Armed & Christian

The rantings and musings of a student of life, the Bible, & the Constitution. Pour yourself a Scotch on the rocks, have a cigar, and pull up a comfy chair by the fireplace. It looks like we're in for a long, rough night...

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Location: Indiana, United States

16 April 2013

The Importance of Prayer in Your Marriage

How often do you pray for your spouse?  There are many visible ways and palpable things that you can do to demonstrate care and devotion for him/her, but prayer may be the most effective and practical form of demonstrating your love. 

Praying for your spouse does a number of things. It allows you to thank God for bringing him/her into your life.  After all, next to Jesus Christ, (s)he is the best possible blessing with which an infinitely wise, sovereign god decided to bless and mature you.  Prayer is our communication line with God, and it can do wonders for helping you gain a deeper love and appreciation for your spouse.  Praying for your spouse can help you understand him/her better.  Praying for your spouse allows you to focus solely on his/her needs and meditate on ways that you can be a greater blessing to him/her. 

As always, when we pray, we reveal a lot about the state of our own heart.  If you are not overcome with joy and thanksgiving for your spouse, search your own heart and ask God to reveal what is lacking in you.  All marriages have troubles, but in the Christian’s life all things occur for the purpose of personal sanctification and glorifying God (Romans 8:28).  All marriages have difficulties, but it is in the sacrifices we make and the effort we give to overcome them that we depict Jesus Christ. 

Be grateful for your spouse.  This is the person with whom you are taking your life journey in personal conformity to Christlikeness as well as in modeling the self-sacrificial love of Jesus Christ for His Church.  Jesus, knowing of the agonizing ordeal He faced, did not give up, run away, or tap out (John 13:1).  He gave His all, and endured more than we can imagine, to become salvation and blessing for His bride.  If He did not give up, neither should we. 

Make the commitment today to pray for your spouse and be a greater blessing to him/her.  Commit to making your marriage work at all costs. 

05 March 2013

Genesis 12-17. Commitment Over the Long Haul

In Genesis 12, God called Abram to leave his family and homeland; taking only his wife and possessions to go to a land that God promised to him. God promised to bless Abram and make a great nation through him.

Twelve years later, Abram still had no progeny. When God spoke to him, Abram asked if God intended to give all of Abram’s blessings to someone else. God assured Abram that the number of his heirs would exceed the visible stars in the night sky. Genesis 15:6 records that Abram believed God, who credited Abram’s faith as righteousness before Him.

It would be another thirteen years before Abram and Sarai had Isaac, but Abram put his faith and trust in God.   He knew that God would carry through on His promises.   How does this relate to marriage?

What weakness, flaw, or irritating trait does your spouse have that simply drives you to despair? Abram’s time of greatest trial came in the tension between the blessings and land he wanted and the fact that his wife was barren. When he tried to take matters into his own hands, it ended disastrously (a disaster, this writer might add, that continues to this day--not only in the Middle East, but across the world).  Despite that, Abram did not give up on Sarai.   He loved and cherished Her, knowing that it was through her that God would pour out the blessings that He had promised to Abram.

Abram waited 25 years for God to deliver on His promise. Who knows how long he and Sarai had been married before then?

Men, your wife is precious. She has been painstakingly handcrafted by the Almighty to be the very best blessing which He could conceive of for you. Your wife is also the conduit through whom God will continue to deliver bountiful blessings.

Does your wife cause you to despair? Don’t give up on her. Abram waited until he was a century old before realizing the promises God had in store for him through his wife. Treat your wife with respect, with kindness, and with a tender love that wants and works towards what is best—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—for her.

Make sure that your wife knows how vitally important she is to you. Make sure she knows that you will never give up on her, even if she doesn’t change until she’s 100 years old. Make sure she knows that you are 100% committed to your marriage.

20 February 2013

Forgiveness in Marriage

Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matt 18:21-22

Enough articles have been written that we can understand Jesus as using a figure of speech and not literally indicating an upward limit of 490 occurrences before kicking one’s “brother” (whether physical or spiritual) to the curb. If a lifestyle of unending forgiveness to those who sin against you is the norm, then what does this speak to our marriage relationship?

Remember that marriage is a depiction of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:25-32). Two become one in a relationship of mutual sacrifice and self-denying love for sake of the other. Biblical reasons for divorce are slim, and are even fewer and further between under Christ’s new covenant. For the Christian, the only legitimate reasons for divorce are when the other partner is adulterous and wants to leave, or is an unbeliever and wants to leave.

There is no legitimate reason for a Christian to initiate a divorce—especially if their spouse is repentant and willing to work out their issues.

Men—BE A MAN. Work at making your marriage work.

 Invest in it like nothing else in your life, because your marriage is a direct reflection of your relationship with and respect for God. Your relationship with your wife is a testimony to the world, it is an act of worship before Jesus Christ, and it is a sacrifice of love. There is no way to honor your wife by forsaking her. On the contrary, we are instructed to *study* our wives; to understand them—to know them in detail—and to cherish and treat her respectfully and delicately. After all, men, your wife is the best blessing that a sovereign God could design *specifically for you.* Treat her as such.

“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

07 February 2013

Alvin Plantinga Wins Rescher

In from The Independent Institute:Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize.

06 February 2013

Thoughts on Marriage

Nobody's marriage is problem-free.  Those who have healthy marriages work through their problems, adjust to the surprises that life throws at them, pray together, and commit to making the marriage work.   While marriage is seldom easy, it is ALWAYS worth the love, effort, and sacrifice.

Too many men do not understand the level of commitment required of marriage.   One of our main instructional texts on husband-wife relations is Ephesians 5:25-33, which starts out with, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”

The verb used for “give up” is παρεδωκεν (paradoken), from παραδιδωμι (pronounced: para-did-oh-my).  The verb παραδιδωμι means to hand over, to give up to, or to commit into the hands of.  This verb is seen in just about every verse that speaks of Jesus being “handed over,” “delivered,” or “betrayed.”  It is used in Matthew 4:12 of John the Baptist being taken into custody/ arrested by Herod, and in Jesus’ announcement that “…all things have been handed over/entrusted to Me by My Father.”

I have too many friends who have given up on their marriage with the words, “I just don't love her anymore.”  Those words never figure into the equation of Christian marriage.  Love is not just a feeling--it's an action. We are never told to feel love for our wives, but to love them in action--to nurture with understanding, care for them tenderly, and eliminate anything in our lives and agendas that impedes or prevents us from sacrificially doing what is best for her.

Yes, husbands, God expects you to take your wants, your desires, and your personal agenda and hand them over to your wife: “Here, honey. I’m giving this up for you, to do what is best for you.”   Love is wanting and working towards what is best for another, and we are commanded to demonstrate it by our actions—by our sacrifices.

Christ's commitment took Him to the cross; a place He did not want to go or need to go, but He did so out of love for us.   We needed Him to go.   Because of our need and His love for us, Jesus sacrificed His preferences, His personal desires, and His life—for our benefit.  Marriage is a commitment to honor God by depicting the relationship between Christ and The Church in sacrifice and submission.  For this reason, husbands, your obedience to this commitment is not contingent upon your wife’s obedience or reciprocation.   You both made your marriage vow to God as well as to one another.   You are responsible to God for living out your end of the promise, and your spouse is responsible to God for her obedience.   Instead of harboring bitterness and finger-pointing, work on deepening your relationship with God and understanding your wife (1 Peter 3:7).

Does this mean that you may have to give up things like a new flat-screen for the “man-cave” in order to stock (or provide) her sewing room?   Maybe.  It may mean that you give up your dream of an ammo fort and collection of firearms to take her on vacation to someplace she wants to go.  It may mean that you give up your dream of a large family--or a small one.   It will probably mean a lot of heart-to-heart talks, and maybe even some pastoral or professional counseling if the two of you cannot come to an agreement on life-altering issues.  If this was easy, you wouldn't have had to make a commitment to making it happen, right?  It is a hard thing to take two individuals and make them become one—but this is God’s stated will for marriage.

 If you are a Christian and your spouse's actions and behaviors are not criminally abusive or blatantly unbiblical, then divorce is not an option and should not even be in your vocabulary.   Until she starts beating you, tries to poison you, or is involved in an affair of some sort, the word "divorce" does not exist for you, get it?   The bottom line is that you are going to have to sacrifice and compromise to make it work.  Remember that line at the end of Fireproof? You NEVER leave your partner—especially in a fire.   See to it that your wife’s needs and desires are met.   After all, when you slipped that ring on her finger you committed to God that your number one priority (after Him, of course) would be putting her wants and needs ahead of your own.

27 December 2012

The Christmas Goose

I’ve never been a fan of Charles Dickens. The whole “poverty-stricken, Industrial-Age, Cockney orphan” thing just never appealed to me. Blame it on my English Lit teacher from Middle School, Mrs. Yonke. She made us read “The Great Gatsby” and John Knowles’ “A Separate Peace” three years running. After being subjected to dreck like that, one tends to develop a suspicious view towards any further literary recommendations from that person. The sole exception to my dislike of Dickens, however, is his “A Christmas Carol.” This exception is probably because I recall enjoying the George C Scott version as a child. The Ghost of Christmas Present is larger than life with his goblet, festive wreath, and massive, furred, kinglike robe, and the Ghost of Christmas Future is just creepy as Hell. Good stuff. Very wholesome. Why do I tell you this? My daughter came home one day several weeks ago, very excited about her class’ upcoming field trip to see this play performed at Butler University. Afterwards, she was telling me how great it was, and how much fun she had experiencing this bit of haute culture with her mom. She then asked me why people ate goose for Christmas. Around here, geese are mostly the nasty-tempered, rude, and aggressive non-migratory breed of Canada Goose that has become indigenous to Indiana. Why on Earth anyone would have anything to do with such a beast was beyond her comprehension. We discussed the economic context of Dickens’ story, and surmised that a goose must be a fine feast; this in light of Scrooge’s repentant condition and newfound generosity, and the fact that it seems to be mentioned only in the context of special holiday occasions. Furthermore, I reasoned, a goose must be fairly fatty—like a duck—and my daughter and I both covet any opportunity to feast upon roast duck. In the teachings of my grandfather, and as any Southerner knows, fat=flavor. Armed with these factual details, inductive reasoning led us to the conclusion that a roast goose would make this Christmas particularly special. My family was coming over, and had never been treated to succulent roast goose. My mom would be bringing her tasty chicken with homemade noodles. My sister would treat us to her delicious corn casserole. My princess, as usual, would be treating us to her amazing slow-cooked macaroni and cheese, her spectacular sweet potato pie, and fantastic green bean casserole. A juicy ham and delicately browned roast goose alongside these culinary delights would make this Christmas feast a memorable one, indeed. I spent the best part of the next week scouring the local supermarkets in search of a goose. Capon, duck, turkey, and ham were plentiful. Goose, not so much. In fact, I had bought a largish ham as a backup, just in case I was unable to locate the succulent waterfowl we were by now dreaming of anxiously and eagerly. Finally, just two days before Christmas, I located a store that stocked our quarry. The pricetag of $5 per pound spurred me on to acquire the largest one rather than gave me pause. After all, meat at that price *must* be prime eating, indeed. I was almost too excited for words. Visions of a Christmas feast beyond the imagination of Norman Rockwell danced in my head. I could almost see my children wearing knickers and chauffeur caps, raising their glasses in unison to little Tim Cratchit’s sweet benediction, “God bless us, every one.” Smiling as proudly as if I had hunted and cleaned the beast myself, I marched victoriously into our house and stuck the goose in our refrigerator to thaw. The goose was still somewhat frozen when my princess tucked it into our electric roaster. When I came home from running errands, I almost gagged. The smell of melting plastic permeated our entire kitchen all the way out to the garage. It overwhelmed the delicate bouquet of my wife’s sweet potato pies. It smothered the delicious aroma of her outstanding green bean casserole. Unconsciously, I moved the crock pot of mac and cheese a few inches away from the electric roaster. “Honey,” I asked my wife, our eyes burning from the thick smoke, “are you sure there weren’t any bits of plastic or something inside the goose?” She assured me that she had checked and double-checked the body cavity after wrestling out the bag of giblets and the long, greasy neck. When the roaster isn’t being used for cooking, which is most of the time, we keep it in the cupboard with the freezer bags and sandwich baggies. “Was there maybe a plastic bag that got left in the pan?” I asked, thinking it smelled more like several plastic bags. Again, my very capable wife assured me that the roaster had been clean and free of any foreign matter prior to the insertion of the goose. She suggested that perhaps it was just the vast quantities of melting fat that produced the noxious fumes now threatening to overwhelm our entire family. Even Gus, our ever-ravenous dog and our perpetually-mooching cats—normally stubborn fixtures when there is cooking going on—were nowhere to be found. Unbelievable! “Surely,” I told myself, “for $60, this greasy beast is going to redeem itself come dinnertime.” Another, more cynical, part of my brain wondered if people ate goose solely as a Christmas tradition because it took the rest of the year to eliminate the smell from their homes. Truth be told, as the fat rendered, the smell of melting plastic decreased. At least it seemed so. As I write this now, it occurs to me that we may have merely become slightly desensitized to the stench over the course of the next several hours. As my family arrived and so did dinnertime, I offered a prayer and blessing for our feast. My mother, brought up with an avid outdoorsman for a father, excitedly announced that she had never before eaten roast goose. The look on her face did not match the tone of her voice, however. My sister, less adventurous—and tactful—than our mom, merely wrinkled her nose. My daughter and niece covered their faces with their shirtsleeves. My poor wife looked sick. Flourishing the carving tools with the forced, almost manic enthusiasm of Clark Griswold, I attempted to slice the breast meat away from the ribcage. I muscled the knife tip a full quarter-inch through the tough, stringy meat before it encountered bone. Refusing to admit defeat at this point, I withdrew the knife and began slicing from the drumstick inward. The gorgeous, browned, crispy skin sloughed off, carrying an impressive layer of fat along with it. Once relieved of the vast quantity of fat, there was surprisingly little meat. This disappointment was overshadowed, however, by the realization that the mysterious smell of melted plastic thoroughly permeated every single bite. My wife and I were only able to choke down a couple small scraps of dark meat off one of the scrawny drumsticks, but the persistent aftertaste of burnt petroleum ensured we did not essay a second attempt. Even my mother, her taste buds dulled and seared by a half-century of cigarettes, could not manage a second mouthful. The rest of the family graciously declined their portions of roast goose in favor of the ham. Thank God for that ham. I cannot think of a time in which I was more grateful to not be Jewish. After dinner, I proceeded to strip the meat from the goose. I ripped open the carcass, certain that I would discover a shriveled and blackened chunk of plastic—perhaps a doorstop or water bottle—that had escaped my wife’s detection and poisoned our feast. Nothing but meat, bone, and fat. LOTS of bone and fat, and very little meat—and every molecule reeking of charred polyurethane. From an eleven pound, sixty-dollar goose, I managed to slice off a quart-sized freezer bag of inedible, plastic-flavored, tough, stringy meat. Up yours, Charles Dickens. I hope that the Ghost of Christmas Past gives you a spinning roundhouse kick right in the ‘nads.

30 June 2012

Split (feed) Lip

Last Tuesday (the 19th), I was going through my gear in preparation for our family vacation and discovered that one of the US PALM mags I bought last year had a cracked feed lip. The crack is slight, but just enough that the magazine had dropped a round in the bottom of my Sneaky Bag. For those of you who remember, this is one of the magazines I reviewed last year .
For those who are interested in the details, here they are: I keep my magazines fully loaded, bullets down, in my Sneaky Bag. This bag always accompanies our family whenever we leave the house. This means that the bag (and consequently, the magazines) is frequently picked up and set down—sometimes none too gently. This has been standard since I bought and reviewed these magazines last year. Considering that level of impact alone over this period of time, I’m impressed that one slightly cracked feed lip is all I’ve sustained.

After taking this picture, I sent it to US PALM and let them know what had happened. Within 24 hours, I received a reply from Mark Goss, who asked how many of the old style (pre-locking tabs) mags I owned. Mind you, he did not ask how many had cracked, how many had given me issues, or how many I had bought in that particular batch of magazines. He asked how many I owned that were the older-issue total; he wanted to replace them all.

Since we had already left for vacation (we were actually in New Orleans by then. It was just as miserably hot and humid there as it has been here in Indianapolis, if you’re curious), it took me until Friday (6/22) to verify that I only had five of the older-issue mags. Yesterday, I received a box from US PALM with five brand-spanking new US PALM AK-30’s. Had I gotten back with Mark sooner, it's entirely possible that these magazines would have been waiting on the doorstep when we returned.

I said in my previous review that I was looking forward to seeing how the AK30’s would perform over time. Apart from one split lip, I have had no issues whatsoever. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that the damaged magazine would continue to perform flawlessly. I’ve seen how the magazines perform, and now I have seen how US PALM performs under pressure as well. I continue to be impressed.

01 March 2012

Enemies Foreign & Domestic available as free Kindle download

Every numbered header in Matt's essay below is a link that will take you to the Amazon site to download Enemies Foreign & Domestic.

Gangster Government, and Sakharov's Immunity

Matthew Bracken, February 29, 2012

* * 1 * *
For over a year now, the Department of Justice has been stone-walling the House committees investigating Operation Fast And Furious, wherein thousands of semi-automatic rifles ("assault rifles" in the liberal vernacular) were deliberately allowed to "walk" into Mexico, straight into the hands of drug cartel killers. One of those weapons was used to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry a dozen miles inside of U.S. territory.

The actual killer is believed to be an FBI "informant." In other words, a cartel assassin in his own right, but also a valuable "asset" in the FBI's consideration. The FBI and DOJ have been shielding this killer, while obstructing the delivery of justice to the Brian Terry family. On the other side of the border, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata was also murdered with a "gun-walked" weapon, along with over two-hundred innocent Mexican citizens as of this date.

And where is the elite Mainstream Media in its coverage of this festering scandal of such epic proportions? Over the past year they have dedicated scant minutes to the scandal, and then, usually to parrot the Obama administration's lies and obfuscations. Just during one recent week, the elite media spent countless hours covering the death and funeral of a beloved celebrity drug addict, compared to the few minutes they have spent covering Operation Fast And Furious during all of the last year.

Under Operation Fast And Furious, there was no plan or means to track the weapons after their sale. Licensed gun dealers were coerced by the BATFE into making repeated bulk sales, even when they expressed grave concern about the persons buying the weapons, including known felons. Federal cash was provided to the straw purchasers when they did not have their own money.

As conceived and carried out, the intended purpose of Operation Fast and Furious was to rack up a bloody body count in Mexico, in order to discredit the Right to Keep and Bear Arms as spelled out in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The murdered Mexicans were intended to buttress the false claim that ninety percent of the weapons recovered in Mexico after gangland shootings came from American gun dealers.

In short, the Obama administration conducted a program of mass murder for political purposes. Or, as President Obama put it to Sarah Brady, they were still pursuing a gun control agenda, but "under the radar." It is hard to conceive of a federal "law enforcement" program more evil from top to bottom than Operation Fast And Furious.

* * 2 * *
By comparison, consider the Watergate scandal, which at the time was generally called "a third-rate burglary." I was a teenage construction worker the summer of 1973 when the Senate Hearings took place. Out on the construction sites, you could hear radios playing the hearings all through the day. The radio and television networks suspended normal programming in that pre-cable era to bombard America with gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Watergate hearings.

We all know the result of that non-stop media focus: President Nixon soon resigned in disgrace to avoid impeachment, and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell was sent to prison. And all over a bungled political burglary, where nobody was killed or even hurt.

But imagine for a moment if President Nixon's men, when called before the committees investigating the Watergate scandal, had provided less than twenty percent of subpoenaed documents after a full year of ignoring requests and congressional pleading. Then further imagine that among the twenty percent of the documents that were provided to Congress, hundreds of pages were "fully redacted," or completely blacked out. Black paper, by the ream.

In diplo-speak, this is leaning across the witness table toward the congressional investigators, giving them two middle fingers and a hearty, "F--- you, you punks, what are you going to do about it?"

Then imagine if the New York Times, the Washington Post and the television networks never mentioned Watergate or the hearings, except rarely, and then only to refer to the congressional investigators as partisan hacks on witch-hunts, simply bent on destroying the nation's beloved President Nixon and stopping his good works. In this alternate reality, Woodward and Bernstein never got a Watergate by-line, but instead they were sent to cover the new "ecology" movement and Earth Day.

Reverse the party polarity, jump ahead four decades to today, and that is the current sad state of American reality. Gangsters rule the federal government; the Operation Fast And Furious congressional investigators are ineffectual, toothless buffoons, and their spineless congressional leaders even balk at further investigation of the deadly scandal.

In the modern case of Operation Fast and Furious, hundreds of Mexicans were murdered as a necessary pre-condition for a desired political outcome, the undercutting of Second Amendment rights in America. From the outset, the administration's goal was to bury our Right to Keep and Bear Arms beneath a growing mountain of Mexican corpses. The innocent murdered Mexicans were not collateral damage of Operation Fast and Furious, they were the intended targets from the start.

Dear readers, it does not get more evil than that.

Attorney General Holder and his lieutenants have repeatedly lied and are repeatedly caught lying, so they make up more lies, bald-face lies, contradicted by email records and their own words. But no charges of perjury ensue from Congress, only more extensions of meaningless deadlines to produce the subpoenaed documents and all of the witnesses who have been called to testify, but who have simply refused to appear.

Two middle fingers, and a hearty "F--- you."

And not only does the elite Mainstream Media ignore the story, thereby shielding the Obama administration from answering for Operation Fast and Furious or many other administration scandals, they actually take an active role in promulgating the latest messages put out by the Obama Whitehouse. One recent blatant example will suffice. Most viewers were bewildered at the Republican primary debate on January 20, when moderator George Stephanopoulos of ABC News asked, and continued to ask, seemingly off-topic questions about the candidates' views on, of all possible subjects, birth control.

We now understand that current Whitehouse War Room "General" Valerie Jarrett has been conducting weekly planning meetings with representatives from the hard-left Media Matters, for the purpose of delivering the latest administration "talking points" and strategic memes to their friends in the media and thereby to the public at large. Then lo and behold, the original Clinton Whitehouse War Room "General" George Stephanopoulos just happened to pick debate questions not about Operation Fast And Furious, or even the high price of gasoline, but, of all things, the birth control meme that the Whitehouse wanted to float, as a diversion from discussing the perilous state of the economy. And wildly successful it has been, this meme-making machine, at keeping the Republican candidates off-message and off-balance.

A horribly biased media that will not even investigate Operation Fast And Furious will certainly not investigate this grossly transparent act of political prostitution by "journalist" George Stephanopoulos. In graphic terms, this was not merely discreet political sex for a quiet off-camera payoff; this was naked, loud copulation at high noon, on the public square. Even so, today almost nobody will say aloud what needs to be said: George Stephanopoulos has now proven himself a political whore of the lowest stripe, but even worse than that, he has shown himself to be a serving member in good standing of Gangster Government, Inc.

George Stephanopoulos does the political bidding of Valerie Jarrett and Media Matters, making him a willing stooge and a critical cog in Gangster Government, Inc., thereby disgracing both his family name and the occupation of journalist. He will go down in history as a dishonorable scoundrel, who put his shared political agendas ahead of any bare pretense at making an honest search for the truth concerning deadly scandals such as Operation Fast and Furious, which by objective measures is the worst political scandal of the modern era.

* * 3 * *
Let's return to Watergate. When the activities of the Nixon Whitehouse "Plumbers" became known, a vigorous media examination provided the water and bleach to quickly disinfect the mess and restore the integrity of government institutions. Officials as high as the U.S. Attorney General went to prison, and President Nixon was forced from office in abject disgrace.

However, nothing like that happens today, under the willfully averted gaze of "state controlled media." Operation Fast and Furious, a scandal that is demonstrably orders of magnitude worse than Watergate, gets a complete pass. The MSM is too busy covering the latest celebrity escapades to be bothered with mere mass-murder, carried out as an intended part of a federal "law enforcement operation" (sic) at the Obama administration's direction.

How may we understand this disinterest by the elite media? Gangster Government, Inc. cannot thrive unless it can depend on its loyal GGI affiliates in the elite media. Without the looming threat of investigative reporting, Gangster Government is protected on its flanks, and is empowered to advance. The elite media becomes a willing shield for the gangsters, instead of a check against their depredations, all the while claiming objectivity in their reportage.

In effect, the elite media pisses on our heads and tells us it is raining, and then expects us not only to believe their lies, but to be happy about them. However, out here in the Bitter Clinger Nation, we do indeed see what is happening in sharp detail, and we know that it is not rain that is coming down. We understand, but we are simply unable to change the situation. Not when the elite media itself becomes a key part of the cover-up of Operation Fast And Furious and other manifestations of Gangster Government, Inc.

Why spend so much time on this comparison between the Watergate scandal and Operation Fast and Furious? Because it is the Rosetta stone for understanding how Obama's Gangster Government came creeping in, bent on turning the United States into a total control grid, where vestigial scraps of freedom will be doled out by the State to obedient subjects. When a Gangster Government is not opposed by an honest media or the threat of meaningful congressional hearings, it is emboldened and it advances. This is the outcome of President Obama's new policy of ruling by executive decree, and his repeatedly stating that, "If the congress won't act, I will."

"So what?" you may ask. "We live in a corrupt age, so we have a corrupt government. And not for the first, or the last time."

No, I'm sorry, but this is not the same as anything seen before. Hold onto the example of Watergate: a third rate burglary, under a constant media spotlight, leading to the end of a presidency, and an attorney general in prison. Compare that to Operation Fast And Furious: a covert policy of mass murder for political benefit, followed by feeble congressional investigations, with exactly zero elite media interest. It is an objective metric to compare Watergate to Fast And Furious. The current lack of accountability leaves the Obama administration emboldened to move further away from adherence to the Constitutional limitations they swore to uphold. "If the Congress won't act, I will," may be translated in normal English as, "The hell with the Constitution, I am in charge, and nobody can stop me."

Gangster Government, Inc.

We have reached a sickening point in our history, when an FBI "informant" shot and killed a U.S. Border Patrol Agent with an AK-47 "walked" to the cartels as part of Operation Fast And Furious. The only part of this that did not go exactly according to the plan cooked up in the Whitehouse is that the "walked" rifle killed a U.S. federal agent in America, instead of just one more Mexican in Mexico. The murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at least spilled a bit of light on the murderous operation, but not enough. More than a year later, the cover-up is holding firm, with the willing assistance of the elite media in blocking the reportage of any news injurious to the Whitehouse.

(This is not the first time, by the way, that FBI "informants" were allowed to commit murder while receiving FBI protection. It recalls the Irish mobs in Boston who were given FBI protection for over twenty years, in particular the Whitey Bulger gang. It has taken the FBI decades to mitigate the stink of their long-term participation in the Boston Black Mass, which included covering up numerous murders by their "informants.")

Now the FBI is running "informants" in Mexican cartels, who receive FBI protection, even after they murder U.S. agents in the United States. This ongoing lamentable situation will dishonor every faithfully serving FBI Special Agent as long as it is allowed to continue, just as it also dishonors the memory of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

* * 4 * *
Dear readers, we are at a precarious point in our history. When I wrote Enemies Foreign And Domestic in 2002, I was not making wild guesses. I was studying historical and recent foreign examples. When a Gangster Government is left unchecked by a complicit elite media, it is an entirely foreseeable consequence that federal "law enforcement" (sic) agencies will conduct the types of false-flag and other black ops described in EFAD. Power unchecked is power abused. Without the threat of significant media examination or congressional oversight, what do the gangsters have to fear? Nothing at all.

Look to the recent experiences of countries in Latin America to project what will come next--if it is not already occurring sub-rosa. There will be officially unsanctioned operations that are launched after a wink and a nod from the upper floors. Criminal "informants" seeking large cash payments or stay-out-of-jail cards (or both) will handle the "wet work" on a deniable basis. Rogue units like the Special Training Unit described in EFAD will far overstep any Constitutional bounds, and sally forth on both personal and political vendettas, seeking to destroy those they cannot silence, with no regard for the rule of law, and no fear of being held to account by the complicit media.

All of this will happen, just as surely as mushrooms will sprout forth from horse manure in a dark place. It is what always happens, when a Gangster Government veering toward outright fascism is assisted by a compliant press. Study the past decade in the political life of Venezuela, to see America's future. Secret police, and eventually even death-squads made up of "off-duty" agents and their cartel and street gang "informants" will proliferate. Violent street mobs aimed and directed by federal instigators through cutouts will be unleashed on political enemies, while the Feds and the elite media study their fingernails. These are a few examples of what always happens under these conditions. It is as predictable as the swing of a pendulum.

Data-mining programs will provide these abusers of power with powerful tools for creating enemies lists, and for targeting them, as described in EFAD. Social media networks are already under intensive federal scrutiny. This year, it is ostensibly to track down undefined terrorist threats. But social media, so popular today, must be understood as a two-edged sword. The same social media that facilitated the Arab Spring, today brings the secret police of Syria, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other nations to the doors of obscure bloggers hidden in tiny apartments, to drag them away to secret torture cells.

The point is that social media works both ways, and analyzing their traffic patterns is currently a booming sector in federal law enforcement. This year, unnamed groups of terrorists are the reason given for all of the new federal law enforcement "fusion centers." Next year or the year after, other classes of political enemies may be placed on the federal microscope's slide as political circumstances evolve. Gangster Government, when it is unconcerned about being held to account, always moves forward to greater levels of outright repression.

The ratchets restricting our freedom click tighter. People are afraid to speak, for fear of winding up on a list, and what that might mean in the years ahead under a Gangster Government. Your spouse desperately needs an organ transplant? Gee, sorry, not available, not to you, not now. Not to a political enemy, they will mean but not say. Therefore, you had better shut up and get with the program, if you know what is best for you. That compliant and fearful attitude is the intended outcome of Gangster Government, Inc. It needs a silent and submissive nation of frightened sheep to thrive unchecked.

However, some of us will just not get the word. We will not all shut up and play ball, so at the next stop along this express railroad to fascism, the regime's political enemies will be targeted for assassination. But not necessarily in the 1963 or 1968 meaning of the word. That is, not by "kinetic solutions," to use today's favored expression. Today, assassination comes in many subtler forms.

* * 5 * *
Which brings me at last to Sakharov's Immunity. Andrei Sakharov was a Soviet physicist and a primary inventor of the H-bomb. When he went off the Communist reservation in 1967 and became a dissident, the regime made his life miserable but they did not kill him, which was certainly in their power to do. His death under such circumstances would have proved the very points he was making about the illegitimate Soviet regime. They moved him far into Siberia to keep him isolated from intrepid foreign visitors, but they did not sprinkle radioactive Polonium dust on his salad. The introduction of that deadly form of Russian salad dressing was left for a later strongman, Vladimir Putin, formerly of the KGB.

And there are many other means of assassination. The Soviet KGB could not assassinate Sakharov's reputation, it was above reproach. But in the modern era, with the elite media serving as the Obama regime's willing propaganda organ (birth control, anyone?) this is easier to arrange than ever. Popular media icons can be and have been driven off the airwaves by the full-court press of the Media Matters smear machine, in coordination with Valerie Jarrett at the Whitehouse War Room. And does anyone believe that the vicious smear campaign against black conservative Republican candidate Herman Caine was not orchestrated in the War Room of Gangster Government, Inc?

Or the regime can commit an "Economic Waco," the way it has recently done to the Rick and Terri Reese family of Deming, NM. Read about this case, and ponder this federal engine of total destruction being turned against your family. At the same time the secret federal "law enforcement" (sic) program of walking thousands of guns directly to Mexican cartel killers was official ATF policy, and nobody has even been charged with a crime.

Obviously, taking a stand against Gangster Government Inc. and its media minions comes with some risk. They can drop a large building on you if they want to, just as they did to the Reese family in New Mexico, and grind you under their boot heels.

So why do I stand and point my accusing finger at Leviathan? Perhaps those dissidents with a sufficiently high profile will earn some measure of Sakharov's Immunity, at least for a while. Certainly keeping a low profile is no guarantee of protection from being railroaded and destroyed, as the case of Rick and Terri Reese clearly demonstrates. Needless to say, the elite media has no interest in covering their physical and economic crucifixion by the federal government. Read about their case; it will make you sick to your stomach that this kind of official abuse can happen in the United States of America.

So if maintaining a low profile does not promise safety from the organs of state destruction, perhaps keeping a high profile will. I am pinning a lot on this Sakharov's Immunity idea. But if it is my fate to serve as one of the canaries in the coalmine of freedom, so be it. I am in good company, standing with many genuine heroes. You already know many of them, but it is not for me to name them here.

* * 6 * *
And a final note to federal law enforcement officers and agents: More than any other single group, you should read Enemies Foreign And Domestic. On March 1, 2012, and for a few days after, it will be free to download from Amazon's Kindle Store to your PC or other machines and devices. (If you know a federal law enforcement agent, please forward him or her this link.)

I know that most of you depend greatly on your federal paycheck, and look forward to receiving your federal pension. Millions of us are in a similar boat. We all have bills to pay and kids to feed. However, while you ponder your need for your federal paycheck, remember that FBI also stands for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.

If you are being asked or encouraged to perform dishonorable or unconstitutional acts, remember, it often takes a lot of bravery to remain faithful to your core value of personal integrity. Remember always that you swore a solemn oath to defend not a Fuhrer, or a Fatherland, or even a desired ideological outcome, but the Constitution of the United States.

This means that if you are instructed by a supervisor like the fictional Wally Malvone to engage in dirty tricks and black ops (like those that actually took place under Operation Fast And Furious), you are honor bound to blow the whistle, like the brave ATF Special Agents who remained faithful to their oaths and preserved their integrity. There can be no more of protecting killers because they are federal law enforcement agency "informants," like the members of the Whitey Bulger Irish mob in Boston, or the FBI "informant" who was the likely assassin of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.

As an agent who believes in your oath, it is your duty to root out and extirpate the rot and filth of political corruption, which is far more dangerous to our Republic than the corruption of mere personal greed. You must remain vigilant to the danger that your agency will become fully politicized, transforming over time into an American KGB or Stasi. Please reread the oath you swore before accepting your gold shield, especially the part about domestic enemies. If you willingly become a Stasi or a KGB man, if a job is a job and you just follow orders, then that domestic enemy is you, and trust me on this, many of us are watching these developments very carefully and with great trepidation.

You see, countless millions of us also took our own versions of that same oath when we joined the military or law enforcement, and our oaths did not come with an expiration date.
Matthew Bracken

February 29, 2012

Enemies Foreign and Domestic
is available at a number of sites:

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31 August 2011


In case you're wondering, yes I'm still alive; just very busy. I am currently working towards my Master's, and classes are keeping me extremely busy. Unless something amazingly cool or Earth-shatteringly drastic occurs, I'll not be back until some time in December, when the semester ends.
God's best to you & yours.

12 August 2011

Jerusalem Scholars "Trace Bible's Evolution"

While I admire their diligence in devoting much of their lives to the study & examination of Scripture, I can't approve the timbre of the article. It seems that journalists are always looking to report something sensational, and since Jews & Christians don't cut off peoples' heads and riot in the streets when we get offended, The Bible and Christianity in general always seem to be good press--provided the reporter can make it sound sensational enough.

Before we get excited about their work, one way or another, we need to ask ourselves a few questions about the presupositions with which they approach their examination. Let's start with the opening paragraph.

.JERUSALEM (AP) — A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: the sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.

An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.

"...appears to have been revised to retrocatively insert..."

What system/method of dating are these scholars using to determine the age of the texts they are examining? How many texts did they find with this variation?

Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies — publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia.

And it has evolved, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary.

For many Jews and Christians, religion dictates that the words of the Bible in the original Hebrew are divine, unaltered and unalterable. For Orthodox Jews, the accuracy is considered so inviolable that if a synagogue's Torah scroll is found to have a minute error in a single letter, the entire scroll is unusable.

Not true. The accurately copied parts of scrolls containing typographical errors were often used in Synagogue or other studies. There were often piles of parts of scrolls stored away for teaching use; among them were the Dead Sea scrolls. Also, if accuracy was so "inviolable," then how could there be an evolution to the text? Seriously. The argument presented in the article is logically invalid.

The scholars note where the text we have now differs from older versions — differences that are evidence of the inevitable textual hiccups, scribal errors and other human fingerprints that became part of the Bible as it was passed on, orally and in writing.

When you consider the amazing mass of available Scripture texts and fragments available for comparison, the continuity and accuracy is actually astonishing. Consider the difficult and tedious task of copying these texts by hand--with painstaking attention to detail & accuracy. Some human errors are inevitable. Does this mean that God's Holy Spirit did not superintend the work and that the meaning is now obscured or destroyed? Not at all. Less than 1/2 of 1% of what are considered errors in Scripture are nothing more than an occasional elided or transposed letter. look at some of the errors that the reporter writing the article seems to think are so Earth-shattering as to destroy all credibility or faith in the transmission or reliability of the text. Case in point:

A Microsoft Excel chart projected on one wall on a recent Sunday showed variations in a single phrase from the Book of Malachi, a prophet.

The verse in question, from the text we know today, makes reference to "those who swear falsely." The scholars have found that in quotes from rabbinic writings around the 5th century A.D., the phrase was longer: "those who swear falsely in my name."

In another example, this one from the Book of Deuteronomy, a passage referring to commandments given by God "to you" once read "to us," a significant change in meaning.

Other differences are more striking.

Oh, my. Does the Deuteronomy narrative contain commandments given "to you" by God, or "to us" by God? That is in no way a "significant change in meaning;" it's the same meaning. In the first, the scribe draws attention to the individual reader; the 2nd example focuses on the community of believers. The example from Malachi is so ridiculous that it scarcely bears mention. Yes, certainly some scribes/commentators included marginal notes to aid in understanding, but that doesn't mean that the text has been corrupted.

Considering that the nature of their work would be considered controversial, if not offensive, by many religious people, it is perhaps surprising that most of the project's scholars are themselves Orthodox Jews.

AHA! Matti Friedman you have tipped your hand. You would like to think that their work is controversial and offensive. You want us to be angry and fearful that someone is closely examining the Word of God and just might find something in it that renders our faith foolish and irrelevant. Nice try, but no cigar. In the words of C.H. Spurgeon, " Defend the Word of God? I'd sooner defend a lion! Just turn the Bible loose; it will defend itself."

"A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy," said the project's bearded academic secretary, Rafael Zer. "But as soon as the words are given to human beings — with God's agreement, and at his initiative — the holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text is passed on."

Bingo. Thank you Mr. Zer