Monday, November 29, 2010

The WikiLeaks Horror Picture Show

So, exactly what are you going to do with the information that was recently published on WikiLeaks?

You know what I'm talking about. The information that reveals the United States uses strongarm tactics in its diplomatic efforts. That it uses what is effectively subversive espionage to engage other nations. That it is wholly devious and underhanded in its strategy to gain the upper hand in all negotiations relating to the interest of maintaining stalwart national security.

Are you a Chicken Little who's screeching that the sky is falling? Are you a timid traveler on the Yellow Brick Road bleating "Lions and tigers and bears oh my!"? Are you dutifully rivited to the World's megaphone holders who are either soaked in denial, steeped in rationalization, or immersed in arrogance spouting some plap about being above it all?

Some may say those who cheer on the WikiLeakers represent a second kind of person, one who proudly bellows "I knew it all along, those pukes" and then gets really righteously indignant about it as a pretense to yet another stepped-up effort to tell guvment what's what and move on really getting them to get their act together. Nah, sorry. This individual is just another of the obsequiously fearful.

Or is it possible that...

Is it possible that you could perceptively see the World System humming away, churning on all cylinders just as it should be, marketing and exhibiting the typical horror movie featuring the valiant knights of Babylon riding to rescue the shaped and formed pusillanimous hordes just as it has for millennia?

Don't get me wrong. It is authentic horror. Countless more souls will be abducted, hearts captivated, bodies sacrificed in another chapter of the great conflagration that is the Grand Sin Management Administration Extravaganza.

Could it possibly be that you're one of those who do see all of this for what it is, and retire to the place where grace and mercy reign, where truth is given its just place, where agape expressions are bountiful -- indeed where broken and battered individuals find repentence and rest, quietness and trust, and in God Almighty they have genuine salvation and strength?

That place is nowhere other than right where you stand, except that by Christ you have a bit of light to shine upon those who wallow in this benighted nation. And by that light there'd be some who want out and join you in the Kingdom. As you turn to smile upon those ravaged by the World and its WikiLeak silliness, you draw them to rapturous contentment in the arms of One Who Loves.

Which one are you?

By the way, those words about repentence and rest, they're from the 30th chapter of Isaiah. Check them out.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Nature of Exploitation

So what is it? Should we have severe government regulation to help things out or not? Should we let the free market be truly free when all it wants to do is be greedy and selfish and evil? What is it? What is it?

What is it?

You can actually find the answer. It is in the Bible. Thing is you gotta actually look in it. You can't just listen to the people who say they know what it says. That's a trick the Catholic Church has used for eons to keep their people ignorant. Sure the Protestant Reformation was supposedly the thing that enlightened us all, but the sad fact is many good wholesome Protestant churches have so thoroughly made themselves Roman Catholic again that they still hope people will only listen to those guys bellowing from the pulpits.

By all means, don't even listen to me. That's cool.

But here's one guy I really like to read because he is so much fun. His name is Bill Frezza, and he's a financial advisor guy of some stripe. Recently he wrote a piece railing against wealth distribution as carried out by the government. In some ways his cry for unfettered free market freedoms is similar to all the others. Don't et me wrong, I like the free market. I just don't think these people really know what it is. But he's still fun to read.

Anyway, in his latest he asked us to graphically imagine a world in which incentives are eviscerated, and his description of the power of government to exploit is pretty dang great. From the inimitable Bill Frezza:

"Imagine a society in which politically connected individuals enrich themselves by giving money to politicians in return for earmarked dollars extracted from taxpayers. Imagine political entrepreneurs displacing market entrepreneurs by weaving fantastic tales of energy independence and a green tomorrow, sucking down billions in taxpayer loan guarantees for businesses that cannot possibly achieve economic sustainability. This is how crony Capitalism works.

"Imagine a handful of executives earning hundreds of millions of dollars selling toxic mortgage bonds pyramided on low cost government-guaranteed capital made available by key Congressional committee chairmen who got special mortgage deals. Imagine a revolving door between reckless Wall Street derivative gamblers selling fraudulent unbacked insurance products and the regulatory agencies that bail them out using unlimited quantities of fiat currency printed up by unelected bureaucrats. This is how Washington works."

Ahh, yes. Very very true indeed. (And splendidly articulated.)

This is the way the World works.

The trouble comes when Mr. Frezza and just about every other of the thousands and thousands of highfalutin finance or economic guys and gals belch some marble-encrusted plap about this or that World solution.

But, umm, ahem,

Didn't you all just finish explaining that's how things work?

I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard about "The New Economics," about the new wave of intellectual rigor that must be employed and barfed about at the next Davos hoedown. Never ever do World people ever extend anything new, and if it looks new it's just the old dressed up in the latest fashion.

What people must do to be truly fulfilled is to do something that is very old but would certainly be radically new to a jaded World follower. What is that thing?

Recognize that you're worthless.

Wow, I know. An impossibility for people who've been told a thousand different ways they're special, they're okay like you're okay, they must love themselves, and all the rest of the ultimately pointless dreck that belies the truth that in the end it is all dust in the wind.

Unless, unless...

The solution to the economic crisis is merely getting people -- yes, thousands and thousands of them who know and understand and follow the One Who Is Worth to vibrantly live by loving others with His love and from that sowing, thousands of them doing nothing other than deep rich wise compassionate investment with the expectation of return simply being what the sowees continue doing for others with everything He has to give for us to do that.

That's all that sowing is. Having people who really know God's economics and finances, and building and sustaining the Kingdom here and now. This isn't pie-in-the-sky bring-heaven-here-now stuff. It is just doing what He wants us to do, authentically, truthfully, charitably...

I've put all this together as a blog post here simply to say that I elaborate a bit on this concept in my latest home page piece. I invite you to read it, and offer your thoughts. It is here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

A Wonderfully Wonderfully Fun Wonderful Matter

I use this blog to write a lot about what I see going on in the World around and hope to do a decent job of articulating how much more wonderful the Kingdom is.

But tonight I simply have to get into the official open record a truly wonderful matter I've been waiting forty years for. It is simply this.

My favorite major league baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, are indeed


I can't even believe I'm writing those very words, but I can officially, fully, completely, and truthfully write in great big superfont capital letters


I'm not going to go into all the splendid thrills of rooting for this team, nor detail the incessantly turgid of despair waiting for our team to finally get a ring, or as my good friend and I have always said, to do the dance on the mound. (And for those who'd say the Giants already have world championships, those were in New York. Just not the same.)

I just want to share with you two moments that I think about in all of this. Two simple moments in my life that are light years apart in emotional substance. I could write a book about this man's Giants fandom. For now, just these two items.

The first was when I entered a major league baseball park for the very first time, this one Candlestick Park in the summer of 1971. I was blown away, as all youngsters are, by the color and pageantry of a real live game. They were playing the Cardinals, and we won that game. I even think Willie Mays hit a home run, but it is hard to recall. I was ten years old and just liked it all.

Fast forward to 1987, this moment featuring the Cardinals also. This was about as harrowingly depressing as it could ever be. I don't know why I remember it so well, the particular image of me just looking out into the misty ominous darkness through the front windshield. Perhaps it was just because the oppression of my despair was so crushing at that moment that it stood out.

We had just given up the NLCS to the Cardinals. We were up 3-2 going to St. Louis where we lost the sixth game 1-0 on a handful of really stupid things that happened against us. The seventh game was over early when their light hitting shortstop hit a three-run homer to give them a whopping lead we couldn't overcome.

The evening of that game, for some reason I cannot for the life of me remember, I was driving alone down Hillside Boulevard in Colma near San Francisco, just along the southwest side of San Bruno Mountain. As I drove I just remember having a wretchedly shellshocked feeling, one I will never forget and never want to experience again. Yes, I know it's just baseball and all that, but if you are such a passionate fan of your team, you can relate.

The thing is, if you know what's in Colma then you'd know why this was such a perfect picture of that despondancy. Colma is essentially one big graveyard. It is cemetary after cemetary after cemetary. As I drove it was just dark and depressing and damned awful.

Tonight, the complete opposite of that feeling showered over me.

Just pure joy. Rapturous bountiful exhilarating joy.

It is just baseball, yeah. But tonight God bestowed a small blessing upon Giants fans everywhere who've stayed true to Our Boys no matter how heart-splitting things have been.

Tonight it happened.

They did the dance on the mound.