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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cattle Call with Michael Savage

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Radio Talk Show Host Michael Savage

Recently I spent two days with Michael Savage. OK, I actually only saw him for about ten minutes over the course of two days, the remainder of the time I was camped outside his front door. He made me swear not to say anything until he was thru with me. I did as he requested. Now that I have been released from my obligation, I wanted to share the experience.

This actually all started about six weeks ago. I was surprised to get a personalized invitation complete with a pre-paid parking pass. (We all know what a premium there is on big city parking spaces.) My employer was willing to let me go with pay so I had no excuse not to attend.

I consulted the appropriate website for instructions and reported at 8 AM as requested. I ended up being in a group of 150 folks. The room where Michael held court was so small that we had to enter in two groups of 75. Michael was actually in the room when I entered. He greeted us and then his secretary swore us to secrecy. Michael then dismissed us to wait in the hallway and called in the next group.

My experience was nothing like you see on television or the movies.  Michael was actually statesman like and even tempered. However, his time management skills were not very good. It’s no wonder that he has people to cover for that deficiency.

The cafeteria in the building where he works is a cash only business so at lunch I opted for alternatives within walking distance. (Magic plastic is my currency of choice when traveling.)

The other thing I learned was that he really likes to take Fridays off. I never knew he liked golfing but what else do professionals like him do during the week when they aren’t working.

Michaels’ producer was named Josh and I actually interacted more with him than with Michael. I had flashbacks to my Navy days with all the hurry-up and waiting that I experienced.

As you might have surmised by now, I was not hanging with the radio talk show host but with a superior court judge while auditioning to serve on a jury. Since I was number 144 out of 150, I knew I would not be on the panel.

After the jury gig was concluded, I looked him up on Google. I found that Judge Savage seems willing to throw the book at folks that deserve it. He is best known in the media for his comments on the failures of child protective services.

In a searing condemnation of CPS, the judge recounted repeated failures to save the little girl from months of beatings that eventually killed her and sent her mother and Martin, the mother’s live-in boyfriend, off to prison.

“There is not the slightest evidence in this case that the protection or safety of Valeeya or her brother was ever a priority, or even a significant concern, for the agency or the caseworker charged with their protection”…
http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/20/3849750/sacramento-judge-eviscerates-defendant.html

Judge Savage and I also have a mutual acquaintance; former NFL player Keith Wright. Wright spent several years playing professional football. His last team was the Detroit Lions. Wright was disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the NFL and was attending the MBA program at the University of Phoenix when I met him. A few years later, Wright was sentenced by Judge Savage to life in prison.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Savage sentenced Keith Wright to 114 years to life, plus 120 years and eight months in prison.

Last month, Wright, 32, was convicted by jury of 19 charges, including forcible oral copulation, armed robbery, kidnapping, first -degree burglary, and false imprisonment for a series of crimes last year.

On July 21, Aug.  8, and Aug. 21 of 2011, Wright committed three home invasion robberies in the Natomas area.  Each time, Wright threatened the victims with a firearm, demanding money and property.

During one of the robberies, Wright sexually assaulted and kidnapped the female victim, forcing her to drive to two different banks and withdraw money.

Wright was determined to be a suspect in the Aug. 8 robbery after it was discovered he exchanged rare foreign currency stolen during that robbery at a currency exchange business. He was linked to the Aug. 21 robbery and sexual assault through DNA analysis.

Property from each of the victims was found during a search of Wright’s home.
http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/11/30/former-nfl-player-receives-life-sentence-for-natomas-crimes/

Michael Savage, the judge, looks more like Sam Waterston from the TV show Law and Order than the radio talk show host. I found an internet article stating that Savage is also a long distance runner.

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Actor Sam Waterston from NBC’s Law and Order
My brief time with him was interesting but I’m glad to be back at work.

Posted by william on 07/24 at 03:29 PM
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Proposal to Illustrate National Debt

Many people have tried to reduce the astronomical size of the national debt to something that Rush’s “low information voters” can understand. Many such attempts revolve around trying to equate our nation’s debt to household budgets and credit cards but this doesn’t really do the whole discussion justice.

I wish to advocate a different approach. Let’s embrace the largeness of the debt and explain it in a way that regular Americans can understand it. Three levels of debt that need to be illustrated are national, state, and local government.

I would like to see the debt displayed similarly to this map of 2012 election results by county.
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from http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/

My idea is to display how much American real estate would need to be sold to the Chinese or whoever in order to pay down the debt. The map would need four colors, one color for each level of government debt and a fourth color to show what is leftover. If you really want to illustrate the point, you could do two maps, one current debt and the other all the unfunded obligations that government has made.

For dramatic effect, start the map on the western shores of the Mississippi River and let’s see if anything remains of “flyover country”. I think it would be an interesting exercise. Perhaps we could literally show that the government has mortgaged the future of our citizens in a way even “baby-boomers” could understand.

Posted by william on 07/23 at 03:52 PM
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Greig Supporter Quits CRA

Today Craig Alexander went public with a letter stating that he resigned from all the CRA Board and leadership posts that he currently holds.

… my resignation as a Vice President that go beyond my no longer carrying that title. I also resign from all committees of the CRA Board of Directors including the CRA Special Litigation Committee…

I also resign as the Chairman of the OC CRA President’s Council. I resign as the Chairman of the OC CRA Elections Committee and from the committee itself.

Craig is an attorney that has been involved in CRA for many years. Recently he has found himself on the losing end of several votes. At the April 2013 Convention, he was a backer of Celeste Greig for CRA President and more recently, he tried to thwart the de-chartering of the Republican Assembly of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley. Once it was clear that RAGSCV would be de-chartered, he and fellow attorney Chris Mays tried to bifurcate the issue so the territory for this club would still exist and allow for a reconstituted group to take its place. This was subsequently slapped down by the CRA Board on its July 4th vote.

In the process of de-chartering this second Santa Clarita group—which was chartered over the top of an existing club—the Sergeant at Arms revealed that he was aware that this second Santa Clarita group was created as punishment because the existing club in Santa Clarita did not support Celeste Greig in her Presidential contest versus Karen England. Reportedly, had things gone according to plan, this smaller group would eventually be given much if not all of the Santa Clarita area at the expense of the larger group. However, the plan never moved on to that stage.

As documented elsewhere, Celeste Greig and Steve Frank were among the ring leaders of this plan that was executed in 2011. At the special CRA Board meeting to de-charter RAGSCV on June 22, 2013, the Sergeant at Arms stated he knew about this conspiracy back in 2011 and not until later did he decide that this was wrong. That is why in 2013 he was working to correct this injustice to the existing RA Chapter in Santa Clarita.

The irony is that this unpunished confession by the Sergeant at Arms—which Craig Alexander claims lead to his resign from the Board—would not have been revealed if Alexander had not tried to derail the proceedings at the June Special Board meeting. The Sergeant at Arms felt that without his revelation to the Board that the vote to de-charter the fraudulent unit might fail. He spoke to get others at the meeting to understand the seriousness of the wrong that had been committed. In 2011, he stood silently on the sidelines and did not object but now he needed to speak-out to right the wrong that he had been secretly laboring to correct.

Here is a portion of Alexander’s email from June 30th:

During the board meeting we were discussing and debating the topic of the proposed de-chartering of the Republican Assembly of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley (RAGSCV).  RAGSCV had been created in July 2011.  As it turned out there were irregularities with the unit’s creation and territory as it impinged upon SCVRA’s territory.  There were many facts to sort out and I was also concerned about the manner in which the review of this situation had been conducted.  It would be fair to say that the meeting was contentious and I (and others) asked more than one pointed question of the people involved on both sides.

During that discussion Sgt. At Arms Aaron Park (who was in favor of the de-chartering of the newer RAGSCV unit) stood up and told the entire board that he had lied to the board about the newer unit that was being considered for de-chartering.  That after the April 2011 CRA convention, that he and two other Board members (who are no longer on the CRA board) decided to promote and create the new unit on top of the older unit as punishment for the SCVRA’s support of another candidate for CRA President during the 2011 convention.  Vice President Steve Macias posted this on his blog post:

“After over an hour of lively debate before the board, Sergeant-at-Arms Aaron Park stepped forward to lend clarity to his role in the chartering of the RAGSCV. Aaron explained that the charter was intentionally pushed through against the bylaws for “political revenge.” Aaron elaborated that the new group was part of a plot to retaliate against the SCVRA’s refusal to support President Celeste Greig. “Bob Hauter, Steve Frank, and I lied,” confessed Park. “We perpetrated a lie, we lied to the board of directors. We knew what we were doing.”

 To date, Park is the only one to come forward.”  (http://www.stevemacias.com/end-of-cra-drama/)

Like everyone else at that meeting, I was shocked by these statements.  Right after he made these statements, I asked Aaron publicly if he was tendering his resignation from the board.  Mr. Park did not offer his reisgation.  We then voted on the de-chartering issue.

 

Alexander then spent the rest of his June 30 email trying to make Aaron Park the issue instead of the fraudulent CRA chapter. His lawyerly tactic was that a vote to give the territory formerly held by the de-charter RAGSCV back to the older Santa Clarita RA was somehow a vote to support Park. He asked Board members that agreed with him to switch their vote to “Abstain” and let him know via email that we agreed with him.

Thus I would ask of you two things:
1.  1. Cast your vote to Rohit Joy to ABSTAIN on the vote for the SCVRA units territory;
2.  2.  Send only to me a separate reply to this message if you agree or disagree with my conclusions about Mr. Park needing to be off the CRA Board of Directors and off these committee assignments.

Alexander’s resignation letter today was again about Park. His four page letter can be summarized thusly, “if the Board won’t go after Park then I quit”.

Were Alexander some sort of innocent and disinterested party in all this then I might be more inclined to agree with him; however, he is not. Craig Alexander has been up to his armpits in intrigue at various times in CRA.

What? Political groups have intrigue? That’s a surprise? … NOT.

Craig has been involved in CRA Black Ops for a long time. He hasn’t been willing to volunteer the information but the “Sith Lord” has the goods on him should it come to that.

My point is not that I can play tit-for-tat with the best of them but that this bickering has to end. Someone has to be the first to be wronged and not retaliate. There is no such thing as “perfect justice” in this life. God is the one that balances all things at the end.

How does an unending quest for purity—be it ideological or ethical—help to grow a group? It can’t. We are all human. We are often wrong and wrong others. We act with only partial information and usually see only our perspective or see it as best anyway.

Somewhere, somehow, we need to turn a corner and adopt a different paradigm of doing things. Yes, Aaron was wrong and did a bad thing or at least acted badly. However, he is one of the few folks in CRA that has owned-up to his actions. Greig, Frank and others just threw a tantrum then picked-up their stuff and left. To this day, they admit no fault.

I know Aaron. He is often full of bluster and bravado. You know where he stands on any issue. I think he means well but sometimes he acts with his emotions and not his intellect. (Don’t we all?) Aaron is trying to influence the political process and on occasion does make mistakes. Nevertheless, he has a good track record and access to information this is often not public knowledge.

Unlike Mr. Alexander, I don’t want to call a special meeting of the CRA Board to throw Aaron out on his butt. Yes, I think Aaron needs more scrutiny in the future and I fully expect him to get it. Aaron is one person on a Board that can number over 100 people.

To me, the difference between Alexander and Park is easily distinguished.

On numerous occasions, Celeste Greig and her minions (including Craig Alexander) failed to follow the rules. In difficult situations, Celeste typically used an ends justifies the means approach. I don’t recall one instance where Alexander publicly called-out Greig for her lawlessness or cavalier attitude towards corporate bylaws and ethical behavior. As a result of the silence of Alexander and others, Greig caused much damage to not only the CRA but the Republican brand in California. At least Park saw the error of his ways and worked to correct the excesses of Greig’s antinomian behavior.

John Briscoe is trying to put an end to past wrongs and wrongdoing and start fresh so CRA can finally begin to grow. I think Briscoe should be given the chance to lead. I think Board members from Greig’s time as President—even Aaron Park—should be allowed on the Board, just not as a majority.

Posted by william on 07/15 at 07:30 PM
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ed Prieto: Groping for Justice

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Is it me, or have you noticed that often the difference between the crooks and the cops is the badge? Not to say that there aren’t some good folks in law enforcement but there are some bad apples too. One such apple that I have crosses political swords with before is current Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto.

Prior to his gig as Sheriff, Ed used to work for the California Highway Patrol. He was an instructor at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento. During his time as an instructor, he was able to screen female recruits and upgrade to a new wife.

Ed is not the only CHP instructor that I am acquainted with to trade a ring for a fling. Our society has a term for people like Ed that use their position as a supervisor to get sexual favors from those under them.

Anyway, after the Academy, Ed decided to run for sheriff in Yolo County. As a result, his first political fundraiser was in Los Angeles. No joke, I think I still have the campaign finance reports. I remember because one of his first contributions was from an abortion clinic in East Los Angeles. Why a sheriff candidate would accept money from anybody living over 400 miles away is peculiar but what nexus is there between abortions in East Los Angeles and a rural law enforcement guy? (I will let the reader speculate any possible connection.)

Ed and I had a talk at the Yolo County Fair the summer he first campaigned. He was staunchly defending Bill Clinton as news of Monica’s famous blue dress was helping to inject “a Lewinsky” into the public lexicon. Being of a similar background to the President, I understood his desire to defend Clinton.

With the Democrat machine in Davis backing him, Ed won the election and has been sheriff ever since.

Ed has a documented track record of being morally challenged so it was no surprise that he has been hit with three harassment lawsuit in two years. What is surprising is that it is his employees, the sheriff deputies that are having issues with him.

Lawsuit #1 Sexual Harassment of Deputy

Robin Gonzalez claims in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that the blatant conduct has continued for almost her entire 11 years under Prieto’s command.

The uninvited and unwanted attention has included hugging and kissing her, cradling her buttocks in his hands, pinching other parts of her body, lewd stares, repeated observations regarding her appearance and weight, and remarks laced with sexual innuendo, according to Gonzalez.

At one point, Gonzalez states in the civil rights suit, Prieto told her she could continue in her position as an investigator if she performed oral sex on him.
http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/11/5559198/female-deputys-suit-accuses-yolo.html#storylink=cpy

Lawsuit #2 Sexual Harassment of Deputy

Victoria Zetwick, a corrections sergeant and veteran of 24 years in the Sheriff’s Department, alleges that Prieto embraced and kissed her more than 100 times in the 14 years since he became sheriff.

The suit, filed Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, names Prieto and Yolo County as co-defendants and seeks undisclosed damages, claiming “mental anguish and emotional distress.”

“Each time was awkward, unsolicited and unwelcome,” the suit states, adding later that Prieto acted with “impunity and increasing boldness” and was unfit to serve as sheriff.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/31/4950072/hed-here.html

Lawsuit #3 Racial Harassment of Deputy

A Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy has accused Sheriff Ed Prieto of using racially insensitive language during a departmental staff meeting last fall.

Deputy Darrel Johnson told KCRA that during a meeting with a number of deputies and other high-ranking officials in the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department in September of 2011, the Sheriff singled him out using possibly racially inflammatory names such as “gravy” and “dark one.”

Deputy Johnson, who turns 43 next week, is a 14-year veteran peace office who has served the past seven years as a sheriff’s deputy with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department where he is currently employed.
http://davisvanguard.org/index.php?option=com_content&id=5038:deputy-files-suit-against-sheriff-prieto-alleging-racially-insensitve-names-and-hostile-work-environment&Itemid=100

Being a Democrat officeholder in California clearly insulates officials from the rules that the rest of us are expected to follow. Prieto is unfit to be Yolo Sheriff. His justification is that he has behaved this way his whole law enforcement career so why should he change now? I hope he resigns and get out of law enforcement, but I suspect that he will cling to power until it is taken from him. At best, perhaps he will decide not to run for re-election.

On the other hand, with all this publicity, perhaps Ed could get employment as a TSA screener. He certainly has a feel for the job.

Posted by william on 07/11 at 06:58 PM
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dave Bauscher Hero or Heretic

Recently, I ran across a website created by Rev. Dave Bauscher. The link was via an article or thinly veiled advertisement—it’s hard to tell which sometimes—on World Net Daily. Bauscher claims on http://aramaicnt.com/ that much of the New Testament was first written in Aramaic and then translated into Greek. He argues that this is especially true of the Gospels since it is unlikely that fishermen would know the intricacies of Greek when it would be a second language to them.

Some of his claims seem to be plausible; however, if true, they would throw out the conventional wisdom of most of Christendom.  Throughout Church history, Greek has always been understood to be the original language of all the New Testament. This belief can be traced to the second century and Greek manuscripts go back further than that. Bauscher believes his ideas so much that he has created an Aramaic/English translation of the New Testament and portions of the Old. 

Whether Bauscher is correct in his ideas concerning Aramaic, it is his theology that causes me to raise the red flag. On the website—which lacks a Home button—there is a tab titled Research. Two articles gave me pause “Beginning and The End” and “Trinity in the Tanak”.

In “Trinity in the Tanek”, Bauscher describes an incident when God appeared to Abraham in Genesis chapter 18. In discussing this “Theophany” in the Old Testament, Bauscher seems to depart from Orthodox Christianity.

Notice first the address of Abraham starts with The Name, “Jehovah”. Abraham recognizes that Jehovah has come to him in flesh and utters The Most Holy Name. Three plural words designate Jehovah in verse 2: “Three”, “Men” & “Them”. Abraham also uses two second person singular pronouns, which I have rendered in Elizabethan English: “thy”, found twice in verse three. The verb, … ‘avar’- “pass away” is singular. These three singular predicates of Jehovah declare the unity and uniqueness of Jehovah as One indivisible Godhead which acts and lives as One, nor is there another Elohim, our Creator and Salvation. Verse three reveals Jehovah as Three Men in One Godhead.
Page 7 (emphasis in original)

The phrase “Three Men in One Godhead” sounded familiar to me. My first thought was “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.” Doctrines and Covenants 130:22.

Bauscher seems to have left the Christian reservation and is heading toward Mormonism or something embracing three gods.

Later in the article Bauscher writes:

The scripture is plain here and speaks for itself. God is Three Persons united in Name, nature, purpose, mind, word and action. Each of The Three Persons bears the same Name and is Divine and equally worthy of worship. It is clear that the Massoretes changed YHWH to Adonai four times in chapter 18 and once in chapter 19:18 & in over 100 other places, in an attempt to eradicate scriptural testimony to The Trinity in the Christian era. At least their commitment to preserving the integrity of scripture compelled them to keep records of every change they made to the text, in the margins of certain Hebrew Bible manuscripts.

He leaves me wondering, what is his view of the Trinity and God being Three Persons?

In his article, “Beginning and The End”, he again departs from classic Christianity. In one stroke of the pen, he overturns all the big theological ideas of the New Testament including Justification, Sanctification, and the purpose of the Crucifixion. Is he back to three gods, Modalism or something else?

It is as if all of God, eternity, heaven, earth, time and space were focused at once in one focal point on the Christ of the cross, where all fullness dwelt- and died! Every death deserves to be mourned, even the death of a sparrow; here is the death of all things living, yea, the death of the full Godhead and all Heaven-angels and saints, cherubim, seraphim, archangel and holy innocents. Here was the end of all things with the death of Him Who is the End of all things; the Life and Light of the world was going out, and of necessity, with Him Who was their LIFE and Heart, The Spirit of Holiness and The Father of our Lord also died!

Surely the scripture says Christ died. Surely it says He is God; therefore He Who is God died. “I and My Father are One”, said He. If the Son died, then The Oneness was destroyed (“Jehovah thy God, Jehovah is One” Deut. 6:4). Then was the Godhead ended in Christ’s death.

Another way of verifying this most radical truth is from the vantage of the love of God. According to Jesus, there is no greater love than this: That a man lay down His life for his friend.

If God The Father never gave His life, then every man who has done so has greater love than God The Father!

Can this doctrine of God standing and requiring the death of His only Son stand? I say, “Never!” John 3:16 gives one side of the picture of God’s love; 1 John 3:16 gives the other: “In this we see the love of God: He laid down His Life for us…”

You see, God went with Jesus. He said, “I am never alone; My Father is in Me, and I in Him.” We know God never left His Son. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto His Majesty.” And what is His majesty, if not this Love of God that surpasses knowledge? If He has all power, knowledge, dominion and Worship and has not love, He is nothing! (See 1 Cor. 13)

Our Lord cried out on the cross:”My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me”? Where was His Father? Where was the answer? What did the Father say?

There was no answer. How could a loving Father not answer His beloved Son? It cannot be so. “Forsaken me”- How could a loving Father Who is by nature and from eternity One and inseparable from His eternal Only Begotten and beloved Son, how could He forsake Him? It were impossible for Him to do so, by nature and by love. So what could possibly wrench such a cry from the lips of Him Who spoke Life and Light, Joy, Hope, Love and Glory into the cosmos? He Whose mighty word created and upholds all worlds- He roared from Jerusalem to the ends of time and space and into the infinite reaches of The eternal Heaven of heavens; it shook the pillars of existence; whatever existed heard that cry from Him Who said ,”If these should hold their peace, the very rocks would cry out.”

All who heard, if any could hear that and live, must have wondered as do I: How can this One pray so with such despair and not receive answer? Why and how could God forsake Him, of all persons? He could not. There is only one conclusion to draw. Draw it!

God was dead! The Son also was not. The Spirit had breathed His last breath. The prophecies of the end had all come upon us. Isaiah and Amos had written of this dark consummation and despair that would crawl over the whole world like black death; the earth would quake to its foundations; the sun would darken at noon; all joy would die; Jehovah would roar out of Jerusalem; the earth and Heaven would dissolve and fall apart.

All Death deserves mourning, yet is it nothing to you that pass by? Our God, The Triune Glory and Desire of all nations is dead! Bow down and mourn and weep, for the Light of all is gone out!
Pages 2 & 3 (emphasis added)

Walter Martin wrote, “The Doctrine of the Trinity teaches that within the unity of the one Godhead there are three separate persons who are coequal in power, nature, and eternity.”  Instead Bauscher seems to have a confused version of Modalism in mind.

Modalism, also called Sabellianism, is the unorthodox belief that God is one person who has revealed himself in three forms or modes in contrast to the Trinitarian doctrine where God is one being eternally existing in three persons. According to Modalism, during the incarnation, Jesus was simply God acting in one mode or role, and the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was God acting in a different mode. Thus, God does not exist as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time. Rather, He is one person and has merely manifested himself in these three modes at various times. Modalism thus denies the basic distinctiveness and coexistence of the three persons of the Trinity.
http://www.theopedia.com/Modalism

In Christian theology, Jesus was the God/Man and died in our place to satisfy the justice of God the Father. Bauscher has created some heretical alternate reality where this transaction never took place.

Below is an example of the Trinity in the Scriptures. Note that each Person of the Godhead is acting in the Resurrection of Christ. Also, nowhere is there any indication that God the Father or God the Holy Spirit died on the cross with Jesus. The writer of Hebrews clearly did not believe this when he described Jesus and both Sacrifice and High Priest. Paul called Jesus the propitiation for our sins. This is never stated of either the Father or Spirit.

The Resurrection of Christ. A final instance of Trinitarian emphasis is that of the resurrection of our Lord. In John 2 Christ declared to the Jews, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (v. 19). John hastens to tell us that Jesus was speaking of the resurrection of His earthly body (v. 21). Other Scriptures, however, state that Christ was raised by the agency of the Holy Spirit (e.g., Rom. 8:11). And Peter explicitly states that the Father raised the Son (Acts 3:26). So, again, God’s Word affirms the triune nature of God. We may not fully understand the great truth of the Trinity. However, we can see the rays of light which emanate from God’s Word and which teach us that, in a mysterious sense beyond the comprehension of man’s finite mind, God is one in nature but three in person.
Walter Martin http://www.waltermartin.com/articles.html#doctrine

Finally, Bauscher is described on his website as a retired minister but never gives us his denominational affiliation or any resume of theological instruction. In short, he does not admit that he is accountable to anyone for his statements or beliefs. Some threads on Google show that he is a former Baptist that struck out on his own.

My conclusion is that Dave Bauscher has left Christianity to pursue some theological tangents that lead away from the Cross of Christ. He has embraced another Jesus and another Gospel. Let the buyer of his Bible translation beware.

Posted by william on 07/10 at 03:12 PM
Christianity & ReligionPermalink

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Tea Party & CRA Preemptive Strike on Doug Ose

Former Congressman Doug Ose—who is considering entry into the CD-7 race—was the recipient of a preemptive strike from a coalition of leaders from Tea Party groups and local CRA chapters.


Below is the text of their letter:

It has come to our attention that you are considering running for Congress in California’s 7th Congressional District. We have also heard that you do not want to see a “bloody primary” for the Republican nomination.

We agree. That’s why we are writing today to encourage you not to run in CA-07.

While we respect your commitment to public service, your record in Congress would leave us no choice but to actively oppose your candidacy should you decide to run.

As you know, your record in Congress was not conservative. Below are just a few examples of your Leftist stand on issues that conservatives find unbelievable from a professing “Republican.”

•    You were a strong supporter of earmark spending and voted for billions in earmarks during your tenure in Congress. (Vote #360, 2000; Vote #631, 2004).

•    You also showed hostility to reducing the tax burden on American taxpayers by joining with Democrats to try and reduce tax relief. (Vote #75, 1999).

•    You even voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens. (Vote #439, 2004).

These are just a few of the votes that give us concern about your record and more importantly, how you would vote should you somehow get elected to Congress. It’s vitally important that Ami Bera is defeated next year. But it’s even more important that the voters elect a Congressman committed to protecting taxpayers and reducing the size and cost of the federal government. You are not that man.

Your record indicates you do not share the principles we hold dear: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. That’s why, should you decide to run, we intend to unite to oppose your candidacy and ensure that the Republican nominee is someone who is committed to fighting for these values.

Sincerely,

http://elkgrove.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/local-conservatives-urge-ose-to-stay-out-of-the-elections

I am surprised that such a letter has surfaced this early in the 2014 election cycle. Traditionally, announcing candidacy happens in the fall or winter. The earlier time frame is due to the top two election that has replaced political primaries in June and trying to deter candidates from getting in the race by stuffing war chests with campaign loot early so others will be less interested in jumping into the race. 

Of the Republicans interested in CD-7, I know Ted Gaines is out, Elizabeth Emken is in. Igor Birman will likely announce in August or September and Doug Ose is testing his level of support.

I view Ose as the proverbial 800 pound gorilla if he gets in. He has enough personal wealth to be a formidable candidate. His previous incumbency is also an advantage. I think he could siphon votes from Ami Bera; something the other two will have difficulty doing. In previous campaigns Ose has proven to be a street-fighter and he will turn Emken and Birman into roadkill if he can.

In his previous time in Congress, Ose and I have had been both opponents and allies. I rarely agree with him on social issues but I regard him as a man of his word and can count on him to have his deeds match his words. Were he to get in the race, Ose would make it to November. I think he can beat Bera.

I have heard Birman and Emken both speak and I think they will have difficulty connecting with the “low information” voters which are legion in this district. Birman channels Ronald Reagan very well but to this self absorbed generation themes like freedom and liberty will have little traction at the ballot box. Emken has one issue, Obamacare, but since this is the law of the land in California with or without President Obama, I think she will lack a broad enough appeal to a populace that thinks healthcare and education should be free to the masses and paid for by someone else.

If Birman’s boss, Tom McClintock, were to actively campaign for him that would be a game-changer. However, McClintock typically avoids helping to elect fellow Republicans. Occasionally Tom will give someone an endorsement but he is not known for providing campaign resources. Just ask Dan Lungren or Peter Tateishi or any other candidates in Tom’s backyard. McClintock is missing in action when it comes to California politics. Tom has the right Conservative words but I have yet to see the deeds. Will the fact that Ose tried to run against him be enough for McClintock to engage in the race? Unfortunately for Birman, probably not.

Posted by william on 07/09 at 06:35 PM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Monday, July 08, 2013

The Lone Ranger Movie

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As a kid I used to watch The Lone Ranger TV show starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. The show originally aired from 1949 to 1957. (Yes, I watched it in re-runs.) Prior to that, the program had a very long run as a radio program—1933 to 1954. Wikipedia has a good article on the topic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lone_Ranger

Last weekend I went to see the new Disney version with Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp in the title roles. I had read that Despicable Me 2 was creaming it at the box office. I was shocked to read that the film cost over 250 million. I mean, it’s a movie about two guys that ride horses not X-Wing Fighters.

Between the information that I had read and the fact that Depp is almost as odd as Tim Burton, I was not sure what I was going to see. The team that had made Disney’s Pirates films was behind this version of The Lone Ranger. Was this group the right ones to take on the iconic Ranger?

There is a claim that movies often tell you more about who made them and what their views are than what the movie is about; even if it is set in another time period. This film is another such example. John Reid (a.k.a. The Lone Ranger) is portrayed as metrosexual that is afraid of using force or fighting for what is right. Only the coaxing of Tonto (played by Depp) and circumstances force the Ranger to slowly embrace his destiny. The writers of this movie should have read at least one book by Louis L’Amour and watched a few episodes of the old TV show.

Johnny Depp was given latitude to improvise and try to be funny, but his back-story was a repudiation of the portrayal given by Jay Silverheels. Basically the only reason that he hung-out with the Ranger was that the Indians would not have him because he was mentally unbalanced. In Ranger lore, Tonto was saved by the Ranger when both were kids and later Tonto was able to save the Ranger. They had a bond based on the virtues of honor and self sacrifice. Both men represented what was best and operated from a code of ethics that guided their conduct.

The Lone Ranger also suffered from another flaw. This is yet another offering from a large media conglomerate that portrayed all other for profit corporations as evil. Why does Hollywood portray corporations as evil but people are all just various shades of gray? The Ranger lived in a world of black and white; right and wrong. Railroad bashing seemed like a lazy foe from writers that were unwilling to have bad guys be the villains instead of pawns for evil corporate interests.

Also, the army as allies of the bad guys is not consistent with the universe where the Ranger lived. The Army can be delayed or even deceived but for them to willingly be allied with bad guys seems a violation of the established cannon of the golden age of westerns.

This movie reminded me of the Green Hornet movie a few years ago. It was a bad attempt to introduce an iconic hero to the 21st century moviegoer. Ironically, the creators of The Lone Ranger also created the Green Hornet. Per the Wikipedia article above, the Ranger was actually an Uncle of the Hornet.

Lastly, I doubt that few people under forty have ever seen the Clayton Moore/Jay Silverheels portrayal of the Ranger. Disney wrongly assumed that everyone knew who the Ranger was and had a favorable image of him.

The reality was that this movie was not a salute to the Ranger but a parody. The writing was weak and formulaic. I really wanted to like this movie; however, my advice, save your money and catch it on Netflix.

Posted by william on 07/08 at 02:22 PM
BloggingPermalink

Monday, July 01, 2013

Microsoft Kills TechNet

Today, Microsoft announced that it was terminating its TechNet subscription service. It will stop new subscribers and renewals on August 31st.

I have periodically been a subscriber since the 1990’s. I still have the old library of TechNet CDs that I collected every month back in the old days. I have found it an economical way to keep up on the latest innovations in software and maintain some proficiency on my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. I will be sad to see it go away.

I wonder why MSFT is making this change. Is this part of a move for MSFT as they move from a PC software company to hardware and tablets? Does this mean that the licensing model will be changing to an Adobe subscription model? Is this a loss leader in their eyes? Is everything moving the “the cloud”?

Posted by william on 07/01 at 06:27 PM
TechnologyPermalink
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