Archive for August, 2014

The Sword

August 31, 2014

On the night that Jesus Christ was arrested, he was in the presence of eleven men who had devoted themselves for the last three years to his message and to his life’s work.

That night was a dangerous night. Peter, John, and the other guys could smell trouble coming; it was in the night air as thick as dew on dixie. The powers-that-be did not approve of what Jesus was up to, and they were out to get him.

After these zealous men had eaten their Passover meal with their fearless leader, they were talking about what might happen next. The dramatic events of previous days indicated that something terrible was going down.  They could feel it in their bones that Jesus and his followers might suffer some dire consequences as a result of the unprecedented works of healing, teaching, and organizing they had been doing among their people. Their trepidation was not just idle paranoia, because Jesus was about to be hauled in to face charges of blasphemy and insurrection.

One of his disciples was a man named Peter. Peter was a fisherman by trade, a man of action, a provider, a doer; he was a go-getter, willing to go out and do whatever needed to be done to make  happen whatever needed to happen. So when Peter, impetuous man that he was,  discerned that danger was afoot, he began planning in his mind a strategy to act protectively on Jesus’ behalf.

Now this little band of brothers had, among their minimal possessions, a couple of swords.  Somebody informed Jesus that they they had these two swords, and they were wondering if maybe they should bring them along.

Jesus said: “It is enough.”

Now I’ve been reading and hearing about this historical event all my life. I’m wondering what did Jesus mean by this cryptic, minimal answer when he was asked about the swords (and hence, whether it would be appropriate to use them.)

Think about it. What defense could be implemented with a couple of swords against Caesar’s enforcers? Of what use are a couple of blades against the vast power of Roman law in cahoots with local religious power-players?

Jesus was like yeah whatever I don’t wanna discuss it now. You don’t get it do you, Peter? Just bring ’em along, whatever.

Subsequent events indicate, however, that  Jesus was committed to his own strategy of non-violence. He knew what he had to do, and it did not involve taking up the Sword.

So a few hours later, when the actual arrest happened under cover of darkness in the garden of Gethsemane, one of the guys whipped out the sword and used it in Jesus’ defense. As a result of that hasty reaction, a slave who was one the arresting officers suffered the loss of his ear. What a bloody omen that must have been to set the tone for what was about to happen.

But then Jesus nipped in the bud what might have been the beginning of a real insurrection. He told the impetuous disciple (many Christians believe the sword-wielder was Peter) to put the weapon away, and he said: “. . . for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword.”

Another cryptic remark from Jesus. Nevertheless, as a result of Jesus’ insistence on non-violence on that fateful night, he went on to face charges (from the religious power-players) of blasphemy and (from the Romans) of insurrection.

The next day Jesus was condemned to death, then beaten and crucified. After a couple of days in the crypt, he was raised from being dead, and a worldwide religion was established on behalf of his redemptive life and work.

So we see from scriptures what Jesus did with the swords that his followers had brought along that night. He chose not to use them.

About 600 years later, another world religion was founded, which was to commemorate what Mohammed did.

So here’s my question for you to consider: What did Mohammed do with his sword?

Sword of the Spirit

Smoke

Dover Breach

August 23, 2014

The air is mad tonight

electric with fright

but drugged with fluff and flight:

hear no evil, see no blight.

America in cyber slumber swoons

while England grooms jihad goons

like 1937 fascist blackshirts

deflowering 2014 democratic skirts.

France ( peace be upon her)

seethes with same old same old stir–

that angst witch discontent doth incur

from yonder barricaded former age

now slit with new jihadi rage.

 

The air of Faith

so thin of late

as most prefer to flirt with fate

now cringes in this new birth of hate;

its melancholy, long withdrawing gasp

retreating fast, like slithering asp

unable now to grasp

with slipping grips unfurled

the naked idols the world.

 

Ah, good Christian, let us be true

to one another! for the world, which casts its spell

of rebel chaos and decadent hell,

has no power when all’s said and done

to set our ancient faith upon the run,

though the infernal note of madness floods every byte

while polar extremists clash by night.

 

(This poem’s form was adapted from Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach.)

Smoke

Black Swan

August 9, 2014

Forty minutes into this podcast . . .

http://www.peakprosperity.com/podcast/86441/david-stockman-collapse-american-imperium?

David Stockman’s explanation to Chris Martenson about the Ukraine problem suddenly morphed into a dialogue about the present state of our financial markets.

I was so edified by what the former Director of Office of Management and Budget was saying, that I sat down on this Saturday afternoon and wrote a poem about it– pretty unusual subject for a poem, for sure, nevertheless . . . we live in strange times. . .

 

We were out on the market that dark day when

the black swan came

and the dam

broke.

Fast money had driven us to the point

of no return but then we

were sliding on a

torrent.

Someone said the central banks had ruined the

markets, and stabilizing factors

were gone with the

wind.

Two-sided trades had gone the way of the buffalo

because a big animal spirit like that has

no place in the high-freq

flood.

There we were hanging at the end of the long swan’s road

with no ballast in our boat and no bids

to stop us on the way

down,

short sellers driven over the falls by cascading

price plummets and overvalued shares

tumbling in bubblous

froth,

we were lucky to emerge upright after that, after the Fed had

monetized three and half trillion gallons

of rushing flushing

liquid,

and then the dam went bust, banks caving, no saving,

until we tumulted through that broken Wall

and found our little boat

afloat.

Astounded, broke, busted, rudder can’t be trusted,

we drifted to portage on the flooded Main.

T’was there we saw black swan fly

away.

It had long tails, and we saw red sails in the

sunset.

 

Glass half-Full

beware the coming IS kristallnacht

August 5, 2014

“…and when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.

But the two wings of the great eagle war given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time,

and the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.

But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.

So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Revelation 12:13ff

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/world/europe/anger-in-europe-over-the-israeli-gaza-conflict-reverberates-as-anti-semitism.html?_r=2

Smoke