Weiner According to Webster’s

Weiner According to Webster’s
Vol: 117 Issue: 7 Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is credited having observed that “Britain and America are two nations separated by a common language.” We both speak English, but we don’t speak the same language.

For that we can thank Noah Webster.  Noah Webster is the reason Americans spell  “center”and Canadians spell it “centre”; why “defense” is spelled “defence” in Australia; why “traveler” is spelled “traveller” in the UK. 

Noah Webster is often called the “Father of American Scholarship and language.”

Through his “Blue-Backed” Speller and the dictionary that bears his name, Noah Webster both created and continues to define the uniquely American understanding of the use of certain words.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “liar” in two senses; the English sense of the word and in the way Noah Webster intended for Americans to understand it.

1. a person who knowingly utters a falsehood; one who declares to another as a fact what he knows to be not true, and with an intention to deceive him. The uttering of falsehood by mistake, and without an intention to deceive, does not constitute one a liar.

2. One who denies Christ. 1 John 2

To Americans in 1828, denying that America was founded as and was intended to be governed as a Christian nation was the literal dictionary definition of the word “liar.”  

(Which means, as an aside, that according to Webster’s definition of “liar”, one of the most honest politician of the twenty-first century so far has been George W. Bush. Nobody knew the true state of Iraqi WMD – Bush could not know, either. But Bush knew Who Christ was and said so many times.)

In early America, the mere insinuation that a man’s word was not to be trusted was acceptable grounds for killing him.  Even (and especially) among American politicians.

In the 1800 presidential election, Founding Father and America’s first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton supported Thomas Jefferson over Vice-President Aaron Burr, insinuating that Jefferson was more honest than Burr.

In 1804, the Albany Register published allegations that Hamilton expressed “a still more despicable opinion” (i.e. ‘liar’)  of Vice President Burr.   This led to a confrontation that led to a duel that led to Vice President Burr killing one of America’s Founding Fathers.

Because of the challenge to his honor, although Burr was initially charged with Hamilton’s murder, he was never prosecuted and served out his full term as Vice President of the United States.  

When Noah Webster was creating a dictionary of American English, being labeled as a liar in America was an affront to one’s honor so grievous that it justified killing the person throwing around the label.  Indeed, it was synonymous with the ultimate sin of denying Christ.

In early America, it didn’t get more serious than that. 

Assessment:

When Paul was writing to the Thessalonians about the last days, his letters were separated by a period of time.  In the first letter, Paul was explaining that at the end of the Church Age, the Lord will return secretly for His Church.

Paul’s second letter aims at clearing up a heresy circulating in Thessalonica that the Lord had already returned and they had been left behind.  

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

I’ve read all kinds of novel interpretations of what that verse really means.  Personally, I think it means what it really says.  What is rendered “falling away” in English is taken from Paul’s use of the word “apostasia” which literally means, “defection from the truth.”

Defection is an interesting word choice in its own right.  It means, “the act of abandoning a person or cause to which one is bound by allegiance or duty, or to which one has attached himself.”

It is more than simply accepting a lie – it is the knowing acceptance of a lie, not out of belief, but as a matter of allegiance. A good example would be the partisans rallying to justify Anthony Weiner’s dishonesty by arguing that “everybody lies about sex.”

Read literally and in context, the verse says that the “Day of Christ shall NOT come until the way is first prepared by a mass defection from the truth for the coming of the antichrist.”

The antichrist is the Master Deceiver.  The Apostle Paul defines ‘antichrist’ using the same terms that Noah Webster used to describe the American definition of the word “liar” in 1828.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

I’m often asked where America is in Bible prophecy.  It is hard to believe that a nation as powerful as America would escape mention in the last days.  Particularly since America is the only nation founded on the principle that denying Jesus Christ is the dictionary definition of “liar.”

Two hundred years ago, an American politician’s honor was more valuable than his life.  By the time the 20th century drew to a close, the American people were comfortable with knowing that “all politicians lie” because “everybody lies about sex.”

That’s what Congressman Weiner was counting on when he flatly denied “with certitude” that he sent the lewd picture of himself to a woman in Seattle.  He lied straight-faced to every major network anchor, and by extension, to every American of every political persuasion.

To support his lie, Weiner launched a merciless attack on Andrew Breitbart for breaking the story, wrongly accused him of hacking his Twitter account (a federal crime) encouraged one of the women with whom he had contact to lie about it, all from his Congressional office or on his Congressional office phone.

For ten days, the Congressman lied about his conduct and threw everyone within reach out in front of him for use as  human shields. Yesterday, Weiner came clean and admitted it was ALL a lie but that since he didn’t think he did anything illegal, he doesn’t think he should resign.

I am not saying Anthony Weiner is the antichrist. He’s just another proven liar and pervert who just so happens to be an elected member of Congress.

Summing up the view from the perspective of the American Left is Barbara Walters who said this on Monday’s broadcast of “The View”:

“He is a good congressman. He has been an effective congressman. If Sarah Palin can still ride around on her bus and be considered as a possible president, this man can override this, stay in Congress and just hope there is another scandal that will take him.”

Speaking of defections from the truth, Sarah Palin is a private citizen whose reputation for honesty and record of accomplishment is above legitimate reproach. 

Anthony Weiner is a serial liar who, as an elected, sitting member of the US House of Representatives, used his office to perpetuate a cover-up by knowingly and deliberately slandering the reputation of others.  

The Apostle Paul said “that day” would not come until there was first a defection from the truth.  Then he explained why

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for THIS cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

Now, just to summarize, here is another example of apostasia as expressed in modern American English:

“If Sarah Palin can tour America, then Anthony Weiner can stay in Congress until the next scandal.”

Where is America in Bible prophecy?  At the moment, it is precisely where Paul said it would be when he was describing the last days of the Church Age.

“This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come.” (2 Timothy 3:1

Sixty Seven Years Ago Today . . .

Sixty Seven Years Ago Today . . .
Vol: 117 Issue: 6 Monday, June 6, 2011

Sixty-seven years ago today Operation Overlord commenced with a 12,000 plane airborne assault coordinated with an amphibious assault consisting of almost 7,000 vessels.

On that first day, more than 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel and fought their way cross four beaches code-named Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, Gold Beach and Juno Beach under murderous German gunfire.

The Americans attempting to land at Omaha Beach had to fight their way through the German 352nd Infantry Division, one of the most seasoned and well trained divisions the Germans had. 

At Point du Hoc, the 2nd Ranger Battalion’s task still seems impossible, despite the fact they actually accomplished it, sixty-seven years ago today.  The Rangers were tasked with making a beach landing under enemy fire. 

But for them, that was the easy part.  For instead of fighting their way across a beach, they had to climb a sheer 100 foot cliff. 

It is unthinkable, really. Especially from our vantage point sixty-seven years later where the big debate in Congress is how best to lose the war in Afghanistan as a cost-reduction measure.

Using ropes and ladders, these amazing men climbed the sheer face of the cliff while carrying their weapons and gear, under enemy fire with machine gun bullets and grenades raining down on them from above.

They had to make their way to the top of the rope, climb over the edge of the cliff into the teeth of the waiting enemy, fight through them, destroy the enemy gun emplacements there and then hold the location until relieved.

Somehow they managed to accomplish their impossible mission but at unthinkable costs.  They held Point du Hoc for two days against wave after wave of German counter-attack, losing sixty percent of the battalion in the process.

In all some ten thousand Allied troops were killed taking the beaches, sixty-seven years ago today.  

The commemoration ceremonies to mark D-Day are usually a time of bittersweet sadness for me. I was raised by World War Two’s survivors — my parents were married in London on May 22, 1940 — during the height of the London Blitz.

The veterans and survivors of World War II shaped my world.

My father’s best friend was a Dutchman named Ike. They met in Holland when Ike was with the Dutch resistance. When Dad returned to Canada after the war, he sponsored Ike his family when they immigrated.

‘Uncle’ Ike and ‘Aunt’ Anna were fixtures around my house when I was growing up.

When I was growing up in the fifties, Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight David Eisenhower, the man that put D-Day together, was sitting in the Oval Office. The Senate and House were filled with D-Day veterans.

You didn’t have to lock your doors. You didn’t worry about people shooting up schools and shopping centers.

Veterans of that conflict were my teachers and mentors and advisors. Most of my friends’ fathers’ were veterans, as were all my father’s friends.  My grandfather was a veteran of BOTH World Wars.

There was something about them — they were quiet giants.  These quiet giants not only shaped my world, they were the ones running it.  They accomplished things ordinary men could never imagine.  They looked ordinary — but they weren’t. 

When you grow up in a world populated by giants, giants don’t seem so uncommonly gigantic.

I listened to some of the D-Day veteran’s stories on TV — one told of his experiences without bitterness, ending by mentioning the recent loss of his wife of 59 years.

To me, he was another example of why those quiet giants earned the nickname, “the Greatest Generation.”  He didn’t criticize his leadership when his ship was shot out from under him.

He didn’t even hold any bitterness towards the German who fired the fatal shot. He came home and lived quietly for fifty-nine years with the bride of his youth.

The quiet giants of my youth who stormed the beaches at Normandy are now in their eighties or have passed on to their reward.

I’ve been blessed to have known such men all my life — each D-Day commemoration reminds me of who they were and it gives me such sadness to know that soon they will be gone. I will miss them all.

It’s been an honor.  Semper fi.

Bumps in the Road

Bumps in the Road
Vol: 117 Issue: 4 Saturday, June 4, 2011

President Obama reacted to the news that the US unemployment rate was up, now at 9.1% — by calling it a “bump in the road to recovery”.

When he was stumping for passage of the stimulus bill, he promised that passage would keep unemployment under 8% and projected it would fall to 7% by May of this year.  The Congress gave him nearly a trillion dollars in ‘mad money’ to use to ‘stimulate’ the economy.

The only job growth America has seen since has been in the government sector.   Of the 54,000 new jobs created last month as part of the recovery, about half were new hires at McDonald’s.

The single largest holder of US debt – China – has dumped ninety-seven percent of its holdings in US T-bills since October, defying conventional wisdom that says that China needs the US more than the US needs China.

In the latest survey, some 63 percent of Americans said they feel “not good” or “bad” about the state of the US economy, representing a significant increase from May 2010 when only about 49 percent of those polled felt this gloomy.

The survey also found that most Americans are putting major purchases and expenditures like new cars, home repairs and vacations on hold for at least a year.

Overall, higher commodity prices are eating into consumer spending, historically low interest rates haven’t done a thing to help housing and the job market ‘rebound’ that never was no longer is. 

Government data released Friday showed consumer spending remains weak, pressured by rising food and gas prices as Americans experience the kind of inflation not seen in a generation. 

Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan went on record as saying that he was “scared” and recommending an immediate tax increase. 

But the US deficit/debt is so far out of synch that even imposing a 100% tax on the rich wouldn’t balance the books, anyway.  

But these are just bumps in the road. 

Obama’s foreign policy hit a big bump in the road in the form of a bipartisan Congressional rebuke over his decision to conduct a war against Libya without first consulting Congress.

In two votes — on competing resolutions that amounted to legislative lectures of Mr. Obama — Congress escalated the brewing constitutional clash over whether he ignored the founding document’s grant of war powers by sending U.S. troops to aid in enforcing a no-fly zone and naval blockade of Libya.

As a self-proclaimed “Constitutional scholar” Obama can’t plead ignorance. Neither can he blame the vote on blind partisanship – the resolution passed 268-145. Congress has given him two weeks to either explain himself or face the consequences.

And Moody’s has joined Standard and Poor’s in warning that America’s AAA credit rating is in jeopardy.

The ratings agency is concerned by the lack of progress made by the US Treasury and Congress over whether to allow the US national debt to increase. It said that the risk of the US defaulting on its loans was “very small but rising”, suggesting that the country might not deserve its AAA rating.

“Although Moody’s fully expected political wrangling prior to an increase in the statutory debt limit, the degree of entrenchment into conflicting positions has exceeded expectations,” the agency said. “The heightened polarisation over the debt limit has increased the odds of a short-lived default. If this situation remains unchanged in coming weeks, Moody’s will place the rating under review.”

Carrying on with the White House’s metaphor, these aren’t bumps in the road.

They are more like washed-out bridges.

Assessment:

The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed by the Congress in 1995.  It calls for the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  It also officially recognizes an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act passed the Senate by a whopping 93-5 after being referred from the House, which approved it 374-37.  The Act allows the President to suspend the law for a period of no longer than six months, in the interests of national security.

Every president since 1995 has used this loophole.  President Obama is no exception.

President Obama said in a memorandum sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that, “pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations” of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

Last month the President gave a speech in which he called for the creation of a Palestinian state with its borders to be based on the pre-1967 lines.

The pre-1967 lines are actually the borders as they existed following Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, handing the Old City of Jerusalem – including the Jewish Quarter, over to the Palestinians.

Given that the Jerusalem Embassy Act specifically recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, President Obama’s call for a return to the pre-1967 borders directly contravenes the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

Obama fully understands what he is doing, as he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at their annual meeting last month.

“I know that stating these principles – on the issues of territory and security – generated some controversy over the past few days.  . . . I wasn’t surprised. I know very well that the easy thing to do, particularly for a president preparing for reelection, is to avoid any controversy.”

Think about what Obama is saying here.  He is saying that the creation of a Palestinian state is more important to him than his own reelection!  Now, consider how important Obama’s reelection is to him.

Remember what he did to get elected the first time around.  Black Panther thugs at polling places. ACORN’s phantom voters.  From race-baiting to class warfare, they pulled out all the stops. 

It is hard to imagine that there is anything that Team Obama won’t do to get re-elected.   

But we now know, from the President’s own words,  that there is one thing more important to Obama than his own re-election.  A state of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

Perhaps that might help explain why America is suddenly hitting so many “bumps in the road.”

America: Israel’s Biggest Threat?

America: Israel’s Biggest Threat?
Vol: 117 Issue: 3 Friday, June 3, 2011

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, opinion commentator Caroline Glick called President Obama “the most hostile US president that Israel has ever faced.” 

“Indeed,” she writes, “when taken together, these steps raise concern that Obama may actually constitute a grave threat to Israel.”

The idea of the sitting President of the United States posing a “grave threat” to Israel is something straight out of a last days’ novel or movie

The traditional view is that during the Tribulation Period, Europe will have replaced the United States as the principle peace broker.

Daniel 9:26 identifies the antichrist as the prince of the people that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, a prophecy fulfilled by the Roman legions under Titus in AD 70.

If Glick’s assessment reflects reality, then the only natural replacement would be Europe – a prospect that cheers the Arabs almost as much as it chills the Israelis. And she isn’t alone in her view.

Friday’s Yediot Aharonot reported on the dimensions of the threat Obama may pose to the Jewish state. The paper’s account was based on administration and Congressional sources.

The story discussed Obama’s plans to contend with the Palestinian plan to pass a resolution at the UN General Assembly in September endorsing Palestinian statehood in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza. . .

Obama’s distaste for standing with Israel was demonstrated in February when a visibly frustrated US Ambassador Susan Rice was forced by Congressional pressure to veto the Palestinians’ Security Council draft resolution condemning Israel for refusing to prohibit Jews from building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. . .

According to Yediot, [US Envoy George] Mitchell recommended that Obama work with the Europeans to draft a series of anti-Israel resolutions for the UN Security Council to pass. Among other things, these resolutions, which Mitchell said would be “painful for Israel,” would include an assertion that Jewish building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria is illegal.

Obama sought to turn his embrace of the Palestinian negotiating position into the consensus position of the G8. His move was scuttled by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper . . . If Harper had not stood by Israel, the G8’s anti-Israel resolution endorsing the Palestinian negotiating position could have formed the basis of a US-sponsored anti-Israel Security Council resolution.

At the heart of almost every effort to force peace in the Middle East is the implied requirement that Israel place its faith in the friendship of others – in this case, the United States – to guarantee its national security.

Ultimately, according to the Bible, it will be Europe. As unlikely as it might seem today, note that just ten years ago, it was America defending Israeli sovereignty and Canada backing Palestinian statehood.

“Land for peace” demands that Israel give up its strategic depth, replacing the advantage provided by that buffer zone with guarantees of immediate international support in the event of war. 

It also requires Israel to trust its US-backed peace ‘partners’ at the Palestinian Authority.

At the Arab League meeting in Qatar on Saturday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian state “will be free of all Jews.”

Last week the US-supported Abbas denied the Jewish connection to the land of Israel and claimed absurdly that the Palestinians were 9,000 years old.

Equally incriminating, in an interview last week with Aaron Lerner from the IMRA newsgathering website, Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said that now that Hamas was the co-leader of the PA with Fatah, responsibility for continuing to hold IDF St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit hostage devolved from Hamas to the PA. And the PA would continue to hold him hostage.

It is almost like the plot for an implausible movie. In a movie, the idea is to draw as clear a line as possible between the protagonist and the antagonist so the audience can tell right away who the bad guy is.  

In a movie, that is usually accomplished by letting the audience peek behind the scenes while the villain identifies himself as a lying double-dealer and the hero as the guy in the white hat ultimately betrayed by his naiveté.  

The bad guy gets to do all kinds of evil things in the movie – nobody ever calls the cops — and if they do, when they show up they arrest the good guy instead. . .

Assessment:

The Palestinian Authority will submit a request for full membership in the UN to the Secretary-General sometime next month.  The request will be forwarded to the president of the Security Council, which in July will be Germany.  

On receipt of the request, the Security Council forms a committee to determine whether the Palestinians meet the requirements for UN membership. The committee must report its conclusions at least 35 days in advance of the opening of the General Assembly on August 10. 

One of the more obvious requirements for admission to the UN as a full member nation is for the applicant to have borders the UN can recognize. For example, Kurdistan is Biblical Nineveh — a real country with a real history that dates back to the days of Jonah.  

The Kurds are an identifiable ethnic group with a unique culture, unique history and unique shared language. But the historic country of Kurdistan includes parts of Iraq, Turkey and Iran.  Kurdistan has no borders to recognize.

The demented claims of Mahmoud Abbas notwithstanding, Palestinians were, until 1967, Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians. They have no unique language, culture or history.  As a “people” they have existed since I was about fifteen.  Their only shared heritage is that of terrorism. 

The Kurds have a far more legitimate claim to Mosul and Nineveh in the oil-rich region of Northern Iraq than the former Jordanians of the West Bank have to Gaza or the former Egyptians of Gaza have to the West Bank.

And then there is the whole issue of Israel’s claim, dating back at least three thousand years to the founding of Jerusalem by David, King of Israel.  David didn’t conquer the Temple Mount, he bought it for cash from its registered owner, Araunah. 

Consequently, the record contained in the Book of Samuel constitutes a bill of sale that predates the Islamic claim of ownership by conquest by more than fifteen hundred years and the Palestinian claim by three thousand years. 

President Obama is on record as supporting the creation of a Palestinian state and has helpfully supplied the UN with border suggestions for the new Palestinian State  – the pre-1967 borders, also called the “Green Line.” Prior to 1967, it was called the 1949 Armistice Lines

“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:31-32)

If it was a movie script, it would be rejected on the first reading as too implausible.

Things Like That Can Happen When You’re a Weiner

Things Like That Can Happen When You’re a Weiner
Vol: 117 Issue: 2 Thursday, June 2, 2011

I tried and I tried and I tried, but in the end, I just couldn’t help myself.  I promised myself that I wouldn’t.  I recognize that it will be impossible to write it without loading it up with puns and double-entendres that cannot be helped.  I looked for alternative stories, but none of them ‘grabbed’ me like the deliciously developing political scandal that will inevitably go down in Congressional history as “Weinergate.”

At 46, New York Democrat Anthony Weiner, is a seven-term Congressman who is routinely re-elected by a near–two-thirds share of the vote from his home district. Weiner has one of the most liberal voting records in the House and is one of its most vocal members.

Weiner has made more headlines by getting angry and storming out of interviews than have the topics for which he was being interviewed, and “Weinergate” is no exception.  

First, a little background.

Evidently, somebody sent a lewd photograph of a man in his underwear to a 21 year-old woman through Weiner’s Twitter account.  But instead of going just to the 21 year-old, the photograph went out to all 45,000 of Weiner’s Twitter followers.

It’s weird enough if one stops right there.  And since Weiner is a good Marxist and comrade of the liberal mainstream media, it might have.  

What gave the story legs was Representative Weiner’s whirlwind press junket, during which he evidently tried out a number of possible explanations to see which one worked best.

Weiner began by denying what was plausibly deniable, sounding positively Clintonian in his righteously indignation.  “I did not. Send that photo.  To that woman.”  For emphasis, he called a CNN reporter a “jack-*ss for asking the question in the first place.

It got weirder when he was asked if the photo was actually of him.  The photo was a self-taken shot of someone’s . . . er, . . . lap. 

Rep. Weiner danced all around the question without ever issuing an outright denial. “I can’t say with certitude that this is not me,” he said at one point.  “But I didn’t send it.”

Certitude?  Who uses words like that when they are telling the truth?  As John Podhoretz of the New York Post observes, that was just a political way of saying that the picture is of him. 

“Anyone who has paid the slightest attention to the matter surely now understands that Weiner intended the photograph in question solely for the eyes of the undergrad — but instead of sending it as a “direct message,” he mistakenly posted it publicly for the entire “Twitterverse” to see.

That makes him not only a bad liar, but an incompetent liar. So how, you may ask, can I say without question that Weiner is a liar?  Actually, the question is, after yesterday’s exchange with MNSBC’s Luke Russert, how can’t I?

“That’s not a picture of you?” Russert asked him.

“I can’t say with certitude,” Weiner replied.

It’s simple logic. If he can’t say with certitude that it isn’t his crotch, he is saying, in effect, that it is undeniably his crotch.”

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked the Congressman point-blank, “Have you ever taken a picture of yourself like this?” Given that it was purportedly a photo of his own lap, you would think he’d know.  (It isn’t a question I’d have trouble with. Would you?)  

Weiner: “I can tell you this, that there are — I have photographs. I don’t know what photographs are out there in the world of me. I don’t know what have been manipulated and doctored and we’re going to try to find out what happened. But the most important reason I want to find out what happened is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Obviously somebody got access to my account. That’s bad. They sent a picture that makes fun of the name Weiner. I get it. Touche.”

So that’s his defense?  “Things like that can happen when you’re a Weiner?” The Weiner photo might be genuine, says the gentleman from New York.  In a typical friendly interview with Comrade Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Weiner admitted it “could have been a photo taken out of context.”  

Representative Weiner didn’t explain what context might explain taking a photo in his underwear of his own lap, evidently leaving that up to the imagination of the viewer. 

Not a great idea. 

Assessment:

Right now I know that some of you are thinking, “With all the other stuff happening out there, from Libya to Israel, why are we discussing one unimportant Congressman from an obscure New York district?” 

We’ll get back to that question shortly.  For now, let’s assume that Weiner is telling the truth about not sending the photo in question.  Somebody did.  Weiner’s carefully-parsed denials leave little doubt that the picture is genuine.   

After trying out a number of different stories, it appears that Weiner has settled on claiming “somebody hacked his Twitter account”. 

However, the Congressman says, he doesn’t want “to make a federal case out of this.”  Weiner says an investigation isn’t warranted because people’s social media accounts get hacked all the time.  Humble to his core, Weiner says he is “just a citizen” like everybody else.

“This is just a prank,” he says.  “We are loathe to treat it as more.”  On Wednesday, Weiner told MSNBC he was “frustrated” at the questions. “This wasn’t my government account,” he said. “It is not a national security thing.”

Maybe hacking a social networking account is not such a big deal, even if one considers that Weiner is a member of Congress.

But if the photo is genuine, then whoever hacked the Congressman’s Twitter account had to have first hacked into Weiner’s personal computer to obtain it.

And NOW it gets very sticky. Hacking into the personal computer of a sitting member of Congress is both a federal crime and a matter of national security.

If a hacker can get his hands on a self-shot photograph of Representative Weiner in his underwear, then he can also get his hands on classified material contained in that same computer.

Let’s get down to cases.  I saw the picture.  It’s here, on the front page of Business Insider, if you are curious.  And Business Insider is saying out loud what everybody else, including the Far Left, is thinking:

But the far more likely explanation is that he tried to send the college student a Direct Message with the picture of his crotch, accidentally blasted it out to his whole Twitter list, and then tried to cover up his mistake with a b.s. story about how he had been “hacked” (which was presumably the first thing that popped into his head after he realized with horror what he had done and deleted the tweet).

Back to the earlier question; “Why waste time on this when there are so many other serious stories out there?”

Partly because that is the question Weiner’s defenders are asking, hoping to deflect attention away from Their Guy.  Partly because I like ironic stories and there’s enough irony here to build a fleet of battleships.

But mainly because this story is emblematic of the times in which we live.  Perilous times.  The Weiner story will undoubtedly rekindle the discussion of politicians and lying. 

There was a time (think Richard Nixon) when lying was a greater affront to public sensibilities than the underlying crime was. 

There was a time when being caught being unfaithful to one’s spouse spelled the end of a political career. (Think Gary Hart).  After all, if a politician would cheat on his marriage vows, why would anybody believe he would take his oath of office any more seriously?

Then along came Bill Clinton.  After two terms in the White House the American public moral code had so eroded that the majority of Americans in one poll agreed that as a matter of routine, “all politicians lie.”

Once that precedent was established, being “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”  became synonymous with being a member of the Democrat Party in good standing.  

History establishes without doubt that from that point forward — from the American perspective — things have only gotten more perilous since.

Until 2011, when ‘perilous times’ seem to be the only kind we have left.

Willingly Ignorant

Willingly Ignorant
Vol: 117 Issue: 1 Wednesday, June 1, 2011

There was a rare planetary alignment that occurred without fanfare on Memorial Day.  What little notice the phenomenon was given of the tongue-in-cheek variety like; “Planetary Alignment Memorial Day, World Survival Anticipated.”  Funny stuff.  But uniquely revealing.

Twenty years ago, a rare astronomical event was treated like a rare astronomical event.  If a comet was approaching, or a planetary alignment due, or an eclipse or a meteor shower or solar eruption, it would make world-wide headlines. 

CNN would have Carl Sagan on explaining the cosmic significance of whatever the astronomical event might be; sometimes PBS would produce a whole documentary.   

But today, rare astronomical occurrences aren’t so rare, anymore. It seems like some rare astronomical event is taking place almost every day. But instead of making headlines, they become fodder for jokes about the end of the world.

For example, this year will produce four partial solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses, an event so rare it only happens six times every hundred years.  (Yawn)  

Having just emerged from its quietest solar minimum season in centuries, astronomers are predicting an unusually active solar maximum. (Boooring)

In fact, there is a whole list of rare astronomical activity scientists are looking at while the media looks as hard as it can the other way . . .

  • Recent solar activity highest in 8000 years 
  • Sun’s magnetic field has decreased in size by 25% 
  • 300% increase in galactic dust entering our solar system 
  • Mercury’s magnetosphere experiencing significant increases 
  • Venus exhibiting a 2500% increase in its “green glow” 
  • Mars showing a rapid appearance of clouds and ozone 
  • Mars observations reveal up to 50% erosion of its ice features within a 12-month period 
  • Jupiter plasma torus increasing; its moon Io exhibiting the same changes 
  • A 200% increase in the density of Io’s plasma torus 
  • Jupiter’s Disappearance of White Ovals since 1997 – recent increase in storms 
  • Io’s ionosphere is 1000% higher 
  • Jupiter’s moon Europa much brighter than scientists expected 
  • Jupiter’s moon Gannymede is 200% brighter 
  • Saturn’s plasma torus is 1000% more dense 
  • Aurorae first seen in Saturn’s polar regions in recent years 
  • Uranus was featureless in 1996 – exhibiting huge storms since 1999 
  • Uranus in 2004 was also markedly brighter than in 1999 
  • Neptune is 40% brighter in the near-infrared range based on observations from 1996 – 2002 
  • Pluto observations reveal a 300% increase in atmospheric pressure 

And upon the earth, the distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring. . .

Assessment:

It has been more than forty years since Hal Lindsey published his world-changing best-seller, The Late, Great, Planet Earth.

In 1975, I came to faith as a direct result of reading Hal’s book.  (Fifteen years later, the Lord assigned me to serve as Baruch to Hal’s Jeremiah – a collaborative partnership that continues to this day.)

Hal was barely forty when LGPE was published – he is eighty-two now.   I was barely forty when he and I started working together – I am approaching sixty now.  

During all that time, we’ve been preaching the soon return of the Lord. We’re still preaching it — He continues to tarry.

We were chatting recently about unfolding events and comparing observations – two in particular seemed to stand out.  The first was that the sequence of events seemed to be accelerating.  The second was that general interest in Bible prophecy seems to be waning.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 24:44)

Having spent much of our adult lives giving the warning, we were comparing notes as to how its reception has been changing, particularly in recent years.   Bible prophecy used to get people excited — when it looked like it was coming true.  

And it was exciting to compare the prophecies of Scripture, dormant for two millennia, as they began to move again as current events started to trend in the direction of Bible prophecy. 

One could actually pinpoint the moment in history – May 14, 1948 — when God began to directly involve Himself in the affairs of mankind in a way not seen since the days of the Apostles.  By 1969 it became so obvious that LGPE quickly became the best-selling non-fiction book of the decade.

By the early 1990’s the most popular television ministry program on TBN was This Week in Bible Prophecy. The most popular Christian fiction series in history was Left Behind – which then spawned a major Christian film series by the same name.

In years past, the big problem was finding convincing-enough evidence to convince the skeptics that the Bible is true and to convince Christians that time was running out.   Now we are drowning in evidence – so much so that nobody seems to care.

I watch Glenn Beck sometimes and catch myself with my mouth hanging open.  First, I can’t believe that he is saying it on television if it isn’t true – he’s been at it for years and nobody can catch him in a lie. 

Secondly, I can’t believe that nobody seems to much care, one way or the other.  Beck has a huge following – he averages two million viewers per program.  But there are 360 million people in America. 

Does that mean that 99% of Americans don’t care?   I don’t know.

Most of what Beck presents dovetails to Bible prophecy – Beck can’t help but sound like he is preaching Bible prophecy, despite the fact he is a Mormon.  If one examines the Big Picture honestly and without prejudice, one would sound like a Bible prophecy preacher even without having read a Bible.

It would seem that the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in this generation has become so apparent that many people, including skeptics, are able to see it unfolding — and without the aid of Bible preachers or prophecy teachers – clearly enough to spawn joking headlines like the one we opened today’s report with.

We started with astronomy and the signs of the times because Jesus warned of signs in the sun, moon and stars.  He warned they would cause “the distress (fear) of nations, with perplexity (confusion).”

For most of the past forty years, events have been building to that point of fear and confusion . . . but something seems to have happened where we’ve somehow pushed beyond that point. 

It is as if Harold Camping’s Rapture prediction had the secular world quietly and nervously holding its collective breath . . . when May 21 came and went without incident, they breathed an embarrassed sigh of relief and promised themselves not to let that happen again.

All the headlines since have been mocking what used to be hard news stories because of any possible connection to Bible prophecy – but it isn’t Bible guys making the connection.  It is secular guys making the connection all on their own!

So it isn’t like they don’t know – they know, but they don’t care!  They know that the Bible predicted some of the exact things now taking place – they noted it, they waited, nothing happened, then they moved on.

Now a precedent of sorts has been established. The secular world took notice, via the mainstream press, of similarities between Bible prophecy and mainstream news and even started to take it semi-seriously — until Harold Camping’s much publicized failure as a prophet.

Now they feel safe in mocking anything else that might resemble fulfilled Bible prophecy as equally vacuous.   It is reminiscent of how Genesis depicts the story of Noah – a guy who warned of disaster until he became the punch-line to a joke.

But that’s the way that the Bible describes the last days, just before He returns for His Church – as in the days of Noah.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Luke 17:26)

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:” (2nd Peter 3:3-6)

Jesus also likened it to the story of Lot in Sodom.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:28-29)

I want to highlight the important themes here. First, as in the days of Noah, those that found grace in the eyes of the Lord (the Blood-bought Church) will be taken to safety before the judgment to fall upon the scoffers.  

Peter notes that is where the two stories converge; the preservation of the saints prior to judgment upon the willingly ignorant.

The Lord also directly links His return to the story of Lot in Sodom. Lot’s sons-in-law were adequately warned – they were not unaware – they were willingly ignorant.

“And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” (Genesis 19:14)

Noah and Lot were miraculously preserved from judgment sent by God upon the willingly ignorant. The willingly ignorant are those that know, but don’t want to know because they prefer to believe what they want to believe.

So when the evidence gets too overwhelming, they nervously make jokes.  I can’t say as I blame them.  If I was in their shoes, I’d be scared, too.