RACE RELIGION AND POLITICS 2O13 B
I’ve been getting together with the homeless guys these past few days- I haven’t seen Henry in a while and I thought I better check up on the guys.
Henry- who I have written about a lot- is one of the close friends from the street.
He grew up in the north east- Mass. – so we have ties.
Henry is a true bible scholar- I mean I might mention a verse and Henry will quote the entire chapter- it’s kind of like a Rain Man type thing- but instead of remembering the gambling numbers- he does it with the bible.
Anyway we had a good fellowship- we went for a nice ride over the causeway and headed towards Rockport- just a chance for Henry to see the area.
I went to pick him up at the boat dock where he works- but missed him- caught him at the mission.
I gave Henry some money- he doesn’t drink or get drunk [or do drugs] with the money so it’s not like I’m contributing to the delinquency of a senior.
When we got back to the house I cooked a few things for Henry- though he did not want me to- yet he ate well.
He likes to catch the sports on my Direct TV- he’s a sports nut- knows all the latest stats- reads the scores in the paper- or catches a coffee at the Mexican restaurant and watches the sports on the tube.
From what I have picked up over the years- I think Henry used to be one of the top wrestlers at his high school- till this day- Henry looks to be in top physical shape- like he works out- he’s a few years older than me- 52?- yet he’s a health nut.
So he likes being able to catch the multiple sports channels on my TV.
Henry had a good day- and for a real homeless guy- looks the part- you would never know what a straight shooter he is.
One time we were sitting at the homeless mission and they were gonna do the Lords Supper.
I said ‘great- I’m in’ Henry did not partake- he later told me it would be a violation of the apostle Paul’s order to the Corinthians not to partake with sinners- and yes- some of the guys were drunk.
Yeah- he was right- I just felt like I needed to partake at the time.
The next day I took a ride to the bay front area of our city- one of the most beautiful downtowns you will ever see- many post cards have the area highlighted.
I just took a walk by the bay- and spotted a homeless girl- I was surprised- I rarely have seen them in that area.
I talked to her a little while and gave her some money- she was a Black girl.
About a mile down the road I also saw a Black kid sleeping on the bench- obviously homeless too- I think she might have been with him.
The other day I mentioned that in the next few weeks I will try and read/study 1st John.
He is the 3rd ‘pillar’ in the 3 main church leaders that we wanted to cover.
Even though I barley started reading the letter- I know one of the main themes from John is ‘he that obeys Gods commands is from God’.
John hits this theme a lot.
And then he says the command is ‘he that sees his brother in need and does not help him- how can Gods love be in you?’
This theme is repeated over and over again in John’s letter- and it’s the same message Jesus gave when he was asked what the great commandment was.
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and might- and your neighbor as yourself’.
Jesus said ‘on these 2 hang all the law and the prophets’.
Yeah- this is the major emphasis that we will look at when we cover his letter.
I think I will try and see the guy’s today- maybe go down to the mission for a little while.
Not all of the homeless are like Henry- Henry works- does not get ‘a check’ [if you knew how many young guys- perfect health- are all getting govt. checks it would make you sick].
No- Henry- like some of my other friends [Tim] does not live off of the welfare system.
They do eat the free lunch at the mission [which I do not- I don’t take the meals that are intended for the poor] yet I see retried/working people drive up in the cars- or on their motorcycles- and they simply come for the free food.
The mission even has said to me ‘John- eat- because the more people who sign up- the more money we get’.
Geez- I know they mean well- but it’s like when I worked at the fire dept. – we tried to use all the money in our budget- even if we didn’t need it- just so they wouldn’t cut our budget the next year.
So we need to keep these things in mind when the accusation is made politically ‘they want to take food from grandma- kids’ in some of these cases its food from people who have it- but they prefer the free meals instead.
All in all I focus on the truly needy- the guys who have lived their entire lives on the streets.
Yeah- John said if we see our brother in need and don’t help him- then how can we say Gods love is in us?
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1832- BIDENS REVENGE?
As we end the week- once again- we have had some ‘real’ stories- things that are important- and silly stuff.
First- a few days back the Obama administration spiked the football over the Bin laden killing and we had a few days of back and forth on it.
One of the things they did was released some of the secret memos we found at the time of the raid.
Now- you must understand that Obama makes the call- along with the intelligence people- on what to let out.
So- as I watched the various media outlets repeat- over and over again- the top lines- I could not stop laughing- very loudly- as they reported one of Bin laden’s desires.
Now- I did not laugh at the first part ‘we want to kill the president of the U.S.’.
No- not funny.
But the next part ‘and whatever you do- don’t hurt Biden! We need him to survive- because he will become president and he does not know what he’s doing- he will bring the U.S. down’.
Now- you must see that Bin laden’s final plot- the mastermind of 911- his plan was to get Biden in the top seat and watch him bring the country down.
Okay- to me this was funny- to see the reporters doing this story while trying not to laugh.
How do you think Ole Joe took it?
Okay- this is my conspiracy theory- obviously he’s watching this story over and over again- knowing that the President made ‘the call’ to release this very intriguing tid bit.
And who knows- maybe Obama did it out of some hidden anger about Biden making so many gaffs in the first term.
So Biden’s response?
He goes on national TV and says how much he supports gay marriage- a position that the Pres did not make yet.
Now- the president and his people have to scramble to get the story under control- they at first try to ignore it- but after a few days Obama comes ‘out of the closet’ and makes the call- yes- he too is for it.
Now- some think this was all planned- that they wanted to orchestrate the pro Obama stance and contrast it with the next story- how Romney is a serial gay bashing bully- with a pair of scissors.
I don’t know- I think Biden just did what he does best- and spoke before he thought.
Anyway- as I’m watching the media coverage of the most serious story of the day.
The terrible Syrian bombing that killed many?
The very troubling revelation that J.P. Morgan/Chase [the countries largest bank] took a 2 billion dollar hit in the first quarter?
I’m talking about the most important story of the day.
That in 1965 Romney stalked some kid with blonde hair in his prep type high school- and he cut his Goldie locks!
Yes- as I’m watching this breaking worlds news- the news also comes out that Biden trotted on over to the White house and apologized to the boss.
Wow- they actually had to report this.
‘John- do you really believe Biden did this to get even’?
No- not really- but just know- it was Bin laden’s wish for Joe to get 4 more.
Okay- J.P. Morgan.
Yesterday morning I posted about my belief that most financial guys have tried to down play the Euro debt crisis- that they are not seeing the real danger it plays for the U.S.
Then during the day I caught the story that Jamie Dimon- the CEO of Morgan- held a conference call and let the cat out of the bag- that they made bad investments and lost 2 billion.
As I watched thru out the day I thought ‘I bet it has something to do with the E.U.’
Sure enough it did.
It looks like this bank made the same gamble that Jon Corzine and his investment group did.
The same thing that began our ‘great recession’ at the end of 2008 when Obama came into office.
They made certain types of investments- called Hedging- and they bet that the European bonds would get bailed out and all would go well.
Now- the fact is things look like they might go downhill- and that some of the E.U. countries will default on their debt and that the Euro currency might even go bust.
Okay- J.P. Morgan still did the kind of thing that led us into the huge financial problems we have been dealing with these past few years.
So the fact is ‘too big to fail’ is still out there- it can in fact happen again.
The reason we bailed out the big financial institutions was because all the insider guys who worked for Bush [and Obama] convinced the presidents [Bush and Obama] that this was what needed to be done- or else the global financial system might fail.
Now- after we did the bailout we were supposed to put in place checks and balances that would never allow a huge bank- that has FDIC insurance- which means if they fail the govt. bails out the depositors- to get into a spot again where we might have to do it again.
But we did not fix the ‘too big to fail’ problem- and once again we see that these huge banks are still ‘making bets’ with money.
Okay- in the morning I saw that the Washington post ran a 3 page story on Romney’s ‘wicked ways’.
Yes- when I was in high school we used to beat the hell out of people- in the school building.
We bought drugs- and used them- on school grounds.
And we engaged in all types of illegal activity during our high school days.
So- as the campaign heats up- the Washington Post did their due diligence and went and tracked down 5 of Romney’s classmates- from 1965- and confirmed the story that Romney was a serial bully back in the day.
Okay- as the article went on- it portrayed Romney as the ring leader of a group of brief case carrying youth [the article did say this] that were upset about this kid who wore long blonde hair at the school.
They said that Romney teased this boy- who might have been gay- and even called him a girly name.
So- after a period of time- Romney just could not take it anymore and he lead this group of fellow students to go and get the blonde kid.
Yea- the article states that as the boys held the kid down- Romney- armed with a pair of scissors ‘repeatedly’ [geez- not one snip!] cut the boys hair- as tears arose in the boys eyes.
Okay- did we really need to know this?
Did it really need to be a top story- right up there with all the real news going on in the world?
Look- I don’t want to say bullying is not a problem- but in 1965- if the worst thing you can find on Romney is this- then this guy is a goody too shoes!
I find it funny that the media were able to go back 50 years for this silly story- and they never managed to find the drug dealer who sold coke to Obama when he was in school [Obama admits using ‘blow’ back in the day].
Now- do I want to know who the president bought the cocaine from- not really.
But I sure did not want to know that Romney ‘packed scissors’ back in the day.
So you see what the next year will be like- a very sad thing indeed.
So as the week comes to a close we had some important stuff- and some not so important stuff.
We had a few apologies [Biden- Romney apologized too- even though the blonde victim died a few years ago- you know- those Mormons do have continuing relationships with the dead!]
And we had some serious stories as well- the Syrian situation is bad- many people are dying over there- and I do hope we can do something about it.
All in all it was a busy week- lets all try and take a break this weekend.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1831- TEA PARTY?
So the other day we had a few more primary elections- and the big news was the Dick Lugar loss [Repub from Indiana].
Lugar was the longest serving senator in congress- 6 terms.
He got booted by a Tea Party guy- and the media made it sound like D day.
I mean the nonstop talk about the country being taken over by the extreme right- that Lugar was such a fine man- who was punished because he voted [often!] with Obama.
It’s funny- whenever the Democrats have a big win- a ‘take over’ it gets described as a wonderful choice that the country has made- a true generational paradigm shift.
When the President got elected- and the Dems took the house and the senate- by huge majorities- you even had conservative media Folk describing it this way [Cokie Roberts].
Yet when the right side of the aisle do a sweep- it’s the country throwing a ‘tantrum’ [yes- the main line news described it this way when the Repubs took back the house in the mid terms].
I’m not a Tea Partier- or an occupier- but from what I see the Tea Party folk are simply people who want fiscal restraint.
They have no ideological social agenda- just for the govt. to not spend more than it takes in.
Okay- sincere people might have a disagreement on this- but to describe any organized grass roots group- who are simply fiscal conservatives- to talk about them as a dangerous movement that might bring the Republic down- well that seems to be a bit much.
Well- I hate to say it [not really] but I ‘told you so’.
Yeah- if you go back and read my posts over the last 6 months- I felt like too many financial guys were hyping the chances for a strong recovery this year.
I even mentioned that Larry Kudlow- a straight shooter [business guy] was talking 3% growth for this year.
I said I thought it would be more like 2.
Now- both of these numbers are actually terrible!
But 3 would be better than 2.
Last night he changed his prediction- yeah- 2.
To me there really should be no surprise- when the Dow was at 13,200- I simply thought people were ignoring the reality on the ground.
This morning it opens at a little over 12,800- and I think the ‘real’ number should be in the low 12,ooo’s.
When we kicked off the year- some analysts were hoping for new job growth to be at around 250,000 jobs a month.
You need this many- every month- for a few years before the economy can truly recover.
So- we did have a few months at this number- and there was some good economic news as well- so I thought maybe I was wrong- maybe the E.U. crisis will not be as bad- and if everything goes good- more power to ya.
But then the month before last something happened- the new jobs number was a little over 100,000- not good.
All the talking heads gave their views- and it was possible that the number was a fluke [Sandra?]
But no- the number for last month has come out- again- a little over a 100,000.
The reason you need around 250,000 a month to really move the needle is because every month we have over 100,000 new people enter the job market.
These are people that just turned working age and are new to the market.
So- if you are barley covering jobs for them- or are a little under- in reality the unemployment goes up- not down.
But we have seen the number go down [from 8.2 to 8.1].
How can this be?
The way we calculate unemployment is by the amount of people who are actually looking for jobs.
So- if 300,000 people drop out of the hunt- then the number goes down on paper- when in reality it should go up.
So- it looks like we might be stalling again.
The E.U. zone problems are still there- and they are our biggest market.
As a matter of fact- the 17 nations that make up e.u. are the biggest economy in the world.
So- if they are our biggest customer- and if they are in trouble- we are too.
Just this past week 2 E.U. countries voted out the leaders that wanted austerity [cut spending] and put in guys who want to spend money they don’t have.
What does this mean?
It means if they keep going down this road they will be facing a depression- and it looks like the ‘cut back spending’ people are all on their way out.
So- as we see a slowing down in our country- and a continuing disaster with our biggest trading partner- well these things are not the recipe for a real recovery- and the insiders know it.
‘John- do you think we will be able to deal with our debt/deficit’?
These past few weeks as I have flipped the news/business channels- I have seen the Dems go point by point thru the Repubs budget- and at every point where they wanted to cut- they said ‘they want to cut your kids from free lunch- the elderly from their food [meals on wheels]’.
I just heard Matthews [MSNBC] say ‘how can you vote for cuts that when someone’s mother goes to the hospital for an operation- and you cut their Medicare and the doctor says- sorry- because of the Repubs- you must die’.
Now- if the Dems keep playing this game- if they do not try and deal with a very real problem- if they politicize it like this- then yes- we will be just like Greece in a few more years.
Now- I’m not saying I support the Ryan plan out of hand- but we need something fairly close.
Some say his plan does not cut the debt fast enough.
Either way- the number 1 crisis facing the country right now is our exploding debt- and the most notable organized group- who has actually organized around this problem- is the Tea Party.
While I am not a hard right type of guy- and do have some social justice issues that I support [I do not want to kick kids and grandma out on the street] yet- if the most prominent ‘right wing’ group is actually nominating people who will do something about the number one problem our country is facing.
Then maybe we should stop throwing up our hands and talking about the end of the world- maybe- just maybe- it might be what the doctor ordered.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.
1829- A CHINESE LAWYER AND LIVING STONES
I want to try and teach a couple of things from the letter of 1st Peter [in the New Testament] – but 1st a few comments.
Today the big story is the Chinese dissident- Chen Guangcheng.
Chen is a blind lawyer who has been under house arrest for years by the govt.
His main fight against the repressive communist state is their 1 child policy.
In China- because of the population growth- if a woman gets pregnant more than once- they force the woman to have an abortion.
This practice has not only killed many innocent kids- but also causes the parents to voluntarily abort the first child if it’s a girl.
Many of the families prefer a boy if they can only have 1 child- so the moms often abort the first [or 2nd– or 3rd] if it’s a girl.
So anyway- Chen miraculously escaped house arrest and made it to ‘safety’ to the U.S. embassy in China.
Here’s where there is some contradiction.
After a couple of days hiding out in the embassy- he left of his own ‘free will’ and the U.S. escorted him to a hospital [he suffered some inures during his escape].
Then we left him there- and he came under further persecution by the govt.
He called for help- and begged the U.S. to take him and his wife and family to the U.S.
Now- Hillary Clinton just happens to be there for talks this week- and she played down the case at first- and Chen says the U.S. rep’s told him if he didn’t leave the embassy that the Chinese officials would harm his wife.
Now- both sides agree that the threat was made [Chen and the U.S.] but we are denying that we related the threat to Chen.
Either way- the man left the protection of the embassy because of fear for his family- and he is now in danger.
This incident has now overshadowed the original reason for Clinton’s visit- and all the hype this week over the Bin Laden death anniversary.
Actually- it did look bad- as I was flipping the news channels- I saw the re-run of the NBC ‘coverage’ [more like an hour long free campaign ad].
They just did a special on the lead up to the death of Bin Laden- and it showed play for play coverage of the president and his team- I mean I do give the president credit for the death of Bin Laden- but they do seem to be overplaying the hand a bit much.
Even some of the elite Special Forces guys are complaining about his politicizing of the event.
So as I’m seeing clips about ‘we made the call [to kill him] it was a risk- but that’s what the job of president is- taking risks’ on and on- talking about how much of a risk it was for Obama to make ‘the call’.
And then on the next channel- we seem to be throwing this heroic Chinese dissident under the bus- and it seems like ‘the risk’ of actually saving the guy and his family- against the will of China [our bank] who does not want the U.S. to interfere- might be too much.
It is sad- I don’t want to politicize the thing- but for the media campaign to be harping on how much of a risk it was for the president to ‘make the call’- and at the very same moment- we have a crisis that needs him to ‘make a call’ it’s a bit much.
Okay- this morning I read a little from the letter of Peter.
In chapter 2 Peter uses the imagery of Jesus- and of us- as being stones- spiritual stones in a ‘living temple’ who offer up spiritual sacrifices to God thru Christ.
I always liked this imagery- the apostle Paul also uses it in his writings [Ephesians].
Peter says Jesus was a tested corner stone- a tried stone- rejected of men- but approved by God.
We too- as living stones- will be tested and tried- and yes- rejected by men.
This is part of the process.
He will later say ‘don’t think it a strange thing- the fiery trial you are going thru- it is not only given to us to believe on Jesus- but to also suffer for him’.
This is one of the main themes you see run thru out the New Testament.
Peter even says ‘if any man suffers as a Christian [by the way- this term is only used 3 times in the New Testament] let him glorify God’
Yes- suffering and difficulty are part of the package- and the apostle tells us not to ‘think it strange’.
There are so many well meaning believers in our day who have been taught that suffering- hard times- lack of wealth- that all these things only happen to people who don’t have faith- who haven’t yet learned how to ‘claim their covenant rights’.
Now- while most of these teachers mean well- they leave out the other side of the coin.
And if you only hear the ‘happy’ side- then when the tough stuff hits- you ‘think it strange’ you say ‘geez- I guess I’m just not as good as so and so- after all- why would I be suffering’.
So Peter warns us to be aware that the trying of our faith is an important aspect of the Christian life- and there are times when believers are called upon to share in this Cross experience.
In chapter 2 Peter says that Jesus was a tested stone- one that went thru the process of being chipped and honed and shaped into the vessel that God wanted.
Part of the shaping was the rejection process.
God uses ‘tested’ stones in his temples.
In the Old Testament- when they were building the temple- the bible says they prepared the stones away from the building site- so there would be no noise of the hammers chipping away at the temple site itself.
But after the stone was ready- it would be brought to the site and placed into the building.
Often times God allows us to have ‘down time’ a place of being prepared- getting chipped away at- but when he thinks the stone is ready- it is then brought to the site and put into the building.
The apostle John- in the book of Revelation says ‘I John saw the holy city- the New Jerusalem- coming down from God out of heaven- and there was no temple in it’.
John was describing the new kingdom community [the church] that would be absent ‘the temple’ [the old system of law and temple] and would be a new people- a living temple- a kingdom of priests and kings.
These new people would offer up spiritual sacrifices to God- no longer the animal sacrifices of the law- and this would please God.
Yes- we are the people of God- kings and priests unto God.
John also says this in Revelation.
‘thou art worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof- for you were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every nation tribe and tongue- and have made us KINGS AND PRIESTS unto God- and we shall reign on the earth’.
Yes- kings and priests- a new community- a living spiritual temple.
All wonderful things- but the only stones that make it into this temple are tried stones- rejected stones- stones that got ‘chipped’ at for a long period of time.
Yeah- these are the precious stones.
1827- SCHOOL LOANS AND HOW MANY TIMES DID THAT ROOSTER CROW?
I want to try and do both ‘politics and religion’- lets start with politics.
This story is a couple of days late [the big one this week is the anti Romney ad that the Obama campaign released- saying he would not have killed Bin Laden].
This story is last week’s fight over keeping the cost of federally funded student loans from doubling in July.
Basically in 2007 congress passed a law to keep the interest rates low- and it expires in a few months.
Now- both sides of the aisle actually agree on this- they just disagree on how to pay for it [around 6 billion in cost].
The Dems in the senate want to ‘tax the rich’ yes- they are not afraid to keep going to this pool- even though eventually this pool will run dry [not saying all the rich will become poor- but ultimately you drive the wealth from the country- people put their money where it won’t cost so much to keep!]
The Dems in the house want to tax the oil companies.
The Repubs want to pay for it by taking some money out of Obama care.
Okay- as the battle lines were drawn- the Repubs control the house- so they passed it- with about a dozen Dems on board- with the money coming from Obama care.
The President threatened to veto it- and the Dems began accusing the Repubs of waging ‘a war on women’s health’.
Boehner [speaker of the house] actually got mad and said the Dems are waging a phony fight.
Okay- as an independent- there are some points on both sides- but the ‘war on women’ is a stretch.
The fund in the health care law that the Repubs want to use- is a fund for preventative care- less than 1 % of this fund is targeted for women’s health.
The President and the Dems were the first ones to tap into this fund- as sort of a slush fund- when they needed the money for- of all things- a tax cut!
Yes- in the recent fight over extending the payroll tax cut [Social Security] the Dems came up with the idea to tap into this same preventive fund- and they used the money [billions] to give people a tax cut.
Now- when they did it- it was not a ‘war on women’ it was a ‘good thing’.
When the Repubs did it- it was a war on women’s health.
So- this is gridlock- this is why our country is becoming more and more dysfunctional as the days go by.
I have said this over the past few years- if we don’t actually elect people who will deal with the real issues- the big one being the cost of Medicare- which at the current rate will consume around 50 % of all federal spending in a few years- if we don’t elect people who will do this- then all the other little ‘campaign’ talking points will mean nothing.
Okay- this past week I went thru a course by Professor Bart Ehrman.
He teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He teaches Christianity and the New Testament and has been popular the last couple of years because he had a N.Y. times best seller- Misquoting Jesus.
Whenever I study a course- I usually do a parallel teaching on the blog.
Not word for word- I usually have a background in the subject already- and if the course goes too ‘off course’ I dump it and just finish the blog study by memory.
This time I never planned on covering the course from the get go- because I knew Ehrman was what you would call a Liberal scholar.
Now- Liberal and Conservative- in the field of Theology- are not political matters.
Liberals are those who hold to the critical view of the bible that was developed in the 19th century- primarily out of the German universities- men like Rudolph Bultman were leaders in the field.
This ‘way’ of interpreting the bible- called Higher Criticism- had some good points to it- but at the end of the day they came to reject the historical accuracy of scripture- and said that the Gospels were written by unknown men who wanted to simply convey spiritual truths that Jesus taught.
Conservative teachers [like me] hold to the belief that the bible is indeed historically accurate- and the ‘Inspired Word of God’.
Okay- as I went thru the course- I honestly expected Bart to make a better case for his side.
I really learned nothing knew- I was already familiar with the critic’s points- and he made the same ones that the conservative side has already refuted.
Now- let me give you a few examples.
When I first started reading thru the bible as a new believer- I did find some of these ‘discrepancies’ myself.
I noticed that in Matthews’s gospel the story about the denial of Jesus says Peter will deny Jesus 3 times before the ‘rooster crows’.
In Marks gospel it says ‘before the rooster crows twice’.
When I first saw this- it really wasn’t that big of a deal to me- and one time I mentioned it to my Pastor- a good Baptist man who was trained in a Fundamentalist school- and to my surprise he was not aware of this.
I also noticed a few more things like this over the years- and my pastor simply was never trained in these areas.
Now- I mention this only to point out that if you get a well rounded education- it really should include some of these so called discrepancies.
Some of the Higher Criticism is helpful- some not.
But to avoid these textual problems- simply because you’re a Fundamentalist- does more harm than good- especially when your parishioners are learning the stuff on their own!
Okay- I ‘solved’ the problem of the denials by simply seeing that even though one gospel says ‘before the rooster crows’ and the other ‘twice’- that at the end of the day one writer is simply giving you more detail.
It really is not a contradiction- if Matthew said ‘before the roster crows once’ then yes- that would be a problem.
But he simply gave less detail than the other writer.
Okay- after becoming familiar with Ehrman- and knowing that he is famous in the field of liberal scholarship- I thought for sure he would come up with something better than this.
But in actuality- this was one of his main examples of why the bible is not historically accurate.
I couldn’t believe it.
Now- to be fair- there are other things like this that do happen- but they are all minor details of the story [John’s gospel seems to indicate that Jesus was crucified on a different feast day than the other writers say].
But all these minor details in no way justify rejecting the gospels as historically accurate.
Let me just hit on a few things that the higher critics have right.
They do point to the fact that the early followers of Jesus lived in an Oral culture- things were passed along by word of mouth for the most part.
The writing of books [scrolls] did take place- but it was not an easy- or cheap trade.
We live in a day of books and internet access and all sorts of ways for the printed word to be distributed- but in the early church it was not like this.
So- the gospels were probably written about 20-50 years after the death and resurrection of Christ.
Yes- this is true.
The more conservative scholars go with the earlier date [some go as early as 15 years after Christ] but no one claims that the gospels were written at the same time as Christ walking the earth.
Yes- the stories were transmitted orally [oral culture] but they were written later on.
Now- the ultra liberal scholars say ‘see- how could they have known all the facts if they were written so much later’- and Ehrman uses the example of the game ‘telephone’ [or something like that?].
Where you have one person in class tell something to the next in line- and at the end of the line you get a different account.
Ehrman says ‘see- we have no idea what/who Jesus really was’.
Okay- the main discrepancy that Bart used- was the rooster crowing.
He actually sounded mad on the C.D. [I listen while I work!] and he said ‘well- which is it [damn it!!] did the rooster crow once- or twice!’
And then he jumped to the conclusion that the gospels were really fake stories that were made up by unknown men- well meaning men- but they had no real historical truth to them.
This my friends is what I call a ‘leap of faith’.
Geez- if we did this was all other biographies- we would have no ‘factual’ histories about anyone.
I’ll end with a note to my Catholic readers.
A couple of years ago I read the Popes book- Jesus of Nazareth- I did a brief review on the blog and I really liked the book a lot.
One of the things the Pope deals with [remember- Benedict was a priest from Germany- where the whole school of higher criticism arose] in the book is this whole debate over the historical accuracy of the bible.
At one point- as he graciously- yet boldly defends the conservative view- he is talking about the liberal view that the gospels were written by these unknown men who basically made the stories up.
The Pope asks ‘and just how did these men manage to write the most popular books of all time- books that came to be revered and known and loved by generations and generations- and yet no one even knows the names of the authors?’ [I did ad lib a little here]
The bottom line is- if the gospels were written by a bunch of anonymous men who simply wanted to convey some spiritual truths about Jesus- and they managed to stay hidden for all these centuries- this theory has more holes in it than say- a rooster crowing once or twice.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1824- LAST TRAIN TO VICTORVILLE [a dog [man?] eat dog world]
As we wrap up the week- we have had some serious [and silly] discussions going on in the country.
Yes- a few weeks back the Obama team decided to make the ‘dog on Romney’s car’ a story.
His campaign people began talking about the way Romney treated his dog by making him ride on the roof on a trip to Canada.
Oh yes- you even have on-line sites- by dogs- who are criticizing Romney.
Now- when you do stupid stuff like this [on both sides] and make it an issue- then beware- they will find a dog story about you.
Sure enough- the ‘right’ found a quote from Obama where he admitted he dined on Dog meat while a 7 year old boy in Indonesia.
Oh yea- sweet.
You saw all the on line pictures of Obama chomping on a hot dog- but in place of the wiener you saw a cute pup with mustard on his head.
You had the Pres chasing after his dog at the white house- with a spatula in hand- ready to plop him on the grill.
Yeah- we spent a week with the dog wars.
Well- we did have the vote on the Buffet Tax go down in flames.
This is where my friends on the left don’t seem to get it.
As an independent- I try and see the middle ground- the real value [if any] behind the things the President wants to do.
I don’t hate the man- see him as a commie- but he does do [say] things that are really disingenuous.
Okay- the tax on millionaires.
The president- and his cronies- keep saying- nonstop- that millionaires need to pay ‘their fair share’ and that they pay less than the average working stiff.
The famous quote about Buffet is ‘he pays less than his secretary’.
Now- this has been said so much- people actually now believe it.
What John- aint it true?
The tax rate on millionaires [income tax] is around 38%.
That’s the highest you can go.
So why does the Pres keep saying they pay less?
He’s talking about the tax rate on investment income [Stocks].
This rate- called Capital Gains tax- is 18%.
Now- if you’re a millionaire with no regular income- and you live off your stock income [dividends] then your only paying 18 on that.
John- do most millionaires do this?
There are more millionaires who pay both rates- income tax at 38- and capital gains at 18.
In reality- if Obama passed the ‘millionaires’ tax- it would raise about 4 billion a year- which is nothing compared to a 15-16 trillion dollar debt.
But the president has said this tax would fix the debt- and do a host of other things which is simply not true.
It is only a political game- that’s it.
So- when you do stuff like this- waste all this time going around the country claiming that this millionaire’s tax is some sort of solution- then we know he is not serious about really dealing with the major problem the country is facing- dealing with entitlements.
Okay- being we are in another possible economic slowdown [things are not looking that good- the European crisis is rearing its head- and some housing and jobs numbers are showing bad signs].
What does the president have on the table as a jobs plan?
I have mentioned this a few times in the past- but his plan right now [besides pouring billions into a hole called solar energy] is to do High Speed Rail.
Yes- the president has talked about pouring billions of dollars into high speed rail projects- while at the same time cutting billions form other real programs.
The train from Victorville [80 miles outside of downtown L.A.] to Vegas.
The govt. has a program [RRIF] where we lend money to rail projects across the land.
Now- the main purpose of the program- is to either fix or upgrade existing rail lines.
The president has been stopped with the stimulus money- congress is not going to give him any more.
The only chance of getting more ‘fake money’ into the game is if the Fed Reserve does a Qe-3 [prints another batch of money] and puts it on the table.
So- the president knows if he can simply spend more govt. money- in any way [like extending the ‘payroll’ tax cut- all this does is starve the Social Security fund for another year- so people have more money now. This is not policy- per se- its simply saying ‘we won’t have people pay into the system while I’m president- so they spend more in the market- and I won’t look so bad’].
Now- the only way the pres could get the money for these silly rail projects- is to use an existing govt. loan program to fund it.
This rail line will fulfill one major purpose- it will transport tourists from the L.A. area to Vegas- to the casinos [Harry Reid’s pet lobby- that’s why he as the majority leader in the senate will pass it].
Yes- this project is the brain child of the casino moguls- what Obama terms as ‘the fat cats’.
The train departs from Victorville- goes nonstop to Vegas- at a cost of about 100 bucks.
It takes about 4 hours to drive- once you’re on the train- 80 minutes.
You have to drive from L.A. to the Town of Victorville- Park your car [for a charge] and when you get to Vegas- either rent a car- or ride the taxi.
The rail line has no real purpose for those coming to L.A. from Vegas- because you would be stuck 80 miles outside of town- and have to rent a car for the day- plus get back on the train on your way home- and pay the car rental spot to pick up your car- and drive home.
Okay- you could fly round trip from L.A. to Vegas for around the same price.
Their already is a private bus co. [probably more than one] who will take you and a crowd for 99 bucks- plus feed you on the way.
But no- the real pressing need of the country- at a cost of 5 billion tax dollars [one years worth of the Buffet tax]- is to build this high speed rail- after all- look at all the jobs it will create.
The so called benefits of these rail lines are they create less pollution and auto traffic.
Because everyone will abandon their silly cars and ride the rail.
In most places [if not all?] where this has been tried- the govt. has to step in and underwrite the loss at the cost of the taxpayer.
These projects just don’t work- or you would have had the casino moguls get funding for it thru the banks.
So- the rail line plan- the presidents main plan for jobs [he said this in his state of the union- remember- our Sputnik moment?]
Is doomed for failure.
It will also shut down the private bus services that now do this.
It will compete with the round trip ticket from the private plane companies.
It will cost jobs in the end- not create them.
All at a cost of 5 billion tax dollars.
The govt. loan company that makes these loans has never spent this much before.
Yes- I’m not talking another single loan- no- they have never spent this much in their entire history of making loans- total.
So Obama is simply using them as a cover to get stimulus money for the project.
A project that would basically cost you- and me- 5 billion tax dollars- all so tourists could ride to the casinos.
Okay- this is what we mean when we say the president simply does not have the experience for the job.
That he has made bad business decisions- and continues to make them- time and time again [Solyndra].
No- I’m not mad at the president for chowing down some fine dog cuisine while in Indonesia.
I’m just worried that Dog meat might be the meat of the future- because if this high speed rail plan is what’s gonna bail us out- then we all might be eatin it soon.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
1821- TRAYVON REDUX
I know it’s a little late- but I hope everyone had a good Easter.
I ‘enjoyed’ seeing all the media reports of the towns that canceled their Easter egg hunts because of past violence- by the grown ups.
Yes- they showed video of people trampling each other- pushing kids out of the way- and one video taken by a bystander showed the start of one hunt.
As they rang the bell they were off. One mom falls down and the amateur videographer gives ‘play by play’ coverage- in the classic style of Howard Kossel.
Remember ‘Down goes Frazier- Down goes Frazier’?
Yes- we heard ‘down goes mom- down goes mom’ as the other ‘adults’ were about to trample her.
It was just such a wonderful way for us to remember the resurrection of Christ.
And then as I watched the ridiculous ‘media’ coverage of MSNBC [and NBC].
I couldn’t get over the nonstop talk about Mormons being a cult.
I mean show after show was talking this way- question after question about Romney’s involvement in the church- how he was a lay elder in the church- over and over and over- from this network.
So Orin Hatch- a long time senator who is a Mormon [like Harry Reid] says that he believes the Obama campaign and the media are going to attack Romney on his faith.
Now- guess what network could not believe that this charge was made?
You got it- NBC-MSNBC.
Yeah- they did entire programs [Hardball] asking the question ‘do you think the media/Obama will attack Romney’s religion’?
I couldn’t believe it- it might be the first time that the actual network who is doing the attacking- nonstop- at the same time will try and spin ‘no one is attacking Romney- how anyone even dare think it’!
It would be funny if it were not true.
Even David Gregory- the lead news guy for the Sunday morning NBC show [Meet the Press] had on a panel of various reliogus people- and he too brought up the question ‘why would Hatch- or anybody make such a false charge!’
On the panel there was a Mormon congressman- he said right there ‘your own network is the major offender- Lawrence O’Donnell even said the Mormon church was founded by a guy who simply wanted to have sex with more than one wife’.
I mean it’s ridiculous- the actual network who is the chief offender- is at the same time trying to spin a fake story that ‘how dare anyone even think that the media are attacking Romney’s faith’.
It reminds me of the time when one of the news magazine shows [20-20 ?] did an ‘expose’ about cars exploding on impact.
In the piece they indeed showed you these cars getting hit- and Walla- they blew up like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July.
Now- the actual car makers- they watched the show and could not believe their cars were blowing up like this.
I mean it made the classic Pinto look like a fire proof space ship.
So the car makers had an expert look at the video and they discovered that the news show actually placed exploding detonators right at the point of impact.
They had some bomb specialist off to the side and he was detonating the device at the point of impact.
You know how the news channel reacted when they got caught?
After they couldn’t hide what they did- they said ‘oh yeah- sure we blew the cars up with our own bomb- but it was made to simulate what was happening on the street’.
They actually tried to get the public to believe that what they did was just.
Yeah- go ahead NBC- be outraged over anyone ever even thinking that the media would attack Romney’s faith- and oh- keep playing the MSNBC pieces that smear the guy nonstop- we will never figure it out.
And last but not least- last night George Zimmerman was arrested in Fla.
Yes- the special prosecutor made the arrest.
I have written on this case a few times- and I have basically taken the side of Trayvon.
Now- as a media watcher- I do realize that there was some unfair reporting on both sides.
Initially they showed pictures of Trayvon at the age of 12-13.
He looked like a little boy.
Then they made it sound like this ‘little boy’ was just buying skittles and tea- for himself [as opposed to his little brother at the house] and Zimmerman attacked him.
Okay- if you look at the more recent pictures of Trayvon- he was a big kid- looked in good shape.
I will tell you- at the age of 13 it’s not easy to beat up an adult- but at 17 it’s not hard at all.
So it is possible that Trayvon was pissed about being followed- and maybe did throw the first punch- I don’t know.
But whenever you have an unarmed teen shot to death- and the armed person was the initiator of the confrontation- even if the final confrontation was Trayvon coming back to the car to approach Zimmerman- then you at least need an arrest.
I know the media- the right and the left- have now turned this into a political debate- which is sad.
Every time I hear the parents speak- especially the mom- she is a sincere person who lost her son.
She has never called for vigilante justice- and she has prayed to God for the right thing to be done.
Like I said- I have heard both sides- and I have seen media bias- on both sides.
But in the end- I think Zimmerman did indeed cross a line- how the last 2 minutes of the incident happened- we don’t know yet.
But if that’s the voice of Trayvon crying for help- and not Zimmerman- then the man needs to do some prison time.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John
Being its Passion week- I do at least want to recommend everyone try and read Isaiah 50.
This chapter speaks about the willingness of Christ to bear the reproach of the Cross ‘he gave his back to be whipped- his beard to be pulled out’.
In Christian theology we call this the Kenosis [Philippians] it’s the willing act of Jesus to empty himself of all the Divine privileges- his glory- while at the same time retaining his deity.
Many of the early church councils struggled with this division- that is how to understand that Jesus always was God- and yet he ‘gave up’ the unique privileges of that deity when he hung on the Cross.
The bible says he ‘emptied himself and became obedient unto death- even the death of the Cross- therefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name above every name- that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord- to the glory of God the father’.
Yes- this is what distinguishes the Christian faith from all the other religions of the world.
That’s not to say that the other world religions have no value- they do.
Many teach good virtues- loving your fellow man.
Others hold to the traditional belief in God and hold to the same apologetic arguments that the Christian church uses.
But the distinguishing factor is we believe that Jesus died for our sins- the founder of ‘our religion’ didn’t just give us good precepts- or examples.
No- we believe he actually died for us- and redeemed us back to God the father by his death and resurrection.
The epistle to the Romans says ‘we therefore have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Amen- and amen.
Okay- now a few notes.
2 or 3 posts back I mentioned how we should get ready to see a new narrative- how the media will begin telling us a particular kind of story about the Supreme Court and the political wrangling going on over health care.
Sure enough- to my surprise- the next day the President cane out and took on the court in an unprecedented way.
Many legal experts- on both sides of the aisle- were shocked.
The president used language like ‘a bunch of unelected judges overturning the will of the people’.
He said how there were many judges and legal experts who believe that the law [health care] is constitutional and should not be overturned.
He used language that was kind of deceptive- making it sound like the possible overturning of the law would almost be an illegal act.
I mentioned this in the other post- that if you carefully followed this law getting challenged in the courts- it split about 50-50.
And as I listened to the various arguments- to me it is not a stretch to think the law will be overturned.
But the president made it sound like the overturning of it would be political judicial activism.
I don’t think he actually knows what that means- when the term political activism is used it’s referring to judges who ‘legislate from the bench’.
That is they make new law- law that has not been in existence until their ruling.
A good example would be the Roe v Wade case [abortion].
The court found a ‘new’ constitutional ‘right to privacy’ in their ruling.
Now- however you believe about the ruling- the point is that’s what ‘judicial activism’ refers to- not the possibility of the court finding a new law unconstitutional.
The president also said if the court overturned his law- that it would be unprecedented.
The court has declared around 150 laws to be unconstitutional since the late 1700’s.
This would not be unprecedented in any way.
The day after he made these charges- he got so much criticism for overstepping his boundaries- there are 3 branches of govt.- Judiciary, Executive and Congress- and for any president to try and influence a decision like this is usually considered way out of bounds.
It is true that FDR had battles with the court- as well as other presidents- but for a president to use the language Obama did- well it was way over the line.
So yesterday he back peddled some.
I mean it was so bad that one of the other challenges to the law- taking place right now in the 5th circuit court of appeals- the judge interrupted the lawyer for the govt. and asked her if the president believes the courts have the right to rule against the law.
He told the lawyer for the justice dept to bring back a 3 page- single spaced- explanation form Eric Holder to explain their position.
This judge basically let the administration know that the courts are not going to put up with such a public attack on their independence.
So anyway that’s where it stands as of now- hopefully some things will settle down and we will see what happens when the ruling comes out in a couple of months.
Okay- try and read the chapter I mentioned today- maybe read Philippians chapter 2 as well- that’s the chapter I quoted from- and mediate on the death and resurrection of Jesus- he died for the whole world.
When Jesus was born the angels said ‘peace on earth and good will towards men’.
Christ came into the world to bring peace- to offer to all mankind a new and living way.
As Christians- it’s not our job to condemn all the other religions of the world- but to show them the difference between the Christian faith and the other well meaning faiths- and to let them know that Jesus died for all- all are welcome.
1818- WHO IS BARRY?
Last night I was channel surfing the news shows- and I caught Lawrence O’Donnell doing another one of his ‘anti Mormon’ critiques.
Yes- MSNBC has an ongoing narrative where they speak about Romney as a ‘strange- weird- cult member’.
I saw this months ago- and they have been faithful to their task.
So anyway O’Donnell is covering the ancient teaching of Brigham Young [the co-founder of the Mormon religion- a follower of Joseph Smith] and he’s quoting all the racist teachings that he held to.
Specifically that mixed marriages are wrong.
Now- I could quote the actual Christian bible- yes- the Protestant/Catholic bible- and find this teaching in there.
Yes- the bible O’Donnell believes in!
But that would solve nothing.
Many old time preachers did teach this doctrine- from many various denominations.
Do we [I] believe that mixed marriage is wrong?
But you do have some fundamentalist groups who still teach this.
So O’Donnell is fulfilling his task to portray Romney as a cult guy- and he spends a big portion of the show telling everyone that Romney’s religion is racist.
Now- you could find stuff like this out- with all the other candidates- even the President- yet this network is really not a news network- they are simply Obama devotees.
Axelrod- the presidents campaign guy- a few weeks back tweeted that Romney’s religion does not allow women to enter the temple when they are menstruating.
He left the tweet up for a little while then pulled it.
I have heard other Mormons say this is a false charge- I really don’t know if the church ever taught it- but it’s possible.
Again- you do have certain health standards in the Old Testament- that if you read them- they speak about ‘uncleanness’ when a woman is menstruating.
We find verses on Dwarves not being able to serve God.
People [men] whose ‘stones’ are crushed not being able to serve God [testicals are stones].
So if you wanted- you could trace all these things- not just to Brigham Young or Joseph Smith- but you could also tie them in to the Christian faith.
Now- do most sane Christians believe these ‘strange’ teachings are still in effect?
Thank God- no.
But if your goal is to simply slander the opponent- then have at it.
Over the last few years- as a news watcher/reader- you pick up on certain clues along the way.
Maybe a story won’t make it into the mainstream [for various reasons- to cover up for a person- etc.] But as you read the other columnists- you see little pieces of the puzzle.
So- one of the charges that the ‘right’ has made against Obama is that he had a different name when he grew up- and went to school.
Some say he held the name ‘Barry Sotero’.
They claim his identity is in question because he might have been legally adopted by his stepdad- thus throwing the whole citizenship issue back into play.
Now- I have never read/heard a ‘mainstream news’ report on this- so I never brought it up [to me- it’s just as bad as raising the history of Romney’s church up- a belief he- and most Mormons do not hold to].
But as an avid reader of all stripes [both Liberal and Conservative writers].
I noticed something about a year ago- Maureen Dowd- a liberal columnist who writes for the N.Y. Times- she started referring to the president as Barry.
She gives no reason for it- she does not try and defend her use of it- she simply knows that he did indeed use this name- from what I can tell- all the way right up into his years in college.
Then why would you have never heard about this until now?
Because the media have a narrative- a story they want to tell [and also believe in].
They tell one that has the opponents of the president as a bunch of weird cult members- people who reject mixed marriages- people whose women can’t attend church when they are on their period- who have houses that have elevators for their cars [Romney].
These same media people were so entranced by a particular image of a man- an unrealistic messianic image- that they were so taken captive by- that one of them quit their job as a reporter- right on the spot- to simply join the most ‘transformative presidency’ in the history of man [Linda Douglas- who was reporting on the 2008 election].
You had another reporter [George Stephanopoulos] who admitted on national TV that he cried- very loudly [I guess like when you can’t get a word in type thing?] when he watched the inauguration of the president.
Chris Matthews famously said a thrill goes up his leg when he simply hears words proceeding from the presidents mouth.
Now- I don’t hate the man.
I don’t even like Romney.
But as you attempt to navigate between what’s best- what’s true- what’s fake.
For us to get treated to the 200 year old teaching of some strange leader of a religious sect- and yet for us to not even know that the current president never even came to the mainland of the U.S. until college- is striking.
Yes- the president lived in Indonesia- spent time in Kenya- visited the African continent- wrote about the anti Imperial mindset of the African colonies.
He was influenced by stories and people whose view of America was negative.
He lived among them- went to school with them.
Wore their Muslim garb [yes].
Prayed the Muslim prayer.
Used the name Barry.
And never stepped on the lower 48 until college.
Now- does this mean he’s a bad man?
But for us to know that menstruating Mormons cant attend temple- and to not know any of this- well that’s what you call media bias.
That’s not journalism.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
1793- ACCESS DENIED?
As we close the week lets try and wrap up one of the major news stories.
This week the war raged over the Obama care mandate for religious institutions to provide free birth control to their employees.
Obviously the main objection to the rule came from the Catholic Church.
Those on the left [by the way- not all] tried to frame the debate around a woman’s right to have access to birth control.
The right said it was a freedom of religion- 1st amendment argument.
Obama did an about face- to his surprise many of his own team were mad about what he did- and he supposedly ‘solved’ the problem by saying that the insurance companies must pay for it instead.
The Catholic Bishops conference in the U.S. – headed up by Archbishop Timothy Dolan [from N.Y. – soon to become a Cardinal] hesitated at first before they made a statement either accepting Obama’s compromise or rejecting it.
As of right now- they reject it.
Many Catholic institutions provide their own insurance- the so called compromise still has Catholics paying/providing for something that they believe is contrary to their faith.
I guess it would be good to cover why Catholics are against contraception.
Most Protestants [including me] have no problem with simple birth control practices.
We do have a problem with methods that basically abort the child after he/she is conceived.
But overall we are okay with the idea.
Catholics historically appeal to the very real mandate in scripture to ‘be fruitful and multiply’.
In Genesis chapters 1-2- you read how God created plants and animals and man- and they all have the ‘seed within themselves’ that is it is part of Gods purpose for things to reproduce.
Now- in the current debate those on the left have made some simple- and obvious contradictions.
They have argued that to give the conscience clause exception to the Catholics- that would be denying women ‘their right’ to health care.
They say it is an issue of access- that if you don’t do this women will not have proper access to the stuff.
Then at the same time they are saying ‘look- 99.9 % of all women use contraceptives’.
Okay- which one is it?
If just about every woman on the planet uses the stuff- then how can you argue that unless Catholic institutions offer it- then they are denying access?
Its seems pretty clear to me that most women that need it can get it.
Number 2- some political experts have said that the whole thing was planned- that the Democratic team was trying to change the debate from ‘a woman’s right to choose’ [abortion] to ‘those darn right wingers want to ban birth control’!
When I first heard this- I wasn’t too quick to jump on the bandwagon.
Dick Morris was the first to bring it up on Fox News.
But as the week progressed the idea grew legs.
It made it to the radio talk circuit and as of today many do think the whole thing was planned.
Why do I think there might be some truth to this?
Remember about a month ago when George Stephanopoulos hosted one of the debates.
He asked Romney a strange question- I mean even the audience booed.
He asked if a state has the right to ban birth control.
To be honest- the question seemed to catch everyone off guard.
Romney never fully answered it- but he did say that there is no one that he knows of that wants to do this- that there are no states pushing to ban birth control.
Then of course you had the present debate- which some on the left did indeed try to frame by saying ‘they want to rob you of your ‘right’ to birth control’.
Yea- I think Morris was right.
Now- if you can frame the argument- about anything- by convincing people that it’s ‘their right’.
Then sooner or later people will try to ‘access’ the right.
Let me give you an example.
A few years ago I caught a movie about some persons fight for Euthanasia [or as MSNBC says ‘youth in Asia’].
The show covered the struggle of some dying man and his fight for the ‘right to die’.
It was a true case that he fought all the way to the Supreme Court.
He finally won ‘hooray- no one can deny me this right- yippee!’
Then as the show concluded they admitted that as the year went by- the person kept getting worse- and you can imagine all his friends and fellow strugglers who fought with him to ‘win the right’.
Well- they kind of felt like ‘gee- when is he gonna pull the trigger’ after all- it’s his right.
The show ended by saying the disease progressed so fast that he didn’t have time to kill himself.
I mean he grew rose over a year- there was plenty of time.
He realized that what happened in his case was he was surrounded by people- many good people- people who I’m sure meant well.
But his entire fight was something that he really did not want- something that in the end was no right at all- he got caught up in the political fight and when he won- like the dog who chased the car but didn’t know what to do with it when he caught it- yes this victim was not only a victim of his disease- but a victim of those who convinced him that this was his right.
As of today- women in this country have access to birth control.
It looks like the congress might actually pass a law that restricts Obama’s health law- that says the religious exemption clause must stand.
I’m glad that the issue rose up now- because it does give some time for the president and congress to do something.
But the fact is- according to those who advocate for no religious exemption- they themselves admit that 99.9% of all woman use the stuff.
This does not seem like a ‘no access’ issue to me.
1792- A NUMBERS GAME?
What’s in the numbers?
The pres finally put out a budget plan- and of course in this election year the odds on anything getting passed is nil.
Yet the effort at least needed to be made.
What’s in the budget?
The main thing is the so called reduction in the debt- 3 [no wait- 4!] trillion over 10 years.
The actual budget states 3 trillion in reduction.
1.5 in tax hikes- on those darn rich folk!
And 1.5 trillion in cuts [which means a reduction in the rate of growth- not cuts like human beings use the word].
But the media- and the president keep saying 4 trillion in cuts- why?
They are adding in the 1 trillion in forced cuts that congress mandated because they couldn’t reach a debt deal.
But this 1 trillion is not in the budget.
The way they spin it is ‘well- this is our overall goal- so we add that in’.
The media and the press report that Obama has ‘created’ 3.5 million jobs.
When the pres took office- we were losing about 750 thousand jobs a month.
Okay- not his fault- got it.
They played the Bush card for 3 years- it’s now getting old.
Yet they say Obama has created 3.5 million jobs.
What are the ‘real numbers’?
During Obama’s term we lost around 4.7 million jobs.
Obama did manage to ‘create’ around 3.6 million- for a net loss of around 1.1 million.
So how would you report this- better yet- how have the media reported this during past presidencies?
You would not report a gain [creation] of 3.6 million- you would report a loss of 1.1 million [unless you want to take in the possibility of an alternate universe- then maybe they report it as job creation].
The average gallon of gas is around 3.50 a gallon.
This is the highest ever during the month of Feb.
Yesterday I saw some news clips- you had some key congress people decrying the failure of the pres to have an energy plan.
They held media ‘pressers’ condemning the pres for the gas prices.
Who were these dastardly villains?
Nancy Pelosi- Jim Clyburn and a few other key Democrats.
They were news clips of them condemning Bush when gas prices went up to 3.05 a gallon under him.
Yes- the outrage under Bush- but under Obama- it’s not his fault.
Yes- for the first time ever- I saw the main line news do a complete report on why the pres is not responsible for the fuel prices.
I mean they went in depth [a few months ago].
You know- war in the middle east- all stuff that is true- it’s just they never gave a report like this under Bush- no- as a matter of a fact they blamed him for it.
Here’s the biggie ‘the pres is an idiot’.
What- who said this! I demand his head on a platter!
The lovable Mormon from Nevada- Harry Reid.
Yes- he referred to Bush- a sitting pres- as an idiot.
A few days later- the media realized they couldn’t just let it slide- well then they would look too political.
So a reporter asked Reid ‘do you think its right to call the pres and idiot’?
After a moment of thought- Reid’s response ‘he is one’.
The reporter left it at that ‘well you heard it folks- he is one’ with a smirk on his face.
Outrage- calls for the senator to apologize? Nah- Bush is a big boy- he can take it.
Okay- last but not least.
Have you heard about the new Movie- ‘the assassination of the president’?
Yes- this is an independent film- released on video and also playing in theatres around the country- it shows you a depiction of the president getting his head blown off.
Bad stuff indeed- it should be against the law to make a movie like this- in my view.
The full name of the movie?
The assassination of George W. Bush [I kid you not].
It came out during the Bush years- and you could take your kids to see Bush getting his head blown off- what a wonderful night of fun.
Popcorn and drinks?
What was the response?
Can you imagine the riots in the streets if this happened today?
The cries of endangering the pres by simply using the term- never mind making a full length feature.
I of course condemn this language on all sides- the point I’m making is the media can manipulate the public if they want.
If they choose not to focus on a story- they won’t.
If they choose to focus on one- like when a Repub said ‘you lie’ and they made him publicly apologize and punished him on the floor- well then you too will be outraged- and you won’t even know that you [or anyone else] were not outraged about the Bush ‘getting killed’ movie.
These stories are silly in a way- I could have covered the story of the 2 car bombs that blew up in Damascus- the Syrian capitol- and killed 28 innocent people- injured over 200.
Or the killing of the ‘general’ in Damascus- he was a doctor who ran a hospital- assassinated by the ‘rebels’.
Yet the media do not want to show you that the opponents of Assad are doing the same things that terrorist’s do- because that does not fit ‘the story’.
So when a major oil pipeline blew up yesterday in the city of Homs- the rebels said Assad did it- the media first reported that Assad blew the pipeline up- to attack the rebels ‘environmentally’?
The pipeline is a major supply source for Damascus- Assad would never cut off his own source of oil.
My first thought was the ‘rebels’ did it- not Assad.
Any normal person would think this- but no- not the media.
As the day wore on- they began saying they were not sure who blew it up.
I’ll tell you- it was the rebels- that’s who.
Yes- these are the stories that need to be told right.
These are the things that matter- we want to be properly informed.
But when we live in a media world that reports ‘3.5 million jobs were created’ when you really have a loss of 1.1 million.
Then yes- you might even believe that Assad blew up his own oil supply- to environmentally attack his enemies.
1791- PICTURES OF ME WITH BLACK PEOPLE
Well it’s been a sad couple of days- yes- we lost the beautiful angel Whitney Houston.
I never was really a fan of Whitney- I mean she had a great voice and all- I just never bought any of her music.
As I watched the media cover her death- I began to realize how interesting her journey was- even with all the failures.
She was from Newark N.J. – I never knew that [right around the area I grew up].
She started her singing ‘career’ in a church choir.
As I saw all the clips the past few days- I saw her singing some Christian songs [I didn’t know that either].
And the last clip of her being recorded- a few days before her death- she sang a note from the famous kids bible song ‘Yes Jesus loves me’.
I know many in the media- and ‘church world’ have a tendency to judge people when they die- many seem to know ‘for sure’ who made it to heaven- and who did not.
I have learned a long time ago- I’m not the judge on stuff like that.
I saw Bill O’Reilly do his shtick. He tried to do the ‘real guy’ stuff- you know- like when he had on Bernie Goldberg- a Jewish friend- who was trying to outdo Bill on the ‘I am a friend of the Black man’.
Goldberg brought out a photo of him with a Black rapper- Ice Cube.
As Bernie shows the photo- to say ‘look- I even hug Black men’.
He refers to Cube as ‘Ice T’.
Bill- as a true brother- corrects Bernie and tells him ‘it’s not T but Cube’.
Bernie gets mad- you can see the look on his face ‘how dare you correct me’.
Then someone from off camera must have yelled ‘listen- Bills right- its Cube- not T’.
And Bernie quickly back tracks.
I guess Bernie got the picture from his file ‘pictures of me with Black people’.
So anyway- O’Rielly does the section on Whitney and he kind of goes hard on her.
He talks about her choice to do drugs- and basically says she was looking to die- she made the choice.
I realize what he was saying- but I found it to be the wrong time to say it.
A few years ago I heard a radio preacher talking about the funeral of a gang member that he preached at.
He said the mother and family and all the gang bangers were there- and he ‘told it like it was’.
He went on and said how he preached ‘this kid is in hell right now- screaming his brains out- he has no rest- he’s burning- forever!!’
He said how the mom ran out crying- his family was distraught- I thought he was lucky that he didn’t get gunned down right in the pulpit.
Yes- we need to have grace in these situations.
So- after seeing all the clips of Whitney- I believe she very well might be with God right now- and sure- I know she messed up lots- but I am certainly not in the position to judge the angel.
The other day I was reading Psalms 147.
I read how God counts the stars and gives them names.
It reminded me of the book of Revelation- where there is this vision of Jesus [chapter 1].
John the disciple sees Jesus- he has hair like wool- these eyes of fire- and feet like brass- burned in a furnace.
As Jesus is standing there- he is surrounded by 7 golden lamp stands- and he has 7 stars in his hand.
The vision is revealed to John- the lamp stands are the churches [of Asia Minor] and the stars are the ‘angels of the 7 churches’.
Now- as a theology buff- I know many bible folk say these angels are Pastors- because the Greek word simply means messenger.
But as I have read this over the years- I have come to believe these are actually angels.
What does the bible say about angels?
In the book of Hebrews we read that they are ‘ministering spirits- sent forth to minister to those who are inheriting salvation’.
We often hear that angels in the bible look like men- they are not things with wings!
Actually- this is another ‘fable’.
While it is true that many appearances of angels in the bible do look like men- and Hebrews also says that we should entertain [show hospitality] to strangers- because some have helped angels and they didn’t even know it.
Yet- there are also angels ‘with wings’.
We call these creatures Cherubim and Seraphim.
In the book of Exodus we read the story of the 10 commandments [chapter 20].
We read the first commandment as not having other gods before God- and not to make graven images of anything.
Over the centuries the church has had some debates over Christian art- is it right or wrong?
After all- much of it is statues and pictures depicting people and creatures and angels and God.
So during the Protestant Reformation [and the rise of Islam] you had occasions where people went out and destroyed the statues and paintings of other groups.
A few things should be noted here.
The commandment- however you take it- does not say ‘go and smash the statues of other religions’ [a few years ago the famous statues of Buddha were destroyed- I think in India- but radical Muslims did this because they felt the statues violated the commandment on angels]
Also- after Moses gets the 10 commandments from God- he puts them inside a box called ‘The Ark of the Covenant’.
This box has a lid on it [called the Mercy Seat] and on the lid you had 2 statues of Angels [Cherubim].
So- the actual box that held the commandment not to make idols- had religious art on it!
So we need to be careful before we start going around smashing statues [by the way- this smashing of the statues was called Iconoclastic].
So- we see that angels are spirits- created by God- and they are here to help us.
In Revelation 1 we read about a war in heaven- Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon and his angels.
We read that Michael prevails and the devil loses.
It says ‘the accuser of the brothers is cast down- the devil- who accused them before God day and night’.
There are only 2 named angels in the bible [3- if you include the Catholic apocrypha].
They are Michael- Gabriel- and Raphael.
Yes- angels are real- they war on our behalf- and they fight in a specific way- they cast down the dragon [satan] who accuses the believers.
This day I am happy in a way for Whitney- she struggled a long time- she was such a beautiful ‘angel’.
I would like to think she is with God right now- getting ready for ‘church’ this Sunday- yes- I know she is not ‘an angel’ in the biblical way.
But let’s stretch some- yes- she will be singing in the angelic choir once again.
Let’s not accuse her this day.
I read a statement from the French President- Nicholas Sarkozy. He was speaking about the dire situation in Syria [Syria has been fighting rebels in a city called Homs- they have been using deadly heavy artillery to bomb buildings and homes- many civilians have died].
Sarkozy said a military response [Like what he- and we- did in Libya] was no longer a legitimate solution.
I found this insightful- France was thee number one supporter of the ‘no fly zone’ in Libya. France had their planes bombing many spots- they were more ‘pro war’ than the U.S. and the Brits.
Many in the political scene in France have accused Sarkozy of wanting to develop the image of a mini Bush- that is a leader who is willing to engage in violence in order to defend ‘just causes’ in the world.
Right after the Libyan action began- some in the Arab/Muslim world began saying that France and NATO should be seen as the enemy- not Gadhaffi.
In Afghanistan- where France has troops like us under the NATO banner- they just had an Afghan soldier- one who is supposedly on our side- gun down a bunch of French troops in cold blood.
The French president then called for a quicker withdrawal of forces than the U.S. wanted [2013- instead of 2014].
Sarkozy realized- that no matter how just your cause might seem- there are never any situations where one side is 100 % right- while the other 100% wrong [let’s say rarely].
In Egypt- Libya- and now Syria- you do not have [did not] complete agreement on the protests. Many who had stable lives and lived for many years in these countries- they felt like the rebels were wrong about the way to have their ‘revolution’.
Many in the Christian minority saw the revolutions as dangerous to their own survival. Our actions in Iraq have decimated the Christian population there.
Though we did not mean to do this- the result is we have installed a more anti Christian regime in the country.
The same has now happened in Egypt- the original Tahrir square protestors might have been a majority of simple pro- democracy groups- but after the recent parliamentary elections- the Muslim Brotherhood took over about 50 % of the parliament.
Though this group has rejected violence and terrorism as a means to gain power- yet they still advocate for an extreme religious view if they gain power.
They want Shariah law as the law of the land- and this type of ‘democratic govt.’ is really not good- even if it is voted in by a majority.
We in the West have different values than some in other parts of the world.
We tend to side with those who want to ‘throw off the shackles of dictators- free the voice of the people’.
Yet we underestimate the very real danger of sounding this mantra every time a nation has rebels rise up in the streets.
Say if all you saw on the news every night was the Occupy Wall street protests. And say if there rose up a few hundred thousand that marched nightly on Washington [which we never want to happen!]
But say if that’s all you saw every night- and it got so dangerous that troops- or cops- had to actually shoot some protestors.
We would understand why we had to do this- we would not be calling for the president to step down- or for his family to be submitted to a trial by ‘right wing’ conservatives who just might execute you and your kids.
Now- I am not saying all these leaders in these nations are equal to the American system- but it’s foolish for us to look at all these situations thru the lens of Western style Democracy.
We [the West] seem to think that when we side publicly with the rebels [whoever they be- Libya- Syria- etc.] that we are on the ‘right side of history’ that we are a part of a true democratic movement that will spread thru the world and in a few years down the road we will be living n a world with many truly just democracies.
That picture- that hope- as just as it might seem to those who keep using this type of language [like John McCain- who I like!] is simply not a realistic view.
Where did the idea of Democracy come from? Did world governments have democratic style govts for thousands of years?
No- the idea rose up during the Enlighten period [17th– 18th century] and was promoted by men like John Locke.
If you remember- we studied the philosophy of Locke this past year.
Locke played a key role in the transition of popular philosophy from Rationalism to Empiricism.
We covered that in the posts- don’t want to do it again.
But Locke- like other thinkers of the time- began writing on a new idea of govt- a govt ‘by the people- and for the people’.
Many people living at the time resented the rule of kings- and the role religion [Catholic countries] played in society as a whole.
One of the first experiments with people saying ‘we will throw off the church and king’ was what we call the French Revolution.
It took place right at the end of the 18th century- right before the Napoleonic wars.
It was a Secular [non religious] effort to depose the rule of govt we call Monarchy [King and Queen] and it resulted in the Guillotine and beheading of many Catholic priests and leaders.
It was truly a rebellion that got way out of hand.
Yesterday- one of the current Repub candidates for president made headlines when he compared Obama’s recent ‘anti religious’ actions to the French Revolution.
One commentator [CNN] said the rebels were all Catholics and that to say the revolution hurt the church was wrong.
This man [Paul Begala] had no idea what he was saying- its sad that they say misinformed statements like this to such a wide audience.
Some of our founding fathers were fans of John Locke [Jefferson] and our country drew up the founding documents during a time when these ideas were ripe and were seen as a new type of govt. for the people.
Thus- we have our Democracy today- for which I am grateful- do indeed think it’s the best in the world today- but it is not inherently ‘more just’ than all other styles.
The govt. we see in the bible is Monarchy [mostly- Rome was Imperial- did have a senate and all- but in no way was it a democracy like we think of].
When we try to help these countries- when people rise up and protest- we must not simply jump to the conclusion that all of these rebellions are seeking- or will end up like the U.S.
We must not condemn all ‘monarchies’ as evil- the bible says there are just ones.
Kings can rule justly- be fair- and do good.
We should not assume that all ‘non western style democracies’ are evil- they are not.
Most of these present uprisings are in countries where you have what’s called Autocratic rule- not full ‘kingdoms’ with kings in the way we think.
Yes- I do think our experiment- based on the Enlightenment idea of govt. by and for the people is the best- but we must not assume all other types are inherently evil- nor should we be so quick to side- militarily will all rebels- like some already calling to arm the rebels in Syria.
The end result of these protests are not secure at all- it is highly doubtful that any of them will become ‘little U.S. of A’s’.
So we should call for non violence on all sides- we should stand on the side of innocent victims- be against all regimes that use military force on their people- but be realistic about the situation- violence [on all sides] is very rarely the answer- Sarkozy learned this lesson the hard way.
1789- JUST SUE ME
Last night I caught the tail end of the Wolf Blitzer show [CNN] or has Herman Cain calls him ‘BLITZ’.
Jack Cafferty does the usual rant- I like Jack- I grew up in the local media market where Jack got ‘broken in’.
As he’s reading the emails from ‘regular folk’ he reads one that says ‘Jack- I am a Southern White Evangelical- and I just want to admit that we are all lying to you- the world- and everyone. We hate Black folk- we use the term Nigger whenever they are not around- even my Pastor. We will not vote for Obama- because he is one of them’ and the email went on in this way.
Now- as someone who has done radio for 20 years- you do something that’s called ‘screen the callers’ you basically get both Lib’s and Conservatives that call in and act like they are on the other team- and they try and influence the conversation by faking it.
Oh Jack- my poor brother- I know you have been on the Wagon for many years- and I commend you for that- but I think the effects are long lasting- maybe Blitz needs to adjust the show.
In the last post I mentioned Syria- I don’t not want anyone to think that what’s happening over there is good- it is not!
My critique of the handling of the situation- especially of our U.N. ambassador- Susan Rice- was basically meant to say we have tried the strategy of saying ‘you are on the wrong side of history’ and demonizing the leaders of these countries- and maybe now we need to try another approach- because this one has not worked.
Then I caught the Russian ambassador on the Charlie Rose show- note- his show is very informative- for those who want to really get to know the issues in a serious way- I recommend you watch the show.
But the ambassador was asked what happened in the recent veto- by Russia and China- on the Syrian resolution.
He said Susan Rice has no idea what she’s doing- that Russia put an amendment on the table- and they have even offered to hold talks between the Rebels and the Syrian leader- but the U.S. refused to listen- and they did not even know how to bargain for a negotiation.
Okay- I listened with a grain of salt.
The next night- I heard a former U.N. worker- a U.S. worker- say the same thing. That the insiders have been saying that Susan Rice is a total incompetent- that for the sake of the country Obama simply needs to realize she is in over her head and replace her.
But on MSNBC I hear Matthews speak of her as doing one of the greatest jobs ever.
We need to be able to keep politics outside of this- if indeed she has messed up- which happens- then instead of jumping to her defense- let’s fix it. People are indeed dying- and it’s a tragedy.
The nightly news coverage is showing the damage- and when the media decide to play an angle- that says ‘see- Obama and Rice were right’ then you will be told that story.
This week the Russian envoy went to Damascus- and he was greeted with cheers from thousands of people- they want to sit down and have the talks- these people were not staged.
These are people who live in the capitol- who have businesses and kids going to school- and they have lived fairly decent lives for 30 years or so.
They have seen the result of the Egypt uprising- basically your country goers to hell in a hand basket. They have seen the Libyan situation- that many in the city of Tripoli- they too lost their lives and futures after the ‘revolution’ and these Syrians in Damascus really want the Russian solution- not the American one.
But instead- we have called the Russian solution ‘disgusting’. Why won’t we sit down with both sides?
The rebels- like in Libya- have said no.
When you have armed people on both sides- and one side is saying ‘let’s have a cease fire- lets meet’ then the side that says no bears some blame.
In Libya and Syria we are saying no to the side that wants to negotiate a peace- we are leaving them with no option- except certain trial and execution by the rebels once they take over.
Our handling of the Arab Spring has been a gigantic failure- and if Susan Rice is indeed not up for the job- then she needs to go.
The other day I had a conversation with my liberal friend- who only watches MSNBC for their news source.
In the conversation the person tore Romney apart- talked about how the Repubs are all crooks and cheaters- and on and on.
I told the person I was no bigger fan of Romney then Obama- but I tried to tell the person that they are only seeing one side- they have all these complaints against one side- while they are unable to see the wrongs being done right now.
I mentioned the Fast and Furious scandal- and the cover up going on at the justice Department under Eric Holder.
This person never heard of the scandal.
I explained that it had to do with a program approved by Holder- the justice Dept. – that allowed illegal guns to be sold to Mexican drug runners- and that these guns were then later found at the scene of the death of one of our border patrol guys- agent Terry.
Now- my friend thought I was making this up ‘how could anyone ever do this’.
I explained that the intent of the program was to try and track the guns down- but instead we let over 2,000 walk- and for many years to come these guns will kill many Mexicans and Americans and other law enforcement folk.
Now- when the story broke [February of last year] Holder and Obama and others swore they had no knowledge of it.
The Repubs held a hearing on it- got some documents- and found out Holder lied.
They did indeed know about it- and at the point of them realizing their cover was blown [2-11] they refused to give up any more emails or correspondence from the justice dep’t about it.
Well it’s obvious that they have said stuff they don’t want the public to know.
The Repubs are now threatening to charge Holder with contempt of congress- because he has 80,000 known papers on the subject- but has only released 20,000.
The other 60 are all after the point where they realized the news was out.
Holder’s response is ‘if you don’t like it- sue me’
When Obama made the recess appointment a few weeks ago- he said ‘if you don’t like it- sue me’
I watched the hearings this past year on CSPAN [Holder]. The administration and the justice dept. were denying any involvement and knowledge- at one point they caught one of the main guys in a lie- you saw it live.
The mother of the dead agent- who was being lied to- broke down in tears.
What is our govt’s response to this ‘don’t like it- sue us’.
Her family sued the justice dept this past week for wrongful death.
Last year- in the first time in U.S. history- an American president gave orders to execute an American citizen without a trial- or even charges being filed against him.
Some say it was good- others say no.
When asked for the paper that gave the justification for the action- the administration said ‘no- sue me’.
The ACLU [no conservative group!] sued him last week.
Texas just recently got turned down for a partial exemption from the new health care law.
The law says starting this year insurance companies must spend 80 percent of their money on actual health care- and if they spend less- then the difference will be rebated back to the customer.
Overall it sounds good.
But many say the result will be private insurers will leave some markets- and the average person will pay more.
Texas applied for a waiver that would allow the companies to transition more slowly.
70% one year- 75 the next- and then hit the 80 mark.
Obama said ‘no’.
17 states have applied for the waiver- 9 were denied- 6 got it- 2 are pending.
All the states that got the waiver are more pro Obama than Texas.
It would be reasonable to say ‘why not us’?
No answer- don’t like it ‘sue me’.
As a retired Texas fire fighter- still in the union- over the years when we have had real bad wild fires- we would apply for federal aid- and if you met the criteria [so much land burning at a certain rate] then you got the aid- no questions asked.
During Obama’s administration- for the first time I can remember- we applied during real bad fires last year [maybe 2 years ago?] and they said ‘no’.
We were shocked- many of us could not believe he would play politics like this. Perry was about to run- and he was touting the economic success of Texas- and Obama said ‘well- you guys are doing so good- you pay for it’.
Don’t like it- sue me.
My friend who watched only one source of news- they felt very justified in their view- but they only saw their side.
I know I have been hitting Obama hard- but the media have a way of showing you what they want.
If you only see one side- then you will always hate the other side.
In all these dealings- especially with the death of a U.S. border patrol agent- these things should not be covered up- all the papers need to be released- we need to know what happened.
As of today there have been no firings- no suspensions- not even a letter of reprimand that you would normally put in a person’s file- even for the smallest offenses [I worked civil service for 25 years- you normally would at least get this].
I hope we can straighten out the U.N. problem- the Holder problem- the whole ‘don’t like it- sue me’ problem- but if we can’t straighten it out soon- then maybe we just need to change the guy at the top- because this suing thing aint getting us any where- you think?