Archive for March 2016

Does the United States Still Exist?   Leave a comment

Source: Does the United States Still Exist?

Posted March 28, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Pascha   4 comments

This week’s blog hop topic is, appropriately, Easter.

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Growing up in the very secular state of Alaska in an unchurched family, I don’t have a lot of family traditions associated with Easter. So when I look at Easter it is from an adult’s perspective. My husband was raised in a Catholic home (Boston Irish Catholic), so he came with traditions that changed when he became a born-again Christian. Not too surprisingly, we have had to examine Easter (and other church holidays) in light of our salvation.

Contrary to popular belief, the Emperor Constantine did not have a whole lot to do with Easter. There was a 19th century book Two Babylons: Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and his Wife by a virulent anti-Catholic by the name of Bishop Alexander Hislop that is the source of many of the common allegations of pagan influences in early Christianity. Hislop’s book seems really authoritative, until you check out the source documents for his footnotes and realize he’s making a lot of vague “This seems similar” arguments. I’m not focused on that. Look for The Babylon Connection by Ralph Woodrow for a critical analysis of Hislop’s book.

Image result for image of lords supperConstantine’s relationship with Easter (which was called Pascha in his time) was pretty brief and tenuous. He convened and opened the Council of Nicaea and then … well, he wasn’t involved in the actual council itself. Christian bishops from around the Christian realm at the time ran the conference and were the ones who made the major decisions. Constantine may have provided lodging and snacks. It’s actually pretty likely that Constantine himself was not a Christian in  the Biblical sense. He saw Christianity as a means of uniting his empire and he really didn’t care what the council produced so long as the bishops came to some agreement and issued some sort of proclamation to assure Christian unity. In fact, Constantine was not baptized until he was on his death bed and then he was baptized by his cousin, an Arian bishop who denied the dual nature of Jesus.

Like many issues of the early churches, Easter existed in glorious anarchy (I definitely would have approved). Some churches celebrated “Pascha” on a Sunday while some churches in Asia Minor celebrated Passover in the Jewish manner, on the first full moon of spring, regardless of the day of the week. This bothered the control freaks among the bishops, so the Council of Nicaea resolved this issue by establishing a common Sunday celebration of Easter and the eastern churches apparently agreed to adopt this custom.

The cultural baggage of Easter eggs and rabbits are indeed fertility symbols that worked their way into Christianity by way of folklore customs associated with pagan seasonal observances.  They came from Germanic and Celtic traditions and not Babylon, but either way I don’t think they have a place in church celebrations and I’ve never gone to a church where these were a big deal. Easter egg hunts aside, our worship is focused on the Bible. Even the name “Easter” appears to have come from Celtic Christians … the first mention of “Easter” was by St. Bede, who recorded that the British Celt called the holiday this and that he thought it was related to one of their former pagan holidays celebrated around the same time. And that’s the history.

Pascha (otherwise known as Easter) is the feast of the Lord’s resurrection and it is THE most ancient observance in Christianity. In non-English speaking Christian cultures outside of Europe, the holiday of Easter is called by some variation of Pascha, which is the New Testament Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word pesach, meaning Passover. This is consistent with ancient Christian practice. The Lord’s Supper, which in my church is observed on Good Friday, was the only ritual the early church seems to have celebrated regularly. Ignatius, writing in the late-1st century or early-2nd century identified all Sunday worship as very similar to a Pascha celebration. Early Christians commemorated the Lord’s resurrection weekly with the Lord’s supper, in keeping with Paul’s teachings.

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and after he had given thanks he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For us at University Baptist Church, the Lord’s Supper is observed about quarterly. We could do it weekly, but there is a strong feeling that weekly observance makes it into a rote ritual rather than something we think about and prepare for. Although my church does not observe Lent, I do sort of. Brad does. He usually restarts his workout and stops drinking sodas in preparation for the summer’s active season. I use the time to consider what my sins might have been and who might have a grievance against me for my past behavior. If I’ve had some time, I will attempt to make amends. When I approach the Lord’s Supper, I do not want to be unworthy, but the fact is any baptized person who claims to be a Christian can take the Lord’s Supper at my church. Nobody asks for proof that you are a Christian or that you’ve been baptized. We’re on the honor system.

Image result for image of lords supperFor me, this is a very spiritual time, the week leading up to Easter/Pascha. I spend time with God in seeking His forgiveness and guidance. And when I come to the Lord’s Supper service, I know that I’ve at least been honest with myself about my failings before God. We serve these little crackers of unleavened bread, though I have been to a church where the pastor (who liked to cook) would make unleavened bread. The unleavened bread is accompanied by grape juice, which gets around the whole sobriety issue for Brad (yet another reason he’s no longer a Catholic — and, yes, we know there are stigmatized ways around the Catholic wine). When we eat the bread, I try to remain focused on Jesus on the cross, His sacrifice for me. There have been times when I’ve heard the sound of hammers in my head. I don’t cry easily, but there have been times when I’ve so affected by His willing sacrifice on my behalf that I have wept. When we drink the juice, I try to imagine the weight of sin lifted from me by His forgiveness.

Good Friday service is usually a time for reflection and quietly filing out to go home. We remember that WE killed Jesus. The angel of death may be passing over us, but not because we deserve forgiveness, but because Jesus voluntarily gave His life to take on our sin. It’s His blood on the doorpost.

And then everyone shows up in bright florals on Resurrection Sunday, celebrating that He is risen and we are forgiven. This is appropriate because Jesus is no longer on the cross. He has risen and we should not continue to mourn by His grave.

His is risen! Rejoice.

Posted March 28, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Stay Tuned for the Blog Hop   Leave a comment

Banner4The Open Book Blog Hoppers are talking about Easter this week. You can join us. Follow the link.

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Posted March 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in #openbook, Uncategorized

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Mercantilism and Inflation   Leave a comment

And this … now off for some very enjoyable worship on Resurrection Sunday. Lela

 

In the early 1700s, France turned on the taps of paper-money inflation. At the same time, England turned instead to a more subtle device for accomplishing the same inflationary objective: the creation of a new institution in history — a central bank.

Source: Mercantilism and Inflation

Posted March 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Mercantilism   Leave a comment

And this is another snippet of food for thought. Yes, it’s old, but truth doesn’t change with the decades. Lela

 

The ideological origins of the Republican Party.

Source: Mercantilism

Posted March 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Mercantilism, USA   Leave a comment

We appear to be on an economics kick this Easter. I have to head to church, but I thought I would leave you with some thoughts on mercantilism and how much our government appears to have recreated it. Lela

 

The tragedy of mercantilism is that it tends to creep up when it can do the most damage, that is, during economic downturns. Sure enough, the US is experiencing a wave of protectionist sentiment, legislation, and action, some of it supported by the supposed friends of free trade. Let us begin the round up.

Source: Mercantilism, USA

Posted March 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Should our economies take the road less travelled?   Leave a comment

I’m going to give a bright young man a boost and reblog a post I don’t wholly agree with, but that certainly shows promise. This kid is 15 years old and way smarter than the people running the Fed.

Shrey's Notepad

Whenever the devil in you wants to see a spectacular economic fall from grace, look no further than Japan. After decades of strong economic growth, culminating with it becoming the world’s third largest economy in the latter part of the 20th century, growth has stalled in recent years, igniting strong fears regarding the long term future of the Asian country. From Japan’s much publicised ageing population to its astronomical debt to GDP ratio, the future looks bleak for Shinzo Abe and his countrymen, with no solution to its financial woes foreseeable. Regardless, if much of the developed world want to stop themselves from plunging into the same economic quicksand that Japan finds itself in now, they need to look at the country, and examine exactly where it went wrong.

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Posted March 27, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

The Trade Deficit Doesn’t Matter   1 comment

Walter E. Williams explains, without ever using the word, why “tariffs” are a bad idea and wholly unnecessary. Lela

 

Let’s look at the political angst over trade deficits. A trade deficit is when people in one country buy more from another country than the other country’s people buy from them. There cannot be a trade deficit in a true economic sense. Let’s examine this.

I buy more from my grocer than he buys from me. That means I have a trade deficit with my grocer. My grocer buys more from his wholesaler than his wholesaler buys from him.

Source: The Trade Deficit Doesn’t Matter

Sanders Buying Votes in Alaska   5 comments

We went to the movies last night and then to pie at Denny’s. We were joking between the three of us, enjoying some family time, when we noticed a young man wandering around the restaurant, talking to people. He seemed like a really nice guy. None of his interactions appeared negative.

After a while, we noticed that he was working with another young man and giving him money occasionally. When Brad went to pay the bill, the line was lengthy, so I went to let the dog out of the car, so I didn’t see what happened after I left, but Brad and Kyle are good reporters. One of the young man came up to them, asked  them how they were doing, “how’s your family? Your son looks like he’s in high school. Are you old enough to vote before June?”

It was then that they noticed the Bernie Sanders button on the guy’s jacket. Kyle won’t be 18 before June 26 and he won’t quite be old enough to vote in the November election, but he has been following the election so he talked with the guy for a while. He says “Typical Sanders supporter – well-meaning, but no concept of economics or liberty.”

When they got up to the cash register, one of the young men laid down $10 toward our bill. Brad wasn’t really paying attention, but Kyle thinks they were doing this with everyone, but I had thought they were targeting younger and more sporty looking and people with younger folks. Brad was wearing Birkenstocks and shorts in March when there is still snowpack on the ground. That screams avante guard and lacking in common sense – which is my experience with Sanders’ supporters. Anyway, after he laid down the $10, he said — “Hope to see you at the caucuses tomorrow.” Alaska’s Democratic caucuses are today (Saturday the 26th) and Jane Sanders was here in Alaska this week.

In other words …

Sanders supporters are literally BUYING VOTES in Alaska.

This morning on KFAR660’s Patriots Lament a man called in to share his similar experience at Denny’s last night. He noticed that the young men seemed much more interested in talking to the workers than the customers. That’s how good socialists work. I’m thinking management didn’t get any conversation or money.

I had planned to blog on the responses I received to my question about why folks support Sanders. The responses all talked about integrity and honor. I had doubts about that after the violent protests at Trump rallies, but now they’re openly buying votes and someone I know and trust watched them do it.

Sanders is expected to win the caucuses in Alaska which is a proportional state. Sanders needs to get a lot of delegates in these later contests, so it makes sense. Alaska Democratic Party also allows people to change their registration at the poll for the primaries (58% of Alaskan voters are registered non-partisan/undeclared). And if someone gave me $10, I’d feel obligated to vote like they want.

Brad, by the way, handed the $10 back to the young man and said “You can keep your money and I’ll keep my vote.”

I am under no illusions that any of the candidates might do this. Of course, they would! Generally running for election involves making promises to spend everybody’s money on certain things that candidates believe are popular with the people who would vote for them. Bernie is promising to provide “free” medical care, housing, schooling, food, energy, etc., ad infinitum, to those people who vote for him … largely at the expense of those who won’t vote for him. So it’s not a leap that his campaign is literally buying votes at the busiest restaurant in Fairbanks on the Friday night before the Democratic caucuses.

  • Does integrity say nothing when its supporters block traffic and access to venues in an attempt to shut down freedom of speech and association?
  • Is it honorable to offer $10 off a meal for  your vote?

Apparently.I wouldn’t have voted for a socialist anyway, but now I am actually opposed to Sanders entire campaign. I would expect something like this from Trump — rather suspect it, actually — but the “I’m above the politics” message clashes with buying votes the night before the caucus.

But, hey, at least he’s being consistent about buying votes.

Urban Survival: When the Cities Fall Apart, These Strategies Will Keep You Alive   4 comments

Although the recent primary focus on the blog has been on Daermad Cycle with the publication Mirklin Wood, you shouldn’t forget that I have another series – Transformation Project. You can find book 1 – Life As We Knew It on Amazon.

An apocalyptic series requires a fair bit of research and this is one article that caught my attention.

 

 

Collectively speaking, there are many of us who have been preparing for emergencies and have read our fair share of prepper fiction and watched enough apocalyptic thrillers to know that the higher the population density, the more dangerous it can be in a disaster. As well, when resources like food and fuel have to be transported from outside the city limits, then your survivability rate lessens. So what about those who have to live in the city? Should they just stop prepping all together? Would they stand a fighting chance at surviving?

Source: Urban Survival: When the Cities Fall Apart, These Strategies Will Keep You Alive

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