants/Evangelicals believe it takes place at the point of faith [added to a long list of ‘altar calls’ or ‘5 steps of conversion’ etc.- in short- Protestants have their own sacramental system- they just don’t know it!]
I say- mostly- because there are many various groups within the Protestant movement that also would agree that water baptism is the point of being saved [church of Christ- various Pentecostal groups- etc.].
Now- I hold more to the historic Reformation view [faith] but I do not see a ‘grave’ departure from scripture with those who put more of the emphasis on baptism.
There are verses in John 3- Jesus says ‘a man must be born of water and the spirit’.
Plus- the last half of the chapter starts with a discussion over ‘purifying’.
There was a debate- going on at the time- between Jesus and John’s followers- about baptism- the chapter says the debate was about ‘purifying’.
Overall- it’s not unreasonable- in my mind- to hold to the more traditional emphasis on the importance of the role of baptism.
Yet- Christians fight- vehemently- over this.
In this part of the country it’s common for a Baptist- Assembly of God- or Church of Christ believer to view the ‘other team’ as a cult over this- this to me is very sad.
The main point?
Regardless of how much of a role water baptism plays in your particular denomination- the main point is we are saved by faith- thru the death and resurrection of Christ.
In the Ephesians chapter- Paul actually hits on some pretty deep themes- that the death of Christ removed the ‘wall of separation’ between Jew and Gentile- and we both are made into ‘one new man’.
This shows us the role that the Cross should play in society- it should bring various groups and cultures together- not divide them.
It would take a little too much time for me to go into what the ‘wall of separation’ was in Paul’s day.
But he wasn’t speaking about our sins separating us from God [though this of course is true].
But he was speaking about the role the law [10 commandments] played at the time.
Paul- a zealous teacher of the Jewish law [Pharisee] held the law in high esteem- and often it became a barrier between the Jew and Gentile.
Some of the more fame seeking Pharisees [the ones we see Jesus interacting with in the gospels] used the fact that they were the nation that received the law under Moses- as an ‘I’m better than you’ mentality.
Paul says ‘the law of commandments that was against us- Jesus nailed them to his Cross’ [Colossians].
He also says in his letter to the Galatians ‘if righteousness comes by the law- then Christ died in vain’ strong words indeed!
The point he is making is we- believers- are no longer under the condemnation of the law- no longer under the continual threat of God striking us down at any moment because of our sin.
We have been saved by grace and those who ‘walk in the Spirit’ are no longer under condemnation [Romans 8].
So- Jesus nailed the law to the Cross- and the barrier that separated Jew from gentile- as well as sinful man from a Holy God- has been ‘taken away’ by Christ.
I must note that the apostle Paul himself- who is famous for this teaching- always added the caveat ‘do we now sin because we are not under the law? God forbid!’
He was accused- by the strict sect of the Pharisees [known as Judaizers] of teaching a ‘lawless gospel’.
No- he- as well as most Christian denominations today- teach that the 10 commandments are still very important- and as believers in Christ we will naturally- by our new birth- fulfill the law.
But it is no longer this sword of Damocles hanging over our head.
Okay- for those who haven’t had time to read the chapters yet- try and read them over the weekend- they are short chapters- think about what I said in this post- look for the emphasis on faith- the role that faith plays in our salvation.
I’ll be back in a few days- but I need to go now- need to get another pack of chicken thighs before the store gets crowded.
1813- THE BLACK KID [Trayvon Martin]
About a year ago I was out of town- a city called Rockport- a really beautiful city about 40 miles from my home.
To be honest- it was a rough day- I was on foot, walking. It was about 9:00 p.m. – and I had no cell phone.
To put it simply- I was stuck.
Now- I have been there before [there= situations like this] but it’s been a while- and I’m an old guy now!
Nevertheless I was walking- and thinking of some way to get a ride.
The first store I stopped at- I asked ‘do you mind if I use your phone’- they looked at me like I was Jack the Ripper- they gave me some excuse and sent me packing.
Then there were a couple of ‘kids’ there- looked like the classic gang kids- the whole 9 yards. They were Hispanic- and I asked them ‘hey- can I use your cell phone’?
He let me- I made a call- no one answered.
Then I walked about another block- thinking I would start walking down the highway and just hitch a ride.
I found another store.
At this store I got some change and used the pay phone and called a taxi service- I did have my wallet and took cash from the ATM.
As I was sitting outside waiting for the cab- I noticed a Black kid with a buddy- he was getting gas- it was late- I looked pretty ‘rough’ and I noticed he kept checking me out- he was telling his friend something and he started my way.
I was sitting out of the way- by the air pumps.
I thought ‘damn- I’m tired- It’s been a tough day- I’m too tired to run- let’s see what this kid wants’.
You know- I figured if worse comes to worse- I’ll do the Florida ‘stand your ground law’ yeah- that sounds good [though I wasn’t familiar with their law yet].
Oh-one problem- I don’t have a gun.
So the kid walks right up to me- kinda in my face- I tried to give him the Jersey stare ‘yeah- what’s up man’ [you can’t looked scared or the stare won’t work].
He simply walks right up- takes his hand out of his pocket- and gives me about 2 bucks in change.
Yeah- he thought I was one of the local homeless guys- he wanted to help me out!
Man- I knew I looked rough- but didn’t realize it was that bad!
I kinda laughed and told him I didn’t need it- he left it anyway.
This last week we have been having a conversation about race- the president made a comment about Trayvon Martin- and one of the Repub candidates criticized him for it.
I heard the president- read his statement- there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he said.
I have a feeling that we might find out a few things that we are not aware of right now.
It seems like Trayvon might have fought with Zimmerman [the guy who shot him].
And maybe we will hear a few things about Trayvon- maybe some problems at school or something.
But no matter what his history is- if he did have some problems- or even if he punched Zimmerman in the face and broke his nose.
Yet- the way Zimmerman pursued the kid- even after the 911 dispatcher told him not to- then he got out of his vehicle and confronted the kid- then he wound up killing him.
Look- the whole thing was wrong.
We don’t need self appointed ‘neighborhood watch’ guys acting like cops- and making 50 911 calls in the last year [which he did].
I worked for the Fire Dept. for 25 years- and I loved our volunteer firefighters- some of the guys were really helpful.
But you had a few that never could get hired as full time guys- and these guys acted like they were the ‘real deal’.
I mean they wore the fire dept Tee shirts around town- had the lights on their trucks [the paid guys never did stuff like this].
They wanted to be firefighters- paid- and if they couldn’t score high enough on the test and get on the dept. – then they did the next best thing- they acted like they were on the job!
I see this in Zimmerman- and while we don’t have all the details- he was not justified in killing this kid- no matter what else we find out- this was an unjustified killing.
And I agree with the president- every person- Black- White- Hispanic- should be concerned about this shooting- and we want to get to the bottom of this.
For a 17 year old kid [Black- White- whatever] to get shot in cold blood- and to be lying on the slab for 2 days before the parents know what happened.
And for the shooter to be home- still playing ‘cop’- and keeping his gun- this stuff needs to stop- and we as a country need to condemn stuff like this.
Yeah- did I feel nervous when the Black kid walked up to me at the gas station that night?
He saw some White guy- a guy he thought was homeless- and he wanted to help.
When we see a Black kid- a hood or not- let’s not think ‘this kid is up to no good’ [the words of Zimmerman on the 911 call].
If we/you think something looks suspicious- yeah- go ahead and call 911.
But for heaven’s sake- if your packing heat- don’t get out of your car and play cop.
There’s a reason some of the volunteers never got hired- and there’s a reason Zimmerman was not a cop.
If you aint ‘the real deal’ then call the pro’s- and stay in the damn car.
1814- I WILL NEVER SEE MY HOME AGAIN
When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey- there were certain stories that I heard- you know- things that stick with you for the rest of your life.
One of the all time greats was the day my mom took my Italian Grandma to the store.
Now- my mom was notorious for getting lost- even as a young kid I would tell her directions on my way to school- blocks from the house!
But this one was the best.
The store they were headed to was named Valley fair- it was about 15 minutes from the house- I drove passed it many times- even rode my bike there.
So my mom picks up Nauna and off they go.
Now- my Nauna was a first generation immigrant- you know- came over on the boat [Plane?]
So you might see things differently because of that- having had the experience of leaving your homeland and moving to some strange new world.
As they make this ‘short’ drive- my mom begins worrying that she might have missed the turn.
As a matter of fact- it seems like they have been driving for a while [quite a while to be exact!]
So she finally stops at the gas station and asks the guy ‘do you know where Valley Fair is’?
The guy looks puzzled- and you must understand [to those of you not from the Garden State] that the cities are so tight- it’s easy to drive thru 10 cites without even realizing you did it.
So the guy asks ‘what city is the store in’?
She tells him [I think the town was Little Ferry?]
He still looks puzzled- he asks ‘what state is that in’?
Yes- they drove out of state and were wandering in New York state.
My Nauna simply said ‘I will never see my home again’.
Yes- we all hate change- we fear the new environment- having to learn new tasks.
Today is day 3 for the Supreme Court to hear the oral arguments on Obama Care.
They set aside 6 hours over 3 days for the case- which is really extraordinary.
They usually give you one hour and that’s it.
But they know this is a major thing- and they want to hear both sides.
By most accounts- the Solicitor General for the govt. [the lawyer who argues the case for it] had a bad day.
Some even went as far to predict that the law will get struck down [Toobin for CNN].
I think it’s still too early to say that- but it did look like the court might be accepting [at least asking] more arguments on the side of those who want to overturn the law then those who are for it.
Why are so many people against it?
About 2/3rd’s of the country do not like the mandate [Me too].
People will indeed be forced to buy insurance- or pay the fine.
I found it funny that one of the more liberal justices- Stephen Bryer- kind of rebuked the president’s lawyer [the guy arguing for it].
The lawyer kept referring to the fine as ‘the tax’ and Bryer called him out on it.
Why was the lawyer fudging like this?
Because if you argue that the mandate is simply a tax- then by all accounts the govt. has the power to tax.
But the law was not drawn up this way- because of political reasons.
So instead of saying the charge is a tax- they said it’s a fine.
As this case has made its way thru the courts- the govt. has tried this a few times- and one judge said ‘look- you have argued in public that this is not a tax- now you are saying it is- you can’t have it both ways’.
So the govt. [Obama] has really twisted this thing a lot.
I don’t know if the court will uphold or reject the law- but things look brighter today for those who want it struck down.
One of the things that will happen- is if it passes- is things will change.
Now- frankly I’m not in the camp of thinking the whole country will go socialist over it- to be honest the mandate used to be a Repub idea [the Heritage Foundation- a conservative think tank- once supported the idea].
Socialism- in its truest form- would have been the one payer- govt. run system- this plan is not that.
But yeah- there will be changes- many for the worse- a few for the better.
Many people will lose their employer provided insurance- because it will be cheaper for the Employers to drop their coverage and let people fall into the plan.
So that will be bad for some.
And of course- the argument that all the govt. is doing is regulating commerce [that’s the argument they are using- the commerce clause] is really silly in my mind- they are trying to mandate people to buy a private product- from the private business sector- this is much more than simply regulating commerce.
But overall- if it passes- things will change.
Yes- change is scary- we get used to familiar surroundings- then one day you wake up- head out to the store- and before you know it- you will never see your home again.
1815- HEAD TRANSPLANT
I have been reading the San Antonio paper the last few weeks- and they have been running some ad for dental implants [fake teeth].
They have the ‘before/after’ pictures- whenever I see the ad- I think ‘before what? A complete head transplant’!
Yes- the before shots remind me much of my homeless buddies- the after shots look like glamour pictures for the ‘most beautiful person in the world’ contest.
This last week I have reached a sort of milestone- a few years ago I began praying [more than usual] for all types of criminal cases that I read about- or see- on the news.
I actually painted their names all over my gazebo- the back fence- and yes- right on the back and sides of the house [along with lots of bible verses].
I have hundreds of pictures/articles cut from the paper- their pinned to my office walls.
You say ‘John- I know you mean well- but do you think this is normal’.
Actually no- neither does my wife.
I have been threatened ‘if you keep doing this- I will paint the whole house’.
My paints [and brushes] have been hidden [by others!]- and when Christmas comes around- I tell the kids ‘hey- just get me another 5 gallon bucket of paint- I’m running low’ [yes- this part is a joke].
Some of the more severe cases- the ones that stick in my mind- I paint their names- the others I just pin up the article.
Sometimes I see the cases more than once- at the time of the crime- and then when they get sentenced.
This week Jacob Gonzales was sentenced to life without parole.
He plead guilty to a triple homicide he committed last year- shot 3 girls in cold blood.
The worst homicide the city has ever seen.
So I had written the name of Jacob down- and saved the article.
As I looked for a spot to paint the name- I realized that I already wrote the name Jacob- in big letters- on a ladder on my gazebo [long story- bible verse about Jacobs Ladder].
So it kinda just fit.
I knew his case was significant- I do ‘forever’ pray for these guys [and women] and being it was a local case- and he will be in jail for life- he would benefit more from the prayers.
During my normal reading for the week- I was reading Jeremiah chapter 31.
I usually focus on one or 2 chapters a week- and if I remember I comment on them at the end of the week.
As I read chapter 31- it starts with a verse that should be added to the previous chapter.
Sometimes you run into a chapter like that- our bible chapters and verses are really ‘man made’ that is the chapters themselves are not inspired- just the content [chapter divisions].
So I thought ‘heck- let me go ahead and see if the Lord has something for me in chapter 30’.
Now- this is the week where I added Jacob to my prayer group- again.
And I felt there was some special significance to his case.
In Jeremiah chapter 30 the Lord says ‘this is the time of Jacobs’s trouble- and I will save him out of it’.
It would take too long to teach the actual doctrine of Jacobs Trouble- but it is a long- and sometimes controversial teaching that we find all through the bible.
I say controversial because many [most?] Protestants have an ‘end time’ teaching about this [called Dispensationalism] that I don’t agree with.
I hold more to the historic churches’ view on these passages [Catholic, Orthodox, etc.]
But Jacob- in the bible- is the son of Isaac- the son of Abraham.
God changes his name to Israel [he is the father of the 12 tribes of Israel].
And the name obviously holds a lot of significance in the bible.
The ‘trouble’ part refers to the passages we find in the bible that speak about a very troubling time for Israel as a nation- in many of the End Time books/movies- it’s called ‘The Great Tribulation’.
But the significance for me- this week- was God kinda spoke to me thru the connection of this kid Jacob- who I prayed for all week.
Yes- Jacobs’ time of trouble.
In chapter 31 [Jeremiah] God tells Israel ‘there is coming a time when I will make a new covenant with you- not like the one I made with you during the time of Moses’.
This fits in with what I taught last week- how the apostle Paul said we are not under the old law [Moses and the 10 commandments] but under a new covenant- the new and everlasting covenant of the Blood of Jesus.
In the chapter it says God will write his law on our minds and hearts- it won’t just be an outward law- written on tables of stone- but one written on the inside.
Yes- he says ‘all things will be new- I will never remember your sins any more’.
You know- I guess complete head [heart] transplants can happen- but it takes a miracle from God.
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.
1817- SCOTUS stuff
As the week begins I want you to see if you can catch the narrative- the ‘new’ story that the media is going to tell.
This past week- the top story was the case of the Supreme Court hearing the arguments about the health care law [referred to as Obama Care- not the real name].
As the justices closed the last day of hearings- most observers seem to think that the law will be struck down as unconstitutional.
This came as a surprise to some in the ‘media/legal’ world- but not all.
As a brief review- the main argument against the law [there are a few] is that the federal govt. overstepped its boundaries by telling the states that their people had to by a private product- health insurance.
Now- as the year went by- some of the lower courts agreed with the President’s side- others did not.
They just about split 50-50 on it.
Some judges did indeed seem to agree with the side that said the federal govt. – under the Commerce Clause- does not have the right to make people by insurance.
Now- why would the president have constructed the law- using the Commerce Clause as the basis to make people by insurance?
He knew that to simply do a straight ‘raise a tax to pay for health care’ would not pass.
That is- would not pass congress- though there is no doubt that it would have survived the courts.
Yes- the constitution does indeed give the power to tax to the federal govt. – this is clear.
So- in my mind- when I first heard the 2 sides- I thought it was actually reasonable to conclude that the law would get struck down- because the Commerce Clause says the govt. has the right to regulate commerce [business] between the states- but not to force people to buy a product..
And the President said ‘being everybody will eventually access the system [which by the way is not true- there are some people who live- and die- without ever even going to the E.R. ]
But the Presidents side said being everyone is already doing ‘commerce’ by the fact that they will someday use the system- therefore we are just regulating it by telling people to start paying now.
To me- this was a stretch- and it seems like a majority of the court agree.
So- after the very bad week for the Presidents side- the media began spinning the story.
Nina Totenberg- NPR- a fairly liberal news lady- been around for a while.
She was on one of the morning news shows and she said that almost ‘all’ legal experts agree that this case is a hands down win for Obama.
But because the court- the 5 conservatives- are the ‘Bush Court’ [they gave the election to Bush under the Bush versus Gore ruling] that they are now basically a Tea Party court- a right wing court who either does not know the law- or is refusing to rule according to the law.
Now- the problem with this is the media are going to being spinning this- a few others have already gone down this road [Carville].
I can already hear my liberal friend- in a week or 2- saying ‘geez- can you believe these Bush justices- they are practically breaking the law by going against Obama care’.
It’s sad- and wrong- because this is not what happened at all.
There are 9 justices that make up the court- most think that 4 are liberal- 4 conservative- and that justice Kennedy plays a ‘swing vote’ role.
Why are some said to be liberal and others conservative?
It’s not a political statement to say this about the justices- but it has to do with the way they interpret their role on the court.
Conservatives believe it’s the role of the court to simply interpret the constitution.
That when they hear cases- they simply need to look at the constitution- and the way the previous courts have ruled- and that’s how the decision should be made.
The Lib’s have an idea that the constitution is a ‘living document’ [Ginsberg has said this- a liberal justice on the court]. And they believe that you should be able to make decisions based on what the founders might have thought if they were around today- don’t just limit your decisions based on the ‘static’ reading of the constitution.
Okay- because it is true that Republicans usually nominate more conservative types- and Democrat presidents nominate liberals- this does not mean in any way that the justices make rulings based on what party they belong to.
It’s really slanderous for the media to begin telling this ‘story’ this narrative that the 5 conservatives are ruling ‘politically’ because after all- their conservatives.
See how they do this?
Whatever way the court rules [they actually voted the other day- but the final ruling wont be revealed until the summer] it would be right to think that they ruled according to the way they think- that the conservatives more than likely thought the Commerce Clause did not give the federal govt. the right to mandate people to buy a product.
And the Liberal justices who will vote for it- they probably will do so because it fits more in with their legal thinking- they won’t vote for it simply because they are politically liberal [though that’s also probably true] but because that’s the view they sincerely hold to.
So get ready- you will begin hearing how the justices are either outright hostile to Obama- because they owe their allegiance to Bush- or they are really inept- sort of a picture of them being out of touch with ‘the majority’- if not all- of the ‘legal experts’.
Read- think for yourself.
My first impression- when I first heard the Commerce Clause argument- was that the argument was weak- and that to interpret a law that says ‘the federal govt. has the right to regulate commerce’ to think that means ‘we can make you buy insurance’ it just seemed like a stretch to me.
I really don’t need Totenberg- or Carville- or anybody to explain to me that ‘all’ the legal minds think the other way- besides this being not true- you can simply read the case being made- and see that the conservative argument- over this particular point- seems right.
I am not saying that there are not real issues about health care that we do need to deal with- there are.
Nor am I saying that ‘Obama care’ is a socialist takeover of the country [that’s as bad as Totenberg’s lie].
But I am saying- don’t let the media tell you how to believe- begin demonizing the 5 conservatives to a point where you believe the lie- that there is ‘no way’ true- honest- legal minds would have struck down the mandate.
The fact is- most reasonable people would probably conclude the same thing.
The majority of the American people believe the same thing about the mandate- that it is wrong.
The majority of the court seem to be saying the same thing.
But the Totenberg’s of the world- they are going to tell you ‘another story’ try- real hard- to see that it’s just ‘a story’.