Monday, August 31, 2015

Dr. Fawaz Gerges of London University Is A Super Geopolitical Analyst.

By Sodium

I have followed the geopolitical analyses of Dr. Fawaz Gerges since he was teaching political sciences in a university college in the United States of America. And that was before the death of  Peter Jennings, a Canadian American, who was the anchor personality of Evening News of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). I have mentioned the late Peter Jennings because Dr. Fawaz Gerges was first interviewed by Peter on some issues related to, or political events happened in, the Middle East. In other words, it was then Peter Jennings who was the first journalist and  anchor man, of a major news network, who  discovered the remarkable political talents of Dr. Fawaz Gerges. I must say that I was impressed by Dr. Gerges' keen analysis and rationality of his comment. Since then I have followed his career, including reading every thing I could find that was written by him. His book about the greater radicalism of the third generation of terrorists is remarkably interesting, since no one else thought of such a group had existed then, except his political genius. And his political genius has appeared so vividly in the Syrian war four years ago when he said the war was going to be along one, while others expected the Asad regime to fall in a matter of weeks, including Tayib Rajab Ordogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, then.
He is no longer teaching in the U. S. A, but he is currently teaching International Diplomacy at University of London, and I believe  that, at the same time, he is also the Head of the Middle East Studies at the same university in which he teaches, in England..
In the last three years, I have enjoyed watching him being interviewed, so frequently, on the Internet, by BBC and Al-Jazeera, respectively.  As usual, I have found his analyses and comments, concerning the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen to be meticulously profound and his comments come from a person who really knows what he is talking about. Therefore, I highly recommend to watch and listen to Dr. Fawaz Gerges, whenever you can, and learn from him as much as I have.

END.  .

Friday, August 28, 2015

No A'ar, No Ethical Morality.

By Sodium

This is going to be one of the shortest blog I have ever written

* A'ar is an Arabic word which means shame.:

* Today tragedy, as it has been reported on the Internet, says: 200 human beings have been drowned from a boat opposite the Libyan coastline. I felt an urge for crying.for such an International Tragedy.

* Question: Do the warriors in the cities, towns and villages in the Middle East have no A'ar, when they hear such a horrible news. Shame, shame and more shame on all of them. No exception.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Outline Of The Answer To Question (9) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Re--Citing Question (9):
" Since Jesus told people to turn the other cheek, why aren't more Christians pacifists ? "

Outlining The Answer Given:
At the outset, Miller does not deny that there are Christians who are truly pacifists. But, as the question asks why not more of them be so, since the teachings of their Bible instruct to be so.

The answer that has been given, by Stephen Miller, can be divided into two parts:

Part One: It deals with the pacifist Christians.
Part Two: It deals with the non--pacifist Christians.

The following quotes taken from Miller's answer may make the the difference between the two groups of Christians clear:

Quotation One:
" Christians were pacifists for the first 300 years of Christianity.Most church history scholars agree on that much. "

Quotation Two:
" Why Christians were pacifists ?  Early church leaders preached love, not war:
      We no longer arm ourselves to fight a nation. We don't study the art of war, either. We are soldiers of peace, lead by our commander: Jesus.
                                                                      Origen ( about 185--254 ), against Celsus.

      When Christ disarmed Peter he disarmed every soldier.
                                                                       Tertullian ( about 160--220 )
      Each church rule book said the same thing."

Quotation Three:
      * Christians were forbidden to join the army.
      * Soldiers converted while in the army could continue to serve, but not fight.
      * Officers converted while in the army had to resign.
                                                                         Apostolic Tradition, AD 200s

Quotation Four:
" Pacifists used a literal take on the New Testament ( of the Bible) teachings of Jesus as ammunition for their argument--just as pacifist Christians do to day.
      * " Do not resist an evildoer. But if one strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. "
                                                                        ( Mathew 5:39 NRSV ).
      * " Love your enemies. " ( Mathew 5:44 ).

      * " Do to others whatever you want them do to you. " ( Mathew 7:12 ).

The foregoing is the tip of the iceberg revealing why some Christians were (and still are) pacifists. the next question Miller has raised to answer his own original question is the following question:

" Why some Christians fight. (?):

The Invention of The Just War Theory"
It was Bishop Augustine ( 345--430 AD ) who invented the " Just War Theory ". Bishop Augustine "was one of the most theologian of all. He believed that " there are times when war is justified--when it's conducted for the good of everyone."

Miller says that " Martin Luther ( 1483--1546 ), founder of the Protestant movement, agreed. But instead of preaching " just war," he talked about the reality of two kingdoms. In Christ's spiritual kingdom, there's nothing but peace. But outside the perfect world--in our world--war is sometimes God's way of restoring order. "

The following quotes may provide more light on the question, why some Christian fight. (?):

Quotation Five:
" To Luther way of thinking, tyrants left unchecked will reign over a status quo of injustice: starvation, homelessness, sick people left untreated, legal systems favoring the rich, laws written by the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful, minorities targeted for discrimination, or worse. Luther would have argued that Christians need to take a stand against that. "

Quotation Six:
" History's best illustration of what Augustine and Luther preached: Hitler. "

Quotation Seven:
" Locked and loaded, survivalist Christians, anticipating some kind of global apocalypse, remind their peace--loving brothers and sisters that two-third of the Bible is the Old Testament. And it's full of holy war--the justice side of God's love."

Final Words:
As it has been said earlier in the foregoing, the above presentation is really the tip of the iceberg. There are so many pro and con, for each group of Christians--pacifist or un--pacifist Christians. Any reader who is interested in getting the full meticulous details on both groups, should get a copy of the book and read it.I can only provide you with outlines the best I can.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Five Kinds Of Procrastjnators According To Dr. Linda Sapadin.

By Sodium

I am a subscriber to a newsletter called " Bottom Line Personal " which I receive twice a month for an annual fee of $39.00. And the novel and professional information I get from every issue is worth much more than the annual fee I pay every year as a subscriber. I have always learned something from each issue. I am too old to be fascinating by anything I read except the most compelling read that compels me to be fascinated. Therefore, I must admit that I am fascinated by what I have learned, so far, from reading the 16--18 pages of each issue.

Although I have wanted to follow through with the plan I have already started on the answers given by Stephen M. Miller to the one hundred questions he has raised in his book, " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible ", I have found myself compelled to interrupt my plan in order to share with the reader of this website what I have learned from an interview that Bottom Line Personal had conducted with Dr. Linda Sapadin," PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Valley Stream, New York. She specializes in helping people overcome self-defeating pattern and (she) is author of How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age. "

No need to burden the reader with the complete details of the interview, but an outline of the essential points will, perhaps, be in order:

Dr. Linda Sapadin has acknowledged in the interview that there are five kinds of procrastinators and they are:

(1) The Perfectionist Procrastinator.
(2) The Dreamer Procrastinator.
(3) The Worrier Procrastinator.
(4) The Crisis Maker Procrastinator.
(5) The Defier Procrastinator..

The following outline may provide a brief description of each category of the five procrastinators, listed above, followed by a short suggestion for each to overcome::

(1) The Perfectionist Procrastinator:
" Perfectionists tend to work too long on a task, seeking to achieve perfection-which makes it difficult to get anything done on schedule. "  One suggestion of several other suggestions " is to set time limit for projects, or ask others to do for you. Redefine perfection as " the best I can achieve within this time frame."

(2) The Dreamer Procrastinator:
" Dreamers have a strong desire to live in a world of ideas...and a strong aversion to completing the real-world steps required to turn these ideas into reality. What to do...Develop a detailed to-do list. Create to do lists that that include not just what you need to do but also time lines and deadlines for each listing.

(3) The worrier Procrastinator:
Anxieties about all that could go wrong prevent worriers from moving forward. What to do....Remind yourself that making a decision is a decision. When your anxieties cause stagnation, say to yourself, I am choosing to take no action. Is this really the path I want to take ? "

(4) The Crisis Maker Pocrastinator:
Crisis Makers delay working on projects until deadlines loom--they need the adrenaline rush of a deadline to get them moving. They don't consider that this makes life difficult for their colleagues and loved ones. What to do ... Find motivators other than stress and adrenaline. Looming deadlines might be an effective motivator for you, but that doesn't mean that they are the only motivator. Reflect on what is truly and deeply meaningful to you. It might be providing for your family...behaving ethically...being viewed as someone people can trust...earning money... earning praise and promotion...or something else entirely. "

(5) The Defier Procrastinator:
Defiers view their responsibilities as impositions on their time forced upon them by unjust systems or authority figures. They might respond to these impositions with direct defiance...or they might indirectly defy by procrastinating, a form of passive agressive rebellion. What to do...Act, don't react. See yourself as part of a team, not apart of a team. "

Final Words:
I must admit that I really could not figure out to what kind of the above five procrastinators I personally might have belonged. Most likely, I feel that I do not belong to any of the five categories of the procrastinators described by Dr. Linda Sapadin. Perhaps, and just perhaps, I belong to the sixth kind of procrastinators called " Plan Interrupters."  My invention ?  Of course, it is

Have fun, if you procrastinate, in trying to figure out to which of the five kinds of procrastinators you are actually belonged.. You may discover some surprising human characteristics about yourself that have been unknown to you, before reading the views of Dr.Linda Sapadin about the five kinds of procrastinators, outlined here.



Sunday, August 16, 2015

Continuation Of The Interesting Statements That Are Worthy Of Reading And Learning From.

By Sodium

In the last blog, the interesting statements of chapter (1) through chapter (19) of a novel authored by Claire Cook were covered and quoted. In this blog, the interesting statements from chapter (20) through chapter (38) of Cook's novel will be covered and quoted:

From Chapter (20):
" Practice what you preach, and remember thay preaching takes practice. "

From Chapter (21):
" Whether or not you are good at discipline, disciplin she is always good for you. "

From Chapter (22):
" Dying to dance is the only diet you need. "

From Chapter (23)
" Step up that pep and put some pep in that step."

From Chapter (24):
" If you give a woman a fish, she will eat some, but if you teach her to fish, she will open up a pet store."

From Chapter (25);
" When pretending to have people, one may talk in the third person. "

From Chapter (26):
" Dancers are the athletes of God, but is God the athlete of dancers. "

From Chapter (27):
" If fat can be your biggest fear, can fear also make you fat. "

From Chapter (28):
" Ask not what your professional dancer can do for you, ask what you can do for your professional dancer. "

From Chapter (29)
" I yam what I yam, and tha's all that I yam."

From Chapter )30):
" Learn to fail or fail to learn."

From Chapter (31):
" Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but we are never more beholden than to the person who enhances our beauty. "

From Chapter (32):
" To dance is to live, if you live through the dance."

From Chapter (33):
" Don't sweat the petty thing, and don't pet the sweaty thing."

From Chapter (34):
" At the end of the day, love is all that's real, and all that matters is that you really love. "

From Chapter (35)
" A spirited dance is fueled by your spirit. "

From Chapter (36):
" Once you get past the rocky parts, midlife really can rock. "

From Chapter (37):
" Success is getting what you want, but happiness is wanting what you get. "

From Chapter (38):
" You can spend all your time fishing, or you can put all into one big fish. "

Final Words:
I do hope that you have enjoy reading all the 38 interesting statements quoted in the last two blog just as much as I have. And I also do hope that you have learned something from all of them just as much as I have.



Saturday, August 15, 2015

Interesting Statements That are Worth Of Reading and Learning From.

By Sodium

While I was checking on some books I was interested in reading, I came across a novel authored by Claire Cook. In my youthful years, I was interested in reading good novels, especially political thrillers. And I read many. But, I have lost such an interest in reading novels, as I worked, traveled and lived in the Middle East, in 1970's and 1980's. As a result, my interest has ever since concentrated in history, geopolitics, Arabic language and its fascinating literature, and Islam. The question is why, all of a sudden, I seem to be interested in Claire Cook's novel. Well, I am not interested in reading Claire Cook's novel at all, but in the statements that have appeared at the beginning of each chapter of the novel. That was the reason for buying the novel. This has been the result of an old habit of mine I cannot get rid of:reviewing, in the spot of the book store, some pages of the book, (any book whose title attracts my attention), to find out what the content of the book is all about.

What has impressed me about Claire Cook's novel is the sensibility of every statement which appeared at the top of the beginning of each chapter. Cook's novel is composed of 38 chapters. Hence, It has a total of 38 sensible statements which I wish to share with the readers of this website. The first 19 sensible statements are quoted below:

From Chapter (1):
" Who will buy the cowif you give away the milk for free, yet once you get a taste of the milk, who can resist coming back to the cow ? "

From Chapter (2):
" Failure is a brief and necessary layover in the way to success, but you will never reach success if you check your bags at failure. "

From Chapter (3):
" You do not have to be a winner to start, but you have to start to be a winner."

From Chapter (4):
" Morning, noon, and night, my brother is pretty much a chiasmus machine, and chiasmus machine is pretty much my brother. "

From Chapter (5):
What a long strange trip it;s been, and what a strange longer trip is becoming. "

From Chapter (6):
" When you dig in the earth, the earth digs you. "

From Chapter (7):
" Change is hard, so people hardly ever change."

From Chapter (8):
" Better to run over than to be overrun. "

From Chapter (9):
" When people show you their true colors, color yourself convinced the first time. "

From Chapter (10):
" Let go of the past and go let the future in. "

From Chapter (11):
" It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. " This one is by Mark  Twin.

From Chapter (12):
" She who hesitates is lost, but she who doesn't hesitate might end up even loster. "

From Chapter (13):
" Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing, especially in a sheep shed with your sister. "

From Chapter (14):
" It's not what you'r telling your heart, but what your heart is telling you."

From Chapter (15):
" No body can go back and start a new beginning, But anyone can start today and make a new ending. " Thi one is by Maria Robinson.

From Chapter (16):
" When in doubt eat. When in eat, doubt "

From Chapter (17):
" A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but a bush in the hand will feed the whole flock. "

From Chapter (18):
" The magic in those soles will bring out the magic that was in your soul all along. "

From Chapter (19):
" Live to dance and dance to live. "


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A summary Of The Answer To Question (8) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Re-Citing Question (8) :
" Why should anyone believe that a star led the wise men to Bethlehem when stars don't move like that ? "

A Summary Of The Answer, As Given by Stephen Miller:
Stephen Miller has pointed out the fact, at the very beginning of his detailed answer, that Christians say that " Miracles Happen. " And this kind of an answer to the question is " the most honest. " as he put it. What this means that they really do not know. But Miller seems not be impressed by such a simple answer to a tough question. Hence, he provides his own answers, part of which are the following points:

~ " The story shows up in just one book of the Bible: " After Jesus' birth wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, " Where is the one who was born to be the king of the Jews ?  We saw his star rising and have come to worship him ' " ( Mathew 2:1-2 ).

~ " The Bible doesn't say how many wise men there were. Scholars say the idea that they were three probably comes from from the three gifts they gave Jesus: gold, frankincense, myrrh. "

Miller covers so many theories about the stars as they were known and reported in ancient times but he disprove their validity, one by one. no need to burden the reader with such an almost endless argument. the point to remember that amongst all the book of the Bible only the book written by Mathew mentioned the three wise men who traveled from the east, most probably from Iraq and Iran, to see Jesus and worship him. It is obvious, all of the entire argument is questionable, except if one truly believes in miracles tha hadt made the star moved to guide the three wise men to Jerusalem and finally to Bethlehem.

Final Words:
I must call the attention of Mr. Miller that Arab Bedouins do their travels during the nights due to desert unbearable heat during day time..And they do know which star to follow for direction, meaning going to east, west, north or south. Miller is technically correct when he says stars do not move like that. Perhaps, and just perhaps, as the bible was not originally written in English which Mr. Stephen Miller understood so well, linguistic mistakes might have occured in the translations processes.