A Cup of Trembling

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, When they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it… In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, And like a torch of fire in a sheaf; And they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. – Zechariah 12:2-3, 6, KJV

On a scale that measures the significance of biblical prophesy, that one ranks pretty high, I think.  It’s merely the tip of the iceberg (of significant scripture), of course, but, today, this one ought to be rather compelling, even to an unbeliever.  After all, this particular book (Zechariah) is understood to have been written around 520 B.C., some 1,100 years before Mohammad and 2,400+ years before we learned to convert oil into gasoline. Continue reading

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I’m Sorry, I Really Am

It bothers me a lot that I have very little good to say about the state of the world.  And, I’m sorry about that.  I really am.

I don’t like telling my friends and family that “the sky is falling”.  I really don’t.  I’d much rather focus on the positive developments in my life.  There are many plenty of those that I could recite.  We have a pretty good life – not without its challenges, of course – but, I think we’ve been blessed.  God is good.

The dour countenance that often I take here, really, isn’t about me at all.  I don’t even have much in the way of personal fear over the state of the world.  That’s one of the benefits of my Christian faith, you see, although many of my friends would consider that to be rather delusional.  So be it, it still brings me peace. 

When it’s all said and done, the reason that I continue to point to so many tragic calamities (that are cropping up like fleas on a dog) is that it will affect you and your loved ones.  Oh, I know, it’s simply a matter of opinion…and, since humankind has tended to muddle through so often before (not always, of course), its easy to disregard such gloomy expectations. Continue reading

Brass Tacks #3: She’s Just Having A Bake Sale For The KKK

The third in a series of articles intended to boil down some of the problems we’re facing to their essential, skeletal, sometimes rancid core.

Small town politics are a wonder.  They’re chock-a-block full of big things left unsaid, and, often as not, little things said too loudly.

These unsaid things are a little like rocks that people don’t dare turn over, lest they find something too disturbing or unpleasant.  That kind of knowledge can become more than a bit untenable in the otherwise pleasant intimacy of the small community.  It can become more than just a mere pebble in the shoe.

I had a little run-in the other night with just the sort of blinders that small town folks like to wear to avoid that deeply uncomfortable feeling.  Note:  You’ll know it when it happens to you because it tends to be an effective conversation stopper.  Continue reading

Imagine: Death, Taxes, Insurance Premiums

Oh, yes, I’m old enough now to have a more complete understanding of the old saw regarding the only certainties in life being death and taxes.  To that list, I now add insurance premiums, specifically for health care.

It matters not a whit that my wife and I have used perhaps $1,000 in coverage over the past 20 years; we find ourselves now paying more than $10,000 per year in medical insurance payments.  Of course, I know that the day is coming, perhaps sooner than later, when I’ll start using my “fair share” of those costs, assuming I can afford to continue making those payments while (in all probability) not capable of working.  Continue reading

As Time Flies, The Dude Abides

ut tempus fugit, optimus vir mansurus

 

For each of us, time is passing by.  I’m just guessing here, but for some, not as quickly as for others.  I do remember kindergarten after all.  

Most of us try to ignore this simple truth for the bulk of our lives, but we are propelled forward nonetheless.  Maybe you’ve given up asking, “are we there yet?”  But, I haven’t.  Today, it sounds a bit more like: “So, how ought we to spend this day?”  Continue reading

Centrally-Planned, Shovel-Ready Keynesian Stupidity

China’s “City of the Future”:  Ordos in Outer Mongolia.  Truly, a Krugmanian Wet Dream.  If only our leaders had a similarly “bold vision” for the future.  Ahem. Ok, maybe not.  And, I’m very sorry, but I simply can’t resist saying it:  They should have stuck to “take out”.

HT

PS  – All that said, the Chinese have been more willing to import actual architects than was, say, Nikita Kruschev.  (“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.”)

Quote of the Day

“If there are signs that we have become less concerned than we should be with virtue, there are also signs that many Americans are becoming restless under the tyrannies of egalitarianism and sick of the hedonistic individualism that has brought us to the suburbs of Gomorrah. But, for the immediate future, what we probably face is an increasingly vulgar, violent, chaotic, and politicized culture.”  –  Robert Bork, “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”, 1997