Aug 04 2011

Money Madness!!

Tum da de tum, here is another entry in the Powerline Prize contest. This one didn’t win anything, but it has the singular distinction of having been a project of my family, with my son, “A. Shack,” composing the rap and performing the song, my wife (Mrs. Miner) performing some pseudo “baby voices,” with some music production and amateur video editing from me, Harmonicminer.

You can see many more entries in the Powerline Blog YouTube Channel, along with Money Madness.


Aug 01 2011

Time to stop digging

Category: Congress,economy,government,Group-think,liberty,mediaharmonicminer @ 3:05 pm

Another of the great entries from the Powerline Prize contest for media to illustrate and dramatize the great danger of our national debt.

 

 


Jul 31 2011

The media, biased? Way left? Say it isn’t so!

Category: Group-think,left,mediaharmonicminer @ 6:49 pm

The PJ Tatler » Poll: Most Voters Believe the Media is Unethical, Biased

The Hill: Poll: Most Voters Believe the Media is Unethical, Biased

Likely voters hold a dismal view of the news media, generally regarding reporters as biased, unethical and too close to the politicians they purport to cover, according to a new poll for The Hill.

A full 68 percent of voters consider the news media biased, the poll found. Most, 46 percent, believe the media generally favor Democrats, while 22 percent said they believe Republicans are favored, with 28 percent saying the media is reasonably balanced.

Well, duhhhh….

For more, check this out.  It’s a solid piece of social science, not just someone’s anecdotally based opinion.  The author, Professor Tim Groseclose, is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA.


Jul 29 2011

Shovel Ready?

Category: Congress,economy,government,Group-think,legislation,liberty,media,Obamaharmonicminer @ 12:00 pm

Another of the Powerline Prize entries, this one a music video called “Shovel Ready, Not Shovel Ready Enough”. Very funny, and very effective… and very sad. A TRILLION dollars for essentially nothing very helpful….

Somebody was shoveling something, alright.


Feb 08 2011

“Prosperity gospel” for Christian institutions? Part 2

The previous post in this series is here, and will help provide background for what follows.

There are many instances of people and groups who take risks for the gospel, do the unpopular thing, and God does bless them. But obvious worldly blessing is not a given. God has His own agenda and ways of doing things, and we cannot assume that our worldly success is due to God’s blessing, nor our difficulties evidence of our failure to seek God’s will and do it. Some missionaries are murdered, and martyrdom in Christ’s service did not end with the fall of the Roman Empire. Lesser difficulties also occur with some regularity, even in the modern world.

Yet how many boards and leaders of churches and para-church organizations proceed with the assumption that apparent worldly or financial success equals God’s blessing, with such a rigid conflation of the two that any policy which carries some attendant risk of worldly disapproval is assumed to be the wrong one? Consider the logic: if we are doing good, God will bless us in worldly ways. Therefore, we should not consider doing something that risks getting worldly disapproval, since if the world disapproves, by our benighted definition, God is not blessing us.

So how can we decide if we are making our decisions according to God’s plan, from a fully Christian worldview, or if we are simply doing what seems best to us, within our human expertise (and afflicted with human pride and desire for power), as we try to strengthen our organization or institution in a worldly sense? There is no way to know for sure, of course….

But one thing seems indicative.

If we find we are mostly making decisions from the point of view of what the world will think of us (not from the point of view of God’s will, God’s commands, God’s moral precepts, and Christ within and among us), even if we have great institutional and public success, even if we are doing some good, we are not doing what God desires of us. Christ’s way is one of sacrifice and risk-taking for the sake of the gospel, most particularly the risk of being misunderstood and vilified by those who do not know Him. This is true whether we are explaining His way to the world, or standing for the principles He taught.

I’ll be developing this idea further in subsequent posts.

The next post in this series is here.


Feb 07 2011

“Properity gospel” for Christian institutions?

Much is made of the centrality of sacrifice in the Christian life, and justifiably so. Christ’s own life on earth was one of individual sacrifice and service, and not only on the cross, though that is the preeminent example. Simply being incarnated was a sacrifice (Philippians 2:5-9), and his very manner of living was sacrificial, in that he never married and had a family but instead lived for others, took risks of many kinds at various times for the sake of doing his Father’s will and speaking the truth, and so on.

As individuals, we are all called to sacrifice in one way or another for the sake of Christ and the gospel, though it’s a mistake to assume that everyone should live sacrificially in the same ways. One may choose to live simply and have greater financial freedom to give more (though all should give some), another may choose to give greatly of time and service (though all should do this some), and another may choose a lifestyle of great self-denial of one kind or another (though all of us must deny ourselves in some ways), all for the sake of doing God’s will. Few are called to sacrifice all. What seems fairly clear is that a person who has sacrificed nothing, not time, not finances, not manner of living, is likely to be a person who is not listening to God’s whispers, and probably a person who has not closely read the scriptures.

Yet some churches and para-church organizations seem to operate as if it is God’s will for them never to suffer or risk suffering, and never to choose a path that is hard and uncertain, or one that is likely to earn some degree of disapproval from the world, especially the secular world. Some para-church organizations operate as if their leadership believes in a sort of “prosperity gospel” for their organization (even when they deny that as a proper perspective for individuals), assuming that their role is to manage their organization with the same professional risk management as they would apply for any secular organization. And this risk management is fine, up to a point.

The “prosperity gospel” approach to a church or para-church organization is that somehow it can just get bigger and bigger, more and more popular, and it will all be because of God’s blessing. This may work for a time. And God may indeed be blessing certain efforts of the institution, while at the same time some of the institution’s apparent success may be coming from “playing it safe,” maintaining “good public relations,” even innovative business practices and good luck with market demographics or placement. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for people in an organization, including its leadership, to really know what measure of an organization’s apparent success is due to God’s blessing of its efforts, and what proportion is due to good business practices, smooth marketing, or just plain good luck. The temptation, of course, is to ascribe all success to God’s blessing, especially in public pronouncements.

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. The assumption that God will increase the institutional strength and vigor of any organization that is doing His will is itself evidence of “prosperity gospel” thinking, not scripturally sound thinking about the nature of sacrifice for Christians, and Christian organizations. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament and church history reveals many instances of people and groups (institutions) who appear to be following God’s commands, but who suffer in various ways, sometimes almost in a “no good deed goes unpunished” sort of way… which is of course, the intention of Satan. The point is that apparent prosperity in the world is not proof of God’s blessing. Indeed, it is a sort of heresy to assume so.

I will develop this line of thinking further in future posts.

The next post in this series is here.


Nov 17 2010

On Toxic Leadership

Category: corruption,government,Group-think,politics,society,Uncategorizedamuzikman @ 8:55 am

Much has been said here and elsewhere about various leaders, both local and global.  In particular President Obama has been in these proverbial crosshairs  concerning a variety of issues concerning his leadership since taking office.

The recent election would seem to indicate that more and more voters find Obama to be a toxic leader. But he is certainly not the only leader, good or bad, who affect the lives of the constituency under them.

Research is currently being done concerning how and why people find themselves in a workplace environment under leadership that is considered to be toxic.  If you’d like to participate in a survey related to the subject of toxic leadership as it may relate to childhood trauma please click on the following link:

http://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_80LJ5hGHl2MPOBu


Jul 30 2010

Hate speech in action

Category: church,family,gay marriage,Group-think,left,ministry,missions,Scriptureharmonicminer @ 8:54 am

You tell me who is practicing hate speech here.

Imagine if the roles were reversed…

If the speaker was a gay minister, speaking gently of our responsibility to pray for our unfortunately confused brethren who don’t understand that Jesus was for gay marriage, saying that tactics of intimidation aimed at straight people are wrong, and the speaker was being shouted down by conservative bible-thumpers carrying signs saying things like “Gays hate God” or some such, you’d have seen this all over the evening news.

But the intolerant Left almost always gets a pass.


Jul 07 2010

The invasion

Category: freedom,Group-think,Islam,liberty,sharia,terrorism,USAharmonicminer @ 8:29 am

Here is the opening part of an article titled “Tower of Terrorism at Ground Zero” at the Muslims Against Sharia Blog

America is defined by the last phrase of its national anthem: The land of the free and the home of the brave. Freedom, in all its forms, is its greatest legacy, which the nation has bravely fought many wars on many fronts to preserve against the unceasing assaults of totalitarianism of all stripes. Time and again, the heroes of the nation bravely sacrificed their lives to protect freedom and liberty.

Currently, America is faced with the insidious, multifaceted, and most deadly threat of Islamism. Since Islam has been around for centuries, there is a tendency to ignore or even deny the threat it poses to humanity. Various concessions are made, some of them as good faith offerings and some in the hope of placating the Islamists. Yet, concessions to threats are appeasements. And appeasements have never solved any problems. They only whet the appetite of the aggressor, give it more power, and make it even more dangerous.

Very unfortunately, in today’s world, Islamists [including political Islam] are set as Islam’s locomotive that takes the Islamic train on its demolition course. Instead of promoting peace, many of the so-called leaders of the ‘Muslim Ummah’ are engaged in fuelling Jihad and killing innocent people in the name of religion. And sadly, such elements are gradually growing influence everywhere in the world as well brainwashing some of the naïve global leaders like Barack Hussain Obama, who continues to appease Islamists without sensing the degree of threat it poses to his very own country.

Islam and democracy are incompatible. As democracies practice their magnificent accommodating belief, they knowingly or unknowingly lay the track for the advancing train wrecking that is Islam. Radical Islamism threatens to set a new record for brutality, contrary to the contention that there is no reason to worry about it. Jihadist Wahabism’s tentacles are reaching out from its cradle in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf Arab Emirates. The Petrodollar flush Sunni-Shia zealots are liberally financing mosques, Madrassas [Islamic indoctrination schools], Islamic centers at universities, front organizations and lobbyists to promote the Wahhabi or Shiite virulent Islamism in every part of America. That makes America the Vulnerable.

Activities of Tablighi Jamaat is gradually increasing in United States, and according to recent statistics disclosed during last year’s largest Tablighi congregations in Bangladesh, more than four hundred Tablighi groups are actively working in various so-called community mosques or in disguise mostly targeting young Americans with the goal of converting them initially to Islam and later giving them Jihadist provocations.

So begins a rather lengthy and detailed article on the various ways that radical Islamists are pursuing their agendas in the USA.

Ask yourself this simple question: is the mosque at Ground Zero being paid for with money from America’s Muslims?

Not likely.

Do you think “moderate Muslims” are paying for it?  (Here is one who probably is not.)  Is it being paid for with money from the same people and nations who fund worldwide radical Islamism?

What do you think?  And do you think they would spend their money if they didn’t expect it to produce a result in the USA?  What do you think is the result they intend?


Jun 20 2010

Telling the truth with satire

You really need to check out this Powerline post, and watch the videos they linked here (don’t be impatient, the ad is short) and here.

Entertaining.  And educational.


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