J. S. Bach, The Fifth Evangelist

Robin Phillips at Salvo Mag writes about the profound influence of the composer who has been called the Fifth Evangelist:

“In April 2009, British atheist A.N. Wilson shocked the world by announcing that he was returning to the Christian faith. When asked later in an interview what was the worst thing about being faithless, the writer and newspaper columnist replied:

When I thought I was an atheist I would listen to the music of Bach and realize that his perception of life was deeper, wiser, more rounded than my own. . . . The Resurrection, which proclaims that matter and spirit are mysteriously conjoined, is the ultimate key to who we are. It confronts us with an extraordinarily haunting story. J. S. Bach believed the story, and set it to music.

Johann_Sebastian_BachA.N.Wilson is not alone.

In his Introduction to the book Does God Exist? Peter Kreeft noted that he personally knows three ex-atheists who were swayed by the argument, “There is the music of Bach, therefore there must be a God.” Of these, Kreeft informed his readers, two are now philosophy professors and one is a monk.

Even the God-hater Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), upon hearing a performance of the St. Matthew Passion, was compelled to admit that “one who has completely forgotten Christianity truly hears it here as gospel.”

In Japan today, tens of thousands of a people who were once fiercely anti-Christian have been converted to Christianity by listening to the music of J. S. Bach, writes George Weigel:

“A famous scientist of secular persuasion once proposed that, if humanity wanted to put its best foot forward in trying to communicate with extraterrestrial life, we ought to broadcast all of Bach to the far corners of the universe. A bit closer to home, the man whom Swedish Lutheran archbishop Nathan Soederblom once called the “fifth evangelist” is having a remarkable impact on the new evangelization in a surprising place: Johann Sebastian Bach has begun to convert members of the traditionally anti-Christian Japanese elite to Christ.

Classical music fans sensed that something intriguing was afoot when a series of exceptionally high-quality CDs by an ensemble called the “Bach Collegium Japan” began to appear in the stores a few years ago. Under the direction of its founder, Maasaki Suzuki, the Bach Collegium is recording every one of the master’s cantatas. But why on earth would a Japanese choir be doing Bach’s religious works?

Writing in First Things, Uwe Siemon-Netto explores the religious sociology of the intense Japanese demand for Bach. Maasaki Suzuki thinks it’s due to his country’s demonstrable spiritual crisis. Its traditional religions, Shinto and Buddhism, have lost their credibility. Palm readers and pornography are flourishing, and suicides are on the rise. Sixty percent of the country tells pollsters that they feel “afraid” every day.

“What people need in this situation is hope in the Christian sense of the word,” says Maasaki Suzuki, “but hope is an alien idea” in Japan. The Japanese language doesn’t have a word for hope in the biblical sense: there is one word for desire and another for the unattainable, but no equivalent of “hope,” the theological virtue. According to Maestro Suzuki, non-Christians crowd his podium after Bach Collegium performances to talk about any number of taboo subjects in Japanese society, like death. “And then,” says Suzuki, “they inevitably ask me to explain to them what ‘hope’ means to Christians.”

Suzuki, a Christian convert and member of the Reformed Church, evangelizes his Collegium members, teaching them Scripture during rehearsals. He can’t say precisely how many of his musicians or how many in their growing audience have become Christians. But he is convinced that tens of thousands of Japanese have been baptized because of Bach.”

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This may not be as surprising as it sounds, for the man whom many consider to be the greatest artistic genius who ever lived was well-versed in theology and Bible studies.

Mark Galli at Christianity Today.com (July 28, 2000) writes:

“When he was 48, Johann Sebastian Bach (who died 250 years ago today) acquired a copy of Luther’s three-volume translation of the Bible.

(Lila: This so-called “Bach Bible” was actually a massive six-volume, three-folio 17th-century version with translation and commentary by Luther, as well as by the orthodox Lutheran theologian, Abraham Calov or Calovius).

He(Bach) pored over it as if it were a long-lost treasure. He underlined passages, corrected errors in the text and commentary, inserted missing words, and made notes in the margins.

Near 1 Chronicles 25 (a listing of Davidic musicians) he wrote, “This chapter is the true foundation of all God-pleasing music.” At 2 Chronicles 5:13 (which speaks of temple musicians praising God), he noted, “At a reverent performance of music, God is always at hand with his gracious presence.

As one scholar put it, Bach the musician was indeed “a Christian who lived with the Bible.” Besides being the baroque era’s greatest organist and composer, and one of the most productive geniuses in the history of Western music, Bach was also a theologian who just happened to work with a keyboard.”

But theology only informed a life that embodied the Gospel practically.

Despite a fierce temper that led him into conflict with his superiors and resignation from his job (once, when an unworthy individual was elevated above him),  Bach was a devout man who fulfilled his family and social obligations in difficult circumstances and served his fellow-man with a humility rare, indeed unique, among men of his gigantic abilities and volatile temperament.

Christians.com:

Bach said, “Music’s only purpose should be the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit”…….

Bach’s own life was in complete accord with his beliefs.

Though he possessed a musical genius found perhaps once in a century, he chose to live an obscure life as a church musician. Only once in his 65 years did he actually take a job where his brilliance might bring him to the world’s notice. For a while, he worked as Kapellmeister of the court of Prince Leopold. But such surroundings were a distraction to him. He soon left to accept a lowly position as cantor at a church in Leipzig, where he would again be cloistered in his unacclaimed but beloved world of church music.”

This unimpeachable testimony of the spiritual power of Bach’s music is made even more impressive when one realizes that Bach’s “evangelism” took place during the dawn of the Enlightenment, when deists like Voltaire were denouncing the church and its dogmas as “infamy” and when Christian belief was struggling not just against the corruptions of the Roman papacy and  newly formed Jesuit Counter-Reformation but against the zealous errors of the Reformation itself – with Pietism, on one hand, with its excessive emphasis on both emotion and austerity (downplaying the use of music in the service) and Rationalism on the  other, with its “higher criticism” of the Bible and its excessive emphasis on the unaided intellect.

Bach, by contrast, grounded his theology on the rock of Lutheran orthodoxy:

1. The Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God;

2.  The Redemption of Christ – Salvation from the Death Penalty of the Law – as the central message of the Bible;

3. And the primacy of the Word (and the hearing of the Word) over every moral or intellectual effort (“works”).

Despite the emotional depth of his music (that suggests Pietism) and his fascination with numbers (that suggests a kind of Rationalist leaning), Bach was firmly Orthodox.

Man was not brought to salvation by his good deeds, spiritual struggles, or inner emotions (as the Pietists  believed).

Those were “Works,” not Faith.

Neither were men brought to salvation by reason, understanding, and intellectual argument (as the Rationalists believed).

Instead they came by faith, through hearing the Word of God.

It was Christ’s work, not a man’s,  if he came to faith .

The centrality of the Word to faith made true doctrine the core of Lutheran orthodoxy.

Thus, Romans 10-17:

“Thus faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

But this “hearing” is not the outward hearing of the ear. It is the inward hearing of the heart.

The Gospel Does Not Teach Masochism

The website Non-violence.org offers a much needed corrective to the common misunderstanding of the Gospel teachings as pathological submissiveness.

If Jesus had wanted us to actively incur more abuse when he suggested that we “turn the other cheek” (a saying that is itself close to a text in Isaiah), why did he himself over-turn tables in the Temple and drive people out with a whip (!), call the leaders of his days “vipers, and “devils,” and seek to hide from his enemies until the appointed time of his crucifixion?

Misreading the poetic hyperbole that characterizes the Gospel  teachings on ethics by  our own dull-witted literalism we turn Jesus into a counselor of masochism, when he was actually teaching the power of the divine spirit working through us to overcome even the most difficult physical circumstances.

Non-violence.org:

“I thought it would be fun to offer a little clarification on what is arguably the most misused and abused reference to Nonviolence – Jesus’ teaching to “turn the other cheek.” Pick a politician (Christian or not), pick a self-proclaimed revolutionary, pick even a weekend activist and you’ve probably heard them say something like, “I’m all for peace and Nonviolence, but if somebody threatens me or my family, I’m not going to TURN THE OTHER CHEEK!”

What they’re really saying is, “… I’m not going to DO NOTHING! I’m not going to IGNORE IT!” But that is NOT what Jesus was saying. This is so vitally important to understanding Nonviolence, what it is, its power, and its superiority over violence, not just morally, but strategically.

Author Walter Wink does a wonderful job of explaining this. Here is a link to the more detailed text and/or you might learn more about Walter Wink and his work here.

But here’s an abbreviate explanation. It involves history (not an interpretation of the Bible), and I know how painful history can be to some of us but read on – it’s a fascinating take on the true meaning of “turn the other cheek.”

First, let’s refresh our memory of the Bible passage:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” —Matthew 5:38-42, NIV

Here’s the history (sorry if it hurts… it’s actually pretty interesting)…

Note that Jesus said the RIGHT cheek. This is key. In Jesus time and place in history, the left hand was used for “unclean” purposes (I won’t go into the details… but you can probably guess some of them — imagine a time with no soap and limited water). You wouldn’t use your left hand to purchase food, shake someone’s hand, OR even strike someone. It would be a shameful act to use your left hand for these things.

Also, if you were to strike someone, you would use your BACKHAND to assert dominance and authority. If you instead used your fist or slapped with an open hand, this would mean the person you were striking was your equal (or even your superior!).

OK, did you follow that? It might help to get a partner and act this out (don’t really slap them!). Try pretend striking them while 1. not using your left hand and 2. using your backhand to assert your dominance. You’d be using your RIGHT hand, backhanding your inferior and striking them on their RIGHT cheek.

Aha! “If someone strikes you on the RIGHT cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Try it. Now, only the LEFT cheek is exposed. In order to strike your inferior on their LEFT cheek you have to either use your right forehand or punch them (this would make them your equal) OR use your left backhand (this would shame you in public).

Jesus’ call to “turn to him also the other” or as is often quipped “turn the other cheek” is NOT a call to simply ignore the insult. It is telling us to DEMAND EQUALITY! Stand up to your oppressor! Don’t take insults and attacks lying down!

Nonviolence is a brilliant way to end the violence. Retaliating in violence to a “superior” may have in Jesus’ day resulted in death or at least an escalation to the violence. But, Jesus was a brilliant Nonviolent strategist. A simple turn of the head refused the insult, demanded equality and justice, and ended the violence. This is active Nonviolence.

I also included in the Bible passage above, “And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” Wink also gives us the historical significance of these – again, as you may have guessed, these are strategic Nonviolent actions, not acquiescence.

By offering also your cloak you would be reduced to nakedness. But in Jesus’ time, the nakedness would be an embarrassment to the viewer, not the naked. You would again claim justice by exposing yourself (literally) but also your oppressor.

And “walking the extra mile” – in Jesus’ time, Roman soldiers could under Roman law demand that inhabitants of occupied territories carry their equipment for them – up to one mile. However, they were not to require someone to carry the equipment for more than one mile – if they did, the soldier himself would be subject to punishment. So, “going that extra mile” isn’t about bending over backwards and bowing to an oppressor, it again goes above and beyond to Nonviolently reclaim justice. It will take strength and it may take suffering, but Nonviolence can, if waged strategically, overcome violence and oppression. It requires a refusal to be humiliated.

So, you see, this passage is a Nonviolence primer, NOT an excuse to do nothing in the face of wrong. Whether you consider yourself Christian, or hold to another religion, or choose no religion at all, the power of Nonviolence is powerful, effective, and available to you.

The misuse of this simple phrase has been used to disregard Nonviolence, escalate violence, and cause unspeakable pain and suffering. It’s well past time we set the record straight. “Turning the other cheek” is NOT passivity. It is powerful. It is the weapon of the strong.”

Although I did not know Wink’s work at the time, I  did come to a very similar assessment of how to react non-violently but effectively to abuse from the powerful in this piece.

The High Crime of Obeying Unjust Laws

Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae:

“It is a high crime indeed to withdraw allegiance from God in order to please men; an act of consummate wickedness to break the laws of Jesus Christ in order to yield obedience to earthly rulers… ‘we ought to obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5: 29)…

Commands that are issued adversely to the honor due to God and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws… if the laws of men contain injunctions contrary to the eternal law of God, it is right not to obey them… Hence they who blame, and call sedition this steadfastness of attitude in the choice of duty, have not rightly apprehended the force and nature of true law…

Law is of it’s very essence a mandate of right reason, proclaimed by a properly constituted authority, for the common good. But true and legitimate authority is void of sanction, unless it proceed from God the supreme Ruler and Lord of all”.

How Many German Women Did GIs Rape?

In a recent book, “When The Soldiers Came: The rape of German women at the end of WWII ” (Random House, March 2, 2015) Miriam Gebhardt, a German feminist claims that American soldiers raped 190,000 German women during the occupation of Europe after WWII (1945-1955).

The book is being trumpeted in the mainstream press, from The Daily Telegraph to  Der Spiegel and  The Daily Mail , and also in the alternative media.

In the process, the 190,000 becomes “hundreds of thousands,” then, “a quarter of a million,” (adding rapes by British soldiers) and then (perhaps by adding other post 1945 occupation estimates) “nearly a million” on the Internet.

However, even the author’s central claim of 190,000 rapes by American soldiers  is arrived at by extrapolation from much lower figures in the record, as Der Spiegel reports:

“The total is not the result of deep research in archives across the country. Rather, it is an extrapolation. Gebhardt makes the assumption that 5 percent of the “war children” born to unmarried women in West Germany and West Berlin by the mid-1950s were the product of rape. That makes for a total of 1,900 children of American fathers. Gebhardt further assumes that on average, there
are 100 incidents of rape for each birth.
The result she arrives at is thus 190,000 victims.

Such a total, though, hardly seems plausible. Were the number really that high, it is almost certain that there would be more reports on rape in the files of hospitals or health authorities, or that there would be more eyewitness reports. Gebhardt is unable to present such evidence in sufficient quantity.

Another estimate, stemming from US criminology professor Robert Lilly, who examined rape cases prosecuted by American military courts, arrived at a number of 11,000 serious sexual assaults committed by November, 1945 — a disgusting number in its own right.”

More scholarly research suggests that Gebhardt’s extrapolations are more true of the Red Army, whose post-war rape of German women is a far better known story.

In July 2009,  reviewing the American premiere of “A Woman In Berlin,” a film about the mass rape of German women after the liberation/conquest of Berlin after WW II, an NPR review cites a figure of “2 million”  rapes as having been established by historians through hospital records, but then writes that the vast majority were committed by Soviet soldiers.  Several hundred rapes, confirmed by court-martial and other records, were committed by Allied soldiers.

In Elisabeth Jean Wood’s “Sexual violence during war: toward an understanding of variation,” (in “Order, Conflict, and Violence,” Shapiro, Kalyvas, and Masoud eds, Cambridge U. Press, 2008), she cites Norman Naimark, “The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1946-1949 (Belknap Press, 1995) and Anthony Beevor, “The Fall of Berlin 1945″ (Viking, 2002) for estimates of the number of rapes committed by Soviet troops in Berlin alone in 1945, and says the “best estimates” were made by staff at two hospitals in Berlin alone who put the number at between 95,000 and 130,000 (Beevor, 2002, 410).

In The Guardian in May 2002,  Beevor describes the situation outside Berlin  thus:

“The death rate was thought to have been much higher among the 1.4 million estimated victims in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. Altogether at least two million German women are thought to have been raped, and a substantial minority, if not a majority, appear to have suffered multiple rape.”

But those are rapes by the Red Army, not by the allies, and that is an established historical narrative, supported by multiple credible authors.

In May 2014, Deanna Spingola, a well-known anti-Zionist “conspiracy” researcher in the alternative media, published a 794 page book on the Allied rape of women in WW II, “The Ruling Elite: Death, Destruction, and Domination(Spingola, Trafford, 2014).

Spingola’s book only claims 14,000 rapes were inflicted by Allied soldiers, a much more sober account than the mainstream version, suggesting, as usual, that the mainstream purveys paranoia, conspiracy, and libel at least as often as the “conspiracy” community….and usually with much less warrant.

Spingola bases the 14,000 claim on hospital and court records, citing Giles MacDonogh, 2007, and Jeffrey Burds, 2009.

I looked up both books.

“After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation,” MacDonogh, Basic Books, 2007, is the work of a former Financial Times food journalist.

According to this review, MacDonogh’s book covers such horrors as the starvation and/killing/unnecessary deaths of some 3 million Germans in the post-war occupation, the slaughter of some 250,000 Sudetan Germans by Czechs, which I’ve blogged about earlier, and the mass rape of German women.

He writes that the mass rape of German women was largely the work of the Soviet army, although there were several thousands of rapes perpetrated by Allied soldiers, including the American and French.  MacDonogh claims that the British were less culpable in this area, preferring to barter for sex.

Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Research (a scholarly Holocaust revisionist site), reviewing MacDonogh, says this about the rapes:

“Although most of the millions of German girls and women who were ravished by Allied soldiers were raped by Red Army troops, Soviet soldiers were not the only perpetrators. During the French occupation of Stuttgart, a large city in southwest Germany, police records show that 1,198 women and eight men were raped, mostly by French troops from Morocco in north Africa, although the prelate of the Lutheran Evangelical church estimated the number at 5,000.

Spingola’s other source is Jeffrey Burds, “Sexual Violence in Europe in WWII, 1939-1945″ (Politics & Society, 2009).

I couldn’t find the 14,000 number cited by Spingola until I looked at another book from the same year, “Taken By Force: Rape and American GIs In Europe In WWII, (Palgrave Macmillan: August, 2007) by J. Robert Lilley, an internationally known criminologist and sociologist, which gives the 14,000 number as the count for all Allied rape victims in France, Belgium, and Germany. Note that Lilley is one of Gebhardt’s sources, from which she extrapolated her 195,000 figure.

In any case, a year before Spingola and two years before Gebhardt, the Allied rape story had already been covered in an academic book.

In “What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI,” (U. of Chicago Press, May, 2013) Professor Mary Louise Roberts of Wisconsin University described how GIs raped French women after  WWII, again citing the figure of 14,000 for the number of women raped by GIs in Western Europe.

That would include West Germany, but not East Germany, of course, since East Germany was taken over by the Russians, not the Allies.

The book was reviewed by the New York Times. The reviewer describes why an earlier account of GI rape in 2003 by Robert Lilley had had a hard time getting published outside academia – it appeared to show the disproportionate prosecution of rapes committed by black GIs and it was written during the Iraq war.

Another figure for rape in the European theater, 17000,  also comes from Lilley, with the explanation that the difference between this figure and the figures in the JAG (Judge Advocate General) record reflects  that branch being overwhelmed by cases.

But Gebhardt’s thesis should not entirely be dismissed because of her failure to present convincing evidence.

Her larger argument carries weight. Calling sexual interactions between occupying soldiers and impoverished women in an occupied country “voluntary” is surely a euphemism,  as this harrowing account of the interaction between American GIs and Japanese women in occupied Japan argues:

“Immediately after the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the Japanese Ministry of the Interior made plans to protect Japanese women in its middle and upper classes from American troops. Fear of an American army out of control led them to quickly establish the first “comfort women” stations for use by US troops.7 By the end of 1945, the Japanese Ministry of Home Affairs had organized the Recreation Amusement Association (R.A.A.), a chain of houses of prostitution with 20,000 women who serviced occupation forces throughout Japan.8 (Many more women known as panpan turned to prostitution in the struggle to survive in the midst of the postwar devastation.) Burritt Sabin of the Japan Times reported in 2002 that just days before the R.A.A. was to open, hundreds of American soldiers broke into two of their facilities and raped all the women.9 The situation prompted MacArthur and Eichelberger, the two top military men of the U.S. occupation forces, to make “rape by Marines” their very first topic of discussion.10 Yuki Tanaka notes that 1300 rapes were reported in Kanagawa prefecture alone between August 30 and September 10, 1945, indicative of the pervasiveness of the phenomenon in the early occupation.11

Historian Takemae Eiji reports that
. . . US troops comported themselves like conquerors, especially in the early weeks and months of occupation. Misbehavior ranged from black-marketeering, petty theft, reckless driving and disorderly conduct to vandalism, assault arson, murder and rape. . . . In Yokohama, Chiba and elsewhere, soldiers and sailors broke the law with impunity, and incidents of robbery, rape and occasionally murder were widely reported in the press. 12

Two weeks into the occupation, the Japanese press began to report on rapes and looting.13 MacArthur responded by promptly censoring all media. Monica Braw, whose research revealed that even mention of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and particularly the effects of the bomb on civilians, were censored, maintains that pervasive censorship continued throughout the occupation years. “It [censorship] covered all means of communications and set up rules that were so general as to cover everything. It did not specify subjects prohibited, did not state punishment for violations, although it was clear that there were such punishments, and prohibited all discussion even about the existence of the censorship itself.”14

Censorship was not limited to the Japanese press. MacArthur threw prominent American journalists such as Gordon Walker, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, and Frank Hawley of the New York Times out of Japan for disobeying his orders. Even internal military reports were censored.15

Five months after the occupation began, one in four American soldiers had contracted VD.16 The supply of penicillin back in the U.S. was low.17 When MacArthur responded by making both prostitution and fraternization illegal,18 the number of reported rapes soared, showing that prostitution and the easy availability of women had suppressed incidents of rape.”

The United States Of Spying

Andrew Napolitano via Lew Rockwell:

“When Gen. Michael Hayden, the director of both the CIA and the NSA in the George W. Bush administration and the architect of the government’s massive suspicionless spying program, was recently publicly challenged to deny that the feds have the ability to turn on your computer, cellphone or mobile device in your home and elsewhere, and use your own devices to spy on you, why did he remain silent? The audience at the venue where he was challenged rationally concluded that his silence was his consent.”

When I read this, I’m convinced that my experience in the past few years of having my private conversations surface in a wide-range of web-sites was not imagination or paranoia at all.

I am more than ever certain that the right explanation is spying by someone with access to government technology who was either a lawless private contractor or the witless employee of one of those urban DHS (Dept of Homeland Security) fusion centers that have become notorious for spying on anti-government dissidents.

Witless, because even the most brain-dead flunky of the government should know that venting your political opinion on a blog, sans any act of armed insurrection, espionage, or other illegal activity, is constitutionally-protected, indeed highly valuable, speech and that the government is not permitted in any way, shape, or form, to go on fishing expeditions in people’s private lives (remember those things?) to either back into charges, in the case of people who are engaged in wrong-doing, or to twist arms, in the case of people who are not  doing anything wrong and can only be coerced by the government’s own illegal actions or threats thereo.

 

A Historicist View Of Revelation

Odd though it must seem to confirmed skeptics and atheists,  seminal events in contemporary politics – such as the conflicts in the Middle East –  are closely tied to interpretations of ancient religious texts.

One of the most influential of these is the last book of the New Testament canon, the Revelation (of Jesus Christ to St. John), written by John the Divine, the author of  the Gospel of St. John, around 95-96 AD.

[This popular dating is based on the rather flimsy account of a Church Father. Far  more likely,  from the textual and historical evidence, is a date of 66 AD or earlier.]

Historicists believe that the events predicted in Revelations have occurred- and will continue to occur – until the (still future) second coming of Jesus Christ.

Praeterists believe all the prophecies have already been fulfilled in the past and do not apply to anything today.

Futurists believe that all the the prophecies apply to the last few years before the Second Coming.

Idealists think Revelation describes spiritual rather than actual historic entities.

The Biblical prophets themselves, as well as the early church, appear to have taken a  historicist position.

The preterist and futurist interpretations, on the other hand, had their birth during the Counter-Reformation, the Roman church’s response to the Protestant Reformation.

Historicists argue that futurism and preterism were developed to take pressure off the Papacy and the Roman church, which the Reformers were united in condemning as the Anti-Christ figure of Revelation.

The following passage is excerpted from a  historicist interpretation of  the first six  of the seven seals of the Book of  Revelation, a passage from the Bible that has had astounding influence on international politics in the Middle East:

“Horsemen: The first four symbols are  few connected by using the same symbol. In the total scheme of all the symbols, this style — making the first four in each group of seven to be connected — continues in the trumpets and bowls. In the first of the four trumpets, blows strike, (1) one third of the land and vegetation; (2) one third of the sea and shipping; (3) one third of rivers and fountains; (4) one third of sources of light, sun, moon and stars.

Under the figures of plagues, the first four vials or bowls are likewise blows against land, sea, rivers, and the sun. In the fulfillment of these figures there would naturally be a relation of the first four symbols historically, with the possibility of some overlapping in the fulfillment. Remember then, the design of the book is that the first four symbols in each group are interrelated.

1. White: is a symbol of something good, the bow and crown of armored authority, and expansion of territory in conquest. So the first period of time after Domitian should be characterized historically as an unusually “good” (righteous) period associated with conquest and expansion. When we look in a secular history book the period just following Domitian should say, “something good.”

2. Red: is a symbol of blood, war, fire, not of “good.” Take peace from the earth indicates a total disorder. Kill one another indicates internal war, not killing the enemy, it is a figure of civil war. A great sword indicates a lot of dying in battle. So the second period of time should be characterized historically by breakdown of society, a great deal of armed conflict with many killed in civil disorders and not because of invasion of outsiders. This must follow a period of peace and “good” and expansion.

3. Black: is a symbol of darkness and despair. The scales and high prices and instructions not to waste suggest need for care because of shortages. The third period following hard on the civil disorder should be a period of famine and associated hardships. “Hard times” is the key note.

4. Pale: is a symbol of sickliness. The symbols associate closely with death, the abode of the dead (hades) as epitomizing history in the period. Twenty five percent, or the fourth part of the earth, are to die from (1) sword; (2) famine; (3) disease; (4) wild animals. So the fourth period following the previous (and probably overlapping, as death and famine are part of both) should be a period characterized by depopulation of the earth due to war, famine, disease, and wild animals.

5. Saints under the altar: refers to the dead in Christ awaiting judgment day. These have been killed because of their faith and testimony. They want to know how long before God takes vengeance indicating the day of vengeance on the persecutors. “Rest a little season until,” should indicate a short interval following the last horse’s period. “The time that your brothers should be killed;” when this is fulfilled it will be a period of further persecution for a short but intense period when history is epitomized by that persecution.

So, following the four horsemen (1) peace and good, (2) civil war, (3) famine, (4) depopulation, there should follow a period that is characterized by persecution. In the vision, the persecution has been going on previously, persecution in which Christians have been dying, but this last will be a climax and completion of the persecution. Many Christians will die but after a little season the persecution stops. History is to look like this in the future from John’s view.

6. A great earthquake: equals complete shakeup of those things counted secure: government, religion, social order, ethics, economy; all shaken. The sun and moon are symbols of authority in human governments, the emperor, etc. The stars represent spiritual powers just as astrological charts indicate. The gods of paganism were associated with planets and stars. Heaven departing indicates the removal of spiritual powers or ethical inhibitors. No guidance from above! Mountains and islands are symbols of nations and governments. These being moved out of their places is a symbol of turnover of government, continuing the symbol of a great earthquake, that characterizes this period. The following verses (15-17) make it plain that the whole upheaval is identified with Jesus Christ and it is a day of reckoning for the enemies of the cross of Christ. It is a day that will cause his enemies to hide, disappear, flee away, and he will take vengeance.

So following the period of persecution, world history should be characterized by the world being turned upside down, the disappearance of pagan powers, while Christian ethics take their place. Government will be likewise reorganized and shaken violently at the end of which Christianity will be in a good position, as the next symbol makes clear.

All of chapter seven speaks of conversion. 144,000 of the nation of the Jews and then a great multitude out of every nation and language, beyond number, are brought to worship God and Christ. (Vs. 9) Verses 14 and 15 contain a description of conversion that is symbolic of the changes that most born again believers associate with their own experience. What is characterized in the whole of chapter seven is a great ingathering or gospel harvest that follows the revolutionary period just previous to it.

So the interval is a period of evangelism and expansion of the Christian gospel that should epitomize that historical period. Any one knowing the history of the world from the time of Domitian through the next few centuries will be struck with the incredible coincidence of the outline of the seer of Patmos with what actually happened.

Let the Winds blow: At the commencement of the Interlude of sealing the servants of God an angel is instructed to “Hold back the four winds until the sealing is over. Thus after the ingathering of souls, the Seventh seal will be associated with events that will look like the destructive action of blowing winds associated with the first of the Trumpets. A map of the next 100 yearas after The triumph of the Christian Cburch should look like blowing winds.

Also as noted in the fist chapter of this book The seventh seal IS the Seven Trumpets. Confirming that the trumpets can not be concurrent with the Seals. They are designed to be in sequence. Let us note the following Maps. The first shows the Roman Empire in 395 at the end of the 60 or so years described as the Triumph of Christianity. Notice how the Empire is still in a very neat condition.

Please click to see the map and click the back button to return to this page map

This next map shows the the next 100 year beginning in 410, Beginning fifteen years after the last map.
Please click to see the map and click the back button to return to this page. map

Review

Let us review one more time. The historical periods following the time of Domitian should follow:

1. Something good.
2. Civil disorder, many die.
3. Hard times.
4. Depopulation by twenty five percent.
5. Persecution.
6. Revolution of religious as well as political life.
7. Interval of ingathering or expansion of Christian gospel.
8. Let the Winds Blow

Historical Fulfillment

1. The period immediately following Domitian introduces a century of peace called the Pax Romana or translated the Peace of Rome. The emperors of the period are known in history books as the “Five Good Emperors.” Marcus Aurelius was a philosopher whose doctrines approached the ethics of Christianity. The name of emperor Antoninus Pius indicates his inclinations. This period, from 98 to 180 is also characterized by the additions of large border regions to the empire and expansion to the greatest limits ever. If God wanted to picture the period he could not have chosen a better symbol than a white horse and conquest.

2. History texts call the period from 180 to 280 the period of disorder. Eighty emperors ruled in a space of ninety years and most of them met death by violence. The post of emperor was actually bought and sold at public auction. The empire was ravaged by civil war for most of the period. Every few months a new soldier of fortune would make a claim on the title and march on Rome from distant as well as more local locations, fighting, pillaging, and burning as they approached a war weary city. The depletion of stocks, burning of countryside, disruption of markets, and farms denuded of crops took their toll and the next two figures overlap the end of this period.

3. The devastation of the wars of the previous period brought the empire the worst of famines and shortages. This period overlaps the end of the last.

4. The consequences of the preceding wars and famines created a climate for the depopulation of the earth that historians tell us characterized this period. Due to the depopulation, wild animals increased in formerly civilized areas and death from them was common enough to be placed in the histories. An outbreak of the black plague (bubonic plague) is recorded at this time. The figures of death due to sword, famine, disease, and wild animals is a perfect description of the period, which, with the last, overlaps and extends as a result of the wars to the early 300s when they were cause for what followed. The Christians were blamed!

5. From 300 to 313, “a little season,” the history of the Roman empire is characterized by persecution. It is the last and most severe of the ten great persecutions against the Christian religion which were authorized by the emperors of Rome. Many thousands died, many church buildings and Bibles went to the flames. Every elder, (bishop) was arrested and killed and all other Christian leaders went into hiding or suffered death in the arenas publicly, as sport for the spectators. Diocletian resigned midway and his successor and son-in-law carried on the extremities. He it was who issued the edict of persecution. He would later admit defeat and would issue the edict of toleration which ended the OFFICIAL persecution on a world scale forever. Christians have never faced death on such a scale since. Historians all epitomize this historical period as an epoch of persecution.

6. Following the end of the persecution, Constantine the Great left York in Britain and marched against Galerius and his successors. His conquests and subsequent emperorship are characterized by turning the imperial system of Rome upside down. Rather than merely tolerating Christianity, he issued in 325 the Edict of Milan, which made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. The pagan temples were closed and they were given to Christian churches; the pagan gods were swept away, not only from their pedestals but from peoples’ hearts. The figures of the stars falling and heaven being rolled up could not better describe the disappearance of the old religious and ethical order and the taking of its place by the Christian religion. Imagine being paid to become a Christian when only four or five years ago your family was being torn by lions for the same faith! New government took the place of the old order; the church would play a large part in the affairs of state; and the capitol would be moved from Rome to Constantinople. There could not possibly be a better set of figures to epitomize this great, eventful period than mountains and islands moving, a great earthquake and the day of Jesus Christ’s vengeance, and the shaking and disappearance of secure heavenly powers in favor of Jesus! There is much more to say about the fulfillment of these figures and while this is necessarily an outline it is extraordinary in its completeness and simplicity.”

Christian Zionists Are “Anti-Semites”

An ordained Baptist minister explains why uncritical support for Israel is not only not Biblically mandated, it stands in opposition to Biblical teaching in which the Arabs are also blessed as the descendants of Abraham.

“Much of our Christian emphasis on foreign policy in the Middle East today is based on the promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

The first half of this verse is a promise that God made to just one person, Abraham. The original Hebrew is in the second person singular, meaning that God is speaking only to Abraham. The King James Version correctly reflects this grammatical construction, since “thee” is singular, referring only to one person, whereas “ye” would refer to multiple persons.

Matthew Henry’s commentary states of Genesis 12:3a that “This made it a kind of league, offensive and defensive, between God and Abram.”

Of the second half of the verse, Matthew Henry says, This was the promise that crowned all the rest; for it points to the Messiah, in whom ‘all the promises are yea and amen.’ Note, (1), Jesus Christ is the great blessing of the world, the greatest that ever the world blessed with.”

Recently Genesis 12:3 has been spiritualized by Christian Zionist preachers, who say that this verse applies not just to Abraham, but also to Abraham’s descendants, specifically to the modern state of Israel founded in 1948. Supposedly, it means that evangelical Christians as individuals, and America as a nation, are bound to provide unquestioning support, financial and otherwise, to the state of Israel. It is said that if America fails to back up Israel in every way possible, financially, militarily and otherwise, then God will be through with America and will have us nuked.

When it is pointed out that the various Arabs nations, including Palestine, are also descended from Abraham, the Christian Zionists say that the promise of Genesis 12:3 applies only to the descendants of Isaac (Of course, there is no mention of Isaac in Genesis 12:3. They often misquote the verse, saying it refers to “blessing Israel,” but Israel is not mentioned in the verse either).

Zionists say, based on their non-literal, speculative, spiritualized interpretation of Genesis 12:3, that we are to give total, unquestioned support to some of Abraham’s children, while others of Abraham’s children are to be hated, persecuted, ethnically cleansed, bombed back into the Stone Age, maybe even nuked.

But in Genesis 21:13, 17-18 God also bestows His blessing on Ishmael and his descendants, saying, “For I will make him a great nation.” According to the same principles of interpretation by which we have made Genesis 12:3 a command for political support of the modern nation of Israel, Genesis 21:18 must be taken as a command for political support of the modern Arab nations. (Anybody want to start up a “Christian Ishmaelist” movement to lobby for Arab national greatness?)

Christian Zionists claim to have 70,000,000 followers in America, who insists that our politicians render unquestioning obedience to the military and political agenda of the Israeli Government.

Does God really demand that we support all actions and activities of the Israeli Government, even if those actions violate God’s moral standards of righteousness?

It should be pointed out that even in Old Testament times, when Israel was a nation specially chosen by, and ruled over by, Jehovah, He did not expect His people to support and endorse all actions of the government of Israel.

When the Government of Israel committed human rights violations, the prophets openly condemned them, 2 Kings 6:21 –23, 2 Chronicles 28:9-11, Nehemiah 5:7-11, Jeremiah 34:11-17, Amos 2:6-7, etc. Nowadays, liberal Jewish groups still protest human rights violations in Israel. Nevertheless, most fundamentalists Christians would never dream of doing such a thing – it is against their religion. It is their duty to either deny that such violations take place, or else to endorse and commend such violations. We have been told that God will smite us if we disagree with anything that Israel does.

The lawgiver Moses commanded the Hebrews that they should not oppress the strangers or non-Jews in their lands, Exodus 12:49, 22:21, 23:9, Leviticus 19:33-34, 25:35, Deuteronomy 10:18-19, 23:7, 24:17, 27:19. That message, of course, is not mentioned today – it is considered “politically incorrect.”

When King Ahab and Queen Jezebel unjustly expropriated the vineyard of Naboth, the prophet Elijah publicly denounced the kind for this unjust action, 1 Kings 21:17-24, Jehu cited this official action of the government of Israel against Naboth as justification for overthrowing that government, 2 Kings 9:25-26.

But nowadays, when the Israeli government expropriates the lands and properties of Palestinians without compensation, we look the other way and say nothing about it.

In Jeremiah 27:1-5, the prophet Jeremiah picketed a public meeting of the government of Judah with representatives of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon. He was protesting the foreign policy of Judah. We would never do anything like that today – it would be considered a violation of the command to “bless Abraham.”

In Jeremiah 27:6-17, the prophet advocated the surrender of Israel’s territory to the King of Babylon, in return for peace – today, we would call it “land for peace.” But today, our warmongering televangelists denounce “land for peace” as unthinkable for any reason whatsoever, and threaten God’s wrath against anyone who would support such a thing.

Supposedly it is better for Jewish and Arab children of Abraham to keep on killing each other over the land (while these sanctimonious war profiteers collect the money from sales of their Armageddon videos. Could it be a conflict of interest to allow American foreign policy to be dictated by these mega-millionaire preachers, who stand to make a profit if there is a war in the Middle East?)”

 

Exodus: The Historical Evidence

Scholars have long dismissed the tale of Exodus as myth or metaphor because there did not seem to be any evidence of it in Egyptian archeology.

But a recent documentary, “Patterns of Evidence,” (directed by Tim Mahoney) shows other findings in the archeological record that match the Biblical story.

From World Net Daily:

“Mahoney explained:

“Mainstream archaeologists would say that if the Exodus ever happened, it happened at the time of Rameses, because of the biblical text that said the Israelites were building the city of Rameses. Yet when people understood Rameses lived around 1250 B.C., they didn’t find evidence for this type of story in that time period.

“But other archaeologists said to look deeper,” he continued. “Beneath the city of Rameses, was another city, much older, called Avaris. And that city was filled with Semitic people.

It started very small, just as the Bible says, and over time it grew into one of the largest cities of that time. And that is where we find, I think, the early Israelites. That’s the pattern that matches the story of the Bible. It’s not at the time of Rameses, but it’s at the location of Rameses.”

Mahoney also told WND about one of the biggest surprises revealed by “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus” – a statue of a Semitic leader in Egypt, a man who may be none other than the Bible’s Joseph.

“The story of Joseph tells of how he was sold as a slave and came into Egypt and then he rose to become this leader, second in command in Egypt,” Mahoney told WND. “Well, in Avaris, the archaeology shows a small group of Semitic-type people came in, and then there’s this house that matches the area where they would have come from. On top of that house a palace was built. They had tombs behind this palace. And this palace had a statue, and it was the tomb of a Semitic leader.

“The interesting thing is this statue found in the remainder of this tomb, a pyramid tomb – which was only given to royalty types – why did a Semitic character have this?” Mahoney asked. “What some people are saying is that this matches the story, maybe that prestige that Joseph would have received.”

The research team also discovered another biblical parallel.

In the biblical story, Joseph said his bones should be removed when they left Egypt,” Mahoney recalled. “When the archaeologists uncovered this [Semitic leader’s tomb], a very unusual thing was discovered: There were no bones in this tomb. The bones were gone. Grave robbers never take the bones; they just take the goods, the bones have no value.”

Could the missing bones be yet another confirmation the Semitic leader was Joseph?”

My Comment:

This blog summarizes the evidence that the Asiatic Israelites/Hebrews/Semitic people,  from the region of Canaan, were indeed enslaved by the Egyptians.

They were called the Hyksos  and they entered/invaded Egypt from around 1720 BC to 1570 BC.

The ruins at Avaris in the Nile Delta where the Hyksos settled were excavated as early as 1966, so it’s strange that it’s still widely believed that there is no evidence for a Semitic migration to Egypt.

There is.

Item:

There are 18th dynasty wall paintings depicting enslaved Semitic people that appear to confirm the Biblical narrative of the Hebrew fall from grace under Egyptian rule.

Item:

The terms Apiru (state-less person) is used to refer to these slaves, and it is considered by some scholars to be the origin of the word Hebrew.

Others dismiss the connection as “wishful thinking.”

Item:

There are tablets from the region dated from the 14th century BC describing the invasion/entry of  the Apiru into Canaan and the pleas of the local people to the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten, to do something about it.

Item:

A 1210 BC inscription describes the Egyptian conquest of “Israel” in the Canaan region.

Item:

In the same century there was a tripling of the population of the Apiru in the Canaan are that cannot be explained simply by an increased birth-rate.

Item:

There are claims that underwater archeology confirms that an enormous disaster was associated with the Gulf of Aqaba, which some believe is the site of the drowning of Pharaoh’s army when the sea was parted in Exodus.  Others consider these findings simply conjecture or exaggeration or distortion of what are really the remnants of coral reefs.

 

The New Testament Has Not Been Altered

Skeptics and popular opinion confidently assert that no one knows for sure if what was recorded in the original texts of the New Testament has been accurately conveyed to us.

Yet, this is completely false.

There are overwhelmingly more copies and versions of the New Testament available to us than of any other classical text and we accept those texts with much less hesitation.

From Stand To Reason:

“The science of textual criticism is used to test all documents of antiquity–not just religious texts–including historical and literary writings. It’s not a theological enterprise based on haphazard hopes and guesses; it’s a linguistic exercise that follows a set of established rules. Textual criticism allows an alert critic to determine the extent of possible corruption of any work.

The ability of any scholar to do effective textual criticism depends on two factors. First, how many existing copies are there to examine and compare? Are there two copies, ten, a hundred? The more copies there are, the easier it is to make meaningful comparisons. Second, how close in time are the oldest existing documents to the original?

If the numbers are few and the time gap is wide, the original is harder to reconstruct with confidence. However, if there are many copies and the oldest existing copies are reasonably close in time to the original, the textual critic can be more confident he’s pinpointed the exact wording of the autograph.

To get an idea of the significance of the New Testament manuscript evidence, note for a moment the record for non-biblical texts. These are secular texts from antiquity that have been reconstructed with a high degree of certainty based on the available textual evidence.

The important First Century document The Jewish War, by Jewish aristocrat and historian Josephus, survives in only nine complete manuscripts dating from the 5th Century--four centuries after they were written.[3] Tacitus’ Annals of Imperial Rome is one of the chief historical sources for the Roman world of New Testament times, yet, surprisingly, it survives in partial form in only two manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages.[4] Thucydides’ History survives in eight copies. There are 10 copies of Caesar’s Gallic Wars, eight copies of Herodotus’ History, and seven copies of Plato, all dated over a millennium from the original. Homer’s Iliad has the most impressive manuscript evidence for any secular work with 647 existing copies.[5]

Bruce’s comments put the discussion in perspective: “No classical scholar would listen to an argument that the authenticity of Herodotus or Thucydides is in doubt because the earliest manuscripts of their works which are of any use to us are over 1300 years later than the originals.”[6]

For most documents of antiquity only a handful of manuscripts exist, some facing a time gap of 800-2000 years or more. Yet scholars are confident of reconstructing the originals with some significant degree of accuracy. In fact, virtually all of our knowledge of ancient history depends on documents like these.

By comparison with secular texts, the manuscript evidence for the New Testament is stunning. The most recent count (1980) shows 5,366 separate Greek manuscripts represented by early fragments, uncial codices (manuscripts in capital Greek letters bound together in book form), and minuscules (small Greek letters in cursive style)![7]

Among the nearly 3,000 minuscule fragments are 34 complete New Testaments dating from the 9th to the 15th Centuries.[8]

Uncial manuscripts provide virtually complete codices (multiple books of the New Testament bound together into one volume) back to the 4th Century, though some are a bit younger. Codex Sinaiticus, purchased by the British government from the Soviet government at Christmas, 1933, for £100,000,[9] is dated c. 340.[10] The nearly complete Codex Vaticanus is the oldest uncial, dated c. 325-350.[11] Codex Alexandrinus contains the whole Old Testament and a nearly complete New Testament and dates from the late 4th Century to the early 5th Century.

The most fascinating evidence comes from the fragments (as opposed to the codices). The Chester Beatty Papyri contains most of the New Testament and is dated mid-3rd Century.[12] The Bodmer Papyri II collection, whose discovery was announced in 1956, includes the first fourteen chapters of the Gospel of John and much of the last seven chapters. It dates from A.D. 200 or earlier.[13]

The most amazing find of all, however, is a small portion of John 18:31-33, discovered in Egypt known as the John Rylands Papyri. Barely three inches square, it represents the earliest known copy of any part of the New Testament. The papyri is dated on paleographical grounds at around A.D. 117-138 (though it may even be earlier),[14] showing that the Gospel of John was circulated as far away as Egypt within 30 years of its composition.”

Why is the historical accuracy of the New Testament important? After all, wouldn’t the teachings of Jesus be valid even if he had never lived or even if his life differed from the account of it in the gospels?

I used to make this argument. In fact, I thought it was important to base any acceptance of Christian doctrine on something other than the historical evidence for Jesus, because, waylaid by the sophistries of “higher criticism” and some schools of Protestant theology, I thought the historicity of the gospels could not convincingly be demonstrated.

Hurrah for the Internet, for exposing me to Christian teachers who have busted that piece of propaganda wide apart. Not that I hadn’t been prepared for their revelations already.

Having waded through the propaganda in the daily papers and magazine, it was easy to accept that academic journals were no better.  And neither was theology or history.  They were all buried beneath agenda and myth-making.

But Christianity is not simply a teaching about ethics or a philosophy. It claims something else. The ethics of Christianity, after all, can be found anywhere. What is unique is the Christian claim to explain man’s spiritual destiny in terms of one sole figure – Jesus Christ:

F. W. Bruce writes:

“For the Christian gospel is not primarily a code of ethics or a metaphysical system; it is first and foremost good news, and as such it was proclaimed by its earliest preachers. True, they called Christianity ‘The Way’ and ‘The Life'; but Christianity as a way of life depends upon the acceptance of Christianity as good news. And this good news is intimately bound up with the historical order, for it tells how for the world’s redemption God entered into history, the eternal came into time, the kingdom of heaven invaded the realm of earth, in the great events of the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The first recorded words of our Lord’s public preaching in Galilee are: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has drawn near; repent and believe the good news.”

Whatever questions one can legitimately have about Christianity, they cannot be about the authenticity of the New Testament.

Indeed there was a man called Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, he was universally called a just and good man by even his enemies.

Indeed, he performed what were considered miracles of healing.

Indeed, he was accounted a magician, a heretic, and a seditionist.

He was indeed turned in by the High Council of Jewish elders to the Roman authorities, who at the behest of the mob, arrested, convicted, tortured, and crucified him.

There were in fact reports quite early on of his miraculous resurrection and the history and teachings of Saul, a convert who was once one of his fiercest foes,  is not some later accretion in the textual record but among the earliest (prior to 100 AD). 

The earliest Christian record we have today is apparently a manuscript of the Gospel of Mark dating from the first century.

That would make it a copy available during the life-time of eye witnesses to Jesus’s life.

In that case, the original of Mark was indeed written during or just after the life of Jesus.

 

 

“Peer Review” Exposed

The pretensions of academic publication  and the allegedly rigorous peer-reviewed procedure were exposed in this deliberate “intellectual sting operation”:

“The present investigation was an attempt to study the peer-review process directly, in the natural setting of actual journal referee evaluations of submitted manuscripts. As test materials we selected 12 already published research articles by investigators from prestigious and highly productive American psychology departments, one article from each of 12 highly regarded and widely read American psychology journals with high rejection rates (80%) and nonblind refereeing practices.

With fictitious names and institutions substituted for the original ones (e.g., Tri-Valley Center for Human Potential), the altered manuscripts were formally resubmitted to the journals that had originally refereed and published them 18 to 32 months earlier. Of the sample of 38 editors and reviewers, only three (8%) detected the resubmissions. This result allowed nine of the 12 articles to continue through the review process to receive an actual evaluation: eight of the nine were rejected. Sixteen of the 18 referees (89%) recommended against publication and the editors concurred. The grounds for rejection were in many cases described as “serious methodological flaws.” A number of possible interpretations of these data are reviewed and evaluated.

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&

The Growing Welfare Middle Class

Thomas H. Benton, as Associate Professor of English at Hope College, writes:

Graduate school may be about the “disinterested pursuit of learning” for some privileged people. But for most of us, graduate school in the humanities is about the implicit promise of the life of a middle-class professional, about being respected, about not hating your job and wasting your life. That dream is long gone in academe for almost everyone entering it now.

If you are in one of the lucky categories that benefit from the Big Lie, you will probably continue to offer the attractions of that life to vulnerable students who are trained from birth to trust you, their teacher.

Graduate school in the humanities is a trap. It is designed that way. It is structurally based on limiting the options of students and socializing them into believing that it is shameful to abandon “the life of the mind.”

That’s why most graduate programs resist reducing the numbers of admitted students or providing them with skills and networks that could enable them to do anything but join the ever-growing ranks of impoverished, demoralized, and damaged graduate students and adjuncts for whom most of academe denies any responsibility.”

And so, another group of disempowered, dependent people come into being and another set of potential clients of the government is born from the middle-class welfare system called “higher ed.”

 

The Smart People Are Somewhere Else

A blog explains why incurring debt to go to graduate school is a terrible idea, so terrible that he’s come up with 100 reasons to avoid graduate school altogether.

He’s talking about the liberal arts and the so-called social sciences, but his arguments (and evidence) can be applied to the sciences, to some extent.

Even if the tuition and your living expenses are paid for you, the experience is not “free” in any real sense.

You have to count the time spent as an opportunity cost and a waste of years you could have spent working, building a family,  starting a business, investing, or even just traveling and doing things you really love or care about, whether that’s volunteering for some cause or painting or woodworking or looking after your parents or siblings.

It’s simply not true that more formal education makes you healthier, wealthier, or wiser, which is, after all, what most people want out of life.

Of course, there are exceptions for everything, and in a handful of cases, for “born  teachers,” the supremely motivated and talented,  the very well-to-do, the extraordinarily self-sacrificing and dedicated….or  the terminally scheming…. the effort might still be worth it…..in the sciences.

The rest should probably take a pass. Unless, of course, they can do it free and do it fast:

“1. The smart people are somewhere else.

 If you think that going to graduate school will allow you to spend your days in a community of the enlightened, consider the axiom that it is unwise to borrow money that is difficult to repay.
To go into debt for a graduate degree in the humanities is to go into debt for a credential that, at best, will qualify you for a job with a relatively low starting salary in an extremely competitive job market.
Meanwhile, you will have removed yourself from the job market to pursue this degree, so don’t forget to add up the years that you will have incurred debt when you could have been earning money. But surely people in graduate school would be too smart to finance their educations with debt

According to FinAid.org: “The median additional debt [the debt that graduate students pile onto the debt that they acquired as undergraduates] is $25,000 for a Master’s degree, $52,000 for a doctoral degree and $79,836 for a professional degree.

A quarter of graduate and professional students borrow more than $42,898 for a Master’s degree, more than $75,712 for a doctoral degree and more than $118,500 for a professional degree.”

This is not intelligent behavior. The smart people are somewhere else.”

Campus “Hate” Speech That Wasn’t Punished

In light of all the “shocked, shocked, I tell you” reactions to the video 0f an Oklahoma frat house’s racist chant, I pulled up some other instances of “hate speech” at American universities that somehow passed muster.

None of the people in these cases was in their teens, none was  drunk, none was speaking to a private group of like-minded associates, as the Oklahoma boys were.

1. A black activist and visiting professor at North Carolina State University addressed a Howard University Law school panel in 2005 and advocated exterminating all white people on the planet as the only solution to black problems.

2. After the Washington Navy Yard shootings, a tenured professor at the University of Kansas tweeted that he hoped that the next shooting victims would be the sons and daughters of the NRA (National Rifle Association) since, in his view, they were responsible for the Navy Yard massacre.

He was put on indefinite leave, the only one on this list who was punished.

3. In 2012, Dr. Richard Parncutt advocated the death penalty for influential deniers of global warming.

4.  In 2001, Mary Daly, a feminist professor at Boston College, advocated an evolutionary process that would result in a drastic reduction in the male population, as the only way to “decontaminate” the world.

5.  Pete Singer, renowned bioethicist,  argued in a published book thatKilling a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person,”  and “Sometimes it is not wrong at all.” Princeton gave him tenure in 1998.

6.  The chairwoman of the University of Michigan’s Communications department wrote an oped whose first line was “I hate Republicans.” Further on in the piece, she referred to what she felt as “loathing.”

7.  University of Rhode Island history professor Erik Loomis said this about the National Rifle Association’s executive vice-president, Wayne LaPierre: “I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.”

8.  Rutgers University professor and poet Amiri Baraka has written, “”I got the extermination blues, jew-boys….”  and “We want dagger poems in the slimy bellies of the owner-Jews.”

None of the views expressed above (even number 7, which was surely an actionable threat) received any serious punishment, except no. 2.

However, the next two views did get a swift and severe response from the university:

9. A tenured professor at Marquette University (a Catholic university, mind you) was fired for having criticized a graduate student who refused to allow any opposing view on gay marriage in her classroom.

10.  An offer of tenure at the University of  Illinois was rescinded after the candidate tweeted angry comments about Israel’s Gaza offensive in the summer of 2014.

So what’s the distinction between the first eight incidents and the last two?

The first eight all conform to the larger goals of the New World Order elites; the last two constitute obstacles to those goals.

Thus,

1. and 8. Race hatred against whites distracts from the elites who manipulate whites and non-whites.

It drives a wedge between the two groups, preventing their alliance against the real enemy. Inflammatory racial rhetoric against the right groups is never discouraged by the elites.

2. and 7.  Hatred of gun advocacy promotes gun-control. The NWO needs the population to be disarmed and cowed by the police and the military.

3. Indoctrination in global warming orthodoxy prepares the public to accept the social and economic controls being imposed on it in the name of climate change.

4. Hatred of masculinity provides the justification for female tyranny and privilege and the redistribution of wealth from the private sector (dominated by men) to the public(driven by feminist/female votes).

5.  Radical abortion and infanticide constitute a form of depopulation, another elite goal. They also destroy maternal feeling and undermine the family. Atomized individuals without strong family bonds are  more easily manipulated by propaganda, military recruiters, and gang-leaders; they are more easily addicted to drugs and pornography both big money-earners for the New World Order elites.

6.  Polarizing party politics prevents the population from thinking outside the prescribed binaries and diverts attention from the elites. Inflammatory, personalized political comments make great “noise” drowning out more serious analysis.

On the other hand, oppose gay marriage or the foreign policy of the Israeli state and you invite reprisals.

Greater Israel and the higher sodomy are both central dogmas of the New World Order.

No hate speech on American campuses?

Not for a moment. Hate is just fine in the classroom, so long as it’s the right kind.

 

Ex Canadian Dep. Minister Convicted Of Child Pornography

CORRECTION:

Since I posted this piece, I’ve had time to look at the way in which Levin was charged and find that it’s really not clear whether, beyond the possession of child pornography on his computer – and that’s quite easily downloaded by someone else – there is real evidence that  committed any of the crimes about which he, admittedly, fantasized. Did he actually counsel a real mother with a real daughter to rape her child or did he respond to an FBI officer engaged in entrapment, which response, devoid of actual criminal actions, is something of a manufactured thought-crime, however repugnant the thoughts might be?

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

From Lifesite News comes a report that the high-level Canadian bureaucrat behind a controversial child sex-ed program, has been convicted in court of being a child pornographer.  (For the American equivalent of the program, see here).

Ben Levin claims to have molested his own daughters and was recorded counseling mothers to molest their own children and prepare them for him to molest them.

For those who think that theories about a  global network  of pedophilic criminals in government are mere conspiracy theory, this will be an eye-opener about how and to what end our rulers are subverting instincts and cultural practices that have protected civilization for millenia:

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s former deputy minister of education, Benjamin Levin, was convicted March 3 in a Toronto courtroom to three charges involving child pornography: making written child pornography, counseling a person to commit a sexual assault, and possession of child pornography.

After Justice Heather Adair McArthur of the Ontario Court of Justice accepted Levin’s guilty plea to the three charges, crown counsel Allison Dellandrea said neither the crown nor Levin’s lawyer, Clayton Ruby, disputed the “agreed statement of fact.”

Among the more lurid details contained in the statement are the admission that Levin, in internet chats, claimed he had sexually abused his own daughters, hoped his daughters would make his grandchildren available to him for sex, and counseled an undercover officer on how to groom a child for sexual abuse. The statement acknowledges that there is no evidence Levin actually abused his children and he has not been charged for that offense.

Levin, in a light grey suit, sat slightly slumped in a chair to the left of lawyer Gerald Chan, often resting his head on his right hand and only once glancing behind at the 40 or so spectators filling the 1000 Finch Avenue courtroom.

These were news media, parents, grandparents, and the odd blogger, some of whom palpably recoiled as Dellandrea read out the statement of facts describing the events leading to the 63-year-old’s arrest on July 8, 2013.

At that time, Toronto police seized three laptops, 11 thumb drives, an XD Olympus memory card, a Samsung cell phone, and an external hard drive from Levin’s home.

They discovered 79 files of child pornography on two of the laptops and the external hard drive, but only 15 images and two videos were accessible to Levin. The rest of the child pornography was found in “computer system-generated folders” created without Levin’s knowledge while he used the Yahoo! Messenger program.

Levin had also created a Word document titled “aaa3” which compiled details of the approximately 1,750 people he had chatted with online “on the subject of subversive sexually interests, primarily those related to sexual contact between parents and children.”

Levin frequented a website, designated as “M” (as it is under ongoing police investigation) that described itself as an “alternative sexual lifestyle social networking site” with chat rooms on “incest” and “teens.”  Levin created his profile on M in 2010, describing his gender as “couple,” and his sexuality as “nothing is taboo.”  His profile, under the username BandB, had been visited 5,103 times, had 29 subscribers and was marked as a favorite by 44 users, according to the statement.

On August 7, 2012, Levin started an online chat with Toronto undercover police officer Janelle Blackadar, who posed as a “sexually submissive, young, single mother with a subversive interest in the sexualization of her children,” the statement reads.

Levin told Blackadar that “he sexually abused his own daughters and other children when they were as young as 12 years old, and encouraged D.C. Blackadar to do the same.” There is no evidence that Levin actually did so, nor has he been charged with this offence, the statement points out.”

“Hate” Versus “Anti-Hate” Is A Way To Fleece Suckers

A racist site, “Christian Identity.net,” (Christian identity claims only Europeans are true Israelites, considers Jews to be descendants of Satan, and Asians and blacks to be pre-Adamic descendants of the animals) wakes up to the fact that most racist or race-conscious  groups in the US are thoroughly infiltrated by agents provocateurs.

They have opportunistic government informers running them and are simply cashing in on their followers’ credulity with extreme rhetoric.

New World Order -related groups like the ADL (the anti-Defamation League), the SPLC, and the B’nai Brith, which act as American franchises of the Mossad, often have a cozy, symbiotic relationship with their supposed foes, white Christian nationalists:
“The second morning after each literature distribution the local newspaper always runs an Anti-Defamation League written template article about ‘hate’. This boilerplate article serves both the National Alliance and the Anti-Defamation League’s fund raising goals. The ADL routinely hails the NA as the “most dangerous organization in America”, even though ADL ‘investigators’ have long known about the NA’s true structure. The entire transaction scares up more donations for the ADL from neurotic Jews while also recruiting still more customers for the NA.

This mechanism is also the major reason why the pro-white movement is teeming with so many criminals and borderline psychotics.[Emphasis added.] The NA’s only positive goal is to maximize its own profits, just like any other private corporation. In the furtherance of this profit goal the National Alliance, Incorporated has willingly allowed its ostensible deadly enemy, the Masonic Jewish supremacists of B’nai B’rith, to define the pro-white cause for the American public.

With minor variations this business model has now been operating for three decades, ever since the National Alliance was incorporated in 1974.

“Hate” and the “eradication of hate” are thus part of a lucrative racket that depends on whipping up fear on either side.

The same racket works in India, where NGOs get donations to fight supposed Hindu supremacists, who in turn scare their own followers out of funds on behalf of fighting secularizing leftists.

Meanwhile, the two supposed enemies collaborate at every turn to sell both sides further to the cabal of financiers at the top.

McVeigh Lawyer Jones To Defend Terminated Oklahoma Fraternity

The Oklahoma fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon that was shuttered for racism a couple of days ago by Oklahoma University President David Boren now has high-profile defense attorney Stephen Jones  representing its board of directors.

Jones, interestingly enough, was the lawyer for Timothy McVeigh, the man convicted and put to death for bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, the worst massacre on US soil until the WTC attacks took place only three months after McVeigh’s execution in June 2001.

This is not the first time that Jones, a Republican, has gone up against David Boren, a prominent Democrat Senator and influential member of the Senate  Intelligence Committee.

Jones contested Boren’s Senate seat in 1990.

This whole story has sounded contrived to me from the beginning; now, I’m even more suspicious.

I’ll  explain why in another blog.

Charlie Hebdo Versus Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Why did the entire Western political establishment march in sympathy with the seasoned  and very political cartoonists who drew vile anti-Islamic images in a publicly circulated magazine, while the same Western establishment – or at least its American subsidiary- comes down hard on some barely adult  (19-year old) frat boys mouthing racial slurs on a bus-ride with other frat boys?

What’s the difference?

As usual, it amounts to whose ox is being gored.

We marched with Hebdo, because that suited government objectives in foreign policy, and we don’t march with Oklahoma, because, equally, that suits the government’s domestic objectives.

Think about it.

The culpability of the Hebdo cartoonists was far greater than that of the fraternity students.

They were experienced professional newsmen, who had a history of selective provocation in the service of neoconservative political and military goals (see here).

The frat boys were youngsters (19 and 20), apparently drunk,  with no obvious agenda beyond expressing crude sentiments they probably picked up from adults in their circle.

The Hebdo cartoons were disseminated for public consumption in France, where the interaction between Muslims immigrants and native French is incendiary.  The cartoons were released in a context of a global ‘war on terror” directed mainly against Muslim cultures. A global war in which millions have died and whole nations have been uprooted and destroyed.

The frat boys voiced their opinions in what they assumed was a private group of like-minded peers. There was no intent to disseminate it to the public, especially not to blacks.

The Hebdo cartoons are easily seen as an act of provocation directed at an embattled religious culture .

Their lewdness was not simply “expression” but act  - the images  crossed the line into pornography  that forced the viewer into participating as voyeurs.

The frat boys’ chant was not directed at anyone and the reference to lynching in it, while ominous, is not actually an explicit threat to anyone, even within the context of the song.

The Hebdo cartoons were published by free, private citizens, civilians, who were not censored in any way.  The reaction of other free agents or civilians to them – however violent –  do not fall under the provisions of  First Amendment law, although they certainly do constitute criminal actions (murder).

The Oklahoma students attend a government university, making this by definition a First Amendment issue.

It is settled constitutional law that the government cannot punish the speech of citizens, especially those not directly employed by it,  if  that speech does not directly endanger the lives of anyone.

Public university speech codes are mostly unconstitutional.

I don’t suggest for a moment that the Oklahoma fraternity chant – as it is represented in the media  – is anything but disgraceful and repulsive.

But the legal distinctions are clear and easily verified.

Meanwhile, from a political angle, the boys are an easy target…. and a favorite one too.

The racist deep South, steeped in pre-war bigotry is the red rag that the liberal establishment (is there any other?) most often waves in front of the population in its ceaseless effort to demonize traditionalist cultures that form the only resistance to its relentless program of homogenizing and atomizing populations.

But it is more red herring than red rag.

Nearly as many blacks died at the hands of blacks in 6 months in 2012 than were killed by lynching between 1882 and 1968, and while that fact does not in any way, shape, or form, exonerate that era  of its evil, it surely convicts this one of a different evil.

What that  might be is irrelevant, really.

Whether institutional racism is the villain of this era, or gang wars, or drug policy, or welfarism, Dixie is the architect of none of these.

The Great Society welfare programs that broke the back of the  black family (and, increasingly, the white family) might have been enacted under Lyndon Baines Johnson, a good old boy if ever there was one, but they were hatched by left-wing ideologues like Richard Clowen and Frances Fox Piven, professors at Columbia University, one of the roosts of the liberal establishment.

When the next cell-phone recording catches one of those worthies with their intellectual and moral pants around their knees, let me know what they’re saying about free speech on American campuses.

Meantime, I’m marching with the Nazis at Skokie.

 

#JeSuisSigmaAlphaEpsilon: March For Free Speech In Oklahoma?

What, you didn’t see #JeSuisSAE on Twitter after the upheaval at Oklahoma University over that racially charged fraternity chant?

No march for Oklahoma’s fraternities on behalf of the sanctity of free speech in the free West?

We are all Charlie Hebdo,” pronounced  libertarian Nick Gillespie earlier this year. Speak for yourself Nick, though, to be sure, the loud mouth Okies have only been “blown away” figuratively, not literally.

But Hebdo was not a government organ, while the University of Oklahoma certainly receives federal funding and is subject, also, to federal anti-discrimination law.

So freedom of speech was not at issue in Hebdo, whereas it is here, although you wouldn’t know it from the commentary.

If we can lock arms in solidarity over our right to depict Mohammed as a camel-humping pedophile in Paris, surely we can lock arms in solidarity over our right to taunt  “n******”  with lynching, lest they crash Oklahoma fraternities….

and Eugene Volokh makes the constitutional case for that position here:

1. First, racist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech. That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions — see here for some citations. The same, of course, is true for fraternity speech, racist or otherwise; see Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University (4th Cir. 1993). (I set aside the separate question of student speech that is evaluated as part of coursework or class participation, which necessarily must be evaluated based on its content; this speech clearly doesn’t qualify.)

Meanwhile, can we wait a bit to find out what actually happened, before we make this another national racial moment?

Theodore Dalrymple: Another Johann Hari?

At Harry’s Place, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi spots some important discrepancies in the writing of conservative Theodore Dalrymple, who, despite his goyische name, is actually of Jewish descent. (His real name is Anthony Daniels). Correction: I wrote Andrew earlier, by mistake.

Long before I knew that little factoid about Dalrymple’s name, I had an inkling, from style alone, that the man was temperamentally closer to neo-con than to con.

How could he constantly agitate against the third-world, against Islam and against immigrants, and yet be so so strangely silent on the immigration debate?

That inflexible adherence to one of the lynch-pins of modern liberalism betrays TD as an ideological individualist and no cultural conservative.

Then came another factoid: Dalrymple had been a communist in his youth.

And another:

Dalrymple is a close friend of Alexander Boot and his son, Max (one of the scribes of American empire and a card-carrying neoconservative).

It goes without saying that that association of itself doesn’t make Dalrymple guilty of neo-connery.

But it helps one understand the somewhat unconservative tone of this supposed conservative mouth-piece.

And it does suggest why he focuses so much, and so virulently, on Islam:

See, for eg., The Case for Mistrusting Muslims;  The Question of Islam ; and Islam’s Night-Club Brawl

Al-Tammimi’s sharp observations add to my questions about Dalrymple:

Recently you may have seen several citations of a certain Theodore Dalrymple (the pen name of Anthony Daniels) in prominent media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, where he is interviewed to provide psychoanalysis of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik. These appearances are not the first time Dalrymple has come into the public spotlight: over the years, he has written for publications across the political spectrum, ranging from the Independent to the Daily Telegraph.

In advancing his arguments, Dalrymple, who previously worked as a prison psychiatrist in England, primarily draws on anecdotal experiences with the numerous patients he has treated throughout his career. Indeed, in the introduction to his collection of essays entitled “Life at the Bottom” (Ivan R. Dee 2001), he claims that he has “interviewed some ten thousand people who have made an attempt (however feeble) at suicide” and that from this source alone, he has “learned about the lives of some fifty thousand people” (pg. vii).

I have never been fond of arguments based on hearsay, although I have enjoyed reading Dalrymple’s essays for quite some time because of his style of prose that is marked by highly comprehensible sentence structure and is peppered with Latin phrases. In any case, I am not here to discuss the merit of themes in Dalrymple’s work. Rather, the real question is whether the doctor’s anecdotal accounts are actually true. In short, as a former “distinguished foreign correspondent for the BBC” once supposedly asked him: Has he simply “made it all up” (from the article in “Life at the Bottom” entitled “Seeing is not Believing”-pg. 245)?

The other day I remembered that one of the essays in “Life at the Bottom”- entitled “And Dying Thus Around Us Every Day” (published 2001)- contains an anecdotal account (pg. 175-77) related to the essay’s broader theme of being cowed by accusations of institutionalized racism, whether in the workplace or in media. It turns out that this same account appears in somewhat condensed form in a later article by him with the title “A Modern Witch Trial,” which deals with the same subject and appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of City Journal, a publication to which Dalrymple regularly contributes.

The outline of the story is as follows: a young black man who turned into a recluse attempted suicide by barricading himself in the house and slitting his wrists. Dalrymple, thinking the man was mentally ill, suggested to the patient’s mother that he should not be released from hospital; that he might remain for further treatment. At first, the mother agreed, but then at least one friend of the young man- also black- accused Dalrymple of racism. The mother subsequently turned against the doctor. Feeling the heat amid the prospect of a violent row, Dalrymple agreed to release the young man from hospital, even though he had power within the law to retain the patient for further treatment. He therefore issued a declaration (only with moral validity, not legal) to make it clear that neither he nor the hospital could be held responsible for anything that might happen to the young man on release. The young man later killed himself, although family and friends decided not to hold Dalrymple responsible.
However, there are variations in the story:

(i) In “And Dying Thus Around Us Every Day,” the mother called the fire department to break into the barricaded house, discovering the young man unconscious with his slit wrists (pg. 175), but in “A Modern Witch Trial,” police and family were the ones who forced their way into the barricaded house.

(ii) In the 2001 essay, Dalrymple claims that both one of the young man’s brothers and a friend of the young man accused him of racism, and threatened to bring in other friends and family to cause a disturbance in the hospital if the patient were not released (pg. 176). Nonetheless, in the City Journal article, he just says that the friend came in and threatened to bring in other friends to stir up a disturbance in the hospital. Furthermore, in “And Dying Thus Around Us Every Day,” Dalrymple only claims that he made the mother sign the declaration warning that he could not be held responsible for what might happen to her son (ibid.), but in the City Journal article, he says that both the mother and friend signed the declaration.
(iii) The cause of death: in the 2001 essay, Dalrymple states, “A few weeks later the young man killed himself by hanging” (ibid.). However, in “A Modern Witch Trial,” he claims that “six weeks later, the young man gassed himself to death with car exhaust.”

How does Dalrymple explain the discrepancies in the two accounts of this affair? It seems that the narrative in City Journal is designed to provoke greater outrage: notably with Dalrymple giving in to the threats of a mere friend of the young man (rather than the latter’s family members); and gassing oneself to death sounds much more unusual and horrific than suicide by hanging.

Assuming the incident is true, he must- for obvious reasons- omit names and certain factual details that risk revealing the identities of the patient, his family and friends, and work colleagues. Nevertheless, omission is not the same thing as alteration. If, for example, the young man did kill himself by hanging as he states in the 2001 essay, why not either repeat this detail in the City Journal article or omit it and just affirm that a few weeks after being released the young man committed suicide without specifying how he did so?

What further suggests to me a habit of embellishment is the fact that, when he could name specifics so that readers might check the veracity of his statements, he does not do so. For example, he does not tell us the name of the former “distinguished foreign correspondent for the BBC” who asked him whether he simply made up these accounts of personal experiences with patients in his career as a psychiatrist. Nor does he name the “famous and venerable liberal publication” that hosted the lunch meeting where he supposedly encountered this former BBC correspondent (pg. 245).

Dalrymple assures me that there are no discrepancies at all: the point is, he says, that the fact of the young man’s suicide matters more than the method used. He added that suicide is possible by more than one means at the same time. His first rationale illustrates a reckless disregard for proper fact-checking and concern for consistency. Like Edward Said in his book Orientalism, Dalrymple appears to think that it is okay to play around with specific points like Play-Doh, just as long as he is on to some sort of “Higher Truth.”

As for the second point, he is of course correct (incidentally, Dalrymple had no reason to presume that I did not know this), yet it is highly improbable that you can hang yourself and use car exhaust to kill yourself at the same time. Moreover, he specifies different time intervals for each method of suicide. A few weeks do not amount to six weeks. Either the man killed himself by hanging a few weeks after being released, or he used car exhaust six weeks after his release. Which is it, my dear Theodore?

I urge for a crowdsourcing project of Dalrymple’s writings to detect other instances where he has used the same anecdotal accounts with discrepancies in different articles. Readers can contribute any discoveries they make on this matter in the comments threads, and I will add them as updates to the original blog posting. If Dalrymple is guilty of embellishment as I suspect (or at the worst, complete fabrication- a charge that I will not deign to throw at him owing to insufficient evidence), then he must be exposed publicly, just as Johann Hari’s failure to live up to the basic standards of journalism was brought to light

.”

Reasonability Is The Weapon Of Government Persecution

Reverend Eric Foley of Voice of the Martyrs, Korea, explains why “private” religious practice will not provoke government persecution and asks if Jesus taught a “private” faith:

The private pursuit of faith rarely raises the hackles of even the most restrictive governments. If Christians around the world would just act like American Christians, privatizing their faith, there would be a whole lot less persecution in the world.

No, the most common form of persecution does not involve home invasions and the roughing up of those who profess a personal relationship to Jesus. Instead, the most common form of persecution is something that, sadly, most American Christians would embrace as actually being quite reasonable and even preferable–certainly understandable at least. It takes the form of a government saying something quite reasonable sounding, like this:

“Religious violence is inexcusable. We may have different ideas about God, but God sure doesn’t want us killing each other. Therefore, we need to make some laws that govern how religions behave when they are out in public.” Yes, that is very true, thinks the average American Christian. Religious people shouldn’t be killing each other, you know. And so the government continues its pursuit of reasonability:

“No one should have religious propaganda shoved down their throats, after all. Let everyone who wants to, be able to freely seek out information about religions that interest them–on their own terms. None of this telemarketing-during-dinner type behavior with evangelists shouting at us on the streets.” Yes, quite right, thinks the average American Christian. Why should someone interfere with my freedom? If I want to find out more about a religion, I will Google it on my own time.

And so certainly it will strike many as reasonable that children should not have their parents’ religion shoved down their throats, either. Let the children choose for themselves when they are of age. Until then, the government will assiduously guard their right to, uh, freely not know.

See? No baseball bat anywhere in sight. No heads being bashed like watermelons. And even the average Christian nodding sagely that protecting rights means restricting rights. If you can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater, you sure shouldn’t be able to share your faith just because you think I need to accept it for myself.

Or so the prevailing wisdom goes.

And this is why when people ask me, “How can I prepare for the coming Christian persecution in America?” I reply, “If you are not presently being persecuted, I wouldn’t worry about it a whole lot.” Because Christian persecution is not the result of state malfeasance. It is the result of seeking to live a godly life in Christ Jesus.

You may have read last week about our upcoming fall campaign, 100 Days of Worship in the Common Places, as the North Korean underground church teaches the rest of us a thing or two about how to get your government to launch a full scale persecution of Christians. (Make sure to check out our Facebook page to learn more about and sign up to join the campaign.) The essential point is this:

Today, persecution follows worship in the common places like day follows night. If you quietly, peacefully, insistently carry out basic worship (in the case of our campaign, we’ll be using a liturgy drawn from the Four Pillars of underground North Korean Christian worship) in the common places of life–home, work, front porch, school, coffee shop, store–you will be persecuted.

No, likely not with baseball bats. Reasonability is the far more popular weapon of Christian persecution today and, interestingly, always has been. You’ll be safe in your home with your personal (i.e., private) relationship with Jesus. But if that thought brings you relief, you may be safe and yet not be saved. That was what Wesley meant when he made his famous (and nearly universally misunderstood) comment that all holiness is social holiness. This is what Wesley said:

Directly opposite to this is the gospel of Christ. Solitary religion is not to be found there. ‘Holy solitaries’ is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than holy adulterers. The gospel of Christ knows of no religion but social; no holiness but social holiness.

And this is the sad paradox about American religious life:

The private practice of religion according to the dictates of one’s own conscience is likely assured for Americans for the forseeable future.

But the private practice of religion according to the dictates of one’s own conscience is wholly antithetical to what Paul meant by seeking to live a godly life in Christ Jesus.

It would almost be easier to get Christians to respond if the government got out the baseball bats.”

Nutritional Deficiencies Behind Most Old Age Problems

Incomplete nutrition, not “senility,” is the culprit behind many types of memory loss and cognitive failure among seniors, reports Edward Group from the Global Healing Center (via LRC).

The notion that the elderly are unable to think for themselves and constantly forgetting the most mundane things is a bad and unfair caricature. In reality, senility only strikes 5% of Americans, so the odds are in your favor. With a little prudence, a lot of age-related declines in mental function can be avoided.

Scientists from Tufts University conducted a review and discovered that vitamin deficiencies — not brain decay — were responsible for many of the symptoms of senility.

According to the review, scientists discovered that low folate levels in the elderly can cause forgetfulness and even depression. Vitamin B6, required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, may contribute to peripheral neuropathy, a disorder of the nervous system that causes numbness and tingling in the legs. Vitamin B12 ensures nerves are protected with a myelin sheath and mood disturbances can occur when levels fall well below normal.

The unsettling thing about nutrient deficiencies is that they’re often overlooked. In fact, an older individual can be lacking in certain vitamins for years without dramatic signs of a deficiency. How many people are slowly decaying simply as a result of a very fixable nutrient deficiency? Mental symptoms may not show up immediately, and even usual blood tests are not always reliable. [1]
Perhaps one of the biggest myths about maintaining good health through the aging process is that nutritional needs stay the same. Every age range has different nutritional needs, and the elderly are no exception.
Experts are still arguing about if diet truly needs change with age; however, it is true that a good, sound diet with plenty of raw vegetation is ideal. Still, it’s estimated up to 40% of independent elderly are deficient in a wide range of nutrients for multiple reasons. Chronic illness, both mental and physical, can contribute to nutritional issues and deficiencies. Various medications can also impair nutrient availability or discourage eating due to appetite loss. Even ill-fitting dentures can be painful enough to prevent a person from eating. Elderly who live alone may feel isolated and may even forget to eat due to a lack of social cues.

But even if you are healthy during old age, aging itself generally alters metabolism and physiology. Stomach acid usually declines, thus affecting some nutrient absorption — especially B12. Aging also dampens the body’s appetite center and it’s suspected that an older palate doesn’t detect those tastes that drive us to the dinner table, namely salt and sweet. [2]

Curtailing Freedom For Christians In The West

Some recent examples of the erosion of freedom to express or practice Christian beliefs in the West:

1.  USA June 4, 2012

World Net Daily:

“A ruling from Judge Tim L. Garcia in the New Mexico Court of Appeals says states can require Christians to violate their faith in order to do business, affirming a penalty of nearly $7,000 for a photographer who refused to take pictures at a lesbian “commitment” ceremony in the state where same-sex “marriage” was illegal.”
2. Denmark June 7, 2012

The Telegraph, UK:

“The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.

3. USA  November 24, 2014

The Atlanta Journal Constitution:

 “Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended without pay for one month because of authoring a religious book in which he describes homosexuality as a “sexual perversion” akin to bestiality and pederasty.”
4. USA   February 20, 2015
CNN.com:

“A state judge ruled Wednesday that Washington floral artist and grandmother Barronelle Stutzman must provide full support for wedding ceremonies that are contrary to her faith.

The court also ruled recently that both the state and the same-sex couple, who each filed lawsuits against her, may collect damages and attorneys fees not only from her business, but from Stutzman personally. That means the 70-year-old grandmother may not only lose her business, but also her home and savings because she lives her life and operates her business according to her beliefs.”

5.  USA    Feb 3, 2015:

Christian Post:

“Christian owners of a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, who were forced to close their business in 2013 due to backlash over their refusal to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding based on religious objections, were found guilty of discrimination Monday and now have to pay the couple up to $150,000 in fines.”

Hard Times For Canada’s Christian Doctors & Lawyers

From The Cardus Daily, a report on the difficulties of being a practicing Christian lawyer or doctor in Canada today:

“With the TWU battle raging, another overt campaign to drive out or silence Christians in the legal community was commenced. The Legal Leaders for Diversity (LLD) and is made up of the heads of the legal departments from more than 70 major corporations. The campaign involves its own form of community covenant by these 70+ corporations (including BMO, Ford, The Globe and Mail and the Edmonton Oilers) to restrict hiring of law firms for their legal work to those who have a commitment to “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” The LLD’s definition of these words requires approval of same-sex marriage and excludes Christians or others who might have a different opinion.

The LLD publicly opposed TWU’s proposed law school on the basis that TWU’s Community Covenant is not “inclusive.”

This direct attack on Christian lawyers is meant to create a chilling effect in the legal profession. Lawyers who work for law firms seeking to do business with these corporations will hesitate, and perhaps even be barred from voicing their religious and moral beliefs, or for acting for religious clients in human rights cases dealing with these issues. It’s a scary time to be a Christian lawyer in Canada.

For Christian physicians, the most recent attack was triggered by a series of media stories about doctors in an Ottawa clinic who do not prescribe contraceptives because of their religious beliefs.

In the wake of this coverage, the College of Physicians and Surgeon’s of Ontario (CPSO) decided to revise its policy which sets out physicians’ obligations and expectations vis-à-vis the Ontario Human Rights Code. Despite several submissions from various lawyers and organizations—including myself on behalf of two groups of Christian physicians—that set out the legal basis for which the CPSO was required to protect the religious and conscience rights of physicians, the CPSO has released a draft policy which specifically requires physicians to provide referrals for procedures, treatments, or pharmaceuticals they object to on religious or moral grounds.

For some, such referrals are as morally problematic as doing the procedure itself. If a physician has the moral or religious conviction that abortion or euthanasia is the taking of an innocent human life, then the physician who formally refers a patient to the abortionist or euthanist has contributed to the taking of that life and, therefore, the doing of harm.

If the CPSO policy is finalized as currently worded, Christian physicians are no longer welcome in the medical profession unless they are willing to compromise their religious and moral beliefs. Dr. Marc Gabel, who chairs the group which produced the draft policy, has publicly stated that physicians who refuse to refer for procedures or pharmaceuticals they object to should leave family medicine. It’s a scary time to be a Christian doctor in Canada.”

The West Is Canaanite

 

From Theology.edu  (Quartz Hill School of Theology, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention) , comes the argument that the Old Testament deity’s commandment to destroy the Canaanite cultures was morally justifiable.

From the evidence of contemporary cultural practice – the  mainstreaming of incest (see here), pedophilia (see here), sado-masochism (see here), bestiality  (see here and here), any and all fetishes (see here),  sodomy, orgiastic sex, and hard-core violent pornography  (see here) –   the modern, post-Christian West is closer to being Canaanite than it is to being anything resembling Christian.

For traditionalists of any religion, then, it is the West that is barbaric, judged by the standards of its own Hebraic and Greco-Roman heritage.

“The Character of the Canaanite Cults Justifies the Command to Destroy Them

It is without sound theological basis to question God’s justice in ordering the extermination of such a depraved people or to deny Israel’s integrity as God’s people in carrying out the divine order. Nor is there anything in this episode or the devotion of Jericho to destruction that involves conflict with the New Testament revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

God’s infinite holiness is just as much outraged by sin in the NT as it was in the OT, and the divine wrath is not less in the NT against those who refuse the forgiveness provided by Christ. Consider what Jesus said to and about the scribes and Pharisees who opposed him, the fate of Annanias and Sephira, or the rather apocalyptic judgments describe in Revelation.

The principle of divine forbearance, however, operates in every era of God’s dealings with people. God awaits till the measure of iniquity is full, whether in the case of the Amorite (Gen. 15:16) or the antediluvians consumed by the Deluge (Gen. 6) or the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). But God always gives a way to repent and avoid the judgment (consider God’s words in Ezekiel 33, as an example — “God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather, that the wicked turn from his evil ways.”)

In the case of the Canaanites, instead of using the forces of nature to effect his punitive ends, he employs the Israelites to be his ministers of justice. The Israelites were apprized of the truth that they were the instruments of the divine judgement (Joshua 5:13-14). In the light of the total picture the extermination of the Canaanites by the Israelites was just and employment of the Israelites for the purpose was right.

It was, frankly, a question of destroying or being destroyed, of keeping separated or of being contaminated and consumed.

Canaanite Cults Dangerously Contaminating

Implicit in the righteous judgment was the divine intention to protect and benefit the world. When Joshua and the Israelites entered Palestine in the 14th century (or 13th), Canaanite civilization was so decadent that it was small loss to the world that in parts of Palestine it was virtually exterminated. The failure of the Israelites to execute God’s command fully was one of the great blunders which they committed, as well as a sin, and it resulted in lasting injury to the nation (Judges 1:28, 2:1-3).

In the ensuing judgment the infinite holiness of Yahweh, the God of Israel, was to be vindicated saliently against the dark background of a thoroughly immoral and degraded paganism. The completely uncompromising attitude commanded by Yahweh and followed by the leaders of Israel must be seen in its true light.

Compromise between Israel’s God and the degraded deities of Canaanite religion was unthinkable. Yahweh and Baal were poles apart. There could be no compromise without catastrophe.

W.F. Albright wrote:

It was fortunate for the future of monotheism that the Israelites of the conquest were a wild folk, endowed with primitive energy and ruthless will to exist, since the resulting decimation of the Canaanites prevented the complete fusion of the two kindred folk which would almost inevitably have depressed Yahwistic standards to a point where recovery was impossible.

Thus the Canaanites, with their orgiastic nature-worship, their cult of fertility in the form of serpent symbols and sensuous nudity, and their gross mythology, were replaced by Israel, with its nomadic simplicity and purity of life, its lofty monotheism, and its severe code of ethics. In a not altogether dissimilar way, a millennium later, the African Canaanites, as they still called themselves, or the Carthaginians, as we call them, with the gross Phoenician mythology which we know from Ugarit and Philo Byblius, with human sacrifices and the cult of sex, were crushed by the immensely superior Romans, whose stern code of morals and singularly elevated paganism remind us in many ways of early Israel. (Note: the Romans were apparently descended from Japheth, so their destruction of Carthage was a fulfillment of Gen. 9:27).”

 

A Black And White View Of Asia

First the white view:

Andrew Henderson at Nomad Capitalist  writes that so-called “white worship” in Asia is greatly exaggerated and that when it does occur is mostly derived from Asian admiration for wealth and success.

As more Asians become prosperous, he claims,  “white is right” no longer works.

Henderson:

“Sure, many Asian women prefer white guys with blond hair. For some, it’s a fad; for others, it’s a type. However, I don’t hear anyone complaining that the Kardashians seem to share a “type” in the guys they date.

Nor do I hear the westerners hurling arrogant stereotypes at Asians accusing the $10-an-hour secretary in Chicago of being “just out for money”. $1.50 or $2 an hour in Vietnam can go a lot further for a young person than $10 an hour in the USSA. Yet few – including the 200 commenters on that Facebook post I mentioned – would accuse an underpaid secretary of being “only out for money”. (And, of course, not all white people living in Asia have money.)

As Asians gain more and more wealth, a lot of men and women are choosing to marry within their culture. Go to China and try to get with a model. You’d be hard pressed to do it. The wealthiest and most attractive women there, just like in any culture, have their pick of the litter, and it’s a lot easier to marry someone from the same background. They’re not lining up to date white people.

So if you think white people are living the perfect life in Asia with a parade of women begging them for dates daily, think again. Likewise, not everything is about money here. Yes, many Asian cultures place a high value on entrepreneurship, working hard, and building wealth. Those are reasons I respect the culture and feel comfortable here.

Just don’t confuse a desire for success with a parasitic eye toward white people.”

Henderson’s view strikes me as exceedingly limited and roseate.

My own views on the subject are closer to those of a reader of Nomad Capitalist, who responded thus:

R. Jerome Harris:

“Skin whitener products are big business in Thailand and in Japan. Thai women avoid exposure to the sun like a plague. Dark-skinned Thai do not get the “good jobs” that involve exposure with the public - especially – with visiting foreigners. You do not see dark-skinned Thai airline stewardesses, bank tellers, etc.

Driving from any one of the two Thai airports you will see billboards of White European or American models. The few advertisements you see along the roads that have Thai models in them, their skin is so bleached White, they look White.

Black people are not preferred. If no Black people lived in Thailand, it would be OK with most Thais. Unless, you have money.

Money is everything to Thais because they need it to take care of their families. If you happen to be Black and you have money, “What’s love got to do with it” as one Thai lady told me.

A White friend of mine (pale skinned guy from Australia) was walking down a village road when a elderly Thai woman sitting with her daughter or grand daughter yelled out to my white friend – who they did not know – to “give daughter baby.” In other words, they wanted him to have sex with the young woman to make her pregnant.

In Thailand, light-skinned children are a prize and hold much value in the Thai family. They are a goldmine for the family because that child – when it grows up – will have privileges a darker skinned Thai child will never have.

Thai parents are desperate for English speaking foreigners to teach their children English. They will give you all they have if you tutor them … if you are the right color.

I am a teacher by profession. But Thai parents will not allow Black persons – no matter what your credentials – teach their Children. They want a Farang – a White person to teach them.

I was at one of Thailand very popular 5-star hotels awaiting my turn to serviced. I was next in line. Yet, a White couple showed up with their bags in tow and instead of looking at me and saying, “May I help you” the hotel check-in clerk bypassed me as if I was not there and addressed the White couple. But here is the thing: The White couple did not have the decency or courtesy to say, “He was here before us.”

In Thailand and in Japan, White-skin is “preferred.” But when all of the layers are peeled back, it is really White people worship.

What readers have been given by Mr. Henderson is a White man’s perspective and that is all. I am not saying that what he is saying is all in error. I am saying a lot is missing.

The things in the world cannot always be told all the time through the eyes of a White person.”

Feng-Shui Master Predicts 2015 Disasters?

A famous Malaysian-based Chinese astrologer and BuddhisFeng-Shui Master, Thean Y Nang, who reportedly predicted 9/11, is out with predictions for 2015.

More from International Business Times, via Lew Rockwell:

“The Year of the Wood Goat is associated with the wood element as well as the earth element, but unfortunately, the earth element is unfavourable this year. This means that there will be a multitude of disasters and mass casualties such as landslides, bridge collapses and problems relating to construction. Countries along the Pacific Ring of Fire where earthquakes commonly occur will also be affected. Added to this, the combination of elements means that there will continue to be a volatile political situation which will cause “irregular fluctuations” to the global economy, and that is why financial losses might occur.

Property and currency prices will fluctuate

“Property prices will decrease due to disaster, causing less demand in the market, so think twice before you invest,” writes Thean. “Drastic currency swings may happen that are hard to predict. Investments could be problematic but if you must invest, take extra precaution and make sure you consider thoroughly before making any money-related division. “Otherwise you may encounter predicaments and obstacles e.g. serious cash outflow or even bankruptcy.” In the Year of the Wood Goat, there is also a lack of the metal element, which is a good thing, as the prices of gold and silver will likely increase.”

LRC republished this piece without comment, but on this blog we are a tad more skeptical of any “Ancient Eastern Master” that gets into major media.

There are many ancient Eastern masters and most of their teaching is the object of ridicule, distortion, plagiarism, libel, or censorship in the mainstream.

When one of them escapes that destiny, I’m inclined to wonder why.

I note that Malaysia, despite well-known feisty remarks about Zionism from former PM Mohammed Mahathir, is itself a police-state of sorts.

It has its own share of financiers hooked into the global elites.

And it seems to be a target/player in some recent and spectacular international crises,  the downing of the Malaysian airline over Ukraine  being one.

Remember the mysterious Chinese blogger who also “predicted” that downing ?

He made a great Daily Mail headline. So does Master Thean Y Nang.

I wrote this in 2007:

http://dissidentvoice.org/2007/08/tom-tancredo-takes-out-mecca-us-forces-take-out-al-badri/

A Chinese astrologer who predicted 9/11 and now predicts the movement of gold and silver, bridge and building collapses, and currency fluctuations?

Could someone want to spook the real estate industry and prop up the bullion market?

Who has stock positions where?

And would they whisper into the ear of an ambitious professional seer?

If cartoons can be a weapon for the global hierarchy in their war on the mind, any reason why astrology might not be?

US Court: Calling Homosexuality Mental Illness Is Consumer Fraud

ADDED:

Please note that I do not endorse JONAH or its individual practices/therapies in any way.

My point is simply that free speech is routinely curbed in the West, so to claim it is an inviolable principle is misleading.

Note also that a JONAH  counselor has been charged with abuse of clients by noted pro-gay activist, Wayne Besen.

[Wayne Besen is a prominent critic of the “ex-gay” movement and was instrumental in attacking many conservative/Republican figures through ex-gay associates.]

See this blog for a fascinating exchange in which Besen slipped and admitted that in diagnostic classification by the APA (American Psychological Association) in 1973, homosexuality was dropped as a mental illness simply because of political pressure, not science.

Note that the exchange was scrubbed from Besen’s site and is only available now because the blogger preserved it on his site.

In connection to that, note that the  judge in the JONAH lawsuit (Hudson County (NJ) Superior Court Judge, Peter Bariso Jr) has also made it “fraudulent” for reparative therapists to offer statistics of success or use client testimony.

In other words, the court has banned evidence that contradicts the preferred political position of the ruling classes.

Final point. The plaintiff in the case against JONAH is none other than the notorious Southern Poverty Law Center, a self-styled anti-bigotry watch-dog that engages in one of the few bigotries that remains acceptable today – prejudice against conservative religious beliefs.

The SPLC has called the Christian organization, Focus on the Family, a “hate” group simply because it advocates traditional Christian positions.

Meanwhile, the head of the SPLC, Morris Dees, who has made a career of bankrupting outfits that he targets as “hate-filled,” is himself a multi-millionaire.

And, at least according to papers filed by his former wife, moral crusader Dees is prone to violence and other abusive actions, to put it delicately.

Gory details, for those so inclined, can be found here. Caveat lector. It is a divorce proceeding, after all.

ORIGINAL POST

A US court has ruled that JONAH, a Jewish group that  offers reparative therapy to homosexuals, is committing a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.

However, if Jonah were simply calling homosexuality “disordered” and prohibited by religion, the court conceded, the group might be afforded First Amendment protection.

So much for the endlessly hyped dogma that free speech is sacred in the West.

Bah, humbug.

 

Debunking Common Atheist Arguments Against Christianity

Eric Hyde, an orthodox Christian and psychotherapist, has a list of the ten most popular arguments made by atheists against Christians and the reasons why they fail.

Here are the last three arguments on his list:

“8. History is full of mother-child messiah cults, trinity godheads, and the like. Thus the Christian story is a myth like the rest.

This argument seems insurmountable on the surface, but is really a slow-pitch across the plate (if you don’t mind a baseball analogy). There is no arguing the fact that history is full of similar stories found in the Bible, and I won’t take the time to recount them here. But this fact should not be surprising in the least, indeed if history had no similar stories it would be reason for concern. Anything beautiful always has replicas. A counterfeit coin does not prove the non-existence of the authentic coin, it proves the exact opposite. A thousand U2 cover bands is not evidence that U2 is a myth.

Ah, but that doesn’t address the fact that some of these stories were told before the Biblical accounts. True. But imagine if the only story of a messianic virgin birth, death, and resurrection were contained in the New Testament. That, to me, would be odd. It would be odd because if all people everywhere had God as their Creator, yet the central event of human history—the game changing event of all the ages—the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ had never occurred to them, in at least some hazy form, they would have been completely cut off from the prime mysteries of human existence. It seems only natural that if the advent of Christ was real it would permeate through the consciousness of mankind on some level regardless of their place in history. One should expect to find mankind replicating these stories, found in their own visions and dreams, again and again throughout history. And indeed, that is what we find.

9. The God of the Bible is evil. A God who allows so much suffering and death can be nothing but evil.

This criticism is voice in many different ways. For me, this is one of the most legitimate arguments against the existence of a good God. The fact that there is suffering and death is the strongest argument against the belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. If suffering and death exist it seems to suggest one of two things: (1) either God is love, but He is not all-powerful and cannot stop suffering and death, or (2) God is all-powerful, but He does not care for us.

I devoted a separate article addressing this problem, but let me deal here with the problem inherent in the criticism itself. The argument takes as its presupposition that good and evil are real; that there is an ultimate standard of good and evil that supersedes mere fanciful ‘ideas’ about what is good and evil at a given time in our ethical evolution, as it were. If there is not a real existence—an ontological reality—of good and evil, then the charge that God is evil because of this or that is really to say nothing more than, “I personally don’t like what I see in the world and therefore a good God cannot exist.” I like what C.S. Lewis said on a similar matter: “There is no sense in talking of ‘becoming better’ if better means simply ‘what we are becoming’—it is like congratulating yourself on reaching your destination and defining destination as ‘the place you have reached.’

What is tricky for the atheist in these sorts of debates is to steer clear of words loaded with religious overtones. It’s weird for someone who does not believe in ultimate good and evil to condemn God as evil because He did not achieve their personal vision of good. So, the initial criticism is sound, but it is subversive to the atheist’s staging ground. If one is going to accept good and evil as realities, he is not in a position to fully reject God. Instead, he is more in a position to wrestle with the idea that God is good. This struggle is applauded in the Orthodox Church. After all, the very word God used for his people in the Old Testament—“Israel”—means to struggle with God.

10. Evolution has answered the question of where we came from. There is no need for ignorant ancient myths anymore.

This might be the most popular attempted smack-downs of religion in general today. It is found in many variations but the concept is fairly consistent and goes something like this: Science has brought us to a point where we no longer need mythology to understand the world, and any questions which remain will eventually be answered through future scientific breakthroughs. The main battle-ground where this criticism is seen today is in evolution vs. creationism debates.

Let me say upfront that there is perhaps no other subject that bores me more than evolution vs. creationism debates. I would rather watch paint dry. And when I’m not falling asleep through such debates I’m frustrated because usually both sides of the debate use large amounts of dishonesty in order to gain points rather than to gain the truth. The evolutionist has no commentary whatsoever on the existence of God, and the creationist usually suffers from profound confusion in their understanding of the first few chapters of Genesis.

So, without entering into the most pathetic debate of the ages, bereft of all intellectual profundity, I’ll only comment on the underlining idea that science has put Christianity out of the answer business. Science is fantastic if you want to know what gauge wire is compatible with a 20 amp electric charge, how agriculture works, what causes disease and how to cure it, and a million other things. But where the physical sciences are completely lacking is in those issues most important to human beings—the truly existential issues: what does it mean to be human, why are we here, what is valuable, what does it mean to love, to hate, what am I to do with guilt, grief, sorrow, what does it mean to succeed, is there any meaning and what does ‘meaning’ mean, and, of course, is there a God? etc, ad infinitum.

As far as where we come from, evolution has barely scratched the purely scientific surface of the matter. Even if the whole project of evolution as an account of our history was without serious objection, it would still not answer the problem of the origin of life, since the option of natural selection as an explanation is not available when considering how dead or inorganic matter becomes organic. Even more complicated is the matter of where matter came from. The ‘Big Bang’ is not an answer to origins but rather a description of the event by which everything came into being; i.e., it’s the description of a smoking gun, not the shooter.”

At A Voice for Men, Amit Deshpande reports on misandry in India:

“In modern day India, all things developmental are considered due to encouraged participation of women in public life and all things bad and lethargic are due to patriarchy and the attitude of men.

For feminists in India, “Patriarchy” is considered to be a virtue worth jettisoning, without giving up the women’s privileges that come with it.

Indian feminism is caught up largely in the 1980s with help of increased funding from the West.

There were a slew of laws created which haunt the Indian men to this date.

The first weapon feminists used, was a woman’s share in her paternal property, termed as “dowry”.

India saw an increased reportage of bride-burning and dowry harassment cases in media. The cry was made shrill enough to drown any sane voice, if ever there was any.

An anti-dowry harassment law, Section 498a of the IPC was created in 1983 which is draconian and most misused. It gives a woman complete power to get anyone from her husband’s family arrested.

Then came the Dowry death law –Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code. It considers any unnatural death of a woman within 7 years of marriage as dowry death – meaning it assumes the husband and his relatives as guilty for her death and they are put behind bars immediately.

There have been many other anti-men laws that have come up regularly. Misandry in India, overall, can be gauged with the high number of suicides of men and crime against men: According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs – 62,433 married men and a total of 87,839 men committed suicide in 2011 — and this figure is increasing every year. The same bureau report shows that 92% of all crime happens against men and the society is still not even considering issues of men as a topic worth attention.”

 

How The Media Promotes Racial Stereotypes

A blogger describes how the media effeminizes Asian men and masculinizes black women:

Three major stereotypes – that have come into being in history and have since been reinforced by popular culture – inform the perceptions of beauty in Western culture today, says Nitasha Sharma, an anthropology professor at Northwestern University who researches difference, inequality and racism in Asian-black relations. 

The first stereotype is that black men are aggressive and hyper-masculine – “walking penises” – and Asian women are the perfect wives – docile, submissive, obedient, shy and waiting to be saved, Sharma says. Second, Asian men have been de-sexualized as small and weak brainiacs excelling at math but unable to get the girl, while black women have been seen as too aggressive, independent and outspoken to be proper wives. The third stereotype portrays whites in a position of power and “globally desired,” a key to gaining a higher social status.

Love is not colorblind, Sharma admits. However, to claim that height and shape or symmetries of the face make some races more desirable than others is a “complete baloney,” she says.

If you think of Asian men or black women as less attractive than other races, it is because of you, not because of them, Sharma says. Since the day you were born, different influences on your mind – the bedtime stories your Mom read, the cartoons you saw as kid, the school you went to and the wallpaper on your computer – have come together to create a cohesive image of the world.

Popular culture – movies, TV, cartoons, books – aim to reflect reality and end up reinforcing it as well. “This is not a matter of brainwashing,” Sharma says. “It’s how people make sense of their position in society.” Stereotyping puts people in categories and helps us explain a complex world with oversimplification.

 Percent of time actors use profanity on screen %

Blacks – 89%%

White- 17%

 

Look at those figures:

On screen, black characters use profanity 89 percent of the time, versus white characters who use profanity 17 percent of the time. Blacks are depicted in physical violence 56 percent of the time, while whites play violent roles just 11 percent of the time, according to Robert Entman and Andrew Rojecki’s 2000 book “The Black Image in the White Mind.”

Blacks are further shown as either lazy or hypersexual, while Asian men, to the extent that they are portrayed at all, are either momma’s boys or effeminate computer dorks with no social skills, Entman says.

If you can come up with an example [in movies] where an Asian man is shown in a sexual role with a white woman, I’d be shocked. Shocked!” Sharma says.

Asian men normally do not take the romantic lead. During its 15-year run, the NBC show “ER” did not star a single Asian in a leading male role. “Grey’s Anatomy” showed the romances of six white characters – exclusively with other white people – and between a black male, Dr. Preston Burke, and an Asian female, Dr. Cristina Yang. An iPhone 4 FaceTime commercial features three couples – all of them white men video calling either white or Asian female mates. There are countless more examples.”

 

 

The country of the deaf…(updated)

Updated:

Just to clarify, I do not support the intervention of the central government in the treatment of deaf people, except at the level of raising awareness and smoothing the path of private enterprise. The reason is that once the government starts creating programs, the programs inevitably turn into schemes and boondoggles for preferred contractors. Kickbacks enter the picture and costs rise. Private efforts are diverted elsewhere, because of the appearance that “something is being done.”

Activists, instead of focusing on reducing the problem, become comfortable with it, because it becomes a source of income and prestige. Bureaucratic creep and empire-building take over.

From Project Deaf India:

As reported by WHO, there are about 250-300 million deaf people in this world, 2/3 of them live in the underdeveloped nations, of these India has the largest share.

From a recent report in the India’s leading daily newspaper, The Times of India, Jan 23, 2007;

“That one out of twelve (1/12) persons in India has hearing loss. The problem is receiving political attention. The health ministry has launched its project to focus on The Prevention and Early diagnosis of deafness and not the least, treatment of ear infections and other diseases causing hearing loss ………”

And more below about one doctor’s fight against India’s epidemic of hearing loss:

On a 1998 visit to India, from which Rotarian Desai emigrated nearly a half century ago, he read a newspaper article about the discovery of the so-called “deaf village.” He learned that India has one of the highest rates of deafness in the world. Most of the deaf are illiterate and uneducated. Discrimination is rampant.

He began to wonder if he could give India’s deaf children the same opportunities for education and employment that his daughter had received. “Why can’t I bring more Anjalis into the world?” he asked himself.

Almost immediately upon returning home, he launched Project Deaf India. The first phase, a $40,000 project funded partly by a Matching Grant, provided a mobile detection unit and audiometer for early diagnosis of deafness, hearing aids for deaf children, training for local teachers in the Total Communication System of deaf education, and an electronic microscope that enables a rural hospital to conduct corrective surgery on deaf patients.

The project quickly drew interest. O.P. Vaish, RI director; and T. Ramesh U. Pai, past RI director, have been instrumental in supporting Project Deaf India, and six other California clubs have joined as sponsors.

In 1999, a Grant for Rotary Volunteers paid for two teachers from Gallaudet University to provide instruction in sign language to children and their families in Mysore for three months. Few deaf people in India know sign language, both because of a lack of funds and because of logistical problems-India has 38 different languages. Dr. Desai is promoting the use of English as a universal sign language in India. To that end, he also arranged for a third Rotary Volunteers grant from January to March 2001. The grant paid for the head of a prominent school for the deaf in New Mexico, USA, to explore the possibility of teaching American Sign Language and computer skills in India.

Last August, the group received a Matching Grant to assist the “deaf village.” The $20,000 project, funded in partnership with Dr. Desai’s club and the Rotary Club of Hubli Mid-Town, supplied three subterranean wells and a water distribution system. The Rotarians also helped set up monthly health clinics, and supply multivitamins and hearing aids. In addition, they have reduced the incidence of ear infections in the village by curbing a tribal practice of inserting tainted coconut oil in the infants’ ears to prevent “leaking ear,” which generally precedes deafness in the village.

The NIH is still investigating the exact cause of the extraordinarily high rate of deafness in the village. It is likely that malnutrition, heredity, cultural habits and a contaminated water supply all play a role. The local people, however, call it “God’s curse.”

“It is believed there are many more deaf villages hidden in the forests of India,” Dr. Desai says. And just as these villages are overlooked by the rest of society, so, too, are most of the deaf in India.

The unemployment rate is about 50 percent for the hearing impaired. “Deafness is still considered a stigma in India,” he says. “Deaf children are discarded and sent to poorly supported government schools. The schools are old, and the children are taught alongside the mentally handicapped. A large number of deaf adults are beggars, and most of the rest are doing some sort of menial job.”\

 

 

US Domestic Flights To Require Enhanced ID

From ActivistPost:

The TSA recently announced they will require a special driver’s license to board domestic flights by 2016.

These ‘Real IDs’ will have already performed extensive background checks on everyone who receives them and will feature stars and other markings to indicate good behavior. No word on markings for troublemakers.

It seems similar to how a scarlet letter was used to indicate adulterers in Puritan societies, or how the Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to wear yellow badges in public so they could be immediately recognized by authorities.

Real IDs are referred to as enhanced IDs and they also reportedly contain biometric security features and RFID chips. Since its inception, civil liberties advocates have had concerns that those without these intrusive new IDs will be excluded from basic human rights like working or traveling.

 

Chris Kyle: Wounded Human Being

Rand Paul’s media director cautions antiwar critics not to blame the Chris Kyles of the world for the cynicism and self-interest of the governing class:

” Watching “American Sniper,” I imagined what I would have done if I found myself in the same situation. I really don’t know. My current political beliefs aside—senator and Vietnam veteran Jim Webb once called the battlefield the most apolitical environment he’s ever experienced—I am not confident my behavior or attitude would have been different from Kyle’s.

Kyle, like many Americans, wants to believe his government is right but becomes more confused as the war wears on. He joined the military to do his duty and serve his country. His certainty dampens and then deteriorates, as does his mental state while his family life lies in tatters.

Chris Kyle wasn’t alone. The following is a private discussion with a woman who generally holds antiwar views that helps shed light on what many military members and their families have gone through post 9/11. She wished to remain anonymous and this is used with her permission:

My brother did five tours between Iraq and Afghanistan. He says he did a lot of things we know he didn’t do, and suffers from insane PTSD to the point that he and I hardly speak and when we do he’s irrational to the point of distraction. But he’ll tell you some crazy stories, has some serious violence issues, and probably could be classified as the same type of “jerk, liar, and murderer” that Chris Kyle is accused of being. These guys come back messed the hell up. Some figure shit out, others don’t. Sometimes the bragging is their way of dealing or staying numb or hiding. I’ll pass on making judgment because I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to handle what they went through and I hope one day my brother returns to a piece of who he was before.

How many U.S. military members and their families see their own struggles reflected in the saga of Chris Kyle?

War critics who now attack Kyle and arguably, by extension, the U.S. military, don’t sound much different than hawks who revel in casting all Middle Easterners in the worst possible light. There is an ugly crudeness to being anti-Muslim. The same can be true of being anti-military too.

Many war critics are careful to explain the context of anti-American sentiment made by some in the Arab world, that certain U.S. policies naturally provoke emotion and extreme rhetoric. These critics should approach Kyle and some of his controversial statements with the same depth, consideration, and judgment.

Being antiwar can, and should, also mean being pro-soldier. “American Sniper” should be instructive in this regard, despite attempts by left and right to see only what suits their ideological purposes. Director Clint Eastwood says his movie makes “the biggest antiwar statement any film can.”

Ultimately, “American Sniper” is about what the Iraq War did to Chris Kyle and his family. He wasn’t just some cocksure cartoon. He was a man. And he was a mess.”

TASS, Not RT, Linked To Russian Spies

The New York Post  and The Washington Post  state that the Kremlin-owned news agency linked to the alleged Russian spy-ring (busted by New York’s grandstanding DA, Preetinder Singh Bharara) is TASS.

It’s not Russia Today, as The Daily Beast insinuated a few days ago, in what seems to have been a desperate effort to smear RT (and ZeroHedge, EPJ) contributor, Bob English.

See my earlier post:

“Bob English: I Am Not A Spy.”

 

Bob English: I Am Not A Russian Spy

Apparently, The Daily Beast, a popular liberal internet journal, has insinuated that Bob English, a contributor at EconomicPolicyJournal, ZeroHedge, and Russia Today, is  a Russian spy…

or linked to a Russian spy ring….

or  once formulated questions like a Russian spy …

or formulated questions that struck the writers at the Daily Beast as questions that – were they Russian spies – they might have asked..

Or…..well, The Beast isn’t too clear what exactly they’re claiming English is.

Which is very convenient, because it’s tres difficile to deny or refute  a claim you can’t really grasp head or tail of.

Still,  I’m all agog.

D’you mean to say that commenting at EPJ, I might have been rubbing shoulders with a bona-fide SVR (foreign intelligence) operative?

The following exchange was back in 2011, at the start of the Occupy Wall Street operation, when Bob’s career as a spy (sarcasm alert!) was dithering around so much it left him time to post long messages at EPJ:

 

  • @Bob English

    I think a French court recently upheld a conviction against Soros. Is there any way to leverage that in the US?

    Reply

  • Ellen Brown is for the Toobin Tax…
    She should rethink this, with this information out there.

    Reply

  • Nice usage of the word “leverage”, Lila. :->

    Soros is officially out of the trading business (but not really). He’s positioned himself against the big banks and has the activist state AG’s on his side. Who’s going to attack him? Holder? He has his own major problems and can’t afford it. The way to kick Soros in the shin is to take out Schneiderman–a la Spitzer. Unlikely to happen though. Wall St doesn’t have the clout or hootzpah it did in those days.

    I think Soros could come out of the global reset as The Big Winner. It’s really amazing to watch as it unfolds.”

     

And look here, the dastardly editor of EPJ, Bob Wenzel even lists me along with the alleged spymaster in an even more dastardly ring …..of anti-Krugmanites:

And there you have it, very poorly argued comments from the Krugmanites. A really sad group. I’ll match up the EPJ commenters over Krugmanites, any day. I’ll take, Bob Murphy, Bob English, Richard Dale Fitzgerald, Botie, Joe Nelson, Taylor Conant, Hans Palmstierna, Michael Labeit,, Andre Grillon, Joesph Fetz, Melvin Megawitz, Iris Mack, Kaarel Tamm, Christopher Kozlowski, Lila Rajiva, Capn Mike, Vviresh Amin, Zach Bush, Jaison De Montalegre, deft, Skip Oliva, Adam Munter, JFF and many, many more, over the Krugmanites any day

Good Lord.

The dangers I run on this blog…

Getting back to mother-ship Earth, Bob English has denied the rumor/innuendo/sliming/character-assassination  stoutly at EPJ, to wit:

For the record, I, Bob English, am not a spy for the Russian government (or any other).

Monday, Federal prosecutors levied criminal charges against Evgeny Buryakov, one of three Russians alleged to have engaged in espionage against the US.  Several media outlets reported the story, but Shane Harris and M.L. Nestel at The Daily Beast jumped through hoops in a vain attempt to link me and my former employer, RTTV America, to the conspiracy. “

Of course, I needn’t tell Mr. English that any statement beginning “I am not a spy” has about the same ring of conviction to the average ear  as “I am not a crook”.….as Richard Nixon found to his grief.

This is the nature of smearing on the web.

Unless you have a large media presence and hordes of fans or paid hacks to counter the spin, nothing you say can actually undo the damage. It’s more likely to make it worse. That’s been my own dismal experience.

I should add here that I know nothing whatsoever about Bob English (if that is his name) beyond what I read from his pen.

I have never met or spoken to this person, outside the comment section at EPJ.

For aught I know, he  is Putin’s right-hand man and took notes directly from Aldrich Ames.

But since I’ve had many more exchanges with the late Alexander Cockburn (CIA),  Gordon Duff (Military Intelligence), various Bazaar  Inc. (guess who?)  affiliates (some almost certainly working with intelligence),  various blog editors and owners  whom I shall not name (whom I suspect of being Pakistani, Indian, Russian or other intelligence operatives), at least one out-of-control CIA station chief (or near-abouts), and a host of sayanim, hasbara agents, agents provocateurs, trolls, and paid bashers who have plastered their admiration of me all over the net, I’m not about to pass out with worry.

Welcome to virtual reality.

When the entire web is the field of espionage and brain-washing (chiefly by the American, British, and Israeli governments), much of it done via reputable establishment mouth-pieces, corporations, government-funded software programs, spyware, and robots; when foreign lobbyists openly bribe members of Congress for “access”; when any venue of international diplomacy is riddled with bugs and cameras;  when confidential information is passed along in the halls of power like birthday cake; the fact that some writer somewhere echoed some suspected spy’s line of questioning strikes me as underwhelming in the extreme, even if proved to the hilt.

Unproven, it’s just another shade of yellow (belly) journalism.

 

I am not a purist

I am not a purist.

There are too many disinformation agents, intelligence operatives, propagandists, and plain yarn-spinners mixed into the alternative blogs for me to restrict my reposting only to the 100 percent kosher authors.

Which is another way of saying that there isn’t too much in the blogosphere that is 100 percent kosher.

The ones that are pure as mother’s milk are often so tied into knots by ideology or by  habit that they cannot give you compelling interpretations or revealing facts.

That includes all those earnest commies and gender-maniacs who can twist any event into a preformed story-line ending in a rah-rah-rah for their home team.

Then there are the ivory-tower munchkins, too sheltered from reality to even recognize it, let alone shape it.

The ones who do have a grasp, do have the connections, and do have the inside scoop, of course, come tied to the apron-strings of intelligence.

That is, by and large, the way the world works.

So what does a blogger do?

I can be a purist and just quote myself, because I trust no one and nothing else.

Or, I can be a bit smarter and post things from all over the map, as long as the post itself can stand on its own merits.

And that is what I do, regardless of whether the author has slipped up somewhere else, thrown in a pinch of garam masala into a bland tale, regurgitated mainstream cliches, covered his a**, or otherwise been less than a perfect truth-teller.

It’s no secret that conspiracy sites like Alex Jones, Jeff Rense,  Henry Makow, Gordon Duff, many 9-11  sites, and many like them, are rife with disinformation.

Why wouldn’t they be?

Even near-mainstream figures (Seymour Hersh or Noam Chomsky, for example) are laden with disinformation.

Intelligence has a huge budget and dozens of branches, not all at the base of the tree.

It doesn’t mean that the suspect writers don’t also get some things right sometimes.

It doesn’t mean that they can’t voice convincing, powerful, passionate, real opinions.

They can and they do.

And when they do, I will repost their pieces, with suitable caveats.

If there is nothing wrong in them, I will repost  without apology.

As I said, I am not a purist.

In this or in anything else.

 

Jingoism Is The Religion Of America

Brandon Turbeville at GlobalResearch.ca:

“Kyle seemed to enjoy his torture of the Iraqi people boasting about his number of kills and having a great time chasing them with remote controlled hummers as they screamed, presumably thinking it was some kind of weapon being aimed at them.

Kyle also boasted of his ability to punch cattle so hard back home that he twice broke his hand. It should be noted that, abusing animals, of course, is one indicator of a psychopath.

After his stint in the US military, Kyle moved on to more lucrative pastures – the private sphere of war profiteering. Becoming the president of Craft International, a military tactical firm working with both the US military and law enforcement, Kyle continued to benefit off the wholesale slaughter of innocent people overseas and the increased police state here at home.

War profiteering was not enough, however, as Kyle was then turned loose as propagandist by erroneously claiming that he had once been in a bar fight with Jesse Ventura, whom Kyle claimed had insinuated he was happy about the death of Navy SEALs. Kyle claimed that he became angry with Ventura and punched him in the face. Ventura had been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq and painting him as a heartless criminal that rejoiced in the death of American soldiers served to denigrate both Ventura and other critics of the war. Ventura subsequently sued Kyle, but Kyle was killed before the court case was resolved. Ventura was then painted as a heartless troop-hater that sued a poor soldier’s widow. It cannot be overlooked that Ventura won the case and was awarded $1.8 million by a federal jury.

Now, with the release of American Sniper, Kyle is being portrayed as not only a victim of Ventura, but a genuine hero who exuded honor in his actions that were allegedly solely designed to protect Americans and the lives of his “brothers.”

But Kyle’s representation in the media is not only inaccurate, it is disgraceful.

Kyle was bloodthirsty. He was a murderer. And he was proud of his actions.

But Kyle has now become a symbol of “supporting the troops.” With the use of liberal blowhards like Michael Moore as the opposition, the die has been cast – you either love the troops and are a conservative or you hate them and are a liberal. In the mainstream media and, thus, in the minds of the vast majority of the American public, there is no in between and there is certainly no independent thought.

To see such a murderer glorified by the mass media is nothing new. What is truly disgusting, however, is the reaction given to those who dare criticize the new Christ of killing. The complete rejection and borderline violent reaction to anything that resembles a hesitation to rush to war in his country is both frightening and extremely dangerous.

Much of this reaction has come from blowhard reactionaries and entertainment-based commentators. Yet, many average Americans have fallen prey to the culture of militarism and pro-war propaganda to the point that American Sniper has now become akin to what the Passion of the Christ was for Christians. Americans, so overcome with their worship of militarism and so devoid of the ability to tell fact from fiction are now reportedly standing up and giving ovations when the fictional Kyle kills the “bad guy” of the movie.

It is this grouping of individuals who have been the most vocal in their support for a war based on proven lies and virtually every armed conflict that bankers, corporate interests, and the US government have been involved in as well as those in which it may become involved in  the future…

America’s priorities are entirely skewed. Years of Hollywood propaganda and oligarchical domination have seen to it that certain things are not discussed, people are separated from one another, and dialogue is always stopped short. When the United States is done being used as a battering ram for the world oligarchy, its militarism will come back to haunt it. It has no other choice. It has been the same with every empire..””

War Thrives On Fools And Criminals

Gordon Duff, a combat veteran of the Vietnam war, dismisses “Sniper heroics,” in a powerful piece at Veterans Today:

“If you kill more than a dozen people as a sniper and you aren’t guilty of murdering innocent civilians, I would be very surprised.  If you are insane enough to convince yourself, let’s say you are in Afghanistan or Iraq, countries where it is legal for any civilian to carry a weapon and no sane person would go outside without one, that shooting “armed Muslims” makes you a hero, you are both a liar and a fool.  You are probably also a psychopath.

Most of the armed “insurgents” the US has killed during the War on Terror were friendly militias, local herdsmen or, at best, armed tribal units that were armed tribal units when they fought the British and Russians as well for hundreds of years.  We are talking about “patriots” defending their country against foreign invaders who support drug cartels and criminal politicians like the governments the US has placed in power over and over.

I do expect this; I expect an American Sniper to use his skills to protect American personnel from attack even if America is there as part of an armed aggression on the part of whoever it is that runs America, which sure as hell isn’t the American people. …… Yes, this is not a simple story and there are no entire good or bad people.  Welcome to reality…..

99% of talk about snipers is plain bull and mythology.  I am not the world expert but I have “done the work” in the worst place on earth, I collect sniper rifles and own a company that builds them. …..

I make weapons and can only hope they are used properly.  There are bad people who deserve killing but most of them are trained and supplied by the Mossad, CIA and our British and French allies, I am talking Boko Harum, ISIS and that gang.  You didn’t know that?  Imagine that…..

In South Vietnam there were some legitimate targets, sort of.  In truth, the US was in South Vietnam illegally and on the wrong side in the first place so any moral high ground disappears immediately anyway.  So, if you were a “sniper” killing the enemy, one thing for certain, you were shooting people better than you are.

It took a fat minute to figure that one out and absolutely everyone knew it, something we aren’t so sure about with our new “professional” military today. …..

While working for an intelligence organization long ago, I remember meeting with fellow “Vietnam vets,” all claiming to be Navy Seals, Marines or Ranger/Special Forces.  They were cooks and truck drivers, honorable occupations of course and perhaps they shouldn’t have felt pressured to make things up, but you see where I am going with this…

During one “ambush” we killed 3 people, a woman, a child and someone over 70.  They had one weapon, an unloaded and broken AK47.

This was during a truce, they were coming back to see their family as per agreement and we were there to kill them in violation of the truce, something we always did.  Nobody talks about such things?  Imagine that……..

What we are saying is simple, snipers played no real role in Vietnam……..

Many of the special operations units spent 90% of their time in rear areas living as well as possible doing exactly what the rest of us would do if we were as smart as them.  It would be impossible for any of these people to see as much real combat as an Army draftee who served as a simple “combat infantryman.”

What has been confirmed is that some American units serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan simply murdered civilians, and we mean women and children in “drive by” type shootings.  They would drive down the road and simply shoot at people walking by.  Americans have been convicted of this.  Another “trick” is to drive by a group of kids and toss a hand grenade at them.

Were these deaths added to the “sniper kills?”  My guess would be yes.

Another point that isn’t bought up is that within the US military street gangs have a very strong presence.  This has made the US military an unreliable guest anywhere in the world.  In Vietnam we had units that were basically “trash.”  Remember the Mai La massacre?  An American unit made up mostly of draftees and 3rd string officers murdered between 400 and up to 800 civilians, lining them up and shooting them down, we are talking only women, babies, small children and a few old men……

War is about thugs with guns working for banks and oil companies, for drug cartels and crooked politicians.  War is a racket, but wait a minute, I stole that from someone else.  There are no good wars, there never were.  The Civil War wasn’t fought over slaves and the American War of Independence, in the end, turned out to be a struggle between international banking cartels with the worst one winning in the end when the Rothschilds took over the US in 1913.

After that, we fought World War I and II on their behalf and the rest is history, a history we live every day.  Hiring criminals from “clown colleges” to rewrite history, making movies about snipers and staging Paris street theatre isn’t going to change any of it.  The whole thing is a con.

No one has clean hands, not me, not anyone.  Even speaking up isn’t enough and few speak up at all.  Simply put, if you leave the US and kill a citizen of another country because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney or their friend Netanyahu makes a buck from it and you consider yourself a hero instead of a fool or criminal, talking to you isn’t going to help.”

Psychopath as Hero? The Make-Over Of Chris Kyle – CORRECTION ADDED

UPDATE (JAN 30)

Since I posted this, I’ve had time to go and actually watch a few videos of interviews with Chris Kyle and in all honesty I feel that the label “psychopath,” which I thought was plausible from his excerpted writing, is just not right.

Psychopaths tend to be narcissistic people. The Chris Kyle I saw on those videos came off as a modest and likeable person.

So I’m going to withdraw the label for now.

There’s something amiss here and Mr. Kyle just might not be the monster that at first glance  some of his words (and actions) might make him.

I will be posting more on this,   but for now, I will let the piece stand as it is, along with this note.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

At Alternet, via Salon, Syracuse U. student Zaid Jilani dissects the lies propagated by director Clint Eastwood in his new box-office hit, “American Sniper.”

The movie lionizes the crack  sniper Chris Kyle as a heroic, conflicted, All-American hunter of evil “rag-heads.”

The real Kyle, on the other hand, seems to have been a psychopath in love with killing and even more in love with his image as a killer:

The film American Sniper, based on the story of the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is a box office hit, setting records for an R-rated film released in January. Yet the film, the autobiography of the same name, and the reputation of Chris Kyle are all built on a set of half-truths, myths and outright lies that Hollywood didn’t see fit to clear up.

Here are seven lies about Chris Kyle and the story that director Clint Eastwood is telling:

1. The Film Suggests the Iraq War Was In Response To 9/11: One way to get audiences to unambiguously support Kyle’s actions in the film is to believe he’s there to avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The movie cuts from Kyle watching footage of the attacks to him serving in Iraq, implying there is some link between the two.

2. The Film Invents a Terrorist Sniper Who Works For Multiple Opposing Factions: Kyle’s primary antagonist in the film is a sniper named Mustafa. Mustafa is mentioned in a single paragraph in Kyle’s book, but the movie blows him up into an ever-present figure and Syrian Olympic medal winner who fights for both Sunni insurgents in Fallujah and the Shia Madhi army.

3. The Film Portrays Chris Kyle as Tormented By His Actions: Multiple scenes in the movie portray Kyle as haunted by his service. One of the film’s earliest reviews praised it for showing the “emotional torment of so many military men and women.” But that torment is completely absent from the book the film is based on. In the book, Kyle refers to everyone he fought as “savage, despicable” evil. He writes, “I only wish I had killed more.” He also writes, “I loved what I did. I still do. If circumstances were different – if my family didn’t need me – I’d be back in a heartbeat. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun. I had the time of my life being a SEAL.” On an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show he laughs about accidentally shooting an Iraqi insurgent. He once told a military investigator that he doesn’t “shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”



4. The Real Chris Kyle Made Up A Story About Killing Dozens of People In Post-Katrina New Orleans: Kyle claimed that he killed 30 people in the chaos of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a story Louisiana writer Jarvis DeBerry calls “preposterous.”  It shows the sort of mentality post-war Kyle had, but the claim doesn’t appear in the film.

5. The Real Chris Kyle Fabricated A Story About Killing Two Men Who Tried To Carjack Him In Texas: Kyle told numerous people a story about killing two alleged carjackers in Texas. Reporters tried repeatedly to verify this claim, but no evidence of it exists.

6. Chris Kyle Was Successfully Sued For Lying About the Former Governor of Minnesota: Kyle alleged that former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura defamed Navy SEALs and got into a fight with him at a local bar. Ventura successfully sued Kyle for the passage in his book, and a jury awarded him $1.845 million.

7. Chris Kyle’s Family Claimed He Donated His Book Proceeds To Veterans’ Charity, But He Kept Most Of The Profits: The National Review debunks the claim that all proceeds of his book went to veterans’ charities. Around 2 percent – $52,000 – went to the charities while the Kyles pocketed $3 million.”

More  at Pro Libertate


 

See also this excellent piece by Michael McCaffrey that covers Kyle’s falsehoods, while yet refusing to demonize him in the way he demonized his enemies, both overseas (the Iraqis) and at home (Jesse Ventura, and antiwar/ 9/11 activists).

Rape Cartoons Are A Riot, Aren’t They?

Shailja Patel at Counterpunch:

“Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed naked, on all fours, anus presented as target, are anti-clerical snigger fodder. Unless you and half the men and boys and boy children and baby boys you know and love are named Mohammed.

Unless you and your brothers, cousins, fathers, sons, friends are at daily risk of random causeless stop-and-frisks, patdown-gropes, strip-searches, cavity-searches inside Enlightened Fortress Europe. Because they can.
migritude
Unless your grandfather Mohammed was raped and castrated by the French in their concentration camps in Algeria.

Unless your mother survives daily harassment and threats of violence by Front National thugs in her banlieue by invoking the mercy of the Prophet on the ignorant.

Unless all the naked bodies in the Abu Ghraib torture photos look like you. Naked prone men, trailing blood, dragged on leashes by grinning US soldiers. Naked men piled in flesh sculptures by thumbs-up flashing, beaming young GIs. Naked brown Mohammed buttocks branded with cigarette burns like pointillist skin canvases. Mohammeds hooded and wired, bleeding from mouth and ears and anus, as their torturers laugh and strike poses. Naked violated men who look like you, like your brother, like your father, like the man your sweet baby boy will grow up to be.

Unless you and your friends pass around testimonies like dirty stories from survivors of CIA anal rape, also known as rectal rehydration. Survivors of Guantanamo oral rape, also known as force-feeding. Because you need to testify before they happen to you. This is survival lore.

Unless your little sister came home sobbing last week and screamed she would never go back to school, the school your parents dreamed for her before she was born. It took hours of coaxing and comforting to elicit why. The bully who makes her schooldays hell found a delicious new cruelty, one that follows her beyond school like an electronic ankle tag. He put that cartoon up on the classroom whiteboard, and the teacher left it there all day as a lesson in free speech.”

 

Charlie Hebdo: The Vicious Symbol Of A Vicious Culture

Vineyard of the Saker  blogspot has a trenchant analysis of the Hebdo hoax/psyop/terror theater, which makes several points I’ve made on this blog over the years:

1. Western fundamentalism over free-speech overlooks the injuries  – very real injuries – speech can inflict.

2. Moral or psychic injuries are often worse than physical ones, as the Geneva Convention itself recognizes. Threats of torture and execution are treated as torture in and of themselves.

3.  The loss of the sense of the sacred in the West does not entail its loss anywhere else.

4. Between the West as it is constituted today, as a post-Christian, aggressively atheistic and materialistic society, and the world of Islam, there can be no contest.

Ideas (and ideals) being more powerful than mere flesh, it is not the militarily stronger of the two cultures (the West) that will prevail. It is the side whose ideas are more passionately held. That would be the Muslim world.

5. If there is to be a Clash of Civilizations, the West is unlikely to win it.

The Saker:

Any psychologist will explain to you that not only does moral pain exist, but it can be worse then physical pain.  This is why some people confess to crimes (whether real or not) when they are told that their family members will be tortured next even though they themselves had found the internal courage not to yield to torture inflicted upon them.  An idea can hurt more then physical pain.

The Geneva conventions specifically forbid mock executions even though all they inflict is fear (a form of moral pain).

In France, it is currently illegal to even question the official version of the so-called “Holocaust” precisely because doing so would cause moral pain to the very few actual “Holocaust survivors” still alive.  This protection from moral pain even extends to the relatives and descendants of “Holocaust survivors” who were born already after the war and how never suffered from any ill-treatment themselves.

At the famous Nurenberg trial Julius Streicher was sentenced to death even though he never committed any other crime then “infecting the German mind with the virus of anti-Semitism“.  He was, by the way, also viciously tortured before his execution.  His crime?  He was the founder and editor of a newspaper, Der Stürmer, a nasty racist propaganda paper whose name can be roughly translated as “The attacked” or “The stormer”.  Apparently, hate speech can even get you the death penalty in the West.

The 8th Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment” especially if it “degrading to human dignity”.  Apparently, for the Founding Fathers human dignity was an extremely valuable and real thing which deserved to be protected.

Even in GITMO (hardly a bastion of civilization and human rights!) following the 2005 scandals about the desacration of the Quran, it was decided that the rules about the manipulation of the Quran (which had already existed in the past) would be strictly implemented.  So even in waterboarding GITMO insulting the Prophet is considered beyond the norms of civilized behavior.  Apparently not in Paris.

What about law defending against slander?  Are they not here to protect people from the pain resulting from somebody else’s speech? Do we not care if somebody dear to us is insulted or ridiculed?

So who are we kidding here?  Do I need to bring further examples to make my point everybody in the West already knows that caricatures like the one published by Charlie Hebdo really bring on real pain to Muslims.  We are not talking about ruffled feathers or irritation, we are talking about real moral and psychological distress here, the kind which normally western civilizational and legal norms try to protect people form.

The truth which others dare not speak but which I will spell out for you here is simple: western elites have the same attitude towards Muslims as Victoria Nuland has for the EU: f**k them!  That is the real message not only Charlie Hebdo but the entire teary circus around the Paris massacre sends to Muslims worldwide: bleep you, your religion and your Prophet, bleep you and your victims – thousands and even millions of your dead Muslims (Iraq anybody?!) are not worth 12 of our guys, and we get to limit your speech, but don’t you dare limit ours!

And if a Muslim dares to object, he is instantly reminded about “his” stonings, burkas, terrorist attacks, etc. with the inevitable punch line: Islam is in no position to give lessons to the civilized West……….

  ….Why not compare other forms of violence such as warfare or genocides.  Here, even the worst of the worst Muslims (the Ottomans) compare very favorably with the Europeans, I am sorry if I offend the latter, but that is a fact.  Though, of course, there have been plenty of examples of Muslim atrocities (by the Ottomans and the Persians in particular), but compared to what the West did to entire continents (African, North and South America) these are truly minor incidents.  Of course, folks in the West are not too knowledgeable about all this, and the comforting narrative is that Europe was civilized, a heir to the Greek and Roman civilizations (a lie – post Frankish Europe re-discovered antiquity thanks to Muslims and Jews!) whereas the Muslims are just goat herders from the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula.  Comforting narrative for sure, but factually wrong.  Muslims, however, are very much aware of this history and don’t like to be looked down by the very westerners which they see as rather brutish and always bloodthirsty.

Third, there is a feature of modern western civilization which does set it apart from pretty much all others.  The quasi-total absence of the sacred.  For a modern, secular and educated person in the West there is very little which is truly sacred.  In the past, wives and mothers still used to be sacred, and telling an Italian or Spaniard “cornuto” or “hijo de puta” could get you knifed. Nowadays a French rap group proudly calls itself “Nique Ta Mère“.  Some will say this is progress, I suppose.  In the USA, the flag is sacred.  At least to some.  And, apparently, for millions of people in France – free speech, including deliberately offending free speech, is sacred.  Except when it is directed a Jews, in which case it can land you in jail.  For most Muslims, the prophets are so sacred that every time they mention their name they add “sallallahu alayhi wasallam” (peace be upon him).  Now, you don’t have to be a Muslim yourself or to approve of the Prophet to be capable of understanding that the Prophet Mohammed is truly dear and even sacred to Muslims.  The fact that there is nothing sacred left in the West does not mean that the rest of the world has slouched down to a similar degree of degeneracy or that those who hold nothing for sacred have a license to impose their lack of anything sacred or their indifference on everybody else and offend them to their (sick) heart’s content…..

One more thing: some of you have expressed outrage at the fact that Sheikh Imran Hosein said that the biggest evil the world has ever seen will rule from Jerusalem.  Clearly, the good Sheikh is a vicious anti-Semite, right?

(Sigh)

I wish that those who speak about the “Christian West” actually knew a little something of Christianity, especially of Christian eschatology.  What the Sheikh was saying is in no way different from what the Church Fathers said, including that the Antichrist would rule over the world from Jerusalem.  A 5min search on the Internet gave me these pretty decent sources:

http://biblelight.net/fathers-on-antichrist.htm
http://www.unitypublishing.com/prophecy/AntichristbySaints.htm
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hippolytus-christ.html

Islamic eschatology is, by the way, remarkably similar to the traditional Christian one.  A quick search under the term “Dajjal” yielded these sources:

http://www.islaam.org/al_mahdi/dajjaal.htm
http://islamqa.info/en/8806
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL60F84B368D3270FF

As for Sheikh Imran Hosein’s advice to the Muslims of France to leave while they can, it is fully in line with this admonition of Christ Himself who told his apostles “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.  Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” (Matt 10:14-15).  One does not have to agree with what the Sheikh says, but that is hardly a reason to call him crazy or anti-Semitic.….

Methinks that the western leaders are both too arrogant and too ignorant to face this reality and that they think that they can outsmart the devil on their own – hence the unleash the Takfiri demon against Muslim world and the Nazi demon against the Donbass.  I say that with leaders like that the West has exactly *zero* chance to prevail.  And considering that with each passing year the western leaders become even dumber, more arrogant, more pathetic and more clueless, I see no reason to believe that the West will win the “clash of civilizations” it itself created.

Now please don’t shoot the messenger.

Mehdi Hasan On The Notable Absence Of Holocaust Humor

Mehdi Hasan at The New Statesman points out the glaring contradictions in the free speech orthodoxies of the liberal establishment:

“Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech. We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.

Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No?

[Lila: Consider the following joke:

“Question: How many Jews can ride in a Bentley?

Answer: Six million. Two in the front, three in the back, and 5, 999, 995 in the ash-tray.”

How “brave” would it have been to publish this joke on the front-page of a magazine, while Jews were being rounded up and exterminated by the state?

Would it have been brave free speech or vile Nazi incitation?

If someone had murdered the “humorist,” would decent people have been inclined to shrug and say, “one less idiot,” or would they have marched in solidarity on the streets?]

Mehdi Hasan (cont.):

“How about caricatures of the 9/11 victims falling from the twin towers?

I didn’t think so (and I am glad it hasn’t). Consider also the “thought experiment” offered by the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug. Imagine, he writes, if a man had joined the “unity rally” in Paris on 11 January “wearing a badge that said ‘Je suis Chérif’” – the first name of one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Suppose, Klug adds, he carried a placard with a cartoon mocking the murdered journalists. “How would the crowd have reacted? . . . Would they have seen this lone individual as a hero, standing up for liberty and freedom of speech? Or would they have been profoundly offended?” Do you disagree with Klug’s conclusion that the man “would have been lucky to get away with his life”?

Charlie Hebdo: The Free Speech of Fools

From Lenin’s Tomb, a clear-eyed look at the bigotry and spite posing as satire in the pages of Charlie Hebdo:

“From what psychological depths did you drag up the nerve to “laugh” at a cartoon representing veiled women baring their buttocks as they bow in prayer towards “Mecca-relle [a pun onmaquerelle, the madam of a brothel – trans.]?  This pathetic stream of crap isn’t even shameful; its stupidity embarrasses you, even before it reveals your state of mind, your vision of the world.”

IMAGE DELETED TO AVOID OFFENSE TO MUSLIMS

 

Lenin’s Tomb:

“After September 11, Charlie Hebdo was among the first in the so-called leftist press to jump on the bandwagon of the Islamic peril. Don’t deprive yourself of receiving your own share of the shit, at a moment when the number of Islamophobic acts is breaking records: 11.3% higher in the first 9 months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, according to l’Observatoire national de l’islamophobie. They worry about a “new phenomenon” of violence, marked by at least 14 attacks on veiled women since the start of the year.”

Lila:

Here are some more Charlie Hebdo images that the mainstream media will not publish. They demonstrate convincingly that only some religions – specifically traditional Islam and traditional Christianity – were targeted by the cartoonists, not others.

They didn’t mock Judaism, for instance.

That omission makes Charlie Hebdo in effect a mouth-piece of Zionist sensibilities.

Notice also that Arabs and blacks were the main objects of the magazine’s animus,  suggesting that its so-called satire was no more than a vehicle through which it  propagated Anglo-Jewish racial supremacism.

Hebdo Cartoon: JESUS CHRIST SODOMIZING GOD THE FATHER AND BEING SODOMIZED BY THE HOLY GHOST

 

IMAGE DELETED TO AVOID OFFENSE TO CHRISTIANS

Hebdo Cartoon: PROPHET MOHAMMED DISPLAYING HIS BUTTOCKS FOR APPROVAL

 IMAGE DELETED TO AVOID OFFENSE TO MUSLIMS

 

Hebdo Cartoon: ASKING IF DRAWING MOHAMMED’S BUTTOCKS IS PERMISSIBLE

 

IMAGE DELETED TO AVOID OFFENSE TO MUSLIMS

Hebdo Cartoon: FILM MAKER CLAIMING THAT PROPHET MOHAMMED HAD SEX WITH PIGS, BECAUSE  HE COULD NOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR NINE YEAR OLD PROSTITUTES

IMAGE DELETED TO AVOID OFFENSE TO MUSLIMS

Lila:

Meanwhile,  when it came to ridiculing the  religion or beliefs of the ruling class, the COWARDS at Charlie Hebdo failed miserably. 

They published no pornographic pictures of Maimonides or Moses, no edgy jokes about the Holocaust, no genitalia of Anne Frank, no raunchy pedophile gags about Rabbis.

[And I, for one,  would not wish them to. I would wish, however, that they had extended the same respect to other people and other faiths.]

Instead, the magazine caved in and fired an employee over the whisper of anti-Semitism. 

Thus, the moniker of “equal opportunity satire” so universally applied to Charlie Hebdo is demonstrable propaganda,  intend to hoodwink the credulous.

Selective satire was the facade behind which the lewd ravings of Zionist hate-mongers flourished without public outrage,  ceaselessly stoking the searing flames of perpetual civilizational war.

 

 

 

#JeNeSuisPasBrainwashed

From the Black Agenda Report, a reality check for the orgy of amnesiac blather coming out of Paris, where allegedly Islamicist gunmen killed alleged satirists, thereby violating the alleged sanctity of free speech in the allegedly “free”  West:

 One look at Charlie Hebdo cartoons shows that the word satire is being used very loosely. The depictions of cabinet minister Christiane Taubira as a monkey, and the kidnapped Nigerian school girls as pregnant welfare recipients make a mockery of the world satirical. Regardless of how many French politicians are skewered in its pages, it must be pointed out that Charlie Hebdo indulges in racist hate speech.

Their reputation for insult and offense was quickly forgotten and the call to unquestioningly identify with the victims was immediate. Within a few days, #Jesuischarlie was tweeted more than one million times. The propaganda onslaught created an awkward example of hypocrisy for world leaders who are always the worst killers of all.

“Regardless of how many French politicians are skewered in its pages, it must be pointed out that Charlie Hebdo indulges in racist hate speech.”

Barack Obama trotted out tired denunciations, calling the attacks “cowardly” as he claimed to stand up for the rights of a free press. These were strange words coming from a man who on seven occasions has used the discredited Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers who leak to the media.

Americans were not alone in hypocritically condemning murder. The convenient selective amnesia of the French people is as stunning as their sense of feeling more aggrieved than anyone else in the world.

France was a party to every atrocity and genocide committed by Europeans in history. France played a major role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, kidnapping approximately 1,250,000 Africans and sending them to work under barbaric conditions in their American territories.

After being forced out of Haiti by the world’s most successful slave rebellion, France then held that nation hostage under threat of re-enslavement and demanded a payment of $60 million francs which were paid from 1838 to 1947. Haiti remains poverty stricken to this day as a result.

France was at the table during the 1884 Berlin Conference which chopped Africa up into European spheres of influence. France engaged in mass slaughter again and again as it attempted to prevent colonies such as Vietnam and Algeria from gaining independence.

After NATO murdered Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, French president Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Libya to personally gloat over the country he helped to destroy. He was joined by UK prime minister David Cameron, who was also among the killers-in-chief who arrived in Paris looking solemn. France and the UK are part of the NATO effort to destroy Syria and turn it into a chaotic ruin as they have done to Libya.

The corporate media determines who is and who isn’t a worthy victim and people with dark skin rarely make the cut. The thousands of Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza included members of the press. Seventeen journalists were killed in Gaza in 2014 alone, yet Israeli president Netanyahu was allowed to join the “unity march” in Paris as if he too were an innocent.

“France and the UK are part of the NATO effort to destroy Syria and turn it into a chaotic ruin as they have done to Libya.”

There is enough horror in the world to cause outrage but the level of outrage seems to depend on who is being treated horribly and who is carrying out the atrocity. The worst acts of terror are committed by heads of state who don’t kill seventeen people as these attackers did in Paris. They kill in the thousands yet are still treated with respect.

It doesn’t say much for the state of human advancement that killings committed by individuals still create so much more concern than those committed by governments. They get away with mass murder because the same corporate media which saturated coverage of Charlie Hebdo say little or nothing about Gaza or Libya or Somalia or Syria or Iraq or Haiti. Instead of pointing out that Barack Obama is a killer too, the pundits criticize him for not being among the sanctimonious liars who gathered in Paris. The group photo should have been a perp walk to the Hague instead of a photo opportunity for the seriously blood thirsty.

Murder is wrong when committed by individual gunmen with grudges and it is still wrong when it comes from a drone strike. A unity march should denounce human rights abuses, of which warfare is the worst. The next time 1 million gather to denounce terror, the anger should be directed at those people who carry it out the most.”

 

 

 

Nobel-Winner “child-rights activist” Satyarti: Made-In-US Tool

Just as Nobel prize-winning Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai seems to be a media creation, if not an outright fraud, her Indian counterpart too shows feet of clay.

IndiaFacts.co.in has the truth behind the monumental media hype of Kailash Satyarti,  the child-rights activist now being touted as an unsung hero from India:

Satyarthi’s NGO, Rugmark, later changed its name to Goodweave International and it is pertinent to note that a majority of its board members have Christian names and at least two of them are from Western churches that use the alleviation of human suffering as a cover for proselytism, a strategy that has been effectively used by Western governments to destabilize several countries. While one board member, Rev. Pharis J. Harvey, is from the United Methodist Church, another board member, Pat Zerega, is from the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

It also turns out that Tom Harkin was responsible for nominating Kailash Satyarthi for the Nobel Prize, effectively making the prize a quid pro quo for Satyarthi’s services rendered to American politicians.

Although Satyarthi was unknown in India and around the world until he was named as the recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize – making the award even more questionable – Western countries seem to have decorated him with many prizes such as the Robert F. Kennedy Award, Defenders of Democracy Award, an award from the US State Department and other awards from European countries. Many of the awards he has received are known to have been used in the past as rewards for advancing the agenda of American and European governments.

Despite the US government honouring Satyarthi with awards, a Wikileaks cable acknowledges that they understand he exaggerates the number of children who are engaged in child labour in India. Others have complained that Satyarthi has made tall claims of rescuing up to 50,000 children but has been unable to provide details of the identities and whereabouts of the children when challenged to do so. Satyarthi has also been accused of staging a ‘rescue’ operation for the benefit of Dutch television cameras by using a child who acted out the part of the victim.

The West has shown that its relationship with India is in bad faith and has sent the message that working for its mercantile agenda by acting against India’s economic interests can be rewarding. It should be noted that among the five Norwegian politicians who form the panel that decides the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, two of them have a history of actively interfering in Sri Lanka and supporting the Sri Lankan terrorist group LTTE. Of the two, Gunnar Stålsett is a former bishop and served as the state secretary of the Ministry of Church Affairs and Education while Thorbjørn Jagland is a former Prime Minister and a member of the Labour Party in Norway which grew out of the Communist movement. It is time for Indians to realize that the Nobel Peace Prize is just an award given by a group of politicians from Norway who pursue their own agendas, and the process of awarding this prize too has had its share of corruption scandals.”

 

Big brother IS watching you

Nick Cohen at the Guardian explains why people who justify national ID schemes are completely mistaken:

The British, who survived the First and Second World Wars, the cold war and IRA bombs appear willing to tear up their civil liberties because of Islamist murderers. ….
The standard reply to the public’s belief that “if you’ve nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear” is to ask: “So you don’t draw your curtains then?”
It is good as far as it goes, but a better warning against unconstrained police surveillance comes from our experience online. Malice and mobbish rage drive the Twitter storms that break more often than the autumn rains…..
The same people who scream “censorship” and “persecution” when one of their own is targeted lead the slobbering pack when the chance comes to censor and persecute their enemies. They want them fined, punished and sacked, and never pause for a moment to consider their dizzying double standards or reflect that the weapons they use against others will one day be turned on them……
Employers examine Facebook pages before they hire staff. A politically incorrect post can lead to your sacking or demotion. …..
Give it the chance and the authoritarian political class will ape the authoritarian managerial elite and be just as malicious as the Twitter heresy hunters.
The Dorset council that used surveillance powers designed to catch gangsters to spy on a mother who was trying to get her child into a decent school is a symbol of our times.
However outrageous and ham-fisted its behaviour was, the authorities could say that parents are breaking the rules if they game the school system. The police will make the same argument once they have the freedom to roam the web. They will say they have a duty to collect evidence of any crime, however minor. They will do it because they can.”

I found the Cohen article archived at aadhaar-articles.blogspot.com, which is an archive of articles focusing on aadhaar and related concerns.

Frank Male Reactions To Modern Marriage

I found this pungent comment at the blog of Henry Makow, a conspiracy researcher and author, best known as a men’s rights advocate or virulent misogynist, depending on your political position.

(Makow is also likely to be connected to intelligence, although I have no hard proof of it and what suggests it to me is too elusive for a blog post).

The comment  will probably strike a deep chord with many men, harassed by the inequities of contemporary family life and family law:

I have exchanged God’s love for eros and koinonia.

It works. Another thing I had to look at is sex.

The woman I live with and I have not been intimate going on seven years. For me it is bliss. You have talked at length regarding the slaying of that beast and how it makes a man free to pursue his purest intentions. I have found that promise to be so. What happens when the sexual bond is broken is that sexual worship and the worship of women falls away.

A man is able to keep his eye on his spiritual life. So I can attest that everything you have said about that is true.

So I live with a woman. I have love for her but am not in love with her. She knows that I can leave at anytime. We are both financially set and do not need each other in that way.

Not having a sexual or romantic bond is an advantage for me and keeps feminism in check.

Therapists are calling this the brother-sister marriage in today’s world. That is ok. Feminists created it, we men, we real men, have learned how to solution it. It is a relatively new phenomenon and it took us a while to figure it out, but we are not of low intelligence, as feminists like to portray us in TV commercials.

My advice to Eric:

Don’t Mary Molly. Focus on your daughter.

Make and keep your own money.

Do not let anybody stand in the way of your musical bliss.

Women want two things:

Money and the center of attention. It is their nature. Give them neither.

– See more at: http://www.henrymakow.com/#sthash.uSV5EXBY.dpuf

 

 

Aadhaar run by “private shop” accountable to no-one

The New Indian Express points out that the Indian biometric ID is essentially being collated and bared for snooping by foreign governments and private corporations, with no accountability to Indian citizens.

The material collected can be used to track, monitor, and control citizens.

It can subject them to unlawful governmental surveillance, as well as to criminal attacks.

The material can also be used to silence dissidents, frame patsies and scape-goats, and terrorize the population at large:

In 2012, the IB warned the state about loopholes in Aadhaar, but the government continued with the enrolment process, sidestepping security concerns.

The NSA top secret documents leaked last week point to the covert operation. “Identity Intelligence is exploiting pieces of information that are unique to an individual to track, exploit and identify targets… ,” the papers stated.

Three types of data is being mined by the NSA which includes “biometric, biographic and contextual.” Biometric data shows an individual’s physical or behavioural traits like face, iris, fingerprints, voice etc. Biographic data gives details of life history, including address, school, and profession while contextual data is about individual’s travel history and financial bank details.

Although, the US government had earlier scrapped Aadhaar-like project for its residents, it surprisingly mounted covert ops to infiltrate biometric database in other countries. The decision of the US to not allow biometric profiling of residents was followed by China, Australia and UK and similar proposals were shot down by the respective governments.

The intelligence agencies raised the contentious provision in the contract agreement that allows foreign vendors to keep the biometric data for next 7 years making it easy prey for NSA. “The contract agreement signed by UIDAI with foreign vendors is absurd. Private companies can easily share it with US spy agency. We have seen how they arm twist private players to gain foothold in their server,” a top intelligence official said, adding the UIDAI also had arrangements with certain private software firms for technology assistance. “

Indian’s Dangerous ID Schemes

I’ve blogged several times about the dangerous collection of private information from Indian citizens, ostensibly to prevent the admittedly vast theft of government subsidies as well as to foil potential terrorists:

1. “Modi Visa-On-Arrival: Trojan Horse for Biometric ID?” November 26, 20142.

2. “Ambani, Manmohan: CIA Spying On India Helps Poor,” MBP, January 22, 20143.

3.  “South Asia increasingly under biometric surveillance, MBP, September 26, 20104.

4. “Government to introduce biometric ID in India,” MBP, Sept. 22, 2009.

As I noted, there are other ways in which to foil crime and terrorism:

The simplest one is to cut-back on government welfare.

It only tends toward corrupting and destroying private initiative, while perpetuating vote-bank politics.

Short of that, the use of  two-step authentication and one-use passwords can do everything that the collection of private, sensitive information is purported to do, without the privacy concerns.

An article in FirstPost.com in 2013 pooh-poohed such worries.

Another FirstPost article continued in the same vein.

The subject is the CIA-backed firm In-Q-Tel’s funding of MongoDB, the American firm contracted by the UIDA to implement Aadhar.

MongoDB is small potatoes, writes the author, and if we worry about it, what about the rest of the technology from US companies that we use without a thought?

 

So the idea that the CIA is covertly back dooring its way in to the UIDAI via MongoDB seems a bit premature and frankly, absurd.

And if we expect the CIA to have a tap on the personal information of Indian citizens then we might as well fear Samsung. If not for reasons that its devices simply hold more personal information of Indian users due to its market penetration, then for it’s investment in Cloudant – a cloud based mobile provider that is also partially funded by In-Q-Tel and soon to be part of the mainstream Samsung cloud network.

There are far more serious technologies foreign intelligence agencies have made that should give us cause for concern like – the TOR network, created by the US Navy and used by Bitcoin fans world over or miniature flying drones being developed by the US Air Force or the series of interconnected computer network made by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, United States Department of Defense – commonly known as “the internet”.

Well, yes.

Of course the entire Internet is the field of surveillance, first by Western intelligence, but also by other intelligence agencies, as well as by aggressive corporate marketers and criminal networks.

But it does not follow from that there should be any less concern over Aaadhar, MongoDB and the CIA.

On the contrary.

It should be of far greater concern than anything the Indian public has expressed so far.

Most of all,  the public should be concerned that the UIDA is so complacent that the public has been sold on its  scheme that it feels confident enough to publicly proclaim its ties to Western intelligence without fear of civic outrage.

 

 

Modi Visa-On-Arrival: Trojan Horse For Biometric ID

OK.  So now it should be clear what was behind the carrot held before NRIs (non-resident Indians) that was supposed to make travel back to the homeland so much easier.

Here’s the cruncher, quoted directly from the Government of India website:

  • Biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.

So that’s the price of lightening up some paper-work.

You either supply the government with your ancestral records or be prepared for your irises to be scanned.

If you watched the movie, “I Origins,” the Indian data bank of iris scans – unique in the world - is the central focus of the American microbiologist who is hunting for the perfect match for this dead girl friend’s irises – which turn out to belong to a very young Kashmiri orphan in Delhi.

The movie’s release,  around the same time that the  biometric national ID scheme in India was launched, makes me wonder if that wasn’t somehow a PR piece to soften the image of this monstrous project, one that was rightly rejected in Britain, but is now being foisted on India:

“The United Kingdom—a non-Schengen country—contemplated introducing fingerprints voluntarily as part of abiometricpassport 2.0, but ultimately decided against it. The UK government was preparing to launch abiometricnationalidentitycard, for which it gathered fingerprints from 15,000 volunteers for the project. But the new governmentdidntbelieveIDcardswouldwork and physically destroyed the pilot identity databases. However, in 2010, the UK National Policing Improvement Agency also conducted apilottest to provide police officers with digital fingerprint scanners that could remotely match individuals’ fingerprints against a central database. The outcome of this project is unknown and, when questioned, the agencyrefused to disclose the error rates that resulted from its tests.

In the Netherlands, the database storage of digital fingerprinting for travel documentswas haltedfollowing questions over the reliability of the biometric technology. The Mayor of the City of Roermond reported that21 percent offingerprints collected in the city could not be used to identify any individuals. In April 2011, the Dutch Minister of Interior, in a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives, asserted that the number of false rejections (cases in which there is a “no-hit” for a lawful holder of a travel document) is too high to warrant using fingerprints for verification and identification. Currently, only fingerprints onto Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in ID documents are being collected.”

Add all this information to the background history of the British firm Cox & Kings, to which the India visa process has been outsourced,  and you have to concede that the British Raj may be back….and most people don’t even know it.