Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Been wanting to cover the Arab Spring protests for a while now- but also want to do a few more posts on Catholic/Protestant relations.

Let’s start with the protests- and see how far we get.

To my surprise [and disappointment!] the new ‘leaders’ of Libya have already come out and said they will indeed have Shariah law as the law of the land.

They said- very boldly ‘we are a Muslim land- and Shariah law will be the law’. Did they have Shariah law under Gadhaffi? Actually no- they did have some elements of it [Polygamy] but it was not full Shariah law.

For instance- under Gadhaffi men could have more than one wife [look at him!] yet they needed the permission from the 1st wife. Under the new leaders- you won’t need that.

I saw one of the new team respond to this question- he basically said ‘don’t worry- the woman will get used to it’- no- I do worry.

We need to have some sort of ‘standard’ policy when it comes to all of these types of conflicts- a signed agreement- maybe an informal outline for a new constitution that states very clearly- that the rights of woman and Christians in these new governments will be respected.

We need to say ‘yes- Muslims- as well as all other groups- will have the freedom to be represented- but no group [or groups] will be forced to live under any religious law’.

‘But John- who are we to dictate something like that’? Look- if they ask for our help- to intervene- and in Libya’s case to basically bomb the hell out of the other side- spend a billion [probably more] and to be the air force for the Rebels- then if you want that type of backing- then that’s the new price tag- freedom for all sides- no Shariah law imposed- and freedom for all the women- no more oppressive regimes like the Taliban.

Okay- this concept is difficult for us in the West- we have managed to pretty much make a distinction in our minds between separation of Church and state.

Though you have arguments about whether one political side wants to establish ‘Christian Shariah’ [Heard Frankie Schaffer make the charge again the other day. He is the son of the late Frances Schaffer- an influential figure in the early ‘Christian right’ movement in our country. Frankie is still a Christian- but he is very anti ‘religious right’ but he goes too far- he says that Perry and others like him do want a Christian Shariah law for the U.S.- the problem with this is many of these radical Muslim nations are actually killing Christians and women and others who ‘violate’ their laws- we should not use this comparison- it dilutes the seriousness of what is happening in the ‘real world’] yet for the most part we have made the distinction between govt. and religion.

Yet when you study Islam- Islam is both a religion and a form of govt. - those who embrace Islam have not yet made this type of distinction. Now- there are some moderate Muslim voices who are calling for this type of Reformation within Islam- but they have a long way to go.

Okay- that’s why it’s easy for these ‘new’ nations to say ‘o yeah- Shariah all the way’.

This week- Tunisia- the first Arab Spring nation to fall- did indeed vote in Shariah law. Egypt- the 2nd Arab Spring nation is heading there- and the new leaders of Libya have already stated it- we do have a problem folks.

Okay- I have a few Muslims friends who read my site- and I am very grateful to have them as friends. One lives in Bahrain- and out of the 3 top ‘bad actors’ right now- Bahrain is one of them [the other 2 are Yemen and Syria].

The argument could be made that the leaders of these countries have done just as bad- or even worse- than what Gadhaffi did.

The U.S. has our 5th fleet docked right off the coast of Bahrain- we need them- that’s why our leaders have overlooked the serious oppression that the Bahrain leaders are foisting upon their people.

In the last few weeks they have handed down some very serious sentences to the medical workers who simply helped tend to the wounded protestors. Many of these nurses and doctors are going to prison- for a long time- just because they did their job.

The ruling autocracy in Bahrain is a division of Islam [I think the rulers are Sunni- the majority of the population Shiite- it’s been a while since I studied it- sometimes I forget which is which]. The ruling ‘minority’ do indeed oppress the majority population.

Now- Bahrain does get lots of money- and help- from the U.S. having our fleet there- yet their army is not a strong- huge force. So what they have done is they hired ‘soldiers’ from Saudi Arabia- a fellow country- whose leaders are of the same religious division that the Bahrain leaders embrace- and these soldiers have come in and have been the security for the unpopular rulers.

In Syria- just last night- new reports have come out- Assad [the Syrian leader] has sent his men into the hospitals- they are torturing the wounded protestors right in the hospitals. And in Yemen- the leader- Salleh- has returned from getting treatment from the burns he suffered during an assassination attempt- and he’s back in Yemen- also fighting against the protestors in his land.

In Libya- we- along with NATO [primarily French and British warplanes] decided to team up with a side- a side that did take up arms against the leader from the West [Tripoli].

As I have watched this play out- and have looked at all the angles- I have come to the conclusion that the main reason we intervened there- and not in these other places- was because you had a very pubic threat made by Gadhaffi at the start- he and his troops were right outside Benghazi [the rebels stronghold in the east] and he did publicly threaten to go in and wipe them out.

Now- at the same time- the Arab league and other Arab nations were calling for help- fine. But we should have said ‘okay- but you guys must pay for this’. All the very rich Arab nations that wanted us to intervene- we should have said ‘your oil rich nations will pick up the tab’.

Also- if the criteria for us intervening like this- if we state- over and over again- that we are just doing a no fly zone- then we need to just do that.

In Libya- we did indeed hunt the man down [if that’s what we think we should do- fine- but we must say so]. And if our public statements are saying something different- then we are doing wrong.

I do hope and pray for all of my friends in these nations- I want very much for all the people in these nations to have freedom- and I want for us in the U.S. to make it plain- we want freedom for the woman and the Christians too- even if the majority vote for Shariah- that still is not acceptable- we want no religious rule that will oppress woman and Christians.

Yes- there are some woman who choose to live under Shariah- but the majority of women in these countries want freedom- and if we are going to ‘help’ these nations like we did in Libya- then we need to have some agreements ready to sign- right at the start.

We don’t want to ‘liberate’ another Arab country- to find out that the new leaders are already calling for Shariah law- in my mind- that’s not liberation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Was gonna do one last post [for now] on Libya- we will need to cover the whole development of how we began to view/and act over a 6 month period- we acted [as a nation] contrary to our public statements. We swore- over and over again- that we were not targeting the man [or his family] and he swore [before the U.N. - by his rep.] that we were lying- and did indeed already kill a few of his grandkids [which was true] and were going after him.

Then- on national T.V. - we saw him flee Sirte [his hometown] and get bombed by both NATO and American planes [ours were Drones]. We destroyed a bunch of vehicles- left a lot of dead bodies- but he made it to a tunnel.

Then he got pulled out- ended up with a bullet in the head. O- forgot- this happened a day or 2 after Hillary Clinton visited Tripoli [her first visit] and said ‘we are waiting for you to capture or kill him’ [oop’s!] She later had to ‘clarify’.

She also was caught on tape- laughing and rejoicing over his death- okay- many people did- but if your saying publicly- ‘that’s not what we want’- then it looks bad.

Of course the other Arab nations want the U.N. to investigate- they were being told- by us- that we were not going after him. He begged for a peaceful resolution [he did do this!]. But we basically said no.

There are lots of questions to still be answered on this thing.

Okay- yesterday I wrote a quick note about a conversation I had with a new friend who just joined my site. She was into some new age stuff- we talked a little- I defended historic Christian belief- then she blocked me.

Let’s talk a little about Apologetics/Theology. Apologetics is the field where Christians Defend the Faith.

In our day- it is common for believers to be ‘left in the dust’ when they bang up against an atheistic scientist [they not all are!] or someone versed in Philosophy [Sartre or Camus- atheist thinkers- or Hitchen's and Dawkins].

Many times these various fields of study are too much for the average believer to feel like he can engage in- in an intelligent way- and ‘win’ the argument for the Christian view.

But church history has a long- and very successful- track record doing this very thing.

A few weeks back I did about 5 posts or so on Philosophy- a field I like to study. But if you do too many of those posts at one time- then it can get a little heavy [and boring!] So I try to break it up by only doing so many at a time. The same goes for Theology- Church History- etc.

But over time- if we become well versed in these various fields- it will help us defend the Christian view- in an intelligent way- without being mean about it [I try!]

But sometimes you will offend people- even if you try to be nice- because you’re engaging in a conversation that says ‘yes- as Christians we believe in ultimate truth- and that truth is in the person of Jesus Christ’ yes- that will offend some.

My approach to these types of debates is I’m what you would call Ecumenical- I believe that Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox- and all the other ‘churches’ that profess Christ- I believe they are all Christian.

Now you might say ‘well John- doesn’t everybody?’ Actually no- many of the most knowledgeable Apologists do indeed go after the other groups. Quite often you will have a strong protestant defender [usually from the Reformed faith] that will really hit the Catholic church- in my view- too hard.

While it is true that historically Catholics and Protestants have differences- I have often found that Many ‘average’ Catholics/Protestants are not really aware of the real differences- they often have very limited perspectives about the ‘other side’ and these limited ideas [often wrong] seem to stay with the people- for most of their lives.

One example- the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception- what is it?

The teaching became Official- only in the last 2 centuries of the Catholic church- though it was held by many- it finally became official in the last 2 hundred years [ 1854 for the Immaculate Conception- 1950 for the Assumption of Mary doctrine].

The doctrine teaches that the Virgin Mary- Jesus Mom- was born ‘without the taint of original sin’. Now- what does that mean?

Some Protestants think the Catholics teach that Mary was ‘sinless’ in the same way Christ was sinless.

Actually- that’s not the official doctrine [see- it’s important to know the official teaching when we engage like this]. The actual teaching- that has the churches Imprimatur on it- is that Mary WAS A SINNER- just like the rest of us- but in order for Jesus to have been born from a pure vessel- that the actual work of the Cross- Redemption- it was applied to Mary ‘ahead of time’.

Yes- the official teaching is that Mary ‘was saved’ from her sin- just like the rest of us- thru the Cross. The difference is the forgiveness that came to Mary- came to her before she was born- yes- the teaching does teach that Mary was born ‘without sin’ but not like Jesus was without sin- but she was ‘without sin’ because her salvation was applied ahead of time- way ahead of time- before she was born.

Okay- do Protestants believe in this teaching? No. But is it ‘so way out of line’ to the point where we should view our Catholic brothers and sisters as ‘non Christian’ because of it? No- not in my view.

Plus- many Catholics don’t even realize that this is what the doctrine teaches- many think it is talking about the birth of Jesus- being born without sin- by the act of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Virgin Mary and Mary conceiving.

No- this is what we call ‘The Virgin birth- conceived by the Holy Ghost’. Jesus being born from a virgin with no earthly father.

This is not the Immaculate Conception.

So right here alone [trust me- there are many more examples that I could give] Both Catholics and Protestants usually get the doctrine wrong- yet they remain divided their whole lives- over something that they are not even right about.

So I have found this type of stuff to be a problem while striving for Christian unity- and many Christians prefer to see the ‘other side’ in a negative light- and will continue to view them that way- till they die.

I always feel bad when I lose a friend from the site- sometimes you can’t help it [other times it is my fault!] but sometimes it’s because we have views about things- strongly held views- and when others hold to a different view- well we try and avoid them.

One day I received a Friends Request- to my surprise- it was from a young Catholic priest- I did not know him but he must have read a few posts of mine and liked them. He often gave me Thumbs Up comments on the posts- and at times would tell me he loved the posts.

Most were my Theology/Church history posts.

Often times Catholics and Protestants can agree and enjoy these types of studies. I love studying and teaching on the Church Fathers and early Christian history- and these sources all have a very strong Catholic flavor to them- so I see my fellow Catholics as being a part of a long tradition of Christian history.

Many famous converts to the Catholic Church [Bishop John Newman- converted from the Anglican Church] convert because they read the Church Fathers- and when you read them- it’s obvious to see the catholic nature of the early church in these men’s writings.

So anyway I was very happy to have a Catholic priest as one of my ‘on line students’ [and honored].

But one day- during one of my studies [covering one subject for a month or so] to my surprise I saw he was gone [yes- the dreaded block]. I thought- geez- wonder why?

I realized it was right in the middle of a study I did on Islam- and while I was doing the posts- I was also going thru a study on Islam- by the same guy who teaches it to the U.S. govt. - yes- it was a prof. [I think named Espinoza?] who teaches Islam to our govt. employees [sort of like a tolerance type thing].

Though the teacher was Catholic- yet he was VERY much pro Islam- I mean to the point where I had to reject some of the stuff he was saying- and finish the study from my own education on Islam.

At one point- he taught that the spread of Islam thru out the world had a wonderful- liberating effect on all the women in the lands where Islam spread. I mean it was so obvious that the man had no idea what he was talking about [in this area] that I realized he was not a good source [this happens every so often].

And it was more troubling that this was the guy Obama picked to teach Islam to our govt. employees [don’t get me wrong here- he teaches our govt. workers- not to convert them- but more of an informative type thing- just like you would teach any other course about sexual harassment- or whatever].

Anyway- in one of my posts while teaching on my site- I did refer to Mohamed as ‘the prophet’- now- I don’t receive Mohamed that way myself- but because I was teaching some Muslims who did recently join the site- well I used the title in this way.

I think that might have been the ‘last straw’ for my student/priest- he ‘went on Pilgrimage’ right after that post.

Okay- today’s point is we all should try our best to be ‘tolerant’ that is- we should give people as much grace/mercy as possible- but at the same time we also need to be honest about the Christian faith.

Yes- as Christians we believe salvation comes thru Christ- he was not just ‘one religious leader among many’ no- we believe he is the Way- the Truth- the Life/light- no man comes to the Father- but by him.

Sometimes we do our best not to offend- we might even go out of our way to receive people- other religions and systems that are not Christian- that’s okay- I have Muslim and Jewish and all types of friends- I’m glad they are my friends!

But we also have to be honest about our beliefs- and every now and then that might- just might- earn you a BLOCK.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Yesterday I saw a few clips from a talk Joe Biden gave- he was at some municipal type function [Cops- Firemen] and he was basically defending the presidents ‘jobs bill’. I mean the guy really impressed me with his mastery of the numbers.

He rattled off ‘in 2007- you had this many cops on the street- this many rapes- this many killings’. He then went on to the following years- you know- showing us that as the force went down in numbers- that the violent crimes went up.

I mean- it was so smooth- you would think he was just pulling the numbers out of the air.

As he left the hall- some reporter got him on whether or not it was right to associate voting no on the ‘jobs bill’ with being for an increase in rapes [Biden was saying if you vote no- then the number of cops being let go will go up- and the rapes will go up too- according to his numbers].

Biden kind of got into a little scuffle ‘hey buddy- don’t you misquote me on this- this is what I said’ you know- Biden has never had trouble with talking off the cuff like that.

Then sure enough- the Repubs got the actual numbers from the FBI on the rapes and stuff from that city [I think he was in Boston?].

And the actual numbers were the opposite of what Biden said- the rapes went down over the years he said they went up.

I like old Joe- he lives his life for the moment. You know- having a few shots of J.D. with the guys at the Fire Dept. Hanging out with the cops and all my fellow union bro’s [still am a member with the fire fighters union] and then going to the union hall and hitting one out of the park- just giving this soul stirring defense of the president’s policy- rattling off those numbers like one of the local lotto ‘quick 6’ guys does at the corner store.

Then of course the thrill is short lived- sure it made you feel great as you hung out with the boys for the rest of the day ‘Biden sure defended us today- way to go Joe- way to go’. Then he gets back home and sees all the clips of how he screwed up the whole thing.

You know- his wife saying ‘hey honey- look your on CNN again- they’re making fun of you’. And Biden probably just fluffs the thing off ‘Heck- this aint the first time baby- and won’t be the last’. Oh- and by the way- Obama’s trying to get a hold of you- ‘just tell him I’m’ busy hon- talk to him another day’.

Ah- the more I watch these guys- the more I keep thinking of the Don Knott’s movie ‘the gang that can’t shoot straight’ it’s sad- but at least you can laugh as the country goes to Hades in a hand basket.

Okay- to my liberal friends- this next one is for you.

I do think very seriously that our country- and the world- has very serious problems facing us these next few years. I do not see the answer to these problems as being conservative or liberal- I think that both sides really need to be able to come to the table and talk as adults- that has not happened yet.

I’m going to defend Obama right now- just a warning to both sides.

These past few months the U.S. has been trying to negotiate a deal with Iraq- we originally signed an agreement with the new govt. that we would stay in their country till the end of this year.

As the months rolled by the leadership of Iraq has had some very shaky people join their ranks. Iraq is now considered [by many insiders] as being part of a group of 3 nations [Iraq- Syria- Iran] that are strengthening their ties- as sort of a buffer against the other nations in the region.

One of the leaders in Iraq- on the official payroll- is Muqtada Al Sadr [I’m guessing on the spelling?] Do you remember him?

This guy led his own militia during our war in Iraq. At times we went back and forth on whether or not we should target his little enclave and take out his personal army.

Eventually we decided to let the guy live and he finally got on the actual team of leaders that make up the new Iraqi leadership.

This guy has killed our guys- we have killed his.

Now- a while back he agreed to putting a stop to the killing of American soldiers in Iraq [gee thanks a lot!]. He is a religious leader with a following- and at one time he justified [Fatwa] the killing of American soldiers as being part of fighting the ‘infidel’ invaders from the west.

After he got in office- he agreed to tell this people ‘stop killing them’- for good? No- just until the official agreement of our forces staying until this year ends- but after that- he has said its open shooting once again.

Okay- this guy is part of the Iraqi govt.- he’s telling us he will take his guys and kill American soldiers if we stay past the deadline.

Obama has been trying to extend the deadline [at the secret request of the Iraqi leaders- they want us to stay longer- but because of political posturing won’t say it openly]. But in order for them to look tough to the outsiders- they are refusing to sign an agreement that would give our guys legal immunity if we stay.

So you have these guys playing ‘hard ball’ with our guys- we are not asking them to pay the 800 billion dollar bill we have racked up over these past 10 years- they have officials in their govt. who are openly saying ‘you stay past the deadline- your dead’ and the other leaders will not grant our guys immunity.

I would have done the same thing Obama did- you know what- we shed blood here- your govt. has turned into a major supporter of some of our biggest enemies in the region- and your own officials are calling for the killing of our men- after the deadline.

Your damn right we’re not staying- no way in hell.

But we are so divided- the Repub candidates have used this as a tool to criticize Obama- and the left has done the same dirty deeds [Biden’s numbers game?]

This week the DOW went up to around 11,800. I’ll admit- I did not think we would see those numbers this year- nor do I think it’s smart for us to ‘see’ those numbers.

Why? I have said a bunch of times over this last year that the global economy is not in good shape.

Some economists think we [the U.S. and Europe] are going through a De- Leveraging cycle. They feel that nations/economies can only go so long through a borrowing/spending cycle- and then they have to ‘bottom out’ and go through a long season of deleveraging.

Many think that the west is in this phase right now- and will be in it for a number of years.

That’s why Greece- once again- is having open rioting on the streets. They have over borrowed- over promised- and now are doing what’s called Austerity measures- they have to cut.

Now- in our country- we too have these same problems looming over the horizon- we are not technically as bad as Greece [yet] but we are in trouble.

The only way to really deal with this problem- is for both sides to actually make some serious cuts/changes in what we call entitlement programs [Medicare being the biggest] and yes- some type of income on the ‘revenue side’.

Not raising taxes across the board [maybe?] but doing what many on both sides have called for- closing a lot of the loopholes that are in the tax code and making real ‘adjustments’ to entitlements- if we don’t seriously do this- then we will be in big trouble.

Okay- why do I think the DOW is way too high? Investors have been looking for a sign- any sign- that they can use to hang some hope on- that we will not go into another recession.

Sure enough- some good news did come out- and some not so good.

Then once again- the European debt yoyo- it went up again- the investors thought ‘o- maybe the Euro Zone will fix its debt crisis’. Look- no matter what deal they do- they will still have a very long way to go to get out of their problems- and their banks and economies are going to still suffer- no matter what.

And why was Biden doing the speech? Because he was trying to get support for Obama’s plan to send more federal money back to the states. The states have been propped up by the stimulus package and fed. aid- and that moneys gone.

So yes- the states are going to lay off this year- more than any previous year- the moneys gone.

All of these things are huge problems- on a Macro level- that are going to effect the global markets for many years to come- even if the actual figures for business look better [many financial guys have been saying ‘the fundamentals are much better’- true- in a way].

But no business functions in a vacuum. No matter how good the bottom line looks- if people are out of work- and banks are not lending- and if we are really in a de leveraging cycle- then no matter how good the ‘fundamentals’ are- the ‘customers’ are broke- or can’t get a loan to buy the good/service- see?

Okay- lets end with some bible stuff- before I lose all my Christian readers.

A while back we were doing an over view of the entire bible- and I probably should have done at least one last post or 2 before we stopped [maybe will get to that in the next few weeks?]

We stopped at the O.T. prophets- and under that category- you have what we call the Major and Minor Prophets. That’s simply a distinction in the size of their books [Isaiah is long- major- Amos short- minor].

I did hit on Isaiah some- and for a minor prophet- if I could only do one- it would be Amos.

Amos was a very strong defender of the poor- the weak ones in society. He railed against the rich- and the powerful- ‘you sell the poor for a pair of shoes- there is no justice in the land’.

In a way- you could fit him in at one of the Occupy Wall Street rallies.

Amos also condemned the ‘church folk’ he said [like the other prophets too] that the religious people were having great meetings- they were rejoicing in their religious life- they had a great time ‘practicing’ their religion [every day a Friday?] Yet there were many injustices in the land- things that God was not happy with.

And these things were the uneven balances that existed in their day.

When he said ‘you sold the poor for a pair of shoes’ yes- the ‘market’ was that bad- that you could ‘buy a slave’- that cheap. Was it ‘just’ simply because that was the market value?

Hell no- people have more value than a damn pair of shoes! What about his injustice ‘rant’?

That spoke specifically about ‘justice in the courts’ the rich were able to ‘buy’ a better outcome in the courts- than the poor.

Man- if these things are not signs of our times- then I have no idea what is.

Okay- I’m glad the President did what he did on the troop thing- if your country can’t guarantee immunity to our guys- yeah-were gonna get the hell out.

Oh- one last thing- I think I hear a phone ringing- all the way from Delaware- yes Joe- someone wants to talk to you- and soon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

[1750] TOO MANY A’S ?

[By the way- my sister is still in the hospital- she is doing much better- thanks for the prayers!]

Let’s talk about what has happened these last 6 months or so. I found it interesting that the last ‘official’ post I wrote was about Libya- and how what started as a ‘no fly zone’ to protect civilians- turned into an air force for a bunch of possible Al Qaeda guys.

Then sure enough- yesterday the stuff hit the fan- I did a few short posts while watching the news- at first we thought our drones did kill him- then we saw that he survived the air attack- and was ‘accidentally shot’ in a crossfire between his supporters and the Rebels.

You know- the stray bullet theory- let’s see- 2 bullets in the neck- one in the head- 5 in the back- yeah- sounds like a stray bullet to me.

Okay- I realize these guys are no altar boys [well- maybe they are- remember Joe Kony? - few posts back] But the fact is we- along with NATO- made a conscious decision to side with one side in a civil war- the side we picked do indeed have bad guys on their team- and these bad guys have been lying to us since day one- we all know this.

Second- I just happened to write a post in ‘defense’ of Gadhaffi the other day- over the last 6 months I have written about his ‘love’ for the Black ‘skinned’ people of Africa.

Now- some question whether this guy really loved ‘the Blacks’ or not. Let me say this- when Obama was elected- Gadhaffi was really happy about it. The London papers even printed a long quote from Gadhaffi- praising Obama- after the war on Libya started.

The reason they showed the quote was they wanted to give balance to the fact that many Obama supporters were on the side of Gadhaffi for years.

You had stories about Beyonce and other famous black entertainers/leaders having many contacts with Gadhaffi over the years.

You also had very well known Black leaders come out and condemn Obama when he called for Gadhaffi to step down [Farrakhan]. The reason many Black leaders were upset with Obama’s strategy was because Gadhaffi did really see himself as a defender of Black people- and a ‘Father of the peoples Revolution’

Okay- the man came to power in 1969- it was a military coup that over threw a Royal Family. In a very real way- it had a flavor of the modern Arab Spring.

Many of the current protests taking place in the Arab/Persian world are civilians protesting against Autocratic rule- they are protesting the Royal families that rule their nations.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia- Syria- these are run by families [sons] that simply hold power because of their ‘Royalty’- so- in a sense- Gadhaffi was indeed a Father of his own Revolution- he did not have power because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth- he was a military leader who over threw a Royal family.

Now- did he run Libya like a ‘western style democracy’ of course not. And the odds on any of these ‘Arab Spring’ nations doing so are about zero.

The original uprisings began when a street vender in Tunisia [the nation directly west of Libya] killed himself as a protest for being treated badly by the Tunisian security forces [I think the guy set himself on fire].

To the surprise of many outside observers- the leader of Tunisia fell fast- and then the protests spread to Egypt [on the other side of Libya- to the east- all on the border of North Africa- right off the Mediterranean].

In Egypt- the leader- Hosni Mubarak- was a ‘bad’ man- in the sense that for years the people were abused under the security forces of the govt. So Obama went back and forth for a few days- then sided with the people and called for him to step down.

Egypt is a much larger country [population wise] than Libya- Egypt has about 80 million people- Libya 6 million.

But Libya is large geographically- lots of land. Most of the population live right off of the Mediterranean coast- the rest of the country is scattered- they are a tribal nation- the local tribal leaders run the show.

Okay- the reason Egypt fell- in sort of an orderly way- was because their military is advanced- many of their military commanders have been trained in the West- and have close ties to the U.S.

It was fairly easy for the West to tell the insiders ‘look- we think it’s time for a change- we need Mubarak out’ and that’s why he stepped down- he was forced.

In Libya- there is no military type ‘alliance’ that we can work with- Gadhaffi had a military- but the country is pretty Rag Tag.

So how did we get involved?

Like the other nations to the east and west of Libya- you did have people rise up and protest- and I’m sure they were/are sincere. But remember- these Libyan people were not protesting against a Royal family- they were protesting against a guy who did see himself as a true leader of one of the original revolutions of the area.

Last night I saw a bunch of Gadhaffi videos- you know- all the networks playing the oldies but goodies. He tells Larry King ‘I am not the leader of Libya- I am the leader of the Revolution’ King questioned that- yet Gadhaffi did indeed see himself as a liberator of sorts.

When you watch the videos of him being taken- and killed [which was shameful to show- no matter how bad the man was- it was still shameful] he says ‘Don’t shoot me- I am like your Father’- yes- he was a deluded man at the end- yet that’s how he saw himself.

So we chose to back the opposing side- who like I have said before- have Al Qaeda in their ranks. In one of the videos- as they are abusing Gadhaffi- ‘our guys’ are shouting Allah Akbar- Allah Akbar- and look like a bunch of rabid dogs as they surround the guy.

Allah Akbar? Yes- it means God is Great in Arabic- but in the west- when the nuts flew into our buildings- they shouted this.

When Radical Islamists bomb people- they shout this.

When our guys engage in military action- kill an enemy target- they don’t yell Jesus is Lord. We need to make it clear in the future- if you want western support- then you need to quit associating bombings and killings with this phrase- you want to ‘praise God’ then save it for the mosque [tough love- yeah- we need some].

Okay- the deed is done- the outcome? Have no idea.

Egypt has no- and probably will never see- a western style democracy- the odds are- all of these Arab Spring nations will either become run by the military leaders that over threw the autocrats [just like Gadhaffi did in 1969] or if they hold elections- you are gonna get the Muslim Brotherhood- and others like that- in charge.

These groups make no bones about it- if they take charge- they will set up Shariah Law.

If you are a Christian in these countries [Like the Coptic church in Egypt- who make up 10 % of the population] then you’re in big trouble.

Last week there were more protests in Egypt- the biggest since the toppling of Mubarak- many of the protestors were Christians. The ‘caretaker govt.’ in charge- the military guys we backed- they drove their armored vehicles into the square- and ran over about 25 Christians- there's your Democracy.

Remember- many of these original protests were citizens protesting their countries being ruled by Royal families- Gadhaffi over threw a royal family in Libya.

Piers Morgan [CNN] had the gall to have on 2 sons of the Libyan ‘royal family’ that was over thrown in 1969. He spoke to them like they were victims- he even said ‘maybe now you can go back to Libya- and get justice’ [my paraphrase] What! These protests are supposed to be getting rid of these Monarchies- not support them!

There's a funny commercial making the rounds right now- every so often there’s a commercial that I’ll catch- and if it’s funny- whenever I scan my news channels- if I see it- I’ll stop.

So you have this manager/owner of an auto repair shop- the commercial opens up with him answering the phone- he says ‘This is AAAAAAAA-‘ for about 20 times- and of course the customer hangs up.

The mechanic walks in and asks ‘hey boss- why do we have so many A’s on our name’ and the boss- standing at the counter- in front of the name of the business- yes- with about 20 A’s in front of the name- tells the mechanic ‘so we can get our name to be the first in the phone book’.

Of course- this boss is using the old strategy of AAA transmission- or whatever- you know- that old phone book strategy.

So then the mechanic goes into his deal- hawking whatever co. they are trying to plug [I think it’s Fed Ex?] And as the boss listens to this ‘new strategy’ of how to promote your business- the commercial ends with the boss saying ‘you know- you’re a smart kid- you got some future here at- AAAAAAA….’ and the commercial ends.

Sometimes in life- we embrace strategies- things that we think will help our cause- but after careful analysis- it actually hurts it [Who wants to wait on the phone for the price of a spark plug- while hearing some shop owner go through 20 million A’s?]

In all of our efforts to back the innocent people- yes- many of the people in the Arab Spring countries are victims- they have grown up in these situations- and we do want freedom for them.

But at the end of the day- if we wind up backing- militarily- a bunch of radicals who we see on U- tube yelling ‘Allah Akbar’ as they surround their former Revolutionary leader from years gone by- then we might mean well- but I fear the strategy might be fatally flawed in the end.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

[1749] ALLAH AKBAR!!

Let’s tell a tale today. You had this nation that had people in it that hated Blacks. Yes- these ‘Black haters’ had some political organization to them- they lived in the ‘southern’ part of the nation.

You also had the leader of this nation- he lived in the ‘North’. Over time these 2 sides disagreed about stuff- and it even got to the point where they took up arms against each other.

The Blacks who lived in the north- well they were hoping that the south would not win- after all- they heard reports of how the leaders in the south were treating the Blacks ‘down there’.

They were treated like slaves.

Over time- the north seemed to be winning the fight- but then lo and behold- another outside country came in and supported the south- they had modern weaponry- fast planes- and they over powered the weaker kingdom in the north.

To the dismay of the Blacks in the north- the southern leaders came in- and just like they feared- they made them do free manual labor- used them to clean up the place- do odd jobs ‘hey there black boy- go fetch me some food’.

If the Black Boys resisted- they would stick live electrical wires to their genitals- and torture them. Their wives were abused- kids treated like ‘shit’ and all this happened- thanks to the wonderful ‘liberating’ help from the outside country.

If I asked you to name this nation- would it be America a couple of hundred years ago- give or take a few minor details- a different outcome to our Civil War?

Actually this ‘tale’ is no tale at all- it is what has happened in Libya [Tripoli] these last 3 months.

Yes- the outside country is the U.S. - the Black hating ‘south’ are really the rebels from the east [Benghazi] and the leader who loved and protected the Black people- Lincoln? No- sorry- his name is Gadhaffi.

Human Rights watch- a human rights group from N.Y. - they went into Tripoli to see if the reports of human rights abuses were real. They found that the so called ‘liberators’ the guys we have backed- they took the- quote ‘Dark skinned Libyans’ [they don’t want to say Black Folk] and used them to do ‘forced labor’ [slavery].

They pulled Blacks from cars- women and children- no matter- and beat the hell out of them.

They’ll ‘string you up’ in a minute- just because they can’t stand Blacks.

Okay- after all this- these same Black hating rebels advance to the other cities in Libya- they camped outside Sirte for a few weeks- Gadhaffi’s home town. The people of Sirte are saying ‘get the hell out of here- we don’t want you- you are not liberators- your ‘southern’ political views are not the views we embrace. We have always worked with the Blacks- Gadhaffi taught us to love them as our brothers- that’s why Nelson Mandela praised him openly when he was released from prison’.

Yes- the citizens of Sirte want none of this so called ‘liberation group’ being supported by NATO and U.S. fire power- because if these ‘liberators’ make it in- yes- the ‘dark skinned’ folk- well they know the score.

I saw [read?] a news report how the rebels were surrounding Sirte [and Bani Walid] and they were calling on NATO- and the U.S. ‘where are the planes- hurry- lets bomb these bad people in these towns’.

Finally- some NATO rep said ‘uh- there are some technical reasons why we are holding off’ bull!

They realized that the damn human rights violations that we have helped make happen- that these violations are a hundred times worse than what Gadhaffi has done [minus the Lockerbie plane attack].

When we started our action in Libya- we said we were going to simply create a no fly zone in order to protect civilians from ‘bad people’. What started as a no fly zone turned into an ‘air force’ for these S.O.B.’s.

We then figured we might as well go all the way- depose the mad clown of Tripoli- and get it done with quickly. It’s been 3 months since Tripoli fell- and just last week- 80 citizens of Tripoli- you know- those who supposedly greeted the new leaders as liberators- they gathered in Green Square and raised the Green flag again- they were saying ‘we want the old leader back’.

The rebels- our guys- they pulled these people [many Blacks] from their cars- they tortured them and put them in jail.

As ‘our rebels’ did this- as they ran through the square to stop the protestors- they were yelling ‘Allah Akbar’ at the top of their lungs- geez- that sounds just like the attack that took place a few miles up the road from me- Fort Hood- Tx.

As Hassan grabbed his gun and went into the building on the base- he shouted this same ‘liberating’ slogan- as he pumped bullets into his fellow American soldiers.

The main commander who has received praise for his leading the attack that took Tripoli a couple of months back- he was detained by our forces a few years ago- he was suspected of killing our guys- he was [is?] an Al-Qaida leader who came from the eastern part of Libya [where the Rebels live] and he was sent to kill American soldiers in Iraq.

Yes- these guys- the ones who shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ the other day- as they rampaged thru the historic square- attacking and torturing Black skinned Libyans- yes- these are the ‘liberators’ we have backed.

Shame on all of us- shame.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I was going to try and take the week off- from posting- but there is way too much happening- that will have to wait.

This past Friday the White House did another document dump- they released more damming evidence that looks bad- real bad.

What came out? You had a few memos/emails that showed that the career govt. workers- people who have worked for both Repubs and Dems- that these guys working for Treasury and the O.M.B. [office of management and budget] that when they saw that the president wanted to change the Solyndra loan- that they all told him ‘pass this by the justice dept. it looks like what you’re doing might be illegal’.

Okay- when you have pro’s telling you this- in emails- and you change the loan anyway- without listening to them- geez- people get Impeached for stuff like this- no joke.

So- these memos did indeed come out- and Obama has to know that this is bad- real bad.

Now- I think this is why some of the media defenders [A.P.] jumped ship about 2 weeks ago- the Dem insiders must be thinking ‘geez- why the hell did he do it- we told the guy no!’

Of course we know why he did it- his top fundraiser invested millions into the company and visited the pres. 4 times right before he changed the loan.

Now- why was it ‘illegal’ to change the loan? This program started under Bush- and it was designed to help get our economy more into clean energy- a noble goal.

When Bush implemented the thing- the law covering the loans says- flat out ‘under no circumstances shall any investors or private creditors recoup their losses before the taxpayer- if the company folds’.

Okay- then what ‘legal’ reasoning did Obama use to change the loan- for his top fundraiser- who visited him 4 times right before the loan was changed- to get paid back first?.

There was another part of the law covering the loan that said ‘the energy secretary will do everything in his power to protect the investment that the taxpayer is making’ which basically meant the same thing as saying the taxpayer will get paid first if company goes bust.

Okay- from the memos released Friday- the president ‘reasoned’ [on his own- he was a lawyer- remember?] that the clause that said ‘the energy secy will do all in his power to protect the tax payer’ Obama used that clause to justify changing the loan- by saying when he changed the loan- so his friend would get paid first- that this change allowed other private investors to also get paid first- and that would encourage fresh private money to come in- and possibly save the ship- and by saving the ship- in the long run- the taxpayers have invested in a ship that got saved [this is Chicago style lawyer- ing for sure].

Now- does this sound loony to you? Well it sounded loony to all the career govt. people who looked at it too. They said that this reasoning is nuts- and that the pres possibly broke the law by doing this.

So what happened next? The energy guy quit- and got him some lawyers. The top guy at Solyndra bailed too- got him some lawyers. And the pres? Well- he provides his own legal advice [as you can see- it has not served him well].

Now- the pres knew this info was coming out on Friday- and what else came out Friday?

For the first time [First!] the pres decided to put armed ground troops into a foreign theatre- that we were not previously at war with.

Where? Uganda. The pres notified congress [on Friday- you know- real urgent stuff!] that he was putting 100 armed troops on the ground in central Africa.

Now- when he did Libya- which was simply giving air support- no ground troops- he got heat.

What did he think would happen if he put ground troops in Uganda? Well- hopefully- stir up a hornets’ nest- and maybe no one will see those silly memos- where his own people said ‘man- he’s stretching the law’.

Why Uganda- and why now?

Africa is a big continent- there are many nations in Africa that are Muslim run- there are also many Africans who are sincere Christians- some of the politicians [especially in Uganda] sound just like the right wing folk here in the U.S.

I have watched shows [on Gores new channel- Current] where you here the Ugandan Christian politicians slam Obama and his ‘liberal’ agenda- yes- they sound just like any right wing group.

One of the big things they hate him for is his attempts to get Uganda to ease up on their anti gay laws.

Uganda made it into the headlines this last year because they tried to pass laws that would call for the death penalty in certain crimes that included homosexual behavior.

There is a dispute over whether these laws would be applied to people just because they were gay- or whether they were intended more for gay crimes- like someone molesting a youth.

But either way the rhetoric was high- and the Christian politicians- in Uganda- have really gone after Obama- and they see themselves as being used by God to raise the standard of morality in the world.

Okay- maybe some of you never knew this- most of the times we see these nations and we think ‘Radical Muslim’ but now you see- that’s not always the case.

Okay- why the troops? There has been another ‘Christian’ group that has operated out of Uganda [and Congo- and central Africa] for around 20 years- these guys are called The Lord’s Resistance Army [no joke] they are lead by a man by the name of Joseph Kony.

Kony was a former altar boy in the Catholic church- and considers himself to be a prophet sent from God. His mission? To restore Africa to a Christian nation- based on the 10 commandments [you want theocracy- forget Perry and Palin- this guy is the real deal].

Now- Kony [like the other political guys in Uganda] see Obama and the West as enemies of God- enemies of the Christian God- do you now see a little more?

Kony has a real messiah complex- and I have read about this guy in the past- and some maintain that he actually does miracles and is the real deal.

Kony has also embraced the radical view of fighting for his cause- he kills- kidnaps- and acts just like the other radical Muslim groups in the area- he fights fire with fire.

Now- it is estimated that Kony has about 200 followers- imagine Brando in Apocalypse now- and you’ll get the picture.

How much damage has this little group done? It’s estimated that they have ‘displaced’ around 300 thousand people- killed around 2400.

You have had Muslim conflicts kill millions on the continent- and we did nothing.

This one thing I do know- that Friday was the first time under this president that we have decided to deploy ground troops in a foreign theater- a theater that we were not already at war with [Afghanistan, Iraq].

Even Libya was described as Kinetic action- so they would not have to take the heat of sending in ground troops.

Yet Friday- yes the Friday where all these damming memos came out- memos from your own people basically saying you broke the law here- that’s the day we decide to send the most ground troops into Africa since the marines landed in Liberia in 2003- it stinks to ‘high heaven’ if you ask me.

I know the administration will say ‘this has been a problem for years- the world court declared Kony as committing crimes against humanity- the U.N. has tried to deal with it’ yes- all these things are true- but Friday- this past Friday- out of all the days you could have decided its time to roll- you roll on Friday?

And you ‘Roll’ against a group- crazy- violent- nuts- yes. But the group is a radical ‘Christian’ group- run by a former altar boy- in a country that is the most vocal against Obama- on this very issue- yes- that’s the guy- his team of 200 disciples- yes- he’s the one.

There's just too much here for me to believe this decision was based purely on the concern for Uganda.

How bout you?

Friday, October 14, 2011

[1747] TALES FROM THE CRYPT [Fire dept.]

Let’s do one for the Gipper today- you know- just telling a few stories.

Years ago at the fire dept we used to have old pumper trucks. The trucks were real work horses- and us ‘older guys’ grew up driving/pumping these babies.

Yet the newer guys had some real problems with them. First- the trucks were all manual transmission- and some of the guys did not know how to drive them!

So we had them practice at the empty parking lots and stuff- but geez- when these younger guys [not all] were driving to a fire scene- your life was literally in their hands.

Now- I’ll admit it- the trucks were old- lots of wear and tear. On one of them the play in the steering wheel was about a foot!

I remember one night- one of the guys who had a real hard time driving standard- he was ‘my driver’ that night. Sure enough we had a call- and I told Danny ‘let’s roll’.

I knew he was a little hesitant. We had to drive down this narrow back road- a 2 lane road [one each way] and a huge ditch to the right.

I knew it was gonna be rough. As my driver is barreling down the road- at about 60- with the truck with about a foot of play in the steering wheel- well- I did think this was gonna be the big one.

I mean if it has to happen- well that’s your job- but I would rather have gone out in a ‘blaze of glory’- you know- at some fire doing your job- then winding up in the ditch! I mean I actually felt safe when we got to the house fire- like ‘geez- never thought we’d make it’.

Now- these pumper trucks would eventually get phased out over time- all the newer models were automatics. But the problem we had with one of the first new ones we purchased was it had no setting for Park. When you pulled the truck into the stall- you would put it in neutral- and apply the air break.

One thing- if you forgot to pull the break- and got out- after about a minute the water swaying back and forth in the tank [the trucks hold about a thousand gallons of water] would slowly move the truck forward- and once the truck hit the tilted driveway- well the truck would roll out- all by its lonesome- and ram into the National Guard fence that was right there.

I guess this happened around 3 times over a year- we finally started putting manual wheel chocks under all the wheels every day.

It was funny to be honest- the truck would roll slowly- maybe around 10 MPH- so everyone [and their grandmother] could see it coming- but the thing was heavy- with a huge bumper.

I mean we rammed ‘the heck’ out of that National Guard fence for about a year.

I used to laugh about it- and say ‘geez- the fed’s must be thinking ‘what the heck is going on down there’? I mean every year when the guard had to list their top 10 most pressing dangers [you know- terrorism attack- or break in- etc.] The Feds must have wondered why the Kingsville Fire Dept. was at the top of the list.

Okay- last one.

When you work under different chiefs- you learn what to watch out for. Some get mad if you spend too much at the store while picking up items for the station.

So one day me and the Captain make a quick supply run- you know- get a few things for the kitchen and stuff.

So he picked up a roll of tin foil- for about a buck.

We go back to the station and the phone rings- the Captain gets it and all he hears is ‘what’s the foil for’ at first he had no idea who was on the line- of course the chief saw the charge on the card [or the P.O. number].

He couldn’t believe it- he had lots of good reasons for the foil- who does the chief think he is any way- questioning us!

For the next 15 minutes- the captain put foil on everything [you know- to justify the purchase] I mean on the windows where the sun came through [deflect the heat]. On all the burners on the stove- I mean at that rate- we were gonna need to make another foil run- and soon!

Okay- that’s it for today- we still have lots of serious stuff to cover- but today I thought we’d take a break.

Have a good weekend everybody- and be careful driving in front of the fire station!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

[1746] CULT? Three 6’S? Not a Christian?

Okay- let’s talk a little about some of the ‘big’ stories. Actually- these stories are small but the media wants to make them big.

At the debate the other night- Cain took some heat- you know- he’s been hawking the 999 plan on taxes- and now that he’s rising in the polls they have to bring him down a notch.

So they slammed the plan- Bachmann even exposed the secret agenda behind the plan- yes- right there in front of the whole world- she said ‘you know what you get when you turn the 999 plan upside down’?

And yes- we now know the truth- you get 3 upside down 9’s.

Okay- let’s get a little serious here. Another ‘religious’ test popped up on the trail- you had the Baptist Pastor from Dallas tell a reporter that Christians should prefer other Christians when they vote- and Romney is not a Christian.

He went on to say that he thought Romney was a fine man- but that historically Mormonism is a cult.

Was he right?

Let me say this- I have read scholars my whole life- study theology and Christianity- am very open to the other Christian churches- and even my approach to Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses has been one in which I try to have open dialogues with people- not ‘cover up’ their doctrinal flaws- but to be open and show as much charity as possible.

Okay- I know of no serious scholar who would disagree theologically with the Baptist Pastor. Now- was the approach he took right? At a political type meeting? Probably not.

Are there more appropriate ways to engage in dialogue with Mormons- who overall are very good people- serve the country well and for the most part are honorable? Yes—there are better ways to talk about it than saying Romney is ‘not a Christian’.

Let’s talk a little bit about why most bible scholars do hold the ‘cult’ view.

Historically- Christianity is what we call Trinitarian [for the most part- this is also a very long study]. Sometimes we refer to this as Nicene Christianity [from the famous council at Nicaea].

Or we can look to a few other church councils that hammered out the language of the Trinity.

I am Trinitarian- I hold to the historic belief on this- just to be upfront at the start.

Now- have all ‘Christians’ at all times held to the doctrine? No. Now- some will say ‘Then they are not Christians’ okay- I agree.

But the way I define ‘Christian’ while making the argument from history- I am speaking of all those who saw themselves as part of the church [men like Bishop Arius- who rejected the Trinity] and yet did not agree with the historic position.

Church history is littered with men/movements that fall into this category.

Muslims and Jews [even some Messianic Jews] also take the side [doctrinally] with those ‘Christians’ who reject the Trinity. Why? Both of these religions believe that exalting Jesus to Deity [being God] violates the teaching that there is only One God [the Father].

Many of these same objections are made by the various ‘Christian churches’ that also reject the Trinity.

Okay- the historic Christian doctrine- accepted by Catholics, Orthodox and most Protestants- says that God is One- and there are 3 persons in the God Head. The famous Christian him says ‘God in 3 persons- Blessed Trinity’.

So- the belief is there is only one God- yet 3 persons in the God head.

The various groups who disagree with this doctrine usually say it’s a contradiction- and they have various ways they try to explain it.

They will point to bible verses that say ‘Jesus is the Firstborn of all creation’ or ‘Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God’ and they will argue that Jesus was the first creation of God- but not ‘God’ in the sense of True God.

Most scholars will show you that looking at these few verses- in context of the entire bible- show us that they are not meaning that Jesus was actually created- but that he has pre imminence among the whole creation- he is Lord of all.

I really did get into the debate- have taught it in the past on the blog- and today’s intent isn’t to do it all over again.

But- we needed to cover that to say this- what then is the Mormon belief?

While most churches that disagree with the Trinity- usually disagree by saying the doctrine is Tritheistic [meaning you believe in 3 Gods] Mormons actually go the other way- they believe/teach that you actually do have 3 Gods- that the Father and the Son and the Spirit are 3 different Gods.

Okay- that’s the main reason [there are lots of other things] that scholars classify Mormons as ‘non Christian’.

But it’s really hard to have these debates in the political arena- and because of the various ways we use the term ‘Christian’ [most of the times in the media it covers a much wider range than what we use in studying theology] I would not say ‘Romney is not a Christian’.

Why? Because I would have to qualify it by explaining all of this- and you do have many groups that have branched off from historic Christianity- who never accepted the final councils on the Trinity- and many of these groups would still be defined as ‘Christian’ in a broad sense- say if your studying Sociology and not Theology.

Now- you ask ‘geez John- this can get a little confusing- does the bible actually give us a test on this’.

Glad you asked.

The only biblical ‘test’ that is where you have a clear cut statement on ‘if you believe this your okay- if you believe this you’re not’- the statement comes from the epistle’s [letters] of the Apostle John [New Testament].

In 1st John and 2nd John he talks about those who believe that Jesus is the Christ- they are ‘from God’ ‘Born of God’ and those who say that ‘Jesus has not come in the flesh’ these are not ‘of God’ these are ‘the anti christ’.

It’s interesting to note- that in the entire bible- the few times the actual word ‘anti christ’ is used are in these passages.

So the test- if you want to look at it this way- is a Christological test- do you believe Jesus is the Christ [Messiah]. And ‘do you believe he has come in the flesh’ [what we call the Incarnation].

That’s the test- you do not have a ‘Trinitarian’ test so to speak- though the doctrine itself is found in the bible.

Why would the apostle John give these 2 criteria as ‘the test’? Because for the 1st century Jewish believer- Jesus did indeed come as the promised Messiah- and the question is indeed ‘do you believe he is the promised one- or not’.

The other ‘test’ is a little more tricky- but in the 1st century you began having a challenge to the main belief of Christians- it came from the Gnostic ‘cults’. These were the quasi ‘Christian’ groups that mixed in Greek concepts of matter with Christian belief.

The last few weeks we discussed their ideas a little- and one of the ideas that Plato taught was that matter itself was evil.

This is not the Christian view- the Christian view is that matter [creation] is from God- it is good- not inherently evil.

Okay- so you had a division of the Gnostics [which their name meant Knowledge- they believed they had secret knowledge about these things that the average Christian did not have] called Docetists.

These guys taught that Jesus was not Really a human being- who came ‘in the flesh’. Why did they teach this? Because they also taught that matter/flesh was evil- and Jesus could not have really been ‘in the flesh’.

This doctrine violates the very clear N.T. teaching that Jesus was indeed born of the Virgin- and was fully God and fully man- thus the apostle John was targeting them when he said ‘if anyone does not believe that Jesus has come in THE FLESH he is not from God’.

Got it? Okay- we did a little teaching today- as you can see these types of debates cannot really take place in a 30 second news sound bite.

So even though most scholars [if not all?] would agree with the teaching that Mormonism does not fit in with historic Christianity- yet to say ‘this guy is not a Christian’ without being able to make the distinctions that I just did- well it just sounds bad- to be honest.

I personally could vote for Romney- to me it would be more of an issue of his political positions- if I felt he could do a good job- I personally would not use the ‘religious test’ on the guy- but you do have a large group of Evangelicals who would not vote for him- mainly because of this very issue.

I think these issues are important- and people should be aware of them. I also think the term ‘cult’ or ‘he is not a Christian’ if we are going to throw those words out- they need to be surrounded by the above context- when they just pop out on a short sound bite- without the time to explain them- then it’s probably better not to throw them out at all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

[1745] CLASS [Not Class] WARFARE-

I was watching the news last night and saw the guy they caught- trying to hire a Mexican drug cartel- in order to conspire- and be complicit in- the killing of Americans [actually the Saudi ambassador- but in a restaurant where many Americans would be- using a bomb].

At first I wasn’t sure if they were talking about the Fast and Furious program [you know- Mexican cartel- guns- you get it].

The guy was from Corpus Christi- I watched my local news and they listed all the businesses he had over the years. I used to take my girls to eat at one of his spots. A Gyro stand in the Mall food court.

Strange indeed.

Okay- I saw the debate last night- nothing really new- I think Perry did pretty bad- he seemed a little [lot?] unprepared for the debate. They were focusing on the economy and he basically had a one liner that said ‘reduce regulations- help the energy sector- and free up the entrepreneurs’- while those things are good- it would have been better if he had a little more to say on the subject.

This week I saw one of the most Racist interviews by a White guy- talking to a Black guy. It was the Lawrence O’Donnell show on MSNBC. Man- it was bad. Larry grilled him on why he did not act they way ‘Larry’ thought a Black man should.

Herman Cain was being interviewed and Larry kept saying things like ‘why did you not march in the civil rights marches- like you should have- [‘Black Boy’- that’s the way it came across to me].

Cain respectfully explained that he was in high school during most of the time- and his dad worked 3 jobs to support the family- and his Father had told his sons that they should focus on their studies and finish school so they can became productive members of society.

Okay- that sounds reasonable to me. Larry then went after him on why he ‘avoided’ serving his country during the Nam war- again- sounded like he was saying ‘what are you doing off the plantation- you know- where I think you should be and act’. Cain explained that he did not ‘avoid’ serving his country- that he was actually a Ballistics expert working for the civilian arm of the Navy at the time. He told old Larry that his name was on the draft roll- but the Navy told him they needed him where he was.

Larry said ‘then why didn’t you join- like Kerry- and other people who honored their country’. I have never seen such disrespect- by a White man- to a Black man- on a TV interview in my life. Whether you agree with Cain's politics or not- this was way over the line.

And I must have read about 10 news articles by the A.P.- every one of them –without exception- were critical- even mocking- of the president.

You must understand that the A.P. puts out stories that all the other news sources pick up and run with. For the first 2.5 years of the Obama presidency they were his biggest supporters. They never covered stories that were critical of Obama- they always sided with him on issues.

But a few weeks ago- for some reason- they left the boat. I mean the last article I read critiqued Obama’s health law. It called it a ‘shell game’ ‘a gimmick’ a ‘budget zombie’. Now- these were quotes from others [not only Repubs!] that looked at the plan and saw it for what it is.

Yet the A.P. still wrote the piece. To be fair- they were talking about a specific part of the plan- called CLASS- it was supposed to be a long term health plan that would provide long term care [nursing home, providers, etc.] for the elderly.

They explained the budget shows an 80 billion dollar savings by using the first 5 years of supposed income into the plan- by those who voluntary sign up- and that this number was the biggest so called savings that the overall plan used to pass the bill.

When the president pushed for his plan- he showed it would save around 140 billion over 10 years [which is not true by the way] and it was this 80 billion savings from the CLASS part that showed the most savings.

Okay- what happened? Obama recently scrapped the plan- they knew it would go broke- and the tax payers would have to bail it out. You needed younger healthier people to voluntarily pay into it for 5 years- so they might get some back in the future. Most folk are too strapped for something like that- and Obama’s people saw the writing on the wall.

So- when they quietly scrapped the plan- they kept using the numbers they would save from the people paying into the plan- even though no ones going to pay into it- because they scrapped it.

Okay- nothing new. He did this with the so called 500 billion savings from Medicare- he used the number- twice- and came up with a fake amount of 1 trillion dollars in savings.

At the time- I remember only one news reporter calling him out on it- all the other news people were on his side- and would not report anything negative- not even open deception.

So the A.P. got tired- they have been blowing the cover on all these types of shady deals these last few weeks- they should have been doing it from the start.

I’ll end with my favorite news guy- you know who I’m talking about [those who read the posts] good old Chris Matthews. Sharpton even honored him last night on his show- he said he felt that Matthews tingle going up his leg too [no joke!]

Matthews believes he is instructing the president- that his role in life is to fight those darn Red Necks and do whatever needs to be done to make Obama succeed. Even not cover stories where the justice dept is covering up illegal gun running op’s that have killed Americans.

So yesterday the Times put out an op-ed that called for another 1.2 trillion dollar stimulus [I kid you not]. They went on to say that if the govt. spends another 1.2 trillion on infrastructure spending- that it will provide millions of new jobs and solve the unemployment problem.

I did not read the piece- I heard Matthews comment on it on his show. It must have been a Paul Krugman piece.

This view- Keynesian economics- has been tried on the largest scale ever- during Obama’s first 2.5 years- and it has failed miserably.

If you had 3 kids who needed work- and you thought ‘geez- let me go to the bank and borrow 20 thousand dollars’. And with that money you simply paid them to go dig holes- or fix park benches- or any number of other odd jobs.

Sooner or later that money will run out- and so will the job.

But if you gave the kid 20 thousand- helped him start up a small business- and he became successful and hired the other sons- well then you did more than simply pay him from borrowed cash to do a one time job. No- you empowered him to make a living- for himself and the other boys.

That’s pretty simple- and those who keep calling for more stimulus- well they are like the dad who keeps going to the bank to borrow money to pay his son to go dig the ditch- and when that money runs out he thinks ‘geez- the answer is go borrow some more’. That type of money will always run out- because you’re really not stimulating true job growth- your simply paying someone to do a one time job.

Okay- that’s it for today. I hope all these guys can get their act together a little more- and avoid the actual lying about the numbers- like the CLASS example- when people do stuff like that- then there will be little chance to really solve the problems- that approach is pure political posturing- we need more statesman and less politicians today.