Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Sermonette II

Prepared for You

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34)

In context, this wonderful promise may apply specifically to those living believers recognized as "sheep" by Christ when He returns to judge the nations (or "Gentiles") at the end of the age. For them He has prepared a wonderful kingdom in which they can fully serve their great King here on earth. The "goats," on the other hand, will be sent away into "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

But we remember also that the Lord Jesus Christ has also prepared a mansion in heaven for His faithful disciples. "In my Father's house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2).

He is, even now, preparing for us that glorious place. One day, it will be fully prepared, and we shall see it when He brings it down from heaven, as John did in his great vision. "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2).

It will, indeed, be a wonderful place of "many mansions," and John describes some of its beauties in the Bible's last two chapters. But that is not all. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). Therefore, we can say with Paul: "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). He has indeed prepared a great eternal future for His redeemed children. HMM

h/t: Henry M. Morris, Institute for Creation Research

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sunday Sermonette

The Gift of Grace

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6)

The grace of God is not something to be earned, for it is "unmerited favor." We can never deserve salvation or the many other blessings which God provides, but "the gift |meaning 'the grace,' or 'the free gift'--Greek, charis| of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23). "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

It logically follows that if God in Christ has lavished such abundant grace toward us, we likewise should manifest grace toward others. But such grace in us is no more achievable by human effort then is God's grace toward us. Grace is always the gift of God--received in humility, never in pride.

As our text says, a proud person can never be a gracious person, for God will not give His gifts to those who are proud. James is here paraphrasing Proverbs 3:34: "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." The apostle Peter also brings out this truth: "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5). Finally, as Paul says, even true Christian leadership is a gift of grace. "I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesi ans 3:7-8). We should never forget that all God's blessings come by His grace alone, and He gives grace to the humble, not the proud. HMM

h/t: Henry M. Morris, Institute for Creation Research

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

13 Minutes of Your Time

http://www.pjtv.com/video/Afterburner_with_Bill_Whittle/___MSNBC_%26_The_Great_Liberal_Narrative%3A_The_Truth_About_The_Tyranny_of_Political_Correctness/2343/


This is a copy and paste to address bar situation. This blogsite is having a bad time with links.

ACLU-Paranoia or Truth?

http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

Copy and paste to address bar. For some reason the blogsite will not post as a link.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Marine Veteran at a Townhall

Sunday Sermonette-Who's To Blame?

By Charles F. Stanley

Few people willingly take responsibility for their temptations; it’s much easier to blame someone or something else. Passing the buck in this area is nothing new. When God asked Adam why he had eaten from the forbidden tree, he replied:

The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate"
(Gen. 3:12).

The very first time man was confronted by God about his sin, he pointed to someone else—his wife! Eve responded in a similar way:

The serpent deceived me, and I ate (Gen. 3:13).

But blaming someone or something else did not work in the beginning, and it will not work now. God still held Adam and Eve accountable for their actions and threw them out of the garden (Gen. 3:23-24).

Pointing your finger at someone or something else for a particular weakness appears to take the responsibility off your shoulders. However, until you are willing to honestly admit your failures, you will be unable to do anything about them. Let’s take a look at common ways people try to excuse their guilt.

“But that’s just the way I am.”

Many people blame their personality for their inability to deal with particular temptations. The implication is, “I have always been this way, and I always will be.” I hear this frequently from those with out-of-control tempers or people who refuse to talk openly in the midst of conflict. But God does not excuse poor behavior, and no one else should either.

Have you been using your personality as an excuse rather than trying to change? If you have, it is time to quit justifying yourself. To do otherwise is to rob yourself of the joy that comes with the freedom of putting bad habits behind you.

“It’s everywhere.”

Another excuse people use is that of circumstances or environment. “If it weren’t for the people I work with (or my difficult home life, etc.) I wouldn’t have this problem.” Unmarried men and women are increasingly using their singleness as an excuse to engage in premarital sex. Blaming your habits on circumstances allows someone or something to control your destiny in that area. Certainly, there comes a time to change jobs, friends, or whatever is contributing to your problem. But first you must come to grips with the fact that you are responsible for your behavior.

“My parents are to blame.”

We know that parents make a huge impact on their children, and the effects—for better or worse—can last throughout life. Unfortunately, some people use this insight as an excuse rather than a tool to aid in the process of change. They shift the responsibility for their sins from themselves to their parents, with explanations like, “If my mom and dad hadn’t treated me the way they did, I wouldn’t have these problems.”

Your mother and father may have set you up for the challenges you face today. However, you are accountable before God to deal with the things in your life that need to change.

“The Devil made me do it.”

This is an excuse that has been around since the beginning (Gen. 3:13). Satan does have something to do with the temptation process, but we need to be aware that he cannot make us do anything. The only power the “father of lies” has over people is through manipulation and deceit (John 8:44). When the Devil dangles bait right in front of us, we become so attuned to our fleshly desires that we may feel as if he is drawing us towards evil. But in each case, we actually make the choice whether to sin. The Devil does not hold us down and force us to do wrong.

“Lord, how could You?”

Many believers blame God for their temptations. But Scripture is clear that the Lord does not entice us to sin:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone (James 1:13).

We live in an imperfect world, surrounded by people who make evil choices. The Lord is not to blame; man is. One day you and I will have to stand before Him and give an account of our deeds
(2 Cor. 5:9-10). Each of us must take responsibility for our unwillingness—and at times inability—to withstand temptation.

What about you?

Have you fallen into the trap of making excuses for the recurring sins in your life? Are you no longer convicted of transgressions that used to drive you to confession and repentance? Have you convinced yourself that God understands your particular situation and won’t hold you accountable?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you must make a decision. God didn’t accept Adam and Eve’s attempts to shift the blame. He doesn’t accept yours either. Who is to blame for your failure to deal successfully with temptation? You are. Face up to this fact, and you will take a giant step towards overcoming temptation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Subversion-This Explains a Lot

Why the Rush?

Why does the left always come down on the wrong side of things? Why the rush to Universal Healthcare? Why the rush to Carbon Cap & Trade? Why the rush to put money into other country's oil explorations when we have plenty of our own? Why the rush to give away so much money when there is no money of their's to give? Why the rush to control the carmakers? Why the rush to make laws regarding Hate Crimes? Why the rush to attempt to silence Christians and conservatives? Why do they not listen? Why do the left always bring up race? Why do they always attempt to baffle every argument and pepper their speech with obvious lies? Why do they not listen to those who have conservative Christian views? Why do they accuse everybody else of the evils they themselves are most guilty of? Why? Why? Why?

I think you can see what I would like here. We need to answer these and other questions about our own ideals and our own faith in Christ, and we must do it very quickly. For you see my friends, if we do not, we will have "bought the farm" of our own volition by not doing our God given duty to witness to others and by not doing our God given duty to stand for what's good and honest and true in regard to the governance of America.

One might say "Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves" at what is going on in America today. I disagree. I believe they knew full well what could and would happen if we let down our guard for even a second. That is the reason for the wording of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. If we had not lost vigilance, we would not have the mess we have now, and the "trainwreck" of an Administration, House and Senate looking for the next best place to bail out before the train crashes and burns.

I like many others, sat and watched during the 1970s, and saw Roe vs. Wade become the "law of the land." I heard stories about the left wanting to "dumb down" those in public education. I heard the list of 45 things it would take to make America communist. I saw daycare centers start to stay open 24 hrs. a day to accommodate those working mothers that worked all night, wondering why on earth would they do that? I saw America starting to apologize to the rest of the world for who knows what preceived wrongs we had done. I saw our military having to apologize to the American people for doing their jobs. Why does this effect me and my family?

We had a good job and a house and two cars and nothing could ever change for the worse. I, my friends, as I'm sure we all did, sat upon those worldly laurels and did precisely nothing! Now I see clearly that I/we didn't do anything necessarily wrong. What was wrong was that I/we did nothing at all. Like was said in an old Pogo comic once many years ago, "We have met the enemy and he is us!"

The only solution to this massive problem we have built for ourselves is to pray unceasingly for an "awakening, a repentance and a revival" in America, and America may once more be healed and stand as a lighthouse of truth and justice to the rest of the world.

We must now stand for what is true, right and honorable; in some cases for the first time in our lives. God must guide our words and deeds. If we go off and do our own thing we might make bigger and worse mistakes than were made in the first place by our own inactions. Christ is King! This we must never doubt nor forget.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Carbon Cap & Trade-No Way Jose!

Do you want to pay more for less energy?
When they return from their August vacations, Senators will debate the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation, which is intended to curb global warming. As lawmakers debate the proposal, which already passed the House, Heritage Foundation experts are once again reminding Americans of the significant economic losses the nation faces should the plan become law.

A new study released by Heritage's Center for Data Analysis directly challenges government analyses and exposes the devastating effects cap-and-trade would have on individual families, the job market and the nation's finances.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin quoted at length from this Heritage report on her Facebook page. Add your comments and join the conversation here.


The recession has left millions of Americans facing unemployment, pay and benefit cuts, and salary freezes. According to Heritage's careful projections, by 2035 the Left's global warming plan will only increase the economic pain.

Paying More at the Pump. Gasoline prices will rise 58 percent (or $1.38) above their natural increase. Americans will also pay 55 percent more for natural gas, 56 percent more for heating oil and a whopping 90 percent more for electricity.
Hurting Families. Annual energy costs for a family of four will grow by $1,241 -- $4,609 including taxes -- forcing families to reduce consumption of goods and services by $3,000 each year as incomes and savings fall.
Creating a Poorer America. By 2035, America will be $9.4 trillion poorer with cap-and-trade than without it. On top of that, the national debt will increase by $12,803 per person.
Stifling Job Creation. In addition to establishing a framework for a less prosperous country, cap-and-trade will stifle opportunity and hurt an already-struggling job market. The supposed "green jobs" the Left claims Waxman-Markey creates pale in comparison to the nearly 2.5 million jobs it destroys.
So what do we get for all this? Not much: "no more than .2 degree (Celsius) moderation in world temperature increases by 2100 and no more than a .05 degree reduction by 2050," writes Heritage energy expert David Kreutzer.

Heritage experts have a better idea. Lawmakers should grant "access to all energy sources, including domestic oil production, nuclear energy, coal, and new renewable fuels. Instead of new taxes, the President should aim to lower gas and electricity prices. When government impediments are lifted, America's energy entrepreneurs can develop innovative and market-driven solutions to our energy needs."


h/t Amanda Reinecker from The Heritage Foundation

Re: Gov't. Healthcare

Hey, when something's wrong, it's just plain wrong. BHO needs to realize, just like the House and Senate, that they work for us, not ON us! I wish I knew all the ins & outs of Constitutional law...."redress of grievances & recalls", etc. We need to get this bunch of thugs gone and replaced with those who will do what's good for America, not what ACORN & their ilk want. How many times in history has the "left" come down on the side of what is right? Not too bloody often I'll wager! (Pardon my use of the Queen's English!) :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunday Sermonette

Jesus Is Lord “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 )

This pretty much says it all. Putting God first above all else is what we are called to do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Explanation of Obama ?

Interesting little bit on Obama on the local talk radio today while I was out hunting Starbucks. I got one to…anyway…..the guy named Mark something or other, filling in for the regular host on KOGO here in San Diego County said Obama is culturally not American. He has no idea how Americans live or who we are. He is more culturally Indonesian (he does not believe the birther crap) than American. But think about it, the dude goes from Hawaii, to Indonesia to Chicago to Harvard back to Chicago. Remember the episode of Star Trek where the whole world on this one planet was Chicago? See? Thats his biggest problem. Whats more is he doesn’t like us, he does not get us.


h/t Stephanie www.threedonia.com


Personal note: the Star Trek episode mentioned took place on a distant planet that had been receiving TV signals from earth in the form of the program "The Untouchables" and thought it was like the society on earth. They then set about to making their whole society like gangland Chicago.

This statement could go a long way toward explaining why BHO seems so detached from the regular Mr. & Mrs. America that makes up a great percentage of our country. He seems to have a very real disconnect from the reality of American life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

TODAY! (ie:nowadays)

God Gave Them Up
August 9, 2009

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." (Romans 1:28)

This is a terrifying verse, climaxing the awful indictment (in Romans 1:18-32) of God against a world in rebellion against its maker. This burning passage begins with Paul's declaration that God's wrath has been revealed against all those who "hold the truth"--or, more explicitly, "hold down or suppress the truth" in unrighteousness.

Then, in a rising crescendo of testimonies of wickedness and resulting condemnation, one fearful clause appears no less than three times: "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts. . . . For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections. . . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (vv. 24, 26, 28).

As terrible as such judgments seem, the provocations were infinitely worse. They "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God" into idols depicting His creatures (v. 23). They "changed the truth of God into a lie" and rejected Him as Creator (v. 25). They subjected Him to critical philosophical scrutiny, and chose not "to retain God in their knowledge" at all (implied in the Greek "did not like") (v. 28). Thus it was that our God of all grace finally had to give them up!

But the frightening thing is that this dark scene describes more than ancient paganism. Every verse is also a precise indictment of this present, evil "post-Christian" world, as we almost seem to be reading therein a documentary of the present age. What a picture it draws of modern evolutionary humanism in practice!

Yet the apostle Paul was still preparing to go to Rome, "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ," for that gospel was then--and still is--"the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). HMM

h/t: Henry M. Morris, Institute for Creation research

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sunday Sermonette

The Return to the Upper Room
August 8, 2009

"And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room. . . . These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication." (Acts 1:13-14)

What a myriad of thoughts must have been swirling through the believers' heads as they walked the mile or so back to Jerusalem after Christ ascended into heaven. They had many enemies in Jerusalem, but they walked fearlessly because He who claimed "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18) promised that "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (v. 20). They obediently assembled in "an upper room" (literally "the" upper room) to wait and pray.

Notice who is present. The list includes the eleven remaining disciples, reassembled after scattering: Peter, who had denied the Lord, had gained sweet forgiveness; doubting Thomas had his skepticisms answered; and John was there, the "disciple whom Jesus loved." But even he had deserted his Lord in the garden as the soldiers came.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there. She had raised Him as a completely loving and obedient child, only to see Him ridiculed and opposed. She anguished as only a mother could, to see Him hanging on the tree, but her anguish had been quelled. At least two of her other sons were there, presumably New Testament authors James and Jude. Earlier, they had scoffed, but now they understood. Other women were also present, those who were the last ones at the cross and the first to see Him once the tomb had yielded up its dead. The entire group can be pictured as a trophy of His grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

They gathered together in perfect "accord," a common bond of faith and purpose, praying and petitioning God for His will and power. Might we not see many examples for our lives and prayers in these verses. JDM

h/t: J D Morris, Institute for Creation Reasearch

Daniel Hannan In Denver-(Watch all parts)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Obama Birth Certificate-Yea or Nay?

July 30, 2009, 0:00 a.m.

Suborned in the U.S.A.
The birth-certificate controversy is about Obama’s honesty, not where he was born.

By Andrew C. McCarthy


Throughout the 2008 campaign, Barack Hussein Obama claimed it was a “smear” to refer to him as “Barack Hussein Obama.” The candidate had initially rhapsodized over how his middle name, the name of the prophet Mohammed’s grandson, would signal a new beginning in American relations with the Muslim world. But when the nomination fight intensified, Obama decided that Islamic heritage was a net negative. So, with a media reliably uncurious about political biographies outside metropolitan Wasilla, Obama did what Obama always does: He airbrushed his personal history on the fly.

Suddenly, it was “just making stuff up,” as Obama put it, for questioners “to say that, you know, maybe he’s got Muslim connections.” “The only connection I’ve had to Islam,” the candidate insisted, “is that my grandfather on my father’s side came from [Kenya]. But I’ve never practiced Islam.” Forget about “Hussein”; the mere mention of Obama’s middle initial — “H” — riled the famously thin-skinned senator. Supporters charged that “shadowy attackers” were “lying about Barack’s religion, claiming he is a Muslim.” The Obamedia division at USA Today, in a report subtly titled “Obama’s grandma slams ‘untruths,’” went so far as to claim that Obama’s Kenyan grandmother is a Christian — even though a year earlier, when Obama’s “flaunt Muslim ties” script was still operative, the New York Times had described the same woman, 85-year-old Sara Hussein Obama, as a “lifelong Muslim” who proclaimed, “I am a strong believer of the Islamic faith.”

Such was the ardor of Obama’s denials that jaws dropped when, once safely elected, he reversed course (again) and embraced his Islamic heritage. “The president himself experienced Islam on three continents,” an administration spokesman announced. “You know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father . . .” The “Muslim father” theme was an interesting touch: During the campaign, when the question of Barack Hussein Obama Sr.’s Islamic faith reared its head, the candidate curtly denied it with an air of what’s-that-got-to-do-with-me? finality: “My father was basically agnostic, as far as I can tell, and I didn’t know him.” And, it turns out, the spokesman’s fleeting bit about “growing up in Indonesia” wasn’t the half of it: Obama had actually been raised as a Muslim in Indonesia — or, at least that’s what his parents told his schools (more on that in due course).

These twists and turns in the Obama narrative rush to mind when we consider National Review’s leap into the Obama-birth-certificate fray with Tuesday’s editorial, “Born in the U.S.A.”

The editorial desire to put to rest the “Obama was born in Kenya” canard is justifiable. The overwhelming evidence is that Obama was born an American citizen on Aug. 4, 1961, which almost certainly makes him constitutionally eligible to hold his office. I say “almost certainly” because Obama, as we shall see, presents complex dual-citizenship issues. For now, let’s just stick with what’s indisputable: He was also born a Kenyan citizen. In theory, that could raise a question about whether he qualifies as a “natural born” American — an uncharted constitutional concept.

The mission of National Review has always included keeping the Right honest, which includes debunking crackpot conspiracy theories. The theory that Obama was born in Kenya, that he was smuggled into the U.S., and that his parents somehow hoodwinked Hawaiian authorities into falsely certifying his birth in Oahu, is crazy stuff. Even Obama’s dual Kenyan citizenship is of dubious materiality: It is a function of foreign law, involving no action on his part (to think otherwise, you’d have to conclude that if Yemen passed a law tomorrow saying, “All Americans — except, of course, Jews — are hereby awarded Yemeni citizenship,” only Jewish Americans could henceforth run for president). In any event, even if you were of a mind to indulge the Kenyan-birth fantasy, stop, count to ten, and think: Hillary Clinton. Is there any chance on God’s green earth that, if Obama were not qualified to be president, the Clinton machine would have failed to get that information out?

CERTIFICATE AND CERTIFICATION

So, end of story, right? Well, no. The relevance of information related to the birth of our 44th president is not limited to his eligibility to be our 44th president. On this issue, NRO’s editorial has come in for some blistering criticism. The editorial argues:


The fundamental fiction is that Obama has refused to release his “real” birth certificate. This is untrue. The document that Obama has made available is the document that Hawaiian authorities issue when they are asked for a birth certificate. There is no secondary document cloaked in darkness, only the state records that are used to generate birth certificates when they are requested.

On reflection, I think this was an ill-considered assertion. (I should add that I saw a draft of the editorial before its publication, was invited to comment, and lodged no objection to this part.) The folly is made starkly clear in the photos that accompany this angry (at NRO) post from Dave Jeffers, who runs a blog called “Salt and Light.”

To summarize: What Obama has made available is a Hawaiian “certification of live birth” (emphasis added), not a birth certificate (or what the state calls a “certificate of live birth”). The certification form provides a short, very general attestation of a few facts about the person’s birth: name and sex of the newborn; date and time of birth; city or town of birth, along with the name of the Hawaiian island and the county; the mother’s maiden name and race; the father’s name and race; and the date the certification was filed. This certification is not the same thing as the certificate, which is what I believe we were referring to in the editorial as “the state records that are used to generate birth certificates [sic] when they are requested.”

To the contrary, “the state records” are the certificate. They are used to generate the more limited birth certifications on request. As the Jeffers post shows, these state records are far more detailed. They include, for example, the name of the hospital, institution, or street address where the birth occurred; the full name, age, birthplace, race, and occupation of each parent; the mother’s residential address (and whether that address is within the city or town of birth); the signature of at least one parent (or “informant”) attesting to the accuracy of the information provided; the identity and signature of an attending physician (or other “attendant”) who certifies the occurrence of a live birth at the time and place specified; and the identity and signature of the local registrar who filed the birth record.

Plainly, this is different (additional) information from what is included in the certification. Yet, our editorial says that “several state officials have confirmed that the information in permanent state records is identical to that on the president’s birth certificate [by which we clearly meant ‘certification’],” and that the “director of Hawaii’s health department and the registrar of records each has personally verified that the information on Obama’s birth certificate [i.e., certification] is identical to that in the state’s records, the so-called vault copy.” (Italics mine.)



That misses the point. The information in the certification may be identical as far as it goes to what’s in the complete state records, but there are evidently many more details in the state records than are set forth in the certification. Contrary to the editors’ description, those who want to see the full state record — the certificate or the so-called “vault copy” — are not on a wild-goose chase for a “secondary document cloaked in darkness.” That confuses their motives (which vary) with what they’ve actually requested (which is entirely reasonable). Regardless of why people may want to see the vault copy, what’s been requested is a primary document that is materially more detailed than what Obama has thus far provided.

Now, let’s address motives for a moment. Are some of those demanding the full state records engaged in a futile quest to prove Obama is not a U.S. citizen? Are they on what the editors call “the hunt for a magic bullet that will make all the unpleasant complications of [Obama’s] election and presidency disappear”? Sure they are. But not everyone who wants to see the full state records falls into that category. I, for one, have very different reasons for being curious.

WHO IS THIS GUY?

Before January 20 of this year, Barack Obama had a negligible public record. He burst onto the national scene what seemed like five minutes before his election to the presidency: a first-term U.S. senator who actually served less than four years in that post — after a short time as a state legislator, some shadowy years as a “community organizer,” and scholastic terms at Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard that remain shrouded in mystery. The primary qualification supporters offered for Obama’s candidacy was his compelling life story, as packaged in 850 pages’ worth of the not one but two autobiographies this seemingly unaccomplished candidate had written by the age of 45.

Yet we now know that this life story is chock full of fiction. Typical and disturbing, to take just one example, is the entirely fabricated account in Dreams from My Father of Obama’s first job after college:


Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company’s secretarial pool. They treated me like a son, those black ladies; they told me how they expected me to run the company one day. . . . The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors — see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand — and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve. . . .

As the website Sweetness & Light details, this is bunk. Obama did not work at “a consulting house to multinational corporations”; it was, a then-colleague of his has related, “a small company that published newsletters on international business.” He wasn’t the only black man in the company, and he didn’t have an office, have a secretary, wear a suit and tie on the job, or conduct “interviews” with “Japanese financiers or German bond traders” — he was a junior copyeditor.

What’s unnerving about this is that it is so gratuitous. It would have made no difference to anyone curious about Obama’s life that he, like most of us, took a ho-hum entry-level job to establish himself. But Obama lies about the small things, the inconsequential things, just as he does about the important ones — depending on what he is trying to accomplish at any given time.

In the above fairy tale, he sought to frame his life as a morality play: the hero giving up the cushy life of the capitalist “enemy” for the virtues of community organizing. But we’ve seen this dance a hundred times. If Obama wants to strike a connection with graduating students in Moscow, he makes up a story about meeting his “future wife . . . in class” (Barack and Michelle Obama met at work). If he wants to posture about his poverty and struggle in America, he waxes eloquent about his single mother’s surviving on “food stamps” so she could use every cent to send him “to the best schools in the country” (Obama was raised by his maternal grandparents, who had good jobs and were able to pull strings to get him into an elite Hawaiian prep school). If he wants to tie himself to the civil-rights struggle of African Americans, he tells an audience in Selma, “There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma . . . so [my parents] got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born” (Obama was born in 1961, four years before the civil-rights march in Selma — by which time his parents had divorced and his mother was planning a move to Indonesia with the second of her two non-African-American husbands). If he wants to buy a home he can’t afford, he “unwittingly” collaborates with a key fundraiser (who had been publicly reported to be under federal investigation for fraud and political corruption). If he wants to sell a phony stimulus as a job-creator, he tells the country that Caterpillar has told him the stimulus will enable the company “to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off” (Caterpillar’s CEO actually said no, “we’re going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again”).

The fact is that Obama’s account of his background is increasingly revealed as a fabrication, not his life as lived; his utterances reflect the expediencies of the moment, not the truth. What is supposed to save the country from fraudulence of this sort is the media. Here, though, the establishment press is deep in Obama’s tank — so much so that they can’t even accurately report his flub of a ceremonial opening pitch lest he come off as something less than Sandy Koufax. Astonishingly, reporters see their job not as reporting Obama news but as debunking Obama news, or flat-out suppressing it. How many Americans know, for example, that as a sitting U.S. senator in 2006, Obama interfered in a Kenyan election, publicly ripping the incumbent government (a U.S. ally) for corruption while he was its guest and barnstorming with his preferred candidate: a Marxist now known to have made a secret agreement with Islamists to convert Kenya to sharia law, and whose supporters, upon losing the election, committed murder and mayhem, displacing thousands of Kenyans and plunging their country into utter chaos?

A MUSLIM CITIZEN OF INDONESIA
The aforementioned Indonesian interval in Obama’s childhood is instructive. Obama and the media worked in tireless harmony to refute any indication that he had ever been a Muslim. It’s now apparent, however, not only that he was raised as a Muslim while living for four years in the world’s most populous Islamic country, but that he very likely became a naturalized citizen of Indonesia.



Shortly after divorcing Barack Obama Sr., Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, married an Indonesian Muslim, Lolo Soetoro Mangunharjo, whom she met — just as she had met Barack Sr. — when both were students at the University of Hawaii. At some point, Soetoro almost certainly adopted the youngster, who became known as “Barry Soetoro.” Obama’s lengthy, deeply introspective autobiographies do not address whether he was adopted by the stepfather whose surname he shared for many years, but in all likelihood that did happen in Hawaii, before the family moved to Jakarta.

Under Indonesian law, adoption before the age of six by an Indonesian male qualified a child for citizenship. According to Dreams from My Father, Obama was four when he met Lolo Soetoro; his mother married Soetoro shortly thereafter; and Obama was already registered for school when he and his mother relocated to Jakarta, where Soetoro was an oil-company executive and liaison to the Suharto government. That was in 1966, when Obama was five. Obama attended Indonesian elementary schools, which, in Suharto’s police state, were generally reserved for citizens (and students were required to carry identity cards that matched student registration information). The records of the Catholic school Obama/Soetoro attended for three years identify him as a citizen of Indonesia. Thus Obama probably obtained Indonesian citizenship through his adoption by Soetoro in Hawaii. That inference is bolstered by the 1980 divorce submission of Ann Dunham and Lolo Soetoro, filed in Hawaii state court. It said “the parties” (Ann and Lolo) had a child (name not given) who was no longer a minor (Obama was 19 at the time). If Soetoro had not adopted Obama, there would have been no basis for the couple to refer to Obama as their child — he’d have been only Ann Dunham’s child.

In any event, the records of the Catholic school and the public school Obama attended during his last year in Indonesia identify him as a Muslim. As Obama relates in Dreams from My Father, he took Koran classes. As Obama doesn’t relate in Dreams from My Father, children in Indonesia attended religious instruction in accordance with their family’s chosen faith. Moreover, acquaintances recall that young Barry occasionally attended Friday prayers at the local mosque, and Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s half-sister (born after Lolo and Ann moved the family to Jakarta), told the New York Times in a 2008 interview, “My whole family was Muslim, and most of the people I knew were Muslim.” In fact, back in March 2007 — i.e., during the early “Islamic ties are good” phase of Obama’s campaign — the candidate wistfully shared with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof his memories of the muezzin’s Arabic call to prayer: “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.” Kristof marveled at the “first-rate accent” with which Obama was able to repeat its opening lines.

The point here is not to join another crackpot conspiracy, the “Obama as Muslim Manchurian Candidate” canard. Obama was only ten years old when he left Indonesia; there is no known evidence of his having made an adult choice to practice Islam, and he is a professed Christian. The point is that he lies elaborately about himself and plainly doesn’t believe it’s important to be straight with the American people — to whom he is constantly making bold promises. And it makes a difference whether he was ever a Muslim. He knows that — it’s exactly why, as a candidate, he originally suggested his name and heritage would be a selling point. Obama’s religious background matters in terms of how he is perceived by Muslims (Islam rejects the notion of renouncing the faith; some Muslims, like Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi, make no bones about regarding Obama as a Muslim; and — as the mainstream media took pains not to report during the campaign — it is suspected that significant illegal donations poured into the Obama campaign from Islamic countries and territories). Obama’s religious background also matters in terms of how he views American policies bearing on the Muslim world.

WHEN DID INFORMATION SUDDENLY BECOME A BAD THING?

While it is all well and good to belittle the birth-certificate controversy, without it we’d know only what the media and Obama himself would tell us about his multiple citizenships, which is nothing. As noted above, we now know Obama, by operation of British and Kenyan law, was a citizen of Kenya (a status that lapsed in 1982, when he turned 21). That’s something voters would find relevant, especially when Obama’s shocking 2006 conduct in Kenya is considered. But we don’t know about his Kenyan citizenship because the media thought it was newsworthy. We know it only because of the birth-certificate controversy: Pressed to debunk the allegation that Obama was born in Kenya, his embarrassed supporters felt compelled to clarify his Kenyan citizenship.

By contrast, the question whether Obama ever was an Indonesian citizen is still unresolved, as are such related matters as whether the foreign citizenship (if he had it) ever lapsed, and whether he ever held or used an Indonesian passport — for example, during a mysterious trip to Pakistan he took in 1981, after Zia’s coup, when advisories warned Americans against traveling there. By the way, many details about that journey, too, remain unknown. Obama strangely neglected to mention it in his 850 pages of autobiography, even though the 20-year-old’s adventure included a stay at the home of prominent Pakistani politicians.

There may be perfectly benign answers to all of this. But the real question is: Why don’t the media — the watchdog legions who trekked to Sarah Palin’s Alaska hometown to scour for every kernel of gossip, and who were so desperate for Bush dirt that they ran with palpably forged military records — want to dig into Obama’s background?

Who cares that Hawaii’s full state records would doubtless confirm what we already know about Obama’s birthplace? They would also reveal interesting facts about Obama’s life: the delivering doctor, how his parents described themselves, which of them provided the pertinent information, etc. Wasn’t the press once in the business of interesting — and even not-so-interesting — news?

And why would Obama not welcome Hawaii’s release of any record in its possession about the facts and circumstances of his birth? Isn’t that kind of weird? It would, after all, make the whole issue go away and, if there’s nothing there, make those who’ve obsessed over it look like fools. Why should I need any better reason to be curious than Obama’s odd resistance to so obvious a resolution?

There’s speculation out there from the former CIA officer Larry Johnson — who is no right-winger and is convinced the president was born in Hawaii — that the full state records would probably show Obama was adopted by the Indonesian Muslim Lolo Soetoro and became formally known as “Barry Soetoro.” Obama may have wanted that suppressed for a host of reasons: issues about his citizenship, questions about his name (it’s been claimed that Obama represented in his application to the Illinois bar that he had never been known by any name other than Barack Obama), and the undermining of his (false) claim of remoteness from Islam. Is that true? I don’t know and neither do you.

But we should know. The point has little to do with whether Obama was born in Hawaii. I’m quite confident that he was. The issue is: What is the true personal history of the man who has been sold to us based on nothing but his personal history? On that issue, Obama has demonstrated himself to be an unreliable source and, sadly, we can’t trust the media to get to the bottom of it. What’s wrong with saying, to a president who promised unprecedented “transparency”: Give us all the raw data and we’ll figure it out for ourselves?

h/t: Andrew McCarthy, National Review Online

Thanks to Mike at threedonia.com

A Proper Town Hall!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Sermonette

"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Psalms 46:10