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Friday, June 30, 2006

Jill Midkiff 

We ran into her before - actually, a couple of times.

Before the whole ballyhoo about Kentucky state government employee restrictions on web surfing, Jill Midkiff's name popped up before. Cult of Mac links to a c|net article:

State legislatures and tax officials, eager to find new ways to boost government spending and curb budget shortfalls, are eyeing the burgeoning market for digital downloads as a potentially lucrative source of revenue.

A CNET News.com analysis shows that 15 states and the District of Columbia now tax downloads of music, movies and electronic books. Some high-tax states such as California do not levy the same charge on iTunes downloads, but that could soon change....

Digital sales of music tripled from 2004 to 2005, leaping from $400 million to $1.1 billion worldwide, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a trade association known as IFPI. The U.S. recording industry estimates that domestic sales totaled $503 million last year, but that figure doesn't include movies, e-books, online video games and other forms of digital media.

That remarkable growth has prompted states like Kentucky to revisit their laws and impose new taxes on media downloads. "Music is included because music downloads fit the definition of personal property," said Jill Midkiff, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

So Midkiff pops up everywhere. There's even a collection of her quotes. And, of course, she has her own state web page. And, needless to say, she's been interviewed a lot lately:

Beltway Blogroll: Several blogs are reporting that the state government of Kentucky is blocking access to blogs that are critical of the governor. I am interested in the stories because I monitor developments related to blogs for NationalJournal.com in Washington, D.C., but none of the stories I've seen indicate that a state official was ever contacted for comment. Could you tell me, Is access to the blog Bluegrass Report being blocked on state of Kentucky computers? Is access to other blogs being blocked?

Jill Midkiff: Access to a number of Internet sites has been blocked over the last two years through the use of a service the state subscribes to called Webwasher. Sites that have been blocked include, pornography, erotica, computer games, gambling, shopping and dating sites to name a few. Most recently, the additional categories blocked are:

-- Entertainment/motion picture: Includes Web sites in the area of cinema, television, program information, video-streaming, infotainment, entertainment/gossip news, and Web sites about celebrities and related content.

-- Auctions/classified ads: Includes Web sites with online/offline auction sites, auctions houses and online/offline advertisements from collectors and antique dealers.

-- Humor/comics: This category contains sites with jokes, sketches, fun application comics and sites with other humorous content.

-- Newsgroups/blogs: This category contains Web sites that enable the sharing of information such as on a bulletin board. Includes Web logs and guest book servers as well.

-- Malicious Web sites: This category contains Web sites with malicious source code, such as self- installing Trojans and viruses that exploit security vulnerabilities in browsers or firewalls.

BB: If so, why? Does the decision to block access (assuming that is the case) have anything to do with a recent New York Times story about the governor that cited Bluegrass Report?

JM: [The Commonwealth Office of Technology] subscribes to a national service that blocks categories, not particular sites. Therefore, we cannot tell you specific names of sites that have been blocked.

Two weeks ago, we ran a report on Internet usage, and these were found to be the top categories of Web sites accessed with no business value to the commonwealth. If an employee believes they should regain access to any site for official business, they may make that request through their supervisor. This is not a new practice. It has been in place for at least two years but must be periodically updated.

BB: Have any of the bloggers who are writing about this bothered to contact the governor's office for comment on the accusations leveled at Bluegrass Report and elsewhere?

JM: There have been a few calls from bloggers, but most of the inquiries have come from the media.

BB: And one last series of questions focused on blogs generally: What is your impression of the political blogosphere in Kentucky? What are its good and bad points? Has the governor reached out to blogs, and if so, how?

JM: I can’t speculate on the governor’s view of blogs. The action taken is about the appropriate and efficient use of state resources and state employee time.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Will We Hear A Duet? 

Two women. Two musical stars. Two people who have touched the lives of countless millions. I wrote about them before - Enya and Lindsay Lohan.

The flower-covered elitist tsk me, saying, "Posh. We do not listen to Kissimmee-manufactured pop claptrap. We listen to genuine artists."

The pop fans tsk me, saying, "Who cares about some old Irish woman? Was she found partying in Miami late one night?"

Yet Enya and Lindsay Lohan must be considered together, in the same way that Brian Eno and Slim Whitman should be considered together (though hopefully not for the same reason).

I was going to tell you what appaloosa23 said about these two, but this particular blog has a prompt script that locks everything up. Nice. Maybe Ernst & Young will give you an award.

Empyrean Dream, in a long post, touches on both artists:

I have yet to expound fully on my liking for The Parent Trap. Since I seem more loquacious today, it shall begin hence. The Parent Trap is a testament to the fact that innocent, carefree movies cannot be consigned just so into the rubbish dump of bad movies. Merely because it lacks the "real world grit" of machismo-ridden, film noir angsty jungle-world Oscar-winning scions of the Great Directors doesn't mean that it is of little value, relevance or profoundity. The Parent Trap is a cohesive mixture of comic action, serious themes in life and relationships. Lindsay Lohan performs her dual roles with near perfect polish, rendered doubly noteworthy by the fact that her two characters are so different. Her acting is one of the best things about the movie and is a major reason why this movie is a must-watch. Besides, although including the inevitable reunion, the plot is not as cliched as I had thought it would be. All in all, excellent performances from all, and although six years old, The Parent Trap is as fresh and relevant as it ever was and will be....

With all this talk of OM, memories once again surface. I remember Iowa, Boulder, Chicago; all the American cities I visited; the bookstore at the Uni, the teen's party of such American exuberance, the trading of pins and T-shirts. The pain of OM. The utter agony; listening to Enya and Blue (Da Ba Dee) while working on props that seemed never to get done. Waiting in the Glenn Miller Hall and emerging sans a mask.

Funny how remembrance blurs the pain. And how merciless is time and transition.

Of course, any discussion of Enya and Lindsay Lohan has to touch upon Lindsay's long-lost Irish cousin.

"I transport myself through my imagination," admits the Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad Lohan. "In fact, I think it's my greatest asset." While Sinéad's other attributes -- her intuitive command of language, her strikingly inventive and effortless blend of musical materials from Celtic folk to trip-hop, the poignant otherworldly chime of her voice -- are certainly contenders for "greatest asset," it is the ineffable force and clarity of her imagination that gives her music its emotional range and dreamlike ambiance. Indeed, Sinéad's imagination is the source of her sensibility, providing a singular and expansive inquiry into the nature of consciousness and the secrets of the heart.

For some, the common last name of the two singers is too good to be true. In a Radio-Paradise discussion of Sinead's "Whatever It Takes," the following comments appear:

(Columbus, Ohio) Posted: Apr 05, 2006 - 11:38

Gish05 wrote:
Hmm, wonder what she thinks about Lindsay Lohan? ;)

Lindsay O'Connor is her nemesis
(Whitehorse) Posted: Jun 15, 2005 - 15:15

drH wrote:
MUCH better than that other Sinead.

much better than that other Lohan.
(Boston, baby) Posted: Feb 11, 2005 - 11:45

stevebeaver wrote:
We need more LINDSAY Lohan here. Now that girl can, uhhh......mmmmm...sing. Yeah....sing!

I always do a double take when I see this artist's name appear in the playlist. What an unfortunate last name.

But these comments probably sound familiar to fans of the American:

(Manchester UK) Posted: Apr 20, 2006 - 02:06

it does absolutely nothing for me. Bland with a capital B
Posted: Apr 05, 2006 - 11:34

It sounded great the first couple of times I heard this song, but now it just grates my nerves.

Doesn't she have another song that could be played?
Posted: Feb 26, 2005 - 05:31

It's OK - a happy song for the spur of the moment, I suppose. Nothing I'd listen to too often though. A 6!

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

It Takes Two - A Sex Post 

Remember how Hyles Anderson College offered a course of study in Marriage and Motherhood?

Well, I just double-checked their catalog to see if they offer a course of study in Fatherhood. There is none; in fact, the word "fatherhood" is not mentioned a single time in their catalog.

Perhaps the college believes that virgin births didn't cease with Mary.

Seriously, the college takes great trouble to train mothers, but doesn't believe that fathers need training at all. (Similarly, I didn't see any coursework for men to ensure that they have happy marriages; the job falls to the women.)

I discussed the relationship between husbands and wives in a recent post in Word Search. For those who don't know, several of us are taking turns posting about chapters in the New Testament.

One day I got to write about Ephesians 5.

I skipped over most of the chapter and went right to one of the most controversial verses - verse 22.

Ephesians 5:22 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

In a recent sermon, I heard that a groom wanted the pastor to include this verse as part of his wedding. The pastor officiating at the wedding pointed out that there are other verses that may also be relevant. Let me reproduce the entire section, beginning with verse 21, which is not only a preface to the section on husbands and wives, but is also a preface to much of chapter 6.

Ephesians 5:21-33 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives and Husbands

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[b] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


Ephesians 5:26 Or having cleansed
Ephesians 5:31 Gen. 2:24

Kinda changes the context a bit, doesn't it?

I guess we can now officially call Hyles Anderson a half-baked college, since they seem to reject half of the scripture above.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Perhaps this will become an award-winning blog 

Years and years ago, my Tripod website received the Crooked Door Award (see archived list here, and note that many of the winners are Canadian - so it may have been my name, rather than my MIDI prowess, which helped me secure this award). And I was (and am) truly proud of it, while recognizing that said award makes no difference to many billions of people.

Ernst & Young, who is a bigger fish than the Crooked Door empire, recently bestowed an award that has attracted some attention.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 6, 2006 — Ernst & Young LLP today announced the winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2006 award in the Minnesota and Dakotas region. This year’s award winners were recognized at a special 20th anniversary gala event.

All of the award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges composed of area leaders from business, academic and civic organizations. The Minnesota and Dakotas Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 award winners are...

E-Business – Aaron Weber, Vice President, Robert Weber, President and Founder, and Ryan Weber, Executive Vice President and Founder, freeze.com, LLC...

“Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and determination necessary to achieve success,” said William Miller, Partner and Area Leader for the Strategic Growth Markets practice for the Midwest area. “Ernst & Young is proud of its 20-year history in recognizing and supporting these outstanding leaders and their companies.”

Minnesota and Dakotas award winners are eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 18, 2006. The overall national Entrepreneur Of The Year award recipient is then considered for the world event held in Monte Carlo.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and continues to recognize the leaders and visionaries who are creating and building world-class businesses. Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year award program is nationally sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Minnesota and Dakotas program, local sponsors include the law firm of Faegre & Benson and Twin Cities Business magazine.

Freeze.com was naturally pleased:

St. Cloud, MN (PRWEB) June 9, 2006 -- Freeze.com, LLC, specialists in online marketing services, today announced that Robert Weber, CEO and President, Ryan Weber, Executive Vice President and Aaron Weber, Vice President, received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2006 Award in the e-Business category in the Minnesota and Dakotas regional program. According to Ernst & Young, the award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. Robert Weber, Ryan Weber and Aaron Weber were selected by an independent panel of judges and the award was presented at an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 20th anniversary gala event on Tuesday, June 6, 2006.

"I am deeply honored to be a winner in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program," said Robert Weber. "Our success would not have happened without our incredible team of Internet experts -- and our clients, who include some of the nation's most savvy marketers. Our mission is to continually improve our products and systems so that they provide the greatest return to our customers with the least amount of risk. This philosophy has allowed us to grow our business from our initial formation to $25 Million in annual sales in our first five years. We have now grown to employ over 50 people in St. Cloud, and are targeting an additional 20 to 30 hires throughout the rest of 2006."...

About Freeze.com, LLC

Freeze.com, LLC, specialists in online marketing services utilizing over 80 million registered users. Since 2001 Freeze.com has been a leading provider of results-based interactive marketing services. Much of the company's success is due to the promotion of screensavers through its websites, Freeze.com, ScreenSaver.com and Wallpapers.com, as well as thousands of sites throughout the Internet. The June, 2004, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Freeze.com as the 31st fastest-growing new business in the U.S. according to D&B records and internal documents. For more information contact e-mail protected from spam bots.

Yes, that's how the press release read when I found it on the web - "For more information contact e-mail protected from spam bots." Because, you see, the ideal model is opt in. Even when you don't know what you're opting into. Listen to the views expressed at the McAfee SiteAdvisor blog:

Freeze.com Wins Award for Generating Big Bucks on Spam and Adware.
Posted by Hannah Rosenbaum on June 14, 2006 04:45 PM

Last week the top executives of Freeze.com were announced winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006 award in the Minnesota and Dakotas region. Freeze.com's co-founders were recognized as "outstanding leaders" in the E-Business industry....We were surprised to learn that freeze.com had been selected as a winner. We have concerns about their business practices. We wouldn't be inclined to give Freeze any awards.

Freeze.com is an online provider of free screensavers, desktop wallpapers, and other download content. Freeze.com presumably makes money by promoting offers from affiliate advertisers and from bundling third party software with the site’s downloads. McAfee SiteAdvisor rates freeze.com red, because when we entered a unique e-mail address on the site, we received an overwhelming 94 spammy e-mails per week.

When we downloaded Freeze's Living Marine Aquarium 2 screensaver, we were required to register our e-mail address in order to become a Freeze member. Once we had registered, we were prompted to fill out a list of questions styled as a survey. But the "survey" is really a gateway to Freeze's advertising offers. Each survey question is strategically written to increase the chance that users will answer "Yes"; for example: "Do you think you should be paid more?" and "Do you enjoy listening to music?" Each time we clicked "Yes", we received a solicitation from one of Freeze's advertisers. And, as Freeze's privacy policy explains, information shared on Freeze's Web site, including e-mail addresses, "may be shared with affiliates and trusted business partners." A few hundred emails later, we think most users will consider this a remarkably bad deal....

SiteAdvisor reviewers have supported the site's red rating by expressing their frustration about their experiences with freeze.com on the user comment section of Freeze's SiteAdvisor site report page. In the past five months, 13 SiteAdvisor reviewer comments flagged the site for spam and spyware, including:

"One of the worst offenders for spyware distribution"
"Inbox filled to the brim with unwanted emails. Completely annoying."
"Stay away at all costs!"

We are alarmed and disappointed to see Ernst & Young – a global auditing powerhouse –praise these business practices. There is certainly a lot of money to be made through online affiliate advertising, and Freeze has seized this opportunity. But the world need not endorse Freeze's approach, where Freeze's profits come at consumers' expense.

Ed Foster at InfoWorld has also commented:

It's perhaps not surprising that, as SiteAdvisor points out, Ernst & Young might find it difficult to tell the difference in entrepreneurial merits between a Freeze.com and a Webroot, a real anti-spyware vendor which won an Entrepreneur of The Year award last year. After all, from an accounting firm's point of view, they're both fast-growing Internet businesses. The fact that one is helping its customers and the cause of Internet security in general while the other is victimizing its customers and poisoning the well for all Internet users is just one of those little details that may not show up in the beancounter's books.

Still, it would be nice if Ernst & Young figures out the difference at least in this case fairly quickly. By winning this regional award, Freeze.com is now eligible to win the overall national Entrepreneur of The Year award competition later this year. And were it to win that, it would then be entered in the international competition to be held in Monte Carlo. Somewhere along the line, let's hope Freeze.com does face an accounting from someone who can tell the good guys from the spyware and spam purveyors.

Alex Eckelberry, who went through the freeze.com install (and who is a knowledgeable person and was therefore able to avoid opting in to some of the stuff), had this to say:

This company isn’t a criminal enterprise by any stretch of the imagination. They’re just a bunch of guys aggressively monetizing free screensavers through advertising. I just wonder if that E&Yoffice should have given the award to their local guy who does internet access to hotels.

You gotta wonder - do the Ernst & Young IT people encourage employees to use the services of Ernst & Young award winners? "If you need a screen saver, contact the helpful folks at freeze.com." I can picture the happiness.

Meanwhile, freeze.com is demonstrating its technical prowess in innovation, as demonstrated by a 2005 award from Network World:

Project lead: Kyle Ohme, IT director
Technology focus: Servers - automated provisioning

In a new data center-style project, this Waite Park, Minn., provider of downloadable desktop software sought a way to handle peak server loads without overbuilding the infrastructure needed for quieter periods. In addition, it wanted to be able to repurpose servers on the fly and reduce IT staff time needed for server provisioning. IT selected the Ardence Server Edition server-management tool, which enables the on-demand streaming of Windows from commodity networked storage. When IT needs to reprovision a server, it uses the Ardence software to stream the operating system and associated applications to a blade in its IBM BladeCenter. The download includes just enough of the operating system software to get the blade executing; additional libraries follow when required for the operation. IT can now provision servers in five minutes vs. the previous five hours and move capacity from server to server, and has quadrupled productivity. Freeze.com has about $1,750 per blade invested in this model, with three fully populated blade centers and two more in staging. This model has enabled IT to reduce at least two full-time server administrator positions and place an increased focus on issues that have an impact on the bottom line....

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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It beats writing about hacks of the highest order 

Blogpatrol has been somewhat stable lately, so this is a good time to figure out why people are coming here.

christopher nance (Google)

No new trial date has been publicized.

michelle lissel (Google)

Michelle is alive and well and reporting from Germany. Just saw her on "Ticket to Germany" last night, filing a report.

"bluegrass institute" (Google)

There's a related story that, as a regular contributor to Word Search, hits close to home.

A site dedicated to Bible study was included on a government "blacklist" of Internet pages blocked to state employees in an effort by administrators to boost workers' efficiency.

State officials had also blocked employees' access to other Web sites including at least three Jewish-related sites, newspaper blogs and the University of Kentucky's Institute for Rural Journalism....

A Finance Cabinet spokeswoman said last week that the sites were blocked after a review nearly two weeks ago of those most accessed in state government and were intended to boost employees' efficiency. State officials were not targeting particular sites, spokeswoman Jill Midkiff said at the time....

State officials first said in a document explaining coding on the "blacklist" that it included two different categories of sites, those that were blogs, and those that were "pornographic in nature."

Among the sites marked on the "blacklist" was www.blueletterbible.org, a Christian Web site dedicated to Bible studies.

However, Pinson later said the religious sites were among those that had been on the blocked list "for some time" because of complaints and were not necessarily pornographic....

Tony Romero, a project manager for the California-based organization that operates blueletterbible.org, said certain biblical terms found on the site, such as "bondage," may explain why it's blocked.

Krystal Fernandez (Google)

No new news. Her Yahoo Group isn't all that active.

Mike Froland (Google)

This blog is the third most important source of information on Mike Froland - and I had to do a search to remember who he was. See here.

Angi Taylor (Google)

Don't know if the kid has a Junior Broadcasters' kit yet.

tim liotta (Google)

Don't know what he's doing.

jessica hahn images (Yahoo)

Perhaps she could start a bus ministry.

van earl wright (Google)

Speaking of vans, what's up? What's happening? What's going on?

Star Jones (Google)

Harry Reasoner is rolling in his grave, guffawing at Walters' embarrassment.

Karunakar Yenikapati (Google)

Whatever happened to that danged cartoon competition? If they had held the competition in AD 800, you know they would have finished it by the deadline - in fact, they would have finished it before the deadline.

shanel lu (Google)

An associate of Stacy Nadeau. By the way, there is now a Wikipedia entry for Dove Beauties.

peter Popoff’s ministries (Google)

Ah, but does he have a bus ministry? Can he heal a bus?

Anthroposophical studies (Yahoo)

No new info here, but I did find out that you may not want to invite anthroposophists and theosophists to the same party:

[Anthroposophy is] [k]nowledge and practical techniques based on the body of teaching given out by the spiritual philosopher and esoteric scientist Rudolph Steiner. Although very similiar in overall cosmology to Theosophy, Anthroposophy differs in many important details, and also in an entire attitude which is more "organic" whereas Theosophy tends to be intellectual and rather dry.

orel hershiser jughead (Google)

While I guess this is true, I prefer the "Conan the Librarian" moniker. He is now on ESPN.

Updated: Feb. 13, 2006, 9:54 PM ET
Hershiser will serve as studio analyst this seasonESPN.com news services

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Orel Hershiser is rejoining ESPN and will be a studio analyst for the network this season.

"We're thrilled to welcome Orel back to our deep lineup of established baseball experts," said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, studio and remote production. "He possesses the unique ability to articulate a complex dynamic within the game -- pitching and the pitcher/batter duel -- which resonates well with our viewers."

The former NL Cy Young Award winner was an analyst for ESPN and ABC during the Little League World Series from 2000-01 and was on ESPN's major league Wednesday telecasts during 2001. He joined the Texas Rangers in November 2001 as an associate to former general manager John Hart, became pitching coach in June 2002, then was shifted in November to executive assistant to team president Jeff Cogen. Hershiser quit the Rangers this month.

"I couldn't pass up the opportunity to rejoin the ESPN family," Hershiser said. "I have loved my time with the Rangers and it has had a tremendous impact on my post-playing career. While I will be analyzing them as objectively as the rest of baseball, I have some great relationships and fond memories of my time there."

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

We're all Baptists on this bus - and you can't board 

More later. From the Hyles Anderson College catalog:


This course of study is designed to train ladies to be wives and mothers. Courses in Christian Womanhood, the art of being a good wife, the way to be a spiritual mother, and the rearing of children will be emphasized. Sixty-one semester hours are required in the field of Marriage and Motherhood.

Here are the courses that the ladies take in the fall semester of their junior year:

Intermediate Sewing ...............3
Beginning Keyboarding I .........3
Philosophy of Education .........3
Woman the Encourager ..........2
How to Rear Teenagers ...........3
Home Decorating....................3

Of course, if you're going for marriage and motherhood the bus ministry is out:

Brother Schaap has traveled extensively across America and has become one of America’s foremost preachers. While employed at the college, he was a bus captain for 11 years, starting with one bus route with six riders. This ministry grew to six bus routes with a high day of 300 riders. He was the teacher of the college and career class at First Baptist Church at that time also.

Miss Poppy Dixon isn't a fan of Baptist buses:

How do you "grow" a church? Well in the late 60s Christians came up with the idea of bus ministries. As Jim Vineyard and Jerry Falwell testify in "Winning Souls Through Buses" bus ministries "put the 'go' in the Great Commission." While resistant to the use of buses to take children to SCHOOLS these white wonders will go to any length to introduce children to ignorance and superstition.

Jim Vineyard? What else did he do?

In the latest development of the Jim Vineyard scandal/saga, a brand new poster has appeared in the Oklahoma Baptist College forum of the FFF to make public the identity of the pastor who wrote a letter to Jim Vineyard rebuking him for describing oral sex in graphic detail to a young lady and advising her to masturbate (all this in the guise of "counseling" her, though she had not asked him to counsel her).

OK, now read this post and follow this link.

Where did we start?

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Create Your Own Reality for Your Kid? Not Always 

I'm going to talk about something that happened about 30 years ago.

I was in Boy Scouts, and there was another guy that was in my troop. Let's call him Bill (even though his real name was Glenn). Anyway, for those of you who aren't familiar with Boy Scout troop structure, a troop is (or at least was) organized into different patrols, each of which is headed by a patrol leader. The boy who is kinda sorta responsible for the activities of the entire troop is the senior patrol leader. (Granted that the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Junior Assistant Scoutmasters, and others are instrumental in guiding, but the senior patrol leader is the go to guy.)

Anyway, during my scouting career in this troop, I was a patrol leader at one point, and was even senior patrol leader at one stage. Bill, however, was never selected as patrol leader.

Enter Bill's mother, who was certain that something terrible had occurred. How come her Bill hadn't become patrol leader?

I'll grant that I heard my version of the story from people with a certain bias on the situation, but two facts are apparent:
  • Suddenly, a new troop appeared.

  • Bill became senior patrol leader of this new troop.

So, in essence, Bill's mom "solved" the situation. Well, sort of - rumor has it that Bill got canned as senior patrol leader shortly thereafter for some infraction (I think he signed off on skill awards that weren't truly earned by the recipients.)

I'm not sure what Bill learned from the experience. Last time I heard from him (again, about 30 years ago), Mom had bought him a car.

There's a specific reason that I'm thinking about this story right now, and it has nothing to do with Bill. However, this is a reminder that we as parents have to let our children grow, and that there are some times when we shouldn't "protect" them, even when they need "protecting." This doesn't mean that we shouldn't be interested in our child's activities and education, but we have to remember that some things can best be handled by the children themselves, not by us adults.

And if the kid doesn't win the Pinewood Derby, or get elected Homecoming Queen/King, or become valedictorian, or whatever, that doesn't mean that the kid's a complete failure or that the judging was biased or that heads need to roll.

Or be bashed, as was the case last week:

A children's baseball coach who suspended a player for the season got punched in the nose by the player's father, police said.

Police in Kent arrested Eugene Barnett on an assault charge for allegedly punching the coach, Robert Andrews....

Andrews told police that he had just coached his team of 9- and 10-year-olds in a game Saturday at Ryan Town Park in Lake Carmel and had told Barnett that his son was suspended for the rest of the season for being insubordinate.

He told police he was changing his shoes in the parking lot when Barnett yelled at [Andrews'] wife and grabbed her. When he intervened, Andrews said, he got punched in the nose. The injury will keep him off his job as a heavy machine operator for a few days, he said.

He said his wife suffered a strained neck.

So where did the kid learn insubordination?

P.S. I tried to do a web search for Bill (under his real name, of course). I couldn't find him, but I was able to find his famous brother, who is apparently still famous. Among others, Famous Brother has worked with Bill Cosby. Can't see Cliff Huxtable starting a troop for Theo...

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Suits 1, Talent 0 

From ABC (as of noon Pacific time):

The View, recipient of the 2003 Daytime Emmy® Award for "Outstanding Talk Show," is ABC Daytime's morning chatfest, featuring a team of dynamic women of different ages, experiences and backgrounds discussing the most exciting events of the day. The program has received critical acclaim since premiering August 11, 1997. It's broadcast live Monday through Friday from NYC (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET; CLOSED-CAPTIONED; broadcast in stereo; TV-14).

The View is produced by and features ABC News correspondent Barbara Walters -- who appears on average three days a week -- prosecutor-turned-commentator Star Jones Reynolds, comedian Joy Behar and television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The show consists of hot topics in the news, the best experts in their field, celebrity interviews and general entertainment. The program celebrated its 2000th show on February 2, 2006, and is currently in its ninth season.

The text above is slightly out of date, since Star Jones Reynolds no longer appears on the show.

For purposes of the argument below, assume for the moment that Star Jones Reynolds has talent. While some may disagree with that notion, the fact that she has made a living on-air for over a decade indicates that someone thinks that she's worth something.

In the entertainment business, as in any business, it is essential that all...umm...transitions appear to be wonderful and cool and peachy keen. This includes any transitions that take place on "The View," a show on which the hosts are supposed to be refreshingly honest.

Well, to a point.

Here, re-presented in roughly chronological order, are the recent events surrounding Star Jones Reynolds, who disappeared from view in "The View" in a Stalinesque move.

ABC had decided against renewing Reynolds' contract months ago and the show was planning to let Reynolds announce it later this week, according to Walters. Reynolds could say whatever she wanted to about why she was leaving, "and we would back her up," the longtime ABC newswoman said....

"We gave her time to look for another job and hoped that she would announce it on this program and leave with dignity," Walters said.

In other words, the preferred scenario for The View would have been something like this. Star would gather the girls around and then confide, "Hey, girls! You know how Meredith got a new job back where Barbara used to work? Well, girls...I have a new job too. I'm replacing Julie Chen as host of Big Brother!" Then the girls would squeal with girlish delight, hugs would ensue, and a heart-rending montage of Star moments would play on the air. Everyone would be happy that Star would be moving on...just like Scott McNealy.

But evil evil Star did two very bad things, for which she had to be punished.

First, she apparently grabbed the wrong calendar or set her clock wrong on the way to work on Tuesday. Instead of saying her goodbyes later in the week, Star inexcusably said her goodbyes on Tuesday. The nerve of her, to bring up a topic that everyone already knew about except the viewers (but which was apparently rumored anyway)!

Second, she uttered those famous words to People Magazine, "I feel like I was fired." Just because her contract wasn't renewed doesn't mean that you're actually supposed to admit it.

This led to a situation that television networks hate - namely, having no control over a situation whatsoever. NBC was blindsided by Johnny Carson's announcement of his retirement at an NBC meeting, and the suits at ABC (including Walters) were blindsided by Reynolds' timing. Now forced to admit that Reynolds had been effectively fired, Walters had to explain why.

Walters didn't discuss on the air why Reynolds, an original cast member who's been on the show for nine years, wasn't being asked back. She said in an interview Tuesday that research showed audience members were turned off by Reynolds' dramatic weight loss and glitzy wedding to banker Al Reynolds in 2004.

Reynolds later retorted that TV ratings and her book sales indicated this wasn't true.

You have to wonder if Walters and the other suits thought through the implications of their conclusions from their research. If the conclusions were correct, then watchers of The View prefer that their co-hosts be fat and manless.

Actually, I guess they did think this through. Rosie O'Donnell is joining the show in the fall.

Meanwhile, Star was talking with Ryan Seacrest:

Star Jones: I was told yesterday that they did not want me to return today.

Ryan Seacrest: So you’re not going on today?

SJ: Nope, not at all. I was told yesterday was my last day.

RS: And originally you thought you would be on until when?

SJ: Originally they asked me to be on until July 13. This was a request from Barbara [Walters] and Bill [Geddie, executive producer], the date was chosen by them. They requested it. This was…negotiated They wanted to not leave the show without a fourth anchor. I agreed to do that for the show. I agreed to do it.

RS: But wait, their reaction, they’re asking you not to come back today for the show?

SJ: They told me.

RS: They told you do not come back to the show. Was that a result of what you said yesterday on the air?

SJ: No, no, no, it’s not a result of what I said yesterday on the air. It’s because I tell the truth, and it was a beautiful tribute to them, I’m not really sure. It was their decision. And I wasn’t called personally, my agents were called.

RS: So you haven’t spoken to any of the girls?

SJ: No that’s not true. I did speak to one and I don’t want to share because that’s very personal and private

RS: Out of respect did Barbara call?

SJ: No, not at all.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I do NOT want to hear Adam Carolla's jazz stylings 

For a different take:

"Who doesn't like the sound of a mandolin?" David Lee Roth says. "Who doesn't like a well-played acoustic guitar?"

At the moment, the bigger question may center around how many people will like the sound of a mandolin and a well-played acoustic guitar on bluegrass versions of Van Halen songs. That's the entire point of the new CD, Strummin' With the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen.

Backed by a bluegrass band led by multi-instrumentalist John Jorgenson, the singer known as Diamond Dave recorded new versions of two Van Halen classics -- "Jump" and "Jamie's Cryin'" -- for the CD released by CMH Records. Other tracks include the "Runnin' With the Devil" by the John Cowan Band, "Dance the Night Away" by Mountain Heart, "Hot for Teacher" by David Grisman and Sons, "Could This Be Magic?" by the Nashville Bluegrass Band and "I'll Wait" by Blue Highway....

Roth's venture into bluegrass music may appear to be an artistic stretch, but he's also the guy who had a major solo hit in 1985 by channeling the spirit of the late New Orleans/Las Vegas entertainer Louis Prima on a medley of "Just a Gigolo" and "I Ain't Got Nobody."...

Born in Indiana, Roth was a child when he began spending his summers with his uncle, Manny Roth, who owned the Café Wha? nightclub in New York's Greenwich Village. Recalling the club in the early '60s, Roth says, "It was only acoustic music. Several things were convergent at the time. You had folk music -- the New Christie Minstrels, etc. You had whole lot of world music -- steel drummers and sitar players. Then you had psychedelia. Rock was very much coming into play in the shape of the great blues revival of the '60s."...

The song structure of Van Halen's material lends itself to a wide variety of interpretations, including bluegrass, Roth suggests.

"It's classic Americana songwriting," he says. "That's the way my verses and titles are set up. 'You might as well jump.' Doesn't that sound like Bob Wills to you?"

Noting that the bluegrass album was his idea, Roth says, "My thought was what would be a great way to do a Van Halen tribute album. To have other [rock musicians] do it? Predictable. To just play it on acoustic guitars the way it is already on the record? Double predictable? Just to ferret it out to all different kinds of musicians? Been there, done that."

In revamping the music, Roth says, "If the material is already familiar, when you change the medium -- hopefully, if you do it right -- then you not only take the music past where you found it, but you begin to find out things about the music that you didn't know before." Key to the project was to avoid making fun of Van Halen and/or bluegrass music. "The humor is innate in this music," he says. "The temptation is to have a little too much 'yuk yuk' with it."

If you want to judge the results, just listen. (HT Analog Industries.)

After hearing the rendition of "Jump," I can say that the bluegrass version is just as good as the rock version. Actually, the bluegrass version is tons better - the song is just as bad (I like Van Halen songs, just not this one), but at least this way I don't have to sit through Eddie's excruciatingly meaningless guitar and keyboard solos.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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I think he liked it 

What Martin Luther said about Romans:

This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.

Of course, you shouldn't focus on one part of the Bible to the exclusion of all others (and, if you look at the scripture references in the Book of Concord, it's obvious that Luther cited most if not all of the books in our Bible, including James).

Yet we all have our foci. Here's what Good Anger said, in part, about the topic:

Certain books of the Bible are valued over other books. No one will say this, especially at a more fundamentalist church, but it appears that it is undoubtedly the case.

More conservative churches, I have noticed, seem to emphasize the Pauline Eptistles and the general Epistles that agree with it (like John's gospel and Peter's letters). These churches are literally hellbent on anything else. There is little quoting from the synoptics and the book of James, in the tradition of Luther, is given little weight in church.

The more liberal denominations seem to hang on very word of the synoptics and they put off Paul's writing as extra fluff that isn't as important. They are all about the transformation of the Christian life as a follower of Jesus Christ and are less hellbent on ideas that contradict "salvation by grace alone." They are often more into transforming the population to be more like Jesus than to convert them to a particular set of doctrines that Christians have been sticking to for a long time.

And of course you have the end-times churches, which seem to spend a huge amount of time in Revelation, Daniel, Acts 2, and the like. (True story - in a church that I attended for a while, one Sunday the pastoral team suddenly said, "Hey! It's Easter!" and broke out into various tongues.)

Good Anger then asked people to honestly state which parts of the Bible are most important to them. One person initially responded:

Just the parts from Genesis to Revelation.

However, when pressed, the response changed a bit:

I think that Jesus is the whole deal here. To that end I might narrow it down to a couple verses like John 3:16 and Romans 10:9. But the tip of an arrow is useless without the shaft and feathers. So too, these verses alone would lose there significance if written independent of anything else.

One writer argues that the Bibles most of us use are guilty of selective emphasis - unless you're color blind:

The most common thing today is to toady the second member of the Trinity by insulting the first and third members. This involves claiming that one part of the Bible is more important than another and setting it off with red ink. This is an insult to the third member who is credited with influencing the entire writing of the Bible and the first member who is credited with the meaning and content of the entire Bible. Red is also the worst possible color for causing reading fatigue.

An anonymous person made the following comment in an evolution/creationism thread:

Another problem is Human nature where people naturally emphasize the parts of the Bible that they agree with and mentally supress or rationalize away the parts of the Bible that they don't agree with. This is why few fundamentalists get into a religeous fervor over portapotties for migrant workers. The Bible has an answer to this problem, but you won't find many who know it.

So now, being completely honest, which portions of the Bible do you personally emphasize more than others?

I'll answer this question myself.
  • PORTIONS I EMPHASIZE: Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Hebrews, James

  • PORTIONS I DE-EMPHASIZE: Chronicles, most of the minor prophets, most of Paul's personal epistles

Again I argue that all of the Bible is valid, but I have to admit that I look to some parts rather than others. I don't believe this is right, however, since once we start to be selective in which parts of the Bible we read, we can go in all sorts of different directions, including the Jefferson Bible.

Your thoughts?

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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eHow, and How! 

I can truthfully evaluate eHow's advice on "How to Calm an Upset Stomach Naturally." (I'll spare you the details - let's just say that I woke up late Saturday night, missed work on Monday, and was not on a boat. So, how was YOUR weekend?)

Here are some excerpts from the eHow article, followed by my comments:

Drink water with lemon juice.

I didn't try this, but I tried a bunch of other clear (and not so clear) liquids. When I got tired of seltzer water, I switched to Coke for a while. I then drank water until I got tired of that, then switched to Coke again.

Eat a banana.

Just did.

Take ginger. Drink ginger ale or ginger tea, add fresh ginger to a cup of hot water, or take it in capsules.

I didn't have ginger ale this time around, but I've done that in the past.

Easy remedy by eHow Friend
Take Pepto-Bismol.

This did NOT work. Had to go to Imodium for help.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

He is the way 

In a previous post, I quoted John 14:6:

John 14:6 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Others have quoted this verse also. Son Shines:

I was a Mormon for 27 years before I decided to do a full investigation on the LDS Church. Most Mormons that are born into that church have no reason to even think it may be wrong. It's easy to go along with it, as your parents and probably all or most of the family are LDS too. Nothing much to question.......ummmmmm until one begins to ask God for HIS True Word and having the desire to really know what is true and what is a lie. HE then helps you to find HIM. (SEEK HIM and there you shall find HIM!)....

I actually set out to become the "Temple Girl". I took more classes to become "Mormon enlightened". I wanted to be worthy in that church. I wanted to marry and be sealed for time and eternity.

However, in doing so, I asked God to show me the truth. A few questions about Joseph Smith didn't add up!! Why is he so important? Was he a true prophet? I wanted to know if he was a true prophet or not! I didn't ask to see the LDS church in the wrong....I simply asked for 'The Truth'......THE TRUTH SET ME FREE!!!...

I (my sister too) took a Bible class and the class was on "The Book of John".
In the beginning was THE WORD.....and the WORD was with God, and the word WAS GOD. WOOHOOOO a wake up call. Then came John 3:16-For God so loved the world that HE gave HIS 'ONLY' begotten Son, that whoever believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life!!!!!!

Say what?! 'ONLY' Son, meaning that Satan is NOT Christ's brother.....and believing in Christ that Christ died on the cross for MY SINS and rose again on the third day, believing that HE IS MY ONLY LORD AND MY SAVIOR....I AM SAVED! (A gift from God, not works- so no one can boast!)

Notice the Bible didn't say, if you do all of these ordinances, tokens, believe that Joseph Smith is a true prophet, be sealed in the Temple and don't defile your garments, know the secret handshakes, pay up all your tithes, stay worthy (we are filthy rags by the way), keep the word of wisdom do aaaaaallll of these things, etc. etc. etc. and then you will have everlasting life should "God's right hand man" Joseph Smith say so........HOGWASH!

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Joseph Smith has no part in my life or in anyones for that matter!). Life is about Jesus NOT Joseph Smith!

This was a whole new world for me. Tears of joy, knowing I was on my way of being out of bondage!

From misfitmormon:

Why would God give Mormons permission, through the priesthood, to overthrow the laws set forth in the Bible? For example, God says there will be no marriage in Heaven (Matt. 22:30). God does not lie, nor can He change, not even His mind. His word stands forever. Because God says there is no marriage in Heaven, then it is impossible for God to establish a priesthood on Earth that authorizes otherwise. Hebrews 7 and 8 explains that Jesus IS the Melchizedek. "Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood." Jesus Christ is the Great Eternal High Priest who took the place of all earthly priesthoods and replaced them with Himself... permanently. My authority comes from Jesus Christ. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody comes to the Father except through me." He did not say, "nobody comes to the Father except through the priesthood."

On the other hand, here's a Mormon quoting John 14:6:

When I was ten years old, I wanted to be a priest for God, our Heavenly Father. I was willing to give myself to him, because deep inside me, I was ready made for him....

At 17, my mom told us that my younger brother and I were to be ordained as Buddhist Novice Monks upon the death of my father, because she believed when the sons held the priesthood, it would help absolved the sins of the family, and spread blessings for the family. I was willing to do it out of respect to her....

I was also exposed to other religions by study as well as by attending lectures of Bahai faith, Islam, Hinduism, Sai Baba, Roman Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Seven Adventist, Roman Catholic, Presbytherian, Methodist, Lutherian, Baptist, Calvary and Assembly of God, and Gospel Business Chapters, etc.

I was more scared of leading people to an incorrect religion for I did not wish to face God for my leadership and responsibility. I did not like the idea of a being a Leader leading people astray in religious living....

So, I asked God "Which religion is correct?"

I believed Christianity touched my heart because it was centered on Jesus Christ as the Son of God Almighty who was our personal Father in Heaven and Christ atoned for our sins as the Savior of mankind, and my personal Savior.

His Gospel and his Life amplified love, mercy and service for people....

When Thomas, one of his disciples asked Jesus, how could they find the way to go to the Father? Almost all teachers answer that they will show us the way and God, but Jesus answered specifically, “I am the Way. the Truth and the Life ; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6). No other teacher has so much profound answer and power as Jesus as “The Way, The Truth and The Life!”...

But then, I was confused with so many denominations. Strange it might seem, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints came as the last sect in Christianity to me from my cousin, from Singapore....

They bore their testimonies of the restoration of the gospel and church, and the fullness of the gospel, which caught me by surprise---what another sect to choose from?

When we went out for lunch they asked me what drink I wanted. "Coffee" was a normal answer, but I could sense the bewildered look in their eyes as if coffee was a forbidden drink. That was when I raised the question: “Tell me the truth why you do not drink coffee." Mary replied, "Coffee, a stimulant, was not good for the body as the body was the Temple of God which housed the Holy Spirit."...

Wow! I was impressed that these Church members were holy people who did not drink coffee or tea! I knew Brahmins drank milk, and no wine. So if I wanted to be holy, I might have to abstain from coffee or tea. Indeed, I requested to have my drink changed to orange juice, following their same order.

That evening, I announced to my mother, brother and sisters, in fact, the whole household, that I would no longer drink coffee or tea, to which my sister retorted, "What kind of Christianity is that that does not allow members to drink coffee or tea?"

Because it came from God through revelation, I abstained from drinking them immediately from that day....Knowing that it was revelation from God had a instant impact on me to obey it immediately as I was told obedience was the first law of Heaven, which I strongly believed....

Why do I believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints and not other sectarian churches? Christ revealed to Joseph all the necessary restoration and the fullness of the gospel, the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the ordinances pertaining to eternal perspectives in the Temple, etc.

The best witness anyone can have is to have the confirmation by the power of the Holy Ghost to know these revelations are truly from God. I testify they are really from God as the Spirit confirms them to me.

On the other other hand, there's June's Poetical:

Hi, I said, so what did you wanna talk to me about?

He was caught off-guard, and he started to speak, I just wanted to share with you the good news of Jesus Christ.

I smiled and I said, great! So you believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father.

He said yes of course, but also that He has given us another prophet here on earth.

My brows furrowed, another prophet? Again I had said my thoughts aloud.

He then began his story about Mr. so and so (I can't remember the name) the leader of the Mormons. But didn't Jesus before he went to heaven, say that the one He would leave with us would be the Holy Spirit? Not some other person, of flesh and blood.
So I asked, isn't it dangerous to put your trust in a person who is a sinner just like yourself?

But he said, yeah maybe it's dangerous, but it's important to have someone who can lead you to the truth. [Now I realise that he didn't quite understand when Jesus said 'I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.']

No, our understandings were obviously quite different.

And someone takes the Great Commission seriously:

For at least nine months of the year, my life is basically limited to relational ministry at The Master’s College, studying theology and ministry at The Master’s Seminary, and being part of the church family at Placerita Baptist Church. After being at The Master’s College for eight years, most of my close friends are people connected to the school.

This is why I play basketball at the park....

If I don’t play basketball at the park, I might forget that there’s such a thing as a pagan. I mean a real, live pagan, not just one on a movie screen or one singing on the radio or one sitting quietly on the plane next to me. I mean a pagan who acts like a pagan in front of my eyes on a consistent basis, whose vocabulary is godless, whose values are upside-down, whose soul is lost, and who I get to see twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I mean a pagan whose name and age I know, whose tattoos I’ve asked about, whose favorite cuss-words I could list, whose weed-induced stupor I can see, whose immoralities I’ve heard about, whose team I’ve played both on and against, whose off-the-wall interpretation of “I am the way, the truth, and the life” I’ve debated, who gives me a nod when I step on the court, and who knows that I follow Jesus. That kind of pagan. The kind I have a relationship with. The kind whose darkness God can actually use me to light because I’m in close enough proximity for him to see the flame and wonder why he doesn’t have one....

This is why I play basketball at the park. Not because I want to learn about the world but because I want to be used to transform it. And you don’t transform it by shooting theological warheads out of an isolated missile silo. Yes, there’s a place for doctrinal weaponry. I walk among its shelves and read lots of its blueprints all the time at seminary. I do my best throughout the year to help train young soldiers how to use it for good and not evil. I pray for the grace to be personally disciplined in developing wartime skills. But you can’t win a battle from a bubble.

You win a battle on the battlefield. This is why I play basketball at the park.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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James the Just Remix 

I ended my last post with a quote from BrotherOfYeshua.com, a...um..."interesting" site. This guy claims to be the reappearance of James the Just, but whether he's representational (as John the Baptist was of Elijah) or reincarnational (which would be, to put it mildly, unorthodox) is not clear. Here's his biography:

At the beginning of our Common Era, I lived as Jacob who you call James. At that time I was known as the brother of Yeshua/Jesus, and I was the first and primary leader of the New Covenant Movement known as TheWay (The Way). This web site on Law, and the coming destruction of America and the Constitution, is based upon my Spiritual Knowledge and Understanding of the Laws that control life here on earth. On this web site I pay particular attention to the United States and the Constitution, because both myself and the original disciples of Yeshua/Jesus have entered into this world many times in order to bring about changes for the good of mankind. Thus, as a group we entered into life in the 1700's in order to change the course of men's lives in this world, and form a government that was founded upon Spiritual values and structure where freedom, genuine knowledge and wisdom could flourish. As a group, we created a Constitutional form of government where man could draw closer to his own higher spiritual reality. But like the religion which today calls itself Christian, man soon corrupted the foundation of the Constitution in much the same way the Church is corrupted today....

So let's look at the Constitutional form of government, and who founded it...hey! It's those Deists and Masons. Huh?

Our Constitutional Founding Fathers were Deists and Masons who understood the Laws that control this world. The writings of Thomas Paine formed the bedrock of our Constitution. Paine was a Deist, likely a Mason like Franklin, Jefferson and Washington and others who valued the Masonic teachings on democracy, which often stemmed from The Enlightenment thinkers in France and England -- men like Rousseau and Burke. But there was much about these men that is not understood today. Deists viewed the Godhead as a Divine Intelligence that set the universe in motion and gives us freewill without interceding in human affairs -- and their pattern of life is drawn directly from the pages of the Bible.

And...um...some other sources.

Deists generally believe that human beings are naturally capable of experiencing the Essence of God within, without the need for any intermediary priests, clergy or church. Opposing any prince or king where one man is upheld above another by some inferred divine right, Paine was decidedly anti-church, both Protestant and Catholic, and this is evidenced by his later writings.

And here's the cap - Jesus didn't believe in Christianity:

Yeshua/Jesus did not come to promote belief in the Messiah/Christ - neither did he come to promote the worship of Messiah/Christ - Yeshua/Jesus came to teach the people TheWay to become Messiah/Christ, and fulfill the vision of a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation of Anointed (Messiah/Christ) Disciples who are set aside for the service of the Most High God that Yeshua taught was the Father of all of mankind....

[T]he majority of the Roman and Greek followers who were too Pagan to embrace the teachings of Yeshua, were not interested in a life of genuine change and spiritual transformation, so they made Jesus their God so they didn't have to pick up their own cross and follow in TheWay. Thus, the Church itself betrayed and crucified Messiah/Christ when it immersed itself in the way of the heathen, and worshiped the messenger instead of imitating the pattern and example that Yeshua set as the required standard for all those who called upon the name of the Lord.

Well, let's see what the real James said:

James 1:1

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
James 2:1

1My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
James 5:7

7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

James does not appear to refer to Jesus as some type of superior model. And of course, there's Jesus' reference to Himself:

John 8:58 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

58"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"


John 14:6 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

So much for James the Deist. But what name does the Brother of Yeshua use in his present incarnation? According to a Network Solutions search, his name is Allan Cronshaw:

Domain Name.......... brotherofyeshua.com
Creation Date........ 2003-07-16
Registration Date.... 2003-07-16
Expiry Date.......... 2006-07-16
Organisation Name.... Allan Cronshaw
Admin Name........... Allan Cronshaw
Admin Email.......... brotherofyeshua@yahoo.com
IP Address: (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
Record Type: Domain Name
Server Type: Other
Lock Status: ACTIVE
Web Site Status: Active
DMOZ no listings
Y! Directory: see listings
Web Site Title: Brother of Yeshua/Jesus - Jacob's Ladder
Meta Description: 2000 years ago I lived as Jacob and was known as the brother of Yeshua. As predicted, Satan has ruled the hearts and minds of believers, and the church has become spiritually disenfranchised by manmade doctrines. Our Hea
Meta Keywords: Jacob, Brother of Jesus, Allan Cronshaw, Evyonim, Nazirene, Yashua, Yahshua, mystic, marriage, divine, sex, feminist, nazirene, essene, Christian, reincarnation, bible, gnostic, mysticism, Jesus, nazarene, Ebionaeans, ebionite, tree of life, kaballah, sou
Secure: No
E-commerce: No
Traffic Ranking: 3
Data as of: 30-Aug-2005

More information on Allan Cronshaw can be found at ebionite.com:

The below web sites are written in the name of Allan Cronshaw, which is my birth name in this present life. The manner in which these other web sites are composed is very different than on this one -- wherein, on these other web sites there is an attempt to document and demonstrate every proof and concept of TheWay using a multitude of resources and biblical verses -- while on this web site there is no other authority than Jacob writing to you as the Brother Of Yeshua who was the leader of the Hebrew/Christian movement of TheWay.

Cronshaw - I mean Jacob - sums up Ebionite thought as follows:

You have reached the Ebionite/Nazirene Spiritual Restoration HomePage

The Ebionites are the Genuine People of the New Covenant

Unless you are an Ebionite
You Cannot be a Disciple of Yeshua/Jesus...

If you call yourself a Christian, Jew, Messianic believer, Evyonim, Nazarene or Muslim,

then it is imperative that you learn of the Ebionites who are True Spiritual Israel

-- They are the Poor Ones to the ways and thinking of this world --

The Ebionites were the Israelites of the Nazirene Vow

They are/were the Genuine Disciples of Yeshua/Jesus who are in the world and not of it!

Throughout this page and his other works, Cronshaw uses the spelling "Nazirene." One web site notes that "Nazirene" and "Nazarene" are two different words:

The word Nazirene comes from the biblical term Nazir, which denotes one who is under a vow....

A Nazirite was one who was Anointed by the Lord to teach or free His people from enslavement to the forces of this world....

A Nazir or Nazirene, is one who takes a vow to abstain from the things of this world, and consecrate himself to God. A Nazirene has always been used in reference to a Holy Man who possessed the gift of spiritual vision, knowledge, prophesy, psychic perception and ecstatic insight into man's higher reality. Another important element in the term Nazir is its linguistic relation to the words Nezer and Netzer -- meaning one of whom it can be said that they represent a militant message of freedom from "worldly Kings" and their secular wickedness....

The Term Nazarene Is Counterfeit!
As a geographical place, Nazareth did not exist

The references in the Gospels are to a spiritual Nazireth -- the Nazirene Vow

The evidence for a 1st century town of Nazareth does not exist – not literary, not archaeologically, and not historically.

Biblical scholars and clergy alike have always had difficulty accepting the possibility that at the time of Jesus there was no city called “Nazareth.” They have always resisted this possibility and sometimes, quite vigorously.

The Encyclopaedia Biblica, a work written by theologians, and perhaps the greatest biblical reference work in the English language, says: "We cannot venture to assert positively that there was a city of Nazareth in Jesus' time."

Nazareth is not mentioned in any historical records or biblical texts of the time and receives no mention by any contemporary historian. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud (the Jewish law code), nor in the Apocrypha and it does not appear in any early rabbinic literature.

Nazareth was not included in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulon (Joshua 19:10-16) which mentions twelve towns and six villages, and Nazareth is not included among the 45 cities of Galilee that were mentioned by Josephus (37AD-100AD), a widely traveled historian who never missed anything and who voluminously describes the region. The name is also missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud.

The first reference to Nazareth is in the New Testament where it can be found 29 different times. However, there is still cause for speculation as to whether or not the city existed at the time of Jesus. It is mentioned only in the Gospels and Acts. These books do refer to Nazareth, but they did not originate at this time, they are later writings. The earlier writings of the NT (Paul etc) mention Jesus 221 times - but never mention Nazareth.

The word Nazarene also shares the same root as Nazirite and Nazirene, which means that they share something in common. It is believed that it was a common practice for many, if not all new Male believers in Yeshua, to take the vow of the Nazirite. After all Yeshua himself was a Nazirite and the Scripture says that we ought to live as he did: "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:6 NKJ).

So the person who changed water into wine was a Nazirite? And the writer who advised Timothy to drink wine was a Nazirite?

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Religious Political Viewstuff 

Before I launch into this (and everything else under the sun - you are hereby warned that this is one of those "meandering" posts), let me state my own views. Inasmuch as I believe that all people (and thus all organizations created by people, including political parties) are imperfect, it is entirely reasonable for someone to have a particular religious belief, yet be a member of any political party. To give some examples:
  • It is possible for a Christian to be a member of the Republican Party.

  • It is possible for a Christian to be a member of the Democratic Party.

  • It is possible for a Christian to be a member of the American Independent Party/Constitution Party.

  • It is possible for a Christian to be a member of the Green Party.

  • It is possible for a Christian to be a member of the Libertarian Party.

  • It is possible for a Christian to be a member of the Communist Party.

Regarding the last one - some may argue that a Christian could never be a Communist, since Communism explicitly denies the existence of religion. Yet I challenge those people to explain how, under those limitations, a Christian could be a member of, for example, the Republican Party - a party that does not explictly acknowledge Jesus Christ as the second Person in the Trinity.

So, knowing my view, you can imagine how I felt when I read this:

To be a Mormon and to be a Libertarian is an oxymoron, to put it mildly.

Don't think so.

To my knowledge, the LDS Church does not immediately excommunicate people because of the political party they join. (In fact, I heard third-hand about someone who wanted to get off the LDS membership roster, but was unable to do so for two years.) In fact, considering all of the trouble that the U.S. government gave the Mormons over the polygamy issue in the 19th century, I can see how some Mormons would be very attracted to the Libertarian movement.

Anyway, I kept reading:

On June 5th, 2006, a thread broke out concerning a passage in the Doctrine and Covenants (a set of supposed "revelation" from God to LDS founder Joseph Smith in the early-1800s). The passage concerns "plural marriage" (or, polygamy). Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith was a polygamist; but, years later, facing an announced onslaught of the state of Utah on the Mormon Church hierarchy by U.S. Marshalls and the United States Army, then-"Prophet" Wilford Woodruff decreed that he had had a "revelation"--in which, he claimed, God had spoken to him and forbade polygamy.

As luck would have it, the rescinding of polygamy in the Utah territory led to the granting to Utah of official statehood within the United States. Talk about "divine revelation."...

Nearly two-dozen posts on the subject were "Deleted by CubicleGuy" today, June 6, 2006. Which begs the question: In the absence of LF founder "John Deere" (who abandoned the site, sans explanation or communication on July 14, 2004), who is running this ship? And why is a Mormon allowed to be the "Administrator" with keys to LF's database?

Um...why not? Whoever ends up with the power over a site can make any rules he or she wishes to make. And it doesn't appear that LibertyForum is subject to 100% repression:

Posts or thoughts critical of Mormonism will not be tolerated [ Post 294701089 ]

Thanking you in advance for your adherence to this new policy,

Warren Jeffs

Almost forgot, If I catch you using sarcasm while pretending to be supportive of Mormonism I'll take one of your teenaged wives away.

Don't test me.

And this explanation, or whatever:

06/15/06 12:27 PM
Re: A Mormon Takeover at LibertyForum.org? [ To: MarcusAurelius | Post 294699257, reply to 294698895 ] (Score: 2)

TBF is banned from the forum. Any posts were originally deleted by me because they were Gary Glitter's, er TBF's posts.

CG used cleaned up the deletions.

TBF? Well, there's more in a post at LibertyPost.org (presumably a competitor to LibertyForum.org) with the subtitle "One kook screeching about another kook":

On July 9, my Report on Todd Brendan Fahey, outlining the facts and the consequences (hauled away in a police cruiser on two occasions) of Fahey's disgraceful and outrageous behavior at my home between June 14 and July 6, was posted on my website. As stated in the report, it was written for my own protection and that of family members who were witnesses to what I can only describe as the degenerate lunacy of Todd Fahey --more likely than not, certifiably insane, as evidenced by the fact that he was admitted to a psychiatric ward for observation after the following events occurred: Being ejected from my home on July 4. More drunk and disorderly conduct after drinking at a local tavern, from which he proceeded to a stalking incident at my home on July 6. And last but not least, a failed suicide attempt with a massive overdose of drugs, reported by Fahey himself in an e-mail to ex-FBI agent Geral Sosbee....

By far the greatest outrage and most damaging false witness about myself now being promoted by the low-life Todd Fahey are his claims of some sort of "sexual incidents" occuring during his stay at my home. This one small excerpt represents but a fraction of Fahey's lies and what seem to be delusions, but I certainly do not intend to provide his audience with more of Fahey's falsehoods than are necessary to refute them. In his own words, from one of his libelous posts on Liberty Forum:

[TBF: SO MUCH swill; so little time. Yes, I had sex with Barbara Hartwell twice, while we were both smashed. ]...

As far as the first false allegation: Fahey certainly made a regular practice of getting "smashed" (as my family can also attest) while at my home, but nothing of the kind is true about me. Yet this malicious liar, in another of his public posts, went so far as to call me a "drunk". In point of fact, I am not a "drunk". I have no history of alcoholism; have never been arrested for any incidents where alcohol was an issue; and have never been sent to any "rehab" facility. Fahey's history, on the other hand involves all these things....

He also told me he had "converted" to the Mormon church when he got married to his (ex) wife, whom he said divorced him because he was tripping on LSD every day for over a year and she later found out he had been lying to her about his drug abuse, just as he had been lying for years to his parents about his untreated and unrepentant alcoholism.

This was either written by Barbara Hartwell, or by Xenu - I'm confused at this point. Hartwell's name pops up here:

It appears that a national covert operation to smear and discredit Ted Gunderson was set into motion in the early months of 2000. The planning may have been initiated earlier, but the coordinated effects could be seen in early 2000. By Spring, the plan was in high gear with Art Bell's dramatic exit from the air on April 1, 2000 coupled with the pre-trial hearing of Bell's lawsuit against Gunderson and radio station WWCR set to begin in early May....

The principle [sic] members of Ted's Character Assassination Team include Virginia McCullough, Cherie Seymour, & Kate Dixon of www.newsmakingnews.com, Stewart Webb, Barbara Hartwell, Kathleen Sullivan, Jackie McGauley, and Kathy Kasten of UCLA. These people have tried to characterize Ted as some version of a 'double agent' whose pretense to helping people is just a cover for his 'real work', which is to help the dark side. When you read their defamatory words, you will be given conclusions (E.g. Ted's "Cointelpro") without evidence or proof to back up their assertions. The tools these character assassins employ include repeated innuendo, guilt by association, and outright slander to support their unfounded allegations against Ted Gunderson.

Barbara Hartwell, who was raised in a CIA family and has been programmed under MK Ultra mind control, has established herself as Ted's most vociferous, viscious [sic], and constant accuser. Her wild, totally fabricated slanders against Ted Gunderson are simply surreal and beyond rediculous [sic].

Update April 2005: Hartwell has now added attorney John DeCamp, author of The Franklin Cover Up, to her character assassination hit list. In a recent rant posted on the internet, she actually had the termerity to accuse DeCamp of being a child molester and pedophile.

Oh man, I've seen this before.

John Grubor

aka Aga, Dr. Zando, DrGod, Amy Martin, Law Systems Institute, Net Doctor
*@manus.org, *@dhp.com, *@pgh.org, manus@*, zando@, etc, etc....

John Grubor appeared on Usenet around the time of the creation of news.admin.censorship, when first started posting that "complaining to postmasters is censorship". Over the next few months, he established himself as the most annoying person on Usenet, as he posted his "list of known homosexuals" all over Usenet, destroyed several newsgroups, sent out forged newgroups in David Lawrence's name for misc.activism.cannabis, with the help of Steve Boursy co-opted Dave Hayes' Freedom-Knights mailing list, created the Kook Cabal, and generally annoyed anybody that saw him for months on end....

Grubor is certainly the most annoying personality on Usenet I have ever met. Sure, he's not exactly a competent troller - but that's just because he really means what he's saying. As far as I can understand him, he really does believe that everybody that disagrees with him is a pedophile.

I seem to have wandered from my original topic. Let's go back:

From LDS pulpits across Utah [in March 2006] came an announcement from church leaders encouraging members to go to their precinct caucus meeting. This announcement contained a recently added line stating that: "Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties."

Democrats in Utah have taken this sentence as a huge step by the LDS church toward creating a two-party system in Utah.

Unfortunately for Democrats, they'd better keep working-because most Mormons already realize that you can still be a good Mormon and a Democrat. The majority of people in Utah are Republican not merely because of their religious affiliation, but because it is the platform they believe in the most....

There are Mormons in both parties nationwide, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Mitt Romney, governor of Massachusetts and potential presidential nominee, is Republican and a Mormon....

Can you be a good Democrat in Utah if you are Mormon? For many the answer is yes. Pat Jones, wife of professor of political science Dan Jones, is both a Mormon and a Democratic state legislator in minority leadership at the Capitol.

The vast majority of the nation's high-ranking Democrats are not LDS, though-and it remains to be seen how they would welcome Mormons into their fold.

And one Mormon blogger notes, as I did way back at the beginning of this post, that political parties are human institutions:

The parties representing the Left and the Right are both essentially motivated by the same three things – Greed, Praise, and Appetites. Sure, the left claims that they are more concerned about greed than the right, and the right is more concerned about curbing immoral appetites than the left, but in reality they are pretty well mirror images of each other. Each paints the other as utter evil and themselves as defenders of truth and righteousness.

As a Latter Day Saint, I see the choice I am given about as appealing as choosing between beer and wine, or between cigarettes and chewing tobacco. I don’t like either of them. I am under covenant to establish Zion and both the parties representing the left and the right in our political arena are Babylonian institutions....Both the left and right are determined to build up and establish Babylon.

Yes, I know most Mormons are devout right-wingers, but that doesn’t change the fact that the right is just as Babylonian as the left. The right supports some hot button issues that most Mormons feel trump the stinkier parts of the right wing agenda. Those objectionable (and vintage Babylonian) hot buttons include moral (Appetite) questions like abortion, same-sex marriage, pornography, etc. Yet the stinky parts of the right wing agenda that the left rightfully complains about are Greed related issues like sheltering the rich from taxes, pillaging the earth for gain, and grinding the face of the poor (like, say, Mexicans who illegally arrive to work here) in order to live more luxuriously.

So what is a Zionist to do when I am forced to choose between two Babylonian parties? Well, I mostly plug my nose and try to vote for the least objectionable option.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid is on the outside looking in:

The Religious Coalition for Marriage, which has united divergent religious groups - including the LDS Church - behind a constitutional amendment defining marriage, is proof positive that politics makes strange bedfellows....

Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid are fuming about today's last-ditch formal reception in The Rose Garden (weather permitting) or Eisenhower Building to which scores of religious leaders have been invited, including LDS Apostle Russell Nelson. The Senate votes Tuesday. If Democrats had their way, Wednesday would be the day the Internal Revenue Service would begin re-evaluating the 501c3 not-for-profit status of every church that participated in this "brazenly partisan stunt."

Just three weeks ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seemed content to state its principles on marriage and let it go at that....

[T]he dexterous language in the letter the LDS First Presidency had read to all Mormon congregations in the U.S. on May 28 encouraged members to "express" themselves individually to their senators and stopped short of endorsing the amendment or telling members what to say. However, other documents referenced in the letter left little doubt about the church's stand on marriage and sexuality.

"We urge our members to express themselves" seemed to be President Gordon B. Hinckley's deft way of encouraging individual action while acknowledging there was more than one faithful path to follow....

In Georgia, members reported that regional leaders from the Church Education System had sent e-mails to all stakes and wards headlined: "The definition of what a family is could change . . . On June 6th the U.S. Senate will vote . . . It is critical that you contact your senators and ask them to vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment." Adorning the flier was the portrait of a handsome young LDS couple.

But how do we know what a handsome young LDS couple looks like? Do they have the teeth of Donny Osmond or something? But I digress (again):

Bryan Kennedy, a young congressional candidate in Wisconsin, a Democrat, returned missionary and Brigham Young University graduate, had not been informed by a member of his stake presidency that his position on "choice" and "civil unions" (identical to Mitt Romney's when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994) as well as endorsements from NARAL and Planned Parenthood suggested he had been less than honest in answering temple-worthiness interview questions about personal integrity and associating with organizations that oppose church teachings.

OK, let's move from Mormonism to some Hannity-esque form of Christianity. Ready?

I’ve watched in bewilderment as liberals attack Christians by asking; “ What would Jesus do?” as they attempt to justify their unholy perversion-of-the-day. Usually they end up looking ridiculous as they attempt to draw comparisons and equate such things as abortion to Capital Punishment....

Since it has been liberals that have set the president [sic] of asking, I think it only fair to ask which political party Satan would chose as he registered down at the DMV (to avoid proof of citizenship entanglements). Let’s examine a few of the hot button issues and try to imagine which side old Beelzebub would come down on.

How would Satan view the difference between murders and the innocents in their mother’s womb? Which would he favor killing and which would he fight to save? The answer is exactly the same as the democrats.

You can make similar comparisons with homosexuality, welfare queens, removing religion from schools, government, boy scouts, girl scouts, or whatever organization you care to name. No one can argue that the liberals agenda does not closely parallels that of evil.

Now we know why the democrats are so certain of Global Warming. I guess we didn’t realize just how “hot” things were getting for them. When a democrats tells you “it’s hot as hell”, believe him.

And this from someone who apparently thinks he's James the Just ("You have reached the Web Site of Yeshua/Jesus' Brother - Though many of you call me James, my real name is Jacob"):

No Genuine Follower Of Yeshua/Jesus Can Vote Democrat!

Satan works through the Democratic Party to turn the children away from God -- and bring them into servitude to the demonic forces of darkness. Speaking of the children Yeshua warned: "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones" (Luke 17:2 KJV). Those who offend or stumble a child, will bring the severest of judgments upon themselves. Further, the present-day doctrine that those who call upon the Lord will be saved regardless of what they do in their lives, is a grave lie, as seen in the words: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matt 7:21-23 NKJ). That there are those in the Church who tell you otherwise, and are themselves deceived by the Devil, as it is warned: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matt 24:24 NKJ).

However, "Jacob" doesn't care for the right either:

Republican vs Democrat
Both Parties Apostates To The Constitution
Author Equally Hated By Religious Right and Left

The Fundamentalist Left, as well as the Fundamentalist Right, both have a right to exist and thrive under our Constitutional form of government. As a spiritual man who has dwelled in the Kingdom and returned to this life as an Prophet and Ambassador of the Lord, there is much good and bad in each of the parties. What most Americans fail to realize is that under our Constitutional form of government, it is unlawful for one group to impose its will upon another group. It is therefore wrong for the religious/conservative right to attempt to use government to impose it's [sic] brand of morality upon the liberal left, as it is for the liberal left to attempt to use government to impose it's [sic] lack of definable standards upon the religious/conservative right.

So what does James the Just think of the Peace and Freedom Party?

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