Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Definition of (a) SUPERMAN

1: any human who puts all humans above him, lays down his life for his friends : divine <superhuman beings>2: being above the human : divine <superhuman beings>3: exceeding normal human power, size, or capability :herculean superhuman effort> <superhuman strength>;also : having such power, size, or capability— su·per·hu·man·i·ty noun— su·per·hu·man·ly adverb— su·per·hu·man·ness noun

The Major Cause of the American Revolution

Dennis D. Dinktwigger: Fate of Mankind

Here's a thought...    Men and women are not prisoners of fate they are prisoners of their own minds.

And then....   We are not responsible for our own fate, but we reap what we sow, we get what we give, we pull in what we put out.

America MAY be Dead

I have had the opportunity to travel around the world. I have visited some great countries. And although I am partial, I still believe the Unites States of America is the greatest country on earth. Of course, we do have our problems.
And as we gear up for another election a few months from now, we are hearing the candidates give us their vision for America. They are telling us what is wrong in our country and how they will fix it. Of course, there is a place for politics. There is a place for elected officials. And I think it is the responsibility of every Christian American to register and vote.
America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Of course, revisionists want to tell us that it is not true. But if we look at the preponderance of evidence in statements from our Founding Fathers, how our universities were established and at so many other things in the foundation of this country, there is no denying the fact that America was built on a Judeo-Christian foundation.That being said, I also believe that with all the problems we have in our country, the only real, lasting solution for the United States of America is for her people to turn back to God. I believe there is no other hope.
The first prayer of the first Congress went as follows:
“O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee.”
This prayer went on to say:
“Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. … All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.”
I wonder what would happen if that prayer were prayed today in Congress–or at an inauguration? An atheist group filed a lawsuit to prevent prayer at the 2009 presidential inauguration. Things have really changed a lot.
As you look at our country and at the statements of our Founding Fathers, though they may not have all been Christians, they, at the very least, had a respect for the Word of God and believed it to be an authoritative source.
George Washington said, “To the distinguished Character of Patriot it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God. … Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
And Patrick Henry wrote, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”
If we remove that foundation, if we remove that belief in the Bible as the Word of God, then we have a vacuum, and suddenly this whole American experiment begins to unravel. You see, it is not just about freedom. It is certainly not about freedom from religion. It is freedom of religion. Despite the fact that we are free to believe as we want to believe in this country, our founders had a strong belief in the authority of the Word of God.
We have strayed a little from that today, haven’t we? You won’t find the Bible in most classrooms. I remember that when I was a kid, the Ten Commandments were posted on the classroom wall. Those are long gone. And so is prayer in the schools. We have done our best to get God out of the classroom, to get God out of the courtroom and to get God out of the culture.
Then we scratch our heads and wonder what is happening when a kid takes a gun and walks onto a school campus and starts shooting. In the wake of such an appalling tragedy, the pundits and experts opine away, and everyone asks why. But my question is this: What did we expect? If, supposedly, there is no such thing as right and wrong, if there is no such thing as good and evil, and if there is no God, then why would we expect people to live morally?
President Abraham Lincoln identified the problem in 1863 when he said, “We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
We have forgotten God. We have sown the wind, as the Bible says, and we have reaped the whirlwind.
I believe the only hope for America is not merely a return to the values this nation was founded upon; it is a return to biblical truth that we find only in the pages of Scripture.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts: Meds a Factor in Ruling?

Let's talk about  Chief Justice John Roberts. I'm going to tell you something that you're not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to. It's well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems.... **Drowsiness, sleepiness, fatigue, poor coordination, unsteadiness, behavior changes And if you look at Roberts' writings you can see the cognitive dissociation in what he is saying. There are more than 20 anti-seizure medications from which Roberts and his physicians can now chose; some work to corral the hyperactivity in one area of the brain, while others prevent the electrical anomalies from occurring to begin with. All have to be taken daily

Communists: Obama MUST be Re-Elected

 writer for the Communist Party USA says that “…re-electing Obama is absolutely essential,” and warns that “divisions among Democrats and a potential wave of bad economic news can combine to threaten President Obama’s reelection.”

Marxist John Case, who writes for various CPUSA publications, has written a piece, “The danger of a Romney election,” for the party publication People’s World, which warns that “Re-electing Obama is not sufficient to bring economic recovery or even relief to our people. Only a different class configuration in political power can do necessary minimum reforms to give us a chance. But re-electing Obama is absolutely essential. Now is not the time for hand washing the complexities and tactics away—or failing to triage the most critical questions from those that are less critical. We cannot win everything at once!”

In reality, the CPUSA’s endorsement of Obama for a second term is not surprising. Various CPUSA officials, including Jarvis Tyner and Joelle Fishman, have openly expressed support for the U.S. President and his agenda.

Since 1988, the CPUSA has not run its own candidates for president and vice-president, preferring instead to work through the Democratic Party. Its support for Obama in 2008 and again this year has been open and outspoken.
The Case article offers a rationale, mostly on economic grounds, for getting Obama re-elected to a second term. He claims that the Republicans intend to do on a national level what Scott Walker has done as governor in Wisconsin—reduce government spending and the power of organized labor. Case refers to the prospect of a national “Walker-like regime.” Case laments the fact that “many private sector workers,” including 25 percent of Wisconsin union members, supported Walker.

In that case, as we have reported, Obama’ progressive allies were soundly defeated by Walker and his conservative backers.

Obama’s support in the CPUSA, a political entity once funded and directed by Moscow, has become an open secret, although the major media treat the subject as something not worthy of serious discussion. This silent treatment extends to the matter of Obama’s mentor, a member of the CPUSA named Frank Marshall Davis. Members of the party have known of Obama’s connection to Davis for many years, which may account for their support of the Democratic Party politician in 2008 and now in 2012. A congressional friend of Obama’s from his Chicago days, Rep. Danny K. Davis, still associates with the CPUSA and even accepted an award from them.

Obama isn’t the only Democrat getting various kinds of communist support. Workers World Party, an openly Marxist-Leninist party, endorsed Democrat Charles Barron for the U.S. House in the 8th Congressional District in New York City. However, in that primary election, which was held on June 26, Barron lost.

The Workers World Party newspaper referred to Barron, a city council member, as “a former Black Panther who continues to connect with many sectors of the progressive movement. He has marched alongside oppressed activists and Occupy Wall Street in the fight against poverty, budget cuts, foreclosures, racial profiling like stop-and-frisk, police brutality, the prison-industrial complex, and all forms of injustice at home and abroad.” It said Barron had won the endorsement of District Council 37, the city’s largest public employee union, representing 125,000 members and 50,000 retirees, and the black-oriented Amsterdam News.

The Workers World Party was investigated by the House Internal Security Committee for its support of the North Korean regime and Arab terrorist groups. But the House Committee was disbanded by liberals in Congress.

There is speculation that Jones was fired because the
 chain of command that hired him led to the Oval Office, including Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and Obama himself.The CPUSA writer John Case has not been without criticism of Obama, saying that the Democratic President made a huge mistake by firing Van Jones as White House Green Jobs czar after his communist background came to light. Case wrote last year that Jones’ “Rebuild the Dream” campaign “contains all the elements that save the Obama presidency that discarded him, and the party that failed to come to his defense.”
Jones remains a major figure in the progressive movement backing Obama, however, and was a featured speaker at the “Take Back the American Dream” conference recently held in Washington, D.C. Participants in the conference included Communist Party activists Jarvis Tyner and Joelle Fishman.

Super Freedom of Judi

Dennis D. Dinktwigger: Revolution

Here's a thought...    Revolution is not a onetime event. 

And then....    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Mitt Romney and other vehement opponents of the health care law that was largely upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday are now turning to the one remaining avenue of appeal: the ballot box in November.
Taken aback by the court’s ruling, Mr. Romney and Congressional Republicans quickly pledged to press forward with seeking to repeal the law and to hold Democrats accountable, a strategy that conservatives believe will help energize their voters in the fall. But a repeal vote in the House, which the majority leader, Eric Cantor, hastily set for July 11, is merely symbolic, with the real debate unfolding over the final four months of the general election campaign.
The importance of the victory for the White House was difficult to overstate, for now at least. By winning at the court, President Obama avoided being branded as a feckless and failed leader who invested too much time and political capital trying to overhaul the nation’s health care system as the economy foundered. It is an emboldening moment that provides a fresh boost of energy for his re-election campaign at the end of an otherwise frustrating month for the president, who is locked in a tight race with Mr. Romney.
But the triumph for Mr. Obama will not necessarily be enduring. The president now faces the challenge of trying to sell the merits of the health care law again in the court of public opinion, even as Mr. Romney and Republicans can campaign on their promise to repeal the measure. It was telling that he used his address from the East Room two hours after the court’s ruling to explain the law and its benefits to Americans, something that even some of his supporters said he had failed to do effectively after the law’s passage more than two years ago.

Eric Holders Dog

Eric Holders Dog, "Are you looking for me"

But what if 'They' are wrong?

Mike Corthell, Editor & Publisher

Belief is not truth. True.

That is one of the greatest deceptions of our time, the idea that if I believe something it has to be true. 

I run into it all of the time. Self-deception is the most dangerous of all. There is nothing more startling than to learn too late that what you believed was not true.

In fact, I believe it is the cause of most problems that face America.

At least you know where you are.

Permit me to say it again. The fact that you believe something does not necessarily mean it is true.

Jesus told us that “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” I hear folks repeat that verse often, yet they do not take the time to think about what they have just said.

Truth, alone, does not make one free. Truth only makes you free if you know it.
Believing the truth is not enough. As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” But “believing” is not the same as knowing. Believing requires faith. Knowing does not. In fact, I have often been told that “you can’t believe your eyes?”

Belief is dependant on the credibility of the source. It really does matter from whom you receive your information.

Eve believed the Truth. In fact, she was a “woman of the Word” quoting to the serpent what it was that Adam had told her that God had said. Eve had heard the truth, but she didn’t know it. That is why she was such a sitting duck for the serpent. She could only repeat what someone else (Adam) had told her. She had no real first-hand knowledge of what she claimed to believe.

That is where most Americans find themselves. We are merely the victim of what others have told us. What if our guides are blind? Jesus told us that ablind guide would cause everyone to end up in a ditch.

To quote Ronald Reagan, “It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they believe so many things that aren't so.” The same can be said of “conservatives.”

One of the hardest things to get through someone’s skull is the idea that what they believe may not actually be true.

Paul said we must KNOW the truth…not just believe it.
Look at the mess we are in today. Is it possible that we have been taught things that are not true?

They tell us that:

 There is a separation between the church and the state.
 Religion and politics do not mix. We should keep our religion to ourselves. There is no such thing as absolute truth.
 That man is making global temperatures rise. 
 That “going green’ will save the world.
 That burning coal will destroy the ozone.
 That an unborn baby cannot feel pain.
 That abortion will make “the problem” go away.
 That a baby’s life is a mother’s choice.
 The Supreme Court’s decisions are law.
 The Supreme Court is unbiased.
 In America, the Supreme Court is wiser than the Supreme Being.
 No one is above the law.
 Personal liberty must yield to government sovereignty.
 Ron Paul is crazy.
 God loves everyone.
 God does not get angry with sinners.
 Jehovah and Allah are the same God.
 Secular education does not affect the spiritual condition of a child.
 College is worth the exorbitant price and worth the debt.
 Parents does not have the right to choose where their child goes to school.
 The economy is getting better.
 The dollar is sound.
 The banks are solid.
 Christians should not offend people.
 Truth is relative.
 Christians are not supposed to judge.
 All Christians must tithe to the local church.
 Obeying evil government is a Christian’s duty.
 Bill O’Reilly is looking out for you.
 Two homosexual parents are healthy for a young child.
 Homosexual behavior is not as dangerous as smoking.
 God honors homosexual marriage.
 Martial Law will never be declared.
 Talmudic Jews do not control the banks and the media.
 All conspiracy theories are bogus.
They tell us that:But what if they are wrong?
 All Americans are required to pay income tax.
 There are many paths to God.
 The God I serve accepts everyone just the way they are.

But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 Man is destroying the environment.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 An unborn baby is not a person.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 The Supreme Court has the final say on all laws.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 Our elections are honest.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 God does not judge nations.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 Our schools are doing a good job of educating our children.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 Gold and silver is not money.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 A person is a Christian if he/she says he/she is one.
But what if they are wrong?

They tell us that:
 The Rapture will save us from trouble.
But what if they are wrong?

 The Chinese are our friends.
But what if they are wrong?

Could it be what you believe is not really true? Who do you trust?

Crisis, Recovery?

Dennis D. Dinktwigger: Internet

Here's a thought...   My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them.

And then....    If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet, and you can find a lot of people there who don't like you. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cable Co. Games (Saving $$)

I get a discount from my cable company for having a bundled package of cable, Internet and phone services. But every year I have to haggle with a customer service representative to keep that discount.

Why? Because the discount is what the company gives "new" customers when they purchase all three services. So I have to take time out of my busy day to call the cable company and complain when my bill increases -- sometimes even threaten to switch to another provider (which I wouldn't do because I can get the best deal from my current provider). The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: I noticed that I'm being charged more for phone and Internet service now.

Customer service rep: Yes, it looks like you had a one-year introductory offer with a special rate for those services.

Me: What can I do to keep that rate?

Customer service rep: Well, we can rebundle your services -- basically put you into a new contract.

Me: Is there a charge for that?

Customer service rep: Yes, $25.

Me (after doing the math and figuring I'll still come out ahead because I'll save $35 a month by keeping my phone and Internet charges at their previous level): Okay, let's do it.

I have automated bill pay, so it would be easy to overlook these annual increases. And I'm sure plenty of people don't bother to contest the price hikes. But think of all the money they (maybe you, too) would save by enduring the headache of haggling with the cable company -- or any service provider -- to get a better deal.

And the next time I have to play this game with the cable company, I'll try to haggle my way out of the $25 charge I usually agree to pay to get better rates.

Big Bro Says...Your Glass House

Dennis D. Dinktwigger: Bon Chance, Bon Homme

Here's a thought...   Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them. 

And then....   From now on I will not ask for good luck. I, myself, am good luck. 

Of Stupid Prophecy and Anti-Christs

The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39, often referred to as the battle of Gog and Magog, is hands-down one of the most influential end-time prophecies in all of Scripture. But it is also arguably one of the most wisely misinterpreted prophecies. This idea that Ezekiel prophesied a Russian-led invasion of Israel is widely taught by numerous well-known and highly respected Bible teachers. The idea finds its basis in the fact that Gog, the leader of the invasion, is from the land of Magog, which, it is claimed, is a reference to Russia. In a previous article, I showed several maps – several created by popular prophecy teachers and several from modern and scholarly referenced Bible atlases. What was quite apparent from that article is that the majority of Bible atlases are not in agreement with the popular belief concerning the location of Magog. While many teach that Magog is a reference to Russia, the Bible atlases all placed Magog in modern-day Turkey. So if modern scholarship does not validate the popular notion that Magog is in Russia, where, then, did this idea come from?
The view rests on two pillars. The first pillar is a quote from the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who said, “Magog founded the Magogians, thus named after him, who by the Greeks are called Scythians.” The second pillar of support for the Russian-Magog view is a misunderstanding of the historical record and faulty reasoning.
The primary fatal flaw in this line of reasoning is in the timing of when the Scythians lived in Russia. Here’s why this matters: The method that virtually all modern conservative scholars use to interpret any biblical passage is what is called “the historical-grammatical method.” This method first seeks to understand the original context of any passage. In the case of Ezekiel’s prophecy, the historical-grammatical method seeks to identify how Ezekiel himself would have understood the term Magog – not Josephus, who lived roughly 700 years later. This is absolutely essential.The widely popular but faulty line of reasoning is as follows: 1) Magog and the Scythians are one and the same; 2) the Scythians lived in Russia; 3) Gog, the leader of Ezekiel’s invasion comes from Magog; 4) thus Ezekiel’s prophesied invasion is led by a leader from Russia.
The Scythians were a nomadic, migratory people whose primary homeland was radically different in Ezekiel’s time than it was in Josephus’ day. During Ezekiel’s day, the primary peoples known as Scythians lived in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey. In Josephus’ day, the Scythians lived in the regions north of the Black Sea, primarily in the area that would come to be Ukraine, but also in the Russian steppes. Recognizing the historical movement of the Scythians is essential if one is to properly interpret Ezekiel’s passage according to its original context.
For the average student of Bible prophecy, the confusion lies in the fact that many interpreters do not properly use the historical-grammatical method of interpretation and instead make efforts to track down the various bloodlines of ancient biblical names. Thus many interpreters trace the migration of the Scythians to the region of Russia by the first century. The question, however, is: Why stop at the first century? Why do these interpreters not continue until modern times when the descendants of Magog have spread out throughout much of the world? If the method of interpreting the passage is according to bloodlines, then consistency would dictate that the interpreters who teach that Ezekiel was speaking of Russia must also include much of the Western world. If we identify the bloodline ancestors of the various Japhetic peoples listed in Ezekiel’s prophecy (Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togarmah), we must minimally include the following nations and regions: the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, all of Central and South America, all of Europe and several others.
Of course, no prophecy teacher ever makes such a claim. Yet the method of interpretation (tracing bloodlines) is precisely how most popular prophecy teachers attempt to justify the connection of Russia with Ezekiel’s prophecy.
The only way to properly understand Ezekiel’s prophecy is to identify how Ezekiel would have understood the term Magog. This would have been informed by the location of Magog in the late seventh to the early sixth century B.C. (as well as the location of Magog according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 and 11 as would have been understood by any Old Testament-literate Jew of the day). By asking ourselves where Ezekiel would have known Magog to be, and not Josephus, we arrive at Turkey, not Russia.
The idea that Ezekiel viewed Magog as relating to modern-day Russia is either rooted in a lack of understanding the historical and geographical facts and poor reasoning or an improper method of interpretation. Nevertheless, this belief has developed into a deeply rooted tradition in some quarters of the Christian Church, and unfortunately, it is doubtful that it will go away any time soon. Careful students of the Scriptures, however, must make it their goal to always seek truth, even when it is in conflict with their own traditions. It is imperative that students of the Bible take the time to study Ezekiel’s prophecy. In my newest book, “Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,” not only do we examine many essential, but often-ignored historical, geographical and exegetical elements of the passage, but even more importantly, its application and relevance for the Church and the world today.
View a video discussion of this column:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Black Out

They Put Down Dogs, Don't They??

In the Old Testament’s first book of Samuel, there is the following historical report on the king of Israel:
“Then said Saul unto his armor bearer: ‘Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me,’ but his armor bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.”
There is no biblical condemnation of King Saul’s suicide – in fact, David said:This is an historical account of suicide that, but for the cowardice of the armor bearer, who couldn’t bring himself to kill royalty, might have been euthanasia or mercy killing. In consideration of the Philistine treatment on the wall of Bethshan, this was a merciful release. Saul was fortunate in being able to administer his own death blow, even though sorely wounded, because otherwise he would have been nailed to the walls of Bethshan alive, instead of dead, and left to the mercies of the vultures.
“Lo how the mighty have fallen” – an obvious tribute and mourning, rather than condemnation.
Neither is there any particular condemnation regarding the suicides of either Abimelech or Samson. There is no specific condemnation of suicide or euthanasia from Jesus Christ.
Most of the opponents of euthanasia will cite the commandment “Thou shalt not kill.” This argument demands extreme pacifism and, in fact, vegetarianism. The more accurate translation: “Thou shalt do no murder” eliminates implication of euthanasia, since murder is legally defined as killing with malice aforethought.
The families, friends and physicians who put love above legality, courage above comfort and heed Jesus’ admonition “blessed are the merciful” in applying euthanasia have risked their reputations, their liberty and even their lives. Certainly this cannot be said to represent malice, as is indicated by the growing number of juries that acquit euthanasists.
Suicide, or euthanasia, under extenuating circumstances had no early philosophical opposition, as it was advocated by Pythagoras, Plato, Cicero, Epictetus and Seneca. Suicide was committed by Hannibal, Diogenes, Socrates – who could have escaped – Cleopatra and Aristotle, who, like Seneca, chose the lesser of two evils.
It seems foolish to brand all of these leaders as either insane or cowardly.
The late Gen. William Dean, the hero of Korea, holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor and prisoner of war, publicly asserted that he would request being supplied with a suicide pill if ever again he were to go into battle with communists. This statement has been criticized by a number of Christians, who are ignorant of the fact that St. Jerome permitted suicide in defense of chastity! They are ignorant of the fact that patristic Father Lactantius (tutor of Emperor Constantine’s son) allowed for suicide in the face of impending torture.
Upon investigation, the main opposition to euthanasia seems to come from St. Thomas Aquinas, who was presumptuous enough to claim that suicide is a sin of which it is impossible to repent.
In England, until 1823, a suicide’s body was buried at a crossroads with a stake through the heart. Until 1882, suicides were buried at night, with all their property confiscated.
Across the Channel in 17th century Brittany, the local Roman Catholic Church was much more merciful in use of the “Holy Stone.” With permission of the priest, the family of an incurable sufferer might drop a large stone on his head. The question faced in this case was not a matter of choosing between life and death, but a choice between a death of lingering agony and a death which is swift and merciful.
One of the most courageous and honorable men who ever lived was the famed “Man for All Seasons,” St. Thomas More, who was executed for daring to protest the wholesale assault on holy matrimony by King Henry VIII.
More has rightfully been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church even though his great literary work, “Utopia,” justifies euthanasia. In Ireland, in a later century, the dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin was the author of “Gulliver’s Travels,” the Very Rev. Jonathan Swift.
The late Episcopal moral theologian, author and theological seminary professor, the Rev. Joseph Fletcher, described Jonathan Swift’s death as follows:
“For any moral man with spiritual integrity, the mere fact of being alive is not as important as the terms of living. Jonathan Swift, the satirist and Irish clergyman, after a life of highly creative letters, ended it all in a horrible and degrading death. It was a death degrading to himself and those close to him. His mind crumbled to pieces. It took him eight years to die while his brain rotted. The pain in Swift’s eye was so acute that sometimes it took five men to hold him down to keep him from tearing out his eye with his own hands. For the last three years he sat and drooled. Knives had to be kept entirely out of his reach. When the end came, finally, his fits of convulsion lasted 36 hours.
“We can easily conceive of Dean Swift grabbing madly for a knife or a deadly drug. He was demoralized, without a visage of true self-possession left in him. He wanted to commit what the law calls suicide and what vitalistic ethics calls sin. Standing by was some good doctor trembling with sympathy and frustration. Secretly perhaps, he wanted to commit what the law calls murder. (But like Saul’s armor bearer he would not – for he was sore afraid.)
“Meanwhile, necessity, blind and unmoral, irrational physiology and pathology, made the decision. It was in reality no decision at all, no moral behavior in the least, unless submission to physical ruin and spiritual disintegration can be called a decision and a moral choice.”
Even so conservative a pope as Pius XII endorsed dysthanasia, which means the withdrawal of extraordinary measures to permit the patient – already virtually dead – to pass on in peace.
This pontiff also justified halting even artificial respiration in certain cases, if reanimation “constitutes a burden which in conscience it cannot accept.”
What sort of ethics command us to deny the same merciful release to a suffering human being that we would not hesitate to administer to a suffering horse or dog?
What sort of ethics equate the will of God with anything as horrendous as cancer but not with a hypodermic of a merciful physician, who puts love above legality and adherence to one of the Bible’s beatitudes:
“Blessed are the merciful.”

Dennis D. Dinktwigger: Happy

Here's a thought...  The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.

And then....  All I can say about life is, Oh God, enjoy it! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Fast and Furious Descent of President Obama

“Lie, noun, 1. A false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth.”
There are other words in the English language that dance around the edges of “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive” — misrepresentation, mendacity, falsehood, improbity, prevarication, perfidy, untruth. But nothing cuts through such rhetorical claptrap like that little three-letter word “lie.”
Thus begins the fast and furious descent of President Obama. Almost exactly 40 years to the day after burglars slipped into the Watergate complex, setting off a coverup that toppled a president, Mr. Obama on Thursday invoked executive privilege to shield documents about his administration’s shockingly inept “gunwalking” program known as Fast and Furious.
That same day, the lies poured forth in the White House briefing room, delivered by the president’s chief spokesman.
“What I can tell you is that there is nothing in these documents that pertains to the Fast and Furious operation,” Jay Carney said, asserting that “every document related to the Fast and Furious operation has long since been provided to congressional investigators.”
“Hogwash,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Through my investigation, I know there are reams of documents related to the ‘operation itself’ that the Justice Department has refused to turn over to Congress.”
While the White House claims the 7,600 documents turned over toCongress are all that relate to the disastrous program, reports say theJustice Department has turned over upwards of 80,000 documents to its own inspector general. Republicans claim at least 1,300 of those deal directly with Fast and Furious.
The thin-skinned Mr. Carney, petty and combative throughout the briefing, sought to dismiss the congressional probe, which last week resulted in a House panel voting to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, as nothing more than a partisan political “fishing expedition.” Moreover, the president’s spokesman said Fast and Furious was an “operation” that “originated in a field office during the previous administration.”
That, too, is a flat-out lie and Mr. Carney knows it. There was a program during the George W. Bush administration that did involve guns andMexico, but there the similarities end.
In the Bush operation known as Wide Receiver several hundred guns were allowed to “walk” across the border. But using “controlled delivery,” as well as miniature GPS devices within the guns, agents tracked the weapons throughout. The Mexican government was kept fully informed of the program, and Mexican police there took over the surveillance once the guns crossed the border.
But the program, which began in early 2006, ran into problems. When agents “lost” several dozen either through malfunctioning GPS devices or tampering Bush administration officials aborted the operation in late 2007.
Thus, also a lie when Mr. Carney said Operation Wide Receiver “was generated in the field during the previous administration that, when it was discovered by the attorney general, when he became aware of it, he ended it in this administration.” The program ended more than a year before Mr. Obama took office.
In fact, it was the federal government’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that, after discussion with top Justice Department officials, created its own program in November 2009, nine months after Mr. Obama took office.
But Fast and Furious used “uncontrolled delivery” gun smugglers were allowed to buy more than 2,000 high-powered weapons and simply walk them across the border. Because Mexican officials had no idea about the program, tracking the weapons simply stopped after they were purchased agents were ordered not to intercede, but instead allow the weapons to disappear.
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