The ISIS Air Force?

The ISIS air force

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scott Walker’s First Ad For President: “Our American Revival”

Walker comes across personally as a little wooden and boring, but overall this is a great ad and a great message.

Compared to Rick Perry, Walker is certainly more impressive. Perry makes a lot of claims about his role in promoting the economy of Texas that he simply cannot back up. The government of Texas employs a weak executive system wherein the governor has little power. It is highly likely that, regardless of the governor, the economy of Texas would be doing well, because the governor really does not have that much effect on the state economy. Meanwhile, Perry’s understanding of the 10th Amendment apparently is that the federal government should be restrained, but that state governments can have nearly unlimited power over their citizens.

Walker’s message on the other hand, is not just to roll back federal power, but to roll back government power in general, and empower people to make their own choices and find their own economic prosperity. And, Walker’s message resounds because it his policies have worked. Among the governors who have thrown their hat in the ring, he certainly looks like the strongest conservative candidate.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Bad Lip Reading of The NFL 2015

Posted in humor, video | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Medieval Armor, For Cats And Mice

No, this armor is not for real. Rather, Canadian artist Jeff de Boer became interested in making human armor as art-pieces. It follows that if humans need armor for warfare, cats should need armor as well. And if cats need armor, then … you get the picture.

cat jousting armorWe had previously talked of using cats for warfare here. Given their antisocial behavior, it is only natural that they be enlisted in war. The main issue appears to be that they are so antisocial that they are inherently undependable. I would not, for example, trust a cat with a gun.

cat samurai armorMice may have more potential, as they do not appear to be raving psychopaths, at least at first glance. They are also expendable.

mouse armorThe main questions are thus whether or not they can be trained sufficiently to be of any help to humankind, and whether we can design small but effective weaponry for mice to use in battle. This would make an excellent field for research.

Meanwhile, other photos of de Boer’s art can be found here.

Posted in cats, military, odd | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Are You Going To Say, “Enough!”

The other day, I was watching a special about the fall of the Berlin Wall, wherein an East German escapee said that people who have only known freedom cannot imagine what it is like to live under an oppressive government. This is quite true. However, the opposite is often the case, as well: People who only known an oppressive government cannot imagine what it is like to live under freedom.

This is quite personal to me, as my two older children are still remaining in China after my wife and I left. While they were not born in China, in many ways China is all they really know, and so to them the daily outrages that occur in that country (sometimes before their very eyes) are normal. They struggle with life, just like people everywhere else, but in addition to this they must cope with the effects of living under an utterly lawless and corrupt system that is inherently abusive and oppressive, despite whatever minor “freedoms” they might enjoy, such as the ability to download Hollywood films illegally, the ability to dump garbage in the middle of a park, or the ability to doctor milk products with plastic powder in order to fool chemical tests into saying that the watered-down milk has more calcium (and therefore, milk) than it actually contains. What makes it worse is the chorus of self-hating Americans that constantly proclaim the lie that the US is just as bad, if not worse, than China.

No it isn’t.

Not yet, anyways.

Having never really lived anywhere else, my children are essentially inured to what is going on around them, it seems. They should be eager to flee the place as soon as opportunity allows, yet somehow they are content to stay, however bewildered they might be that life in such a dysfunctional system is so difficult.

And they are not alone. China is full of people who are seemingly content, but only because they have never known anything else, and because they have been conned into believing that countries which enjoy the fruits of freedom and righteousness offer no real alternative.

Is it really right to accept such a situation as the new normal? To define-down freedom so that all it really consists of is the ability to eat (but then only sometimes, and who knows if the food is really safe?). Is this really the way God wants us to live? Or, is it that God is trying to use the situation in order to force us to make changes in our lives or even, at times, our governments?

Yesterday, while I was mulling over this question, my mind was turned to Samson, of all people.

Before Samson was born, an angel appeared to his mother and foretold his birth, saying that Samson would “take the lead in delivering the Israelites from the hands of the Philistines” (Judges 13: 5). During that time, the Philistines ruled the land, and were oppressing the Israelites. Oddly, however, Samson seemed unconcerned with this oppression and the greater geopolitical implications of Philistine rule. Samson took the lead in delivering his people, not because he was concerned about anyone else besides himself or was even striving after freedom or righteousness. Rather, the whole thing started because he was interested in a Philistine girl. The story is long and involved. The key point, however, is that it was God who orchestrated events to get Samson stirred up: “His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel” (Judges 14: 4). God wanted a champion to deliver his people, but Samson was uninterested in being a champion, so God had to poke Samson with a stick in order to accomplish his goal.

There are many people who quote Scriptures about authority in justification of doing nothing and calmly accepting whatever crap-sandwich others have given them. To them, God’s use of Samson to help destroy the Philistines must be hard to explain. After all, it says in Romans 13: 1-7 that,

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

It must be noted here that Paul is writing in general about the idea of government and about obeying the law. He is not talking about individual rulers or governments. He is not saying, for example, that Obama (or whoever the current president of the US is), is God’s man of the hour and that we have a responsibility to kowtow to him and obey him in every respect. I know, however, this this is indeed what is taught by some people. However, Paul could not have been saying that, or else we would have the absurd situation of God ordaining Hitler, Stalin, and Mao to lead their countries, and instructing Christians to obey them in every respect, even if it meant blaspheming God or murdering children.

This cannot be true. I refuse to believe that God established Hitler as the ruler of Germany, and commanded Christians to obey Hitler in every respect. Hitler was a usurper who took over his country by use of illegal means, and who ruled over a lawless regime of terror. By definition, a lawless usurper cannot be an extension of God’s authority on earth, otherwise God himself would be a lawless usurper. (Yet, ironically, the Nazis themselves used Romans 13: 1-7 in an attempt to cow Christians into supporting their regime, and because many Christians were weak-minded and were not grounded in proper theology, they went along with the travesty of Hitler’s rule.)

Instead of saying that Hitler’s rule was established by God in the sense that he was an instrument of God’s righteousness, is it more likely that God allowed to Hitler to take power because he was wanting to provoke others to take a stand and become instruments of God’s righteousness, by destroying forever everything that Hitler represented?

The people of Germany had tolerated this flirtation with anti-Semitism, paganism, tyranny, blood lust, and military glory for long enough. It was time to put it to an end. However, because the people of Germany had become inured to this unrighteousness, the unrighteousness had to be allowed to flourish and run its course until someone, somewhere was willing to to take a stand and say, “Enough! By God, enough!”, and then do whatever it took to destroy it completely. The motivations of the men who fought Hitler may not have always been pure, and they may not have always been righteous, but God used them for his righteousness to destroy what was evil.

Those who know the Bible know that God had intended to destroy the Philistines because of their unrighteousness (which including sacrificing their own children in fire), and that was one reason he brought the children of Israel into the land. However, the children of Israel did not finish the job when they arrived, and in fact succumbed to some of the very same unrighteousness that the Philistines were involved in. This is why they ended up in slavery to the Philistines. God allowed them to be enslaved and oppressed so that they would eventually become tired of the situation and return to him, and so that he would finally find someone willing to say “Enough!”, and therefore destroy the evil in the land, even if that man had the wrong motives.

There is no set rule regarding the actions of every person in every place when it comes to the tyranny of evil. Some people are called to endure. Some people are called to flee. Some people are called to prison. Some people are called to prayer. And finally, though one hopes that it will never come to that, some people are called to fight. However, no one is called to submit to the tyranny of evil, and no one is called to be a slave of man. As it says in Galatians 5: 1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

If oppression and tyranny are from God, it is only because he is trying to poke us with a stick and get us out of our stupor, to get us to return to him, to return to righteousness, and then throw off the yoke of tyranny and destroy the evil behind it.

The real problem is, sometimes it takes an awful lot of hardship before people are willing to wake up and take a stand.

Posted in politics, religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Offended You?

I Offended You

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Nation To Obama: “We Won”

In a meeting with congressional leaders in 2009, three days after his inauguration, Barack Obama famously told GOP leaders that he was not interested in their ideas or input, and that essentially they should sit down and shut up, because “I won.” He went on to explain that “elections have consequences.” While news reports at the time tried to sugar-coat Obama’s statement, it was clear that it left Republicans who heard the remark gobsmacked. After all, they had all just won elections themselves, otherwise they would not have been in Congress.

For nearly six years Obama has attempted to rule the land based upon this premise, and has by all measures failed miserably. This is not just by conservative standards. Liberals, of all people, should feel the most betrayed by this man because of his continual prevarications, his inaction on liberal issues such as Guantanamo Bay, domestic spying, the continual wars in the Middle East, and his manifest incompetence. The only accomplishment liberals can really point to is that Obama is the first black president, something they continually remind themselves and others, as though that somehow mitigates the disaster of his presidency.

The result of Obama’s misguided rule? A country painted red.

2014 election mapThe message to Barack Obama is clear: It is time for you to sit down and shut up. The American people have won.

After all, elections have consequences.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments