"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

There's More to Squanto Then What Meats the Eye

As our eyes behold the meat this Thanksgiving let us recall the past and fill in some of the gaps. You have your Bradfords, Brewsters, Carvers and other Thanksgiving Hall of Famers. Many have heard of the critical role Squanto [1585?-1622] played in bailing out the half of the Pilgrims that didn't die that first winter of 1620-1621, using his well-honed Indian fishing and agriculture skills. There were other colorful players though that help to round out that first Thanksgiving feast. There's Gorges, Dermer, Slaney and others.

Squanto is a good central figure though. His backstory in the Thanksgiving story makes for better drama then the better known "Act III" of his life. Act III being his interaction with the Pilgrims leading to the joint (not to be confused with: Chong, Cheech and) feast with the Pilgrims and the Indians.

Squanto had been to Europe probably three times or more prior to meeting the Pilgrims. The details are a little fuzzy but most historians agree on at least two trips having been made. And they really weren't "trips," as in vacations, for it appears Squanto was probably kidnapped or bribed by Captain George Weymouth, an Englishman, leading to his first trip to Europe in 1605. It seems five Indians were taken altogether, and two of them in a brutal matter.

Weymouth worked for Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the most influential member of the Plymouth Company for New England. It's believed Gorges and his associates taught Squanto English to help him gather information for exploration and colonization purposes. Entreprenurial stuff.

In 1614 (1613?) Squanto would return to the western hemisphere on a boat captained by John Smith (of Pocahontas fame). The boat accompanying him was captained by Thomas Hunt. This was likely a business trip for Smith and Hunt as they looked to become the first Bill Gateses (see: Soft, Micro).

While Hunt went about his business he used Squanto as an interpreter. Hunt would lure 20 Patuxet Indians on board his ship and cart them off to Malaga, Spain to be auctioned at 20 pounds a piece. Squanto was among the 20. Seven Indians of the Nauset tribe were also kidnapped. These numbers may not be exact but that's what happens after nearly 400 years elapse.

Fortunately for Squanto some Christian monks were placing bids and Squanto ended up in their fellowship. He lived with them a year or two then was off to Bristol or London. In London Squanto lived with Sir John Slaney in Cornhill. Slaney was a wealthy merchant and treasurer of the Newfoundland Company. In 1617 Slaney sent Squanto to Newfoundland, probably as an interpreter, and again, to assist Slaney in his business interests. Once in Newfounland Squanto met up with one CaptainThomas Dermer. Dermer had worked for Gorges in the past. Dermer and Squanto would go back to England, perhaps at Gorges request.

In 1619 (1618?) it was back to the West again for Squanto. He sailed with Captain Dermer, landing in Monhegan (Maine). On this trip Squanto would find out that every last member of his Patuxet tribe had died while he was away (in 1616-1617) from perhaps small pox , tuberculosis or some other bird flu-type plague.

Squanto wasn't the only famous Indian leading up to the first Thanksgiving feast. There was Samoset too. He was the Indian that first approached the Pilgrims on March 16, 1621, about 4 months after they landed. He knew a few English words. Samoset was the one who told the Pilgrims about Squanto, who they would meet 6 days later on the 22nd of March. Squanto introduced the Pilgrims to Massasoit and Quadequina (not to be confused with Quadrophenia, the Who's rock opera). The Treaty of Plymouth was negotiated (1621) so that John Carver, William Bradford and the other Pilgrims could trade and coexist with Massasoit and his fellow Indians. Without Squanto this treaty might never have happened.

So in a walnut shell, that's the backstory. While Squanto appeared to be quite the pingpong ball in all this, all these trips had a purpose. Many men with competing purposes and motives were posturing to reap great personal gain in this new world. Ultimately though the influence of these bumbling, stumbling, ill-prepared (in a worldly sense) Pilgrims would out-influence Gorges, Weymouth, Hunt, Smith and the other players.

One might argue that had Thomas Hunt, and George Weymouth before him, not kidnapped Indians then the Indian-European relations might not have been so hostile. Some would argue that this anti-Native American bigotry is reason enough to make reparations to the Indians alive today or even to give the whole country back to them. (Which begs the question, "Where do we all go?").

So there you have it. God using frail, flawed, corrupt, gallant and humble men and women of various persuasion in the outworking of his plan for his created beings and creation in general. Much like what's recorded in the book of Genesis, the early days of America were sin-plagued and very imperfect. Nonetheless our past is our past and we learn from it. No one can reasonably argue against the fact that the Pilgrims survived and eventually multiplied in a climate that looked to "eat them alive."

The history of God's people is replete with egregious acts and errors in judgment. Nonetheless, God is unveiling His "history" in manifold ways and will ultimately redeem and restore that which has been contaminated and messed up since the fall in the garden. The Thanksgiving story is a small but fascinating part of His story.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Say it ain't so. You too?

After the 60 Minutes interview with U2 it's official--Bono is out there spreading a false gospel. They showed a concert clip of him telling the audience that Buddha, Muhammad and Jesus Christ were all sons of Abraham. One World Religion stuff. That's an extraordinarily offensive "smart" bomb launched at Jesus and an unworthy promotion for the other two guys.

Bono has received lots of attention in recent years from world "leaders," owing to his influence with the age 18-34 demographic. He chided conservative Christians in congress for not helping AIDS victims in Africa. One would hope if he had a problem with Christians he would first, cease and desist from his anti-Christian bashing at his concerts, and secondly, approach Christians themselves instead of the state when asking for funds. The state is in whale-size debt and can only further violate private property rights if it sends funds to Africa. The cause is worthy but Bono's approach is a recipe for longterm harship on all.

I remember when Christian bookstores began stocking the album Joshua Tree by U2 way back when. If they still do it may be time to reread the store mission statement. I like alot of U2 music. I've always regretted refusing an invitation from a friend (Toby) to go see them for $3 back in the early 80s when they passed through my college town--Gainesville. I enjoyed their concert in Tampa many, many years ago. But I don't think I could enjoy today's Bono.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bird Flu Hype has Bird Flu?

Maybe it's just me, but the bird flu hysteria seems to have ratcheted down a notch the past week. I suppose newspaper editors realize bird flu-related water cooler talk ranks somewhere beneath conversations about the playoff chances of the San Francisco 49ers, and to preserve face they've ordered cut backs on the doom and gloom reporting.

This article reports that the strain of bird flu out and about today has been around since 1959. Oh sure, it could mutate tomorrow and infest humans, killing trillions, but let's wait until billions of dollars worth of Tamiflu has been manufactured before we start crying wolf again.

From Slavery to Slavery

Despite claims to the opposite, slavery is never banished from a nation but merely transformed into a new form. Americans heralded the end of the War Between the States and believed slavery to be a relic of history. Since then we've had bestowed upon us Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, LBJ's Great Society, a prescription drug deal, and the goody cart is certainly reloading as we speak. In reality the chains and shackles of the 19th century have been replaced by the crippling piles of debt of the 21 st century.

America has handed over its wealth to the state in exchange for a false salvation. In doing so we've sacrificed private property rights in exchange for misery disguised as a Thanksgiving feast. There is a chicken in every pot but they all have bird flu.

As the state furthers its entrenchment into every vestige of American life many Americans might one day consider the chains of old to be preferable to the state's plan of salvation. At least then there was food on the table. Politicians believe themselves to be messianic figures and legislate accordingly. They speak that way. They know everything. The checks and balances established by the Founding Fathers (see: Order, Executive) are gone as our multi-headed gods hold in great contempt the little gods offering their sage widsom. Washington, D.C. has become a veritable free-for-all in the power and prestige struggle as politician after politician doles out prodigious quantities of pork cleverly packaged as the kingdom of heaven on earth.

God speaks of bondslaves yet enslavement to the Author of love also means fellowship amongst other adopted sons and daughters, who've been promised the immeasurable true treasures of heaven at the appointed time.

Slavery is not inherently evil as we're all taught. This by no means justifies what took place back when Sherman was razing Atlanta. That was not a proud moment in American history. However, while the state-run schools of today denounce slavery they further it daily as they systematically teach that Americans "voluntarily" submit to their "plan of salvation." Because the state's quest for providing salvation continues to fail miserably it enacts fix after fix endeavoring to succeed. But in God's world an anti-Christian government can't succeed. It can only subjugate man more and more until the system implodes. At that point other forms of slavery will crop up and history makes a radical turn, perhaps for the better or perhaps for the worst.

Enslavement to God is good because God made it that way. In our era man tends to distrust God and enacts counterfeit slavery systems instead, denying all the while that what they promise is another form of slavery. Freedom is only found in Christ, not in the state and its fault-plagued institutions.

"Everybody's got to serve somebody" - Bob Dylan

Friday, November 11, 2005

How's my Blogging?

At least it was me who asked? Too often you get behind a service vehicle with a sticker or stencil painting reading, "How's my driving? Call 1-800-MANIPULATION and let us know!"

There's not a driver on earth who's interested in the opinion of strangers about his or her driving habits. It's the bosses who are interested. The driver drives those vehicles with a gun at his temple. A straightforward sign might read, "If our driver is wreckless, violating laws or buzzing, please call us at 1-800-KEEP-OUR-INSURANCE-PREMIUMS-LOWS."

An honest sign like that would probably triple the feedback.

The Telemarketer has no Clothes

Not only is the emperor naked but the Telemarketer is too. A rare spam cell phone call made it to my ears the other day. I was quickly informed I had won a Ford Explorer SUV. Before I could hear how to pick up what was "surely" a nifty no-strings-attached prize I hit the "end" button and returned to listening to the radio.

I've noticed headhunters are also pretending to be your old friend as well when making their cold calls. I'm certain a lot of America is keeping one step ahead of junk call techniques, necessitating more creative blathering by the spammers before they can secure a portion of your wallet or purse's contents.

Hand Washing Equals Filth

One of the first things you notice in a third world country is filth. Somehow poverty becomes a license to pollute. One of my most memorable bathroom memories is in a rundown quick store 2 hours down a dirt road, out of Guatemala City. I'll spare you the particulars.

America's public restrooms, including ones in private business buildings, used to most always be clean. At some point the prevailing wisdom was the need to assure patrons that the employees wash their hands before returning to work. Signs were posted to that effect in bathrooms everywhere. This was about the same time when American public restrooms ceased to be kept clean.

As an aside, I bet employee handwashing was higher back when we weren't informed handwashing is mandatory.

Banking in the Caymans

Cayman Islands claim to fame in America is its attraction as a stop for tourists. What it should be known as is its ability to provide quality banking service. 40,000 people live in the Caymans and there's about 600 banks. If you divvy up the clients that amounts to about 67 per bank. It's the 5th largest money center in the world. What individualized service!

Maybe "quality banking service" is premature. Perhaps "drug money laundering" would be more accurate. Who knows.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Come on Baby Light My.... Dollars

With so much spending and an even greater thirst to spend, one wonders how long the American dollar will hold its value. Debt used to be an embarrassment and now it's something to laugh about. Government debt, corporate debt, personal debt, bankruptcy--we're awash in debt. And if you save long enough and live to a ripe old age the health care system we've developed will suck your 401(k) and pension fund dry. And the bills will keep coming.

As we continue to try and tax our way into prosperity consider this investment--friends. Friendly neighbors don't devalue. Family doesn't devalue. We live in a country that throws money it doesn't have at all of its problems, including the make-believe ones. It de-dollars all of us in the process. Make friends. Make lots of friends. Give away stuff sometimes. It makes friends.

Avianic Public Relations for Profits and Control

We're all gonna die and it's going to be very soon. Kill your pets--birds, dogs, cats, tapeworms, normal intestinal flora--all must go! Where's Orson Wells when you need 'em?

Dr. Sherry Tenpenny wrote this piece about the manipulation of the public using bird flu as a catalyst. Dr. Tim O'Shea's piece on how PR firms manipulate people complements Tenpenny's analysis.

It's difficult to get people do distrust the FDA, the CDC and other like organizations. Somehow we believe they hold the value of health and life over the value of profits. Jesus said you cannot serve God and mammon. He also said man is born in sin and in need of redemption.

Republicans typically have no reservations in distrusting Democrats. Democrats generally see Republicans as evil as the Republicans seem them. So why then do so many Republicans and Democrats not question the motivation of the World Health Organization, the CDC and others, scurrying about preparing to fight the coming "pandemic."

Mankind is always wrong about pandemics. The either fail to predict them or project a narrow time frame for one without it coming to pass. Anyone can say, "we'll have a pandemic in the next century," but where's the "expert" who'll give us a seasonal prediction with even a small degree of accuracy?

Most people, to their credit, are ignoring the dire bird flu threats. Maybe we learned something with the SARS frenzy. Hopefully the small percentage of little people still concerned will look at the "profit grab" and "control the masses" angle. The pieces are certainly consistent with the history of the power hungry.

Go out and buy a parakeet. Throw open the windows. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

As France burns...

"Disadvantaged youths." "Rioters." "Blacks and Arabs." These are the typical media references to the people terrorizing the country affectionately known as France. Why not refer to them as Islamacists? Or Mohammad worshippers? It's the people about which Condoleezza Rice said, "We in America know the benevolence that is at the heart of Islam.," (Click here to read more about Condi's Islam-friendly remarks).

Why is the western media glossing over who's behind these riots? Sensitivity? Tolerance? Who knows. But what we do know is Islam is demonic to the core and these French burners would scorch America tomorrow if given the opportunity.

Whether the moniker is "radical Islam" or "peace-loving Islam," Islam is at all times the worship of Mohammad. "Peace-loving Islam" too will come under the fire of the "radical" Islamacists once other pesty infidels have been dealt with.

If the gospel of Jesus Christ is kept under the proverbial lampshade Islam will advance. Ultimately Islam will perish and the sooner the better.

Wife-beating in Australia

Islam is not only inspiring the burning of France, but protecting wife beaters in Australia as well. Read here before marrying an Islamacist and moving to Australia's Victoria state.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Here go the Pensions

Congress is considering reforming company pension plans. This can't be good. Apparently companies are dumping their plans on the feds. This sounds like quasi-backdoor bankruptcy training. With a government prolific in spending money it doesn't have it appears pension plans for many will be as helpful as Social Security checks in battling the bills of tomorrow.

America seems addicted to destructive thinking. This bodes will for the future of the church as it is the only bastion of right thinking.

From Icon to Pawn

Having watched a good chunk of the Rosa Parks funeral service on CSPAN one particular observation bubbled to the surface. All of the "public service" eulogizers struck me as opportunists rather than mourners. One after another they took to the podium to deliver canned speeches, most or all mentioning the famous bus event igniting the Civil Rights Movement. There were the two democratic senators from Michigan, the democratic governor of Michigan, Bill and Hillary, Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill) and others. Of course the Supreme Justice of the Court of Opportunism--Jesse Jackson--was there too.

An undeniable fact in winning a close political race as a democrat is to "get out the black vote." The aforementioned eulogizers seemed not to have any personal relationship with Rosa Parks otherwise they would have reminisced a bit. One can't help to think that appearing at her funeral was nothing more than pandering to a constituency without having to buy air time. Building up political capital for the "next race." This goes for President Bush as well. It's likely his handlers too stressed the importance of honoring "Mother" Parks. If they really wanted to honor her, certainly some of these politicians would have respectfully passed on speaking at her funeral, to allow time for her real friends and family an opportunity to reflect on her life.

I think if I would have met Rosa Parks I would have liked her. I certainly didn't learn anything about her watching her funeral.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Racism or math?

A reader wrote and expressed concern that my comments on Rosa Parks and Ray Moore were racist or at least, perhaps, symptomatic for having latent racist tendencies. The Rosa Parks-related observations haven't been racially motivated but rather math-driven (or statistics-driven).

I recently dropped off some material on Shaken Baby Syndrome in the mailbox of an African-American woman. I read in the local rag about her being thrown in the slammer because a baby in her care was found bruised by the mother when she picked her up. Why did I do this? (Read the post from September 26 for background information on Shaken Baby Syndrome. That helps to connect the dots). Do I think she's innocent? I don't know but having talked to her on the phone it sure sounded like a vaccine-related injury and not a brutal daycare worker pummeling her little client.

Before heading to her mailbox, unannounced, I tried to secure accompaniment by an African-American friend from work to appear more hood-friendly. He couldn't make it but I went anyway. In the daytime of course.

Why the "paranoia?" It's a statistic-based issue, not a race issue. African-Americans are much more likely to commit crimes against caucasions than they are against other African-Americans. Author John Perazzo analyzed statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice and calculated the risk of being a victim of black-on-white crime is 56X greater than it is to be a black victimized by a white.

Jerry Oliver, the African-American Chief of Police in Richmond, Virginia in 2000 wrote, "Here are some facts to think about: From 1995 to 1999, Richmond logged 541 total homicides; 85 percent, or 459, were African-Americans. Nearly 80 percent of the known suspects were also African-Americans. Actual crime numbers are down; however, during 1999, 89 percent of the forcible rapes, 85 percent of the aggravated assaults, and 95 percent of the armed robberies in our city were committed by African-Americans chiefly upon other African-Americans.

The level of violent black-on-black crime in the African-American community has consequences far more devastating, in my view, than the racism often cited by our leadership and civil rights activists. The overwhelming majority of black people, of course, are law-abiding citizens. Too many, however, live in high-crime areas, huddled in their homes, preyed upon day and night by black thugs, in living conditions that other Americans would not believe or tolerate. What's even worse is that they have a misguided sense of loyalty to civil rights activists and other leaders like those represented on the Virginia Advisory Committee who give aide and comfort to black criminals in reports like this one by making excuse after excuse for their blatant and inexcusable criminal behavior."

Universities don't teach this stuff and the media generally doesn't report it. To do so could hurt them either politically, financially, or both. A current example is the failure of the media to point out the rioters in France is a militant Islamic movement at its core. But we're told its about disenfranchised youth, including many blacks. That latter description is secondary at best.

For me to drive in a high crime area with a high degree of African-American residents increases my risk to bodily harm so I take precautions. It doesn't mean I'm a racist.

H5N1: Histrionic-5, Neurotic 1nsanity

The bird flu scare just gets crazier and crazier. Now Bush wants to allocate $7.1 billion to protect us from an event that occurs once every 100 years or so, by stockpiling $1.2 billion worth of a symptomatic alleviator (see Flu, Tammy) with a shelf life of perhaps 5 years (Tamiflu).

With 62 human bird flu-caused deaths thus far from this H5N1 virus here's what we've learned--about 0.0000008% of the world's population has died from bird flu. Humans show remarkable resistant. About half of those infected live. Human to human transmission is still a missing element.

Viruses are notorious for wreaking their havoc on people with compromised immune systems secondary to having poor nutritional status. Death from influenza decreased by 90% from 1900 to about 1950 as hygiene and nutrition improved. A 300% increase in influenza vaccination rates from 1950 through 2000 had negligible effect on the death rate.

Relative to the world's population Americans are mostly healthy. Wash your hands, eat your vegetables and cut back on sugar.

Bush should step into the Rose Garden and encourage farmers to let the land rest every 7th year as the Bible describes, ramp up organically grown products, stop injecting hormones into animals destined for the butcher, and apologize for spending our money like a 5-year-old in a Toys 'R' Us on Christmas Eve.

Expect the pandemic scare to be an annual event. Who wants to let $1.2 billion worth of Tamiflu expire in a warehouse.

Keep track of the hysteria at birdfluhype.com

The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat disease. The information has not been approved by the FDA. Consult a physician for all of your health care needs or concerns.