Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama’s triumphal entry: gentle, riding on donkey

In a never ending effort to poke fun at the worshippers of the Messiah now occupying the White House this is my next effort:

January 24, 2009 ·

By Drew Zahn

DES MOINES, Iowa – Amid the pomp, circumstance and celebration of welcoming a new president, an artist in Iowa created an inaugural parade sure to draw attention, even hundreds of miles from Washington, D.C.: Barack Obama, riding on a donkey, complete with waving palm fronds and “Secret Service” escort.

As WND reported, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan declared in October that when Obama talks, “the Messiah is absolutely speaking.” But artist Matthew J. Clark’s parade – marching Obama through the streets of Des Moines in similar fashion to Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – takes the messianic imagery even farther.

The Bible describes Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem in the 21st chapter of Matthew as the fulfillment of the prophet Zechariah’s words, “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass,” or as the New International Version paraphrases, “gentle, and riding on a donkey.” As the celebrated Messiah entered the city, the Bible also tells of adorers spreading their cloaks at Jesus’ feet and waving palm fronds.

Charlotte Eby, columnist for Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, witnessed a strange sight earlier this week, as a sculpture of Obama marched down Des Moines’ Locust Street in similar fashion.

obamadonkey2“Progressing slowly down Locust and holding up traffic was a rubbery Barack Obama sculpture saddled on the back of a donkey,” Eby writes. “A pair of black SUVs led the procession and two more trailed behind, Secret Service-style. A couple of the SUVs were decked out with tiny American flags.”

Eby continues, “A few men led the Donkey down the street and a woman made her way along the sidewalk, keeping up with the procession and handing out palm branches to the few perplexed onlookers who had gathered on the sidewalks to see what the fuss was about.”

Clark called the marching artwork “A Simulacrum of Hope: Simulation of the Triumphal Entry of the Christ.”

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “simulacrum” as “an image or representation; or an unreal or vague semblance,” leaving the viewer to interpret whether Clark considers the parade a celebration of Obama or a mockery of Obama’s more adoring supporters.

Clark’s website describes the sculpture in equally vague terms.

“This project was inspired by my thoughts about ‘icons’ and religious symbols and whether they represent truth or merely represent,” the website reads. “The sculpture poses a question that relates to social conventions, metaphysics, and the collective response of society in reaction to fearful and uncertain times, but doesn’t impose an answer. For me, it has much more to do with the general public as followers than any leader granted power.”

According to a bio on his website, Clark is “a contemporary visual artist whose primary medium is sculpture.obamadonkey His projects are concept driven and primarily concerned with highlighting contradictions between ideas and their outworking in our current culture.”

The website also reports that since the parade has ended, the sculpture will be retired to sit upon a taxidermist-mounted donkey.


From a HUGE advocate for stopping climate change, James Lovelock. I don't agree with him, but I do agree with this:

Most of the “green” stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It’s not going to do a thing about climate change, but it’ll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning. I am not against renewable energy, but to spoil all the decent countryside in the UK with wind farms is driving me mad. It’s absolutely unnecessary, and it takes 2500 square kilometres to produce a gigawatt - that’s an awful lot of countryside…

The Coming Great Depression?

As an amateur economist who gets the price of Oil right as well as other commodities more often than not, I want to offer some sound opinions on that has happened and what will happen in the economy over the next few years. As well as what has happened.

Some of this comes from books, some comes from a few decades of trading and chart study and some comes from a pretty good sense of the market.

HANG ON TO YOUR HATS. This is a public service.

First How did we get here. I just read a pretty good explanation of the whole process that lead us to this point. I would love to blame Liberals, really I would, but this is due to decades of false response to economic cycles.

1. Banks grant new loans on a massive scale and the interest rate drops.
2. Credit expansion drives malinvestments in projects far from consumption which were not profitable before the credit expansion..
3. Capital goods rise in price.
4. Prices climb on the stock market.
5. The capital structure is artificially lengthened.
6. Large accounting profits appear in the capital-goods sector.
7. The capital-goods sector demands more workers.
8. At some point the rate of growth in credit expansion ceases. The interest rate climbs. The stock market crashes.
9. Consumer goods prices grow faster than wages, in relative terms.
10. Accounting profits appear in the consumer sector (demand increases).
11. The capital-goods sector sustains heavy accounting losses.
12. Workers are laid off in capital-goods industries.
13. Bank defaults mount. Marginally less solvent banks face serious difficulties. Credit crunch.

The current situation is precisely this: we face a credit crunch stemming from the creation of bad debt by the banking system (based on hyperabundant money) and the central banks. The recession seems to be inevitable: malinvested assets will undergo a severe adjustment due to the sale or the repossession of assets on a massive scale, which is necessary to repay the debt. Read the source article for this.

So, we know we are about to go into serious economic waters. Here are the hard truths we all need to understand. I will make a swipe at my liberal friends, Obama can’t solve this. Neither could George Bush. Reagan might have if he had been allowed to. Now the economy will right itself but it will take a long time.

Here’s what’s about to happen:
Money that has been poured in will splash around, by the first of April things will look pretty good. Then, while optimism reigns supream, things will turn south again, in September or October.

We will go into a long painful depression. It will last thru 2010 and most of 2011. Inflation will hit in commodities but not Gold. Oil will be expensive. Our currency will collapse. The dow is headed for 4-5000. This will seem like the end of the world. Most or all of the bailout money will have been lost. It will only have served to destroy our currency.

Then, a brief rebound because new opportunities will emerge in 2015-2017. Money will be made, markets recover. Mostly however on cheap money and natural resource sales. We will as a country be poorer, but not all. Great fortunes will be made during this time. Tremendous fortunes. They will not be in conventional ways.

After that last retraction of the economy that will last from the end of 2017-2021 then a new healthy and vibrant economy will emerge. It will not be US based. Europe will decline to an insular isolated enclave.

From 2022-2035 there will be a great global boom. We just won’t be driving it.

And, this is the economic reality that we must and will endure.

In 1994 I read a book called, “The Great Boom ahead” Harry S Dent. He described the following 20 years in that book exactly using demographics.

Now in his new book, The Great Depression Ahead, he describes in detail the why’s and wherefores of the economic probabilities for the NEXT 20 years. I wish I had paid attention to him the first time. I didn’t.

I may not be alive thru this next 20 or 30 years. I just thought you might want to know what’s about to happen.

OBAMA CAN’T FIX IT. He can make it worse. I hope he doesn’t. He can prolong it. I fear he will.

All these predictions may not hit the numbers, but they are indicators of the probable Cycle performance of the economy.

If I had paid attention, I would have been pretty wealthy. If I pay attention now, I might be less poor. There is one other caution. Lawlessness and government oppression will become much more rampant and intense as this goes on. Evil will be exposed and much of it will come from governance. Remember I live in IL.

You have been warned…. NOW WHAT?

What if we REALLY could Cure Cancer or Stop Abortion?

Steve Scott has a great question on the cost of victory. Who pays.

Read the whole thing.

Chatter from the Atlantic Monthly

Always interested in what smart people say about money and having a few theories of my own, This chatter from Meg McCardle's article in the Atlantic Monthly and the comments give a person a chance to think about things:

Money is Debt, if there is no capacity for Debt, there is no money. Haiti has no Debt, you can't borrow any money there. Therefore there is no money:

Money is debt. Before money was debt, when money was hard, based at least in theory on gold or silver, debt deflation periodically swept economic systems. And it was bad.

Now we are in debt deflation when all money in all places in all ways is based on debt. (If you don't understand this concept go study) The results are going to be horrific to a degree few can imagine.

In old fashioned debt panics, collapses, deflations; the money just went and hid. Now it is disappearing. Poof. Not only is there not enough money to pay off the debt there isn't enough money to pay all the regular bills, by a long shot.

Warren Buffet as a supporter of bad economic policy:

Warren Buffet is a great business man but an economic policy idiot. He has no faith in the market economy though he has great personal success operating within it.

Warren Buffet’s quote is hysterical, a quote from a frighten man, a man with much to lose and clueless as to how to save himself.

We are not standing around doing nothing so why his gratuitous statement? What are the “Hoover like” policies he references: Hoover’s higher taxes, protectionism or denigrating the employer/business man”? And since Obama advocates all three, at least in his campaign why did Buffet support Obama?

“… we don't know how effective in the short run we don't know how effective this will be and how quickly things will right themselves.” An incredibly idiotic statement for advocating policies that will cost $Trillions to heal the ailing economy (think of the economy as your sick child and your doctor making this statement about the surgical procedures he is about to perform); does Buffet make investment decisions in this manner?

Not surprisingly Warren Buffet can afford to be hysterical and idiotic. If the kitchen sink policies he wants us to implement make the economy worse, he can say “Sorry About That ... Never Mind” and still sip his favorite drink while the rest of us live in tents and eat at soup kitchens.

“We do know over time the American machine works wonderfully and it will work wonderfully again.” Wrong Warren, we can do permanent damage to the economy. Argentina under Juan Peron is the example of a vibrant American type economy destroyed by government leader who had no idea or did not care what he was doing as long as his supporters received benefits.

About the flaws inherent in John Maynard Keynes (Obama's favorite theoretical Economist)

Keynesian theory has no basis in microeconomics and is why policies based on it have never generated any economic benefits. Why then is the theory so popular among the current political establishment? Keynesian theory is an intellectual cover to justify coercive political power to take wealth from one part of society and give it to another. To a Keynesian, taxes on individuals do not matter, how individuals create goods and services does not matter and given the idea of the multiplier some in society are more worthy to consume the goods and services produced then others. Keynesian theory is a way to justify socialism, the modern form of slavery.

The stimulus package as currently proposed and widely advocated by Buffet will crush the economy; a worse replay of Hoover/FDR’s 1930s. A deficit must be funded by future taxes. Now who receives the current deficit spending benefits? Obama and his Democratic cronies certainly do not want the people who pay 50% if not the people who pay 95% of federal taxes to receive the benefits. So the people who drive the economy, the people who receive income from producing goods and services will today pay taxes, tomorrow pay taxes and tomorrow pay the tax surcharge that pays for today’s deficit spending.

The Obama stimulus policy is a massive tax increase with no offsetting benefits on the incomes of the people who could rebuild the economy (and no trickle down theory nonsense). Microeconomic theory points to the effects of changes in marginal costs. Taxes are a cost in producing goods and services. With a massive increase in future taxes due to today's stimulus deficit spending the marginal cost of producing goods and services in the future is rising by $Trillions. The massive spending today paid by the shifting of tax burdens will reduce the total quantity of goods and services produced today and the future.

NOT just complaining, but an answer:

There is a stimulative measure that could work. Create the deficit by not changing spending and create a tax holiday. At least the taxpayers, the people who produce goods and services do not have their taxes increased but just postponed. They would have an incentive to move production to today and stimulate the today’s economy at the cost of future production. Obama will never follow this policy. Democrats today have a very powerful incentive to recreate the “I am helping you through bad times policy” of FDR, bad times kept FDR in power. What worked once will work again.

“…not that long ago we had a lot of pretty good theories from very smart economists about how this sort of financial crisis couldn't really happen again in the first place.” Responsible economists and politician saw our crisis coming but the crony capitalism that (another implication of Keynesian theory) created FNMA and FHLMC in the 1930s sowed the seeds of the current crisis. And the more recent crony capitalism of Barney Franks, Christopher Dodd and rest of the Democrats prevented the Bush administration from taking crisis preventive measures in 2006. The current economic theories easily predicted what happen, we’ve been waiting for FNMA & FHLMC to fail for years and they set the example for private mortgage lending quality.

Now I will sound hysterical. Obama’s policies are destroying the American economy. We are on the path of becoming a third world country, Argentina the example. Obama’s economic policies are the horror stories of medieval medicine with our living standards the patient. The government must allow the people in this country who make the goods and services keep the value of their efforts in larger quantities now more then ever.

The wealth is gone and we need policies to recreate that wealth; a simple fact. Politically though the wealth creating class is despised, marked for punishment the fruits being an economy worse then 1930s.

Obama policies in this crisis is the end of the American Dream.

About Money Supply:

Setting aside that M1 is not the money measure to consider when talking about the monetary expansion engendered by fractional reserve banking the bigger question is how the worlds money supply approximately doubled since 2000. Fractional reserve banking does not provide that kind of monetary expansion.

So far the deflation has been almost exclusively in the price of assets. Commodity deflation has taken hold yes, after the huge bubble last year ending in July. That deflation is assets is justified and proper, since they were inflated terribly. The inflation of assets, stocks, real estate, rock star memorabilia, became the be all and end of of the economy.

It's crucial to understand that the rise in asset prices was never called inflation. It was always called increasing value. When stocks doubled and doubled again in the 90's Greenspan reliably went before congress and told how inflation was low.

Then when stocks crashed in 01 Greenspan's hair started blazing as he warned deeply of deflation. Funny thing that. He cut interest rates in a rush to 1%. That time it worked. For the last time. The chart above tells the tale.

Every dollar borrowed engendered less and less real growth.

Inflation is the increase in the amount of money vs economic output. World money supply possibly doubled from 2000 to 2008.

CPI inflation was moderate during most of the period except for the huge spike last year in commodities. What inflated was the price of financial assets, particularly newly minted debt paper and their derivatives, and real estate.

This is deflation and depression

It is verbotten to say price increases of assets are inflation. Home "values" rose. Stock "values" rose. Absolutely crummy securitizations were priced for perfection.

It is the price of assets which is deflating now. Without question the largest bout of deflation since the Great Depression. Deflation is the name for our current predicament. Truth be told the financial and monetary system cannot exist with deflation. Inflation is our friend. It is the grease which makes it move smoothly. Absent inflation the system seizes.

What your leaders are doing:

Bernanke and all the worlds central bankers and governments are madly attempting to reflate. A trillion here a trillion there. Yet the banks continue to collapse. Friedman, and Bernanke agreed, theorized that the Great Depression was caused by the Fed not flooding the system with liquidity and credit after the crash. Handily they ignore the cause of the crash. An unsound expansion of credit. They just propose papering it over with more money and credit. (Milt is headed for histories dust bin)

The cure here has amounted to the Treasury borrowing money and pouring it into the banks, which is a net wash. Not increasing systematic new credit or money. The Treasury has also issued guarantees on old debt which actually has no real backing. To make good on the guarantees they will have to ask congress to appropriate it and then borrow it. The entire exercise is a con game meant to restore "confidence".

The next step is to print money. The Fed has started doing this to the tune of $500 billion, this year it says, to buy up private not GSE mortgage backed securities. Some other printing may be going on as well in the alphabet soup of new Fed programs and facilities. It's possible this printing will stem the deflation in the financial sector but the amounts needed run to the trillions. None of which flows to the day to day real economy. (an imprecise label but valid I believe) I think this printing will fail. Others hope otherwise.

What can anyone do?

The dust up over the StimPak is driven by two things. First, libertarians and Austrian Schoolers think such things are simply evil and often think they won't work. Conservatives cannot accept giving money to people. Giving it to banks is bad enough, for some semi honest ones, but giving money to people is the last straw. Unacceptable. Give money to people and they will just buy beer and sit on the porch all day drinking it. They won't 'invest' it. Like our elites did with the $3 trillion Bush tax cut, into hedge funds. Which worked out so well.

Politics will surely demand money printing on vast scale. Probably some things will inflate to a degree of for a period as a result. When and what are unknowable. Will it be stocks or oil or CDO's or corn or houses. This cannot be predicted.

I think we need to think this thing thru Mr President. I don't expect that many liberals will grasp all this. If they did they wouldn't be liberals. The two (understanding economics and Liberalism) are diametrically opposed. Inversly proportional. Sorry if that sounds insulting, but it's true. Sheep to the slaughter. That's why Bernie Madoff was so successful with so many liberals. They believe in myths. The Bible even talks of this weakness:

But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 1 Timothy 4:7


1 Timothy 1:4
4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Suckers are born every minute, but they don't have to stay that way. Don't. Get real.

Sobering Stuff

I have been on a quest to undestand why there is such a huge vaccum in Christian Leadership. Even among some Pastors. It comes down to this, You can't impart what you don't possess and you can't lead people somewhere you have never been.

For many spiritual leaders there is a sense that they understand technically, they understand the theory, they even may be skilled. But theory and practice do not go hand in hand.

If I read every tour book on Istanbul there is, if I could watch every DVD, if I even knew people from Istanbul, I would not be as effective in leading someone around the streets and avoiding the potholes of Istanbul as one who lives there, or even spends a lot of time there.

Yet, in the Istanbul of the Kingdom of God we have a lot of leaders and even some pastors who just don't know the territory. Yet they try to lead. They lead people into a ditch.

Here is what Rich Rogers just said about this (It's pretty good):
In his book Waking the Dead Christian author John Eldredge wrote: "We are at war. The world in which we live is a combat zone, a violent clash of kingdoms, a bitter struggle unto the death. You were born into a world at war, and you will live out all your days in the midst of the great battle, involving all the forces of heaven and hell and played out here on earth."

Indeed, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan are at war in our society today, and sometimes it's hard to know which side even some Christians are on. Many of them think and act just like people in the world. Why? Because they don't truly know God, and their minds have not been renewed.

It is possible for a person to love God with all his heart, serve Him every week and feel His presence in worship, yet not know Him. Some armchair theologians out there may disagree, but thousands of pastors and lay leaders in the U.S. and around the world would confirm that this is true.

Let me state it another way. A person can love God and serve Him regularly but not have His mind on many of the critical issues of our day. To not have His mind on the issues of the day, secular and spiritual, places the rank-and-file Christian in a dangerously precarious position both inside and outside the walls of the church, in a world that is increasingly hostile to anything and everything "evangelical."

Henry Blackaby, co-author of the best-selling book and workbook Experiencing God, was once asked, "What do you see as the future for the United States?" Blackaby replied: "If you put the U.S. up against the Scriptures, we're in trouble. I think we're very close to the judgment of God. The problem of America is not the unbelieving world. The problem of America is the people of God.

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How the Very Elect will be Decieved by the Anti Christ

I have let the whole changing of the guard settle in my spirit. One prophetic implication of the whole event is clarity on how easily the very elect will be deceived. That deception is not going to come simply because the Antichrist figure of prophecy will be so wonderful, but that he will hold a promise that seems to resonate with the whole of the world.

It will come at crisis. The world will look terrible. People in crisis will be looking for a Christ. It's just that the anti Christ is the one they will settle on. WHY. Because it will be so healing, so unifying, so inclusive, so singular in it's focus. People will swoon and men and women will shed tears. Christian leaders will say, how can we deny that this man is sent from GOD?

Christian leaders who will be deceived most easily will be those who are motivated by a pastoral gift. I am saddened and sometimes even shocked by good Christian Leaders who are so easily misled and lack in any solid discernment. Prophets and Apostles are less subject to being deceived than are Pastors and Evangelists. A good teacher will not be easily deceived.

Many willingly drank the kool aid of the Obama Inauguration as something ultra historical. It was unique, but not more historical than any other Inauguration. It was accurately historical in it's uniqueness. President Obama is NOT the Anti Christ of which I speak. He's just a man. But he represents a fore shadow in the adulation and worship of the man of peace to come.

This whole thing, the number of evangelicals who supported Obama, the number of undiscerning Christians who were caught up in all this shows me how easily the Anti Christ Spirit will be able to deceive the elect. I can see them standing and endorsing the "man of peace".

Sometimes our poets speak more clearly to this than I can:

Look out your window, baby, there's a scene you'd like to catch
The band is playing "Dixie", a man got his hand outstretched
Could be the Fuhrer
Could be the local priest
You know sometimes Satan, you know he comes as a man of peace.

He got a sweet gift of gab, he got a harmonious tongue
He knows every song of love that ever has been sung
Good intentions can be evil
Both hands can be full of grease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, first he's in the background, and then he's in the front
Both eyes are looking like they're on a rabbit hunt
Nobody can see through him
No, not even the Chief of Police
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, he catch you when you're hoping for a glimpse of the sun
Catch you when your troubles feel like they weigh a ton
He could be standing next to you
The person that you'd notice least
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Well, he can be fascinating, he can be dull
He can ride down Niagara Falls in the barrels of your skull
I can smell something cooking
I can tell there's going to be a feast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

He's a great humanitarian, he's great philanthropist
He knows just where to touch you honey, and how you like to be kissed
He'll put both his arms around you
You can feel the tender touch of the beast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Man of Peace
Bob Dylan
I write this in response to the many voices who believe that issues of Righteousness and Justice matter less than Unity. Today January 22 is the anniversary of Roe V Wade. The judgement of God is on Christian Leaders who supported Obama ignoring his positions in favor of peace.

Real Leadership is being driven by desired results, not desirable methods. Results are sometimes hard to come and not popular.

I prophetically call on all leaders to reaffirm their position on life in the light of God's word. It doesn't work any more to say, I'm personally against abortion but I'm pro choice. That's like saying, I'm against child abuse, but if you want to abuse your children, who am I to say you shouldn't.

This division is the judgement of God on us all. False unity is an anti christ spirit. It is already among us.

Lincoln's View of Obama's Inauguration

With the 20-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln gazing from the Lincoln Memorial across the National Mall, I wondered, what would the Civil War president think about Barack Obama being sworn in as America's 44th president? Lincoln is obviously Obama's favorite president. But would America's 16th president return the same sentiment?

There's no doubt these two presidents from Illinois share some similarities. As Australia's Herald Sun noted, "Both were derided as too young and inexperienced to be President; both wrote best-selling books before running for the White House; both were lawyers and extraordinarily gifted orators; both came to power during a national crisis; and both were tall, lanky, self-made men determined to maintain contact with the citizens they served."

Read the whole thing............

A Pro - Life Ad Obama Supporters will Like

You will be moved by this, watch the whole thing.

No Regrets - Why I'm not sorry that George W. Bush beat Al Gore and John Kerry.

Judge Obama on performance alone? Why would America do that? He wasn't elected based upon his performance.

The Challenge President Obama Faces

It will not be easy for President Obama. More than half the country voted for him, and yet our newspapers are brimming with snippy remarks at every little aspect of his inauguration.

Here's a small sampling of the churlishness in just The New York Times:

-- The American public is bemused by the tasteless show-biz extravaganza surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration today.

-- There is something to be said for some showiness in an inauguration. But one felt discomfited all the same.

-- This is an inauguration, not a coronation.

-- Is there a parallel between Mrs. Obama's jewel-toned outfit and somebody else's glass slippers? Why limousines and not shank's mare?

-- It is still unclear whether we are supposed to shout "Whoopee!" or "Shame!" about the new elegance the Obamas are bringing to Washington.

Boy, talk about raining on somebody's parade! These were not, of course, comments about the inauguration of the angel Obama; they are (slightly edited) comments about the inauguration of another historic president, Ronald Reagan, in January 1981.

Obama's inaugural address tracked much of Reagan's first inaugural address -- minus the substance -- the main difference being that Obama did not invoke God as stoutly or frequently, restricting his heavenly references to a few liberal focus-grouped phrases, such as "God-given" and "God's grace."

Obama was also not as fulsome in his praise of his predecessor as Reagan was. To appreciate how remarkable this is, recall that Reagan's predecessor was Jimmy Carter.

Under Carter, more than 50 Americans were held hostage by a two-bit terrorist Iranian regime for 444 days -- released the day of Reagan's inauguration. Under Bush, there has not been another terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001.

But I gather that if Obama had uttered anything more than the briefest allusion to Bush, that would have provoked yet more booing from the Hope-and-Change crowd, which moments earlier had showered Bush with boos when he walked onto the stage. That must be the new tone we've been hearing so much about.

So maybe liberals can stop acting as if the entire nation could at last come together in a "unity of purpose" if only conservatives would stop fomenting "conflict and discord" -- as Obama suggested in his inaugural address. We're not the ones who booed a departing president.

It is a liberal trope to insult conservatives by asking them meaningless questions, such as the one repeatedly asked of Bush throughout his presidency about whether he had made any mistakes. All humans make mistakes -- what is the point of that question other than to give insult?

When will the first reporter ask President Obama to admit that he has made mistakes? Try: Never.

No, that question will disappear for the next four years. It will be replaced by the new question for conservatives on every liberal's lips these days: Do you want Obama to succeed as president?

Answer: Of course we do. We live here, too.

But merely to ask the question is to imply that the 60 million Americans who did not vote for Obama are being unpatriotic if they do not wholeheartedly endorse his liberal agenda.

I guess it depends on the meaning of "succeed." If Obama "succeeds" in pushing through big-government, terrorist-appeasing policies, he will not have "succeeded" at being a good president. If we didn't think conservative principles of small government and strong national defense weren't better for the country, we wouldn't be conservatives.

And why was that question never asked of liberals producing assassination books and movies about President Bush for the last eight years?

Say, did liberals want Pastor Rick Warren to succeed delivering a meaningful invocation at the inaugural?

The way I remember it, the Hope-and-Change crowd viciously denounced the Christian pastor, stamped their feet and demanded that Obama withdraw the invitation -- all because Rick Warren agrees with Obama's stated position on gay marriage, which also happens to be the position of a vast majority of Americans every time they have been allowed to vote on the matter.

Liberals always have to play the victim, acting as if they merely want to bring the nation together in hope and unity in the face of petulant, stick-in-the-mud conservatives. Meanwhile, they are the ones booing, heckling and publicly fantasizing about the assassination of those who disagree with them on policy matters.

Hope and unity, apparently, can only be achieved if conservatives would just go away -- and perhaps have the decency to kill themselves.

Republicans are not the ones who need to be told that "the time has come to set aside childish things" -- as Obama said of his own assumption of the presidency. Remember? We're the ones who managed to gaze upon Carter at the conclusion of his abomination of a presidency without booing.

Mystery Question - Who Wrote This?

And, I agree with THIS PERSON wholeheartedly on this issue.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Judge Obama on Performance Alone

Let's not celebrate more ordinary speeches


    With the noon sun high over the U.S. Capitol, Barack Obama yesterday took the oath of office to become president of the United States. On one level, it was a simple matter of political process -- the symbolic transfer of power. Yet words alone cannot convey its meaning.

    The calloused hands of slaves, the voices of abolitionists, the hearts of generations who trusted in the naïve promise that any child can become president, will find some reward in a moment that was hard to imagine last year, much less 50 years ago. Our history, so marred by the sin of slavery, has come to the day when a man that an old segregationist would have described as "tea-colored" -- the child of a white woman and an African immigrant, who identifies as a member of the long oppressed and despised black minority -- was chosen by a mostly white nation as the personification of America's best sense of self as a nation of power and virtue.

    At the end of the 1965 march calling for passage of the Voting Rights Act, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said politics held the potential to reflect the brilliance of the American creed of justice for all, and a "society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience." Years of hard work lay ahead to shift racist attitudes born of political power being limited to white Americans, he said, then added that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. How long? Not long. Because mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

    It is neither overweening emotion nor partisanship to see King's moral universe bending toward justice in the act of the first non-white man taking the oath of the presidency. But now that this moment has arrived, there is a question: How shall we judge our new leader?

    If his presidency is to represent the full power of the idea that black Americans are just like everyone else -- fully human and fully capable of intellect, courage and patriotism -- then Barack Obama has to be subject to the same rough and tumble of political criticism experienced by his predecessors. To treat the first black president as if he is a fragile flower is certain to hobble him. It is also to waste a tremendous opportunity for improving race relations by doing away with stereotypes and seeing the potential in all Americans.

    Yet there is fear, especially among black people, that criticism of him or any of his failures might be twisted into evidence that people of color cannot effectively lead. That amounts to wasting time and energy reacting to hateful stereotypes. It also leads to treating all criticism of Mr. Obama, whether legitimate, wrong-headed or even mean-spirited, as racist.

    This is patronizing. Worse, it carries an implicit presumption of inferiority. Every American president must be held to the highest standard. No president of any color should be given a free pass for screw-ups, lies or failure to keep a promise.

    During the Democrats' primaries and caucuses, candidate Obama often got affectionate if not fawning treatment from the American media. Editors, news anchors, columnists and commentators, both white and black but especially those on the political left, too often acted as if they were in a hurry to claim their role in history as supporters of the first black president.

    For example, Mr. Obama was forced to give a speech on race as a result of revelations that he'd long attended a church led by a demagogue. It was an ordinary speech. At best it was successful at minimizing a political problem. Yet some in the media equated it to the Gettysburg Address.

    The importance of a proud, adversarial press speaking truth about a powerful politician and offering impartial accounts of his actions was frequently and embarrassingly lost. When Mr. Obama's opponents, such as the Clintons, challenged his lack of experience, or pointed out that he was not in the U.S. Senate when he expressed early opposition to the war in Iraq, they were depicted as petty.

    Bill Clinton got hit hard when he called Mr. Obama's claims to be a long-standing opponent of the Iraq war "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." The former president accurately said that there was no difference in actual Senate votes on the war between his wife and Mr. Obama. But his comments were not treated by the press as legitimate, hard-ball political fighting. They were cast as possibly racist.

    This led to Saturday Night Live's mocking skit -- where the debate moderator was busy hammering the other Democratic nominees with tough questions while inquiring if Mr. Obama was comfortable and needed more water.

    When fellow Democrats contending for the nomination rightly pointed to Mr. Obama's thin proposals for dealing with terrorism and extricating the U.S. from Iraq, they were drowned out by loud if often vacuous shouts for change. Yet in the general election campaign and during the transition period, Mr. Obama steadily moved to his former opponents' positions. In fact, he approached Bush-Cheney stands on immunity for telecommunications companies that cooperate in warrantless surveillance.

    There is a dangerous trap being set here. The same media people invested in boosting a black man to the White House as a matter of history have set very high expectations for him. When he disappoints, as presidents and other human beings inevitably do, the backlash may be extreme.

    Several seasons ago, when Philadelphia Eagle's black quarterback Donovan McNabb was struggling, radio commentator Rush Limbaugh said the media wanted a black quarterback to do well and gave Mr. McNabb "a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve." Mr. Limbaugh's sin was saying out loud what others had said privately.

    There is a lot more at stake now, and to allow criticism of Mr. Obama only behind closed doors does no honor to the dreams and prayers of generations past: that race be put aside, and all people be judged honestly, openly, and on the basis of their performance.

    President Obama deserves no less.

    Mr. Williams, a political analyst for National Public Radio and Fox News, is the author of several books, including "Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965" (Penguin, 1988), and "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America -- and What We Can Do About It" (Crown, 2006).

Record Attendance at a Worship Service

You won't believe how many people came.

The Priests of False Worship

More accurately, the worship leaders of false worship. Oh Come let us adore him...

President Obama is not admired; He's worshiped. I suspect that makes him a bit uncomfortable as a Christian. I watched him with the Military folks at the Military ball. He genuinely enjoyed the camaraderie. In others sometimes the worship got strange.

The "Creative" ball was full of people who's worldview is very strange indeed.

And all day, viewers were pummeled with the equivalent of "Come on Church, Worship Him" by the leaders of the worship liturgy on "news" shows.

My concern is with the intense faith people have placed in a Man. My hope for him as President is that he do well. That he be wise. That he listens to the Good Counsel he has surrounded himself with. He is simply a leader who will need it. He knows it. His counselors know it. The people who worship him do not. They think he has all the answers. He doesn't.

The other day I watched the Passion of the Christ. It was only a week between Hosanna to the son of David and Crucify him. Crowd passion and false worship is pretty vacuous stuff. I know people who are great worshippers when things go well, let a hard thing come along and they will abandon even Jesus. And, President Obama isn't Jesus.

I saw tears in the crowd. That didn't make me feel any better.

President Obama. Get ready for Friday. It's coming. They will scream just as loud for your head, it'll just be different. They will want it on a silver platter. I wish you would have told them the truth in your Inaugural address. It would have made the medicine go down a bit better.

What probably makes me most sad is people who are treating this whole event as more than it is. Like some sea change has and will take place. It won't. They'll blame him for executing Bush's third term. They will hate him for the truth.

He'll throw them a bone. Make a proclamation or two. Meanwhile, He's a smart man, he'll do what he has been hired to do, he'll run the country as he should. He will be at the core the good man he is.

And the crowd will hate him for it. That is the penalty for violation of the commandment about idols or other god's.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Classlessness of Bush Haters

I am glad this mess is over. I'm OK with President Obama. I'm not ecstatic. I am just ok with all this.

What really irritates me is the lowbrow crowd mentality.

When President Bush came on the Platform they booed
and hissed and sang na na na na goodbye.

There are some who believe this to be a historic event. It is historic in that it is an inaugural. In that a man with little real experience managed to convince a populace to put him in office.

That's historical.

I'm sorry to say, I'm not tickled about all this. BUT, he is our President. Shortly after he was inaugurated Peggy and I prayed for him.

I fear that we could end up with civil war if he were assassinated by a nutcase from the right.

So, I pray for him, for our country.

But he is just a man. He isn't any different from you or me, he's just a man who I hope has the wisdom to surround himself with good people.

Historical? Aren't ALL inaugurations historical. I think so.

Do Good Mr Obama, you have a whole race of people who need you to do well.

You are a black man who is President, be a good one.

The Opacity of Hope

Barack Obama takes the oath of office today amid a sense of expectation and opportunity rare even for new Presidents. Partly this is due to his heritage and the historic nature of his triumph, partly to our current economic troubles, and partly to a nation looking for a fresh start after the difficulties of the Bush era. The paradox is that in order to succeed Mr. Obama will soon need to turn the opacity of his hope into clear and often difficult choices, some of which will upset his most passionate supporters.

[Review & Outlook]

The Illinois Democrat brings impressive talents to the White House -- not least the self-confidence that he can do the job. Though only four years out of the state Senate, he seems remarkably undaunted by the task and the moment. His rhetorical gifts are formidable, no small virtue in a job whose influence depends chiefly on the power to persuade. The President-elect's transition has also gone more smoothly than most, certainly in contrast to Bill Clinton's in 1993.

Mr. Obama is likewise equipped with a first-class temperament. He wore the pressures of an epic campaign as lightly as anyone since Ronald Reagan. While his opponents lurched amid this or that headline, the man from Hawaii via Harvard and Chicago never lost his cool. This equanimity will serve him well amid the crises to come, assuming his confidence doesn't slide into an arrogance that sometimes attends 70% Presidential job approval.

Yet for all of those personal virtues, there remains an elusiveness, an opacity, to Mr. Obama's political character. This is in contrast to Reagan, who was personally distant but publicly well defined. Mr. Obama won the primaries and then the White House with a campaign based on the gauzy promise of change more than on a clear agenda. He became a political Everyman into whom Democrats, independents and even many Republicans could pour their great expectations.

This lack of definition has also marked his personnel choices. When given the chance to pick someone from one policy camp or another, Mr. Obama has typically chosen both: Free-trader Ron Kirk and protectionist Hilda Solis; command-and-control regulator Carol Browner and more market-oriented Cass Sunstein; Tim Geithner, who has voted to open the monetary floodgates, and Paul Volcker, who is worried about the dollar; Tom Daschle, who wants to nationalize all U.S. health care, and Peter Orszag, who believes current entitlements must be reformed.

Soon Mr. Obama will have to choose. That is especially true on the struggling economy, which is the main reason he won so handily. For 25 years from the moment the Reagan policy mix took hold in 1983, the U.S. has had a run of economic expansion marred only by two mild recessions. Younger Americans have grown accustomed to rising incomes and growing 401(k)s. Mr. Obama was elected on his promise to restore that middle-class prosperity. He can best serve the country, and his own Presidency, by focusing his political capital on policies that promote growth.

Yet over that same 25 years Mr. Obama's political coalition has amassed a wish-list of regulatory and redistributionist ideas that would undercut that effort. The global warming crowd wants a huge new carbon tax that would hit the South and Midwest especially hard. Big Labor wants to make union organizing easier, which would slow job creation. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is agitating to raise taxes immediately, even amid recession, to finance a spending spree we haven't seen since LBJ's Great Society. Part of Mr. Obama's success will depend on whether he says no to these liberal interests. If he does, he will make it easier for the economy's natural recuperative powers to work -- and he and his party will benefit.

Mr. Obama can also go a long way toward removing the bile from the debate over national security. For some on the left, the Bush era must be repudiated with prosecutions and a return to the pre-9/11 status quo. John Conyers and the New York Times want heads on pikes. Down this road lies wasted political capital for the new President, and risks for U.S. security.

Mr. Obama seems to recognize this, given his recent comments that he prefers to "look forward" rather than back; that Guantanamo may take his entire first term to close down; and that "Dick Cheney's advice was good" to assess Bush policies before leaping to undo them. Now that he is responsible for American security, Mr. Obama is in a position to validate the Bush programs that have kept us safe, perhaps with some political window dressing that mutes the opposition from the anti-antiterror left.

As a historic cultural symbol, Mr. Obama is also uniquely placed to ask Americans of all races and incomes to show a greater sense of personal responsibility. His own rise to the White House is a walking affirmation of American opportunity. His reaching out to evangelical pastor Rick Warren, both in the campaign and for his Inaugural, is a shrewd and welcome sign that he wants to temper the social furies. Our particular hope is that he will also find a way to take on the teachers unions as the main obstacle to inner-city opportunity. He could revolutionize the school reform debate in an instant.

As a matter of political character, many of these questions hang on Mr. Obama's toughness. We know he is intelligent and clever. What we don't know is if he can make a difficult decision in the national interest that is unpopular, and then endure the consequences. Reagan showed his steel by staring down the Patco strike at home and Soviet scare-tactics against missile deployments abroad. Whatever his mistakes in Iraq, George W. Bush's "surge" was a lonely call that has proven to be right. As far as we know, Mr. Obama has had to make no such decision in his short public life.

The complicated nature of our world means that every modern Presidency is to some extent a leap into the unknown. Mr. Obama's meteoric rise makes him a bigger leap than most. We don't know if he is a genuine man of the left, or a more traditional pragmatist. The audacity of our hope is that as President he will use his considerable talents to return his party to the policies of growth, opportunity and the vigorous defense of U.S. interests that marked it the last time the country had such great expectations for a Democratic President -- under JFK.

From today's Wall Street Journal

Monday, January 19, 2009

Worth Reading

Mises Economics Blog

To Which Defunct Economist Are You Currently Enslaved?

January 18, 2009 10:24 PM by Justin Ptak | Other posts by Justin Ptak | Comments (6)

John Maynard Keynes once wrote that "the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist."

Economic theory does indeed have quite a large impact on our lives that is far greater than most any of us are willing to admit or understand. Policymakers and politicians guide fiscal policy, set monetary policy, and collaborate on financial regulations that impact almost every transaction in the market place. These theorists and philosophers all begin with a set of ideological constraints that frame their world view. Will you sit back and allow them to create the rules of the game?

As Ludwig von Mises stated in one of the concluding chapters of Human Action on The Place of Economics in Learning:

"Economics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man's human existence...

There is no means by which anyone can evade his personal responsibility. Whoever neglects to examine to the best of his abilities all the problems involved voluntarily surrenders his birthright to a self-appointed elite of supermen. In such vital matters blind reliance upon "experts" and uncritical acceptance of popular catchwords and prejudices is tantamount to the abandonment of self-determination and to yielding to other people's domination. As conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake...

Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society's fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen."

You can only benefit from those who's ministry you accept

When Jesus walked the earth as a man, he walked by hundreds of sick and dying people. He only healed those who accepted his ministry. Only those who came to him and still come to him for forgiveness of sins are forgiven. If a Muslim or Hindu doesn't accept who he is he cannot receive the ministry Jesus has available.

The same is true of the ministry that is among us as part of the Body of Christ. There are a lot of various ministers and ministries. They seem to have various emphasis.

There are those who are great teachers, those who embrace them will benefit from their teaching.

There are wonderful Evangelists like Billy Graham has been. Those who embrace him benefit from his evangelism.

There are great pastors who seem to be able to nurture the flock to better things. If you have a pastor you embrace and receive you will benefit from his ministry. You are rewarded by receiving the ministry he or she brings.

There are apostles who have been overarching influencers on the body of Christ. People who seem to be authority. John Eckhardt, T D Jakes, Rick Joyner and some others are examples of recognized apostolic leaders. Those who accept and receive them in the name of Jesus are blessed by and built up by their leadership.

There are prophets. They walk among the body of Christ. Some are recognized. Kim Clement. Chuck Pierce. Those who accept and receive them in the name of Jesus are blessed and provided for thru their ministry.

People want and even need ministry. They want it. But, they are selective in who they receive from. In that way they restrict what Jesus might want to do among them. I believe we should be careful. We should be discerning. But the narrower and smaller our vision of those we will receive is, the less of God we can see. This is particularly dangerous in the denominational world. The idea that only a person endorsed or embraced by the denomination can speak into their lives or help reveal God to them is allowed to be received. That's simply not true.

Over the last couple days I have experienced both. In the local church I attend a comment was made about the call of God. We are all called. Of course that's true. But that's not recognizing or receiving ministry from the called of God. We all have giftings but we are not all called as gifts. A gift gives what he is carrying. The only one who can stop the gift from being delivered is the one recieving it. It's like an unopened package still sitting where the tree was. In the comment made was the implication that because we are all called, no gift is different from another in calling.

Read Ephesians 4. Of course there are differing ministry callings, offices. But, you will only benefit from the ones you embrace or receive. (and honor)

The fact that I am not received in the calling or office God has put on me means that even if God should greatly desire, he cannot speak or minister to those people thru me because they will not nor cannot receive the Ministry Gifting Father placed in me. They leave the package under the tree unopened.

Contrast that with my participation at the Church in Rockford. I walk in the door. Acceptance, not of me, of the ministry gift calling. They want to hear from the prophetic. They are hungry for the Word of the Lord. I am Gene, but they call me Prophet. Pastor Felix as soon as I walked thru the door rushed to me and embraced me, not as Gene, as the prophet. I didn't have a word for him, but if God gives me one, he is ready to receive. They receive me as prophet and therefore receive the reward of the prophet. They benefit from the prophetic. Not just by what I bring, but by the flow released in the prophetic in that house. That is the reward of the prophet.
He who gives honour to a prophet, in the name of a prophet, will be given a prophet's reward; and he who gives honour to an upright man, in the name of an upright man, will be given an upright man's reward. Matthew 10:41

There was a period in history before the Birth of Jesus where God was silent. 400 years. We have no prophetic utterances after the children of Israel came back to Palestine. Malachi and then nothing. He actually wasn't silent. It was that the prophets were not heard. Not received. Not unwrapped. Like the days before Samuel was received as a Prophet.

1 Samuel: 1 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.

What's interesting is that after Samuel was recieved as prophet, there we even schools of Prophets. The prophetic was released. It wasn't about Samuel, it was about the prophetic.

This was a new breaking of the first long silence. From Joseph to Moses. 400 years.

That is what is happening and will happen in the church that continues to reject the prophetic. Deep darkness. It's 400 years from the reformation in Wittenberg to the new Pentecost at Azuza.

Now God is Speaking once again. Ears are still not hearing. It's a choice.

The only answer for the church of Jesus to come out of its slumber in the light is to embrace the fullness of the five fold ministries, including the prophetic. The reward will be that God will move and break open the heavens.

Or they will remain in deep darkness asleep in the Light.

The Legacy of George W Bush

I will not presume to define at this very early date the legacy of this good man. It would be biased and without the benefit of significant hindsight.

So I won't.

The only thing I know for certain is that history will treat him better than his most vile opponents wish history would. And that he may be treated worse than those of us who supported him might have hoped.

In my less than humble opinion, he has been a great president in a terrible time. Not as strong as I wish he were sometimes. But, greatness can be flawed too.

Thank you President Bush, I will miss you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Count Me in on this one, I didn't vote for Obama but I agree with the statement

"I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier with Obama than the people who voted for him."

A quote from an article about the American mood on the eve of the new presidency. I agree with the quote, although it lacks the complexity to acknowledge that some of us who might have voted for McCain thought we saw that this would be the case and actually voted for Obama.

From Ann Althouse