RACE RELIGION AND POLITICS D 2013
1929 LAST NIGHTS DEBATE
Okay- I caught the debate on U- tube.
Bad choice for sure- missed about 15 minutes because of the bad download.
But- for what I saw- it was kinda mean to be honest- and even though the President did much better than the first time- there is enough for both sides to say ‘we did well’.
A few things.
Whenever you hear me talk about media bias- what I mean is most reporters/news guys usually vote for the Democrat candidate.
Polls have been taken in the past and over 90% of those who work in what we call the main stream media are indeed Dem’s.
So- does this means that have a secret conspiracy to go after the Repub?
But when you hold to a particular view- it’s hard to not let it slip out in ways that you- or the hearer- might not even realize.
On the U-tube event- they had Sam Donaldson on- a liberal news guy- who was tough on both Dem’s and Repubs over his life.
But- in one of those ‘unplanned’ media bias moments- when Sam was asked what Obama needs to do.
Donaldson said he has to ‘show how Romney does not really care for the average people’.
Okay- but the way he said the statement actually says Romney does not care for the average guy.
It would be like saying ‘what should Romney do’?
And the reporter says ‘he should show how Obama ruined the country’.
If you believe either of these charges- that’s up to you.
The point is- a reporter should not state the charge as fact.
So- overall the debate went okay.
I thought there were times when the president said ‘you are just not telling the truth’.
A line I find disturbing- because if you keep saying the other guy is lying- when both of you have used the facts the same way- kind of fudging when you can- then you’re not really telling me what your vision is.
But- when one candidate makes an accusation like that- its normal- even called for- to let the accused respond.
In this case- the moderator- Candy Crowley did not let Romney respond back.
But- what’s done is done.
The pre debate chatter from the U Tube panel talked about Romney’s obstacles.
They said that one of his problems is people just don’t like him- that he is really- at heart- a very unlikable person [huh?- both candidates have people who hate/ Love them].
And the panel said the way Romney must deal with it is to simply acknowledge that he is very unlikable [Huh?] and appeal to the people on the basis of ‘Sure- I am not a nice person- I’m actually one of the worst people you will ever meet. Yet- even though I’m so mean- I think I can manage the country better’.
Now- I’m sure the panel thought they were being realistic- but when you use words like this to describe one side- you are being biased.
One more example.
When the president changed his position on Gay marriage- the media reported it as a very good thing- that he was ‘evolving’.
When Romney changed on health care- he was called a flip flopper.
Now- you might think both of these descriptions are accurate- but they play into a mindset- a way of framing the words of a story to make you see the person in a negative light.
This is nothing new- it happens every day in the media.
All in all I think the president did much better than the last time- and I thought Romney did okay.
The real decision should be based on the record- in my view.
Last night the president spoke about how bad things have been for the past 10 years [he’s smarter than Biden- who said the middle class have been crushed these past 4 years].
He blamed all the ills of the last 4 years [you know- they are part of the 10] on the republicans/Bush.
He has said you can’t vote for Romney because he has not actually said- in detail- all that he will do in the budget.
It’s amazing that the president says this- he has not passed a budget- in 4 years.
And when he actually has presented one- he did not get a single vote for it- either Repub or Dem.
As far as I know- this is unprecedented in the history of the country- for a sitting pres to not be able to get a single vote from his own party on his budget.
So- these are the things you should decide on.
If you’re the incumbent- and your saying things have been terrible the past 10 years because of Bush- then you- in my mind- have no real solutions.
I am not an Obama hater by any means- but in the real world if you miss managed the ‘company’ so badly for your first term- then you would not get another.
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.
1928 BENGHAZI- LIBYA
So much to say- where do we start?
Okay- I have caught up on the news shows/papers for the past couple of weeks.
And even though I have been able to follow snippets of the news on my trip- yet I really didn’t see the entire picture until now.
First- as most of you know many in the Muslim world protested the U.S. on 9-11-2012.
Many of these protests seem to have been instigated by a stupid film about the prophet Muhammad that was put out by some guy living in the U.S.
One of the attacks that took place on that day was in Libya- our embassy was stormed and for the first time in 30 years an American ambassador was killed on foreign soil [the other incident was the famous raid in Iran].
The difference between the attack in Benghazi- Libya- and the other protests was the attack in Libya was a militia type attack- they used heavy weapons and there were no protests during the day.
Now- for whatever reason- the White House ‘spun’ the attack as part of the protests about the film. They used this language to describe the attack- even after the U.S. knew this was false.
I saw Ambassador Rice on the Sunday talk shows saying that the killing of Stephens was part of the protests over the movie- this was 5 days after we knew that this was not true.
As more facts surfaced- and the White House began adjusting their story- they later said that the Libyan attack was different.
Now- what’s wrong here?
As the story developed- it was in the best political interest of the president for this attack to have not been Al Qaeda related.
If Al Qaeda was indeed responsible for the hit- then it would contradict one of the major arguments for the president to be re elected.
That argument being he has ‘Al Qaeda on the run’ and ‘go ask Bin Laden if we are tough on terror’.
Now- whether you’re a Dem or Repub- there is no doubt that this has been a major part of the campaign this year.
If you ‘tune out’ the first story- about the attack being a response to a film- and look at another set of facts- you will see a quite different story.
Okay- the ‘other facts’.
A few days before the Libyan attack- we killed a very top official of Al Qaeda.
A few days after the killing the president once again said- publicly- ‘we have them on the run- they are on their heels’.
Now- we just killed one of their tops guys- we basically said ‘look- you guys are on the run-we are killing you like ducks in a pond- and you can’t respond’.
Okay- this is not the smartest move on our part.
Then while all this was happening- the top Al Qaeda guy who replaced Bin Laden said ‘we are going to retaliate for this’.
A few days more- Stephens was killed- by Al Qaeda related groups in Benghazi- Libya.
Why did V.P Biden say- in the debate ‘we did not know this was a terror attack- our intelligence learned about it later’.
Actually- there were congressional hearings on this very thing- the same day of the debate- in the hearings our guys testified that we did indeed know it was a different attack- a terror type attack- and not the same type of protests that were taking place in the other nations.
The next day- when this came out- that Biden simply got it wrong [heaven forbid that we use the word lie- which by the way just happened to be the actual label they put on Romney for 2 weeks].
When the contradiction surfaced- the White House press secy- Jay Carney- said that Biden was telling the truth- that he and the president did not ‘personally’ get a call telling them about the nature of the attack.
It seems unthinkable that the intelligence agencies- the state dept.- and many other top officials- including some Administration officials- could know about the nature of the attack- and yet a sitting Vice President would still say ‘WE did not know’.
Who are we?
We- the U.S. govt. did indeed know- it came out in the hearings.
The best spin you could put on this is that Biden simply flubbed it once again- the worst is that they are trying to cover for themselves at the expense of the state dept.- by making it sound like they got the info wrong- and that’s why Susan Rice and others said the attack was simply a protest- versus an Al Qaeda attack.
Okay- now do you see what’s been going on- why this story is not simply some silly thing- like the first page coverage the papers gave to a 40 year old story about Romney cutting some kids hair in prep school?
No- this story is about the false spin that we have been hearing the last year- that Al Qaeda is ‘on the run’.
No- lara Logan- the news reporter who was raped during the protests in Egypt- she put out an article that said Al Qaeda is in no way on the run- that they have grown strong- and that they are on the verge of hitting us here in the U.S.- once again.
No- this is a serious story- it’s about whether or not the current administration took seriously enough the real threat that our ambassador in Libya faced.
Ambassador Stephens said he was on an Al Qaeda hit list.
CNN found his diary a few days after he was killed [it’s amazing that we left the crime scene open- to the point that 3 or 4 days later CNN walked in and found this key piece of evidence just sitting there next to a chair].
In the diary our ambassador wrote about the very real threat of Al Qaeda in the area- he had requested additional resources to guard against the threat.
For some reason- we turned him down.
A few days later he was attacked- dragged thru the streets- sodomized [yes- most news shows did not tell you this part] and murdered in cold blood.
And till this day- over a month later- we don’t have the answers.
Yeah- this is a story that deserves coverage- real news coverage.
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.
1927- THE END OF THE ROAD [TRIP]
Well- the N.J. trip was long- and I realized that I can’t drive like I did when I was younger.
It’s hard to see at night- and it just seemed much longer than it used to be.
From now on I will fly.
Okay- since I’ve been back I was able to catch up on all the news- all the shows I missed [I have Rocu- they basically DVR everything for you].
On the trip I caught some shows- but I realize now that there are things I do need to cover.
But for today- let’s just hit a few thoughts from the trip.
On the way back I broke down- for the 2nd time [the first was on the way to N.J. – I blew a belt and water pump in Arkansas].
I was in Kansas- and it sounded like the water pump went out again.
But the guy checked it out and it was a fan clutch [I have changed these before- it’s much easier/cheaper].
So I lucked out [of course prayed!]
On both of the ‘breakdowns’ I wound up getting the van repaired by small- kind of ‘po-dunk’ type shops.
I managed to drive to the shops- or to the town- and thru using the local stores was able to call the shops.
The shops both did great jobs- very professional- in Kansas I drove back in the tow truck- a brand new one- nice.
As we got back to the small shop- the tow driver was also the repairman.
He had it done in around an hour.
All these services were done by small businesses.
In actuality- they would be in the category of the ‘rich who are not paying their fair share’.
Yes- most small businesses fall under this category.
Why did these guys do such a great job- treat me well- and were available to do it?
Because they are in business- they are the capitalists of our world.
Now- if I had to use ‘government’ services- would they too have been there?
If I never made it to a town I would have called 911- and some type of ‘govt.’
worker would have helped.
Whether it was the local cops- the DPS- the highway patrol- all of these services fall under the heading of government- whether city or state- they would be considered govt. [public safety].
They are paid by taxes- and they are in a ‘non profit’ job.
Yet- they do it for a salary as well.
Right now in our country there is a debate that says ‘should we be a conservative people- or elect liberal folk’.
Joe Biden said that’s the choice- and in a way he is right.
But I think if we see only one side or the other as the national ‘savior’ then we are setting ourselves up for a fall.
In a way we do need both- that is there is a need for government- how big? – well that’s the debate.
But a strict ‘capitalist’ society- where everything was based on services for profit- would not totally do the job.
Because there are needed- vital services- that would not make a profit.
The whole debate on health care- why do Insurance companies drop- or not insure- the elderly or sick [unless they are forced to]?
Because there is no profit if you have all chronically sick people.
That’s the whole point about the mandate/universal care- the private industry will not do the job- in this particular case.
So- I get that.
But in many areas- like my tow truck/mechanic experiences- they do indeed get the job done- and they do it well.
It’s sad that many of these small business guys have been demonized this past year.
From what I saw- both of the shops I stopped at were hard working guys/kids.
They treated me with respect- they did not rip me off [I know mechanics somewhat- I ‘diagnosed’ the initial problems and all- right away].
And they did it all under a ‘for profit’ venture- yet they met a vital service- – one that serves the community well.
And not just their local community- I was just one of many road travelers that have used them- and they do a real good job.
Okay- this week I will try and hit on some of the major news stories of the last few weeks- there are some important things to cover.
Last week I read Hebrews 2 [Psalms 128 and Gen 2]- this week lets read Hebrews 4- Psalms 90 and Mark 10.
I will try and comment on them at the end of the week.
Okay- that’s it for now- remember- pray for one another- if you disagree with people about stuff [often politics or religion] try not to demonize them- they are also created in the image of God.
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.
1926 THE DEBATES
What the heck- might as well do a post while the guy works on the van.
I am surprised that I picked up wireless here- Inkys or something.
O.K.- I have been wanting to mention the debates.
Of course last night we had Biden and Ryan go at it [I slept in the van and caught it on NPR].
If you’re a Dem- then you think Biden won- if a Repub- Ryan.
What do I think? [I am independent]
I think they both did well- maybe a sort of tie.
Now- what about the Obama/Romney one?
Most people think Obama did poorly- me too.
But- when I first heard the liberal side of the aisle skewer Obama- I thought it must have been really bad.
Whenever you hear a news guy- whether Liberal or Conservative- try and give you their narrative- always be open and make your own call.
I saw the Pres. Debate the next day on CSPAN- I thought Obama lost- but I did not see it as the Titanic.
I told a liberal friend ‘it really wasn’t as bad as they made it out’.
A few things.
Right after the pres debate- the campaign people for Obama put out a line that said ‘sure- Romney won- but it was simply a good performance from a liar’.
Then- the news media ran with that story- night after night- you heard them say Romney is a liar- who lied well.
I was at my mom’s house- she watches MSNBC a lot [I do on and off].
And I saw how it affected her.
She was furious at Romney for being a liar.
I explained to her that they all lie- Obama- Romney- all of them.
I told her how many see Romney as a ‘liar’ because he flip flopped on ‘Obama care’.
He was ‘for it- before he was against it’ type thing.
I told my mom that I don’t see either of these men as angels- or demons.
I said Romney says his health care plan in Mass [while governor] was different.
Okay- I have heard his explanation- I think it pretty much was the same.
But- I don’t hate the man- he’s running as the Repub candidate- and the Repubs don’t like Obama-care- so he’s against it.
I got it.
But how many Dem’s- who hate Romney for switching his view- over a period of years- also ‘hate’ Obama for doing the same thing?
When the president ran against Hillary- he vowed to never do ‘Obama care’ the way he did it.
Hillary was for universal health care- with a mandate.
A mandate is the law that says you must purchase it- or pay a fine.
Now- during the nomination process- right up until the election- Obama was dead set against a mandate.
Some people voted for him because of this- during the Dem nomination process.
Yet- it did not take him 6 years- 3 years- or one year to ‘switch’ sides.
It took him one day.
Yes- the day before he was elected- he was against the mandate.
The first thing he did after being elected- the major ‘accomplishment’ of his first term- was health care- with a mandate.
Yet- I don’t remember the news media spending days with a narrative [story] that said Obama is a liar.
So- it’s better to simply listen to the sides- if you prefer the conservative side- then you will vote Romney.
If you prefer the liberal side- then you will vote Obama.
But do we have to watch days on end of the news reporting- openly- that Romney is a liar?
I said about a month ago that the real big news story- that is worthy of coverage- is the situation that happened in Libya- the killing of our people at the embassy.
In last night’s debate- that was the first question that came up.
Yeah- their catching on- ya think?
1925 WHEN TWO BECOME ONE [a short critique on the pastoral letter from the Bishop of Newark]
Today I want to comment on the Pastoral letter that the Archbishop of Newark put out last month.
Being I’m here in N.J. for a few days- one of my goals was to visit all the old places I saw as a kid.
And 2 of those spots were the Catholic churches I went to as a kid.
I went last Sunday to Our Lady of Fatima- and this Past Sunday I visited Our Lady of Grace.
It just so happened that the Bishop of Newark put out this Pastoral letter- a letter to all the Christians in his area- a few weeks before I arrived.
The letter is in some ways a defense of the historic position of the church.
It’s titled ‘When Two become One: A Pastoral Teaching on the Definition, Purpose and Sanctity of Marriage’.
In short the Bishop does an excellent job of defending the traditional definition of marriage between One man and One woman.
He bases this teaching on both Natural [Moral] law- and what we call Revelation [or Revealed Truth- which means teaching that comes to us from God].
Natural law simply means in society in general- since the early times of man- there was a basic understanding of what was right or wrong.
Where did this Moral foundation come from?
The Church teaches that this comes from God [Apostle Paul- Romans 1 and 2].
Since this Moral law exists- and part of this ‘collective conscience’ includes the basic idea of traditional marriage- therefore we [the Church] make the argument that traditional marriage is not only a Church teaching- but also a foundational truth that all men have known since the beginning of mans existence.
The bishop notes that the early Greek philosophers and other ancient societies have indeed believed that Moral law does exist- and therefore it is not only a church belief.
The Bishop is also careful to treat Homosexual people [language that the church does not use- the church teaches that all people- even those with ‘homosexual tendencies’ are indeed created in the image of God. The Church says both Heterosexual and Homosexual are words that describe sexual attractions- but are not fundamental identities] with respect.
That is even though the Church believes in One man One woman union- that it recognizes that all people struggle with ‘sin’ and that the Church calls all people to live repentant lives- and to strive to live an abundant life in Christ.
The Bishop emphasizes that the Christian community does include people who have homosexual attractions- but it simply does not legitimize homosexual lifestyles as an acceptable way of life for the practicing Christian [I do understand that others see this very thing as discriminatory- and that would take a long time to get into- my purpose in this post is to kind of break down the 4 page letter of the bishop and hit the high points.]
All in all the letter was written in a scholarly way- the bishop used what we call the classic Apologetic tools to defend the Faith [he appealed to natural law- he quoted the Greek philosophers- etc.]
And he made the case in a way that was as gracious as possible to those who consider themselves Homosexual- while still defending the Traditional definition of marriage.
I of course did read- and re-read the letter.
I guess that around 10 % of Catholic Christians might have gone home after Mass and read the letter [it was kind of long- and a little scholarly].
But it was written in a well thought out way- and it does give you the official Catholic teaching on this matter.
The Church teaches that those Catholics who reject the traditional definition of marriage are rejecting a serious doctrine of the church- a ‘Grave matter’- and the church says these Catholics need to repent from this position.
In the Catholic Church there are degrees of Moral teaching- that is some areas are not considered as serious as others- the Church teaches that this doctrine- traditional Marriage- is one of those serious doctrines.
At the end of the letter it has the signature of Archbishop John J. Meyers- the bishop of Newark.
This was the first time I ever read an official Pastoral letter- one that was actually circulated in the handouts from the Church meeting.
I found it well written- scholarly- and of course- in keeping with the teaching of the historic church.
Whether you agree with the teaching or not [for instance I am a Protestant- and not bound to the teaching of the Catholic church].
You must admit- that the Catholic church puts out responsible material- material that is well thought out and in a way ‘peer reviewed’.
Yea- all in all- it was a good letter.
1924 A FREE BUS RIDE
In the last week I have had some good conversations- talked to various people- from different backgrounds.
I have actually defended other groups [Catholics] from false accusations.
One friend said ‘the Catholics put tradition OVER the bible’.
I said- ‘actually-that’s not true’.
The other person- a fellow Protestant- insisted it was.
I told them that the church believes that Gods voice comes to us in 2 ways- scripture and tradition- but they see them both as means to communicate God’s word- they hold equal value- at least in official Catholic teaching it is this way.
I had another friend- a Muslim- ask me about the teaching from the bible that says ‘another prophet will come’.
Is this in the bible?
I told him there is a famous teaching you find in the bible that says ‘another’ prophet must first come.
But- he was under the impression that this verse was referring to Muhammad- I explained that the disciples actually asked Jesus about this.
They said ‘if you’re the one- that what about the prophecy that says Elijah must come first’.
Jesus said that there was indeed a prophecy that says before the Messiah comes- Elijah must first come.
Then Jesus said ‘John the Baptist was Elijah’ [John the Baptist came in the power and spirit of Elijah- and according to Jesus- he fulfilled the prophecy].
Jesus said that the prophecy about another prophet was fulfilled by him and John the Baptist- Jesus was the final and ultimate ‘prophet’ –Messiah- sent from God.
In all of these dialogues- I was friends with these people- I talk to these people as co-equals- I try real hard not to ‘preach at them’.
Sure- in a way- this type of conversation- is a type of preaching- but how long would it have taken my Muslim friend to have wandered into some church and have heard this?
We- all of us- need to have friendships with people from other backgrounds.
We need to know- really- what other people believe.
My Protestant friend started from a wrong understanding of what Catholics believe.
If she wants to dialogue with Catholics about the differences between us- then she needs to know what the differences are.
The other day I was riding the old bus that drives down Bergenline ave.
Back in Texas when you buy a ticket with a transfer- it’s good all day.
So when I got on the bus I asked the guy if it was still good.
He looked at it real quick and said ‘yeah’.
After I sat down he told me ‘you know it did expire- but don’t worry about it’.
I told him I would pay for the ticket- but he said that’s okay.
So I talked to him from 48th street to 91st.
I told him I was visiting from Texas but grew up here in the area.
I told him I retired from the Fire Dept. after 25 years.
He has worked for the state for 30 years.
He asked me what it was like to retire- sort of like he is thinking about it too.
I told him that a lot of my friends put it off- they are scared of doing it.
Even though a job like mine might be considered dangerous- yet you get used to the routine- and some guys don’t know what they will do if they retire.
He kept agreeing with me- like he is having the same thoughts.
He was nice guy- a Black guy.
Why mention Black?
I asked him where he lives- he said East Orange.
I haven’t been around here for so long- I did not know that it is a predominantly Black area [I found out later].
But when he said he lives there- he said ‘you know- I like it- I don’t want to go home and have a lot of drama- I get that on the job’.
I think he was saying he has to deal with people who are racist- people who look down on others because they are different.
And when he’s home- he doesn’t want the same thing.
Sure- I understood what he was saying.
When I sat down that day- I never met the man before- after about 40 blocks- we were talking like friends- plus- I got a free ride.
It’s worth treating others with respect- listening to their side of things.
Sometimes they have picked up ideas that you might be able to correct- to show them that they might have a wrong impression about Christianity.
Other times you will learn too.
All in all- if you start without prejudice- you can go a lot further.
1919 PARKIN’ IN PARKIN
Maybe I will do a little update tonight.
About a week ago I embarked on an unplanned road trip.
For a while now I have seen lots of my street friends live in their vans and stuff- and I always wanted to give it a shot.
Now- I’m cheating a bit- by staying at my mom’s house for a few nights- but on the road- I lived in the van.
It’s not that hard to be honest- the rest stops on the interstates are great- clean- and safe.
I was kidding my buddy earlier- I told him that the drive [from TX. To N.J.] was great- cheap.
But as soon as I hit Jersey- the toll system cost me more cash [around 30] and time [geez- having to stop multiple times- before getting off!] than the entire trip combined!
But all in all it was an okay drive.
I was detoured just outside of Little Rock- Ark.
I blew a fan belt- it was so loud I thought the transmission fell out!
I realized it was the belt- and had to drive to the closest exit and get off.
I wound up in a small rural town named Parkin.
To my surprise the town shop was able to get the parts and install them- at half the cost that pep- boys charged in the past![this water pump has a history].
As I spent half the day in Parkin- I walked around- took some pics- and made the best of it.
As I ‘interviewed’ my mechanic- I asked him what the town was like.
He was a young- White kid.
He said ‘It’s nice here- but the NIGGERS ARE NIGGERS.’
I then walked around- and talked to the Black people in the area.
They were real nice.
I picked up the Arkansas paper.
The top story was the local hero- who looked just like one of Jeff Foxworthy’s Red Neck’s.
He was on the front page because he made his annual trip to NYC to protest the Iranian president.
Yeah- he started making this his cause about 10 years ago.
This time- as he was standing outside the U.N.- he saw the Iranian security guys walking right by him.
They were protecting some top diplomat- and the Arkansan thru a punch- and hit the guy!
As I read this story- while ‘parked’ in Parkin- I had to laugh.
The guy said ‘as they walked by- I thought the guy was Ahmidinejab’.
Yeah- he was proud- grinning ear to ear.
They asked him how he got involved with this cause- he has an on-line web site and he leads a group who regularly protest the Iranian leaders desire for Nukes.
He told the reporter that his wife died of cancer about 10 years ago- and he needed something to keep his mind occupied.
Yeah- Foxworthy would have loved it.
All in all my day [half day] was well spent- lessons learned- prejudice revealed- and hospitality shown to me- by a nice Black owner of the local beauty salon [her name was Shea].
Yeah- I learned some stuff in while parked- in Parkin.
Went down to the mission yesterday.
I saw Julie- Dirk’s girlfriend.
I usually don’t see her at the mission- and when I do- she’s always with Dirk.
At first I wasn’t sure it was her- but as she walked by I asked ‘aren’t you Julie’.
Yeah- it was her.
If you remember- I wrote a post about them both going to one of the national parks here in Texas.
It’s called the Angelina national forest.
Over the years Dirk has told me lots about how much he loves being there.
It’s kind of a ‘second’ [or 3rd?] home away from home.
Dirk spends most of the year living here in his van.
Every so often he goes home to Michigan to see family.
And sometimes he stops at the national forest for a few weeks- he knows the locals- older retired guys who he plays cards with and stuff.
He has told me how he loves to hunt for arrow heads along the banks of the river.
Okay- I asked Julie where Dirk was.
She told me ‘I left him there’.
They got in a fight- over the arrow heads!
Yeah- every morning Dirk would get up and take Julie arrow head hunting.
So she told me she bought a few books in town and one morning wanted to read.
Dirk went hunting for the heads.
He came back- found something and was all excited- he tried to show it to her or something and she was into the book.
One thing led to the next- they got in a fight- and she drove back to Corpus [about a 600 mile drive by the way].
He has no ride back.
I knew from the start that they were going to get into a fight- I just didn’t think she would leave the guy.
I think that’s why she was down at the mission- sort of waiting to see if he makes it back.
I mean I did have to laugh- as I talked with Julie I told her I thought something like this would happen.
I do want to mention something that will sound self serving- buts it’s the second or 3rd time Julie has told me this- and to be honest it surprised me.
Julie tells me that Dirk is always talking about me- that he sees me as his ‘mentor’ and that he has nonstop praise for me.
I find it ‘funny’ because Dirk usually has nothing good to say about anyone- to be honest.
Many times he has put down the other ‘street’ preachers who work in the area.
I have had to defend Brother Rey- a street preacher- many times.
But being she brought it up again- I want to simply say a few words.
I have known Dirk for many years- and he realizes that me getting with the guys- often taking them out to eat- just being friends with the homeless.
He knows that this is ‘ministry’ to me.
Now- when you become friends with people- of course- over time- they will learn stuff- you will talk about God- and many times the guys have questions- things they might have heard as kids.
Misconceptions about God- things that have hindered them from believing- and often times it’s a simple explanation that clears it up.
So- I guess after knowing Dirk all these years- he has come to see me as a sort of mentor.
I have Henry sleeping in the living room right now- we hung out most of the day- I cooked some simple stuff last night and let him crash on the couch.
I have started doing this at least once a week- I see it as a way to contribute a little more- without it costing a lot of money.
Henry is a football nut- he knows the sport like I used to follow boxing.
Over the years at the fire house the guys realized I was a boxing fanatic.
I would usually know who would win the fight- and when they had a question about some rule- they would ask.
I had a laugh one day- I was upstairs watching the fights- they were down in the main room- I guess they put it on as well.
James- one of the guys- came up to ask ‘what’s it mean when they say- no 3 knockdown rule’.
I told him ‘that means you can’t knock the other guy down- more than 3 times’.
Actually- it means you don’t stop the fight if the other guy goes down 3 times in 1 round.
Some states have this rule- they think it prevents a fighter from getting hurt too much.
But in some cases maybe one of the knockdowns is a fluke- then a guy might lose a fight when he really wasn’t hurt.
So- being Henry is a football nut- you guessed it- we watched the bad call in the game the other night.
I think it was Green Bay and Seattle.
It made the news because the NFL has the replacement ref’s in the game- the regular guys are locked out over a dispute about their contract.
Henry could not get over the amount of coverage- I mean I had ESPN on for 4-5 hours at the house.
I finally told Henry ‘man- I’m gonna catch some news’.
Yeah- it was on the world news too!
Obama and Romney and all the politicians had to have their say.
I’m just waiting for the Al-Qaeda statement.
So- we watched the play- around a hundred times thru out the day.
In a little while Henry will get up- we will head out to some area- maybe go visit my friends in Bishop/Kingsville- it’s been a while and I probably should see them.
It really doesn’t take much to do this- I read John chapter 15 earlier.
Jesus says the most important thing is to love your brother.
That he showed us that to lay our lives down for another- to sacrifice your time- money- etc.
That this is the heart of the matter.
It doesn’t take much- and your friends will never forget.
1916 WHO IS JOHN GALT?
Over the weekend- my habit is now to watch a couple of documentaries from Netflix.
I always got into them- but with the Rocu thing- I can start a few at a time- and then pick up right where I left off.
I’m watching the Cosmos- Carl Sagan [excellent by the way].
Just started Greek Civilization- narrated by one of my favorite actors- Liam Nessen.
And I caught a short one on Ayn Rand- the now famous author of Atlas Shrugged.
I have never read any of Rand’s stuff- she is a novelist- and I don’t read them.
But- she is also a philosopher- the founder of the system called Objectivism.
And her works and thought are more known right now because a movie was made about the book- Atlas Shrugged.
Rand taught a system that said mans main purpose in life is the pursuit of his/her own happiness.
Now- she was not a strict Hedonist- she also taught that man should be productive- should be a contributing member of society- and should be free to excel- to ‘make it’ without the state making the rich guy feel bad about it.
Yes- back to the 99 versus the 1.
As you can see- that’s why her work has made it back into the collective consciousness at this point in time.
The other day we went to see my friend John at the hospital- I took Henry [John Henry], John from Arlington- Andy- and of course myself.
The day before we went to the bookstore- and I met father John- a nice Catholic Priest.
The guys were calling John [from Arlington] Joe.
I told Henry ‘no- his name is John’.
Henry quipped ‘too many John’s’
In Rand’s work- she tells the fictional story of John Galt [who is John Galt? This sign pops up every so often]
Galt is the leader of the ‘productive’ class in society- the thinkers- producers- etc.
These noble ones rebel against what they see as an all encroaching Entitlement society- a ‘world’ that keeps blaming them for the ills of man.
Eventually these productive people have had enough- and they withdraw from the world and start their own world- based on the principles of Objectivism.
‘Every man for himself’ type of thing.
There is one line in the book- where you have this image of Atlas [the man who has the world on his shoulders].
He is bowing and bending and struggling under this Entitlement world.
The ‘have nots’ keep seeing the ‘haves’ as the cause for their problems.
The more pressure put on Atlas- does not seem to appease the Entitlement class.
So- he shrugs- and walks away.
A couple of years ago when we did a short history of Philosophy- I never covered Rand.
She never came up in any of the stuff I was reading at the time.
Rand was a Russian American who came to the states in the early 20th century.
She saw the rise of Communism in her homeland- and she believed that the U.S. was in danger of going down the same road.
She lived to see the presidency of FDR- and his creating of what we call the Entitlement society.
But Rand- like other thinkers of her day- also rejected Faith and Religion [Marx].
She believed that Reason was enough to establish morality- and build an adequate Ethical society.
To be honest- Ayn was wrong about this.
But- because she angered the Left with her capitalist thought- and the Right with her anti God ideas- well she would alienate not just the 47% [Romney’s gaff] but both ‘47’s’.
Thus- Rand never came up on the radar when I was studying philosophy.
I have not read the book- but from what I picked up on line- I can see how Christians would indeed have a hard time with Objectivism.
In scripture- we don’t see ‘statism’ per se- but we do see a sort of collective ideal.
In the books of Acts we see the early believers selling their goods and giving to those in need.
We read many-many portions of the bible that speak about helping the less fortunate.
Yet- the argument is ‘should the state force man to do this’.
The state- govt. – according to scripture- has the right to tax.
Rand’s argument [and others] is ‘fine- but don’t demean me because I am one of the producers- don’t demonize those in society who are holding the system up’.
Rand did not teach that you should never help another- but she rejected the govt. forcing you to do it.
In Ayn’s Utopia- the John Galt’s of the world withdraw- they take their toys and go home.
From a biblical perspective- we are indeed our brother’s keeper.
That does not mean we encourage people to be non productive- to live off the wealth of others.
But we see the goal of our lives as more than seeking happiness- more than pursuing the Dream.
No- we often give things up- material things- in order to pursue a more just society.
In our World- Atlas doesn’t shrug.
1915 DIARY OF A MAD MAN?
Read a news article yesterday morning.
It was the State Dept. blasting CNN for an ‘unconscionable’ [yikes!] report on the ‘private journal’ of the dead U.S. ambassador who was killed in the Benghazi attack.
If you just read the headline- it seems as if CNN were the bad boys [and girls] and the U.S. govt. were most holy.
But- as you read- you realize- once again- that what should have been one of the biggest news stories of the year- has become a non issue because of political propaganda- by the media networks themselves [minus CNN].
Okay- the story.
The last few days you have read more than one post by me- about the reality that the Libyan govt. – and our ambassador himself- have told our govt that they were in danger- that the security of the embassy in Benghazi was not good.
Then- you had the U.S. kill a top Al Qaeda guy- with a drone- and Al Qaeda said they would seek revenge.
Now- the last year- because of the political campaign- you have had the Obama team talk much about the death of Bin laden- and a sort of ‘boasting’ about how many Al Qaeda guys we are killing.
In a few weeks a movie is coming out- probably timed in co-ordination with the Obama campaign [though they deny it] that is going to glorify the killing of Bin Laden.
Why all the glorying?
The reality of politics is you focus on what you think the candidates strength is- and one of the strengths of the president is seen to be his policy on killing Al Qaeda guys.
Okay- now- if you simply put 2 and 2 together- is it possible that the killing of Stevens [our ambassador in Libya] was a direct retaliation- by Al Qaeda- for all this darn bragging we are doing about killing their guys?
Of course it’s possible- and more than likely a reason why they killed him.
Then why would the media- and the Obama administration push the initial story line that this killing was nothing more than outrage about a movie ad- on line?
Because if the fact is- that we were warned- over and over again- that our security was bad.
And- that Al Qaeda were growing tired of our bragging about all the drone killings.
If this were [is] the case- then not only did you just lose one of the main strengths of your campaign [if you’re a Dem].
But you also might have ‘provoked’ the killing- by all the bragging.
Okay- why the feigned outrage by the state dept?
CNN found the journal of the slain ambassador- and in the journal he wrote that he- as well as the Libyan govt. – all feared an attack.
They warned the state dept. – over and over again- that this might happen.
And it did.
The State dept. was basically outed for their failure.
And in response- they said that CNN ‘broke its pledge’ to the family by releasing this info.
The state dept said CNN took evidence form a ‘crime scene’ [the journal] and shamelessly spread it around.
The State dept. called this ‘disgusting’.
The truth is- CNN- who in my view have done the best reporting on this story- read what the ambassador himself feared- and they backed it up with interviews from other people who knew Steven’s.
They then reported- only on-line [not like the top news story of the other night- the Romney gaff].
That the ambassador feared that the security that the state dept. was providing was inadequate.
This story should have been reported- much more in my view- because it shows that the U.S. govt. dropped the ball- after many warnings.
It would be like finding a journal in the World Trade towers that said – ‘we have been warning Bush that this would happen!’
This is a big news story- yet the response of the state dept is that CNN shamelessly revealed the secrets of a dead man- and also ruined a ‘crime scene’.
These are stories I see all the time- both in the print media- and on the tube.
Many have debated whether or not the news media actually coordinate with the Obama people [actually a report just showed that a govt. person emailed a group- Media matters- and this ‘non profit’ group contacted the major networks- and they ran the story on the news that night].
I don’t know how ‘planned’ this type of bias is.
But- you can see it exists.
The point I want to make is when you have an important story like this- one in which it’s quite possible that the ongoing bragging about killing Bin Laden might be actually leading to counter killings of our people.
Then we need to ask ‘should we keep bragging’.
When the Muslim ‘world’ rose up in anger- according to the Obama people- because of a video that might have antagonized them.
The Obama people condemned the video- and did all they could to discourage the release or making of any other movies that might incite violence.
Then if this is so- should the American movie makers release the Bin Laden movie [that portrays the President in a favorable light]?
When I read the above article about CNN’s ‘reprehensible act’- at first I thought they really did a terrible thing [just by reading the headline].
But as I read- they simply reported- what should have been a big story- in a minor way [on-line].
Don’t be fooled- this happens all the time- we live in a day where the blogging community- and the free on line news sources can now ‘correct’ it- but there are many who will never read the correction.
1914 TOP STORY- OF THE WORLD?
Posted a few pics from our visit with John David yesterday.
He’s doing better- but they wanted to re open him up- and do another procedure [heart].
He prayed about it- and wants to avoid going under the knife again.
I was at the mission during the day- and I saw David’s brothers- Huey and Andy.
They wanted a ride to the hospital to see their brother- I was more than happy to take them.
I do want to stay in touch with David- and do the halfway house thing with him.
But- as we were at the mission- sure enough someone called the cops.
We didn’t know.
So a couple of cars came down- and they were looking for some guys.
Huey just took off- told us to pick him up around the block.
Then we [I] put 2 and 2 together- it seems like he was going to sell some drugs to another guy- and somehow they must have been heard by the mission people.
That’s what is seemed like to us.
So I told Andy ‘look- I told your brother the other day [Huey] not to be carrying stuff with him when he’s in my vehicle’.
I was mad that he ruined his chance to visit his brother- he did get prepared to see him [he was cleaned up this day].
So- we saw Huey a few blocks away- he tried to get in my van- I told him forget it- you got the cops chasing you- your in all types of trouble- we don’t need that.
We left him there.
So- we went and visited David.
I met Jackie there for the second time.
That’s John David’s girl.
They told me the story how they met.
Jackie was living in another state and she saw John David being interviewed on CNN.
Yeah- he told me about this a couple of years ago.
He started his first half way house at his sons apt- and somehow the word got out- and CNN did a nice story about it.
So- Jackie- a drug addict [who still struggles] saw it and said ‘If I can get to this home- he can help me’.
So- she made it to Texas and knocked on the door.
John David had no home for girls- but he took her in.
They became a couple- and that’s how they met.
His son eventually lost the apartment they were using [it actually was a facility that was already set up like a halfway house- what a ‘coincidence’.]
And since then John David has been looking for another house.
But- he needed the heart surgery for a while- and he figured he’d finally get it out of the way.
All in all we had a good day- I had John [my new friend with the little dog] – Henry- Andy with me for the day.
We came back to the house and had a good fellowship time.
Let me mention a little news as we end the week.
The other day I caught the world ‘news’ on all 3 stations [abc- nbc- cbs].
The top story on all 3 staions was the Romney ‘hidden’ video.
Okay- I saw the stupid thing when it first came out.
I guess it should have been a one day thing- I mean you have these silly things pop up on both sides.
You had the Obama thing a couple of years back ‘clinging to their God and guns’.
So- they all do this.
But- it was maybe 4-5 days later- and the world news- all 3 stations- had this as the top news story- well- of ‘the world’.
I couldn’t believe it.
So- I channel surfed some cable shows- and came back to the main news.
They still had the video of Romney- parsing each word he said- showing the video with the captions- 9 to 10 minutes into the top news story.
I mean this is so bad- it is not even funny anymore.
‘John- what’s wrong with this?
Well- a story like this should be a one- maybe 2 day thing.
And it should have never been top coverage- on a very busy news week.
What should the top story have been?
Regardless of who you back [Romney- Obama].
The top story should have been the fact that the Libyan govt. has come out and publicly said they warned the U.S. that they can’t provide security for the embassy in Benghazi.
You basically have [had] a public disagreement between the White House and the Libyan president.
And by all accounts- it looks like the Libyan guy was telling the truth.
Now- politics aside- this is very important.
Did the U.S. [whether Obama- Bush- Clinton- anyone in charge] drop the ball on the protecting of our ambassador in Libya?
And- the top story of the protests breaking out in the Arab world- against the U.S.
Okay- the news did of course cover this- but when you have real hard news like this- then you don’t run a 10 minute top story about a stupid hidden gaff from anyone- Romney- Obama- anyone.
And of course the other ‘top story’ was the topless pics of Kate Middleton- I mean on the world news?
This is not world news- maybe Enquirer type stuff- but not world news- that deserved coverage on all the news channels- as a top news story.
These examples shows you how bankrupt our media has become.
I do watch/listen to both sides [right/left] and frankly both sides of the aisle do this.
I told my friend the other day- I hear the radio guys every week- and because I comment about stuff like this I try and hear as many as I can [Rush- Hannity- etc.]
Sometimes I catch the whole show- 3 hours.
But there are times where for 3 hours- all you get is a constant drumbeat of anti Obama.
Okay- I have criticized the guy- lots.
But if you have no constructive thing to say- for 3 hours- then what are you accomplishing?
So- that’s the scoop.
I’ll try and add a few notes to last night’s pics- and hope you guys have a good weekend.
Please continue to for John David- he looked much better yesterday- but he needs prayer- thanks so much.
1910 PROTESTS CONTINUE
I normally don’t post on the weekends- but it’s been a big news week.
First- let me talk a little about the street fellowship.
I saw Henry yesterday- he heard we had an ‘overnight’ fellowship the other day [had a few street guys stay over- a chance to get off the streets].
So- I did tell Hugh ‘when you see Henry- tell him he missed out on a great time!’
Sure enough- as I sat with Henry at the mission- Hugh showed up.
He told me that he let Henry know- and that Henry was kinda mad.
Henry said ‘John knows where to get me- he could have come got me!’
Henry works at the marina.
So you could tell that the gig was up- Hugh ‘outed’ Henry.
Henry tried to brush it off.
I told Henry ‘I would have come to get you- but Huey told me when he’s getting free food he prefers the ambience of a small crowd’.
Yeah- I know.
Okay- the news.
First- the current uprisings in the Arab world are very dangerous indeed.
The right and the left are sacrificing true news coverage to gain political points.
You say ‘John- I see how the right- and Romney are doing it- but the left’?
The way the left [some Democrats] are doing it is by making most of the news of the past 3 days about some stupid statement Romney made about Obama not handling the thing well.
Look- I have said I think Romney jumped the gun by criticizing Obama on the first day of the uproar- but come on- it’s been 3-4 days- okay- there’s real news to cover.
Both Obama and others said Bush was actually responsible for the deaths of Americans ‘Bush lied- people died’ was the campaign mantra of John Kerry.
He said Bush was directly responsible for the deaths of Americans- because he lied.
He said this over and over and over- while the guys were dying.
So please- some of Romney’s criticism is accurate- Obama is responsible for not beefing up the security at the embassies.
Last night I heard a report that Libya actually warned the U.S. that they can’t secure the embassy in Benghazi- geez- they told us this.
So- the real story- the important story- is the ‘Arab Spring’ is now an Arab winter- but they are protesting the U.S.
What do we do?
Hopefully these protests will peter out- but if not- then we have problems.
The other big news thing.
The Federal Reserve came out and said they will start buying Govt. bonds- and they will continue to buy them until things turn around in the economy.
Once again- those on the left [Dems] are happy.
The right- not so happy.
This action will cause the stock market to go up [though it is dangerous to make it go up this way].
And we are about 50 days to the election- and it can only help the president.
Now- what exactly does QE-3 mean?
What the fed is doing is called ‘Quantitative easing’ which simply means what I said above.
This is the 3rd time they did it- that’s where you get the 3.
They feel that buying U.S. bonds will have an economic impact that will help the overall economy because it will keep interest rates real low- that will prod investors/business people to ‘get off the sidelines’ and use some of the money that is being saved.
The Federal Reserve is the nation’s own bank.
They are not run by elected officials- they have minimal oversight- and they can basically do what they want.
If they decide to print money [by buying bonds] they simply do it.
Now- when they buy U.S. debt- it’s like if you needed money.
And you wrote I.O.U.’s to people all over the world [China, Japan, etc.]
After a while- you wrote so many [16 trillion debt] you turned to your spouse and said ‘honey- I can’t write any more to the people down the block- will you buy my IOU’s?’
That’s what the fed is doing- they are buying the debt- but they are our own bank- we are selling bonds to ourselves for heaven’s sake!
Now- this will keep interest rates low- but they are already at all time lows.
You can get a mortgage at under 3%- that’s low.
This tells me that the Fed sees real problems down the road.
The world economies are in trouble- the jobs creation in the U.S. is very bad [last numbers were under 100,000].
So- the action of the fed- in my view- is one of desperation.
It’s artificially inflating the market.
In the short term- yes- you can make money.
But in a way it’s like building a house of cards- in my view.
Okay- that’s it for now- continue to pray for our country- and yes- for the president.
We are seeing a very serious situation develop around the world.
People have lost their lives.
I do commend the Libyan govt. – they tried to stop the attack that killed our ambassador- and by all accounts- they liked him- and appreciated the U.S.
The attack in Benghazi was by radicals.
Egypt is another story.
There newly elected leader- Morsi- responded like he was still the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood- not the elected president of Egypt.
He later backtracked and made a better statement.
All in all- this thing has spread to many Arab nations as of today- and we hope and pray it will only last for a few days- without loss of life.
If it grows- then we have real problems.
1909 FROM THE STREETS OF CORPUS TO THE WORLD
We got up early yesterday- had a couple of the street guys spend the night.
I cooked breakfast and we went to pick up Andy’s daughter.
For some reason this past week she had some kind of mental breakdown.
Her name is Rocelle [yeah- not Rochelle] she is around 38 years old and Andy [her dad] told me she tried to commit suicide the other day- she has been acting different- a type of mental breakdown.
So her husband is afraid to leave her alone when he goes to work- and we went and got her.
She spent most of the day with us- we drove over to the hospital to see John David.
He would be her uncle- Andy’s brother.
He just had open heart surgery.
Rocelle liked my yard/study.
It’s funny- I have verses and stuff all over the place- lots of people think it looks overdone- sort of ‘trailer trash’.
I do joke about it at times.
But Rocelle told Andy- as they were walking back into the house- that she wanted to just walk around and read all the verses- she was ‘fascinated’ by it.
I also had another friend- who just happens to suffer from mental problems- he too loved the yard- just ‘being there’.
In a way I do think it’s a sort of prayer garden type experience- these friends sense the presence of God- I walk the yard early in the mornings and pray- many of the verses are written out of this prayer time.
So- in a spiritual way- they are entering into this time.
We went and seen John David- I posted the pic last night [with Huey his brother by his side].
I haven’t seen David in a few years- I have written a bunch of posts about him- he was the one who killed his best buddy years ago in Dallas.
Got off by his mom hiring the lawyer who represented the guy who killed Lee Harvey Oswald [remember the post?].
Anyway David was an addict for many years- got clean a few years ago and has been wanting to start a halfway house.
David and his brothers have told me that he was a very successful business man years ago- made lots of money [millions?].
You know- he had a construction business- a big one.
He eventually blew the money on drugs and became a street guy.
As we were waiting at the hosp to see him- we walked passed some guy- dressed nice in a suit and all- and later he came up to us.
He told Huey ‘do you remember me’?
Huey said no.
He told Huey he was John John.
Huey told me that John John was a young boy who used to work for David years ago.
They all hauled concrete and stuff together.
Huey told me that John John is a ‘big wig’ now in the area- runs a big furniture store- lives in Kings Crossing [a rich area].
He came to see David.
He said David was his neighbor years ago.
David lived in the rich section too.
So we talked with David- I prayed for him- and I told him I’m gonna try and help him set up the half way house.
I drove by the house he’s looking at- right in the drug area- perfect spot.
I had Andy drive me by John David’s apt.
We got out to talk to his girlfriend- Andy tells me ‘be careful round here- it’s a big drug dealer spot- don’t look at anyone’.
I laughed- I told him I have been ‘hanging out’ on the corners the last few weeks [remember the posts on Terri and Arnold- and the guy I tried to give a dollar to- he ran away!].
Yeah- it was funny.
We had a good day- Rocelle asked if we could do this again.
I told her sure- she can come with us when we get together.
Now- I know that driving around- we did pray- shared scripture- stopped for snacks- I know from years of experience- that in a way this can be true fellowship [I have actually written a few books about this- on the blog].
So- Rocelle was simply enjoying the fellowship time- she is having a hard time- and instead of being out hooking up for drugs [I think the reason she has been having this difficult time- in her mind- is her dad and uncle think she might have done some type of new drug- maybe Bath Salts- the drug that has caused people to go nuts].
All in all- it was a good day.
I do want to mention the current situation in the Arab/Persian nations right now.
Yesterday I posted about the killing at our embassy in Libya- and the protests at our embassy in Egypt.
Over the night they have now spread to Yemen and Sudan- and maybe more.
The news talk now is about the politics of the whole thing.
Did Romney criticize too soon?
Did the state dept. [our embassy in Egypt] jump the gun in a kind of apologetic statement they put out- sort of ‘siding’ with the protestors.
This last year [even this last week- before this broke out].
I have been saying that the media have not been truly covering the aftermath of the things we have dome in Libya and Egypt.
I told a friend that Libya is highly unstable.
I told him that various militia groups still roam around- fully armed- and no one is really in control.
My criticisms have been that we sided with the people in the east [Benghazi] and ‘took out’ the leader in the west [Gadhaffi- Tripoli].
The people of the east- many of them- are/were anti American- and some of them are indeed Al Qaeda [do you remember Gadhaffi saying this- over and over again?]
Now- without re-posting everything.
One of the reasons some in the eastern part of Libya wanted to remove Gadhaffi- was because he was seen as a ‘puppet’ of the west.
Yes- he decided to work with the U.S. and this angered some of the radicals in the east.
Okay- what happened yesterday?
These same radical groups- who are walking around with heavy artillery- Rocket Propelled Grenades- they basically attacked our embassy- in Benghazi- in the eastern ‘capital’ and killed 4 Americans.
The newly installed govt. in Libya has said that they have no control over the country.
They said this a few months ago.
Why does the average person not know this?
Why have we not been doing more to protect our embassies- we know [I hope] that Libya cannot provide the security needed- they have said this publicly for heaven’s sake.
I do think we need to pray- I do think the initial statement from the state dept. was bad.
And I do think Romney should have waited- at least a day- before commenting.
But the bigger story is when the U.S. involves itself militarily- to depose a leader- any leader- we need to also be aware of the aftermath- the instability that will result when the job is ‘finished’ [even in Iraq- and right now in Syria- we need to stop saying that these leaders- any/all of them- are committing ‘crimes against humanity’- geez- both sides are. We need to stop making it into a soundbite ‘you are on the wrong side of history’. No- the answer- moving forward- is for all sides to sit down and talk- Russia is right in what they are saying about Syria].
The statement [or lack thereof] from the new Egyptian president- Morsi- was dismal.
Last I heard- he still has not condemned the attacks- and he basically sided with the protestors.
We have no ally in Egypt- the people we backed in Libya [not all of them] just killed 4 Americans- and it seems like the violence is spreading.
Pray for world peace- I know it sounds ‘liberal’ but it is the will of God.
1908 ATTACKS IN LIBYA AND EGYPT
Last night we cooked late- so I let a couple of the street guys spend the night.
I have done this every so often in the past- not really a big deal.
But the reason I usually avoid it is because I have a ‘million’ homeless buddies- and once you go down this road- well you got the picture.
But I felt the lord wanted this.
The pics I posted last night [by the way- whenever I post pics during the day- I never check Facebook form my phone. So- if I take a trip to N.J. – I’ll probably post pics- but will not get on line until I get back- so for those who leave comments- I won’t see them till much later].
So- the pics from the day [or month!] before will get descriptions when I’m back at the lap top.
Okay- Andy and Huey spent the night- they watched the Green Mile [twice].
I asked them what channel they liked- to leave on all night.
They wanted the classics.
We never got a chance to see their brother yesterday- David.
He had triple bypass heart surgery- and we were gonna see him.
His nephew [Andy’s and Huey’s too] hitched all the way from Louisiana- just to see John David in the hosp.
That’s the son of an older brother who died.
I told Andy ‘bring Leon over in the morning’ they are sleeping on the streets- geez.
But Huey got a call as I was cooking- he left last night [hitching a ride].
We will go see John David later- Andy told me David even asked if I was still around.
Me and David became good friends after he quit the Ice [he was a huge meth addict].
When he got clean- and got right with God- he just wanted to get together all the time.
Like a new Christian- wanting to learn everything he can.
As the guys were crashed out on the floor last night- I of course caught my news fix.
I was surprised to see the very serious story about the Islamic protests in Egypt and Libya.
Just a note- this should have been the top story on every news network- it met the criteria of serious breaking news [which the networks now say about everything].
But the one station- at least at 7 pm- that did the right coverage- was Cooper from CNN.
Now- Fox of course covered it- and I guess MSNBC- but Cooper treated it with the coverage it deserved.
At first it was reported in a deceptive way.
The coverage said that these protests- which killed 2 Americans in the American consulate in Libya- were a reaction to a negative movie put out by the now infamous pastor from Fla.
You remember him- the guy who started trouble a while back.
So the way the news reported it- it made it sound like he just put out another negative Muslim thing- and that’s why the angry response happened.
But then they reported that this video was out for weeks [or months].
And that some of the radical Islamic sights were already calling for protests on 9-11.
So- for there to have been these types of very serious uprisings- in 2 countries that we had a major role in removing [or killing] the leaders- this is bad- real bad.
Fox showed a speech by the president- a famous speech he gave in 2009- called the ‘Cairo speech’.
It’s famous because critics of the president have used it to say he kind of sucked up to the Muslims.
As I heard the speech- in context of last night’s news- I agreed with everything the president said.
He did offer somewhat of an olive branch to the Muslim world- but he was very careful to say this branch was to those who reject violence.
He spoke about living peaceably in a world with other faiths.
I listened carefully- I agreed with everything he said.
But it is important not to miss the fact that we have never had our embassies assaulted like this in the past- and that these attacks took place under regimes that we backed.
This is not good.
I found it interesting that I ‘accidently’ spoke about these issues the last few days.
And here we are- it’s the big story of the day [week- month?]
The killing of 2 Americans at a consulate is very serious indeed.
The fact that it happened on 9-11 is very serious.
Today we do need to pray for peace- we need to of course respond in a proper way- either shut down our embassy- or whatever needs to be done.
But we live in a world where we have both freedom of speech- and responsibility.
When this Fla. Pastor first made waves- it was easy for the media to brand him as a nut- a crazy guy.
And I of course do not hold to this guys views at all- the way he ‘exposes’ Islam.
But- to react with violence- to kill people who even show a drawing of Muhammad [which has happened] this is not civilized.
If we [Christians, Jews- Muslims- etc.] are going to try and live in the world together- then we need to condemn these things.
Actually- if you want the right response- the way we need to move forward- just listen to Obama’s Cairo speech- that pretty much sums it up.
1907 IS THE GOSPEL REALLY THE ANSWER?
Of course today we remember those who died 11 years ago.
We pray for the families and friends.
I find it strange that I recently stumbled into some of the verses in Revelation- that deal with nations and systems that war against each other.
It’s almost unbelievable to realize that in the last presidential campaign- you had someone on the Repub platform- talking about the ‘real reason’ 9-11 happened.
I mean comedians got raked over the coals for this- and others fumbled and fell into a great trap by even wading on the water’s edge.
Ron Paul often spoke about the mindset of radical Islam
Paul was the libertarian candidate who ran on the Repub ticket.
He spoke about the mindset that led to the terror attack on 9-11.
Now- in no way do I justify anything like what happened.
But it is important to see the underlying grievance that the radical wing of Islam harbors.
We often hear that the reason for the attack was ‘they hate our freedom’.
Was that the reason?
If you actually read the writings of the radicals- they believe they are indeed in a ‘holy war’.
They see the encroachment of the West- our ‘values’ [last post] and our ‘occupation’ of their holy lands as the grievance.
If you think back- the first real attack against the west was the bombing of the Kobar towers in Saudi Arabia.
This was the first one [that I recall] that was a direct act of what we call Al Qaeda.
The movement started by Osama Bin laden.
They saw Saudi Arabia as their holy land- and the towers were the U.S. base in the land.
Okay- am I justifying the attack?
No- just want you to see the mindset.
Then- the attack on the World Trade center.
The radical mind believes that to hit the ‘occupier’ in her homeland is a justifiable response because we have been engaged- many times- in Arab/Muslim lands- militarily.
I had a talk with a friend the other day- we were discussing these issues.
I told my friend that Christianity- and Judaism- have had their own ‘reformation’ of sorts.
Both religions have come to a place where they see the separation of church and state- that is- they are able to distinguish between religious belief and acts of war.
Now- there are critics of Christianity who still accuse the church of wanting to have a theocracy [church ruled state].
But for the most part- those who believe this [reconstructionist’s] are far and few in between.
But- Islam has not yet had her ‘reformation’ moment.
Now- as a blogger who has Muslim, Jewish and Christian readers- my goal is not to offend anyone- nor to skirt the real issues.
There are many fine Muslim people- who do indeed reject the entire mindset of radical Islam.
But- in the actual debates that go in within the religion- there are many who still believe that force- along with reliogus expression- is acceptable.
Islam is not only a ‘religion’ per se- but it is also a way of government.
Now- like I said- during the history of the church- obviously the same thing happened.
I mean any person who studies the rise of Western civilization- the arts- science- history- I mean the church is the major player on the board- hands down.
But- today most Christians see their role as more of a spiritual one- yes- being active in politics- voting- yes- we do have a voice at the table.
But we don’t- for the most part- want to take up an armed resistance against the world.
So- those who adhere to radical Islam- they see their struggle- well much like the last post- a Che type of thing.
I think the future depends- not on us killing all the radicals- no- this can never be fully done.
The mindset lives on in the flowing generations.
No- the answer is in learning mutual respect for each other’s beliefs and cultures.
Now- I’m’ not saying ‘let’s try and understand the poor terrorist’.
But I am saying that we in the West do need to see the root cause of why terrorism happens.
In a little while I will be going to visit John David in the ICU.
John is the friend I have written about over the years.
He was a coke addict for many years- got clean about 2 years ago.
I have pictures of him and his brother on my face book site.
We were having a fellowship at the house and did the Lords Supper.
John had heart surgery yesterday- and I will be taking his brothers Hugh and Andy to see him.
The other day I found a few packets of seeds at the house- the type you plant in the vegetable garden.
Don- the street guy who maintains the garden at the mission- he asked me one day if I could get him some.
I mean he plants that garden from scratch [see the pics on face book].
I gave them to him- he was elated- over seeds!
One day- about 10 years ago now- I was sitting at the fire house- actually it was soon after 9-11.
The fire depts. were on high alert- we had things we were to watch out for- stuff that we never worried about before.
So one day- sitting at the station- may Captain says ‘hey John- go see what the Muslim wants’.
Sure enough- some guy- dressed for the part- was walking around the fire trucks.
This station was right by A&I university [now A&M].
So- we used to keep the doors open all day [not any more] and people could walk in if they wanted.
So I went outside- the guy was just checking all the emergency vehicles out.
He told me ‘I’m doing research for a school project’.
As I talked with him- we got into ‘religion’ and I covered the history Of Christians and Arabs.
I traced back to Abraham- went into the story of his sons [Arabs trace their roots to Abraham’s son Ishmael]
And when I was done- I told him the true purpose of God- to redeem all nations of the earth.
That God loves the Arab- the Persian [we often mistake Persians for Arabs].
That he loves all people- and he sent his Son to die for all of humanity.
To my surprise- he told me he has never- not once- heard this story.
His view of Christianity- the west- the entire mindset- was shaped by world events.
He did not distinguish between Christianity and the actual Govt. of the U.S.
He- like many others- view the entire ‘struggle’ as a struggle for who will ‘rule the world’.
In my time with him- I tried to show him a better way.
No- I am not advocating passivism.
I’m not saying if we simply try to understand the terrorist- the he will go away.
But I am saying- in some cases- these people have never really heard the message.
In some cases- like the Apostle Paul said ‘satan has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe’.
In some cases- the Good News [gospel] is really the answer.
I watched another documentary this weekend.
It was the story of Che Guevara.
Che is well known today as a sort of symbol of the revolutionary youth movement.
He embodies the persona of those who defy ‘Imperialism/Colonialism’.
Che was an Argentinean doctor- who at a young age took a motorcycle journey thru Latin America [South- Central America] and he saw the extreme poverty of the people.
He would see one of the main factors of this poverty being the influence that the U.S. held over these nations thru corporate agreements with the ‘puppet’ leaders of these nations.
For instance- many of the poor of these nations were peasant farmers- they worked the land for rich land owners- and they subsisted on a few dollars a day wages.
Yet the owners of the land- they were rich.
Likewise- Che believed that the leaders of the nations were ‘in bed’ with the U.S. – and they allowed U.S. corporations to rake their countries of wealth- at the expense of the people.
Now- I am not saying I totally agree with Che.
He has many critics- as well as supporters [he’s dead of course].
Jean Paul Sartre [remember our philosophy posts?] supported him- others did not.
The point being- Che saw a system- the U.S. govt and American corporations- as an all powerful system that polluted the nations to her south.
He felt the influence of greed and corruption were the main causes of the plight of the Latin American people.
His revolution- Che literally left his duties as a doctor and led an armed rebellion against the U.S. – would eventually lead to his execution by Bolivian forces [Bolivia is just north of Argentina- Che’s homeland] backed by the CIA.
Che was a key factor in the Cuban revolution that deposed Batista- the U.S. backed leader of Cuba- and installed Castro.
Che’s influence lives on today in many of the leaders of south/central America.
If you ever hear Hugo Chavez [Venezuela] speak- you hear the words and thoughts of Che.
This last week I have been reading Revelation- the last 5 chapters or so.
The apostle John writes about the Mystery- the ‘Whore of Babylon’- this great city- that pollutes all the nations of the world with her lust for wealth.
This city [nation] lures the other nations of the world by her wealth and power.
She has all types of merchandise- even the Souls of men.
As you read the account- it’s easy to see a type of what Che saw when rebelling against U.S. interests in his homeland.
I had a talk with my street friend Dirk the other day.
Somehow we got into a discussion about the U.S. prison system.
I mentioned to Dirk how over the last 5 years or so I started cutting out of the news paper all the cases of people from this region who got sent to prison.
I regularly pray for them- now hundreds of them- every week [just did this morning].
I try and pick the cases that I think are really tough.
There was one lady- in her 60’s.
Sandra Briggs [I remember her name- and her face].
She was sent to prison for a DWI that killed a person.
Mrs. Briggs was a widow- she owned a jewelry store for many years with her husband.
He was shot and killed a couple of years ago by a burglar.
One night she went to a bar- I guess a place where she would stop in and have a few drinks before going home.
She had a couple of drinks- and on the way home [I think at night?] there was a wreck- and one car was in the middle of the road- and she hit it.
Now- as I read the case and followed the story in the San Antonio paper.
The person who was killed was a young off duty cop.
The other car that hit him cut him in half.
Yeah- a very bad accident.
His body was lying over the barrier- it looked like someone was bending over- to pick something up.
During the testimony- they said how when she was standing there- after the wreck- she was kind of laughing.
I guess it was a nervous laughter type thing- she did not know she killed a person.
The prosecutor made it sound like she was laughing- right over the severed body.
Now- I’m sure the lady had no idea that this guy was dead- and cut in half.
But they gave Mrs. Briggs 45 years in prison for it.
Now- I make no excuses for what she did- she messed up- she should not have been drinking and driving- we all agree.
But I have seen cases where a gang kid shoots another kid in the head- on purpose- and gets less time.
So these are the tough cases.
As I talked with Dirk I told him I was surprised about the large amount of cases where guys get sent up for solicitation of minors.
I never remember hearing about it- years ago.
But the development of the internet- and the availability of everyone on line- well the cases must be up a million %.
Now- here’s the rub.
In the U.S. – you have legal porn all over the net.
It’s legal for 18 year olds to be in porn.
The U.S. says this is freedom- this is what we are all about- if you don’t like it- you don’t have to view it- but the U.S. has made it available all over the world- even to countries that outlaw it [Iran- and many Muslim nations].
But- many of the cases I have read- are cases where men tried to contact under age girls for sex.
Yes- wrong- we all agree.
Legally- if you view- or try to contact an 18 year old- this is deemed okay.
A 17 year old- 364 days- and 1 minute form her 18th birthday- this is a crime.
Okay- yes- this should be a crime.
But why does the U.S protect this [the viewing of the 18 yr old]?
Our country calls the exploitation of the 18 year old- ‘free speech’.
You mean viewing or contacting an 18 year old is considered a right- a part of our freedom- yet the 17 year old is a crime.
There are many nations who outlaw it all- now- there are ways people in those nations get around it- but the nation itself does not actually encourage it- like we do.
In some of these nations- we are militarily involved- on the basis of some type of moral judgment.
Yes- all of our wars- in some way- come down to the fact that we deemed some act- like 9-11, as immoral.
Of course most of us would agree that 9-11 deserved a response.
But what about a situation like Libya.
After the rebels rose up- we eventually had an air campaign under the guise of NATO- and it led to the killing of Gadhaffi.
Most people could care less.
His grandkids were bombed and killed in a civilian home- we said it was a legitimate target.
His daughter- pregnant- was on the run to a neighboring nation for safety.
If the rebels caught her- who knows- they might have ripped her baby out right there.
Yes- the rebels we backed have done stuff like this- and much worse.
Okay- the point?
When we- as a powerful nation- make moral judgments and intervene in the affairs of other nations- we justify our actions.
Even though some of these nations abhor our values [the above 18 year old example].
We- in our nation have in a way ‘increased the sins among men’ [a description of Babylon in the book of Revelation].
Because we simply deem the distribution of porno- to all the nations of the world- as ‘freedom of speech’.
Yet- as we ‘protect’ this right- at the same time hundreds of thousands of cases of on line crimes have increased over the last few years.
Are our values in any way contributing to this?
And then we at the same time interfere in other nations- at times militarily- because of a value judgment.
Do you now see why the Che’s of the world have such a following?
Don’t misread this post.
Che is a popular figure among many socialist groups- I am not one of them.
I simply want you to see the ancient war that has been going on since the days of the apostle John.
John described Babylon [any human govt. that becomes corrupt] as a system that increases the sins of men- that pollutes other nations based on her own skewed value system- and that uses it’s extreme wealth to bribe the other ‘kings of the earth who have drunk from the cup of her fornication’.
Yes- as I read the many cases of people being trod off to prison- because they viewed a 17 year old girl- who is being exploited by some money hungry corporate interest- and this is all protected- vigorously- by the U.S. govt. if the girl is 18.
I wonder if our values have contributed to the ‘sins among men’.
A quote from Che ‘man truly achieves his full human condition when he produces without being compelled by the physical necessity of selling himself as a commodity’
A quote from the apostle John ‘in her were the souls of men- she made all nations drink of the wine of her uncleanness’.
Yeah- some things never change.
1905 DID THE JEWS KILL CHRIST?
Kinda want to try and wrap up for the week- maybe one more post in the morning?
I posted some pics of the street guys yesterday- want to make a few comments.
I like taking the pics and posting them right when I’m with the guys- I’ll tell them ‘hey- right now your pics are going to the site’- they love it.
I also want to wrap up a few final points about the church- and the 2 extremes that she strayed into over the centuries.
In the last few posts we have been discussing the over emphasis on natural Israel- the promises of God- found in the Old Testament- concerning the restoration of the land- the re-building of the temple- stuff like that.
The church also has a sad history of anti Semitism- racism against Jewish people.
To our Catholic friends- the church has tried to deal with it in the last 30 years or so.
The present Pope- Benedict- who I do like [I have read his books] got into some trouble a couple of years ago.
It was a noble attempt to try and heal some long time divisions within the church.
It has been said when the Protestants disagree with something- they go out and start their own church.
When Catholics disagree- they start their own order.
I like that- funny- and true.
So- part of the Catholic divisions is the older type churches- the ones who rebelled against the noble reforms of Vatican 2 [The last church council- held between 1962-65].
Within the Catholic Church there are disagreements over what the council was trying to do.
Liberal Catholics believe the church was trying to trend into a more liberal institution.
Conservatives say that’s a misreading- that the church still held to her conservative roots- and was simply trying to be more Ecumenical.
Either way- one of the results was the more traditional type churches- sometimes called Tridentine [the ones who prefer the old Latin Mass].
These churches kind of split off from Rome and have been worshipping using the Latin mass [which was originally a violation of Vatican 2].
Vatican 2 said the Mass should now be done in the vernacular- the language of the people.
So- Benedict made a noble attempt to bridge this division- and he allowed for the Tridentine churches to do the Mass in Latin- and he also restored an old prayer- about the Jewish people- which simply said we pray for the conversion of Jews.
Okay- was this a big thing?
To simply say Christians are praying for the conversion of Jews- is that real bad?
In my mind- not a big thing.
Might it offend some of our Jewish friends?
But that’s the tradition of the church- to want people to come to belief in Christ.
But- because of the history of anti Semitism- this became a big thing.
‘How dare you pray for our conversion’ type thing.
So the church has had to grapple with how she looks at the Jewish people.
Historically- there were times of persecution of the Jews.
Most of us are familiar with the inquisitions.
The ones in Spain did ‘force’ the Jews to convert- and there were ‘inquiries’ made to see if the Jewish people really converted.
Some were put to death during this time.
During the protestant Reformation of the 16th century- out of Germany- which was Martin Luther’s home country.
There were anti Semitic writings penned by Luther.
Some of these writings were later used- in Germany- under Hitler- to justify anti Semitism.
Very sad history.
Now we have the ‘over emphasis’ [in my view] of the role of natural Israel- and the End Times [last couple of posts].
So- as you see- we have been to both sides of the aisle on this.
Why did anti Semitism play a role in the church?
Understand- we have bibles- that as Christians we accept as the Word of God.
There are also statements in our bibles- well- to be honest- might not have been written the same way- the same style- if we ‘re-wrote’ them today.
Bare with me a moment.
When the Mel Gibson’s movie came out- the Passion of the Christ- the criticism was he stuck very closely to the bible text- and it was indeed a violent crucifixion.
The writings of the apostle John specifically talk about the ‘Jews killing Jesus’.
There are other themes like this in our New Testament.
It’s not hard to see how these statements could lead to anti Semitism.
One of the things that the Pope recently clarified- which I absolutely agree with- is that when we read these things in our bibles.
We should not read them as saying ‘all Jews- of all times- are responsible for the death of Christ’.
In the bible story- the Jewish leaders conspired with the Roman govt. to ‘kill Christ’.
Many [all] of the original believers in the Messiah were indeed Jewish.
And the ‘anti Semitic’ statements in the New Testament were written by Jews- who were simply saying that they believed that some of their Jewish brothers were missing the boat by not accepting Jesus as the Messiah who was to come.
Okay- as you can see- we- the church- have a long history with this.
I would like to make one last comment before we close our talks on this.
For many years- as a bible teacher- writing- doing radio- etc.
It never dawned on me how these statements can indeed be offensive to our Jewish friends.
I mean say if you read ‘the Italians killed Christ’ or the Germans- etc.
That would indeed be problematic if you were trying to get your kids to read the bible.
The same thing with our references to the Arab world.
There are verses- in the Old Testament- that talk about Syria- Iraq [Babylon] and other Arab/Persian nations as the ‘enemies of God’.
So- when we use our bibles- in the modern day- it’s vital to understand that today- the kingdom of God is not about natural borders- or ethnic backgrounds.
It’s about Christ’s new kingdom- the kingdom of God.
All nations and races are welcome- we do not discriminate.
And we- as the church- do confess our sins against our Jewish friends- against our Arab friends- yes- we confess.
In the heated political environment of our day- the post 9-11 world- it’s hard to avoid animosity- and at times- hatred- towards others.
But we- as the people of God- should strive for forgiveness and unity- at least unity as people who live in a global society.
Yes- maybe we- as preachers especially- should re-think how we phrase things.
Yes- there are out and out statements in the bible about the ‘Jews killing Jesus’.
But in context- it would be wrong to put this on all Jews of all times- and if we ‘adjust’ the way we say these things- I think God would be well pleased.
1904 JERUSALEM DIVIDED?
I want to pick up a little from the last post- but I also got with the street guys yesterday and maybe will make a few comments.
Yesterday we talked about the first century context of the Jewish people- as it relates to the Messiah.
That is the Jewish nation was waiting for centuries for the promised one who would come and deliver them.
Jesus showed up on the scene and claimed to be the One.
The early followers of Jesus- all Jews- did not fully grasp the spiritual nature of Gods kingdom.
He would teach them principles about the kingdom that seemed to go against the flow of normal life.
‘The last shall be first’
‘He that dies shall live’
‘You have heard an eye for an eye- but I say love your enemies…’
All these principles were showing them that the Kingdom that Jesus was talking about was a spiritual kingdom- that would also affect the world as we know it- but at its heart it was not about material stuff.
Okay- now- the Jewish people at the time of Christ were wanting a national deliverance- they were pre-occupied with getting free from the rule of Rome- and their hopes- like many people today- were tied up in the advance of their nation- their people.
But you have the writings of the early apostles talking about this new kingdom- where Jesus died for all people [Jews and Gentiles] and he ‘reconciled both [groups] unto God in One Body on the Cross’. [Ephesians]
So- your getting a different picture here- Paul the Apostle is saying that we are all now part of this new community of God- he says ‘we are now partakers with the Jewish people- we are this new commonwealth’.
The actual teaching- from the bible- is very advanced for its time.
I mean if you think about it- these words were written 2 thousand years ago- and they speak about relations between groups that the modern church seems to miss.
When we- in our day- appeal to the Old Testament verses about God giving land to Israel- and we couch all of our ‘end times’ preaching in scenarios that have one side killing the other- or when Western Christians visit the ‘Holy Land’- talking about the staging of the final ‘assault’ [Armageddon] and how many Arabs [Muslims] will be slaughtered by a Jewish army- lead by Christ- I mean do we really realize what we are saying?
I just read Revelation chapter 4- and it had nothing to do with this post- but as a side note it said there was thing angel flying in heaven- preaching the ‘everlasting gospel’ to all nations that dwell on the earth.
The gospel means ‘good news’- we often read the book of Revelation- and use it to back up the scenarios I just spoke about.
But this verse says the intent of God is to tell the good news to ALL ETHNIC GROUPS.
No one is left out- do you hear this?
Arabs- Jews- everyone- the good news is Christ brought us all back to God by his death for us.
That’s good news.
Would it be good news if I said ‘hey Arab- guess what- Christ is coming back- oh- he will lead a war against you and your kids- if you get lucky you might be killed by Christ’.
Now- I know this sounds absurd- but that’s the majority teaching in the American Protestant church today.
Just last night I caught a little of the coverage of the Democrat convention.
They were reporting on a ‘big’ news event.
What was it?
That the Dem’s took the wording out of their platform that said they believed Jerusalem should be the undivided capitol of Israel.
Why would this big a big deal?
It dates back to the 19th century- and the rise of what we call Dispensational theology.
Basically the development of this whole teaching that I just covered.
Eventually the teaching would influence large swaths of American Protestantism.
And it would seep in to the political world.
Yes- the actual statement that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel- found in the political parties of our day- stem straight from the influence of the Dispensationalists of the 19th century.
Okay- what am I saying?
Do I advocate for the Palestinians getting half of Jerusalem?
[See- now I’m getting into politics]
Practically speaking- I don’t see how that could ever be workable.
You have Hamas- a recognized terror group by the U.S. – holding elected positions in Palestine.
So- I don’t see how this same group can share Jerusalem- practically speaking.
But- when you begin basing your political agenda on your view of the bible which might very well be wrong- then that’s when we get into trouble.
The New Testament apostles saw Jesus as the Messiah that they were waiting for.
All Jewish people do not see it that way- that’s their right- they have the freedom to believe the way they want.
Arab people have the freedom to believe the way they want.
Christians have the freedom to believe the way they want.
We as believers should share the Good News with all people groups.
That’s our mandate.
I just fear that much of what we are preaching is not good news.
1903 JEWS AND THE END TIMES?
I want to delve into a hard issue for the church.
The last few weeks I have been watching the documentaries from net flix.
I mentioned that most [if not all?] are done from the liberal perspective- which I’m okay with.
But it is important on all issues to see both sides.
One of the things they dealt with was the history of the church and anti Semitism.
Yes- the Christian church has had a long history of treating the Jewish people badly.
As a Protestant- those of you who have been reading my posts for a while- well you realize that I’m not in the ‘normal’ category of Protestantism.
Many of the subjects I hit on are going against the strain of what we normally view as American Evangelicalism.
I often reference the Pope- in a good way- or talk about our Catholic brothers and sisters- well- as brothers and sisters!
So- I realize I have rubbed many the wrong way.
So- this subject of the treatment of the Jewish people has seen extremes- and in the American Evangelical church- much too much of the ‘end times’ stuff- in my view- is missing the boat.
As we read the New Testament we see Jesus and the disciples [all Jewish by the way] living at a time when the Roman govt. ruled over the Jewish people- and the Jewish people were waiting for their ‘salvation’ by means of a Jewish Messiah who would come and deliver them from their oppressors.
Much of their understanding of salvation was tied in to a national deliverance.
When you read the prayers/praises of both John the Baptists dad- and also Mary’s praise [called the Magnificat] you see a strong sense of national deliverance.
They speak about God sending the Messiah to deliver the people form their oppressors.
Okay- in this milieu we have Jesus and his guys living and believing that the ‘salvation’ of God is near.
It was only natural for the disciples- especially those who we call Zealots [Simon- not Peter] to think that this whole salvation story was about God restoring natural Israel back to a place of prominence once again- no more Roman rule type of thing.
But we see an interesting thing with Jesus- he keeps making statements that seem to lead the disciples away from seeing things this way.
‘My kingdom is not of this world- or my men would fight’
‘Put up the sword- those who live by it will die by it’
And the verse I quoted the other day ‘see all these buildings- temple- there will not be one stone left upon another’.
He basically is rejecting the nationalistic idea of him being the Messiah who would redeem Israel in a nationalist way.
He’s showing them that his purpose is different- it’s salvific for sure- but not in the way they perceive.
Okay- I’m beginning to realize I won’t be able to cover the whole thing in this post.
Maybe I’ll do a few more like this in the next few days.
The point is- I want you to see that God’s purpose for our Jewish friends- our Muslim friends- for all races and ethnic groups.
His purpose is not to pit one side against the other.
It’s not about Jesus defending one side- at his second coming- and actually leading that side in a real war- where he shoots people- or kills them with a sword!
No- these scenarios- which prevail in the End Times books you see at Wal mart.
These ‘narratives’ if you will- go against the entire grain of the teachings of Jesus.
This is why you see me so negative at times- against the Evangelical church.
Many Protestants- well meaning people- have such a negative view of the historic church- that they reject the ancient church’s position on these things.
For the most part- the historic church took a position called A-Millennialism.
Basically it’s a kind of spiritual way of seeing all these things.
God’s kingdom is not seen thru the eyes of natural war- but thru the eyes of a heavenly kingdom.
I think that’s the correct position- for the most part.
But most American protestants believe that this position is just one of the many ‘doctrines of the Whore of Babylon’ see what I mean?
Okay- lets end there- think on some of this stuff- read the New Testament with this in your mind.
Why does the Apostle John refer to natural Jerusalem as ‘spiritual Sodom and Egypt’? [Revelation]
Was his intent to be anti Semitic?
No- he was showing us that God’s concern was for all people groups- no longer was it about a nationalistic thing- a type of salvation that the disciples at first were thinking of.
As I end this post- I want to make sure that all my friends- Jews- Muslims- all- understand that my position is that God loves us all- and he’s not in the business of backing any side- militarily.
I hope to show you this in the coming days.
1902 ARNOLD AND TERRI
Yesterday morning I took one of my early drives.
I kinda ride the main roads in our area- Cross-town- 37- these are the overpasses that let you drive the whole region without having to stop at a ton of red lights.
On the way back- around 6-7 am- I got off by the area where I bought the Jesus carving last week [remember the pic?]
I have been wanting to kind of start an outreach to the guys in that area for a while [remember the dollar I offered to the Mexican brother- who thought I had a gun?]
Yeah- that’s how it works- you just walk up to the guys- say hi- and over time you make new friends.
Isn’t that risky John?
To be honest- yes.
But I determined a long time ago that we [I] would take the risk.
Have there been times where you thought- for real- that this might be the big one?
Yes- a couple of times.
A friend- freaking out over some stuff- walking around with his loaded gun- I did think he might have killed us both that day- for real.
Another friend- who actually attempted to murder a couple of cops- one day I was at his house.
He knew that everyone knew him to be crazy- and that everyone feared him.
One day at the Fire House- the guys were talking about one of the local gang type guys.
His name was Campos.
They come from a big drug family in Kingsville.
Anyway- they had some ambulance run the night before- a shooting or something- and this Campos guy was involved.
The guys who knew Campos- some of the younger Mexican firefighters who grew up in the area knew all the war stories about him- he was the local ‘infamous hero’ to them.
They were talking about all the stuff Campos has done- shootings and stuff.
I got tired of hearing it- I told them ‘heck- my buddy beat the crap out of him one night’.
They shut up.
Yeah- this is my friend with the reputation of being nuts.
So anyway- as I was at his house- he just got out of prison.
He is talking to me- and he pulls out a very large hunting knife.
I could see it’s a test- he wants to see my face.
I sat there- knew it was a test- and gave him the look like- ‘I have been here before my friend’.
I guess I passed the test.
Both of these friends [the gun guy and knife] are long dead.
My ‘knife’ friend- well I mentioned him the other day and didn’t want to say too much- his brother and nephew are friends on my Face Book page.
But I’m sure they know- one night at the firehouse we had a call that some guy was attempting to kill a cop [again? I don’t know the whole story- but that’s how we heard it].
Something of that nature.
He possibly swallowed a bag of coke and went into a coma.
It was my friend.
I visited with him and his family at the hospital for about a week- they finally took him off life support.
He’s the one that’s buried at the ranch picture I posted the other day- in Bishop- Texas.
Okay- enough of this.
The reason I bring this up is I always felt I would take the risk- that I was supposed to.
So- Sunday morning when I got off on Morgan street- I really wasn’t intending on meeting any new ‘friends’.
We were going to go to church and all- and I try not to do outreach on Sunday.
But to my surprise there were a couple of street guys sleeping right on the bus benches.
In the ‘olden days’ you couldn’t do that.
This road [Morgan and Cross-town] is a high crime spot.
A kid- Jacob- committed a triple murder right at the intersection not too long ago.
But as I saw the guys on the benches- I thought ‘damn- let me stop and get them breakfast’.
There’s a McDonalds right there.
I got a laugh- when I ordered the breakfasts- the girl asks ‘is this a senior discount’.
Hell- I just turned 50- but I told her ‘if you want it to be’.
Yeah- the Lord blessed me.
So I got the meals- and headed out to the street.
It’s funny- all the people driving by- you know- one of those spots where you make sure the doors are locked.
I took a few pics- hope to post this morn.
But I walked across the street and simply told the kid on the bench- ‘hey bro- you want breakfast’.
I woke him up- he said ‘yeah man- thanks’.
I talked to Arnold for a while- nice Hispanic kid.
I gave him a few bucks- and he ran across the street to get some coffee- on the way back I told him I was gonna go offer the other meal to the guy on the other bench.
Arnold grabbed a car rag out of his pocket- he was going to the car lot right off the main street- the guy pays him 10 bucks to simply wipe the dew off the cars in the morning.
I walked over to the other guy- sleeping too.
‘Hey man- you want a breakfast’.
‘Oh yes- thank you so much’.
Terri has been homeless for a while.
He’s around 57- used to print the Ad Sack- our local paper where you list the stuff you want to sell [you know- the caveman Craigslist]
I sat with Terri for a couple of hours.
He enjoyed the meal- told me how breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
We walked across the street- I offered to buy Terri some smokes- not beer.
We walked in the store [Stripes] and the girl kicked him out fast.
I guess they know him.
I told Terri ‘I’ll get the smokes- what do you want’?
He wanted Kite- they are the roll your own type- lots of the guys buy these when they are broke.
‘C-mon Terri- my treat- get what you want’.
No- he said the Kite were fine.
Sure enough- they don’t carry Kite- he got the classic- Marlboro Red.
I sat there- right on the street- having a good time talking to Terri.
It was obvious Terri was an alcoholic- I did tell him I’m trying to get clean myself.
I told Terri that I passed this road many times over the years.
When I was a firefighter in Kingsville we used to take the badly inured to the hospital that’s right across the street.
It used to be called Memorial- it was the highest rated Trauma hospital in the region- it was also the free public hospital for those who had no coverage.
So lots of the addicts and stuff use it.
I noticed Terri had a medical band on his wrist- and he was wearing the hospital type pants.
Yeah- he was probably what we call an MHMR patient.
Mental health pt.
Terri seemed like a nice guy- down on his luck- living on a bus bench- right across from Arnold- living on the other one.
Yeah- I finally made 2 new friends- I will go back at least once a week- maybe take the guys to the buffet.
This is how it’s done- I have been doing this for years- ever since the day my buddy pulled out the knife- or the other one with the gun.
Sure- you do take risks- but most of the guys are like Teri and Arnold- harmless people down on their luck.
It’s not a race thing- Black- White- Mexican- they all have had their hard times.
I will try and chronicle their stories as time moves on- I want you to see these people.
Even though Terri was obviously not all there- he still had his senses.
As I sat with him- a pack of dogs walks right by us- you know- those little dog gangs.
A few cute pups were in ‘this gang’.
I asked Terri ‘are these regular’s’
He said no- he has never seen them before.
I told him ‘I guess they just heard some guys giving out free food’.
Yeah- I made some new friends- living on bus benches.
I told them ‘hey- can I take your pics for the site’?
They loved it.
Enjoy the pics [if they post?]
NOTE- As I sat with the guys on this Sunday morning- I noticed not all of the cars driving by ignored us- some stopped and gave a few dollars- or a taco- to the guys.
They were wearing rosary beads and stuff- the people who also helped.
I felt like they were good Catholic people on their way to Mass- living out the teachings of their church- helping the poor.
May God bless them.
1900 A LITTLE CROW?
I caught part of the Repub convention last night.
I haven’t been following it- but I found the coverage very interesting last night.
I have been a critic of MSNBC and Chris Matthews over the years.
But- to his credit- I thought he did a great job last night.
Why? Because he made the conservative points?
But he did indeed differ with the others and defended Jeb Bush who made the conservative argument about school vouchers.
Vouchers are funds that you could use to send your kid to the school of your choice.
The way it is supposed to work is if you’re a poor mom- maybe a single Black mother living in a tough inner city area.
You could apply for the voucher and send your son/daughter to a better school then she would normally have access to.
Now- there are those against this and for it- and like most things- if your hear one side only- well you begin to say ‘o- I see your point’.
Then you might hear the other side and say the same thing.
My point is Matthews did take the voucher side- and to the obvious dismay of his liberal panel [Sharpton, Maddow, etc.] he knew he was in the minority.
I also liked the view that Matthews and Sharpton took about Romney’s Mormonism.
They were consistent and said it is wrong to go after him on that.
I caught CNN and Fox- all in all- I was happy to see that their coverage- even though they all play sides at times- was pretty fair.
Why was I glad to see this?
Because whoever wins this election- the next president will have to try his best to govern a very divided nation.
And it will be hard- for either side- to do this if the losing side [whoever it be] simply spends the next 4 years trying to make the winner fail.
This last year I have criticized the president lots- and I have done the same with Bush in the past [mainly over the wars].
But there have been things that I credit Obama for.
As a big news buff- one of the geopolitical issues that came up was this Pakistani road that we used to get supplies to our troops fighting in the border region of Afghanistan/Pakistan.
We had an incident where we accidently bombed the wrongs guys- we killed a bunch of Pakistani troops- thinking they were Taliban.
Now- Pakistan has not been the best ally in this whole war in Afghanistan.
And make no mistakes about it- we buy their support with tons of money.
But- when we killed their troops- they had it.
They shut down this vital road for our supplies and refused to re open it unless that got an official apology.
They wanted the U.S. [Obama] to apologize during a campaign year- when the opposing side were accusing him of being weak in the world- and making apologies to other nations.
So- instead of apologizing- the U.S. spent millions of more dollars- every week [day?] flying and using other ways to get the support to our troops.
Now- the Pakistanis did indeed charge us lots for the use of the road- but these other options were much more expensive.
So what happened?
One week- after months of the stalemate- Hilary Clinton made the apology with the approval of Obama.
Yeah- he did the right thing- and that was that.
Now- he could have just spent the extra millions and not apologized.
But I’m sure he consulted with the military brass- and they gave him the frank advice that it would be better to get the road back.
He did the right thing- not the most expedient thing- not the thing that would help his election the most.
No- he did the right thing.
If Romney wins- or Obama gets re-elected- they will need the support of the people to do ‘the right thing’.
They will need to have some consensus- some middle ground- to fix the things that are really broken in this country.
And we won’t be able to do that if we continue to simply hate the other side.
I was very impressed with the cordial coverage that the networks gave to Romney.
And I trust they will do the same with the president’s convention.
Yeah- I must admit that Chris Matthews was a real news man last night.
Kudos’ to him and MSNBC [geez- I hate the taste of crow!]
This week I met John at the mission.
Maybe the last 2 weeks?
Anyway- when he first showed up he just looked like one of the new guys that shows up every so often.
You have people from all over that gravitate to the shore regions of the country- and we are one of those spots.
John was a little different- he had this cute Chewowa [sp?] dog- named Gizmo- and he is a ‘jolly’ type fella.
So- to some- they might paint John as gay- you know- loving on this little dog- jolly.
Now- if he were- I wouldn’t care- I mean I still be-friend people from all backgrounds- and I forgot to mention this in the post I did about race.
That a couple years back there was a nice Black kid- he came from a ministry background [family started churches and stuff all over the area].
One day I took him shopping- to the grocery store- we had a couple of other street guys.
Sometimes I’ll take the guys to the store and let them buy some stuff they need [on my debit card].
But Tracy basically food shopped.
Tracy is also gay.
It was quite expensive.
The other guys got mad ‘hey- John pays for this out of his pocket’.
Sometimes people think I have some type of ‘ministry fund’ and they might spend more than they need.
I just went with it- I was broke for the rest of the month- but what the heck.
So- just wanted to defend myself a little- being I do write on race issues- yet I believe in helping all types- even gay friends.
So- even if this new guy was gay- I don’t judge him.
But- as I talked with ‘jolly John’ I came to find out he’s not gay- but a widower.
John was a plumber for 35 years- lived in Arlington [Texas- the city where the Texas rangers come out of].
A few years ago his wife got real sick- and in October of last year she took her own life.
John always wanted to live near the ocean- he sold everything he had and spent the money coming to Corpus.
He got a job right away- working right by the mission for a mechanic shop.
Yesterday I took my van for an inspection- sure enough he was there.
So right off the bat I know John is different- lots of the guys have stories- but to put it bluntly- they don’t want to work.
This is a real problem for sure- and when you read all my posts defending the poor- don’t confuse that with thinking I’m defending able bodied people- who are not working.
No- I try to spend my money helping people who are not on the free programs- or who are really in need.
Yeah- I have given to those who I probably shouldn’t have- but all in all I am against guys just living off the free dole- when they need to work.
So- John has a good job- and he’s saving up for a cheap apartment.
He told me he’s living in the broken down car wash that’s attached to the mechanic shop.
For you local friends- he works at Fast Trax- in the Bluff- right by the HEB parking lot.
John sleeps there with his little dog- Gizmo [I’ll try and post some pics this morning?]
Yeah- John has an interesting story- a hard working man- who came upon hard times- and wound up ‘on the street’ at least for a little while.
It would be easy to look at John and judge him- I mean he is eating at the free mission [I never eat the free food by the way].
And he is a big boy- overweight- and admits it.
So- at first glance you could peg him as a freeloader who refuses to work.
When John told me about his wife taking her life- John cried.
I felt bad for him- he seems like a very nice guy.
As I sat in the shop waiting for my inspection- sure enough- his little dog Gizmo is chained up to a chair in the waiting area.
The poor baby is shaking- you know how those little pups shake- and I guess he sits by himself all day.
He’s just staring at the door where his ‘daddy’ walked thru- hoping he comes back.
Kinda sad story to be honest.
Yet John has this happy go lucky way about him- he laughs and jokes at the mission.
He lets his little puppy lay on him- he’s really an interesting guy.
John is one story- one friend- out of hundreds- maybe thousands of friends I have made over the years.
Yeah- there have been times where some of ‘my friends’ were people that others would not be around.
Dangerous type people.
Others are like John- just a good person who fell on bad times.
I have a verse posted here right behind me.
It says ‘she that tarried at home divided the spoils’.
It’s in the book of Psalms.
I posted it a few years ago- right behind the chair I’m sitting on right now while I blog.
To me it says there will be friends who read these posts- and maybe they will never see the John’s of the world.
Maybe they will live their lives as most people do.
Good lives- working- raising kids- things that are noble and good.
But to these friends- the verse I just quoted is very important.
It tells me that God intended for some of our ‘community’ to ‘stay at home and have a part’.
To you- most of you are women- don’t underestimate the need to pray for me and my friends.
I have gone thru the Gospel of Matthew- Acts- Romans and am in Corinthians right now.
Yes- I am a big bible reader- as well as a writer on all the other things.
The Apostle Paul was used by God- and in most [if not all?] of his writings- he says ‘please don’t forget to pray for me’.
For those who can- those who tarry at home- try and pray the ‘Our Father’ every day for me and my friends.
It might not seem much to you- but to be honest- I think it at times it has saved my life.
Thanks- from John- John- and oh yeah- little Gizmo.
I got with the street guys the other day.
Every so often one of the guys gets in the mood to ask me stuff- things about the bible- things they have questions about.
Hugh sat down next to me and asked me a few things.
It was funny- because I was just posting about Greek gods and all- and he asked me if there was a goddess that’s mentioned in the bible.
I told him there was- in the book of Acts it talks about ‘the great goddess Diana’.
It was a reference to the idol that was set up in the city of Ephesus.
The reason I mentioned this was Hugh told me ‘John- I like talking to you about this stuff- you know the answers [most of the time] but you don’t try and make us believe everything your way’.
Hugh and Andy and John David- all brothers that I have written about over the years- they grew up in a preachers home.
They had experiences with many preachers over the years- and they are familiar with men- good men- but men who see things a certain way- and they often demand that others see it to.
When Hugh made the above statement- I didn’t tell him this- but his brother Andy- who is a very able bible person- had told me the same exact thing a few years ago.
Before I write in the morning- I quote a verse from the book of James.
‘let every man be swift to hear- slow to speak- slow to wrath- for the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God’.
Last night I caught about 5 minutes of MSNBC- and I need this verse because of them.
Rachel Maddow was ‘covering’ the campaign of Romney- and she went on to say that who would ever believe that in this day and age- a candidate for president would run his whole campaign on being anti black.
She went on and said Romney is targeting the racist white vote- that this is blatant and open.
As I watch these race cards being played- another MSNBC host said Romney was calling the president a Nigger.
Yes- Toure’- a regular on the network- said when Romney used the word ‘angry’ twice in a row- that he ‘niggerized’ Obama.
I heard a few actual quotes this past week- actual recordings from the 2008 campaign.
‘He knew he was going to play the race card- we now have the proof that he did this on purpose’.
Who said this?
He was referring to some memo that leaked our – Clinton said it proved that this was calculated.
‘Obama- you say you want to run a clean campaign- but your actions are not in line with your words- Shame on you- shame on you’.
When you see the person saying it- she’s outraged.
Who said it?
I think it’s sad that any side would resort to stuff like this.
This is not new [unless you believe that Bill and Hillary were lying].
Okay- the other day when I posted the pic of the Jesus head carving [Facebook] I wasn’t sure if I should tell this or not.
But I got up at midnight again- and when I was just praying before I post- I felt it was time.
The reason I went down the road that the Re sale shop was on- was because that part of town is a very bad place to be.
Normally- White folk don’t go there.
Many years ago [18?] I had a bad year.
I hung out with drug addicts- and partied in the bars that were right off the street where I bought the carving.
As I was standing on the street that day- waiting for the owner to get to the shop- I had about 20 minutes or so of just being there.
As I looked east- I saw a club called Ceilo- where a shooting just happened a few nights before.
I thought about the nights when I was in another club just like it- on the same block.
I was the only English speaking person in the place- including the bar tender.
One night as the guys were ‘shooting up’- somehow the conversation got into God.
When I told one of the guys I used to preach- he said he felt God sent me- that in a way he thought even though drugs were all over the room- yet he thought God sent me.
Many nights I would be up all night- and drive home at around 6 in the morning [an hour drive to Kingsville].
I would get home just in time to put on my uniform and go to work.
There’s a song that’s been playing on the Christian station these last few days- it says we are all on borrowed time.
As I stood on the corner that day- right across the street there was this Mexican guy.
So- being I’m waiting for the owner of the shop to show up- I figured I might as well do some outreach.
So- I yelled ‘hey brother- you need a few dollars’.
I just wanted to spread the wealth round.
He looked at me for a second- and I wasn’t sure he understood English.
So I started walking towards him- and I was taking my wallet out- you know- to say ‘look- do you need a couple of bucks’.
I guess he saw me reaching for the wallet- and maybe thought I had a gun.
He turned the other way and started walking- real fast.
At this point I was laughing- yeah- out loud.
I grabbed my trusty cell phone camera and took a couple of pics- was gonna post them but they came out bad.
Over the years I have had Mexican friends- Black friends- all races.
God’s kingdom is color blind- we are here for a very short while.
It gets me mad to see the race card played- I know racism exists- it inside White people- Black people- it’s comes in every color.
When we as a society play the card so freely- we damage each other.
We give people excuses to hate other people.
Yes- some people hate Obama because of his color- but most of those who disagree with him do so because of his politics.
If people don’t like Romney- then ‘don’t like him’ because of his too.
But when you say he ‘niggerized’ the campaign because he used the word ‘angry’ twice- then you are not contributing to the overall healing of our land.
Remember- short time- let’s not waste it on stuff like this.
1897 WHITE’S CREATED AIDS TO KILL BLACKS
Okay- we spent the last few days talking about the Todd Akin comment.
Akin is running for senator in Mo.
He said that ‘legitimate rape RARELY produces a pregnancy- because a woman’s body has ways of shutting that stuff down’.
So- the national media has spent days on this.
Last night I caught a short clip of ABC world news with Dianne Sawyer.
It teased an upcoming special 2 DAY coverage of Mormonism.
So- I figured instead of my usual channel surfing- I would watch the entire 30 minutes of ABC news at 5:30.
It was revealing.
For their political coverage- they showed a few negative ads about Ryan/Romney [none of Obama].
They covered the abortion views of Ryan.
Then they said ‘okay- that’s it for political coverage’.
Was that political coverage?
It was free ad time for the President.
Many of the web ad’s that are produced- by both sides- only produce them for the purpose of various media outlets picking them up and showing them on their shows.
Yes- nothing wrong with the strategy.
But- when the so called unbiased media only plays the ads of one side- they are spending hundreds of thousands giving free ad time to one side.
What about the Mormon coverage?
ABC began a 2 night ‘world coverage’ of Mormonism.
Like I said before- I am very aware of their teaching- I have Mormon friends- but quite frankly- the media realize that if they high light the religious beliefs of Romney- it will hurt him.
So- during the coverage they used words like-
‘strange- peculiar’ [fits in with MSNBC’S mantra of referring to Romney as weird- member of a cult]
‘all male leaders’
Now- you might ask ‘so John- if these things are true- then what’s wrong with the media exposing it’.
That’s the point.
When President Obama was running in 2008- his church background had almost no coverage at all.
The little coverage it did get was by Fox- or those in the media saying his religion is off grounds.
Matthews [MSNBC] kept accusing the conservatives of imposing a ‘religious test’ on Obama.
So- the church Obama belonged to was a Black Liberation church.
Now- for the record- much of what you read on my site has a very strong strain of liberation theology in it.
Yes- my defense of the poor- the illegal alien- many of my themes are indeed found in liberation theology movements.
In the past I covered this teaching- how it rose from the Catholic bishops in Latin America- how the Catholic church had debates within their church over it.
All in all- in some ways I actually defended Liberation Theology- and even Rev Wright [to a degree].
So- having said that- what were some of the beliefs of Obama’s church?
Rev Wright [Obama’s pastor for 20 years] believed that AIDS was created by the White man [the govt.] for the purpose of infecting Blacks to kill them.
Wright worked closely with Farrakhan in Chicago- and they often espoused hatred for the White race.
How much of this did you ever see on the news?
Did ABC do a 2 night ‘world coverage’ of the ‘strange beliefs’ of Obama’s church?
Now- how much of this affected the President?
Obama’s defense was he never heard Wright say any stuff like this- though he said Wright was one of the most influential men in his life.
He was married by Wright.
Wright baptized his kids.
And Obama titled one of his books after a phrase from the pastor [The Audacity of Hope].
Now- as a listener of both the right and left- I also get to hear [radio] stuff that you don’t hear on the news.
These are actual quotes from President Obama
‘White man’s greed rules a world in need’ [he was quoting from his own book- he did an audio version of it]
‘White’s move into the suburbs because they don’t want to pay for the education of inner city kids’
Does he really believe this?
If you are White- and you move out of the city- he says you did this because you are racist.
Not because you want to escape the crime- pollution- have a better school for your kids.
No- according to the Presidents own words- it’s because you don’t want your money going to educate inner city kids [mostly Black kids].
Why are these actual quotes important?
They show you that the beliefs of rev. Wright did indeed affect the President.
Yet- you never heard any of this from the media- they would not dare cover the religious beliefs of Obama.
They said it was outrageous that anyone would ask.
As I watched last night- I was reminded of all the comments I heard these past few weeks by the media.
Bashir [MSNBC] said outright that Christians should not vote for Romney because he denies the Trinity.
A major Democrat funder said Romney does not give to charity- but to ‘his cult’.
On and on.
I personally do not believe we should pick a candidate because of his faith.
Other Christians do indeed differ- I have friends who will not vote for Romney because he is Mormon.
The point I’m making is this is what you call media bias.
You would never see a so called news man say ‘you should not vote for Obama because he is a Black Liberation Christian’.
Now- you will hear that from others- but never from the news itself.
Yet- we have heard all of the above from so called main stream news sources.
If we- as Citizens- are expected to make informed votes- then we either need to know all of the above- about both sides- or none of the above- about both sides.
I assure you- if the world news covered the statements- of the president himself- and the beliefs of the church he attended for 20 years.
That the 2008 election would have been much different.
But the media had their man- and they did all they could to cover him in a favorable light.
Now- they are covering his challenger in an unfavorable one.
They are outright saying he is a cult member- that he denies the Trinity- that his church is strange- weird.
They are covering Romney’s religion nonstop.
Yet- the church belief that the White man created AIDS to kill Blacks- well that’s a personal religious belief.
We have no right to know that.
1894 HEROD- FAME- AND ONE COOL DUDE
I mentioned the other day that some of the street guys said ‘wow- were gonna be famous’ when I told them I was gonna post their pics to the site.
The next day I was watching the local news- and they did a report about 2 guys getting arrested for peeing- on a cop car- at the police station.
So- whenever I see a news teaser like this [you know- ‘coming up next’] I think ‘geez- wonder if I know them’.
Sure enough- it was Albert and another guy that I just saw at the mission.
They did want to be famous.
Right after I posted yesterday- I read an article that backed up my suspicion.
It was so obvious it was funny.
I wrote that I saw an NBC news clip that portrayed Romney as this angry- mean- loser who can’t stand the heat.
Then- they spoke about Obama as a very calm- almost messianic figure.
So- right after the post I read my paper- there was a report by the AP [associated press].
Let me quote the first paragraph- it’s right here ‘Romney is portraying THE OUTWARDLY CALM PRESIDENT as a man seething with animosity and power lust as the Repubs seek to undermine one of the Dems greatest strengths- his PERSONAL LIKABILITY’.
I mean it’s so obvious- you can’t take these guys serious.
I was watching MSNBC- Matthews was responding to the court ruling that backed the Repub rule that in Pennsylvania you need to show voter I.D.
This has been an ongoing political battle in a few states- including mine.
The Dems charge that there is absolutely never any voter fraud- ever.
[note- a few years ago they showed a tape of a Texas Dem- she was speaking to a room full of Mexicans- down by the border- she said ‘go out and vote- even if your not a citizen- they cant check!’]
They say the Repubs are doing this because they know many ‘poor Blacks’ who vote Dem- cannot get their I.D.’s
Once again- they don’t realize that this stereotype is racist.
Like when Harry Reid said of Obama- and Biden too ‘he’s the first CLEAN BLACK guy- on a national scene- he can talk good- he doesn’t SOUND BLACK- only when he wants to’.
Yeah- you tell em guys.
I’m surprised Biden didn’t kick in ‘yeah- you need a slight Indian accent in the 7-11’s and Dunkin Doughnuts too’- ‘I’m not kidding either’- yeah- we heard.
So Matthews goes on and asks his guest ‘tell us what this rule means for the poor voters in the state who usually vote Dem’.
The lady goes on and says that this forces them to travel across the country [huh?] in order to obtain their proof of birth from their state.
What about the fax machine?
Then she said many of these people were born by midwives [many- these people- hmm?]
And they don’t have birth certificates.
One of my daughters was born by a midwife- she has a birth certificate.
My homeless friends are constantly losing their picture I.D.’s- which is an important thing for them to have- and they regularly write- contact their home state of birth- without actually going there- and they get new I.D.’s
I really don’t know why MSNBC calls itself a news station.
Then the wonderful Chris Matthews says ‘they are going back to the days of King Herod- where he made all the world travel back to their homeland to be taxed’.
Please- Please- try and stick with the news as best as possible- because when you guys delve into the faith- you really screw stuff up.
Oh- I forgot- I also cut out the picture from the article- it shows the most calm picture of Obama I ever did see.
He’s with his wife at some function.
She looks good too- like a happy- sweet angel.
He is on a plane- doesn’t look that bad- but maybe a little stressed.
Now- I’m sure they searched high and low for a stressed pic of Romney- this was probably the best they could come up with.
I remember when Newsweek posted a cover picture of Michele Bachman- I mean it was the most insane shot I ever saw- like some wild eyed lunatic.
Yeah- the media do stuff like this- all the time.
People don’t realize they are affected by it- but they are.
Okay- this past week I posted some pics of old friends and I also shared a story about some of these friends with the homeless guys.
So I think I’ll post another ‘post’ right below- one that has some info about these old friends.
So- enjoy your weekend- Oh- if you’re a Black person from the great sate of Penn.- say high to King Herod for me.
1893 CHAINS- TREES AND RYAN
It’s been a few days since Romney picked Ryan as the V.P.
And I find it interesting how the media has covered it.
Last night I caught Blitzer [CNN] grilling a Repub on all the votes/positions Ryan has held since being in congress.
I mean the media have been doing this since day 1.
So- Ryan and his defenders have spent time saying ‘look- when someone is picked to be the V.P. – he realizes that the top guy on the ticket is the one who calls the shots’.
Is this true?
As a matter of fact- I never heard one reporter ever pose a question like this to Biden.
When Obama picked Biden- Biden had cast tons of more votes than Ryan- he has been in the senate for years.
Yet not a single question- not one- about Biden casting votes that were contrary to Obama.
Yesterday we also had some bad news- a shooter walked into a political opponent’s office [he held the opposite views of this organization] and opened fire.
Yes- the shooter was associated with groups on the other side- politically- of the people he shot.
Now- where were the Bryan Rosses of the world?
You know- the reporters who were going thru the shooters background- even reporting that they found people with the same name as the shooter [Jim Holmes] who held the opposing political views of the people he shot [Ross falsely associated the batman movie shooter with a Tea party guy].
No- for the most part yesterday’s shooter got little coverage.
He was a left leaning Democrat- active in all types of liberal causes.
Now- Biden just came out and made the now infamous ‘they are gonna put YOU ALL back in chains’.
You all- the Black folk in the audience.
How lovely Joe- you just keep hittin’ them out of the ball park ole buddy.
So- when you have a shooter ‘shoot’ at some type of Democrat type organization- or at some type of liberal leaning organization [abortion clinics].
The media spend days- weeks- asking the question ‘do you think the language of ‘the right’ is responsible for this’.
Yet- you have Biden- Obama- and the entire left side of the aisle spending the last few months demonizing rich folk- business people- people who hold to conservative views.
And not one single question [that I saw] asked about whether or not this type of incendiary language [their words- when covering the right] might have caused some unstable person to shoot at the Focus on the Family people.
As the media can’t seem to stop covering every vote Ryan made that was not 100 % in line with Romney- I saw a short report last night from the local NBC affiliate.
It portrayed Romney as being angry- mad- unable to handle the tough campaigning.
It showed Obama and his team as good natured folk- people who live and let live.
Yet- as I have been watching the news- I have not seen Romney openly angry- stressed out- or frustrated to no end.
No- as a matter of fact- many on the ‘right’ are upset with Romney- because he is not doing this.
Let me make a point here to some of my Christian friends.
I know most of you know Romney is Mormon- and has played a very active role in his church.
Did you know Romney was what we consider a Pastor for many years?
People that know him will tell you straight up that he is the basic pastor type person in all of his dealings.
That in all his business dealings- even if you disagree with him financially or politically- they say he is a very honest guy.
So- when the NBC report was painting a narrative that said Romney was this stressed out angry guy- I knew they were telling ‘their story’ and theirs alone.
Then- at the end of the piece- they added in the recent comment of Biden that Romney wants to put Black people back ‘in chains’.
Which was what you saw in the clips they played of Romney- his response to the latest attack.
I also saw another interesting news story.
It was on one of the world news shows that come on at 5:30 in Texas- 6:30 in the east.
They were talking about the wildfires out of control- they then mentioned the global warming thing- how it is behind the fires.
Then- they showed a picture of Palm trees burning- all by their lonesome.
They then insinuated that global warming is so bad- that palm trees are ‘spontaneously combusting’ from the heat.
I kid you not.
Now- did these trees just ignite- by themselves- because of the heat?
As a firefighter- who worked 25 years in a very hot state- days of 110 degrees- with many palm trees.
We never had a case of a palm tree doing this.
So what was the news doing?
More than likely- they were showing you some trees- that probably did ignite- but they were not showing you they were about 100 feet from the rest of the blaze.
Yes- in fire science you learn that the heat from a fire- many more times hotter than the actual temp- even in the worst ‘global warming’ spot on the planet.
The heat from a fire can heat up a close object to its ignition temp.
Now- the fire has to be real hot [your talking thousands in degrees- not 110!]- and the object has to be pretty close- like the fire in the above scenario was probably right out of the picture- on purpose.
So- the news story can say- with some truth ‘this palm tree spontaneously combusted by the heat’ and in the same breath talk about global warming.
They did not outright ‘lie’ but they gave you a narrative that mislead you.
The media do this day in and day out- with everything.
So- as we watch the media go with a fine toothcomb thru every vote Ryan ever made- as they portray Romney as this angry cult leader- who is unable to deal with the stress of a campaign.
Yes- as they show us the palm tree that spontaneously combusts- because those damn Repubs won’t stop global warming!
Yes- as we view all this thru the looking glass of the tube.
Just remember- that when Biden [or Obama] accuse the other side of wanting to put ‘you all back in chains’.
Or wanting to kill grandma while rolling her off the cliff.
Remember- when the left uses this language- and a Democrat walks in to a Christian ministry and starts shooting- remember- this has absolutely nothing to do with the man’s act.
But when some nut shoots and wounds a Democratic senator from Arizona- Gabbie Gifford’s- the media spend an entire week asking if the use of the word Target- by Sarah Palin- was responsible for the shooting.
Yeah- that’s the good ole honest media for ya- you know- the ones who just happen to spot palm trees spontaneously goin’ up in smoke.
NOTE- I kid you not- right now- just as I wrote ‘up in smoke’ I look up- and yes- my desk top [wood] is actually on fire- for real.
I have a habit of burning candles- lighting my own home made lamps [bottles with wicks in them- filled with lamp fuel].
And burning incense.
So- my wife keeps telling me ‘your gonna set the house on fire one day’.
Sure enough- I had a candle burning- and it lit some spilled wax on the desk top [I have a spot where I burn candles and the wax gets on the wood].
I look up- the thing is in flames.
If I had the time I would have clicked a pic!
I put it out with a towel- but I almost had to grab the garden hose- let’s hope my wife does not read this one [or one of my daughters squeals on me! You know- Biden style.]
1892- WHAT A DEAL!
Well I finally sold the Mustang last night [a car- not horse].
I put it on Craigslist for about a week- geez- too many calls.
People would ask for directions- I’d give them the address and directions- then they would call back ‘well- I don’t speak English too good [lots of Mexicans buy the cars from this area and sell them in Mexico] – I’m still in the parking lot ‘[Wal mart].
Okay- would could I do?
I told a few people ‘look- I gave you the address- directions- part of this project is you need to be able to get here- if you can’t complete this part of the ‘mission’ then I guess you won’t be buying the car brother’.
Yeah- they need that type of tough love.
So anyway it sold for 700.
That was a steal to be honest.
1998 mustang- runs good- does need a starter.
Another one was selling for 1500- with a blown motor!
Okay- let’s do another verse from the prophet.
‘In all their affliction he was afflicted- and the angel of his presence saved them’ Isaiah 63:9
If you read the entire chapter you get a scene of someone treading the Winepress.
I spoke about this a while back- the imagery of a Winepress- a place where you crush the grapes and make the wine- is used by the prophets in the bible.
Jesus himself uses the same imagery in the gospels.
Here you have God saying ‘I looked for a man- someone to do this mission- and I found no one- so my own arm brought salvation’.
It is important to note that in this chapter we see God [Jesus] stained with the blood of those who are being trampled at the Winepress.
In the book of Revelation we this same thing.
Many modern prophecy teachers [another pet peeve of mine by the way] have an end time scenario all figured out- they see these things thru the ‘lens’ of modern warfare- which nation should get which piece of land [Israel- Palestine- etc.]
But they fail to see how the New Testament focuses on all ethnic groups- Jews, Palestinians- etc- as being One New Man in Christ [Ephesians].
So- this image of the winepress sometimes is associated with a final battle of Armageddon scenario- that makes me cringe when I hear it proclaimed- in an ethnic way- from the media pulpits.
‘John- how should we take it then’?
Look- I’m not saying ‘my way’ is the only way- or the right way.
But when we read the bible- we must also take into consideration the broader themes of the love and grace of God- yes- judgment too- I don’t deny that- but the mercy of God must be there as well.
So- in this imagery of Jesus being stained with the blood of sinners- at a Winepress- the ‘place of pressing’ [like the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus started to bleed- pouring out his blood].
We can also see this as a type of the Cross- the place where the judgment and wrath of God was poured out- on Christ himself.
Maybe the blood that the ‘treader’ is soaked in- maybe its redemptive- just maybe.
But the actual verse I wanted to hit on was that ‘in all our affliction- he is afflicted’ [which by the way fits in more with what I just said].
In 1st Peter 4 we read that we are partakers of Christ’s suffering.
The apostle Paul said ‘I fill up the sufferings of Christ’.
They saw their trials as being redemptive in nature- that is they felt like the things they were going thru in life were for a higher purpose.
They did not view the Christian experience thru a lens that was primarily seeking self benefit.
Many today see ‘church’ and Christianity as a means of self improvement- often times you hear the same thing from the pulpits as you hear on the weekend self help infomercials [or the ‘how to get rich’ guys].
Is this a right view?
We are on the earth to glorify God- and to finish the work he gave us to do.
If part of the cost is suffering- then so be it.
These verses I have quoted show us in no uncertain terms that we are called- at times- to suffer.
As a student of all types of scholars- I must confess that our Catholic brothers and sisters get this right- much more often than Protestants.
So- those of you who have been tracking this journey- you have seen some flat tires- some wrecked trucks- and yeah- some up’s and downs.
I’m not saying all of this is equal to the sufferings of the early apostles- but in a small way- we can identify- and gain comfort- to know that these are not ‘strange trials’ these are things we all go thru in life.
I just wish we could take turns!
1888- THE NEW AMERICAN GIGOLO
Okay- let’s talk.
Before I forget let me finish a note on one of the pictures I posted last night [Facebook].
I posted an old pic from a fellowship we had at a ranch in Bishop- at Eli’s house.
The reason I have posted some of these blurry pics- taken from a very old cell phone- is because they have friends in the pics who have died and I will never get any new pics from them.
In this photo there was a shot of Shelby- who passed away a few years back.
Henry was also there- these are my friends from the streets of Corpus Christi- and the Bishop fellowship was one of the few times that the 2 different groups met- one group from the old days in Kingsville/Bishop- when we had our little home church.
And the later days- the guys who I now work with each week- the homeless guys.
Part of the note that got cut off was one night I was driving Homer home- he was Eli’s- Bebe’s and Rudy’s dad.
They all came to the church.
And Homer told me how happy he was to see all his boys in church.
I am still in touch with these Kingsville/Bishop guys- some are on the site [Facebook].
I plan on making a trip soon [so if you guys are reading- let me know the best day- I’ll bring a few street guys].
Okay- that finished that.
I also had one of those strange experiences.
The other day while I was praying for all the different guys- I also prayed about the ‘jail’ ministry.
For many years I used to preach at the county jails in Kingsville.
When I moved to Corpus- I tried to get in at the one here- but they had certain rules that made it hard for me to get in.
I usually do stuff like that thru the name of our ministry- corpuschristioutreachministries.
But this time they wanted me to go thru another church- so it didn’t work out.
I left it at that- I mean I still have plenty of other guys to work with.
So- as I was praying I asked the lord if he wanted me to get more involved- then he would have to show me.
It was only a day or 2 and I got the letter from my friend in prison- in N.J.
So I felt this might be an open door.
I mentioned that I was suspired to get a letter from Jersey- and the next morning I wrote a post and ‘unwittingly’ titled it I KNEW A LITTLE GREEK.
Just a play on words [the post is a few back- I was talking about the Greek language].
Later in the day I realized that this buddy who just wrote me- he is the only Greek friend I have!
So- that was cool too [you know- the first letter in years- just happened to be the only Greek guy I know].
Okay- let me quote another verse from Isaiah-
‘Behold- I create new heavens and a new earth- the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind- be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create’.
This verse is also found in the book of Revelation.
Here in Isaiah God is speaking about a new future for his people- a time of restoration.
God’s people went thru years of struggle and hardship- and he is telling them ‘look- those days are now over- yeah- they served a purpose- a lot of it was stuff you reaped from making bad decisions- and to put it bluntly- sinning and messing up. But no more- this is a new time- rejoice- be glad- this is a new season’.
For those of you who need it- just take it- no charge!
And I’ll end with the tragic news event.
Yeah- I’m sure you have all heard- Romney kills women [to my less astute political readers- I kid.]
Yeah- Obama’s people put out an ad- I watched it.
It sounded very sincere- the guy said he worked for the company that Romney’s firm eventually shut down.
He then said ‘when Romney shut us down- I lost my insurance- soon after my wife died of cancer- we had no more insurance thanks to Romney’.
Now- by just watching the ad- you would have thought that the guy’s insurance covered his wife- and thanks to Romney- the lady died.
The truth is- the lady was not covered by the husband’s ins.- she had her own.
When the guy got fired- his wife still had insurance.
She finally lost hers- and later- 6 years later [after Romney left the company] the lady got sick and died.
I mean if you want to blame somebody- why not the employer who she worked for?
This whole thing is stupid- they now found out that this guy also did another ad for Obama.
That’s a big no no.
The latest ad was by one of the super pacs- and the actual campaigns are not allowed to co-ordinate with the super pacs.
It looks like the Obama people might have screwed this one up- big time.
I also liked the other Romney story I read the other day.
Some guy smashed his wife’s lap top.
He saw a picture of Romney on her Facebook page- and thought she was a ‘cheatin’
on him [he did not know who Romney was].
Yeah- he hit her and broke the computer- all because of that darn home wrecker- Romney.
Wow- he kills women with cancer- he wreaks havoc in homes- homes he has never been in.
Yeah- that Romney is some piece of work- a reincarnation of the American Gigolo- way to go Romney- way to go.
1887- SIKH YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Let’s talk about the temple shooting- but first a verse from the prophet.
‘I will gather all nations and tongues and they shall come and see my glory- I will set a sign among them and send those that escape to the nations’ Isaiah 66:18-19
Over the next few weeks I will try and post some of the verses from Isaiah that I have been reading- the ones I think have special importance.
This one is a familiar one I have been praying for years- it speaks of the greater purpose of God.
He wants ALL NATIONS and cultures to come into the kingdom of God.
The purpose of the church is not to fight and be a stumbling block to the nations- but to be a sign of peace- a witness to Christ’s kingdom- and those ‘that escape’ those that come ‘out of Babylon’ and into the new kingdom- they are the ones who will ‘go tell it to the nations’.
Okay- now the shooting.
As most of you know- the day before yesterday we had a shooting at a religious temple.
The religion is Sikh [pronounced Sick- or Seek] they are not Muslim- but they look Muslim- so these past few years they have been the target of hate.
The guy who shot and killed about 7 or so people was killed by the cops at the scene.
Now- as I watched the media coverage- they used this type of language.
‘He comes from a White Supremacist group’
‘They hates Jews and Blacks’
‘Stupid and uneducated’
‘He was not nice- he was crazy’
On and on.
Now- once again- I in no way want to make light of this terrible tragedy.
This type of hate crime- if it turns out to be one- is obviously terrible.
The point I make is you would never- ever- hear the media describe a radical Muslim shooting with these terms.
As a matter of fact- the president himself refused to describe the Hassan shooting as terror [the shooting that took place here on the military base in Texas- Hassan was a radical Muslim- and also a major in the U.S. military]
They made a huge point that if Hassan acted alone- then it was not terror.
Yet- the president- and the FBI have been saying this temple shooting is indeed domestic terror.
As far as we know- this shooter at the temple also acted alone.
Why the distinction?
A few weeks ago Brian Ross from ABC- along with his ‘partner in crime’ George Stephanopolous were the ones who jumped the gun and associated the Colorado shooting [the Batman movie] with the wrong person.
Ross reported- on air- that there was a Jim Holmes from the same city who had a Tea party web page.
Could it be that maybe another person with that very strange name- you know- about as strange as John Smith- might be the web site guy?
Sure enough- they ‘outed’ the wrong guy.
So- Ross was one of the first to come out and use this language about the temple shooting.
He couldn’t seem to wait- to say ‘see- I told you these Tea party- I mean right wing groups- are the real threat’.
Yeah Ross- you tell em!
Now- as someone who holds to the theological belief that the above verse speaks about- I have made efforts to have Muslim friends.
I have Jewish friends as well.
I try not to only have associations with other Christians- because I think we all need to talk to [not at] each other- and that Gods purpose is for the church to be a blessing to all nations and cultures.
So- that’s my position.
Also- we need to be honest about the real threats that face our world today.
As a student of history and religion I have come across a few recurring things.
One of the themes I see every so often is ‘look- we all [Jews, Christians- Muslims] have radical terrorists in our ranks- and we should not condemn the other group’.
Realistically- the very real threat that exists is within the extreme elements of Islam.
Everyone knows this- it’s no secret.
Now- do I want to offend my Muslim friends?
But- the truth is- are there real- huge scale threats of radical terrorism coming from the Jewish people?
Of course not [they usually point to a single incident in the history of the Jewish people- during the restoration of their nation in the 20th century- and this one incident has become the mantra for those who say ‘see- the Jews have terrorists too!’]
What about the far right wing hate groups?
A little more of a threat- yes- but a global threat- one that has the potential to destabilize nations- no.
That’s the whole point.
During the broadcast of the temple shooting- you also had the other news of the Syrian uprising.
These are the various nations in the Arab world and North Africa [Tunisia- Egypt- Libya] that have been going thru the Arab Spring uprisings now for a couple of years.
One of the major players in the overthrowing of the leaders of these nations is Al Qaeda.
Now- there are also innocent Arabs/Muslims who are being caught up in the fire fight- but you also have a very real presence of Al Qaeda in these rebellions.
The leaders themselves- who we have demonized to no end- have been saying this.
Gadhaffi, Mubarak- Assad- they have all said that the ones ‘rebelling’ have Al Qaeda in their ranks.
We [the western world] have for the most part played that down- heaven forbid that we should go against the ‘democratic spring’ that is sweeping the world!
The fact is- during the same news broadcast that is so quick to associate a single- isolated shooter- as an act of terror.
The same news media that refuse to use this type of language when a person [Major Hassan] who did indeed identify himself with radical Islam- a worldwide movement that is responsible for many worldwide terror acts- the media refer to his shooting- at an actual military base here in the U.S. [Fort Hood].
As ‘work place violence’.
The double standard is so big- you have to be blind to not see it.
Yes- right wing hate groups are dangerous- but they pose absolutely no threat on a global level.
Do they pose a Tim McVeigh [Oklahoma city bombing of the fed building] type threat?
But not a real global threat- one that would in fact meet the criterion of being terrorism on a global scale- no.
We need to be honest about these things- the media have once again dropped the ball by associating what seems to be an isolated act- with terror.
They showed video of the hard right rock group that this shooter played in- with no disclaimer that the other members of the group do not condone the actions of the shooter.
They used quotes from bystanders who said ‘they are uneducated idiots’- referring to this movement that does indeed have racist elements in it.
But I have heard the same racist stuff from Farrakhan- many times.
Yet the media would never- ever use this language about him.
As a matter of fact- Obama attended the million man march before he was president [I think he was the senator from Illinois at the time- the march was held by Farrakhan].
So- if hate speech is wrong- then it’s wrong all the way around.
If we condemn White hate groups- which we should- then we need to condemn Black hate groups too.
The New Black Panther party are a bunch of racists.
The leader of this group was photographed behind Obama during the 2008 campaign.
He was holding up his hand- in a Black Power display- and he was walking right behind the president.
They were in Selma at the time.
The media never covered this- or showed this picture.
That’s what you call a double standard- that’s what you call ‘media bias’.
NOTE- do you think a Romney type person- who was running for president- if he attended a David Duke rally- and had Duke march behind him on the campaign trail- would have escaped Scrutiny?
Not on your life baby.
1884 AND THEY CALL THEM ‘SMART PHONES’
I dropped my daughter off at the San Antonio airport [by the way- we do have a nice Corpus airport- but the flights are cheaper if you fly from the Alamo city].
The next day [yesterday] as I was catching the news- I saw that they locked down the airport- they had a bomb scare at the same time we were there the day before.
Glad I missed it for sure.
Okay- there are always a few current event things to do- lets hit some real quick.
The Chick- Fil- A debacle.
As most of you know the president of the restaurant got into some hot water by saying he was for traditional marriage– not ‘gay’ marriage.
Then you had the ‘left’ go ballistic ‘how dare you hold values different than ours’!
The mayor of Boston [Menino] and Chicago [Emmanuel- yeah- him again] were outraged.
So outraged- that they said they were banning the chain from opening up restaurants in their cities.
Wow- what noble ethics these guys have.
If the CEO of a company simply holds traditional values- you forbid him to operate in your city.
Even though gay people actually work for the company- and they also serve gay folk.
No- if you say your view is different- you’re out.
I like Old Emanuel [not really].
The other day he teamed up with Farrakhan- he said they were going to work together to combat the killings that have taken over the city ever since Rahm took the reins.
So- let me get this right- you are not only willing to let Farrakhan operate in your town- but you give credibility to the man by publicly teaming up with him.
Jews are lying cheating bastards that need to die.
Whites are the demon seed- the kids of satan.
This nut job has spewed the most racist stuff that you could ever imagine.
Yet- Rahm refuses to let Chik- Fil- A operate- because ‘we do not share their values’.
Great job Rahm [and the political strategists of Obama- who were probably behind the whole thing].
Okay- enough of that ;stuff’.
Now that I have my new ‘smart phone’ I have been noticing the commercials and stuff about the phones.
I actually have learned a few things from just watching the commercials [sad- I know].
So the other day I’m watching the news with Dianne Sawyer [ABC] and they do a piece on all the injuries that have increased because of these new devices.
They do the stats on the increase of broken head/face bones [people walking off stuff].
All the neck injuries and stuff.
Then they show a clip of a guy walking into a bear- he’s not looking- he’s got his face in the phone.
Some person walking off the subway rail tracks.
A few other ‘smart’ phone folks walking into walls- or the pond thing in the middle of the local mall.
I mean it was funny in a way- I just didn’t realize I was getting into another high danger field- just by purchasing a phone!
I remember years ago at the fire house- all the younger guys were getting the latest phones and stuff.
I never was the type to update something just because the next new thing came out- I kept the laptop and phone for years before I would upgrade.
But you had the guys walking around the fire dept with the hands free thing- you know they are walking- talking- and nothing in their hand.
I thought they were talking to me- or themselves.
No- they were just doing the hands free thing.
Then we all got new pagers- and we had to wear them- all the time.
You know- just in case the chief needs you.
At a fire?
So- I would be at the scene of an emergency [fire- car wreck- heart attack…]
And sure enough- the ‘darn’ pager would buzz.
‘gee- who could that be- after all I’m just inside this house- on fire’.
I look at the pager [after the smoke clears].
It’s the latest scores for the college game [Basketball?]
I was ready to chuck the thing in the fire.
Yeah- we had pagers that went off every time the sports channel did an update.
So- we live in this strange new world of technology.
We also have Dem mayors refusing to give business permits to restaurants- at a time when people are dying for jobs.
And these same mayors- who refuse on the grounds that ‘they don’t hold my values’.
They are teaming up with leaders of racist movements who call for the deaths of Jews and Whites- way to go Rahm!
Yeah- it’s a strange new world.
Okay- that’s it for now- need to upload some of the S.A. pics I took the other day.
You know what that means?
Yeah- I’ll be using the phone- pray for me- please!
1883- ALL AND ALL IT’S JUST ANOTHER BRICK [NOTE] IN THE WALL?
So the news for the last few days has focused on Romney’s ‘world tour’.
As most of you know- he embarked on this trip to boost his foreign policy credentials.
And of course- the ‘main stream media’ has made it sound like he has made the worst gaffs since the time Biden told one of his political ‘close friends’ to stand up at some rally.
Biden ‘go ahead- stand- don’t be shy’ of course the guy sat there- still- hoping Biden would move on.
‘Go ahead stand man- stand damn it- enough of this false MODESTY- stand!!”
Finally- someone from the audience yelled ‘he’s crippled you ….’
Close friend- remember?
So- in London Romney’s asked about the Olympics- does he think there might be some security problems.
And as a former CEO who ran the Olympics in the past- he was honest- he said there might be some difficulties with the security people who were hired to do the job.
Oh my- the press in the U.K. and the U.S. made it sound like this was the worst thing in the world.
They spent days- top headlines- top world news- yes- ‘how can this be- Romney singlehandedly has destroyed the greatest coalition ever- NATO and the Brits will fall apart now!! Oh my!!!’
I mean it’s hilarious.
Most don’t realize that Romney simply expressed- in a nice way- what the British press has been saying for weeks.
As a matter of fact- the security company who was hired to do security were about 3,000 men short.
The British military filled the gap.
This is bad- very- very bad.
Though I’m sure the military are good guys- yet they are not trained for this type of job.
The London games is a major target for terrorism- and if the truth be told- Romney’s comments were mild.
But because they decided to portray them the way they did- now the media are stuck in a way- because the games have had a bad start.
Most of the seats are empty- they actually need people to attend the events.
Yet- you have people who can’t get tickets.
They don’t know for sure- but it might be that lots of companies bought tickets- and gave them to their people- and the people are not going.
I mean I’m sure it couldn’t be the fact that the media have been reporting for weeks that the security is in fact not good- no- it can’t be that.
Either way- Romney was right- and those who follow the news know it.
Then- Romney trotted off to Israel.
Of course the media have found their niche- they are waiting to stomp on him every time they get a chance.
So- he tells the Israelis ‘your culture obviously has contributed to your success as a nation’.
Okay- is this true or not?
Look- as a bald faced statement- it is true.
What did the media say?
Oh my- Romney has insulted the Arab world- he has defamed the Palestinians- how could he ever have made a statement like this!
Now- as an independent- I do not always side with U.S. policy in that part of the world.
And- I think the American Evangelical church has made some big mistakes when they read the bible- and try to fit current U.S. policy in with their interpretation of end time events.
So- I do not see the Palestinian problem as one side being the enemy [Palestinians] and the other as the ‘people of God inheriting the land’.
For the most part those are Old Testament mindsets that overlook the New Testament view- that we are all called to inherit the kingdom thru the Cross.
So- just wanted to make that clear.
But- the truth is Israel has one of strongest Democracies in that region of the world.
They are governed with a system of courts and laws- that have even ruled on the side of Arab people- against their own govt.!
That’s rare- very rare- you do not find that in Arab states- that a court in Iran would rule against their leaders- and side with a Jew.
You have certain Arab states- that to even be Jewish would get you killed on the spot.
And some Arab states [not all!] have no real rule of law- even though they have tried- many are living a lawless existence.
Okay- I know there’s more to the debate- but on its face- Romney simply told the truth.
Yet the media are reporting it as a huge blunder- the likes of which has never been seen before!!
So- they show a clip of Romney putting a folded prayer request in the Wailing Wall [Jerusalem].
They then do a quick story ‘I wonder what he said’.
You know- it’s a traditional thing- the wall is a place for the Jewish people to connect with God- and they pray daily at the wall.
So- Romney kinda says what he wrote in the note- he says he thanked God for the source of our salvation- a few other things.
Then they show the shot of Obama when he did his note- of course they had the scoop form Obama’s note.
He asked for ‘wisdom and knowledge to govern the people’.
Basically the same prayer that king Solomon prayed [convenient that this slipped out- in Jerusalem!]
Then they had the shot of good ole G.W. [Bush].
I braced myself.
They simply showed him putting his hands on the wall.
I was waiting for Brain Ross to break in [you know- Ross is the news guy who ‘outed’ Jim Holmes from the Colorado shooting- he said he was a Tea Partier from Aurora- of course he outed an innocent man].
Yeah- I was waiting for the ‘Ross Report’.
‘George- I have breaking news- I don’t know if this is the same GW from Texas- but a goat herder was walking by the wall- and he found this note had fallen- strangely- it was signed by a GW from Texas’.
Go on Brian- what does it say man?
‘Well- like I said- we don’t know if it’s Bush- but the note says- and I quote- “What’s it like to be a wall” unquote’.
Yeah- I was waiting for the scoop.
So- you get the idea- the media have the power- and the desire- to depict one side as total idiots- and the other as those who can do no wrong.
I’m not on either side- trust me- but the bias is hard not to see.
Okay- I actually do have more to say- maybe tomorrow.
Right after I post this- I’ll post some pics from the weekend- now that I got my smart phone- I’m taken pics.
In a little while I will be driving my daughter to San Antonio- she’s catching a flight back to Indiana- she’s staying there for now- her boyfriend has been working across the country- right now they are in Indiana.
So- I’m sure I’ll take some pics.
That’s it for now- enjoy the pics.
And don’t forget the lesson of the day.
If you’re in a political rally- and Biden says ‘go ahead- stand up man- for the love of Pete’.
Just leave- it will save you from a very awkward moment for sure.
1882- IS GAIN GODLY?
As we close the week- lets re-cap a few things.
As an avid news watcher- once again the media over covered a very tragic event.
There were numerous days of nonstop coverage on all the news networks- of the tragic killing of 12 people in Aurora- Colorado.
While we don’t know all the motives of the sick person who did this- yet it is possible that one of the motives is attention.
And if we give a person nonstop coverage- then in a way we are playing into his distorted mind game.
The next day or 2 after the shooting [or the same day? I forget] we had 15 people killed right here in South Texas in a truck crash.
It was another case of a bunch of illegal aliens in a truck- coming into Texas.
The tire blew out- and 15 died.
Now- we also have had a string of murders going on in Chicago- it is really strange.
Ever since the former White House chief of staff- Rahm Emanuel- became mayor of the city- the death rate has sky rocketed.
I don’t know why this is- but it is a fact.
So- the real danger in the country is not the lone psycho who will walk into a theatre and open fire.
But it’s the regular gun violence taking place in Camden [N.J.] or Chicago- or any other inner city USA.
We have a terrible culture that exists in the gang lifestyle- and these are the real stories that if not dealt with will eventually kill tens of thousands more each year.
So- don’t want to lessen the horrendous act of Holmes- but just want to keep things in perspective.
The other week I caught an interview with David Brody- a reporter for CBN [Pat Robertson’s ministry].
He put out a book- Teavangelicals- and was talking about the ‘religious right’ and stuff.
The interviewer brought out some very good points- he challenged some of the ideas of the so called right.
Brody said many identify their faith with capitalism- he used a famous verse form the Old Testament ‘a good man leaves an inheritance to his kids, kids’.
I have heard [and read] this many times over my life.
So- Brody said that’s why the religious right identify with ‘right wing’ politics.
The interviewer quipped back ‘yes- but that’s one Old Testament verse- and all thru the New Testament Jesus railed against riches’.
Wow- I was surprised that the guy new his stuff.
Was he right?
This is what I talk about a lot- keeping things in context.
Avoiding what we call ‘proof texting’ which means you pick one verse out of the bible- and then build an entire belief system from that verse.
Jesus did say stuff like ‘What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?’
‘You cannot serve God and money’.
‘It is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven’.
Now- I can go on- and in the past I have.
But the point I wanted to make was the news guy was right.
We need to see the Christian life primarily thru the ‘lens’ of the teachings of Christ- and emphasize the things he taught the most.
Now- this does not mean we should ignore a verse like ‘leave an inheritance for your kids’.
But we should absolutely avoid making stuff like that the main thing- I mean we- in the modern evangelical church have seemed to have fallen into the whole trap of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.
Years ago one of the prosperity preachers of the day put out a little book- the title was ‘righteousness is profitable’.
Of course the title told it all.
It was a short- and all consuming teaching that comes from this camp- and it basically taught that if you are a child of God- you will make lots of money [profitable].
Once again- the verse comes from the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy [1st Timothy chapter 4].
And in context it does not mean what the author said it meant.
2 chapters later Paul will actually write ‘the love of money is the root of all evil- some say gain [profit] is godliness [righteousness] avoid them’.
The point is- the author took Paul’s words- from the bible- and ‘made’ them say the opposite of what he said.
Then taught ‘see- that’s in the bible’.
Actually ‘that’ was not in the bible- at least not the way the author made it sound.
So- at the end of the day- we need to keep ‘first things first’.
Yes- there are many people who live day by day- lives without purpose or meaning.
And we- the church- don’t want to tell them that the purpose is more material stuff.
That’s not the message Jesus gave.
Sure- we can find a good verse about leaving money to your kid when you die.
But read the WHOLE bible in context.
Jesus put much more emphasis on warning people that if they ‘gain the whole world- and lose their soul- it profits nothing’.
The Kingdom of God is not about making a fortune- it’s about living your life for a higher purpose- a more noble goal- give your life away- that’s what the Master said.
1881- GOAT MAN SAGA CONT.
Okay- I never thought I would write a follow up post on the Goat Man [few posts back].
But- yesterday morning I read another story about this masked [or fur coated?] man.
Yes- this time I figured I’d read the whole thing.
For those who didn’t read the post- Goat man was simply some guy- dressed like a goat- ‘living’ among the goats in Utah.
Some tourist spotted him and reported him to the cops.
So- Goat man made national news- and the story went viral.
They were looking for the guy- fearful that he might get shot.
So- the follow up story said the local authorities received a call- by a ‘very agitated man’.
He simply said- quote ‘leave Goat man alone- he’s done nothing wrong’!
Could this caller be wearing a fleece?
Yes- it was the infamous goat man on the line.
The story went on and said he was a hunter who was simply preparing for a Canadian hunt.
He made the ‘goat outfit’ using a painters type suspendered pants- and some type of hair.
Okay- maybe goat man is innocent.
But I must correct our furry friend- no sir- dressing like a goat- making it into the national news- twice- at the age of 50 something.
O- this is wrong- so very wrong.
Second- I find funny stuff in the most unlikely places.
The other morning I was listening to NPR [radio news] and they were doing a story on Muslim athletes who are competing in the Olympics.
The reporter introduced the piece by saying the Muslim fast of Ramadan has just started- and that some Muslim athletes are ‘struggling’ with whether or not to observe the daily fast.
Muslims are not supposed to eat during the day.
So- I was expecting to hear the athlete say ‘Praise Allah- I have struggled much with this decision- and…’
You know- some type of real personal turmoil over this great dilemma.
They guy comes on and says ‘Nah- I’m not gonna be doin that’.
Sounded like this Muslim brother came straight from the streets of Jersey- sort of like the Henry Hill character from Goofellas [or Depp in Donnie Brasco- take your pic].
So- over all- I had a few good laughs.
Okay- It’s been a few days since I did economics/politics.
But I must say- the news this past week has been very bad- economically.
Britain has reported a worse recession than previously thought.
China has been fudging their numbers too- they made it sound like they were doing better than they were.
And the E.U. crisis is not getting better- or even staying stagnate- but getting worse.
So- the other day after the markets looked like they were going into another sell off.
The dow was down around 200.
The Fed chairman popped into action and basically said they were going to do another Qe-3 [put more money into the system].
Normally- this would drive the market way up.
This time- it simply stopped the sell off for the day and the market has only risen a few points since then.
That’s a bad sign- even the investors are saying this won’t do.
I heard a quote from a knowledgeable guy the other day- on one of the business shows.
He said the real money- the institutional investors- they see all this Fed action as dangerous.
That to simply print money like this- and for the market to ride on it- is not good economic policy at all.
It looks like he was right.
We really should have a national debate over stuff like this.
I feel bad for the seniors who were forced out of the interest rate market [Cd’s and bonds] and were told ‘you need to be in the market- look- you can’t live on 1 % inertest’.
So- many of these older folk- who were perfectly happy with 5-7 % on their money- they were forced out of that stable market- and into this terrible market that we have had these past 12 years.
That’s the fault of the various Fed chairmen- when they decide to enact fiscal policy that says we want to keep the rates really- really low- then that leaves the seniors no other option- they get thrown into the risky stock market- and then they take a hit.
I am not a ‘right winger’ or left winger on these things- but I do see the Fed at the end of the road- they simply have done all you can do at this point.
I think they should leave the thing alone- no more stimulus- it’s just throwing money into a system that’s in the process of de-leveraging- and just like the real estate market- we simply need to let the system bottom out- because if we keep propping up the system- then it will never really get fixed.
[yeah- Krugman- it’s not that easy]
We have now seen 3 cities declare bankruptcy in the great state.
Some city is messing with the idea of actually doing Eminent Domain on the houses that are underwater.
They want to ‘seize’ the mortgages of these homeowners- and force the banks to re-do the loan- at a loss to the mortgage holder.
If they do this- trust me- your home in that town will be worth nil.
Everyone in the state will know that if you invest in a house in that city/county- that you might someday be forced to take a loss on that house- by Eminent Domain.
These ideas come from well meaning people- but for the most part they have no business experience.
Last year the president talked about stuff like this on a national level.
It wasn’t Eminent Domain- but he made the argument that if we come to some type of a deal with the banks- to ‘make’ them lower the values on these homes- that it would help everybody out.
Obama said ‘it does no good for you to have 3-5 foreclosed homes on your block- so this will prevent that from happening’.
Look- anyone who has any knowledge at all on real estate will tell you this would be an unmitigated disaster.
If you go into a neighborhood where the homes on average sell [or sold] for 150,000.
And you take half of the homes on that block and reduce the value of the homes to 100,000.
You did not do the other home owners a favor [the ones who by the way are paying their bills!]
You simply ‘revalued’ their home to a hundred thousand as well.
So all in all- sometimes people mean well ‘look- lets seize the mortgages on these struggling folk- and force the bank to take the hit’.
Sounds good- but if you do that- you will ruin the value for all the other people in that county.
Also- the biggest retirement fund in the nation- in Cali- just reported 1% growth- not the 7% it had counted on.
I think California is in danger of possibly declaring bankruptcy for the whole state.
They say ‘they way Cali goes- so goes the nation’.
Let’s hope this is not true this time around.
1878- THE DARK KNIGHT OF THE SOUL
Well today is surely a day of mourning.
As you all know- yesterday marked another tragic day for our nation.
We had another deadly rampage in Colorado [Aurora].
Right down the road from Columbine.
James Holmes- a 24 year old student- walked into a theatre- carrying multiple guns- and shot randomly at the audience.
Last I heard- 71 shot- 12 dead.
It was at the premiere of Dark Knight Rising- the new Batman movie.
We don’t yet know the motivation for the killings- maybe we never will.
But of course- that won’t stop the media from making fools of themselves.
Brian Ross- ABC’s ‘chief investigative reporter’ had breaking news on their morning show.
He actually had the audacity to report that he found a man with the same name- James Holmes- who had a web site affiliated with the Tea Party.
Gee- I’m sure there are no other people with such an odd name that live in Aurora Colorado.
I’m sure if this were a Muslim name- I’m sure you would have reported a random find- that you found another Muslim name- sounds the same- and he’s affiliated with Al Qaeda.
The sad thing is- after a little while- Ross had to apologize- the man he ‘outed’ was not the shooter.
The shooter was a 24 year old- the Holmes from the Ross report is 54.
The 54 year old had to disconnect his phone- his family immediately became a target for revenge.
What a bang up job you did Brian- may God have mercy on your soul- and please- please go away.
It’s sad- right up the road from where I live- we had the Fort Hood shootings.
Major Nidal Hassan walked into a crowded room on the base and fired on his fellow military men and women.
Killed many- shouted ‘Allah Akbar’- and opened fire.
During the investigation we learned that Hassan carried a card that identified himself as a soldier for Islam.
He dressed in garb that indicated he was Muslim.
He made many statements thru out his career that said he was a radical.
He had on line contacts with nut sites that advocate radical Islamic terrorism.
Yet- for all this- the administration refereed to this killing as ‘work place violence’.
Yet- ABC news thought it fine to simply share- with the world- that someone with the name Jim Holmes was connected to the Tea Party.
We had another ‘attack’ just up the road from me a few years back.
The nut who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin.
The NY Times reported- on their on line forum- ‘Tea Party unhinged’.
It was later found out that the pilot was actually a communist sympathizer- not a Tea partier at all.
Gifford’s- when the congresswoman from Arizona was shot- the media spent a week trying to connect the dots- that somehow the political use of ‘targeting a district’ used by Sarah Palin- was responsible for the tragedy.
And of course- who can forget the nemesis of the large size cola.
Yes- a few years back Bloomberg [mayor of NY] referred to the Times Square bomber as ‘probably someone who is mad at Obama Care’.
We later found out- yes- once again- that the guy was a radical Islamist.
It’s sad how slow the media are to report the associations of radical Islam- when it’s obvious for everyone to see.
Yet- they go hunting- and even report innocent names- when they think there might be a connection with a right wing group.
How did Ross do his research?
You think he just stumbled upon a name that was the same?
You think he might just have googled ‘Tea Party- Jim Holmes’.
No- I’m sure the chief investigative reporter would never stoop so low.
This last week I’ve been reading Isaiah- chapters 49 thru the end.
There are so many key verses in these chapters- ones that I have memorized and quoted over the years during prayer.
In chapter 53 we read that God saw the ‘Travail of his soul and was satisfied’.
‘Because he poured out his soul unto death’.
‘He was numbered with the transgressors’.
The chapter speaks about the suffering Messiah.
Our Jewish friends apply this to their struggles as a nation.
I think both are applicable.
There is a term we use in Christianity- it’s called ‘The dark night of the soul’.
Saint John of the Cross [a famous Christian from church history] made the term popular.
Mother Theresa- we found out later- lived many of her years in this state of ‘darkness’.
It simply speaks about the trials we all go thru- times when we think all hope is lost.
Some people experience it more than others- the above chapter says this travail- this numbness- is redemptive in nature.
God uses it- and the people- nations- that go thru it for a purpose.
It was because Christ suffered- poured out his soul ‘unto death’ that he became the savior for mankind.
It was because of the struggles of the Jewish people that they have now become one of the most prosperous nations in that part of the world.
I’m not saying God ordains that a mad man shoot innocent people in a movie.
But I am saying that we as a nation can become a better people thru it all.
Yesterday Obama and Romney both suspended their campaigns for a day.
And I even heard MSNBC give credit to both men for it.
Yeah- we saw civility- by both camps- for the first time in a while.
Today we pray for the victims of Aurora.
We try and resist the stupidity of associating this mad kid’s act with any group- at least until we get more facts.
And we- as a nation- have an opportunity- we have a ‘dark night’ opportunity- we can either become worse- hate more- blame the other side for it.
Or we can reflect- we can turn our minds to the things that count.
In the end- we can find redemption in the collective ‘travail of our souls’.
1877 CHINESE FOOD- RELIGION- POLITICS [WOW!!]
Let’s try and cover a few things today.
Yesterday I went down to the mission to see the guys.
Henry showed up- I was hanging out with Dirk and Joe for a little while.
Henry heard they were serving chili – he has stomach problems- so he invited me and Joe to go to the Chinese buffet about a block away.
Henry has been working regularly at the boat dock and he had some cash.
We walked down to the Chinese place and Joe and Henry ate- I never eat lunch [or b-fast].
We had a good time- I actually took a few pictures and my daughter will try and post them [I’m bad at that].
We talked for a while- actually the guys brought up politics on their own.
Geez- Chinese buffet- homeless outreach and politics- I thought for sure the Kingdom had come.
Henry told me ‘John- did you hear- the cops cuffed me at HEB the other day’.
He told me the story.
Henry is one of the most upstanding guys you could ever meet.
He is a deacon for church without walls [a homeless church].
He is practically a scholar when it comes to the bible- and he does not do drugs or get drunk [he drinks wine. Not a lot- he thinks it helps with his stomach- that’s actually in the bible. Paul told Timothy ‘drink a little wine for you ailments’].
So- just to let you know- Henry is not a trouble maker by any means.
Why did the cops cuff him?
He went to HEB [our local grocery] and bought lunch.
He ate- then went to catch the bus.
Someone had called the cops and said a homeless guy was threatening him if he didn’t give him money.
HEB is right next to the mission so it’s possible that one of the other guys did do this.
So- when the cops got there they thought it was Henry and they cuffed him.
Henry does get mad- over the years they have arrested him- for no reason- they were just doing a sweep of the area- business people complain about all the ‘bums’- the cops pick a bunch of them up with no real charge- Henry is not loitering- he’s not drunk- he just looks bad [check out the picture on Face Book].
So- he has had to sit in jail- without doing any crime- and of course it would piss you off- it would me.
So anyway he told me the scoop- they finally uncuffed him- and let him go.
I took a few more pictures of the guys- now that I started posting pictures of the guys- I’m like the dad that keeps making his kids pose for pics on vacation [like my dad did a lot].
The guys were like ‘why are you taking pics’?
I told them I started posting them to the site.
They said ‘wow- were gonna be famous’.
One of the guys said ‘you can’t take my pic- the cops might find me’.
I mentioned that I regret the fact that some of the guys have died and I never got a picture.
I talked about Bill.
Bill was one of the first guys I met on the street- he was about 30 years older than me and I have written a few posts on Bill over the years.
Bill eventually saw me as his ‘best friend’ almost like a son/brother.
I guess I took Bill out to eat more than any other street guy.
Bill died a few years ago.
So- as I mentioned Bill- Joe told me that they have a picture of Bill hanging up inside the mission.
I couldn’t believe it- they had one of Bill- and the camp!
I took a pic- will post it.
Many of the guys live in makeshift camps- I have visited hundreds of camps over the years.
These are little ‘tent cities’ that pop up in the vacant fields all around the area where I live.
I live on a bluff- a peninsula type jetty sticking out into the bay- right off the gulf.
So- there are lots of beach spots- and areas where the homeless can camp out.
My area is nice- it’s been developed over the years and marketed because of its closeness to Padre Island [right over the bridge and you’re at the beach- the national sea shore- you could walk it].
So- after a while the locals complain about the homeless population- and every so often they do a sweep- and go thru the camps and cut the tents [cops] and stuff like that.
I have bought tents for the guys over the years- and I get mad when I hear the cops cut another tent.
I’ll try and get these photos up loaded soon.
On the way back to the marina [where Henry works].
We started talking about all the guys who have died these past few years.
I told Henry that when I do my early morning prayers- I try to ‘see’ these guys as part of the community- the little fellowship of friends I have worked with over the years.
I told Henry- that in a strange way- I still sense Bill- Shelby- etc. – as ‘hanging out’ with us [I just looked up over my head- I have a ball cap of Bill hanging on my shot gun rack- after Bill died I found it under my car seat. He must have left it there one day when going out to eat- I kept it as a memento].
I mentioned that as Protestants- we usually neglect the biblical teaching that our Catholic friends emphasize.
The Communion of the Saints.
That even though Protestants don’t practice prayers to Mary and the saints- yet in a very real way those who have died in the faith are indeed still part of the community.
I mentioned the book of Revelation- it speaks about the prayers of the martyrs [dead Christians] going up to God as incense.
I told Henry- just because our friends have died- that does not mean they can’t still pray- even for us!
Being Henry knows the bible well- he was familiar with the passage that I mentioned- he just never saw it like that [see- there are lots of things like this in the Christian journey- that’s why we should hold judgment on other Christian denominations as much as possible- we all ‘see dimly’ at times].
Okay- I guess will end there.
I was gonna do a few news items- yesterday the ‘rebels’ in Syria bombed a key headquarters of the leader- Assad.
This was a suicide bombing- by most accounts- Al Qaeda did this.
Yet- the U.S. – and the western media continue to describe these guys as innocent civilians whom Assad is killing.
This happened in Libya as well.
I am not defending Assad- but we in the West need to stop referring to all the rebel groups in the various Arab spring uprisings as ‘innocent rebels’.
Many are not- many are terrorists- they practice such things as suicide bombings.
The one yesterday killed some key Syrian men- one was the brother in-law of Assad.
Things are getting very unstable over there.
Our recent killing of an Indian fisherman [we shot the fishing boat off the U.A.E the other day].
And yesterday’s terror attack on a bunch of Israeli tourists.
These are all signs of major unrest in that region- It’s possible that this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to Israel taking out the nuclear facilities of Iran.
Obama has been trying to get Israel to hold off on the Iranian attack- you guessed it- till after the election.
But after yesterdays bus bombing- they might decide to go.
So all in all- there’s lots of stuff going on in the world- lets pray for peace- for all people.
PEACE ON EARTH- GOOD WILL TO MEN.
1876- THE SPEED OF LIGHT
Wasn’t sure which way to go- but this morning I was walking in my yard [I get up real early!] and I thought about the story of the Unjust Judge.
It’s a parable that Christ told- I actually haven’t read it in a while- but remember it pretty well.
Jesus said in this city there was a widow who went to this judge- the judge did not ‘fear God—or care about men’.
She had a situation where she needed the judge to do justice on her behalf.
The judge at first put the woman off- but then he said ‘I better do something- because her continual nagging is driving me up the wall’ [my paraphrase].
Jesus then said ‘see what the judge did- how much more will my heavenly father do for those who come to him’- then he says ‘he will avenge THEM SPEEDILY’.
We often tell the story like this ‘see- God is like the judge- he will defend you’.
Actually Jesus is saying ‘God is not like the judge’.
This judge acted- not out of what was right- but out of pressure- you know- the lobbyist wins.
But God- he does what’s right.
I was thinking about my governor when this verse ‘speedily’ dropped into my head.
During one of the debates Rick Perry used an example- I forget what the whole thing was about- but he said ‘such and such will happen- at the speed of light- literally’.
I think he was talking about Iran coming into Iraq and having more dominance in the region [which by the way he was right about].
But- when you use an example that has ‘the speed of light’ in it- well- it’s usually Figuratively- which just happens to be the opposite of literally- you know- a minor detail.
Okay- I can hear my Jersey friends now ‘wow John- you got one heck of a governor in the Lone Star state’.
Yeah- what can I say?
Maybe this ‘didn’t I see Christie on the boardwalk the other day’?
Let’s let bygones be bygones- deal?
Our timing- what we think is speedily- is not the same time line of God.
There are many texts in the bible that talk about the ‘end of the world’ and ‘the coming of Christ’ and it says it will happen fast.
These verses were penned 2 thousand years ago.
[Actually this is a pretty in depth study- how the church has handled the verses that deal with the End Times.
We call this Eschatology.
There are different views on this- Futuristic- Historical- Preterist.
This entire teaching is worth doing- I have done some over the years.
In a nutshell- some of these verses say ‘at the end of the age’ not ‘world’.
In the Greek language- which the New Testament was written in- the word used is age.
So- they are not always saying ‘the world will end soon’.
But ‘the age’.
In context- the old age [dispensation] of law- the Old Covenant.
And the New age- the age of Grace- has come.
This debate does have some [lots?] of merit to it- and it ‘solves’ some of the complaints from the critics of Christianity who say ‘Jesus was wrong when he said the end of the world would happen soon’.
In the above context- it did happen soon- see?]
So- we all have requests- we are in a way like the woman going to the judge.
Ask- Knock- don’t quit.
Jesus said ‘men ought always to pray and not to faint’.
Pope John Paul said ‘prayer is strength for the weak’.
James said ‘the continual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much’.
Yeah- whatever the request is- the good judge will do what’s best- not because you’re bugging him nonstop- but because it’s right.
I wanted to cover a bunch of stuff today- but I know I won’t be able to get to it all.
I haven’t commented on the news in a while- and there are some trending narratives that we probably should do.
This last week the Obama campaign accused Romney of possibly committing a felony.
Now- most of us know why the accusation was made- and yeah- we all know politics gets dirty.
What I find ‘funny’ is- out of all the presidents- and potential presidents of the past few decades- none- zero- has had the corrupt connections like the present president.
Look- I’m not an Obama hater- nor a Romney lover.
But- the reality is- our current president has all types of current/former political connections that are presently on the verge of being convicted for committing felonies- or are serving time for just that.
But- as you listen to the news- you would never know it.
Right now- as I write- Jesse Jackson Jr. is in ‘treatment’ for a Mood disorder.
Jackson left his post a couple of months ago- and his Chicago constituents were asking where he was [he’s a congressman from Chicago].
The story finally made it into the national news.
Some thought he was in hiding- or on the run.
The latest is he is being treated for the mood disorder.
Why was there speculation that he was on the run?
Because another associate just got sent to prison for his involvement in the Chicago political corruption.
It involves illegal contacts with the Obama people when he was running for pres- yes- real felonies- not fake ones.
Enter the former governor.
Rod Blagoavich [sp?] also got sent to the pokey.
You guessed it- more illegal contacts with the actual Obama people- caught on actual FBI tapes.
Rahm Emanuel- the president’s former chief of staff- and current mayor of Chicago- he was on the tapes.
Yeah- real felonies all around.
Glad you asked.
Once again another close confidant of Obama sent to prison for corrupt real estate deals- they were committing crimes by doing illegal deals for their friends.
Obama actually bought real estate from this man- he actually was involved in one of the deals.
These are all real felonies- real crimes- that all of the people who were wheeling and dealing with the president- while he was a senator from Illinois- have gone to prison for.
Yet- the media covered these stories at a minimal rate.
Some of you never even heard of them until now.
But- the major media market has been intensely going thru all the business deals of Romney.
Not one news organization that has investigated it has said Romney has done anything even being close to illegal- yet this is the major story of the day.
This is what you call media bias.
You have one person [Obama] who was surrounded with friends/political partners who were all convicted of felonies and sent to prison.
One of the players is currently in treatment for a ‘mood disorder’ yet- the media rarely mentions that the real problem is they were all involved with illegal deals while in contact with the Obama people.
This is real- these people were all sent to prison because of this.
Rezko sits in prison right now- and he actually sold one of the homes to Obama- no joke.
To even have this ‘side’ make an accusation of a felony is unbelievable- yet- the media try to make you believe it.
‘John- how do you know Romney wasn’t really doing an under the counter deal- maybe he was lying to the govt. when he said he was still the CEO of Bain’.
This is how- if you are trying to deceive the people- and your plan is to say- on paper- that you’re the CEO of a company.
Then- as you are trying your hardest to stay ‘undetected’ you then proceed to run the U.S. Olympics for 3 years.
I mean who in their right mind would do something like that- unless the story is true.
The story that Romney says is true.
He went and took the job at the Olympics because he thought it was a good thing to do.
He refused to get paid by the way- just like when he was governor of Mass- he refused to take a check.
There are other things that the president has done that has turned some heads- even liberal ones.
Obama is the first president in the history of the nation to have executed an American citizen without a trial.
Yes- no lie.
When asked what his justification was- the ACLU sued to get the administration to release the justice dept. papers that justified the killing.
The Justice dept refused to release the memo- and instead made a statement that said ‘Due process does not mean you get a trial’.
Most observers- liberal ones- said this is outrageous.
The U.S. constitution says U.S. citizens have the right to due process- which means the courts.
Holder interprets that as saying the process ‘they do’ at the justice dept will cover it.
Even Colbert mocked it- he said ‘o- they mean it’s a process YOU DO’.
I’ll end with this.
When Obama authorized use of force in Libya- he did not go to congress to get approval.
The constitution does give the power to go to war to the congress.
When this happened- some in the media reported that Bush did it too.
That was wrong- Bush sought congressional approval twice- and got it.
Obama was the first to go it alone.
He argued that planes dropping bombs was not ‘military action’ but ‘kinetic action’.
[it was later reported that we had men on the ground in the action]
He forever changed the standard of war.
I could go on- but I think you get the hint.
So- the next time you see a media report about Romney being a felon.
Re read this post- it will help you keep things in context.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.