Archive for December, 2015

18
Dec
15

Cost to the Poor for Rewarding the Rich? (Cause & Effect)

Interesting comparisons.

See US tax top rates by year at this link:

http://federal-tax-rates.insidegov.com/

Note the degree of change in the Reagan years.
Note the rates prior to 1964.

It would be interesting to compare what social changes started to occur in those same years, how essential community services started to erode and how people have been affected by the significant reduction of taxes on those who can most afford to pay.

An example:

The number of homeless people grew in the 1980s, as housing and social service cuts increased and the economy deteriorated. The United States government determined that somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 Americans were then homeless. There were some U.S. federal initiatives that aimed to help, end and prevent homelessness, however, there were no designated homeless-related programs in the Office of Management and Budget.

The History of the United States (1980–1991) illustrates that this was a time when there was economic distress, high unemployment, and was the period when chronic homelessness became a societal problem. In 1980, federal funds accounted for 22% of big city budgets, but by 1989 the similar aid composed only 6% of urban revenue (part of a larger 60% decrease in federal spending to support local governments). It is largely (although not exclusively) in these urban areas that homelessness became widespread and reached unprecedented numbers.

Most notable were cuts to federal low-income housing programs. An advocacy group claims that Congress halved the budget for public housing and Section 8 (the government’s housing voucher subsidization program) and that between the years of 1980 and 1989 HUD’s budget authority was reduced from $74 billion to $19 billion. Such alleged changes is claimed to have resulted in an inadequate supply of affordable housing to meet the growing demand of low-income populations. In 1970 there were 300,000 more low-cost rental units (6.5 million) than low-income renter households (6.2 million). By 1985, the advocacy group claimed that the number of low-cost units had fallen to 5.6 million, and the number of low-income renter households had grown to 8.9 million, a disparity of 3.3 million units

The 1980s also saw a continuing trend of deinstitutionalizing mental-health treatment. It is believed that a large percentage of these released patients ended up in the homeless system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States#1980s

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14
Dec
15

“New” National Gallery of Australia

On the weekend I went to the National Gallery in Canberra. I think it was my first time this year, after making multiple visits each year since 2011 when I first started painting.

Every time I went to Canberra, the gallery would be one place I’d regularly visit. On one occasion I spent a whole day there, apart from an hour when I walked down the road to the nearby National Portrait Gallery.

This year I’ve done very little painting, and as a result had less desire to go to the NGA.

A few weeks ago I caught a short news item on TV about recent changes to the Gallery’s exhibition spaces.
In the simplest terms, there had been a switching of the International and Australian galleries. What had been downstairs, (International paintings) had been swapped with those that had been upstairs (Australian paintings).
Another claimed change was the lighting of Pollock’s Blue Poles. New lights had been created specifically for the Pollock to give a truer view of the colours used, so the painting for the first time would look exactly as it should.

This was my first visit since the changes, and I was very disappointed with what had been done.

Firstly the place seemed over-lit. The brightness created a clinical sterility.
Secondly I felt there was no logical flow of ideas, styles or eras in the display of the art.
I could also see no difference with Blue Poles, despite the special lighting.

On the positive side, Colin McCahon’s Victory Over Death 2 had a much better location. It was once again hanging at a more favourable height after spending a couple of years of hung 4 metres above floor level over an enquiry counter.VOD2

Also, near VOD2 I saw Abendland [Twilight of the West] by Anslem Kiefer for the first time. A massive 4 metre x 4 metre heavily textured work that I loved. Abendland [Twilight of the West Anslem Kiefer

It is now one of my three favourites in the gallery. The other two being McCahon’s VOD2 and Imants Tillers Terra Incognita, another massive artwork that is full of detail; a painting that could be viewed for hours to find all of the images and text it incorporates.
terra invognita tillers

14
Dec
15

Danny Nalliah, False Prophet and Political Agitator

I mentioned Danny Nalliah in a previous post:
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/latest-isis-recruits-in-action/

Over the weekend Danny Nalliah attended and gave his vocal support at a meeting celebrating the 10th anniversary of the infamous, very violent Cronulla race riots.

“Nalliah addressed the crowd before an Australian flag, leading them in a chant of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”. He then denounced multiculturalism, the media, the United Nations (“United Nonsense”) and the politically correct left.”

www.smh.com.au/nsw/cronulla-riots-rally-outnumbered-on-anniversary-20151212-glm0ac.html#ixzz3uFK4RSJV

Ironically, the Sri Lankan born, dark-skinned Nalliah would have been a victim of the violence if he'd be in Cronulla ten years ago since those targeted in the attacks were anyone considered to have a "Moslem" or middle eastern appearance.

Nalliah is the proven, and unrepentant, false prophet who leading up to the 2007 Federal election prophesied that his party of choice, the Liberal-National coalition would be re-elected to Government, and that the victorious PM John Howard would hand over the reins he'd held for a decade to his Deputy, Peter Costello.

Nalliah had previously taken it upon himself to "anoint" Costello as God's chosen leader of Australia, in the manner of the prophet Samuel anointing David as King of Israel.

The election came, the Government changed, and John Howard not only lost the Prime Ministership, he lost his seat in parliament. Peter Costello subsequently resigned from politics.

Rather than confess to his error, Nalliah chose to blame the Australian church for not voting according to God's revealed will. Revealed of course through Nalliah's prophecy.

Therefore, to Nalliah, it was Australian Christians who failed – not the prophecy.

His response to the failure of his attempt to manipulate an election result was to establish his own political party: “Rise Up Australia”.

__________________________________________________________________

see Nalliah’s unrepentant response about his own false prophecy on his ministries website:

http://catchthefire.com.au/2007/11/election-2007-did-i-get-it-wrong/

And his report of his involvement in the riot commemoration WAS here:
http://catchthefire.com.au/2015/12/cronulla-assignment-carried-out-by-the-the-grace-of-god/ but now seems to have been deleted from his site.

11
Dec
15

Morality and the Gospel, by Jeff Weddle

Morality and the Gospel
Here is another excellent, insightful article from Jeff Weddle.

Excerpts:

There is a danger within Christianity to boil everything down to morals.

Moral behavior is an outflow of Spirit-directed faith, but it is by no means an operative part of Christianity. Being good does not win points with God, nor does it clean up the old man, nor does it cause salvation.

However, most “Christians” use morality as THE MAIN ISSUE. Therefore, we get hot and bothered about threats to our “Judaeo-Christian” morality.

So, according to Jesus, which is worse: someone with strange sexual proclivities (say like, a prostitute) or people who blaspheme God (scribes and Pharisees)? Matthew 23 rails on religious false teachers. There is no equivalent chapter-long diatribe against sexual perverts.

Certainly He views them both as sinners (Romans 1 is close to a diatribe against sexual perversion!), but He certainly made more of an issue over those who were leading people astray spiritually than He ever did over sexual problems.

Again, sexual perversions are sin, He did address them at times, but spiritual perversion got a bigger rise out of Jesus.

See complete article here:

https://antiitchmeditation.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/morality-and-the-gospel/

10
Dec
15

Latest ISIS Recruits in Action (2)

Few things can benefit ISIS more than prominent Western political “celebrities” (hopefuls) helping to increase suspicion and hostility against the average Muslim living in the west.

It helps ISIS cause unrest, leading to potential hatred and increased fear,  in places that the terrorists can’t reach themselves.

trump

The Philadelphia Daily News had a hard-hitting reaction on Tuesday to Donald Trump’s proposal to bar all Muslims immigrants and tourists from entering the US.

The tabloid’s cover directly compared the Trump to Adolf Hitler, using a photo of the Republican presidential front-runner with his arm raised to look like a Nazi salute. The front-page headline further used a “furor” pun to compare Trump to the German Führer.

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/philadelphia-daily-news-cover-donald-trump-hitler-2015-12?r=US&IR=T

AND

abbott

It seems that Tony Abbott has taken a page out of Donald Trump’s campaign booklet. Last night, in a Sky News interview with Paul Murray, Abbott managed to further alienate an already ailing Muslim community and reinforce white-supremacists everywhere in one fell swoop.
As a self-proclaimed expert on cultural issues, Abbott has used his personal experience as a Catholic, white male to champion the “freedom and tolerance” in “Western” culture and demanded that the “live and let live” Muslims recognise that “all cultures are not equal” and push for a revolutionary “Islamic reformation” from within.

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/muslims-dont-need-western-cultural-supremacists-to-tell-them-what-islam-needs-20151208-glj0d9.html
.

.

Also see this excellent article: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/attacks-by-tony-abbott-donald-trump-on-muslims-political-theologically-illiterate-20151209-gljz1i.html

08
Dec
15

Best / Worst Political System? (addendum)

NO matter what political system is adopted it will always be tainted by the weaknesses of the men and women involved. Occasionally it may work well, but eventually someone will come along to spoil it again: just as Israel (and Judah) had the occasional good King, there were far more who “did evil in the sight of the Lord”.

Sadly professing Christians in the west (especially in America) tend to closely align themselves with a political ideology that hides its corruption under a thin religious veneer.

While we live within this world, while we are affected by its politics and can also see the effects on those around us, we can’t distance ourselves from political matters. But that doesn’t mean we choose and embrace political ideology as if that ideology was God given. Instead we can address individual ISSUES and make a difference to those around us through a Spirit-led response to those issues.

_______

(I wrote the above in the comments section of the previous post, but chose to add it here where it may be less likely to be overlooked by the general blog visitor)

07
Dec
15

Best / Worst Political System?

This morning I was thinking about the different political systems there have been in recent history, and how they strongly demonise each other.

I’ve noted in the past how those who oppose Obama have expressed their dislike of him by calling him a socialist, or a communist. Those terms clearly have strong negative connotations in America, and have been used BECAUSE of those connotations rather than as an accurate identification of his political stance or actions.

It would surprise me if the same situation wasn’t happening in other parts of the world, with the term “Capitalist” being used as a term of denigration where communism has been the dominant political foundation.

That practice of demonization wouldn’t be the only similarity. It seems to me that ALL political systems lead to the same destination, even if they have a different way of getting there. They all end up benefitting a small elite group with incredible wealth, while condemning a large group to extreme poverty. The stability of the system relies upon the majority of citizens being caught somewhere between the two, closer to the bottom end, but with the hope of getting closer to the top.

Capitalism or Communism (or any other political “ism”) – the end result is the same.

Is that surprising?

It shouldn’t be.

Israel had the best form of government possible, with a King who ruled them with complete justice, and His law took care of everyone who kept it.
Provisions were even set up to reset the nation’s economy every 50 years, so that no one could build up obscene amounts of ongoing wealth at the expense of others.

But Israel wanted a different King and they failed to follow the law of the ultimately just King.
God was that King and He gave them what they wanted: a man to rule over them. But He also warned them what would happen when man ruled over man.

The Lord said to Samuel…”you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”

(1 Samuel 8)

The same thing will always happen no matter what the name given to the ruling political system, no matter how man attempts to change things for the better.




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