The Reporter Who Cried Trump

The Reporter Who Cried Trump

I do not share Trump’s underlying value system. I will wait and see what policies he actually proposes, but I do not have high expectations for the Trump Presidency. I have a feeling it will be an unpredictable bag of some positive and some disastrous policies. That being said, one major reason Trump won the Presidency in 2016 is because people do not know what “news” to trust so they end up picking the news that fits their preferred worldview. The “Trump is a stooge for Russie” narrative propagated by CNN ideologues is one recent example explained well by CBS46’s Reality Check.

This is a dangerous situation when ideology trumps truth in reporting. It is simply the classic Aesop’s Fable of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf;” too many false alarms and the people don’t know when the alarm is real. Below is my retelling of this fable for our modern world.

The Reporter Who Cried Trump

There once was a reporter who was bored as she sat in front of her computer checking her social media rankings. To increase her followers she took a great breath and typed out, “Trump! Trump! Trump is a racist!”

The American people took to twitter to help the reporter spread the fearful message and drive Tump away. But no sooner did they reshare the warning, they found the news was fake. The reporter laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

“Don’t cry ‘Trump’, reporter,” said the American people, “when there’s no evidence of your charge!” They went grumbling and complaining back to their Facebook accounts.

Later, the reporter cried out again,”Trump! Trump! Trump is a Russin stooge!” To her naughty delight, she watched the American people take to twitter to help spread the fearful message and drive Tump away

When the American people saw the news was fake they sternly said, “Save your frightened tweets for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ‘Tump’ when the news is fake!”

But the reporter just grinned as her twitter shares soared and watched the people go grumbling and complaining on Facebook.

Later, she saw a real danger when Trump proposed a terrible law. Alarmed, the reporter jumped on twitter and cried out as loudly as she could, “Trump! Trump!”

But the American people thought the reporter was trying to fool them again, and so they didn’t reshare and many more unfollowed her.

During the next 24-hour news cycle, some people wondered why the reporter hadn’t returned to twitter to share more salacious news. They scoured social media to find the reporter’s latest news. They found her unemployed.

“There really was a Trump scare this time! But, the American people have scattered! I cried out, “Trump!” Why didn’t you reshare?”

An old man tried to comfort the reporter as they walked to the unemployment office.

“We’ll help you look for a new job in the morning,” he said, putting his arm around the reporter, “Nobody believes a liar…even when she is telling the truth!”

A Mother’s Day Poem for My Wife

A Mother’s Day Poem for My Wife

A few years back our church plant had a special Mother’s day service.   All the older kids stayed in for the worship, sat at the tables, and made cards for their moms during the sermon.  Since I was not preaching that day, I decided to make a card for my wife Suzanne.  Admittedly, it is not my best work, my poem does not exactly flow off the tonnage, but if you read it in the proper meter, it still rhymes pretty good. Suzanne liked the card well enough and said I could share it with you all on this Mother’s’ Day.

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As a side note, the CheeseMark Card label was created back in college by my friend Dave Young and I. The name and tag-line are perfect for poor college students and church planters
Mother Nature Is A Sexist-Racist-Anti-Poor Bigot!

Mother Nature Is A Sexist-Racist-Anti-Poor Bigot!

Over the past several years I have been watching the news and noticed a dangerous trend in the weather. The statistical evidence is piling up and the numbers don’t lie; Mother Nature is a Sexist-Racist-anti-poor bigot.

Most recently the BBC has reported some shocking news. According to a new UN report, Indigenous Australians are among the most vulnerable people in the world to climate change. These poor natives, along with all the world’s poor, seem to be the target of Mother Nature’s global warming wrath. But that is only the beginning.

You may recall the tsunami that hit Thailand several years ago, but what you may not have heard was that in some parts of Thailand, 4 out of 5 victims were women! Let me say that again, 4 out of 5 tsunami victims were women! You have got to be kidding me! In a modern age where men and women can do anything and be anything, why would a tsunami target the women? You would think that Mother Nature, being a woman, would have a lot more sympathy toward the cause of other women. I really want to know what the governments of the world plan to do about this sort of thing. The stats don’t lie. Obviously women are targeted by such “natural” occurrences. The only thing natural about this tsunami is that it is naturally sexist!. I am calling upon the United Nations, the international body responsible for this sort of thing, to take action and ensure that the next disaster kills an equal amount of both men and women. That only seems fair.

The case against Mother Nature only gets worse as we examine her record of destruction in the United States. You all remember when Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana, but what you may not know is that the evidence suggests nature’s wrath is racist. A news story from The Slate paints a vivid and disturbing picture of nature’s prejudice.

Nearly every rescued person, temporary resident of the Superdome, looter, or loiterer on the high ground of the freeway I saw on TV was African-American. And from the look of it, they weren’t wealthy residents of the Garden District. This storm appears to have hurt blacks more directly than whites, but the broadcasters scarcely mentioned that fact. Now, don’t get me wrong. Just because 67 percent of New Orleans residents are black, I don’t expect CNN to rename the storm “Hurricane” Carter in honor of the black boxer. Just because Katrina’s next stop after destroying coastal Mississippi was counties that are 25 percent to 86 percent African-American…

Clearly this Hurricane, sent by Mother Nature, targeted this part of the country because of the high black population. Sure that may sound shocking, but the statistics don’t lie! These are facts that the existing media-complex clearly don’t want you to know! Now the question remains, what can we do about it? How can we make sure that the next Hurricane to hit will be more fair? I am calling on the United States Congress to pass a non-discrimination law that would forbid all racist hurricanes from hitting our shores. Once this law is passed, only those hurricanes that promise to strike whites and blacks in equal proportions will be allowed on our shores.

Mother nature is a Sexist-Racist-anti-poor bigot and we must stop the madness before it is too late!  

Share this post with your friends!

Contact your legislature!

Call your United Nations representative!

Now is the time to take action against Mother Nature and ensure that this kind of law is passed before the next racist hurricane, sexist Tsunami, or anti-poor global warming trend can strike!

The Hidden Codes of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

The Hidden Codes of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

The topic of secret codes hidden in the Bible has been around for centuries, but came to a head in 1998 with the publication of Dan Brown’s book. Now, almost 20 years later folks are still wondering about those secret “bible codes.”  Since this topic remains alive, I am reposting this response on a previous blog for everyone to consider.

In terms of Mathematics, I think “bible codes” are a bunch of bunk; theologically, they are silly; biblically, they are condemned as numerology. It’s fair to say that I have developed a fairly strong opinion on them because I have seen them as a source of deception to God’s people.

But honestly it is not even worth my time to do a serious review of this silliness. The best way to illustrate how dumb the “bible codes” are, is to show you how the same methodology of discovering “hidden codes” can be done with the book Moby Dick.

I am quoting below only a small excerpt from one of my favorite sites on this topic. They do a great job of finding the “hidden” codes you never knew were there.

A brief summary of the codes claims is that the Hebrew text of the Bible (especially of the Torah, the first five books) contain intentional coincidences of words or phrases that appear as letters with equal spacing.

The most serious claim of scientific evidence for the Codes was made by three Israelis: Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg (WRR). They claim that biographical information about medieval rabbis is “encoded” in the Hebrew text of Genesis. Specifically, the rabbis’ names and other appellations are claimed to be encoded closer to their dates of birth and death than should be expected by chance. WRR’s “experiment” appeared in the respectable journal Statistical Science in 1994.

We have performed many independent scientific tests of the Bible Codes claims. All of them failed to detect anything not easily explained by random chance. These experiments are not to be confused with the demonstrations of trickery that we have constructed in War and Peace.

All of those experiments, and all the other experiments we have conducted, failed to find any “codes” above chance levels.

Picture 1The book “The Bible Code” by Michael Drosnin has been the most successful mass-market book about the Torah Codes. Alas, all semblence of scientific method is missing, and all of the important codes proponents have disowned him. By repeated examples, we prove that Drosnin did not find anything that can’t be found in any book, even in English.

The center-piece of the book is a “prediction” of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The following challenge was made by Michael Drosnin:

When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby Dick, I’ll believe them. (Newsweek, Jun 9, 1997)

Note that English with the vowels included is far less flexible than Hebrew when it comes to making letters into words. Nevertheless, without further ado, we present our answer to Mr Drosnin’s challenge.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi

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The Reverend Martin Luther King

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John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy was shot in the head by an assassin who quietly waited in a concealed place. It was in Texas, November 1963, during a presidential motorcade.

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Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln was shot dead on April 14, 1865.

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Yitzhak Rabin

Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot dead on November 4, 1995. His assassin was Igal Amir, who fired three shots of which one hit Rabin fatally in the chest. Amir was a student at Bar-Ilan University, and associated with an underground group Eyal which modelled itself on a historical terrorist group called Lehi. Amir was angered by Rabin’s role in the “Peace Process” and especially by the Oslo accords.

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Princess Dianna

Lady Diana, a member of the British royal family, died in a car accident together with her boyfriend Dodi and the driver Henri Paul. As the text says, she was at last mortal in these jaws of death.The site even goes on to compare Moby Dick and the Bible. Which book do you think reveals the hidden hand of God?

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Due to the fierce competition between Genesis and Moby Dick for the title of supreme source of codes, we thought we would ask each of these sources about the other.

As we expected, both agree that Moby Dick is the champion.

What Genesis says about Moby Dick

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What Moby Dick says about the Bible

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The second picture shows a clear admonition from The Great Moby that we should read the actual text of the Bible and not look for codes in it.

The above summary was adapted from several pages on the website for the “Scientific Refutation of the Bible Codes” by Brendan McKay and Friends

You really must check out THE REST OF THEIR SITE. The above adaptation is only a very small portion of the real math behind their debunking of the otherwise popular “Bible Code” mythology.

This post is the best summary anyone can give of the books and people who try to manipulate the Bible. Please don’t be fooled any longer!

A Sneak Peek at Rob Bell’s New Book

A Sneak Peek at Rob Bell’s New Book

A lot has changed recent years with Rob Bell with the “evolution” of his theology. With so much talk, I thought it was time to revive this old post I made back in 2008.

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I have to admit, I am not a fan of Rob Bell’s Nooma Videos or his writings.  I know some folks have theological concerns about Bell.  Personally, I have never been able to stay awake long enough to form a meaningful conclusion.  Anyway, I ran across the following links at Raffi Shahinian’s blog and was in the mood for a good laugh.

I know this is just a matter of taste, but for me the videos are painfully slow moving and always about 8 minutes too long (the last one I saw was a 10 minute video). I just don’t get it.

If you’ve never seen one of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos, here is an entertaining example of what you are not missing.  If you are a fan, then you will recognize this is just a funny parody from Rudi Gesch and friends.

Bell’s books are a lot like his videos; rambling, disconnected, and full of random thoughts. If you have never read any of Bell’s books, this sneak peek at his next book posted at the Wittenburg Door says it all.  If you dig Bell’s writing, you know this is satirical, but you’ll still be moved to deeper levels of spiritual vitality simply because it reminds you of Rob Bell.

Getting Real About Reality in Real Time, Really (Rob Bell’s Latest Meditation on Realism)
by Aaron Alford

I was counseling a man and woman the other day. He was very angry. And upset. And she was too.

They.

were.

upset.

I looked at the man. He was so upset because he was quite displeased with the whole situation. And that reminded me of Jesus. “Jesus” is this man, who is also God, who is talked about in the Christian holy writings called “The Bible.” In this “Bible,” there are many “stories” about Jesus in things called “gospels.” Anyhoo, one day “Jesus” became “upset.”

So upset that he turned over tables.

Tables people changed money at.

Tables where people had times at.

Tables. Times.

Often we do math. Using times tables. The word “times tables” appears approximately 37 times in the Bible. In the Greek, it is made up of two words. “Blek” meaning “times” and “plethunos” meaning “tables.” Times Tables.

Times.

Tables.

Multiplication.

How often do we unnecessarily multiply our anger? Our upsettness? Our flustration?

“He is making me angry.”

“She’s being dumb.”

“See Dick jump.”

And so on.

You may be becomening upset right now. Upset that I make up words. Upset that some of my sentences are incomplete thoughts, containing no verbs whatsoever. What. Soever. Upset that I start too many sentences with “and.” And upset that I start too many sentences with “but.”

But there’s something else. Something deeper. Going on here.

I told the man and the woman, who were still mad, this stuff about times tables and anger and other things and whatnot. They blankly stared at me. And do you know what? Their angerness was gone.

It was replaced with something else. Something blanker.

Because this is really about that.

Moby Dick is really about a whale.

Green Eggs and Ham is really about the Cat in the Hat.[1]

And Scatman Crothers[2] was the black dude in The Shining.

But we’re all shining, aren’t we?

Shining with realitude.[3]

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Footnotes

[1]These are books by an incredible author named Dr. Seuss. Go buy everything he’s ever written and read them right now.

[2]The Shining is this movie where this writer dude totally goes crazy and says “here’s Johnny” and stuff. Have you seen it? Why do you think I referenced it here? How does that make you feel?

[3]You probably thought you were finished reading. Well you’re not! I can keep these footnotes going just as long as I want, baby! And people will read them! Yeah! In your face, Miller! Who’s emergent now??? WOOO!!!!

 

 

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