Archive for January, 2012

WhatWeLearnedFromOperationFastAndFuriousPart2  < —  PDF version

Mr. Dennis Wagner of The Arizona Republic has once again performed a valuable public service in his 29 Jan 2012 article [1] regarding “Operation Fast and Furious”.  It is a follow-up to his 27 Nov 2011 article [2], which was the subject of my first essay on this matter (4 Dec 2011).

In the 29 Jan 2012 article, Mr. Wagner recounts the career of Dennis K. Burke, who was the U. S. Attorney for the state of Arizona throughout the entire period that “Operation Fast and Furious” was being conducted by the BATFE.  Apparently Mr. Burke knew about the Operation early on.  Prior to becoming U. S. Attorney, Mr. Burke served as a law clerk for a justice on the Arizona Supreme Court, and as a staff lawyer on the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee.  During that time, he was influential in drafting what eventually become the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (which banned possession of certain semiautomatic rifles and magazines).  He later worked with Rahm Emmanuel in the Clinton administration on firearms issues, including discussions on extending background check requirements under the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act through the use of executive orders.  Mr. Wagner cites a 1997 article published in the Arizona Business Gazette, in which Mr. Burke said that gun control was his most fulfilling accomplishment in government service.  Just what we need: government officials devoted to, and proud of, their role in the destruction of the rights of citizens.

President Obama nominated Mr. Burke for U. S. Attorney for Arizona in 2009; it is not known if Mr. Burke’s sterling citizen disarmament record influenced the selection or not.  Suffice to say, it was a fortuitous choice for Mr. Obama.

Mr. Wagner’s article lays out a very important timeline.  The gun battle leading to the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry occurred on 14 Dec 2010.  The BATFE investigated the incident, and as a result, Mr. Wagner’s article states: “Within hours, Burke was notified that two guns found at the scene were linked to Fast and Furious”.  Then some BATFE agents leaked details to Congress, followed by Senator Grassley’s letter in Jan 2011 in which he accurately stated BATFE’s actions, followed by Mr. Burke’s claim to the Department of Justice that Mr. Grassley’s accusations were “categorical falsehoods”.

Now this is a very important point.  Mr. Burke was notified “within hours” after the investigation that two guns found at the scene were part of the Operation, but how would the investigating BATFE agents know that?  They could only have known by comparing the make, model, and serial number of guns found at the scene to the same data for all guns involved in the Operation.  How else could they have known?  If the comparison only took a short time, BATFE must have had pretty accurate records.  If so, the identity of the “straw purchasers” and the selling dealer must also have been known, since that data is written both on the bills of sale and on the BATFE form to be retained by dealers for all sales. In the notification to Mr. Burke, BATFE’s proof thereof would have been unassailable since serial numbers are unique to each firearm.  Why then would Mr. Burke later denounce Mr. Grassley as promoting “categorical falsehoods”, claim that members of Mr. Grassley’s staff were “stooges for the gun lobby”, and criticize the BATFE for not denying the reports about the guns in question?  I leave that to your imagination.

He also claimed that Mr. Grassley’s letter was an attempt to “distract from the incredible success in dismantling [Southwest Border] gun trafficking operations”.  Let me get this straight.  The BATFE engineers a gun smuggling ring in order to … dismantle gun trafficking?  Mr. Burke has a bright future in politics.

[1]        Dennis Wagner, “Firearm scandal, political fall”, The Arizona Republic, 29 Jan 2012, p. 1

[2]        Dennis Wagner, “Behind the fall of gun probe”, The Arizona Republic, 27 Nov 2011, p. 1

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Ninety-Four Things You Don’t Have To Do

Ninety-Four Things You Don’t Have To Do   <– PDF version

It seems that there is some confusion about what it takes to make it into heaven after death.  Many people do not believe there is a God.  You’ll be pleased to know that the devil believes in God – the devil has actually seen God.  Many people have come to believe that Christianity involves becoming some kind of obnoxious do-gooder, always going around interfering in other people’s business.  Rather than getting bogged down in irrelevant details, I will simply tell you what Christianity is, and how to obtain salvation; and, for clarity, I will list some of the things you DON’T have to do to attain salvation.

Your soul will exist forever.  The question at hand is — where will it exist, in heaven or in the hell?  Heaven and hell are real, your sins and failures are real, and the fact that God must reject you is real, unless you accept His remedy.

Salvation occurs by faith alone in Christ alone: that Jesus Christ, the God-man, came to earth and was judged by God the Father for our sins, as a substitute for the judgment that we rightfully deserved.  Jesus Christ performed all the work necessary to obtain forgiveness of our sins; all we have to do for salvation accept the work of Jesus on our behalf.  The mechanics are simple: simply tell God the Father in your own words that you believe in the work of Christ (having paid the penalty for sin), and that you are trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior.  That’s it.  Now you may think to yourself, “That is too good to be true”, or “That is too simple”.  Of course it’s too good to be true, if you compare it to some system that a person would create.  But this is God’s plan, a perfect plan: salvation is yours by faith alone.  Don’t be fooled: nothing else is required; and once you have believed in Christ for salvation, you will be in heaven for eternity after death.

You do not need to “do” anything for salvation: God has already done all the work.  And so, as promised, here is a partial list of all the things you do not have to do or any other things you have to believe.  Believe only in Jesus Christ.

You do not have to become emotional over any sins, or confess any sins in public, or make a promise to do good, or get baptized, or feel sorry for sins, or commit your life to Jesus, or change your evil ways, or repent of your sins, or do penance, or get the “second blessing”, or speak in tongues, or get “the Ghost”, or receive communion, or wait for the Rapture, or invite Christ anywhere, or go on crusades against unbelievers, or make Jesus “Lord”, or answer an “altar call”; you do not have to revere the Pope or a Patriarch, or trust the Vatican, or say the Hail Mary, or say prayers to any saints, or a sponsor a novena, or pay an indulgence, or go to Mass, or believe in the relics of the True Cross, or believe in purgatory, or say the rosary, or have reverence for the Shroud of Turin, or obtain confirmation or sacraments, or abstain from your favorite foods during Lent, or venerate the remains of saints, or light any candles, or make the sign of the cross, or pray to statues, or sprinkle yourself with perfumed “holy water”; you don’t have to listen to fire-and-brimstone sermons, or get along with your mother-in-law, or sing hymns of praise, or give to the poor, or aid those in prison, or visit the sick, or be fruitful and multiply, or rest on Sunday, or pray for the dead, or have faith in a priesthood, or attend revival meetings, or love everyone; you don’t have to oppose abortion, or march for social justice, or oppose those who march for social justice, or support tax increases so others can help the poor, or vote for a Republican, or oppose those who vote for Republicans, or support Israel, or oppose the teaching of evolution, or promote prayer in the public schools, or embrace prophetic politics; you don’t have to respect the “science” of Mary Eddy Baker, or read John Smith’s golden tablets, or respect Islam, or respect any other religion, or perform a pilgrimage to Jerusalem or Bethlehem, or look down on “the heathen”, or support the social gospel, or engage in wishful thinking, or the trust the infallibility of church leaders, or have confidence in man, or have faith in man’s miracles, or claim “cleanliness”, or believe in faith-healing, or love all creation, or wish “peace and goodwill to all”, or trust in the brotherhood of man, or have hope in an institution; you don’t have to adopt the simple life of the Amish, or buy “sacred” music, or celebrate Christmas or Easter, or pay tithes, or try for sinless perfection, or give drunken bums a few bucks, or build an altar, or give a wave offering, or gain the affection of God, or clean stained-glass windows, or handle snakes, or buy new Easter clothes, or travel to shrines, or burn candles, or do any good works, or visit a sacred place, or worship at the Church of the Holy Scepulcre, or search for the Holy Grail, or visit cathedrals.  In other words, you don’t have to do any of the numerous phony actions and or adopt any of the phony beliefs that have become associated with Christianity throughout the centuries.  I suppose there are many others, but these ninety-four came readily to mind.

So, now that you know that all the outward so-called manifestations of Christianity are either fake or irrelevant, focus on the one thing that matters – faith in Jesus Christ.

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