Proverbs 31: 8-9 : "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…"

March 26, 2013
by Stephen Pearl

Brian McLaren and Ramadan – What’s Really Going On Here?

(This is an OLD one.  I didn’t realize I had this one laying around in the “Draft” bin.  Oh well.  It’s a  rant about Brian McLaren, so that’s always in season even if the subject material is about four years old.)

Fair is Fair.

Before you dig into the meat and potatoes of this theological dinner, perhaps an appetizer is in order.  I can’t stand it when people quote me out of context, so I am not about to do that to the subject of this novella.

To understand the context of my rant you need to read some of Brian McLaren’s material for yourself. Go on, pop over to his blog and read his postings straight from the horse’s keyboard.  The last thing I want is to be labeled a hate-monger because I select snippets of McLaren’s thoughts and words and then laid waste to them under the skewer of a sarcastic, judgmental pen.

To anyone who has has actually read the Bible through – cover to cover and in context – McLaren’s writings expose him to be a theologically shallow, intellectually vague, convolutingly-confusing shaman.

But enough about my opinion.  Click this link to get an eyeful for yourself.

Brian McLaren’s Latest Post about Ramadan

How’d you do?  Was it a tasty read?

Okay, now let’s get out the A1. 

It’s time to cut us up a nice, juicy slice of theological counterpoise to McLaren’s warmed-over, lovey-dovey oatmeal.

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November 8, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

The 2012 General Election by the Numbers and the Brands

Let’s face it.  We live in a consumer society.  Everything is branded and packaged these days.  From clothing to water, we all know the brands, we all use the brands, we all consume the brands.

And numbers are kind of my passion.  I love stats.  Gimme numbers to describe a situation and I see things form up in beautiful, geometric fashion, all blocky and triangly and quadralateraly.

So in the spirit of numbers and brands, (how’s THAT for a forced segue?), this is my 2012 Election Wrap-Up.

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November 8, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

Rise Up America! It’s Time to Call #ThirdWorldFlorida to Account!

My dear friends, it is time to get mobilized!

It is time to recognize the “Sunshine State” for what it is.  A backwater, third world, banana republic that can’t run a decent election!  We must rise up as a citizenry and FIGHT the corrupt, banal bureaucrats in that failed state who CANNOT PUT ON AN ELECTION TO SAVE THEIR VERY LIVES!

And if you live in Florida and you want to complain, here’s where to go…  CALL THEM!  Let them hear your voice with a megaphone, Floridians.  You are good and decent, hard working people!  I have family I love in Florida.  It’s a great place to visit.

Your legislature, however, is A WORLD CLASS EMBARRASSMENT!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  7 HOURS IN LINE TO VOTE?  You want evidence of corruption and voter intimidation?  Look no further than the state that can’t get people in and out of the voting booth in less than 30 minutes.

And WHY, you may ask, are they waiting 7 hours in line to vote in Florida?

‘Cause that cabal of TEA PARTY BULLIES they call a state legislature LOADED UP the ballot with 11-pages of FULL TEXT amendments and resolutions!  IN COMPLICATED LEGALESE, NO LESS!  Florida’s Supreme Court already smacked these miscreants once for making ballot initiatives confusing, you would think they would learn by now.


In WHAT universe would any SANE person consider it a GOOD USE of taxpayer money, NOT TO MENTION THE HARDSHIP IT IMPOSED ON THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES, to create a 12-page-long ballot!

You mean to tell me that one of the most diverse, most populated states in the union CANNOT GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER and conduct an election like CIVILIZED people?  REALLY?

What kind of government are they running down there?  NORTH KOREA?

Today is Thursday, TWO DAYS after the close of the election, and the ONE STATE still COUNTING VOTES, is FLORIDA!


Use that hash tag, Tweet it to the world, and let’s show Florida for what it is…

A state run by corrupt, inept politicians who CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO RUN AN ELECTION without inconveniencing the ENTIRE COUNTRY!

It is time to embarrass and KEEP embarrassing that failed state until the citizenry gives their BRUTE SQUAD legislature the boot.  These guys make Andre the Giant’s “Fezzick” look like Princess Buttercup.  It is time for the hard-working, good people of #ThirdWorldFlorida to muster some collective will and THROW THOSE BUMS IN TALLAHASSEE OUT THE FRONT DOOR OF THE STATE HOUSE!

Think about this for a moment.  

This election was a LOT closer than the pundits would have you believe.  

If Obama hadn’t shot himself in the foot with that LAME first debate performance, it might have been more of a walk-over.

It wasn’t.  

Forget that 303 Electoral College win.  That number makes this thing look a lot more lopsided than it was when you get right down the POPULAR vote.  Less than 3 million votes separate the winner from the loser.  That might sound like a lot until you consider it was a 50/48 split.  We are STILL a fractured, divided country.  In our winner-take-all Electoral College system, the reality is that if three “swing” states hadn’t fallen every-so-slightly for Obama, and Romney hadn’t shot himself in the foot with the auto workers in Ohio, Florida might actually matter.

(Really, Mitt?  Suggesting that the auto companies want to ship their jobs to China?  I know that was a Super-PAC doing your dirty work, but c’mon buddy.  You had this thing sown up until you dropped that dung pile on the airwaves.)

How would you feel right now if this election actually HINGED on Florida!  And it COULD HAVE!  Ohio went for Obama, but it might not have.  If Paul Ryan had done a little more work in Wisconsin, it might have flipped.  And if this all came down to Florida we would STILL be waiting for the outcome of the election because #ThirdWorldFlorida STILL wouldn’t have its final vote tally reported.


Join with me and HOUND that backwater banana republic until your friends and family who live there get up the collective backbone to actually DO SOMETHING about their miserable election process!  If this happens again in four years – and it just might given that we’ve been dealing with it since Bush -v- Gore in 2000 – I say we ought to just stretch the border from Mexico straight across the gulf, up the Florida panhandle, and CUT THAT MISERABLE PENINSULA OFF from the rest of the United States.


Okay…  I’m breathing now.  I’m taking a breath.  I’m moving on for a few minutes.

BUT I’M NOT LETTING THIS ONE GO!  Until Florida decides to stop HURTING the rest of this country with its moronic election procedures I will CONTINUE to call it for what it is…


November 8, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

Being a Christian Centrist in a Politically Polarized World

Once upon a time I was naive enough to think that “the best candidate” wins in an election.

I’m not kidding.  I was so sold-out to the notion that every vote counted and that the political system could help solve problems I helped co-found a political action committee for youth in my home town.

I sweetly believed in the quaint notion of “majority rule” because I believed that “The Majority” (whomever it may be) might give a hoot about listening to the minority after taking power.  After all, we claim to be a country based on Judeo-Christian ethics and morality.   The last I checked Jesus actually engaged and talked with people who hated his guts.

Well, the Democrats abused their power soon after winning 2008.  In 2010, Mitch McConnell made his now famous “one term President” statement about Obama.  Though his comments were much more mild than is often quoted by partisan Dems, McConnell did declare the equivalent of an obstructionist nuclear war in response.  The “Party of No” was born.

Ahhh…  Partisan bickering, how we loathe thee.

Remember what George W. said after he won reelection in 2004?  He said something along the lines of…

“That’s what you do with political capital.  You spend it.”

As I warned Georgie then, don’t abuse your power.  Engage the Democrats.  Build bi-partisan spirit.

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November 6, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

When Nobody Deserves My Vote: A Political Platform for Eyes-Open Centrists

Once upon a time I was naive enough to think that “the best candidate” wins in an election.  I sweetly believed in the notion of “majority rule” because I believed that “the majority” might actually give a damn about listening to the minorities after taking power.

Well, the Democrats abused their power soon after winning 2008 and Mitch McConnell declared the equivalent of partisan nuclear war in response, saying, more or less, that his sole mission in life was to ensure that every Republican would vote AGAINST everything the President might put forward from that day forward.

Ahhh…  Partisan bickering, how we loathe thee.

Remember George W. saying something along the lines of…

“That’s what you do with political capital.  You spend it.”

What goes around comes around, so all the hand-wringing and finger pointing by the Republicans blaming the Democrats for gridlock in Washington is crocodile tears.  The Republicans shafted the Democrats in 2004, the Dem it to the Republicans in 2008.

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September 18, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

More Proof Mitt’s Heart is With His Money, Not His Brothers & Sisters

I’ve said it before.

I’ll say it again.

Mitt Romney is NOT a follower of the one Lord, the only Son of God, God in human form, Jesus Christ.  Mitt worships at a place that may “include” the name of Jesus in its title, but make no mistake, he is NOT a Christian.

If there were any doubt before, there is little now.

Take a full, unedited listen to his off-the-cuff comments at a big-wig fundraiser.

The man who spoke those words knows NOTHING of Matthew 5.

Dripping with disdain, condescension, and arrogance, Mitt Romney lumped nearly 50% of the American public into a single pile.  He thinks the vast middle and lower-middle class in this country is comprised of nothing but tax-dodging, welfare-loving, uneducated, handout-taking, lazy bums.

Mitt pretty much made his desires clear.

He wishes 50% of the American populace would just disappear so he and his ultra-wealthy buddies could just get rid of their oppressive, onerous tax burdens.

As if the guy doesn’t have enough luxury automobiles and Cayman Island bank accounts to go around already.

Mitt Romney, you disgust me.  You don’t deserve to lead this country and the 47% who are counting on you to think with something more than your hyper-extended wallet, your Swiss bank accounts, and your Cayman shelters.

And please…  Until you’ve stopped to consider the full import of Christ’s admonition that it is “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” please stop portraying yourself as some kind of compassionate Christian looking out for the underdog.  You’re not.  You’re just a greed monger heaping filth upon the name of our Lord.

August 28, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

Why I Can’t Vote for Romney/Ryan. Hint: It’s in the Tax Returns

Once upon a time I naively believed that forcing politicians to release their tax returns was a fruitless exercise in self mutilation. I already knew most of these guys had more money than the average citizen. What could I possibly learn by reading the tax return of a rich guy?


Consider this tidbit.

When Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s presumptive VP nominee, recently released his tax returns, it was MOTS. (That’s shorthand for, “More of The Same.”) Lots of money earned, low tax rate paid. In one of his recent filing years Ryan earned around $350,000, paying an effective tax rate of not-quite 16%.

I expected Romney, an ULTRA-wealthy dude, to pay an even lower nominal tax rate since so much of his money comes from investments.  He did.  In his most recent year, Romney earned something like $20,000,000 in a single year and paid a tax rate of around 14%.

(Thank you, George W. for slashing taxes for people who have TONS of money in investments.)

What I didn’t expect was to learn that after earning $350,000 Ryan gave somewhere around $2,600 to charity.

That’s less than 1% of his adjusted gross income in charitable giving.


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March 22, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

Enough Vitriol! Do ANY of These People Know JESUS?

I am getting really, really tired of all the mud-slinging and vitriol coming out of this political season.  It’s bad enough that Romney and Santorum and Gingrich all snipe at each other on the most petty of grounds.  Their run-away spending Super-PACs routinely impugn the character and integrity of the “other guy.”  I can’t turn on a TV without hearing this surrogate or that attack the boss’ opponent in the most distasteful of terms.

Now, conservative shill Ann Coulter has proclaimed that the children of candidates are no longer off-limits for personal attacks.

On Sean Hannity’s March 21, 2012 broadcast, Coulter said, among other insipidness…

“So maybe it’s time to start imitating liberals in another way and go after the Obama children,” she added. “By the way, that has been done grotesquely and viscously over the years by the left.”


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March 22, 2012
by Stephen Pearl

Santorum’s Popularity, Romney’s Achilles Heel

Will Rick Santorum be the next president of the United States?  Doubtful. The math on the electoral chart just doesn’t add up.  Even if he makes a clean sweep of the rest of the country, Romney still has the nomination within his grasp.  Rick Santorum may be the conservative darling du-jour, but his hard-right baggage – (“College is for snobs.”  Really?) – and relatively lackluster performance as Pennsylvania’s once-junior senator mean he will have a tough time beating Barack Obama where it counts.

Independent voters.

Mitt Romney’s failure to latch in with the Republican base says more about Romney’s failings than it does the “any other comer” way in which long-time Republicans have swung from one “self-professed-conservative” to another over the past six months.  Each time an alternative rises, he (or she) gaffs his (or her) way out of existence.  Then attention shifts back to Romney because he is, for lack of a better word…


Romney is the epitome of electoral blandness.

He’s about as warm and snuggly as a brick, but at least he’s an electable brick.

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December 9, 2011
by Stephen Pearl
1 Comment

Rush Blows Hard, Re-Writes History on CFLs

I stopped listening to Rush Limbaugh a long time ago. As a thoughtful conservative I found his shrill, relentlessly self-congratulatory tone a real drag. The man usually re-writes history to meet his own agenda, a version of history steeped in paranoia and fear of a secret, unseen, uber-government agenda driven by “the Democrat party,” as he likes to call it.

I know some people like this guy, but I just don’t get it. He may have been a thoughtful conservative once upon a time, but any more he just sounds like a bombastic, “I don’t care about facts, I’ll just choose to believe what I want to believe” blow-hard.  The truth of the matter is crystal clear; Rush never met a Democrat he liked and if that’s the party on your voter registration card you are branded a mindless, “big government,” neanderthal.

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