Archive for the 'Current Affairs' Category



Update: the Mystery Project continues

Well, my Big Project is nearly done. I believe I will have it finished tomorrow. Pictures to come.

Eventually.

I’ll give you a hint: it’s something for my grand-daughter…

I also again got in my two hours of writing on Sky so I feel pretty happy about that! But now I am very tired, and once again… no continuation of America Lite, though that too is still coming…

Oh, but did you happen to notice? Now ABC has reported the “breaking news” that… THERE WAS NO PROTEST OUTSIDE THE BENGHAZI CONSULATE the night it was attacked.  “We’ve not heard anything like this!” cried Diane Sawyer.

No? I posted that bit of information here on Sept 18… Courtesy of McClatchey and Fox…

 

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A Web of Lies

It was a movie that caused the protests by the “folks” outside the US Consulate in Libya, and the protests that allowed miscellaneous evil doers who just happened to be walking by … at 9:30 in the evening — armed with mortars and RPGs, which are easily found throughout Libya — to take advantage of the moment, scale the consulate’s walls and kill the American Ambassador who was working there at the time. That this occurred on 9/11 was purely coincidental.

So says Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN. I’m not sure why the US Ambassador to the UN was selected to be the spokesperson in this matter. What does her job have to do with Libya, or the consulate or other matters of State? Shouldn’t it be some State Department person, someone in the chain of command relative to embassies and consulates that was chosen to make the  statement? 

No matter, that is what she’s said, as reported by Fox News today. 

In the same article, Fox also reported that an intelligence source on the ground claimed there was no protest outside the consulate at all that night, despite our own government’s insistence that there was.

“There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous,” the source said, adding the attack “was planned and had nothing to do with the movie.” According to this source, the attack came without warning, with firing originated in two separate locations.

This corroborates an earlier report from McClatchy of an unnamed Libyan security guard who alleged the same thing. “There wasn’t a single ant outside,” he said.

The Obama Administration rejects both sources, as well as the Libyan president’s claim that this was a planned out attack, a view the Obama administration says is not consistent with “the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community,” which has been investigating the incident.

“He doesn’t have the information we have,” the U.S. official said of Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif. “”He doesn’t have the (data) collection potential that we have.”

Except… recently we were told that the situation in Benghazi had been turned over to the FBI to investigate, because it was now regarded as a crime scene. There could be no further talk on the matter beyond whatever the FBI was willing to reveal — not what happened, not who was involved,  not the condition of Ambassador Stevens’ body… nothing until the Justice Department’s investigation was completed.

Unfortunately, the FBI agents haven’t even gotten to Benghazi yet, because it was decided the area was too unstable for them to enter.

So… who is investigating? And how can the US say that the President of Libya, who is in Libya, doesn’t have the same “data collection potential that we have,” when our agents haven’t even gotten there yet?.

“A consensus view of our intelligence community”  just means the majority opinion, not eyewitness testimony or any kind of hard facts. And majority opinion isn’t always right. In fact, I’d say it’s rarely right.

And how is our “data collection potential”  relevant to all this?  “Potential” means we haven’t collected it yet, otherwise it would be real not potential.

So really, all the administration has said in defense of  it’s theory is that they’ve voted on the best guesses of what really happened, and since the US’s ability to gather data is so much superior to Libya’s, eventually the data we’re going to collect will support the majority-opinion guess.

Which means, the US official really didn’t say anything.

So why did I write an entire blog post on this? Because the dissembling fascinates me, especially when I notice it. I grew up with the notion that those in authority don’t lie.  Perhaps bend the truth. Or leave certain things out. But not outright lie.

Even having blogged about the doctrine of taqiyya, I still find it hard to believe that people actually do it. But in a society like ours, where we don’t believe in such things, where a man’s word was once his bond, and honesty is still mostly considered a virtue, it’s harder still.

I know all politicians lie on some level or other. I know it. But I think I still don’t totally believe it. Otherwise why would this stuff surprise me?

Maybe because it’s so obvious and how can they think we all won’t see it? Do they think we won’t care. (Granted a far too many of our citizens don’t seem to.)  And yet the media just reports it all as if it’s truth, as if it’s not the least bit inconsistent, and certainly not that it’s reprehensible.

(The only thing they seem to think is reprehensible is that pathetic little movie trailer that’s supposedly started all this.)

It seems like it should be against the law for government officials to lie like this, so easily, so blatantly…  Because the result for me  right now is that I have no idea what is truth and what is lie. Are the Intelligence “Source” on the ground and the unnamed Libyan security guard lying?  Could be.

The President of Libya? Yeah, he could be lying, too.

The US administration official? The US ambassador to the UN? Obviously. Everyone’s clearly scrambling to cover their rears…  It would be funny were it to show up in some comedy movie.

But it’s not a movie.

How can we, as supposed-to-be-informed citizens ever know what’s actually going on, when everyone seems to be lying? All the time. When one lie doesn’t work, they just float another… Where is that all going to lead? 

I don’t have answers for these questions, but I do believe that this is one more thread in the unraveling of a culture once based on Biblical standards, now steadily heading down the road to destruction.

“In the last days,  difficult times shall come. For men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” ~ 2 Ti 3:1-4

All Because of a Film? Not really

So. I’ve been trying to get myself to focus on my WIP, but the Internet is winning. Too much news of interest. “News” is probably not the most accurate term.  “Too much speculation about what’s happened in Libya” would be better.

What exactly happened at the American Consulate in Benghazi? We still don’t know. Various stories and details have been released or reported from various sources, but when one puts all the pieces together they don’t yet make sense. Interesting that we have all this communication technology — cell phones, satellites, computers — and we still don’t know what happened and may not for days.

The latest from Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister via Fox News is that

“U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and another official were killed in the  consulate, but that the attackers timed a second wave on the safe house just as  Libyan and U.S. security forces were arriving to rescue evacuated consulate  staff.

“He said that second wave killed two more Americans and wounded nearly 30  Libyans and Americans.

It’s also become clear that the attacks were planned out in advance and timed to take place on the anniversary of 9/11, and carried out not by a mob of Libyans upset about a YouTube video, but by trained Al Qaeda operatives. One report even claimed they were doing it in retaliation for a recent drone killing of one of their former ring-leaders.

But that’s only one report and if I learned anything today it’s that one report is not sufficient to make the story credible.

What we do know — ahem!– is that most of the muslim world is now inflamed with fury and madness because a man with a very Middle Eastern sounding name living in California, made a very bad movie about Mohammed and dared to upload a trailer for it on YouTube.

Called The Innocence of Muslims, its creation was initially credited to one Sam Bacile. But it turns out Mr. Bacile does not exist, and the real film maker turns out to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. The actors and actresses that appear in it all claimed to have been duped. Some had no idea they were making a movie about Mohammed — one woman said she thought it was a movie about ancient Egypt, and that in post production, new lines were dubbed over the ones she had originally spoken.

The movie itself — or at least the trailer–  is unbelievably lame. Part of that is the dubbed in stuff, which doesn’t seem to fit the rest of it. Then there’s the background — clearly a digital scene pasted in behind the players. Sometimes they seem to be floating against the background. In one still you can clearly see that the light source for the sand dunes in the back ground is coming from the right while the light source on the actor’s face is coming from the left. Which creates an odd sense of disconnect.

I think it’s so bad, I don’t even want to put it on my blog, but if you really want a look at it, Power Line Blog has posted the video so I’ll send you off to them  here.  I’m not sure how much of it might not be true, however. Assuming of course that Mohammed even existed at all… (I’ve yet to read my new book, but I will. Soon.)

Because of What Happened in Denver

Well, clearly I have fallen short of my goal of 5 posts a week, this week. That’s due, in part to the fact that the post I intended to put up for this last Monday happens to be about the 1972 Munich Massacres. In light of what happened in Colorado last Thursday night/Friday morning, it didn’t seem appropriate just now so I’m saving it, and put up one of the two others I had ready to go.

What happened at The Dark Knight Rises premier was, of course, horrible but not exactly senseless, nor hard to figure out. It happened because people — all people — are fallen creatures and depraved. Yet, once again, I’m hearing and reading suggestions that demon possession/influence may have been the driving force behind the killer’s actions. I wouldn’t rule that out.

But at the same time I have to ask, again, why is it so hard to think that man might be capable in and of himself of these things? Isn’t one of the characteristics of sociopathic and psychopathic behavior a complete disconnect from any sense of wrongdoing or remorse or empathy for another? What is that but the ultimate of selfishness,  self-absorption and arrogance?

In fact, in many ways what Holmes did seems less personally vicious than many of the serial killers we’ve heard about —  dyeing one’s hair red, taking on an alternate identity from a comic book/movie, putting on body armor and a ballistics helmet and walking into a theatre with an automatic weapon to shoot the place up seems almost like a game. Holmes was play acting, removed from his victims as surely as many others are removed from the animated people they blow away on our vast and varied numbers of video games.

Was/is Holmes crazy? Clearly. Does that mean he shouldn’t get the death penalty if convicted of doing this? Not at all. Crazy or not, he wanted to do what he did and did it, which is why he should reap the consequences of his actions. But demon possessed or directed? Why go there?

We’ve all been selfish, self-absorbed, arrogant and even cruel at times, so why be  looking for supernatural causes when one of our kind happens to give the basic depravity that lurks in all our flesh a little more rein than most?  It just proves that we have sick heads and deceitful hearts, that there is no soundness in us from the tops of our heads to the soles of our feet. It just proves we all desperately need a Savior…

4 July 2012

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~ John Adams*

Today, as we celebrate the freedoms we’ve enjoyed as a nation for over three hundred years, freedoms which seem to be eroding away because of the very elements Adams notes in the quote above, let us remember that while human freedom is weak because it depends on fallen humans for its maintenance, the spiritual freedom we have in Christ cannot be touched by anyone.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

*The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31

About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Another video found at Power Line.  It’s longer than most — about 12 minutes long — but worth it for me. And fascinating, as well. I have always loved stories told in the form of live-action drawings. That is, you get to watch the artist draw the illustrations before your eyes as the narrator tells the story. That’s the first element of “fascinating” for me.

The second is the brief history lesson documenting how all this Israeli-Palestinian conflict and controversy began and evolved. I have long believed the Israelis have every right to their Jerusalem, but what I did not really understand, and what this video depicts is how much the Israelis have bent over backward to give the Palestinians their own independent state (while neighboring Arab states have done anything but) and how frequently the Palestinians have said to their offers, “No! We don’t want two states. We want you gone and us in your place!” or, more succinctly (and this is closer to a direct quote): “We will only be satisfied by the extermination of Israel.”

I will add the caveat that I have not yet had the opportunity to research all the claims made on this video, but it’s a good place to begin.

An Earthquake in DC?

An earthquake in Washington, DC? That was my first incredulous thought on opening the Drudge Report yesterday and seeing the headline. Whoa, that is weird!

To make things even weirder, there was one in Colorado on the same day, a 5.3 tremblor centered in Trinidad, near the state’s southern border. Coming on top of all the tornadoes, droughts, wildfires, snowstorms, floods and now hurricanes… I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s warnings of great earthquakes and famines just before He comes back. (Matt 24:7,8)  It seems obvious that God is trying to get people’s attention with all these weather events. Of all the things people are struggling to deal with now, weather is the one most obviously out of our hands.

I think I mentioned when writing about the tornadoes that a number of people remarked how since tornadoes rarely went through cities, everyone thought that somehow the presence of a city warded them off. After Joplin and Tuscaloosa, that notion has been retired, and the reason cities are being hit now is because there are more of them. I just think the only reason more tornadoes haven’t hit cities in the past is because God didn’t allow them to.

I was still in that line of thinking today when I learned that in the recent DC Earthquake both the Washington Monument and the Washington National Cathedral were closed indefinitely because of damages suffered from the EQ. The Washington Monument was found to have a 4″ crack in the top of its pyramidion, and the National Cathedral sustained millions of dollars of damage including numerous cracks in its limestone blocks as well as the loss of several of its pinnacles.

It struck me as significant that the two structures found to have enough damage from the quake to warrant closure to visitors were major and well-known icons of our country.

The Washington Monument, begun in 1848 and finished after the Civil War in 1884, is the tallest obelisk in the world, and was built to honor our first president, George Washington. (Interesting that perhaps our last real/full term president is George W. Bush… ). According to Wikipedia, “As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, [Washington] built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world.”

Now that monument has a small crack in it, just as our great nation is suffering cracks in its strength, its financial security and its position of being respected by the rest of the world.

The Washington National Cathedral has been designated by Congress as our “National House of Prayer” and serves as an icon for our nation’s religious life which has been for most of our history, predominantly Christian. It too has cracks and damage to its first floor and, as mentioned, its pinnacles  — cracks and falling pinnacles that serve as an illustration of the inexorable crumbling of our allegiance to Christianity, not so much as a nation, but as a people. Fewer and fewer attend church, more and more adhere to eastern religions, or none at all, and our laws and culture are growing increasingly hostile toward our faith.

From there I thought back to the Twin Towers, symbols of America’s economic strength — turned to rubble, with a mosque planned to be built atop the remains.

The Pentagon — split open when one of the hijacked airliners flew into it. The heart of our military strength, pierced by a handful of ignorant, hate-filled men armed with box cutters. Yes, it’s repaired now, but who would have thought such a thing could ever even happen? Of all places, wouldn’t the Pentagon be most impregnable?  Apparently not.

Taken together, it all makes for an interesting picture. One I don’t think is coincidence, given the times in which we live.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land…

But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land…

…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendents… ”       ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-19

 


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