29 December 2015

The EU Trembles

Already under tremendous pressure due to the financial strains of the worldwide recession and tensions over the status of the Euro, the EU itself is now faced with a number of growing crises.

28 December 2015

Arms Dealers and the Business of War

Century Arms has a long history of being involved in covert and shady arms deals connected to the US intelligence community and their secret wars. Right-wing and corporate connected militias which in many cases are little more than CIA fronts also seem to be clients of choice. This is one of those many points where the lines between the corporate and intelligence complexes get a little blurry.

26 December 2015

The Death of an American Allied Salafi

The death of Zahran Alloush, leader of Syrian faction Jaysh al-Islam has shed some light on the nature of America's so called 'moderate' rebels. The truth is that much of what is called the Free Syrian Army is in fact comprised of Salafis allied to al Nusra/al Qaeda. This has been suggested for some time and the evidence is mounting.

25 December 2015

Official Admissions That Iraq Was Never About WMD

The Mainstream Media continues to focus on the question of 'bad intelligence' with regard to WMD in Iraq. They continue to suggest that if the the CIA had done its due diligence and the process of interpretation hadn't been politicised by the White House then perhaps the United States would not have invaded Iraq in March 2003.

24 December 2015

Beck's Bimbos and the Manipulation of Christians and Conservatives

I was renting a hammer drill at a local tool rental outfit and I noticed the old fellow running the shop was watching some kind of conservative programme but I could tell it wasn't FOX news.

23 December 2015

Singapore: American Spying on the Strait of Malacca

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-singapore-southchinasea-idUSKBN0TQ2K720151208

The US continues to overtly and covertly build its Asian forces. If this has made the news, then it means there are already many things happening that are outside of official press releases and not open to comment.

19 December 2015

Epilogue to Indochina

I heartily recommend the recent Frontline programme: Terror in Little Saigon. It was an interesting and refreshing look into the Vietnamese-American community and their activities during the 1980's and beyond. It reveals a little known epilogue to the war in Indochina. The repercussions of that war and its aftermath live on to this very day.

17 December 2015

Deep State Italy and the Passing of an Era

Licio Gelli (1919-2015) has finally died. At present I am not afforded the time needed to write a proper article on this man. It's ironic because I've often thought of him as of late. I've been rather absorbed in both the Vatican, Fascist remnants in Europe, sympathetic regimes in Latin America and the 1960's and 70's.

15 December 2015

ISIS and the Strategy of Tension

Because it is almost undisputed that Qatar and Turkey are supporting ISIS and in Turkey's case purchasing black market oil from them, it is believed by many that ISIS is a fiction, a Western intelligence asset. It's all simply theatre. The struggle is not real.

This is frustrating because this is once again a case of the conspiracists being on to something and yet taking it too far, to the point of discrediting the whole notion.

13 December 2015

Front National: The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-politics-idUSKBN0TW00320151213

An interesting turnaround to be sure. The Front National went down in defeat in the second round. Few would have predicted that.

Evangelical Rejections of Sola Scriptura, Guns and the Loss of Gospel Ethics

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/jerry-falwell-jrs-troubling-remarks-on-guns/419019/

This indictment all too well demonstrates the bankruptcy of American Evangelical claims regarding authority. To their shame, this secular author calls out and rightly identifies figures such as Falwell Jr. and DeMint as rejecting Scripture as their doctrinal foundation. He's right in arguing they have utterly abandoned it and in fact did so long ago. This article more or less restricts the conversation to violence, retaliation and guns, but the cancer which infects American Evangelicalism is in fact terminal and has metastasised to almost every aspect of doctrine, thought and action.

09 December 2015

US Nativism and China

I've mentioned this before but I keep hearing variations of this argument, and I find it striking how misled so many people are.
In just the past couple of weeks I have either participated in or overheard conversations where the Chinese are invoked as a source of anti-American scheming. People seem to believe the Chinese have conspired to destroy American manufacturing and enslave us to their cheap goods.

07 December 2015

Front National and the 2015 French Regional Elections

http://www.politico.eu/article/big-gains-for-far-right-in-french-election/

The Front National (FN) has made noteworthy gains in the French regional elections. The shift to the Right is part of an ongoing trend but has been recently buttressed by the immigration crisis and the 13 November Paris attacks.

While Le Pen is probably too far to the Right to take over the leadership of France, the Right-ward swing will likely benefit Nicholas Sarkozy who seeks a return to office. Voters who will vote FN in the first round will likely embrace Sarkozy's UMP/LR in the second. Sarkozy's restoration to the presidency will be welcomed by Washington.

05 December 2015

Sacralism, the UMC and an Ex-CIA Agent

The CIA has a long history of infiltrating Think-Tanks and other media type and activist organizations that are able to serve its purposes in the realm of information dissemination.

It's rather interesting though admittedly inconclusive that a character like Mark Tooley, an admitted former CIA agent is heading an 'institute' devoted to influencing the mainline United Methodist Church.

04 December 2015

Greenwald and Brennan: Public Fear and the Power-Grab

Glen Greenwald is by no means the only person that is pointing these things out but I thought this small clip was particularly effective in communicating a range of issues regarding the US Establishment's attempt to capitalize on the Paris attacks. Of course the San Bernardino shootings will also facilitate this argument.

02 December 2015

Arbitration, Corporate Interests, the ACA and Pilgrim Ethics

http://www.npr.org/2015/11/12/455749456/have-we-lost-a-constitutional-right-in-the-fine-print

This discussion on the Arbitration system was for the most part a rehash of information and arguments that are well known. The corporations hate and detest Class Action lawsuits. As with most issues, it's complicated. There are good arguments against Class Action suits and yet there's no doubt that many of them are essentially frivolous endeavours that accomplish little more than enriching lawyers.

30 November 2015

The Chechen Factor in Syria and Ukraine

The whole of the Chechen conflict and its context have been largely underreported in the Western media and for good reason. The US has taken an aggressive posture toward Russia since the end of the Cold War and this has only increased under the tenure of Putin.

28 November 2015

The Syrian Powder Keg

Here are three links of interest and a few comments related to the Russo-Turkish incident on the border of Syria and Hatay Province.

26 November 2015

Syria and the Strategy of Tension

For some time it has been suggested that the United States is involved in some kind of semi- or informal relationship with al Nusra in Syria. This seems to many to be an assertion that is prima facie absurd. How could the United States even consider allying with a branch of al Qaeda? Doesn't that fly in the face of everything the War on Terror is all about? You might think so, but you would be mistaken.

25 November 2015

American Thanksgiving: Civic Deism at Best

http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=010a95d4b48dd7b0a7d1b401f&id=01ebe1e14b&e=60d11585a1

This showed up in my inbox. We use this organization for our standardized tests that we have turn in every few years. I appreciate that service but little else about them. They proffer Theonomic heresies and I receive not a few of these disappointing emails. I've written them back but to no avail. Every year or so, when we buy a new test for one of our children, we're back on their miserable list. I do find some satisfaction in the fact that I 'share' their emails, but not in the way they would wish.

24 November 2015

Belmokhtar, Hekmatyar and Blowback in Bamako

If reports are to be believed, Belmokhtar's Al-Mourabitoun movement, a branch of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is responsible for the 20 November 2015 attack on the Radisson Hotel in Bamako, Mali. This claim has been countered by al Qaeda's rival, ISIS who also wishes to claim credit for the attack.

There's an irony here. Belmokhtar as a young man fought in Afghanistan under the command of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the Mujahideen warlords heavily backed by the United States. Hekmatyar is a character straight out of a novel, a man of blood and intrigue, a keeper of secrets and dark alliances.

21 November 2015

Establishment Media's Hostility to the Left

While listening to a BBC podcast on 'The Obama Doctrine' I was surprised to hear Jeremy Scahill was sitting on the discussion panel. Scahill who is best known for his affiliation with 'The Intercept', his book on Blackwater and the movie 'Dirty Wars' represents the kind of figure the mainstream media usually avoids. His views are considered too extreme.

19 November 2015

Establishment Media and the Hastert Scandal

You would think that if the Mainstream Media was really committed to the Leftist agenda then they would be going after the Dennis Hastert story. It has the potential to be one of the biggest scandals in US political history.

15 November 2015

Erdogan and the AKP's 1 November Victory- For the Present

Erdogan cut a deal with the United States. The Kurds entering the political spectrum had all but sabotaged his political ambitions and constitutional aspirations. He allowed the US to formally utilize the bases in the south (Incirlik and Diyarbakir) to strike ISIS while at the same time at the behest of Erdogan, the US betrayed the Kurdish factions in Syria which it has been backing contra ISIS. In truth most US allies are not allies at all, but throw away tools, a type of fodder to feed the war machine. Thus Erdogan was given the go-ahead and promptly began to bomb Kurdish positions seeking to break their growing power along the Syrian border. This harmed the fight against ISIS in one sense but for the Americans it allowed them closer striking points for their aircraft.

Freedom, Security and the Budget: A Few Reflections on the Democratic Debate

There's much that could be said about Saturday night's Democratic Presidential debate, but I don't have time to pursue it.

Nevertheless I was struck by two things Sanders said. At one point he was talking about reforming the VA and meeting veterans. He mentioned they defended his freedom. Earlier he said the Iraq War was a total disaster, a mistake and that the rise of ISIS is directly related to it.

14 November 2015

European Paradigm Shift: The Friday the 13th Attacks

The 13 November Paris attacks will prove a political boon for the European Right. If there are proven connections to Syrian refugees this will quickly escalate the immigration crisis. Further border controls, nationalism and a waxing police state will be the result and this will aggravate already existing economic stresses and tensions.

13 November 2015

Energy Independence: Realpolitik, Neo-Conservatism and Nativism

While perusing a financial magazine in a waiting room I stumbled upon an article about billionaire T Boone Pickens, a name that's been floating around for some time. I've heard him interviewed on NPR from time to time and was already pretty familiar with his controversial energy plan. In fact not long ago while reading Steve Coll's book on Exxon, I recalled Pickens argument for energy independence. It was pertinent and represented a mindset in Conservative circles less than appreciated by representatives of Big Oil.

09 November 2015

Dead vs. Living Stones

While I'm not endorsing this website, this article recently brought to my attention is a good read.


Just a couple of weeks ago I was teaching on 1 Peter 2 and thinking about the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall. It struck me in light of the passage that these people are putting their faith in dead stones. The image is striking to me. Our Temple is made of living stone and it must be contrasted with these dead ones. Judaism's devotion to a temple of dead stone is the basis of their rejection of the Messiah. The doctrine of the Living Temple, the very person of Jesus Christ becomes a stumblingblock and occasion for offense.

08 November 2015

Multinationals, Corruption and the Tool that is the FCPA

The previous discussion regarding Multinational mining companies and their relationships with the Indonesian government compelled me to mention the ambiguous nature of the SEC and the Justice Department's mandate with regard to multinationals and diplomacy.

06 November 2015

America's Byzantine Tactics at Work in Indonesia

Nairn does a fine job simply explaining how the US relates to many of its allies. It establishes diplomatic relations, and backs a government that in some cases is not fully in line with Washington's policy. There's an element of ambiguity inherent in the bilateral relationship.

05 November 2015

The Asian Cold War: A Mysterious Shooting in the Philippines

We will probably never know the full story. I am reminded of the Ray Davis incident in Pakistan. A fuller version of the story later came out, but at the time of the incident, it was just a mysterious blurb in the press.

03 November 2015

Pentagon Ministries and North Korea

This report is really not all that surprising. For many years there have been hints of and in some cases confirmed reports of Christian ministries and various NGO's collaborating with American intelligence agencies. This has happened in many countries and contexts. Occasionally foreign governments will act with hostility toward these groups. While we must lament all such actions our media both mainstream and Christian often fail to report the full story and provide context.

02 November 2015

The Guns of November?

http://ericmargolis.com/2015/10/the-us-and-china-are-playing-with-matches/

Another helpful Margolis commentary. I think a lot more could be said with regard to the legality of US actions in the region but regardless he draws out the necessary point. While China is hardly some kind of moral exemplar, the American presence in the region, their provocations as well as their alliances play no small part in driving China toward its own questionable moves.

31 October 2015

Economics, the Environment and Questions That Must Be Asked

When I see things like this I think about the idea that the Free Market is self-regulating. I realize that many of its most strident advocates are critical of globalisation and its effects, but this is due to their own reductionistic understanding of economics. Their minimalist understanding of the nature of economics blinds them to this logical telos of the Capitalist system.

28 October 2015

Riding in a Tesla

I went for a ride in a Tesla yesterday. Someone I know is considering purchasing one. It was impressive. That said, I personally have no interest in one. I don't even own a Smartphone and frankly despise the whole direction our society is taking with the gadgets and techno-obsessive behaviour. I'm not interested in applications that chart my steps, the food in my refrigerator or the number of times I accelerated in the past half hour.

22 October 2015

Should Christians Support the Troops?

Vance is excellent when it comes to American Christians and their posturing toward the military. He exposes the flawed thinking and the idolatry.

It is truly a doctrinal/theological problem more than anything else and even those who are 'uncomfortable' with the patriotic tone of American Evangelicals have in many cases failed to penetrate to the heart of the problem.

21 October 2015

Media Interpretations of the GOP Schism

There's no doubt that NPR's Fresh Air leans a little toward the Left. Regardless of orientation, what's the truth of the matter when it comes to the current GOP battle within the US House of Representatives? Why are the divisions there? What's happening? Why did Boehner resign?

Listen to the NPR story and explanation. Maybe you agree with the Freedom Caucus? Whether you do or not, there's a story there.

17 October 2015

The Pope: An Example of Power Divorced From Money?

Some might attempt to argue the Pope represents a veritable power that is projected in poverty, divorced from the influence of money. But they would be wrong. While Francis has tried to wrap the Papacy in a shroud of humility and has spoken out on behalf of the poor, the reality is he would have no voice at all if it were not for the financial and political power his organization wields.

13 October 2015

Libertarian Criticisms of the Imperial Narrative

Here are a few noteworthy links that have appeared recently at Lew Rockwell.

In providing these links I must once again make it clear that I do not endorse many of the viewpoints expressed on that site. I certainly am not a member or appreciator of their movement and yet their Anti-Establishment posture affords what can often be identified as valid and helpful criticisms of the system.

04 October 2015

CBS and the Media's Coverage of the Syrian War

CBS likes to run their little advert promoting themselves and talking about values such as honesty and integrity. Truly it's a video more appropriate for the likes of a comedy channel or some kind of Fallon skit. CBS whether represented by Scott Pelley, Charlie Rose or Nora O'Donnell is little more than a mouthpiece for the Establishment.

02 October 2015

Strauss-Kahn and the Strategy of Tension

While Dominique Strauss-Kahn can hardly be considered a paragon of moral virtue and probably represents the type of lifestyle not a few of the world's elites engage in, he nevertheless possesses a certain amount of knowledge, even wisdom.

This does not in any way excuse his behaviour or way of living. People can be incredibly immoral and yet still be committed to larger social ideas. People are complicated and inconsistent.

27 September 2015

Jade Helm: Dissenting Commonality and the Response to Coming Unrest

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/09/19/jade-s19.html

This sort of article is interesting to me because it shows the surface-layer overlap on the parts of the Far Right and Far Left. Both are concerned with the growing power of the federal government, but both have entirely different interpretations of why it's happening, where it's going and who's behind it all.

24 September 2015

The Heritage Foundation and the Military-Industrial Complex

https://theintercept.com/2015/09/15/heritage-foundation/

This is hardly a real shocker but it does aid in exposing the corrupt nature of Think Tanks and provide some insight into how they function within the larger system. The Heritage Foundation is one of the worst. It has quite a record of blood on its hands. Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of their policies being implemented.

21 September 2015

Mohler: The Lesser Magistrate and the Heretic Nation

http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/09/03/in-this-world-you-will-have-trouble-welcome-to-rowan-county/

Mohler whether meaning to or not strikes at the core of the issue. The notion of the Lesser Magistrate is about violence and revolution. He correctly notes that without this doctrine there would have been no American Revolution.

NPR Continues Downward Slide

Or as my wife puts it- Dingy Chicks and Gay Men are Taking Over

Something has changed in the culture of NPR. For a long time PBS and NPR represented the only serious mainstream news outlets. This is not to suggest all of their programming was serious but their flagship shows certainly were.

18 September 2015

Margolis Challenging the Mainstream ISIS-Refugee Narrative

http://ericmargolis.com/2015/09/how-to-end-the-refugee-flood/

There are many debates regarding the origins of ISIS but it's clear the official narrative is somewhat dubious. The US has worked to destroy the region stretching from the Levant to the Pamirs. A crisis has been unleashed and there's a real danger. These conditions may quickly spiral out of control. The world is teetering toward a dangerous state of instability. Obama deserves a share of the blame but conservatives are delusional if they think they can ignore US actions in the region that have overshadowed it for at least twenty if not thirty years and several presidential administrations. There's a long story arc at work... but few can stay focused for that long, remember more than the recent past, let alone put the ideas together into a coherent framework that helps shed light on what has transpired.

15 September 2015

Preaching Blood and Violence- A Heritage Denying the Authority of Scripture

I was terribly disappointed to see this in my inbox. This is the 'Christian' academy we get our standardized tests from... the tests we have to administer at certain grade levels as per the laws of our state. I guess that's what you have to expect from an outfit selling the likes of Gary North, Gary DeMar and the regular crew of Dominionist Judaizers.

13 September 2015

Another Tool in the Imperial Arsenal

https://theintercept.com/2015/09/09/u-s-special-forces-expand-training-allies-histories-abuse/

This is but an update or reiteration of an old and well known tale. Special Operations forces 'training' foreign police and military units are an almost mundane aspect of imperial expansion. This is but one means that empires employ to expand their power without having to micromanage colonial bureaucracies. It's rule by means of proxy.

12 September 2015

Climate, Crisis and Collapse

This video is a helpful tool. It's brief, (20 mins) and aptly explains some of the salient issues surrounding climate change. Many scoff at the notion that a degree or two of temperature shift would really affect our lives. And then of course every winter there are those who point to the cold and snow and mock the very suggestion that the earth is warming. This video explains and dispels some of these misunderstandings.

10 September 2015

The Crux of the Refugee Crisis

I mentioned this in a previous post but it's worth repeating. While there's no doubt the refugee crisis has in part been spurred on by the rise of Islamic Radicalism, one must step back and see the forest through the trees. The real cause is the total undoing of the Middle Eastern world.

09 September 2015

Jim Bob Duggar: A Pimp in Need of Funds

http://www.designntrend.com/articles/58053/20150729/19-kids-counting-duggars-broke-asking-fans-cash-youtube-channel.htm

The only thing I can think to say is....

When you whore out your kids and your family, it can be rough. Or in the words of a bumper sticker I used to see around here...

Pimpin' ain't easy

Oh right, sorry that was their 'witness'.

An awfully expensive witness. The Duggars are judgment on the Church and on those who would support these false prophets of Dominionism who seek to make merchandise of God's people. 

The Fall of the US Backed Dictator in Guatemala

I don't think the US mainstream media has been giving it much attention but there are tremendous events afoot in Guatemala, events directly related to the CIA sponsored overthrow of Arbenz in 1954. The US allied oligarchy which has ruled since that time is beginning to crack. Indeed the president who just resigned headed a US-backed and CIA trained death squad in the 1980's.

27 August 2015

The Military-Industrial Complex/Corporatocracy on Display

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/20/iraq-war-surge-general-ray-odierno-gets-new-job-jp-morgan-chase/

Investment banks can use generals, the knowledge they possess, their familiarity with the complex federal and military bureaucracy, their ease with the jargon and lingo of the military subculture and of course their contacts.

26 August 2015

Modi and Indian Society: The Christian Dilemma


Libertarians are correct in identifying Corporatism with a Fascist tendency. Corporatism seeks to politicise economics and economise politics. Every aspect of society is bent toward the acquisition and growth of power and this is all related to not just money, but the control of it.

19 August 2015

Bonds and Bondage: Cashing in at the expense of others



The stadiums may present an extreme but very pertinent example of this. I am tired of hearing about financial advisors pushing and plugging municipal bonds. I'm wearing my economic minimalism on my sleeve here, but it seems to me that simply having money to invest shouldn't grant a person the right to make money off other taxpayers in order to get a return.

10 August 2015

08 August 2015

The Implications of a Cyber Pearl Harbor

After the recent data breach, blamed on China, there's a growing chorus warning of a Cyber Pearl Harbor. We've heard this for some time, but it is only in recent years, (in light of Snowden and Wikileaks) that we can fully appreciate the implications.

04 August 2015

Fidelity in the Face of Totalitarian Militarism

I'm sorry to admit it but the Jehovah's Witnesses conducted themselves marvelously under the Third Reich. There's a lot of material to be found on this but I was fairly impressed with the Wikipedia article's summary and narrative. In other words, it's a good place to start.

31 July 2015

The Internal War and its Casualties

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/world/middleeast/sarkis-g-soghanalian-arms-dealer-dies-at-82.html?_r=0

The arms dealer Soghanalian represents yet another example of the house cleaning or board clearing that took place as the Cold War ended. The US began to break off old ties and alliances and re-orient for a new historical epoch, an American Century it was hoped. There were many casualties and betrayals. The 1998 film Ronin and its allusion to the story of the 47 master-less samurai captures a little bit of this mood, especially in the circles inhabited by the likes of Soghanalian.

Pollard and the USSR



This particular aspect of the Pollard spy story seems to have been largely forgotten. I suppose it presents a particular dilemma for Dispensationalists. Who do you show your greater loyalty to?

The Zionist State and its supposed eschatological implications,

or the idolized American Empire?

If he had spied for anyone but Israel a release wouldn't even be contemplated.

MH17, Politics and the UNSC

US Mainstream media is presenting the Russian Veto of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution as an outrage. They proffer that the UNSC establishing such a tribunal is normative and Russia's rejections represent a real if not criminally moral failing.

30 July 2015

Sacralist Swan Song? - The 2016 US Presidential Election



Listening to Kevin Swanson talk about this conference I'm reminded of Jerome's famous lamentation in response to the sacking of Rome by the Visigoths in 410. Jerome like many Evangelicals had confused the Sacralist State with the light of the world and the inheritance of God and like many American Evangelicals he couldn't imagine a Church without the Sacralist state attached to it and protecting it.

28 July 2015

Racist Killings

I believe I've said this before but it bears repeating.
The Internet is awash with examples of society at large and the mainstream media ignoring the deaths of white people at the hands of minorities and in particular blacks. This lack of coverage and attention is decried as an injustice. Why are the deaths of blacks getting covered disproportionately? Why don't white lives matter it is asked?
I must say I find these sorts of comments surprising but I guess I shouldn't.

25 July 2015

Tariq Aziz, Green Zone and The Memory Hole

The recent death of Tariq Aziz brought back a lot of memories concerning American involvement in Iraq. Always a controversial and interesting figure it was noteworthy that his death passed with hardly any notice. It was mentioned in the news, but at this point some twelve years after the initial invasion, few seem to care. The rise of ISIS, a direct consequence of American meddling and destruction in the region has now overshadowed all previous concerns and narratives. But because all parties refuse to learn from the past, we can be almost certain the same evils will be perpetuated.

23 July 2015

Frauds and Backlash in the UK

http://shoebat.com/2015/06/19/major-bishop-of-the-church-of-england-says-to-declare-that-jesus-christ-is-the-son-of-god-could-one-day-be-criminalized-in-the-uk/

Be wary of these types of stories which are promiscuously circulated in Christian circles. The Shoebat's are certainly frauds and when listening to them being interviewed it's very apparent their Christianity certainly ought to be in doubt. If the Mossad isn't paying them, then they're getting a lot of propaganda for free.

21 July 2015

Prince of Peace, God of War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM6Po862pGA

I rather enjoyed this documentary which deals with Christian non-violence versus Just War Theory. It was slanted to be sure. That said, though I disagree with them, I was somewhat impressed with the thoughtfulness, hesitancy and restraint exhibited by some of the proponents of Just War.

20 July 2015

The Most Dangerous Man of the Hour

http://globalnews.ca/video/2120979/netanyahu-not-happy-un-security-council-approved-iran-nuclear-deal

Netanyahu speaks of hypocrisy. That's pretty rich coming from the leader of Likud.

And yet it must be said that at this moment Benjamin Netanyahu is probably the most dangerous man in the world.

11 July 2015

Trans or De-formed?

Speaking of PBS' Frontline, I strongly recommend that people watch the latest episode entitled 'Growing Up Trans'.
It is profoundly disturbing and not an easy watch. Aside from the medical ethics and other disturbing aspects of what is taking place, the real import (and shocking at that) is in the mindset of the parents, doctors, and peers. The societal shift is happening at a rocket speed and like it or not we must deal with it and pray for wisdom in knowing how to do so.

09 July 2015

Exiles in America

"Now we feel like exiles in our own land..."
I've heard numerous variations on this phrase in recent days. This has been said in reference to the Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage.

06 July 2015

Greece 1967 / Greece 2015



The CIA backed Junta which took power in 1967 represented a reaction to the Greek left. They established a military dictatorship which ruled Greece until 1974 when the fiasco in Cyprus brought them down.

26 June 2015

Biblical Law and Society

I use this example not to 'attack' anyone, but to make a point. There's something to be learned here.
This podcast on Biblical law and society demonstrates the way assumptions can govern discussions. I think of many people I know listening to this and would think it to be a good programme. 'These are good folks,' they would say, 'working out problems and striving toward a good goal'.

23 June 2015

PBS/Frontline: Obama, Syria and ISIS

PBS's Frontline is a good programme when it comes to covering topics like the prison system, banking and domestic politics. But it is all but worthless when it comes to covering the foreign policy of the United States or any international event that touches on American interests. It's hard to find one that doesn't concern the empire thus severely limiting the scope of a show like Frontline.
This was abundantly clear in the recent documentary 'Obama at War' which dealt with American policy regarding Syria and the rise of ISIS.

21 June 2015

Conservatism, Christendom and Racism

Mohler like many other Evangelical leaders seems to all but miss the point when it comes to the issue of racism. While he is correct to reject racism as sinful and evil he demonstrates both a revisionist tendency with regard to the past and a certain degree of blindness when it comes to the origin of racism in Western society. It's a hard and bitter pill to swallow and there's a great reluctance and resistance to the truth in this matter.
The Charleston shooter displayed his racism through the patches he wore on his jacket, flags from Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia.

19 June 2015

Nuclear Sabre Rattling and Spin

Increasingly it is feeling like we're back in 2002 and a 'spin-job' is being performed on the American public. Those of us who had our eyes open found that to be a time of lies and manipulation... on a much grander scale than what we usually encounter. That's how bad it was. You spoke in a whisper and you kept your head down because any challenge to the narrative meant you were a traitor.

18 June 2015

Waterloo

The battle took place on 18 June 1815

It was historic because it ended the Napoleonic Wars and ushered in the Pax Britannica. The 19th century belonged to Britain. Until the rise of the United States, it was the grandest empire the world had ever seen.

12 June 2015

Chad and the African Game



Since the 1990's the United States has successfully laboured to woo Chad away from the French sphere of influence. Chad signed a big deal with Exxon in 1999 and has worked to aid US policy with regard to Sudan. The US has long opposed Khartoum and sought to facilitate the creation of South Sudan. American Christian groups and business interests have played no small part in this. Chad's own rebel movement was backed by Sudan and overlapped with the war in Darfur. Once again Chadian and American interests overlapped. Khartoum was the enemy, the same Khartoum that in the early 1990's harboured Osama bin Laden.

11 June 2015

The Tragedy of Angola Lives On

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2015/05/06/christian-sect-killings-in-angola-shrouded-in-fear-and-mystery/

I'm sorry to say it but US backing of UNITA and Christian involvement through groups like the Heritage Foundation through the 1970's and 80's did not help the situation and the societal tension it has fostered.

10 June 2015

A Healthy Response to the Duggar Scandal

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5231518735


This isn't a sermon. It's a podcast and in it Reformed Baptist pastor Jeff Riddle discusses the Duggar scandal. I think his comments are appropriate and helpful and he expresses many viewpoints I share. He's rightly critical of the Duggars and felt that way long before this happened. That's how I've felt about it. I'm not only hostile to their Dominionism and their connections with Gothard but in general I did not like the way they were setting themselves up as paragons. Their message is misleading. It's easy to be the Duggars when you're wealthy. Others who would struggle to fill the gas tank of their bus, will find life to be considerably different.

08 June 2015

The Angst of the 1990's and a Documentary on the Oklahoma City Bombing



I've always thought this was one of the better documentaries on the background of the Oklahoma City Bombing. I would hope future documentary makers would spend even more time elaborating on the context and cultural milieu. People have forgotten the level of anxiety and how worked up the Right wing was in early 1990's. I remember. At the time, I was one of them.

30 May 2015

Hastert's Finale and Wheaton's Shame


I suppose the 'Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government and Public Policy' at Wheaton College may have to consider a name change.

It's amazing how many of these guys who went after Clinton and decried his immorality were themselves embroiled in scandal and the suppression of their own immoral behaviours and past conduct.

27 May 2015

Setting Up the Asian Gameboard for the New Cold War



While I don't know that I would go so far to suggest the US is provoking a 'Gulf of Tonkin' incident as a prelude to war, I do think it's likely the US is looking for low-grade confrontations it can exploit.

25 May 2015

The Politicised Academy

I've told this story before but it helps to make a point. Many years ago while in seminary I wrote a review of JM Kik's "An Eschatology of Victory" and I passed it on to a friend who was attending a congregation with not a few Postmillennialists. They love this book, it's part of their theological canon and I knew my review would not be appreciated.

23 May 2015

The Structure of Biblical Polity


New Testament Church Organization by Donald L Norbie
c.1977 Walterick Publishers

Covering a wide range of topics this volume by Donald Norbie concisely summarizes the New Testament's teaching on polity. He avoids labouring on unnecessary or obscure points but at the same time covers the salient ones.


21 May 2015

Ukraine's Christian Militias



In some ways what is most interesting here is the admission that the militant wings of the Ukrainian Far-Right have participated in the Chechen Wars and the low-grade guerilla conflicts that persist in the Caucasus. It has long been posited the West has supported the Chechens in their fight against Moscow and its puppet regime under Kadyrov. It wouldn't be the first time the US has backed Islamists to serve a larger strategic goal.


17 May 2015

Christianity in Singapore



This was an interesting podcast on the state of Christianity in Singapore. Despite the rudeness of the host, the guest was well-informed and insightful and overall it was worth a listen. I am particularly struck by the influence of American Christianity on the worldwide Church. By and large it's not a good thing. American Christianity and the Empire it venerates are exceptional indeed.

 

14 May 2015

Dispensationalism and 14 May 1948

Today is practically a holy day on the Dispensational calendar. Based on their misunderstanding of Christ's Olivet Discourse, they think part of Matthew 24 was fulfilled on this day in 1948.

09 May 2015

Selling the Warfare State


It seems rather convenient that just as the NSA programme is being questioned by the judiciary, forcing the so-called Patriot Act to be reviewed, there is a sudden threat of ISIS cells in the United States.

The Danger of a False Antithesis


"If there is no visible difference between you and the world, depend upon it, there is no invisible difference." ~Charles H. Spurgeon

05 May 2015

Globalisation in Indonesia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5uYCWVfuPQ

This is a great little documentary on Nike and their operations in Indonesia. It gives some good perspective on globalisation. I appreciate the guy's integrity. There aren't many people that are willing to stand up like that.

01 May 2015

Mohler and Metaxas on Bonhoeffer

An interesting interview to be sure. They never specifically mention the Metaxas biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer but it's quite obvious they have it in mind. It's the elephant in the room.

30 April 2015

30 April 1945: Der Untergang

or Downfall.

This very dark 2004 film depicting the final days in the Fuhrerbunker is nothing less than powerful. In my opinion it exceeds all the previous attempts at portraying these events. Bruno Ganz as Hitler is amazing.

29 April 2015

Remembering 30 April 1975: Dick Cavett, Billy Graham and John Kerry

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365474570/

I enjoyed watching this overview of Vietnam with a special focus on Dick Cavett and his guests. None of it was really new but I am always struck by seeing the segment with John Kerry. In this case he was taking on Herb Klein who was there to represent the Nixon administration.

28 April 2015

Politicized Media and a Lack of Christian Integrity


Listening to Glenn Beck for a few minutes as well as some Christian Radio... interesting how they're being blurred in the minds of many Christians... I notice there's a tremendous focus at present on the Clinton's and questions surrounding their funding and donors. All kinds of accusations are flying about accusing them of pandering to foreign influence etc...

26 April 2015

The Church in the Democratic Context

Guatemala's Arbenz tried to work in genuinely democratic terms. He brought about sweeping changes, geared toward the wishes of the people and yet also attempted to maintain an open society.

The open society is subject to infiltration and manipulation and that's exactly what happened. As agents of the US Establishment, the Dulles Brothers worked to overthrow him.

24 April 2015

Mission Inversion

Speaking prophetically to the world, our message, the application of Christian truth to the world situation may (at times) seem harsh and even destructive.

23 April 2015

The Cult of Self: It Rules the Day in Both the Left and the Right, Within the Church and Without

Since I'm a fanatic and a ranter, it's time for another episode...

Our society which is on a road to collapse and probably a violent one at that is following the course of many that preceded it.

For years I remember reading in history books that Rome fell due to its decadence and I never really understood what that meant until just a few years ago.

Spring 2015 Appeal

Most that come here are curious, some are mildly interested. Some are looking for cannon fodder. But some people truly get it, they have grasped the import of what I'm saying and its implications for the Church and how we think about everything from theology to history. Once you get it, there's really no turning back. It's like getting a new Bible. Suddenly you start to see everything through different eyes. It's disturbing but also wonderful. The world becomes a different place.

19 April 2015

1995-1996: A Year of Change

On the morning of 19 April 1995 I was sitting in my apartment in Alaska. I was a miserable wretch, lost and in despair. Just a few weeks earlier, to the astonishment of my friends and co-workers, I had enlisted in the US Air Force and was due to depart for basic training in mid-May.
I was watching the news as the story broke. Alaska is of course a few hours behind Oklahoma City. I was still in my Rush Limbaugh days and I immediately assumed Islamic terrorists were behind it and that we would be going to war. I was convinced it was all Clinton's fault. He had played a weak hand in Somalia and they'd probably gotten together with the Iraqis and come to get us.

16 April 2015

Ukraine, NATO and Imperial Calculus

This was a brief but interesting exchange. Please notice how general Wald, my former base commander, rejects historical contextualization.

Imperialism within the United States is forward looking. It is not interested in historical issues and claims and decries any attempt to bring them up. Wald acknowledges the Monroe Doctrine but is lying when he suggests the US wouldn't care if China and Mexico formed a partnership.

14 April 2015

Kline on Theonomy and Postmillennialism

A great quote from Kline on the anniversary of his death, 14 April 2007.

As the Theonomists themselves are wont to say, their Postmillennial vision is dead apart from Dominionist theology, what Kline here calls the rejection of the 'way through the wilderness'. And I would add the corollary, that Dominionists are de facto Postmillennialists. Whether they espouse that specific eschatological scheme they are in effect operating by and under its ethical imperatives as well as its dangerously flawed understanding of the Kingdom. Their Kingdom paradigm is correctly identified by Kline as the very thing we are being warned against in the Apocalypse.

As Kline concludes his commentary on Zechariah's first vision, he says the following:

13 April 2015

Bush Vindicated?

Many Christians seem to find some satisfaction in posting a video by FOX television personality Megyn Kelly. In it she's revisiting a video from Bush late in his presidency wherein he warns about the dangers of pulling out of Iraq too early.

Somehow they think this is a vindication? If we had just listened to George Bush then all of this wouldn't be happening?

A Rebuttal of False Claims Regarding Two Kingdom Theology and Non-violence in the Face of Tyranny

Since I am called 'ranter', I will indeed rant. Sometimes it's called for.

It is a complete and malicious falsehood that somehow the theology of non-violence, the application of the Sermon on the Mount to ethics, that the separatist form of Two Kingdom thinking means the Church just goes to sleep and allows the Hitler's of the world to rise up. I was accused of this again just the other day and I have to say I find this sort of accusation to be nothing less than astonishing. Nothing makes me feel like I'm living in some Orwellian distorted nightmare than for people to accuse me of being and allowing what they in fact are.

11 April 2015

The Czechs Score a Very Minor Point Against the Empire



If it's actually supposed to be about commemorating World War II then excluding Russia is nothing less than a travesty.

Everyone gets angry when these events are politicized but that's exactly what the US is doing. Apparently the Czechs aren't behaving like proper NATO subjects and subordinates and so it was thought they needed some correction.

10 April 2015

Snipers Praised and Condemned

I recently heard Focus on the Family's Jim Daly interviewing Taysir Abu Saada the author of 'Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of how a PLO Sniper Found a New Life'.

Daly's comments were interesting. They talked about Saada's conversion to Christianity and how God kept working on him, wore him down and finally he gave in and accepted Christ. A moved Daly reflected that no one can be 'beaten' into the Kingdom.

09 April 2015

Dominionism and Consequentialism

BreakPoint almost always gets it wrong and even when they say something that's more or less correct, it's always framed wrong.

Today listening to Stonestreet talk about Consequentialism I was having one of those Matrix-type moments where I feel like I'm some weird science fiction movie.

08 April 2015

Yemen Documentary

For those interested, check out the latest Frontline episode on Yemen. The director was also interviewed on Tuesday's (7 April) Democracy Now.


The situation in Yemen is a confusing mess but she does a decent job outlining what's happening. A lot more could be said, but it's PBS and they're only going to go so far in criticizing the American role in all of this.


If you're looking to get a basic understanding of the situation without having to do a bunch of reading, watching this documentary will go a long way.

Celebrating the Resurrection

I wish I could say this was a joke or that it was in any way something comedic. But alas I cannot.

05 April 2015

The European Perspective on the Western Narrative


The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream

by Jeremy Rifkin

copyright 2004 Tarcher/Penguin

While I do not doubt that some due to the present European situation would dismiss this book outright as already outdated and obsolete, I think that would be a mistake.


Denominational Dishonesty and Circularity

When Reformed people like what you write they refer to it as 'scholarly' and when they don't like your content, it's referred to as 'unprofessional' or a 'rant'. Well, I'm not interested in tickling Denominational ears. They can't hear anyone but themselves. Only their internal politics seem to concern them. Unlike many of them I have to work for a living and I don't have time to footnote everything I write, or spend hours on line engaged in dissecting the minutiae. I've attended many of their churches over the years and to their shame most of their congregations bask in ignorance while they fritter their time away splitting systematic hairs and argue over who really is being most faithful to the tradition. I washed my hands of them long ago. First and foremost it would seem that most of them are bureaucrats and that's how they think and operate.

I'm not writing to earn their respect or anyone's for that matter. I just write and if they are inclined to read it, fine. If not, I really couldn't care less.

But when they play fast and loose with the truth, when they distort history, politic the Kingdom and twist Scripture, I will call them on it, even if they're not listening. Maybe someone will hear.

 

For Sola Scriptura, it's a Bad Moon Rising

The moon is full tonight and it's the first one after the Spring Equinox...

It must be Easter. It's all right there in Ephesians 7, right?

The Lord's Supper proclaims his death till He comes (1 Cor 11.26)

Do you want to celebrate the Resurrected Christ? God has already given us a way to do so and the New Testament Church did it every time they met.

When you partake of the bread and wine, remember the promises of God and that Christ is even now seated at the right hand of the Father, the enthroned Davidic King (Acts 2). That's what the Resurrection means. Death is defeated, we are justified, but it also points to the promise that He's coming again! The Second Coming is but the completion of His work. His delay is His longsuffering. But the Kingdom is established and we are already part of it. We don't need anything but Christ. No traditions, no innovations.

It has nothing to do with a Church year, liturgical calendar and sunrise services, let alone Anglo-Saxon syncretism.

Easter crept in early, even before the Christ mass. There's nothing wrong with celebrating the Resurrection, but there is something wrong with keeping days and times and promoting innovations in the realm of worship. Keeping days is to bring yourself into bondage (Gal 4.9-10), and innovation is will worship and self-imposed religion (Col 2.20-23).

The Scriptures are sufficient. The answers are found there, not in traditions, even if they stir emotions and pack the people in.

04 April 2015

Memphis 1968

Early morning, April four
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride


Not exactly doctrinally correct but still a worthy reflection on a historical moment, a person who shook the corridors of power, and one who is indeed a hero to many.

I'm sure he knew he was making history but I wonder if he knew to what extent? King is another person that I'm sort of in awe of when I consider how much he had done before his death at 39. When you're a teenager or even in your twenties you don't realize how young that is. And then when you're in your forties, you marvel when you see the posture of conviction of many historical figures and how much they had on their shoulders while still so young.

Greatness is a term used by the world and one that we as Christians would view in somewhat different terms. Despite that it does in some sense apply even to figures like King, flaws and all.

More Internet Clutter

Recently I've encountered (more than once) a blog post reading:
Now blogging at Patheos

To which I respond:

Now, no longer reading your blog

01 April 2015

Lessons from the life of AW Pink

1 April is the anniversary of AW Pink's birth, so I thought I would re-post this piece from 2011. There's an updated version of the biography that I would like to pick up. Murray's bio tries to be fair but is still in many ways deficient. I used to venerate him as a historian but over the past decade I've come to really question that assessment. Nevertheless a good and worthwhile read.

Pink is a polarizing figure on several theological  fronts and I by no means agree with him on everything. I know some Reformed people are quite hostile to him. Since I wrote this piece in 2011 I picked up Banner's edition of his letters. Very interesting. Pink had a real pilgrim mindset and even though he was pretty solidly in the Reformed camp, he wasn't one to the toe the line or fully conform to the mindset of the tradition. He loved Scripture way too much to do that.

An interesting figure who lived during a unique time and led (in some ways) a very fascinating life.

http://proto-protestantism.blogspot.com/2011/04/arthur-pink.html

30 March 2015

A Book on the Legacy of Pat Robertson

The Most Dangerous Man in America? : Pat Robertson and the Rise of the Christian Coalition

by Robert Boston

Copyright 1996 Prometheus Books

This is written as an expose' and therefore will either be applauded or heavily criticised. No matter who reads it, the response tends to be strong.

In some ways the book being almost twenty years old is outdated. Robertson himself will before long disappear from the scene along with what remains of the first generation of Christian Right leaders.

27 March 2015

The Wasting of Colombia: Profiting from the War on Drugs While Destroying Integrity and Civilization

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js_2OkN1w8I

I was spending some time on the Drug War with my kids and made use of this video. I found it provided a good overview but it's really just the beginning. The War on Drugs has largely proved catastrophic for not just American society, but for many in Latin America as well. They've been plunged into violence, civil war and in some cases a reversion to feudalism under the sometimes celebrated drug lords and in other cases the aristocratic landowners.

25 March 2015

Ruining a Good Thing

The Internet desktop experience is being ruined by mobile devices and stupid gizmos. I do not like Google but I have to applaud them for their general simplicity.

Infinite Scrolling

Hover Menus and Hover Zoom Effect... in fact all hover features.

Re-designed Websites geared toward Mobile devices and Social Networking

Streaming locking up because of advertising breaks

I find these things to be maddening and there are an increasing number of websites that I'm deleting because I can't stand the experience anymore. It's all bells and whistles and miserable to try and navigate, let alone search for something. You can't focus because of all the pop-up and out rubbish. Forget it.

I guess it's just another example of how in a few short years something can quickly be ruined.

Television is much the same way. Looking back on the TV experience of the 1970's and 80's we never realized how good we had it! As I mentioned before I ditched television in 1995 and recently had it hooked up again so we could watch the 2014 Sochi games. I enjoyed the Olympics but had it turned off as soon as they were done. We had it all of three weeks. Apart from the moral issues, the whole television experience has been ruined. I'll stick to the online world but even many aspects of that are getting so frustrating, I'm utilizing it less and less.

The positive is... it continues to lead me to re-think my uses of time and how and what I let affect my mind.

2 Timothy 2.14-19

2 Timothy 2.14-19

22 March 2015

The Manufactured Reality of Ted Cruz and his Father

 
Wow, this guy knows absolutely nothing about Scripture or the God of Scripture. The Bible is just a book of power to him, a means of gain. The Covenant and Kingdom are concepts unknown to him. To apply the Mosaic Covenant to America is de-covenantalize Moses and Christ. It is an act of sacrilege. Was the Law for Edomites or Egyptians? The Mosaic Epoch was a Theocracy not a democratic republic. It cannot be replicated.

The US-Israeli Dynamic: The Concerns of a Worldwide Empire and the Aspirations of a Regional Hegemon

Margolis doesn't mince words in his latest commentary. It is amazing how despite the chaos resulting from the destruction of Iraq, despite the anti-Al Qaeda/anti- USA sentiments of the Arab Spring, as the dust starts to settle, it's still the USA and Israel dominating the Middle East. It's grown even more messy than usual but the masters have not been dethroned.

17 March 2015

Iranian Cinema

I know I've spoken of this in the past but it's worth revisiting. If you are interested in a truly edifying and moving cinematic experience, then look into the films of the Iranian Majid Majidi.


His films are beautiful and provocative and offer a window into a world few Westerners are familiar with.

15 March 2015

The Shapur Effect in Pakistan

Those who attack churches are murderers and enemies of Christ, even when they attack congregations that are not Biblical. They don't know the difference do they?

And yet, the United States and its false Church bear some responsibility. The West has agitated the region for centuries and the United States has been heavily involved in the region for the better part of fifty years. It plays enemies off against each other, uses them, throws them away, and then picks them up again when convenient.

14 March 2015

The Right Contemplates Crossing the Rubicon

Margolis offers accurate and astute commentary on the recent debacle with Netanyahu and the activities of the American Right. I thought the leader of Iran's comments were also correct in his labeling of the Right's actions as the sign of America's disintegration.


That's the only place it can go. The breakup of an Empire is always an ugly thing but it would be a glorious thing to see the heresy of Christian Americanism consigned to the flames. Heaven will rejoice.


One thing is clear, the Right cares nothing about the United States unless they can dominate it. Patriotism is idolatry and for Christians a form of theological harlotry but their version of it is even more twisted in that they literally hate and dismiss roughly half of the country. They only believe in the ideals of the country when they are in charge.


This will continue to escalate and at some point in the future will lead to violence. It may be closer than many realize. Dangerous lines are being crossed as the country edges toward Constitutional and existential crisis.


http://ericmargolis.com/2015/03/the-best-congress-money-can-buy/

12 March 2015

Extra-Scriptural Commitments Trumping the Text



This article represents a grave error to be avoided. While I can appreciate (in the larger article) the criticism of the Christian Right calling on the state to transform society, the author (and interviewee) still make the same fundamental error... that of Transformationalism.