Saturday, October 13, 2007
I'm surprised it too so long for Bill Maher to do a piece on these cheesy shams of patriotism. Clearly Karl Rovian. To his credit, Defense Secretary Robert Gates does not wear one, but Bush and Cheney, and the FoxNews staff have theirs proudly displayed each day.
Maher says, "Show me a man wearing an American flag pin in his lapel, and I’ll show you an asshole." The folks noted above qualify.
Truman, Kennedy Roosevelt and Eisenhower had no tin pin yet who would question their patriotism? They lived theirs.
Quite reveling that some folks think it necessary to pre-empt the question before it is asked.
The church's teaching indeed. Odd that many pedophile priests, on the other hand, go on for years in their molestation of children before outside forces try to pry open those large wooden doors and look inside. Apparently being gay in the Catholic hierarchy is much more serious than being a pedophile.
According to Reuters, "
The Templars went into decline after Muslims re-conquered the Holy Land at the end of the 13th century and were accused of heresy by King Philip IV of France, their foremost persecutor. Their alleged offences included denying Christ and secretly worshipping idols.
The most titillating part of the documents is the so-called Chinon Parchment, which contains phrases in which Pope Clement V absolves the Templars of charges of heresy, which had been the backbone of King Philip's attempts to eliminate them.
Templars were burned at the stake for heresy by King Philip's agents after they made confessions that most historians believe were given under duress."
How interesting. How very sad, but not surprising that it took 7 centuries for this lie to be rectified. Those massive wooden doors of the church are hard to pry open. Just ask those abused by priests how slowly the hierarchy acts in matters of justice.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Odd, isn't it, that the same man can be both for and against an accusation of genocide on innocent civilians by ruthless people. I wonder if there is anything we could uncover that would help us figure out why Mr. Bush takes two different stands on genocide?
He won the Nobel Peace Prize. That was way too much for loyal Republicans to endure. Way too much?
They were so giddy back in November 2000 when George Bush was declared president that they nearly wet their pants.
Seven long years later, after 9-11, WMD's, 'Mission Accomplished, out of control spending on the Iraq War, wire taping, and deficits up to their ears, what a loyal Republican did not need at this time is Al Gore winning the Peace Prize.
During the C-Span call in program this morning they let their anger loose on Al Gore. One caller said that while he talks, lots of hot air is released adding to the notion of global warming. They also don't believe in global warming at all. Clearly they were an angry lot. And they used the news as their blow-valve.
I wonder if their anger ought to be with themselves. Of course, they wouldn't say so, for that is way to honest. Surely they are angry with what George Bush has failed to do, but they loyalty keeps them mum about that anger. So, like an adolescent, they have to blame somebody else.
I'll bet that Rush and Hannity had a blast with the Gore prize today. Poor cretins. But then they are so adolescent in their thought patterns that we might forgive them for they know not what they do.
Nonetheless, congratulations to the man who ought to have been president, and we can only dream of what America may have been like were it true.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
This month's Scientific American Mind has an extensive article it calls, 'Searching for God in the Brain.' The article begins with an account of 15 cloistered nuns who left their secluded convent to take part in an experiment to see if an fMRI could find that God Spot while the nuns concentrated on their personal 'divine union' memories.
Coincidentally [or synchronously] I received an email link to a site that suggested that Jesus and his followers used marijuana compounds in their rituals, especially during the curing of the sick. The article, Cannabis and the Christ, gives the recipe for an ancient recipe for this anointing oil, recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus (30: 22-23) included over nine pounds of flowering cannabis tops, Hebrew "kaneh-bosm" extracted into a hind (about 6.5 litres) of olive oil, along with a variety of other herbs and spices. The ancient chosen ones were literally drenched in this potent cannabis holy oil.
Science has been looking for 'heaven' with its most powerful telescopes without any luck. The writers of the Bible thought it existed just above the sun, moon and stars, like a lid above the earth. Folks who ascended and descended to earth came down from the clouds or went up to them. Not there, astronomers tell us.
Many modern theologians have been telling us that God does not dwell 'up there' but rather, inside of us. Jesus did too. Strangely, though, quite a few folks can't abide that simplistic theological answer. They look for God 'out there' in that mysterious universe. God has to be out there, they argue, because... Well, because all of the ancient myths have their Deity coming from outer space. Besides, they continue to argue, that odd last book of the Bible talks about being raptured up. So did many sci-fi movies.
Wouldn't it be a hoot if the Deity DID exist in one of the areas of the brain and that, all along, this Deity has been trying to tell people to be nice to each other? Just be nice. Simple, uncomplicated theology. No hierarchy, no massive buildings, no collection plates, no scriptures. Just be nice to each other.
Those nuns do and so do Buddhist monks high on the Tibetan Plateau. Marijuana users zone out, calm down, and hallucinate about beautiful images, beautiful people. The helmet does it too. Imagine if everyone wore a sign, CAUTION: GOD DWELLS HERE!
I suppose there is no reason to go on with any comments. What George Bush and Dick Cheney have done to our military in 5 quick years is impeachable.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
One of my favorites on this list is Joseph Schmitz, former Inspector General of the Defense Department. His father, John G., was an ultraconservative, known for his outrageous sound bites, such as, "Martin Luther King is a notorious liar." He, a 2-term congressman from California, began a longterm extramarital affair with one of his young students, who secretly gave birth to two illegitimate children. He accepted the presidential nomination of George Wallace's abandoned American Independent Party to run against Nixon who he hated. He was expelled from the John Birch Society for 'extreme views.'
His sister, Mary Katherine Schmitz, is a former school teacher infamous for having two children with one of her teenaged students. She was convicted of statutory rape and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Although the 'sins of the father...,' one cannot wonder at the effect that this had on son Joseph. He is a member of Opus Dei and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He is on the board of Baker Botts, Houston Law Firm, James A. Baker, friend of the Bush family, which obviously landed the job for Schmitz.
Mother Jones says of him, "Tasked with investigating fraud, waste, and abuse at the Pentagon, Schmitz instead found himself being investigated by the Senate for allegedly falsifying press releases, blocking outside oversight of his office, and possibly protecting Defense employees from criminal investigations."
They then go on to say that after he resigned, he became an "executive at the parent company of private security contractor Blackwater, which guards U.S. officials in Iraq."
How apropos: Blackwater, now under investigation both here and by the Iraqi Government. is it any wonder why millions of Americans have turned their back on this Bush/Cheney cabal now in power? My question is: what too so long for the average Joe to catch on to these two swindlers?
I reflect on the following headlines and shake my head in wonder at it all; oh, to be able to turn it all off.
Turkey Pressured to Send Troops Into Northern Iraq
Anti-Terror Spy Network Wrecked by White House Leak
Bombs Kill at Least 24 in Attacks Across Iraq
Resistance, Not Repression, Is the Real Story From Burma
Fearing Political Backlash, Democrats Prepare toRetreat on Wiretapping
Petraeus Steps Up Accusations Against Iran
US, West Seen Skirting Iraqi Refugee Crisis
Iraqi Authorities Seek Blackwater Ouster
Iraq Embassy Costs Soar Amid Poor Planning
Thousands Forced to Flee Darfur Town
White House: Al-Qaida expected to intensify
Tibetans storm Chinese embassy to protest religious policies
Democrats put debate on Iraq troop withdrawals on hold
Pakistani troops resume shelling near Afghan border
'Jena 6' case leads rash of racial incidents.
Zimbabwe women report police abuse
Iraq: Security convoy kills 2 women
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Sugar Ridge Community Church Bowling Green. The BG News title was, "Asking for proof of God is arrogant, foolish" while The Blade's headline was, "God doesn't always appear in petri dishes."
Pastor Randall opens with this statement:
"Theology is a meta-science that transcends the boundaries of the petri dish we presume to call "real" life. Atheists who demand proof for the existence of God are like blind men who deny the existence of light just because they cannot see it themselves. There is no way to satisfy their insistent and arrogant denial of what is abundantly self-evident to those with normal sight.
The existence of God is so obvious to us that having to "prove" His existence to those with their eyes wide shut is as embarrassing as telling someone there is spinach stuck to their teeth. How could they not see it? Do they also deny the existence of mirrors?"
I posted the following comment in the BG News:
I read Pastor Randall's cross-posted article in The Blade as well as this newspaper; apparently he got the best coverage he could hope for. I had to laugh, though. I was reminded of a magic show I heard about. Seems the magician performed several 'tricks' without moving his hands or any part of his body. The audience stared, but did not react. "When's he going to start?" asked a little boy to his mother. "What!" said the magician, "didn't you see those great feats I just performed?"
The magician said, "How could they not see it? Do they also deny the existence of mirrors?" The magician packed up his table, hat, and wand and walked off stage grumbling, "There is no way to satisfy their insistent and arrogant denial of what is abundantly self-evident to those with normal sight."
Yes, pastor, we see the "magic" all around us.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Each Sunday in many churches all over the world, Christians recite the words, "Crucified under Pontius Pilate" rather than "by" Pontius Pilate. The proper preposition is needed to obfuscate the truth.
Why did those calling themselves 'Christian' want to run from Jesus' heritage? As early as the year 300, Jesus had been transformed into a beardless Roman as can be seen in the mosaic discovered at Hinton St. Mary in Dorset [below, left] He appears to be shown as a Roman emperor. What made the artist choose this face for Jesus?
Jesus as a Galilean Jew apparently was not a popular concept with the early Christians.Paul probably did more to remove Jesus from his ancestry than any early writer. Interestingly, he never saw the man, but he wrote extensively about him. Paul's argument with the apostles in Jerusalem about dietary rules and circumcision are credited by many of releasing Christianity from a Jewish sect and giving it a new life outside of the temple.
In many churches today we see the blond baby Jesus in the crib next to his brown-hair mother. Only Joseph retains his Jewish look.
Filmmaker Mel Gibson received much criticism for an anti-Jewish stance in The Passion of Christ. Many worried that viewers of the film would themselves form anti-semitic opinions because of the portrayal of Jewish harshness towards Jesus. Perhaps the reason for this concern is that, going into the film, many Christians do not think of Jesus as a Jew. Of course, why should they when, for the past 2000 years, the church has been busy portraying him as a gentile?
In a recent letter to the Catholics of the Diocese of Toledo, Bishop Blair spoke of 'Jesus' church' in the line, "all the elements that we believe Christ meant the church to have." Christ did not mean to begin a new religion: he is and always was a devoted Jew who worshiped in the temple. It is truly amazing how the scam moved over 2000 years to where Jesus is today in the eyes of 'his' church.
It must be a red-neck's dream: killing and harassing coloreds with impunity. And they get paid handsomely for their adventures. No more silly and boring video games, blasting away at some virtual bad guys. This is the real stuff!
I recall my twenties and thirties with some reluctance. Seems to me that looking and acting tough was the thing to do at that age. Emotions and hormones always at peak levels. I can't imagine what it must be like in these days for private security guards in Iraq: all of the emotions and hormones and an open urban hunting season with the best automatic weapons money can buy.
To throw into this mix white boy's privilege and a pinch of racial intolerance is like a match on tinder. The results are clearly seen in the recent cold-blooded killings of 17 Iraqi citizens. Surely, this is but one incident of this kind that, unfortunately for the contractors, happened to have many witnesses. Who knows how many others were perpetrated in the darkness?
Lest some Bush sycophant hang me from the white tree, I am not ignorant enough to condemn all private military contractors of this activity, yet who cannot imagine that the absolute freedom from legal persecution afforded these 'contractors' would lead some to the dark side?
When there is no legal impunity for actions, such as the case in Iraq for these contractors, the door is wide open for abuse of power aggravated by racial intolerance. Those barbarians in the pages of our history books are perfect examples of what humans can do to others if there is no moral or legal code mollifying their activity.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
He is founder and leader of "Christians United For Israel", which is an 18,000 incendary
lobby of hate toward Iran, Arabs, and Moslems. Hagee wants an end-time confrontation
in the Middle East. He preaches and leads the lobby effort to prevent a two-state
solution for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and calls on Congress to
support a pre-emptive military attack on Iran. (His influence can be seen recently in the
lop-sided Senate Resolution vote which many see as a blank check for Bush-Cheney go-ahead
to attack Iran). When he comes to Washington to deliver speeches one-third of the House and
one-half of the Senate attend. As we recently saw on television, Sen. Obama even visited
his church. Moreover, he meets regularly with the top leaders of the GOP(God's Only Party)
and contenders of the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. The President of the Unitd
States sends letters of endorsement to his speaking engagements. His motivation is to hasten armageddon and preaches that the return of Jesus depends on the protection of Israel and that a peaceful two-state coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians is contrary to biblical prophecy of the rapture. He and the CUFI and his fellow-travelers work against any prospect of ending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He preaches that there will be no
peace until Jesus returns in the flesh. His sole purpose is to hasten that time by igniting
passions against Washington, the UN, and any person(recently Jimmy Carter has been in
his cross-hairs) who speaks in favor of coexistence between Israel and the Arabs, especially
the Palestinians. He considers any one speaking against Isreal as "the real enemy." He says
the UN is a "pathetic and hopeless organization" because it stands in the way of the
fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Hagee says, "God deals with nations, churches, and people
as they deal with Israel and the Jewish people. It is clear that Israel is in the greatest days
she has faced since six armies tried to strangle the Jewish state in the birth canal in 1948.
The head of the beast of radical Islam in the Middle East is Iran. Iran is Germany.
Ahmadinejad is Hitler, and he is talking about killing the Jews. The only way to prevent a
nuclear war is to make certain it never starts. It's time for America to adopt Sen. Lieberman's
words and consider a military pre-emptive strike against Iran."
Hagee is straight on message and very good at whipping the passions of his faithful to a frenzy.
Shortly after Falwell's death, he spoke at Liberty University. It is being re-broadcast on the
TBN network, and one can catch his effectiveness. He does not mince words and the crowd is
jumping to their feet calling and shouting for Jesus. Hagee is crazed with his grand plan for a
biblical prohisied end-time confrontation, armagheddon, which will lead to the rapture, the
tribulation, and the second coming of Christ. "The end of the world as we know it is rapidly
approaching, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, the best is yet to be." What Hagee does is to
"cherry-pick" his biblical passages and verses. He never mentions that according to the bible,
the Arabs descended from Abraham as well.
As might be expected, Hagee is a very close friend of AIPAC, the American Israeli Political
Action Committee. They love him because he brings many votes with him. Yet, there is
a quid pro quid, he extracts. He gives AIPAC his support, but AIPAC has to remain silent
on the religious right political agenda. He gets Jewish silence on his desire to establish a
theocracy in the US. Another reason AIPAC remains silent is that his followers are often
visitors to Israel and it encourages all Christians to come to Israel, which is crucial to
Israel's tourist industry. Hagee is a clear and present danger, therefore, in three ways. He
agitates against US foreign policy in the Middle East as with the Israelis and the Palestinians,
he leads the way for pre-emptive war with Iran, and domestically his desire is to destroy
the Constitution of the United States. His analogy of Ahmadinejad being Hitler doesn't hold
up, but he doesn't care; it is eggareration for effect. Ahmadenejad has not killed six million
Jews. Hagee is the christo-fascist; he is the Hitler. Hagee is well aware that the Jews have
to be killed off for biblical prophecy to be literal. His congregation and fellow travelers are the
storm troops, first the SA and then the SS. Like Hitler, he is a war monger. He travels all over
the US and visits all the mega-churches. He calls these pastors, "the spiritual generals of
America." For Ohioans, his major supporter is Rod Parsley. To ignore Pastor John Hagee
What is clear, however, is that Bishop Blair begins by a grand and false assumption about the Catholic Church. It comes in this sentence: "Mutual respect and understanding are essential first steps, but we are also obliged to dialogue about divisive theological issues in a common search for the truth as to what Christ willed for His church."
Did you catch it? If not, here is your second chance: "What Vatican II taught, and the recent document repeats, is that the church, as Jesus willed it, “subsists” in its fullness in the Roman Catholic Church."
Here is the third and last chance: "However, these churches and ecclesial communities do not always accept all the elements that we believe Christ meant the church to have. "
In using the spurious debate tactic, aptly named Pious Fraud, Bishop Blair has used it three times [like Peter's denial] in the first 10 paragraphs of the letter.
Pious Fraud, also known as a lie, occurs when an emotionally committed speaker makes an assertion that is shaded, distorted or even fabricated. I think that the bishop need not seek confession because he 'knows not what he has said,' to quote some famous person.
Here it is: "the truth as to what Christ willed for His church." For HIS church? No, bishop, Christ did not will anything for his church because, as a devout Jew, he was interested in helping purify the Synagogue from the Sadducees who had corrupted it.
Nowhere, except in that specious 'Peter and the rock' verse, does Jesus want to throw away his Jewish faith. Never does he condemn his faith and suggest that he wants to start a new one. Not one word. Reform is his cry, not destroy.
Odd how the 'church' became so disconnected with Jesus' faith, the Jewish faith. Rather, deliberate, not odd. After all, one could not have 'the Jews' responsible for killing Jesus the Jew. Note that all of the icons of Jesus in the early churches show a European Jesus. Not only was his purpose in preaching snatched away, so was his Jewish heritage.
Sorry, Bishop Blair, Jesus didn't spend his life working to build your church, your hierarchy, your set of assumptions. He came to bring love and honesty to the synagogues of Judea.
'Do you hear what I hear?' Line from a Christmas song or the latest talk against Iran. Today Petraeus fingered Iran as a large problem in Iraq. Oh, really, general, is that so? As the top Bush sycophant, he's trying to help Bush pin the blame for the war on somebody, anybody but the president and the military leaders. He said, "You cannot lose focus on al Qaeda, but there is "no question" that Iranian arms are ending up in the hands of Iraqi militias."
Five years into this mess, the Bush folks are still looking for the guilty party' obviously they don't count. Didn't I read recently that Iraq is buying a boatload of guns from China? Baghdad apparently passed by made-in-America Colt M16A3 rifles and paid $100 million for Chinese AK-47 knockoffs.
Then there were those 190,000 missing guns sent from America to Baghdad that, well, seem to be MIA. We also recall that hapless L. Paul Bremer, the former top U.S. administrator in Iraq, who issued an order in 2003 that essentially upheld Iraqi law: Every man and woman 25 and older with a "good reputation and character" was entitled to own one firearm, including a fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle. No doubt, Bremer is a card-carrying member of the NRA.
This piece of news from Radio Praha: "Coalition forces in Iraq have come across insurgents wearing Czech-made bullet-proof vests. American authorities suspected that illegal shipments of military equipment from the Czech Republic to Iraq could have occurred, and have asked the Czech police for assistance in investigating the matter." Odd that I haven't heard the general talk about Czech arms in Iraq.
From the UK Guardian: "The government was facing awkward questions last night over an arms deal involving a British company licensed by the Department of Trade and Industry to import weapons but which was also selling Bosnian machine guns to an Iraqi official later implicated in an alleged $1.1bn (£545m) corruption scandal." General?
Iranian guns in Iraq? Welcome to the gun show, general.