gridlore: One of the penguins from "Madagascar," captioned "It's all some kind of whacked-out conspiracy." (Penguin - Conspiracy)
I just finished one of the semi-regular binges of The West Wing on Netflix. Still an amazing show even after several complete viewings. Yes, there are some extremely weak storylines, and some characters who were forgettable (Oh, Mandy, where did you go?) But all in all it remains one of the greatest achievements in American television.

For those of you who missed out, the show follows the trials and tribulations of the staff working in the West Wing of the White House under President Josiah Bartlet of New Hampshire. Originally meant to be a starring vehicle for Rob Lowe, who played Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn, he was quickly overshadowed by a stellar cast and left the show midway through the run.

But I'm here to rant about what happens near the end of the run. The series began about a year into Bartlet's first term, so seasons 6 and 7 were largely devoted to the campaigns to replace the outgoing Administration. On the Republican side, the board was run by Senator Arnold Vinick, R-CA (Alan Alda) a grandfatherly moderate with an incredible pedigree on foreign affairs. The GOP forces him to chose an evangelical anti-choice governor as his running mate.

On the Democratic side, things are more complex. There are three contenders, and one spoiler waiting in the wings. Vice-President John Hoynes, who was forced to resign due to a sex scandal; Vice-President Bob Russell, thought to be a dense political nobody who was forced on Bartlett by the Republican Senate but who turned out to have a brilliant political mind; and Rep. Matt Santos (D-Texas), former mayor of Houston who was about to leave politics out of frustration under Josh Lyman, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, convinces him to run for President.

Long story short. The three candidates come to the convention with none of them having enough delegates to win on the first ballot. An insurgent drive to draft the Governor of Pennsylvania erupts. Finally, Santos is told that he has to throw his weight behind Russell for the good of the party. He turns his concession speech into a rousing call for the delegates to reject the orders of party leaders and vote for themselves, wins the nomination, and here's where it all goes wrong for me.

There remains the question of who Santos' running mate will be. Josh Lyman walks up to his old boss, former White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, who had been sent to bring order to the convention and taps him for the role.

Which is TERRIBLE politics. Horrible! Here's why:

Leo is a recovering drug and alcohol addict. He spent time in a rehab facility while serving as Secretary of Labor. This came out early in the Bartlet presidency, and only a last minute deal prevented the public from learning that Leo had fallen off the wagon, hard, during the first campaign for the Presidency. There's your first line of ads. Not even dirty, as it's an honest question, here's a drunk who popped Valium, can we trust him?

Secondly, Leo helped conceal the fact the President of the United States has multiple sclerosis. This was a scandal that rocked America and nearly torpedoed the re-election campaign before it started. Leo learned late in the game, but still, his silence would be troubling to many people on the fence.

Next? About a year before the campaign, Leo suffered a massive heart attack at Camp David and was forced to retire. It was hinted that this wasn't his first. The extent of the damage to his heart was made very public. Now, the Democrats want to put a man with a history of heart disease one heartbeat from the Oval Office. Serious concerns there!

Finally, and this is the killer, it looked like the convention was fixed. Think about it. Two well-established candidates, both of who served as Vice-President, and this scrappy outsider. The Santos is given a prime time speech slot, allowed to say whatever he wanted, gets the nomination, and immediately awards the man running the convention with the Vice-Presidency? People would be screaming "Fix!" before the first balloon hit the convention floor! The Republicans would have a field day screaming about Beltway insiders and while Democratic fundraisers might back away out of concern over the circumstances.

So, who would have been a better choice? Glad you asked. In the episode "La Palabra" Santos is campaigning in California when a bill banning illegal aliens from getting driver's licenses is passed by the GOP-dominated legislature. California's Democratic governor, Gabriel "Gabe" Tillman, ends up vetoing the bill, ensuring an endorsement from a powerful Latino group for Santos, while not endorsing Santos himself. Instead, Santos stands near the Governor as he explains his veto. The Governor then tells the reporters to ask Santos about his policy ideas.

There you go. The ticket should have been Santos-Tillman. Bring California's governor on board suddenly makes Vinick have to fight and fight hard for his home state. You could pretty much leave Tillman in the West. While Vinick is trying to win votes everywhere, Tillman, who just became a hero to Latinos, is campaigning in California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Less drama, but it makes more sense to me. Do you need drama? Santos and Tillman learn that they don't like each other very much, and have to keep it together. That's how I'd do it, anyway.
gridlore: One of the penguins from "Madagascar," captioned "It's all some kind of whacked-out conspiracy." (Penguin - Conspiracy)
I have no idea what to write. I want to keep my streak alive, but I feel like shit and have no ready subject at hand. Also, I'm on heavy duty pain-killers right now after having yet another growth on my back biopsied. Fun times.

As usual, I've been sent to a new doctor. I had a dermatologist, but she left the area shortly after my first set of skin tumors were pulled off. That was the year the county just decided all on their own that I didn't want health insurance anymore. No that was a fun fuck up to clear up.

But anyway, this is why we need single payer in this country, or failing that, California. A few weeks ago I noticed some rough stops on my back that were painful to the touch. Having had this before, I knew I had to see a dermatologist. But I can't just call a dermatologist. No, first I have to make an appointment with my primary care doctor. So he can look at me for five minutes and agree that I need to see a specialist.

As an aside, almost all my doctors are Asian at this point, from all across the spectrum. This become relevant soon, I swear.

Having done my job in informing the primary care, I wait for an authorization letter from Anthem Blue Cross, who do the paperwork for my version of Medicaid. Now let's recap: I've had benign skin tumors before, but there is no guarantee that this batch will be the same. I, and my doctor, have both said "is cancer? Could be!" to the insurer. Which is why after a long week's wait, I finally called my doctor back to ask where my referral was? Another few days, and I finally get a phone number.

Call that, get an appointment. Place in Milpitas, right along Montague Expressway, where they are building the Bart extenstion. Nice little office block. Find my building and suite, go in, and . . .

It's a clinic that mostly caters to Vietnamese folks getting cosmetic laser surgery. It's an eye-rounding clinic, folks. And I'm in there with my poor-folk insurance. Fuck My Life.

At least the staff speaks English, mostly.

Meet the doctor, who seems a bit brusque. Go over medical history, quick exam, schedule biopsy date. All what I should have been able to do before! In one phone call! This is the part that drives me insane!

Anyway, after several weeks of tumor growth (I'm paranoid about cancer for some reason) I finally go in Monday. Which is when I learn that I really need a new dermatologist. First of all, one of the receptionists, who was very soft-spoken with a HEAVY Vietnamese accent, was trying to get through some insurance providers phone tree. On speaker. Those things don't work in perfect conditions half the time. The better part is I can her the identification numbers the machine is asking for and the numbers she's replying with! This is the equivalent of reading your credit card number out loud on a bus.

Go back, and learn that my skin-care physician isn't brusque, he just has the personality of a bag of wet sand. I'm not kidding. I got nothing close to a human reaction the entire time I was there. Medical robots in Star Wars have better patient skills. The biopsy itself was easy, lidocaine is awesome. But here's where I got mad. After explaining that I'm a stroke survivor and really need instructions written down, he just told me what to do for wound care and sent me out the door. Not even a good-bye.

Luckily, I remembered what he told me. Mainly because it was kind of weird (I've never been given a lesson in how to apply a band-aid before.) Made my appointment for the stitches removal and discussion of what was found, and got the hell out of Dodge.

But I can't help think how much easier it would be with single payer. I'd call Dr. Son and say I need to see a dermatologist, can he recommend anyone? Or just look up a local dermatologist and make an appointment. No fuss with referrals and who is in network and who is out, just calling a doctor when you need one.

Same goes for ER visits and ambulances. If you need to be rushed to the hospital, call 911 and get a cool ride! If you're like me and have a stroke, you shouldn't wake up and immediately wonder how you're paying for it.

We are the only industrialized Western nation that doesn't offer single payer. Let's elect people who want to fix that.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (US Flag)
Over the last couple of months I've been reading the conservative hysteria over Hilary Clinton. According to them, Sec. Clinton has, for at least 35 years, been at the center of a web of conspiracies and illegal acts that propelled her to riches and power. That she manipulated, lied, cheated and stole all through the Arkansas years, was the power behind the throne in the White House, and sold America by the pound as Secretary of State.

And woe to anyone who crosses her! Or anyone who gets too close to the truth, or fails her! According to these very earnest posters, Clinton has left a trail of blood behind her that would make Vlad Tepes green with envy. Cross Madam Clinton and your days are number. If you're lucky, she'll just destroy your career.

And through all off this, she's remained untouched by the law. Decades of corruption and murder, years of investigations that fail, agency after agency standing down in the face of the Clinton mafia. Hilary Clinton is too tough to take on.

At least that's the narrative from the paranoid right. But let's say that every single word is true. The Hilary Clinton is the master of deceit and overwhelming revenge, and can cloak her actions so well no one ever knows it is her.

Isn't this EXACTLY who we want facing down Vladimir Putin? Someone as devious and cold as he is? Hell, elect Hilary Clinton and I expect that one morning Putin will wake up with the head of a Razorback pig in his bed and a note reading "this week, one of your meals is poisoned, on of your vehicles has a bomb in it, and one of your guards works for me. Love, President Clinton."

Just my take.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
OK, I'm a proud Democratic Socialist. I support Bernie Sanders, single-payer health care, fully-funded public schools, and higher taxes coupled with drastic cuts to defense spending. I'm a screaming, dyed-in-the-wool, ACLU card-carrying liberal.

But for the love of Halford, will people stop using European nations to support these ideas in the United States? Today I'm seeing a meme touting Denmark as a model for the US going around Facebook.

OK, the entire nation of Denmark has fewer people than New York City. The United States is about 230 times larger than Denmark, with close to 60 times the population. Also, the US is far more diverse in terms of cultures, languages, religions, and political opinions. What works well for a small state like Denmark isn't necessarily going to be easily transferred to the lumbering behemoth that is 'Murica. The same goes for Sweden, Norway, even Germany and France. Each is quite different from each other and the US. Canada? Population of 35 million compared to our 320 million. Makes it much easier to apply a national health service.

We need to keep fighting for the ideas I listed above, but we need to do so with an eye as to how to make them work in this country, not by saying how it works elsewhere.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (US Flag)
Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died at 79. Normally, when someone of note or importance dies, I'm able to muster a few kind words. It rarely does good to speak ill of the dead. If nothing else, I can express my sympathy for the friends and family.

Not so in this case. When it comes to Mr. Scalia, the Grateful Dead best expressed my opinion: "There may come a day I will dance on your grave/If unable to dance I'll crawl 'cross it." I loathed this man. His questionable ethics, his crudeness, and his unending desire to roll back a half century of social progress because he was afraid of change.

Have no doubt, Justice Scalia was the enemy of all but the financial elite and the far-right conservative religious in this nation. Read his opinions. He was an Originalist when it suited him, and staunchly opposed to extending Constitutional rights to any segment of the public he found suspect. His dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) is a masterpiece of his paleoconservative disconnect. He freely admits that laws restricting personal rights can't pass constitutional muster, but argues that they should be left in place anyway. His dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) shows his unethical and frankly, bullying nature.

A horrible justice gone from the bench, and an unethical man gone from our planet. I shall not shed a tear for him.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Exploding)
Why do I even fucking bother?

As most of you have heard, the U.S. Treasury has announced that a new run of $10 bills will feature a prominent woman from American history. In a thread on the decision, people were making suggestions, some serious, some farcical.

I suggested Jeannette Rankin. Suffragette, Organizer, Social Worker, first woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and active up to her death in fighting for weird concepts like "liberty and justice for all." Who also, as you'll see if you read that link (do so, she was an amazing woman), was the only member of Congress to vote against our entry into both world wars. I mentioned that, to show that even in the face of immense pressure, she held true to her principles, despite the cost. Which I find admirable in a person, especially in those times.

Well, boom goes the dynamite. What's funny was just how mind-boggling ignorant these fuckers are! They asked if Rankin was thinking of the victims of the gas chambers. The first death camp, Chelmno, opened the same week as the US war vote, and gas chambers weren't used until the spring of 1942, plus, that was Germany. We didn't declare war on Germany until December 11th, after they declared war on us.

Then I had to explain the difference between concentration camps and extermination camps. Then I had to explain that the "Nacht und Nebel" order was a secret decree, issued by Hitler the same day as the Pearl Harbor attack, and only applied to dissidents in occupied countries. Finally, that no one really knew about the Holocaust in detail until late 1944 when we started finding the damn camps and capturing SS officers and documents!

Once we were finally back to Japan, another idiot asked if she supported Japanese cruelty and domination of colonies taken by force. I replied that under that logic we should have declared war on King George VI and the British Empire for doing the exact same thing to Egypt, India, Ireland, and big chunks of China for centuries.

The reply? "Well, that's a different situation."

Where the hell is my SMITE button?
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (US Flag)
Got this in my inbox just now.

President Obama will sign this executive order if he hears from Douglas Berry today.

Give me a break. Unless the President of the United States has memorized the names of every single person who contributed $50 to his 2008 campaign, or if he's secretly a GURPS geek who thinks that GT:Ground Forces is a great book, Obama has no fucking clue that I even exist.

Yes, I understand that we live in an era of mined data and robo-activism, but I'd rather get a generic email begging for money that something tries to make me out to be the final word on what the leader of the free world does. If I have that power, I have a few other requests to make!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
Had this one last night.

I was the President of the United States, and was speaking at the opening ceremonies of a Baltimore Worldcon. I was using the occasion to announce my administration's goal of landing not just a couple of test pilots, but a full scientific outpost on Mars. It was a good speech too. I invoked SF's history of predictions, the constant theme of discovery, and used Clarke's "The Haunted Spacesuit" for a laugh line. ("spoiler alert, it was a kitten.")

I finished by referencing JFK's speech at Rice in 1961, stating that going to Mars was going to be hard, it would take dedication, sweat and blood, but that is how we built this nation. We will go to Mars, to the asteroids, to the outer system, and someday, our descendants will go to the stars, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.

Standing ovation. The Republicans hated me.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - Scream)
Well, as you can imagine, I'm rather upset by yesterday's results. I mean, I knew the races were going to be close, and I knew the competition was strong. I also realize that being just one guy in California meant I had no real impact on the larger picture. But I thought we might win a few! But no, here I sit, utterly crushed...

... because not a single Giant won a Gold Glove.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)

  • Went and voted, dropping [personal profile] kshandra's ballot off at the same time.

  • My voting location is in the Triton Museum

  • So I wandered a bit and looked at some of the galleries.

  • Pretty cool stuff.

  • But I had places to go, people to annoy!

  • Next stop, RiteAid for a prescription refill, and SaveMart to turn a $10 into quarters.

  • Also picked up a lottery ticket.

  • $311 million would be nice to have.

  • From there, off to the library to return some books.

  • Honestly, with all the books I've recently acquired, I don't see myself needing their services for a while.

  • Two weeks, even!

  • Last thing on the list, Smart & Final.

  • Still have some money on that card we won.

  • Cokes, shredded Mexican cheese, and the Drain Cleaner of DEATH for the tub.

  • I'm going to miss that card when it's done.

  • Now I'm filling out bloody surveys for the nice people who pay my medical bills.

  • No, I cannot work. Still.

  • Yes, I do suffer pain. Daily. Constantly.

  • Yes, strokes suck.

  • Gimme my bennies!

  • Hoping for a miracle in tonight's election results. So many important races are so close.

  • Just in case any of you want to get me a Winter Gift...

  • My Amazon Wishlist

  • Holy crap, the Giants won the World Series. Again!

gridlore: One of the penguins from "Madagascar," captioned "It's all some kind of whacked-out conspiracy." (Penguin - Conspiracy)
Happy May Day!

True fact: I was, briefly, a member of the Socialist Party of America. Mainly to get girls.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Norton)

With non-stop CAPSLOCK action! )

This came from a thread on Whirlled Nuts Daily. Shocked, I know.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
As if having the dentures wasn't enough, today I got notice that I have been enrolled in Medicare.

No, you didn't blink and miss about two decades, It's still 2013 and I'm still 46. But I'm a broken 46 who has been on federal disability and has a long documented history of A. being broken and B. being broke. So thanks to Obamacare, I now qualify for low cost federal health insurance.

I'm so tempted to call the Rush Limbaugh Show and gloat. I am the 47%! I've also informed my mother that I am now the eldest child.

But seriously, this is one of the reasons why I voted for Obama. I, like hundreds of thousands of Americans, am living with the effects or after-effects of a devastating illness. That illness has drastically affected my ability to live a productive and fulfilling life. Medicare will take a little of the burden off, give a slight bit of breathing room.

We need to plow through the various options, especially the prescription coverage in Part D, to see what is right for us. I also need to call my current health care provider to make sure they accept us social leeches.

In other news, [personal profile] kshandra and I have made plans for our 22nd anniversary. We're going to see Metallica. And the Giants. AT THE SAME TIME!!!!! May 3rd is Metallica Day at AT&T, with the band on hand to throw out the first pitch and sing the anthem. The blurb also promises "Metallica-related entertainment" during the entire game. I'm hoping for Seek and Destroy as walk up music. Best part? We're playing the Blue Menace.

BEAT L.A.!!!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Thoughtful)
.. I feel I should make my position clear.

I don't like abortion. I agree that every fertilized egg is a potential human life. I am opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the woman's life or long-term health.

However, as I have a penis and testicles (true fact, I just checked) that decision is not mine to make. It is the decision of the woman, with advice from whoever she choses to trust on this matter.

This is the essence of being pro-choice. I want women, I want my nieces, to have options even if I disagree with those options. Freedom is not easy. Freedom means understanding that people will make choices that make your blood boil and accepting that this is their right.

I am actually a fairly conservative person. There are many things I just don't get. But I accept that people, including friends and family, have the right to make their own decisions for their own reasons and accept the consequences. That's what I want in my life, and I want nothing less for my fellow humans.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Goth)
It's no secret now that GOP in Congress literally plotted to undermine U.S. economy during President Obama's Inauguration.

 In Robert Draper's book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives" Draper wrote that during a four hour, "invitation only" meeting with GOP Minister of Propaganda, Frank Luntz, Senior GOP Congressmen plotted to undermine and destroy America's Economy.

Read this. Then contact Rep Darrell Issa and demand that the House open hearings into expelling those members who took part in this conspiracy to destroy the US economy.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (V Governments Afraid)
Being a good citizen, I follow the City of Santa Clara on Twitter. Just now they posted openings for seats on several commissions. These are volunteer spots that do the fiddly bits. I just emailed the city clerk for information on applying for one of the two open seats on this one:

The 7 member Historical & Landmarks Commission acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to historical places and landmarks. This Commission provides advice on the names and renaming of streets, museums and the establishment thereof in the City, and the marking and preservation of historical landmarks and places.

I figure that it will be at least moderately interesting, give me something to do, and look good on my resume when I'm ready to go back to work someday.

Hell, if I really like I might run for the City Council!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Politics: John Stewart)
Remember Sarah Palin? Caribou Barbie? The single worst pick the GOP has ever made for Vice-President? The one who has turned her narcissism into an industry? Well, after her wise decision to use the GOP race solely as a way to get her face on TV, she dropped out of sight.

But her fans? They've become a cult. I am not kidding. Read this, with all the comments. These people, who seem to be otherwise able to function in society, seem to think that one ad will lead to a national revolution, the GOP flopping over, millions pouring in for a campaign that the candidate has specifically refused to enter, and either a coup at the Republican Convention of a wildly successful independent campaign putting Palin in the White House. They are nuts. Seriously. Ron Paul supporters make more sense than what I'm reading here.

One wonders what they'll do when she says no again.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Gadsen)
As most of you have heard there is a "protest" going in the New York City right now called "Occupy Wall Street." Several hundred people have gathered to protest. They are quite strident. The NYPD has behaved very badly at least twice. And I have no fucking clue what these morons want.

Seriously. You're going to love this one.. the people who instigated this announced that first they'd occupy Wall Street, then determine what their one demand would be through a "people's democratic action." I'm not kidding. Their plan was to get a few hundred stirred-up activists into a chaotic situation and then ask for a calm discussion. Because that always works when you issue a cattle call for activists. So almost two weeks in, and we still don't know what it is that these protesters are asking America to do for them. The problem of course is that every single person there showed up with an iron-clad agenda. The "Free Mumia" folks think that the single most important thing on Earth is getting Mumia Abu-Jamal out of prison. The hard-core communists will demand the complete dismantling of the capitalist system. There will be some calling for bankers (defined as "anyone in nice clothes who goes into one of these buildings" from what I've seen) be hung from the lampposts.

You're never going to get a consensus from this mob. Never.

But I already know how this is going to end. Because we've seen it out here in the Bay Area. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has come under harsh criticism for the behavior of its police force. There was the Oscar Grant shooting and more recently the shooting of a homeless man in the Civic Center station after he threatened passengers, threw a knife at an officer, and pulled another knife. This led to a protest on July 11th where protesters climbed on top of BART trains to prevent them moving, blocked doors, and engaged in acts of vandalism. Through "Anonymous" protesters announced a second event on August 11th. Knowing that the protesters would be using cell phones to coordinate. BART officials turned off the equipment that lets one get a signal sixty feet underground in a concrete and steel box. This is where things get funny. Now the protesters announced they would be disrupting the evening commute over the perfectly-legal cell shutdown. Notice the words "disrupting the evening commute." The "organizers" decided the best way to get support for their cause was to prevent about ten thousand people from getting home from work. Open threats of violence form commuters and others who depend on BART became common. So then the focus shifted again. Now the demand (along with disbanding the BART Police and the entire board resigning and free massages and the return of the Sudetenland) was that BART open the emergency exit gates to allow commuters to board for free. This was met with howls of laughter, since the BART ticketing system requires an entry and exit sweep. If there's no entry point, the system charges the highest fare possible to that station. After that fiasco, the protests have faded away. They had a point, the BART police are poorly trained, but that point was lost in a mess of poor organization and shifting demands. A local independent news site found that 2/3rds of the protesters had no idea why they were protesting.

This is the fate of Occupy Wall Street. They have no organization, no message, no control, and in a week everyone will get bored and go home.

One final note. We were watching Keith Olbermann the other night and they had someone from OWS on... looking like he had just stumbled out of a Phish concert. Ratty t-shirt, unkempt; within a minute [ profile] kshandra and I were making "I was occupying Wall Street before it went mainstream" jokes. You want to speak to middle America? You want to get your point across? Organize beforehand and have a set of media contacts available. People with Communications degrees and a nice suit. People who can clearly and succinctly express the goals of the protest. Find some archival footage of Jerry Ruben talking to the media in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention.  Hair and beard combed, dressed well, and articulate. Look at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.. organized, controlled, everyone well-dressed and devoted to a single cause and message.

I support banking reform and I think that many Wall Street types should be in irons. But this protest isn't getting my support until they get organized!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Atheism - God)
| Burning Buddhas, Books, and Art: Meet The New Apostolic Reformation

Texas governor Rick Perry's August 6th, 2011 The Response prayer event, the de-facto launch of his presidential bid, was dominated by the apostles of C. Peter Wagner's New Apostolic Reformation. This article documents a little-noticed aspect of this little-noticed movement.

Top NAR leaders, including C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Ed Silvoso and, Chuck Pierce, have repeatedly emphasized in their writings the need for believers to destroy or neutralize, by burning, smashing, or flushing down toilets, objects deemed to be unholy, including profane books and "idolatrous" religious texts (such as Books of Mormon), religious relics (such as statues of Catholic saints, the Buddha, or Hindu gods), and native art (such as African masks, Hopi Indian Kachina dolls, and totem poles.)

According to New Apostolic Reformation doctrine, objects to be destroyed include those associated with Mormonism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hinduism, eastern religions, Christian Science, native religions, and Baha'i.

NAR theologians, including C. Peter Wagner, sometimes cite, as a Biblical justification for the destruction of artifacts, an incident described in the New Testament's Book of Acts in which the magicians of Ephesus, under the influence of Apostle Paul, gathered together and burned their books of magic (thus weakening, according to Wagner, the hold of the goddess Diana over the city of Ephesus.) But Wagner also provides a more contemporary model.

In books from 1994 up into 2008, C. Peter Wagner has repeatedly cited, as a model for societal "transformation", the efforts of the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola in late-15th Century Florence, Italy.

Savonarola is credited with instigating the mass-burning in Florence of books and cultural objects deemed to incite sin (including by some reports several paintings by the Renaissance master Botticelli), in an event that has become known to historians as the "Bonfire of the Vanities."

On page 96 of his book Changing Church: How God Is Leading His Church Into The Future (2004, Regal/Gospel Light), bemoaning the lack of significant city `transformation' in the U.S., Wagner notes that, while evangelists have invested "huge amounts of time" and "large sums of money", "Even after 10 years, we cannot point to a single city in the United States that has undergone a sociologically verifiable transformation!"

A lot more at the link.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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