Category Archives: Current Affairs

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.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ByJb7QQ9U]

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

 

In The Last Days

A couple of days ago, after my 15 minute increment of wrestling with ch 1 — which had problems I couldn’t seem to even get my mind around, let alone resolve — I went to Drudge and clicked on a link to see what was going on with the riots in England. After a cursory glance at the photos, I was about to click away without reading anything, when I believe the Holy Spirit said to me, “Karen, you are writing about a riot in Ch 1 and this is real-time info on rioting.”  I blinked at the screen. Whoa!  What a doofus I am.

So I read about what was going on, looked at photos, and listened to the two drunken girls gloating as to how they’d gotten to “show the rich we can do whatever we want.”  By now many of you have probably heard of that.  The next day, the riots being on my radar now, I was very interested in a piece Rush Limbaugh brought up  by British commentator Max Hastings in the UK Daily Mail Online called Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters  , August 10, 2011. It’s a fascinating article, some of which I’ve lifted to share with you, though I recommend you read it in entirety.

Hastings starts out as many have, trying to figure out why these people are doing these things. The first riot came out of a protest over the shooting of a local man, which as facts came out did not seem anything worthy of protest.  People who break into shops and run out with armloads of iPods and other goodies do not seem to be focused on the injustices allegedly done to one of their own. Anyway, I found Hastings’s comments fascinating, not only in their own right, but for the condition he related might be used in this novel I am currently writing. It’s amazing how much this fits with what I’m doing.

So, on with Hastings, who is as I said, attempting to come up with a reason to explain the rioters’ actions.

“Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang.

This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect.

It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.

“A century ago, no child would have dared to use obscene language in class. Today, some use little else. It symbolises their contempt for manners and decency, and is often a foretaste of delinquency.

If a child lacks sufficient respect to address authority figures politely, and faces no penalty for failing to do so, then other forms of abuse — of property and person — come naturally.

A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution.

He spends a few paragraphs detailing the troubles various authority figures — from adults in general to teachers to policemen — have in attempting to control their behavior.

So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.

<snip>

They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.

Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’

Sobering, to say the least.  And as I read the article I couldn’t help thinking of 2 Timothy 3:1-4

“But realize this, that in the last days, difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy (anti-establishment), unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…”

As I said, I recommend you read the entire article HERE.

Reallocated to Occupy

Today on the Drudge Report, I came across an article posted on Alex Jone’s Info Wars site about a new Rasmussen poll showing that Americans are now “pre-revolutionary.”  The article stated that only 17% of the population believes the U.S. government has the consent of the governed. The rest of us do not.   The article’s author, Paul Joseph Watson, cited Rasmussen pollster Pat Cadell as saying “there is a sea of anger churning” out there among Americans wanting to “take their country back.”

Watson also hearkened back to 2008 when InfoWars warned of coming economic troubles that would precipitate “global rioting,” which clearly we are seeing today with the riots that have gone on in Greece, the Middle East, France and most lately, London. There are signs as well of coming unrest here in America, not only from the aforementioned pre-revolutionary Americans, but in the rising incidences of crime and thefts, especially the flash mob violence that’s been occurring at various cities — most recently at a state fair in Wisconsin…

But the creepiest part of all was when Watson referenced, in conjunction with the warning of global rioting, an 2008  article in the Army Times  about a newly instituted program that “re-allocated”  US troops returning from Iraq to training programs that would teach them how to “occupy America” (Watson’s words), run checkpoints and deal with  “civil unrest and crowd control”.  The Army Times presented the new program as one wherein soldiers would be called on to provide aid and “protection”  during times of disaster like Katrina or a terrorist attack, but admitted the idea of using American soldiers to control Americans is a “first.”  According to Info Wars’ Watson, however, such a deployment is not just a “first”, but totally violates the principle of  Posse Comitatus, a US federal law passed in 1878 prohibiting military personnel from serving in a law enforcement capacity on non-federal property.

So… it sounds good — send in US troops to help restore order, render aid, protect people during a terrorist attack…but with if the unrest comes from within? What if it comes from this rather large group (83%) of Americans who feel their elected officials have run off with their country and are driving it off a cliff?

Mount Pleasant frog, anyone?