The Least, First

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Senator Clinton, does lying have no limits?

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Presidents lie, I guess: LBJ on the Gulf of Tonkin. Nixon on Watergate. Reagan denied involvement in Iran-Contra. Clinton “did not have sex with that woman” (lots of people pay good money to not have sex like that). GWB about … oh, forget it (some of my conservative friends still believe Bush’s statements were well-intentioned mistakes, to which I say, “Dear ones, you are not looking.”)

It comes hard to me to admit all this. I clung to hope that Bush was honest much longer than I should have. It still disappoints me (yes, I’m naive and stupid.)

But friends, Hillary did not mis-speak. In her prepared comments, starting in January, and even after being called on it, she repeated a fairy tale that cast herself as a hero, bravely landing under fire, running for cover. As the girl from the Tuzsla airport recently said, “It is an ugly thing for a politician to tell lies.” Hillary brushed it off as unimportant, just a blip, a result of lack of sleep. Since January. In prepared remarks.

Let me ask you, do you accidentally tell stories about yourself running from gunfire? Wouldn’t people doubt your competence if you did?

Check me out. Here are two reporters’ takes on it. See what you think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 1, 2008 at 12:19 am

Guess what is “terrorism’s indispensable ally?”

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I’m not attracted by most libertarian views. But foreign policy comments of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul are more hopeful than almost everything I’ve heard from candidates of either party.

Most offer: A) a lot more of the same, B) more of the same, C) less of the same, D) a lot less of the same.

I want E) none of the above.

He appeared with former CIA operative and author of Imperial Hubris, Michael Scheuer. Reason is, I believe, the web’s biggest libertarian voice. Here’s Scheuer:

clipped from www.reason.com
Scheuer didn’t endorse Paul, but he came pretty close: “There are now 10 Republican candidates in the field and there are eight Democrats. Seventeen of them are not at all worried about Osama bin Laden and what he represents. Dr. Paul, on the other hand, has hit on the only indispensable ally that bin Laden and their allies have, and that’s U.S. foreign policy.”
Paul repeated (with more detail, obviously) some of his debate lines, while Scheuer tried to knock down the “they hate us for our freedom” dogma. “Ayatollah Khomenai tried for a decade to instigate a jihad against the United States on the basis of our degeneracy and our debauchery, our movies, our women in the workplace. It didn’t work. No one blew themselves up because of R-rated movies. Al Qaeda and its like have gone to school on the abject failure of the Ayatollah. They have focused on U.S. foreign policy and they’ve found it to be a glue of unity, a glue of cohesion across the Islamic world.”

  blog it

Here’s another quote from Scheuer’s book:

“The fundamental flaw in our thinking about Bin Laden is that “Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than what we do.” Muslims are bothered by our modernity, democracy, and sexuality, but they are rarely spurred to action unless American forces encroach on their lands. It’s American foreign policy that enrages Osama and al-Qaeda, not American culture and society.

Ya think? Might it be that billions of dollars and thousands of lives could be saved—and terrorism threats actually reduced—if we would just get the hell out of other peoples’ back yards?


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Written by Monte

May 24, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Scandalous, barrier-scorning love (sermon of May 6, 07)

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Fifth Sunday of Easter: May 6, 2007
John 13:31-35, Revelation 21:1-6, Acts 11:1-18, Psalm 148

Preparations:
– hand out a sheet of 8.5 X 11 paper to each person (from the recycle bin);
– tape used flipchart sheets over windows (white-side facing us);
– set an empty chair on the platform and conceal it with a sheet of flipchart paper hanging in front of it

Music: Indescribable, Light the Fire, Bind Us Together, The Servant Song, I Am Loved

Prayer – Pastor Sharon Armstrong
Welcome – Evie Richardson

John 13:31-35: A New Command

31-32When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around! 33″Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the [other] Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

34-35″Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

We’re on the eve before the cross. This last talk of Jesus to his disciples started back at the chapter’s beginning – and the topic was the same: “having loved his own … he loved them to the end.” And he strips off his clothing … Read the rest of this entry »

2007 Ministerial Credentials Information Letter

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Iowa Nazarene Ministers:
It’s Time to Renew Your Iowa District Minister’s License
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Written by Monte

May 2, 2007 at 10:36 pm

Posted in IDMCB Archive

The new command (readings for Sunday, May 6, 2007)

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Fifth Sunday of Easter: May 6, 2007
John 13:31-35, Revelation 21:1-6, Acts 11:1-18, Psalm 148

What a revolution would sweep the world if we who follow Jesus excelled in that which he most urged upon us!  What a different world it would be if we who follow Jesus were recognized by that which he desired to be our signature characteristic!

John 13:31-35

View commentary related to this passage

A New Command

31-32When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around! 33“Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the [other] Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

34-35“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

May 1, 2007 at 9:01 am