24 June 2017

A Very Confused Marine

This is one of those stories that got a lot of traction in Evangelical circles but it's so fraught with problems it's difficult to know where to begin. I see little point in investing a great deal of time and energy in hashing out an extensive commentary but a few points are warranted.

19 June 2017

The Congressional Shooter: The Right's Ridiculous Response

I shouldn't have been surprised but I must confess I was taken aback by the recent comments and diatribes by Right-wing figures over the GOP baseball shooting in Alexandria VA. A Bernie Sanders supporter decided to go after congressional Republicans and he himself went down in a hail of gunfire after shooting several people including House Whip Steve Scalise.

18 June 2017

The DUP and Ulster's Christian Witness

With Theresa May's failed bid to secure a sold Parliamentary majority in the recent Snap election, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland has been the subject of a great deal of media attention. They are her 'ace in the hole', her means to retain power and avoid resignation and further elections in the near future.

17 June 2017

The Karzai Connection: Afghanistan, the CIA and Drugs

Some time ago I listened to this Fresh Air piece on NPR. It was interesting but also a little frustrating in that it represents what I consider typical Establishment journalism.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother to the more famous and now ex-Afghan president Hamid Karzai was involved in the drug trade and had connections to the CIA. He occasionally made it into the international news but was largely ignored except by those following the seemingly endless US occupation. His assassination in 2011 is really the only reason he's getting any attention now.

11 June 2017

Gülen's Compound: A Backcountry Exile... Conveniently Located

I must confess it was kind of exciting to sit in my car outside the gate of Gülen's compound in the Poconos. I was passing through and PA-33 actually facilitated my route. Coming out of southern New Jersey, I was working my way up to I-80. I pulled off in Saylorsburg and my wife turned to me and asked "Are you looking for that Turk?"
I couldn't suppress my grin. It's not a question I get asked every day.

09 June 2017

Trump and the Qatar Crisis

While receiving some press coverage, the growing Qatar Crisis is worthy of larger consideration. Standard commentaries on the Middle East rightly identify the ongoing struggle between the Saudi's and Islamic Republic of Iran. Sometimes it's even referred to as the Middle Eastern Cold War. This is a multifaceted struggle over the leadership of Islam, Sunni vs. Shiite, Arab vs. Persian and it also represents an aspect of a larger proxy struggle between the great powers.

07 June 2017

The West and Trump +138

Reflections on the Trump Era (Late Spring 2017)
It's difficult to assess the Trump administration thus far. Its chaotic nature and moment by moment shifts in action, narrative and presentation have created an air of bedlam and disarray. While sometimes unintentional, a strong case can be made that in many cases this is a deliberate tactic.

06 June 2017

Evangelical Testimony in the Islamic Republic of Iran

I've been following a story which broke at the end of last year about the Assemblies of God in Iran. They were accused by Tehran of being collaborators with the American CIA. As a consequence they've had some property seized.

30 May 2017

Comey and Conservative Theological Liberalism

It is not my intention here to comment on the Comey-Trump scandal and all that goes with it. I hope to write something about these early days of Trump in the near future.
I found this article interesting because awhile ago I picked up on the Comey connection to religious education and the fact that he had been a Sunday School teacher in a United Methodist Church.
Suddenly this Niebuhr-related article tied it all together. His place in the grand order of things suddenly made sense.

27 May 2017

Air Force One: Hollywood Lies and Regime Propaganda

Even though the movie came out some twenty years ago, I had never seen it before. It was pretty much what I expected but actually the more I brooded on it, I became angry.
Many will remember the angst of the 1990's as the US and its entertainment industry sought new enemies. The fall of the USSR had eliminated the old stand-by 'bad guy'. The Serbs just couldn't quite fulfill that role.

25 May 2017

Asian Perspectives: South Korea's Generational Shift and the Life Ethic of China's Underground

This article was interesting if spiritually speaking a little disappointing. Christianity in South Korea is complex as its somewhat brief history. On the one hand it's good to see some questioning the 'conservative' political bent and the corruption inherent within the Mega-Church model and yet like so many reactions in American culture... the response can sometimes be just as bad.

23 May 2017

21 May 2017

Rouhani and Trump

I caught a few minutes of Trump's Saudi Arabia speech this morning and I thought it unfortunate. By lambasting Iran he (consciously or not) places Rouhani in a difficult situation.

18 May 2017

Fatima Veneration as Adiaphora: John Paul II and Evangelicals

John Paul II took up the office of Pope during the waning years of the Cold War. As the Christian Right sought to expand its political and cultural influence they found common cause with the Polish Pope who seemed to stand for conservative cultural values and was an ally in the war against the Soviets and Communism.
In other words, John Paul II was a bridge between the Evangelical and Roman Catholic worlds.

15 May 2017

DeMint and Heritage

If Heritage is indeed going to be 'torn apart' by this 'coup' against PCA member Jim DeMint, then I say tear away.
Heritage has been a force for evil, virtually writing the policy of the Reagan, Bush II and now Trump administrations. This 'think-tank' and its operatives have helped to implement policies of economic exploitation and warmongering. From Latin America to Africa and Asia, it was Heritage and the people within its orbit that helped unleash a stream of violent paramilitary and terrorist actions that still reverberate across the world.
Politics over research? Research? Propaganda is more like it. Heritage has churned out an endless stream of statistical manipulations, revisionist history and outright lies. Heritage has never been one to do research with an objective aim. The bias is built in. This is the nature of think-tanks. They're not to be trusted.

The EU's Sham Concerns for Religious Freedom

These sorts of initiatives cannot but make one groan. It is but another case of blind bureaucrats addressing issues far beyond their ken. The EU is actually quite hostile to religious minorities nor do its leaders grasp what religious life is. The growing hostility to homeschooling in Germany and Scandinavia are prime examples of this. You can attend worship services, though increasingly what you say in them is under scrutiny but the idea that you would live out your faith is... increasingly verboten.

11 May 2017

Police Protection for the Church: Evangelicals, America and Guns

A Church, a Church-affiliated campus, with a police force? Why the controversy?
This move by an Alabama PCA is hardly surprising and will even be praised by many. Not a few Evangelicals are confused as to why this would even be an issue. It's normal for colleges and universities to have police forces, so what's the big deal? Why are people so bothered by this?

The United Methodist Church is Apostate

I continue to encounter United Methodists who pretend their domination is still somehow 'conservative' or has the possibility of being steered back in that direction. Just because the denomination hasn't officially endorsed homosexuality (even though it really has) doesn't mean that they don't accept it. The same is true for most Evangelicals. Even though they continue to largely reject homosexual conduct in accepting homosexuality as a valid 'orientation' they have already lost the argument.

05 May 2017

Suu Kyi: An Inspirational Let-Down

Ang San Suu Kyi inspired a generation of human rights activists through her long struggle with the ruling junta of Myanmar/Burma. Suffering years of house arrest, all but abandoning her family for the sake of the cause, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991 and seemed in recent years to be finally vindicated. Freed from arrest she now sits in a position of political power.

01 May 2017

Erdogan's Byzantine Tactics

Turkey continues to move away from the West. While still ostensibly a member of NATO it is clear the EU accession project is now dead. In many ways Ankara is moving toward the Moscow orbit, itself a great coup in terms of modern geopolitics.

29 April 2017

The Plight of Christians in Laos

This is a heartbreaking story but one that we need to hear and follow. There is perhaps another story here... a growing nationalist/Sacralist tendency within Theravada Buddhism. We've already seen it in Sri Lanka but it's definitely on the rise in places like Burma, Thailand and indeed Laos.

27 April 2017

Americans Cashing In: Uganda's For Profit Schools

I've heard quite a few Christians advocate this model for the United States. They believe that if parents had some investment in their children's schooling they would be more pro-active in managing their conduct and making sure they take time to study etc.

24 April 2017

Bulgaria: Parliamentary Coalitions and Potential Dangers

This is the means by which some of the Far-Right and fringe parties are able to enter government. Under the parliamentary system (which I still think is better than the US model) a party who wins the election without a clear majority must form a coalition government.

20 April 2017

Violence in Context

Prashad is always interesting. I was first introduced to him on Democracy Now! I find his writings scattered here and there and he's always worth a read.
While certainly not a Christian, he is nevertheless insightful. This piece exposes the dual logic and ethics at work in how violence is perceived in the West.

19 April 2017

Theresa May's Gamble

I must say Theresa May has left everyone a bit shocked and there's a scramble on the part of pundits and commentators in attempting to interpret her actions.
Obviously frustrated, May wants to strengthen her hand which at the moment is hindered by divisions within the UK political Establishment. The Brexit negotiations are proving very complicated and difficult. The attempt to form an even closer alliance with Washington has proven dubious and has not strengthened London's hand when it comes to dealings with the Continent.

16 April 2017

Spanish Evangelicals and Reformation Reflections

I'm afraid this article coming out of Spain is just more rubbish from some of the Lausanne-affiliated groups.
They misrepresent Luther and his focus on the Gospel. It's a stunt but one that will get them some media attention in this anniversary year.

11 April 2017

Bucer's Magisterial Reformation: The Social Gospel of Sacralism

https://calvinistinternational.com/2016/11/28/bucer-civil-education/

When one hears about educators, educational reform and the push for compulsory universal public education one might be tempted to think about the Progressive Era or in Christian circles the advocates of Social Gospel.

And yet this impulse while tempered, to some degree secularised and certainly affected by the age of industry was no novelty. The idea of compulsion and a push toward an engineered uniform society is as old as Babel. The Reformation is often touted and celebrated as the foundation of modern Western Civilisation, the genesis of human rights and modern representative democracy, its reality and legacy are in fact more complicated.

07 April 2017

The Watchtower Society versus Orthodox Sacralism

I've said it before and it saddens me, but the Watchtower Society has more of the type of testimony the Church should have. Pressure is growing on them in Russia but for the right reasons. They're feeling the beginnings of persecution for their doctrinal witness and life... not because they're connected to Western values and the agendas of Washington and Wall Street.
They are hated because they reject nationalism, they refuse to be involved in civics and the military and they raise their children to be 'other' than that which the increasingly Sacralist Russian state would want them to be.

03 April 2017

Vault 7 and the Deep State

The Nozomi Hayase piece on Wikileaks Vault 7 is the article I've been looking for. Since the leak, the story has of course permeated the media but it has often been shrouded in confusion and politicisation. The Hayase article does a good job summarizing the leaks and providing analysis of the issues.

02 April 2017

Musings on the Nobel Prize and Selling Out

It was a big news story and something of a shocker. Bob Dylan receives the Nobel Prize for Literature? While at first the Nobel committee was surprised and insulted by Bob Dylan's silence he came around... sort of.

30 March 2017

The Musings of Mutti Merkel

The Trump Administration is making Europe nervous, even frantic but it is also opening doors. From a European military force to a new Brussels and Berlin defined IMF, to new autonomy in trade, the instability is laying great weight on Merkel... but at the same time she's more powerful than ever.

The Heritage Howse of Cards

Brannon Howse runs a popular 'discernment ministry'. Of course the only discernment one requires is to determine that he's something of a charlatan.
I stumbled on his worldview survey and from the get-go I knew what it was. It was a scam. It's the same kind of survey that The Heritage Foundation sends out. The questions are completely rigged.

27 March 2017

Soros, Orban and the Struggle for Hungary

George Soros is demonised by many in the alternative media, but especially in the Right and Alt-right sectors. Viewed as a liberal globalist they consider him to be a 'Dark Lord' type figure working behind the scenes to manipulate world events.

19 March 2017

Dirty Oil Deals and The Italian Connection

This is a link to a remarkable if incomplete story regarding oil corruption and money laundering. What is of particular import is that it points to the overlap between the corporate and finance sectors and strategic interests.  

Dominionist Scripture Twisting on Display

This article authored by a PCA pastor completely misrepresents the position of Two-Kingdom advocates, especially those within his own Reformed circles. Most of the Two Kingdom advocates in Reformed circles are actually Kuyperians and his criticisms are invalid. He falls into the classic straw-man argument, projecting 'dualism' on to people who aren't dualists. He accuses Two Kingdom theology of a world-abandonment mindset that no one actually advocates.

17 March 2017

Condor Convictions

Operation Condor was a project of cooperation between various Right-wing Latin American governments. They collaborated in the sharing of intelligence and a commitment to destroy Left-wing movements. This included kidnappings, assassination, torture, terror and secret prisons. Spanning the 1970s and 1980s the Condor legacy resulted in the deaths of thousands and the traumatising of whole societies. Even US apologists will admit that Washington knew about it and yet the evidence suggests that not only was the United States in the know, it was managing the project, funding it, as well as arming and training the death squads.

The Mainstreaming of Sodom

Obviously this is little more than the culmination of a long-standing trend within our culture. What is sometimes most disturbing to me is that I look at my children's generation and realise they're growing up in a time when this sort of thing is becoming normative.

15 March 2017

Neo-Nazis and the German Intelligence Services

The nebulous Nazi connection lives on or so it would seem. Even this Guardian article openly admits the connections between the American formed post-war German intelligence services and ex-Nazis. The question is, as Neo-Nazi groups have acted and continue to act (often with impunity) are they being facilitated by the state intelligence apparatus? It would seem so.

12 March 2017

Max Boot has joined the CIA

Boot recently produced an article entitled Wikileaks has joined the Trump administration at Foreign Policy, the largely Neo-conservative magazine founded by Samuel Huntington of Clash of Civilisations fame.

Tolkien Cosmology Update

I recently updated The Cosmology of Tolkien on The Pilgrim Path/Proto-Protestantism website. The link is here if anyone is interested, followed by the additions I made.

11 March 2017

The Latin American Pseudo-Left Revolutions and the American Backlash

The Bush years afforded a rise of a new Latin American Left. From Argentina, to Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and even some of the nations in Central America, the people reacted to over a century of US imperialism and voted in governments that were openly hostile to American interests. It was a New Leftist Revolution, or was it?

10 March 2017

Brave Christians on the Tumen Frontier

There's an ongoing, heroic and very moving story that's been taking place in North Korea and in China's nearby region of Manchuria. It's a story of missionaries, refugees and an underground railroad. It's often a sad and very cruel story and yet there are some real shining lights, people who are labouring as Christians to reach out to escapees and in some cases help them embark on the long road to a new life in South Korea.

09 March 2017

The Intercept: The Good, Bad and Ugly

It's hard to deny The Intercept is an exciting online magazine. Launched in 2014, it came on the scene in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill were the big names associated with its launch. Poitras has since departed to focus on her film-making.
Since its start the magazine has put together an impressive team of journalists and they literally churn out articles and analysis. The website has become a wealth of information and due to their high-profile in the alternative media world they are getting a lot of tips and leaks which facilitate their reporting. 

Economic Warfare and the US Justice Department

There are so many stories like this floating around if you go looking. The US is waging a war against companies that do business in places and with people not liked by the Washington Establishment.

06 March 2017

Croatian Proxies and the Balkan Strategy

The article proclaims the Croatians ignored well-founded concerns the arms they sold to Saudi Arabia would end up in Syria.
These concerns weren't ignored. This was the whole point.

Greece, NATO and Moscow

Greece has often been one of the most volatile members within the NATO alliance. Under the Karamanlis government which came to power in 1974 after the US-backed Junta of Colonels was ousted, Greece left the military structure of NATO and did not return until the 1980s. And even then under Andreas Papandreou the relationship was less than brilliant.

04 March 2017

Deutsche Welle (DW): Turkish Intelligence (MIT) Hunting Down Dissidents in Turkey... but there's more to the story

The Turkish intelligence agency, the MIT is hunting down Kurdish dissidents affiliated with the PKK, Gülenists and others beyond its borders. Germany with it large Turkish population, which includes numerous Kurds is the special focus of the operation. Germany was a nation without colonies and thus when it looked for cheap labour, it couldn't import Africans, Indians or other Asians. Instead a deal was cut.

Proxy Espionage and Empire

This article fails to connect its own dots. Der Spiegel has already reported on US dominance of the German intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). In light of that we must ask, why is the BND spying on foreign journalists?

01 March 2017

The Pull of the CIA: Italy Capitulates

I've been following this story, especially as it has been in the news the past few days. How frustrated the Italian prosecutors and investigators must be. They've laboured to bring this to trial, to hold someone accountable for what was done within their borders, in violation of their nation's sovereignty. They're trying to demonstrate that America cannot act with impunity.

Carlson on Capitalism

LPR's Issues Etc. usually frustrates me but this segment was a pleasant surprise, although I'm not sure if the host or most of the audience was equally enthused.

26 February 2017

The Trump Liturgy

This was passed to me recently. I think it's starting to generate some attention.
I don't have a lot to say about this Washington Post article but I think readers will find it interesting. I suppose one of the reasons is due to the fact that this Nazarene pastor, while thoroughly patriotic and supportive of Christian America... all the things I'm not.... still has enough, what shall we say... sanctified common sense?... to realise something is very wrong.

24 February 2017

Buried Secrets of the Balkan Wars

Not a few will be watching these Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) trials for clues and indications of US Deep State involvement. Numerous military contractors as well as indication of intelligence services involvement have been identified as working within Croatia and Kosovo before and during the 1995 and 1999 wars that were the death of Yugoslavia.

Balkan Tensions: A Generation After the Wars of the 1990's

This story points to two realities. One the situation in the Balkans has never fully been resolved. The tensions still exist and with Brussels' hand growing weak, NATO is attempting to step in and fill the gap. The NATO diplomatic intervention indicates something of a brewing crisis. With the exception of Slovenia and Croatia, the countries of Former Yugoslavia have not joined the EU and so it represents this pocket within Europe wherein Brussels cannot wield full control and has limited influence.

22 February 2017

Right-wing Femininity and Leadership

The Right-wing and Populist proclivity toward Romantic-style feminine figures continues with Nye Borgerlige the latest party to form in Denmark. From Yulia Tymoshenko's nationalist hair-style to the rather dishy M5S mayor of Rome, to the host of American Right-wing Sarah Palin-esque sleeveless short-skirters and even to some degree Marine LePen, the tendency to look to these ultra-feminine matronly/desire figures continues.

21 February 2017

John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Politicised Integrity and Delusion

Trump's team is definitely in disarray and yet it seems to me that in the past if someone spoke this way about a president they would be severely criticised.
If they spoke this way overseas to a foreign audience their allegiance would be called into question. McCain has always been part of the faction that makes such accusations.

19 February 2017

Religious Symbols in Austria

It is noteworthy to consider how the European Right focuses less on a specific Christian narrative and instead casts Christianity in terms of the overall Western 'intellectual' heritage. The Christianity they wish to preserve is the synthesis that occurred in the 18th and 19th century when orthodox forms of Latin Christianity (both Roman and Protestant) underwent a transformation and were blended with Enlightenment epistemology and ultimately classically Liberal values.

Trump: Netanyahu's Dream and Nightmare

This Ynet op-ed spells out the realities and difficulties of a Likud government operating in parallel to the Trump administration.
On the one hand, it's their dream come true. They finally have a US president that has effectively given them a blank check. Not only is there agreement when it comes to policy, there are actual personal relationships.

17 February 2017

Trying to Keep Focused in a Spinning World

Steel Mills, Fighter Jets, Leaks and Fake News
This isn't about keeping our eyes on Christ amid a world that seems bent on chaos. That goes without saying.
I'm talking about what's happening on the street.

Military Accounting Tricks and The Eastern Front

Notice the game being played. The troops aren't supposed to be there on a permanent basis so they get around it by rotating the troops every six months.
The US does this all the time. They'll list a base as having say... 500 personnel but then they might have 2000 more there on a more-or-less permanent basis but can avoid the designation by having them on a rotation. It's an accounting trick.

Polakow-Suransky Provides Background on Europe's Far Right

Polakow-Suransky offers a succinct but reasonably thorough narrative and analysis of the rise of the Far Right in Europe.

14 February 2017

NATO's Test: The Montenegro Flash Point

Once again the Trump administration has indicated that it is not going to follow a pro-Russia line. Pushing for NATO to expand into Montenegro represents yet another hostile move by the US-dominated alliance. Montenegro is part of the Orthodox-Slavic orbit that has historically been allied to and dependent upon Moscow.

13 February 2017

12 February 2017

The Korean Peninsula: Stealth Ships and Military Exercises

The tensions continue to escalate. The statements issued by the Trump White House have only added to already existing tensions that have been brewing since Obama's announced 'Pivot' in 2011.

10 February 2017

THAAD in South Korea

Once again, the West portrays this as the US making a prudent move to 'block' Pyongyang. While there are legitimate fears when it comes to North Korea, the missile system placement is as much about Beijing and Moscow... and they know it.

Both China and Russia are being slowly encircled.

08 February 2017

07 February 2017

Dominionism Infecting Romania's Evangelicals

Romanian Evangelical leader and aspiring political player Adrian Petrice claims he isn't looking for a theocracy or seeking political control but he's using all the language and concepts found in Dominion Theology. It's obvious that he has picked up these concepts from Western Evangelical influence.

Italian Cyberspies: Who are they working for?

That has yet to be revealed but there are some rather intriguing angles to the story. The Italian authorities were aided by the FBI but they also traced servers to the United States. Guilio Occhionero founded a financial advisory firm which certainly looks like a classic front company.

The story cannot be told as of now but it bears watching.

05 February 2017

Moral Equivalency: Probably Trump's Greatest Sin Yet

Trump shocked both his detractors and supporters when he admitted to FOX news spinmaster Bill O'Reilly that Putin was a 'killer' but that the United States was guilty of the same and something less than innocent.
O'Reilly was clearly dumbfounded and tried to suggest that no American political leaders are killers.
Trump wouldn't back down and he was right.
This is the most honest thing he's said yet.

NPR and the Establishment Line: Fetid Narratives on Laos and Russia

NPR's interview programme Fresh Air is something of a mixed bag. At times it's very interesting. The interviews and guests are informative and I've benefitted and enjoyed listening to many episodes. For me, this is generally true when it comes to domestic social and political issues. The show also provides a great deal of time to pop culture figures which are not usually of interest to someone like me. Altogether I listen to maybe a third of the shows.

04 February 2017

02 February 2017

The Gospel and the Proxy War in Yemen

http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2223/Yemen_Faith_is_flourishing_in_the_midst_of_war

I found this article to be both moving and inspiring as I considered the plight of the suffering Church in Yemen. The fact that out of the suffering and bloodshed of the US-backed Saudi campaign (which has all but destroyed their society), a Church is being built, testifies to the grace and glory of God.

Süddeutsche Zeitung and Stratfor: Poroshenko and the Escalation in Eastern Ukraine

For the most part the Western Media continues to insist that Russia, emboldened by the new Trump administration rapprochement with Moscow has ordered the Kremlin-backed Separatists to re-ignite the Donbass conflict.
A different take is to be found in the Süddeutsche Zeitung which reports that Berlin is blaming Kiev for the escalation.

29 January 2017

Re-Alignments Underway: The Brexit and Trump Effect

Theresa May after visiting Donald Trump and solidifying 'The Special Relationship' has flown to Turkey to meet with president Erdogan. They immediately cut a £100 million deal for fighter jet development.

The NSC Shake-Up and Shockwaves Across Washington

At the end of World War II the United States created the National Security Council or NSC as a means to re-organise the nature of the American war machine and national defense. The nuclear age and the era of total war had changed the nature of 'defense'.
Standing armies and a techno-industrial sector were now essential to the way in which modern war would be fought and power maintained. The Military-Industrial Complex was in the process of being created and through the NSC (it could be argued) it would now have a place at the table. The council ostensibly headed or guided by the National Security Advisor consists of top cabinet officials and is also staffed by various appointees who usually come from the military-industrial and academic establishments. This ruling mechanism operates largely outside of congressional oversight or accountability.

28 January 2017

Indian Cotton and Farmer Suicides

Some will stumble because this link is to a documentary produced by RT. But if you can get past that, there's some helpful information and certainly some contextualisation with regard to GMO cotton and its place in contemporary India.


No doubt at this point many have heard about the thousands of farmers committing suicide. While this phenomenon antedates the Modi administration, his market friendly policies if anything are exacerbating the problem. It's a controversial issue and a great deal of ink is spilled arguing over statistics and causes.

27 January 2017

The Economist: Right Wing Movements and Medievalism

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/01/medieval-memes

This tendency to romanticise and even glorify the Middle Ages was already at work within the Christian Right during the 1990s and certainly received a boost in the climate created by the 9/11 attacks.

26 January 2017

Revertere ad Tenebras: The Black Sites are Reborn

I have never been remotely convinced that all of these sites are actually closed. Considering that Obama and various figures within his administration have been caught repeatedly telling absolute lies and did all they could to hide and obfuscate regarding their various illegal programmes... why should we believe that these practices weren't reinstated?

20 January 2017

Varieties of Christian America

http://michaeljkruger.com/taking-back-christianese-7-america-is-a-christian-nation/

While I cannot fully agree with all his conclusions, Kruger is certainly on the right track and once again displays considerable wisdom in how he addresses the issue. He gets the answer right even if he's unwilling to put it as strongly as I would. In the final analysis, America is not a Christian nation.

Health Insurance: Risk or Access?

As it would seem Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as ObamaCare is under attack and faces repeal, I've noticed a certain way of speaking is starting to crop up once again.

Insurance is being referred to as a question of calculated risk and this definition is being used to discredit concepts like comprehensive coverage and even the idea of access.

And yet it must be remembered that the latter is actually the key issue. For the working class and the poor, health insurance is not a question of calculated risk. This is how the upper class and some of the middle class approach the question.

17 January 2017

Obama's Gesture and Bradley Manning

Obama's commutation of Bradley Manning's prison sentence will probably be the one gesture that is genuinely appreciated by the Left, not the DNC-style Left, but the actual Left that has been mostly opposed to Obama and his many betrayals. Obama the president that has more than any other crushed whistleblowers, leakers and investigative journalists, the president who has empowered the NSA and accentuated the domestic spying apparatus, has in his final hours shown a degree of magnanimity.

16 January 2017

Christopher Steele, the US Deep State, the UNSG and Bulgaria

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/the-uk-spy-behind-trumps-kompromat-also-investigated-eus-georgieva/

Anyone following international news in the latter half of 2016 would have known something about the disturbance with regard to the selection of a new UN General Secretary. At the time Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva was in the running and yet it was a candidacy born in controversy as Sophia had switched gears and disavowed a former candidate due to perceived controversies.

11 January 2017

Slovakia: Right-Wing Paramilitaries and the EU

https://apnews.com/cd66f0f8a51b416b93460e37368b42f7

America has been dealing with such paramilitary movements since at least the 1990s but it's startling to see them beginning to appear in Europe as well. Needless to say Europe's history with such groups cannot help but remind one of the Fascist era.

08 January 2017

Franklin Graham and Trump's List of Heretics

http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2017/01/religious-wild-cards

Some Evangelicals will be disappointed by Franklin Graham but after spending twenty years learning that Billy Graham (and by extension Franklin) doesn't represent what I was raised to think he did... nothing surprises me anymore.

07 January 2017

Michael Horton on Trump, Paula White and the Prosperity Gospel

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/01/03/evangelicals-should-be-deeply-troubled-by-donald-trumps-attempt-to-mainstream-heresy/?utm_term=.387655a782a6

I must say I was surprised to find this in the Washington Post. As I've made clear in recent posts on both websites as a Two-Kingdom adherent I take exception to the Westminster California variety of Two Kingdom theology of which Horton is a part if not a representative. That said, there is much they stand for and express that is to be appreciated.

Horton presents a helpful summary and analysis of Trump, White and the context of Christian theology and values that have led these people to the 2017 presidential inauguration.

A Vision of China's Future Crisis

This is a link to a somewhat heartbreaking 25 minute video about the children in China that are left behind in the villages while their parents go off to the city for work.


The United States has been in the process of destroying the family and thus the foundation of the social fabric for more than fifty years. China has unintentionally embarked on the same project since the 1980s and yet with far greater zeal. In both the United States and China, the quest for money has played no small part in this unintended consequence and China has yet to really reckon with the fruit of this awful and immoral mistake.

03 January 2017

India's Coal Monopoly

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-coal-modi-idUSKBN13Q45W?il=0

It is important to understand that while breaking up monopolies is perceived as anti-market and an imposition of the regulatory state, it can just as easily prove a boon to the corporate Establishment.

Breaking up a nationalised public-private monopoly is a means of extending privatisation. Union contracts are negated and can be dismantled. It's yet another application of divide and conquer.

01 January 2017

The Church in Central Asia: Caught in the Middle of Islamic Struggle

http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2106/The_Secret_church_in_Central_Asia

While the 1990s brought an era of cultural libertarianism and market economics, the sudden onslaught of Capitalism, its values and effects, led to a degree of social reaction.

One unforeseen aspect of the collapse of the USSR for Central Asia was a revival of Islam, and this was in no small part affected by the jihadist fervour just to the south of the Soviet border. Though the Afghan War ended for the United States in 1989, it did not end for Central Asia. The United States had funded numerous groups, some of which agitated even within the borders of the USSR, something largely forgotten today. The spread of Salafi, Deobandi and Wahhabi forms of Islam greatly affected the region and there was something of a revivalist spirit in the air.