December 25, 2008

Gloomy Christmas Meditations

Original post: December 25, 2008

Today was Christmas Day here in Tokyo. It's now 11:23 p.m., which means by the time I post this the day will be over.

Every Christmas since 2004 the first thought on my mind has been the tsunami that roared through the Indian Ocean that year and left around 230,000 people dead. On this day I always offer a silent prayer for those left behind. The dead, after all, no longer need my prayers. It's the living who bear the scars and live with the constant reminders of all they've lost.

This year I've spent most of the day doing research for a novel I've recently begun outlining. A lot of that research is focused on firearms, and that also means my mind drifts inevitably to our modern world where firearms have a reputation for being evil. How on earth an inanimate object can have a moral dimension is beyond me, but that is the reputation firearms have in the modern world.

Life is really odd. At least mine is. On April 17, 2007 (in Japan), I wrote a post about peace movements past and present. I was planning to start a long series about what peace means to me and why I think peace has eluded us for so very long. Unfortunately, while I was thinking about peace a young man named Cho was slaughtering his schoolmates. On April 18, 2007 (in Japan), I pointed out that to my mind, the entire incident was directly related to cultural marginalization of anyone who doesn't quite measure up to the glitzy, elitist assumptions of those Americans who go through life believing the world exists for the sole purpose of satisfying their every whim. On April 23, 2007 (in Japan), I reiterated my long-standing theme that individuals who are armed and vigilant have a higher survival rate than those who sit around waiting for the police to come rescue them.

My father spent his life working in law enforcement. My father, the cop, is the one who went to great lengths to teach me to shoot straight and hit what I aim at every single time. He knew first hand the sad fact that in reality, the police always arrive too late to rescue anyone. Life is not a television drama, nor is it a feature film. Out here in the real world if you are not prepared to defend yourself, sooner or later you will become a victim. There are no exceptions.

How many people could have been saved if an armed student or faculty member had killed Cho within the first few minutes of the intial shooting that triggered his rampage? How many people would have survived if a student or faculty member had shot down Harris and Klebold either out in the parking lot where their first victim fell or just as they entered the cafeteria?

Training, education, and competency. We don't need stronger gun laws. What we really need is for every single one of us to learn from a very young age how to defend ourselves when the need arises and then have incentives in place to keep those skills honed razor sharp.

I found a really odd article today. In New South Wales, Australia a rash of stabbings is prompting a call for tougher gun control! They are calling it an "amnesty". What that means is if you turn in your gun between now and the end of March they won't arrest you! Mind you, they won't refund you the purchase price or anything like that, and if you happen to be a collector I suppose you're up the creek without a paddle. There is also talk of a "tough response" to "legal" gun owners who don't "properly secure" their firearms. All this in response to a crime spree centered on knife attacks that have now become commonplace because ten years ago they bought back an estimated one-seventh of the civilian arsenal.

No, you did not read that wrong. A decade ago the Australian government bought just under 700,000 guns from its citizens and destroyed them. Now, ten years after the buy-back, they are again talking about stricter gun control in response to rising violence related to knives! I'm sorry, but I don't get it. How does a rise in knife-related crime create a need for draconian gun laws in a nation where just possessing a handgun is enough to earn a stiff jail sentence?

Sooner or later, and probably sooner, there's going to be another natural disaster with global impact. A number of geologic hotspots have been showing increased activity over the past ten years, including Yellowstone and the Marianas trench. Kiluea has been throwing out lava for over two decades now. If the igneous crust that has formed on that side of the island decides to split, it could send out a two hundred foot tsunami that destroys coastal cities stretching from Anchorage to Punta Arenas.

Life on Earth is hard, has always been hard, and will continue to be hard. Unexpected deaths are going to occur. Pain, suffering, and loss of those we love are inevitable. There are only two things that every single one of us must do in order to enjoy life on Earth: we must be born and we must die. Encouraging responsible use of firearms won't help prevent the next global disaster, but it will lessen the impact of the next crazed victim of social conformity who goes on a killing spree in a shopping mall, country church, or city school.

We can't control nature, and like it or not, nature breeds dangerous people just as easily as it produces earthquakes and hurricanes. The one thing we can do, regardless of whether it is nature or lunacy that threatens to take our life before we are ready to give it up, is be prepared. Part of that prepartion is keeping a freshly stocked first aid kit and good supply of preserved foods. An equally important part is learning fundamentals of self-defense, including the safe use of firearms. Your life depends on it and so does mine.

Tragic footnote on December 27, 2008

Man Dressed as Santa Kills 8
Santa Killer Changed Plans During Attack

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. I am trying to counter the fear and paranoia that stories like the one above create. There were many failures that contributed to this event, all of them social in nature. What trauma from his childhood left him with the inability to accept the failure of his marriage? What scars and insecurities in both he and his ex-wife caused them to separate with so much pain and anger after only a year of marriage? Why was no one in the house armed, trained, and prepared to defend themselves?

We need to find solutions for the social inequities that lead to these kind of crimes. Each of us individually needs to learn how to forgive and forget when things go wrong. Most important of all, we all need to learn both how to meet the needs of those around us and how to clearly communicate our own needs without demanding that others make unwelcome sacrifices in order to meet those needs.

Love and tolerance, the old-fashioned Biblical kind, is the key to a better future for everyone. Intolerance, prejudice, and egocentricity are the main causes of violence in our world. It's not the guns we need to control, it's our own selfish desires and the narcissistic belief that other people exist for the sole purpose of servicing our needs.

Last but not least, we need to be trained and prepared to defend ourselves and our families when a gun-toting Santa comes knocking at the front door.

December 18, 2008

CNN reports on the death of Billy Joe Johnson

Original post on December 18, 2008

I grew up around firearms. Sure, I've been in Japan for over twenty years, but that doesn't change the simple fact I was shooting guns long before I was driving. At nine or ten, I often sat my father's garage helping him reload ammo. I shot my first deer when I was thirteen, my first wild pig when I was sixteen. Long before I joined the army I could spend a day at the shooting range, fire hundreds of rounds through a variety of weapons, and never have a single round land outside the center three-inch circle of a target, with the vast majority far inside the two-inch bullseye. I'm no expert, but I'm darn good with both handguns and rifles.

I haven't done much shotgun shooting. Very little. I wouldn't want to depend on taking a bird on the wing in order to eat. Nonetheless, there are certain facts that do not change no matter what kind of weapon you are using. Most important of all, in any gun-related death, there are only three possibilities: accident, suicide, homicide. That's it. So when I watch the video above, a few possible scenarios immediately come to mind:

1) The patrolman demanded to inspect a shotgun being carried in the back of the teenager's pickup truck. The teen, being foolish and unfamiliar with firearms, had put the shotgun in his truck fully loaded and while he was pulling it out something snagged the trigger and the gun discharged, killing the teen. Or perhaps the patrolman tried to remove it himself but the teenager grabbed it, causing the patrolman to accidentally depress the trigger.

2) The patrolman spotted the shotgun, felt threatened, pulled his sidearm and shot the teen.

3) The patrolman found the shotgun and shells in the back of the truck, pulled it out, loaded it, and was menacing the teenager when the gun went off accidentally because the officer in question was not properly trained to begin with, or perhaps he was just a rabid racist and decided to kill the teenager so he pulled the trigger intentionally.

4) The teenager was so humiliated to have been pulled over that while the patrolman was checking his license he retrieved his shotgun and committed suicide.

Somehow I simply cannot believe #4. There is no way in all creation that Billy Joe Johnson committed suicide. If he were that unstable, he probably wouldn't be carrying a shotgun around. So either the gun accidentally discharged while Billy Joe was attempting to remove it, in which case it's his own fault for being foolish enough to carry a loaded shotgun in his truck, or the patrolman pulled the trigger. The patrolman might not have been a rabid Mississippi racist looking for an excuse to take down a black kid. He might have been attempting to remove the shotgun when Billy Joe grabbed it and attempted to stop him. Again, if that is the case then Billy Joe made two mistakes, the first was transporting the shotgun with a round in the chamber and the other was interfering with the patrolman.

So basically, I am reasonably certain that one of two results will be determined by the investigation. Either the death was Billy Joe's own fault because he did not unload his shotgun before putting it in his truck, or the patrolman killed him intentionally and is now trying to cover it up.

In either case, human error led to this untimely death of a gifted high school student. It's not the fault of "lax" American gun laws. It's not the fault of "America's love affair with guns". It's either human stupidity or human sadism, neither of which can be regulated out of existence.

For what it's worth, and being pure speculation it's not worth much, with the little information that has been released so far my first impression is that the patrolman shot Billy Joe Johnson with his sidearm, which makes the shotgun nothing more than a great big red herring.

Update on December 23, 2008

Now this is odd. Apparently another police officer was responding to a burglary just a few blocks from where Billy Joe Johnson was pulled over. Even stranger, the burglary victim had already identified Billy Joe Johnson as the burglar!

More information is here:
Newly Released Police Documents
Sun Herald Response to the Press Release

If I was slightly suspicious before, I am deeply suspicious now.

Update on August 5, 2010
According to a Fanhouse article from Feb. 12, 2009, a Grand Jury concluded that Billy Joe Johnson's death was accidental. I have not been able to find any additional details.

If I were to offer an assumption, my best guess would be heavy cocaine usage (as described in the original reports from his autopsy) contributed to careless handling of his firearm while he was removing it from behind the seat of his truck. Why he was removing it and what his intentions were will remain a mystery. Even if some evidence emerges later, the death remains a tragic end of a young life on the threshold of greatness.

Like everyone else at the time I allowed the media to manipulate my suspicions. For that, I am truly sorry. Over the past year and a half I have become ever more unwilling to believe the reports offered up in American media concerning events in our world. Nowadays I treat every report with a heavy dose of cynicism, especially if the report is attempting to portray some event as racist in nature or intent.

It is truly a sad statement of our times that we can no longer trust journalists to be objective reporters of the facts.

December 14, 2008

Facts are facts: Gun control encourages crime

More often then not, the facts speak for themselves. All we have to do is listen:

Sometimes I don't much care for of Penn and Teller's views, but this time I tend to agree:

A few more facts for consideration:

Funny thing about this next story, all of the major news networks that covered it failed to mention that Odighizuwa's rampage was brought to a quick and effective end when two armed students and one unarmed student stopped him as he left a building.

Wikipedia story on the Appalachian School of Law shooting

And just in case you think the Wikipedia article might be somehow mistaken, here's yet another voice saying the same thing:

The Price of Liberty

December 11, 2008

Fight back? Damn straight!

When my sons were four and five years old, I taught them how to make a fist and aim for the gonads. I taught them to punch the groin, the throat, the soft spot at the point over the heart where the ribs meet.

Remember this: Massacre at Virginia Tech
How about this: Massacre at Columbine
Does anyone remember this: Amish School Shooting
And, least it go unmentioned, this one: Grover Cleveland Elementary School Shooting

A bullet from a modern firearm will penetrate a desk as easily as it penetrates a sheet of paper. A masonite wall will slow it down, but leave it with more than enough velocity to kill. There are only two ways to survive when someone storms into a school or workplace and opens fire: fight back or run.

That's it.

You either disarm, disable, or kill the shooter, or you run like the wind and pray you don't get shot in the back. How many lives could have been saved in every single one of the incidents above if some student had thrown their desk instead of hiding behind it? How many lives could have been saved if the shooter faced a barrage of thrown books within seconds of opening fire? How many lives could have been saved if ONE person onsite had been armed and killed the shooter as soon as they opened fire?

There will always be insane people. There is no possible way for our world to be perfect enough that no one is marginalized, no one is left out, no one is rejected and left to fend for themselves. History clearly teaches that every single attempt to set up a human utopia has either begun or ended in genocide. Somewhere around seventeeen percent of any population group will always suffer from mental and emotional distress and some small minority within that seventeen percent will sooner or later pick up the nearest available weapon and lash out.

Reality is what it is. Reality is not what we imagine, nor what we hope, it simply is. Within the context of reality life is a fragile proposition, fraught with worry, filled with sorrow, and ever in danger of extinction. Teaching people to defend themselves is essential. Sooner or later every individual will find themselves in a situation of extreme danger with no help available to them. That is simply a fact of our reality. When that situation arises, when that moment comes, our reaction will depend on what, if anything, we have learned about responding to a crisis.

So I say, "Damn straight!" Teach your kids to throw books, throw chairs, punch in the groin, aim for the throat or heart, and if necessary, kill an attacker.

There is really only one piece of wisdom my father ever taught me: "Don't fight if you can run. If you can't run, don't lose."

Teach your kids how to defend themselves. Like it or not, their life depends on it!

November 30, 2008

Not the America I remember!

(November 30, 2008, 13:14)

While the world watched aghast as terrorists stormed through Mumbai on an uncontrolled killing spree, American shoppers in New York trampled a store clerk to death and two men in a Palm Springs toy store watched their female companions beat each other bloody then the two men pulled out guns and shot each other.

What in heaven's name has happened to America? The terrorist attacks in India I can understand. I cannot condone them, but at least I can look at the cultural and social factors which drive people to terrorism and point out social and legal practices that must be changed if we are ever going to stop creating terrorists. I can understand shoppers in Tokyo or Beijing busting down the doors and trampling a store clerk. There are a number of cultural elements prevalent in Asia that contribute to the kind of callousness, jealousy, greed, and aggression of the kind demonstrated in New York last Black Friday. However, to the best of my knowledge, none of those cultural assumptions are true for the United States, especially not on the East Coast.

Concerning the shooting in Palm Springs, I feel the same way. This is not the kind of thing that California culture tends to create. If it turns out the two shooters where successful middle-class professionals (i.e., doctors or stock brokers) then it becomes even more baffling. I grew up in California. I lived in some of the most gang-ridden neighborhoods of Los Angeles when I was ten and eleven, but Palm Springs? People in Palm Springs might carry guns, but they don't shoot each other in toy stores. Instead, they call their lawyers.

What in the world has happened to America?

(November 30, 2008, 16:24)

Union Claims Wal-Mart Death Preventable

I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart when Sam Walton's son took over. The first thing the son did was slash salaries of first year workers, revert all non-managerial positions to part-time positions without benefits, and tell managers below the executive level they could either take a stiff pay-cut or resign. Union recruitment was banned and in place of a union senior management created an employee organization to handle any and all employee complaints about work conditions.

Well, eventually they did have to accept a real union, but nowadays store managers make less than clerks made while Sam Walton was alive and non-managerial positions are not only part-time only, they cannot remain an employee longer than five years. At the five year mark, they must resign and seek "more suitable employment" before reapplying, usually three to six months later, at which point they start over as first year employees.

So I don't shop at Wal-Mart. Period. Not even a pack of gum. As long as I have another choice, that chain will get my business. Unless, of course, that chain is just as bad. Nowadays whenever I travel to America I start by seeking out local merchants to buy from and only if there are no local merchants do I resort to buying from a retail chain.

Read the article above. It sets out in simple terms the callous, insensitive, and highly irresponsible attitude of executive management. As far as Walton's son and his board of directors are concerned, anyone not part of the executive office is not even human.

November 24, 2008

Why now?

Miles O'Brien is an educated man with a strong interest in astronomy and space exploration. He has in the past done detailed reports on, and provided commentary for, a wide variety of important events including space shuttle missions, the international space station, Mars rover landings, and Hubble telescope repairs or discoveries. So I was quite shocked to open CNN this morning and find this:

The timing of this report, especially when presented by someone as well-respected as Miles O'Brien, strikes me as extremely odd. The world economy is in shambles, the American presidency is in transistion, the never-ending conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq has just entered a troublesome phase (covert American attacks in Pakistan are on the rise and the Iraqi government is ordering America to leave). Into this cloud of tension a well-respected journalist suddenly decides to do a four-minute video that sounds like an episode of X-files?

Something is brewing. I've already stated over and over again that it's going to be a long, hard winter. Why do I suddenly have the feeling it's also going to be weird and unnerving?

I have a really bad feeling about this. Call me paranoid, but I get the feeling we're being set-up for yet another shock to our established assumptions about life and reality.

November 15, 2008

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The Second Amendment at GPO Access
The Second Amendment at Wikipedia

A video on Gun Safety:

I grew up surrounded by guns. My father owned guns, all of his friends owned guns, and for my twelfth birthday the one gift I received that lasted me for years was a lever-action, single-shot .22 rifle.

The National Rifle Association has a number of platitudes that people who fear guns do not understand and cannot agree with. A couple of these are, "if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" and "guns don't kill people, people do!"

I live in Japan where gun ownership is so tightly controlled it is basically impossible for me to even consider owning a gun. One reason for this is that Japan has a long history of forbidding normal citizens from owning any kind of weapon at all. Well, one of the reasons I hate living here is that the result of this long history is a culturally reinforced level of individual arrogance and egocentricity that would make a backwoods Georgia cracker blush in embarrassment. There is a cultural assumption that people in positions of power not only have the right to verbally, physically, and emotionally abuse their subordinates, they have a duty to do so in order to "make them stronger". This problem is so widespread that a high school teacher who kills a noisy student by hitting him over the head will go to trial and proudly confess that he struck the child, "to make him a stronger, better man. It's not my fault he was too weak to withstand a simple blow on the head."

The Japanese samurai have a worldwide reputation for being honorable, loyal, and meticulously polite with one another. What the world does not know is that samurai of all ranks regularly raped peasant women, regularly killed peasant children to test the edge on their sword, and performed other atrocities with no fear of resistance or legal consequences. Only the samurai had weapons and the legal system allowed them to use those weapons however they liked as long as they did not use them against one another. Yes, that's right, a samurai could rape a farmer's daughter, test his blade by killing the farmer's wife, or even beat the farmer to death because he was bored and nothing would happen to him, but the minute he turned his sword on another warrior to duel both duelists were subject to anything from heavy fines to death sentences.

The same is true of feudal Europe, the Chinese empire, and countless other historic systems where an armed minority commanded an unarmed majority. The founders of the United States knew firsthand the kind of atrocities and excesses made possible by similar laws in the British Empire and in order to prevent that situation from ever arising in the United States of America, they wrote into the constitution right from the very beginning that every individual in the country should be allowed to keep a weapon. It is not an accident that the second individual right enshrined in the constitution, before freedom from search and seizure or anything at all except freedom of speech, was the right to self-defense.

America has tens of millions of guns, perhaps even billions. Of those, a few thousand are involved in violent crimes. Less than 1 in every 1,000,000 guns gets used in a violent crime. More people die in traffic accidents or industrial accidents than die in gun-related accidents. In my hometown, almost every single person in town owns many firearms. Nonetheless, there have been only a few firearms related accidents in the entire history of the town and not a single firearms related homicide!

I know guns are scary to someone who only knows about them through movies, television shows, and the daily news. I understand this. Murders, assassinations, mass school/workplace shootings are terrible, horrifying tragedies. Just the thought of some gun-wielding nut walking into your child's school (or your own workplace) is enough to both keep you awake at night and then give you nightmares when you finally fall asleep. I understand because I have those same feelings. In my case, those feelings are even stronger because I don't have to imagine the damage a gun can do. I was an avid hunter all through high school and I have seen first hand what happens when half an ounce or less of solid lead slams into flesh at high speed. The thought of seeing such wounds in my children or wife is nauseating.

And that's exactly why if I lived in the United States I would keep a gun, probably several guns. If some nut walked into my house intent on doing harm, the only person leaving on a stretcher would be the nut. If you feel dialing 911 is good enough, if you believe the police (or a private security company) could arrive quickly enough to keep you and your family safe that's okay with me. I have no objection to your insistence that you don't need a gun to feel safe. But that does not give you the right to demand I feel the same way, believe the same things or accept the same reality!

I can promise you this, if I owned a gun my gun would never be stolen, fired in anger, or involved in an accidental death. Gun safety is a very serious matter to me personally and everyone in my house would be trained to safely use and diligently secure the guns in our household. There are tens of millions, possibly billions of firearms floating around the United States that will never, ever be a threat to you and yours. Gun control laws do not stop the criminals. The only thing gun control laws ever succeed in doing is creating an environment where armed criminals are free to roam about doing whatever mayhem pleases their sadistic minds.

It was true in medieval Japan. It was true in medieval Europe. It is true today in England. It is true today right here in Japan, widely believed to be the safest country on the globe. I am forced to take many additional precautions to insure my family's safety because I cannot own a gun. I lay awake many nights wondering if all the doors and windows are properly locked, and sometimes I get up several times a night to check them. If I wake up in the morning and discover someone has gone out and left the door unlocked my heart freezes in my chest. On many occasions over the past three decades nightmares of home invasion have woken me drenched in sweat and screaming for help.

It is now mid-November and there have been a dozen home invasions in Japan this year. A dozen places where multiple people died in their sleep and entire families were stabbed, strangled or bludgeoned, and then had their houses burned down around their corpses. Burglars operate in my neighborhood with complete impunity even though I live in one of the safest neighborhoods in one of the safest cities in the world. I cannot relax in Japan because I cannot know when the time will come when I will find myself face to face with a much younger, much stronger man intent on doing harm to me or my family and the only tools I will have to protect us are my wits and my aging body.

Yes, it's true. Violent criminals and sadistic people are rare. They make up about 17% of any given population group.

Seventeen percent is not as rare as you might think. If you personally know 100 people then seventeen of them have the potential to do something so unspeakably violent you will shake your head and say, "I never would have believed it of them."

Will they act on that potential? Probably not. If they do, and if they target you, who will keep you safe?

Some other relevant blogs and articles:
Gun Control Discussion among Obama/Biden supporters
"Right Pundits" Analysis of Obama on Gun Control
"Blue Star Chronicles" on Gun Crime in America
"Blue Star Chronicles" on Gun Crime in Switzerland

October 20, 2008

It's never about religion, or is it?

House churches expanding in Iran despite persecution
Rising terrorism strains Indian health and rescue services
Hanged for being a Christian in Iran
Security boosted around Mosul Christian neighborhood
West Bank settlers rage against Palestinian neighbors
Al-Qaeda forums forced offline, possibly by hackers
Christian families flee Baghdad neighborhood
Israeli leaders reconsider dormant Saudi peace plan
Game delayed because of Qur'an references
Christian aide worker killed
British aide worker executed by extremists
Christians flee Mosul

Religious persecution flows across many lines. Christians, Hindis, Muslims and Jews are all still subject to arbitrary arrest, brutal murder, and officially sanctioned execution in many places around the world. Everyone alive in today's world is familiar with the connection between some of the most visible acts of terror and extremist Muslim groups such as Al-Qaeda, but sometimes we forget that one justification of the terrorists is the very real attacks happening almost daily on Muslim communities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Israel, Somalia, and so on.

None of this is actually related to religion. In almost every case, the real issue is control over some kind of resource. Israelis and Palestinians kill each other over the future of a patch of land roughly the size of the American state of New Jersey with an economy that ranks 76th in the world. In India, impoverished Christians and Hindis kill each other over menial jobs that barely provide enough income to feed an individual, let alone a family. The Iranian Revolution of the seventies was billed as a religious restoration movement, but the real beneficiaries were those Iranian families with close ties to the Ayatollahs who were given control over the Iranian oil industry. Despite the fact that at one point they attempted to eliminate trade in opium poppies, nowadays the Taliban are more concerned with selling opium than spreading Islam. And they don't mind using terrorist tactics to secure their supply of opium poppies and their access to the world market.

Religious persecution is never about religion. Faith and doctrine are the excuses violent leaders invoke to rally people behind them and justify acts of death and destruction against people who threaten their continued control. The Taliban's recent killing of an aide worker in Afghanistan (see the last few articles in the list above) is no exception. They reportedly killed her for proselytizing among those she was helping, but such trivial acts of evangelism have gone unnoticed for decades even in nations like Saudi Arabia with strict laws against any attempt to persuade a Muslim resident to join a different religion. The Taliban did not target her before, and are not now targeting thousands of other Christian aide workers. No, something else is happening. She probably took some action or made some report that threatened to interfere in their opium network. Her religion then became both justification for killing her and one more reason for the Western media to stroke the flames of anti-religious hysteria that have swept over our formerly tolerant modern civilization.

The Muslim terrorists are half-right. There is a campaign, often violent, to eliminate a system of belief and a shared worldview, but Islam is not the sole object of that campaign. The real campaign is a concerted effort by bigoted elitists who cannot understand the real value religion brings to the life of the individual. There is a war of propaganda and idealism being fought at all levels of society. One side claims they want to liberate people from outdated modes of thinking, but what they really want is for everyone, everywhere to adopt the same atheistic, elitist worldview that they themselves hold dear. The other side simply wants to be left alone to lead a simple life of God (or gods), family and community without being enslaved by industrialists intent on hoarding every resource they can get their hands on and without being oppressed by narcissistic bankers driven to micromanage every aspect of the world around them.

Unfortunately, there is no sideline in this ideological war. It has been going on since the earliest days of civilization and no doubt will continue until there are no humans left alive to wage it. The battle lines were first drawn five thousand years ago when two Ubaid settlements joined together to create the Sumerian city of Uruk, forever locking civilization in a constant cultural struggle between two competing worldviews: ambition and content.

One possible reason for the consolidation may have been warfare with a nearby community called Hamoukar. Whereas the Eanna district of Uruk had extensive workshops for a variety of crafts, Hamoukar featured extensive bakeries. For more on this see, "Earliest evidence for large scale war" at

October 18, 2008

Those in the know agree: we're doomed!

Wikipedia article describing the life and work of Anna Schwartz
January 2008, Daily Telegraph article describing her analysis of the current crisis
October 2008, Wall Street Journal article describing her analysis of the bailout

And, the video that inspired today's entry, a "devilishly handsome" satire on the Bernanke-Paulson financial dictatorship:

I look at the items above and before I even read them or watch the video I see this:

When the lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"
Revelations 6:7-8

I wonder how much longer I am going to need to continue spelling it out. Our world has reached a crisis point the likes of which we have not seen in five thousand years of recorded history. If the church does not repent of its continuing worldliness, if the world does not repent and turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and acknowledge him as creator, the downward spiral will continue until we reach this point:

If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
Matthew 24:22

I spent fifteen years quoting these same passages to everyone I knew. From the time I was fourteen until my life became filled with daily concerns of raising two children and keeping my wife happy. Roughly, the calendar years 1975 to 1990. In all honesty, I am not happy to see these things coming to pass right before my very eyes right at the point where my children are reaching adulthood and preparing to make their mark upon the world. Everyday I pray for revival because the one thing that historically has consistently delayed the final judgement has been a strong, widespread revival.

The explosive growth of the church kept the judgements restricted to the Holy Land in the 1st Century.
An explosion of spirituality that spawned massive cathedral building in the 11th Century made the doomsday-proclaiming wandering peasants of the 10th Century look like fools.
The 15th Century Reformation movement and the revival that followed made fools of the late 14th Century breakaway heretics who proclaimed the Crusades had proven the Church had become the harlot of Revelation 17 and announced the Day of Judgement was at hand.
The North American, European, and Australian end-times revival of 1830-1840 made a fool of William Miller and his followers, giving birth by accident to the modern Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The massive, global, "Born Again" revival led by Billy Graham and the corresponding charismatic movement which originated within the Catholic Church made fools of the hobo and hippie preachers of the 1960s who saw racism, the revival of the nation of Israel, and the Cold War as the fulfillment of Matthew 24-26 and Luke 12-18.

I look out at the world today and I see the Seven Seals of Revelation 6 being opened one by one. Instead of revival, I see scattered individual believers turning to their Bibles for comfort and calling for repentance in YouTube videos while mainstream churches empty in droves and Christians from every culture gaze in desperate hope at health, wealth and prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen.

I'm selfish. I want my children to know a world as comfortable as the one I lived in, or perhaps an even better world, but instead of revival in the churches and reform in the political system I see corrupt bankers being given hundreds of billions of dollars by corrupt politicians in the hope of preserving a failed system.

Please, I'm begging you. Dust off your Bibles, go back to the churches, repent of your sins, rediscover the reality of the divine in the beauty of God's creation. Bring the world back into alignment will all that is holy and make the current crop of doomsday criers like myself into fools and lunatics by bringing revival to the land.

I say the world is ending, but even as I say it, I am hoping the world will prove me wrong.

Zeitgeist: Addendum

If it weren't for their unholy alliance with Acharya S, I could really get behind the folks who make the Zeitgeist series.

Unfortunately, the one truth they do not understand is that religion is one of the most basic human needs and freedom of religion one of the core essentials for a truly civilized world. If they would just allow me to read my Bible and worship Jesus without implying (or sometimes directly stating) that I am delusional or insane, then I would throw my full support behind the Zeitgeist team.

As it is, the world they want to build will put me and people like me in "retraining" programs to "liberate" us from our "delusional thinking". In other words, by accident or by design, their technocratic utopia would look a lot like Communist China or Soviet Russia. I don't see this as an improvement over what we have now. I'm all for a more egalitarian world with more equal distribution of wealth irrespective of ability or contribution, but not if that means I must abandon my relationship with Christ because someone with more brains than sense considers it "delusional".

History clearly demonstrates that any society which demands conformity to a single ideological worldview winds up enriching and empowering a few while impoverishing and enslaving the majority. I like Zeitgeist's critique of capitalism's excesses, but I cannot agree with them that humanity is essentially good. What we need is an entirely new political theory that liberates us from traditional restrictions without imposing new restrictions of its own and providing for the safety, security, and freedom of each and every individual. Swapping one kind of slavery for another is not good enough. We need a new political theory based on freedom of thought, equality of education, equality of wealth distribution, and a variety of tools designed to encourage the individual to find a way they can contribute within their skills and desires without forcing them to contribute if they choose not to.

October 15, 2008

Finally the Washington Post gets it right!

The Born Rebellion

I'd make some comments, but the article says it so much better than I could!


On reflection, I will add a couple of quick thoughts. As you read it, notice how the industry falls into different sides and notice how many of those companies who opposed the Levitt-Greenspan-Rubin triad are now defunct. Notice how their supporters are now first in line to receive bailout benefits. This is not coincidence, folks. This is how long-term plans are successfully executed.

October 11, 2008

First step toward a New World Order

Bush Supports Global Action on Economy

As I have been trying to say since August, the entire crisis was the direct result of a consistent pattern of legislative moves begun shortly after the death of John F. Kennedy. These developments picked up speed in the seventies and eighties with the massive deregulation of the mortgage and banking industries coupled with greater freedom in outsourcing and a general neglect of the national borders of the United States of America. NAFTA and the SPP treaties broke down the national divisions between the US, Canada, and Mexico even further, while allowing massive imports of Chinese made goods through Mexico with little or no regulatory control and no need for product safety inspections. Massive purchases of Chinese goods meant billions of American dollars flowing to China, dollars which were used to buy US Government bonds, thus paying for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The ultimate goal all along being to allow the bills to finally come due and rather than default, push for a merging of the banking industry and government along with creating deliberate interdependencies between each government and the International Monetary Fund.

Yes, that IS what I'm saying. The men and women behind the curtain have spent a lifetime creating the conditions they knew would be necessary to allow them to offer a One World Banker-Managed Dictatorship as a final solution to all the world's ills. We've been conned, folks. And within eighteen months the Dictator they've chosen will step up and take charge.

The only people who are not surprised are those of us who have been reading the Bible. We've been telling you this was coming for thirty years (and even longer in some cases), and the only response has been a lot of people laughing at us.

I guess we're not the delusional ones, after all.

October 08, 2008

Final Rites

The American economy has died. The corpse is still twitching, but the beast is dead. The Paulson-Bernanke bid for Global Empire has killed it completely. I, and many others, assume that this collapse is part and parcel of their true plan. Karl Denninger is still unconvinced, and perhaps he is right. If the government declares martial law before year-end, devalues the dollar, closes every bank in the nation for two weeks then reopens them under the Amero and declares the North American Union is now the reality for the United States, Canada, and Mexico, then perhaps people will believe. Of course, by that time it will be too late.

When that day comes, remember this: I did warn you, and so did a lot of other people.

October 07, 2008


Fuld Questioned over Executive Compensation at Lehman Brothers

When you read the article above, pay close attention to Fuld's self-importance and ego-centric belief in his own righteousness. Why does the CEO of a failed firm have such an indignant sense of entitlement? Why is he so intent on portraying himself as a victim after embezzling $484 million from stockholders? Because that is exactly what these CEOs have been doing for almost two decades now, stealing money from the stockholders of companies they were too incompetent to manage! Why, after such an obvious display of total incompetence, do these people believe they were entitled to every dime they stole from their companies and their shareholders?

I don't understand! Why this sense of entitlement? What gives them the right to believe they deserve millions, and in some cases, billions in personal income?

(11:56 pm, October 7th, Japan time)

I, um...

Well, damn. I told you so:

Global Economy Goes Into Freefall

October 05, 2008

Bewildered and Confused

Fortunately, Karl is not, and he has some graphs to prove his point. I don't understand why the Whitehouse Press Secretary is claiming the passage of the bill helped the market when it's obvious to everyone in the world that the market fell immediately after the bill passed into law!

Mark my words, this week will see a complete collapse on Wall Street, destroying the livelihood of the very people Paulson is trying to save. I do not understand how anyone with his education could be so abominably stupid! Not only has he destroyed the future financial independence of hardworking Americans, he has doomed the investment industry itself.

Unless, of course, this truly is Phase Four of the plan to bring about a New World Order. When the House killed the bill, I had high hopes that Phase Four had been brought to a stunning halt. Sadly, it did not. It only delayed the inevitable.

October 02, 2008

When it all falls apart a month from now

Do not jump around demanding to know why nobody told you:

I kid you not, folks, this is the tipping point right here. Once this bill passes there will be no turning back. Revelation six will be fulfilled by year-end. By this time next year the anti-christ will be in charge and wholesale persecution against those who do not accept the One Church will have begun. Stopping this bill will not stop the fulfillment of prophecy, but it will delay it for at least another generation, possibly two.

I have said my piece. There is nothing more I can do.

(added on October 2nd)

October 01, 2008

Us crazies are the only sane people on the planet?

So, as I and other lunatics have been saying, the real beneficiaries are bankers, but not just American bankers, foreign bankers!

Why am I not surprised?

September 30, 2008

Phase Four Cut Off at the Knees!

Why the Bailout Bombed at

Those of you who wrote or called your congressional representative need to follow up with a heartfelt thanks and an encouragement not to allow the dead bill to be revived.

I'm not convinced the war is over, not even close, but there have been so few victories over the past three decades that even a small one like this is inspiring!

September 28, 2008

I'm not the only one sounding the alarm

It's taken the world three decades to catch up with me, but now there are people in all walks of life pointing to the same facts and crying the same alarm.

Watch the videos. These are not theories. The first is just a simple telling of a few pertinent facts of the current political reality while the second is a solid economic analysis of the current backroom deals being made with the sole intention of bankrupting both the US and global financial infrastructure. The first is beautiful in its simiplicity, the second is horrifying in its clarity.

The end is not near, my friends. The end is here.

September 25, 2008

Now this is odd...

So I am reading an article about corruption allegations in the Iraqi Red Crescent when I come across a really odd paragraph:

Karbouli had been wanted by Iraqi officials since the spring on charges that he used Red Crescent ambulances to transport weapons to the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq. Yet after his arrest by the Interior Ministry, he was taken by FBI agents in Baghdad and then escaped to Jordan, according to a senior Iraqi official. The incident prompted Maliki to cancel a joint task force with the FBI, according to a copy of the order reviewed by The Washington Post.

Here's what I think happened:

In an effort to create more support for an ongoing war effort that is rapidly drawing to a conclusion, Vice President Dick Cheney orders the CIA to start funneling weapons to al-Qaeda in Iraq. The CIA taps an American Iraqi already in place at the Red Crescent, Jamal Karbouli, gets the weapons to him and he uses Red Crescent ambulances to transport the weapons into Sunni-controlled areas right under the noses of both the Iraqi security forces, and the American military. Only Karbouli messes up by trusting someone with greater loyalty to the nation of Iraq than his own and that person turns him into authorities. Since he's American, the FBI demands the Iraqi police hand him over to them for prosecution in the United States. Once they have him, the CIA steps in, removes him from FBI custody under the guise of "national security", and whisks him off to Jordan.

It is far past time to bring the American troops home and close down the CIA mission in Iraq. Obviously we have reached a point where the CIA is being used to continue creating havoc rather than supporting the duly elected government. This duplicity cannot be tolerated. Both the American and Iraqi people want Iraq back in the hands of the Iraqis themselves and not under the dual control of a rightfully elected government leashed to the American military.

It is also time for a full accountability of the actions and decisions taken by the Bush-Cheney team during their tenure in the Whitehouse. National security be damned! Release the complete record of the Bush-Cheney Executive team to the public and open it to review by Federal Prosecutors. If necessary, put the Bush-Cheney team and their allies on public trial for war crimes against the Iraqi and Afghani people. Let's show the world once and for all that America can again be a global leader whose primary interest is helping the people of the world gain the freedom and education necessary to reach their full potential as individuals and as contributors to a better society regardless of what culture that society shelters.

We need greater transparency at all levels of government. It is not the job of egocentric and sadistic men in high places to protect the American people. That duty belongs to the American people themselves and they cannot make their voices heard if the information they need to make intelligent voting decisions is buried in the tomb of "national security".


Last minute update on the $700 billion bailout plan:

Richard Fisher Argues against Paulson-Bernanke initiative

Dare I hope the elitists can be stopped cold?

I have great faith in God. I have great faith in righteous people standing firm in defense of what is right. I have no faith in elitist bankers and financiers who live in an egocentric cocoon defined solely on the basis of their personal desires. When good people in high positions take a stand in defense of what is right and proper, then evil is cast aside and there is no need for God to personally intervene.

I have spent thirty years watching the most despicable elitists in every country of the world building Lucifer's One World Kingdom. I have cried out to friends and family that this must be stopped, only to be told I was in danger of joining the lunatic fringe of conspiracy theorists and people who find foil hats fashionable. Ever since I got back from California in August, I have been pointing out each and every step being taken to finalize and bring to fruition the plans of those who believe they are our betters and watched in horror as no one rose up to oppose them.

Perhaps, finally, there are enough righteous people in influential positions who have learned to recognize the machinations of the elitists that we can delay their plans for another generation. If the right people succeed, then I will finish out my life in a much better world and the next major crisis will be delayed at least until the lives of my grandchildren and possibly far beyond.

Do not be deceived. The families that are driving the currently hoped for New World Order have spent three generations working toward this moment in time. Even if they are forced to give ground this time, they will simply marshall their forces and wait for the next opportunity. The only way to deny them their prize is to build a global democracy based on principles of freedom, liberty, and equality for every man, woman, and child regardless of geography, culture, and traditional values. We need a greater, more comprehensive education system that is available equally in all parts of the globe, treats every belief system with dignity, and is founded upon a principle of diversity and individual empowerment.

Only by insuring the human rights of every single individual, regardless of their social station and cultural tableau, can the plans and machinations of the elitists be defeated now and kept in check throughout future generations. We don't need a global kingdom. We need a global democracy supported by a comprehensive global education system that is culturally aware and sensitive to the beliefs of every individual.

And yes, that does indeed mean that a global education system might find itself training as many witch doctors as medical doctors and then letting the patients decide which they will consult.

September 23, 2008

Disingenuous or an outright lie?

If McCain has such great ideas for fixing this mess, why didn't he push them through congress ten years ago instead of rubber stamping each Paulson-Bernanke backed liberalization plan their lobbyists were able to sell?

I've actually been vacillating the past couple of months, but the bald-faced deception behind his current attacks on Obama and his sudden "enlightenment" on economic matters is just too mind-numbing to accept. I'm firmly back in the Obama camp.

They need to let these institutions fail while simultaneously making sure that their assets don't wind up in foreign hands. The Federal Government is almost ten trillion dollars in debt! Where are they supposed to get nearly another trillion? They would have to print unbacked, unsecured money leading directly to massive inflation which will only help the bankers even more while destroying the livelihood of everyone else.

Recession and economic decline is hard for everyone, but it is even harder on the banks. Hyperinflation is even harder on the rest of us, but the banks can turn it into massive profits. Under Paulson's plan the only people who will benefit are the people (like McCain's wife!) who made a fortune off of the deluded idea that letting investment bankers and high-dollar speculators have free rein by removing the legal limits on their activities would somehow magically create a stronger economy. The truly sad thing is, if they had taken those profits and poured them into American manufacturing, transportation, and distribution industries, then it would have helped immeasurably and the American economy would be stronger than ever. But that is not what they did. They took those massive profits and invested them in "development" of financial and resort centers in Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other oil-rich nations. They used their immoral and destructive profits to make more people like themselves in countries that were already disgustingly rich with American dollars from oil sales.

If they had invested in factories and markets in South Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, the East Bank, and other Palestinian "refugee camps" that have become sprawling modern cities then I might bit a tiny bit more forgiving. At least then the businesses they built would have taken the wind out of the sails of groups like Hamas and Hezoballah. Instead, they gave the money to people who didn't need it, their buddies the oil sheiks and oil-rich royalty of tiny nations with no interest in solving the problems of their region.

McCain might have been an American hero when he was young, but his wife has given him a taste of the good life and he likes it. Now he is fully on the side of the people who live to enrich themselves, impoverish the rest of us, and who hope to have a One World Kingdom of feudal land-based royalty with free rein to treat the rest of us like animals. McCain has spent more than a quarter-century in congress! Over the past 26 years what has congress done? It has made the banking families rich, destroyed the American middle class, used development loans to build resorts for oil sheiks, funded repeated wars of attrition that serve no purpose other than funneling money to families who own defense industries, and spent billions on development of weapons and weapon systems while training terrorists and warlords how to use them.

McCain's congressional record is not a benefit, it is a blemish, and his disingenuous plan to suddenly "rescue" the economy he helped destroy is condescending and deceptive.


So, I go to lunch, run my errands, get the house cleaned, turn my computer back on and find this:

New Freddie Mac Chief's Base Annual Salary $900,000

Why? No one on earth needs a base salary of nearly a million dollars a year, let alone the chief executive of a financial company that failed. What in the name of all that is good and holy are you people doing over there?

Oh, and now Karl Denninger, an atheist former CEO and economic commentator, weighed in with something that sounds an awful lot like Revelation 6:5.


Gah! And now my sister sends me this! I cannot catch a break today. The end is not "near". The end is here and now!

Presidential Executive Order authorizes seizure of war protestor assets

September 22, 2008

Phase Three is now complete

(Today's post may take a few minutes to completely load. If the videos are listed as "undefined", please try refreshing the page.)

The third step in the realization of the New World Order and the accession of the antichrist has begun. The current financial crisis in the United States was the inevitable result of the liberation of the mortgage market. This implosion of the American economy was predicted by myself and others way back in the mid-80s when talk of liberalization first began.

Don't believe me? Well, here is a former CEO saying exactly the same thing and backing it up with facts:

His letter: Letter from Karl Denniger


Phase Three has begun and will probably reach full realization by the end of the month. October has become more critical than ever. As I said back in the spring, if the Bush-Cheney team is planning to declare martial law, disband congress, and set aside the constitution, they will do so the month before or the month after the November 4th election.

My authority on this is a careful reading of the Book of Revelations. I started preaching the end of the world as we know it way back in 1978. It has taken them three decades to realize their goals, but now every single day sees them one step closer to world domination. Who are "they"?

The five hundred richest families in the world.

About six hours later:

I pause to do some housework, cook dinner for my family, and watch a little CNN and what happens?

Henry Paulson Promises to Bailout the Global Banking System

Now why the heck didn't CNN report on that outlandish proposal? If I can't even trust CNN any more it's going to be awfully hard to find any kind of useful information.

And yes, this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the real intent of the entire crisis is to take their plan for one world dictatorship a step further down the road. Phase Three is now complete, friends. Are we really going to sit back and let them initiate Phase Four?


Ten minutes later still I find this: Bloomberg Heralds Awarding Treasury Secretary Dictatorial Powers

Yes, that's right, the leading financial news network in the world likes the idea of making the United States Secretary of the Treasury the dictator to the world's financial community.


And Ron Paul, the candidate hoping for precedent-setting write-in victory come November, is the only politician brave enough to call Henry Paulson's plan foolish:

For the first time in my life, I am seriously considering a write-in candidate for the presidency. And just when I thought things couldn't get any more insane than they already were!


And just to show the economic commentators in the media don't understand what's happening, CNNMoney's examination of the pros and cons of the bailout had this to say:

But like a house on fire that's threatening to spread quickly through the neighborhood, the first priority is to put the fire out - not yell at the arsonist - supporters of the bailout would contend.

As Karl points out in the two videos above, the problem with this line of logic is that in this case the arsonist and the fire chief are the same person!

September 18, 2008

Leaving Laodicea

For two months now, almost three, I've been growing back into my former zeal for service to God. I can't, and won't, justify the decade or so I spent muddling along believing but not doing anything. I've been living in Laodicea, a place that when I was young I swore I would never spend time in, and yet, here I am! I've spent a decade and a half lounging by the fountains, wandering the market, exchanging greetings with my fellows, and accomplishing nothing.

I don't know what the next decade is going to be like. I strongly suspect the world will not last another decade, but, like Jonah, it is not the first time I've said so only to watch the world repent and delay the judgment another generation. Unlike Jonah, it won't surprise and anger me if suddenly the fire of revival sweeps across the modern world, the bankers are unseated, the people are uplifted, and democracy returns to its former glory under the watchful eye of repentant Christians hungry to please God.

Our civilization is at a crossroads. We have been here before. Depending on which path we take, the day may come when we stand here again. I, for one, am praying for revival. I am sending the light into the dark corners of my heart and letting it burst forth into the shadows that surround me. Perhaps revival will come and once again the judgment will be delayed, providing fuel for the scoffers and fools that refuse to see the hand of God in the world around them while providing strength and encouragement for all God's children.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have left Laodicea behind me. I might not know where this road into the wilderness will lead, but I know well what I have left behind and I have no desire to return.

Shalom! Peace of God be upon you. Whether we meet in this world or at the judgment seat of Christ, may his light shine fully upon you and illuminate the darkest corners of your life.

September 15, 2008

Sometimes I hate being right

City Council to replace Matt Garcia
Arrests Made in Matt Garcia's Murder
Matt Garcia Slain by Mistake

In short:
An election is too expensive, someone will be appointed to his seat on the city council.
Two people "not in Matt's circle" were arrested, a third is still being sought.
Matt Garcia was shot by someone looking to collect on a drug debt. Garcia just happened to be in the wrong place.

Ever since the twin towers fell on September 11, 2001, it's been one series of coincidences after another, all of them just happening to lead us into a situation where "we need to get the guns off the street", "we need to believe in our government", and "just trust us and we'll take of it" have all become the bylines of life in the modern world.

This is too depressing. From the local level to the international, the world is charging headfirst into Armageddon and nobody is listening to those who are sounding the alarms. The pace since July 30th has become so intense I literally cannot keep up with it. Three, no, four severe hurricanes within a couple weeks, all tearing through the Gulf of Mexico, all damaging America's most important shipping lanes and ports for imports from Europe and the Middle East. Doesn't anyone remember H.A.A.R.P.? There is more than one now, you know? One in Alaska, one in Norway, and a third whose location I cannot bring to mind. One of the speculations about H.A.A.R.P. was that the technology could easily be used to initiate earthquakes and extreme weather systems. They fire up the LHC and run a proton all the way around for the first time and suddenly there are four major earthquakes within 24 hours.

And I'm even going to bother outlining all the scandals and turmoils that have torn through Christianity just in the past two months, let alone the past year!

Oh, and the Cheney-Bush drive toward martial law has not been asleep at the wheel. They have accused an Iranian shipping company of transporting nuclear materials:
US a step closer to Iran blockade.
Medvedev: armed action against Iran unacceptable

Too many coincidences... It's going to be a devil of a winter!

September 10, 2008

Coincidence? I think not!

Well, the genie is out of the bottle. No doubt about it. It cannot possibly be coincidence that the day the LHC goes hot, earthquakes start popping up all over.

Large Hadron Collider Fired Up
Iranian Quake Destroys 200 Villages
Quake Rattles Northern Chile
Major Quakes Hit Northern Japan

Sorry, but there comes a point when we must admit that when there are too many coincidences they become something entirely different: raw data.

September 06, 2008

End of the World within the month?

Well, that's what one German physicist seems to think: LHC Could Create World-Eating Black Holes
Time magazine has this to say: Will LHC Trigger End-of-the-World?
CERN, of course, disagrees: The Safety of the LHC
A citizen-awareness group has formed: Stop the LHC!
And then there's this:
"I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
Revelation 6:12-17

I've been saying for about a month now (although not here in this blog) that I feel the fifth seal has been opened and we are on the cusp of the sixth seal being opened. There are many commentators who interpret Revelation six as symbolic or historic, but I've always felt it was clearly prophetic. The first seal delineates the opening of a "righteous" war of some kind. The second seal has the righteous war shifting into a blood bath driven by some motivation other than righting a grievous wrong. The third seal is the economic collapse resulting from the shifting focus and expanding fiscal requirements of that war while the fourth seal is the widespread famine resulting from the economic collapse. The fifth seal is the prayers and petitions of those who have been martyred, and the sixth seal opens the first major judgement of the final outpouring of the wrath of God.

Couple of things to keep in mind. John was a 1st Century fisherman whose academic and theologic training came late in life. He did not understand most of what he transcribed as his terrible vision unfolded. Some of it he knew from Messianic prophecies in the Torah, but probably he had never really considered what it would be like to come face to face with the visions Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah struggled to record.

I'm no scientist, but it's odd that suddenly they are saying it's possible the LHC bring about the end of the world and if it does, the symptoms of such a horrendous error in judgement would be remarkably similar to the kind of atmospheric phenomena I've been expecting for just about the past month.

"But wait!" some of you will say. "Wouldn't God himself be the agent of mankind's final judgement?"

Well, see, here's a funny aspect of Biblical prophecy: real-world agents and agencies are always employed to carry out God's plan. Decades ago when I was very young and first began looking into what kind of real-world scenarios might be described by these prophecies, I was stunned to learn that under the right conditions, every single one of them could take place with scientifically defined causation. Granted, that also meant a creative interpretation of some of the eschatological iconography, and some of those "creative interpretations" were as far from literal as it was possible to get (like the a mini-black hole from the LHC causing the atmospheric phenomena described in connection with the sixth seal), but hey, speculation is everyone's favorite pastime, including mine!

For example, there are a number of other possibilities for the opening of the sixth seal: high-altitude explosion of an incoming comet or icy meteor, high-altitude low-yield EMP device, collapse of the earth's magnetic field from a once-in-a-billion-years super solar flare, periodic (and currently overdue!) reversal of the earth's magnetic field, etc. The list is actually quite long. The only real certainty is that it would be global, it would affect everyone, it would render the modern world impotent, it would incite hysteric fear everywhere in the world, and it would be easily visible.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am not saying I expect the LHC to spawn a mini black hole that collapses the earth's magnetic field and eventually swallows the planet. Not at all. I am saying the parallels between everything else I see happening in the here and now, my personal opinion of where we are in Revelation, and this aspect of to the LHC are all mighty peculiar.

When you have too many coincidences, they stop being coincidental. Not that it matters, I suppose. By year-end either all this chaos will pass and everyone will laugh at me, or things will be even more chaotic and no one will be laughing at anything.

It should be an interesting autumn.

September 05, 2008

Phase Two is now complete

National Emergency Response to Terror Continued
Analysis of the Continuation by Peter Dale Scott
Minnesota Arrests Clear the way to Declare Dissent as Terrorism

In short, the President has reserved the right to call for suspension of the Constitution and declare nationwide Martial Law for another year. He hasn't called it, but he has reserved the right and defined the conditions so vaguely that a simple car bomb in open countryside would be enough to declare American under direct attack by terrorists and open the way for full Martial Law.

Apparently there is an unsubstantiated rumor that Congressman Kucinich will challenge the continuation, but as far as anyone can tell, even if the rumor is true, he stands alone.

And no, the Bush-Cheney dictatorship has not forgotten about Iraq:
U.S. Military Holding two Iraqi Journalists
Further Troop Reductions Declared "Impractical"

Not only Iraq. In Georgia they are still trying to push Russia in to a military confrontation with NATO:
Cheney Firmly Backs Georgia for NATO Membership
Top U.S. Warship in Georgia Delivering Aid
Cheney Visits Georgia, Ukraine & Azerbaijan

Are we really going to sit back and wait for Israel and the US to drop a few nukes on Iran before we cry, "Enough is enough!"?

I've been saying it for eight years, folks: the real plan is Martial Law. From the day George Bush declared his bid for the Presidency that has been his single-minded goal.

I am beginning to dread checking the daily news.

September 04, 2008

It doesn't take a conspiracy, or does it?

What are you doing, America? I mean really, each and every one of you individually, what are you doing?

Ever since July 30th events have been spiraling out of control and available information has been flowing like never before. Just go back through my blog posts! Nothing worth mentioning, then suddenly on July 30th Bush signs EO 12333 into law and all hell breaks loose. Coincidence? I'm sorry, but this many parallel events cannot be accidental. Someone, somewhere has begun pulling threads and the Gordian knot of our civilization is rapidly unwinding.

You know, it's crazy. I just made a post this morning, not even eight hours ago, and now I learn of yet another atrocity:

Crowd Mourns Fairfield Councilman
Councilman Shot - Fairfield Stunned
Shooting Shocks City
Fairfield Councilman Shot, to come off life support
Councilman Running from Gunman When Shot

Two discussion forums on the shooting:

My Friend was Shot Last Night
Fairfield Councilman Shot in the Head
His Obituary on Usenet Group Alt.Obituaries

A quick timeline just from the information in the news articles goes like this:

21 year-old Matt Garcia is elected to Fairfield City Council
Matt Garcia launches many youth-oriented initiatives
City Council and other local influence centers are stunned into silence
Matt Garcia fights to keep Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield

and then,

Matt Garcia stops by a female friend's house one evening
As he gets out of his car a man steps out of a car across the street and starts firing
Matt flees, but is shot in the back of the head
Police launch an investigation while loved ones mourn
City Council and other influence groups break their recent silence to offer consolation

Knock! Knock! Reality calling!

Someone assassinated Matt Garcia. Is that someone directly connected to some huge conspiracy group working to create a New World Order? Of course not! However, does his death help the New World Order continue pushing their agenda? Oh, yes! It most certainly does!

I don't know who the police will eventually arrest in this senseless, tragic death. I'll offer ten to one odds the person arrested winds up being a local thug of some kind, probably with a reputation for drug sales and a well-known gang affiliation. He will, of course, claim to be an innocent patsy who was nowhere near the scene. Some tearful mother (or inner-city girl with affiliations to the same gang) will claim the alleged shooter was with her at the time, but everyone knows such people lie to protect violent men they love, so her testimony will be ignored or discredited.

Who is really behind the shooting? Knowing what I do about human nature, history, and the psychology of a criminal mind, I can point to three people in the news articles above and promise you that at least one of those three either knows the true killer personally, or is connected to the killer through a secondary relationship of some kind. No, I will not name them! I am seven thousand miles away and my opinion is pure speculation based on secondary news stories. Statistically, I'm probably wrong.

Besides, in the end it doesn't matter. This young man was gunned down right at very beginning of what should have been a long political career devoted to reform. His death, whether casual or intentional, is symptomatic of a much larger problem. Our world consistently destroys the people we need to make it a better place. For some reason far beyond mere coincidence, the only people allowed to achieve greatness for any length of time are inevitably selfish, egocentric, corrupt individuals who treat everyone beyond their inner circle as lesser life-forms.

Nothing is going to improve until we reach the point where the reformers outnumber the elitists and the only way for that to happen is for each of us individually to stop blaming the world around us for our problems and take some kind of action to make our little corner of the world a better place.

It starts with you. It does not matter who you are or where you live. You and you alone are the only one who can turn society around and get us back on track to a world based on fairness and cooperation rather than domination and competition.

You have to change your life. If you don't, then don't be surprised when eighteen months from now you find yourself enslaved.

September 03, 2008

I've been down this road before

Way back in high school (yes, it really was that long ago!) I nearly flunked out of American history. I've never been good at memorizing names, dates, and places, but what almost cinched the deal was the paper I wrote as a final term paper: "Mythologies and Legends". At that point I'd been a Christian for almost three years. For better or worse, I'd already taken the first steps down the road that would lead to where I am today. History, I'd already realized, was the single best proof of the reality of scripture. So when we had to write a paper on any topic we liked in pre-World War One American History, instead of jumping on the Monroe Doctrine, justifying Manifest Destiny, or reviewing the case surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, I wrote with the intention of proving that most of the material we had spent the past seven months learning was nothing more than a modern mythology.

Starting with Daniel Boone and Davy Crocket (two guys I really enjoyed reading about so I already had a lot of material) then moving into the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and Lincoln's assassination, before finally closing with the Gunfight at the OK Corral, I showed step by step how historic events had been so transformed by legend, popular fiction, and even Hollywood movies that it was now impossible to separate genuine American history from popular myths and legends. What inspired my paper and provided the framework was a book called, "Legends of Daniel Boone". The book presented the life of Daniel Boone not as he'd really lived, but as he'd lived according to the tales told in popular fiction since his death. The life presented in the book, clearly marked out as legend and myth, was identical to the life described in our high school history textbook.

My teacher was not amused. He held a meeting with my mother, the school principal, and me, and stated flat out that if I did not submit another paper on a more "conventional" topic, I would not pass his class.

So I grabbed up some encyclopedias and used them to supplement the story of Lincoln's assassination presented in the textbook. He gave me an A+ on the paper, which meant I finished the class with a B-. And yes, that does indeed mean my test scores had been pretty dismal.

Now I'm forty-seven years old, which also means high school was just about thirty years ago. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that every single "fact" presented in that A+ paper was completely, flagrantly, and utterly false. The textbook and the encyclopedias were all completely mistaken in the events leading up to Lincoln's assassination and the people involved. They didn't even have the date right!

What does all this have to do with the CNN video at the top of the page? Well, as I said, I've been down this road before.

Someday, some historian is going to look back at the temple-like stage where Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech, the magenta lit and confetti-filled civic hall where Ron Paul defiantly proclaimed the two-party system dead in the water, as well as (if the historian is honest) the eerie quiet outside the Republican National Convention resulting from dozens of preemptive arrests, and that historian is going to ask, "Couldn't these people see how badly they'd been deceived?"

Our myths and legends no longer take decades to develop. The complacent media and corrupt political establishment of our time, backed by armies of public relations experts and digital devotees, can present whatever image they like to the adoring masses and not only will we swallow it hook, line and sinker, we'll also record it on our TiVo's, post hours of amateur video online, and write countless blog posts explaining how this interpretation or that interpretation fits the reality we are observing. No one dares look behind the curtain, no journalist dares ask the hard questions, and no politician dares take a real stance and fight for it until they've ruined their personal career but saved the country. There is no modern Martin Luther King who will stand toe-to-toe with the corrupt establishment knowing that sooner or later an assassin's bullet is going to find him, but caring enough about being right that death seems a small price to pay to get the message out.

So Ron Paul gathers his followers in RNC country and holds a big rally, knowing full well that the only real impact he will have in November is to take enough voters away from one candidate or the other to insure that we will see yet another election settled by the courts rather than the voters.

If Ron Paul had the slightest chance of winning, I would be stumping for him with every ounce of my being. I would be writing checks, sending out letters, and making blog posts rallying the faithful to the fight. Sadly, I know enough of history both recent and distant to know as certain as the sunrise that Ron Paul will do more harm than good in the coming election. He has not been shut down by his former party for one reason and one reason only: they hope the candidate he will do the most damage to will be Obama rather than McCain.

By supporting Ron Paul as a write-in candidate his followers are practically guaranteeing another split election. Don't get me wrong, I hate the two-party system as much as they do and I agree with Ron Paul's platform far more than with either of the other candidate's. I really do. I also know that Ron Paul is no Theodore Roosevelt. He lacks the charisma necessary to galvanize our shattered country and slide into the White House with no endorsement other than his own wit and charm. What Ron Paul really needed to have done was declare himself an independent with the intention of running for president way back in 1999 (for the year 2000 election) and then continuously worked to oppose the Bush-Cheney team through all eight years of their virtual dictatorship, gathering up grassroots followers every step of the way until finally way back in November of 2007 both parties would have begged him to join their ticket.

If he had done that, then maybe, just maybe, he would have had enough power and influence to create a successful third party, reform the system, and bring back a genuine democratic republic. As it is, all he's going to do is make it easier for the people behind the curtain to hold another dog and pony for us and pretend we've actually elected whichever candidate they decide to stick in the Whitehouse.

Honestly, people, my money is still on martial law, a canceled election (or election result), a disbanded congress, and a full handover of the country to some kind of New World Order dictatorship. If that is their ultimate goal, then it would explain why John McCain did not bother to make a realistic choice for VP, it would explain why Barack Obama can stand in front of a faux Greek Temple without feeling foolish, and it would explain why the Republican Party has not ordered Ron Paul to rein in his supporters or be forced out of politics permanently.