RACE, RELIGION AND POLITICS CURRENT- 2013
Okay- we have a new Pope as of this post.
Yeah- it’s hard to write a journal and not post it- who knows- maybe none of this will ever be seen?
J.D. Salinger became sought after because of that very reason [he published a couple of hits- Catcher in the Rye- and then went into hiding].
So- let’s see what happens.
Now- I think Francis might become my favorite in recent history.
Francis [the name he took- from Francis of Assisi- also speaks about his character. St. Francis forsook family wealth to work in Gods field- he believed God called him to help restore the church to her original design].
So- Pope Francis lived the same type of calling.
He’s the first Pope from America [albeit Latin America].
He’s the first from the Jesuit order to hold the office- the Jesuits are my favorite Catholic order.
If you remember my church history section- I covered the Jesuits- and complimented them a lot.
The Jesuits are the intellectuals of the church- now- the Catholic Church as a whole is of course very intellectual.
But the Jesuits were very influential in the development of the scientific method.
As a percentage- there were more Jesuit leaders in science than any other group.
They also were missionary minded.
When I covered them in the past I showed how after the 16th century Protestant Reformation the Jesuits did a sort of Counter Reformation and evangelized Asia- an area where the Protestants fell short.
So- as you can see- I’m a fan of the Jesuits.
Francis- from Buenos Aires Argentina- lived among the poor- he cooked his own meals and rejected the perks that Cardinals/Arch Bishops get.
Yet- he was a ‘conservative’ in doctrine.
How could he be a sort of Liberation theologian- and yet hold to conservative views?
Here’s where our modern news shows mess stuff up.
As an avid news watcher- the last few years one of the critiques I gave was the mistake of men like Glenn beck and others- who associated Liberation Theology with heresy.
Now- Beck and others meant well- they just made the mistake of demonizing people they don’t understand [remember the rampage against Van Jones?]
But that’s why we need to get our info from better informed folk.
Anyway- Liberation Theology is a form of Christian teaching that associates the ministry of Jesus to the poor- and seeks to impellent that- sometimes too far- with government programs.
So- in Latin America- you have had Catholic champions of the poor and down trodden- who advocated for the poor- and at the same time believed in the historic positions of the doctrines of the church.
For instance- some ‘liberal’ scholars reject the resurrection of Jesus- and other key teachings of the church.
These men [both Catholic and Protestant] are referred to as Liberal scholars.
Francis is not one of them- he’s ‘conservative’ when it comes to the historic faith.
Yet- in his actions [Orthopraxy] he is ‘liberal’ [that is if you think identifying with the poor is liberal].
So- Francis is a lot like me in my belief [I too am conservative in doctrine] and practice- I have lived with the poor and down and out for years.
So- he just might be my favorite.
Let’s wait and see.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
HOW LONG TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN?
Being I’m in the middle of getting rid of lots of stuff- and doing some final repairs on cars and the house- I haven’t really had time to comment on many big news events.
This week there have been some important things that I feel I should mention.
Bradley Manning has been in court for the leaking of thousands of ‘secret’ memos to Wikileaks.
Most of you should be familiar with the case.
He has been held in solitary confinement for a few years and the govt. has charged him thru the espionage act.
Now- even though most of the stuff leaked really amounted to embarrassing details- how the U.S. govt. has done behind the scenes talks with other nations- kind of deceived folk- or the biggest leak was the video now famously referred to as Collateral Damage.
This video showed a terrible incident where our guys fired [helicopter] on a bunch of civilian reporters- by accident- thinking they were the enemy- but were later found out to be reporters.
It looked bad- really bad.
So- the question is should we view the leaking of this stuff as espionage [spy type charges] or more like a whistle blower.
That’s the debate- I personally think what he leaked does not rise to the level of life in prison- which is what the govt. is seeking.
Now- we also had the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.
During the hearings- he [and Holder- US attorney] were asked questions about killing US citizens- without due process.
As most of you know we killed a US citizen a few years back with a drone [in Yemen].
He was indeed a full blown Al-Qaida leader- and had influence with others.
Now- what most don’t know is a few weeks later we also killed his US born son- 16 years old.
His son was born in Detroit- living in Yemen.
By all accounts- his son was not an Al-Qaida operative- he of course was probably influenced by his dad’s radical views.
But he was a minor- a US citizen- and he was traveling to see his dad.
We killed him with a drone strike while he was sitting at an outdoor restaurant.
When the US govt. was asked why we killed him- one of the responses was he should have picked a better father.
Now- whatever side of the aisle you fall on- this stuff has to stop.
All this is going on at the same time we just read the Miranda rights to the son in law of Osama Bin Laden- and are putting him on civilian trial in NYC.
So- we executed a 16 year old US citizen- because his dad was a bad guy- yet we read the rights to a non citizen- who may have some type of involvement with the 9-11 attacks.
[Note- the US govt. has said the killing of the boy was a mistake- but we still killed him]
This is bad- very bad.
As the US seeks to imprison Manning- for life.
And is also attempting to get Julian Assange- the founder of WikiLeaks.
We need to ask ourselves what role the on-line media outlets play.
For instance- the NY times printed some of the same material that Manning leaked- yet the print media are considered ‘media’ and the printing of ‘secret’ stuff is considered noble- like Florida’s sunshine laws.
Yet if an on-line publisher posts the same stuff- he can be tried for espionage.
During one debate when this question came up- the pundit simply said if it’s in print- then it’s legal.
But if it’s on line- its not.
Is that really the criteria we want to use to decide that what one organization published is noble- but for the other it merits the possible death penalty [which is the level of crime Manning is charged with]?
Yes- these questions are important to answer- they should not be seen as ‘left or right’ questions [the Repub senator Rand Paul did a stand up job- literally- by doing an old fashioned filibuster on the drone issue the other day].
So yeah- if a nominee for the CIA- or the US attorney general can not say that a US president has no right to kill a citizen- in our country- without due process- then he should not be up for that position.
We as a country have gone thru many struggles since the tragic 9-11 attack.
And we [first under Bush] did give up too many rights as we overreacted- by loosening our rules on the privacy of US citizens.
But if we cant clearly say that no US president- whether Repub or Dem- has the right to kill a US citizen without due process- then we are all falling off the deep end-
As Kansas put it TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
1969 CLIFF DIVING
Jack n Jill went down the ….
Actually- Obama and Boehner went over the cliff ….
Yeah- last night the Dems in the senate passed a compromise of sorts.
But- we did actually do the ‘cliff’ thing- the house has not passed it yet- but it’s not as bad as the media made it sound.
I fell asleep early and didn’t catch the whole scoop- but from what I saw it looks like they are gonna raise taxes on those who make over 400 grand a year and try and settle the rest later.
It really was just kicking the ball down the road- and letting the president get some of what he wanted- though those on the hard left- and right- are not happy.
Okay- the past few weeks as I have been doing the halfway house with my friend John David- I have been kind of teaching a chapter of the bible each week to the guys.
It is funny how every chapter I read for the week seems to have some type of personal ‘word’ for what we are doing with the house.
For instance- a couple of weeks ago the chapter was Jeremiah 33.
I told the guys the other day that I felt it was no coincidence that a lot of the guys we are working with at the halfway house are all relatives of David.
John David was a long time addict in the area where I live- he has 5 or 6 generations all living right around me.
I helped his brother’s [Andy] granddaughter the other day- her name is Kayla.
Plus- she has a cute 2 year old- so I see her every now and then.
At the house- we have Little Charlie- Big Charlie- John Boy and Andy.
All related to John David- minus John Boy.
So- I felt like it was a family thing as well as an open ‘house’ for others.
So- Jeremiah 33 speaks about the promises of God to ‘David and his house/family’.
It says there will never fail to be a family member who will be a part of ‘this house’.
Now- the promises are actually speaking about the Davidic covenant/promise that God made to the great Jewish king- King David.
These promises play a very important role in the history of salvation.
I wrote on this a couple of posts back- basically God promised king David that he would set a Son upon David’s throne- and this Son would hold the position ‘forever’.
The Apostles in the book of Acts saw this promise as being fulfilled thru the death and ascension of Christ to the right hand of God.
So- that’s what the chapter in Jeremiah is actually speaking about.
But I also felt like the Lord was giving us confirmation about what we were doing as well.
It is important- very important- to make this distinction.
When people begin ‘seeing’ themselves as the actual fulfillment of some bible promise- like the prophet Jeremiah was actually- in context- speaking about them- then that’s not good.
David Koresh- right up the road from me in Waco- made this tragic mistake- and we have all seen the end result.
Koresh believed he was the fulfillment of verses found in Revelation- he took his new name- Koresh- from an actual figure in the Old Testament [king Cyrus].
When people go down that road- it’s not good.
But- to apply stuff like the way I was doing Jeremiah 33- I think is okay.
Now- when I shared this chapter with John David- I told him a funny thing happened when I read it.
All the promises to David and his family being involved with ‘the house’.
Well- in my bible- it does not say David.
It says ‘John David’.
John- are you going Koresh on us?
I told David about a year ago I heard a preacher say ‘this year- start personalizing the promises in the bible- write your name in the spot when a promise is made to someone else’.
So- I did that for about a week and quit.
But- it just so happened that this chapter was converted to say ‘John David’.
Yeah- I simply wrote my name over ‘David’ and all the promises were to ‘John David’.
Okay- was going to teach a little more about these promises and how they are spoken about in Acts chapter 15- the first church council.
Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.
For now- just hold tight- we have to finish repelling down the cliff.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] – I have posted lots.
1968 7 PRINCES TO THE RESCUE
I want to try and comment on Micah chapter 5- an Old Testament prophet.
But first a few other things.
Last night I was watching Fox news- and Greta mentioned the top stories of the year.
Lots of the news shows do this every year.
I thought- in general- that it’s harmful to re-tell the school shootings- over and over again- right at this time.
In our media world there is a sort of voyeurism that takes place- we want to see- hear- the actual events- over and over again.
Sometimes after a tragic event- maybe it’s already a few days old.
And some network will get hold of the actual 911 call- and run that as the news ad during the day.
‘Hey look- tonight we have the actual call’.
Oftentimes it’s the call a parent made when she found her kid was killed- or some other tragedy.
We do not need to air that type of stuff.
Anyway Greta said she thinks that ‘Africa will be the top story of this new year- not the Arab Spring’.
Okay- I know my liberal friends are mad at me- some ‘un-friend’ me and stuff.
Because I have been hard on the Dems.
But this time I’ll be hard on Fox.
Who remembers the Arab Spring posts I did last year?
The 3 nations that ‘sprung’ were Tunisia- Egypt- and Libya.
All these nations border each other on the Mediterranean sea- on the North part of the African continent.
In short- all the Arab Spring nations are Africa- so far.
The only possible one that’s not African is Syria- and it hasn’t ‘sprung’ yet.
So yeah- we should not always believe what we see on the tube.
Okay- Micah 5 is the chapter for this week.
It has the famous prophecy that out of Bethlehem Jesus will come.
It speaks about Bethlehem as a small- po dunk type town.
‘You are the least in Judah- yet from thee shall he spring forth who is to be the ruler’.
Jesus hailed from the wrong side of the tracks in many ways.
Galilee was also a sort of underclass area- Jesus and his men spoke Aramaic- which was kind of a lower class language.
A sort of Ebonics of the day [ouch!]
Yet- from that spot where it seemed no good could come- yet good did come.
A couple of verses caught my attention.
‘Daughter of troops- gather yourself into troops’.
And ‘When the enemy comes into the land you will raise up against him 7 shepherds and 8 principal men’.
When I read these verses this week- I applied them to the halfway house ministry we started a couple of months ago.
Often times in scripture we read symbols- things that might use warfare imagery- yet they are not talking about ‘killing’ the way we think.
One of the tragedies of our time is we have too many religious people who have never made this distinction.
And even in the church we hold to many ideas- that come from images about war- that are only symbols- but some teach them as actual war.
In the book of Revelation the apostle John talks about the Christians overcoming the enemy.
It talks about a battle- Jesus on a White horse- a sword coming out of his mouth.
When Evangelicals turn these into actual war prophecies- they do damage to the truth.
I mean the image of a sword from Jesus mouth is understood as the Word of God.
So Jesus ‘slays his enemies’ with the word of God.
Does Jesus actually kill them?
No- when people accept the message of Christ- they get baptized.
Baptism is a type of death to the old man- and life to the new.
So- the images of those being killed by ’the sword from Jesus mouth’ should be seen in this way.
[Or as a type of end time judgment that Gods word carries out- Jesus said ‘the words that I speak to you’ will judge you in the final day.]
Revelation says those who ‘died the first death and had part of the first resurrection’ the second death has no power over them.
All who are in Christ have died a sort of ‘first death’ on these- the 2nd death [when you die] has no power.
The writer of Hebrews says Jesus delivered us- who thru fear of death were all our lives in bondage.
Those who have died the first death- who have joined themselves unto Christ and are ‘crucified’ with him.
Yeah- on these the 2nd death has no power.
Okay- I could go on and on like this- but the point is we as believers need to be careful when we teach the verses that speak about killing- death and swords.
Often times they are not to be taken literally.
So- when I read that God raises up ‘7 princes’ against the enemy.
I realized- at the halfway house- there are a total of 7 of us working together in the ministry.
I liked that- God uses people- princes- to come against the enemy.
Okay- back to Revelation.
There is this image of Jesus with 7 stars in his hand- and it says these are the 7 angels of the churches.
Some see these ‘angels’ as church leaders.
The Greek word means messenger- and it can mean angels or people.
The point is- Jesus has these people- these chosen ones- and he uses them as ‘weapons’.
That is- those who are sent into the world with the message of the gospel- these are in a way soldiers for the Lord.
But they don’t go out and kill people in the literal sense- but when they carry the message of the Cross- and when others believe in that message- then yes- those who believe and are baptized have died in a way.
The apostle Paul says ‘I have been crucified with Christ- never the less I live- yet not I but Christ lives in me’.
So yeah- when the enemy comes in- God sends messengers against him.
These messengers too have ‘swords’ in their mouths- they speak the Word of God.
And yes- every so often they ‘kill’ people- that is- those who hear the message- they die a sort of ‘first death’.
They die to the old man- the old nature.
They are raised with Jesus also- to walk in a new way.
Yeah- on these- the next death will have no power.
NOTES- I also wanted to mention yesterday’s ruling by Supreme Court justice Sotomayor.
She ruled that the Catholic owners of Hobby Lobby must either provide birth control thru their company- or start paying a 1.3 million dollar a day fine.
I remember when the debate was going on about Obama Care.
Many good people—Bishop Tim Dolan from N.Y. and others.
They were assured by the president himself that the religious views of Catholics would not be trampled over by the new law.
Yet- since the law passed- many Catholics have already been affected by the law in a negative way.
As most of you know- the church teaches that birth control is not an acceptable practice for Catholics.
Now- being raised as a Catholic- and now a Protestant- I do realize that many Catholics do not obey this rule.
But- others do.
It is sad that the Obama Care law does indeed trample over the rights of Catholics.
When a law forces a Catholic to provide something that goes against their conscience- that’s wrong.
The president and his supporters swore that this would not happen- tell that to the owners of Hobby Lobby as they start writing checks for 1.3 million- every day!
1967 I’M JUST A RACIST- I GUESS?
I read a news article yesterday- it was ‘fascinating’ to say the least.
It talked about the evil congressional republicans.
[I’m an independent myself- just sayin’]
It explained that they have 2 choices that they must make as a direct result of Obama Care.
They either have to eliminate the Mortgage interest deduction- or eliminate the pre tax dollars for employer paid insurance.
I had this benefit for 25 years at the Fire Dept.
We called it the cafeteria plan- each year we signed up for it and we paid our insurance premiums with pre taxed dollars.
We never paid taxes on the money we spent for the insurance.
Okay- I remember during the health care debate- many who objected to Obama Care said that this would happen.
You had not one single Republican vote for Obama Care- it was a rare vote where major legislation that would affect the entire country would be passed by a strict party line vote.
So- the Repubs voted nay- Obama and the Dems voted yes.
Now- the point I’m gonna make is simply one of media propaganda- I am not ‘anti’ universal health care- I was for the more progressive [liberal] choice- I wanted health care- European style.
So- just letting you know my position.
The article yesterday made it sound like the Republicans are solely responsible for the choice of either eliminating the pre tax insurance benefit- or the mortgage interest deduction.
Yes- we have a Dem president- a dem controlled senate- and the Repubs are in the majority in the house.
Every single Repub voted against Obama care- yet- the actual people who did not want this- who warned that this would happen- are now depicted by the media- and the president and Dem senate- as the bad guys who are forcing a choice between the 2 options.
This is utterly amazing- that the media can have so much power- to actually blame one side for something that side never wanted.
And the other side- who wanted the law- they are actually teaming with the media to say that the Repubs are forcing this choice.
Now- for the average news watcher- they believe the propaganda- they hear this stuff- and let it affect them.
I posted last week that the Repubs were going to try and pass a tax raise on millionaires- and ask for not one single cut in spending.
This would have been a huge plus for the president and the senate- who were trying to not cut anything while raising taxes on the rich.
Boehner- the house Repub leader- got his base mad- yet he would have forced the vote anyway.
But you had a couple of dozen Repubs say that the president had already swore that he would veto it- and they would be stuck with a vote to raise taxes on the rich- which would have hurt them in the next primary.
So- they never passed the ‘plan b’.
The next day- the president came out and said ‘let’s try and pass a tax raise on the rich’ and we can settle the rest later.
The exact thing that the day before he swore to veto.
Then why did he say he would veto the legislation?
Because what he is doing is trying to win a game with the Repubs- he wants to gain the upper hand [not saying he’s wrong- both sides do this- just showing you the game].
If the Repubs passed the millionaire tax raise- which would have indeed hurt them with the Tea party guys- then Obama would have to sign it [if he meant what he has been saying ‘lets tax millionaires and billionaires’] and then he would have signed a bill that was passed by the Repub house.
He should have just signed the thing- not threatened a veto.
[by the way- this was the exact plan that both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wanted- they wanted to raise taxes only on millionaires and over- because they have rich districts that they represent].
Some of the Repubs said they would not vote for the plan- because even if they voted for it- and Obama vetoed it- the media would still blame the Repub congress.
They were right.
If the media are able to take a law that not a single Repub voted for [Obama care].
And then blame that side for the decision to either eliminate the mortgage interest deduction- or the Ins deduction.
And then the side who voted for Obama care- they are teaming up with the media to say ‘look what the Repubs are doing’.
Then yes- the media will twist the story to benefit them- the side that most of them vote for.
This is simply a lesson in the media- the bias that exists- at times- on both sides.
When I read the article yesterday- I saw right thru the game- because I write on this stuff- but there are many who simply have no idea.
I’ll end with one example.
I told a liberal friend the other day that I will wind up paying the Obama Care ‘penalty’ this year.
It’s about 700 bucks that I don’t have.
Why will I pay it?
When I retired from the Fire Dept in 2008- I had to drop my health Insurance.
It would have cost me 70% of my monthly retirement check to have kept it.
So- I dropped it.
And as the ball bounces- within a week- I noticed some stuff that really needed to be checked by a doctor.
I panicked and called my Ins people to see if I could get back on- then I tried to get checked thru the VA- I am a vet.
So- after about a month of this- I got mad and said ‘the heck with it- whatever will be will be’.
So- how did I get treatment?
Okay- don’t laugh- I went on line- typed in what the problem was- and simply picked the least terrible possibility- and then typed in what ‘free’ or natural remedies I could try to fix it.
Yeah- that’s what I have been doing.
Now- do remedies like this work?
I have no idea- but just sayin’.
So- if I have to- I spend around 120 bucks and take the hit and make a doctor visit.
[by the way- people- like me- do not get free health care from the E.R. – that’s false. If you go to the E.R. with a possible long term disease- they simply recommend you to a doc and then they do tests. If you do not have Ins- you can’t go thru the process. And if the E.R does any work- you get a HUGE bill. There is no ‘free health’ care thru the E.R. – unless your poor and they can’t bill you].
That leaves me with 7 possible out of pocket visits a year- for 700 bucks.
Oh yeah- I just got an Obama Care tax raise for 700- that I don’t have.
My friend who I told the story too could not believe that I was gonna get fined.
They watch MSNBC all year- and they thought that everyone that was against Obama Care was a racist.
That those who opposed it just could never accept a ‘Black Man’ in the White House.
I told my friend that what Obama Care did for me was it leaves me a choice to get on line [when?] and choose between an option of private insurers to get insurance.
This is called the Health Care Exchange.
The govt. will pay for some of the premium- but not all.
From what I know- I will still have to cough up money I don’t have- so I will still have to pay the fine.
My friend whose already on govt. care [all my buddies get Medicaid] had no idea that this was how Obama Care worked.
That you get to choose from a group- and you still have to pay- they thought it was some actual ‘universal health plan’.
So- why would a person like me be against it?
Because I just lost 7 doctors visits- that I could not afford to lose.
I now will save that money for the ‘darn’ fine.
Were not all racists.
Some of us just wish we could have used the money- even for the ‘on line’ drugs.
They still cost you know.
NOTE- I told my friend it was sad that they never heard about the Health Exchanges- which is what Obama Care actually is.
They spent a whole year watching MSNBC.
They heard how all who were against it were playing ‘dog whistle racism/politics’.
That those in the south can’t get passed the Civil War.
They heard this ‘stuff’ for a whole year- and never once learned what the plan was.
That’s why I say outlets like MSNBC are destroying the country.
They were ‘taught’ that people like me were racists- because why else would any sane person be against Obama care?
1965 JUST ASK
I should have covered this chapter last week- but I’m behind a little.
So let’s start the week with a famous verse.
“Call unto me and I will answer thee and SHOW THEE great and mighty things that thou knowest not”.
This chapter deals with the restoration promises that God made to his people in the Old Testament.
The other week I did a few posts about the main meaning of the bible- the message of Christianity.
One of the main themes of the bible is the promise of a coming Messiah- someone who the Jewish nation was looking for- he was a future deliverer.
In this chapter the prophet talks about the promise made to King David- that there would be a Son from his genealogy that would someday sit on the throne of David.
In the New Testament we see the promise fulfilled thru the coming of Christ.
If you carefully read the book of Acts- the main preachers [Peter and Paul] speak about this Davidic promise being fulfilled thru Jesus.
Jesus came from the lineage of David and he was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God.
Okay- Jeremiah is preaching to the Jewish people during a time of captivity- the people are in bondage- again [Remember Egypt?]
In order to encourage them he tells them God has not forgotten the promises he made to them.
He says he will restore them- he will fulfill the promise to David- and there will ‘never fail to be someone form David’s house to sit on the throne- a Branch will grow up from David’.
When the apostles Paul/Peter talk about this promise to David in the New Testament- they say it must be speaking about the resurrection of Christ- because it says a Son [Jesus] will sit on the throne forever.
How can there be a king who takes the ‘job’ forever?
Because this king has an everlasting life- seated in the position.
So- the whole chapter is simply a reminder to a depressed people- people heading for their own ‘fiscal cliff’ and yet- there is still hope.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about getting a special ring from a friend- it has the words ‘Trust God’ on it.
So- with my history of losing rings- I made sure that this one stays on most of the time.
I only take it off when I shower- and it goes back on.
The other morning I woke up- and the first thing I realized was the ring was gone.
I mean I looked all over for it- turned the house upside down- went to the van- traced my steps- the whole 9 yards.
So- after about an hour- I knew what needed to be done.
We all know- but we get mad- and we don’t like to do it.
Yup- I prayed.
‘Lord- this week I’m reading Jeremiah 33- and it says to call unto you and you will show us stuff we don’t know- so here it goes- what happened to the ring?’
So- my daughter says ‘dad- someone will find it- it will show up’.
Yeah- I knew I had to wait- but I really did not want to.
So- I’m thinking ‘who will find it?’
Then- when I wake up the next day- I’m doing some dishes the morning- and I have a thought.
When I was at the halfway house I worked on the toilet- and I’m sure I took my ring and watch off.
Now- I had the watch- but maybe I left the ring?
I called the guys and asked around- there were a bunch of people there that day.
I waited a couple of days- and when I went to the house- sure enough little Charlie found the ring.
See- the verse doesn’t say ‘call unto me and I will bring it back’- it says ’I will show you things you don’t know’.
I didn’t know I took the ring off- I didn’t remember it- so the answer was God showing me something I forgot.
Okay- try and read the chapter this week- it’s a great chapter.
Pay attention to the promises that God is making to the people.
The promises that God will work thru their families- he will restore the things that are broken- fix stuff.
We all need those types of promises.
And if you are stuck- pray the verse- verse 3- and see if the Lord will show you something.
Maybe not an outright miracle- but just a thought- something you might have overlooked.
Often times that’s the answer to the prayer- it works.
1964 LETS ARM OUR KIDS!!!
As we end the week- lets hit a few hot topics.
By the way- the chapter for the week was Jeremiah 33.
Okay- we are still here.
Yes- the Mayan calendar thing did not pan out.
I always had my doubts- especially after I saw a short clip about a year ago.
Some guy was interviewing an actual Mayan expert [priest?]
He was the real deal- dressed up and all.
The documentary was a serious thing- not some comedy central skit.
The priest was asked ‘and what do you think about the end of the world prediction’.
He says- I kid you not- ‘that’s a bunch of crap’.
Form the priest!
So- I always had my doubts.
Did you hear what the preacher said?
He couldn’t believe people could call for stuff like this- yeah- you tell em Harold [Camping].
Okay- the news.
The other day I posted about Boehner’s Christmas present to Obama.
The Repubs were trying to pass a tax raise on millionaires only- and kick the ball down the road on the other stuff.
Now- that would have been a great deal for the Dems- they said that’s what they want [but they really don’t].
Because when the Dems saw what Boehner was doing- they hooped and hawed and swore they would never pass it in the Dem controlled senate.
And if it passed the President swore he would veto the thing.
So- some Repubs in the house bailed out- and Boehner never passed it.
O my- you would have thought the world was coming to an end- again.
The Dems were on all the shows- saying how this is one of the greatest failures of all time- the Tea party are even holding their leader hostage.
On and on.
So- last night Obama says ‘lets just pass an extension of the tax cuts for the middle class- and 0 yea- lets extend unemployment insurance’.
Was this not the basic plan Boehner just tried to pass- and you swore it was a disaster?
Sure was [Obama’s quick fix would have raised taxes on lower incomes than Boehner’s- but still- it was the same basic thing].
He only wanted to beat the Repubs in the house- if he were serious he would not have threatened to veto their bill in the first place- that’s a fact.
Okay- last night the NRA guy came out with their delayed response to the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook.
I’m not an NRA guy- never was.
I actually listened to most of the speech- on PBS.
He advocated for- be careful now- putting cops in the schools.
Yeah- he was careful with the language- he said COPS.
Okay- do I think his plan will fly?
Not on your life.
Does he think it will fly?
Then why float it?
They want to turn the conversation from just gun control to a broader one.
They want to talk about kids being raised with video games that kill people.
Hip Hop songs that talk about shooting cops.
They want to extend the conversation beyond more gun laws.
Sure enough- MSNBC had short clips on the screen ‘NRA WANTS MORE GUNS IN SCHOOLS’.
Stuff like that.
I guess they equate having armed POLICE with ‘more guns’.
So- according to this line- if you call the cops after a school shooting- you are irresponsible- you are calling for more guns on the scene?
See- I don’t support the NRA view- but when a media outlet purposefully lies- misleads the people- they destroy as much as any right winger ever did.
One clip showed the words of the NRA speech.
They then went to some mayor who is the head of ‘mayors against illegal guns’.
The clip of the speech said ‘lets put cops in the schools so if another deranged person comes in to kill kids- the cop can be there as a deterrent’.
Okay- have cops stopped people from shooting people before?
Just about every day.
When a cop comes to shoot a bad guy- do we usually call that ‘bringing more guns to a spot that already has too many’?
So- after the clip- the mayor for gun control said ‘how insane- he thinks the answer to having too many guns on the street is more guns’!
Actually- what the mayor did- and Msnbc and the others- they answered their own question.
The NRA guy did not say he thought this was the solution to having to many guns on the street.
He said it might prevent another shooting- which- in reality- it just might.
But the media- the mayor- they wanted you to think that the NRA- the ‘right wingers’ that they want more guns in schools.
That they want ‘security guards’ in schools.
Yeah- MSNBC did not use the actual term ‘More cops’ no- they wanted you to think ‘security guards’ and teachers- and who knows- even arm the kids!
Yeah- keep playing the game- nothing gets solved- you breed dissension in the country- and at the end of the day- you harm the country.
So John- you are for the right wingers?
No- in no way.
I’m for telling the truth- on both sides.
I am not against a ban on the 30 round clips.
I am for the ban on ‘assault weapons’ [though in reality- they are simply semi automatic guns- they just look more like a military weapon].
I’m for having fewer guns on the streets- but we live in a country whose founding document gives the right to have guns to its citizens.
Because of this- we will never be an Australia that bans all guns.
So- in the Sandy Hook shooting- the kid got the guns from his mom- who legally owned them.
She lived in a state with some of the most strict gun control laws in the land.
So- when sick people decide to get a gun- they get it.
If we totally banned all guns- would that reduce the threat?
Yes- because the deranged kid would have to use another weapon- and if he did not have a gun to steal- then yea- he would not be able to do this type of damage.
So- there are points to be made on both sides.
But when the media- when MSNBC describes the position of the right as wanting more guns- more guns in schools- more guns for teachers- and heck- the right thinks the answer is more guns for everyone!
When all the man said was ‘lets have cops in the schools’.
Then we will get nowhere.
Because the uninformed [the viewers of MSNBC] will have no idea what the real debate is about.
1963 NO BULL
Let’s talk a little about this past week- and if I have time maybe hit on today’s House [of Rep’s] vote on the millionaire tax increase [which should be an Obama dream come true!]
Okay- over the weekend I had one of the street guys stay over.
Huey fell and probably broke a few ribs- he’s been struggling in the camp and called around 4:30 pm on Friday.
I was sitting at the halfway house- which I helped start with Huey’s brother- John David.
I was talking to my friend who has terminal cancer- and was getting ready to go home and take the weekend off from ministry stuff.
That’s when Huey called- so to be honest it was a sacrifice to bring him home- and give the weekend to ministry stuff.
But- earlier in the day Henry mentioned the story of the Good Samaritan- how he put the man up- paid for his bill at the hotel [Inn] and went out of his way for the man.
When I got the call- I knew I was supposed to do it.
It’s funny- every time Huey comes over- if he leaves some type of trinket- there is always a sign to the thing.
Because he’s homeless- he has his stuff all over the area- maybe some clothes at another friend’s house- he’ll leave his guitar over here [hanging on the wall].
So- when I came back from my trip to N.J. – I brought back a walking staff/stick that I found in the park where I grew up.
I stuck it here at my house- in the room I use for the street guys.
I have all types of biblical nick knacks in the room- verses on the wall- stuff like that.
So- I was looking for a couple of little angel pins a few weeks ago- was going to use it on one of these walking staffs that I made [not ‘girly’ angels- but saint Michael the Archangel- you know- tough stuff!]
So- Huey spent the night a while ago- the next day I go I to clean the room- and sure enough- he left a hat on the stick- and the hat had 2 angel pins on it [I could not find them on my own by the way].
So- after this last weekend stay- before I clean the room after the guys spend the night- I usually write and do my blogging in the morning.
That morning I read some of the Psalms and wrote down a verse about Bulls.
It’s a common theme in the bible- it actually fits in with the posts I did last week.
The Psalm says God is more pleased with the sacrifices of praise and worship than he is with the offerings of ‘Bulls and Oxen’.
Okay- the point is God did not really want animal sacrifices- he wanted our hearts.
Today- in the New Covenant church that we all belong to- we have no more animal sacrifices- Jesus died for us on the Cross and he was the final sacrifice for the sins of man.
The apostle Peter writes we now offer the sacrifices of praise to God- the same theme we read in the Psalms.
So- I write down the Psalm on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall.
I start cleaning the room- and Huey must have broke a belt buckle- he left the 2 pieces of the broken buckle in the room.
They were 2 Bulls.
After I hung up the Psalm- I stuck the bulls to the wall.
Yeah- true story- no bull.
[Actually ‘no bull[s]’ means we are now living in a new age of grace and praise- no more need for animal sacrifice- get it?]
Okay- I have not written much about the news lately- though there is always stuff going on.
I mentioned a few weeks ago it looked like the president was really not looking for a deal with the House Repubs- not like in the past.
He seemed to have abandoned the idea of serious cuts to entitlement programs- and simply wanted to win a political feud to raise taxes on- quote- ‘millionaires and billionaires’.
Now- in reality- the president and many other Dem’s have said that they just want to raise taxes on the ‘rich’ and not do any cutting.
But the Repubs have never agreed to this.
So- the last few weeks that’s what they have been haggling over.
It looked like Obama was gonna go over the ‘cliff’ and let the Repubs take the blame.
So- as a counter punch- the Repub house is going to try and pass a bill today that will raise taxes on millionaires- and that’s it.
In essence- the bill would let the Bush tax rates expire on everyone else- except ‘Millionaires and Billionaires’.
Look- I have watched this stuff for years- if Obama really means what he says- this is looking a gift horse in the mouth- this is what has said he wants- and in the past he would never- ever get a deal like this- without entitlement cuts.
Is he going to take the deal- by making the Dems in the senate vote yeah?
He said it’s a game- a ploy- and they are already saying it’s no good.
This tells me he really does not want what he told us- ‘millionaires and billionaires’.
No- at this point- he wants to win the game.
Sure- we all know just raising the tax rate on millionaires really won’t raise enough revenue- but he has not played it that way this last year.
He has the average American thinking all he wants is to raise taxes on millionaires.
Well- if that’s what you say you want.
Then Merry Christmas Mr. President- from John Boehner.
NOTE- in Revelation chapter 4 we read about a beast vision that the Apostle John saw- the image had 4 things to it- 2 of them were a Calf [bull] and an Eagle.
One of the church Fathers taught that these images are types of Christ- sort of like the 4 gospels can be seen in these images of 4 beasts.
I find it interesting that Huey has left me 2 of these 4 images already [Bull and Eagle].
Let’s see what’s next.
1960 MY APPEAL TO ALQAEDA
I woke up early the other day- around 1 am [I have had this problem for years].
Right before I woke- I had one of those dreams that you feel are significant.
I was with a friend- Huey- and we were on top of a building.
To get down you had to climb down a rope from a tree- Huey jumped on the tree and almost killed himself- he managed to escape but hurt himself real bad.
Later that day- in ‘real life’ [no more dream] he called me- he had some ride he needed or something [Huey is one of those guys that always has something going on- but seems to never accomplish anything. A few months ago he asked if he could store some of his stuff in the room at my house- I use the room for the homeless guys. Sure enough- he’ll come by late at night- needing something- I felt I needed to learn some patience with my buddy].
The phone he was on was breaking up bad- but I told him quickly about the dream- that he needs to be careful about something [you know- I thought maybe it meant danger- not an actual fall!].
So I haven’t seen him in a couple of days- but wanted to know how he was.
His brothers- who I’m doing the halfway house with- haven’t heard from him.
So I’m walking to my van at the mission- and I see Huey for the first time since the dream.
‘Hey- how you doing’?
He was in severe pain- maybe a broken rib.
I just fell off of a pier and hurt myself real bad.
I told him ‘didn’t you remember the dream’.
Listen to my dreams.
Okay- not really.
The point is God uses us- all of us- in community.
That means in the bible the various gifts of the Spirit- they are intended to function this way.
We have [in modern church] more of an individual style of the gifts.
Maybe we attend a church- or go to some function- and often times we want to hear what God said – ‘thru the prophet in the house’ type of thing.
But actually these types of scenarios lean too heavily on one person.
You might have a gifted young man- a real go getter- maybe the pastor of a church.
Okay- good- but if the format is trying our best to hear God- mainly thru the speaking gift of one person- then thats limited- it really is not the way ‘church’ was done in the bible.
Okay- enough of that.
I have a couple of things I want to write on- but can’t do them both.
I want to write a post- just to Al Qaeda.
Yes- not one of those ‘got ya’ type titles- but a real life post to members of Al-Qaida.
What would possess you to do such a thing?
This last year I have had a lot of web hits from countries where many Muslims live.
My blog changed a function a while back.
It shows me- not on the site- but in the private section- how many hits we get.
A while back I stuck a thing on the site to see what countries view- but I realized the hits were much more than what that Fidgit thing was showing.
We were goin up a few hundred every couple of days.
Grant it- that’s not much- but it’s more than I thought.
We just passed 37,000 hits the other day.
So- I also noticed that the posts where I mention Islam- or some type of political thing- they get the most hits.
So- being I already said this much- might as well make this the Al-Qaida post.
I’m grateful to have Muslim friends who read the site- I’m grateful if some are Al-Qaida.
My appeal- what I try to do over the years- is to simply see both sides of a thing- to try and understand the others view- and then do my best to present the Christian idea.
Now- when I was talking to a friend the other day- Islam came up.
I told him ‘did you know that Muhammad- the founder of Islam in the 7th century- had many of the same protests that other Christian groups would later voice too’.
I explained that Muhammad’s rise in defense of the poor and down cast [by the way- that’s actually a biblical characteristic of prophets- in the bible] were similar to Christian movements that would rise later on- like the Salvation Army.
I went on to show that he also felt like the growing use of statues in Christian worship was a violation of the commandment that says you should not make images/idols.
Now- to my Catholic friends- I have taught the entire history of the use of art- and yes- statues- in Christian worship.
I have also taught against the Iconoclasts- those Protestants who destroyed the statues in the Catholic churches- during the times of the Reformation [16th century].
So- I’m not ‘Catholic bashing’ at all.
The point is- Muhammad had some of the same objections- based on the bible- that later Protestants would have.
Gee John- I never knew this? That’s why I teach it- it helps to have less of a negative view of Muslims as a whole.
So- after I try to look at some of the good things that Islam has done [Hamas- in the Palestinian area. Why do they garnish so much support among the populace? Because they start hospitals- they feed the poor- they start welfare programs for the kids. Do they do this as some sort of trick- a way to gain the hearts and minds of people? No- they do this because it’s a basic tenet of their faith].
Okay- then what do I say to any Al-Qaida on the site?
I say that the historic divisions- the things that divide the East from the West- many of them are actual misunderstandings.
Yes- some of the religious objections were misunderstandings.
The classic one.
Muhammad believed that the Christians worshipped 3 Gods- what we call the Trinity.
But he thought the believers worshipped God- Jesus- and Mary-the mother of Jesus.
That’s of course not the trinity- this is simply a misunderstanding.
Christians believe that there is one God- in 3 persons.
Those persons being the Father- Son and Holy Spirit.
But the biggest thing I like to show my Muslim friends- my friends form other faiths- is that the message of the Cross- it’s one of grace.
Christians believe that Jesus kept all the commandments of God- then he died to pay the price for our sins.
As Christians- we don’t teach against the 10 commandants- but we don’t use them to gain acceptance with God- the acceptance we have with God comes because of the death of his Son on our behalf.
In actuality- this message is a great relief for all people who live ‘under the law’.
That is- if your Muslim- if your Al-Qaida- you too can take this.
Yes- Jesus died for you too.
That’s the appeal I make- I’m not asking my friends from other faiths to convert- if they want to- fine.
But that’s not my appeal.
I’m saying to all my friends- this message of the Cross- this is for all people.
Heck- if you want to stay Muslim- stay- but just accept the reality of this post.
Yes- Jesus is spoken about much in the Quran.
The prophet Muhammad respected Jesus.
Jesus can become- should become- all that he was intended to become- that is he died for you guys too.
Right now in the Muslim world there is a movement going on- it’s highly debated in Christian circles.
The movement is many Muslims are receiving Christ in this way- and staying Muslim.
Yet- they are accepting the Christian view of the death of Christ on their behalf.
As somewhat of a scholar type guy- yeah- I see where the objections arise.
But as a real world person- who is glad that I get many readers from countries where I know many Muslims live.
To you- go ahead- accept the benefit of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Many Muslims have already done this- many more will.
If you want to keep the other good points of Islam- fine.
But don’t see acceptance thru your ability to keep the law- no one can ultimately live up to that standard.
Jesus was the only one who never sinned- his death on our behalf allows us to come into the presence God.
He died for all- Muslims- Jews- Hindu’s’ the list goes on and on.
In today’s world- many of the objections against Christianity are really objections against Western Imperialism.
A thing I too reject.
That’s not the heart of the Christian faith.
You can receive Christ- and keep objecting to all the political ideas of the Western world.
Heck- Jesus railed against the money changers [the rich capitalist pigs of the day].
In some ways- Jesus was the ultimate Revolutionary who spoke truth to power.
Yeah- many radical’s- even Al-Qaida could respect him for this.
That’s my appeal to Al-Qaida today.
Glad some of you might read- keep reading- that’s the point.
NOTE- There is a famous prophecy about Jesus in the bible- it says ‘Gentiles shall come to your light- and kings to the brightness of your rising’.
This also applies to the ‘rise’ of the church- the people of God.
But in context- the gentiles are all the nations [even various religions- some are called Denominations] that are not Christian- not considered benefits of the Covenant of God.
The apostle Paul teaches us that we are all now part of the covenant of hope- we all now benefit from the promises of God [Ephesians].
The point being- the bible speaks about other groups- other nations- seeing the reality of Jesus and his kingdom- and that these too will come to the ‘brightness of his rising’.
1959 SOME OF YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH
Much to say- little space.
Before I forget- the chapter for the week was [is] Luke 21.
Okay- the last few days I have seen an interesting thing- this is how you know what’s really going on.
You listen carefully to those who support the view that they are speaking about.
Example- Gloria Borger is a news reporter from CNN.
I have seen her lots of times- she’s fairly good- and she is a supporter of the president.
The other night she gave a short report about the current fiscal crisis [called the Fiscal Cliff].
She said that Obama and the Dems are feeling justified after the election- and they seem more willing to not negotiate- for real- and to let the blame fall on the Repubs.
Now- as she talked- you could tell there was a sort of concern in her voice- like those who have supported the president might be worried that he might take the country over the cliff needlessly [remember- she was giving a sort of behind the scenes view of other Democrats- that they seem to think Obama is the one that might take the country over the cliff- even though he is saying it’s the Repubs- his own supporters kind of think he’s lying about the thing- get it?]
She [as well as a bunch of others] have now come out and said that the thing that’s holding up a deal is the Repubs insistence on Medicare ‘means testing’.
Right now the 2 sides [Obama and the Repub congress] are stuck because Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich- and the Repubs want to means test entitlements [Medicare].
Okay- Obama himself was for means testing- just last year he gave a speech claiming we could raise 1.2 trillion by doing this [it’s s simple adjustment to Medicare that makes the rich pay more].
So- those news papers and media outlets who have been behind the president 100% are now saying that he needs to agree to it.
Why are they all out in force like this?
They realize that he was [might still] purposefully blow a deal- because the blame will go to the Repubs.
But isn’t that petty- isn’t that wrong- isn’t that dangerous?
Sure- but that’s the honest read of this- that’s the only reason why you would have a bunch of more liberal leaning news media all come out at this time and try to force Obama’s hand.
When Boehner came out and said the deal the president offered was a joke- most insiders agreed- he was going to go over the cliff- no doubt about it.
Okay- the clincher for me was the infamous MSNBC- yes Ed Shultz had on Emanuel Cleaver [a Dem congressman who kinda looks like Richard Pryor].
Now- out of all the supporters of Obama- you would be hard pressed to exceed Shultz [now- I’m not saying it’s wrong to support the pres- I’m showing you how his supporters in the media have tried to shape the narrative].
Shultz was asking Cleaver about means testing Medicare [remember- this is the exact thing the Repubs want- and Obama’s side does not].
Cleaver gave quite a good view of why WE SHOULD MEANS TEST Medicare.
I thought that was the very thing the Repubs want?
That’s right- now you’re learnin’.
Yeah- Cleaver went on and explained why we should do means testing- he gave the entire Repub talking points- and he was right.
Wow- finally- you mean they might be admitting the need to compromise?
Shultz then said ‘but you will never be able to convince the Repubs to do this- because they will try and protect their rich friends who will pay the most out of means testing’.
And Cleaver agreed.
You see- they both purposefully lied to their watchers.
They both know that what they said was an outright lie- like all the racial accusations of those who had real objections to healthcare reform.
MSNBC spent the last year calling them all ‘under the cover’ racists- playing ‘dog whistle’ politics.
The fact is- the Repubs are the ones demanding means testing- not the Dems.
And they gave you a spin that said the opposite.
They do no service to the country when they do this.
Okay- lets hit a little from Luke 21.
This is an ‘end time’ chapter where Jesus speaks to his men about the end of the age.
Just a few points.
I only cover [read] a couple of chapters a week.
The last year- I don’t think I read a single ‘earthquake’ chapter at all.
I have found the chapters I’m covering to have significance.
Just yesterday [or the day before] Japan was hit with another huge earthquake off its Pacific coast [Luke 21 says at the time of the end- outcome- there will be earthquakes.]
It was the same size of the one that leveled the area a few years back.
Pray for Japan.
Jesus gives us some of the signs that will take place at the time of the end.
I kind of ‘spiritualized’ my reading of the chapter this week- you know- looking for some practical things that are speaking about the here and now.
So- one of the things that spoke to me was what I posted about the other day- the post on ‘the dead ones’ remember?
I talked about praying for inmates on death row.
Okay- this practice became a habit a few years ago- and I felt like the Lord was in it.
While reading Luke 21 Jesus says- at the time of the end [or outcome] of these things- some OF YOU will be put to death.
In a strange way it fit what I sensed the Lord saying- sort of like ‘John- now that you have adopted these dead ones- these on death row- they are ‘some of you’- you have embraced them- this happens at the time of ‘the end’ the time of the outcome of all things.’
Okay- there are a few more things I got from the chapter- but I’m trying to give you a sense of how God can speak to you ‘outside’ of the text.
Now- when you do this- read with a personal idea in mind- you should never make it doctrine.
That is- what I just showed you is fine to do in a devotional kind of way- trying to hear God about personal direction- but that’s not the actual teaching itself.
The actual teaching is about the end times- and also the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in a.d. 70.
I shared this with my friend who I’m doing the halfway house with.
I told him about ‘adopting the dead’.
He told me an interesting story about this.
Now- I have told John David’s story many times over the years- so I won’t do the whole thing again.
But John David killed his best friend in Dallas many years ago.
A very brutal shotgun killing that made the headlines- his brother told me one day that when they picked up the dead body- he had shotgun pellets under his feet.
David kept shooting even after his friend was down.
John David got off for this crime- his mother got the same lawyer who defended Jack Ruby [who killed Lee Harvey Oswald] – and he got David off scot free.
Okay- that’s the story.
David told me the night he was in the Dallas prison- he was with another inmate who also just killed someone.
They were both puking up beer- sick as dogs- and sitting in the same cell- as murderers.
David was walking out of the mission here a few years back- and he randomly saw a news paper article- it was the execution of the Black cellmate that David was with that night[some of you- but not all will be PUT TO DEATH].
David relayed this story to me because I told him about the Lord leading me into the ‘adoption’ of the Death Row Guys.
He felt it fit- I might have even prayed for this guy he was with.
Yeah ‘some of YOU will be put to death’.
Yeah- I got it.
1958 AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE!
Its story time again kiddies!
Come- gather at the media carnival- they have another great fantasy for us all.
Yes- that’s the way I feel often- when seeing new narratives emerge.
The past couple of days I have been hearing ‘he might use chemical weapons- against his own people’.
Heaven forbid it- oh my- we could never have that.
Yes- that’s the way they want you to respond.
I’m talking about Syria and the ongoing tragedy of the civil war taking place in their land.
Now- I’m certainly not a supporter of Assad- the son of Hafez Assad- who ruled with an iron fist for 40 years.
Hilary Clinton called the son a reformer- a good man who was for change.
Now he’s a murdering thug with a bent on using the most horrid thing in the world- chemical weapons! Oh my!!
Yes- for those of you who don’t know- the standard method of killing- shooting lead [or other metals] into the bodies and skulls of folk- smashing their skulls as the bullet goes in.
In many cases leaving the wounded person to die- in great agony.
Well- this method is humane.
Or say dropping a nuclear bomb on hundreds of thousands of Japanese women and children.
You know- giving radiation poisoning to tens of thousands of moms- many who were pregnant.
These kids dying of radiation sickness- their limbs melting off like charred meat from a chicken bone.
Yes- this is ‘humane’.
But chemical weapons- against HIS OWN PEOPLE- o my.
I guess it would be okay if it were other people?
Did you know our great Winston Churchill used- and advocated for the continuation of them- during the war?
Bet you didn’t know that little tid bit.
I don’t want anyone to use any weapons- ever.
And yes- chemical ones are very bad.
But when you see the western media saying ‘against his own people’.
Watch out- they are trying to develop a narrative that will excuse our involvement [via NATO] to go in once again and ruin another country.
Right now- as I write- the guys who killed our ambassador in Benghazi are walking the streets- freely.
There are reports that no one has been questioned- everyone in town knows who did it [Ansar Al Shariah].
Yet till this day the U.S. has so badly dropped the ball- that these guys roam the streets with impunity.
This week I heard an ‘expert’ on Arab affairs describe the ongoing protests in Egypt as simply a healthy expression of Democracy.
That the Egyptians were suppressed for so long- that now that they have freedom- they just can’t get enough of this new expression of rising up in their streets.
Wow- what a great story.
O- but I forgot- the women have been raped openly in the famous square- by the great Muslim Brotherhood.
All of these things are examples of the media wanting to make things look/go a certain way.
It would be terrible if after all the praise about the Arab spring- the open support we gave to Morsi [Egypt’s new pharaoh].
If after all this- we now realize that we were part of a revolution- that simply became anarchy.
That’s why they tell us the story thru this lens.
That’s why they say ‘chemical weapons- against his own people!’
So you would think ‘of course we had to intervene- we had no other choice’.
When the so called rebels [Al-Qaida] attacked a hospital in Syria and killed innocent victims and doctors- was this called an attack ‘on their own people’.
When the Al Qaeda group in Libya hunt down the former relatives and friends of Gadhaffi.
When they torture and kill them.
When the free roaming militias terrorize blacks and women- do we say they are ‘terrorizing their own people’.
We don’t say it because we backed them.
The guys running Libya are guys we put in power.
So when the various atrocities take place- against ‘their own people’. We don’t say it.
But when it’s time for the west to intervene again- well watch out- we start saying ‘against his own people’.
All war- and weapons of war- are sad- tragic.
It’s sad that many young Arab- Persian and Muslim kids have grown up in this mess.
Its’ sad that some have embraced radical expressions of their faith because they see no other way out.
It’s sad that Morsi turned out to be no better than the guy before him [Mubarak].
It’s sad that the U.S. has put its hand to many times to try and make a certain outcome happen.
Maybe we have done this meaning well [maybe!] but the end result has not turned out well.
If we go in and depose Assad [Syria].
That country will fall to Al-Qaida- that’s a fact.
I don’t want to see chemical weapons used either.
But don’t fool yourselves.
They are all killing- both sides- using very bad things- against THEIR OWN PEOPLE.
The only innocent ones are the true protestors who have not resorted to violence.
Those in the square of Egypt today- who are not violent- they are noble.
Those in Libya- Syria- all the other hot spots in the Arab world.
Those who reject violence- they are noble.
But if you take up a weapon- be it chemical or any other- then you have chosen to live by the sword.
A great man once said ‘if you live by the sword- you will die by it’.
His name was Jesus Christ.
1956 SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES [versus the 2nd amendment?]
Found it interesting to see the politics play out over the sad murder/suicide of the Kansas City chief’s football player.
Both the left and the right were out in force- using their standard lines.
Bob Costas used his coverage of a game- during halftime- to speak about gun control.
That raised the ire of the right- and they were out too- you know- the usual rhetoric.
I guess the most honest view came from Joe Namath.
He was on Piers Morgan [CNN].
Morgan asked him about Costas’ comments.
Joe said even though he was partial to the gun control side- yet he felt Costas shouldn’t have used the game in a political way.
I mentioned I saw the Lincoln movie the other day.
It really was a good history lesson on how congress works.
They spent most of the movie simply playing out the political machinations of congress and the president- and how making the right moves can accomplish the goal.
Slavery was forbidden under the 13th amendment to the constitution.
The second amendment talks about gun rights.
I own a few guns- am not a liberal- or an NRA type of guy.
But I find it strange how believers seem to associate guns with patriotism and freedom.
Of course weapons have been used in the past to obtain freedom- and it’s in mans nature to resort to violence in order to protect what he thinks is valuable.
But there actually is a biblical goal- the scripture speaks about God’s ultimate goal for weapons.
It does- I never knew that?
Yes- the bible speaks about a future day when there will be no more weapons of war.
The prophet Isaiah says ‘they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks- they will learn war no more’.
Now- to my friends on the right- no- I’m not against our 2nd amendment rights.
To my friends on the left- well- yeah- guns don’t kill people- but people do.
But- the end goal for the believer- for the kingdom- is no more weapons.
Okay- I guess a few more examples from my homeless buddies will do here.
I have been mentioning the guys the last few weeks- we have been working together on a halfway house- and I have been sort of playing the mediator role with some of the guys.
In ‘ministry’ there exists a sort of competitive spirit.
The same type of thing you see in sports.
My friend David who started the halfway house has noticed that some of our mutual pastor friends are not so happy about it.
I have been teaching the guys about the nature of ‘church’ and Gods kingdom- insights I have gleaned over the years.
And my friend David is seeing it- the competitive thing- and he realizes that people are more willing to help other ministries if they have some type of name recognition fixed to it.
A few pastors/churches are willing to help my buddy- but they want him to incorporate as part of their church.
The other day David asked if I wanted to actually use my ‘ministry’ as the name- the incorporation- for the halfway house [he wants to establish many of them].
I have been helping the most I guess- out of all the other ministries.
I told David I really did not want too- I actually incorporated years ago- but eventually dropped the status.
There was no need for it.
I never took offerings- or financial support at all [since around 1994?]
So I told David I had no need- or desire- to have the thing under my name.
But he saw that seemed to be a big thing with some of the other pastors we work with.
In my talk the other day with the group [called NeWay].
I spoke about the kingdom of God in the parables of Jesus.
Often times we overlook the simple teachings of Christ when thinking ‘church starting’.
Now- there are many theological reasons pastors do this- too many to cover right here.
But- in the parables of Jesus we see a principle- a kingdom principle about seeds.
Jesus teaches his men that the kingdom of God is like spreading seeds.
You throw some here- some there- and you have no control over which ones take and the others that don’t.
Jesus says ‘after he plants- he sleeps- and wakes- and the seed grows- he knows not how’.
I like that- we are just seed sowers.
Now- Jesus did not just teach this- he also modeled it in the actual ‘ministry’ he was building with his men.
They were going from town to town- preaching the good news- healing the sick- feeding the poor.
They were not ‘setting up ministries’ in the way we think.
They were simply communicating the truth of God- in whatever format they were in at the time- and doing kingdom works.
Eventually some in those towns became followers- others did not [some seeds took- some did not].
Notice- there was no big appeal for lots of money- sure- they did receive offerings from some- but the appeal to start some huge 501 c3 thing was nonexistent.
So- the point I was making was we- ministers- Christians in general- we should not focus most of our time on simply raising money for all types of ‘worthy’ causes.
No- we are here to basically model the ministry of Christ.
Yeah- could it be that simple?
Jesus said ‘let your light so shine before men- that they may see YOUR GOOD DEEDS- and glorify you father in heaven’.
Our ‘light’ is not the showcasing of our gifts or our talents.
We often see modern ministry thru that lens.
‘wow- did you hear him speak’ type of thing.
Actually that’s not the light.
The light Jesus spoke about was the actual good deeds of charity.
The actual lived out love we have for one another.
‘greater love has no man than this- that he would lay down his life for his friends’.
Yeah- the kingdom seems to always rub against our own ideas.
Yeah- there’s coming a day where there will be no more weapons.
That’s not just a Lennon song.
1955 GRECIAN FORMULA ….
I spoke to a liberal friend not long ago- she watches all the more progressive news shows [MSNBC].
She was railing against Romney- against the rich fat cat corporate guys.
She went on and on about the rich being the actual cause of all the nations problems.
I asked my friend if she thought the rich pay less taxes than the middle class.
She said ‘of course they do’!
I went on to inform my friend that the tax rate- as well as the actual dollars paid- are much higher among the rich than the middle class.
She could not believe this was so.
I told her that when some say they are not paying their fair share- their talking about Capital Gains taxes being less than the middle class tax rate for income.
And the rich who don’t earn income- well they do pay less- if they are only living off their investments.
But most who are in this category do indeed earn income [the rich now being earning 200 thousand or more].
But it’s the way the debate was framed- blaming things on the rich- this caused my friend to not see the real problem.
Which is no matter how much we tax the rich- that will not solve the problem of our country having promised too much stuff that we can no longer afford.
I saw Ed Shultz the other night- he actually was telling people that the problem was we are not taxing them enough.
If you listen long enough- you would think that we could get out of the hole if we simply taxed rich folk.
I’m for raising the tax on them by the way- I don’t think it’s wrong to go back to the Clinton year’s tax rate.
I’m no conservative about this.
But that does not even come close to fixing the problem.
Our nation is in debt for around 16 trillion dollars.
The largest expense- not counting the military- are the Entitlement programs.
Medicare- Medicaid- etc.
Now- if we do raise the taxes on the ‘rich’ it will bring in about 80 billion a year.
That’s a drop in the bucket- that won’t barely put a dent in the debt.
But the rate of growth for Medicare- if we keep growing at this rate- will eventually swallow up the entire budget- we will be spending everything on Medicare alone.
That’s why I believe the result of the last few weeks has been bad.
After Obama won re-election- many from the more liberal side began putting pressure on him to not deal with entitlement spending.
Yesterday he made an offer to the House Republicans- and it had no real change to these programs.
If we do not make any changes to the programs- like means testing [the rich get less benefit than the poor- which you would think would be a Democrat’s dream come true- yet they are the ones blocking this change].
If we simply keep framing the argument as one being the rich not paying their fair share- then that will give an excuse to not actually fix these programs.
And that’s what the president has decided to do.
Remember- I’m for the tax rate going up on the rich- but that will barely put a dent in the debt.
You must- we must- make some adjustments with the entitlement programs- that’s the only way to really fix the problem.
And the president- and some who support him- have decided to continue the campaign.
They are not going to realistically look at the problem.
And if they keep kicking this can down the road.
Well- it will land in Greece.
1951 ALL THE WORLDS A STAGE [and the media write the script]
This past week we have seen media bias on an unusually large scale [that is it’s rarely so blatant].
The current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been reported in the strangest of ways.
Say if you had 2 kids throwing apples at each other.
You would ask ‘how did this start’.
And say if we found out that Timmy had small apples- and Billy had big ones.
Now- Timmy knows Billy has better apples- that he can launch them with greater precision and power- yet Timmy thinks if he plays his cards right- that maybe Billy won’t throw in response [Or that his new friends might come and help him].
So Timmy throws about 300 apples in a short period of time.
Finally Billy has enough- he takes his precision throwing skills to the table and slams Timmy.
After a few days of getting slammed- Timmy’s friend [little Morsi from around the corner- lives on Egyptian trail] gets involved.
Morsi says ‘damn you Billy- stop it- Timmy’s my friend’.
Billy has only one request- tell Timmy to stop throwing.
Morsi is really not a go between at all- in all his talks he keeps saying he’s on Timmy’s side- he calls Billy a cold blooded apple thrower- and little Morsi does not even recognize that Timmy actually started the whole thing [the recent apple throwing].
So- the big brother on the block finally steps in.
Yeah- the guys from USA Street enter the fray.
They have recently praised the guy from Egypt Street- they have made all sorts of statements saying he’s really a heroic figure- he’s willing to reach out to both sides and play the mediator.
Yet- in fact- he has not done this at all.
But the boys from USA Street have to make it look that way- or else they too will look bad- after all- they were behind the Egyptian street boys rise to power [in many covert ways- like calling for Mubarak to step down ‘yesterday’].
So- USA boys have a plan- they have friends that write comic books [called news paper reporters].
These friends will write and say anything to help their friends who are currently the bosses on USA Street [the Obama team].
So- they wrote all types of articles praising the new leadership role of Morsi- they made it look like Obama and his risk in backing Morsi was worth it- after all- Egypt has emerged as the new mediator in these affairs.
Well the truth is- all of this is a big lie- a true comic strip if there ever was one.
Yes my friends- I have rarely seen bias on a scale so large.
These last few days the articles reported that ‘both sides have demands’ [Israel and Hamas].
They reported ‘a cease fire is now in place- but there are rockets that continue to be fired into Israel- will Israel use this as an excuse to be the first to break the cease fire’.
If the other side [Timmy- Hamas] are firing rockets after the so called ‘cease fire’ what do you call that?
You say ‘o- Hamas broke the cease fire’.
But no- the media made it sound like these rockets had a will of their own- they were fired into Israel- after the cease fire- which according to them- both sides were still abiding by.
I mean this stuff is laughable- they must think we are absolute morons.
The truth is- Israel and the Palestinians have a long feud- and this post is not to say one side is totally right- I at times have said we also need to see the true plight of the innocent Palestinians- yes- some are very good people- they are not all Hamas.
But- the recent violence is a direct result of Hamas deciding to send rockets into civilian areas of Israel.
No nation- that has the capability to fire back- would sit back and not respond.
Israel did the only thing that they could- they shot back.
Now- to then say ‘yes- the violence is a result of both sides having legitimate concerns’ is stupid.
Yes- the Palestinians do have real concerns- but the recent violence is a result of little Timmy starting the apple throwing.
I read a report that said ‘Israel’s demands are for the rockets to stop- Hamas wants an end to the embargo’.
Okay- I got that.
But when one guy starts shooting at the other- and the other shoots back- and you say ‘okay guys- what’s going on- what do you want’.
And when Billy says ‘I don’t want anything- Timmy just started throwing- I want him to stop’.
That’s not ‘both sides having equal demands’ no- that’s one side saying ‘quit throwing the apples’.
The truth is- this entire thing is a debacle.
President Obama should not have been in Asia- there’s too much going on at home [fiscal cliff] and he needs to have more involvement in the mediation.
Yes- when Bush was in office- and had an actual peace process on the table- when things hit the fan- Harry Reid- and many other Democrat leaders were on the floor condemning Bush for not being involved more.
This time Obama does not even have a peace process in place- he could not even call both sides ‘back to the table’ because there is no table.
One article showed a picture of the president on the phone- it said he ‘skipped dessert and rushed back to the phone’.
Making it sound like him and Morsi were these 2 jet setter type diplomats- in a world of ids fighting.
The reality is this thing was a huge foreign policy mess.
Hillary went in- she basically told Morsi what he had to do- and she [we] also made it sound like he won- he prevailed as a new emerging peace negotiator- this is all a false story.
Hamas agreed to stop firing [even though they were still firing!] because Israel has amassed a ground force and were ready to go in and demolish Hamas.
Yet- after the agreement- both the Palestinians- and Morsi- were celebrating a so called military victory over the ‘terrorist’ Israel.
Yes- Morsi and Hamas all held to this same line.
How can you call him a new peace maker- after he says and acts like this?
Yes my friends- we have seen the worst in media bias- in a long time.
We have seen the comic strip writers living up to their reputation.
Yeah- they all put on a big show for us- they wrote a script that had nothing to do with what really happened.
And they did all this because this time their friend was running the show.
The last time around [Bush years] well the script looked nothing like this.
NOTE- Why so hard on Morsi [the Egyptian president]?
Just yesterday he re wrote the ‘Egyptian constitution’ and took to himself more power than Mubarak ever had.
Many Egyptians took to the streets [they are there right now] protesting this power grab by an Islamic group.
Yes- Morsi and the group he’s affiliated with- the Muslim Brotherhood- promised to never do this.
There are Christians and other non religious secularists in Egypt who fear this move.
One of the reasons he did this was because he arrested- and wanted tried- many of his political opponents.
The judges in Egypt have a reputation of being independent.
Yes- they are not as good as our system- but they are pretty good- in that they are not simply tools of the leader- like in many other places around the world.
So- when Morsi wanted some of his political enemies tried- the courts said no.
They said there was not enough evidence to try them- or find them guilty.
So- Morsi made this move- and is replacing all the judges with his own men.
Yes- this move is worse than anything Mubarak ever did.
Yet- we find president Obama and his administration praising him as some sort of great peace negotiator.
Ah- what a web we have weaved in this mess.
1948 WAR OF THE WORLDS [or world views?]
Once again I end the week with the dilemma of either writing on a bible chapter [Hebrews 9] or discussing world events.
Let me start with a few news items.
I find it funny how the media has been covering some recent events.
I also find it degrading that MSNBC has begun a new era- yes- for the first time I can remember- they are now continuing to go after the losing side’s candidate- even after the race is over.
Yes- They have been doing shows- I guess we should start calling them skits [they are performers you know].
And they are blasting Romney for anything he says- even as a private citizen- and they are using his life- I guess for ever- as a talking point.
I guess we will continue to hear about Ann Romney’s MS- her use of horses- you know- O’Donnell can’t stop mocking the woman.
Her kids- watch out- MSNBC will get you too!
This is so sad.
Chris Matthews had on Jim Clyburn the other day [a Dem congressman] they were discussing the issue of Susan Rice [UN ambassador].
She’s under fire for her statements about the Benghazi attack.
To be fair- it does seem like some on the right misread it- Petraeus did testify yesterday that she did not change the Talking Points.
But they were ‘scrubbed’ by the Intel community- not the White House.
This was the big issue- who removed the part that said Al-Qaida were part of the attack.
Anyway- Clyburn tells Matthews that- don’t forget- they are going after a young ‘BLACK WOMAN’.
Matthews says ‘go on’.
Very sad indeed.
There were [still are] very legitimate questions about what Rice said.
Why did she present talking points that basically said the opposite of what they knew? [even if she’s not at fault- they were still not accurate].
She did go on in the Sunday interviews and say Al-Qaida was on the run- yet the truth was they were part of the attack.
Even if she is innocent- yet she did present a false narrative.
If this is business as usual- than we still have a problem.
I was at the mission the other day and some girl asked one of the older guys who works there ‘what are you reading’.
He told her a news article from the NY Times about the Palestinian- Israeli fighting.
She asked him why Israel was bombing the Palestinian area.
He really didn’t have a good explanation- right at hand.
So I contributed a brief synopsis [which he later thanked me for- as well as the girl- just to say it wasn’t rude].
I told the girl that Israel began this recent action [it’s the largest military action against Hamas- the group that they are fighting- in years].
Because Hamas started shooting rockets into Israel about a week ago.
They sent around 300 rockets in- with no response.
Now- as someone who has tried very hard to be unbiased about the middle east question [for instance I have written in defense of the Palestinians many times- something that is the minority position in Evangelical circles].
Israel had no choice but to respond.
But some in the media are making it sound like Israel is to blame.
CNN said ‘this all began when Israel killed the top Hamas leader’.
Yes- many of you have seen the dramatic video of the guy being taken out in his car.
But this was not the ‘start’ of the violence.
If someone bombed your house- say 3oo times- and then you shoot them with a gun.
Well- who started it?
There is a very important story that should be told- that takes a little time- but the media is not telling you.
Let’s give it a shot.
First- I’m not blaming Obama.
But elections do have consequences.
Over the many years of the fighting about the Palestinian question- Hamas- the group that won the election a few years back- took power.
Now- they are actually branded as a terrorist group by the U.S.
They now feel emboldened to act- to make an all out attempt to raise world awareness- by these initial attacks- and they are hoping for their own Arab Spring.
Why are they doing this now?
Understand- Hamas is actually an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood- the group who has now risen to power in Egypt.
The new Egyptian president- Morsi- has already sent a team to the Palestinian areas- and they are backing Hamas.
Obama has been very friendly with the Muslim Brotherhood- and very cold to Israel [though he denies it].
After the re-election of Obama- it’s only natural for Hamas to think they have much more leverage now- see?
Now- that took a couple of lines- why couldn’t the media have told you that narrative?
Fahreed Zakariah- a CNN analyst who I actually like.
He was asked about the release of a guy who killed some Americans- Iraq was holding him- they let him go.
He blamed the problem on Bush [yeah- you can use Romney on MSNBC- CNN will use Bush].
He said that Bush was too willing to work with the radical Islamist groups- and he allowed them to gain some power in Iraq- and that’s why this happened.
He also said Obama came in and tried to fix it- but it was too late.
I find it interesting that Fahreed- who advises the president- has been part of the entire ‘new approach’ to the Arab world.
Yes- Obama [for good or ill] had very high hopes of starting a new relationship with the Muslim world.
He sincerely felt if he could reach out to certain groups [Muslim Brotherhood] than he might be able to change the tone in that part of the world.
He has made more effort- at normalizing relations with Muslim groups- than anyone in the history of the presidency.
I just showed you how some of these efforts might be the root cause of the aggression right now with Israel and the Palestinians.
Yet- in the middle of the greatest effort ever made to reach out to- and work with radical groups.
One of Obama’s top defenders said ‘the reason Iraq released the guy who killed our men- is because Bush was too cozy with radical Islamist groups’.
This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
I try to be fair in my analysis of these things.
When you are simply a cheerleader for either side [MSNBC on the left- Fox- some- on the right].
Then you lose all credibility- because people know they can’t trust you with a fair analysis.
But if we can’t- as a nation- as a globe- see behind the lines- see what’s really going on- then we will continue to blame one side- or the other- while not really seeing the root cause.
Yes- there are questions still to be asked.
Maybe the president’s noble attempt at reaching out to radical elements was doomed from the start.
Maybe one of the reasons we are seeing some of the worst violence in the Palestinian areas has to do with this.
But for one of the president’s biggest cheerleaders- who has himself criticized Bush many times for his hard stance and ‘unwillingness’ to see the Muslim side.
For him to say one of the problems is Bush was too chummy with radicals- it’s beyond belief.
Yeah- but if we don’t blame Bush- who else could we blame?
Just switch to MSNBC- they’re still blaming Romney.
Yeah- that will work.
1947 DAYS OF OUR LIVES or General[s] hospital?
Okay- lots to cover today.
First- the growing fallout over the Benghazi debacle has now entered a phase that can only be described as having a sort of soap opera aura.
Most of you know that right before the election some radical militants attacked our counsel in Benghazi [Libya] and killed 4 Americans.
One of them being our new ambassador to the region.
Now- within days of the incident- Susan Rice- our U.N. ambassador- went on the Sunday morning talk shows and said the attack was a response to an anti Muslim video.
In fact there were multiple protests that same day- Sept. 11th– around the Arab world.
So- Rice sort of lumped the killing of our ambassador with the video protests.
Now- what we now know is this;
That the Libyan attackers were not simply part of a protest that went out of control- but were one of the many militia groups who operate in Libya.
The counsel [embassy type compound] at Benghazi was under a real threat.
It was bombed before- and the Red Cross- as well as the British pulled their people out of there because the place was a sitting duck target for these radical militia guys.
We also now know that our guys at the embassy warned about the growing threat.
They made requests for greater security- which were denied.
And that by all accounts- the administration failed in the sense of not providing adequate protection for our guys.
Now- those defending the president say it would not have mattered if there was more protection- that a military style assault would have been effective either way.
Then let’s pull the guys out.
Some say if we had around 10 Marines- with automatic weapons- that in itself would have been enough.
Either way- the facts are that the British and the Red Cross pulled their people out.
Why didn’t we?
Some think that Susan Rice and others purposefully made it look like the attack was part of the video protests because that would have gone along with the political line that Obama has Al Qaeda ‘on the run’.
Enter David Petraeus.
Petraeus was the guy in charge of the CIA- a former general who some say had great success in Iraq and later Afghanistan [he was the guy who did the Surge strategy- more troops to finish the job type thing].
Okay- as head of the CIA he actually went to Benghazi and interviewed his men.
Yeah- we have CIA guy’s right there near the compound.
What did he find out?
Was there more going on than meets the eye?
Petraeus got back and testified before congress and gave the same story as Susan Rice- that the attack was simply a protest that went out of control.
Okay- here comes the soap opera part.
A few months ago- some lady in Tampa Fla. was receiving what she felt were threatening emails.
The lady- Jill Kelley- was involved with the local military there in Tampa- and by chance knew Petraeus and the top generals [Allen being one].
The U.S. has a military post in Tampa where the top generals and their families go.
So- she had a friend at the FBI [because she was also sort of a civilian FBI cadet- you know- these programs where anyone can get into as a civilian. We used to do these things at the Fire Dept. sometimes the people that get involved are wannabe’s- that is they sort of fantasize about being the real deal].
So- Kelly tells her FBI friend about the emails.
And he starts the ball rolling to find out who is sending the emails.
The emails basically said to leave Petraeus alone.
Lo and behold- the emails were sent by Paula Broadwell- a lady who wrote a biography about General Petraeus [whew- this gets tiring!]
The story breaks that Broadwell was a lover of the general [in more ways than one]- she sent the emails as sort of a jealous lover type thing. She knew Jill was friendly with Petraeus and was telling her to leave ‘her man alone’.
And when the story hits the fan- Petraeus resigns abruptly- right after the president gets re-elected.
Now- no one in congress [and supposedly the president] knew anything about the affair until after the election.
The problem is Petraeus was supposed to testify about the Benghazi attack in a few days.
Some on the right think his abrupt resignation has to do with this.
Broadwell’s father has said ‘you aint seen nothing yet’ [or something to that effect] – indicating that this whole scandal has much more to it than meets the eye. [More than this? I don’t know if I can take much more?]
So- we have one general gone- the other general –Allen- a top military guy- who was up for another position- which now looks like it’s on hold because during the investigation over the emails [you know- the Tampa socialite].
It was discovered that Gen Allen sent a load of emails to Kelley- some reported that they were ‘sexual’ in nature.
Nah- no way- our generals?
Do they even know the word?
Okay- all the reporting on the women- that is the stuff about their lives- showing the picture of the mistress right next to the wife of Petraeus [Holly] all of this makes for ratings- but really has no value.
Last night CNN’s Cooper was reporting on the credit card debt of Jill Kelley and her doctor husband.
He went into their mortgage problems [not paying their mortgage on their million and a half home].
That they started a cancer charity- and things look fishy with the charity.
Peirce Morgan reporting that she is a sort of flirt with all the military guys.
One report said she was a ‘lune’ [loony].
None of this is relevant- nor should the media be getting into the ladies credit card debt.
She is not a public [elected] figure- leave all that stuff out.
The real news is the fact that our guys were killed.
Did the administration and his team purposefully make the Libyan attack look like a video protest gone awry?
Did they mislead the public about the deaths of our people because of political reasons?
If so- then that’s a huge scandal.
Now- in defense of their side [Obama].
We did have Intel that said the many protests that took place on that day were in fact over the stupid video.
And the Libyan attackers did use the same day to attack and kill our guys.
One of the statements that Rice and others made was that the militia guys took advantage of the protests and did a more organized attack.
Looking at all this stuff- that statement is not really that off.
So- yes- the attacks were not simply a protest gone awry.
But- it is more than likely that the attackers used the other 9-11 protests as an opportunity to attack.
One more thing- after it became known that Paula Broadwell was having an affair with Petraeus- the news outlets of course went thru all their old video’s of her.
She has appeared numerous times on various shows.
One recent clip had her saying that our embassy grounds in Libya also was holding some Libyan militia guys as prisoners.
She said this was inside knowledge [then why say it in a speech?]
And she hinted that might be the real reason for the attack [some think she might have had inside knowledge because of the affair].
Now- by law- the CIA is not allowed to hold prisoners.
Petraeus was the top CIA guy- who just got back from Libya doing his own personal investigation.
Then he quits.
Yeah- some see something fishy with the whole thing.
I have no idea which side is right [maybe there is some truth on both sides?]
But we do need to get to the facts.
We don’t need to know what Jill Kelley’s credit debt is.
Or why the FBI guy in Tampa sent her a shitless pic of himself [and was thus removed from the case].
Well- just be reassured- after all- these are the guys that are running the country- they are the protectors of the flame.
Yeah- Obama kept saying ‘we have them on the run now’.
I just wonder who ‘them’ is.
1946 JEWS TEACHING SCIECNE- WHAT IS THIS?
I want to try and cover a little bit more on Einstein.
But just a few quick notes.
The last few days- as I have watched some of the post election coverage- I find it funny how the ‘4th estate’ has tried to rise above their own ignorance.
This past year- as I have both read- viewed- listened to many media sources- all sides of the various debates that go on in the country.
There was a conscious decision made- by some on the left- to ‘suppress the vote’.
I thought it was the Repubs that were trying to do this?
Yes- there were efforts made- whether noble or not- to suppress some of the minority vote [noble – some say they were just trying to stop voter fraud- others said they were trying to suppress the minority vote].
But- how did the left do this?
Once again- yes- hailing from the great state of N.J. [ the headquarters of many media outlets- it is sad that the most grievous offenders come from my hometown area! – Fort Lee- Secaucus- spots right where I grew up].
MSNBC spent an entire year mocking the faith of Romney.
I saw Martin Bashir- actually say- on air- that Christians should not vote for Romney because he denies the Trinity.
Can you imagine him saying this about a Muslim candidate?
Chris Matthews- he spoke about Romney and his religion as weird- a cult- and other interesting terms [Matthews says he was taken out of context- but simply using the word accomplishes the task].
Now- after a year of this- it is true that some White evangelicals [their target audience of suppression] did indeed not vote for Romney.
In media lingo they call this ‘failed to get out his base- the White vote’.
They see what they did as a noble cause- a good thing.
When you convince yourself that those who don’t embrace your ideas are racist nuts- then it justifies this double standard.
There was an article on Hillary Clinton seeing the Broadway play the Book of Mormon [yeah- Bloomberg manages to keep the lights on Broadway on- but watch out if you’re from Staten island or the Rockaway’s!]
When she came out of the theater she said it was so funny- she couldn’t stop laughing.
What was she laughing at?
The play is an open mockery of the Mormon faith.
Yet- this same state dept official- she was outraged over the release of some on line movie clip that depicted the prophet Muhammad in a negative light.
They just sentenced the maker of the movie to a year in jail- over some probation thing.
Yes- that’s the double standard of the media- politicians- it is quite obvious.
As I read a few chapters every few days- I want to comment on the important- relevant stuff.
One of them being the very word Relativity.
Now- I am tempted to go back and review all the posts we did on physics [you long time blog readers might remember?].
But this book is not a physics book per se’- but a biography.
Yet a quick review might help.
Einstein became famous for a few things- most of us know the famous equation E=mc2.
Simply a conversion of mass into energy formula- it works for all things- not just Nuclear.
His theory of Relativity shook up the world of physics- and Einstein is indeed the father of what we call modern physics [and Quantum theory].
Okay- what he did was he took the centuries old ideas of Newton [the father of classical physics] and he said that time and space were not absolutes.
That’s is- that depending on the observer [and his speed] time actually changes.
Some in the scientific community could not fathom what he was saying.
The book has actual headlines from the NY times- they openly doubted some of Einstein’s work
I remember reading this years ago- but this time I saw the real headlines.
They said stuff like ‘what is this new theory- that space might be limited- this defies the actual definition of space’.
Now- it would take too long to tell you what they were covering- but it is one of the various theories of the universe.
In actuality- the times might have been right in this one case [it’s a theory that the universe is curved- has no detectable edge- if so- you can than argue for an infinite universe in a closed space- because there is no edge- or end].
As a side note- logically- the times was correct.
Just because you can’t find a ‘sharp edge’ to a thing- that does not mean the thing is ‘endless’.
I covered this years ago in our apologetics posts- it was interesting to have re –read this from this author [Isaacson].
He is a good author- and explains stuff well.
Okay what was the other stuff that some objected to?
Some associated- wrongly- the theory of Relativity- with the modernist philosophy called Relativism.
Relativism [remember the philosophy stuff?] said that there was really nothing as objective truth- that what you see might be just as true as what someone else sees.
You might both be looking at the same thing [morally- murder- etc.] yet to one it might be wrong- to the other- right.
This idea- Relativism- was strongly rejected by many philosophers- especially those with a Christians/Theist background.
Even today this is one of the major debates going on in the world of the philosophy.
But- some confused what Einstein was saying- and they thought [or used it] to back up the ‘moral’ philosophy of Relativism.
This was a mistake.
Einstein himself- as I mentioned in an earlier post- was not a relativist at all- that is when speaking about moral absolutes.
So some began to associate him- as one of the new ‘Jew’ scientists- who were introducing dangerous doctrines to the world.
Yes- some of the objectors to Einstein objected on the basis of this new ‘Jewish science’ that was breaking away from the moors of Christian science- whose father was Isaac Newton.
See how both anti Semitism- and religious belief played a role in this?
I’ll end with a quote from a famous man of the time- an up and coming politician- I mean he could awe his audience like no other.
Obama- Clinton- even the great communicator- Reagan- were no match for this man when it came to giving a speech.
He said ‘Science- once our greatest pride- is today being taught by Hebrews’.
Who said this?
The future leader of Germany- Adolph Hitler.
1945 BIRTHER- ME?
Before we end the week I want to simply quote a few verses from Isaiah 26.
‘Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee’
‘Trust ye in the Lord forever- for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength’
‘When thy judgments are in the earth- the inhabitants of the world will learn justice’.
I stumbled upon this chapter the other day- I did not realize how many verses I have memorized over the years- ones that I would quote and stuff- not realizing they were lumped together in this chapter.
Over the years I have had times [years] where I would read thru the bible every year.
Or maybe read the New Testament thru many times- and the Old Testament a little slower.
These past few years I have slowed down a bit- still reading every week- but less ‘volume’ and more meditation.
I’ll read a chapter- then stay on it for a few days- and then see more stuff each time.
I try and listen for ‘daily bread’ type of a thing.
In the Lord’s prayer [Our father] he said we should pray for ‘our daily bread’ and in a way that speaks about what God wants to tell us each day.
Sort of like the story of Manna in the time of Moses.
The people of God were in the wilderness for 40 years- and God fed them bread every morning.
It was called ‘angels food’ it was this little wafer type thing that was on the ground each day.
God told them only take enough for you and your family- if you take too much- and store it up overnight- it will spoil.
But on the 6th day they could take enough for 2 days- because they were not supposed to gather it on the Sabbath.
So God in a way has daily manna for us- if we try and overload the system- by eating too much- then it will spoil.
Its funny- over the years I have seen/gone thru stages where you get involved with movements- good people- who for whatever reason get into some type of teaching.
Maybe they will emphasize some new thing- and for years they will go down that road.
Maybe it’s not a bad road per se’- but these things were not supposed to be ‘roads’ at all.
That is- as believers we should establish our hearts in grace and the reality of God.
The reality of the Cross and death of Christ for us.
And then as we learn and grow- sure- we will learn lots of stuff- but when you get into fads- well it’s like the verse in the book of Hebrews.
‘It is a good thing that you are established in grace- not with meats [ side doctrines] for it is not profitable for those who are occupied therein’ [my paraphrase].
Okay- a few things.
The other day at the mission I had to intervene- sort of like a Ref.
2 of the guys were getting into it- over all things- politics and religion!
Now- these guys happened to be sober- but you have a few guys who start drinking early- and by the time I get there- well let’s say they are feeling pretty good.
So- I could think of no better environment to discuss politics and religion- can you?
Somehow one of my buddies- who is very smart- got a hold of ‘birthirism’ somewhere along the line.
I first heard him talk about it a few months back- and was kinda surprised.
He is not a ‘right winger’ at all- he attends a classically more liberal church [Methodist] and we often discuss the Sunday school teaching from the previous week.
He has the notes from church- and they are always taking a more liberal side- and I have told him that the Methodists are a great church- and they do an excellent job at social justice [like the Catholics].
So- it was a surprise for my friend to have launched into birthirism [the belief that Obama is not a U.S. citizen].
By the way- those who believe this are not total nuts- if I have time I’ll share a few facts- things that have caused people to question- yet I have never swallowed the Trump view.
So- my buddy starts into his talk.
‘Obama was sworn in on the Koran- even if he was born in Hawaii- that’s not part of the continental U.S.- so he still is not legitimate’.
A few more things like this- that coming from this particular friend- surprised me.
Now- this day we were sitting with my other friend Don.
Don is the gardener at the mission- the pics I posted on Facebook- with the garden- that’s Don.
Don is quite the intellectual- for real.
It never ceases to amaze me when I run into the smartest guys that are homeless.
Don has a well rounded education- knows all types of subjects- sort of a renaissance man if you will.
So- for Don to have heard my other friend launch into his thing- well- he could not believe that my friend was saying this.
Don- rightfully- corrected my buddy in no uncertain terms.
My buddy went on about Obama being a non citizen.
Then they appealed to me- to be honest I did not want to get into it.
But I did.
I had to side with Don- and correct my other friend because he was so misinformed.
Obviously Hawaii is part of the U.S. – even though Alaska and Hawaii are not part of the land mass that makes up the lower 48.
Yet they are states- and they count as being born in the U.S.
But I had to throw out some cover for my misinformed friend.
He looks up to me as sort of a teacher- and when someone sees you that way- it’s hard for them to be corrected by someone they look up to.
So- I did tell Don that I have read/watched so many news things over the past 4 years- that there were things that gave some people real reason to doubt the president’s place of birth.
Now- be careful here- I want you to hear carefully.
Because what I think has happened- is the president did things in the past- like we all have done [skewing the facts to gain a benefit].
He possibly presented himself- at various times- as being from Kenya- or as sharing the Muslim faith.
What- are you nuts?
Not 100% [maybe half?]
Okay- here’s the cover for my buddy.
As people started looking into the birth certificate thing- there were some indications that the president might have said he was from Kenya- maybe to sort of play into the role of ‘this new and up and coming author- with such an interesting background’.
Or maybe at times- in applying for school- you might say you’re a foreign born person- because you get an edge if the school has a quota type thing [thus the Trump challenge to show his college records].
Why do I think this might have happened?
When you wade thru all the accusations- there were a few things that did come up that quite frankly looked strange.
One of the more questionable things was the actual promotion of one of Obama’s books- the book publisher actually introduced Obama- the author- as a ‘Kenyan born’ person.
Now- when this came out- the president- and the publisher- both admitted that this was not a fake.
They simply said it was a typo.
They both admitted that the intro for the book said Obama was Kenyan- but it was a typo.
Look- a typo is hitting a wrong key on the keyboard [unless this type writer had Kenya as one of the keys?]
And what are the chances that this typo just happened to name Kenya as his birthplace?
I mean that’s a bit much to swallow to be honest.
So John- he’s a Kenyan!
Now- here’s where I give the pres the benefit of the doubt- but why I say he too has given the birthers a reason to question him.
There are a few people that said/think that Obama used this ‘I was born in Kenya’ thing to simply help promote himself.
He has spoken about his own identity struggle in the past.
Growing up he had the name of his step dad [Sotero].
As he got older- being raised by a single mom- he eventually learned more about his real dad- from Kenya- and he did try to identify more with his father’s heritage.
So- maybe did he start saying ‘I’m Kenyan’
Was this so bad?
But is this possible?
The more believable explanation for a book publisher to say you’re from Kenya- would be that Obama might have presented himself as such.
Others have said that he did say this to them as well.
And some think he might have used this on his college application.
This is very possible- and to be honest- for a book publisher to accidently pick Kenya- as a typo- that’s a bit much.
So- I gave cover to my birther friend- by leaving him room- that is to say there are people who question it- Obama’s place of birth- and they are not all nuts.
But- I also sided with Don- that at the end of the day- I think this issue is settled.
It’s hard to have friends on both sides of these things.
Because when you take one side- the other feels alienated.
I think it’s also wrong to assume that those who did not support Obama are all birthers.
I supported Romney simply on the basis of experience.
Those who want a real honest critique of the president should read Bob Woodward’s latest book.
He tells the story- the true story- of how many of the president’s closest inside fiends felt he was so far out of his league- after he got in- that others had to actually run the show- for quite some time.
Yes- these are actual reports from friends of Obama.
I remember hearing his main financial guy [I forget the name right now- Lawrence Lindsey?]
He said at one point ‘if we were not running this show- no one would be in charge’.
Yes- there are some real- honest critiques that have come out- and they did indeed feel like the president was way out of his league for this job.
And these were not birthers.
So- at the end of the day- some supported one side because they had real questions.
Others supported Obama because they too had honest positions.
But we also need to correct those in our midst who have wrong views- things that they picked up along the way.
If we want good discourse- it must be informed.
And yes- at times both sides have missed this mark.
1944 PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO MEN?
Before I get into the news- let me mention that the bible chapter for this week was Isaiah 26.
Once a week I like to focus on a chapter- and if I have time I do a post on it.
But being I want to cover some news stuff- If I don’t get to it- that’s the chapter for this past week.
Okay- what’s going on?
Yesterday I was amused as I went thru a few news papers.
As most of you know- my prediction that the DOW would be in the 12,000-s has come true.
The news shows came out right away after the president was re-elected- and said ‘the dow is down because people are afraid that CONGRESS and the president will not make a deal’.
Okay- one of the arguments made by Romney for his election was the reality that both the pres and congress are in gridlock [true] and that- regardless of who you blame- more than likely if you re-elect Obama the gridlock will remain.
Now- in his case- he did not place blame [smart] he simply used this as a talking point- like Obama saying ‘Romnesia’.
But- here’s the catch- the media and the Obama people said ‘false’.
That it made no difference who got in- you would still have gridlock [the Dems would also be in gridlock against Romney].
So- after Obama got in- the DOW took a dive.
Okay- was it only because of the Fiscal Cliff [which the media blame it on- because that gives mutual blame to congress and the pres].
No- not at all.
Listen carefully- if the Romney argument was false- and the media were right- then it would have made no difference [according to their view] who got elected.
Because business and the economy watchers all would have seen gridlock- no matter who got in.
If this were true- then why wait for the election for the DOW to tank?
Come on folks- are we that dumb?
If it made no difference [in this particular scenario] then why wait till Obama got in?
Yes- it did make a difference- like the Romney people said.
Okay- sour grapes here?
Just trying to show you the system- how the media jumped to say that Obama getting re-elected had nothing to do with the stock market tanking.
Okay- I read 2 or 3 more articles- and they were all trying to give you the same narrative- that it was better for the country- and the world- that Obama got in.
O- Let’s see.
One page [yes they had a whole page comparing the differences- the heading said ‘what to expect’ now that Romney lost and Obama got in]
One paragraph was ‘that Democracy will be promoted in the world’.
This was juxtaposed against ‘what to expect if Romney got in’.
I guess Romney would have promoted communism?
Another article ‘the re-election of Obama means there is now an opportunity to save many Syrians by trying to get peace in Syria’.
Again- this is ONLY an opportunity- now that Romney lost [see- a Romney win would have meant the killing of many more women and kids- got it?]
It went on and on like this- for the unsuspecting reader [the media must think people are all fools] you would get the impression- without realizing it- that Romney would have destroyed civilization- all the while using language and innuendo that made you think Obama will save the world.
Many in the business/financial world do see Obama as anti business.
Now- I’m not giving you talking points- I’m telling you from personal experience- and being a reader of all things- including global economic stuff.
Over the past 4 years- in all my years as a Texan- I have never seen a president/justice dept. attack cities/states like this one.
I have read- on more than one occasion- how my own city was being sued by the justice dept [which means this White House] for various stuff.
Some had to do with the oil producing industry- and regardless of what side of the aisle you are on- these multiple lawsuits have killed many- many jobs.
I have seen it.
Now- this has been the style of president Obama- for all types of political reasons- this has been ‘ground truth’.
Okay- Fiscal Cliff.
What is it?
The president and congress did not come to a deal on cutting spending and increasing taxes- so they passed a law that said if they don’t get a deal by 2013- then automatic cuts will go into effect.
These are very deep cuts that both sides really don’t want.
Okay- it is amazing- but one of the things that will negatively affect the economy is if this Fiscal Cliff hits- then all the Bush tax cuts [which have been demonized by Obama] will expire.
So- both sides are saying- if you lose all the Bush tax cuts [which those on the left say are bad] that it will negatively affect the economy.
Look- if you have been saying the Bush tax cuts are bad- then go ahead- let them expire.
If you say you want to cut defense by huge amounts- then go ahead- do it.
But- if you argue for all these things [which Obama has done many times over the years] and then say ‘no- congress- if you let this happen you are ruining the economy’.
Then which one is it man?
Before the president got in office- he made a statement- on video tape [you pretty much have to catch him on tape- or in writing in his own books- to pin him down].
He said he wanted gas prices to be high- around 7 dollars or so a gallon.
At the time- this was [still is] a prevailing view among some environmentalist types.
Obama ran with that crowd- that’s why he said this.
Okay- he also said- if he ever had a chance to be pres- to implement these types of things on a large scale- that he would make it so hard on the oil industry [coal operating plants]- that he would put so many fines in place- that if some company wanted to start a new coal plant- that they could do it- but because of all the new govt. regulation that he would put in place- that they would go bankrupt.
Okay- these things are all real things the president has said.
Then- after he got in- one of his top environmental guys in Texas started going after the oil industry in Texas- I have seen it- with my own 2 eyes.
The guy Obama had in charge- was caught on tape [yeah- if it’s not on tape they deny all the things they said].
He was caught talking about their policy in Texas.
He said ‘like the Romans- when they went into a city and crucified the first rebel- that sent a message’.
He was saying that they needed to hit certain oil businesses in Texas- hit them so hard [maybe even prison for the executives?] that all the other oil companies would see it and either shut down or never get a new business going.
That’s the exact same strategy the president had said he would use if he ever had the chance.
Now- not only has he said this- he has done this.
But- if you listen to all the statements he makes on this stuff- he makes you think he is more pro oil than Bush/Cheney.
See- that’s the problem- that’s part of why the DOW tanked [plus the E.U. crisis- a global slowdown- Fiscal Cliff- see- there are many reasons- and one is the anti business policies of the president.]
I’m not saying Obama is a bad man- nor am I excusing a congress that might at times simply be obstructionist.
But I’m saying it did make a difference who got in- it did indeed have an impact on the markets and the fear that some in business have because of the polices of the president.
This post is not a defense of the right- or left.
It is intended to show you how quick the media were to downplay the real negative effect that the re-election of Obama did already have on the economy.
Look- you might agree with his policies- maybe even on his anti oil stance- fine.
If you agree- agree.
I too hold very liberal positions on many things [I’m very pro immigrant- I was also for a national health care system- yeah- true Canadian style].
But I want you to see how the media played this.
I wanted you to see- that Romney was indeed correct- a least about this one point- that the re-election of Obama would continue gridlock [regardless of who you place the blame on- that was not part of his argument].
Yeah- some of these things came true- sad- but true.
But then again- according to the paper.
If Romney got in;
More Syrians would die [women and kids mostly].
Democracy would not be promoted.
And world peace would elude us.
Gee- I guess the trade off was good then- the DOW went down- but there will be peace on earth- and good will toward men- all because of the re-election of the president.
Thanks media- thanks news papers- I feel better already.
Just try not to crucify any more of our oil executives- because it’s tough on those looking for work in the Lone Star state if you do.
1943 IT IS FINISHED
Good morning everyone.
Some of my friends are rejoicing today.
Others are flying the flag at half staff.
Yes- most of the pundits were right- those who were following the polling- Obama did indeed win- as most of the polls showed.
Now- why were some [on the right] skeptical of the media/polls?
One reason is- they had good reason to be.
Most every morning when I get up- I listen to NPR radio news.
They have a reputation of being liberal [part of the big bird thing- Public Broadcasting- you know. One time I heard Alex Keaton- Michael Fox [Family Ties] berate his dad for working at a ‘not for profit’ company- Keaton could not even conceive of the idea!]
So yes- NPR has been a target of the right for some time.
Now- as a media guy- who listens/reads/watches lots of media- I do catch the left wing bias every so often.
But it’s tricky- that is you don’t even know for sure if those engaging in it even realize they are doing it.
Just about every morning these last few weeks- their top of the hour news coverage- which gets repeated every hour- started with either an actual re-play of an Obama ad [free ad time] or some report about how Romney lied.
Now- the undiscerning hearer might think they were actually doing news coverage- and in a way they were.
But all the coverage was favorable to the president- and none of it [that I heard] favored Romney.
Okay- was I mad?
Not really- but it makes me think how many people- not realizing the imbalance- wind up hating one man [who seemed like a good man- are you mad that I even say this? About Romney- then maybe you have also swallowed the hate bait].
Yes- when you hear this it affects you.
I watched some of the coverage on MSNBC- I think Matthews does not even realize what he says.
They were gleefully referring to Romney as a liar- someone who does not care for people at all- a man who does not like minorities or women.
It went on and on- at the same time they were covering the right wings ‘attack’ on the voting rights of all people.
There were actually multiple reports- not fake either- that many people [tens of thousands?] were actually voting for Romney on the touch screen- and their machine registered a vote for Obama.
When MSNBC covered this- they laughed at the republican official who used ‘strange’ language when registering the complaint.
Yet- they could care less that many thousands of people were tricked by rigged machines.
Then they went on and spoke about how the Repubs were attacking the rights of voters- in the same breath.
That’s media blindness- that’s why many are skeptical of them- and that’s why many on the right simply did not believe the polling as the day of voting began.
Now- I was not really skeptical- that is I saw some polling that was off- but as I listened to multiple sources- I got the feel from even some on the right-That they felt they were in trouble in the battle ground states.
And at the end of the day- they were [the Repubs].
Where are we at now?
I personally will continue to pray for the president over the next 4 years- by name- twice a week.
I mention him and his family as well as other world leaders- this is mandated in scripture- we are supposed to do it- I do it.
And I don’t do it grudgingly either- I have done it for all the presidents for many years- be they Repub or Dem.
The left- the media- they did indeed divide the country by their coverage.
They often accused those who did not support the president of racism.
Yet- once again- in Philadelphia- the racist group Black Panthers- were out in force- standing at the polls- looking like they might beat you with a bat.
Yes- the same group that the justice dept. dropped the charges against [its illegal to intimidate voters] were out again- intimidating voters.
Any media outcry?
Yet- the same media who would not mention this- at the same exact time- were calling Romney and his people actual racists- and calling this media/election coverage.
If Romney won- and there were multiple reports of people voting for Obama- and the machine registered Romney- there would be an uproar.
If you had White supremacists- whose leader has called for the murder of Blacks- actually intimidating Black women and elderly Blacks- the second election year in a row- the media would be calling for the arrest of these thugs.
Yet- all these things did happen- but because they happened on the side the media supports- it was not an issue.
And not only was it not an issue- the same media called the other side racists- while this was going on.
Yeah- it does not surprise me that many went into the Election Day skeptical of the media.
I had a feeling Romney was in trouble- I kinda saw it in the ‘read between the lines’ stuff.
But what the media did yesterday- well- that’s a sign that we as a nation are in trouble.
Yeah- for the media- fly the flag at half staff.
For the president- I will continue to pray for him and his family- and I hope we as a nation can try and work together.
Lincoln said ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand’.
He was quoting another great leader of days gone by.
The man- Christ Jesus.
1942 POLITICS AND EINSTEIN
Let’s start with the big story of the day.
Just a few things before I get back to Einstein.
As I have followed the news on this- over the past few weeks there has been some question on whether or not the media have manipulated any of the numbers.
Going in to today’s election- if the media are correct- Obama will no doubt win.
They have shown polls that have the president winning in enough states [battle ground states] that he should win.
Are any of the polls wrong- or possibly skewed?
That the question.
It’s hard to say that all pollsters would have some inside conspiracy to do this.
Actually I don’t believe that they would [they do have reputations you know].
But- we do have some actual evidence that some have done this.
It’s hard at times to filter out the bias- on both sides- but let’s try and take one example of possible skewing.
Most of the polls we have seen these past few weeks have shown the sample of people that they use.
For instance- you might have one say they polled a thousand folk- then they’ll say 39% were Democrats- 31 % Republicans.
Now- some on the right were saying ‘see- they are cheating’.
Would this be cheating in a poll?
Because the pollsters are trying to get an accurate picture of the electorate- that is- if they ‘think’ that more Dems will vote- then this would be a fair way to poll.
So- how do they figure out who the likely voters will be?
They usually look at the last election [presidential].
But- everyone who watches politics will tell you that the last election- 2008- had an historic turnout of Dem’s.
Many were not only voting for a man they felt would do a good job- but they also felt like they were part of an historic thing- the possible election of Americas first Black president.
Everyone [well most] will admit this- and it’s not wrong to admit this- that many came out to be part of an historic event- fine.
So- did some of the pollsters do this- did they use a larger number of Dem’s in the polls?
Now- a case can be made that you would not have the same type of turnout this time.
Because you don’t have the same historic significance- it’s not historic to say ‘yeah- we voted for the first Black president in history- the second time’.
Okay- but the pollsters do have a reason to have more Dems than Repubs- sometimes.
But- there were some polls that showed twice as many Dems [as a percentage- that is if you had 7% more Dems last time- this time they were showing about 14%- something that would be next to impossible].
So- yes- in this few cases- we do have some evidence that some pollsters were rigging the system to benefit one side.
Okay- said all that to say this.
If Romney wins- and big [which I doubt] then you just saw a good example of media bias- because according to most of the media- Obama should win.
Lets see what happens in the morning.
Okay- just a few notes on the Einstein biography I’m going thru.
The book is an older book- I picked it up a few months ago at half price books.
But it’s a good book- not written from a religious perspective at all- the author- Walter Isaacson- is a top notch writer.
The reason I say ‘not from a religious perspective’ is because it’s kind of amazing how many times Einstein- and his companions- either speak about God- or outright quote him!
Yeah- over the years I have heard views from both sides [Atheists and Theists] who have tried to make Einstein more like them.
But the actual quotes from him- and how many times they allude to God- is really more than I thought.
I’m at the point in the book [about halfway] where you begin seeing the anti Semitism rise up in Germany.
As most of you know- Einstein was a Jew- who came from Germany.
He lived at the time of the rise of the Nazi’s- and the anti Jewish ‘ness’ of the times would affect him.
Einstein held teaching positions at various universities of his day- one was in Berlin.
Some of his contemporaries- men like Max Planck- were indeed all in for the German nationalism that was riding a wave at the time.
Einstein on the other hand resisted the mixing of science with nationalism- he believed more in a global type citizenship- that the great breakthrough’s they were making at the time- were for the world- not just for the benefit of one nation.
Einstein would refuse to sign a declaration signed by many of the thinkers of his day- one that supported German nationalism.
Instead he was part of a smaller group who drew up a sort of pacifist declaration- one which would fall by the way side because of its lack of support.
A few notes.
I find his insight into war- where it ‘comes from’ to be enlightening.
I’ll give you a quote- it comes from “a biologically determined feature of the male character” “What drives people to kill and maim each other so savagely” “I think it is the sexual character of the male that leads to such wild explosions”.
Einstein saw a sort of genetic ‘defect’ in man- something within him- that was the root cause of war.
In the book of James- in the New Testament- the brother of our Lord writes ‘from whence come wars and fighting’s among you- come they not hence- even from your lusts that war in your members’.
Yeah- I think James and Einstein were on the same page.
Eventually Einstein would oppose the war- that is- the initial aggression that was sprouting from his homeland.
The book does not go into detail about the actual war [WW2] at least not yet.
But we know from history that the Nazi’s would be part of one of the most heinous mindsets the world has ever known.
Hitler’s idea that a certain race of people were inherently ‘less human’ that others.
Many do not know that some of his thoughts were formed by the popular idea of Evolution.
The teaching that all humans are on a scale of the ‘most evolved’ and the ‘least evolved’.
Yes- I have gotten into this in the past- and don’t want to do it again right now.
Eventually the allies would also cross a line of war- a line that divided the U.S. and the British for a short time.
The line of bombing urban centers- and targeting civilians.
Some of the correspondence that came out after the war showed that certain American military commanders objected to the bombing of civilian centers.
They would eventually do as they were told- but they did make their objections known.
The British were more willing to engage in the bombing- after all- Germany had already bombed them.
The first city center to go was Hamburg- a convenient target- right across from the British on the North Sea.
Above Belgium and the Netherlands.
War has a tendency to take all sides further than their conscience would allow at the start.
There seems to be something within the nature of man that always leads down a road of more destruction- not less.
One of the greatest minds of our time- a man who was brilliant- and also struggled with his own passions- saw it as some type of inner flaw of man.
A sort of ‘sinful nature’.
Yeah- James- the Lords brother called it ‘the lusts that war in our members’.
On this point they agree.
1941 BORN TO RUN
The last couple of weeks- since I have been back from N.J.- It’s kind of been surreal to see all the video of the spots that got washed out in NY/NJ.
As I was watching the news with Henry on my big screen TV- I kept telling him ‘I was just at that spot’.
For the past 25 years I have been back to NJ many times- this last trip was the only time I took a tour of the city [NY]- I have been wanting to do a train/subway ride for the past 10 years- and simply ride the famous A train and see the city from the top of the tracks.
I got this idea in my head one year while watching a documentary about NY.
They showed you the history of the subway/train system- and the idea of a train ride was birthed at that time.
Yet- the last time I was up north- about 9 years ago- I missed out on the chance.
But this time- I finally did it.
I rode with my friend Patrick- to the last stop on this particular train- Rockaway beach- Queens.
As we walked the area- we walked right up to the boardwalk right off the Atlantic ocean.
For some strange reason I felt like I should walk right up to the ocean and splash some water on my face.
It was the first time I ever stuck my hand in the Atlantic ocean from the NY area.
Not many days later this very ocean would engulf the region.
We walked back to Pat’s brother’s house and had a nice visit for a few hours.
Then back on the train- back to the crossing where the subway goes under the Hudson and comes out on the Jersey side.
I took pictures from Rockaway to the Jersey side- we even saw Hoboken a little- the place I was born.
All of these spots- Rockaway beach- Hoboken- all the areas I toured- are some of the worst spots that got wiped out by hurricane Sandy.
It just was a feeling of ‘this was the last chance tot take the tour- before the storm comes’.
As we were watching the video at the house- Henry said ‘gee- you were like a messenger of wrath’.
To be honest- that thought came to me more than once.
I woke up yesterday morning with the guys still sleeping on the floor in the living room.
I got up early to post and get some stuff done before they got up.
Dirk- my good friend for years- got up early too.
He came into my study and told me he just had a dream- and he felt it was from God.
Now- with all of my friend’s problems and struggles- I know at times they have said things that are significant- that have meaning.
I was writing about some of the political things with Governor Christie- I of course have written about the storm- and in my office I have all types of world maps and stuff- plus a huge poster of NYC- and Jersey maps.
It just gives a sense of being in a ‘larger’ place.
Dirk begins telling me the dream- he says they were all at some place- and they had a friend that was- well- going to shoot himself.
He had a gun that was on a timer- and they all tried to tell him not to do it- but he wouldn’t listen.
Dirk called the gun thing- quote- ‘a suicide machine’.
He said after they left- the timer went off.
Now- Dirk felt that this dream meant something.
I told him one of the things that caught my attention was the phrase ‘suicide machine’.
I asked him if he knew where that term came from- what famous song.
He did not know.
I told him it was a line from the state song of NJ.
Springsteen’s Born to Run.
‘mansions of glory … in the suicide machine’.
I told Dirk I have been writing about governor Christie [who has been to about 150 Boss concerts].
I have been thinking about- praying for NJ the past few weeks.
I have been back from the tour- riding the subway [machine] right before the storm hit.
That in many ways this dream has significance.
Next week we vote for the next president- I don’t know who will win.
One of my friends- who is on welfare- lives in public housing- gets a disability check [though he is in better shape than me].
He asked me who I was supporting.
I told him I don’t hate Obama- or love Romney- but just as a matter of the past 4 years- I am supporting Romney.
My friend said ‘no- he will take away my check’.
I think it was DeToquville who said that a Democracy will only last long enough until one party starts giving away free stuff and the majority of the people just vote for the free stuff.
Yeah- at that point we are all on a suicide machine.
1940 WHY THE EXCITEMENT?
Okay- as promised let’s cover the gospel of Luke- chapter 15.
First- we had a good fellowship last night- cooked lots- and 4 guys spent the night crashed out on the floor.
I just saw Hugh on the way to my office room- he was eating left over chicken for B-fast.
This story- the Prodigal son- is famous amongst preachers/bible readers in general.
The chapter actually starts with 2 other stories.
A lost sheep- 1 out of 99.
And a lost coin- 1 out of 10.
Why these stories from Jesus?
The bible says Jesus was eating with- and ‘receiving’ sinners.
The religious leaders at the time developed their idea of serving God- as a ritualistic thing [remember yesterdays post- Isaiah 58?].
Part of their understanding of this service to God- was being separated from ‘the world’.
Yes- the world of Jesus’ day was much like ours- you had outcasts- ‘illegal’ aliens- and the overall class of people that couldn’t quite seem to make it in life.
Now- when the religious leaders saw Jesus accepting them- that is he received them- loved them- but at the same time never ‘whitewashed’ sin- they got mad.
He never said ‘oh- that’s fine- we all mess up- keep on doing it’.
No- in time they knew that Jesus was showing them the love of God- yet God had a better way for them- than the old paths of sin.
So- it’s because of this reaction from the Pharisees that Jesus tells these 3 stories.
A man has 100 sheep- he loses 1- and he goes after the lost one.
When he finds it- he’s so happy- not because he didn’t care for the 99 that stayed home- but because he regained one that went astray.
A woman has ten coins- she loses one- the same thing happens.
Jesus is telling them ‘look- all of you who are jealous that I’m accepting these non Jews- these Gentiles- your mad because I’m excited about these outcasts- but it’s just like when you guys lose a sheep- or coin- you react with joy because you regained something that was missing- that was supposed to be a part of the puzzle all along- that’s why I’m going after these outcasts’.
Then he tells the longest story of the chapter.
A man had 2 sons [in context- these are references to the Jews- Gentiles].
The one son asked his father for his inheritance and the father gave the money to both the sons.
After a while the younger irresponsible son goes and wastes all the money on partying.
He becomes broke- realizes what he did- and repents and heads home to his father.
His father sees him coming and rejoices- he accepts the son- throws a huge party for him- gives him this nice robe- puts a ring on his finger- and all is well.
As the party is going on- the older son- the one who never left home [a type of the Jew who saw themselves as part of Gods people all along- they never had left God- not like these ‘dog’ Gentiles- see?]
This older son is outside- sulking.
The father goes out to see what’s wrong- the older son says ‘look dad- I was with you all these years [a type of the Old Covenant- the Jewish people had a long history with God] and you never acted excited like this with me- making a big party- killing the calf- the whole thing’.
The dad [a type of God] says ‘son- you were always with me- all hat I have is yours- don’t take my excitement wrong- it’s not because I don’t love you- but it’s because your brother was gone for a long time and finally made it home’.
That’s the story of the Prodigal son- God was just as excited about regaining a lost human [the Gentiles]- as we are about regaining things we lose.
The story deals with jealousy in the human heart- how we often benefit from the blessings of God- yet we feel wronged somehow if others too get the blessing.
These themes run thru out the teachings of Christ- talking about us receiving forgiveness- yet not giving it to others.
In the 1st century context- the Jewish people saw themselves as part of this special covenant that God made with them many years earlier.
They kept this covenant- as best as they knew- and when they see their Messiah- accepting these others who were like the younger son- they felt wronged.
They felt like all their years of being with God- as Gods special people- were for nothing.
That’s the mindset Jesus was dealing with here.
If I had more time/space- I would make a few applications about the current situation with the storm.
Some are mad at Governor Christie- he’s buddying up too much to Obama in the view of some on the right.
It’s not exactly the same- but there are side’s people take- there are jealousies and divisions with all of us.
And it helps us if we can sit back and examine what’s really going on- Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living.
When we examine ourselves- do a self inventory- maybe we should be happy that others are getting help- that we should not see it as us losing out in some way- whether it be politically or any other way.
In the end- there was enough mercy to go around- the father was happy that the lost son was found.
Just like we get happy when we recover things.
It doesn’t mean that the things that never got lost hold less value [99 sheep- 9 coins].
No- its juts a natural reaction to be excited that something that was lost- that seemed like it had no hope- was recovered.
1938 LEAN FORWARD?
I debated whether or not to address this today.
I thought of maybe just doing a prayer request for all of our friend’s in N.J. – the devastation is beyond what anybody would have thought.
I find it strange that I was just in Jersey- rode the subway for the first time in 25 years- and now I see the tunnels flooded.
As I drove into the state- I passed some of the shore points- and was going to stop and see some of the old spots I loved as a kid.
One of my favorites was Seaside Heights- now the area is devastated.
So- we do need to pray for all of our friends in the region- and help in any way we can.
Now- the tough stuff.
As a news/political watcher- I saw the president do something that was a crass political move.
He did it because he knew that most people would not know he was doing it- during the deaths of people- but he wanted his ‘target’ audience to respond.
What did he do?
In one of the first speeches about the hurricane- he said ‘I am directing all the aid agencies to LEAN FORWARD’.
About 6 months or so this term LEAN FORWARD became the new campaign theme for the Obama team.
Yeah- maybe 5 % of the public know this- but everyone in politics knows it.
Now- at the same time MSNBC took the phrase LEAN FORWARD as their own sort of cheer for the president.
None of this is a secret- it was an open type thing.
Okay- when the president used the term- he knew it would be heard by the Repubs/Romney folk- and he wanted them to tell you what I just did- that he indeed followed the advice of his former White House chief of staff ‘let no disaster go to waste’.
Rahm Emanuel said you should use a disaster- when people die- to your political gain.
So- he dropped this statement in- trying to elicit a response from the opponent- and then MSNBC would jump into lap dog mode and say ‘how dare he accuse the president of politics!!’
Of course they would have to take a break from their present mantra ‘all who don’t like the president are racists’.
I at first did not think Obama would do things like this- I did like the man at the start.
But- I have seen him do this- more than once.
When the Pres gave the order to get Bin laden- no one knew it till after the State of the Union address- it made him look big in the eyes of many- because the scene of the Repubs giving a response to the Pres- while he was ‘getting the bad man’ simply gives political points to the ‘good man’.
Now- he did no other action like this- until the next year- during the next state of the union address.
Yeah- he waited a whole year- and in the next state of the union he sent in U.S. troops to go after Joe Kony- a radical leader of a group in Africa.
He gave the order to go- on the same exact night of the state of the union.
The man we went after has been operating for many years- as a matter of fact his influence had waned over the past few years.
But- he was trying to get a response from the opposing side- the Repubs- and they did not take the bait.
Finally- after a week or 2 of no criticism from the right- I heard a liberal reporter slip and say ‘all you bad guys- watch out- the president only comes after you during his state of the union speeches’.
Now- like I said at the start- why would he have used this term LEAN FORWARD- knowing for sure that the insiders would know that he was connecting his political goals with the hurricane?
He did it because he knew that if anyone had the ‘audacity’ [of hope?] To tell you what I just did- then they would pounce like there was no tomorrow.
Then why did I just say it?
I said it because what he did was simply wrong- he has a tendency to throw out bait like this- in situations where people are/have died- and he does it for political advantage- that’s why.
And he played the odds- sure- maybe a small percentage of political folk knew that he actually made the phrase LEAN FORWARD- his campaign mantra- but he figures ‘to heck with them’ that is those who know what he did- he’ll just write them off- and throw out the bait because he wants the Romney folk to tell you what I just told you.
Sad that any president would do this- while people are dying.
Sad that he was waiting for someone to tell you this- so he and his media advocates could say ‘how dare any one even think this’.
But most of all- it’s sad that this is true- and you can take that to the bank.
1937- WAR CRIMES AND OTHER STUFF.
In the aftermath of the Benghazi debacle [the U.S. putting an embassy in the middle of an unsecured area- with known militants roaming the land- and then pulling out their security]. There were voices [including the president] that condemned the killing of the ambassador as acts of terror- or on the same grounds as a war crime.
The president used language like ‘bring them to justice’.
When one nation declares war on another [or in this case- a specific group- Al Qaeda]- then the killing of actual representatives of the other side- when that side is dumb enough to plant them like sitting ducks- is actually considered a legitimate military target [compared to the killing of an ordinary citizen who holds no official capacity].
Now- before I lose my conservative readers- listen clearly.
I of course condemn the killing of ambassador Stevens- and the 3 other Americans.
After watching/reading the stories about this incident over the past couple of weeks- I fault the U.S. administration for failing to properly protect the area.
We now know that that the U.S. watched the attack unfold- over a period of 7-8 hours- and did nothing.
There are conflicting stories- our people on the ground said they requested help- multiple times.
They said that help was denied.
We had a brave young Navy seal who took it upon himself to try and save the ambassador- he was killed in the attempt.
And we had the president say- that as soon as he heard of the attack- he immediately made ‘the call’ to increase security around the world- and start the steps to bring the attackers ‘to justice’.
What our guys needed was ‘real time’ help- we had a drone filming the thing- some possibly armed- and we watched our guys get killed for 7 hours- and did nothing.
Now- this was a debacle in no uncertain terms- and the loss of our guys is tragic.
But- when you declare war- and put an official representative of the opposing side smack dab in the middle of those we declared war on- what the ‘heck’ do we expect?
Right now in the media- this term is often used against those we deem ready for removal.
It makes no difference to us whether the side doing the removal are Al Qaeda- we simply refer to the leaders as having committed ‘war crimes’ or ‘crimes against humanity’.
We did this with Gadhaffi- doing it with Assad [Syria] and will probably keep doing it from now on.
When you see one side as having committed ‘crimes against humanity’ in general- then it justifies the other side- no matter how bad they are.
The whole concept of holding people responsible for war crimes arose after world war 1- yet it wasn’t until WW2 that we really had the concept down.
After the war was over- there were trials held in Germany- the most famous being Nuremburg- and we tried the German military men who committed ‘war crimes’.
Some of the criteria for a war crime simply said ‘if the losing side did it- and the winning side did not- then that’s a war crime’.
Sounds a little like Jeff Foxworthy type stuff.
But this is true- some of the German submarine captains actually used as there defense- that the allies [our side] did the same thing- and that was enough to say ‘okay- not a war crime’.
As you can see- war crimes- or ‘crimes against humanity’ are in the eye of the beholder.
Now- in the entire history of the world- the biggest one [or 2] day killing of civilians- that is a targeting of civilians for a military/political goal- was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Yes- out of all the nations on the planet- the U.S. killed more civilians- on purpose- in these 2 attacks- then in any other single bombing in history.
We had our reasons for sure- but the immediate deaths were around 200 thousand- not counting the many women and children who died many years later- from the long tortuous process of radiation cancer.
These types of deaths- especially on many of the thousands of young kids who suffered extreme agony- great fear in their deaths- were not considered ‘crimes against humans’.
Yet- the water boarding of a terrorist- an actual enemy who is in our custody- is considered tortuous- and meets the criteria of a war crime.
See how messed up this is?
Now- in the past 2 years the U.S. has worked closely with the state of Israel in monitoring/spying on Iran- to see how far along they are coming with their nuclear program.
We share intelligence- and have even ‘partnered’ with them in some clandestine op’s.
The famous Stuxnet virus- a computer virus that was launched to disable Iran’s nuclear reactors- was a joint program between the U.S. and Israel.
Okay- one of the other secret operations that has been going on is the killing of civilian scientists who are working with Iran’s nuclear program.
These scientists are not military targets- they are civilians- who are deemed ‘worthy’ targets because of their role in the nuclear program.
I have heard no one call these killings ‘crimes against humans’ or ‘war crimes’ even though these scientists are civilians.
No- in the reports about their killings- there is a sense of ‘hooray’.
In the past 3 years there has been a collection of various bomb parts- dropped by the U.S. – in the mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
There are legal teams on the ground- representing the families of kids and women who have been killed by our nonstop use of Drones in the area.
We- the U.S.- have a military objective- to root out the Taliban [who were ‘created’ by the U.S. govt. when we aided them against the Russians]. In the process of this rooting out- we have killed- and keep on killing- Muslim women and kids.
Now- do we ‘mean’ to kill them?
Of course not.
But we are making the military/political calculation that so many kids and women will indeed be killed- we know this.
So- we are basically saying ‘look- we really don’t want to kill these kids- but this does happen from time to time’.
Can we help it?
Of course- stop using the ‘darn’ drones- solved.
The whole point I’m making in this post is we- the citizens of the world- are often manipulated by the way a story is told- by the way the media show us stuff.
I know of no U.S. citizen who even thinks twice about calling the killing of the Japanese- and thousands of kids- with radiation poisoning- a very tortuous death- a war crime.
Yet many see the water boarding of a terrorist as a war crime.
Does this make any sense at all?
All killing- all war- is wrong.
You mean our response to 9-11 is wrong?
I mean that when humans resort to killing other humans- because they see no other way to resolve the problem- then it’s wrong.
I don’t like hearing the words ‘this guy committed a crime against humans’.
When you put a bullet in another human- and kill that person- it is never a just act- not in my book.
Yes- there are people who have committed terrible crimes- and I- like everybody else- also think ‘that so and so needs to die’.
But as a society- we should be able to deal with them [life without ever getting out] without having to kill them.
Over the next few weeks we will see the outcome of what really happened in Libya- but when I hear words like ‘we will bring them to justice’.
I don’t truly get it- if we [the U.S.] declare war on a group- we then need to be more responsible about where we put official rep’s of the U.S.
Our official Rep’s are deemed ‘justified’ targets- they represent the U.S. govt. in an official capacity.
The U.S. needs to respond to attacks on them as an act of war.
I heard Leon Panetta say ‘we couldn’t put our troops at risk in an unknown situation’.
No- you say that if it’s some type of rescue operation of non U.S. citizens- but when it’s an attack by those we have declared war on- and they are attacking our official U.S. rep on the ground- no- we do indeed put our troops at risk to go in and do what needs to be done.
1936 EINSTEIN THE DETERMINIST.
In keeping with the last post [propaganda] I read an interesting AP article on Syria.
As most of you know Syria has been in a civil war for many months- they are the 1st ‘Arab spring’ nation that has not ‘fallen’ to the rebels.
Now- there are lots of political things going on in the region [Russia and China not supporting a Libyan style NATO action] that are sustaining Assad’s regime.
But I found it funny how the western media have chosen to portray the war.
In order for the media to side with those who want to depose Assad- they must ‘side’ with the ‘deposers’.
So- the article spoke about the outside Al Qaeda groups who are coming in to assist the rebels.
It used terms like ‘heroism’ ‘valor’ ‘experienced fighters who know what they are doing’.
These terms were used to describe Al Qaeda fighters- in contrast to Assad- a ‘crimes against humanity’ description.
Wow- I never thought the media would actually try and honor Al Qaeda fighters- in order to accomplish their agenda.
That my friends is the ultimate in propaganda.
Okay- I read some more on Einstein over the weekend- and wanted to cover a few things.
Over the years as you read various sources about famous folk- you need to be aware of the source.
For instance- Christian writers [writing from that perspective] often portray the religious tendencies of a figure in a more favorable light then an atheist writer would.
So you have to be careful that the author is not writing his own story into the person he is covering.
But the biography I’m reading was not written from a religious view.
Yet- the author does share the various positions Einstein has taken about God over the years.
One thing to note is Einstein was a lover of philosophy- he admired men like Hume, Kant and Spinoza.
If you remember- a few years ago I covered the history of philosophy and how much of it dealt with what the causes of things are.
The law of Cause and Effect [also referred to as causality].
As a Physicist- Einstein had a great interest in these subjects.
At the end of the day- Einstein fell into a camp of thinkers called Determinists.
That means he believed that that the universe was ruled by definite principles- even though we did not have the answers to all the puzzles- yet he was convinced that if we searched long enough- we would find order to it.
This belief is in keeping with Theistic thinkers- not with those who ascribe chance and disorder to the creation.
I might have bitten off a little much here- but the point is- at the end of the day Einstein rejected the commonly held belief that there is no real cause to the things we see.
Many thinkers who argue against the existence of God argue form a perspective that chance is behind the ‘perceived’ design we see in nature.
Dawkins [the famous atheist] calls it ‘the appearance of design’.
Einstein did not simply believe in the ‘appearance’ of design- but he believed that the Cosmos was indeed a product of some type of cause that gave it design.
Now- I’m not saying Einstein was a Christian [or observant Jew]- but the point is- in his thinking- he rejects the most commonly held arguments that are made against the Theistic world view [in Cosmology- science] and sides with the Christian thinkers of our day.
Einstein famously said ‘God does not roll dice’ meaning he did not believe in the atheistic argument that things just happen without any cause.
No- Einstein seems to agree with one of his favorite thinkers- Spinoza said ‘All things are determined by the necessity of Divine nature’.
Yes- Einstein was a Determinist in his thinking- he did indeed side with the Theists at the end of the day.
1935 ROMNESIA ANYONE?
Let’s end the week with a little news.
Last night I caught a few ‘fact checking’ reports.
They covered the statement in the debate when Romney used the phrase ‘apology tour’.
Now- over the past year this term has a meaning- sort of like ‘Obama care’.
In the talk show/news circuit it means that the President did indeed do a world tour where he felt like he would try and establish a new relationship with foreign leaders.
Now- some say he was naïve- others think he did well- either way- the term ‘apology tour’ refers to this trip.
In the debate- when Romney used the term- the president responded that Romney is a liar- and that he never ‘apologized’.
Now- Romney never said he apologized- and in response Romney said when he uses the term ‘apology tour’ he is not in any way saying he actually used the words ‘I apologize’.
No- Romney gave an honest/truthful response- he said that during this tour- the president did use words like ‘the U.S. has dictated to you other countries at times- and this will be a new season’.
Romney basically said- yes Mr. president- your right- you never actually apologized- but you represented the U.S. in a way that said we were arrogant in the past- we responded to 9-11 in a way that was inconsistent with our values [I heard him say this myself- he was referring to the water boarding stuff].
Okay- basically Romney used the term- sort of like Obama uses Romnesia- he is not saying that Romney actually suffers from some strange form of amnesia- no- he is saying that Romney changes his position on stuff.
Okay- now here’s how the media tries to manipulate the public.
The reports I saw yesterday- the so called ‘fact checkers’ they went thru some of the speeches Obama gave during this ‘apology tour’ [they left out the ones where he did use the most apologetic language].
And at the end of their fact checking- they said ‘no- Romney is wrong [liar?] because the president never actually apologized’.
Ah- so the unsuspecting public thinks that Romney actually said the president apologized- and then when you hear these reports- these so called ‘fact checks’ you then think ‘gee- that Romney is a liar’.
Okay- where were the reports that said ‘ no- in fact- Romney does not suffer from Romnesia’?
That’s media manipulation- that’s media bias- the media shapes a story in a way that makes you think the way they want you to think.
The actual fact is- Romney- nor anyone that I ever heard use the term- ever meant that Obama actually said ‘I’m sorry’.
But the fact check made you think that was the accusation.
A few years ago there was a news story about a trip to Afghanistan by some senators.
Later on it was reported that some military leaders might have used a form of propaganda on the senators.
They supposedly did this in order to influence the senators to take their side in the war- I think it had to do with funding or man power.
After the report surfaced- the senators did of course condemn it- but they also said ‘look- we’re big boys- we can’t be swayed by stuff like that’.
But- when you use propaganda- you use it in a way that when you ‘persuade’ the victim- he does not know it.
For instance- maybe when the senators were there for a week- the military guys spoke in a negative way about a certain group/position.
But they did it in what you thought was normal conversation- maybe after a week- you think your just listening in to regular conversation- but everything you heard was to persuade you.
Then- when you get back home- if a vote comes up on the issue- you have already heard all the pros’ [or con’s] and this would indeed effect you.
That’s manipulation- that’s all the ‘fact checks’ that said ‘no- Obama never apologized- Romney is wrong’.
When you read/hear that- you think Romney accused Obama of apologizing- but he never did- he even went out of his way in the debate to say ‘when I use the term Apology Tour- I do not mean you actual apologized- no- I mean…’
Yet- the media still covered the story the way they wanted you to see it.
Now- is this one little thing such a big deal?
No- not if this were the only time it was done.
But the fact is- the media do this every day.
They focus on a story that they think might hurt someone [like a 40 year old hair cut that Romney gave to some kid- a ‘bullying incident’].
But the murder of 4 Americans in Libya- and the absolute failure on the part of the administration by not protecting our guys- no- on some news shows this gets zero coverage.
That’s manipulation- that’s bias- that’s what you don’t see.
Yes- like the well meaning senators- you might think ‘heck- I’m not that dumb’.
But the media must think we are- because they keep on doing it- day after day.
No wait- maybe they think we suffer from that newly coined disease- what was it again?
Oh yeah- Romnesia- that’s it.
1934 MERCY OR JUDGMENT?
Let’s talk a little.
First- I found it interesting that the last few days the stock market took a hit.
In the beginning of the year I thought the Dow should/would be somewhere in the 12,000 range by the end of the year.
I heard some financial guys talk about it maybe going to 17,000- others had lower estimates.
But none had my estimate.
Why did I have a bearish view?
Because all [most] of the data showed that we were in a global slowdown.
The Asian markets/economy was doing worse than expected.
Many were counting on China to pull the rest of the world out- instead the rest of the world [the E.U. crisis- U.S.] pulled them down.
Now- the jobs numbers were not good- and the last few days the data showed this.
This is [should not be] a surprise.
But to many it was.
Because many financial folk- good people- simply did not want to believe the bad report.
Even though the ‘bad’ report- the stats I just gave- were more than likely going to pull the market down- yet many felt if they just keep talking up the market- things will do better.
Sorry- a positive confession does not work when the stats are bad.
So- as we near the end of the year- it looks like we might make it into the 12,000’s once again.
Okay- I also wanted to mention a few more things about my Jersey trip.
I want to give a prime example of what ‘too much government’ looks like.
Now- I love my old state- the Garden state [you ask- why garden? Because as a kid I remember the paintings of gardens on some old truck road down the block!]
While I was staying at my mom’s house- my mom and sister have multiple health problems- my dear mom is getting up in years- and to be honest- they have a hard time simply dealing with day to day chores.
But- I was shocked at the fact that one of the major chores of their week was having to move their cars- by ‘law’ 2 times a week.
Yes- that Old Street Sweeper just keeps on coming!
The city [for those who don’t live in N.J.] has a street sweeper that comes by on Mondays and Wednesdays- between 1 and 3 p.m. – and basically pushes the dirt around.
I have lived my entire adult life with no street sweeper- and the streets look the same- the rain does the job for free.
But- in my old town- with all the political connections- you would never be able to get rid of the dept.
So- my mom plans her week around having to move 2 cars [hers and my sisters] 2 times a week.
Everybody else is also moving their cars- at the same time- to the opposite side of the street.
So- every so often- my mom drives a couple of blocks to find a spot.
She also has to jump start my sisters car- twice a week- to move it.
Sometimes if you can’t find a spot- you simply drive around from 1-3.
To be honest- this is what you call ‘a police state- or city’.
I told my dear mom- if this were in Texas [or any other Democracy] you would have some guy [gal] run for mayor on a platform of ‘the first thing I will do is abolish the street sweeper- I will then rebate all these fine citizens of this town all the wasted money on the thing’.
And the guy would win.
But- the politicos have connections- the unions support guys who keep them in their jobs- and the fine citizens of North Bergen will continue to move their cars- twice a week- so the guys can keep their 70,000 dollar a year jobs.
One last note from the journey.
On the way back to Texas I listened to news/talk radio.
One of the big stories I caught while driving thru Dallas was the case of a 22 year old single mom who glued her daughter’s hands to the wall.
Yes- a very sad case indeed.
The reason it lit up the talk shows was the night I was driving in- the judge sentenced her to 99 years in prison.
The show I was hearing played the audio in the courtroom- many were in shock.
The talk show guy was siding with the judge- you had various people call in with their opinions.
This sentence was harsher than that given to people who have actually have killed their kids [Deena Shlosser being one].
When you make child abuse- which is a very bad crime- a higher punishment then actually murdering the child- then what do you think the results might be?
Sure- some say ‘well- that way people will know not to do it’.
But you might also have some unstable moms who have already abused their kids- who might now think ‘gee- if they ever tell- I will be punished with a harsher sentence then if I killed them’.
That’s something we don’t want either- see?
I cut out the news article of the girl- Elizabeth- and she will forever be on my prayer wall- with hundreds of other cases that I have collected over the years.
As I heard the sentencing judge- of course he had his reasons- the prosecutor was only asking for 45 years- yet the defendant chose a non jury trial- and in Texas the judges are elected.
Your main election benefit of being ‘tough on crime’.
And that was that.
We had a local judge run over a highway worker a few years ago.
He was a very famous ‘tough on crime’ judge- he and his wife were big Democrats- involved in all the politics of the area- many connections.
When I read the story- the judge was driving 70-75 on a turn that was posted at 20-25 MPH.
I have gone to many car wrecks over the years- as a firefighter- and when we had people doing stuff like this- you got arrested- and had some type of price to pay.
But- as the story went on- the local paper explained that the 20 MPH sign was just a ‘suggested’ speed- that the turn is still part of the highway- so 75 MPH was the actual speed.
Also- even though he flipped the guy off the bridge/overpass- and nearly killed him- yet- somehow the judge did no wrong.
When all was said and done- he got the equivalence a parking ticket.
[ I also read an article in the paper about this time- it was a ‘warning’ to drivers- the story interviewed some local officials- and they explained that if your driving 55- in a 55- you could be cited for reckless driving- because if its raining- then the cop makes the call. It went on to say if you slow down to much in the rain- that too is reckless. And- of course- if you’re going to fast- well we can’t have that. So the article stated that if your going under the speed limit- doing the speed limit- or driving over the speed limit- watch out! That’s of course if you’re not connected in some way].
I’m sure when the case worked its way thru ‘the system’ that at each turn the people who knew him felt justified ‘after all- this is so and so- he has a family for heaven’s sake!’.
And they empathized with him because they knew him.
Yet- when meeting out judgments on others- they seem to be able to see only justice- without mercy.
I will pray for Elizabeth- to be honest- the rest of my life.
Maybe I will write her as time goes by.
But the bible says ‘mercy rejoices against judgment’ I choose mercy.
1933 THE LAST FANDANGO
Got home yesterday afternoon- had a few buddies that were waiting for me at the house.
Yeah- they hunted me down!
Actually I told the guys the other day [homeless bro’s] that we were gonna do another all nighter this week.
I get with them- we hang out for the day- I pick up bbq and we have an all day fellowship- then they crash out on the floor till morning.
So- they ‘picked’ last night!
No BBQ- but they ate left over home made meatballs [they did come good!] and a plate of Mac’s- I think they liked it better than the BBQ.
Henry’s crashed on the couch- we both watched the debate and fell asleep.
Okay- howd’ it go?
A few points;
I think they both pretty much pleased their base- after the poor showing by the President in the 1st debate- his base wanted him to ‘go after Romney’.
And that’s what he did.
The political team of Obama chose to use the word ‘you are a lair’ or ‘you are simply not telling the truth’.
This became a mantra for Obama.
After saying it once or twice- I found it tiresome.
The president did in fact say this- when he was the one who was ‘factually wrong’ [sounds better than liar- don’t you think?]
Last night the president accused Romney of not wanting to help the auto companies during the bailout.
At the time Romney wrote an Op-Ed and said he felt the auto companies should go thru bankruptcy- and then the fed govt. could at that point bail them out financially.
Last night Obama said that Romney did not want any fed money to be used.
Romney replied that he was wrong- he did indeed call for fed money- Obama said he was lying.
It took 5 minutes to Google the op-ed- yes- Romney was right- Obama wrong.
He was using the accusation ‘liar’ when he himself was doing it.
He must know he is doing it.
Then why do it?
He made the political calculation that this was the best way to raddle your opponent- you lie about him- and call him a liar at the same time.
What about the people who will find out that Obama lied?
That’s part of the calculation- only so many will find out the facts.
I don’t like it when a sitting president does this- most candidates fudge the numbers on stuff- but to actually outright lie in a public forum is rare.
He did this in the last debate as well.
Romney said that oil drilling/permits on public [govt.] lands went down the last 4 years.
Obama said Romney was ‘lying’- huh?
Romney tried to be careful- he said that oil permits/drilling went down on govt. land- but up on private.
Now- as a news guy- I have known this stat for a few years now.
But- Obama repeatedly said Romney was lying- and that drilling/permits went up on govt. Lands in the last 4 years.
It took 5 secs to find out that drilling/permits have gone down- 39%- on govt. lands the last 4 years.
Okay- while the pres was being ‘factually wrong’ at the same time- he is saying ‘your lying’.
I just found the whole ‘you’re a lair’ strategy to be condescending- your making the calculation that the other guy will get really mad [wouldn’t you?] Because you are the one actually lying- numerous times- while making the accusation.
Romney never took the bait- many supporters of the president- who only watch MSNBC- will never find out he was indeed wrong- and for the others who did find out he was wrong- he could care less.
So- that’s the big story- Obama never really laid out any plan- anything he would do that would be different than the last 4 years.
The tax plan ‘the rich paying their fair share’ will increase taxes on individuals making more than 200 thousand a year- couples making more than 250.
In many areas of the country- that’s not rich.
So why do it?
If you simply ‘tax millionaires’ you won’t make enough revenue.
So- you say ‘tax the rich- they are not paying’ but you mean ‘tax many in the middle class- but don’t say it’.
That’s the only real ‘plan’ the president has- and that’s not really a plan.
When I was in N.J.- I caught some news.
In the beginning of the year we knew that in order for the unemployment number to go down- under 8%- you needed to create at least 300 thousand jobs a month- for a few months in a row.
At one point- it looked like that might have happened- and all the pundits- liberals and conservatives- agreed that the only way unemployment would go under the 8% mark was for this to happen.
But then- not only did the monthly jobs never make the above 300 mark- they did not even keep up with the 150 thousand mark- which meant that the rate would go up- to around 8.5. [you need around 150,000 a month to keep up with population growth- new people entering the workforce for the 1st time].
So- as the year rolled on- what could the media do?
Some said- just watch- they will get the number they need- somehow they will simply say ‘the new unemployment number is now under 8’.
Last month’s jobs number came out- they were once again below 150,000- and nowhere near 350,000 or higher.
Yet- as the labor dept. put out the new employment numbers for the month- they reported unemployment at 7.8%.
This would mean that the jobs/economy is doing better than it has in many years.
This simply was not true- yet they got the magic number- somehow?
How did they do it?
There is lots of speculation- but there was a little note at the bottom of the report.
When the labor dept. does these numbers- they collect all the data from the sates and average it out.
In the reported states- one state was left out.
Was it a little state- say like Rhode Island?
No- it was California.
The largest state- economy wise- in the country.
They used to be the 8th largest economy in the world- they were just passed by Brazil for that rating.
But- they are also the worst state- economically- then all the others.
If you leave out Cali- then you get the magic 7.8 number.
Sure- they will later revise the number- after the initial effect wears off- but they got what they wanted- that initial effect of ‘unemployment is the lowest it has been in years’ the month before the election.
Even though that stat is unreliable.
So- as we end the debates and head towards the election- one guy kept saying the other guy was lying.
And time after time- in many ways- we were all lied to.
Vote your conscience- look at the facts- don’t let others form your opinion of either man- simply look at the track record for yourself.
O- and may God help us all- we will need it.
1932 CHALLENGING THE SYSTEM
I have finally started my book on Einstein.
I bought it a few weeks ago- and never had the chance to break it open.
I also am working my way thru the Catechism of the Catholic church- quite a volume indeed.
I watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix over the weekend- Last night I caught a documentary on Hunter Thompson.
He was the character that Johnny Depp played in the movie ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’.
Hunter was a sort of counter culture hero- he wrote for Rolling Stone and had his own unique style of writing.
He called it Gonzo journalism- he said the writer needed to inject himself into the story- and become part of the story.
Sort of like what the reporters did in the Iraq war- we called it ‘Embed’.
He covered the campaign of George McGovern- who sadly passed this week.
George was the quintessential liberal- but a man of conviction- he was a good man.
Hunter made it into the headlines a few years back- he killed himself with one of his favorite things- a gun.
Yeah- Hunter was a gun lover- a liberal- and in some ways a moralist of his time.
Now- with all the doc’s I saw [also finished Greek civilization] and the books I’m reading- it’s hard to pick one subject to cover at a time.
But let me go with Einstein for a few minutes.
In this biography- by Walter Isaacson- he doesn’t go too deeply into the science of Einstein- which would take a whole physics course to understand.
But he does cover some high points.
One of the things that Thompson and Einstein had in common- was their willingness to challenge the system.
They took on the ‘received wisdom’ of the day- and were daring enough to take the ‘path less trod’.
Just one area- Ether.
At the start of the 20th century Ether was an accepted ‘scientific truth’ that most [if not all] scientists accepted.
It would be like Dark Matter today- something that seems to be ‘true’- most of the scientific community speak of it as real- yet- as far as we know- we have never once actually detected it.
So- ether was this theory that said light/energy is a wave [not particles] and therefore for this wave to move thru space- it needs a carrier.
Ether was this so called vapor like substance that allowed Energy/light to travel.
At a young age Einstein accepted this idea- but he was learning at a time when particle physics was just getting off the ground.
Though atoms and molecules [particles] were indeed part of the conversation- yet they were not totally proved yet.
So- part of the great breakthrough of Einstein put to death the idea of Ether- and instead we learned that light is not a wave so to speak- but a sort of particle beam- we did not really need the Ether concept- and to be honest- it never was really there.
This is just one little tid bit from the book that I thought interesting- today you would be considered a fool if you still talked about Ether [in this way].
Yet- at the time of Einstein you were a fool if you did not accept it.
Einstein would later challenge the field that he launched- Theoretical/Quantum physics.
He felt like some of the ideas were not really scientific- too much speculating.
That’s what I see as I watch/read about some of the most popular ideas that seem to make it into the TV specials that cover these subjects.
It’s often the theories/ideas that are ‘way out there’ that are the most interesting- and get the most viewers.
The problem is- many of these ideas are [in my view] modern day Ethers- they are accepted ‘fact’ even though we don’t really know if they exist.
When I see shows on alternate universes- parallel worlds- where we supposedly have duplicate lives and all.
Well- this is not science- this is not even Ether- its fairy tale land.
Yet- these same theorists will mock belief in an omnipotent being- because they want to see the facts.
So- over the next few weeks I will try and hit a little more on the books I’m reading- cover some more important news stuff- and try to be as challenging as Hunter.
Sometimes it’s when we go against the status quo- when we are open to see things differently- that’s when we make major breakthroughs in our thinking.
We should not cast off all the stuff that has come to us down thru the ages- but we need to realize that some of the stuff that seems to be accepted fact today- just might be the Ether of yesterday.
[you can read more posts in the February posts]