This Thanksgiving, Jesus series, The Chosen, is taking off. A box office movie is on the way. Dallas Jenkins, the director, is making headlines. TMZ and the Wall Street Journal ran stories on it. Season 3 is in progress.
This is a big deal because films about Jesus are rarely done with a quality that can compete with film standards we have all come to expect. But, this is well done. Camera work, writing, acting, and character development make the story feel alive. The audience can relate to the characters. Dallas’s whole concept was that we can understand Jesus by understanding the people who knew him.
Meanwhile, economy doomsayers sound the horn and the global COVID pandemic continues. Israel just added travel restrictions over the new Omicron variant. Dallas Jenkins thinks that binging on Jesus is the best way to pass time when holed up at home. May financial supporters and fans from around the world seem to agree.
China tripped the alarm. Revelations of a US aircraft carrier -shaped target in China’s Taklamakan Desert doesn’t exactly resemble a friendly trick-or-treat visit. Congress is upset, calling this the closest we’ve ever been. Washington tries to use calm rhetoric, saying they don’t foresee problems until 2024—it used to be 2025. But these days, they leave more and more room to avoid being wrong should a scuffle go ballistic in the Pacific.
The tech industry certainly is paying attention. Intel is building at five sites, three in the US, one in Ireland, and one in Israel. At the same time, the US government is questioning chip makers about their supply chains. One of those is TSMC, in Taiwan. Now, Congress wants to spend $52B on subsidies for chip makers inside the US. The message is clear: America is getting ready for a China-initiated disruption in the chip supply chain, the largest part in the world of which goes through Taiwan.
By the look of it, 2025 is the year when China will both be militarily dangerous and, for the chip industry, will no longer matter. While some news outlets cast China’s economy in a positive light, others show deep reasoning to sound the economic alarms. It looks like China is getting into a tighter and tighter pinch, and China’s economic response is the same as its response to political disfavor: marketing.
This week, the EU says it has unanimous support to strengthen relations with Taiwan—specifically because of China’s aggression.
Military budgets—that’s the talk of the Taiwan Strait. China wants its budget to grow so it can play with the big kids by 2035. China’s apparently not ready to play with the big kids, at least since India just ate China’s lunch. So, with China trying to bulk up even more, people are asking what the heck is going on with Taiwan.
Israel spends 5% GDP on asymmetric defense; Taiwan only spends 3%. So-called “experts” want Taiwan to spend more. The US wants Taiwan to spend more. Apparently even the newspapers want Taiwan to spend more because military budget is the talk of the week.
It was a strange week, though. So many things have gone peaceful in the East Pacific. China and India are suddenly getting along. Taiwan and China talk more about the need to talk. Threats and vibrato from Beijing haven’t stopped, of course. But, things are getting a bit quiet, and it seems somewhat eerie.
The ability to attain and maintain peace is special, especially these days. It’s what government should do, but doesn’t always know how. The police in Kalamazoo, Michigan did the right thing by being close enough to act if needed, but not being the “main event”. The role of the police is to preserve the peace, not to prevent the consequences of a radical group choosing to provoke another radical group. Conflict only lasted 10 minutes, then quickly calmed down. Less could be said for other parts of the nation.
Our president’s brother passed away at 71, God rest his soul. As the family grieves, business in the nation continues.
Israel now has formal ties with the UAE, which could mean direct flights between Dubai and Jerusalem. The Palestinians aren’t happy; the world isn’t surprised. This affects the Unites States on the international stage as well as the election. Foreign relations help at the ballot box.
Biden has all but formally announced the VP nominee. It won’t matter because he doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Headlines about the Democratic ticket doomed to fail do little more than distract Democratic voters who don’t know they have been duped by the media into a false hope based on false fears and slanted polls. But, those lies sure do sell newspapers!
Trouble is on the rise. It comes in spurts, but it is growing. People are moving out of Californian cities. Protests continue in Portland and Seattle. The trouble is complex, much of it is deserved, and much of it is necessary for our nation to confront the issues that keep us from healing from our past. The only way out is through. To do that, we’ll need to listen to each other.
Who does Pat Roberson think he is? Who gets to say whether or what America’s “mandate from Heaven” is? We can talk about Kurds and allies and defending the defenseless. But, once we start using grandiose terms like “Heaven’s mandate”, that opens a whole new discussion.
If we’re going to go all Bible-thumping Bible-happy about America and Heaven, we need to look at what John saw in Heaven in Revelation 12, where a woman and her newborn baby are given eagle’s wings and saved from a dragon. The woman giving birth is Israel. The eagle’s wings could only be America. If anyone is going to argue that America even has a mandate from Heaven—which may or may not be true—it would be to protect 1. Israel and 2. the unborn. But, that’s assuming that America even has such a mandate. Syria, as much as we all should love all people, is not part of Revelation 12 and should be left out of this melodramatic “mandate from Heaven” freak talk.
Yes, America—and every other country—should all look after human rights and the good of all people—not only Christians, but non-Christians as well. Pat Robertson presumes the old, classic, “us four and no more” thinking we have come to sadly expect from Sunday morning culture. As for Syria, Russia is there and should be able to police wild stuff. America is spread too thin. And, the world would be safer if more nations hunkered down and stayed home. Scary and unpopular as it sounds, America needs to pull out of Syria because we don’t have the unlimited resources of God and because we are indeed needed elsewhere.
Who should look after the Christians in Syria? The Christians should. Rather than playing on old superstitions, such as that America exists to favor Christians or that “good Christians” squabble over petty differences, Christians should act like the family they are. Jesus told Peter, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” Military might is not how God works with Christians. He uses military to direct global politics, but shooting enemies of the Sunday crowd is not God’s mode of operation, no matter how much Mr. Robertson thinks so. Heaven cares about Christians, but its strategy for Christians is to love each other and spread love—that is Heaven’s mandate for how Christians should be looked after.
When we face our challenges, some leaders cower in fear, too scared to give an answer that should seem obvious. When asked the trap-question, “Should the president ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival?” the obvious answer is, “If the rival broke the laws of that government, of course! Otherwise no Republican or Democrat would be able to enforce laws against the other.” Why can’t Republicans say that? When one finds oneself with power one didn’t earn, one won’t know how to beat the toughest problems, no matter how obvious things may seem to everyone else. Congressional Republicans will either level-up their game or pack up and go home. This isn’t pee-wee politics anymore.
Democrats in Congress seem to have forgotten all about looking after Americans, though. The House is trying to impeach a president who won’t be removed by the Senate—it’s pointless. But, to understand Democrats, one must understand the Democratic voters. They might not know that impeachment is pointless, just how Mr. Robertson doesn’t know that a “mandate from Heaven” comes from Heaven, not sensationalist TV. But, sensationalism is the trend, for now.
The nation is polarizing even more. The anti-Israel sentiment from some members of Congress is only one part. The Russianewsgategate scandal surfaces more evidence every day, but no one changes heart or mind on the matter. Portland protests have the same non-effect on persuading people to change sides, only mobilizing everyone.
Chris Cuomo is grossly annoyed by Limbaugh’s nickname for him. Perhaps he thinks he’s the only one allowed to get offended. Senator Lindsey “Gramnesty” wore his like a badge of honor and Andrea “Tarantula” Tantaros welcomed Rush as a guest on her show to explain the good humor of it all. At this point, it’s unlikely Rush will be able to grace the ratings of Chris, who seems to be the only one with a nickname the rest of us aren’t allowed to use.
While protests and extreme voices raise their volume, the only thing provoking people to switch sides are Liberals in the spotlight. It’s not all—neither those in the spotlight or those switching sides. But, some of the dumber and loudest among the Left have made themselves such an embarrassment that many social-minded voters are starting to think that they will get more social justice from the Right.
The election has always been and remains in Trump’s favor. China will lose the trade war, as well as the other war it was always going to instigate. Gun laws and abortion laws will strengthen in both directions. While the Right seems to have the advantage for now, neither Right nor Left has any clear path towards domination, only further polarity. There’s no stopping it. Buckle up, grab your popcorn, and stay safe.