Archive for April 2015

Both Books on Sale This Weekend   Leave a comment

Life As We Knew It  99 cents for today

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Knew-Transformation-Project-Book-ebook/dp/B00UY6MKHG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429980007&sr=8-1&keywords=Lela+Markham

 

The Willow Branch  99 cents through Sunday

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle/dp/0990935817/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1429980007&sr=8-2&keywords=Lela+Markham

Looking for a Great Indie Author?   Leave a comment

Check out my interviews with several —

https://aurorawatcherak.wordpress.com/author-interviews/

Posted April 24, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

What’s So Wrong?   1 comment

To recap what was discussed previously:

  • Morality stems from God therefore right and wrong are a feature of His character, not dependent upon the cultural zeitgeist of the decade or the region.
  • The Bible clearly and consistently forbids homosexual activity.

So if God’s will is expressed in the Bible, it follows that homosexual behavior is against God’s will.

There are those who contend that God’s true will is not expressed in the Bible. These folks often insist that Biblical prohibitions against homosexual behavior were valid for that time and that culture but are no longer valid today. After all, most of us would probably agree that certain commands in the Bible are relative to the culture. For example, the Bible says that Christian women should not wear jewelry and our heads should be covered. While Christians hold to the timeless principle of dress modestly, but that core principle is expressed differently depending on culture and time period. So why can’t we set aside the Biblical prohibition against homosexual behavior just as easily?

I think this argument represents a serious misunderstanding of and lack of familiarity with the Bible. First, God Himself set aside the dietary regulations of the Jewish Christians in Acts 10. Throughout the letters to the Corinthians, Paul says “I have this from the Lord” and then “This is what I think will work.” When he gives his human opinion, he identifies it as such. Early Christians took everything else as from the Lord. There’s no evidence that Paul’s commands concerning homosexual acts were culturally relative. For one thing, Paul wrote from a society that would make Las Vegas seem tame. Far from being a reflection of the culture in which he wrote, Paul’s commands are downright counter-cultural! Homosexual activity was as widespread in ancient Greek and Roman society as it is today in the U.S, yet Paul stood against the culture and opposed it. More importantly, we have seen that the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual activity are rooted, not in culture, but in the God-given pattern for marriage established at Creation. You can’t deny that the Bible’s forbidding homosexual relations expresses God’s will unless you also reject that marriage itself expresses God’s will.

Someone might say “I believe in God, but not the God of the Bible. So I don’t believe the Bible expresses God’s will.” Now what is our answer?

First, recognize that if they don’t accept the Bible, they really cannot be called Christians, so the commands concerning homosexual behavior do not apply to them … unless they are attending your church, in which case there is another conversation needed.

God has revealed Himself in the Bible. Christian apologetics has shown ample evidence for the resurrection of Jesus and fulfilled prophesy. Christians are commanded by Scripture to give a defense of the Bible when needful (I Peter 3:15). However, we live in an increasingly secular society, so Christians cannot always appeal to the Bible for our arguments. We need to give reasons which have broader appeal.

I think many people would agree that it’s wrong to engage in self-destructive behavior which destroys a human being who is inherently valuable. We use this argument to say it is wrong to become an alcoholic or a chain-smoker and to say it’s good to eat right and stay fit. Moreover, I think almost everybody would agree it’s wrong to engage in behavior that harms another person, which is why we restrict smoking to certain areas or ban it altogether so other people won’t have to inhale second-hand smoke, and why we pass laws against drunk driving so innocent people won’t be hurt. Almost everybody agrees that you have no right to engage in a behavior that is destructive to another human being. These are actually Christian principles that have been in our society for so long, people have forgotten their origin.

It’s not hard to show that homosexual behavior is one of the most self-destructive and harmful behaviors a person could engage in. Hollywood and the media are relentlessly bent on putting a happy face on homosexuality, but it is a dark, twisted, and dangerous lifestyle, just as addictive and destructive as alcoholism or smoking. The sobering statistics I’m about to share with you are all fully documented by Dr. Thomas Schmidt in Straight and Narrow? (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1995).

Promiscuity

  • 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime, more than half are strangers.
  • 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years.
  • Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year.

Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. Maybe homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters and they find it isn’t fulfilling. According to Dr. Schmidt,

The number of homosexual men who experience anything like lifelong fidelity becomes, statistically speaking, almost meaningless. Promiscuity among homosexual men is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience—it is virtually the only experience. Lifelong faithfulness is almost non-existent in the homosexual experience.

Widespread Concommittant Drug Use

  • 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse
  • 51% of male homosexuals have a history of drug abuse.
  • Homosexuals are 3x more likely than the general population to be problem drinkers.

There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs/alcohol consumed.

Mental Health

According to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.”

  • 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression (only 3% of males in general suffer major depression).
  • 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression.
  • Homosexuals are 3x as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. Homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate 6x that of heterosexual men, and homosexual women attempt suicide twice as often as heterosexual women.

Nor are depression and suicide the only problems. Studies show that homosexuals are much more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. Remember, I used to work in the mental health field, so I have firsthand knowledge of Schmidt’s research.

Physical Health

A well-kept secret is how physically harmful homosexual behavior is. I’m not going to describe the kinds of sexual activity practiced by homosexuals, but just let me say that our bodies, male and female, are designed for sexual intercourse in a way that two male bodies are not. As a result, homosexual activity, 80% of which is carried out by men, is very destructive, resulting eventually in such problems as prostate damage, ulcers and ruptures, and anal prolapse with associated chronic incontinence and diarrhea.

Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant among the homosexual population.

  • 75% of homosexual men carry one or more sexually transmitted diseases, wholly apartfrom AIDS. Herpes and Hepatitis B afflict 65% of homosexual men (both are incurable)
  • Anal warts afflict 40% of homosexual men.
  • HIV infects 30% of homosexual men.
  • Life expectancy for a homosexual male is about 45 years of age (compared to a hetrosexual male’s life expentency of 70).

A very good case can be made on the basis of generally accepted moral principles that homosexual behavior is wrong as it is horribly self-destructive and injurious to another person. Wholly apart from the Bible’s prohibition, there are sound, sensible reasons to regard homosexual activity as wrong.

I am on record stating that I think Christians should look to our own communities and not try to enforce our morality on society as a whole, so discussions of public policy will be brief here. Given the above statistics, why are we teaching kids in public schools that a homosexual lifestyle is a healthy option? Shouldn’t we be telling them the same truth about the harmful effects as we do with alcohol, drugs and smoking?

I’m an individualist and I approach this as a Christians speaking to Christians. Society will do what it will do and it is bent on destroying itself. There’s not a lot we can do about it. So, what practical application does all this have for us as individuals?

I am speaking wholly to Christians here. If you are not a Christian, you are not bound by the laws of God, although if you want to attend a Christian church, you may be subject to discipline.

First, if you are a homosexual or feel that inclination, keep yourself pure. If you are unmarried, you should practice abstinence from all sexual activity. I know personally how difficult that is, but God is asking you to do is pretty much the same thing that He requires of all single people. Purity does not just apply to your body. It especially applies to your mind. Just as heterosexual men should avoid pornography and fantasizing, you need to keep your thought-life clean. Resist the temptation to rationalize sin by saying, “God made me this way.” God didn’t make you this way. Your body has been bent and your mind darkened by the Fall, which warped God’s perfect creation. Regardless, Christians are still responsible to live as God would have us to live. The Bible makes it very clear that God does not want you to indulge your desires, but to honor Him by keeping your mind and body pure. Seek professional Christian counseling. It has worked for many so that they came to enjoy normal, heterosexual relations with spouses of the opposite sex. There is hope, if you will seek it. And know this, that your struggle is no different from the struggle of any Christian with a pet sin. There are sober alcoholics and drug addicts and celibate heterosexuals living their lives before the Lord without indulging their favorite sin. You are no different than they are. We are all tempted to sin and called to refrain.

Second, for those of us who are heterosexual, we need to remember that being homosexual is not a sin. Most homosexuals did not choose such an orientation and many would like to change it if they could. We need to accept and lovingly support brothers and sisters who are struggling with this problem. We need to extend God’s love to homosexual people. Vulgar words or jokes about homosexuals should never pass the lips of a Christian. If you find yourself feeling glad when some affliction befalls a homosexual person or you find feelings of hatred welling up in your heart toward homosexual people, you need to reflect long and hard on the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew:

“It will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgement for Sodom and Gomorrah than for you” (Matthew 10.15; 11.24).

Many heterosexuals are just as guilty of sexual immorality as are homosexuals. How many Christians do you know who are divorced and remarried and still show up to church every Sunday? Maybe the churches need to have a conversation about that? How many Christian heterosexual singles have sex before they get married, then attend church every week like they’ve not sinned? Men, do you take that long second look at the long-legged blonde in the parking lot? Ladies, how many of you read erotica (uh, do they still call them romances)?

We are all sinners. That doesn’t give us an excuse to sin, Christians, but it also doesn’t give us an excuse to hate people who sin in different ways than we do. In God’s eyes, our sins are all the same color – deep red scarlet. Christ’s forgiveness of our sin does not give us license to sin some more and it doesn’t allow us to rate our sins according to some social acceptability scale. We should lay all that aside, confess our sins to one another, repent before God in Christ’s forgiveness and then get busy helping one another be conformed to Christ with our minds renewed by His grace.

If the Corinthians could do it, living in what was essentially an entire town of brothels, why do we think we can’t?

Thom Responds on Interventionism   2 comments

The last couple of weeks (Here and Here), I played devil’s advocate by putting on the perspective of the countries we meddle with and asking the question “Might the US be the reason the world is such an unstable place?” This week, Thom replies to me.

Thom StarkYou have an … unusual … view of history, to say the least. I’m afraid it’s also more than a little misinformed – again, to say the least. Two weeks worth of your essays have created quite a collection of topics, so, rather than going through them point by point, I’ll try to confine myself to addressing the major ones.

Except your “sympathy for the devil” discourse on Hitler, that is. That one is simply too egregiously wrong for me to duck.

Adoph Hitler was born in 1889. Far from being a 10-year-old boy, in 1918 he was a corporal serving as an artilleryman in the German army. His experiences on the front lines inspired in him a lifelong hatred of Germany’s officer class, based on his resentment about having been repeatedly passed over for promotion, while officers he considered incompetent were awarded medals and promotions of their own. (He talks in considerable detail, and with great heat about those experiences and his contempt and anger towards the military in his autobiographical book, My Battle, btw.)

Nowhere in your imaginative portrait do you account for the future Fuhrer’s deeply irrational antipathy towards Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, communists, and intellectuals, all of whom would be targets of systematic pogroms after he became Reichschancellor. Nor do you seem to in any way acknowledge his galloping megalomania, paranoia, and determination to dominate, control, and modify to his liking every single aspect of German civil life – all of which contributed to Germany becoming a menace to world civilization as the putative Thousand-year Reich. And, again, all of that, along with his blueprint for conquest and subjugation, first of Europe, then of the entire world, I know, not because it was spoon-fed to me by rote, but because, as a teenager, I actually read Mein Kampf. About the same time, I also read Paul L. Shirer’s massive, detailed, and thoroughly-documented The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – a book I also recommend to you.

Likewise, your portrayal of the liberal/corporate elite meeting to conspire to change the character of America seems equally cockeyed to me. Just as a single example, J. Pierpont Morgan’s U.S. Steel cartel was dismantled by Theodore Roosevelt’s trust-busters. When Morgan offered to make any changes the Justice Department required (including substantial divestments) in order to allow his steel monopoly to continue, he was informed that there were no changes he could possibly make in order to satisfy the Feds – and that they were determined to end his monopoly, and make a very public example of him in the process. That he would then conspire with Teddy’s cousin to bring about a novus ordum seculorum is risible, at best.

And T.R. himself was a big fan of interventionism, as well. Spanish-American War, anyone? Moro Rebellion, perhaps?

Your explanation of the roots of WWI is equally flawed. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was merely the final act of a long-building confrontation between the Germanies and the allies of Western Europe. When Austria declared war on Serbia over the assassination, Germany was obligated by treaty to follow suit – which then, in turn, brought France and England into the war because of their treaty obligations to Serbia. By the time of the sinking of the Lusitania – the event that precipitated the U.S. entry into active conflict with Germany – it’s true enough that the English were blockading German ports. It is also true, however, that Germany was doing its best to return the favor. It was just a lot harder for them to cut off access by sea to England than it was for the British navy to shut down German ports, because of their respective geographies (England controlled Gibraltar, so it could exclude trans-Atlantic cargo from access to conquered Mediterranean ports, and the German ones were all Baltic-facing, and conveniently close to one another for blockade purposes).

Churchhill’s after-the-fact rationalization notwithstanding, the sinking of the Lusitania is what forced us into the war. It was a passenger liner, and in no sense a legitimate target for the German navy. Public outrage over its sinking left Franklin Roosevelt and Congress no choice but to formally declare war.

Speaking of which, your father knew exactly why we entered WWII – because the Japanese navy conducted a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, in a bid to foreclose our navy from opposing their planned invasion of the Phillipines. (The fact that the Japanese ambassador had orders to present the President with a declaration of war half an hour before the scheduled attack isn’t well-known – he got caught in traffic on the way to the White House, btw – but it wouldn’t have made any difference, because Japan’s formal declaration of war would have obligated Germany to declare war on us, as well.) It was only in the wake of the allied invasion of the German homeland that the reality of the death camps had any meaningful impact on the American public’s perception of the true horrors of Nazism. Before that, they were just “the bad guys” because they had declared war on us after the Japanese surprise attack.

And I know that, because, as a child, I voraciously read my father’s collection of Yank, the armed forces newspaper, with its many first-person accounts of war in Europe and the Pacific, and its detailed portraits of life on the front lines by reporters such as the great Ernie Pyle.

Yes, our Lend-Lease program infuriated Hitler. But, nonetheless, he was never willing to unilaterally declare war on us, because he knew full well that America would add enormously to Allied power, should it become a combatant. The Japanese bombing attack on Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Field forced his hand.

Treaty obligations, you know?

But let’s talk about American post-WWII interventionism.

If you expect me to defend the CIA’s policy of covertly destabilizing leftist regimes during the Cold War, I’m going to have to disappoint you. It’s important, though, to realize that the Agency’s geopolitical machinations were a product of the Dulles brothers dominance of foreign policymaking at the time. John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, was a rabid anti-communist, and his brother Alan was Director of the CIA. Between them, they managed to create incredible ill-will toward this country in the name of fighting the global spread of communism – and, more importantly, they did so in the most foolishly short-sighted and counterproductive possible manner. And that same policy of destabilizing left-leaning governments and installing repressive, autocratic, often military governments in their place didn’t end with les frères Dulles, either. It continued throughout the Cold War, everywhere from Peru to Grenada.

Nor was that the worst of the CIA’s sins. The disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion was an Agency operation – and so was the Gulf of Tonkin “incident.” That was a completely manufactured causus belli. It was the pretext on which Congress authorized introducing American combat troops into the Vietnam conflict, and it was a complete fliction. Not even President Johnson knew that the CIA had simply made it up out of whole cloth, manufacturing every bit of evidence, to force us into physical conflict with North Vietnam – whose overtures for American assistance John Foster Dulles had contemptuously rejected when Ho Chi Minh approached the State Department for help in overthrowing the French colonial occupation of the North.

So I think we agree on the issue of CIA culpability for American interventionism during the Cold War.

We’re also in agreement about the calamitous invasion of Iraq in 2003. About whether we were justified in leading a coalition to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait, maybe not as much, though. There, Iraq was, in fact, the unprovoked aggressor, overrunning the country of Kuwait in order to appropriate its oil fields. Our treaty obligations to Kuwait forced us into war with Iraq over that invasion. Yes, it’s true that we had previously supplied Saddam Hussein with weapons and financial support in his wars with Iran. Whether that was a good idea or not is arguable. It certainly kept Iranian expansionism contained at no cost in American lives. What’s inarguable is that our invasion of Iraq to topple his regime was utterly misbegotten. There was no justification for that, Judith Miller’s recent aplogism notwithstanding, because the actual intelligence community assessment was that Saddam’s Iraq posed zero direct threat to the USA. Iinstead, it was the cherry-picked intelligence that the never-to-be-sufficiently-condemned Douglas Feith (the odious Wormtongue to Dick Cheney’s Saruman the Black) dredged up from among the dissenters to the consensus view that was used to justify the invasion to the UN and the American people.

That disastrous adventure was prompted not by the CIA – which opposed it – but by the vision of the neo-con nitwits at the Project for a New American Century. PNAC was a think tank from which emerged most of the staffers for Cheney’s Office of the Vice-President, as well as highly-placed members of the Defense and State departments under the Bush administration. Their thesis was that America should embrace its role as the world’s policeman, and impose regime change on rogue nations by force. One of their central tenents was the the USA needed a permanent military base in the heart of the Middle East from which it could with impunity project power throughout the region. That was music to Cheney’s ears, and, with the lure of all that high-grade Iraqi crude just waiting for Halliburton Corporation to exploit, it constituted the impetus for invasion and conquest of Iraq.

It was the PNAC idiots – Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz among them – who advocated and pushed through that invasion in the wake of 9/11 … which was entirely a pretext, because they’d been plotting the takeover of Iraq since the very outset of the Bush 43 era. Throughout, they remained purposefully blind to the consequences of that entirely-unprovoked aggression: the destabilization of the principal bulwark against Iran, the inevitable disintegration of Iraq as a political entity, and the inflaming of Islamic enmity towards the U.S., despite being repeatedly warned of the probability of those outcomes by CIA and State Department analysts who (unlike the ideologues of PNAC) had made careers out of studying and trying to understand the region. And, likewise, having been repeatedly cautioned that the all-volunteer military’s strength was completely inadequate for the task of occupying a hostile country the size and unruliness of Iraq (cautions that cost a number of highly-capable generals their careers under Rumsfeld, who demoted or reassigned them to dead-end postings, replacing them with bootlickers and yes-men).

So that, too, is an area on which we agree.

However, you’re way, way off base in asserting that the CIA was behind either the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, or the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich’s government. Yanukovich was the architect of his own downfall, as documented in the New York Times investigative piece titled Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/world/europe/ukraine-leader-was-defeated-even-before-he-was-ousted.html

It was Yanukovich’s fateful decision to order his police to fire on peaceful, unarmed protesters that lost him the support of his own allies, including the Ukrainian military. And his ouster was not illegal under Ukrainian law, because Ukraine’s parlaiment voted to remove him from office. In other words, Ukraine’s elected government declared him unfit to be President and removed him from office, not the CIA. Only Putin and his propaganda organs insist the CIA was involved – and Putin, as you well know, has a long history of lying with his bare face hanging out whenever it’s politically convenient for him to do so.

On the other hand, I can’t blame him for taking advantage of the situation to take control of Crimea. It had always been part of Russian until Nikita Khrushchev (who, let’s note, was himself Ukranian) transferred it to Ukraine in 1954. Nor do I disagree that a partition of modern Ukraine into a rump state and a Russian province is unlikely. In fact, that’s probably been Putin’s goal all along.

Lela Markham Davidson Ditch CorrectedNone of which invalidates my central thesis that the current balance of world power, in general, is a product of the Cold War-era global American military empire. I’m not now, and never have been, an advocate of military interventionism, except as required by our treaty obligations. I’m convinced that we shoud go to war only as a last resort, and only against an active aggressor’s actual military invasion of an allied nation’s soil. However, as a lifelong student of history, I well understand that creating a power vacuum inevitably leads to armed conflict among nations that might benefit from attempting to fill that vacuum. That’s why I advocate keeping our military empire, purely as a deterrent to such would-be opportunists. If we should abandon our military presence in Europe, it would unquestionably provoke war between Germany and Russia over the historic buffer state of Poland. Likewise, if we pulled out of Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, that would precipitate a war between Japan and China for control of the Spratly Islands in the North China Sea. In both cases, treaty obligations would force us to intervene. Without the bases necessary to effectively project conventional military power in those regions, nuclear war would result.

And that would be the ultimate – and final – intervention.

Thom Stark is the author American Sulla, an apocalyptic thriller series. Lela Markham is the author ofTransformation Project, an apocalyptic dystopian series. Both these series look at America following nuclear terrorism.

The Conversation Continues   Leave a comment

Christian AnarchyYou know how it is. Sometimes your day just gets busy. Hang on for Thom Stark.

Want a Good Deal?   Leave a comment

The Willow Branch will be on Kindle Countdown April 25 through April 30. This weekend, you can pick up the $3.99 ebook for only 99 cents.

http://www.amazon.com/Willow-Branch-Book-Daermad-Cycle-ebook/dp/B00OL13YF2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429805729&sr=1-1&keywords=the+willow+branch

Posted April 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Another Lemon   Leave a comment

Front Cover Final 1.27.15Where’s that squeezer? Now for the sugar.

I lost my cover images in the great corruption — thank you GVEA! — so I’m making lemons into lemonade. I’ve improved upon The Willow Branch, I think.

A friend suggested the cover of Life As We Knew It doesn’t do the book justice, so …Front Cover LAWKI no window

Watch me play and give me feedback.

What do you think? I could go for a more dystopian, dark, brooding cover, but that’s not where LAWKI starts and the real message at this point in the series is how woefully unprepared Americans are for life as we know it ending today. I think the barn with the fallout shelter sign and the mushroom cloud in the back suggests what you might find in the book.

But what do YOU think?

For example, I’ve already noticed that the title needs to be in a different color.

Posted April 23, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

It's All about the Romance 💕💕💕

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Short Fiction and Other Things

Homestead on the Range

Abundant Living in Flyover Country

Ediciones Promonet

Libros e eBooks educativos y de ficción

the dying fish

Book info, ordering, about me etc. in upper right

STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Never underestimate the power of a question

Healthy Ebooks

Healthy tips to live more & better!

Mikes Film Talk

Entertainment, Films, Books, Television

Radical Capitalist

Anti-State. Anti-Left. Pro-White.

PushUP24

Health, Fitness, and Relationships is a great way to start living again.

MG WELLS

✪ Enjoy The Journey!

ouryoungaddicts.wordpress.com/

Too many young people are becoming addicted to drugs/alcohol. OYA is a community of parents and professionals sharing experiences, resources and hopes on the spectrum of addiction, treatment and recovery.

%d bloggers like this: