Category Archives: Eric Nunnally

America’s fear of China

from ecrivain01 and The Manchurian Letter

Do you care about America and the future of the world?

If you do, wake up. Start paying attention to the fact that there’s a real world out there, and that strange things are happening in it. While the U.S. military is being battered to the point of nearly breaking in Iraq (where we are bogged down now over a war for oil that we can do well enough without — McCain just admitted this week end that we are there for the oil), CHINA IS PREPARING FOR A NUCLEAR WAR. Wake up and smell the coffee you people.

New Chinese SSBN Deploys to Hainan Island

China views us as an obstacle to world domination, as do the Islamic fundamentalists. (Too bad they can’t fight it out between them, but that would only happen once we were toast.) While we are fighting in the deserts of Iraq and our army is being stretched to the breaking point, China is arming for war.

McCain gave a speech recently in which he stated that China and Russia should be excluded from the G8 and isolated from the rest of the world. All that does is prove once again how isolated and insular the Republican Party is and how little they know about the world they want to play bully in. While the U.S. and Europe are preoccupied with oil in Iraq that we will never control anyway, China has been assembling a navy to rival any navy on Earth, and now has many nuclear subs which are completely untrackable by any technology the West has as of the present time. Time to wake up, people.

Armchair Sleuths Uncover Strange Military Sites in China

I would like to hear from people with a working brain who can see what is happening. I think we should be writing about this and contacting our Senators and Congressmen. Do you care enough about America and your own futures to read the articles I’ve listed here and respond?

Your own futures could well depend on the actions of China and Russia but particularly China. READ THE NEW FROM ASIA. This will undoubtedly be the Pacific Century but it would be nice if we were still here as a thriving country, not heaps of slag and decomposing bodies.

The response:

To presume as truth that which is speculative in nature is, to be frank, irresponsible. The links you posted to support your “theory stated as fact” rely heavily on interpretation and paranoia. What does China owe to the rest of the world – especially to the United States, in terms of transparency, when the U.S. Administration feels free to do what they please when they please. As leaders of the free world, isn’t this the example we set?

You incorrectly stated that nuclear war would effectively destroy anything “beautiful” anywhere. Japan was nuked twice. Nukes have been tested since then around the globe. Wouldn’t a superior strategy effect the same end as in WWII? While millions suffered the hell of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Americans still went to baseball games, picnics, and movies. Apple pies still found themselves in kitchen windows to cool off, and daydreamers still sat in lush fields chewing on a stem of wheat while basking in the sun. Beauty (which is in the eye of the beholder) was abundant in some areas of the globe, even while Jews were being incinerated in Germany, the Japanese massacred Chinese in Nanking, or millions starved in Russia under Stalin.

You may be correct in guessing that China is planning a nuclear war, or you could be 100% deluded. Time will tell. Whatever the case may be – war, the symptom of a deeper root, is not the answer. Shall America repeat its policy of pre-emptive engagement the way we did in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now pushing for Iran – under false pretenses?

If you really want to deter the threat of nuclear war, stop talking it up, don’t get a gun, get some understanding, take some lessons in conversation, and pick up the phone.

The Chinese have economic interests in the United States which far surpass any justification for nuclear engagement. Knowing the U.S. to have acted as international bullies (if not terrorists) I would suppose that China is merely getting its side of the board together in case the U.S. Administration decides to do anything foolish. History has discovered many non-violent ways to accomplishing national, political, and economic interests. I am sure China hasn’t missed those lessons.

Here are some links for you to read at your convenience:
Chinese City Partners with New York School
British to help China build ‘eco-cities’
China’s Military: A Second Opinion
Heeding Sun or Mao? Assessing China’s Military Thinking
Chinese firms bargain hunting in U.S

FYI’s from God

No matter where we are, how long we have been here, or bad we want to hold on, change is necessary for growth. Before you get the pink slip – from a job, a relationship, or from the doctor – make sure you’ve been paying attention to God’s FYI’s. Oftentimes we are guilty of ignoring or deleting those messages because we don’t want to hear what they are telling us – because we can’t imagine or don’t believe in anything better for ourselves.

In the world we live in, before we sign our name to any contract it behooves us to go over every detail in every line – especially the fine print. God’s contract is a little different. He hands you a blank contract and asks you to sign it. Only after you sign it will He fill out the rest. If you can’t sign it, you can’t ride with Him.

When Moses brought the children of Israel to the Promised Land, God basically told him that the land of milk and honey wasn’t for him. Moses had done the job he was commissioned to do and was supposed to spend the rest of his days communing with God in the mountain. Now Moses was naturally upset, but he had to, upon reflection, realize the great blessings God had bestowed upon him – and that the journey for him wasn’t over yet.

When we get to that place where we recognize who God is and what He has done for us, we can trust in Him completely, no matter what. I believe Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived at that place the last time he gave his “I have a dream” speech. We should all be so blessed. We are not the message, but the messengers. The plan is not ours but God’s. If we count ourselves obedient, then we sign that contract – agreeing to do His will for His glory and not our own.

If we sign that contract, committing ourselves to Him, it doesn’t mean we are perfect. It doesn’t mean we are holier than anyone else. It only means that we have agreed to be used by Him, and are committed to that. Along the way God will give us little nuggets, feedback, encouragement – or FYI’s – to let us know if we are on the right path or if we have strayed. If we ignore them, the lessons are harder than we can imagine. If we heed them, even if the change we must make is difficult, we will arrive in a better place as a consequence of our obedience.

There is a saying that every cloud has a silver lining. Another way of putting it is that all things work for the good for those who love the Lord. Whether you have your pink slip already, or one is coming down the pike, know that nothing is permanent. All things last for but a season. More important than the circumstance is the lesson it is meant to teach. Get the lesson while it’s there for the getting, and move on when it’s time. Do you know what time it is? Check your messages. I’m sure you’ve got a few FYI’s.

The enemy within?

Crabs-in-a-barrel?

Now we’ve heard and seen, in real time, how “pundits” employ the age-old tactic of “divide and conquer”; They just identify, encourage, and use for their purpose, “crabs” or fringe players in one’s black-experience repertoire, against the one who threatens the status-quo.

Be aware! Our most destructive enemy will have spent significant time in our own households!

Was it irresponsible of Wright to make his tour correlate with Obama’s campaign? Depends on how one defines that responsibility and who that responsibility is to.

Did Obama have to address it? Again, it depends on perspective and sensitivity.

When Bill Clinton was slapped with the question about Monica, how much would it have hurt him to say, “That’s how Hill and I roll.”

Okay, okay. That last part is totally irrelevant.

Back to the point. Both men are grown. Both have their own mission. Some would argue that X and King were just as diametrically opposed.

Bottom line: rest your faith not in men, but in God Almighty – and let Him show you how this thing plays out, for all things work for the good for those who love the Lord. And no matter how likable a fellow may be, or how much he resonates with people, remember, wasn’t Barabas liked by the people? It is not the man, but the power behind the man that determines the outcome.

Yes Barack is Black. Yes, he is in line to be the first Black president of the United States. But, quiet as it’s kept, that ain’t a bed that’s easy to lie in, or get up from, without catching a bad case of fleas and all the diseases that go with them. So pray for the disciples – both of them. They aren’t in the limelight for no reason; and time will tell what God has planned for both of them.

Queen Rania Al Abdullah and YouTube team up to combat ignorance

If everyone took responsibility for their own understanding instead of allowing others to selectively feed them, the world might be a little better off. I applaud this YouTuber for stepping up and addressing what is important to her and will ultimately serve to decrease misconceptions and ignorance by creating a necessary conversation.

From the Biblical story of Babel, the lesson may not necessarily be that man was meant to be divided, for fear that he may reach the heavens (and somehow spread his immaturity and all its derivatives throughout the universe), but rather – anything that disrupts our conversation and communication with each other, ultimately impedes our ability to reach our collective potential.

Check out the video and take Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan up on her offer…

Falling in love with the Truth

from WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show

“Barack Obama’s speech called on the nation to have a high level conversation on race. Much of the media has dropped to the lowest level and focused on trying to drive controversy. Cable news has been in the dirt. The media can drive the conversation. Why not take the high road and do something good for the country?”

– Bob, Rochester, N.Y.

“First of all because I cannot conceive of a national conversation in the atmosphere that this country exists in saying on the high road. We’ve seen this presidential campaign immediately go down to the low road with Bill Clinton raising the race issue in South Carolina. When race comes up and is discussed nationally, its always ugly, it always has been. Now sometimes good comes out of it, out of the 60’s and 70’s something good came out of it, but that’s a multi year process. For Obama to have now, during a presidential campaign, a long public discussion on race, is to guarantee that he’s not going to be president. He can’t possibly win.”

Tony Blankley, syndicated columnist, former editorial page editor of “The Washington Times,” research fellow with the Heritage Foundation and vice president with Edelman International. He is author of “The West’s Last Chance.”

“His white advisors advised against giving the speech. His black advisors advised him to go ahead with it.”

Clarence Page, syndicated columnist, “Chicago Tribune.”

Before I begin, I would advise that every reader click on the WAMU link to listen to the show in its entirety.

There is something about Tony Blankley’s response to the caller from Rochester I find disturbing. Tony’s response captures the pessimism, impatience, and fear that have held this nation back from realizing its true and full potential for generations.

How will things ever change unless we have those willing to change the status quo? And how does one change the status quo by maintaining the same thinking that allows it to exist? As long as we, individually and collectively, believe that the problem is too big for us to solve, how can it ever be solved? Being aware of this nation’s history of behavior and habit, especially regarding the topic of race relations, is fine – but must we always cite the worst of our history as an excuse not to move forward?

If we continue to allow fear to dictate how and where we walk, talk, and live – what kind of life will we have? What kind of legacy do we leave our children? There is a scripture which loosely reads, “the sins of the father are passed on to his children.” Shall we as a nation continue to neglect our obligations and responsibilities to ourselves and our progeny, leaving as an inheritance for our children the debt of our ignorance and the burdensome task of coming up with a solution, the way it was left to us? Who will step up, roll up their sleeves, and finally take care of business, once and for all?

We cannot afford to continue to “pass the buck” from generation to generation. We have for too long forfeited our nation’s collective strength by choosing to remain divided. When will we acknowledge, claim, and live up to our birthright in this country, honoring the best of who we are and that amazing grace which has been bestowed upon us?

When will we shrug off the anchors of laziness and fear and choose to rise to the occasion of our collective calling? When will we stop incessantly complaining and divisively nitpicking about who and what is wrong and decide instead to work together to do something right – to make this world a better place? When will we stop falling for the illusions of inevitability and instead be inspired to create the reality of possibility?

When will we get rid of the ornamental shackles, the costumes, make-up, and perfume of lies? When will we stop blaming others, making excuses, criticizing and judging without love, and giving away our power for others to manage?

When will we fall in love again with the truth?

“What kind of a land is this where you almost mean what you say?”

This is not an exercise in futility. It is a clarion call for self-assessment, honest expression, and relational responsibility. It is intended for those who have found themselves in arguments laden with negative energy.

There is no point to argument other than to prove a point. The act of proving a point is a controlling process. It requires organization, the belief in law and order, and an agreement to respect the sovereignty of truth. Once a point has been made, it cannot be unmade, for a point, like energy, can neither be created nor destroyed, only acknowledged or ignored. Ultimately, a point is not an opinion but an irrefutable fact. That is why it is called a “point.”

Some people argue hypothetical points, which aren’t points at all, but conjectures of imagination. Such arguments are exercises in futility, especially because the hypothetical point has no static definition and thus presents no opportunity for agreement but for two parties acknowledging a point and misnaming it hypothetical.

In contravention to the argument is the conversation. Conversation is the exchange of ideas. Conversation is useful in sharing points of view. One cannot argue a point of view, for it is impossible for any party to stand in the life of another. A point of view is sovereign territory.

In sharing one’s point of view, one will naturally encourage disagreement from another party who does not and cannot see the same point of view. If person B says, “I see where you are coming from,” responding to the shared point of view of person A, this is a convention of relationship that communicates more accurately that there is some experience drawn upon which allows person B to connect in a way that makes person A’s point of view understandable or believable. A mouthful, I know.

Point of view impacts every type of reaction possible. Lack of consideration for different points of view is generally called, “having on blinders.” To act with blinders on is to act in a vacuum, while the consequences for every action affect a larger environment. This imbalance of consideration is irresponsible as it does not allow for one to be accountable for the effects of one’s actions.

With blinders on, a person can, with a clear conscience, make a choice based on a singular point of view which negatively impacts other points of view. When confronted with the relationship between their choice and its consequences, the person will resist taking responsibility for their actions, seeking amnesty in their being unaware.

How can one be responsible for that which s/he is unaware of?

If one understands the concept of cause and effect, then one must also understand that every action causes an equal and opposite reaction. If one accepts this, then one must accept responsibility for one’s actions whether or not they consider the consequences.

If the counter point of view is considered – that choices have no consequences, actions have no equal and opposite reactions, that there is no such thing as cause and effect, this would support the idea that ignorance is bliss. Persons embracing this paradigm becomes easily offended when any attempt is made to educate them about relationships, thus burdening them with responsibility and accountability they would rather be free of.

It is explains why you, the reader, is a fool to argue with a person who has already made up their mind not to accept responsibility for their actions, acts in a way that demonstrates that they do not have to answer to anyone for their actions, and ultimately does not respect or value other points of view.

What causes a person to embrace such a paradigm? Interestingly enough, the answer is fear.

When confronted with the proposition that a person is afraid of something, that person, especially one embracing the ignorance is bliss paradigm, will assert that they aren’t afraid of anything relevant to this exposition. That fact is that until a person can acknowledge an issue, they cannot begin to deal with it. One may argue that if a person isn’t aware of an issue, then an issue does not exist. This is like closing your eyes to dismiss the fact that there is something right in front of you.

One may further argue that because the so-called issue does not affect one personally, it isn’t in fact an issue. Contrary to popular belief, if a thing has been brought to your attention, it exists, whether you accept it for what it is or not. It is the same principle supporting the assertion that just because one doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist; or for the more secular, just because you don’t believe in politics doesn’t mean that politics don’t affect you.

The fear spoken of earlier is a fear of loss – the loss of identity. Identity is a strange thing. Many believe that knowledge of self is a given – that it is impossible for a person not to know him or herself, especially a person who has realized any modicum of success. The fact is that the self is extremely malleable and given to suggestion. An example would be a person demonstrating characteristic traits associated with a certain zodiac sign. How much of such behavior and personality is self-fulfilling prophecy. A person is, after all, what a person believes; at least from one perspective.

Take the simple story of a baby eagle raised with chickens. The eagle of course grows up believing it is a chicken, until a person comes along and, seeing this perversion of nature, endeavors to teach the eagle that it is an eagle. The story ends well, but it is, after all, only a story. But this story serves to prove a point. How many of us are who we are because of what has been told to us, presented to us, and made available to us? How could we have possibly defined ourselves based on something outside our realm of experience? Can we change once correct information is presented to us? Will we want to?

The answer to that last question takes into account that fear I spoke of earlier. When a person has to divest him or herself of all that is familiar, for which a person enjoys a sense of “ownership,” and has to put into proper perspective those beliefs they previously held to be true and now are persuaded by evidence that they are not – how far gone is too far gone? Starting over from scratch can be a devastating experience. Finding a way to incorporate new information into old beliefs can be mind-boggling and psychologically uncomfortable. Such was the dilemma of the children of Israel on their way to the Promised Land, and of the slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation. Freedom is not cheap. It comes with a hefty price: humility and responsibility.

There are several components to a person’s identity. We are seldom who we think we are. Oftentimes we fail to appreciate that we are not only the sum total of our choices, but that our identity is also influenced by the choices of others. Where would a student be without a teacher, and vice-versa? Sometimes we get tired of being students. Sometimes we get tired of lessons. Sometimes we don’t want to be taught anymore. Sometimes we want to be comfortable in what we know.

Socrates once said the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. Proverbs 1:7 teaches us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 3:5 teaches us to trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 11:12; Mark 4:9

“Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:
Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence,
Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea,
By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?
And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God….” Jeremiah 5:21-24

“God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear….” Romans 11:8

God’s command: Go, speak to those who will not hear (contrary to today’s formula for successful leadership)
“I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’
Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’
And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
‘Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears….
Then I [Isaiah] said, ‘Lord, how long?’
And He answered: ‘Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate…” Isaiah 6:8-11

But the people preferred false prophets with more positive messages

“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you…
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the Lord.
They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘The Lord has said, ‘You shall have peace’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ” Jeremiah 23:16-17

“To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear?
Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed.
Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it.
Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord. I am weary of holding it in.
“I will pour it out on the children outside, and on the assembly of young men together;
For even the husband shall be taken with the wife…
And their houses shall be turned over to others, fields and wives together;
For I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord.
“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely.
They have also pealed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time I punish them, they shall be cast down.” Jeremiah 6:9-15

Resisting the (unpopular & offensive) truth

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers…” Acts 7:51-53

“Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:57- 60

“But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. ” Zechariah 7:11-12

“Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you.
Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
That you have forsaken the Lord your God, and the fear of Me is not in you,”
Says the Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 2:19

“For My people are foolish, they have not known Me.
They are silly children, and they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” Jeremiah 4:22

“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the sold paths, where the good way is, and walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
Therefore hear, you nations,” Jeremiah 6:16-18

“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 12:2

Everyone will deceive his neighbor,
And will not speak the truth;
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit;
Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:5

“But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, ‘Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?” Mark 8:17-18

But God always had a remnant of faithful ones who loved the truth

“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:2-5

“Behold, a king will reign in righteousness…
The eyes of those who see will not be dim,
And the ears of those who hear will listen.” Isaiah 32:1-3

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.” Isaiah 35:5-6

Jesus said to them, “…it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given…. I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matthew 13:11-17

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Matthew 11:4-6

“So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.
“Then all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. ” Nehemiah 8:2-6

Sometimes, stating things simply is the best way to be understood. Yet there are those who, in their impatience, will still miss the point for trying to figure it out before it is made, calling upon that experience which makes it necessary for the explanation in the first place. In this way they hear without hearing.

In such circumstances it should be considered that no matter the effort put forth, a square peg cannot fit into a round hole. Identifying such figurative shapes would at first glance seem to be an easy exercise. Too often, however, miscommunication suggests that such skills are not applied if not underdeveloped.

People say things. People say things to be heard. If they didn’t want to be heard, they wouldn’t speak. Even when there is apparently no one around to hear what they say, people speak to be heard… by someone or something. People want to be heard so that they can be acknowledged, and acknowledged so that they do not feel alone. People do not generally like being alone. People need something to do and someone to do it with or to. People who deny this are in denial, for in their denial they want to be heard…

People take things personally. Some people don’t want to talk to people who say things because they take them personally. Sometimes they are meant to be taken personally. Sometimes the things which are spoken are personal. Some people don’t enjoy speaking about things that are personal. That would require them to get personal, and getting personal reveals one’s vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities only exist outside of the Lord. In the Lord one has no vulnerabilities, for one’s weakness has become strength for the glorification of God.

Let this be a warning to those who would do that which is good. Seek not to be personable because it makes your way easier. We are not called to make friends with the world but rather to wage war against it. Never forget or underestimate your enemies. Love them, but do not mistake them for friends, or you shall become like them and take upon yourself their ways, and their punishment.

People say things… but I don’t always know why. In the movie Amistaad, Cinque said, “What kind of a land is this where you almost mean what you say?” Friday was a good day for promises. Sunday was a good day for letters. Monday is a good day for reflection.

Meditating on the Truth

I recently received the following email:

Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of god, as a means of communion with God.Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let his truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and to oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace.

Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us—“comfort” us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word—as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted that our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, our strength and our joy. God help us, then, to put our knowledge about God to this use, that we all may in truth “know the Lord.”

What I find remarkable is that meditation, in this sense, while acknowledging God, doesn’t view God in the personal but the abstract – not a being with whom to have a relationship (in the human sense) but an unfathomable power which contextualizes our very existence which we are able to refer to so as to confirm for our own peace of mind that there is order. Our experience with God becomes a dichotomy of projection and interpretation, based on the filters of our understanding, creating metaphors of meaning which give us a sense of comprehension of the divine, while acknowledging that we are woefully inadequate in our faculties to fully explain the “God concept.”

Our “knowledge” of God is based similarly on such an understanding, extracting from our life experience “truth” through the filter of our commitment to the “God-concept.” From one perspective, choosing to believe in God is no different than creating God in our own image – projecting the vision of our limited comprehension of the life we live onto the screen serving as the backdrop of our existence, and bowing to this “golden calf” of our imagination, investing the power of our belief, to give it substance and depth and magnitude. From this perspective, God is the sum total of our ignorant vanity. But as I said – this is only one perspective.

There is another.

There is a difference between believing and knowing. There is a difference between faith and hope. There are those who have actually heard the voice of God, and among that few, those who have listened. While I may attempt to persuade another to believe as I know, I cannot convince another being of the existence of God. That truth is a sacred knowledge, an intimacy reserved for that person and their choice as it relates to seeking out the truth of their existence. For that reason and that reason alone it is not my duty to conquer but to be, not my duty to force but live, not my duty to argue but love. But these are my challenges. In revealing them to you I hope I have in some way sparked an interest to readdress some of your own.

Abu Dhabi and the Masdar Initiative

Masdar City will be the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city, meeting or exceeding a set of stringent sustainability goals established under the “One Planet Living” program established by WWF and environmental consultancy BioRegional.

Located just outside of Abu Dhabi, the six square kilometer city will be powered by solar energy. Electricity will be generated from photo-voltaic panels which will power everything from the city’s transportation system to its desalination plants.

Masdar City

Set to open in late 2009, the land surrounding Masdar will contain wind, photovoltaic farms, research fields and plantations, so that the city will be entirely self-sustaining, the architect said. All wastewater will be purified and recycled to grow plants that could be used for bio-fuels.

Masdar City will also be the home of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which backers hope will attract some of the best academics from the around the world. Also envisioned are research and development facilities from multinational companies and start-ups in the clean technology area.

One Planet Living

The One Planet Living Program is based on 10 unique principles of sustainability:

* ZERO CARBON 100 per cent of energy supplied by renewable energy — Photovoltaics, concentrated solar power, wind, waste to energy and other technologies

* ZERO WASTE 99 per cent diversion of waste from landfill (includes waste reduction measures, re-use of waste wherever possible, recycling, composting, waste to energy)

* SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT Zero carbon emissions from transport within the city; implementation of measures to reduce the carbon cost of journeys to the city boundaries (through facilitating and encouraging the use of public transport, vehicle sharing, supporting low emissions vehicle initiatives)

* SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS Specifying high recycled materials content within building products; tracking and encouraging the reduction of embodied energy within material sand throughout the construction process; specifying the use of sustainable materials such as Forest Stewardship Council certified timber, bamboo and other products

* SUSTAINABLE FOOD Retail outlets to meet targets for supplying organic food and sustainable and or fair trade products

* SUSTAINABLE WATER Per capita water consumption to be at least 50 per cent less than the national average; all waste water to be re-used

* HABITATS AND WILDLIFE All valuable species to be conserved or relocated with positive mitigation targets

* CULTURE AND HERITAGE Architecture to integrate local values.

* EQUITY AND FAIR TRADE Fair wages and working conditions for all workers (including construction) as defined by international labour standards

* HEALTH AND HAPPINESS Facilities and events for every demographic group

In June 2007, Masdar City received the first World Clean Energy Award from the Transatlantic21 Association in Basel, Switzerland. In September 2007, the city’s design was voted “Sustainable Region/ City of the Year” at Euromoney and Ernst & Young’s Global Renewable Energy Awards.

For high-resolution renderings of Masdar City please contact Laura Misselbrook ph: + 44 207 344 1285 e: laura.misselbrook@edelman.com or Kirstin McKellar ph: +44 207 344 1277 e: kirstin.mckellar@edelman.com

FDA says cloned animals are OK to eat

Cloned Cow

FDA approves cloned meat, milk: newspaper Gloria, the first baby cow of cloned cow Vitoria, is seen with her mother in a 2004 photo. A Food and Drug Administration report finds that meat and milk from cloned animals is, for the most part, safe to eat, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. REUTERS/Jamil Bittar

The government declared Thursday that food from cloned animals is safe to eat. After more than five years of study, the Food and Drug Administration concluded that cloned livestock is “virtually indistinguishable” from conventional livestock.

I heard about this. OK for who? People with money and sense aren’t going to be eating that stuff. It will invariably be consumed en masse by poorer populations. Though I don’t know of any studies being published to this point, we already “know” the effects of food supplements on the poorer populations. Hormonal differences in children, significant increases in the number of asthmatic and diabetic cases; rises in ADHD and autism. When I say poorer, I don’t just mean financially, but intellectually and psychologically as well. Those who don’t know any better, and those under the yoke of addiction who are challenged in the exercise of their knowledge.

Why do we now have to clone animals instead of eating naturally reproducing animals? Is the environment no longer sustaining animal food sources, and if not, why? Are population levels straining food production levels, and if so, how can this be when we have governments giving subsidies to farmers to throw away crops to regulate the market while their are food shortages in other parts of the world.

The entire world has their eyes on what is going on in California with protected coastline – an effort to increase the number of fish in the wake of habitat destruction, overfishing, and pollution. Why not just nip the problem in the bud and stop destroying habitats and rebuilding them, stop overfishing and enforce stricter rules, stop polluting the oceans and rejuvenate them? The logic is about as crazy as another situation in California where a delta region is under threat of flooding, the result of which jeopardizes California’s fresh water supply. One of the best solutions has been mired in politics and finances. While everyone wants to fight over who has control over the fresh water, or whose backyard it will collect in, the water may end up lost. When selfish interests override common sense, it is a sad day.

In a culture that prescribes to a single patient multiple medications, each of which has side affects, and yet nobody seems to do the math that, acting in concert, the culmination of collective side affects may in fact be more life threatening than the original illness, it is no wonder that we eat plants loaded with pesticides, livestock loaded with steroids, and products loaded with various forms of synthetic sweeteners, the combination of which…

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been hijacked by the pursuit of money, power, and status. Common sense has been lynched by private wealth. We learned in elementary school that everything is connected in cycles and that what affects something at the low end of the food chain, eventually has affects at the top of the food chain. We learned that ecological systems are very delicate, easily disrupted, and very necessary to maintain a natural balance here on earth. When we introduce new factors in the grand scheme of things, usually the earth’s immune system can deal with it – but lately it seems that man is hell bent on creating hell on earth.

We learned in science about recessive and dominant genes, gene pools, and the negative affects of inbreeding. There is a reason why you’re not supposed to have kids with your sister. Are we so blind that we don’t see that our actions have consequences – that there will be a piper to pay down the line. Are we so self-centered and near sighted that we have no consideration for our children’s future?

For those of us with culinary interests, we learn that free range animals taste different than animals bred in captivity. The health benefits are dissimilar as well. Fresh fish versus farm raised fish also have differences in quality. In pharmaceuticals the public isn’t usually made aware of health consequences for years after FDA approved drugs have been allowed onto the market. Should we expect any different with this latest decision by the FDA? Remember – you are what you eat.

Cloned animals are okay to eat…?! tell them to clone themselves and feast on that!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16372490/from/ET/