Saturday, October 27, 2012

Are you living in an "information bubble"?

Jason Whitlock
Are you living in an INFORMATION BUBBLE? I was reading Jason Whitlock's column at Fox Sports titled, "Bubble Doesn't Help Black QBs." In a nutshell, Jason's putting forth the argument that the No. 1 hindrance for black quarterbacks is the "information bubble" which insulates them from any real criticism, and creates self-delusion, and a lack of self-awareness. Now fortunately, Jason is black and can say this--if this column had been written by a white sports' writer, he'd be fired on the spot for racism.

This got me to thinking about the rest of us--about you and me. Do we live in an information bubble? An information bubble means you get your information from a limited number of sources and they all affirm rather than challenge your thinking. You may subscribe to 2 newspapers and watch the news every night and go on the internet, and still live in an information bubble if all your news sources present a certain political viewpoint and ideology. 

Democrats and Republicans both live within their respective bubbles. If you are a Democrat or a liberal, you probably get your news from one or more of the following sources: 
  • CNN
  • NBC
  • CBS
  • ABC
  • PBS
  • NPR
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • W. Post
  • USA Today
  • Jon Stewart
  • Boston Globe
If you are a Republican conservative, you most likely get your news from one or more of the following sources:
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Times
  • Talk Radio
  • Fox News 
  • Drudge Report
Take note that there are many more outlets supporting the liberal-Democrat point-of-view.

If you live in an information bubble, it's unhealthy for your own personal and intellectual growth. It's "group-think." You want to be loved and accepted so you go along with the political mindset and the dogma of those around you that says abortion is an "ok" thing--after all, it's just human tissue, and even in the 3rd tri-mester, it's no big deal. Besides what would your co-workers or friends think if they thought that you were one of those "pro-lifers" who actually believes that life begins at conception? Whether you lean left or right, there is an accepted dogma.

You also buy into the idea that the oil companies are bad for America because that's what you hear coming from the President and all the news programs you watch. You never entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, oil is a good thing--after all, we need it to power our cars (even electric cars), fuel our airplanes and jets (when's the last time your flew cross country on a wind or solar-powered jumbo jet?).

Have you ever thought that those big evil oil companies that MSNBC keeps telling you are making obscene profits have a much smaller (like 1/5) of the profit-margin of Apple. You never hear anyone complaining about all the big profits that Apple's making off of consumers. And while we're at it, your computer (be it a Mac or PC or tablet) is made from OIL--try buying a MAC or PC or tablet made from wind or solar energy? There's NO such thing available. Try buying a flat-screen TV made from solar energy? There's no such thing. I think I've made my point.

For the record, I refuse to fall lock-step into group-think. Sad to say, many that I went to school with in high-school and college are still part of the "group-think" crowd. They haven't grown intellectually in 30-40 yrs. If you have a conversation with them, it's as though they are living in a time warp back in the 70s during the final days of the Vietnam War. At that time, they were anti-government, now, they believe government is the answer to every problem, which is why they support Obama.

I was raised to be a good liberal, and I marched for peace and protested the war in Vietnam, voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. But then I walked away from the group-think crowd. I realized that I no longer needed their love and acceptance, which is really phony anyway, because they only love you when you think like them and espouse their accepted viewpoints. Walk away from liberalism or the LEFT and they'll turn on you like a rabid dog.

Even to this day, I try not to get caught in the "information bubble" and I try to exercise my critical thinking skills. I'm always asking why this network or news program is ignoring certain stories.

I'll guarantee you that you are living in an "information bubble" if you haven't read or heard about the Benghazi emails which reveal that the White House and the State Dept. knew almost immediately that the attack on the Libyan embassy was not the result of some YouTube video. You also live in an information bubble if you haven't heard or read that those CIA operatives a mile away from the Libyan embassy asked for permission to go and provide back-up during the attack on the Libyan embassy and three times they were told to "stand down" or in laymen's terms, "NO!" If you haven't heard about this breaking story, you live in an information bubble and need to get out more. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Libya-gate makes Watergate look like chump change!

In last week's debate, *Obama feigned outrage and offense that he would intentionally "mislead" the country regarding the Libya debacle.

Here's all you need to know: Obama LIED. Four men died. (This just in--read Gordon Crovitz's excellent opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal: "You Tube Videos Don't Kill People.")

I am a card carrying member of the Vietnam-Watergate generation. We were weaned on Watergate as the worst political scandal in U.S. history. Compared with this administration's lies and obfuscations, Watergate was kindergarten, sandbox stuff. Most of my generation was brainwashed by the Washington Post's hack reporters, Woodward and Bernstein along with the rest of the msm (main-stream media) to believe that Watergate was the last word in political subterfuge.

Nixon and Watergate pale in comparison to what is unraveling before our very eyes. I say this at the risk of sounding callous and being accused of betraying my generation's trumped-up outrage over Watergate, but the fact is: Nobody died because of Watergate! Nobody!

Watergate was chump change compared to the deaths of our Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information officer, and Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty, two former Navy SEALs working as security personnel at the consulate in Benghazi.

Don't expect Bob Woodward or the NY Times to investigate Libya-gate. Why? Because it originated with their man, President Obama. He's a Democrat and the media has to protect him and provide him cover. Woodward and Bernstein will be conspicuously absent and will choose not to exercise their journalistic skills along with the rest of the media who will yawn and report that this is much ado about nothing. But it's not. BTW, if you want some serious objective reporting on the Libya debacle and the President's lies, go to Fox for a chilling 2-part video timeline and reenactment of the Libya attack and how this administration responded.

Hopefully, Romney will challenge the President's phony bluster and outrage in Monday's debate. Obama never called it a terrorist attack. He blamed it on a video for two weeks. Charles Krauthammer has offered Romney a zinger of a comeback for Monday's debate:
You are offended by this accusation, Mr. President? The country is offended that your press secretary, your U.N. ambassador, and you yourself have repeatedly misled the nation about the origin and nature of the Benghazi attack.
The problem wasn’t the video, the problem was policies for which you say you now accept responsibility. Then accept it, Mr. President. You were asked in the last debate why more security was denied our people in Libya despite the fact that they begged for it. You never answered that question, Mr. President. Or will you blame your Secretary of State?
 Remember the first rule of selecting a president: When the White House phone rings at 3am, who do you want answering it? Or better yet, do you want someone who will even be there at 3am and not in Las Vegas partying with Jay-Z or yukking it up with David Letterman?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Names of Jesus: A Great Light

In the midst of my political rants, it's good to get some perspective. Regardless of who wins the election, we will still be in darkness to a large extent as a nation. That is why I want to focus today on one of the names for God.
He is......A GREAT LIGHT (Isaiah 9:2)

 "There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle."  --Robert Alden
I am amazed that even in the darkest spots on earth, places like North Korea, evil dictators have not been able to stop the spread of the Good News of the Messiah Jesus. (North Korea is not just dark spiritually, but also physically immersed in darkness. I've included a satellite photo taken of both North & South Korea at night. Notice the contrast between the two nations. South Korea is lit up because of abundance of electricity. North Korea is total darkness because of very little electricity.)

North Korea has earned the distinction as the world's top persecutor of Christians. North Korean Christians aren't simply killed for their faith in Christ. They are pulverized with steamrollers, used to test biological weapons, shipped off to death camps or shot in front of children, while newborn babies have their brains pithed with forceps in front of their mothers. Crimes against humanity reminiscent of Auschwitz and Treblinka to which the world declared "Never Again!" more than 60 years ago are being perpetrated today against the North Korean Christians.

In North Korea, Christians meet secretly in small groups and read handwritten scriptures. Some use Bibles that their elders have secretly passed down to them. One man was jailed for a year because a Bible was found in his house. 

One man known as "Interviewee 14" told of his interrogation in the Onsong Gugkabowibu jail in 2001. The interrogators told the 68 persons being held in this small jail that all “followers of Jesus” were to stand up. Six did and were immediately taken away. The guards said that the six had been executed. However, the detainees later learned that the six had been taken to a gwalliso political penal labor colony at Jongsung. Interviewee 14 himself, after being deprived of food and sleep through seven long interrogations, finally gave up and confessed to belief. He was offered the opportunity to renounce his faith, pledge his loyalty to the Party, and be sent to a nodong danryeon dae labor training camp or mobile labor brigade."

We need to pray for those in North Korea, for Christians who are tortured and persecuted for their faith. But the good news is that no man, not even the leaders of North Korea can stamp out Christianity because the Spirit of God does not recognize nations' borders. The Spirit of Jesus goes wherever He wants all over the world and cannot be stopped by the feeble attempts of border guards at checkpoints. Even in the midst of the darkness in North Korea, there is the light of Jesus. He is the Great Light that is transforming lives in the darkest nation on earth.
What you need to know about this name, "A Great Light"

Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet captured the vision of the coming Messiah and gave us numerous titles. He said that the Messiah would be:
  • God's anointed servant (Isaiah 42:1)
  • The Redeemer (Isaiah 59:20)
  • Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 7:14)
  • The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) 
But he gives us an important aspect of the Messiah when he prophesies in Isaiah 9:2 that he would be a Great Light.

We are all born with a spiritual birth defect... 
Jesus told those around him that he was the Light of the world. In John 12:46, Jesus says to the crowds, 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. 
In John 9:5, Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 
We need to consider the setting where Jesus spoke these words. Jesus and his disciples are leaving the temple area where they encounter a man who had been blind from birth. To be blind from birth meant that you lived in hopeless poverty begging for your next meal. Also, it was thought that this man was blind either because he had sinned while in the womb or because of his parents' sin. Jack Hayford writes  that "We are all born with a spiritual "birth defect'—we cannot see dearly the will and way of God for our lives. And it is only by an encounter with Jesus Christ that dear vision becomes ours." It is only in the light of Christ--His presence in our lives that we receive the knowledge of God. The Psalmist said, "In your light, we see light." (Psalm 36:9).

Right there on the spot, Jesus heals this blind man. His eyes were opened for the first time. This is similar to what happens when we are "born-again" and have our spiritual eyesight and understanding opened. We see people and the world around us differently, and we begin to see and understand God's purpose and plan for our lives. The Bible takes on a whole new meaning because it now speaks to us. The Bible is no longer a compilation of dead, dry, dusty, ancient and irrelevant thoughts of a bunch of dead men, but it is NOW living and active, addressing our every need and revealing the thoughts and wisdom of Almighty God!

It is noteworthy that light always intrudes on darkness, and darkness never intrudes on light. If a door opens between a lighted room and a dark room, the light always flows into the dark room, never visa-versa.  John 1:5, and John 8:12 tell us that we can overcome evil, darkness, with the light of Christ. 

Jesus is the Great Light who can pierce the darkness that envelopes our lives on a daily basis. He can shatter the chains of discouragement, disappointment, disgrace, defeat, and hopelessness that seeks to smother us on a daily basis. The Evil One wants to convince us that we are worthless or unworthy of any good thing that God would want to give us. He would have us consider ourselves to be like rotten fruit fallen from a tree. The Evil One would have you encrusted with a despondency devoid of any life-giving purpose.

But into that void of darkness and despair, the testimony of Jesus, our Great Light shines forth. His brilliance, his radiance, His divine love, His truth and wisdom can transform any circumstance and restore our lives to one of new purpose, direction and joy!

It is our privilege as followers of Messiah Jesus to live in this Great Light daily.

Praying in Jesus' name, a Great Light, means focusing the radi­ance of His person on the aspects of my day for which I desire divine guidance. 

We can pray that God would reveal His will to us as we read His Word (the Bible). We pray that Jesus, our Great Light, would light the path for us this day so that we would not walk in darkness. We pray that we would do what He wills for us this very day. We also recognize that Jesus as our Great Light wants to expose the darkness in our lives, those things that need to be cleaned up or the rubbish that needs to be swept from our hearts and lives. We pray for His revelation, that His Light would purify our lives and cleanse us so that we are truly walking in new found freedom and living lives that glorify Our Lord and Savior.

We can pray in Jesus' name like the African child who prayed: 

O Great Chief, light a candle within my heart that I may see what is therein, and sweep the rubbish from Your dwelling place.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Biden espouses the Schultz theory: "I know nothing!"

"I know nothing!"
It's interesting to note that when the facts can no longer be suppressed by the liberal mainstream media, this administration turns to the Hogan's Heroes' Sergeant Schultz routine: "I know nothing", "I hear nothing", "I see nothing!"
A day before the debate, a House hearing revealed that the U.S. Embassy in Libya had been concerned about a rising al Qaeda-linked Islamist threat and had requested, but was denied, security reinforcements. 

But during the debate, Biden said, "Well, we weren't told they wanted more security again." He was plainly contradicting the testimony of State Department officials. He also blamed "the intelligence community" for the Administration's initial and false assertions that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American colleagues were killed in a "spontaneous" protest against an anti-Islam video on YouTube. This is the same "intelligence community" he is sure can tell us with certainty when Iran has a bomb and the Taliban is defeated. 

When asked on Friday about Mr. Biden's claims, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: "He was speaking directly for himself and for the President. He meant the White House. . . . No one who testified about this matter suggested that requests for additional security were made to the President or the White House. These are issues appropriately that are handled by security professionals at the State Department. And that's what he was talking about." So blame State and the intelligence community. 

Poor Jay Carney. He is being asked to carry the water and offer up lies on a daily basis for this administration. Now Mr. Carney would have us  believe that the Executive Branch is not responsible for anything that happened to our Libyan embassy because they just didn't know. Blame it on the State Dept. But even in the corporate world, that won't wash. The Executive Branch is made up of many departments, all of which report to directly to the President. In the case of the State Dept., Sec. of State Hillary Clinton would be the one to brief the President and bring him up to speed on all that is taking place in Libya.

This is the administration which would have you believe that they are exonerated from any blame because the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Insofar as Obama hasn't met with this security counsel nor his cabinet members in several months, it's no wonder Obama/Biden are in the dark. Obama wants to ignore any of the facts that get in the way of the story he and his administration are trying to spin regarding the terrorist attack in Libya, and the needless death of our Ambassador and staffers.

For those of  you who are willing to give Biden a pass, Google can be your friend if you are curious enough to actually look. Here is one link of many.
By the way, you can't find this being reported truthfully in any liberal mainstream media because it's news they deem you don't need to know.

"Biden's intelligence" is an oxymoron if ever there was one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My takeoff on Clint Eastwood & the Empty Chair

By now, I'm sure you've either seen or heard about Clint Eastwood's memorable speech at the Republican convention where he used an empty chair as a prop for Obama. If you haven't seen the speech, you can view it at YouTube.

I got this idea from a Wall Street Journal reader who placed an empty folding chair next to his Romney-Ryan yard sign. Yesterday afternoon, I did the same thing. Here's what everyone who drives down my street now sees.....

I'm looking forward to the VP debate tonight. Since we no longer have satellite or cable, we'll watch it on either Hulu Plus or YouTube. After I publish this post, I'm packaging my 2 DVRs and taking them to Fed-Ex to ship back to DISH Network. I do this with a degree of sadness. I will miss my DVRs and the ability to pause and watch shows on time delay. But then again, we've embarked on this great experiment and that's the price we have pay. 

Enjoy your day, and if you pray, pray for righteousness and truth to prevail tonight. Pray for the American people to see and hear what's true and to have wisdom to discern between who's blowing smoke and who's displaying real honesty and character. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why Obama will lose the next debate.

There's been a lot of post-debate analysis as to why Obama lost his first debate against Romney. Al Gore blamed it on the altitude-that figures. The media was apoplectic and should have been placed on suicide watch because their esteemed leader, the annointed one they've propped up for the past four years, failed miserably. In effect, it's as though he didn't want to be there. He should've stayed home. Romney could have done just as well debating an empty chair.

But here is the real reason for Obama's lackluster performance: He's lazy--that L-A-Z-Y!! In a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters, he admitted to being lazy and blamed it on having grown up in Hawaii. In other words, if you're Hawaiian, you're probably lazy (according to President Obama). 

Here's my assessment: Obama has never had to work hard for anything. He's been handed everything. He is our first affirmative action president. He never had a menial job like working at McDonald's. He never even had a paper route (I can just imagine him delivering the morning paper at 4pm in the afternoon). 

Barry is used to being treated as "special" and being given every break in the book. My wife said, "Dale, he must have worked hard to pass the bar exam. You don't just become a lawyer without some hard work and passing the bar exam." My response to that: How do you know? His transcripts are sealed. All this brouhaha over Romney's tax records and we still haven't seen Obama's transcripts. Everything about his past life is "closed." Why is that? What's he hiding? We don't know if he even passed the bar exam because we can't even see his high school or college records. I really believe that he was most likely an average student, probably deserving mostly "C's" but most of his teachers and professors bumped those "C's" up to "B's or even A's." 

Obama is a "know-it-all" and he's even admitted to others that he knows more about policy than any of his staff. You can't tell him anything. He doesn't care to study hard, even for something like a debate. He doesn't even attend intelligence briefings because he figures he probably knows what he's going to be told before they even hold the briefing. He is all-knowing, and for that reason, he spent very little time in preparation for last week's debate. Obama figured that he already knew Romney's position on everything. In reality, all that Barry knew were the fabricated lies and distortions that he and his party had spun regarding Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney showed up with facts, figures and the truth. Mitt Romney looked presidential; Obama look small and trivial. 

I'm not alone in my assessment of Obama's laziness as a major factor in his dismal performance. Last Thursday, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu appeared on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell (who's in the tank for Obama). She asked Sununu for his impression of Mitt Romney's performance at the previous night's debate. The conversation heated up quickly whcn Sununu opted instead to critique President Obama's performance, calling him "lazy" and "disengaged." 

Andrea Mitchell was taken aback by the criticism of her beloved President whom she has spent four years trying to "prop up" with her own brand of media bias. This seasoned journalist who is objective and non-partisan, immediately went on the defensive for Obama and asked Gov. Sununu if he wanted to apologize for that remark, but Sununu would not take the bait.

I'm sure Ms. Mitchell was shocked at this "hate-speech" coming from Sununu. Andrea Mitchell gasped and tried to give Sununu one more chance to atone for his hateful comments: "Governor, I want to give you a chance to maybe take it back. Did you really mean to call Barack Obama, the President of the United States, lazy?"

"Yes," Sununu replied without hesitation. "He didn't want to prepare for the debate. He's lazy and disengaged." (Do you think that Andrea Mitchell would've have been as concerned if these words had been said about Pres. Bush? Can you imagine her giving the attacker the opportunity to "take it back"--to apologize? I can't.)

Here's my prediction for the next presidential debate on Oct. 16:

At Hofstra University on Oct. 16, once again, Romney will prevail. Even though Obama and his team are insisting that he's going to bring his "A-Game:--it won't happen. Even though Obama is assuring his adoring crowds that it's going to be a street fight, don't bet on it. Barry is lost without his teleprompter and speech writers. He's a narcissist. He can't take in any new information, hence, he won't really study or prepare for the debate. Once again, Barry will fall back on the misinformation and fabricated lies about Romney that he's been spewing for the six months, and once again, he will be met with the facts and truth by a man who has truly accomplished something in his life. 

Obama has had almost four years in the oval office but he can't really talk about any of it because it's been a complete waste and total failure. He has no record to run on. Really, all Romney has to do at the next Town Hall meeting is ask the audience, "What has Obama done for you over the last four years? Is your future more secure? Is your home worth more? Has your retirement income grown substantially? Have your kids found good jobs or are they still living at home with you? Has your household income increased or decreased? Do you have more disposable income or is it being eaten away by the high cost of gasoline which has doubled under this President? "

At the next debate, once again, Obama will look small and trivial and Romney will look presidential. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Renee and I step back into the dark ages. We embark on a grand experiment.

Saturday's the day! Some people think I'm insane and maybe they're right--I'm less than three days away from being cut-off from civilization. In less then three days, Renee and I enter the dark ages. Sometime Saturday, the two satellite dishes atop our roof will stop receiving any signals from the DISH HD satellites.

This Saturday, we pack up and send our 2 HD DVRs back to DISH Network.This is a big deal! Some think we've lost our mind, getting rid of television 4 wks.into the football season. No more NFL football on Sunday afternoons, or Sunday evenings, or Monday night football on ESPN. I could go on, but you get the idea. 
Three weeks into the fall television season, we will no longer receive Survivor, The Amazing Race, or Revolution. This is serious stuff. No longer can I miss the start of a game or a TV show and then start it from the beginning an hour later from the beginning, zapping commercials and watching a 3-hour game in 90-minutes.

Sadly, I will truly miss the Fox News Channel. My friend, Bart, gives me 2 weeks before I call up Dish network and beg them to put a rush on reconnecting my dishes. However, I think we'll be able to last a bit  longer than two weeks. This is an experiment. Can we survive this next year with no live TV service?

In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that we are still have the internet and we have subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Finally, I was raised on television and have nothing but fond memories of watching TV. I remember seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I remember when space launches were a big deal and we got up at 4am to watch the countdown.

We were the first on our street to have color television in the days when the only thing in color was the Flintstones, the Jetsons and Travelogues. In the early 80s, we were one of the first families to have stereo television when it was a big deal to watch and listen to Miami Vice in stereo. With the advent of DVRs, we were one of the first families in our area of New Hampshire to get a DVR, as well as going high definition. I say all this to let you know that I'm not a TV-hater. I don't watch Christian TV which could be the subject of one or more future posts. I like TV and have enjoyed it since I was a little kid. So, we'll see how this goes.

If nothing else, I know I'll have more time to read, study the Word, pray and get together with friends. Down the road, Renee and I may come to regret this decision or we may find it to be liberating. We'll see. Stay tuned as we embark on this grand experiment.