Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Potemkin-style democracy

A lot of what goes on in government seems designed to give the appearance of democracy. Potemkin institutions and procedures put in place to give the veneer of choice, but not really.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nina Simone didn't get it -- or at least her interpreters don't

Nina Simone didn't get it -- or at least the people interpreting her. Let's go with the latter. I feel better not insulting a legend who was hip to so many issues.

"An artist's duty, as far as I am concerned, is to reflect the times."

The problem is people read in "being conscious" here. But not everybody is "woke" or wants to be, and our music and media reflects that, even from people who call themselves "artists."

Plus, "woke" is a relative term.

One can be "woke" to all kinds of things and dead to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for example, and his now-Kingship, his love, his mercy, his forgiveness, and the life-changing Holy Spirit which helps us walk in that love.

Bernie Sanders' disappointing pro-war record

Recall that over the 8 years of Clinton Time, Iraq was bombed an average of once every four days.
Even though Sanders markets himself as an “independent socialist,” in fact, he has rarely dissented against the Democratic Party orthodoxy, especially when it comes to military intervention. That should permanently settle the notion of whether Bernie is a real Democrat. With the blood of 500,000 Iraqi children on his hands, surely Sanders has already won the “Humanitarian Warrior Seal of Approval,” which leaves us with only one haunting question: Was it worth it, Senator Sanders?

Jeffrey St. Clair, Blood Traces: Bernie’s Iraq War Hypocrisy

J. Gresham Machen: The True Christian Church is 'Radically Ethical'

In the third place, a true Christian church will be radically will be ethical in the sense that it will cherish the hope of true goodness in the other world, and that even here and now it will exhibit the beginnings of a new life which is the gift of God.
That new life will express itself in love. Love will overflow, without questions, without calculation, to all men whether they be Christians or not; but it will be far too intense a passion ever to be satisfied with mere philanthropy. It will offer men simple benefits; it will never pass coldly by on the other side when a man is in bodily need. But it will never be content to satisfy men's bodily needs; it will never seek to make men content with creature comforts or with the coldness of a vague natural religion. Rather will it seek to bring all men everywhere, without exception, high and low, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, compatriot and alien, into the full warmth and joy of the household of faith.
J. Gresham Machen, "The Responsibility of the Church in Our New Age," found in Fighting the Good Fight: A Brief History of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church 

Friday, February 12, 2016

A comment on Th3 Saga vs. Chilla Jones

I'm listening to Th3 Saga battle Chilla Jones right now, and Th3 Saga and I wrote nearly the same Final Fantasy 7 line.

The same thing happened with Church Clothes 3: I wrote a similar Harriet Tubman line as Lecrae did on "Freedom." Same with Jackie Hill Perry on "Misconceptions Part 3."

And these are my 2 most recent poems.

Well, at least my pen is moving in the right direction.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Obama Proposes $0.24 Gas Tax Last Year in Office

What every American will be doing if this nonsense passes.
Per this press release from the Institute for Energy Research:

Obama Proposes a New Tax on Every American Driver

 WASHINGTON – Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement about the Obama administration’s plan to propose a $10/barrel tax on oil:

"The president is proposing a nearly 24 cent per gallon tax on the very energy source that keeps Americans and our economy moving. This is a tax on every American driver, and it would have the harshest impact on those who can least afford it. For a president who claims to care about helping the poor, he sure doesn't show it in his policies. Fortunately, this proposal is dead on arrival in Congress. However, the president is clearly trying to lay the groundwork for a future carbon tax.

"The administration is claiming the purpose of this tax is to raise revenue for some grand transportation plan, but it’s really about taxing the energy they don’t like to make President Obama’s favored energy sources and companies more profitable. The revenue generated from a new energy tax is peanuts compared to the revenue, jobs, wages, and economic activity that could be created by simply opening federal lands to energy development. Now that he has nothing to lose politically, the president is showing us his true stripes by trying to impose an energy tax on American families."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders

Ted Cruz vs. Bernie Sanders would be a nice showdown in November.

It would be the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate (Cruz) versus the furthest left Senator (Sanders). The American people would get a chance to vote for two diametrically opposed people -- not two sides of the same coin.

Ted Cruz would rhetorically smack Sanders down.

This is almost as good as Rand Paul vs. Bernie Sanders -- the match-up I hoped would transpire.

I'm still very concerned about Cruz's foreign policy, and the foreign policy advisers he may appoint in his cabinet, but on economic policy he is great....Ending the IRS...Ending the Department of Education...Sound Money...and more.

The opposite is the case for Sanders: I am cool with his foreign policy, but his economic policy is atrocious.

Honest thoughts on Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz looks undeniably good on paper, especially from a libertarian perspective.

He wants to shut down the IRS and 4 other federal agencies, all of which were created in the 20th century.

Ironically, I agree with a lot of his platform except for his foreign policy -- which is exactly what a lot of conservatives said about Ron Paul in 2012.

What concerns me the most is that he surrounds himself, or did surround himself, with the neocons.

As The New American reported in October 2015:
Recently, Infogram published brief but illuminating biographies of several of Cruz’s key foreign policy advisors. The information disclosed in these revelations could trouble many constitutionalists otherwise keen on the senator and who rely on him to restore the rule of law to the White House.
It goes on to mention Chad Sweet, Victoria Coates, James Woolsey, and Elliot Abrams (although I think that Abrams is no longer on the campaign, if he ever was; in fact, RedState called him a Rubio mentor), all of which have neocon bona fides. Daily Caller has a story saying Cruz consulted Abrams, but this doesn't mean he was on the campaign.

Abrams doesn't appear to be an adviser in any official capacity, or ever have been. But there is reporting that says Cruz has consulted him. Part of me believes he's a Rand Paul 2.0 just trying to ride the waves of whatever will gain him support.

This is journalism that stretches the facts.

My problem is this:  I know how the deep state works, or at least read about it, and I don't want him to be systematically presented with bad information. A former Reagan official recently wrote about the deep state:
"Many Americans regard the White House as the lair of a powerful being who can snap his fingers and make things happen. The fact of the matter is that presidents have little idea of what is transpiring in the vast cabinet departments and federal agencies that constitute “their” administration. 
Many parts of government are empires unto themselves. The “Deep State,” about which Mike Lofgren, formerly a senior member of the Congressional staff has written, is unaccountable to anyone. But even the accountable part of the government isn’t. For example, the information flows from the cabinet departments, such as defense, state, and treasury, are reported to Assistant Secretaries, who control the flow of information to the Secretaries, who inform the President. The civil service professionals can massage the information one way, the Assistant Secretaries another, and the Secretaries yet another. If the Secretaries report the information to the White House Chief of Staff, the information can be massaged yet again." ~Paul Craig Roberts || Presidential Crimes Then and Now
This is why the very presence of the neocons in a Cruz administration is so dangerous to liberty.

I'm not sure how many times Senator Paul can filibuster the commander-in-chief's foreign policy. Hopefully, the presence of the neocons awaken the sleeping Democrat Anti-war movement, which was really the anti-Bush war movement, as they've been quiet about Obama's illegal use of force. But maybe it's a dead movement, in which Cruz may have to resurrect it?

But other than that Ted Cruz, on paper, would probably be my #2 preference. I couldn't vote for him because of his carpet bombing comments.

WCF Chapter One "Of Holy Scripture" Sunday School (Sept.-Oct. 2021)

Our text for Sunday School (also "The Confession of Faith and Catechisms") Biblical Theology Bites What is "Biblical Theology...