Isaiah 21

Arlin Sorensen's Thoughts on Scripture

Isaiah 21 has the prophet talking about what’s coming for Babylon.  Babylon is called the Wilderness of the Sea because the great plain of Babylon was divided with lakes and marshes, so it was referred to as a “sea.”  Elam and Media are the ancient names for the peoples of Persia, modern day Iran.  God has often used one evil nation to punish another, which is what Isaiah is talking about here with Persia conquering Babylon.  The Persians didn’t remain on God’s good side as they were conquered soon after by a long list of other nations.

God tells Isaiah to put a watchman in the tower.  “For thus the Lord said to me: Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees.”  It’s going to be quite a show as the riders come.  The watchman stands there gazing across the horizon.  “Then he who saw…

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The Eternal Narcissism of White Privilege

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

The nomination of Donald Trump by the Republican Party has spawned a growing body of punditry seeking ways to explain Trump’s rise without directly addressing racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.

The explanation du jour cautions critics of Trump supporters, arguing that Trump is attractive to working-class whites who have legitimate fears.

Works such as Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance have become representative of the serious reconsideration of the angry white voter, as Vance proclaims:

The simple answer is that these people–my people–are really struggling, and there hasn’t been a single political candidate who speaks to those struggles in a long time.  Donald Trump at least tries.

However, as a redneck son of the self-defeating South, I immediately had a different reaction to Vance and the scramble to attend to the eternal narcissism of white privilege:

The four-year-old Joel frets about his mother: “She’s not looking at me. No one…

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Rita Rathbone: How Charter Schools in Durham, NC, Are Creating More Segregation in Public Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

Rita Rathbone, an NBCT teacher in Durham, explains how the increase in charters in Durham is causing more segregation in the Durham public schools. Curiously, this post appeared at Education Post, which is normally cheerleading for charter schools.

Rathbone reports that when the legislature lifted the state cap on charters in 2011 and loosened state regulation of charters, charters became a vehicle for white flight.

As a result of these policies, charter schools in the state are more segregated than traditional public schools. Researchers at Duke University have pointed out that 20 percent of all charter schools in the state are 90 percent or more White. Durham, a district with less than 40,000 school-aged children, now has 13 charter schools with number 14 scheduled to open this fall and number 15 already approved for the future.

The net result of the growth in charters is that they have concentrated poorer…

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Alabama: Larry Lee Wonders Why the State Board Chose a Chief with No Administrative Experience

Diane Ravitch's blog

Larry Lee of Alabama writes in bewilderment about the state board of education’s decision to choose a new state superintendent who was never a teacher or an administrator. Michael Sentance is a lawyer; he was an educational consultant and did some work in Massachusetts about 25 years ago. He just beat out three veteran superintendents from Alabama districts. Larry wonders why. The state board seems to act on the premise that their decisions must not include the views of anyone who has ever taught or worked in the state’s public schools.

He tried to make sense of the vote but couldn’t do it.

Larry Lee started a petition calling on the state board to rescind its decision. If you live in Alabama and think the state superintendent should be an educator, preferably one who knows the state, please consider signing.

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Kenya: Officer stabbed to death at changaa (illegal brew) den over Sh50 debt

Poverty and other issues I guess.

African Press International (API)

ELISHA OTIENO -1 | Jumatatu, Agosti 15, 2016

An Administration Police officer was stabbed to death over a Sh50 debt at a chang’aa den in Migori County.

The victim was stabbed on the neck in Matare, Kuria East sub-county after the officer failed to pay up the money.

Migori county police boss David Kirui said their investigations have discounted the previous claim of a love affair.

“Our interviews with people at the scene shows the debt was the cause of his death,” he said.

Sources indicated that the debt was accrued from the illicit brew the officer had consumed.

The assailant, said to be a lover of the widowed brewer, drew a knife from his jacket and attacked the AP during the Sunday night incident.

The officer died while he was being rushed to a local health centre.

The suspect and the woman flew after the incident but police say…

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Who Is Behind the Push for More Charters in Massachusetts? Republican Elites.

Diane Ravitch's blog

EduShyster interviews political scientist Maurice Cunningham about the supporters of Question 2, a referendum in November that would expand the number of privately managed charter schools in the state.

It is a fascinating interview, and I urge you to read it. It shows the Big Money behind the charter movement. It shows that it has no grassroots support. It shows the length to which the charter movement will go to confuse voters and trick them into believing that privatization of public schools is a progressive cause, rather than a plutocrats’ hobby.

Here is a portion of the interview:

Maurice Cunningham: …This is a Republican effort, it’s a big money effort, and it’s a conservative effort. That’s where they tend to go.

EduShyster: There’s a well-funded effort underway to paint the campaign to lift the charter cap in Massachusetts as a progressive cause. But what you’ve found in your research…

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UK: More than 30,000 Ahmadi Muslims from across the world meet to reject ISIS & Islamic Extremism

The Muslim Times

Source: | | |

‘Let it be clear that they are not practising Islam, rather it seems as though they have invented their own hate-filled and poisonous religion’


Jalsa Salana: the International Annual Gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Jalsa Salana: the International Annual Gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Thousands of Muslims from around the world converged on the UK for a convention where they rejected extremism and violence of terror groups such as Isis.

More than 30,000 members of the Ahmadiyya Islamic movement met at Oakland Farm in Hampshire for a three-day convention, the 50th time the annual event has taken place.

On the final day, attendees were led by the global Caliph of the movement in a vow of peace and and a pledge of allegiance to their home countries.

“The only thing the terrorists are achieving is to completely violate the teachings of the Holy Quran and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad,”…

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One last parting shot

Piece of Mindful

Before moving forward here, as will be seen in the post that will come right after this, I wanted to stop and take a look at one of the most maligned characters in the history of terrorism, Mohamed Atta.

I was going to do Osama bin Laden, as many photos of body doubles have been used over the years, especially during the time of the Bush presidency when the agitprop was in high gear. Having body doubles is an indication that the real Osama was an Intelligence agent. He most likely shaved off his beard and put on western apparel and lived peacefully after 9/11, his work done. Perhaps he did a photo-op or two, as CIA and company always knew his exact whereabouts. He was an employee, after all.

Osama 1But photos of Osama have been cleaned up, so that most of them left are of the original spook, the…

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