Archive for the 'politics' Category

Take a Day Off and Other Articles

stu sleeping

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been MIA for the last week or so. I gave up on trying to control myself and gave it over to the Lord to handle. He seems to be giving me a vacation of sorts…

So today, I thought I’d put up a list of some items of interest I’ve come across recently…er, well, mostly today, actually.

First up, appropriately enough is Writers Should Take a Year Off and Give Us All a Break – an essay in The Guardian on the observation that, to borrow from Ecclesiastes, “the writing of many books is endless…”  At the time of Solomon, however, it was nothing compared to today, when the rate of publication has exploded as never before. How ironic that this is occurring at the same time that more and more people lack the attention span or time, to read anything longer than a tweet.

Still, I like the idea of taking a year off from writing… oh, wait… I’ve already sort of been doing that …

Next, I draw your attention to a Muslim Brotherhood Fact Sheet from Stand With Us, an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Israel.  It includes quotes from the Brotherhood’s own charters, writings and guides. Members are not interested in dialog. Nor are they interested in peace (unless you count the peace that results from the entire world being converted to Islam). They are most definitely not interested in democracy, unless — again — it’s the Islamist kind… that is, Sharia Law.

Third is an essay on the misguided Western policy of appeasement during World War 1 that resulted in World War 2 and may well be on its way to setting up World War 3. This one’s written by my favorite blogger and former high level Foreign Service Officer The Diplomad 2.0: Obama and an Edouard Daladier Moment

And finally, the new  “funnel tunnel” in Houston, an unintended metaphor for where our tax dollars/charity donations are going…


Let’s Keep Politics Out of It


What, really, does “Let’s keep politics out of this” mean?

Previous to a recent election, I was going through our information on ballot propositions, one of which involved changing the way judges are selected. Voting on judges has always been a mystery to me. I don’t know any of them, so how am I supposed to know? In the past I just skipped that section, thinking that people in the know, like lawyers or folks who’d recently served on juries should be the ones to vote.

This time, however, I read the amendment and then started in on the arguments in favor of the amendment:  the Republican governor of AZ supported it (who I had voted for) as did various retired judges, and other legislators. Those who opposed the amendment included the League of Women Voters, a bunch of lawyers, a woman pastor of a large local, very liberal Presbyterian?/Methodist? church,  a domestic violence organization, and the Democrat Party of Arizona.

I find the latter most ironic, since almost all the arguments against the amendment cited the need to “keep politics out of the selection of judges.”  And yet… one of the main methods liberals use to change this country, particularly when they can’t do it through the elected legislators is through the courts. The most blatant example that comes to mind is AZ SB 1070 — passed by the legislators, approved by voters and declared invalid by a judge.

Sounds like politics is already very much involved in our judicial system, so why shouldn’t it be involved in the selection of the judges?

Still, that’s not what struck me the most this time. This time, I realized that somehow the phrase “let’s keep politics out of (fill in the blank)” is one that communicates the idea that “politics” is bad, superficial, and irrelevant. Ie, “the only reason you want to do X is because you’re a Republican”  Implying that signing up to be a Republican was something done in a vacuum and afterwards came the criterion for what that meant.  That is, having decided to register as a Republican, I then must go through the party’s positions to figure out what I’m supposed to think.


I think not.  Rather, it’s that what I think just happens to line up mostly with what Republicans express and support. And, in fact, as I began reading through the arguments, the first thing I checked was who had made the argument and what was their affiliation. Because that way I have some idea of their worldview and where they are coming from. I am learning more and more that we can use the same words and assign them very different meaning.

I have to laugh at the accusations of the detractors of conservatives, especially those of us who enjoy listening to Rush Limbaugh — ie, that we are mind-numbed robots who have to tune in to figure out what to think.

Not at all. More like we — or at least I — tune in because I’m in desperate need of hearing a sane voice.

In fact, many, many years ago, after I’d gotten saved, the more I learned about the Word of God, the more conservative I became and the more interested in politics. (Writing novels helped spur this interest as well) But everything I read in the newspapers, saw on TV, heard on the radio conflicted with what I believed. It was depressing and frustrating.

I remember when Carter was president, which was really depressing… how people thought all the Christians would vote for him because he was a Christian. Aaack!  No way.

He was such a disaster. (I vividly remember the gas lines. In fact my dad and hubby were nearly run over by a distraught elderly woman while they were waiting outside the car in one of them)

Ronald Reagan was amazing; I was so proud to vote for him. What a president! I loved him.

But still, the papers, the radio, the TV… they all had one voice (pretty much as they still do, if you don’t get Fox)…Reagan was a dunce, an actor, a fool, an idiot, what did he know? etc, ad nauseum. Rather like they treated George W Bush.

And then one day I had the radio on and heard Rush Limbaugh for the very first time. And yes, it was probably sometime in 1988 when he first came on the radio. It was amazing. Finally here was someone — on the radio! — expressing the views I already held! I was so jazzed to learn there were others who thought as I did, others outside my little local assembly of fellow believers, and the obscure periodicals I read.

In fact, it’s still like that. I hear or watch or read the news and form my own assessments, which usually are nothing like the assessments of the mainstream media folks. But  afterward I go my favorite conservative sites (Drudge, Power Line, The Diplomad, Rush, VDH ) and aaahhh. I find common sense, actual facts and information, observations or declarations of the obvious which are totally missing from the mainstream media…

The funny thing is, the ones who constantly seem to harp on the notion of “keeping politics out of it” are the ones who put politics into everything. Who tend to do things precisely for “politics” which I’m coming to think is another word for power-grabbing. But that, too, is a post for another day.

de Tocqueville: Soft Despotism

No Trespassing

Recently I came across this quote from Alexis de Tocqueville, the Frenchman sent by the French government in 1831 to study the American prison system, but who was really more interested in studying and writing about American society. He did so in a book entitled Democracy in America, and it is from this that the following quote on soft despotism was taken. (Soft despotism is control over or oppression of the people without their realizing it; hard despotism is the more obvious oppression.)

I’m posting it because I think it sounds eerily apropos of what’s going on in our country today.

“After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom, and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people.”

From Volume II, Book 4, Chapter 6 of his book Democracy in America,.

The above link takes you to  the entire book, which you can also download. I just downloaded it onto my Kindle for PC,  in fact.


Get the Writing in First

Well, the post I mentioned last time is not cooperating. It seemed to make sense when I first wrote in (in my journal) but when I drafted it into an “add new post” window, I suddenly saw all the words and phrases that wanted “explaining” in what I’d written. And to try to explain would take the piece way off from the central theme.

Which is why I still haven’t posted it. There’ve been other things as well. Yesterday I thought I was going to have pretty much all day to write and ponder. Just thinking that is practically a curse, because I tend to let myself do all sorts of other things before I “get to work” and suddenly the day is gone and I never did get to the work. Or, and actually this is most common, other things come in to take up the time I thought I’d have to write.

So I’ve decided that I am going to get the writing done first — at least a stint of it — and then do the other things. Yes, that was implied in the post about fighting the tendency to do the “trivial but urgent” things, instead of the important but unknown things. But I am a slow learner.

A very slow learner, I’m sorry to say.

But I did do the writing today. So Yay for that!  I haven’t decided if I should do it first thing when I wake up, or go through the basic morning routine and then do it. Right now I’ve chosen the latter because it’s closest to the status quo and worked fairly well, once upon a time in my past. The problem is, my self-discipline weakens as the day goes on, so if I do the writing first, there’s a question whether I’ll get the morning routine done. And vice versa. Right now I think the routine is most important because otherwise things are going to pile up, make me feel guilty, get lost, broken or suddenly become “fires that must be put out” at the worst possible time, when it’s easier just to do them in the routine.

The other problem… or reason I’ve not been able to post anything is because I’ve been reading. A novel. A 1358 page novel. This is a result of an article I found when I googled “Major Writer’s Block, which advised me to take a break and read two or three classics. Then … I forget. Because hey, what died in the wool reader wouldn’t want to drop everything and take such advice.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for years and seemed to call out to me so I started it… last weekend I think (I can’t rightly recall). I’m on page 450.  I am REALLY enjoying it. I don’t think I’ve read a novel since last summer.

What novel? Okay, I’m a Tom Clancy fan. I’ve read all the Jack Ryan books up to Executive Orders, which is the one that was on my shelf and which I’m reading. When I first picked it up, I was blown away.  It picks up where Debt of Honor leaves off, with Ryan having just been sworn in as interim Vice President of the United States. I remembered that part. What I didn’t remember was that half an hour after he was sworn in a jetliner crashed into the Capitol Building during a joint session of Congress killing all the Senators and Representatives present, all 9 justices of the Supreme Court, the president, and all but two members of the president’s cabinet. I read that one in October 2003 so surely the similarities registered then, but I don’t recall it. I think I assumed, unthinking, that he’d taken his idea from the reality, rather than coming up with it prior to.

This time, though,  I checked what year Executive Orders was published: 1996. Clancy was writing about the very thing that more or less happened five years later — and was, in fact, intended to happen but for the American passengers who stopped the hijacked Pennsylvania flight — on Sept 11, 2001. One of the Amazon reviewers claimed to have started reading this book on Sept 10, 2001, the day before the event and found it quite unnerving.

Anyway, after that Jack gets to rebuild the government and I am really enjoying that because he’s not a politician and he’s not interested in assembling a bunch of other politicians and so is choosing people who know how the real world works and have been successful in it. So much more enjoyable that watching or reading today’s news!  Not to say I haven’t been, but EO is kind of a nice fantasy-land antidote.

So that’s what I’ve been doing and why I haven’t managed to properly put together the essay I thought I was going to post…  Plus, as I said I’m officially on p 450 (not to say I haven’t indulged my habit of skipping ahead to follow particular plotlines) so there’s lots, still, to read!


The True Mission of the Church

In yesterday’s post I hinted at the notion that “as go the Christians, so goes the nation.” I am not by this saying that the Christians should get on a program to “take back the nation;” not at all. Nowhere in the Bible does it say taking back the nation is the mission of the church.

Our mission is two-fold: to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and, to those who believe in Him, to teach the unadulterated word of God so as to make disciples of them. (1 Ti 2:5; Mt 28:19,20)*

What is the gospel of Jesus Christ we’re to proclaim? — that He was God come in the flesh, that He died on the cross for the sins of ALL men (believer and unbeliever) that He was buried and resurrected on the third day, and that “whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (1 Co 15:3,4; John 3:16-18)*

The Gospel is good news — the good news that, though we were born sinners and have all sinned in various ways, our sins are no longer a hindrance to us having a relationship with God.  Jesus bore the penalty for those sins on behalf of every one of us in His death on the cross so that we can have a life with the God who is love, justice, and righteousness, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, gracious, generous, wise…

No one’s sins will ever send him to the Lake of Fire; it is only the refusal to believe in and accept the work Christ has done on one’s behalf that sends him to hell. By doing so this person is saying, “No thanks. I don’t really want anything to do with you, God.” And God says, “Okay then. I will remove Myself from your presence and leave you to yourself. You can be with all the others who feel the same way.” (John 3:18)*

The choice is ours. Believe in Jesus Christ and be saved, or reject Him.

The second part of the Church’s biblically mandated mission is to teach the unadulterated Word of God to believers so as to make disciples of them.

Just because one has believed in Christ doesn’t automatically make him a disciple. The Greek word translated “disciple” is mathetes and it means pupil, learner, student, an adherent, a follower. (Vine’s Expository Dictionary) The apostles were instructed to teach believers from every nation “to observe all that the Lord has commanded in His Word,” with emphasis on the New Testament epistles which are directed specifically to the church.

In addition to the apostles, the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher was (and still is) given to individual men to  instruct the believers “in the commandments of the Lord.” With the passing of the apostles, this gift is now the primary source of the teaching needed to make disciples of believers in Christ. (Eph 4:12)*

But again, the choice is ours.

Those with the gift of pastor-teacher can choose to actually study the word and teach it, or focus instead on works programs, social activities, social action, entertainment, etc.

The would-be disciple can then choose whether he wants to be a true student of the Word, or would rather pursue the works programs, social activities, social action, and/or entertainment.

The more both parties deviate from God’s instruction in these matters, the more the nation as a whole will suffer.

It was the same way with Israel with her priests in the role of the pastor-teacher. They could either learn the commandments of the Lord (and I’m not talking about the 10 Commandments — there are WAY more than that) and carry them out, or they could go off on their own, following false gods and doctrines. When they did that, the nation inevitably suffered, as much from the immediate results of their bad decisions as from the discipline that God brought in on them to get them to wake up and return to Him.

And so it will be — is, in fact, occurring now —  with us.


 * 1 Ti 2:4 “[God, our Savior] who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Mat 28:19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations … teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;

I Co 15:3,4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Eph 4:12- 15 “[pastor-teachers] for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

     As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”


The Morning After Election 2012

I am shocked.




Grieving the loss of my country,

the downfall of a nation that was once a shining light of truth

in a dark world.

This morning, I’m sick to my stomach.



Sobered by the awareness of the disasters to come.

Disasters like…


A nuclear Iran

The fast approaching fiscal cliff of our debt

The Social Security shortfall

Al Qaeda very much NOT on the run, but alive and actively our enemy

Terrorists emboldened by the debacle at Benghazi.

Economic depression

Having to walk everywhere because gas is too expensive

or ride my bike.

Gun Control

Crime Uncontrolled

Streetlights no longer lit because no one can afford to replace burned out lamps

or stolen copper wires

Increasing vandalism and graffiti

Increasing food prices

Higher taxes

China taking over Japan without anyone to stop it

(And thus we have the King of the East)

The gutting of our military through budget cuts

The implosion of our military because of a dishonorable commander-in-chief who who actively disdains and betrays it

Rolling blackouts when caps or excessive taxation are imposed on our electrical energy producers

Mandatory flu shots

People fighting over bread in the streets when there isn’t enough at the free food distribution sites for all the folks who want it

Repression and persecution of true Christianity

Increasing natural disasters

Military defeat

Invasion of enemy forces

(or collusion by the majority with enemy forces they don’t see as enemies)

The fall of the once great United States of America


There are some who say we committed suicide as a nation yesterday.

I think we started that quite some time ago,

moving gradually away from Biblical Christianity

and the pure teaching of the Word to become a people

“who would not endure sound doctrine,


wanting to have their ears tickled,

accumulated for themselves teachers  in accordance with their own desires;

and, turning away their ears from the truth,

have been turned aside to myths.”

(my paraphrase of 2 Ti 4:3,4)

Repeatedly the Lord says in Scriptures that for the sake of the righteous He will withhold punishment.

If there had been 10 righteous souls (believers) in Sodom, He would have spared it. (Gen 18:32)

 If there had been a single man in Jeremiah’s Jerusalem (aside from Jeremiah himself) who lived rightly and sought truth (ie, God’s word), He would have pardoned the whole. (Jer 5:1)

“O LORD, do not Thine eyes look for truth (and faithfulness to it)?
Thou has smitten them, but they did not weaken;
Thou has consumed them,
But they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.
(Jer 5:3)


This is us as a nation.

And sadly, it is many of those who call themselves Christian today:

“rebellious children, who execute a plan, but not His,
who make an alliance (with the world), but not of His Spirit;
who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Him…
…Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation…”
(Is 30:1-3)


Conservatism is Calling

In honor of the election tomorrow I’m interrupting my little series on finding a place for my mind. I found this on Power Line Blog this morning, and it is compelling. Power Line blogger John Hinderaker got the link from his daughter, who got it from her college roommate. It made me cry at the end, seeing and listening to Ronald Reagan. Some really cool stuff here.



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