America the Screwed

The Sun could be setting over the American Empire… (Image copywrited)

And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel:

‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.
Now the end has come upon you,
And I will send My anger against you;
I will judge you according to your ways,
And I will repay you for all your abominations.
My eye will not spare you,
Nor will I have pity;
But I will repay your ways,
And your abominations will be in your midst;
Then you shall know that I am the Lord!’
Ezekiel 7:2-4 (New King James Version)

Over 4½ years ago, I posted a piece on this blog, titled, “This is The End: The US As We Know It” (in fact, the above image was taken from that post). At that time, I warned that this nation needed to make some hard choices for it to survive the future.  We were at the start of another election year (2012) and it appeared that nothing changed for the US of A as we smarted from the 2008 economic meltdown.  Back then, we were warned of our infrastructure which was falling apart.  We saw the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street get into their collective tizzies over the way the nation was ran.

Let’s time travel over 4½ years into the present.  To be honest, things have gotten worse. We’re near the end of the 2016 election year with two candidates Americans are not crazy about (as compared to the Obama-Romney bout in 2012).  We have sank further into the foreign war quagmire, adding Syria to the mix.  We have “Patriots” ready to maintain a dying White Christian Heterosexual Male status quo, vs. groups of color like #BlackLivesMatter.  We have a government that is letting the top dogs at Well Fargo getting away with banking chicanery that would have landed the Average Joe/Jane behind bars.  Our infrastructure’s no better-especially our fragile power grid that covers the Northeast.

Folks, we are screwed.  And if you don’t think so, read tonight’s Scripture.  Although this was dealing with God’s warning of Ancient Israel’s destruction, we can easily cross out “Ancient Israel” and put in “Today’s America”.  We have done serious sins which God is now repaying this nation for: genocide of First Nation peoples; the enslavement and discrimination of African peoples in America; discrimination against immigrants that didn’t fit the above “Patriot” mold; discrimination against women; mistreatment of GLTBQs based on faulty interpretation of scripture; fighting wars overseas that did not need involve us while destroying sovereign nations; economic disparity; environmental destruction; and even now, pandering politics that cater to the basest of human emotions: fear.

In fact, God is already exacting His/Her judgement against America.  Our economy is still struggling.  Our infrastructure sucks and is crumbling steadily. We have more political scandals that would make for a best selling novel with “Bridgegate” here in New Jersey.  We have become the laughing stock on the world stage with even our old rival, Russia looking good.  We’ve perverted the Bible and used it to create a wet dream called “Christian America,” which is now dying like the autumn leaves falling from the trees outside my window.  Our economy is standing on shakier ground than the San Andreas fault; not fully recovered since 2008.

You see, God is not sending some apocalyptic shit on us in one fell swoop.  No my friends, God is letting the above happen; like termites chomping away at the wooden supports in a house.  Over time, this country is falling apart-bit by bit-until we’re toast.  Soon, this nation will be so crippled that we won’t know what hit us.  If we’re lucky, we may survive as a “banana republic” as a friend of mine stated.  At worst, we can become a failed state.

The saddest part of it all is that no one seems to care. We’re so numbed by mindless entertainment, electronic toys, consumerism, and disconnected social structures; we are totally oblivious to the whole thing.

Is there hope for us?  I really don’t know, yet I ope there is. I laid out my thoughts back in 2012, however they must’ve fallen on blind eyes.  If you look at history, it took Israel many years from Ezekiel’s time (622-570 BCE) to 1948 CE when Israel finally became a sovereign nation again.   If there is any hope left we better act fast, or we’re America the Screwed for sure.

God help the United States of America.  Peace.

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“Three Strikes” or “The House Loses”

Then I said:

Wisdom is better than strength.
Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised,
And his words are not heard.
Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard
Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.
 Wisdom is better than weapons of war;
But one sinner destroys much good.
Ecclesiastes 9:16-18 (New King James Version-emphasis mine)

Well folks, we had “Round 3” of the 2016 Presidential Debates live from Las Vegas, and I’m shaking my head over the whole thing.  I heard the debate on the radio coming home in my truck tonight.  From what I heard it was quite interesting.

I think Donald Trump is suffering from early dementia:  he seems to keep going back to ISIS.  I think if Chris Wallace (moderator) was to ask Trump the name of his wife, he would probably answer, “ISIS”.  Plus, we had more of Trump’s interrupting both his opponent and the moderator.  Trump also created a new word, “bigly”.  We saw Hilary Clinton go after him and keep him on the ropes for the debate.  Also, Trump ended the debate being evasive about what his response will be with the upcoming election results.

Although Clinton was pretty much the victor in tonight’s debate, I’m not automatically tossing my hat into her ring.  As I’ve constantly said, Clinton’s got too much dirty water under the bridge for me.  Also, Clinton was not that concrete regarding a “No Fly” zone over Syria, which can be problematic for our relationship with Russia should one be established.  Also-like her opponent-Clinton was a bit vague about the economy, the national debt, and entitlements.

Both Trump and Clinton struck out tonight.  Although many in their respective camps will still go to bat for them, I can’t be so kind.  With Trump’s bluster about “rigged elections” and Clinton’s foreign policy; I have grave concerns about America’s future.  Both candidates have no real appreciation for democracy-or liberty-for that matter.  I see America losing the house, regardless who winds up in the White House.

As tonight’s Scripture lamented, the rational voice of the common person (We The People) is never heard, while fools in power (including Trump and Clinton) have their voices heard.  Plus, these two will be more harm than good.  They snub their noses at the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  I wouldn’t trust either of them on the nuclear trigger since one’s too unstable and the other’s too eager to use it.  Their sins can easily destroy this great nation and its credibility on the world stage.

Shame both candidates can’t be disqualified from running after their collective third strike; maybe it could bring a change of elections.  However, the way this game is rigged up, the house ultimately loses-even in Las Vegas…

And believe me, this is a loss we cannot afford.  Peace.

(Image courtesy of The New York Times)

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Disconnected Christians

1-roll1_a000124-r1-30-5not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some
From Hebrews 10:25 (New King James Version)

Ever seen how our churches are diminishing in membership size? All over our great land, we’re seeing the rise of the “Nones”-folk who are Christian yet are unaffiliated with a fellowship or denomination. We also have the “Dones”-folk who’ve kissed church goodbye altogether. I’ve covered these folk  in a previous post, so I won’t belabor it.

However, it’s not always those on the outside that need consideration; how about those of us still on the inside?   Many of your disconnected Christians are still in churches: whether in the pulpit, at the door ushering, or somewhere in between.  These souls feel as if they no longer see Jesus at their places of worship; but just something to kill the time.  These people usually love their fellow members and have a deep love for Christ; however these pour souls feel as if their church (or the Ecclesiastical Institution) is not stoking that love.

You see it in our churches: over emphasis of giving; pastors with fragile egos enforcing ridiculous rules (usually not Biblical); politics and personality; out of step with what’s really going on with the body’s life; etc…   The sad part is that many churches don’t realize this until it’s way too late: declining memberships; people dropping out of leadership positions; conflicts among members; and in some cases, rejection of the Faith altogether.  And if you’re out there saying, “Yeah, right….,” either you’ve been blessed with a great fellowship and God bless you, or your ass is asleep/in denial and needs to wake up.

Tonight’s Scripture is familiar to many in the Faith.  The writer of Hebrews admonishing believers to continue coming together for worship.  This is a verse many pro-church (institutional) people use to keep people coming to church.  However, this was written at a time when many Christians felt that Jesus’s return was imminent and many in the Faith faced severe persecution from both Romans and Jews.  Plus, people gathered in houses, not church buildings (for a least a few centuries).  However, my take is that whoever wrote this piece never had to contend with Christians who feel disconnected from it all; who love the Lord yet feel adrift.  Plus, Hebrews was always a questionable book for me-despite Chapter 11’s “faith” passages.

Time and again, the Church had to deal with disconnected Christians.  In the past, pastors would “guilt” members back either with other (still active) members, or with Scripture.  However today, we have more information thanks to the Internet that challenges the Church’s deep-seated beliefs; and a plethora of religious media that competes with face-to-face church going.  Today, we see many of our young adults feeling disconnected-a group known for its energy. The same can also be said of the older crowd-the married with kids group known for stability (and tithe money).

And what’s killing church leaders is that the old “guilt trips” cannot work any more.  Plus, with many elderly church members dying or retiring out of area all that good money ain’t visiting the collection plate anymore.

The Church today needs to reach out to the disconnected whilst they’re still in fellowship.  It cannot afford to play around and just “pray over it”.  Times are a changing and people are no longer tethered to their church.  The Church needs to reach out and meet these souls where they are; despite the issue.  Sometimes it just might take dialogue and good old Godly cooperation to work things out.  It would be tragic that disconnected Christians detach themselves permanently from the Church altogether, and even worse, from Christ.

Disconnected Christians?  They’re in a local church with you; or may even be you.  Something to think about tonight.


(Image: Abandoned garage in Boonton Township, NJ.  Image by Me).

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A Better Way to Live

20160827_182819For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 (King James Version)

If you are to peruse the daily news, you would find enough to make you run for the hills and hide.  The current Presidential campaign is more of a show than anything else; with posturing candidates that have no real  plans.  We have folks claiming that we’re nearing World War III. Social media has posts about something going wrong.  We have race strife in the US.  Syria is a perpetual battlefield.  People warning Americans to purchase firearms for self-defense. There are even online stores that sell goods in case of any emergency that forces you to go “off grid” (war, civil unrest, economic meltdown, loss of energy, etc).  All in all, we’re fed a daily diet of fear.

All of the above-and then some-would either make you want to head for the hills, or put an end to it all a la On The Beach.  However all this fear has insidious results: mistrust of others; willingness to support any aggression-from cops to soldiers-if it makes us feel “safe and secure”; willingness to participate in any violence against the “other”; breakdown of social networks that involve face to face contact; weakening of any ethical resolve leading to desperation; unwillingness to consider peaceful or at least sane alternative to fear; resignation to some “fate”;  The Powers That Be can easily manipulate us via the media or their smooth-talk; we will try to cover up an vulnerability we could have shared-even if sharing it could help.  We’ll ultimately wind up living the biggest lie ever…

However, there is a better way to live.  Tonight’s Scripture-talking about the courage of spreading the Gospel despite it all-can apply to this post.  You see, God has not given us this spirit of fear; and yes, fear is a spirit.  Instead we’re given a spirit of love, power and of a sound mind-especially love.  You see, you cannot get power and a sound mind without love.  As I always say, to live with love is to live with courage; to live with courage is to live with love.  Love and courage go hand in hand.

It’s love that will cause us to reach out to the “other” and see we’re more alike than different.  Love will cause us to say “no” to violence of any kind and work on a peaceful alternative.  Love will give us to courage to speak truth to power (like Gandhi and King); breaking the puppet strings The Powers That Be try to manipulate us with.  Love will drive us to ethical resolutions that will involve face-to-face contact.  Love will give us the courage to march against police brutality and say “NO!” to war (which included many a Vet and Cop).  Love will give us the courage to trust each other.  Love will give us the courage to live from out truth-collectively and individually.

Love will give us the courage to push our leaders to the table to speak peace; or kick them to the unemployment line.  Love will give us the courage to stand up to demagoguery and broken promises on the Presidential campaign trail.  Love will give us the courage to build community instead of living a siege existence.  Love will give us the courage to help each other in times of crisis, instead of every one for themselves.

Tonight-despite all the bad news that’s assaulting us-there is a better way to live: love.  “All we need is love” quoth The Beatles; and we need it more than ever.  It will be this love that comes from God that will save the day for humanity.  It’s a better way to live; it will take work and courage-yes.  However, it takes no more effort to love than it does to fear.

A better way to live: think about it.

Peace-and Love.

(Image: Grooving to a House Music vibe where love and togetherness flowed.  Jersey City, NJ. August 2016).

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“Sex, Lies, and A Hot Mic”


But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Matthew 12:36 (King James Version)

As I always said about the 2016 Presidential Campaign, is that you can’t make this stuff up.

This past weekend, we have a video clip of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump making crude remarks about women back in 2005 with then host of Access Hollywood, Billy Bush with a hot (active) microphone present.  Please be warned, this following segment I’m about to post is offensive:

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them,” Trump told Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush, according to an audio tape leaked to The Washington Post on Friday. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”  (Thanks to

Before I started tapping on my keyboard, I played the video clip which you can click on above so I can hear it for myself.  Believe me, this shit takes the cake!  I don’t care how much of a “star” Trump thinks he is, he should have never said stuff like this.  Now, we see him doing his version of damage control after the GOP jumped over his ass; along with opponents Hilary Clinton and Gary Johnson.  Plus, he earned the ire of women all over.  However,  Trump just screwed the pooch with this one.

As sexually liberal as I am, I still believe in decency.  Plus, as a public figure-now Presidential Candidate-Trump should have been wise in his words.  This is abuse of power and privilege clear and simple; and worse, it’s targeted against women.  I have a wife, sisters, female cousins, nieces, goddaughters, female friends and colleagues, and mother/grandmother figures-so understand my concerns.  I’ve also had friends and loved ones who were victims of sexual assault.  This is a man who could be our next President talking about assaulting women.

What makes this worse is that there are Evangelical Christians that are sticking by Trump-you can read it here.  I could only imagine what would happen if Trump was a woman (especially of color) who was running on the Democratic or Third Party ticket, and spoke about grabbing men’s crotches.  These X-tians would have Trump burned at the stake!

Tonight’s scripture is a fitting reminder for people like Trump who think they can say what they want due to power and wealth.  Jesus warned that whatever we say-even things we think are insignificant-will come back to judge us.  The “day of judgement” is not some far off afterlife event, it happens here and now during our lifetime.  For Trump, his “day of judgement” was this past weekend where he’s now trying to give account for his idle words.  And for his Evangelical pals noted above, they too will have to give account; and Jesus ain’t coming to their rescue.

Sex, lies, and a h0t mic: something for us to think on during this campaign.


(Image: Keiko Hiromi/Polaris/Newscom.  Courtesy of

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My Take on The Debate

Okay, award me my Medal of Honor.  I went above and beyond the call of any duty and endured last night’s Second Presidential Debate.  What I saw made me want to down a couple shots of strong tequila.

First, on Trump.  I think the man was either doing lines of coke or freebasing before the debates.  Donald did not directly answered the questions, but rambled on about unrelated issues.  He sniffed more than a bloodhound.  He was loud at times and disruptive (maybe had a nip or two as well).  He was very circular in his responses.  He also did not engage the crowd, but stood behind Clinton (hope he wasn’t checking her out…creepy).  He equated African-Americans with the Inner City and poverty (what about the wealthy African-American suburbs in the US?).  See how he also played “dodge ball” with the question regarding his 2005 comment about women.  Trump acted more like a disruptive high-schooler than a mature and professional candidate.

Second, on Clinton.  Despite her recent bout of pneumonia, you have to give the woman credit.  Hilary did engage the audience and did try to answer questions.  However folks, you can either answer questions or, “answer” questions: Clinton did the latter.  Her “record” was more of verbal selfies than anything of substance.  Like her counterpart, no real answer to affordable health care, engaging ISIS/Syria/Russia, or other issues near and dear to Americana was addressed.  At one point, she reminded me of some of those televangelists: preachin’ lots yet saying little.

I’ve come to a conclusion that’s shared by many: these two are one and the same (the above photo looks like they’re serenading each other).  Either candidate has no clear-cut vision for the US of A.  Tonight’s debate was more show than substance, where the general public that questioned the candidates was better.  It’s no secret that each represents a tiny minority in this country, which I’ve covered here and here.

In my humble opinion, they talked a lot yet said very little.  They’re also becoming quite annoying as well.  It’s a shame that the CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates) is not allowing Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party Jill Stein in the debates; then again they may bring much needed substance and real answers.

If you ask me, the whole thing is a farce-plain and simple.  What makes it sad is that We The People take it all in stride.

Well, that’s my thoughts on Debate #2.  I wonder what surprises the final debate will hold.


(Image: Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump during their second encounter. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

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The Manipulation Generation

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1 Corinthians 9:24 (King James Version)

My wife and son were playing “Battleship” (the old school version).  However, I noticed when my son appeared to be losing, he wanted to start over despite being deep into the game.  I had to explain to my son that not all games can be restarted; that the game must be played to the end even if one loses.

As I walked away, I realized that many of us have become a “reset” generation at first; however I expanded my description to tonight’s title: we’re a manipulation generation.  We have devices we can hit the restart button on when a glitch occurs and reboot them.  If we don’t like how our favorite video game is turning out for us (we’re losing), we hit the restart button for a whole new game.  If my device is really not acting right, I can hit the reset button and start afresh…even up to a factory reset that takes my device to when I first bought it.

I can delete photographs from my digital camera if I don’t like them.  We can delete a project off our computer if something’s wrong and start again; instead of seeing the project to the end.  We can record tracks on computer-editing and deleting; or even seamlessly sampling other songs onto ours.  We can change colors of things (or make them black and white). We can “Photoshop” everything from models up to news photos.  We can manipulate our world to our liking (and another’s disliking).

As a photographer who had to manipulate images himself for artistic effect or aesthetics; and even in writing this blog such actions can be warranted.  There are times we have to refresh something, restart something, or delete something.  And even some therapies or spiritual practices call on these approaches.  Even the one who “reinvents” him/herself.  There are other examples as well.  However in these instances, these are all done with a specific purpose.

However, if we take this approach to life itself in a willy-nilly manner, the results could be problematic.  We’ll stop things before they can be carried out to fruition, wasting time and resources.  We’ll find ourselves never truly challenging ourselves in games since we can hit the “restart” button, which can easily carry itself into life.  We’ll fall for carefully edited “sound bites” in our news, instead of hearing the whole story.  We’ll listen to sampled music that will keep us from appreciating pure talent.  In the end, we’ll do such manipulating we’ll alter life into a cheap facsimile of the real thing.

In tonight’s Scripture text, the Apostle Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (today’s Greece).  In Paul’s era, the Olympic Games took place; events took place throughout the region in his time.  Paul used the analogy of the races which he might have seen, or heard through local news.  Paul reminded the Corinthians that only one person gets the prize, despite competing against many.  Paul was teaching perseverance to the folk-to run as so they can obtain the prize (in this case, eternal life with God).

We too must keep perseverance in our lives.  We cannot afford to manipulate life and think it would be for the better.  Especially in a transitory world like ours, we need to keep our footing; and not be the manipulation generation.  For ultimately, we could manipulate life out of life itself.

Just my thoughts for now.  Goodnight folks.


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