The Gospel According To Lost Is Not

The Gospel According To Lost

The Gospel According To Lost is not an explanation on how to use the stories and characters and ideas of the hit TV series Lost to witness to people. It’s so much more than that.

It’s a relatively short read for the size of the book. Clearly written considering the depth of the subjects it deals with. And it makes me want to finish the series.

Readers of this blog and friends know that I’m deeply concerned about the deeper things in life. Actions and externalities interest me, but intent, thought, background, worldview and philosophy hold my attention far longer.

The Gospel According To Lost is a book exploring the deeper things of that TV series from an explicitly Christian perspective.

From Hurley to Locke to Ekko and everyone between and beyond, The Gospel According To Lost explores the characters beyond their surface. Jack’s super-hero complex. Sayed’s assurance that he is beyond redemption. Kate’s inability to get beyond her terrible past.

And then it shows how the growth in each character embodies a growth we can empathize and sympathize with. We’ve either been there ourselves or we can see it as normal to the human condition. And it all revolves around a redemptive process. Some experience redemptive change, some cannot make that leap and so are left grasping in futility.

I recommend this book for anyone who loves the TV series Lost, for anyone who enjoys great literature for it’s character depth and wants an exploration of characterization in a newer medium, and for anyone seeking to understand an icon of our popular culture which has with such strength and depth provided this intriguing and complex look into each of our hearts and lives.

Or if you just want to see how the grand scope of the Bible can be effectively applied to our modern lives in a constructive and informative way, The Gospel According To Lost is for you.

Unchecked Free Market Problems

Unrestricted free market

Gary A writes article on the investing opinion site SeekingAlpha.com claiming that while limited government sounds good, it’s not a reasonable policy if the goal is market stability:

I support the free market but unlike them I don’t trust the free market. I don’t think that having just capitalists in charge of the free market can possibly keep it free very long. Capitalists cannot police themselves. Every game has rules. Try playing baseball without umpires. Try playing tennis without line judges. There are even rules when racing at the Indianapolis 500.

I agree with him, to an extent:

I agree that having capitalists in charge of capitalism can and has caused many a problem. Having Marxists in charge of a market causes even more.

The issue is that there is no suitable force acting upon the individuals that make up a government capable of restraining their choices actions.

And the more levels of government that are constructed to check and balance any system of man only lead to more levels of waste and corruption as they, in turn, fall to the very same forces.

The brilliance of the original American system was that it pitted this thirst for power against itself by building three branches of government with competing but not overlapping responsibilities.

This system worked well enough, for in that inherent tension there was stability left for those under it.

As the government’s greatest enemy was itself, instead of the people, the people were free to go about their ways.

As the government power alignment adjusted, mainly beginning with Lincoln’s power consolidation in the Civil war the forces of government were aligned and now could seek to take power, not from each other, but from the populace.

So is it a perfect system? No. Is it better than the alternatives? It depends on how you define better. I would say it is, with better being that state where there is least government intrusion into my affairs and then only so much as is necessary to prevent me from infringing unjustly on another’s affairs.

Of course, then you get into what is just and unjust.

The whole problem is that unless you accept a sovereign moral force who/which defines morality for us unsovereign beings, there is really no way to define right except through might.

Those in power get to define morality apart from that sovereign moral entity. And without an acceptance of a sovereign moral entity there is no legitimate basis for a universal and effective set of ethics to guide the behaviors of individuals, groups, corporations, societies, or nations.

Yes, I believe it all boils down to whether or not you subscribe to the idea there is a higher power who will judge you for your actions and your intentions and the results.

I’m From The Government And…

Run away!

Vowing to “reverse the overall erosion in middle class security” President Obama is trying to reconnect with us poor plebes left out in the cold with all this uncertainty.

Probably because he’s had his pants handed to him more often than he’s done the handing this year, and mostly because of massive levels of policy-specific disapproval in the middle class, he’s trying to make good enough to not have it handed to him again in upcoming elections.

His pet projects to engender warm fuzzies in my quivering breast (Ok, that sounded a little weird): use my money to pay for every other poor schmucks child care, retirement, student loans, and elderly parents.

In other words, if you’re living outside your means such that you need more than one parent can make, if your primary retirement plan is to play the lottery, if you’re attending a college you can’t afford, and if your parents had the same problems, you get my money to square your books.

Yup. I’ve got all kinds of warm fuzzies here for you, Mr. President.

This is what’s called a buy out. President Roosevelt (Franklin Delano, to be exact) was master at this, pitting party against party, class against class.

The problem here is that I’m middle class and I’m not going to be taking advantage of any of these programs, which means, by default, I’ll be getting taken advantage of.

See where all these warm fuzzies are coming from? They’re certainly not Tribbles.

Here’s my (unsolicited) suggestions, Mr. President. Back off. Stay away. Shut my pocket book. Quit meddling.

Why don’t I like being meddled with?

People don’t like to be meddled with.
We tell them what to do, what to think.
Don’t run, don’t walk.
We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right.
We’re meddlesome.

Line 4 there folks, “we haven’t the right” (Thanks to River Tam and Serenity for the above wisdom).

I’m most comfortable when I’m left alone (by the government) to do as I ought. That is an important distinction from doing as I like. The government does have responsibility to constrain those who do as they like to the detriment of those who haven’t liked what was done to them. Government has no right to do as they like to those who’d rather be left to do as they ought.

Thankfully, I don’t believe Mr. President, for all his awesome rhetorical ability, is former President Clinton. He’ll not be able to communicate this program in any way that will make it appear less than it is to those who care.

President Clinton actually changed his policies when he say how the chips fell against him. He became downright conservative in his fiscal policies and beguiled enough to remain in power.

President Obama has too much blood in the game, is too invested in his Marxist ideology to change his policies, and so he is left only to dress them up. Which is something he can only do to himself with any success.

The New York Times highlights, of course, that this is nowhere near the levels of rainbows and unicorns promised during the campaign:

Mr. Biden rejected criticism that the proposals Mr. Obama was unveiling were relatively small-bore compared with the vast and sweeping measures he pushed during his first year in office. “They’re big-deal things if you’re just able to give some respite for a husband and wife, both working, to give a little bit of help,” Mr. Biden said.

So no one is happy with President Obama now.

Darn.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on how he’s concerned about the middle class. What about the lower class? What about the upper class? Aren’t they all American’s too? The middle class must be the biggest, most homogeneous voting bloc.

I’ll Take It Where I Can Get It

Kudos to Harry Reid?

Harry Reid is proposing putting the force of law behind rules already on the books requiring all future obligations Congress saddles us with to be funded prior to enactment.

Congress already lives within similar budget rules but routinely waives them. However, the new rules would carry the force of law and be enforced by the threat of across-the-board spending cuts if they are violated.

Apparently he’s a rather unwilling convert to the idea, being pressured by the “blue-dog” Democrats who tend to hold to more fiscally sound ideas while maintaining a (D) after their name.

These rules are similar to those enacted in the 90’s which helped contribute to the balanced budget of ’98. Those rules expired in ’02 and have not been re-upped.

So kudos to Senator Reid. I’ll think a few happy thoughts about you after you are forced out by a landslide defeat in your next election.

Democrats have been pulled to the left, to the left.

And I’d welcome a move to the right from them. Sure, it’s harder to tell people apart when they’re so similar, but the fights aren’t quite as “end of the world” as they are when there are such polar opposites at stake.

Senator Evan Bayh (D)

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana prescribes such a move to save the party of the donkey from a potential rout in upcoming elections.

President Obama should, according to Bayh, “draw a line in the sand on spending” and promise vetoes for bills that exceed those limits. Yea, with you there. I’d like that.

Democrats are “tone deaf” to what people are really saying in the ballot boxes and around water coolers:

It is amazing that some people here in Congress still don’t get it.…For those people it may take a political catastrophe of biblical proportions before they get it. I don’t think we’ll get to that. But we might.

Senator Bayh has good reason for his warnings, he’s up for reelection. And with the public increasingly understanding the national import of even local elections, he’s liable to get thrown out as any other Democrat, especially as his fellow Hoosiers tend strongly to the conservative.

So he chides Washington Democrats for being “out of touch”, for being foolhardy in spending, for not passing the best jobs policies, namely tax-cuts for small businesses.

He isn’t sure bashing banks will bring real economic improvement to average Americans, and he staunchly opposes denying Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a second term. He said he prefers “positive populism” in the form of, for example, more aggressive moves to create jobs and lower college costs. Above all, he wants that presidential line in the sand on spending and deficits.

Keep up the good advice Evan. I’ll think higher of you than I think of Harry Reid after you’ve been ousted too. Or perhaps you can join the party you belong in and put that pen to use where we actually believe in those things.

It just might save your bacon come November.

Oh, and I really can’t end even this post without digging some at Harry. I’m feeling a little icky after congratulating Senator Reid above.

Feeling better now.

It Pays To Lie

Rajendra K. Pachauri

Or was it “I lie to get paid”?

The U.N. climate chief presided over a report which has been used to justify huge increases in U.N. spending on certain pet projects of the climate lobby which has been found to be, um, faulty.

The factual inaccuracies were found prior to the climate change conferences which were full of attempts to globalize governments, spend more money on pet projects, and various other things, and yet they were not corrected or retracted before the conference.

So now, understandably, there are calls for this scientist-cum-bad liar/opportunist (hey, sounds like the majority of people calling for more government control in the name of global cooling, or was that warming?) to step down, and he won’t.

Because there are no external moral forces compelling him to act morally, his own power and desires are his only guiding light.

So we strip his power and/or shame him.

Oh, did I mention the climate panel Rajendra heads won a Nobel Prize for that lie report?