Pastor Kellyby Pastor George Kelly

Our nation’s recent “Civil Rights” history (1954 to the present) is one in which Americans are both rightly and justly proud of.

The America of the pre Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954 was one in which America was greatly divided by Race, Gender, and Regional sensibilities.

The late great historian John Hope Franklin wrote that with regards to importance in the field of Civil Rights initiatives that three President’s come to mind:  1.) President Harry S. Truman; 2.) President John F. Kennedy; and 3.) Lyndon B. Johnson.

Dr. Franklin stated that these three Presidents are important because Truman broke through the field of American indifference; Kennedy saw the need for [Federal] action; and Johnson applied that action.  Mr. Franklin felt that if he had to rank these three Presidents’ with regards to importance that he would rank President Kennedy in third place.

All three of the aforementioned Presidents were members of the Democratic Party.

This is extremely impressive when one remembers that the Democratic Party was composed of the Solid South which strongly supported “segregation” and “second-class” citizenship for her people of color.  The Democratic Party came a long way from their “racist” and “segregationist” past.

While John Hope Franklin was known during his lifetime as an expert in the areas of both American history and American Studies, one might be tempted to add one more President to his list and that would be thee name of former President Dwight David Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower was referred to affectionately by the name of “Ike” during his lifetime.

President Eisenhower was a decorated 5-Star General, a former college president (Columbia University), a gentleman farmer (he owned a farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) – and the 34th President of the United States of America.

President Eisenhower lived from 1890 to 1969 and he was a man of “The Greatest Generation” and he was a man of his time.

When Eisenhower was born, America was less than one generation removed from the Civil War.  Furthermore, the world in which Eisenhower inhabited as a young boy/man was one in which Negroes and Whites lived in worlds that with regards to economic attainment and educational pursuits was mostly “segregated and unequal.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower grew to manhood during the timeframe between both World War I and World War II.  As a young man Eisenhower shared many of the prejudices of his day; historians such as the late Stephen Ambrose wrote that one might have stated that “Ike” did not care much for Negroes.  However, to his credit, Ike’s viewpoints on race changed during his lifetime.

Towards the end of the Second World War, Ike was short on manpower and he saw that there were many Negroes soldiers who were not deployed as combatants in the European theater.  General Eisenhower asked these men if they would like to suit up for combat duty; to the General’s delight these men eagerly desired to fight for their nation.

It was events like this one in Europe that began a slow and deliberate process of changing Eisenhower’s view towards Negroes from one of seeing them as second-class citizens to embracing Negroes [Black or African-Americans today] as full and equal citizens.

Once Eisenhower became President, he involved himself in a series of quiet and behind the scenes moves that greatly enhanced the fight for Negro rights and enabled the nascent Civil Rights Movement to pick up speed and momentum.

President Eisenhower appointed former California Governor Earl Warren (R) to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice.  Secondly, President Eisenhower appointed many Southern judges (members of the Republican Party) to both the district and appellate courts.     Much has been written about these judges who were dubbed the title of “Unlikely Heroes”; these judges applied the logic of the Brown decision to the school and domestic jurisdictions within their legal purview.

Eisenhower forced the state of Arkansas to comply with desegregation by sending Troops to force the Democratic Governor Oval Faubus and recalcitrant southern political establishment to admit Negro students to Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

An interesting note is that President Eisenhower asked Vice-President Richard Nixon to place a call to the Evangelist Billy Graham to ask the Reverend Billy Graham for his thoughts on this situation.  Dr. Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and as a native of the South he had unique insights into the Southern mindset.

Without blinking an eye, Mr. Graham told the Vice-President that the South MUST NOT be allowed to flaunt the Supreme Court’s desegregation decision which he saw as being both proper and morally just.  Dr. Graham suggested that force be used if necessary.  President Eisenhower surprised with this answer called Graham himself to confirm and he received the same answer from Mr. Graham as was given to Vice-President Nixon.

Finally, Eisenhower continued the process of desegregating our nation’s capital that began with the Truman Administration and which was not fully completed until President Lyndon Johnson handed the keys of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to the newly inaugurated President Richard M. Nixon in 1969.

One might suggest to the late historian John Hope Franklin if he were alive that President Eisenhower deserves a place in the Honor Roll of Presidents that have made significant contributions in the field of Civil Rights.

President Eisenhower, we should all thank you for your capacity for growth, integrity, and for your positive contributions toward American equality.

By Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Before you read this post, keep in mind that an attack on an American embassy or consulate is an attack on American soil. The attack occurred on the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack.

The Twitchy guys had a field day with The Breakfast Club-like response from former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor:

Bret Baier: According to the emails and the timeline, the CIA circulates new talking points after they remove the mention of al-Qaeda, and then, at 6:21, the White House, you,
Tommy Vietor: Me.
BB: add a line about the administration warning of September 10th, of social media reports calling for demonstrations. True?
TV: I . . . believe so.
BB: Did you also change attacks to demonstrations in the talking points?
TV: Maybe. I don’t really remember.
BB: You don’t remember?
TV: Dude, this was like two years ago.

Let’s interrupt this for a second to raise the issue of the video:
Andrew McCarthy, who convicted the Blind Sheik over the first World Trade Center attack, points out (emphasis added),

In the weeks before September 11, 2012, these jihadists plotted to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In fact, the Blind Sheikh’s son threatened a 1979 Iran-style raid on the embassy: Americans would be taken hostage to ransom for the Blind Sheikh’s release from American prison (he is serving a life sentence). Other jihadists threatened to burn the embassy to the ground — a threat that was reported in the Egyptian press the day before the September 11 “protests.”

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

The State Department also knew about the obscure anti-Muslim video. Few Egyptians, if any, had seen or heard about it, but it had been denounced by the Grand Mufti in Cairo on September 9. Still, the stir it caused was minor, at best. As Tom Joscelyn has elaborated, the Cairo rioting was driven by the jihadists who were agitating for the Blind Sheikh’s release and who had been threatening for weeks to raid and torch our embassy. And indeed, they did storm it, replace the American flag with the jihadist black flag, and set fires around the embassy complex.

But back to the Baier-Vietor interview:

10 seconds into the video:
TV: A couple of things: One, I was in the situation room that night, ok?, and we didn’t know where the ambassador was definitively,
BB: Was the President in the situation room?
TV: No, and the fact that your network at one time reported that he watched video feed of the attack as it was ongoing is part of what I think is being innacurate
BB: Let me get to the bottom of that. Where was the President?
TV: In the White House.
1 minute into the video:
BB: Where was the President?
TV: In the White House.

Watch the whole interview:

Only after a series of edits — with various State, White House, and CIA officials massaging the talking points — do the talking points themselves “spontaneously evolve” to include a direct claim that there were demonstrations in Benghazi. Vietor will have you believe “that’s what bureaucrats do all day long.”

The fact remains that

The most serious attack on a US mission since the storming of the country’s embassy in Tehran in 1979 has occurred in a nation that Washington claims to have liberated from tyranny.

A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general who was on duty at U.S. African Command headquarters in Germany during the Benghazi attacks said today said commanders quickly concluded that the event did not evolve from a protest, but that it was “a hostile military action.” This took place in the height of the 2012 presidential campaign, with the talking points of “Obama killed Bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s on the run.”

Where was Obama? Where was Hillary?

So where were they on the fateful night of September 11? Tommy Vietor–formerly Obama’s van driver, now, apparently, a foreign policy spokesman–says that Obama wasn’t in the situation room. Where was he? Resting up for his big fundraising trip to Las Vegas the next day? And how about Hillary? As Paul wrote earlier this evening, retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell testified today that the military should have tried to rescue the besieged Americans in Benghazi. Why didn’t they? They were waiting, he testified, for a request from the State Department that never came.

Now there’s another Benghazi email,

The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks.

BUT!
Jay Carney’s now saying those emails aren’t about Benghazi.

More questions: Why was Chris Stevens in Benghazi? Why were requests from an ambassador for additional security denied?

One more question: How did the attackers know the ambassador would be at the consulate in Benghazi rather than at the embassy in Tripoli?

But, hey, nothing to see here. “It’s all a partisan issue,” a phony scandal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

The World Cup is scheduled to open in Sao Paolo on Thursday June 12th, with performers Claudia Leitte, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, but 223 miles away the Rio favelas are in the middle of a worsening crime wave:
Rio chaos in countdown to kick-off
Gunfights and killings in shanty towns have escalated just weeks before the World Cup begins in Brazil
(emphasis added)

“There are two drug gangs and one militia. So it won’t be in two days, it won’t be in a year, that we bring peace quickly,” said Luiz Pezão, the new governor of Rio, after meeting with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.

Characterised by its chaotically-built red-brick shanty homes and illicit energy connections, Maré has been a strategic stronghold for Rio’s drug gangs for years, given its location near the airport and one of the main thoroughfares through the city.
. . .

The authorities believe that criminals in Maré have been coordinating attacks in other favelas on the police who have been stationed there as part of the ongoing pacification programme. Since the start of the year, at least 16 officers have been killed.

Street protests continue to rock the country just 45 days away from the opening, so Luiz Felipe Scolari, the coach of Brazil’s national soccer team, is worried as he

told Brazilian television Sunday that protests calling for social change and criticism of the amount of money spent on the tournament “could big-time” be a negative influence on his team.

And call the Bar Rescue guy, folks, since instead of the World’s Most Interesting Man, Usama bin Laden bars are taking over Brazil

Though it may be in poor taste, Fernandes’ hot spot was only the first of bin Laden themed hangouts in Brazil. Mac Margolis of Vocativ found “nearly a dozen Brazilian establishments” named after the former Al-Qaida leader- including a sport where thirsty fans in Rio can shoot a game of pool at Caverna do Bin Laden.

What could possibly go wrong?
faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

by baldilocks

Two recent “public outrage” issues in this year’s news have demonstrated that many people—even baldilocksconservatives—have the notion that no one may abridge “free speech.”

The only law related to free speech is in the U.S. Constitution, specifically, Article I of the Bill of Rights. Stated therein:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. Therefore, if you are not or I am not Congress, we are unable make any law abridging free speech. If a private corporation or a private association is not Congress, it is unable to make any law abridging freedom. Therefore, the 1st Amendment does not address what any parties which are not Congress may or may not do with respect to freedom of speech. Again, none of the parties mentioned in the cases above are Congress, nor are they any other branch of government.  Each case involved something called a contract between private parties.

A contract is a written promise. Contracts can have all kinds of terms, some of which may involve what parties say in public. Other terms can stipulate how a party can react when the other contracting party violates any of the terms. Things like termination and fines are examples of such penalties, and you can bet that both A&E and the NBA listed these things on the contracts they offered to the Robertsons and to Sterling.

Observers are free to give their opinions on what they think and how they feel about these public controversies and their outcomes, but, in the end, it comes down to what was promised contractually and whether any of those promises were broken. If Duck Dynasty fans or A&E fans or NBA fans or even Donald Sterling fans don’t like how these private parties have resolved their contract problems, fans are free to no longer be fans. But, not being Congress, neither A&E nor the NBA have violated Phil Robertson’s or Donald Sterling’s 1st Amendment rights, respectively.

Each entity is free to act according to the terms of their respective contracts. And, you and I are free not to give them our money if we don’t like what they do.

At least for now…

(More on the Donald Sterling topic here.)

AFTERTHOUGHT: A&E fired Phil Robertson for his comments, then re-instated him; the NBA banned Donald Sterling for life. Both A&E and the NBA reacted to the sentiments of their respect core consumers. Business is business.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Yes, I can occasionally be caught live in the kitchen. Look quick.

When growing up, my dinner task was making the salad. My mom bought the goods and I prepared them to her exacting specifications. As a result, I am very, shall we say, anal about salads.

A clean vegetable is a happy eater. Wash as far down as possible, wash as far up as possible, then, wash ‘possible.’ That maxim goes for many things.

Anyone who uses iceberg lettuce or put the leaf spine in a salad should be shot. (or maybe, er, reeducated.) Use red-leaf, romaine or butter leaf lettuce or some combination thereof. Spinach is also yummy.

IM000148.JPG

Buy the right mushrooms. Get the ones that are closed at the junction between the body and the stem. If you buy the white ones, don’t buy them if they have dark spots. Cut the stems off but not so far down as to where you can see the inside of the body.

Use red onions and/or scallions, because they look prettier and taste better than yellow or white onions. Cut most of the flower of the scallions off because they are bland. The root is the good part.

Bell peppers are mandatory and when I’m the only one eating the salad or am sure of my audience, I will add chopped Serrano chili pepper in my salad. (You folks who are not from the southwest part of the US or are not of Mexican descent might not know what a Serrano is. It’s a little, tiny green pepper that is hot. I like hot, but if you like HOT, try a Habanero pepper. Make sure to wear gloves while you’re chopping those.)

Two of the ingredients that my mom didn’t require, but I usually use now are: carrots and cucumbers. Yes, peeling them is a pain—and please peel the cuck—but, boy, do they give great texture and taste to the salad. Split the cuck down the middle, by the way.

Sometimes I will top the salad with canned crab. There are two places here in LA from which I’ve bought the crab: Food for Less and Trader Joe’s. The FFL version is cheaper and the TJ’s version is prettier, but they both taste about the same. Sometimes I’ll rinse off canned beans or corn and add those. I don’t put anything heavier than that in a salad. Chicken, beef and pork are for the main course.

Croutons and bacon bits are masks for a salad prepared by a lazy salad-maker. If your ingredients are good, fresh and varied, you don’t need these, unless you like them.

No yellow, orange or white dressings should be used. Hey, if you want to hide the taste of your salad, just tear up some iceberg, chop up a big, fat tomato and pour Thousand Island all over it. Blech. I like a non-obnoxious Caesar or just some olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar.

If you must put some seasoning on your salad, a bit of Mrs. Dash will do the trick; oh, and black pepper.

What did I forget? Tomatoes, of course, are required; cherry types cut in half. Full-sized tomatoes will make the salad go bad faster (too much liquid).

If you think salads are boring, you’re missing out on one of the great pleasures of eating. Time, attention and varied ingredients are all that are required. Don’t forget to make it beautiful as well. Eating is almost as much about the eye as it is about the tongue. So sue me for being a look-ist.

Burp.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

baldilocks

 

 

 

 

faustaby Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Johns Hopkins economics professor Steve Hanke has been looking at the old misery index, that is, a simple sum of inflation, lending rates, and unemployment rates, minus year-on-year per capita GDP growth, and Venezuela’s on top:

When measured by the misery index, Venezuela holds the ignominious top spot, with an index value of 79. 4. But, that index value, as of 31 December 2013, under states the level of misery because it uses the official annual inflation rate of 56. 2%. In fact, I estimate that Venezuela’s annual implied inflation rate at the end of last year was 278%. That rate is almost five times higher than the official inflation rate. If the annual implied inflation rate of 278% is used to calculate Venezuela’s misery index, the index jumps from 79. 4 to 301, indicating that Venezuela is in much worse shape than suggested by the official data.

Since the government has imposed price controls on mostly everything, the inflation rate appears to be low, but so are the store shelves,

There’s one thing Venezuela has plenty of: guns. Olympian Gabby Franco describes how Venezuelan citizens are not allowed to own guns, but the country has the highest murder rate in our hemisphere,

John Hinderaker posts,

Now, socialist Venezuela is in a state of collapse, with rampant inflation and shortages of basic necessities, like food. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, probably millions, have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the government’s corrupt incompetence. The socialist government, now headed by Nicolas Maduro, has responded with a brutal crackdown in which dozens of anti-socialist Venezuelans have been murdered by government forces or paramilitary, pro-government gangs that–who could have guessed?–are heavily armed, despite the country’s “progressive” firearms laws.

In addition to the marauding gangs armed to the teeth, the country is armed. Russia is Venezuela’s largest supplier of weapons and armored vehicles, but China and Iran are involved, too.

Joseph Humire explains,

Using civilian militias to shoot students and beat protestors is only one tool in Maduro’s repressive apparatus. Other tools have come at the hands of one of Venezuela’s top benefactors — China. According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, at least two Chinese-made military systems have recently been battle tested on the streets of Venezuela.

The first is the Norinco VN-4 armored personnel carrier that has been recently deployed by the Bolivarian National Guard to patrol Venezuelan neighborhoods and intimidate its residents. The VN-4 is a multi-role, light armored vehicle with a light machine gun mounted on top. Venezuela purchased 141 of these armored vehicles in 2012 for this type of contingency, and they are now rolling through the streets of Venezuela in the face of the protests. The other system is the Shaanxi Y-8C military transport aircraft, of which Venezuela purchased eight from China for $353 million back in 2011. These Y-8C aircraft were seen on the tarmac of several Venezuelan airports last month, made public through an array of photos posted on Twitter that claimed Cuban Special Forces were disembarking this Chinese-made aircraft.

. . .  on February 26th, a Russian Vishnya-class intelligence ship, the Viktor Leonov CCB-175, was identified in the Havana harbor, just hours from Venezuela. This spy ship arrived unannounced, fully equipped with electronic eavesdropping equipment and weaponry. That same day, several Russian-made surface-to-air missiles were relocated from the Venezuelan military industrial hub of Maracay, to the capital of Caracas. These particular missiles, the S-125 Pechora 2M, were sold to Venezuela by Russia in 2009, and delivered to the Bolivarian Republic as recently as a couple weeks before the mass mobilizations began.

These low altitude surface-to-air missiles are the same kind of anti-aircraft weapons that Vladimir Putin sold to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which limited the option of placing a “no-fly” zone over Syria as Assad unleashed chemical weapons on his people. The repositioning of the Pechora missiles to Caracas is an ominous indication that the repression in Venezuela will get much worse if the protests continue.

Cuba, China, Russia and Iran are involved in Venezuela’s dictatorial regime.

No wonder the country is #1 in the misery index.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

faustaYesterday the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-2 that states have the right to ban racial preferences, what we call “affirmative action”, which the French refer to “discrimination positive“, or positive discrimination – an oxymoron if there ever was one, but overly optimistic, or the newest euphemism for academic settings, “race-sensitive admission policies” (emphasis added):

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in the opinion that controlled the outcome, insisted that the Court was saying nothing new on the constitutionality of public policies that take race into account. “This case,” he wrote, “is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it….The holding in the instant case is simply that the courts may not disempower the voters from choosing which path to follow.”

He added: “There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this Court’s precedents for the Judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”

Justice Sotomayor dissented, but her dissent was framed in emotional terms, having conceded that the Michigan law itself did not violate equal protection:

Race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and, unlike Justice Sotomayor, do not consider myself to be a “wise Latina“:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor

Certainly it wold be ridiculous, if not downright foolish, to assume that accident of birth in the form of ethnicity has made my life experiences “richer” than anyone who hasn’t lived my life. During the decades I’ve lived in the Continental U. S. I have been “addressed by a stranger in a foreign language” – in German, in Italian, and in Spanish – which did not offend me; to the contrary, I see it as a compliment that a person would like to communicate with me in their language.

But I pose to Justice Sotomayor this question, does race matter when Asian (East Asian and Indian) students are denied admission to top colleges because quotas favor a different minority?

The real issue on college admissions is the quality of public school education,

As a practical matter, the fact that non-white students do relatively poorly under race-neutral admissions standards at our public universities is an indictment mainly of our K–12 education system and of the cultural anarchy that has imposed especially high costs on the children of black and Latino families. It is not an indictment of race-neutral standards. Unable or unwilling to do a better job of preparing black and Latino students for college in the public institutions controlled by its most reliable footsoldiers, the Left insists on anathematizing the very standards under which the incompetence and negligence of our government-run schools, the very model of progressivism, are revealed. If that takes a bit of doublespeak — non-discrimination is discrimination — it wouldn’t be the first time the Left has relied on it.

Or, as my colleague Juliette Akinyi Ochieng correctly names it, The Great Indoctrination.

Back when Justice Sotomayor was nominated, I said,

Identity politics is, in a word, wrong.

Elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law doesn’t make it right.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin American culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

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by baldilocks

The Left has been building America up for overt communism/socialism/marxism/progressivism—henceforth called leftism–for a long, long time. Most educational systems have long ceased to educate their charges properly.They baldilockshave ceased to define objectively the concepts of leftism, small-l liberalism, capitalism, basic economics and, of course, history. Specifically, educational systems stopped calling leftist concepts and ideologies by name. This made it easier to present these principles as good and necessary–present them as rights.

The accepted and assumed “truth” that leftist principles are rights is virus-like. It has become so pervasive that, when those who are properly educated, formally or otherwise, try to explain how and why such principles aren’t rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and how the implementation of these “rights” has bankrupted this nation and how it has radically altered life in this country for the worse, explainers get labeled adversely: racist, Nazi, Uncle Tom, fascist, Aunt Jemima, sexist, tool of the Patriarchy, or some combination thereof, depending on the coating and plumbing of the Cassandra in question. And, these labels stick for the same reason–because the definition and history behind those terms isn’t taught either. So, for example, instead of a Nazi being defined as someone who oppresses a set of persons, a Nazi is defined as someone who stops another from oppressing a set of persons.

And, in the wake of the sowing of those seeds, the human emotions of covetousness have further softened the ground for Leftism. The idea of profit beyond a certain limit being morally wrong stems from nothing but envy. Therefore, if the regular Jane knows nothing about government or economics or history except for the distorted topical versions dispensed by the average public educational system, the average university system and/or the seven o’clock news, she can be convinced, for example, that nationalizing the oil industry will bring down her gasoline bill. She can be convinced that corporations are the enemy of the worker. She can be convinced that their money is her money—stolen out of her pocket. She can be convinced that all profits of other individuals and corporations belong to her and those like her. She can be convinced that the great, almighty government can save her and everyone from the dastardly, mustache-twirling corporations. And, ultimately, she can be convinced that the icon of Hope and Change—the very flowering of the Leftist transformation plan for America–can and will make all of her dreams come true.

And so it is that the Cassandras, eloquent though they may be, will go unheeded for the most part.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Originally posted here on May 12, 2010; slightly updated and re-edited. This story is never out of season.

 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

(Acts 2:17-18; KJV)

Some time ago, I had a dream.

Before I explain what type of dream it was, I should mention that my dreams are very vivid—almost like being awake; like short visits to worlds yet unexplored.  Sometimes, I can remember them immediately upon waking, but they will usually be forgotten if I fail to write them down.  (As an aside, I think that the ability to remember one’s dreams goes hand-in-hand with having a well-developed imagination—something essential to being a novelist.)

My subconscious will even, on occasion, incorporate sounds from the waking world and build a dream around it if the sound isn’t loud and/or piercing enough to disrupt my sleep.  Such was the case several years ago when former Israeli Defense Minister Dan Gillerman’s melodious, accented baritone memorably penetrated my dreams as it wafted from my television.  In that dream, the voice seemed to be emanating from the throat of the man whom I loved at the time; he seemed to pontificate about a war with Gaza.

However, for the dream mentioned at the beginning, there was never any need to write the details, and, whenever I reconsider it, it always looms large and has capital letters: The Dream.

At first, The Dream was a nightmare—one of the few nightmares in my fifty-plus years.  (Interestingly enough, I only began having nightmares in the last few years—since I began walking closer to God.) I couldn’t see anything at first; I could only feel—and the feeling in question was pure terror.  I’ve never come close to being that afraid when awake and I hope that I never do.

There was something–a living thing—in the room with me.  What was it?  Evil itself is the only way to describe this entity.

I lay on a floor, curled up in a ball like a potato bug and unable to move.  My eyes—my dream-eyes—were slammed shut for fear of seeing the thing.  It seemed to menace my back, crackling the skin of it.  In the manner which dreams unfold, I could “see” chunks of flesh fall from my back; then  it would reintegrate and the process would start again.

I wanted to uncurl and turn to face the being, but fear stopped me.  I could feel my chest heaving; it seemed as though the mere sight of the Thing of Evil would stop my heart forever.

Then I cried out to God and He answered, reminding me that He had not given me the spirit of fear; that this particular emotion had a different source.  This reassurance seemed to slow my breath and un-paralyze my body.  I stood up and opened my eyes, but I still wasn’t quite able to face the Creature.

Sword_of_spirit

“Stretch out your arms,” God said.  I did so and opened my right hand.  In it was a sword or a handgun (they seemed interchangeable) and, as is so in myth and in fantasy, my weapon had a given name.

Its name was “the Word of God.”

So, with weapon in hand, I “screwed my courage to the sticking-place” and turned to face my enemy, steeling myself to view its ugly face.

It was gone.

*****

Weeks later, I was sitting in church and very much awake.

My pastor–learned in the languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek—was expounding on the two Greek terms for “word of God.”  One is a term with which most English-speakers are familiar—logos.  The other, however, is one I had heard before but had no idea what it meant until my pastor began to expound upon it: rhema[i]

The difference?  People far more theologically learned than I are still discussing it, but the difference seems to be in scope.  A rhema is more of a short aphorism, rather than a long sermon or the Word in its entirety, and it is intended to counter the Adversary quickly when he’s trying to induce doubt and/or fear.  For example, Jesus Christ used a quick succession of rhema on Satan when the latter tried to induce doubt about God the Father.

In short, when you hear preachers talk about “a word from God,” most of the time they are talking about a rhema.

“What does this have to do with your dream,” I hear you ask.  My mouth literally dropped open when my pastor mentioned the other definition of rhema….

The Sword of the Spirit[ii].

Whenever I feel anxious about anything, I think of this dream

Happy Resurrection Day and may the enemy Passover your dwelling.


[i] James Strong, The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2001),1641

[ii] Strong’s, 1626

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

 

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Olimometer 2.52

This blog exists as a full time endeavor thanks to your support.

The reporting, the commentary and the nine magnificent seven writers are all made possible because you, the reader choose to support it.

For a full month of all of what we provide ,we ask a fixed amount $1465, under $50 a day.

This month we are behind, but we can make our goal if we can get $100 a day for the rest of the month. That’s 4 $25 Tip jar hits.

Jesus said  laborer deserves his payment.  (Lk 10:7) If you think the work we do here for the conservative movement is worth it, please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature, died yesterday. Cuba’s government-run media mourned Fidel’s friend, who even worked for Cuba’s Prensa Latina news agency in Bogota and New York. He was 87 years old.

One of the giants of Spanish-language literature, García Márquez’s most renowned novel is A Hundred Years of Solitude, which brought magical realism to the forefront,

“In Mexico,” he says, “surrealism runs through the streets. Surrealism comes from the reality of Latin America.”

It may at times, but it also helps to bear in mind that he had books to sell, and his own staunch support of Castro verged on the surreal: Cuban author Carlos Alberto Montaner, who knew Garcia Marquez well (they shared an agent), narrates (link in Spanish, my translation with emphasis added),

With no other factor than compassion for [Cuban political prisoner and former union leader Reinol González] Reinol’s wife, who had gone to Mexico to meet the novelist and ask for his help without ever having met him, García Márquez interceded with Fidel to release him. And so it happened: the Dictator not only released González. He gifted him to García Márquez right in the middle of the street, as one gives away an inanimate object, and, suddenly, the Colombian found himself in Havana with the strange gift from his powerful friend, owner of the lives and deaths of all his subjects.

That a human being would waste his prodigious talent in the service of a monstrous dictator after having witnessed such event speaks of a blindness, a void of the soul.

But then, Fidel had gifted García Márquez a fully-furnished mansion in Havana’s best neighborhood (link in Spanish), and a Mercedes, complete with staff, after the 1982 Nobel award was announced.

Regardless of the house and slaves, García Márquez lived in Mexico, where the government kept him under surveillance as a Cuban propaganda agent.

faustaIf you would like to borrow García Márquez’s novels from the local public library, I recommend Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude while in college and it blew my mind, but decades later attempted to re-read it both in the original Spanish and in the Gregory Rabassa translation, and found it unreadable.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin American culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

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Olimometer 2.52

Friday is here and the worst week of the what is shaping up to be the worst month financially for this blog is again taking shape.

That’s wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that prior to this month February & March were respectively the worst financial months the blog had before it.

I’d like to think this site and our writes are worth your support. Frankly we are sitting $1254 shy of the mortgage and the payroll. It’s going to take a $100 a day each day to the end of the month to get this done and turn this three month slump around. (And the establishment certainly isn’t going to provide it).

I think the site and the work done here is worth it, if you do too then please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?