Friday, March 30, 2012


This is the latest Will Ferrell flick to hit the big screen.

It’s in Spanish [no joke] and Ferrell speaks all his lines in Spanish.

I caught his interview on Jon Stewart- plugging the movie- and it looks funny.

I do like Ferrell- I clipped an article [so I would remember to mention it] and just about 5 minutes ago as I re-read the thing- I couldn’t stop laughing.

It shows a picture of Ferrell- all made up to look like a Mexican drug lord [I think he plays a brother of one in the movie] and he’s holding this rifle- in a real awkward way- and he looks like an idiot.

That’s what makes me laugh about the guy- he’s just funny.

The movie is a spoof of the Spanish Telenovela movies- he’s basically making fun of the genre- and at the same time trying to appeal to both Spanish and English speaking audiences.

As the week ends- there have been some surprises in the news world.

Most observers think the Health Care law has more of a chance of being struck down by the court than less of a chance.

It was not so last week- so this is a major story.

Also about 2 weeks ago I wrote some posts on the Syrian situation- if you remember both Russia and China rejected the U.S. lead effort [in the U.N.] to condemn Assad [the Syrian president] and call for his ouster.

At the time I said the U.S. needs to realize that we can’t keep calling for the ouster of leaders- even bad ones- every time a rebellion rises up.


Because the radical Islamist groups see this- and that’s why you started having various protestors calling for ‘NO FLY ZONES’.

They were reading us- and at times trying to simply manipulate us to do their bidding.

Now- after our U.N. resolution failed [because of China and Russia voting it down] Susan Rice- the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.- made a public statement- calling it ‘unconscionable’ and using language that you normally don’t see by ‘fellow negotiators’ from the U.N.

As I watched the fallout- I saw that experts at how the U.N. process works- they said Rice was incompetent- and her reaction showed her inability to handle the job.

These criticisms came from both sides- Russian and U.S.

I also said at the time that the U.S. needs to basically listen to what Russia’s objections are- and we need to move in their direction on this- and not the other way around.

Russia basically was fed up with the West coming in and backing rebel groups- unseating the leaders of the countries- and then leaving the place a mess [Libya- Egypt].

Russia [and China] saw the writing on the wall- and they called for a ceasefire on all sides- and for everyone to sit down at the table.

I thought this was the best way to go as well.

But Rice [U.S.] called for Assad to step down [which means he will get tried and executed- as various Al Qaeda groups take the country over].

So just the other day- the news headlines read ‘Russia capitulates to U.S. position’.

As I read the article- the opposite happened.

We agreed to the Russian position- not the other way around.

But every article on it- bar none- made it look like ‘we prevailed’.

That Obama and his team were the real experts- standing up for liberty- and the other side lost.

How many people knew enough to see that the articles were wrong- how many just read the headlines and thought ‘wow- what a bang up job that Susan Rice is doing at the U.N.’

This is how media bias works- sometimes I think they even believe their own stuff- even when it’s obviously wrong.

In the next week or so I’m going to try and wrap up a few more posts on Philosophy.

We started around 6 months ago- with the pre Socratic Philosophers [7-800 years B.C.] and made it all the way up to the Existentialists of the 19th century.

I hate to stop there- because we were right at the time of the rise of the Atheistic existentialists- the Nihilists- who saw no hope in existence.

These guys ‘stole’ existentialism from its founder- a Christian- Soren Kierkegaard- and developed a purposeless philosophy- a ‘man without hope’ future world.

Guys like John Paul Sartre and Camus [20th century] were writing/saying things like ‘the only question now left is the viability of suicide’.

Books with the simple title ‘Nausea’ or ‘no exit’ [a play]- describing the fate of man.

As I watch/read the current trends- it is tempting to see our future in this way.

I mean society is struggling for meaning- Arab nations are going thru tremendous times of questioning- and some observers are grasping at the solutions that the 19th century Atheists already espoused- and failed.

Men like Sam Harris [the End of Faith] blame all society’s ills on religion itself- pointing to Islamic terrorism- and making statements like ‘almost all wars are religion based’.

I mean his argument sounds good- he’s just wrong.

Out of all recorded major wars- around 1700- under 10 % are considered religious in nature.

But who really has time for facts like this?

So- over the next few weeks- as I watch the scene- maybe catch the Ferrell flick- I will keep in mind another famous line of Ferrell’s.

He was talking to Christina Applegate- in his classic film ‘Anchorman- the Legend of Ron Burgundy’.

And there sitting at some lookout- viewing the city of L.A.

And Ferrell waxes eloquent about the city- he says ‘L.A. - the city named after..’

Well- it’s kinda crass- he basically says it was named after the female part of a whale.

Christina looks at him- puzzled- and says ‘I think its name means City of Angels’.

Ferrell disagrees- he tells her ‘well- we will just have to agree to disagree’.

She says ‘no- I’m pretty sure I’m right’.

I’m glad the country is having a debate about what’s right and wrong- the Trayvon Martin case- the ethical responsibility that society has to the poor [Health care arguments].

Our role as a lead nation ‘among nations’- how to side with the protestors- in a responsible way that doesn’t leave the nations in a mess when where done.

All of these debates are ethical in nature- the questions we are asking is ‘is this right or wrong’.

And contrary to some modern thinkers- there is a right and a wrong on these issues- yes- sometimes we compromise- sometimes we ‘agree to disagree’ and sometimes it takes one side to tell the other ‘no- I think you are wrong on this’.

Do it in love- do it with boldness- ‘speaking truth to power’ but when you see the need- then do it.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I have been reading the San Antonio paper the last few weeks- and they have been running some ad for dental implants [fake teeth].

They have the ‘before/after’ pictures- whenever I see the ad- I think ‘before what? A complete head transplant’!

Yes- the before shots remind me much of my homeless buddies- the after shots look like glamour pictures for the ‘most beautiful person in the world’ contest.

This last week I have reached a sort of milestone- a few years ago I began praying [more than usual] for all types of criminal cases that I read about- or see- on the news.

I actually painted their names all over my gazebo- the back fence- and yes- right on the back and sides of the house [along with lots of bible verses].

I have hundreds of pictures/articles cut from the paper- their pinned to my office walls.

You say ‘John- I know you mean well- but do you think this is normal’.

Actually no- neither does my wife.

I have been threatened ‘if you keep doing this- I will paint the whole house’.

My paints [and brushes] have been hidden [by others!]- and when Christmas comes around- I tell the kids ‘hey- just get me another 5 gallon bucket of paint- I’m running low’ [yes- this part is a joke].

Some of the more severe cases- the ones that stick in my mind- I paint their names- the others I just pin up the article.

Sometimes I see the cases more than once- at the time of the crime- and then when they get sentenced.

This week Jacob Gonzales was sentenced to life without parole.

He plead guilty to a triple homicide he committed last year- shot 3 girls in cold blood.

The worst homicide the city has ever seen.

So I had written the name of Jacob down- and saved the article.

As I looked for a spot to paint the name- I realized that I already wrote the name Jacob- in big letters- on a ladder on my gazebo [long story- bible verse about Jacobs Ladder].

So it kinda just fit.

I knew his case was significant- I do ‘forever’ pray for these guys [and women] and being it was a local case- and he will be in jail for life- he would benefit more from the prayers.

During my normal reading for the week- I was reading Jeremiah chapter 31.

I usually focus on one or 2 chapters a week- and if I remember I comment on them at the end of the week.

As I read chapter 31- it starts with a verse that should be added to the previous chapter.

Sometimes you run into a chapter like that- our bible chapters and verses are really ‘man made’ that is the chapters themselves are not inspired- just the content [chapter divisions].

So I thought ‘heck- let me go ahead and see if the Lord has something for me in chapter 30’.

Now- this is the week where I added Jacob to my prayer group- again.

And I felt there was some special significance to his case.

In Jeremiah chapter 30 the Lord says ‘this is the time of Jacobs’s trouble- and I will save him out of it’.

It would take too long to teach the actual doctrine of Jacobs Trouble- but it is a long- and sometimes controversial teaching that we find all through the bible.

I say controversial because many [most?] Protestants have an ‘end time’ teaching about this [called Dispensationalism] that I don’t agree with.

I hold more to the historic churches’ view on these passages [Catholic, Orthodox, etc.]

But Jacob- in the bible- is the son of Isaac- the son of Abraham.

God changes his name to Israel [he is the father of the 12 tribes of Israel].

And the name obviously holds a lot of significance in the bible.

The ‘trouble’ part refers to the passages we find in the bible that speak about a very troubling time for Israel as a nation- in many of the End Time books/movies- it’s called ‘The Great Tribulation’.

But the significance for me- this week- was God kinda spoke to me thru the connection of this kid Jacob- who I prayed for all week.

Yes- Jacobs’ time of trouble.

In chapter 31 [Jeremiah] God tells Israel ‘there is coming a time when I will make a new covenant with you- not like the one I made with you during the time of Moses’.

This fits in with what I taught last week- how the apostle Paul said we are not under the old law [Moses and the 10 commandments] but under a new covenant- the new and everlasting covenant of the Blood of Jesus.

In the chapter it says God will write his law on our minds and hearts- it won’t just be an outward law- written on tables of stone- but one written on the inside.

Yes- he says ‘all things will be new- I will never remember your sins any more’.

You know- I guess complete head [heart] transplants can happen- but it takes a miracle from God.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey- there were certain stories that I heard- you know- things that stick with you for the rest of your life.

One of the all time greats was the day my mom took my Italian Grandma to the store.

Now- my mom was notorious for getting lost- even as a young kid I would tell her directions on my way to school- blocks from the house!

But this one was the best.

The store they were headed to was named Valley fair- it was about 15 minutes from the house- I drove passed it many times- even rode my bike there.

So my mom picks up Nauna and off they go.

Now- my Nauna was a first generation immigrant- you know- came over on the boat [Plane?]

So you might see things differently because of that- having had the experience of leaving your homeland and moving to some strange new world.

As they make this ‘short’ drive- my mom begins worrying that she might have missed the turn.

As a matter of fact- it seems like they have been driving for a while [quite a while to be exact!]

So she finally stops at the gas station and asks the guy ‘do you know where Valley Fair is’?

The guy looks puzzled- and you must understand [to those of you not from the Garden State] that the cities are so tight- it’s easy to drive thru 10 cites without even realizing you did it.

So the guy asks ‘what city is the store in’?

Simple enough.

She tells him [I think the town was Little Ferry?]

He still looks puzzled- he asks ‘what state is that in’?

Yes- they drove out of state and were wandering in New York state.

My Nauna simply said ‘I will never see my home again’.

Yes- we all hate change- we fear the new environment- having to learn new tasks.

Today is day 3 for the Supreme Court to hear the oral arguments on Obama Care.

They set aside 6 hours over 3 days for the case- which is really extraordinary.

They usually give you one hour and that’s it.

But they know this is a major thing- and they want to hear both sides.

By most accounts- the Solicitor General for the govt. [the lawyer who argues the case for it] had a bad day.

Some even went as far to predict that the law will get struck down [Toobin for CNN].

I think it’s still too early to say that- but it did look like the court might be accepting [at least asking] more arguments on the side of those who want to overturn the law then those who are for it.

Why are so many people against it?

About 2/3rd’s of the country do not like the mandate [Me too].

People will indeed be forced to buy insurance- or pay the fine.

I found it funny that one of the more liberal justices- Stephen Bryer- kind of rebuked the president’s lawyer [the guy arguing for it].

The lawyer kept referring to the fine as ‘the tax’ and Bryer called him out on it.

Why was the lawyer fudging like this?

Because if you argue that the mandate is simply a tax- then by all accounts the govt. has the power to tax.

But the law was not drawn up this way- because of political reasons.

So instead of saying the charge is a tax- they said it’s a fine.

As this case has made its way thru the courts- the govt. has tried this a few times- and one judge said ‘look- you have argued in public that this is not a tax- now you are saying it is- you can’t have it both ways’.

So the govt. [Obama] has really twisted this thing a lot.

I don’t know if the court will uphold or reject the law- but things look brighter today for those who want it struck down.

One of the things that will happen- is if it passes- is things will change.

Now- frankly I’m not in the camp of thinking the whole country will go socialist over it- to be honest the mandate used to be a Repub idea [the Heritage Foundation- a conservative think tank- once supported the idea].

Socialism- in its truest form- would have been the one payer- govt. run system- this plan is not that.

But yeah- there will be changes- many for the worse- a few for the better.

Many people will lose their employer provided insurance- because it will be cheaper for the Employers to drop their coverage and let people fall into the plan.

So that will be bad for some.

And of course- the argument that all the govt. is doing is regulating commerce [that’s the argument they are using- the commerce clause] is really silly in my mind- they are trying to mandate people to buy a private product- from the private business sector- this is much more than simply regulating commerce.

But overall- if it passes- things will change.

Yes- change is scary- we get used to familiar surroundings- then one day you wake up- head out to the store- and before you know it- you will never see your home again.

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

1813- THE BLACK KID [Trayvon Martin]

About a year ago I was out of town- a city called Rockport- a really beautiful city about 40 miles from my home.

To be honest- it was a rough day- I was on foot, walking. It was about 9:00 p.m. - and I had no cell phone.

To put it simply- I was stuck.

Now- I have been there before [there= situations like this] but it’s been a while- and I’m an old guy now!

Nevertheless I was walking- and thinking of some way to get a ride.

The first store I stopped at- I asked ‘do you mind if I use your phone’- they looked at me like I was Jack the Ripper- they gave me some excuse and sent me packing.

Then there were a couple of ‘kids’ there- looked like the classic gang kids- the whole 9 yards. They were Hispanic- and I asked them ‘hey- can I use your cell phone’?

He let me- I made a call- no one answered.

Then I walked about another block- thinking I would start walking down the highway and just hitch a ride.

I found another store.

At this store I got some change and used the pay phone and called a taxi service- I did have my wallet and took cash from the ATM.

As I was sitting outside waiting for the cab- I noticed a Black kid with a buddy- he was getting gas- it was late- I looked pretty ‘rough’ and I noticed he kept checking me out- he was telling his friend something and he started my way.

I was sitting out of the way- by the air pumps.

I thought ‘damn- I’m tired- It’s been a tough day- I’m too tired to run- let’s see what this kid wants’.

You know- I figured if worse comes to worse- I’ll do the Florida ‘stand your ground law’ yeah- that sounds good [though I wasn’t familiar with their law yet].

Oh-one problem- I don’t have a gun.

So the kid walks right up to me- kinda in my face- I tried to give him the Jersey stare ‘yeah- what’s up man’ [you can’t looked scared or the stare won’t work].

He simply walks right up- takes his hand out of his pocket- and gives me about 2 bucks in change.

Yeah- he thought I was one of the local homeless guys- he wanted to help me out!

Man- I knew I looked rough- but didn’t realize it was that bad!

I kinda laughed and told him I didn’t need it- he left it anyway.

This last week we have been having a conversation about race- the president made a comment about Trayvon Martin- and one of the Repub candidates criticized him for it.

I heard the president- read his statement- there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he said.

I have a feeling that we might find out a few things that we are not aware of right now.

It seems like Trayvon might have fought with Zimmerman [the guy who shot him].

And maybe we will hear a few things about Trayvon- maybe some problems at school or something.

But no matter what his history is- if he did have some problems- or even if he punched Zimmerman in the face and broke his nose.

Yet- the way Zimmerman pursued the kid- even after the 911 dispatcher told him not to- then he got out of his vehicle and confronted the kid- then he wound up killing him.

Look- the whole thing was wrong.

We don’t need self appointed ‘neighborhood watch’ guys acting like cops- and making 50 911 calls in the last year [which he did].

I worked for the Fire Dept. for 25 years- and I loved our volunteer firefighters- some of the guys were really helpful.

But you had a few that never could get hired as full time guys- and these guys acted like they were the ‘real deal’.

I mean they wore the fire dept Tee shirts around town- had the lights on their trucks [the paid guys never did stuff like this].

They wanted to be firefighters- paid- and if they couldn’t score high enough on the test and get on the dept. - then they did the next best thing- they acted like they were on the job!

I see this in Zimmerman- and while we don’t have all the details- he was not justified in killing this kid- no matter what else we find out- this was an unjustified killing.

And I agree with the president- every person- Black- White- Hispanic- should be concerned about this shooting- and we want to get to the bottom of this.

For a 17 year old kid [Black- White- whatever] to get shot in cold blood- and to be lying on the slab for 2 days before the parents know what happened.

And for the shooter to be home- still playing ‘cop’- and keeping his gun- this stuff needs to stop- and we as a country need to condemn stuff like this.

Yeah- did I feel nervous when the Black kid walked up to me at the gas station that night?


He saw some White guy- a guy he thought was homeless- and he wanted to help.

When we see a Black kid- a hood or not- let’s not think ‘this kid is up to no good’ [the words of Zimmerman on the 911 call].

If we/you think something looks suspicious- yeah- go ahead and call 911.

But for heaven’s sake- if your packing heat- don’t get out of your car and play cop.

There's a reason some of the volunteers never got hired- and there’s a reason Zimmerman was not a cop.

If you aint ‘the real deal’ then call the pro’s- and stay in the damn car.

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1812- John 3- Ephesians 2 [and the chicken!]

I want to cover the 2 bible chapters that I mentioned the other day- John chapter 3 and Ephesians chapter 2.

But first- some business.

I wrote a post the other day about ‘confiscating’ the little plastic bags at my local grocery store [HEB].

And some of you might be thinking ‘see- crime does pay’.

For your information- the bags were probably worth about 25 cents.

The other day I went to take out the chicken thighs for dinner- I couldn’t find them!

Then I thought ‘gee- my truck has been smelling like dead bodies lately’.

Yes- the chicken was left under the back seat for 2 days- cost- about 6 dollars.

Lesson? Don’t steal the bags anymore- cost? Priceless.

Okay- John chapter 3 is the famous chapter where Jesus tells Nicodemus ‘a man cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’ [or born from above].

We also have the famous John 3:16 verse ‘for God so loved the world…’

If you read the chapter- both Jesus- and John the Baptist speak about those who believe- they are not condemned- and those who do not believe are judged.

Yet Jesus says he came into the world- not to condemn it- but to save it.

In Ephesians chapter 2 the apostle Paul says we are ‘saved by grace- not of works- lest any man should boast’.

Both chapters emphasize the role faith plays in salvation.

Okay- where did I come up with these chapters for the reading of the week?

They were both quoted from during the mass on Sunday [as a Protestant- I always try and watch the mass on Sunday- as well as doing our own home church meeting].

‘John- do Catholics believe in being born again’?

Yes- very much so.

Being born again is actually a vital doctrine within Catholicism.

For a brief review of Catholic/Protestant teaching- on my blog- on the front page to the left- you will see a bunch of studies that I have highlighted- click the ‘Protestant Reformation- Luther’ and you will get a more in depth discussion on some of the differences- and points of agreement.

But for this brief post- Catholics [and Orthodox] believe the new birth takes place at baptism- for the most part Protestants/Evangelicals believe it takes place at the point of faith [added to a long list of ‘altar calls’ or ‘5 steps of conversion’ etc.- in short- Protestants have their own sacramental system- they just don’t know it!]

I say- mostly- because there are many various groups within the Protestant movement that also would agree that water baptism is the point of being saved [church of Christ- various Pentecostal groups- etc.].

Now- I hold more to the historic Reformation view [faith] but I do not see a ‘grave’ departure from scripture with those who put more of the emphasis on baptism.

There are verses in John 3- Jesus says ‘a man must be born of water and the spirit’.

Plus- the last half of the chapter starts with a discussion over ‘purifying’.

There was a debate- going on at the time- between Jesus and John’s followers- about baptism- the chapter says the debate was about ‘purifying’.

Overall- it’s not unreasonable- in my mind- to hold to the more traditional emphasis on the importance of the role of baptism.

Yet- Christians fight- vehemently- over this.

In this part of the country it’s common for a Baptist- Assembly of God- or Church of Christ believer to view the ‘other team’ as a cult over this- this to me is very sad.

The main point?

Regardless of how much of a role water baptism plays in your particular denomination- the main point is we are saved by faith- thru the death and resurrection of Christ.

In the Ephesians chapter- Paul actually hits on some pretty deep themes- that the death of Christ removed the ‘wall of separation’ between Jew and Gentile- and we both are made into ‘one new man’.

This shows us the role that the Cross should play in society- it should bring various groups and cultures together- not divide them.

It would take a little too much time for me to go into what the ‘wall of separation’ was in Paul’s day.

But he wasn’t speaking about our sins separating us from God [though this of course is true].

But he was speaking about the role the law [10 commandments] played at the time.

Paul- a zealous teacher of the Jewish law [Pharisee] held the law in high esteem- and often it became a barrier between the Jew and Gentile.

Some of the more fame seeking Pharisees [the ones we see Jesus interacting with in the gospels] used the fact that they were the nation that received the law under Moses- as an ‘I’m better than you’ mentality.

Paul says ‘the law of commandments that was against us- Jesus nailed them to his Cross’ [Colossians].

He also says in his letter to the Galatians ‘if righteousness comes by the law- then Christ died in vain’ strong words indeed!

The point he is making is we- believers- are no longer under the condemnation of the law- no longer under the continual threat of God striking us down at any moment because of our sin.

We have been saved by grace and those who ‘walk in the Spirit’ are no longer under condemnation [Romans 8].

So- Jesus nailed the law to the Cross- and the barrier that separated Jew from gentile- as well as sinful man from a Holy God- has been ‘taken away’ by Christ.

I must note that the apostle Paul himself- who is famous for this teaching- always added the caveat ‘do we now sin because we are not under the law? God forbid!’

He was accused- by the strict sect of the Pharisees [known as Judaizers] of teaching a ‘lawless gospel’.

No- he- as well as most Christian denominations today- teach that the 10 commandments are still very important- and as believers in Christ we will naturally- by our new birth- fulfill the law.

But it is no longer this sword of Damocles hanging over our head.

Okay- for those who haven’t had time to read the chapters yet- try and read them over the weekend- they are short chapters- think about what I said in this post- look for the emphasis on faith- the role that faith plays in our salvation.

I’ll be back in a few days- but I need to go now- need to get another pack of chicken thighs before the store gets crowded.

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The top story of the day- the big- no- huge- breaking news.

What was it?

You aint gonna believe me.

Yes- the Etch a Sketch controversy!

During the day yesterday some campaign aid for Romney said when they get to the general election- they will move to the center and do like the Etch a Sketch- shake the game and clear the slate.

Okay- was this the smartest thing to say? No.

Sure- it played into the charge that Romney is a ‘change agent’ [he changes his position to suit the day].

But top news? Please.

What should be top news?

I have covered a bunch of important overlooked stories these last few weeks- there are so many I could write one a day- but let’s hit a couple for now.

The top government leader in Libya has just said- quote ‘the central govt. is incapable of protecting or governing the nation’s vital institutions since the capture and killing of Gadhaffi’.

Yes- we over through that govt. by force- and we left the country in a mess.

Egypt- this week they just acquitted 9 terrorists who belonged to Al Qaeda and were part of the Islamic Jihad movement.

They had charges against them from trying to overthrow the former regime- Mubarak- who we forced to step down.

Yes- the people we enabled to be in charge- they acquitted our so called number one enemy in the world- Al Qaeda.

So why do these important stories- stories that demand headline news coverage- why do they get put on the back burner- and instead we have room for the Etch a Sketch.

It’s because the media do not want to report stories that would have a negative effect on Obama.

John- do you really believe this?


Hillary Clinton believed it to.

During her run against Obama for the nomination- her insider political people knew that the media were purposefully covering for Obama.

It has been reported- credibly- that her people actually contacted Hannity from Fox news- and told him that they were grateful that Fox was the only network willing to cover Obama.

A book just came out by David Corn- a liberal supporter of Obama- works for Mother Jones.

In the book Corn says how Obama has told his supporters that his poll numbers are down because Fox news accuses him of being a Muslim 24/7.

I watch Fox- as well as all the news channels- I have never heard a hard news report that claimed Obama was a Muslim.

Now- the president himself has indeed made so many statements in the past- calling Islam ‘my Muslim faith’.

He has said that he studied the Koran- he has prayed the Muslim prayer at sunset- and it was- quote ‘a beautiful thing’.

He has made statements like this over and over again- nonstop- over the years.

So- you would have thought that during the campaign some media people would have simply asked ‘why did you say this- a lot’.

Not one question- instead the media began a campaign to get people to think ‘geez- why are they always accusing Obama of being Muslim’.

The news reporters would ask the opposing candidates ‘do you think he’s Muslim’.

They would ask ‘should you make so and so apologize because he thinks Obama is Muslim’.

Yet not one story on his own statements associating himself with Islam.

Many of you probably never heard the few I just quoted in this post.

Okay- am I on this anti Muslim rant- trying to associate Obama with Islam?


But the book just came out- and this is a charge he makes- that the other side are ‘24/7’ calling him a Muslim- that’s just not true- and any other candidate who made the statements he has in the past- they would have not gotten ‘a pass’.

I talked about the atheist Nietzsche in the last post.

One of the famous comments he made was- man- like the Superman- should ‘will to power’ he should live for what he deems best- and strive for the top- even if you have no real reason for your own existence. He said man should ‘build his house on Vesuvius’ [an active volcano].

As the year progresses- as the top stories of the day become a stupid Etch a Sketch comment- or how one side is so right- while the other so wrong- we need to read between the lines.

There are many serious- important stories to cover.

Innocent people being killed- leaders oppressing their people.

Children starving around the world in vast numbers.

These are all very serious issues that we need to know about- pray about- and if we can- do something about.

But no- we want the Etch a Sketch- we want the stories that have no real value- no true meaning.

Yes- we are building our house on Vesuvius- and we don’t even know it.

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Yesterday I shopped at the local grocery store- and as my habit is- I started at the vegetable/fruit section.

When I grab the little bags to put the stuff in- I usually grab a few extra- and if I don’t use them I’ll take them home and stick them in the cabinet.

So, as I’m checking out- the lady asks me ‘oh- do you want me to throw these out’. I think she knew I was gonna confiscate them for personal use.

So- as a joke- I say ‘no- that’s fine- I sell them to the homeless guys out front’ [The store is a couple of hundred yards from the homeless mission where I hang out- everyone in the area knows about the ‘homeless guys’].

As I tell her the joke- both she and the bagger- they don’t seem to think it’s funny.

They look pretty mad- to be honest.

I tell them ‘no- I’m kidding- I take them home and use them for the onions and stuff’.

Their look didn’t change one bit- they did not want me to get those damn bags!

Right now in Texas we have an ongoing war with the Obama administration. In all my years as a political observer- I have never seen someone as petty as this current president.

I have written about him denying us federal aid when we applied because of wild fires we had a few years back.

Then the recent accusation that Texas is racist because of the voter I.D. laws.

Plus- the E.P.A. rules that are shutting down parts of our power grid- this coming year Texas is going to face some blackout problems because of this.

So- this week the president cut the federal funds for the WHP program.

This program gives care to poor women.

There are over 2400 hundred providers in Texas that will lose the majority of their funding because of this.

Why would the president do this?

Texas- like a few other states- passed a law that prevents tax payer money going to clinics that provide abortions.

The federal money supplies about 90 % of the funding- the federal govt. said if you deny any funding for the Planned Parenthood clinics- then we will cut all the funding to all of the 2400 clinics.

Now- did they have to do this?


How many Planned Parenthood clinics are in this group of over 2400 providers?

If you simply listen to the media- you would think that just about all of them are- or maybe half.

Out of the over 2400 providers- Planned Parenthood makes up 44.

Yeah- 44.

The president cut off funding for 2400 clinics- that do breast screenings and mammograms.

That actually treat cancer and other diseases.

He cut them all off- because Planned Parenthood would not be in the group any more.

Planned Parenthood does not treat for breast cancer- does not offer pre natal care- and does not even have mammogram machines.

Many of the 2400 clinics that the president cut off do all of these services.

So why would you cut off over 90 % of the clinics that actually do these real- needed services?

Because of the political ideology of being pro abortion.

Obama has positioned himself as being on the side of abortion and his supports want that.

So- to appease his base- he cut off 2400 poor women’s clinics in Texas- this was a choice he made- not Perry.

A poll was done the other day- they asked women ‘would you like free birth control- or have to pay for it yourself’?

Now- if you ask just about anybody ‘would you like free dental- or health insurance- or beer’ what do you think the majority of people would say?

So after they did the poll- they said ‘see- most people support the position the president takes on abortion and birth control’.

See how the media shapes the conversation? You can ask a question in a way that gets a certain answer- and Walla- they achieved the goal.

Society has a decision to make- can we as a people live without any ethical requirements.

Should ethics- making a distinction between right and wrong- should this be part of the conversation?

In our Philosophy study- as scattered as it has been- we ended right around the 18-19th centuries.

We were coming up to the Existentialists.

Existentialism is a difficult philosophy to pin down [as most are].

But the easiest short definition I have found is it’s the philosophy of Existence.

That is real life- It’s not just a matter of intellectual data- it’s what we learn and experience as passionate people- people who have real problems and issues- yet they strive for meaning.

The father of Existentialism was the 19th century thinker- Soren Kierkegaard.

Kierkegaard was a Christian- he challenged the dead church of Denmark- the state church- and he called for a more adventurous approach to the faith.

Some notable followers of this philosophy took a different approach- they were the atheistic existentialists.

One of the most famous being Frederick Nietzsche.

Nietzsche taught that men should abandon all hope of a future afterlife- that the whole field of ethics was futile ‘do what you need to do to excel- step on the other people on the way up the ladder- and that’s what life is all about’.

He called this the Superman- man coming into this new age of science and reason- and rejecting the old forms of religion and ethics- which keep man down.

Nietzsche spent the last years of his life in an insane asylum.

His sister sold tickets to the ‘audience’ who wanted to see the madman.

She exercised her ‘superwoman’ and did what would benefit her- financially- without any worry about whether it was right or wrong.

The last couple of years of his life- Nietzsche signed his letters ‘the crucified one’.

In his rejection of God- he lost his mind and took the identity of Jesus Christ- the ethical one.

As we grapple with what’s right and wrong- as states pass laws that say 'we don’t want our tax payer money supporting abortions’.

Then we are going to have to deal with the backlash- those who at the time have the power [money] to cut the states off who see ethics as a priority.

Yes- the Superman [Feds] can deny that ethics play a role in women’s health- they can say ‘no money for any of your 2400 clinics’ just because you won’t fund 44 Planned Parenthood clinics.

People can get mad- and even take polls that say ‘we want free things’ [don’t we all? My grocery bags!]

At the end of the day- right and wrong do make a difference.

Trying to live a life- a worldview [philosophy] in a passionate way- that’s a good thing- we are all real people who deal with real issues.

But when you leave God/ethics out of the picture- then you are on a crash course- you might wake up one day- having lost your mind- and signing you letters as The Crucified One.

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

Monday, March 19, 2012

1809- 3 THINGS

First- Sanford Florida.

The case of Zimmerman and the Black kid.

As most of you have heard by now- Zimmerman was this neighborhood watch guy and he saw a Black kid walking thru the area.

To Zimmerman- for whatever reason- he thought the kid looked suspicious [you know- Black kid walking- yeah- very strange!]

So as any good citizen would do- he stalked the kid!

As you listen to the 911 calls- it seems as if this Black kid realized some guy in a vehicle is following him and he gets scared.

Even though the dispatcher tells Zimmerman not to follow the kid- Zimmerman replies ‘these type always get away’.

Then you hear from the 911 tapes- Zimmerman confronts the scared kid- the kid is screaming for his life- and Zimmerman kills him- you know- with the gun he uses for ‘self defense’.

No arrest- the cops say it was self defense.

Geez- if this was self defense- keep me away from Sanford.

Obviously Zimmerman murdered the kid in cold blood.

Sure- maybe he should not get convicted for the most severe type of murder- but this guy needs to go to prison for this stunt.

Second- George Clooney.

This past week Clooney has made the rounds on the talk shows- and even got arrested at the Sudanese embassy in D.C.

He has been bringing awareness to the tragedy going on in the Sudan [Africa].

Last year I wrote a few posts on the situation. Sudan had a referendum and the south split from the north.

Clooney did say ‘this is the world’s most recent nation’.

Actually he got that wrong [go back a post or 2 and read my post on Barqa].

But overall he did well.

What’s going on in Sudan is actually worse than what’s happening in Syria.

In Syria- the president- Assad- has indiscriminately bombed civilian cities [Homs] - it is an overreaction that has killed many innocent people [some estimates are around 10,000].

But yet- it is a ‘reaction’.

A response to a popular uprising in the country.

In Sudan- the govt. is simply dropping [literally- rolling them off the planes] bombs on women and children- to get them to move out of the Nuba mountain area- so the govt. can take the land.

The people living in the area- they have already missed the last year of the planting season- and they can’t plant this year because of the bombs- many are on the verge of starvation- and they are living under rocks and in caves because of the bombing.

This truly is a tragedy- and I commend Clooney for his activism.

And last but not least- sergeant Bales.

Yes- we now have had a few reports on the soldier accused of killing 16 civilian Afghans.

As the portrait is being drawn- we see a sad story.

By all accounts Bales grew up as a great kid- well liked and a truly good guy.

He joined the military a few months after 911- and was one of those kids who said ‘this won’t happen on my watch’ type of thing.

He had already seen multiple tours of duty in combat zones- and suffered some severe injuries as a result [lost part of his foot and had some head injuries].

He is married and has 2 small kids.

He owned 2 homes- one was foreclosed on- the other he agreed to sell at a 50,000 dollar loss- one of those unfortunate guys who is ‘underwater’ on his mortgage [you owe more than the house is worth].

On his wife’s blog- she wrote that they were trying to deal with these losses by the possibility that their next tour of duty would be in Germany- Italy or maybe Hawaii.

Bales said the military told him they would not send him back into a combat zone.

Then he got the news that they were going to Afghanistan instead.

Now- all these things obviously do not justify the killing of civilians- but we need to see that our govt. also plays a role- a responsibility- if we are stressing guys to the limit.

The day before the incident- Bales witnessed his friend getting his leg blown off.

Everybody in the company was upset about the injury.

It is said that Bales was drinking the day of the killings- and by all accounts- it looks like a tragic story of a good man- who snapped.

In all these cases- the killing of the Black kid- Sudan- and Bales- we as a nation get mad.

We see the injustices- the victims- and even the very real humanity of those who perpetrate the crime [Bales].

We want- and should- give people the benefit of the doubt.

But we should also make sure we are not simply overlooking a real crime- because it’s just easier to say ‘oh- self defense’.

The 2 chapters I recommend for the week are John chapter 3 [born again- Jesus] and Ephesians chapter 2 [saved by grace].

If I remember I will comment on them before the week is out.

But they do talk about forgiveness- God sending his Son into the world- not to condemn the world- but to save it.

As we pray for these situations- and also seek justice where it needs to be done [Sudan- Fla.] we need to keep in mind both sides [Bales].

While we never want to overlook a serious offense- we also want to be aware of the overall situation.

Are we stressing our guys too much?

Should guys who have had multiple serious injuries- loosing parts of their limbs- should we be sending them into combat zones 3 or 4 times?

Like I said- no excuses for the wrong done- but have we also done wrong- by putting him there?

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