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

Saturday, August 19, 2006

RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Real Teachings of the Koran: "During the Cold War, American intelligence loved getting its hands on defectors from communism. The reasoning was that these people had the best information about the plans of the other side, information that would help America defeat them.

In the present war against what President Bush has properly labeled 'Islamic fascism,' defectors are just as valuable."

Cal Thomas has interviewed one such defector, and his account is chilling. Everyone ought to read this column.

Friday, August 18, 2006

US says it has no plans to invade Cuba - Yahoo! News: "In his first public statement as interim ruler, published by the Communist Party newspaper Granma, Raul Castro said he had mobilized tens of thousands of reservists and militia members to face a possible US invasion threat."

There is a story that in ancient times a long-necked dinosaur lived on the earth. Its neck was so long that if it received a mortal wound in its body it would take a long time before the news of its death reached its brain.

Someone needs to tell the Castros that Cuba is dead, communism is dead. It has been mortally wounded, but the news hasn't reached their brains yet. There are a lot of people in that same fix.

Evolution is dead, mortally wounded by the science and physics of the last thirty years. It hasn't reached the brain yet of the educational establishment who does research or those politicians who hand out government largess to them.

The same thing could be said of feminism. Only a few old ugly women are still true believers. The news hasn't hit their brains yet.

Again, it is also true of the Federal Vision. They are still trying to explain it, but the Reformed community understands it now. Judiciary after judiciary in the Reformed community are taking clear and strong stands critical of it and its mommy and daddy, Norman Shepherd and the New Perspectives on Paul. Its a very long neck in this case and it is taking a very long time for the news to reach the head of the Federal Vision people. Don't know what the Federal Vision is? Try this link.

Then there are the Islamo-Fascists. Their death was a long one: Tours, Granada, Vienna. The body is twitching again, and they forget that the power of the Risen Christ is against them and they cannot win anything but temporary and costly victories. This neck is also a very long one, but the news will eventually reach the brain, carried perhaps by a marine or stealth bomber. The West may suffer a great deal in this one because we have been disloyal to that same Christ, but there is no doubt as to the outcome of the conflict. You cannot gain life by loving death and murder. It's been tried before, young terrorists:

"Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Isaiah 28:15-18 AV)
There is a new blog at "Political Figs." Use the link at the right.
Hizbollah stumps up cash for Lebanese war victims |Top News | "Hizbollah handed out bundles of cash on Friday to people whose homes were wrecked by Israeli bombing, consolidating the Iranian-backed group's support among Lebanon's Shi'ites and embarrassing the Beirut government."

So what's new? Al Capone was one of the major dispensers of welfare, food, and other niceties to the poor in Chicago during his heyday. Others build political machines that regularly bought votes in cities all over the U. S. It seems that maybe Hizbollah is on its way to being a respectible dispenser of goodies in return for political power and the destruction of its enemies, chief among them America and Israel.

It takes a lot of money to buy elections in the U.S., even if you keep the law while doing it. But it can be managed by good lawyers and campaign advisors.

It is a lot of trouble if you are out of office, however. You must rely upon promises. Or, if ideas for promises are scarce, you can simply keep up a drum beat of criticism about those who are in office. The latter is risky, however, because voters might possibly remember and expect you to not make mistakes when you are in office.

It's a tough world, except for those who are drinking out of the hose.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

There is a new blog at "Very Bad Figs." Use the link at the right.
Michael Ledeen on War on National Review Online: "The longer we wait, the larger the real war becomes. Iran has been at war with us for 27 years and we have yet to respond. As time passes, and our fecklessness is confirmed, the mullahs' confidence grows. Surely they must believe that their moment has come, that we will never respond, that they can bloody us and force us to retreat. That is the clear lesson of Lebanon, and they are undoubtedly raising the stakes for the next round. The Iranian missiles used against Israeli warships off the coast of Lebanon are now pouring into Somalia, and will be used against our ships in one of the most strategically sensitive areas of the world economy. The clandestine network rolled up in London surely extends to this country, and it is only a matter of time until they get lucky. Just a few weeks ago, the Germans fortunately discovered powerful bombs on their railroads. The French found similar weapons a couple of years ago. The Italians have arrested 40 people, are expelling many others, and have more than a thousand under surveillance."
Ladeen has nailed it. What part of hate don't we understand? Just because someone says that his religion is not a religion of hatred doesn't mean it isn't.

Our real enemy is our humanistic, liberal unbelief. [See blog below]

"He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool." (Proverbs 10:18 AV)

"Burning lips and a wicked heart [are like] a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation." (Proverbs 26:23-26 AV)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gunmen kidnap Fox News journalists in Gaza: witness�|�Top News�|� "GAZA (Reuters) - Palestinian gunmen kidnapped two foreign journalists working for the Fox News television channel in Gaza on Monday, a witness said."
How nice is this cease fire. Someone should tell the other side.
Hizbullah claims 'big victory' | Jerusalem Post: "Hizbullah distributed leaflets on Monday congratulating Lebanon on its 'big victory' and thanking citizens for their patience during the 34-day war with Israel. "

Once again, the United Nations bails out the bad guys, arranging a cease fire so that Hizbullah, who were getting their butts whipped, would gain time to regroup, rearm, and fight again another day. The civilians are returning to south Lebanon so that Hizbullah can use them for human shields. The "Peace" forces from the UN will not have the guts to root out Hizbullah, and Israel is again betrayed by the chicken-hearted.

The United Nations not only has outlived its usefullness, but is a malignancy that needs to be excised. They are like Eli, "My sons do not so wickedly," but did nothing to stop the wickedness. The only thing worse than this United Nations would be a United Nations with the force and will to enforce its ungodly, corrupt, and foul agenda.

But take heart, child of God: "And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Revelation 18:2 AV)

Jesus Christ is risen, ascended, and sits at the right hand of God.

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; 11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11 AV)

His Kingdom is one of truth and righteousness, and His eternal throne cannot be touched by the corruption of men. Amen and Amen.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Death of Optimistic Liberalism.

It's completely dead, you know. The universal brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God has died a well deserved death.

The rise of pure evil has dealt a fatal blow to this monstrous dream and optimistic folly. The first blows came from the wars of the twentieth century--Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and others. But these were at least Christian economic heresies. There was an implicit suicidal impulse, of course, and these systems died because of this impulse, but hope remained among the true believers, for they thought that the failure was because of bad planning selfish capitalism in the West which brought about the ruin of these better systems, which were based upon the inherent goodness of men and altruism. They thought they could win and still bring in the utopian society where there would be economic freedom for all, no national boundaries, and brotherhood and fraternity. The ideal of the French Revolution would be achieved, Brotherhood, Equality, Liberty. Narrow religious prejudice, racial prejudice, and parochialism would be banished from the earth for the brotherhood of man.

The whole dream of the Enlightenment which spawned this whole utopian fantasy was based upon theological heresies involving the nature of God and the nature of man. The new world would not need any religion, but if one is necessary for the ignorant, the only one that could be tolerated would be the false worship of a god who was indifferent to evil and good and made no distinction between them; one who was not involved in the world, loving all men and who will not judge the world in righteousness, making no distinction between the sheep and the goats.

Because there is no such thing as evil, there must be no punishment for criminals but redemption and forgiveness. Children must not be punished, for this damages self-esteem, and they must all consider themselves the children of God, no matter what their deed are. All people are of equal worth, no matter how they choose to live their lives, and have the right to food, shelter, medical attention, and civil liberties. The ideas have been wearing pretty thin, and are on the point of being swept away, by the pure evil that now faces the world, which will ultimate bring disillusionment and the crashing down of the tottering institutions that are no longer in touch with reality.

When women are willing to take their babies onto airplanes and use them as a cover for suicidal bombings [see following article]; when people are willing to murder their own people along with the infidels, then we are dealing with a mindset that is strange to Western civilization that was nurtured in the womb of Christianity. Pure evil has arisen in the womb of fundamental Islam. The love of death, the glorification of suicide, the willingness to kill millions in undifferentiated slaughter is an inversion of the great truths of the teachings of Christ and the Christian heritage of the West. Christ never taught His people that the way to heaven was by murder and death and revenge, but by faith the forgiveness of sins, praying for your enemies, and doing good to all men. Christians have not always lived up to these ideals, but their failure is their own, and those who did not practice Christian ideals have been condemned by other Christians. The spirit of Resurrection and Life in Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead, is totally the opposite of the spirit that drives Islam.

For a thousand years, the church was attacked by Islam, from the time that Muslim invaders came out of Arabia, conquering Palestine and Northern Africa, converting the populations by the sword, destroying churches, slaughtering Christians and priests and ministers and bringing all into bondage to the "obedience" of Islam. It was only by the heroics of Charles Martel and a great Christian Army at Tours, France, in 732, that Europe was spared, but for the next thousand years, Christianity had to endure constant pressure from the various Sultans and Satraps who called themselves the Army of God. Not only Christian Byzantium, but also Christian Russia, constantly were at war with Islam, who had taken by force lands belonging to these peoples.

The sad thing, is that in the name of the brotherhood of man, the schools in the West have not taught the true history of the wicked advance and tyranny of Islam and crushing of freedom in these lands. Instead they have focussed on the Crusades, which were a legitimate and proper response of the Christian West against the evil of Islam, in spite of the excesses and foolishness by which they were conducted.

Europe faced a most dreadful peril after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the way was open into the heartland of Europe for the Eastern Roman [Greek] Empire had been a buffer protecting Europe since the early Islamic conquests. Europe was torn by wars and petty quarrels and did not truly understand its peril which came to a head by the Ottoman advance in the 17th century. The high water mark of this advance was reached before the walls of Vienna in 1683, when a combined army of Polish, Austrian, and German troops under the command of Jan III Sobieski, head of Poland-Lithuania smash the "Army of God" and Islam retreated to Asia Minor. Islam never recovered from this defeat and the Ottoman Empire went into a long decline until it was partitioned after the World Wars of the twentieth century, during which it sided with the forces of evil, supporting Hitler and the Axis Powers. Islam oppresses its women, sends its children on suicide missions, is venomously anti-semitic, and know nothing of religious or civil liberties.

There is nothing in the teaching of Mohammed that even resembles Christ's teaching to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God's the things that are God's." In Islam the church is the state and the state is the church. The kingdom of Allah is an earthly kingdom and it must be obeyed without question.

There is no freedom of conscience and no idea of a personal God. In so many ways it is the antithesis of the Christian faith. Until the Protestant Reformation, Muhammad was considered the Anti-Christ until Luther transferred that honor to the Papacy. Luther, perhaps, was wrong on that one.

The present terrorism that Islam has launched against the West is nothing new and is not the fault of the West. The wickedness is in the hearts and minds of those who are in bondage to the devil, alienated from the life of God that is in Jesus Christ. This struggle will not be over in our lifetime or in the lifetime of our children. The attack will be upon the bodies of Christians, but the true enemy of Islam is the Lord Jesus. Because He is in heaven and beyond the reach of all Satanic power, His people will suffer the wrath of the enemies of Christ, but the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, for their war is not against flesh and blood but against the very God who created the heavens and the earth. They shall not prevail, but will fail just as they have throughout history. Hate and murder cannot overcome grace and life.

But liberalism is dead. Men are not all brothers. Although all men descend from Adam and are under the curse of sin and death, Jesus Christ by His grace and resurrections has brought life and immortality to light. Those who believe are the true sons of God. Those who do not believe are of their father the devil, no matter what their pretenses. As Jesus said to Anti-Christ in HIs day: "Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44 AV)

There are liars and murderers today, who do the works of their father the devil. This is reality and those who refuse to accept it will perish with them.

"...what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15 AV)

There can be no neutrality or triangulation in this conflict.
The Sun Online - News: Hunt on for baby bombers: "HATE-filled mums willing to sacrifice themselves and their BABIES are being hunted in the war on terror."
What kind of religion is this?

“Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:” (Romans 1:31 AV)

These people are not at war with Israel or with the United States or with Christianity. They are at war with God and everything decent and respectible.

“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (Ephesians 4:18-19 AV)

You Have Got to Read This.

Jim Mader did me a favor a couple months ago by sending me a review of Daggers of the Mind by Dr. Gordon Warme. For other reviews click here.

The review sent by Jim to me is by Brian Bethune and is reproduced below:

The meaning of crazy

Dr. Gordon Warme argues there's no biological basis for mental illness


Dr. Gordon Warme is 73, a distinguished psychiatrist who taught at the University of Toronto for three decades, and the proud new owner of a pionus parrot from South America, a genus known for its subtle coloration and relatively quiet voice. He's also a heretic -- a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who maintains, in a polite and muted fashion, that there isn't a scrap of evidence that mental illnesses are caused by any biological dysfunction. Warme argues in Daggers of the Mind, a humane apologia for his profession, that science, and drug-obsessed psychiatrists, are charging down the wrong track, misleading patients and forgetting that "most, if not all, of the effects of psychiatry are magical."

"Psychiatrists committed to biological explanations," Warme says in an interview, "will show me brain scans and point out tiny abnormalities in a high percentage of the brains of schizophrenia patients -- but the same range of imperfections will show up in healthy people's brains. If I push them and say, 'Show me evidence,' they'll finally say 'You're right,' but they don't want to talk about it. If you want to get ahead in our profession you have to write papers that promote this nonsense. And that's morally wrong. To tell our patients -- without any evidence -- that they have abnormal brain chemistry is just as crazy as some guy over there shuffling, grunting and staring into space."

This is heresy indeed, in an era in which the biological roots of virtually every unhappiness is an article of faith among experts and lay people alike. The sharp point of Warme's spear is aimed straight at schizophrenia -- the mental disorder most adamantly portrayed as an organic disease by those who treat it, and by the families of those who suffer it. Any textbook, any website devoted to the condition, opens with a confident statement of fact -- Warme would call it superstition: schizophrenia is a brain disease. Only further in will the reader find what Warme points to as telltale signs of pseudo-science -- researchers "do not yet understand all of the factors," or "it appears likely that."

Warme argues that psychiatrists have forgotten that illness is a metaphor for what they are observing -- a very useful metaphor, Warme agrees. The disease concept "removes the urge to fear or hate, the judgmental element." But it adds a declaration of biological abnormality -- read biological inferiority, according to Warme, who considers the label an affront to the autonomy and human dignity of his patients.
What, then, does a skeptical and infinitely curious headshrinker, a mental health professional who tosses around words like "crazy" and "mad" in exactly the same way as regular folks do, make of schizophrenia and other mental disorders? It's worth bearing in mind that heresy, too, is only a metaphor, for Warme offers no counter-church with an absolute truth of its own. "Madness," he says slowly, "is another way of life, another way of being human. Schizophrenia is stable across time and place; its roots are archetypical -- every culture provides its members with a blueprint on how to be mad."

The suffering is real, and so is the help experts provide. But what psychiatrists actually do is not far removed from the rituals of a Mayan shaman waving a chicken over a troubled patient. Even drugs, which have a success rate barely distinguishable from that achieved by sugar pills, function entirely through the placebo effect, what Warme calls the enchantment or magic of his profession. "That's where I really get into trouble," he says, "when I say all psychotherapy is a placebo, when I tell my closest associates that for all the good we can do through wise talk and encouragement, we do not cure our patients, because they never had a disease."

What do his own patients think? "For 20 years I've seen people who came to me saying they were depressed. After 10 minutes they never say the word again, even if I see them for five years. It's clear to me that 'depression' is a magic entry phrase to one of the wise men." And unhappy people have even more practical reasons for claiming depression: "Does medicare pay for you to go to a doctor to say 'I'm not getting along with my husband'?" Warme asks sardonically.

Human suffering is eternal, Warme believes -- there will never be a biological, drug-based fine tuning that will end it. Warme has no objection to any relief that can be offered without serious side effects, from drugs to electroshock to sacrificed chickens. But as a rational humanist skeptic, what he really believes in is the aesthetic cure. "In films, books and operas, we discover human nature writ large, with complexities, blemishes and perversities included. Like psychiatrists, art invites you to wrestle with ghosts. I listen to my patients and they tell me the same archetypical stories I read in Homer." His job, Warme figures, is to convince patients to become more conscious creators of their own selves, "to look over the way they have lived their lives, to tell them that the story you have lived up to now -- you might benefit from a different story."

[The following comments by cwp]

It is too bad that Dr. Warme does not accept the story of Jesus. That is the greatest story of all and it has transformed lives for two thousand years--in fact, the story of Jesus when it was only a promise of the prophets of God transformed lives when it was believed: witness Abraham, Moses, Elijah and others.

Churches need to abandon the lies of false prophets and return to the Scriptures.

Bethune reviews books for McCleans, a Canadian publication. His viewpoint is liberal Christian, I suppose, for he accepts the idea that Jesus' mission was only to transform Israel, not the world [Paul messed up the message of Jesus], but his review of Warme is very welcome. For more click here.


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