Sunday, November 29, 2009
Recently in the Washington Post, Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke criticized moves in Congress to limit the power and authority of the Federal Reserve. Lawmakers have been irked over what they see as mistakes by the Fed in dealing with the economic crisis. If you'd like to read Mr. Bernanke's entire column, here it is.
The Federal Reserve has been a controversial institution since its founding, so this most recent flap doesn't surprise me much. For the record, I'm not a fan of the Fed either. I think it's unconstitutional, but that's beside the point of this post.
Below is a clip of Mr. Bernanke's comments. One phrase in particular jumped out at me, but let me quote the whole paragraph:
Notably, some leading proposals in the Senate would strip the Fed of all its bank regulatory powers. And a House committee recently voted to repeal a 1978 provision that was intended to protect monetary policy from short-term political influence. These measures are very much out of step with the global consensus on the appropriate role of central banks, and they would seriously impair the prospects for economic and financial stability in the United States. The Fed played a major part in arresting the crisis, and we should be seeking to preserve, not degrade, the institution's ability to foster financial stability and to promote economic recovery without inflation.
Quite honestly, I could care less about "global consensus." I recognize that there needs to be some uniformity of standards here and there, and common sense international protocols dealing with finance and transactions. Having said that, how we govern our banks here in the United States is a matter for the United States and our elected representatives. Not "global consensus." I think this is yet more of the "creeping globalism" of which so many seem to be enamored. The Tower of Babel on a smart card. If Europe wants to be governed by Brussels or some other supranational body, they can go right ahead.
But we'll hold on to our own sovereignty here, thank you very much. Some powers that be here in the States need to be reminded of that. Loudly, if need be.
Friday, November 27, 2009
This vampire craze in America is really getting to be something. Our culture is also getting to be something.
USA Today on Monday had a series of stories talking about the rash of vampire-related shows and movies, and way they are drawing young people these days. I had to laugh at a quote from Richie Fay, distribution chief of Summit Entertainment, which released the film "New Moon." The newspaper reports that the "Twilight" films and the Stephanie Meyer four-book series on which they're based have a rare female fan base ranging from pre-teens to grandmothers. Said Mr. Fay . . . "There's something wholesome in these movies that is getting mothers to take their daughters with them."
In a separate article, the co-operator of an adults-only blog says that the movies are "brain porn." Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Gruner, an English professor at the University of Richmond, pontificates . . . "Vampire stories appeal to teens because vampires are eternal teens — they stay up late, exchange bodily fluids, engage in illicit practices and live forever, and most teens think they're immortal too."
Yeah. That's sure wholesome fare, isn't it?
While I am at it, I can't pass up some comment on the Adam Lambert thing. I'm sure most of you have heard about the flamboyant gay singer's vulgar little exhibition on national television the other night. Have you heard much about Kris Allen, the actual winner of the American Idol competition this past time around?
I thought not. Kris, who is also an evangelical church pastor in addition to his singing career, gets nowhere near the headlines Lambert does, even though Kris won the competition. Please spare me the comments that his antics are what gets noticed by the media. They can use that excuse, and you can buy it if you want.
The reality is that Lambert is a homosexual. An in-your-face homosexual. The media loves it, and this gives them yet another way of cramming the gay agenda down the public's throats. They're doing it on purpose because they have a cultural agenda. The sad thing to me is that they're slowly but surely having an impact on our culture, like stone worn away by the continual dropping of water. At one time, the backlash against such an exhibition would have been enormous, and heads would have rolled. No longer. There's a small outcry, but nowhere near enough of one.
The more the United States and its people embrace immorality and evil, the more the country will continue to decay. More than that, this nation inches ever closer to severe divine judgment.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever (Psalm 86:12).
The Seventh Sola wishes you and yours a most wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving. America has been a blessed nation. May we remember that today and never forget it.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
My, I've been neglecting my blog of late. It really has been an incredibly busy time for me, and it looks to get even busier, at least until the holiday season is past. But we'll try to update as frequently as possible. Anyway . . . today's post.
While preparing for a speaking engagement at a recent missions conference, I was looking through 2 Timothy for the verse where the Apostle Paul talks about “being equipped” for ministry. But that wasn’t the verse that snagged my attention.
Instead, the whole of chapter three grabbed me, as it has on numerous occasions. I’ve posted about it before, but I want to discuss it again today because several things leap out at me that deserve fresh comment. First, the chapter . . .
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also. Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
This passage begins with a warning about the last days and difficult times. Next comes a steady litany of observable traits about people during "the last days." In one sense, we've been in the last days since the ascension of Christ. But in an eschatological sense, this passage is talking about the days preceding the return of Christ. In keeping with my premillennial views on this subject, I believe we are approaching those days, and it would be hard to argue that we're not seeing the rather objectionable traits listed by Paul on the increase.
I think the thing that strikes me the most is this: it's one thing for unbelievers to ignore warnings about themselves and about the coming judgment. It's quite another for believers in the church to be oblivious to it. It's also -- I believe -- a matter of curiosity and concern when we see some of Paul's list surfacing in people who style themselves as believers. I've said for quite a while now that it's getting hard to distinguish the world from the church because of the ungodly behavior of believers. Could this be the kind of behavior that hallmarked the church of Laodicea in Revelation?
Think about it a while.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Last night, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly completely misrepresented Calvinism, basically equating it with fatalism. It was an aside to a guest, but nevertheless, the misrepresentation was made.
Good Calvinist that I am, I have a partially tongue-in-cheek, five-point response to Bill's perfidy.
1. This was a totally depraved thing for Bill to do.
2. My disapproval is unconditional, and I may elect to watch him less in the future.
3. My patience is limited for this kind of thing, and I expect Bill to fully atone for his Romanist error.
4. I really try to exhibit grace, but in this instance, my urge to issue a rejoinder was irresistible.
5. If Bill continues in his mischaracterization of Calvinists, you can be sure this saint will persevere in his criticism.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Pressing day for me at the office, so no time for a long post. In lieu of one, check out today's column from Wes Pruden, editor emeritus of the Washington Times. Mr. Pruden correctly whacks President Obama for groveling before foreign heads of state, and draws some correct conclusions.
Like I said, Jimmy Carter on steroids.
Like I said, Jimmy Carter on steroids.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Doesn't this photo just take the cake? The president of the United States bowing to Japanese Emperor Akihito. The head of state is not supposed to bow to another head of state under our protocol, but I guess we should start getting used to it with this guy.
What's interesting is this: if you remember, there was a flap a few months ago when Obama was caught on camera appearing to bow to Saudi King Abdullah. The White House denied it at the time, despite what was captured on camera. I forget exactly what the excuse was. Something about the Saudi ruler being short, hard of hearing or some such folderol.
Well, this time it's unmistakable, and again . . . caught on camera.
Let's see if Obama ends up kissing the foot of another head of state in time. Or groveling on the floor.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I've often said to friends that the presidency of Barack Obama is beginning to remind me a lot of of Jimmy Carter. Thinking of either Obama or Carter tends to put me in high dudgeon, so I snap myself out of it by remembering how Ronald Reagan gave Carter a shellacking at the polls in 1980. Take a look at the 1980 electoral map posted above. Cheers the heart, doesn't it?
If the Obama Administration continues its leftward lunge -- which in my view will eventually wreck the economy, bankrupt the future, and endanger our nation's security -- could 1980 happen again?
We can only hope, but the country is much more polarized than it was in 1980. We have more people than ever who believe that they're entitled to government largesse. And it's actually not the government's money. It's my money and your money. Nevertheless, we need to ponder just how much freedom and personal responsibility we're willing to surrender. Once government takes power, it's very, very difficult to get it back without serious turmoil, and even bloodshed.
There's also something else to consider, and that is the corruption of our electoral process. The Chicago machine gaining greater influence over national elections concerns me greatly. I became even more concerned when thinking about a situation that took place south of our border.
I find it interesting that President Obama backed Manuel Zalaya, the ousted president of Honduras, after Zalaya illegally tried to change the Honduran Constitution and stay in office. The legislature and Supreme Court rightly removed the would-be president for life, but the Obama Administration has been demanding Zalaya's return. I think it would be a monumental mistake if the Hondurans let him back in
Anyway, we currently have a two term limit on the presidency here in the United States. Kind of makes you wonder if Obama might get ideas in time.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Many conservatives such as myself have been concerned about the Marxist-Socialist sympathies of the Obama Administration. I said "slouching" in the title of this post, but "careening" might have been a better word.
This week, no less than Texas Governor Rick Perry charged Obama with taking the nation toward socialism. I agree with the Governor, but he's also in the midst of a primary fight with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. That means the governor might be using more heated rhetoric to cast himself to the right of Hutchison. Probably a good political tactic, but I wish that Republicans wouldn't be slugging it out with each other at this moment in time. We've got a whole Augean stable of Democrats that we need to clean out in Washington. Inter-party fighting at crucial moments makes me nervous.
Don't get me wrong. I want liberal Republicans out. Good riddance to Arlen Specter, who bolted the GOP to rejoin the Democrats -- his original party back in the 60s. He never really left them. Remember what a thorn in the side Lowell Weicker was when he was in the Senate? I can. But there's a time to do it, and a time to hold off. Could this be one of those times?
I wish I had a firm answer. If true conservatives could win primaries and go on to win the general, I'd be as pleased as punch. But look what happened in New York, where the liberal Republican dropped out after a conservative challenge, only to endorse the Democrat in the race. Maybe in the long run it will be a good thing if New York Republicans purge themselves of RINOS in their midst. But that will mean making more true conservatives to replace those who find a conservative Republican Party unpalatable. That will take some effort.
And the stakes are very, very high.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I frequently read and enjoy Cal Thomas's insightful commentaries. Today's column on Fox News' website is a must read, and echoes something I've been saying for eons.
Political correctness always irritated me beyond words, but with this issue, it can be fatal. And not just to individuals, but also the country as a whole.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. I remember the event well, and I was very interested in how this day would be covered by the media. As I expected, I was saddened and appalled. Why, you ask? I'll tell you. This particular story is an excellent example. I also looked at the BBC and some other accounts.
Gorbachev gets credit from German chancellor Angela Merkel. But where is the credit due to Ronald Reagan, who demanded two years earlier, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," overruling the objections of the U.S. State Department in delivering that line. Where? What European leader bothered to mention or acknowledge Reagan? Even our own former president George H.W. Bush, who served as Ronald Reagan's vice president, gave Mr. Reagan no credit at all during a Fox News interview.
As far as I am concerned, that's shameful.
Monday, November 09, 2009
European politicians aren't typically as open about discussing their religious beliefs as Americans. That's what makes this BBC story so interesting.
In the article, conservative leader David Cameron is quoted as saying, "If you are asking, 'do I drop to my knees and pray for guidance' no. But do I have faith and is it important, yes. My own faith is there. It is not always the rock that perhaps it should be.
"I have a sort of fairly classic Church of England faith, a faith that grows hotter and colder by moments."
The rest of the article is just as interesting, but Mr. Cameron's remarks leave me a bit cold. I think most of us deal with what C.S. Lewis called the "law of undulation," or peaks and valleys in our walk with the Lord. However, I do have to ask a serious question. What kind of Christian faith -- provided that it's genuine -- never prays or asks God for guidance?
I cannot and will not attempt to judge Mr. Cameron's heart. But such a notion of not humbly asking the Lord in prayer for His wisdom and guidance seems so alien to God's revealed truth in Scripture about how His people are to interact with Him.
This is yet another example of how Christians need to pay very close attention to the intersection of faith and politics. Just because a politician mouths spiritual-sounding words, that is no indication of how genuine their walk with Christ is. We need to watch not just what people say, but also what they do.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
We've always known that the left consists of elitists who consider the rest of us too stupid to govern ourselves. Actor Ted Danson offers the latest proof.
Keep this in mind when you watch the headlines and listen to what liberals say as they urge passage of their health care monstrosity, or other "solutions" to social ills.
And by the way, note to Ted: No, we're not marionettes with a herd mentality. We happen to agree with each other on what's wrong with the country. And we're getting mad too.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
This is yet another reason why I am glad rock stars don't run the world.
Gordon, I like your music, but I'll pass on your prescription for the world's ills. It's not Mr. Obama. God certainly permitted him to ascend to the White House for His own reasons, but I tend to suspect it's more in discipline/judgment of the country than it is a prescription to Utopia.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
For many years now, I have been a subscriber to British Heritage magazine. Yeah, yeah, I know. "Griffith" is a Welsh name. But it's the same island, and I believe I have British and Irish heritage in addition to Welsh. Nevertheless, it's a great magazine with plenty of historical articles of interest each month. I recommend it highly.
The reason I am highlighting British Heritage in this post is because of editor Dana Huntley's most recent installment of his column, "Our Sceptered Isle." In it, he sounds some warnings about how the "Nanny State" is consuming England, including the use of CCTV cameras to watch the populace in true "Big Brother" style. Here's a brief clip of his remarks:
The justification for this intrusion into the everyday lives of its citizens, of course, is security. The cameras are anti-crime devices. It's the oldest totalitarian dodge in the book: convincing people to accept a curtailment of their freedom and privacy in the interest of their security.
Now it turns out that in London, home to almost a million CCTV cameras, the Metropolitan Police have admitted that less than one crime per year is solved for every 1,000 cameras. Separate research conducted by the Home Office concluded that the cameras did virtually nothing to cut crime, except to deter vehicle crime in car parks. MP David Davis, former shadow Home Secretary, summarizes: 'CCTV leades to massive expense and minimum effectiveness. It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little to no improvement in security.' He speaks for many.
Mr. Huntley goes on to comment about Britain's jobless rate and health care situation, and the hapless Labour government . . .
Meanwhile, Britain's jobless rate remains high. In fact, it's come out that a cool 1.5 million people have never held a job and live permanently on Britain's "benefits." The phenomenon is even shamelessly depicted by a popular T.V. drama series appropriately titled 'Shameless.'
Most of us already know that whatever model of health care reform adopted in the U.S., we probably don't want to swap our care for the NHS. To add insult to injury, on Bank Holiday headlines across the media proclaimed that British prisons provide better food than NHS hospitals. Hmm.
Very, very interesting. It seems that Britain's Labour government is about to lose its head, but the socialist-type system will be hard to get rid of in the UK because it's so firmly established. That makes me wonder anew why we seem to be in such a hurry to adopt it here. Perhaps that's why the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress are hell-bent for leather on ramming their programs through. Once they're enacted, they'll be very, very hard to get rid of.
As the late President Ronald Reagan once said, the next thing to eternal life is a government program.
God help us.