Previous month:
November 2017
Next month:
January 2018

Leaving By the Fastest Means Possible

"Hi, this is Ned Naive, your new chief meteorologist at TV5. Since my family and I have moved into this community, we have been overwhelmed by your warm welcome!

"Now I see why. I had no idea it could get so ridiculously cold up here! This is obscene. You couldn't pay me enough to stick out this gig. Better to forecast weather in Antarctica.

"Why anyone would willingly live in a place like thisis beyond me!"

"I'm leaving on a jet plane...I don't think that I'll be back again...oh Lord, I can't wait to go." First thing in the morning. By the fastest means possible.
 
Jet plane


photo: AFmil

 


There Has to Be a Limit to Insolence

Either Malachi had sulky kids or all sulky kids have read Malachi. How else can you explain his style of writing?

Everything is a challenge. Malchi is the last Bible book – a short job of just four chapters:

“I have shown love to you people,” says Jehovah. But you say: “How have you shown us love?”

And if I am a master, where is the fear due me?’ Jehovah of armies says to you priests who are despising my name.” But you say: “How have we despised your name?

“‘By presenting polluted food on my altar.’ ‘And you say: “How have we polluted you?”’

“You have made Jehovah weary with your words. But you say, ‘How have we made him weary?’

Return to me, and I will return to you,” says Jehovah of armies. But you say: “How are we supposed to return?”

“Will a mere human rob God? But you are robbing me.” And you say: “How have we robbed you?”

“Your words against me have been strong,” says Jehovah. And you say: “How have we spoken against you among ourselves?”

Enough already! Everything is challenged! Everything is hurled back in his face.

Malachi is the last book of the Hebrew scriptures. Just for kicks, turn the page. Find yourself in the gospels and roll that attitude onto Mary, mother of Jesus. (Luke 1:26-28)

"In her sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to…Mary. And coming in, the angel said to her: “Greetings, you highly favored one, Jehovah is with you.”

“In what way is he with me?” she shoots back.
“Forget it!” comes the reply. “There is my servant Ethel. She’ll do fine.”

I mean, there has to be a limit to insolence.

Geishaboy500

photo: geishaboy500


It Is Fake News! People, Can't We Just Move On?

Hollywood bought my proposal and now my fame is assured! I have been trying to break in as a writer for years.

The movies that end with the whistleblower testifying before IMPORTANT people and the mighty press finally publishing THE TRUTH - foiling the villains who have been raising mayhem throughout the plotline trying to prevent that from happening? All those movies are ridiculously dated and must be rewritten and I have convinced the entertainment industry that I am the man for the job.

It is a piece of cake - it requires just an addendum that can be attached to all films.

The morning after, whoever has been fingered says: "It is Fake News! People, can we just move on?" No harm done.

Barnstar_Whistleblower

photo: Barnstar Whistleblower


Sometimes God Strikes Them With Hemorrhoids

It appears that the St. Petersburg branch facility confiscated by the government from Jehovah's Witnesses will be awarded to a medical research group, reports Vademec.ru. It is worth $15 million dollars.

It is not the same, but when the Philistines made off with the ark, they ended up with hemorrhoids. No, it is not likely to happen. A branch building is not the ark. But one can always dream.

The one conceivably valid reason for banning the New World Translation in Russia is that it employs the word "piles" at 1 Samuel 5:6 - a euphemism. What in the world are piles? It is in no other translation that I can see. Nor does the NWT avoid unpleasantries elsewhere. I can't figure it out.

The American Standard Version says God smote them with "tumors." The King James Version says "emerods."

The old Wycliffe Bible removes all doubt: "Forsooth the hand of the Lord was made grievous upon [the] men of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and he smote Ashdod and the coasts thereof in the privier part of [the] buttocks/in the more privy part of their tail ends."

Should they stock Preparation H in the new medical building? And will the move come back to bite Russia? It certainly bites us. It has been observed that it provides a powerful caution to anyone wanting to invest there. Aggravate the government and they will take your property.


Frothing Mad Over Out of Control Child Sexual Abuse

Here is a 14 year-old girl who sexted an explicit picture of herself to her boyfriend via Snapchat - and he spread it about widely. Guys will do things like that and girls should not be dumb.

https://www.rt.com/usa/414031-aclu-girl-selfie-child-porn/

She is looking at 10 years felony jail time for violation of Minnesota's child-porn law. The ACLU spokesperson defending her says this is a "teachable moment" for parents to inform the girl that her actions have consequences. Tell me about it.

It is also a "cautionary tale," the ACLU adds. Yes. It IS cautionary for a 14 year old trying to live in an insane world supplied her by adults that pushes powerful social media tools, a sexually promiscuous culture, and then ten years for making use of them.

Only RT.com picks this story up (besides local media), probably in a quest to embarrass the West, but that is hard to do because the West routinely embarrasses itself yet feels no embarrassment. To the contrary, it parades around in its wisdom. 

Meanwhile – ‘wisdom from the mouth of babes’ – the girl says “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.” Of course. It is a no-brainer. It is not that what she did wasn’t wrong – it is that the entire adult world should be prosecuted ahead of her. That way, there will be no room left in jail for the child.

In a greater context, the story highlights the absolute failure of the world to vanquish pedophilia, which it has declared public enemy #1 - with its frothing take-no-prisoners, pulling-their-hair out frustration over making no dent in the pandemic, and so wildly overswinging to compensate. It is the frenzied carpenter who misses the nail and then furiously hammers ten times more, again missing each time. This is how it is with zealots who see their cause and nothing else – and the world is full of such people.

It mirrors the Arizona law of 2015 criminalizing contact with the private areas of any child under 15 REGARDLESS OF INTENT. Prosecutors did not back down even when it was pointed out that the law criminalizes parents changing diapers. No “sane or reasonable prosecutor” is going to misuse the law that way, they said. That is reassuring, but what about the insane and unreasonable ones? Will the law be repealed? Not easily. Just try repealing it and political enemies will scream you are being soft of pedophiles – no politician dares risk that.

Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses, of all people, get caught in the cross-fire of pedophilia for doing what no other religion attempts to do. Where there are reports of wrongdoing in their midst, they investigate, so as to keep the congregation morally clean – an obligation they feel before God. There is the unfortunate by-product that their name is always attached to pedophiles within their ranks, something that happens nowhere else. No other faith dreams their members should actually apply Christian conduct in their lives. No other faith looks into such things – preach Sunday and be done with it - and thus rarely learn of them. Thus pedophiles, who appear to be every third person on the planet, especially when the statute of limitations is forever, and the 14-year old and folks changing diapers are included, are never ever identified with any religion (unless they are clergy), with but a single exception.

The book I am almost finished with about Witness persecution in Russia will contain individual chapters on all charges made against Witnesses. ‘Pedophilia’ will be one of them, even though the subject did not arise there, strangely. It has arisen most everywhere else and it is only a matter of time there. The Russian embassy to the U.S. recently did mention the topic in a tweet, attempting to justify its ban – the first such mention I have ever seen, despite years of flinging dirt in that country to see what will stick.


She Slammed Me Through a Supporting Wall and the House Caved In

They have jack-hammered the basement to install perimeter drainage. A cement truck backed in to cover up the new piping with cement. There was a backhoe in the front yard tying in the house gutters to the storm sewer.

The pipe delivery truck took down the phone line so I switched to cable internet and the cable truck came the next day. They had to string a new wire from a nearby pole.

By pure coincidence, the furnace truck also arrived for some scheduled maintenance.

The nosy neighbor is absolutely beside herself trying to figure out just what we are having done and how much it is costing us.

"Tell her we had a fight and you slammed me through a supporting wall, causing the house to collapse," I say to my wife. "That ought to satisfy her for awhile."

Collapsed house


Babylon Will Rise Again

What do you do when you spy the woman of wickedness trying to climb out of the ephah jar? (Zech 5:7)

You grab the brazen hussy by the scruff the neck and boot her back down into the jar from where she came. (taking care in these volatile times that you do not get accused of harassment) Then you summon the two with wings to ship her back to Babylon.

Maybe it was a reminder to the Jews who had just come from there to check their own ephah jars - or even their shoes, lest they had tracked something in. 

Incidentally, present at our meeting was an Iraqi man who has responded to the Arabic group. The actual  Babylon means something to him, unlike to anyone else. He says it is the site of a festival each year, with music and food. Also that there is the slogan everyone knows: 'Babylon will rise again.'

Hanging gardens

On Facebook, one of my countless friends said: "Hussein's rebuilt Babylon was smashed to bits in the first gulf war. A Syrian brother told me the local Iranian word on the street was basically "Why did they bomb Disneyland?"

 

If You Are Going to be Unjust, Do It Big Time

I am of the unusual opinion that if you are going to ban Jehovah's Witness activity is Russia, then it is a good thing, not a bad thing, to also ban the New World Translation and seize the branch headquarters building. Each drags in people who might not otherwise care.
 
Human rights people protest when Witness activity is banned, but it is partly offset by: 'well, they ARE a pain and they DO call unannounced at inconvenient times.
 
But when you ban the Bible - even ringleader Dvorkin thought that was going too far. It plainly is a Bible; he doesn't like it, but it plainly is one. His country looks like a nation of goons. He is as if to say: 'we cut them off from U.S. organizational and monitory support. That's enough. Break both their legs and they will die! You don't ban the Bible as well, which only make us look like a country where Fred Flintstone is chief.
 
I say ban it for exactly that reason.
 
The academic community couldn't believe it. The Russian expert witness to the Court, an ex-JW, has an education that "doesn't correspond to anything" (mathematics degree) and she just "copies any sort of nonsense off the internet." She had the court harrumphing that it doesn't say 'Bible' on the cover, but 'Sacred Scriptures,' also that it said Hebrew and Greek Scriptures instead of Old and New Testament. She had them perturbed over its use of the name Jehovah, and then it was pointed out the Russian Orthodox version also uses the name.
 
They got concerned that the Jehovah's Witness Bible doesn't support the Trinity and our people showed them that the Russian Orthodox translation also doesn't support it. The Court is plodding about in matters of which it is completely ignorant, Dvorkin fumed, and it shows painfully.
 
Good. Let the record reflect that.
 
The decision regarding the branch headquarters draws in the potentially much more influential business community. Said the Witness representative:
 
"Of course, we will appeal this decision. It is based on nothing, except the desire of the prosecutor's office to simply seize the property. We did not hear a single legal argument. This is expropriation. Russia encourages foreign business to invest in the country, but what investments can be made if the property is not protected and can be seized at any time?" Injustice
 
I say it is a good thing for them to seize the building. It cannot serve its intended function anyway. Let it serve its new purpose of calling attention to oppression. One Russian news source opined they will ultimately give it back accompanied by huge financial damage penalties. Witnesses will take the matter to the ECHR and also, since the Watchtower Society is American-based, "the American one," whatever that means.
 
If you are going to go unjust, do it big time and make sure everyone knows. The Governing Body saw to it that the initial trial was videotaped in the largest venue possible. That video is widely available. At one point the Russian judge asked the Ministry of Justice whether it had prepared for the trial, so unsupported was their case. In the end, he did what he knew he had to do if he wanted to keep his job, but his interaction with them clearly exposed a sham system, which was repeated at the appeal, repeated again at the trial over the Bible, and again at the hearing to confiscate the branch headquarters.
 
And it was repeated in the case in the imprisonment without trial of Dennis Christensen, the first Witness jailed post-ban, and a Danish citizen. The Ministry of Justice insists he is a dangerous criminal. His last religious act was to preside over a typical Bible study at the Kingdom Hall. His last non-religious act was to build a playground (he is a carpenter) for the children. His second-to-last non-religious act was to take part in a public park cleanup for which the congregation received a certificate of appreciation from the town officials.
 
A lot of people don't like Jehovah's Witnesses - they are a hot-button topic in several ways. But they do know that rule by law and even common sense is a good thing, not a bad thing and when they see it so arbitrarily violated, they get more worked up than they would over Witnesses themselves. #StopJWBan

No Scrapping on My Watch

I don't do the following often, for it is a little mean. I wouldn't do it just on account of a differing point of view. I reserve it for someone obnoxious and condescending from the fundamentalist religious world, someone trying to denigrate the work Witnesses do, someone saying dismissively: "No thanks. I'm Christian." As though they own the word.
 
I reply that only a Christian would do the work I am doing, adding "frankly, I'm a little surprised you're not doing it yourself." Always it vanquishes the smug smile.
 
However, one does not stop there, upon seeing that the blow has landed. Immediately you move on to soften it somehow, perhaps by returning to whatever you were discussing in the first place.
 
I am not thrilled speaking with these ones. If they try to start a fight - and it is always over the Trinity - I deflect. Hopefully I share my verse and leave it at that.
 
When I offered a verse to one of these fellows, he immediately wanted to know my religion. Anyone else I would tell immediately, but to him I acted as though - well, it's rather a personal question, don't you think? I mean, this is the Bible. What is more Christian than to talk about it?
 
Too many of these folks have their scholarship defined by their beliefs, and not the other way around. Too many have had a religious awakening of some sort. How do you tell them that their experience is not theirs? I don't try. If they find what they learned by revelation confirmed in Scripture, they are happy, but they are not unduly put out when they find it is not.
 
Reliably, being saved by faith and not by works will come up. 'Of course,' I reply. 'Everyone knows that. But the works don't hurt, to they? They certainly give us some street cred.'
 
What about "there has been a child born to us...his name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, prince of peace," he challenges. What about it? I reply. Does he think I should have a problem with it? Why should I?
 
He will have to get a little more specific than that if he wants to get into a shoving match. No scrapping on my watch. Wrestler

Crocodiles Eating Straw Just Like Bulls

There are people who say - more people than not - that it is more likely for your dog to pour himself a breakfast bowl of Cheerios than for a lion to eat straw like a bull. They are not really built that way.
 
That's why I like how the brothers didn't go there last night with the God's Kingdom Rules book. Discussing the return of the Jews from Babylonian exile and how they would be encouraged by Isaiah's prophesy about the animals, it said: "The lion would eat straw in the sense that it would not devour the Jews' cattle."
 
They didn't have to do it. They could have said "God will supply them with bales of hay in order to feed the lions."
 
Will it be literal someday? Who knows? But I like that our people can spot a metaphor when they see one. They know (unlike some religionists) that when someone cries crocodile tears, it does not mean that they are a crocodile.
 
Crocodile tears