Monday, August 30, 2010
It wasn't navy F-18s. It wasn't the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds, although those pilots would have been thrilled to buzz the crowd on this historic occasion. But since flyovers of the National Mall are not permitted for such gatherings, God apparently decided to provide his own flyover.
People are calling it a miracle. I kind of agree with them. If God can send a dove, why not a skein of geese to lay his blessing on such a wondrous gathering of His children. You have to see this to believe it.
Now, that was something....
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Once again Sean Penn and company have dragged poor old George Bush's dessicated political corpse out of the land of political make-believe where they keep it stored in case an election looks like it's going badly. Last time it was the dismal "W". They once trotted the Al Gore opus "An Inconvenient Truth" around the track to try and influence public opinion. Then there's always Michael Moor who's good for a "timely documentary". Then there was Nicholson Baker's liberal fantasy novel "Checkpoint" in which he has George Bush assassinated. That one kept many a Democrat up late with their flashlights and a bottle of hand lotion.
And now, just in time to sway the ignorant masses before an election, comes "Fair Game", a fictionalized account of the outing of Valerie Plame for which Bush aide, Scooter Libby, took the fall after an artificially outraged media conducted a witch hunt that lasted for months. I probably should have capitalized the "F" in fictionalized. Just from the trailer, you can tell it got the full liberal conspiracy theory treatment. It looks like they turned Valerie into a CIA version of Jane Bond and transformed Sean Penn into her "good as gold", highly moral, man-of-the-people, hubbie the disgruntle ex-ambassador, who attacks the Bush administrations "evil" plot to overthrow that nice man Saddam Hussein in Iraq, who, of course, has absolutely no plans to develop nuclear weapons or, for that matter, any weapons of mass destruction at all. After all who could doubt the "truth" on which this movie is based. Sean Penn, playing Joe Wilson in the trailer says, "It is my opinion that a sale that size, could not have happened!" and in the liberal-cum-socialist community, opinion is everything--so long as it's the opinion of someone with the right (actually left) ideology.
Next thing you know, the president (George W. Bush-Republican) is going after poor old Joe's wife.
The Bush administration (surprise and shock) comes off badly in this Hollywood propaganda opus. It's not out yet, but the film company is planning a November 5 limited release, 3 days after the election. This gives them a month to pummel the voters with ads for the movie. The ads I've seen are basically 30 and 60 second commercials casting Republicans as bad people - especially George Bush.
I wonder if John McCain regrets the whole McCain/Feingold thing yet. My bet is, that after this election he will. The movie is, in effect, going to attempt to influence an election for the Democrats by smearing good old George Bush again. The trailer makes the case in short order that the Republicans deliberately risked the life of an intrepid CIA agent, her family and Iraqi agents working for her in the Middle East in order to pull a fast one over on the American people and start a war.
McCain/Feingold prohibits "soft money sources" from running issue-oriented ads in support of political candidates or parties 60 days before a general election, precisely the time frame in which "Fair Game" trailers will be hitting the airwaves and theaters nationwide. What's even more fun is that if a "soft money source" like, say, George Soros decides to "invest" in the film, he could pay for as many ads as he wants to run and McCain-Feingold be damned.
I teach a class for 6 to 11 year olds at my church. Psychologist Eric Erickson, in his "Stages of Psychosocial Development" calls the issues addressed at this stage of a child's development "Industry vs. Inferiority". At this ages kids learn "what happens if..." A nine year-old tends to be really concrete in his thinking - very little abstract thinking goes on. They want to know the rules. They want to know what happens "if". The only thing is that in my experience they mostly want to know the rules so they can figure out a way around them. I promise you if you catch a nine year old breaking a rule, he's got an argument all prepared about how it doesn't violate the letter of the law at all. "You said I couldn't have a cookie. Those are 'tea cakes' and you never said I couldn't have a tea cake." Nine year olds are not very big on the "spirit" of the law.
Reminds me of liberals. They reason like nine year-olds. If a liberal want to make the rules, you can bet on it that they have already figured out a way around them. If they want to tax luxuries like yachts, you can bet they have their own 60 footer safely docked at a marina in Rhode Island for repairs (where by sheer coincidence the taxes aren't so high). If they want to hit the "rich" with high taxes, you can bet that for some reason, they are exempt from paying it. If they make a rule stifling free speech, you can bet they've got a way around it that only they have access to.
This is a brilliant bit of dithering on the part of Penn and Company. By opening the movie after the election they can say they weren't trying to influence the election at all. "We didn't open it till AFTER the election." they will point out. While technically true, what they hope you don't notice is that they get to run ads for the movie BEFORE anyone actually sees the movie. That way bad reviews and dismal box office numbers for the film can't dent the Bush-bashing impact of the commercials as it did in the case of "W". It's a movie that doesn't have to even be any good to accomplish what the Hollywood glitterati hope to accomplish - preserve Democrat seats in the house by frightening voters with the specter of a resurrected George W. Bush.
Sadly, for the liberal establishment, talk radio and growing conservative news source haven't been given the "Fairness Act" treatment yet and the point that the libs are skirting the intent of McCain/Feingold will be made - unless, of course, they throw themselves on the "Fairness Doctrine" hand grenade hoping it won't blow up. The question they have to ask themselves is "Are enough of these sorts of work-around media blitzes coming to quiet the proletariat again and encourage the huddled masses to, once again, return the 'People's Party' to power?"
I wonder what those rascals are going to do next. Maybe they'll release a new cleaning product - "Libbo, the soap so powerful it can even get a Republican's hands clean?"
I wouldn't put it past 'em.
I'm just tellin' ya' what I think.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Science may get the interpretation wrong because so many scientists dismiss the very idea of God out of hand, but the raw data leads inevitably to the creator. Misinterpretation doesn't make science evil. The search for truth, even if your mind is prejudiced against it, can only lead to God, however reluctant the truth-seeker may be to bump into Him.
Recent discoveries in psychiatry, neurology and psychology have only affirmed my belief that Jesus knew what he was doing when he set up the Christian church as he did when he laid down the laws for the nation of Israel. With the Jews, God sought to make an independent people out of a nation of slaves. He succeeded in spite of their own efforts to thwart their education. What God taught the nation of Israel has stuck with them even to this very day. I can’t think of a nation or culture less likely to accept slavery than the Jewish people.
The Christian church was set up to facilitate the writing of God's law upon our hearts and to prepare the world for His coming. Christianity, as a result, is the most effective tool for promoting mental health in the history of the world. Modern psychology has been playing catch up the past few decades, learning how to heal mental illness using therapy techniques Christ imparted to his church in its very structure. Study (gathering information about your condition), prayer (positive affirmations/telling your troubles to someone sympathetic) and sharing (group therapy work) are the three cornerstones of the Christian life. These three key elements of the Christian life mimic the most effective methods used by therapists in healing psychological disorders, changing behavior and disciplining the mind to free itself from addiction (for what else is being controlled by “sin” than an addiction to a behavior). We have only lately discovered how this process taps into the very structure of the human brain to retrain the mind. When God told us he would write his law upon our hearts, He meant it in a literal sense. The study/pray/share technique of Christian living is your part in the healing process as is taking your meds, showing up for therapy and doing the exercise you’re given by the therapist is essential to psychotherapy.
Christians have the added advantage of a “therapist” who knows us better than we know ourselves and who busily sets up our environment to provide therapeutic support for our healing. “All things work together for good” “Whom He loves, He chastens”.
God has given us doctors to help with the physical healing. Sometimes He takes a hand in directly healing us, if He sees we don’t need a particular “thorn in the side”.
Notice that Jesus often first 'healed' people of the very sins that had long held them in bondage. He healed folks with obvious mental disorders (or whatever you want to call demon-possession). He healed the damage first, then helped them pick themselves up by the bootstraps. The second half of the process—the change of heart—can take a lifetime. Look at the struggles the disciples had overcoming their old addiction to sinful habits.
Let us not forget that the Christian church is a triage center, emergency room and hospital for sinners, not a museum for magically created saints. The church was founded by the very one who designed the human mind in the first place. He, if anyone, would know how to treat the damage that can be done to the mind. The Psalmist points out that God “…knows our frame. He knows that we are dust.” Makes sense that he would design his church to optimally support the psychological healing that must take place in folks recovering from the ravages of sin.
We should pay particularly close attention to how the designer told us we ought to run the place. He knows, after all, something about what he is doing. And some of us should remember that in this “hospital” we are doctors and nurses, not drill instructors and lecturers.
My opinion, what's yours?
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Magic Christians insist that all salvation results in healing, wealth, happiness and joy. If that’s not happening, you must be doing something wrong because obviously God can be letting you suffer all this if you’re a good person. Mental illness, the argument goes, is just an excuse for not having prayed hard enough or said the right combination of words. If mental illness exists, then the Magic Christian’s idea that the soul exists separately from the body gets knocked back on its pins. If mental illness exists, then how in the world can God hold you accountable for sin (and more importantly, how can the preacher stand up and frighten you into submission by telling you God will burn you forever in hell). If your brain can be damaged and cause you not to be able to think properly, then how can God (and Mrs. Bertha Betterthanu) judge you properly.
Well, if the soul is linked inextricably with the human machinery in which it is housed, all it means is that God has a rather more complex job of redemption to do. Fortunately, I think He’s up to it. Since He can tell you how many hairs are on your head, it could be easily supposed that God knows what he’s doing when dealing with folks damaged by mental illness and that he judges with fairness and mercy and keeps your limitations in mind.
In the past 3 decades, scientists have learned more about the human mind than we have in the whole long history of the world. During my graduate studies in psychology and in my long experience in the mental health field, I have worked with mental illness in a wide variety of forms and studied the cause and effects of mental disorders on their victims.
The idea that a person with a mental illness can just buck up, make some right choices for a change and be healed is ludicrous. Even the Apostle Paul made no such claims for the out and out sinner. He complained in his letter to the Romans that he, himself, did things that he did not want to do and what he wanted to do, he often did not do. Paul recognized that the Christian walk was a process of healing that occurs over time and with the help of God. Paul also told us he bore a thorn in the flesh that God had chosen to let him live with. We don't know what it was, but Paul struggled with it daily. If there were magic words that force healing to happen, surely if anyone knew them it was the Apostle Paul.
We often treat Christianity as though it were some sort of magical practice—that if we could say the right words or pray the right prayer, the world would order itself to our will. Jesus said if we had faith, we could move mountains. He never said we mightn't need a bulldozer or two to get the job done.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Magic Christians believe that words have power in them all by themselves. This is an ancient and wrong-headed belief. It comes from the ancient necromancers, wizards and witches who once used superstition and fear of their imagined “powers” and incantations to control and subdue the ignorant. Complete balderdash!
Magic did not exist then, nor does it exist now.
This does not mean there are not supernatural things which happen. Supernatural only means we don't understand them; that the events experienced as supernatural are above our understanding of nature.The supernatural does not, happen as a result of incantations, nose twitches or magic wants, however much one might enjoy the Harry Potter movies.
Only God has the power to create. Only He can perform acts which might seem “magical” to us who have no idea how to do those things, but which God can do without trouble because his nature is far different than ours and his capabilities, while of a higher order than ours, obey the same laws of physics no less than we obey the law of gravity. Because we have not yet discovered all of the laws of physics is immaterial. Because we do not understand how a thing is done does not mean it does not obey the laws God set down for the universe. Yes, the devil can do some things we cannot understand which could be considered supernatural, but it is only because he yet retains some capabilities leftover from his days as head angel. What is doable for angels may not be doable for us. Paul speaks of angels existing on a higher plane, whatever that may be. It does not make the behavior of devils magic by any means. They may only do what they are allowed by their nature. I know. I have seen their limitations. That's a story for another weblog, though.
As one physicist so succinctly put it, “God does not play dice with the universe.”
Generations of scientists that have since followed him have tried to disprove that statement with explorations into chaos theory and quantum mechanics, but the data they have collected show that there is, in fact, an order to the universe down to the subatomic level. One physicist made the observation that the universe, when it was formed, “….looked like it knew we were coming.”
God is the creator of all that is studied in science. I find that the more science discovers, the stronger my faith becomes in God the Creator. If you have a thorough understanding of scripture (and not just the parts that suit your theories of how things work), you will find the Bible has anticipated scientific discoveries by centuries.
Magic Christians particularly have problems with psychology, psychiatry and other fields that study of the human brain. It’s as though they fear brain science is going to crack open people’s heads and find there is no soul within. One of the hazards of believing that inside you is some sort of “holy gas” that is the “real you” and can never die, is that this belief has relatively little basis in science.
What we know so far, says that the body, the brain and whatever spark kicks off life work together to house whomever we are. Without any one of these parts, we, apparently, cease to exist. Scripture concurs with science on this one. “The dead know not anything,” says Ecclesiasties 9:5. The first great lie was when the Devil told Eve, “Thou shalt not surely die.” He’s gone on telling that lie for millennia. You don’t really die goes the pagan myth. You just float up out of your body like some cloud of gas and go somewhere else.
But, the Magic Christian argues, if mental illness exists, then what happens to sin and redemption (and the fear of eternal punishment – a favorite church tool for keeping the troops in line)? They have recently launched attacks on organizations like AA because AA doesn’t specify that you look to “God” as understood by their particular brand of Christianity. They recommend whatever higher power you can imagine. The Magic Christians criticize AA for not sending their members to the “right” God and lay AA’s sins at the door of psychology and psychiatry. They launch blistering attacks on the whole idea of addictions and mental illness, preferring to describe behavioral and emotional disorders as “sin” which can be cured simply by baptism, saying the right words, rubbing the right prayer cloth or donating to the right preacher. Meanwhile AA goes right on helping drunks escape their addiction.
It's true that AA doesn't specify a higher power to trust. They are, after all, only a shadow of what the church at its best should be. AA simply asks you to look up, above and beyond yourselves. Only God is up there. If you find anything else, it's because you weren't looking up.
To be continued….
Friday, August 6, 2010
- Our enemies see weakness as an opportunity. And they are enemies. They do not want to make peace with us. They want to destroy and replace us. They mistake America’s longing for peace as a lack of moral will.
- We, as a people, don’t understand people like that because we have lived so long without war in our own land. We always try to put down our weapons after a war. We always have to pick them up again because people who live with constant war want what we have in this country—PEACE, Prosperity and Plenty. Because they have always lived in lands where the strong take from the weak, it’s the only way they know to get what we have. They have to take it.
- Nuclear weapons offer virtually the only way for a handful of people to sacrifice their lives to accomplish what we did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki - victory! If they wish to make the mighty United States surrender, they MUST attack with overwhelming force. Two bombs would do it. One to strike fear; two to show they can repeat it when they like. It’s the only way for a third world power to conquer and conquering is what they intend. We have deluded ourselves about what the atomic bombs and Hiroshima and Nagasaki accomplished. Al Quaeda, the Taliban and Iran have no such delusions.
- Fanatic Muslims believe all infidels must be subdued and Islam made the supreme law of the world so that their messiah can make his appearance. This requires unrelenting jihad against all infidels. If you are attacking the whole world, it’s like taking on a group on the playground. The way to do it is to take down the biggest guy first in order to intimidate the rest. As one Arab commentator wrote, the only thing the Arab culture respects is strength. Because the U.S. is running around the world bowing and apologizing, we have signaled to these enemies that we are growing weak and vulnerable.
- We do not have the will to do what needs to be done to remove the nuclear weapons-making capacity of countries like Iran. We think they will be bound by the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. At least we did believe that till the President announced we would not retaliate with nukes if we were attacked by a non-nuclear state. This muddies the waters sufficiently to give terrorists the edge they need. If they detonate nukes against us, because of our pledge we will not be able to return the favor, even if the terrorists are known so long as there is no “clear” connecting between them and the government of the country where they are hiding. We’ve thrown off a piece of our armor and painted a big target round the hole.
Finally, I think we might be the ones to start the nuclear holocaust. If you attack people who fear and loathe war, suddenly and without mercy, those fearful people will reach out and grasp the first tool that comes to hand and strike back without mercy. American liberal leaders have shown a penchant for getting even with their foes. They are not gentlemanly losers. If nuclear weapons go off in American cities it will frighten the wits out of a "liberal" government. I believe that a peace-loving, diplomacy first, free love, elitist president will squeal like a little girl and punch the launch button without another thought - high moral tone notwithstanding. Only a strong man has the courage to carefully think things through before reacting when he is under fire.
The Japanese and people from the middle east are not bad people. They did have (and in the middle east still do have) have some really awful leaders though. My comments are only about those who would use an atomic bomb willingly if they just had one.
All I can say is Jesus better get here soon, if he's going to fetch us out before the big one goes off. Even if the Son of God comes right now, He’s liable to need some kind of nuclear shielding when he passes over Iran. The bad guys will not take kindly to their mythology being challenged. They'll probably do a lot of that shooting up in the air stuff as the cloud passes over.
Monday, August 2, 2010
We'll all miss the lovable Ms. Thomas who has represented UPI till it was bought by the Reverend Myung Sung Moon. She quit UPI and became a columnist for the Hearst newspaper syndicate. She joined the White House press corps in 1961 when she followed John Kennedy all the way into the White House as a UPI reporter. From there, she put down roots and moved to the center seat by virtue of outliving all the competition. When asked about who should take her place front and center, Thomas said it would be "unfortunate" if Fox News got her old spot.
With Fox burying the competition for news ratings, liberal lobbyists and Journolist hacks calling it a "facist propaganda bureau", I was a bit surprised the press corps voted to move Fox up to the hallowed front row at all. I can only think of a couple of reasons why they would have voted Fox to the front row.
- Their own media organizations are dying and they're hoping they can get a job with Fox like Mike Wallace did.
- They are hoping Fox will send Meghan Kelly over to take Helen Thomas' old UPI seat on the front row in case AP sends someone really unpleasant looking to take Helen's spot. That way the back row news boys can watch from behind as Meghan slowly stands up and walks away after the press conferences.
The reporters gave Helen Thomas' old front row seat to Fox News. So AP moves to the center seat Thomas held by dint of long service and Fox moves up to the front, giving its second row seat to NPR. The libs are very unhappy. If Fox sends Meghan Kelly to the White House even just once in a while, however, the male reporters at least are likely to be quite comfortable with the new enhanced Fox presence.
And I promise you, Meghan Kelly will look way less scary when she's 89.
I'm just sayin' that's all.
*I actually do hope they send Meghan Kelly. After the smackdown last week of Kirsten Powers, I'd love to see her pitch a few hard balls to the prez!
Here's what they say happened. Maxine set up a meeting in September 2008, between the U.S. Treasury Department and OneUnited Bank. It was a begging meeting to help OneUnited get in on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout. OneUnited had been nearly wiped out because of it's heavy investment in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae just prior to the big collapse and government takeover. Apparently, as a result of the meeting, the bank landed $12 million in TARP money. The kicker is, Maxine's hubbie is on OneUnited's board.
This is not the first time Maxine has attempted to bring home the bacon for friends and folks in her district. Her kinfolk made a million bucks in 8 years doing business with companies helped by Waters from Washington.
Waters' colorful history also includes my favorite pieces of sleazy video. First up, Maxine spills the beans about being pro-socialism....
...or this one (about halfway through the video where Maxine is telling us Fannie Mae is okay, just months before the whole thing came down like a house of cards.
She won 70% of the vote in her district last time. You wonder whether the folks who keep re-electing her are as corrupt as she is.
Oh, and congrtulations on the Porker of the Month award a few months ago where she tried to snare an earmark for a school to be named after ..............
You guessed it.
Should be an interesting election and aftermath. Kind of like the Wreck of the Old 97 or the Tunguska blast.
I'm just sayin' that's all.