High Culture

“Don’t think about your feet on the ground. Think about your hands in the sky.” – Tony Horton


Guns don’t stop crime. Gun control doesn’t stop crime. Culture stops crime.

Regulating Wall Street doesn’t help the economy. De-regulating Wall Street doesn’t help the economy. Culture helps the economy.

Public schools don’t help kids learn. Home schooling doesn’t help kids learn. Culture helps kids learn.


I realized the importance of culture while I was in a parking garage in Iowa City, IA. Iowa City is an ultra-progressive college town, said to be 70% liberal and 30% socialist. Signs declared the garage to be a gun-free area. “Tell that to the lawbreakers waiting to mug me,” I thought. However, my friends say the worst crime that happens in Iowa City is drunk night clubbers making a racket coming back to their apartments, sometimes trying to enter the wrong door.

I’d like to meditate on how culture in cities, schools, businesses, and government leads to prosperity or ruin. Culture is “the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group,” according to Webster’s. For our discussion, culture is what a group holds important. It’s what guides people and directs their actions.

Some weeks ago, Web was on fire over the reporter and his wife who recorded their conversation with a Comcast customer service rep. They wanted to cancel their internet service, thank you please, but got 18 minutes of nosy questions. Plenty of editorials on news sites and social media have said more about Comcast’s business culture than I can, and no one believes this incident is a fluke. “Retention” is a department in many corporate call centers that try to hold on to clients and their regular payments; this Comcast operator was just following protocol. Having worked minimally in customer service myself, I can tell you I had to follow checklists of things to say; I was under pressure to perform an hourly quota of calls; I sat across the cubicle wall from my own employer’s Retention team, and pitied them for the anger they were subjected to.

The culture in too many call centers values metrics over human relationships. I won’t deny that performance measurement is important, but what good is it without the consumer’s trust? If customers don’t trust a company, as they don’t Comcast, the company will use bullying strategies to stay in the black, as Comcast does. It’s not for nothing Comcast is despised by most Americans.

It’s also not for nothing Washington, D.C. is despised by most Americans. We’ve been subjected to political hysterics ever since the 2003 Iraq invasion, and we’re burned out. The world doesn’t seem any safer because our “leaders” aren’t really serious about defeating despots and terrorists. One party ballooned the national debt while the other just struck angry poses about it. Which party is which? It depends on what year you’re looking back at. In his book This Town, New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich reveals you can go to the nation’s capital and clean up with lobbying, cronyism, campaign contributions, speaking fees, earmarks, legal consulting, I could go on. The Permanent Political Class can live easy in their ivory tower regardless of ordinary citizens’ struggles. They value power over justice.

A divided, snarky culture benefits the Permanent Political Class. “Culture” also means “artistic and intellectual pursuits and products”. Leibovich tells us the national media are cozy collaborators with the Beltway Elite. Guerilla journalist James O’Keefe calls it the “Government-Media Complex”. Leftist Hollywood and the Mainstream Media give us shows filled with negativity. Between real-life war atrocities overseas and the shallow sexual exploits of Barney Stinson, audiences switch from being flabbergasted to cynical and back again.

Conservative media like talk radio and Breitbart add to the teeth-gnashing, too. They get audiences worked up over the latest outrage from the Democrats. Whether they intend to or not, conservative forums play into the Washington politicians’ schemes. By making us fearful of the bizarre “other”, Democrats and Republicans make us fearful and collect our campaign donations while accomplishing little besides fundraising. They reward their media cronies accordingly.

They want us to argue whether we should tighten or relax regulations, whether they’re on firearms, businesses, the environment, education, minimum wage, or anything we can think of. Personally, I’m against regulations, but that’s because it never should be an issue to begin with. “What will we do about trouble-makers, though?” is the regulators’ concern. Darn it, I don’t want them to get away with hurting me, but what about bureaucrats making trouble? What about my freedom? Now you see the tightrope we all walk. How do we keep our balance?

Balance is kept by looking up. In the “Yoga X” disc in P90-X, trainer Tony Horton guides viewers in some balance postures and advises them to concentrate upward. By way of analogy, let’s think of higher callings and aspirations. High Culture. Iowa City is home to several yoga classes, if the fliers at the coffee shops are any indication, but it’s also home to the University of Iowa. Thousands of hopeful youth cycle through the city, preparing for their futures, and driving the local economy. There are two other big universities in Iowa, but U of I’s curriculum focuses more on liberal arts- emphasis on arts.

I attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, and today I live in Cedar Rapids, and I can tell you these communities are industrial and business-like. Iowa City is more colorful. You work, make a living, and raise a family in Cedar Rapids, but you drive to Iowa City for fun. The residents and visitors of Iowa City are united in their culture of arts and education, so even though it’s run by tax-and-spend Democrats, it’s safe and prosperous. In my next post I’ll discuss the difference between real and fake liberals, but for now, let’s be happy that Iowa City’s people mean well and work honestly despite any political machinations.

That’s fine, you may say, but how long can it last? A cynic will point out that aspirations turn into businesses and businesses turn into rackets. What will keep the bad actors from dragging Iowa City into the gutter? Will they turn it into Washington or Comcast? Arts and learning are different from the profit and power motives; they’re less basic and more profound. I theorize there is a hierarchy of motives and some are more meaningful than others. Is there a motive at the top, that’s higher than all the rest? Christians will point you to Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

You may not be ready to accept a religious idea such as that, and not everyone believes God is real. No argument I come up with can convince you unless you’re already open-minded. But for the time being, consider what your values are, and why they’re important. Why is making money important? Do you need it to support your lifestyle? Why is your lifestyle important? Does it define you? Do you want to be defined positively? Why would you want to be defined positively? As you can see, these questions can turn into the “Why” game that little kids play on grown-ups to pester them. But the questions need to lead somewhere, or else why bother with working? If you can’t see beyond your next quarterly report, maybe you’re no better than Comcast. If you don’t care about your quality of work unless the public is watching, maybe you’re no better than the Beltway Insiders. If you can’t see the purpose of rules and ethics as long as you get paid, maybe you’re no better than the criminals plaguing America’s large cities.

Division results when we value our own methods without thinking beyond them. We don’t need to give up our values, but we can’t obsess over them. Otherwise, we’re worshiping false gods. I wish to make an announcement concerning my blog. I’m still a conservative Christian, more so than ever. I feel that’s what I’m meant to be. However, I’m more accepting of the liberal viewpoint. Instead of being enemies, I now think liberals and conservatives are different organs in the same body. They serve different functions leading to freedom and justice. The real antagonism lies between the people and the politicians. Those in power want life to be an either/or proposition. We’re not going to solve America’s problems by voting in the right politicians, because there are no right politicians. Reform will come when the grassroots are led by something or someone higher than Washington D.C. “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” sounds good to me.


Our Real Leader

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” – Abraham Lincoln


Viktor Yanukovych, president of Ukraine has been ousted. The people of the country’s western half protested his duplicitous selling out to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The protests in the capital Kiev included Ukrainians from all age groups and walks of life, doing battle against government riot police. The sniper shooting deaths of about 70 protesters may have been the last straw. This weekend, Yanukovych’s support crumbled and his allies deserted him.


Now, Breitbart.com reports that Putin denounces this turn of events. Naturally. The opinion piece says Russia needs its own “Kiev Moment” to end Putin’s tyranny. The tenuous victory of Ukrainian revolution has given hope to anti-corruption demonstrators in Venezuela. Naturally. The president there, Nicolas Maduro, is openly Socialist and was the protégé of the ruinous Hugo Chavez. The Associated Press quotes Maduro’s First Lady saying “Venezuela isn’t Ukraine…The right-wing fascists aren’t going to impose themselves here.” (“Opposition, Pro-Govt Rallies Grip Venezuela”)


If you look around, rebellion is taking place all over the world. There’s the Arab Spring, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, economic crisis in the European Union, just to name a few examples. Common people don’t trust their governments anymore. It’s all laid out in Doug Schoen’s book The End of Authority. So-called leaders and their selected cronies in the business world are hoarding wealth, manipulating the news media, and acting outside their countries’ laws to silence dissent. The problem, in a nutshell, is governments are putting their own interests first and losing sight of their true purpose. It’s the Sin of Pride, which I’ve said before is the absolute worst thing in the world.


The common people need to be careful, though. Any new governments they install, if they win the fight, are just as likely to go bad as the old ones. That song by The Who stands for all time. There’s a real danger in Venezuela that the Left Wing stooge Maduro could be replaced by a Right Wing stooge. And the Ukrainian protesters are very suspicious of the opposition politicians who are stepping up to take over. Everyone is cursed with pride in some form or another. The biggest threat to freedom is our own sin.


This is why I’m deeply encouraged by the brave Christian priests in Ukraine. I heard about them two weeks ago in a church sermon. Most of the priests are Orthodox, but some are Catholic. Even the Orthodox churches are split into factions. But regardless, all these priests came together, got in the middle of the protests, and prayed. They didn’t join the protesters, and they didn’t join the government. They gave aid to anyone who was hurt, police and protester alike. The priests’ goal was peace, but I suspect the peace they have in mind is more than the absence of conflict. In church we talk about “Shalom”, the Peace of God. It’s a state of mind where you’re whole and healthy. It’s a state in which you’re full of God’s power. I like to think it’s the same thing as the Zen mind, just by a different name.


Prayer isn’t simply asking God for help. It’s a method of brain training. It’s when we practice thinking the way God wants us to. It’s surrendering to His way of doing things. I don’t know the exact words of the Ukrainian priests’ prayers, but I think they wanted God’s will, not ours, to be done. Perhaps by getting out and showing what prayer looks like, they got the government to pray too. It could be that God’s Spirit reached out during those prayers and brought everyone to their senses. Maybe. I’m just guessing.


I’m against government tyranny, but I’m not necessarily against government. Government has a purpose, and that’s serving law and justice. It’s when the state becomes its own purpose that bad things happen. Maybe you’re afraid of one religion or another taking over your country, but that would be a case of religion becoming its own purpose. Our devotion belongs beyond Church or State; it belongs to the Lord Himself. Since world leaders are abusing us, how about we turn to our real Leader.


A Special Message From Dripnail

When C.S. Lewis wrote down The Srewtape Letters, he used his intuition along with insight from the Holy Spirit to ascertain what one of Hell’s middle managers would say about corrupting humanity. I’ve attempted the same thing through prayer, and here is what I uncovered.


From: Dripnail@Pandemonium.org

To: All U.S. Staff

CC: Beelzebub@Pandemonium.org; Mammon@Pandemonium.org; Belial@Pandemonium.org; Leviathan@Pandemonium.org; Asmodeus@Pandemonium.org

BCC: Slubgob@Pandemonium.org; Screwtape@Pandemonium.org

Subject: A Special Message from Dripnail


Greetings, U.S. Tempters:

It’s a pleasure to reach out to you during the first phases of our latest transition. I know a lot of you are excited by the imminent collapse American freedom. However, I must remind you that the suffering caused by terror and oppression isn’t our immediate concern- those things are for after the humans pass through our gates. Our objective is using the strife to lead the American humans away from the Enemy. Freedom is something our Enemy favors, and we want either a phony version of it, or its complete removal.

We have multiple options in making this happen, and several possible outcomes that are favorable to us. These are based on our understanding of the Enemy’s Hierarchy of Purpose. He set it up so that righteous actions depend on those actions serving a higher purpose or cause. For example, American patriotism is good only when that patriotism serves the function of maintaining human liberty. Liberty, in turn, is only good if it serves human rights and dignity. Human rights are only important because humans are made in the Enemy’s likeness. Our Enemy, egotist that He is, has set Himself and His glory at the top as the supreme purpose that determines what is good. Therefore, our goal should be focusing the Americans’ attention on a purpose- any purpose- other than the Enemy.

We can take a lesson from our colleagues in the European Division during what the humans call the Second World War. The only person a Socialist hates more than a capitalist is the wrong kind of Socialist. That’s how our European tempters got Germany’s National Socialists to wage war with Russia’s Soviet Socialists. The war itself wasn’t the point- it was that both the Nazis and Communists were so agitated by each other, they were distracted from seeking the Enemy’s Kingdom. That’s why the goose-steppers from both sides are now securely in our possession.

If we can get Americans obsessed with themselves or their ideals without thinking why those ideals are important, we’ll make them just as oppressive and intolerant as our Socialist prey. Since America is a free society with diversity of opinion, we have many routes we can take. It’s even possible we can have all the tyrannies gain power and break the country apart into separate territories. We have partially done this already along racial lines. By constantly reminding Blacks of the slavery and persecution their ancestors endured, we’ve made them paranoid and more concerned with “the struggle” than being American citizens. We have isolated them, and thus prolonged segregation for many years after passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Paranoia is the name of the game going forward. We’ve always utilized the humans’ insecurities against them. This time, we want them thinking the worst about the opposing parties. You tempters with liberal patients will have a simpler time with this, as evidenced by the last election. Your subjects tend to have active imaginations, but lack the discipline to think their motivations through. We have them thinking that Mitt Romney likes greedy bankers and wants women to be raped. The Leftists feel the need of community more strongly than other humans. The Enemy wants them bonding to and around Him, but we want them communing with the State. We have them worshipping the Democratic Party idols, therefore making them highly compliant to its politicians. Tempters of liberals, since they have easier work, will have the added task of utilizing their patients.

Our elite tempters have caused the politicians in the Beltway to provoke the common people with invasive legislation and executive orders. The legality of any of these measures is irrelevant to us; we want confusion and doubt to spread. We’ve leaked enough stories of corruption, domestic spying, and voter fraud to make Americans question whether their leaders are legitimate. This is despite our Enemy’s claim that He’s the one who installs governments on Earth for the sake of peace. But remember the Hierarchy of Purpose- if we get the government to forget about the Enemy’s will, it will focus on its own will and by definition serve our goals.

Thanks to our Philological Department, we’ve changed the meaning of the word “conservative” to mean “rigid”. American conservatives are rigid in their expectations, so they’re easy to anger when they don’t get their due. They’re more independent in their thinking, so their tempters will need to stroke their egos and tell them they’re smarter, better Americans. The only person a Republican hates more than a Democrat is the wrong kind of Republican, so we have a nice little internal struggle between the “Establishment” G.O.P and the “Tea Party”. No conservative trusts Washington politicians anymore, so we might have a revolt on our hands. Just as long as the Right worships “Lady Liberty”, the “Constitution”, or the “Shining City on the Hill”, and not the Enemy, who those things are meant to serve. Leviathan forbid they learn the Constitution is useless withouth the Enemy’s Kingdom.

As for everyone else who doesn’t follow current events, let’s keep it that way. Average humans have a natural distaste for conflict, so the chattering classes will cause them disgust and cynicism. Apathy is our method of sapping life out of them. We like to give them problems in pairs, so they’ll either become Commie Bastards, Right-Wing Nutjobs, or sheep. The Enemy offers them solutions through their prayers, but let’s not give them time to pray. This Great Recession we’ve developed has them desperate for work or handouts. Keep reminding them they need to eat, and they’ll be too scared to think of anything beyond what’s in front of them.

In closing, let’s keep the battles raging. We may be united, but if we teach them to value their own strength and self-worth, we have them. It sounds strange to teach our values to those we intend to devour, but we’re setting the contest on our terms. Humans are merely copies of the Enemy and can only succeed by drawing on His power. We are the true originals.

To our continuous dominion over the Earth. All Hail Our Father Below!


Dripnail, Regional VP, U.S. Operations

Pandemonium, Section K, Ste. 148


“Keep your stick on the ice!”



Remember a few weeks ago, before George Zimmerman’s trial, when the news reported scandals over the IRS harassing the Tea Party, the Department of Justice hacking the Associated Press, and the National Security Agency snooping on our internet browsers? It was a confluence of revelations telling us that the Executive Branch will use government power to stick it to the American Public. Keep that in mind as you read this story from rare.us: Move over NSA, here comes the Obamacare Big Brother database. 

The Department of Health and Human Services is part of the Executive Branch. And the Obamacare legislation uses the phrase “as the Secretary shall determine” profusely.


A Grand Tradition of Fighting the Power

“Having always been an ardent partisan of freedom, I turned to the Universities, as soon as the revolution broke out in Germany, to find the Universities took refuge in silence.  I then turned to the editors of powerful newspapers, who, but lately in flowing articles, had claimed to be the faithful champions of liberty.  These men, as well as the Universities, were reduced to silence in a few weeks.  I then addressed myself to the authors individually, to those who passed themselves off as the intellectual guides of Germany, and among whom many had frequently discussed the question of freedom and its place in modern life.  They are in their turn very dumb.  Only the Church opposed the fight which Hitler was waging against liberty.  Till then I had no interest in the Church, but now I feel great admiration and am truly attracted to the Church which had the persistent courage to fight for spiritual truth and moral freedom.  I feel obliged to confess that I now admire what I used to consider of little value.”  – Albert Einstein

The Nazis won the German people’s support by extolling Christian morals and positioning themselves against the godless Communists, but it was all a sham. Hitler was more devoted to his own philosophy, which was a mix of Nietzsche, Darwin and Gobineau. He was purely political, not spiritual; he only saw the church as a tool to use. His government undermined the Church in a three-pronged attack of incorporation to the state, re-writing of scriptures, and religious competition by Heinrich Himmler’s neo-paganism.

The Bible tells us to respect our governments, since governments are established by God to bring order to civilization. But that only counts as long the government follows the Moral Law of Nature. A Christian’s highest allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, above his or her country. Dietrich Bonhoeffer struggled with this as a German Protestant minister living in the Third Reich. He preached against totalitarian regimes saying, “The church must reject this encroachment of the order of the state precisely because of its better knowledge of the state and of the limitations of its action. The state which endangers the Christian proclamation negates itself.”, and also, “A state which includes within itself a terrorized church has lost its most faithful servant.” Bonhoeffer was a founding member of the German Confessing Church, which ran counter to Nazi control, and he eventually spied for the Allies during WWII.

It’s easy to blame the church in Germany for not taking a bigger stand against the Nazis’ crimes against humanity, but the church wasn’t meant to be political, and it was taking the long-term view. After all, the early Christian movement struggled for three hundred years under Roman oppression before its acceptance by the empire.

Perhaps the Church is supposed to stand opposite from the State, perpetually. Pastor Rob Bell writes in Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith:

“…The world was ruled by the Roman Empire, and the Roman Empire was ruled by a succession of emperors called the Caesars. The Caesars claimed they were sent by the gods to renew creation. Caesar Augustus believed that as the son of a god, he was god incarnate on earth; the prince of peace who had come to restore all creation…One of his popular slogans was ‘There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved than that of Caesar.’ Another phrase they used often was ‘Caesar is Lord.’

…It was at this time, in this world, that the Jesus movement exploded among an ethnic minority in a remote corner of the empire. These people claimed their leader was a rabbi who had announced the arrival of the kingdom of God, had risen from the dead and appeared to his followers. One of their favorite slogans was ‘Jesus is Lord’… Another of their favorite slogans was ‘There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved than that of Jesus.’ Shocking. They took political propaganda from the empire and changed the words to make it about their Lord. To join up with these people was to risk your life. And not only this, but they made claims about the whole way society is structured.”

Bell goes on to call the first Christians countercultural. They saw themselves as God’s partners in making the world new. They helped out those who the state had neglected. The Christians gave Roman subjects an alternative to the “bread and circuses”. That’s a great benefit to mankind throughout history. People worry about Christian theocracy in America like the Muslim Ayatollahs in Iran, but the church is actually stronger when it’s persecuted. State-run churches in Europe are detested by free-wheeling liberals, but newly planted churches are exploding in Africa. Joel C. Rosenberg writes in his book Inside the Revolution how there are growing Christian movements in the Muslim world, including Iran. He interviews former terrorists who gave up their violent ways because of their relationships with Christ; He has taken away their hate. Christ isn’t being forced on the people in these countries; the people are having personal experiences with Jesus and they’re sharing with others by witnessing. Rosenberg hopes the spread of Christianity will reorder society and end Iran’s nuclear threat.

This is all fine when the established power is anything but Christian, but what happens when Christianity is the establishment? The Church becomes strict and authoritarian- dangerously close to what the Pharisees were in Jesus’ day. Fortunately, this is what revivals are for. The Catholic Church was turning a blind eye to corruption until Martin Luther posted his famous theses and ignited the Reformation. When the Protestants showed up with their own organizations, the Catholics new they had to clean their own house in order to compete. Still, churches were and still are state-run in Europe, and enmity abounds over which denomination will be the “official” one in each country. That brings us to America.

Europeans came to the New World for trade, empire, and religious freedom. For a long time I wondered what got into the American colonists’ head to give them ideas like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I thought it was purely political, with the Founding Fathers taking cues from the British statesmen Edmund Burke. I thought they had gotten used to living out from under the king’s thumb for generations, and naturally balked at the taxation without representation. But something more profound happened to Americans before any of that- it was the Great Awakening of the 18th Century. Rosenberg describes it in his other book Implosion. Thanks to inspired missionaries and evangelists, the colonists were tuned in to Heaven. Like the early Christians under Rome, they were given new ideas about how mankind was meant to live. Today patriotic Americans think of the Founding Fathers as geniuses, but after my own experiences outlined “Thoughts and Prayers That Help”, I think they were prophets.

Although I said the church is stronger when it’s persecuted instead of entrenched, it’s even stronger when it and the government are separate. The church does the things that the state has no business doing and acts as the state’s conscience. That’s the beauty of the Constitution’s First Amendment. It contains both an Establishment and a Free Exercise clause. There can’t be any State Church in America, but the Free Churches can build America up and reform it by working on the people. The drive to abolish slavery before the Civil War was led by the churches, and so was the Civil Rights movement a hundred years later. Politicians wouldn’t have deigned to change anything unless the reformers had God as their wellspring of power and purpose.

It’s July 4th, 2013. The whole world seems to be rioting. Obama is still President. The Republicans in Washington are selling out. We found out that our government is spying on our computers, harassing the Tea Party through the IRS, hacking journalists’ emails, and left our ambassador in Libya high and dry. That’s only what the Old Mainstream Media has bothered to mention to us. If you follow alternative news sources like the Drudge Report and Breitbart, you know there are even more outrages. But don’t take to the streets yet. Go to church and ask the minister how to pray. God isn’t forcing you, but the Earthly powers just might drive you to. It’s been said that Satan ravishes while God woos. We always say “God bless America”, but maybe we should switch to “God shed His grace on thee”. And God shed His grace on everyone, because why should Americans have all the fun? We can’t make the world better unless God makes us better, so we can carry on the tradition of fighting the power.


Thoughts and Prayers That Help

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here!’ or, ‘lo there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

The week of Monday, April 15 2013 sure was crappy. I walked into the break room at work to see explosions on the T.V. I hoped it was a gas line accident happening in Boston, but the videos showed smoke and shrapnel, so it had to be bombs. The West, TX fertilizer explosion was an accident though, albeit a really huge one. People there are not only dealing with the blast, but chemicals in the air. Anhydrous is nothing to fool with; it sucks the water from your body just from contact. Imagine breathing it in! A U.S. Senator, then the President had letters laced with ricin mailed to them. I don’t think it’s political since they’re both Republican and Democrat- it makes me suspect foreign agents. I think the KGB used ricin back in the day, just saying. On top of it all, the rain fell nonstop here in Iowa, so we had flash floods. Minnesota and the Dakotas had snow, in April.

On a personal note, the weather gave me an overabundance of mucus, so the doctor had me on antibiotics and allergy medicine. I think it affected my brain. By Thursday night, I was disgusted with the world, especially the media for reminding me the world is rotten. I knew I had to play one of my yoga DVD’s, because that always calms me down. Yoga is a part of many fitness programs these days since it complements dynamic weight training with flexibility and isometric strength training. Holding the different positions for minutes at a time builds endurance and demands concentration. I do it once a week along with resistance training and Taekwondo class.

My favorite yoga videos end with a meditation pose. You sit cross-legged with hands folded in Prayer position or a mudra, and you focus your thoughts on your heart or spine. Yoga exercises were actually created by the sages in ancient India to help them sit for long periods and reflect. I admit I’m only an amateur, but I can report feeling inspiration and joy when doing this. Some of my blog ideas came to me while meditating.

After the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon, I heard people say their thoughts and prayers go out to the victims. I hear that so often, I wonder sometimes if they really mean it, or just say it to feel better and go on with life. I also thought it was sad that it takes a terrorist attack to make the Red Sox and Yankees fans play nice with each other. Would it take a dirty bomb in Chicago’s North Side to make me hug the Cardinals? I told you the drugs are affecting my mood! I’m usually not this cynical! It’s a good thing I meditate, because I knew what to say after Thursday night.

Christianity teaches us that humankind, and therefore the world, are fallen. We’re messed up, in other words. God created the world and was pleased with it, but the first modern humans were deceived by Satan, the seven-headed dragon, into disobeying God. They became damaged by this Original Sin, and they passed this defect on to us. The natural order that the Creator established was turned upside down and our flesh, which should be under our spirits’ control, controls our spirits. So much agony comes from our need to eat, drink, and mate, and we don’t dare think we were meant for greater things.

If you want a reason why the Tsarnaev brothers (or Craft International, if you’re following that line of inquiry) planted bombs that burned and bloodied so many, you can probably find several. However, they all trace back to the fact that sin makes tyrants of us all. The first sin Satan taught us was pride- the impulse to put ourselves before anything else.  Pride is a delusion because God is the most high, but we’re delusional anyway. This madness is the root of all the crime, corruption, terror, abuse, and cruelty we inflict on each other. It’s why human history is a long chain of oppression and injustice. Even America, founded on the principles of life and liberty, is always in danger of ruining liberty. Left to ourselves, we’d probably turn to beasts, and thousands of years from now, Charleton Heston will wail in front of the ruined Statue of Liberty, “You maniacs! You blew it up!!”

God won’t leave us to ourselves, though. If you take the Bible as a whole, it’s the story of God putting the world right. The work is ongoing, and we’re not the ones who really fix the world. God does it through us. When the part of God we call the Son lived on earth as a rabbi, His ministry centered on the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom is a country that’s more just than any human government. The Roman Empire and its collaborators feared it, thinking it would take them over (in a way, it did), but it wasn’t a political revolt like they expected. It was deeper. There’s debate on what the Kingdom of God really is- the Christian church, Heaven, or something esoteric. I’ll go with it being a state of mind powered by God’s grace. “State of mind” sounds unreal, but our minds can make it real. Our minds were supposed to govern our bodies, if you’ll remember.

Jesus forewarned His followers that they would face opposition when establishing churches and missions, but they shouldn’t fear because the Holy Spirit would give them guidance. The book following the Gospels in the Bible is titled “The Acts of The Apostles”, but its real protagonist is the Holy Spirit. He pours out over the general population during Pentecost and gives them the ability to connect with the other members of the Trinity. The first Christians perform miracles in Jesus’ name, as well as speak eloquently in defense of their faith. The Holy Spirit is the source of their power and words. “Acts” cuts off abruptly after Chapter 28, when the Apostle Paul arrives in Rome. The implication is Chapter 29 continues to this day.

Churches are very concerned with mission. The donations church members put in the offering plate during worship go to charity. My church, the United Methodists, are working to treat and eradicate malaria, for example. The Church, whatever the sect, is concerned with doing good works by God’s grace and establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth. The view growing in my mind is that politics has grown out of control in our society. However, the American Revolution and the Civil Rights Movement followed periods of widespread faith. The answer to America’s problems isn’t political- it’s spiritual.

So how do we find God’s guidance? It seems to me the Holy Spirit doesn’t get enough attention in America currently. Paul said we’re all temples to the Holy Spirit, so I’m guessing the Spirit is our go-to. Connecting with God was well established before modern times. It’s only recently that I learned that quieting your mind and waiting for inspiration from God is a long standing Christian practice. It has this Anthropology major thinking of Zen Buddhism, where devotees sit still and hope for enlightenment. Can the Eastern traditions help us out? While Westerners have identified the source of enlightenment, has the Orient retained the methods of connecting with the source? Is it a coincidence that Buddhists and Catholic Christians pray using beads?

Civilization has advanced in countries outside Christendom, though whether those countries are as just is a topic for another day. But when Christian missionaries tell a new area about Jesus, the natives are known to say “So that’s what you call Him?” Jesus said He’s a shepherd with more than one flock, so He may be active in places we don’t expect.

Revelation may be how the Shaolin monks developed their system of Kung Fu, beneficial to self defense, health, and character development. Like yogis, they meditate by thinking only about their breath, or about energy centers along the spine. It seems that since our flesh took over our spirits, we need our bodies to improve or spirits.

Shaolin teachings spread to other Asian lands and mixed with their fighting styles. The results aren’t just shared technique, but creating ethics like the Five Tenets of Taekwondo in Korea and the proverb “There is no first strike in Karate” in Japan. Martial artists meditate and search for the “center” inside themselves. The center is a source of calm and guidance during battle. Fighters cultivate a way of thinking, what the Japanese call “mushin” meaning “no mind”, and what Bruce Lee described saying “I do not hit- it hits all by itself.”

Eliminating the ego is critical in martial arts meditation. Ego can be linked to pride, which Christians know is the Original Sin. Denying yourself is the first step in doing good; it’s how you know your actions are inspired by God instead of your selfishness. The Zen state of mind can be a big help to our police and emergency responders. If they follow their, which I suspect is where the Holy Spirit meets them, imagine how effective they can be. And if they spend more time in prayer and meditation they (especially police and military) can work out their true allegiances. The highest allegiance goes to the Kingdom of God.

As I close out, the sun is out, the bombing suspects are in custody, and my illness is cleared up. I’m feeling a lot better than the week I just described. But I wonder how much my mood is affected by earthly events, or God’s doing? I engaged in some volunteer work for my church. I also had some breakthroughs in meditation. Every human being you see is connected to the Lord. That’s why freedom and individual rights are important. The connection each person has is direct and personal. Also, God won’t let us crumble. We’re His image bearers. The apes will not take over and use us in experiments. The politicians and media are as vain as ever, but they don’t really lead us. The Kingdom makes their plans irrelevant. It has won over the earthly powers before. If enough people engage in thoughts and prayers that really help, America will still be a free country, because the Kingdom is free. Namaste.


Something I Found

Thanks go to YouTube user aTypicalWhitePerson.


Buy a Shotgun Joe Biden Lying AR-15


ABC reports, by way of Yahoo!, that President Obama is making a public relations pitch for his 2nd term agenda:

The effort to promote Obama’s proposals on jobs, wages and education involved visits to Asheville, N.C., Decatur Ga., and Chicago, participating in a Google+ chat and mobilizing the president’s formidable former campaign apparatus.

One thing it didn’t include? Congress.

For the White House, this is a campaign for public opinion, not one to write specific legislation.

When it comes to broadening early education or raising the minimum wage, Obama is not ready to make lawmakers a part of the process yet…


…This president, like recent ones before him, has gone to the public before in hopes of persuading lawmakers. It hasn’t always proved a winning tactic…


But Obama and White House aides are heartened by what they believe were successful public appeals for extending a payroll tax cut in 2010 and for preventing a doubling of interest rates on federal student loans last summer


…In pushing his agenda, Obama is wielding extra muscle that he didn’t employ before, relying on his reconfigured re-election campaign operation. The organization has reappeared as a nonprofit group ready to engage in legislative fights and grass-roots mobilization to supplement the White House.

The group, Organizing for Action, held a tele-town hall Saturday featuring Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago mayor who was Obama’s White House chief of staff. The event was intended to press the themes Obama has pushed this week. Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, also participated.

“You guys have to stay involved. All of us have to stay involved so when we have these critical votes there’s an intense pressure on those who are trying to obstruct,” Emanuel told Obama supporters participating in the call…

Below the article, the readers are not impressed:

“Phillay” says, “We have three branches of government for a reason: checks and balances. If one branch begins bypassing and overshadowing another, then we are moving towards a dictatorship.”

“Raymond Michael” points out, “Obama supports Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, a city that is bankrupt, totally politically corrupt, with the most oppressive gun laws to keep law abiding citizens from buying a gun to protect themselves, and the highest murder rate in the country due to uncontrolled black gangs. Sounds about right. Chicago is the model for the entire nation under Obama.”

“RobertW” opines, “Bypassing Congress, is this what we really want in a President? I would think even the Liberals who voted for him would be furious with a President who continually circumvents Congress and the Constitution. Can’t you see what is happening?”

“Purge” says, “Does Obama remember the majority of the public was against Obamacare? Why did he insist on passing that if he cares what the public thinks?”

“Jeff” ponders, “I wonder if the Liberals that support this approach will feel the same way if a Republican President were to adopt the same philosophy. Something tells me the word ‘Impeachment’ would be heard a lot.”

“Crylibscry” observes, “little barry out doing the only thing he knows how to do – campaign.”

Meanwhile, World Net Daily has a different take on the “Fireside Hangout”. They report that the participants roasted Obama for 45 minutes, and have the video to prove it.

Blogger Kira Davis asked Obama if he believed handguns should be banned in the U.S., arguing that the “ban on so-called assault rifles” would not fix “the majority of deaths in this country,” since the FBI reports that more fatalities are caused by handguns every year.

“Well, I actually don’t think we should ban handguns,” Obama said. “Keep in mind that what we’re trying to do is come up with a package that protects Second Amendment rights but also makes a meaningful different in reducing violence. We’re not going to eliminate it completely. The package we will put forward will have an impact on handguns by instituting a universal background check system to make sure that people who shouldn’t have any kind of gun aren’t able to purchase them ….”

“When it comes to assault weapons and these high-capacity magazine clips, the concern is, for example, in Aurora, when a young person can go in a theater and shoot off 100 rounds in less than a minute, the potential for large-scale fatalities [is] increased. These are weapons of war.”…

Social media expert Lee Doren reminded Obama that Vice President Joe Biden promised “that people have nothing to worry about in terms of the government coming in to take away their guns.”

“Right,” Obama replied.

However, Doren noted, Obama’s current gun-control proposals would actually confiscate guns legally owned by Americans…

…Obama said he recognizes “there’s a lot of passion” on the issue and “people in rural communities feel differently about these issues than folks in urban communities.”…

On the issue of raising the minimum wage, Obama claimed doing so wouldn’t have an impact on employment but would help low-income workers. In his State of the Union address, Obama proposed hiking the federal minimum wage to $9.

However, Davis challenged that assertion that an increase wouldn’t hurt workers.

She told the president, “I’ve been in the situation where the minimum wage was raised and I had to let go of two employees from a nonprofit because we just couldn’t afford the wages anymore.”

“But as a mom, I wonder how that’s going to affect the bottom line when I go to the grocery store, when I go to get that Starbucks in the morning after dropping my kids off at school, or at the gas pump. How will the minimum wage affect what I buy, day to day, as companies are having to raise their prices to accommodate the minimum wage?”

Obama told Davis, “Corporate profits are at record highs” and an increase will simply “have some modest impact on their profits.”…

The commenters in this article respond similar to the Yahoo! readers.

“TotallyDomestic” says, “I am glad that these people confronted BO on the issues, but they might as well have been singing: Tell me lies…tell me lies…tell me sweet little lies, because when he opens his mouth that is exactly what he is doing!”

“Jazzee” responds to “TotallyDomestic”: “no he finally told the truth…….AR15s are not the problem that is why he wants ALL THE GUNS………..he slipped up here if you ask me proves what he really wants to do wake up America”

“Richard Firth” agrees, “yeah, he always “slips up” and tells the truth when he’s off “prompter.” Why he think he can have an interview and continue to lie when he doesn’t have the training wheels on is hilarious. Actually, I’m glad he’s so arrogant, every once in a while he really IS transparent.”

“ecoplastican” asks, “AR15′s, as a militia weapon pose a greater threat to an invading force. So why would our “federal government” not want us to protect ourselves from an invading force while they chop away at our national defense?”



Are We Sure We Have A President?

Since November, I haven’t seen much activity from John Fund or True The Vote. These are people who are very concerned about voter fraud and stolen elections. But Fund has a piece now, linked to the Drudge Report, telling us of possible shenanigans in Cincinnati, OH:

The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating 19 possible cases of alleged voter fraud that occurred when Ohio was a focal point of the 2012 presidential election. A total of 19 voters and nine witnesses are part of the probe.

Democrat Melowese Richardson has been an official poll worker for the last quarter century and registered thousands of people to vote last year. She candidly admitted to Cincinnati’s Channel 9 this week that she voted twice in the last election.

A Democrat poll worker. Since you’re reading this blog, I know you have an internet connection. Go to your  favorite search engine and look up Tammany Hall, “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson, Mayor Daly of Chicago, and Al Franken. Take note of what party they all belonged to.

After the 2010 Midterms and the huge 2012 rallies for Mitt Romney, I was admittedly perplexed that Obama and his side made any gains.


According to George Stephanopoulos, Obama’s Big Three Priorities this term are: gun control, gay marriage, and immigration reform. Read the story here.

On Monday, President Obama shared his vision for the next four years with the nation in his second inaugural address. In the speech the president laid out an ambitious agenda for the next four years and there’s been a lot of talk about how much can actually be accomplished. He touched on a series of issues including climate change, immigration reform, economic inequality and gay rights- becoming the first president in modern history to talk about gay rights in an inaugural speech.

I don’t have a problem with same-sex marriage as long  as it doesn’t happen before an altar.

I’m behind immigration reform if it means fighting the crime on our Southern border (who am I kidding- Fast and Furious, anyone?).

As for gun control, I recall a quote by Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamomoto: “You cannot invade the Mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass”.

It’s good to know these are the American President’s priorities while North Korea is testing missiles.