Torture opens the pits of Hell; it serves as a demand the demons come and get involved. You can quibble all you like about what constitutes torture, but if the stuff was being done to you, you’d know what it was. The government which feels it has to torture to win anything has already lost. They have lost the one very most important thing they could ever hope to have, and that is the final measure of God’s grace.
The terms of the Covenant of Noah are relative, in the sense that, to the degree you observe it, to that degree you are blessed. When a nation descends to the level of torture, all bets are off. Just getting there means shedding an awful lot of righteous standing along the way. We have arrived there.
Wholesale slaughter, even with a measure of brutality, is not in itself evil under that Covenant, but it has to be an enemy who provokes your nation. It has to be justified, and not a thinly disguised excuse to take something not yours. Anyone deluded enough to think we have any justice in making war in any part of the Middle East simply prefers fiction to reality — at best. Deluded. Perhaps a few are simply intellectually dishonest, refusing to consider, to venture into the territory of questioning things they have been told. The rest are just evil to the core. Follow the money. It’s all about oil, heroin, military contracts, and Israel. It’s not just brutality, but terrorizing.
The word “terrorist” now officially means simply anyone daring to resist the regime’s policies. Try it sometime. It can be the most utterly patriotic and righteous resistance to the most obvious illegal act, but if you resist the will of any government agent, you will likely be labeled a terrorist somewhere in the process, either directly or by inference.
The real threat to us is Satan’s very real control over our entire nation. Not worried? Okay, how about this: If the US government confiscated every dollar of private wealth from her citizens, and managed to go back in time and get all the rest that had ever been accumulated by private citizens since the founding of this country, it would not be enough to pay the national debt! It cannot possibly be paid! Yet, here we are, borrowing more, by the trillions, every few months. What happens when the available funds in other nations dries up, and no one can buy our debt any more?
It could mean utter repudiation of all debt. Of course, that means debt to the bankers who are also holding some Treasury paper. No, it more likely means devaluation like they have in Zimbabwe. That is, after more efforts to insure there is nothing left to confiscate from us. When? I have no idea, but it will come without warning. I’m not going to pretend I have any sage advice, except to note this is a good time to stock up on stuff you’ll be able to use to stay alive when nobody has any money to buy anything.
Meanwhile, don’t forget: Our national government has intentionally torn down the last hedge of moral protection we had. Creation itself is bound under moral principles, so there will be results in nature. God’s wrath is not pretty, but we collectively have begged for it. I’m not in the position of Abraham to negotiate with God about how many righteous He might find here, so I am only left to weep.
“Somebody somewhere is training in this stuff. Are we going to let them beat us?”
Sure. Why not?
Yesterday it rained, then the temperature dropped and it was freezing rain. Nice glaze on everything. Then it turned to sleet, leaving a heavy layer on top of the ice, bonding with it, making a nice gritty ice surface. Overnight the snow began, and it is still falling at midday. I skipped running yesterday because the day before I had a very long slow jog. Today I had to get back out there.
So with every step in the as-yet shallow snow cover, it was crunch, crunch, crunch as I jogged down the now finished loop in the woods. I estimate, with all the loops and curves, it’s roughly 1.5 miles, and finishing with a lap around the intervening street inside the trailer park, that makes it a 2-miler, give or take. That’s enough for an old arthritic man.
Also, parts of the trail offered weak trees and limbs drooping hard under the load of ice, which is some half-inch thick in many places. So it was either duck, push them out of the way, or break things off. In areas where the grass grows tall, it was lots of kicking to break it off where icy bunches arched over the trail.
What was odd was how good traction was in my low-end New Balance trainers. But come pay day, I think I’m going to get something with spikes or cleats for when the trail is wet and muddy. I tend to believe the body is generally designed for anything except good traction. We don’t really need too much cushioning if we run properly. That means not landing on the heel ever while running, but letting the ball of the foot strike first. If I could run in clean sand, I’d run barefoot. But in the woods, what I need is traction and protection from the temperatures, and poking sticks and rocks.
I have always loved running in the snow.
First off, you need to realize this is not an angry rant. I have loved Linux from the first experience, when I installed RedHat 5.0 on an old 486. Once I understood it, and some of the philosophy behind it, this was where I wanted to be. I still wish it were so, but it’s not.
There has been an on-going issue for the particular hardware I run, a Dell 545 MT. I have used Vista, Win7, openSUSE 11.1 and 11.2, Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10, and was unable to install my preferred CentOS 5.4. I managed to get SUSE 11.2 and Ubuntu 9.10 working rather well, except for one thing: burning disks. This machine features the ICH9 chipset, and my DVD-RW is SATA. When I try to burn disks larger than, say 250MB, it always fails. I read the logs, every log file I could find. There are over a dozen bug reports about this issue, and I tested every solution offered on every distro buglist which discussed it.
I don’t pretend to understand it, but I believe it has something to do with the interaction between udev and the burn process. Seems udev is polling the device during the burn, and somehow that interferes, and the burn stops. Brasero and other wodim front-ends fail consistently without useful error messages. K3B as a frontend for cdrecord works better, but still can’t finish anything much above 250MB. It seems to make a difference whether the settings include TAO or SAO, with the latter allowing a bigger ISO, but still failing at some point. Again, it’s over my head. I’ve spent hours reading about it on lists ranging from Ubuntu to Fedora, and too many had no useful discussion at all. Sometimes the submitter reports the issue resolved itself, but nothing they write helps me.
Among those who seem to understand it best, it would seem coordinating between the udev developers and the kernel driver developers is not straightforward. Each side seems to blame the other, though I don’t understand it well enough to be sure. What I do know is this has been reported as a problem starting two years ago, and is still unresolved. Now, it seems to me quite reasonable to assume it isn’t ever going to be fixed. It’s not a huge problem, because there are only a few of us using this particular hardware combination. At any rate, it’s not the hardware, because I burn flawless ISOs of all sizes, both CD and DVD, using Roxio under Vista.
I’m not at all happy running Vista, but I can’t afford to run out and buy new hardware. This expensive machine was a gift from someone who could afford it. I don’t have access to much else, except far older hardware. Nor do I have room to maintain a bank of different systems, even if I could afford them. I don’t have any real choices here. At this point I’m waiting to see if the BSDs will get all the drivers for my system, and may give one of them a try. Right now it seems bug reports indicate they are having issues, too. But this is Intel, which I believe is fully open to Open Source developers, so I can’t imagine why this remains broken two years after the first reports.
At any rate, I won’t be trying Linux any more on this machine.
This is not about a race or ethnic group. People still argue today what the term “Jew” should mean, and I’m not addressing that. If I were to discuss the term “American” it would hardly mean a race or ethnic identity, and the same might be said of a great many other nation-states today. I am addressing Judea as a term referring to a national political identity, or a particular political agenda. Today, while the center of gravity is located in a place we know as Israel, that’s also not precisely equivalent to the term Judea. Judea is active among residents of several states today, but hardly includes all those who claim to be Jews.
We can trace the history of this nation with relative ease. It began as a portion of the Twelve Tribes of biblical Israel. At some point, ten of those tribes broke away from the others. The northern portion became known as the Kingdom of Israel, and the southern was the Kingdom of Judah. That Israel disappeared in history, captured and exiled, scattered across the ancient Assyrian Empire. We have no way of knowing how many of them reunited with their people in Judah, but surely there were some. So we are left with a couple of augmented tribes in the Kingdom of Judah. According to their own prophets, their sins were only slightly lesser than those of the northerners. Thus, they were also exiled, but allowed to retain their national unity, after a fashion, in the land we call Babylon. Another empire rose to challenge Babylon and this one we usually identify as the Medo-Persians, who had this oddball religion which demanded every nation return to their ancestral lands and rebuild the temples to their gods and pray for the emperor.
None of this is particularly new to anyone with a little Bible education. What may not be obvious is what shifted within the culture of the people during this time. When they first invaded Canaan Land, the local tribes practiced a collection of pagan religions which are universally condemned as utterly depraved. One of the tamer rituals was parents tossing their first-born into the arms of an idol built over a blazing furnace. Oddly, though, some elements and key terms were familiar to Hebrew tribal religion. Keep in mind, the notion of there being only One True God was just too foreign, too revolutionary for these people. Their religious and national identity was fairly new, comprised a great many familiar elements, but with many new things, including this crazy idea of there being only one God, and the others all frauds and demons. It just never did take root in their minds.
Part of this was the simple fact the majority of any given population can never be fully mystical, can never have a fully raised living spirit, so they were suffering from a vast load of superstition. That would be a quasi-mystical emotional fear of things unknown. True mystics would know better, because a live spirit would enable a greater clarity on the spiritual level. Dead spirits cannot grasp spiritual truth, and the intellect surely can’t grasp it. So in the midst of this horde of superstitious, yet skeptical and cynical nation were a tiny minority who had the real insight. It was they who harassed the majority about the constant tendency to compromise and incorporate a little local Baal and Ashtarte cultic worship along with their ritual worship of Jehovah.
It remains possible to grasp some measure of mystical truth without a living spirit, but it would mean wanting to know these things, embracing mysticism as the true nature of things intellectually. You can surely gain an academic understanding of how mysticism works, so it’s not as if you just can’t swallow that without a living spirit. But idolatry was too easy, because it was reflexive with a superstitious people who tended to ignorance, in the sense of a very low grade mysticism education.
When they came into their own, and the former empires off in every direction declined all together at once, their king gave them a unity and prosperity which brought a much higher level of education, at least at the higher strata of society, by virtue of an acquaintance with other nations. The third monarch, named Solomon, suffered massive pride in his wisdom and ability to understand the nature of things intellectually. With that pride came a crushing level of taxation. When his son took his place on the throne, he was all the same arrogance but none of the wisdom, so he lost control of the northern tribes. The northerners had long been a different people, anyway, and quickly absorbed all sorts of idolatry, even while clinging to the official religious terminology. Fearing the Temple next to the southern palace of Judah would weaken their separate throne in the north, the rulers of Israel tried to supplant the official religion. It failed, and in the end, the royal household adopted the religion of the neighboring Phoenicians. When the Assyrians came and took them away, that was the end of Israel.
Judah remained, and just barely escaped the same fate by a miracle. Assyria went home, then fell apart. But Judah had been deeply infected with this grand human intellectual culture, and became less faithful. Their spiritual fortunes waxed and waned with kings of varying faithfulness. Essentially, the ruling families got too smart for their own good, turning more to humanly wise statecraft and neglecting the simplistic trust in their God. They, too, were taken away, to Babylon. While there, they drank deeply of the ancient literature and religions of the Mesopotamian Valley. At the heart of that ancient culture was the notion man could do it. That is, going back to the ancient Tower of Babel, they were certain if they just applied themselves, it would be the work of God. So they became fairly rigid about the Law, losing much of the mystical flexibility. Then the absorbed the Persian obsession with material wealth as the mark of divine favor. They eventually sent a tiny remnant home, while the majority stayed and pretended the land there was actually more blessed because the cream of the nation’s religious experts were still gathered there ferreting out the last quantum of understanding of their Law in the synagogue system.
So the Returnees were deeply infected with this twisted, broken mysticism, and in the process of rebuilding the ancient capital, developed yet another twist on their ancient religion. They were told a Messiah was coming, but rejected the mystical meaning, and insisted that meant a political ruler who would bring them a Persian grade of prosperity. Then, when the Greeks overran the Persian Empire, with the lofty Hellenistic man-centered philosophical traditions, the Judeans were completely sucked in by it. The thrill of Western rational logic was just too seductive. Meanwhile, that notion of the Messiah was so far removed from the actual mystical promises, they really didn’t have a clue. Rome took over from the Greeks.
So when the Messiah showed up and bluntly pointed out their mistakes, they killed Him. Then, in their impatience with God for taking too long to grant them the promised political deliverance, they got involved in revolts and Rome crushed them. Now, when Babylon took them out, they did at least learn to quit being superstitious and didn’t mix with idolatry any more. But it came at the price of losing their mystical edge, as they substituted a very naked impersonal legalism for the original personal faithfulness and love for God. But when Rome took them down, they only became hardened in their preference for Western rationalism. They no longer understood much of their ancient religious heritage because they were utterly lacking in the intellectual basis which gave birth to that religion.
But the idea of Judea never died, even though the land of Judah was taken away. This idea had become a very grand political aspiration to reclaim that land, but even more, to reclaim the former glory under their first few monarchs. They ruled the world, as it were, and gloated in it. The Messiah who sought to take them back to the Spirit Realm was rejected as their eternal enemy for daring to suggest this very worldly dream was not what God promised. So they fled the slaughter at the hands of the Roman legions in Judea, all the while nursing a grudge at the whole world for daring to reject Judea the Nation as the center of all mankind. No, not in the sense of wanting all mankind to convert, though that might be nice. No, it was that all mankind who were not Judean should be their willing slaves. Further, this vision assumed all the world must joyfully bring their wealth and lay it at the feet of the Judean nation.
You can’t call it “racism” despite how close it comes to it. It’s not about race. Indeed, it’s quite likely the folks who regard themselves today as Judea have almost no Hebrew DNA at all. Nor are they particularly observant of even their Hellenized brand of religion. No, it’s pretty much been stripped down to this political aspiration to rule the world as superior beings. So when you hear a political rabbi saying “thou shalt not kill” means only Jews should not kill Jews (whatever “Jew” means), you understand the chutzpah. When the modern nation-state of Israel acts with such incredible arrogance toward the rest of the world, you realize this is really nothing new. In their minds, God promised the rules which apply to the rest of the world would not apply to Judea.
God is not through judging them yet. That’s because they keep coming back and poking their fingers in His eyes again, and again, and again. Just guessing, I would say during the next year or so, things will start coming apart of Modern Israel. But at some point, you can be sure whatever was meant by John in Revelation with the term “Anti-Christ,” it’s something which will arise from whatever Judea has become.
It was a noble idea. Let everyone with an interest be allowed to add their knowledge regarding a topic, and the intelligence of the common man will shine through in creating an online encyclopedia. Let the differing opinions work out a compromise, and we’ll have nice, even-handed articles. It might have worked, except the people running the show were themselves unable to grasp the vision they stated. For whatever reasons, they allowed the worst sort of propagandists to run things.
I dearly love how Tim Bolen describes it:
People work hard in their lives to accomplish things. They don’t need to have some homeless, muttering, schizophrenic wander into a public library, plop their reeking selves down in front of the public internet, and log onto Wikipedia with a “private” name, to take out their resentments against their betters, by re-writing articles with so-called facts that were born in their drug-soaked, in-and-out of consciousness, mind. Nobody needs that.
But that’s one of the opportunities you provide. You call it “privacy,” and you actually think it is a good thing. Grow up.
Wikipedia has become one of the best places to find lies not fully covered by the mainstream media. Because slander and such is actionable, Mr. Bolen encourages people to sue Wikimedia, the company behind Wikipedia. I love it.
Lest we forget, the world is fallen. Your average human doesn’t have time to mess up your life, so it works out pretty well most of the time. It’s the people who have nothing better to do who make up the activist portion. When something truly horrific happens, you’ll get a rise out of just about everyone, but for daily evil, all it takes is a relatively tiny group of hateful sinners to ruin it for the rest of us. Since these people lack the physical courage to be predators in a gang, they instead form a pack of liars who dominate what used to be once regarded as a good source of information.
Wikipedia’s reputation is justly foul.
If I teach the Laws of God (Noah and Moses inclusive) and don’t live by them, I’m a hypocrite. If I teach the Laws and tell you I obey them, it would probably sound arrogant. So I won’t tell you that. I’m transcending the Laws by communion with the Lawgiver.
Most of the time we can ascertain without much difficulty the why behind some portion of the Laws. Moses warned about boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk because that was a pagan practice, not because it was bad for you. He warned about sexual promiscuity partly because it destabilizes the community. It’s also something God takes very seriously, and has since the Garden. There were a lot of provisions which were almost entirely about respecting your fellow humans, about being civilized.
Other things are entirely fundamental to human nature. Torture is altogether evil, and nothing justifies it, even with lesser creatures. Homosexual relations fits in there, too. Nobody is surprised when a carnally minded fellow seeks his pleasure just about anywhere, but we still keep in our minds this truly threatens something fundamental to human existence. Promoting art forms which desensitize and expose us to repulsive and shocking experiences are also in that box.
If you don’t see it from the Lawgiver’s perspective, you don’t quite grasp how it opens the doors to the deepest darkness. Just about anything normally regarded as simply naughty can be taken to extremes, so that it becomes just downright nasty and evil. When you invite Satan to join your party, he will surely oblige you. God’s justice has bumpers laid out in the Law Covenants to provide some practical limits. It’s one thing to use good logic and education in ANE culture to deduce the intent of the Laws. You should certainly be doing that. It’s another thing entirely when you rise through mysticism to the level of consciousness which defies words and laws, to the place where a part of you simply knows instinctively when you, in that time and context, are too near the invisible spiritual bumper.
When you get there, something inside you rebels, and won’t go any farther without some effort to silence the warning. Most of the time, people are so wired into the obvious logic, they aren’t ready to be told something so apparently harmless is actually evil at that particular time and place. So they don’t hear the spirit cry out until, perhaps, it’s too late. So while you certainly train to think broadly in terms of God’s sense of justice as revealed, be aware you simply never will have a full appraisal of every factor involved. There are spiritual factors tied into the entire universe. They aren’t easily seen, even for people with a mystical bent.
It can’t be taught; it has to be caught. You have to hang out with people who tend to catch these things, and don’t react with mere superstition. We have a jillion religious idiots out there assuming they have this spiritual gift of discernment and it’s bogus. I can’t imagine what is driving their reactions, but in end, I am under no obligation to take them seriously. Too often they say things which are preposterous, usually to draw attention to themselves. It’s the old “follow the money” — see the trends, and you can usually figure it out when someone is full of themselves instead of the Spirit.
There are no shortcuts, no magic formulas, no books of rules. The Laws were written because the majority of humanity will never reach the spiritual plane of existence. Those who take Laws seriously will often be your biggest problems. Still, that’s the best they can do, so we try to avoid conflict. It could be a whole lot worse. But if you have any part of your soul connected to that other side, that Spiritual Realm, then by all means, it’s worth anything you have and all you are to make the most of it.
Evil days are coming, when just being spiritually honest is going to cause you trouble, and might get you killed. God’s wrath will fall on most of this world very soon, and that last dying spasm of sin is going to make an awful mess. Many of us will be caught as collateral damage, simply because we are called by God to be where the action is. We don’t fear that end, but we have to keep a spiritual perspective, keep seeing with mystical faith-eyes so we understand and can walk and talk according to the Living Lawgiver.
No, there is nothing really wrong with the OS, but with me.
I’m not the hobbyist any more. Back when I first dove into FreeBSD I was determined to get it. I bought a couple of books, bugged some people on a forum, some Usenet groups, etc. I installed it several times on different machines. Eventually I got pretty comfortable with it, and wrote a series of articles about installing it for those who were even more clueless than I. But FreeBSD documentation is really good, and it’s promoters are generally friendly, and it’s not all that hard to do.
NetBSD people have said they don’t want me mucking about their OS. Their documentation is scant, and if you aren’t an experienced technician, it’s full of ambiguities which will drive you nuts. I don’t complain about the manual configuration, since FreeBSD was that way when I started back with 4.6. But the installation directions are not simple, just simplified. There is no simplified walk-through, and I’ve been told there will not be one. But I tried it anyway.
It took me two tries to figure out how to make the partitions. I thought it was nice you could just dump it all in a single partition, with a swap on the side. I did manage to install, but it failed to write my network settings. That was a bear. In fact, I never did quite understand what was required, and didn’t get it working. It didn’t help I had to make out this tiny 80×25 display in the center of my screen. Finally, after looking all around and discovering I would have to rebuild the kernel to get a full size display on my laptop screen, I gave up.
Before I did that, I realized it was pretty snappy on my Inspiron 4100 laptop, at least as quick as CentOS 5.4, and boots a lot quicker. Still, I’m just not interested in digging and experimenting. It’s not worth it any more. I think I’m going to try QNX.