Friday, April 29, 2016

The Good Mother of Yesteryear Verses Good Mothers Today


TODAY'S HELICOPTER PARENTS MAKE CHILDREN THE ETERNAL CENTER OF ATTENTION. It's a long haul from the way most of us in my generation were brought up. John Rosemond has been my hero for years; his advice is simple, straightforward and filled with wisdom and humor. Benign neglect and standing on your own two feet are unknown, seemingly cruel commodities in today's culture, yet it makes all the difference in how children turn out and whether they can handle the toughness life throws at them. As Rosemond says, when reality bites, it often has very sharp teeth.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Mini-Bang Theory: Flash of Light At Conception


 IS THERE ANY NEWS MORE STUNNING THAN SCIENTISTS ACTUALLY SEEING AND DOCUMENTING A FLASH OF LIGHT AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION?  It's not particularly surprising, but nonetheless stunning.  In keeping with the Big Bang Theory, it appears that all creation---ALL creation-- begins in the Mind of God the Creator followed by a bang and flash of light for all living creation.  How elegant.

Michael Walsh writes at PJMedia about it.  It's all miraculous and mysterious of course, but amazing that we are now able to view the light-filled miracle of life's first beginning and the Hand of God.

PERSONAL UPDATE: I have sold my condo of several decades after settling my lawsuit successfully. Even so, the developer destroyed our quality of life, privacy and large trees which will not come back in our lifetimes. So I sold my place to the first person who saw it at full price, as is. Over the next two or so weeks, I am in the process of moving and busier than 10 switch engines. For now, I am storing my furniture etc. outside Nashville, continuing to live at a good friend's country home outside White Bluff, Tennessee, as I have for the past two years, and will be going to Jackson Hole as soon as I can get away after Memorial Day....God willing.

Change is both scary and exciting but continued growth is unavoidable and the path to aliveness and adventure, so I'm managing my anxieties for the sake of this grand move and the next chapter of my life. Will be posting here at Webutante sporadically as I can.

 But enough about me... Thank you for coming by!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sunday Reflection

THUS [CHRISTIAN] MISSION ... MAKES THE BOLD, fundamental assertion that the recipient culture is the authentic destination of God’s salvation promise ... Paul [answered] the combined demands of Jewish particularity in seeking messianic consolation and of Greek expectation of philosophical emancipation by affirming the Cross. ... He writes to the church at Corinth: “For the Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:22-24) The gospel is thus recognized by both Jew and Greek as [both a challenge to and] a confirmation of their respective particularity ...

— Lamin Sanneh

SOURCE: Redeemer Pres, Manhattan

ROD DREHER: Gods and Monsters

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunday Past--Gospel of the Upside Down Kingdom

ANOTHER WONDERFUL VIDEO FROM THE BIBLE PROJECT. Worth watching at least once and maybe several times.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

15 Reasons Not to Trust the Latest Nutritional Study

IT'S GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO BE ONLINE FOR LONG WITH  MORE AND MORE GOING ON IN MY LIFE OFFLINE.  I like it and feel my life is changing to a new chapter in so many ways.

Even so I will still post from time to time.

Here's a piece from Mark's Daily Apple on 15 reasons not to trust the latest nutritional studies.
 In my opinion, it's not just the newest nutritional studies we should take with a grain of sand, it's every kind of new study, as well as the latest political polls. They usually have a hidden agenda and some kind of axe to grind.  Take it away Mark:

Today, I’m going to discuss many of the reasons you shouldn’t trust the latest nutritional study without looking past the headlines. 1. Industry distorts the research. Last year, Marion Nestle looked at 152 industry-funded nutrition studies. Out of 152, 140 had favorable results for the company who funded it. An earlier analysis of milk, soda, and fruit juice nutrition studies found that those sponsored by milk, soda, and juice companies were far more likely to report favorable results than independent studies. The same things happens in cardiovascular disease trials and orthopedics trials. 2. Ego distorts the research. People become wedded to their theories. Imagine spending 30 years conducting research to support your idea that saturated fat causes heart disease. How hard will you hold on to that hypothesis? How devastating would opposing evidence be to your sense of self-worth? Your research is your identity. It’s what you do. It’s how you respond when chit chatting at cocktail parties. You’re the “saturated fat” guy. Everything’s riding on it being true. Scientists are used to being the smartest person in their respective rooms. It’s not easy to relinquish that or admit mistakes. Heck, that goes for everyone in the world. Scientists are not immune. 3. Correlation masquerading as causation. In day-to-day life, correlative events imply causation. You cut someone off, they honk at you. A man holds a door open, you thank him. You flip a light switch, the light turns on. We’re used to causation explaining correlations. So when two variables are presented together in a nutritional study, especially when it seems plausible (meat causes colon cancer) or reaffirms popular advice (saturated fat causes heart disease), we’re likely to assume the relationship is causal. Correlations provoke interesting hypotheses and tests of those hypotheses, but they’re very often spurious. Everything we eat is associated with cancer if we look hard enough. Does that actually tell us anything useful? 4. No control group. If you want to know the effects of an experimental intervention, you need a group of people that don’t receive the intervention. That’s the control group. Without a control group to compare against the group that received the experimental intervention, a clinical trial doesn’t mean much. You can’t truly know that the experimental variable caused the change without it. 5. Fake controls. The presence of a control group doesn’t make it a good study. The control group has to be a real control. Take this paper from last year claiming that oatmeal for breakfast promotes satiety. Sure, when you’re comparing oatmeal to a cornflake breakfast. It doesn’t take much to beat the satiating (non)effects of cornflakes. How would oatmeal compare to bacon and eggs, or a big ass salad, or sweet potato hash? This study doesn’t tell you that. 6. Small sample size. The smaller the sample size, the less impressive the results. The larger the sample size, the more meaningful the results and the more likely they are to apply to the larger population. That’s why the results of n=1 self-experiments are mostly useful for the person running the experiment on themselves and less useful for others; the sample size of one isn’t enough to generalize the results.....
Read the whole thing.

Monday, April 4, 2016

In Houston, With Villanova To the Movie Thriller Finish!


An Animated Explanation of God's Holiness From The Bible Project, And What It Means To Be Devoid of The Fear Of God?

 THESE MEN IN PORTLAND, OREGON ARE DOING GOD'S WORK AND AN AMAZING JOB OF EXPLAINING THE BIBLE. There's not a video I've watched that doesn't impress me. Also think they're worth supporting with our prayers and money.

 And on another related subject, what is The Fear of God?

There's a good piece on the absence of it at Scary stuff to lack the Fear of God.

Albert Martin’s The Forgotten Fear is a very good book on a much neglected topic. I reviewed my notes for it this week and was struck again by the urgency of the subject. 

In the book’s opening chapter Martin examines a series of texts related to the fear of God and, having looked at each of them, draws three important conclusions. What can we conclude in light of these pivotal texts found in both the Old and the New Testaments? 

First, I believe we are warranted to conclude that to be devoid of the fear of God is to be devoid of biblical and saving religion. It matters not how many texts of Scripture we can quote, or how many promises we may claim to believe. In the light of the texts of Scripture we have briefly considered (and they are but a sampling of many more), it is neither unkind nor unjust to assert that if you do not know what the fear of God is in your heart and life, you do not know experientially the first thing about true biblical and saving religion. That is a serious conclusion, but no less a conclusion can be drawn from these passages. Since Jesus Christ is the sum and substance of biblical religion, and since the Spirit given to Him and sent from Him is the Spirit of the fear of God, to be without the fear of God is to be without the Spirit of Christ. Romans 8:9 says that those without the Spirit of Christ do not belong to Christ. If such teaching is utterly foreign to you and leaves you completely baffled, you need to engage in some serious reflection. You need to examine the Scriptures and cry out to God, asking Him to teach you what it is to fear Him, for you see that if you are devoid of His fear, you have no true saving religion. 

The second conclusion we are warranted in making is this: one of the accurate measurements of true spiritual growth is the measure to which one increases in walking in the fear of God. The Bible speaks of Hananiah in Nehemiah 7:2 as a man who “feared God more than many.” His spiritual stature as a man who possessed spiritual maturity, wisdom, and godliness to an exceptional degree was in great measure due to the fact that he “feared God more than many.” 

Third, to be ignorant of the meaning of the fear of God is to be ignorant of a basic and essential doctrine of revealed religion. There are no doubt many in our day who are genuine Christians yet who are sadly deficient in their understanding of the concept of the fear of God. They are not strangers to the fear of God in their experience, but they are very unclear about the fear of God in their understanding. Are you such a Christian? Has your reading of this book thus far been like walking on ground unfamiliar to you? Since growth in grace is always joined to growth in knowledge (2 Peter 3:18), it is vital to give yourself to earnest prayer and study so that you might have a clearer understanding of the fear of God. This, in turn, will lead to your further Christian growth and development.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Sunday Miraculous Good News---You Can't Keep a Good God Down

By John Piper @ Desiring God

JESUS WAS DEAD AND BURIED, with a big stone rolled against the tomb, and the Pharisees came to Pilate to ask for permission to seal the stone and guard the tomb. Pilate responded, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can” (Matthew 27:65). So they did
They gave it their best shot — in vain.

It was hopeless then, it is hopeless today, and it will always be hopeless. Try as they may, people can’t keep Jesus down. They can’t keep him buried. They may use physical force or academic scorn or media blackout or political harassment or religious caricature. For a season, they will think the tomb is finally sealed. But it never works. He breaks out.

No One Takes His Life

It’s not hard to figure out: He can break out because he wasn’t forced in. He lets himself be libeled and harassed and black-balled and scorned and shoved around and killed.
I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. (John 10:17–18)
No one can keep him down because no one ever knocked him down. He lay down when he was ready.

China may have been “closed” for forty years to Western missionaries, and it’s not because Jesus slipped and fell into the tomb. He stepped in. And when it was sealed over, he saved fifty million Chinese from inside — without Western missionaries. And when it was time, he pushed the stone away so we could see what he had done.

At Work in the Dark

When it looks like he is buried for good, Jesus is doing something awesome in the dark. “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (Mark 4:26–27).
The world thinks Jesus is done for — out of the way. They think his word is buried for good in the dust of irrelevant antiquity.

But Jesus is at work in the dark places: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). He let himself be buried — “no one takes my life from me” — and he will come out in power when and where he pleases — “I have authority to take it up again.” And his hands will be full of fruit made in the dark.

“God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Jesus has his priesthood today “by the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16).
For twenty centuries, the world has given it their best shot — in vain. They can’t bury him. They can’t hold him in. They can’t silence him or limit him.

Jesus is alive and utterly free to go and come wherever he pleases. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). All things were made through him and for him, and he is absolutely supreme over all other powers (Colossians 1:16–17)
Trust him and go with him, no matter what. You cannot lose in the end.

Ten Gifts of the Resurrection

So, here on Resurrection Sunday, as an aid to Easter worship, celebrate with me these ten things we owe to the resurrection of Jesus. Each has an accompanying text.

1) A Savior who can never die again

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again. (Romans 6:9)

2) Repentance

“The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:30–31)

3) New birth

According to his great mercy, [God the Father] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

4) Forgiveness of sin

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

5) The Holy Spirit

“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Acts 2:32–33)

6) No condemnation for the elect

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)

7) The Lord’s personal fellowship and protection

“Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

8) Proof of coming judgment

“[God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

9) Salvation from the future wrath of God

[We] wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10; also Romans 5:10)

10) Our own resurrection from the dead

[We know] that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. (2 Corinthians 4:14; also Romans 6:4; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:20)
The Lord is risen indeed! 

And that is the greatest news the world has ever known.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mayhem In Brussels, Predicted By Trump, Mocked By New York Times



On January 27, 2016, the New York Times ran a story mocking Donald John Trump: "Donald Trump Finds New City to Insult: Brussels." Oh that silly mogul. What does he know about anything, right?

From their majesties, reporters Dan Bilefsky and Claire Barthelemy of the New York Times:

LONDON — He incensed Paris and London by saying that some of their neighborhoods were so overrun with radicals that the police were too scared to enter. He raised Scottish tempers by threatening to pull the plug on his investments there, including his luxury golf courses, if British politicians barred him from entering Britain.

Now Donald J. Trump has upset the already beleaguered people of Belgium, calling its capital, Brussels, “a hellhole.”

Asked by the Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo about the feasibility of his proposal to bar foreign Muslims from entering the United States, Mr. Trump argued that Belgium and France had been blighted by the failure of Muslims in these countries to integrate. “There is something going on, Maria,” he said. “Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Shariah law, where they want this, where they want things that — you know, there has to be some assimilation. There is no assimilation. There is something bad going on.”

Warming to his theme, he added that Brussels was in a particularly dire state. “You go to Brussels — I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it’s like living in a hellhole right now,” Mr. Trump continued.

By the way, after their story ridiculing The Donald ended, the Times footnoted: "Get news and analysis from Europe and around the world delivered to your inbox every day with the Today’s Headlines: European Morning newsletter. Sign up here."

 I would rather clean up cow manure. Just remember, the Left mocked Mitt Romney's concerns about ISIS in 2012.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday: The Strange, Wonderful Ride Into Jerusalem and Beginning of the End of Satan's Kingdom

EVEN AS JESUS MADE HIS HUMBLE ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM on the back of a donkey days before his painful and humiliating crucifixion and death at Calvary, it is believed another famous  ruler was simultaneously making his entry into the city in a much grander way: Equestrian Pontius Pilate was arriving on a grand stallion from Caesarea. The contrasts of each man's entry could not have been more different. Though Pilate later, reluctantly let Jesus go to the Cross as the riotous crowd of Jews demanded at His trial, he found no reason to condemn the humble man who he called The King of the Jews.

David Mathius at Desiring God writes,

PASSION WEEK BEGINS WITH PALMS. Branches are cut from trees, hands are raised in praise, and the most important figure in history enters the greatest city in the first century for the most important week that’s ever been.

This unrecognized prince has a rightful claim to the throne of his people as the heir of their most celebrated king. And yet he rides in manifest humility, on the back of a donkey’s colt — like no other ruler in the first century, or the twenty-first century, would dare stoop to do.

And this, of course, is not the extent of his meekness and lowliness. He will stoop yet further this holy week, and then further still when he is “raised up” to the lowest of all places, to the utter shame and ignominy of a brutal public execution, even death on a cross.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mr. Trump, I Have A Word For You

I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE ADVISING ALL US FOX NEWS VIEWERS not to watch Megyn Kelly anymore, saying she's not  a great professional and doesn't deserve our attention and time.

My response to your silliness: What I think of Megyn is none of your business, nor anyone else's.  I'm quite capable of making up my own mind about who and what I watch and read.  This megalomaniac over-reach of advice and warning is turning me off and is not presidential or attractive in someone who pretends to be a contender.

If this continues,  it will not end well, no matter whose back you may supposedly have.You don't have mine and you don't have my brain either.

I'll say it like Fox News today:  this obsession with Megyn is truly unattractive and a bore.

Meanwhile,  at Zero Hedge today, Donald talking 25 years ago:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Preparation for Our Lord's Passion: The Alabaster Jar

JOHN 12:3-8

3Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?6Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. 7Therefore Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. 8“For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Social Justice Warriors---We May Be Nearing the End of the Republic, But It's Not Trump's Fault

I'VE JUST GOTTEN HOME FROM A TRIP.  Though I barely opened my computer,  I've definitely been keeping up with the news. Over the last week,   I've come to admire much less my former candidate Ted Cruz---if some of the reports I've read are true--- and Donald Trump more.

What happened yesterday in Chicago, aka thug city---then St. Louis, where baby brat violent lives matter, and today in Dayton, Ohio are just a taste of things to come and of  what  mob violence---fueled by liberal, divisive thugs like do to help get Trump be elected.

Rod Dreher @ The American Conservative has a great piece up today on how these social justice warriors (SJWs) are going to get Trump elected and in my opinion, probably by a landslide.  If someone doesn't end up killing him first.  Frankly that scares me.  Security has got to be incredibly tight as protestors  think they realize their are no consequences to protesting anymore.

Dreher's bottom line which I agree with:

What happened  in Chicago is why we need Trump, as obnoxious as he is, to keep going. I am not a Trump supporter, and I reject much of his rhetoric. But he has a right to give a speech, even an obnoxious speech, without it being interrupted by demonstrators. All of us do. Trump is revealing how impossible it is to have a normal democracy with the activist left, who think their crying need for “safe spaces” gives them the right to silence their opponents.

No. This political correctness needs to be opposed, and it needs to be opposed with force. I don’t know why the police couldn’t handle this situation, but they had better be on it in the future, because many Americans will not stand for this. What those protesters have done tonight is create a lot more Trump voters out of people who are sick and tired of privileged leftists using thug tactics to silence their opponents.

I would feel exactly the same way if conservative protesters tried to shut down a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders rally. Protest all you want, but do it outside the venue, or silently inside. Do not silence the speaker, because if you do that, you legitimize your opponents trying to silence the speakers from your side. Thuggish, illiberal tactics like this from the left call forth the same kind of thing from the right. When right-wing white nationalist types show up and make trouble at Democratic rallies, or BLM rallies, and get them cancelled, on what grounds will you on the left have to complain?
 For me, it’s all about the mob. I despise the mob. Any mob, which I define as a crowd that acts in force to silence people by intimidation or actual violence. We have seen over the past few months how left-wing mobs on college campuses have gotten away with outrageous things, because men and women in authority on those campuses lacked the guts to stand up for the liberal civic order. This is why I cannot support Black Lives Matter, even though I support its goal of bringing critical attention to police brutality: because they believe that their cause is so righteous that they have the right to stomp over anybody who doesn’t share their vision.
I urge you to read the entire piece.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sunday: Open the Eyes Of Our Hearts, Lord


FROM FRAYDNA:  Presidential election from a Christian perspective

Cruz Wins Kansas, Maybe Kentucky?


Ted Cruz is my candidate.  In my opinion, he would make an exceptionally great president. Trump is a disaster.  Cruz is not the one. I know, I could be (sorta) wrong....but I don't think so.

Still, in the higher scheme of things,  when we put all our hope in a presidential candidate, aren't we really setting ourselves up for disappointment?  Isn't really a father fixation that's been transferred from family to big government?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mitt Romney Disgraces Himself and GOP Elites


LOOK, I'M NOT THE BIGGEST TRUMP FAN ON THE PLANET BY A LONG SHOT. However, if he's the GOP candidate, I will hold my nose and vote for him over Hillary, in spite of what I've mused in the past. It's Trump over Clinton from here on, unless Cruz somehow manages a miracle. I don't have to like it. I remain a Ted Cruz supporter. Trump could be a presidential disaster and disappointment for sure. He could be a Hitler-in-waiting. But so could Hillary. Yet when I watch the failed 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a tool of the elite GOP establishment who wants to run again, try to take down Trump, I cringe.   I know Romney wants to seize the nomination at the convention.  It ain't gonna happen.  Not a chance.

Romney made a major political faux pas which will only serve to propel Trump onward, and not effect voters in the least.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rest In Peace, Dear LaFon

THIS DEAR FRIEND, HIKING BUDDY,  ROLE MODEL AND SISTER-IN-CHRIST IN JACKSON HOLE HAS DIED.  She went fast.  One of the best of the best.  I will sorely, sorely miss her on the trail and off. We hiked together on Wednesdays. She could out-walk women half her age, including me. Rest, dear LaFon, in peace.   Her obit.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Few Words About Erin Andrews' Trial Against Marriott Vanderbilt In Nashville


It's terrible, to put it mildly. The shock, humiliation, violation, anger and grief she rightly feels has to be profound. The world can often be a wicked place, especially for a high-profile and attractive woman  like Erin. Even if she wins, nothing will bring  her public viewing  by prurient eyes back.

That said, I'm not sure this deserves a $72 million judgment which seems a bit excessive unless the lawyers can justify it (their salaries?!) I'm not sure the hotel is more guilty than someone in central reservations who might have been on his or her first day of work.  The culprit who did this at least three times in different locations has done time in prison and probably has ruined the rest of his life and career for his acts of very poor judgment---the understatement of the decade.

Hopefully the facts will all come out in time. Still, after going through court proceedings myself and winning through settlement (though nothing will bring back the 75' 60 year-old trees this ruthless developer took down on our boundary line), I know the crime on top of the incredible stress of  this prosecution are trying on one's heart and soul---not to mention very expensive. My heart goes out to Erin in her long ordeal.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Bible Project Makes Learning the Bible Fun

AM CRAZY ABOUT THE BIBLE PROJECT! Take a look and see what you think. Ultimately, they're doing the entire Bible.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

How To Make Rich And Nourishing (Beef) Bone Broth

THERE'S SIMPLY NOTHING LIKE HOMEMADE, SLOW-COOKED BEEF BONE BROTH. Loaded with minerals, it's great to sip it as is, or added to flavor soups, gravies and even salad dressings---as mixed with olive oil, warmed and drizzled over wilted greens with a hard-boiled egg. Mark's Daily Apple today has all about the basics of bone broth as well as several variations.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Truman Show: Beware Crowds-On-Demand Hiring Actors to Protest In Public Meetings


THIS DISTURBING TREND HIGHLIGHTED @ ZERO HEDGE IS HAPPENING IN NASHVILLE NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS AND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.   These faux protesters are paid to come in and accuse everyone who doesn't agree with the developer of being a racist, or sexist, or....fill in the blank.

What  can you do about this practice at your next meeting? Be aware that it's happening.  Then get names, addresses and phone numbers if possible and ask  strangers you don't know if they are being paid to be there.  This is getting more and more a common practice used by developers to mow down private citizens and neighborhood groups who don't want their plan crammed down their throats.

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
Here’s a bothersome trend that seems quite fitting for the smoke and mirrors driven, celebrity obsessed, hologram society that America has become. A company known as Crowds on Demand is actually in the business of providing fake protesters for causes, fake entourages for wanna be celebrities and seemingly even fake supporters for unpopular corporate activities.

This just furthers my feeling that action is far more important than traditional protests in the 21st Century. They key to getting out of the mess we are in is to actively create a parallel economy and even monetary system adjacent to the current terminal one. That way, when this one blows up, we already have the infrastructure in place to move to another paradigm. One characterized by peaceful, voluntary human interaction and dominated by decentralization in virtually all aspects of human existence.

– From the 2013 post: Protesters for Hire: For a Few Thousand Dollars We’ll Buy
I first highlighted the company Crowds on Demand over two years ago in the above post. Turns out it’s much worse than I could have imagined.

From NBC News:

In Camarillo, citizens aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. But on a chilly Wednesday night in December, city officials say one man stood out.

For nearly three minutes, Prince Jordan Tyson is on camera telling city leaders what he later admits, is a lie.

In fact, Tyson, who is not from Camarillo, is a self described struggling actor from Beverly Hills and he now believes he was involved in a secretive new industry where actors are hired to try and sway public officials.
In this case, a construction project in Camarillo he says he was hired to criticize.

“It was scripted, they told me what to say,” Tyson told NBC4.

Some of those scripted lines, he says were provided by recent UCLA graduate Adam Swart, CEO of a company called Crowds on Demand, which will stage rallies and demonstrations for any almost candidate or cause.

Swart says he has employed actors to sway city officials in meetings across the country.

“I have worked with dozens of campaigns for state officials, and 2016 presidential candidates,” Swart told NBC4, adding that he won’t name any names.

“I can’t go in to detail… if I did, nobody would hire us.”

The California Political Practices Commission tells NBC4 political campaigns are required by law to report expenditures.

But, public records indicate only one committee in the entire state has ever reported paying “Crowds On Demand”, that committee is Six California’s, the campaign to split California in to 6 different states.

State officials say some campaigns and politicians who hire “Crowds On Demand”… and fail to report campaign expenditures, could be breaking the law.

Hiring actors is not illegal. Although, entertainment law attorney and USC professor Lincoln Bandlow says telling those actors what to do and say could lead to lawsuits, if someone feels harmed.

“Paying someone to go out there and make false representations to a city council is going to give rise to possible fraud claims, possible intentional interference with business relations claims, maybe defamatory statement claims.”

Swart would not confirm to NBC4 that he hired Tyson or gave him lines, but says he has hired actors on multiple occasions to try and sway city officials across the country.

Swart tells NBC4 he has 20,000 actors across the country and most are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
If there’s a hell, this guy’s going. Personally, I’d settle for prison.
You a Small Entourage.

ALSO TODAY: The most important abortion case in decades is about to be argued before the Supreme Court. It focuses on the health and safety of the mother. Read on.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday---The Remarkable Faith of Monty Williams In the Depths of Suffering


ALMOST A YEAR AGO, Monty Williams was fired as the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans two weeks after his team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs.

Many thought he had done enough to keep the job, having just led his team to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Reporters asked Williams about the somewhat surprising firing. He responded by thanking the organization and the fans, and then gave a reason for the surprising hope that was in him:
God has always been in control of my life. . . . Romans 8:28 is in my heart. All things work out for people who are called by Jesus Christ. . . . God’s brought me through too much to complain and be bitter.
Nine short months later, now an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Monty Williams found out last week that his 44-year-old wife had been killed in a head-on car accident. The other driver was driving 92 mph (in a 40-miles-per-hour zone) when she crossed the center line and careened head-on into Ingrid Williams’s SUV. Three of their children were in the car with her; each survived with serious injuries.
A week later, Monty Williams stood over the body of his wife of twenty years and mother of their five children — Lael, Faith, Janna, Elijah, and Micah — and delivered a powerful seven-minute eulogy.
Having only been a husband for ten months now, I watched with heartache and admiration. He seems to embody the promise of Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” In the end, I took away three lessons from Williams’s faith-filled words and example.

1. In every situation and circumstance, even the most serious and tragic, the most important things we can know or say are about God and his gospel.

Williams says,
What we’ve gone through is pretty tough, and it’s hard, and we want an answer, and we don’t always get that answer when we want it, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that God loves us, and that’s what my wife [lived to], and that’s what I try to, however badly, exhibit on a daily basis. . . . He loved me so much that he sent his Son to die for my sins.
Do you have news good enough to hold you when tragedy strikes? Will you have a tear-filled song of victory to sing when a wave of sorrow crashes into your life? Have you known a Love stronger than the worst grief this world might bring?
Williams went on to say,
The Bible says Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. America teaches us to numb that, and [says] that it’s not true. But it is true. This will work out. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard or painful. What we need is the Lord.
This man appears to have walked with God such that when his wife was suddenly ripped away, he had the resources not only to suffer well, but to summon the world to his Savior. His grief doesn’t resound with self-pity or bitterness, but with strong and resilient hope and selfless compassion.
As he clings to his God and to the gospel, his loss declares and displays the power and the beauty of the cross.

2. Those who have been forgiven by God are free to forgive in full.

Williams says,
Everybody’s praying for me and my family, but let us not forget there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family. In my house, we have a sign that says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.
Williams is living out the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21–35). The servant owed the king ten thousand talents (the equivalent of 200,000 years of work), and since he couldn’t pay, the king intended to sell him and his family into slavery. The servant pled with the king, and the king showed him mercy and forgave all his debt. Then the servant turned and refused to show mercy to someone who owed him just a hundred denarii (the equivalent of 200 days of work). The king heard of this and threw him in jail for his lack of mercy. Jesus says, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).
Monty Williams had been forgiven too much to hold even his wife’s death against anyone. How much could someone possibly steal from you today? In Christ, God has forgiven us a million times more. Therefore, having been showered with his undeserved love and mercy, we have been freed to dumfound the world and forgive any debt in full.

3. God miraculously works in our worst suffering to tell the world about himself and his love.

Williams ends by saying,
Let’s not lose sight of what’s important. God will work this out. My wife is in heaven. God is love. And when we walk away from this place today, let’s celebrate, because my wife is where we all need to be, and I’m envious of that. . . .
We didn’t lose [my wife]. When you lose something, you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is. . . . I’m going to miss her. Let’s not lose sight of what’s important. God is important. What Christ did on the cross is important.
In the midst of the most terrible tragedy and immersed in one of the greatest potential distractions from God in human history — professional sports — the gospel has suddenly and brilliantly emerged. The loss silenced the media’s obsession with scores, trades, and championships long enough for us all to hear that Jesus alone is Lord, Savior, and Treasure. A God worthy of trust and worship in the death of a wife is a God worth hearing about.
It’s another reminder that God relentlessly turns our tragedies of suffering into triumphs of his glory.

A Song for the Suffering

Williams’s resilient faith and hope reminded me of a moving song by Shane & Shane, Though You Slay Me.
Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

At the 3:22 mark in this video, John Piper says,
Not only is all your affliction momentary, not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. But all of it is totally meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain, from the fallen nature or fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that.
I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism. I don’t care if it was slander or sickness. It wasn’t meaningless. It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing. Don’t look to what is seen.
When your mom dies, when your kid dies, when you’ve got cancer at 40, when a car careens into the sidewalk and takes her out, don’t say, “That’s meaningless!” It’s not. It’s working for you an eternal weight of glory.
Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart. But take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.
Ingrid Williams’s death is not meaningless. We cannot now see all that God is doing, but I pray that he will sustain Monty’s faith in the difficult days ahead, reminding this bereaved husband and father again and again that he is infinitely loved and cared for by his Heavenly Father. May God protect Lael, Faith, Janna, Elijah, and Micah from the evil one as they mourn and miss their mom for years to come. And may God spread the beautiful testimony of this family’s faith throughout the NBA and throughout the world, bringing many to everlasting life through the tragedy and victory of this wife and mother’s death.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Fallible Pope Steps In It To His Great Detriment

HEAVEN KNOWS, I'M NO FAN OF DONALD TRUMP. In fact, I was getting ready to write here that if the vote goes down to Hillary verses Donald, I will probably abstain from voting this fall. Still, I have to say, I think the Pope just stepped completely out of his bounds with his statements today about Trump's Christian beliefs as he pondered a border fence with Mexico. It's widely known the Pope comes from a socialist background. His statement is total Pharisee thinking at its worst, even if Trump probably is a Christian in Name Only (CINO,) it's a terrible and inappropriate thing to say and a hole he--the Pope---will have a very hard time digging himself out of. I am aghast at this man's taking such liberties with the United State's political process. Truly aghast.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday---Rosaria Butterfield On Alternatives to the Pro-Choice Mindset


WE NEED TO BE THE HANDS AND FEET OF GOD IN THE LIVES OF DESPERATE WOMEN. We must use more than words to show women that they and their children are not alone.

This video is from a woman who was a former practicing lesbian and radical feminist whose life was dramatically transformed when she had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. She is now married to a Presbyterian minister of the Gospel.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Justice Scalia Is Gone---A Terrible Loss For Conservative Principles, Our Constitution and Country


What a wonderful time and place to go to his Cibola for a weekend of quail hunting. We should all be so fortunate!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Word to the Fed: Do Nothing, Word to Investors: Gird Your Loins

THIS TOO SHALL PASS, but it may take a while to sort out. Stop looking to the Fed and MaMa Yellan who helped bring on this crash to begin with with QE, ZIRP etc for the past 9 years, along with all the other central banks of the world. Meanwhile, many traders think the Fed---and all central banks---won't be able to save stocks and it's out of bullets. Negative rates will not help, in fact are predicted to hurt.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gartman Says Fed Should Shut Up and Do Nothing



Why does the Fed always respond by doing something?  It only makes things worse down the road as it forestalls the inevitable pain and normal market cycles---rather than letting markets sort things out with short-term pain then move on?

Markets are like seasons of the year with winter always coming after summer and fall. When the Fed and other central banks try to keep markets in perpetual summer, it's hubris. This is not rocket science, but the Fed---which has zero accountability to anyone, anything---keeps acting like it is the center of the universe.  What a sad, ridiculous joke.  

Meanwhile we fixate---like children looking for a father  figure--on the presidential candidates, or on ama Yellan, as if any one of them can do anything about this and save  us from ourselves.

I say,  abolish the Fed!  The sooner the better and let us grow up.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Peyton Celebrates, Drinks Bud, Cam Has A Tam

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING, TRUE CHAMPIONS ARE NEVER MADE OVER-NIGHT. Champion Peyton Manning capped off his stellar, long career last night with a mediocre showing but a Denver victory, letting the Broncos defense carry the day to what may be his last NFL game.

Everything ended as it should  and today the world rejoices for and with Peyton Manning! Congratulations Denver!

Meanwhile Cam Newton sulked like a baby showing he's not the gracious champion we'd hoped. As my country denist in Dickson said to me today, 'Cam was brought down a few pegs last night....he's a rich, talented, nice looking boy. Maybe this defeat will help him start to grow up a little....'

We can only hope that Peyton retires on this one, and Cam matures a little so he won't go down the tubes with the likes of Johnny Manziel.  We won't even talk about Cam's arrogant disrespect of during the national anthem.  What a complete lack of class.

Andrew Klaven weighs in on Cam.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday---The Line of Good and Evil Going Through Every Human Heart: Should Princeton Strip Honor From President Woodrow Wilson?

THIS IS A BALANCED, THOUGHTFUL PIECE BY TREVIN WAX AT THE GOSPEL COALITION ON WHETHER PRINCETON SHOULD 'DEMOTE' ITS ALUM, THE FORMER PRESIDENT, DUE TO HIS VIEWS ON RACE.  As is often the case in life, the over-simplified answer is not in touch with reality and the Biblical response to human nature---we all are 'deeply flawed':

“We owe nothing to people who are ‘deeply flawed’.”

So says Wilglory Tanjong, writing for the Black Justice League, to explain why Princeton University should strip its buildings and titles of any reference to one of the school’s most notable alumni, former president Woodrow Wilson. The Black Justice League believes Wilson’s achievements as president a century ago are overshadowed by atrocious views on race and segregation.

How has Princeton responded to the demands to demote Wilson?

According to Tanjong, the administration claims “we owe a great deal to people who are deeply flawed, and not many people can transcend the prejudices of the times they lived in.” Instead of sitting in judgment, the administration recommends we “assess ourselves with great humility because we, too, are flawed, and it’s likely that we will also be guilty of sins and prejudices that to future generations who look back on our own legacies will be very obvious.”

We could sum up Princeton’s position as an application of the Golden Rule in temporal terms: Do unto others (in the past) what you would have others (in the future) do unto you.

Tanjong’s response rejects that possibility out of hand: “We owe nothing to people who are ‘deeply flawed.’” Wilson’s sin in one area outweighs anything good he may have done in another. He is due no honor.

Who is right here?

Wax goes on to elaborate on the conservative as well as the progressive errors in reviewing history and complex human nature. He moves on with how we can best assess our forebearers in light of taking stock in our own human flaws.  It's a thoughtful read and quotes one of my favorite figures from the past:

Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn endured years of abuse in the Gulag for opposing the Communist regime. Solzhenitsyn recognized that most people cannot be easily categorized “good” and “bad.” Life is simply too complex. “The line of good and evil runs through every human heart,” he wrote. That insight comes not from a man of privilege, cloistered in an ivory tower, sheltered from suffering. It comes from someone who looked evil squarely in the eye, and yet was incisive enough to see evil lurking in his own heart. Well worth a thoughtful read.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Congratulations To Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio

ABSOLUTELY,  TOP-NOTCH CAUCUS CAMPAIGNS!  Well done, gentlemen. Now, on to New Hampshire.

APPARENTLY, CRUZ IS A SERIOUS CONTENDER WITH A STRATEGY AND GRASS-ROOTS STRUCTURE THAT WORKS.  He's always been my favored candidate. Rubio definitely has improved his standing with his showing. And Trump gave a fairly humble concession speech. 

Anything can happen now.