Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
from the water,
and the sun.
with a black
phone in the middle
of a gaggle
of Sunday tourists.
With one finger
in your left ear,
you call home. The one
finger is not meant to ignore
those around you, but to highlight
a far faint voice in your right
ear, as you say, "Happy.Father's
day." A hundred plus year old
hotel stands witness
as you greet the other.
the voices of the famous
phantoms who stayed
at this Hotel are obscured
by the living
and by a store-
bought folk singer
performing a set of
Bob Dylan songs. I wait
my turn to speak. You gracefully
smile at his humor.
A retired lighthouse standing
on a far off cliff is in our
horizon. This light-
house became a museum
not too long ago. Below it
the replacement modern lighthouse
channels modern steel ships
past dangerous rocks.
you hand me the phone
to speak to your father.
I say thank you for this, his day.
I honor him for his gift and life and... The surf
adds rhythm to the families
loafing on the shag carpet sand.
Your father deliberates
about his barbequing
the perfect pork chops. Today,
he will host two
of his three children. I stand
with you, his second-born, thousands
of miles away. Yet, I can see him
in your flesh, your eyes,
for the warm day,
and the natural breeze,
we say good bye. His life gave
you your life. Freedom. Crossing
of the hotel’s big
wooden entry, I look for our
future children in your eyes,
and I find your father’s
eyes. I rejoice
in our instant memory
being made. Love, there is
a breath that moves
through our time
And our ancestors have
their share in the blood pulsing
through our veins.
Monday, October 27, 2008
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
33 They answered him, We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?
34 Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
The key to the passage is understanding what freedom is. Many times the definition of freedom is reduced to "freedom from..." or the concept of Liberty. To be free is not to have the shackles of an outside force, whether that be government, church, or other power. Such an understanding underpins much of the libertarian thinking and it is not surprising that such thinking rejects government, church and ultimately God. It is also very problematic. As one member said yesterday, she wants to be free to do want she wants. Does she then become a slave to her wants and also what if her wants go against another desires. She is free only to the extent of her desires and others. In such a system of thinking, the other is only valid in so much as they align. Since most of our desires are fickle, our freedom becomes fickle. The next step becomes adding reason to the mix, and saying we should be free to follow our happiness tempered by reason and the other's happiness. In such a worldview, love cannot exist because the other is the limit of my freedom. Soon, resentment arises about the other, and a human wants to liberate himself. To limit freedom to only "freedom from..." is to create a prison of self and desire under the illusion of freedom. What it ignores is the word, "freedom" comes from the same etymology of friend and love. Freedom main meaning is "free to ..." and the to is love. To be love or to love frees us, and so powerfully that no government or outside force can take it way. With God being Love, the highest form of freedom is relationship with God. This is the truth that sets us free.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Once there was an artist, who lacked the sense of smell. She loved the look of red onions. Soon, she would start making beautiful coats out of the onions. She would step back and admired her work. How beautiful, she would claim.
"Only a fool could not see how great a work of art I have created." She said.
She took her work to the market place. Most who saw her coat, quickly left as they could not stand the smell. Angry at them, she would yell at them yjay they were fools lacking artistic and rational understanding. Soon, she gathered a small group of disciples who also lack the sense of smell. No matter how much people kept tell them her work reeks, they would wrap themselves in her coats of red onions and their anger. They became angrier and angrier. Everyone who can see the beauty are fools.
"Fools, fools, fools." They would chant. "Why won't see the masterpiece of coats?"
Since they would not listen to anyone but themselves, they could never understand why most people could not stand the beautiful coats. They were left alone with their coats. The artist never understood why most held their noses when they are around her coats.
What is the lack of sense: A is A, a hatred of Altruism and Compassion, and finally misunderstanding of Freedom. Freedom is more the freedom from... it is freedom to...
Suggest Link Directory
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
- God as the God of Genesis-Power as the power of Creation
- God as the God of Exodus-Power as the power of Freedom
- God as the God of the Cross-Power as the power of Reconciliation
It is in community that life is at its fullest. Yet, one cannot know this until one experiences community. I realize many of the people I talk to (including the Objectivist I have communicated) with recently have never experienced it. That is sad. When we stood under the homemade Sukkot and experienced the power of the L-rd, and when our church has rallyed around us, I experienced the power that comes when two or more gather in Jesus name, he is there. When I have help others in my community, I have also felt the glory of Grace. The etymology of the word Freedom comes from a system of words that mean love, friendship, and peace. These words that are relational. The difference between mobs, groups, crowds with community.
Part I Jesus answers the Public, Economic, and Political powers
Part III Principalities and Powers: Our addition to Hollywood, Wall Street, and Washington
Thursday, October 16, 2008
- Public oppinion?
- None of the about
Matthew 22:15-22: Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.What I love about the text is how relevant it is to what is going on with our markets. The passage is about power. What is power? The trap set for Jesus was simple. By asking him about taxes, they set him up for what they thought was a no win proposition. Either he says yes to paying Roman taxes and undercut his power with the people, or he says no, which would be treason punishable by death. Their problem was they fundamentally misunderstood the nature of Jesus' power. It would be a mistake to think Jesus answered by thinking about how to get himself out from under this trap. Rather, he answered by understanding what true power is.
The first part to understanding power as Jesus understands it is to look at what the Pharisees though of as power. Their trap comes from seeing Jesus' power as based on his popularity. They thought if they undercut this power, they would undercut Jesus. They go about it by using their next belief about power, the power of money. Should I pay taxes, or should I give away my hard earn money to the state? The question would put Jesus in conflict with a third and fourth power, the power of the state and the power of the military. The power of the Military as Israel was under the control of Rome was thought to be last word. Jesus answers their question of power by pointing to the real power, the power of God.
I will post on what Jesus meant by power and God tomorrow. Right now I want to show how nothing has changed. We still view and engage what we think real power is: Public, Economic, and Political. Public is what others say about you both in Macro and Micro. The economics is the stuff you have or potentially can have or in short hand your money and your stuff. Political is your ability to make others do your bidding or how you are force to do others bidding. They are very observable power but ultimately powerless. The test is death and time. With death and time, all three fade. The best proof is Rome itself. The greatest power of that generation became history. We will see these powers also fade in our current crisis. We will be told how we all should seen it coming, and how the current collapse puts us in dire straights. If we understand power as the above three, then that is true. But what if their is another power that is larger than the three?
Part II Part III
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The bookshelf of polemics as novel next the work of Upton Sinclair rather than bookshelf of great novel is a better place for her work. Upton Sinclair's work is very similar to hers as both are very Manichean in their worldview. The only difference being that he chooses the workers to be the Children of Light and capitalists to be the Children of Dark, while Ayn Rand chooses the opposite. They both still suffer from simplistic view of human beings divided by Good guys and Bad guys. Contrast these works with Brothers Karamazov’s view of human nature is enough to refute any claims of genius about Atlas Shrug.
Saying this, let's back it up by exposing just one of the illogical flaws (of the thousands I might add) in Atlas Shrug. One of the major forces, if not the major force is her character John Galt's dislike of the collective, or any collective movement. He is the hero standing for the power of the individual. He gets tired of being pushed around by the "looters" and "moochers" (her shorthand for those who are for the power of the collective), and decides to do something about it. He will pull out of the world and watch it fail, because without his genius, world will fall apart. If that premise were followed through to its logical conclusion then novel would be about a Ted Kazinsky type character, but a crackpot out in the middle of Colorado would be a honest, yet boring novel. What Ayn Rand has John Galt do is to gather and convinced other rugged individuals to join him in his strike, and then when the world collapses, they would come and take over the world. The famous gesture of making a dollar sign at the end of her novel is her exclamation point. So where is the flaw? John Galt gathers the power of the collective to battle the collective. It is not Galt who has the power, but his movement that does. And how do you join his group? You recite a creed against becoming part of a group and your belief in the individual and join the anti-group group.
His creed: I SWEAR BY MY LIFE AND MY LOVE OF IT THAT I WILL NEVER LIVE FOR THE SAKE OF ANOTHER MAN, NOR ASK ANOTHER MAN TO LIVE FOR MINE.
Huh? You stay on the good side of individualism against the power of groups by joining a group and losing your own individuality to the mass agreement spewed by John Galt. Again, Huh? You join John Galt's movement for the sake of John Galt in order to prove you stand for yourself and not another even if it bennifits john Galt and not yourself. (Long live double think, would have been a more honest creed for Galt) Galt is only powerful in the novel for violating his own creed. Only by joining the anti-group group can you fight the power of the group with … (You guessed it) the power of the group. We have entered into an Orwellian world where war is called peace, poverty is called wealth, and illogical nonsense is called Reason. So goes the Circus world of nonsensical thinking that Ayn Rand pass off as Reason, which would be funny entertainment if her views was not taken seriously. We are in middle of largest Randing experiment when Alan Greesnpan fought for and won the principle of no regulation for the derivatives markets. It is this market and its underlining greedy irrationality causing the meltdown. Who is John Galt? A fictional character who embodies illogical double speak.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The prosperty Gospel both in its obvious and sublte forms are not the Gospel of Jesus. Christ was and is about the freeing the world from its oppression spiritual and econmic. Jesus calls us today to repent and turn back to him. We have witness the how deep human sin in this grand Ponzi scheme that has been the financial world in the last four or five years. Yet, it looks like the banks, Hedge Funds, and the large financial institutions were selling to each other the same insurance securities over and over. They insured to the tune of $45 tillion dollars assest worth about 4.4 trillion. They created a pile of false money that was only a matter of time before it collapsed taking all of us with them. 1 Tim 6.10 and the Bible again prove to be write. As Christians, we have to repent, pray, and get into action.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Listening to This American Life (It was a very good a explaining the greed that us in this mess) last night, the Spirit prompt me into seeing the problem has been what 1 Tim 6.10 always warned us about that the "love" of money is the root of evil. We have see a loss of one of the founding principle of this country. We are all taught the notion of Checks and Balance in civics class or High School. Government works best when you split up power. What most people are unaware of is that it is based on the Presbyterian Church, which in turn derived it from Christian Anthropology. Christian understand the all humans are sinners and as such we always need to watch over each others shoulders. The Market philosophy of trust in greed and self-interest to do the job of self regulation is anti-Christian. Does that mean I advocate a socialism. Of course not, for the same reason, you can't trust Government because it is full of Sinners. You can't trust Markets because it is also full of sinners, as the headlines are now making all to obvious. We have to set up a series of Checks and Balances because the markets will follow the way of any institution and become corrupt.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I need to hide, need to cover my face
from the others. To hide this hurt for I fear
and I am ashamed. To be with you
is too painful. I hide from you.
Come into my being. Protect me
from the good intentions of others.
come to the place
of your hurt child, your servant.
I am mad at you
Why have you not broken through
to their hearts that oozes out blood of hate,
pointing fingers at me as I point
at them. I join them in the wasteland
of wild shrubs, afraid. Where
in hell can we go? Punching each other
in the underbrush.
I need you to seek
me. I need to be told. I need to be
untold—past my blackness. In the
dark places, it hurts
more, but fear of comfort, fear of power,
fear of my own weakness conceals my
right and my wrong, keeping me. Lord,
Cradle me in your damaged palms
lullaby me to peace, stay by my side,
keep me save don’t go, don’t you go,
find me, call me back
to your new singing in others. Lord,
take my bruised blue hand from under
the wild black rose undergrowth. Call me to your lap,
from I am too weak. May the grace of your gestures cross
and offer me a place back in the light of your sun, your
again. Your are my only hope