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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Government as an Instrument of Safety, Inspiration and Hope

Last evening on TV I flipped to the Local News & Weather Channel--I kid you not, the first breaking news was about a couple who incestuously molested their very own child.  Next came a report about a drive-by shooting in which a young man was killed; this  was  followed by a corruption story; followed by a story that babies in alarming numbers are being born with drug addiction due to their birth mothers’ own drug addiction   Finally came the weather report--a dangerous tropical storm is headed our way.   (Opps (ad time...)

Now the tone dramatically changed with a bouncy, attractive, and upbeat advertisement selling  the Florida Lotto (similar to ad above).  The room itself became illumined with inspiration and hope--if not exactly like a Shining City on a Hill, at least resplendent as the most luxurious suite in Vegas.

Just think about that for a moment--the institution whose sacred mission is to ensure public welfare, safety, and the common good is now peddling hope like a shyster preacher assuring that a hanky dipped in the Jordan River is your road to existential hope and preternatural riches [at core spiritually no different than peddling a false god].  

Maybe the many throughout American history who have died on battle fields, lynching fields, or dangerous streets have died with a prayer that America would one day fulfill  its promise of fair play for all …..that is, without question a death-wish prayer yearning for the erection of state-run one-armed bandits on every block and through government auspices trumpeting true-believer propaganda promising vaults  overflowing  with sequined wardrobes and a gushing satiation of private wealth.  (Maybe the heroes so died, then again, maybe not.)  Surely winning the mother lode is nothing less than the highest symbol of America’s Deepest Values and our most helpful and winning witness to the world.  [God Bless  America!!--as  President Trump so often prayerfully and humbly petitions--sometimes  even in public!!]

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Looking Back......Looking Forward

Memorial Day: Revolution (Revelation) in God’s Country

Now be Honest -- Ain’t this Great!!!!!

Think now…looking ahead…don’t you sense a fresh wind at our backs?  Like in the 50’s, the old paradigms will blow their locks and find the streets overflowing with revolutionary new sexy moves.  

Psalm 100 (KJV)

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Beyond the Pale of the Humane

The book WiseDogs : Brown & Spartas

It is becoming more and more apparent that significant sectors in both Russia and America are motivated not by ideology so much as sadism—enjoying perverted thrills from inflicting pain, suffering, and humiliation on others.  The ultimate thrust of the knife and lurid achievement is the murder of hope itself—the ripping of hope from the heart of others and then to desecrate it with shit (or perhaps piss upon it in a golden shower) followed by gleefully scurrying off with it as a trophy to subterranean caverns beyond the pale of anything remotely recognizable as humane.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

And the Land I Favor and Love....What Now is Your Excuse?

The Creator’s Partnership with humanity through science presages the end of innocence as a nickname for sheer ignorance .  Will we spit in God’s face and bow before money and the self-righteous escapism fueled by codified political payola?  Warning: the true impact of alcohol upon perception profoundly undercuts the abiding glue of community and clips its wings that fly.

41Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.  John 9:41 NASB

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A World without Borders

The other day I wrote regarding the insignificance of the real estate mantra--location, location, location.  While ethics can face challenges in regards to identifying the greater good, the determinant factor finds mental and spiritual geography a thousand times more important than physical geography.  For example, the parables of Jesus drill down to essentially a substratum of universal application. It would be absurd to think that Jesus’s whole point regarding the prodigal son was about sand location rather than the quicksand of spiritual rebellion and the forgiving grace of God.

In this light we can see the true significance of a Shining City on a Hill. Nothing is more desirable than that every single person in the world (including the US itself) be blessed by the better angels of mankind's  nature. In this sense, I yearn for the entire world to become my fellow Americans and longingly welcome each and every one to our free and open banquet table.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Forecast--Mild and Wildly Crazy

To my friends in Missouri--the Show-Me State,….Stand by….

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Why Don't We Give It a Shot?

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d] (John 3:3-8  NIV)


It is my opinion that the determinants of a world view belief system are not individualistically susceptible to free choice.  Clearly there is a huge difference in my feeling of control when making a typical transient purchase decision--Coke or Pepsi?--compared to long-term often open-ended commitments such as to the nature and legitimacy of major social institutions.  We see in (the wind) passage above regarding a watershed perceptual phenomenon that Jesus punted with a descriptive answer rather than a mapped-out causative one.  (We can find some assurance is His remark that in the future “even greater things” will be done by believers. (John 14:12).)

At this point in history we are to influence basic beliefs in my view with connection, intimacy, honesty, commitment, and respect--goodwill.  (Argument and debate have little or no persuasive effect via mass media unless respect, warmth, and kinship are authentically representative of what we already know about the speaker.)  Even so, Fireside Chats when done with absolute respect--no degree whatever of patronizing or manipulation--are by far the best approach to win personal commitment to public policy.

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More than Thoughts and Prayers

A Public Servant Is Known By Real Trust in and Goodwill for Fellow Americans.  False Politicians (False "Profits") in Truth Hate Americans (and we must finally conclude, even themselves.) 

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

More than a Motto

Once a great friend (Carl Jordan), who often gave me inspired advice, once observed as I wrestled with a severe challenge: “It is what it is.  Just deal with it.”  As often with Carl, I determined that this was no mere casual advice but something I was intended to deeply implant within accessible memory. It is advice that surfaced in Walmart yesterday when I saw a T-shirt for sale with the following graphic emblazoned upon it: “These Colors Don’t Run.”

 Combining this motto with Carl’s advice results in a compass indicator directing us to deal effectively with given issues as they arise.  Our personal values are often determinant in resulting behavior.  “Dealing with it” can yield duplicity, manipulative fabrication--spinning, covering-up, contrived silence and a taboo status, hypocrisy, blatant escapism, malevolent threats, character assassination, illicit pay-offs, and cowardly acts of treachery and intimidation.

I hope that Americans look at “Don't Run” as not only standing ready to wisely exercise the Sword of the State, but also impling enlisting individual courage to speak up plainly and forthrightly with integrity and honesty concerning issues on every level.  What is the point of calling ourselves “the land of the free and the home of the brave” if we bite our lips and keep in chained silence every burning conviction smoldering within our hearts?


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Monday, May 14, 2018

The Hovering Real Estate of the Mind

(Image included in Stardock sofware package)
Advertisements endlessly affirm that we can buy happiness.  If we Americans want to inhabit a "Shining City on the Hill" it is obvious all that is needed is deep financial pockets to make that Big Real Estate Deal.  There are many Christians throughout the world that read about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem (as described in Luke 19).  I guess my first memories of the passage began when I lived in a small rural town in Florida.  It never once occurred to me to say “Whew!  I’m glad I live here because it is only in Jerusalem that bad stuff happens when the shit of self-righteousness pollutes the streets.”  The plain truth is that most believers read the Bible not as some “once upon a time far away” history, but the living Word revealing the persistent core of human nature as it exists beginning with oneself.  Most Christian never literally visit the geological location where Jesus walked (most of us don’t have the cash anyway); but we pray earnestly that God’s ”Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven (come even to my hometown and even to my very heart / In a sense, today may the New Jerusalem start with me)”.



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Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Forever Rebirth of Wonder and the Worship of God

As man is made in God’s image, we are asked to trust him and even so out of love (not lust) explore his universe as best we can—and through love come to see reality as God sees it rather than distorted by the power obsessions of greed that can in no way lead to truth.  In this light, it is simply the case that the exacting requirements of science and engineering (as well as the disciplined arts both practical and creative) are expressions of respect, love, and service and at core yield one of man’s highest expressions of the worship of God.
Like many stories in the Bible meanings are found within meanings and have multiple application.  It is common for man to interpret the world based upon his own ideology and thus, at times, distort "what is so regardless of what we may say about it" by what we indeed do say and think about it--often with a obsessive defensiveness arising from fear and profound insecurities.  In this sense, man comes to truth only when he is able to throw open his closed mind (to truly engage in wonder) through humility and through the structural tools designed to discipline and sustain humility over time (and to through love respect his material for what it is rather than what his preconceptions insist they be).  When this occurs reality is boss and man the dutiful listener.  Thus the song Joseph sings in the following video is an example of when man ceases to impose his own understanding.  The prerequisite for human advancement is not the fanatical worship of man, but the laying aside of man's ego for abiding trust in Providence--a trust serving to supplant personal fear and insecurity. [Trust in the Lord with all your heart / and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)]

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Dog I’d Like to Have—at Least in Theory

Last All Saints Day I had a new amplification of a revelation I first received in 1980.

This revelation served to bring further definition to “the Lord’s minions.”  In addition to the heavenly realm, the definition expanded to include all earnest exponents of the Way—including a vast number of ordinary humble servants employed in the Lord’s work today. While I rejoiced in this illumination, on second thought it bothered me to think I could so facilely refer to humans as “dogs.”  It can be an extremely pejorative term.  Who, for example, would want to be anybody’s “Lap Dog”?  [(idiomatic, by extension) A person who behaves in a servile manner, such as a sycophantic employee or a fawning love: ass-kisser, sycophant, toady (from Wiktionary).] 

From my understanding, a loving God yearns for us to work in his vineyard; but the last thing he would want is a glue-like gaggle of simpering courtiers “very humbly” groveling in his shadow attempting to patronize and manipulate him while riffing deceptive Iago-like saccharin insinuations from the depths of hell.

In truth, many of us capitulate to the love of our pets for the simple and genuine love and affection they loyally embody.  The Perfect Dog would share with our Perfect God one additional trait—the complete understanding of the human condition.  This would include the awesome and sometimes unpleasant duty to point out that human decisions can be destructive and hurtful to others…..and depressingly often our very selves.  As humans cherish nothing so much as the role of F├╝hrer within their ill-defined proprietary spaces; a gentle, suggestive recommendation regarding possible positive behavioral modification can unleash a raging blitzkrieg of rending carnivorous fangs.



Dog’s Virtues
By Billy Graham

Dogs are quick to show their affection. They never pout, they never bear a grudge. They never run away from home when mistreated. They never complain about their food. They never gripe about the way the house is kept. They are chivalrous and courageous, ready to protect their mistress at the risk of their lives. They love children, and no matter how noisy and boisterous they are, the dog loves every minute of it. In fact, a dog is stiff competition for a husband. Perhaps if we husbands imitated a few of our dog’s virtues, life with our family might be more amiable.

Printed in the Atlanta Daily World, May 14, 1988

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Perennial Foundational Issue in American Politics


(Below definitions and amplifications from Wikipedia)

Ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.[2].....

Criticism as a fallacy

Doug Walton, Canadian academic and author, has argued that ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, and that in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue,[9] as when it directly involves hypocrisy, or actions contradicting the subject's words.


Those skilled in debate know that the purpose of debate can be as complex as human nature itself.  Very rarely does debate merely involve a purely objective and pristinely intellectual rationality. Self-interest, conviction, emotion, and the defense of one’s very legitimacy as a person (rather than supinely acquiescing to one’s opponent’s portrayal of you as a twisted, irrational buffoon) all can be vital to the skill and art of debate. 

In our last presidential election cycle we witnessed the ad hominem argument pursued with a spiteful vengeance by Donald Trump—even towards his Republican primary opponents. Now we see the critics of Trump also making impassioned ad hominem arguments--but now based on the rationale that such an approach has urgent, ethical grounding (and it would be fallacious to pretend that character is not the major factor at play).


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