A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Book Review: Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell: "The Soviet Union did not lack for resources, but was in fact one of the most richly endowed nations on earth. What it lacked was an economic system that made efficient use of scarce resources. Because Soviet enterprises were not under the same financial constraints as capitalist enterprises ... they were not forced to economize - that is, to treat these resources as both scarce and valuable in alternative uses."

Friday, October 10, 2003

In his closing statement in his radio program today, Rush Limbaugh admitted that he has a drug addiction stemming from prescription pain killers that he took after unsuccessful back surgery several years ago. He refused to call himself a victim or a hero, saying that the real heroes are those who suffer without seeking escape or making excuses. He said he would not make excuses, but would, immediately after his program today, check himself into a treatment center for thirty days to end his dependency "once and for all."

Limbaugh is to be commended for his straightforward admission and for his unwillingness to make any excuses. There is an investigation going on concerning the illegal drugs and he is limited in what the authorities will permit him to say.

The Christian faith recognizes that men are flawed. This is fundamental to the confession of Biblical Christianity. Our hope and prayers are with Rush, that he not only would beat his addiction, but that he would find true and vital Christian faith, that which depends on Christ alone for righteousness and peace.

The liberals, of course, will lick their chops, not realizing that the conservative--as well as the Christian message-- depends upon the truth of the message, not the perfection of those who proclaim it. Men fail, and will fail, but the grace of God does not depend upon the integrity of men, but on His certain and faithful promises. - Top Stories - A New, Free Press Takes Root in Iraq: "BAGHDAD -- A newspaper boy hawking the day's headlines on a Baghdad (search) street corner is just one example of the freedom-of-speech explosion that has recently taken place in Iraq."

This is probably the most important story out of Iraq recently. This is what our young men and women [Shame on us for sending girls to war], have been fighting for. Freedom. We are for that, remember?
Opposition in Spain

Excite - News: "As the country reacted with shock and anger to the killing [of a Spanish military officer in Iraq], newspapers criticized U.S. and Spanish policy on Iraq with left-leaning newspaper El Pais the most outspoken."

The left is gearing up in the countries allied with the United States in Iraq. It has nothing to do with ideology directly--just the desire to do anything to hurt the U.S. The left hates the U.S., our history of liberty and individual rights. Hence, the enemy of your enemy is your friend. The left throughout the world works together, whether they are liberals in the U.S. or liberals in Spain or France or Germany.
Hey, lady. What about the feelings of the kids, when you assault their religious views?

Wheat and Chaff: "'(The teacher) felt like it was a form of harassment,' Cline said. 'It was hurtful to her. She's asked them and talked with them, and after the second or third time, you know she has feelings. She is tired of kids drawing those conclusions about her.' "

Wednesday, October 08, 2003 - Top Stories - Group Calls for De-Legalization of Marriage: "A group of legal scholars and gay advocacy groups are calling for marriage to be de-legalized in order to make the distribution of benefits more fair for people who aren't married, including gay couples."

So you think that Christianity is not in a battle for it's very life? You better wake up and smell the bacon. If you think that the world would be a better place without Christianity, then do nothing, say nothing, vote for those who support such things.
Thomas Sowell: Great myths about the great depression: "Some of the people who most admired and almost worshipped FDR -- poor people and blacks, for example -- were hurt the most by amateurish tinkering with the economy by Roosevelt's New Deal administration. This book is an education in itself, both in history and in economics. It is also a warning of what can happen when leaders are chosen for their charm, charisma and rhetoric."

I never expected in my lifetime to hear about a book like this. The book is FDR's Folly, and is reviewed by my favorite black author, the brilliant scholar, Thomas Sowell.

We will continue to repeat the follies of the New Deal until we face the reality that is was folly, and the depression did not go away until World War II. Neither politicians nor preachers should be chosen for their 'charm, charisma and rhetoric.'
I have this week lost one of my dearest and best friends, the Rev. Dorman Savage, who lost his battle to cancer. It was a glorious homecoming for Rev. Savage. His family, including my son Sam, who married Susan Savage, was around him and watched with him for the last days, and he was a wonderful witness to question one of the Heidelberg Catechsim, that in life and in death "I belong to my faithful Savior, jesus Christ."

When my twin sons were born in June of 1966, my wife and I agreed to name them after two of our best friends in the ministry, and so Joseph Jefferson Powell was named after the Reverend Jefferson G. Duckett and Dorman James Powell was named after the Reverend Dorman Savage. It doesn't seem possible that thirty-seven years have passed since that day. Rev. Duckett passed away a few years ago; Tuesday of this week, the Lord took Rev. Savage.

Reverend Savage was a dear friend who always encouraged me in the ministry. In many ways our stories are similar. He grew up in Western Colorado; I in Southern Oregon. He came to Bob Jones University when I was in graduate school there, and we were passing acquantances.

After graduation he became youth director of First Baptist Church in Anderson, California and married Kay Gibbons, one of the girls in the congregation. Gene Sawtelle, also of Anderson, who also met Dorman at Bob Jones, came home and married Sharon Gibbons, the sister of Kay.

At this time, I was holding Bible classes in my parents home in Southern Oregon, trying to get a Baptist Church going. Dorman and Kay showed up one Sunday evening to go to church. They were on their honeymoon. We had a great time of fellowship that evening, and after his honeymoon, Dorman returned to Anderson. At that time the First Baptist church was exploring ways of starting a Christian school and Dorman recommended to Pastor Bill Bowman that they explore the possibility of inviting me to come to Anderson to head up the school. So a few weeks after this I received a call from Pastor Bowman. I did not know it at the time, of course, but that visit by Dorman and Kay would lead by God's good and gracious providence to my acceptance of Reformed Theology and becoming a minister of the RCUS.

AFter one year in Anderson, I married Penny Simer of Rogue River, Oregon, and , in the summer of 1962, visited Dorman for a week of evangelistic meetings in Canon City, Colo., where he was pastor of a Baptist Church. Penny and I returned to Anderson to find Bill Bowman had been fired as pastor of the First Baptist Church, and the Rev. J. G. Duckett of Tumwater, Washingtin, had been installed as pastor. It was a most fruitful relationship, for Pastor Duckett built upon the foundation of Calvinism that been laid in my mind at Bob Jones by the study of Charles Hodge and others. During the next two or three years, all of us, Pastor Duckett, Rev. Gene Sawtelle, who was then pastoring a Baptist church in Hayden, Colorado, Rev. Sawtelle, and myself, through a study of the puritans and the great stalwarts of the Reformed Faith, Calvin, Warfield, Hodge, Van Til, Rushdoony and the Puritans like Manton and Boston and others, became convinced that Reformed theology was the best expression of the doctrine of Scripture and in 1968, Duckett, Sawtelle, and I entered the ministry of the Reformed Church in the U. S. Savage was to follow later. A year or so earlier, the brother of Kay and Sharon, Roger Gibbons, also entered the ministry of the RCUS.

Someone has said that "old things are best." That is certainly true of friendships Certainly, Rev Duckett and Rev. Savage are better for they are with the Lord and no longer plagued with sin. Only Rev. Sawtelle and I are left of that foursome. I have never regretted my commitment to Reformed theology and the exceedingly rich theological benefit I have received from my association with the RCUS. I have done twenty million things that I regret--I am glad I don't have to repent of them one by one--but I have never looked back from that decision to embrace the Reformed faith, for it has enriched me in my soul beyond my powers to describe.

Together, we came to see that Baptist government would not endure the stress of Reformed Theology, that the ecclesiology of the Bible is inspired as well as the soteriology.

Rev. Dorman Savage will be laid to rest after services at the United Methodist Church in Limon. None of our RCUS churches will be able to hold the people from the Front Range and the RCUS who will be there. It will be a bittersweet day for me. I will greatly miss my good friend, but I know that he is with the Lord, that his labors are over, that the physical suffering that he knew in the body is past. He would not come back, I know, for He is present with the Lord. Mine are not over. Sawtelle and I have not yet finished our work or our testimony. I pray God that my homegoing will be as fine a witness of the Lord's grace and mercy as the departure of both my friends, Duckett and Savage.

My only comfot in life and in death is that I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him. [Heidelberg Catechism 1]

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

This whole Wilson business shows how desperate the liberals are. If this is the best that have going into the election season, it should be a good day for America. Jonah Goldberg: Bush critics' claims usually don't stick: Goldberg says, "Truth be told, I don't know what happened. I don't take Joseph Wilson at his word, in part because his words keep changing and in part because he strikes me as a partisan limelight hog. At first he flat out accused Karl Rove of outing his wife as a spy; now he's backed away from that claim. He's fretted about how his wife is in danger but takes every opportunity to draw more attention to himself and his wife - and enthusiastically muses about who will play her in the "
Can you believe these guys? California ought to vote the whole bunch completely out of the state, if that is consitutionally possible; at least get rid of any office bearer that is connected to them. They sound like a bunch of kids on the playground. Inside Cover Story: "California Democrat Party state spokesman Bob Mulholland said his party is giving Arnold Schwarzenegger just 100 days before a new recall effort may be launched. "
Sometimes the liberal put their foot in theri mouth, and reveal what they really think. They try to hide that most of the time in order to fool Americans into voting for them.

David Limbaugh: Judicial activism issue favors GOP: "It is interesting that Democrats have admitted in recent years that they fully intend to use the courts to further their policy agenda -- that judicial activism to effectuate their goals is justified and desirable. Yet when a Republican President is in power, they cry foul at the suggestion that he might appoint conservative judicial activists. "
Losing the Big Picture

"Still, the overall prospect is discouraging. Most of the English departments of our leading
colleges show a greatly diminished interest in familiarizing undergraduates with the Anglo-
American literary heritage. This is especially worrisome in an age when television and the
Internet lessen the likelihood of students entering college with much knowledge of literature.
Many of these programs’ graduates—though no doubt priding themselves on having received a
first-class literary education—must actually possess only the most rudimentary knowledge of
English literature’s longer history and its greatest writers and works. What they have instead is
premature specialization, dubious theoretical insights, and a familiarity with trendy writers of
approved identity and outlook who are likely soon to fade from view."

This is an excellent study of the decline of Western Culture [Translation: Culture based upon a world-view strongly influenced by Christianity] in the literature classes of major universities. The result is half-educated graduates who are ill-informed about the nature of American institutions, law, freedom, and religion, preparing them for deconstruction and cultural anarchy. I am not a conspiratist. I think it is more the result of moral laziness on the part of educational institutions to stand up to the fringe lunacies of feminism, gay studies, and other half-baked and historically rejected frothy ideas and world-views. The problem is partly that today's half-educated graduates know a great deal about their bodies, their feelings, their self-esteem, and the faults of the West, and very little about the giant achievements, which that take for granted, included the institutions that they attend. "A little learning is a dangerous thing," someone said, and they probably don't know who, either thinking it comes from the Bible, from Shakespeare or from Ozzie Osbourne.

You will need Adobe Reader to access the file from the link above. BTW, the National Association of Scholars [NAS] publishes a journal which is very well written and addresses the intellectual decline brought about by feminism and the other "isms" of the trendy scene.

Yes, there is still danger of the greatest degree from Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction

This is not on the political page, because this is not political. It is moral. Too often both major parties have had a pragmatic idea of truth: Nixon certainly did. See the blog of this same date on Theologicalfigs.

But then, when has Ted Kennedy and the rest of his buddies in the Democratic party and the corrupt national press--the informational bureau for extreme liberalism--ever bothered to even get the facts, let alone do anything with them that was for the good of the nation. To these moral degenerates a fact is something that can be used to attack and destroy Republicans. Their idea of truth is whatever dirt they find on their political opponents that will have legs long enough to bring the poll numbers down just before elections.

The truth of a fact is irrelevant to these creatures, for there is no truth in that sense. Truth is what accomplishes a desired end. Because they lie constantly in order to achieve political purposes, they think that everyone lies in the same way. In fact, if they can persuade the voters that "everyone lies," then they have achieve a kind of immunity from facts that are genuinely true about themselves and their moral degeneracy. The adulterer and philanderer thinks he can achieve a pass if he can persuade his wife that "everyone does it."

There is no "true truth." One "truth" is never any better than another--is one 30-06 Remington better than another? My "truth" is better than your truth if I can cause enough people to believe it long enough to win elections. Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.: Don't bother me with the facts: "It is one thing to ignore the facts available, and their ominous implications. It is, however, another thing altogether to pretend that David Kay has shown that there is no danger from Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, when the facts are otherwise, and bothersome indeed."

Monday, October 06, 2003

This is not being placed on the PoliticalFigs site, because this is not a political issue. This is a moral issue to the shame of our country.

Clinton was sending money to Hamas to see if they would kill Israelis? What a bunch this was. If a man is not moral in his personal life, how can he be moral in his public life? Those who voted for this bunch have repenting to do, even if they were in ignorance, for ignorance in these matters is no excuse. We are not to be partakers of the evil deeds of others. - Your Grand Forks Everything Guide: "While President Clinton was trying to broker an elusive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, the FBI was secretly funneling money to suspected Hamas figures to see if the militant group would use it for terrorist attacks, according to interviews and court documents.

The counterterrorism operation in 1998 and 1999 was run out of the FBI's Phoenix office in cooperation with Israeli intelligence and was approved by Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI officials told The Associated Press."

I suspect that the average Israeli citizen and family members of victims would be as outraged as the American citizens should be over the cooperation of the Israeli intelligence. [intelligence?]
A great book review. "Sue 'em" is the fourth branch of government--non-elected and tyrannical. Review of Walter K. Olson's The Rule of Lawyers on National Review Online: "The consequences of the rule of lawyers have been immense: transformation of tort law to make anyone potentially liable for anything; vast wealth transfers from producers to the careless, hypersensitive, irresponsible, and venal; individual businesses, and even whole industries, ruined owing to junk science and legal misconduct; and subversion of the democratic political process as local juries and courts make national political decisions. According to The American Lawyer magazine, tobacco lawyer Wendell Gauthier (explicitly) and many other attorneys (implicitly) see �the plaintiffs bar as a de facto fourth branch of government, one that achieved regulation through litigation where legislation failed.� "
Kate O'Beirne on Day Care Deception on National Review Online: "The debate over day care is not over; in fact, it never happened. Convincing evidence has demonstrated that day care is harmful to children, and that toddlers are better off at home than in group care � but, owing to decades of liberal deceit, censorship, and hypocrisy, there has never been an honest discussion of this issue. This maddening tale is the subject of Brian C. Robertson�s well-researched new expos�"
One for the good guys. This is good news, and a victory for equal rights for Christians in schools, but we have a long way to go. - Top Stories - High Court Won't Hear Bible Club Case: "WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court turned aside a church-state fight over a Bible club (search) given permission by a lower court to meet in a public school during classtime."
Three More Christians Arrested in China
Xiao Bi-guang and Zhang Yi-nan were arrested recently in the Henan Province of China. Sources report that over 20 Public Security Bureau officers made the arrests. The location where the two are being held is unknown. Their families have received no notification, which is in violation of Chinese law, which states that the family members will be notified of their location within 24 hours.

Xiao is an active member of a Beijing house church. He is a graduate of Beijing University Law School and was a lecturer there until his house church activities became known to authorities. He has served as a part of the legal team representing leaders of the South China Church, including Pastor Gong Shengliang, which is often labeled an “evil cult” by the Chinese government.

Zhang is a prolific writer and a church historian for China’s underground churches. He was one of the chief writers involved in the Unity Movement and was one of the writers of the movement’s first Joint Confession of Faith and the United Appeal to the Three Self Patriotic Movement and Chinese Government. Zhang’s wife, Ding Guizhen, a doctor at a local hospital, was also arrested two days later.

Learn how you can help these Christians who have been wrongly imprisoned for their belief in Christ as well as others who suffer from Christian Persecution across the world. Let them know that they are not alone. Through this special NewsMax offer, you can receive a FREE subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs award-winning monthly newsletter. Learn the TRUTH about Worldwide Christian Persecution. From News Max.
The free speech of Christians, conservatives, whites, males, and heteosexuals is being stifled in universities all across the country. This is one group that is doing something about it. This article is about efforts at the University of Virginia to restore true freedom to the university. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Inc.: "Charging University administrators of stifling free thought with the possible imposition of a diversity training exercise, the newly-formed Individual Rights Coalition unveiled itself yesterday under the auspices of protecting freedom of speech on Grounds. "
Well said, Mr. President. TruthNews: "In the struggle between terrorist killers and peaceful nations, there is no neutral ground. All nations must join in confronting this threat where it arises -- before the terrorists can inflict even greater harm and suffering. And all nations should stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq as they build a future based on freedom and democracy. "

Sunday, October 05, 2003

WORLD October 11, 2003: American Muslim Council founder arrested at airport: "The American Muslim Council's founder, Abudurahman Alamoudi, is a naturalized and politically well-connected U.S. citizen who came to the United States from Eritrea and Yemen. He was arrested at Dulles Airport on Sept. 28 on charges of illegally accepting money from Libya and making numerous trips there on a Yemeni passport, in defiance of a U.S. ban on travel to that country. He insisted it all was a misunderstanding"

Islam has developed a well-thought-out plan for the "evangelizing" of North America that goes back many years. I remember writing a letter to a newspaper years ago warning of the influx of Muslims and the building of Mosques in the US. The ideal of freedom of religion is very much under attack. Does it make sense to give freedom to those who despise freedom and hate us for our freedom?
OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "'That should be a model for the rest of the country, Mr. Secretary. I mean, I was so impressed with the level of detail and involvement and interaction that the 101st is having with all these people in those three provinces. I think that that should be the model. If we follow that, and if we can give those generals the resources necessary to keep up their effort, I think this--I think we can do this.' "


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