“When you are dealing with frauds and liars, listen more to what they don’t say than what they do.” -Dr. DaShanne Stokes
One thing that I have found during my time as a Christian is that no matter how many times you share the truth with the people in this country and the things that demand their attention, they will not listen until after the damage is done.
Many people in this country act as if they do not live politics, yet, “Life is politics, you do it or it does you.”
Friends, there is no in-between (Revelation 3:16).
Just this morning I woke up to see a brand new post about a book titled “The Russia Hoax, The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.”
Another post on the same feed showed that Donald Trump's approval ratings are at 88%.
I still cannot believe how ignorant the American people have become, or should I say, willfully blind and ignorant (a deliberate finger on their eyeballs) to what is right in front of their faces (Jeremiah 5:21; Hosea 4:6)
Let me explain.
Through divisive measures, the CIA-controlled media would have all eyes on Hillary Clinton attacking and accusing President Donald Trump at will (vice versa-Trump attacking her, as well (Mark 3:25)) as a “racist” to a “sexual assaulter” to “surrendering to the Russians” to “collusion” etc…, while she is found selling uranium ore to the Russians without fear of consequence. Why is she so emboldened? Friends, Hillary has been given a free hand to commit scandal after scandal and crime after crime for decades in this country and that without lawful consequence.
Is she being investigated by Donald Trump’s Department of Justice? Donald claimed he can do whatever he wants with it. Donald promised that he was going to bring forth that special prosecutor on the campaign trail. Has he to date? Not at all. The circus of politics goes on (Psalm 9:17). But worry not, President Donald Trump is tweeting Hillary Clinton's video
advocating for "strong, prosperous Russia."
Maybe Donald Trump should look up what the purpose of government entails. Like that of restraining men from sin." 1 John 3:4 Leaving off justice encourages and strengthens criminal activities America, it does not suppress them. (Proverbs 17:15).
Remember, Donald Trump told the American people that we all owe Hillary Clinton a major debt of gratitude during his presidential campaign victory speech. The exact opposite of what he said he was going to do on the campaign trail.
Furthermore, Hillary is not being investigated or indicted for any of her crimes or scandals against “We the People.” She is being rewarded while “We the people” are being violated and preyed upon.
To prove the point, Hillary Clinton signed two book deals with Simon & Schuster with a record advance of $8 million, which is just behind the Pope's $8.5 million deal.
What about Barack Hussein Obama? Somehow or another, Barry Soetoro still feels that he is the sitting president, though Americans should remind him that he is not. Barack, like Hillary, has a free hand to attack Donald Trump, and of course, like the Clintons, there are no consequences. All of it is created warfare.
“Obama accuses Trump of wanting war with Iran,” “Intel chiefs gave Russia a pass, and now blame Donald Trump” and, of course, Donald Trump Blames Obama. All this is in the daily playbook of politics, which is designed to divert Americans from what special interest groups behind the corrupt are really doing behind closed doors in handing this country over to those who mean to destroy her.
Keep in mind, America, that this is all a show in an attempt to deceive you into believing that the Obama’s have the approbation of the American people. They clearly do not!
Other criminal administrations in recent history that have been rewarded for their crimes are Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The rights to their books, as if to suggest anyone will actually read them, sold for $10-15 million.
Lest you thought the book deals (rewards) fell only to those who have been called presidents, or First Ladies, let's take a quick look at those around the administrations.
Former FBI Director James Comey is being called out for “his high crimes and misdemeanors,” and instead of him being charged for his “high crimes,” he is cashing in on a $10 million book deal.
Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Former DNC chair Donna Brazile, who got a book deal after helping Hillary Clinton rig the primaries, have all been rewarded, and the list goes on (Luke 16:15).
Is this how you make America great again, Americans? Leave off justice which guards our liberties? (Isaiah 51:4)
Does this sound and act like an administration that loves this country and it’s people? (Matthew 7:16)
The Atlantic reported:
“There is no campaign promise that Donald Trump has failed to honor more flagrantly than his oft repeated pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. He has violated the letter of his promise and trampled all over its spirit. His supporters ought to be furious. But few perceive the scale of his betrayal or its brazenness.”
Americans need to look beyond the facade of President Donald Trump's administration. What he is saying and what is actually happening are two different stories. America is under attack like never before, and a good number of people in this country have fallen asleep (all by design). Matthew 13:25 Now is not the time to go to sleep, but rather, it is time to raise your Gadsden flags and declare in unison "Don't Tread on Me!."
We know that Scripture tells us there is a covenant of Hell and death leveled at people by whom they mean to rule. Isaiah 28:18 We know what it means when Scripture tells us:
"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
Yet, these forget the reply that the Lord gives on our behalf.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” -Psalm 2:2-5
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can fool God at no time! Amen.
Unless you’ve been playing fantasy baseball and were in need of an undrafted reliever like me, you might not have known who Josh Hader was until the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. Hader’s All-Star selection was a bittersweet honor in more than one way. He allowed three runs in a third of an inning and then discovered after the game that he’d have to complete sensitivity training for racist, sexist and homophobic tweets made at 17.
The tweets were uncovered by Twitter users with too much time on their hands. These investigations into the social media statements of minors are unfair to the public figures who made the statements because minors aren’t entirely responsible for themselves, legally speaking. Journalists seldom quote minors for that very reason. Their parents share responsibility for their words and actions until they’re 18.
While I agree with my colleague, Dan Szczepanek of Grandstand Central, that Hader’s “young and dumb” excuse isn’t good enough, he isn’t solely responsible for the social media statements he made as a minor. His parents share that responsibility, but not in the court of public opinion. It is troubling, however, that just seven years ago and even to this day, racist, sexist and homophobic thoughts are running through the minds of American minors.
On the Foul Play-by-Play podcast, my attorney and I discussed how to remedy the racist, sexist and homophobic sentiment that seems to be growing or at least getting louder in America. Reforming haters is a delicate process not unlike treating addiction. It requires the dedication of the addict first, and an empathetic, supportive community providing evidence consistently contradicting the addict’s former mentality. But hate, like addiction, isn’t curable, only treatable.
“There’s no magic cure, no such thing as a ‘life after hate,’ only a life of fighting not to succumb to it” Wes Enzinna wrote for Mother Jones’s cover story in the July/August issue. Not everyone is as fortunate as Hader was to grow into a man in an environment conducive for avoiding an addiction to hate.
Without social and familial support and a safe environment facilitating the formation of relationships between diverse groups of people, haters gonna hate. That’s why Barack Obama’s administration added the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule to the Fair Housing Act in order to address segregation that persists in public housing. Department of Housing and Human Development Secretary Ben Carson has since suspended enforcement of the rule, resulting in a lawsuit brought by the National Fair Housing Alliance and joined by the state of New York.
Those living in environments that perpetuate hate can also learn something from Hader’s hateful tweets coming back to bite him. Even parents perpetuating hate in the home have their children’s preservation as their top priority, so talking with their children about safe social media usage, similar to the talk about practicing safe sex could result in fewer instances of hate speech online.
If children in the moment are too emotional to consider the effect their words might have on others, perhaps they’ll resist using hate speech over their own interest in self-preservation. Just as images of STDs are used in sex education courses to scare young people into practicing abstinence or safe sex, stories like Hader’s and Roseanne Barr’s might be enough to scare children from publicly expressing hate if their parents explain how imperative it is that their children are employable.
And if Hader’s and Barr’s stories aren’t scary enough, or children don’t understand why they should protect something they don’t yet have, maybe they’ll protect something they do. A fifth of undergraduate college students believe physical force is an acceptable response to “offensive and hurtful statements,” according to a 2017 Brookings Institution survey. So hate speakers have to consider whether they’re prepared to defend themselves, although most instances of violence resulting from hate speech indicate they are, which is why it’s so important that Hader do more than apologize and complete sensitivity training.
Colin Kaepernick didn’t just take a knee during the national anthem. He thoughtfully explained why he took a knee when asked, sought feedback from military personnel as to avoid offending them and backed up his words and actions with his money. Kaepernick has donated a million dollars to organizations working in oppressed communities as of January. Life After Hate, an organization working to reform haters, received a $50,000 donation from Kaepernick. Since Hader doesn’t make millions of dollars, he should donate his time and image to the movement to end hate.
If Hader was willing to take the time to trademark his nickname, “Haderade,”he can take the time to start a nonprofit called Hater Aid, an organization that helps haters stop hating. I’ve started two nonprofit organizations, make a lot less than Hader’s $555,500 annual salary and had no previous training. If he needs some guidance, the National Council of Nonprofits provides all the information he needs.
I would only recommend Hader focus his efforts locally to start. If the standing ovation he received from Brewers fans at Miller Park in his first appearance since the All-Star Game is any indication, he still has the support of Milwaukeeans, at least until he struggles to get MLB hitters out. Regardless of his performance on the field, Milwaukeeans will appreciate Hader focusing his off-field efforts locally, and there’s plenty to be done in Milwaukee.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are four active hate groups in Milwaukee alone and nine statewide. So Hater Aid’s initial mission should be to eradicate hate in Milwaukee first, then the state of Wisconsin, and then the region and nation. It’s also cheaper and easier to start and run a locally-focused nonprofit than one with a state or national focus.
With a modest, tax-deductible donation from Hader to found Hater Aid and a bit of paperwork to incorporate the organization and acquire a tax exemption, Hater Aid could be up and running before the end of the baseball season. MLB and the Brewers’ public relations department would love for Hader to dedicate some free time to meeting with former haters in the Milwaukee area willing to share how they managed to stop hating. If interested, they could serve as Hader’s Hater Aiders, a group of volunteers, interns and paid staff to run the day-to-day operations of Hater Aid, including a 24-hour, hater hotline for haters who want to stop hating but aren’t sure how.
If Hader were to take these steps, his national image wouldn’t just be repaired — it’d be more valuable than it was before the tweets were uncovered. It never hurts to be a role model and a community contributor in contract negotiations, either. By the time Hader’s eligible for free agency in 2024, Hader’s Hater Aiders will have helped haters stop hating throughout Milwaukee and, perhaps, the state of Wisconsin if not the entire country.
Hader might never have been addicted to hate, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be the face of a movement to end hate. He should embrace and take advantage of this opportunity if he wants to earn a standing ovation from anyone other than Brewers’ fans.
The New York Yankees led the American League Wild Card race by five games over Seattle as of the Major League Baseball All-Star Break. They could very well finish the season 10 games better than both the Mariners and the winner of the AL Central Division, and will still have to win a one-game playoff just to earn the right to play the best team in the American League, who will likely be from their own division.
I’m not one to make excuses for the Yankees. As a Minnesota Twins fan, I despise the Yankees more than most, and I’m a huge fan of the one-game playoff. But there’s nothing fair about a team’s postseason chances coming down to one game when that team has played a tougher schedule to a better record than all but one team in the league. It’s time for MLB to do away with divisions and go back to a division-less pennant race.
While Rob Manfred was repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth prior to the MLB All-Star Game, blaming the Los Angeles Angels and Mike Trout for not marketing Mike Trout, and calling for a discussion on ending defensive shifts, only the most interesting thing happening in baseball, he failed to address the most pressing issue facing the game. The one-game Wild Card could be played between the second- and fourth-ranked teams in the American League while the sixth-ranked team in the league gets a pass to the Divisional round simply for playing in a historically weak division. And that sixth-ranked team won’t even play the league’s best team.
Back in 1969, when East and West divisions were adopted by Major League Baseball, there were no Wild Card teams in the playoff format. And when just one team from both the American League and National League were awarded a postseason berth as a Wild Card for the first time in 1995 (the 1994 postseason was cancelled due to a player strike), there weren’t immediate issues.
But now that there are two Wild Card teams from each league reaching the postseason, either those teams need to play a three-game Wild Card series, or the league needs a good, old-fashioned pennant race. I’m for both.
I would recommend shortening the season to 154 games and adding a three-game Wild Card Playoff series to be played between the fourth- and fifth-ranked teams in each league, regardless of division standings. There is no need for a team to play the same four teams 19 times every year. I’d be fine with MLB divisions remaining simply for travel and rivalry reasons, but 17 games against division rivals is still probably too many. Commissioner Manfred should shorten the regular season to the original 154-game length while adding at least four and up to six lucrative playoff games to the schedule.
Since the All-Star Game no longer determines which league has home field advantage in the World Series, a good, old-fashioned pennant race is the most reasonable and fair way to determine who plays who in the playoffs. The top three seeds in each league would benefit from up to five days off entering the playoffs while the two Wild Card teams are decided, and each league’s top seed would play the fourth-best team instead of the second-best team that happened to lose its division despite winning more games than other division champions.
So before Manfred even considers changing rules to the game regarding defensive shifts and pace of play, he should make sure the league’s best teams are rewarded for being the league’s best teams. Even if the Yankees were to win the Wild Card Game, if the playoffs began today, they’d meet the Red Sox in the Divisional Series instead of the ALCS. And if 2004 taught us anything, it’s that baseball’s best rivalry should be decided in the ALCS. Most importantly though, the league’s best playoff team should play the league’s worst playoff team in the divisional round, and that’s not the case as the MLB postseason currently stands.
With one recent Supreme Court Justice confirmed and another just appointed by President Trump, the issue of televising hearings before the nation’s highest court will surely be discussed. The Supremes have stood steadfastly against letting the public watch the cases argued before them, even though the court’s decisions can often have major implications for every American. The Constitution guarantees that trials are public and open to everyone. And what could be more public than televising a criminal trial for the whole world to see?
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote recently that cameras should be taken out of the courtroom, particularly in high-profile trials. She concludes: “Our mighty respect for the public’s right to know — has clouded our judgment. There may be no way to quantitatively prove that cameras influence courtroom behavior and, possibly, a trial’s outcome. But anyone who’s ever sat in front of a camera knows that it is so.”
I disagree with Ms. Parker. The criminal justice system could use some help. A majority of Americans feel that justice often doesn’t prevail. A nationwide poll by the respected Rasmussen Reports found that 45% of Americans feel that the justice system is fair. Only 34% felt that the system is unbiased to the poor. That’s a lot of cynicism. Maybe more public trials would help skeptics gain more confidence in a system where many feel over half the time that justice is not served.
America has a strong tradition of public trials. In early colonial America, courthouses were the centers of community life, and most citizens regularly attended criminal trials. In fact, trials frequently became community events. Citizens were knowledgeable about trials, and there was wide participation in the process — especially in rural America, where prosecutions were often scheduled on market day, when local farmers came to town for supplies. Many courtrooms were built to accommodate 300 or more observers.
Back then, citizens closely observed the defendants, knew when judges issued ridiculous rulings, and saw firsthand whenever justice was perverted. Whatever happened, the citizens were there, watching. The court system belonged to them. The televising of criminal trials would merely be an extension of this direct review by the average citizen.
Would televising criminal trials create a circus atmosphere? There’s no reason to think that they would. In fact, many of our most sacred ceremonies, including church services and inaugurations, are televised without dignity being lost. Judge Burton Katz said it well: “We should bring pressure to bear on all judges to open up their courtrooms to public scrutiny. Members of the judiciary enjoy great entitlements and wield enormous power. They bear close watching by an informed public. I guarantee that the public would be amazed at what goes on in some courtrooms.”
Back in 1997 when I was a practicing attorney in Louisiana, I participated in the state’s first televised trial before the Louisiana Supreme Court. A state senator was opposing my authority to impound the automobiles of uninsured drivers. I was the elected state Insurance Commissioner at the time, and represented the state in our effort to uphold the impoundment law. The issue was important to the vast majority of Louisianans, and they were entitled to hear the arguments, and watch the trial in progress. No one pandered to the cameras, and the entire courtroom procedure was straightforward and dignified. The proceedings were televised without a hitch.
Harvard law professor and criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz put it this way: “Live television coverage may magnify the faults in the legal system, and show it warts and all. But in a democracy the public has the right to see its institutions in operation, close-up. Moreover, live television coverage generally brings out the best, not the worst in judges, lawyers and other participants. The video camera helps to keep the system honest by keeping it open.”
America prides itself in being an open society that protects and encourages the public’s right to know. Too often, courtrooms have become bastions of secrecy where the public has little understanding of how the system works and how verdicts are reached.
The video camera serves as a check and balance. We can better keep the system honest by keeping it open and easily available to the public. Time to turn on the cameras.
Peace and Justice
"Philosophy is common sense with big words." President James Madison
In this age, there have risen up in America, men who speak perverse things. There are many that trouble us with their philosophies and novel interpretations, by which they deny the doctrines they profess to teach and undermine the faith and purpose they are pledged to maintain.
It is well that some of us, who know what we believe and have no secret meanings for our words, should just put our foot down and maintain our standing, holding forth the word of life, and plainly declare the foundational truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (Philippians 2:16-18).
Let me give you a parable given by Charles Spurgeon.
In the days of Nero, there was great shortness of food in the city of Rome, although there was an abundance of corn to be purchased at Alexandria. A certain man who owned a vessel went down to the seacoast, and there he noticed many hungry people straining their eyes toward the sea, watching for the vessels that were to come from Egypt with corn. When these vessels came to the shore, one by one, the poor people wrung their hands in bitter disappointment, for on board the galleys there was nothing but sand which the tyrant emperor had compelled them to bring for use in the arena. It was infamous cruelty when men were dying of hunger to command trading vessels to go to and fro, and bring nothing else but sand for gladiatorial shows, when wheat was so greatly needed. Then the merchant whose vessel was moored by the quay said to his shipmaster, "Take thou good heed that thou bring nothing back with thee from Alexandria but corn; and whereas, aforetime thou hast brought in the vessel a measure or two of sand, bring thou not so much as would lie upon a penny this time. Bring thou nothing else, I say, but wheat: for these people are dying, and now we must keep our vessels for this one business of bringing food for them." Alas! I have seen certain mighty galleys of late loaded with nothing but mere sand of philosophy and speculation, and I have said within myself, "Nay, but I will bear nothing in my ship but the revealed truth of God, the bread of life so greatly needed by the people."
Bringing it to the present, I have noticed in recent years that we have some men on the scene who claim to give the answers to America’s godless issues without making reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that brings about the resolve to the issues (Deuteronomy 4). That is like asking the fallen sinner (without Grace) to instruct and educate the people in righteousness. How that works I don't know. Yet, as long as the American people have teachers to tickle their itching ears, I guess that the resolve to the lawless issues matters not to many in our country (2 Timothy 4:3-4). How foolish. Let me describe a few...
In America today we have a very popular Jewish man who loves to debate and play the answer man to college students across the country. He is a man championed by the conservatives (yesterday’s liberals) of the day with a mouth that spills out vulgarities (James 1:26; Ephesians 4:29). I ask, what is the lesson that he wants listeners to learn? This guy does a great job of tearing down misconceptions and propaganda in one part while propping up immorality in another (Galatians 5:9).
This guy wears a Kippah (skull cap) while "educating" Americans on conservatism, and all the while denying the deity of Christ. This is like the scientist discovering God's Creation, and then denying the Creator and taking praise unto one’s self as a teacher that need educate the creation.
CONSERVATIVE, adjective, Preservative; having power to preserve in a safe or entire state, or from loss, waste or injury.
Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men" (Matthew 5:13).
Salt is a preservative to stop putrification.
The meaning of Christ's words is that the salt represents those of great worth and reliability in the honoring of God's Word without compromise.
It seems almost inevitable, as a law of nature, that a man who is not sound in his life cannot be sound in his judgment. Yet, the people in America put this "conservative" speaker as so. Wisdom will not long hold a seat in the head of that man who has yielded up his heart to folly. A pure theology and a loose morality will never blend.
Then, we have another man who wears sunglasses and dressed up like he is from the 1990s. During his question and answer session to college students, he acts out as if he is some sort of pop culture star when, in fact, he is a full-fledged sodomite (even defending pedophilia) with a whore’s forehead claiming to speak on the behalf of those who call themselves conservatives. He advocates that which God condemns and yet, people act out as if it is wisdom on our part to follow the blind and rebellious. I say that if the ditch is the place where you want to end up, then keep listening, keep following the blind.
The list goes on…
We have a couple more that claim to be preachers who use innuendo and filth every step of the way. It's not a good position to put themselves in (Exodus 20:7) What Bible are these reprobates reading?
Today's Tea Party favorites across the country claim to be some sort of standard among Americans and behind closed doors I have seen are godless, adultery committing drinking hypocrites (1 Corinthians 6:9).
Or how about them favorites on the radio or television that have sold their souls to the golden calves of the day (sponsor's) who are just UNWILLING to say and do what needs to be said and done. Matthew 23:3. This is why Americans are losing ground year after year, and why it is their backs are up against the wall. Shameful.
These are also the same people giving you the same talking points given to them by the CIA controlled media. Dividing Americans one against another, the left vs the right, the Democrats vs the Republicans, socialists vs the conservatives etc.. Mark 3:25
Remember, Jesus said "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14).
When know that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 So as Americans we need get back to the Book (the Bible) that will point the way to victory that God promises, yet on His term, not on ours. 2 Corinthians 3:17
Many of these men are, without a doubt, very intellectual and at the same time very carnal. Let me remind you that God speaks to the heart and not the head. Furthermore, it is simplicity that is in Christ. A child is the model of Heaven (Matthew 18:2-4), not some intellectual philosopher, which by the way in many instances is nothing more than a man giving forth big words with common sense meaning.
How many times these sort of men are found to be without understanding. How could they when it goes no further than their heads and through their mouths? Titus 1:16 Why? Because they cannot quite explain what they do not understand from the heart.
Without the Spirit of God and the Sword of the Spirit (Hebrews 4:12), they are ministering from their own wicked hearts (Jeremiah 17:9), like fighting with a wooden blunt sword. If they preach not the Word of God in the power of the Holy Ghost, I am here to tell you that they are fools for their pains in the effort (2 Corinthians 3:6).
Don’t forget, friends, that you will never go beyond those who you allow to teach you. Know who you follow, know who you listen to and pay attention to those you allow to influence you. Ask yourself, what do those you follow stand for, and mark this, you will not go beyond those you allow to teach you. Christ is the Bread of Life (John 6:35), which feeds men’s souls, as well as sets men free. That is, of course, if you follow Him and Him alone (John 8:36; John 14:6).
“If you want to change the future you are going to have to trouble the present.”-William Booth
Before I begin, I need to make clear that the best leaders are the best followers, and that of the Christ (John 14:6). With that said, isn't it funny how things work in this world, it seems like when you do the wrong thing before God and man, somehow people seem to give it a pass. Yet, when you begin to do the right things and obey God and love man according to the Word of God, all of a sudden, the world acts like you're doing something wrong.
After I got saved, as they say (John 3:3), I remember my mother calling me up and saying, “The family wants to know what is wrong with you.”
"What’s wrong with me?" I laughingly replied. I said, "Mom, when I was in the rock n roll world doing the things that I was doing, nobody said anything, and no one had a problem with what I was doing, that is until I started to emulate (obey) Jesus Christ" (1 John 2:6).
This reminds me of when I gave a prayer at the state capital in Minnesota. After the prayer was over, I had a minister come up to me and tell me that I could not be dropping the “J” (Jesus) word in the capital. I said that the reason I dropped the “J” word was because you haven’t in 40 years (Romans 1:16).
What of public high schools across the country that we have been going into in order to educate the youth as to who we are, and not what the revisionists and propagandists would have them believe that we are. We have shown the young people that abortion is murder and that 58 million babies have been murdered since 1973 under the guise of woman’s choice (Proverbs 6:17).
We got kicked out of a public school for reinforcing America’s value’s by teaching the US Constitution.
We have taught that homosexuality is an abomination, and how it is a felony in every state in our union (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Jude 1:7).
How true Scripture is when it declares:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
No wonder why the reprobates and hypocrites thought that the Christians who were following the living Christ were turning the world upside down in the book of Acts. They were, in fact, turning the world right side up (Acts 17:6).
Identifying the genuine from the counterfeit
Last week, I had a woman come up to me at my last meeting in Amery, Wisconsin. She said that she did her research on me and said that the media really attacked me. I responded with, "Of course they did, and of course they still do." They are being exposed for who they are and they do not like it. (John 15:22).
I told her that there are too many counterfeits, self-proclaimed leaders, out there who care more about saving face, than they do the souls of men (Luke 19:10), as well as saving their country. Apparently they have a reputation to keep up. Philippians 2:7-9
These are those that sit behind the status of some sort of church or political leader of the pack. Yet, you do not see any warfare or opposition around them and why? because they have simply forsaken the cross. There is no absolutes with these people. They are people pleasers and nothing more. After all you can always tell what a man stands for by the enemies that he has.
They hide behind a microphone day after day. Yet, they fail to confront the issues that needed to be confronted. The reason they don't is because they are guilty of what they fail to confront!
They are paper tigers. They can write all big and bad but when it comes to what someone else should do. However, when it is time for them to put boots on the ground, they are simply missing in action (MIA). These are willing to live in the freest country in the world as long as it is not them that have to sacrifice to maintain it.
There is also a group of people out there that have to be friends with everyone (and have to apologize to any that they may have told the truth lest they should convict them unto godly repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) as they congregate week after week deceiving themselves into believing that they are demanding a lawful change just as long as it does not offend anyone (Matthew 5:10).
As a matter of fact, these counterfeits will be the first ones to get angry with and denounce and attack the ones that are sent by the Spirit of God (Galatians 4:29).
Maybe this group of people should ask their enemies for instructions as to how change is brought about, and in a righteous sense reverse the lawlessness-taking place in this country (Matthew 24:12).
These groups of people are simply enemies of the cross of Christ and know not the power of God unto salvation (Philippians 3:18).
Furthermore, I said to this woman that this is how you can tell who the genuine Christians are that are in the fight and those who are counterfeits.
When the church and the world can jog comfortably along together, you can be sure something is wrong. The world has not compromised—its spirit is exactly the same as it ever was. If Christians were equally as faithful to the Lord, separated from the world (2 Corinthians 6:17), and living so that their lives were a reproof to all ungodliness, the world would hate them as much as it ever did. (John 7:7) It is the church that has compromised, not the world. – Catherine Booth
The way to gauge those who are actually taking ground for the kingdom is to see who is in the midst of a continuous warfare (always in trouble, slandered, lied about, defamed etc) fighting the good fight of faith because they trust in the living God (Matthew 11:12; 1 Timothy 6:12).
John Calvin said, “Whomsoever the Lord has adopted and deemed worthy of His fellowship ought to prepare themselves for a hard, toilsome and unquiet life, crammed with very many and various kinds of evil.” And of course to the counterfeit's this is foreign.
“No man is above the Law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it. –President Theodore Roosevelt
If there is one thing that bothers me is when a politician, who is guilty of committing a crime, is caught up and exposed in some sort of scandal, that the American people throw out justice because of their lack of understanding of what the law states in our US Constitution. They then fall in line with the propaganda the CIA-controlled media puts out that corrupt politicians are somehow above the very laws that they have sworn to uphold. This is why they believe, as a demigod would, that they are above the law (Isaiah 14:12-15).
The preamble to the United States Constitution states,
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice…"
And yet, when a criminal politician is found out Americans are taught to say that he or she should just simply resign. That is like a career criminal being found out by the police and instead of prosecuting him they simply ask him to resign. Friends, this only adds insult to injury to the laws in which they are to uphold. Because it gives permission to them to live above the law, making the Law their servant rather than their master. This is completely unjust and backward (Isaiah 59:14).
Americans have also taken on that if a politician violates the law, even the smallest of infractions, that there is nothing that they can do until his tenure is up. That is like the police waiting for the criminal to finish the job before incarcerating him. This is completely and utterly false (Hosea 4:6).
Like President Roosevelt stated, “No man is above the Law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it."
The US Constitution states in Article 2, Section 4:
Disqualification. The President, Vice President and ALL civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
When a new Representative is elected to office, he or she takes an oath that lists many responsibilities. Abuse of power or failure to uphold these responsibilities cannot be tolerated.
The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the God-given right to impeach the offender.
Impeachment means that a charge of misconduct (1 John 3:4) is filed against the offender. A majority of the members of the House must vote for these charges in order to impeach the offender.
After the charges of misconduct are filed, the Senate has the power to try impeachment cases like a court. Two-thirds of the senators must vote for conviction. The offender may be removed from office and never allowed to hold a government position again if he is found guilty.
Process of Impeachment
Being formally accused of unlawful activity, committing a crime
Not necessarily being kicked out of office
Who can be Impeached? Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution
“President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States”
Civil Officers include people appointed by the President (cabinet members and judges)
Members of Congress are NOT civil officers
Process of Impeachment
Justice Department or an independent council investigates charges & presents them to the House Judiciary Committee
House Judiciary Committee (HJC) reviews evidence
HJC drafts Articles of Impeachment
HJC debates Articles of Impeachment (Nixon)
Entire House of Representatives debates Articles of Impeachment & votes on them (Simple Majority)
If this happens, President is considered impeached.
Senate holds the Trial "Will the official be kicked out of office"
House Judiciary Committee acts as the prosecution-- presents evidence against the accused
Accused chooses own lawyers to present defense
Chief Justice of Supreme Court acts as Judge and rules on admissibility of evidence
Senate acts as the Jury
A 2/3 majority of the Senate must vote against accused to remove the person from office.
The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson occurred in 1868, when the United States House of Representatives resolved to impeach President Andrew Johnson, adopting eleven articles of impeachment detailing his "high crimes and misdemeanors," in accordance with Article Two of the United States Constitution. The House's primary charge against Johnson was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in March 1867, over the president's veto. Specifically, he had removed from office Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War—whom the Act was largely designed to protect—and attempted to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas (Earlier, while Congress was not in session, Johnson had suspended Stanton and appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as secretary of war ad interim).
President Richard Nixon resigned from office rather than face impeachment charges in the Watergate scandal in 1974 (Pedophile ring).
President Bill Clinton became the second president to be impeached by the House in 1998. Later, the Senate found him not guilty (China Gate).
That is NOT ALL
After the impeachment process is complete, then comes in prosecution, not a resignation only to encourage the next politician to commit the same crimes. (Proverbs 16:6) Prosecution for the laws that they have transgressed!
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. -ARTICLE I, SECTION 3, CLAUSE 7
“War is delightful to those who had no experience of it.” – Desiderius Erasmus
First and foremost, I come from a military family. My grandpa was in World War I, my uncles were in World War II, my Father was in Korea, my cousin was killed in Vietnam and my brothers were in the US Army and Air Force. So, without a doubt, I honor the American military, but let’s be clear here, in righteousness, not in unrighteousness (Isaiah 51:4). I honor those that magnify the enumerated laws found within our US Constitution, not those who blindly follow behind corrupt politicians and fight for their unlawful ends.
Ever since I can remember (I am sure you do as well), corrupt politicians in this country have been at war with other countries. I have seen war after war after war, decade after decade -
I wonder if those who were doing the fighting would be fighting at all had they taken the time to know the US Constitution, which reveals what and who they are fighting for (Romans 3:20). For the most part, the wars above are unconstitutional and illegal.
America has been at war 93% of the time since its inception, that is 222 years out of the 242 years since 1776. The United States has been at peace for less than 20 years since its birth.
Notice as to whom is doing the fighting? Your Grandfathers, your Fathers, your brothers, your cousins, your neighbors or perhaps your mothers, sisters or even yourself, etc.
Guess who is not doing the fighting? The politicians who are working on the behalf of the special interest groups such as the bankers, Military Industrial Complex, etc.. In short, they are those who are responsible for creating the wars!
To be quite frank, I am sick and tired of the lies (Remember, truth is always the first casualty in war) thrown on the American people in order to fight their unconstitutional wars. Who do you think is funding these wars? The American taxpayers are! Then those who began the wars end up profiting from them.
Politicians, of course, with the help of the CIA-controlled media, are lying to you on a daily basis. They are the very ones that are accusing and casting into the minds of Americans, that the leaders of other countries are dictators, that they are evil and monstrous and must be dealt with or else. All the while, these same politicians are hoping that you forget that they are the ones who are consistently lying to you. They are also those who will not raise a hand to help in the war that they created and want you to believe is a just war.
Maybe the American government (We the People) should judge within before judging without! (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)
First, stop Washington D.C.!
This government sends innocent boys over to fight their unconstitutional wars in a third world country, while they are given a pass, as they commit the same crimes against Americans here in the homeland. Hypocrites! (Matthew 23:3)
Hopefully, this will explain as to why so many foreign countries hate America. They hate America because of what Americans have let their representatives do to their perspective countries unlawfully.
I say that if politicians and special interest groups want war, then let’s throw them all in a cage and fight it out to the death.
If they claim that that is absurd and ridiculous, then you will know that it is not a war worth fighting.
This is why it is important, regardless if you are in the US military, the police force, civil government or in any other capacity of a representative government, to know what the US Constitution says. We should all follow the reference as to what is legal and what is illegal (Exodus 20) in the sight of God, first and foremost, and unto men (1 John 5:2).
Those that serve “We the People,” in any capacity, must remember what they swore in their oath to uphold:
“I, (Name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” -5 U.S. Code § 3331 - Oath of office/Deuteronomy 23:23
Notice that when swearing the oath to serve “We the People,” it states both “foreign and domestic;” domestic meaning here in America, such as unconstitutional and unlawful enforcements here that go against our Constitution. Unlawful enforcements such as illegal searches and seizures and door-to-door disarmament, etc. - are all illegal!
These orders are illegal and the individuals that gave such orders are to be lawfully dealt with (Article 2, Section 4, US Constitution).
So, it is important to know who and what you are fighting for rather than just blindly falling in line with that which may be illegal again, both here and abroad.
During the Vietnam War, it was widely circulated that the politicians were very eager to send America’s finest, whose names came up during the draft lottery, that is until their children's names were pulled up. Then, the war soon ended.
It is true that a politician is willing to lay down your life and the lives of others for his country. Yet, not when it comes to his own life or the lives of those close to him. If that be the case, which it has been so many times in the past, their unconstitutional orders MUST BE RESISTED! When the law is obeyed, they cannot have another unlawful and unconstitutional war.
If everyone catches onto the point being made here, not only will the illegal orders to go to war be RESISTED AND DENIED, but the American people will also lawfully deal with the corrupt politicians. (Article 2, Section 4, US Constitution)
“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” — Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials
Again, I say then that if the politicians want war, let’s send them to war, for you know as well as I do that will be the very method in which war will cease.
How is it that anyone can fight on the behalf of those that kill, steal, and destroy for profit (John 10:10) and advocate for war when you know that they are lying to you?
Listen to what these men had to say of our American military (Our grandpas, our fathers, our uncles, our brothers, our neighbors, our mothers, our sisters etc). Former National Security Advisor and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said:"
“Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”
General Smedley Butler said:
“Our boys were sent off to die with beautiful ideals painted in front of them. No one told them that dollars and cents were the real reason they were marching off to kill and die.”
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall-street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”
And this all coming from the General that said, “I wouldn’t go to war again (After knowing what was going on within) as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers.”
There are only two things we should fight for, one is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.
Maybe this explains why America has 700 military bases in over 146 countries.
Where, I ask, in the US Constitution is it the job of the American Government to police the world? Where is it the duty of those that serve in any capacity to throw off the US Constitution and to obey tyrannical orders and fight their wars? I cannot find it!
Often, wars are fought without congressional approval, and why? Because they know that if the people knew the truth of the matter, they would not approve of such measures and fight.
Don’t forget that those that do their bidding in un-Constitutional wars are just as guilty as them that are giving the unlawful orders.
When the American people realize who needs to be lawfully dealt with, they are going to find that the problem is in Washington D.C. rather than some created cave-dweller with a turban on his head in a third world country.
Furthermore, when our forefathers, who established this country, thought war was inevitable, they were the first ones to go as an example to the rest of the people.
It was said of George Washington that he was, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Today, the opposite is true of those who represent the people.
Again, since when are the police, military, and representative government suppose to follow unconstitutional orders? They are not! And if the unconstitutional orders are not followed through with, the innocent will not be violated, but protected. This is the rule of law that reigns supreme (Deuteronomy 5:7-21).
This is the reason why the American people should take the time and read the enumerated laws found within the US Constitution.
When John the Baptist was demanded upon by the soldiers, they asked him, “And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do no violence to any man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14).
What do the warmongers in America advocate for? Just the opposite of what the word of God teaches. They advocate violence and lies to gain profits.
Either man will end war or else war will end man! Which one do you desire? The answer? If you want to end war then just send the politicians that want it to that war! (Psalm 94:20)
“Silence in the face of evil is evil itself: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Watchman, Anti-Nazi, Dissident
Recently, I saw a picture of a group of men in a concentration camp from back in the 1930s. When I looked at the picture, the first thing that went through my mind was “I wonder if this was a group of political prisoners that said that they did not want to get involved with politics when their country was being overthrown by a tyrant named Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich?”
I’m sure these political prisoners saw the transgressions, crimes (1 John 3:4) and usurpations, and at length, the overthrow of the German “Constitution,” by their government day by day, week by week and year by year, but made excuses as to why they did nothing.
In parallel, let’s go back to September 11, 2001, when Americans were told that they were attacked by a foreign country and compare the events of today, to that of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
First, let’s take a look at an article published at the Guardian titled, “How Bush's Grandfather Helped Hitler's Rise to Power.”
George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush was indicted in 1942 Under Trading with the Enemy Act. Prescott was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator's actions should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
Keep in mind during that war, 405, 399 American men fought, bled and died fighting against the Germans that the Bushes were aiding and abetting (Luke 22:48).
On September 11, 2001, Gary Hart said that there was a chance that George W. Bush will use the disaster to carry out a New World Order that his father had called for.
Hitler’s first move was that of the Reichstag fire, which was when the German parliament building went up in flames. Hitler harnessed the story to simply seize power over the German government.
History teaches us that the Nazis were the responsible party for setting the fire in order to accuse their political opposition to start war.
“This is a God-given signal,” Hitler told von Papen when they arrived on the scene. “If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we must crush out this murderous pest with an iron fist.”
A few hours later, on February 28, Hindenburg invoked Article 48 and the cabinet drew up the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State.”
The act abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy and the press; legalized phone tapping and interception of correspondence; and suspended the autonomy of federated states, like Bavaria. Does this sound familiar Americans? Can we say National Security Agency.
That night around 4,000 of Hitler’s political opponents were arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the SA (Hitler’s assault division). Many were detained indefinitely after the fire. Their empty seats left the Nazis largely free to do as they wished.
It took Adolf Hitler just 6 years to overthrow the German Constitution and aggrandize all power unto himself.
From the self-inflicted Reichstag fire came the Enabling Act. On March 23, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, the partner piece of legislation to the February 28 Decree for the Protection of People and State. The Enabling Act assigned all legislative power to Hitler and his ministers, thus securing their ability to control the political apparatus.
After September 11, 2001, George W. Bush and his administration installed The Patriot Act, which by the way, was not read by one of the 535 members of Congress, and they passed it at 3:30 am.
Then, President Bush sought out a war with Iraq, attacking a country, which had nothing to do with the two towers being leveled in New York City.
Oh yes, and don’t forget that Vice President Dick Cheney, who was the CEO of the company Halliburton, profited $39.5 billion off of the Iraq War.
After the Reichstag fire, Germany installed Fatherland Security. After September 11, 2001, George W. Bush installed Homeland Security.
Friends, look at the bureaucracies that have been created since September 11, 2001.
Nobody has attacked the American people and their God-given rights more than this government has. A foreign government could not have dreamed of doing the things that this American government has done to Americans since September 11, 2001.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was in full force deceiving the people, with comments like “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play,” all the while knowing that it was designed to control the German people to submit to the Third Reich.
What did theses political prisoners do while knowing they were being lied to? Absolutely nothing! Sound familiar?
“The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” –William Colby, former CIA Director
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” –William Casey, CIA Director
“Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” –James Angelton, Head of the CIA Counter Intelligence
Maybe that is why President Harry Truman said, “I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.”
What of the promises given by the tyrant Adolf Hitler only to find out that they were nothing but fabrications and lies, and yet, these political prisoners did nothing. They said, “Things will just take care of themselves.”
I’m sure these political prisoners saw the Nazis targeting and purging certain ethnic groups and attempting to divide them against one another (Mark 3:25), and did nothing.
When the tyrant was leading them to war against the political opposition that he created, the political prisoners said that they were just too busy to get involved with politics.
The apathetic non-political participants then saw, I’m sure, the disarmament of the gun owners, namely the dissidents that were not compliant with Hitler’s tyrannical and murderous Reich. The political prisoners, of course, were still just too busy to get involved with politics and didn’t want to risk the opposition or repercussions they might face if they stood up and spoke out.
SS Officer and war criminal Herman Going said,
Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
Sound familiar, America?
In short, they had to have seen with both eyes open as to what was coming. Yet, they refused to deal with the lawless and tyrannical acts of such a monster as Adolf Hitler and his SS officers, and these political prisoners stood back and did nothing when they had the time to do so.
Look how Adolf Hitler was perceived by the German people. Louise Solmitz, a Hamburg school teacher in 1932, said of Adolf Hitler:
“How many look up to him with touching faith as their helper, their savior, their deliverer from unbearable stress.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Behind closed doors, Adolf Hitler was responsible, with the use of his brown shirts, for creating the crimes and then playing the problem solver. Sound familiar, America?
Adolf Hitler said,
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
Apparently, these political prisoners did not take the time to educate themselves. All they had to do was look up the word “terrorism” in the Oxford English Dictionary to know who was responsible for these acts of terror.
Terrorism was originally defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “Government by intimidation.”
I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous quote by Pastor Martin Neimoller who, after the Holocaust, blamed the evangelical church for allowing Adolf Hitler and his rise to power.
First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Well, by the looks of it, in the end, their country being toppled, millions of their own being murdered through war without, and purging within, they still refused to deal with the tyrant. Other countries had to bring him and his countrymen to justice.
The fact of the matter is, regardless if they wanted to admit it or not, they did, in fact, live politics. When they ended up in the camps, they were known as “political prisoners.” At that point, there was nothing they could do except wait and die at the hands of those that they should have lawfully dealt with when they had the opportunity to do so.
How did that work out for them? It didn’t work out for them. It worked out for the enemies within by adding strength to tyranny and by the complete and total surrender of the people, through their lack of action, to the tyrannical Nazi reign, which left them helpless, hopeless, and at length, destroyed (Leviticus 26:14-46).
It has been rightly stated that there are none so deaf as those that will not hear (Matthew 13:15-17).
The summation goes as follows: The history of men that do not learn from history?
A few years back, I embarked on upgrade mission, to swap out the slow hard drive on my 2009 27-inch iMac and replace it with a nice and speedy SSD. With the cooperation of Larry O’Connor of Other World Computing, I got ahold of a 1TB drive and an upgrade kit, consisting of a few tools and suction caps. The latter was used to pry the display from the chassis.
Once the glass is extracted it’s supposed to be placed on a soft surface — I put it on a bed — the rest of the job largely involved carefully unhooking several thin wiring harnesses, easily damaged, and the drive. The manufacturer provides an adapter cable to make the new drive compatible with the iMac.
All told, it took about an hour to get through the process and reassemble the computer. O’Connor’s company offers installation videos on his site to simplify the process.
The reason I bring this up is the result of the first interview on this episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE, where we were joined by tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, who writes for USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Wirecutter and other publications. At the beginning of this segment, Rob explained that he took apart his vintage 27-inch iMac, from 2009, in order to replace the drive with an SSD from Other Word Computing. Gene shared his experiences in upgrading a similar computer several years ago. In later iMacs, it’s held together with an adhesive strip, making the disassembly and reassembly process far more complicated. There was also a discussion about Siri’s voice recognition problems, and a recent report that someone’s Amazon Echo Dot, featuring Alexa, recorded a personal conversation and sent the file to a contact in another city.
Can we trust these digital assistants to respect our privacy? Rob also talked about a meeting with security experts discussing changes and possible improvements in online security over the past 20 years.
The Amazon scandal is also discussed in the next article.
After the interview with Rob was recorded, I contacted two local authorized third-party Apple repair shops as to whether they’d be able to upgrade the drive on a more recent 27-inch iMac and how much it would cost. The process involves removing the adhesive that holds the display to the chassis. It’s not something I’d care to tackle.
Well, the first dealer gave a flat no, saying that even trying would damage the computer. That didn’t sound right to me, since Apple uses a similar process to upgrade memory on the iMac Pro. It can’t be upgraded as simply as the regular large iMac, which has a RAM cover at the bottom. Maybe that particular dealer didn’t want to bother or had a bad experience or two.
A second dealer gave me a detailed quote that included labor, two adapters from Other World Computing, plus backup and restore. It came to $457.93!
When I looked at the numbers, though, it sort of made sense, since they charge $200 for a full backup and restore, $19.99 for the replacement adhesive strip, and $79.99 for the needed OWC and Newer adaptors. The actual labor comes to $150. OWC sells SSDs with the proper adaptors and the customer can always restore the data themselves, so the price could be as “low” as $169.99.
In a special encore presentation, you heard a vintage segment featuring Ben Williams of Adblock Plus. Ad blocking has experienced a lot of activity over the past year, especially since Google entered the fray with its ad filter for Chrome. There are still battles between publishers and ad blockers, and payment systems to publishers from users are being talked about with more frequency. Gene and Ben also engaged in an extended discussion about the value of online advertising, and the long history of making it as offensive as possible. There was also a fun pop culture discussion, about ads that build branding images based on using a well-known personality, such as Oscar winning actor J.K. Simmons, known for Farmers Insurance commercials and loads of movies and TV shows, including the recent comic book film, “Justice League,” where he played Commissioner Gordon. You also learned how ad blockers can be configured to allow ads that have been approved by Adblock Plus.
On this week’s episode of our other radio show, The Paracast: Gene and guest cohost Goggs Mackay present Dr. Jack Hunter, an anthropologist and author of “Engaging the Anomalous: Collected Essays on Anthropology, the Paranormal, Mediumship, and Extraordinary Experience.” In this book, Dr. Hunter poses serious questions about consciousness, experience, spirits, mediumship, psi, the nature of reality, and how best to investigate and understand them.
In this discussion, Dr. Hunter will present stories of personal experiences, encounters with mediums, and float a wide variety of suggestions as to how various paranormal phenomena might somehow be connected, and that includes the UFO mystery. Dr. Hunter is the founder and editor of a free online journal, Paranthropology.
SSSSHHHH: ALEXA IS LISTENING
Let me start with the Siri follies.
With growing concern that Apple’s Siri digital assistant isn’t capable of matching the competition from Amazon and Google, there are rumors that the next WWDC will feature news of a major refresh. Last year, Apple touted that Siri would receive a new voice and machine learning, but it’s not at all certain there has been much change beyond a smoother conversational tone.
A recent published report featured expressions of sour grapes from former Siri employees who worked at Apple, plus a claim that it worked fine when reporters tested it before it went public. But after it was launched, beginning with the iPhone 4s in 2011, Siri’s bugs were legion. Maybe it just couldn’t cope with massed requests under load.
The Night Owl’s personal experiences are hit or miss. Despite the fact that I have 25 years experience as a broadcaster, and a decade of voice training, Siri is sometimes deaf to me. A simple example is the request for Maps to navigate me to the location of the nearest Walmart. There happen to be several, a few miles apart, but Siri will only produce a list, and rarely does that list display the location I seek. I find it easier to search in Google and manually pick the store to which I want to travel.
But that process hardly makes it hands free. I have to stop somewhere first to make my selection. So I tend to focus on setting alarms or reminders, where Siri is mostly correct.
One excuse given for Siri’s subpar performance is that Apple doesn’t want to infringe on your privacy, so it doesn’t actively collect information about you that is pushed and stored beyond the device itself. The theory goes that, if access to your device and requests were more open, since Siri resides online, you’d achieve more accurate results to more complicated requests.
That takes us to one of the “superior” digital assistants, Alexa, which is featured on the Amazon Echo smart speakers. Indeed, Alexa and the Google Assistant are supposed to represent the cutting edge of voice recognition and response technology.
Apple is often urged to maybe relent on online privacy and deliver a smarter and more dependable Siri. But maybe that’s not the right idea after all.
So there’s a published report of the results of an overeager Alexa, which confirmed the worst fears about such digital voice assistants. The act of recording someone’s private conversation and emailing it to someone, even from their contact lists, is the worst definition of eavesdropping. I suspect intelligence agencies might be salivating over the ease with which this stunt can be pulled off.
As you might expect, the family contacted Amazon “multiple times,” according to a published report, and conversed with one of the Alexa engineers, who looked into the matter to figure out what went wrong. In the end, the existence of a bug was confirmed.
According to Amazon’s statement, “Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.”
Well, you can hardly expect them to say anything else.
Now I want to be fair to Amazon, and perhaps it was just a glitch as they claimed, one that they will or have already fixed. But how often has this happened, and had there not been publicity about this particular episode, would anything have been done other than perhaps make some excuses to the victims?
To be blunt: Amazon does a fine job delivering merchandise at affordable prices, but its customer service, largely outsourced, is not easy to deal with. Whether a chat or a phone call, you often have to explain and re-explain the problem several times for the basics to be understood.
That doesn’t mean Amazon is being careless about Alexa and how it works as the frontend to a smart speaker. Again, I am not suggesting this mishap was anything more than a rare system glitch of some sort.
One article I read on Alexa’s inadvertent attempt at spying tried to connect it to Apple and the HomePod, and whether it, too, might accidentally record someone’s personal conversation and email it to someone. But that’s not the province of Apple’s smart speaker; we benefit from the fact that it was not designed to record your random conversations in the course of isolating a request.
Maybe you’d rather not have HomePod laden with too many features after all, however useful it might seem to some users.