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TrueTomHarley

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TrueTomHarley last won the day on December 7

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  1. Anna says 10 years and she’s just being speculative, just putzing around, with the existing arrangements. You say 10 years, I think in earnest, with a brand spanking new anointed from somewhere or other—everything new from the ground up. You are both wrong. It is ten days. Be ready.
  2. For a brief time, Mike Tussin was a roommate of mine. He drove me nuts in taking literally the admonition to read God’s Word “in an undertone day and night.” In time, he learned that he had better not do it in my presence. I logged some of his exploits in No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash. He was one of the most squirrelly characters that you will ever hope to meet, and yet—people are a mix—he had the most telling common sense, knack for nailing aspects of human nature (though mixed with an odd naïveté), no fear whatsoever of man, and the ability to simplify the complex. I can hear him now explaining to someone or other just how it worked with the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, composed of anointed Christians. This would have been in the early 1970s. “They study and study their Bibles and one of them notices a point and discusses it with the others. They continue to turn it over and over. If their discussion reaches the point of agreement, that idea finds its way into the Watchtower—that’s how God’s people are fed spiritually today. “Now, in your own personal study, you may have noticed that point, too, maybe even before they did. And if this was Christendom, you’d go out and start your own religion over it.” He captured it. I like the idea of ‘they’re not the only people who can think’ as well as the notion of waiting on headship and not running ahead. Present your idea, but if it doesn’t get adopted, don’t lose your cookies over it. The ship cannot sail in every direction at once. Rumor has it that Sputnik came up for discussion at the Bethel table after 1957, but it was aborted before takeoff. Might that date not be a milestone in the last days stream of time commencing with the outbreak of World War I in 1914–a year marking the first time in history that the entire world went to war at once? Throw in the greatest plague of history, the Spanish flu of 1917, the colossal food shortages that always accompany colossal war, and viola!—one is powerfully reminded of Luke 21:10: Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another food shortages and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” Might 1957 Sputnik mark a mighty exclamation mark in “fearful sights and great signs from heaven?” It certainly scared the bejeebers out of the Americans, and within 3 years President Kennedy declared that the US would not play second fiddle to the Russians. They would join—and so make it—a “space race” by sending a man to the moon. It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea at Bethel—three GB members batted about the idea, I’m told, but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. The “fearfulness” would have been lost on most people. Did the race have military implications? Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value, as it was popularly repackaged just a few years later: Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before! On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some strange fellow that he probably took for an angel presented the idea to him right there as he was riding in the Shatner seat. Like Saul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration, and so forth. It’s one of the few major accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use—though that could ever change—the way that airplanes were. No sooner had they been invented then they were strafing the towns of Europe and dogfighting each other in the skies. In contrast to 1957, World War I was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other GB members pointed out, sending the three Bethel “astronauts” pitching the notion hurtling off like Darth Vader in his crippled craft, careening off to the pantry for a donut or two. Hmm. Maybe an update could incorporate robocalls from the cloud. What year did they begin? Truly, they cause men to raise their faces and curse the heavens. Truly, they too, are instantly perceived as a great evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows. You know, as I read the 1960 speech, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones—overtones that just might make some tremble—in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch. Everything must be considered in its own historical context. I’ve added italics to his words that play this way: “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? “We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.” ..... Yes, you could read a measure of terror into that speech if you were of a mind to, though I did not as a boy. The President says: “Space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.” What are the chances of that happening?
  3. You know, I can see how the idea might come up for discussion at Bethel. Despite my innocuous take expressed about it—a take that has mostly played out (but may someday not)—there certainly were military overtones in JFKs speech rallying Americans to support a moon launch. We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours. There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.
  4. It is worth a simulated launch, I guess—presenting the idea—but I’m glad that it blew up on the pad. It would have been lost on most people. Relatively few catch the implications of anything. They take it at face value—“Space: The final frontier: these are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise—it’s continuing mission: to seek out new world’s, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” On a flight to Damascus, Bill had a vision of such. Some odd fellow that he took for an angel presented the idea to him right there on the Shatner wing. Like Paul, it disoriented him completely for a time, and the other passengers heard of the disturbance, sure enough, but witnessed nothing themselves. As a boy, I never once trembled when they launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral. I always took it in the spirit of advancing technology, advancing exploration. It’s one of the few accomplishments of men that has NOT been quickly put to military use, as airplanes were. In contrast, WWI was not only perceived by just about everyone, but it was instantly perceived as a negative. Probably that’s what the other—how many were there then—GB members pointed out, sending Bert and his co-astronauts scuttling off to the pantry for a donut. Robocalls from the cloud, on the other hand, ARE perceived as an instant evil, as any time-share owner in the Everglades knows.
  5. What year did robocalls from the cloud begin besieging every man woman and child on earth, causing them to look to the heavens and curse, day and night?
  6. Another sinister feather in the cap of the northern king. Did he want to tie in the Daniel prophesy?
  7. One unanticipated personal consequence of going digital is that I read nothing until the week it is to be considered at meeting. I have not read the new Ezekiel book yet. Back in the day of subscriptions, I would read that entire Watchtower at the nearest opportunity. Doesn’t happen anymore. I never think to download the latest until I need it. In recent years I’ve come to think a lot about Paul’s counsel to follow the pattern of the healthful words. At first, the healthful words are retrieved and spit out verbatim—it is the nature of much of our research. But if you’ve been around long enough, you soon to learn to pick up on the pattern and you can originate them yourself. It is as Mike Tussin used to say, a real person from No Fake News whose name I changed with the most sordid upbringing and the most telling common sense. He would explain how it was with the GB (in the 1970s). “They study and study and one of them notices a point and discusses it with the others. After subsequent discussion reaches agreement, it gets into print. Now, in your own personal study, you may have noticed that point, too,” I can hear him explaining now, “and if this was Christendom, you’d go out and start your own religion over it.” For a brief time, he was a roommate of mine. He drove me nuts in taking literally the admonition to read God’s Word “in an undertone day and night.” In time, he learned that he had better not do it in my presence.
  8. Have you not read of Trutom Harley, an underappreciated luminary who lived from 722-795 CE? Call him a “nowhere man”? Did he? Forgive me if it has already been mentioned. On what basis? The bomb was dropped in 1945–or is it that Sputnik is 1957? A hard sell, I would think. As for Nebuchadnezzar, so far my suggestion that he is the pre-type of Ralph Kramden has been unwisely ignored, and I hope the brothers survive the egg on their face when they come to realize how right I was. Ralph—just like Neb: 1) Unbearably boastful and obnoxious. 2) Absolutely abased each time with the greatest humiliation. 3) Learns absolutely nothing. The beginning of each new show has him at his blowhard worst.
  9. I don’t think so. I’m playing a bit, I admit, but not to the point of being silly. Any historian will say that early Christians lived in expectation of the immanent end of this system. The Great Reawakening, or whatever it is called, from which Russell eventually emerges, invariably features expectations of just when the Lord will return. Branches of Christianity that do not concern themselves with this go an entirely different direction. They focus their efforts on improving the present world through education and charity. They abandon their resolve to stay separate from it. It may be part of the equation that the two—expectations of the short time till the end, and kingdom proclamation with the unique teachings that are JW alone—must always go together. Maybe it is the great Carrot and Stick game of God, knowing how we are. At any rate, I think it most unlikely they will ever tinker with the formula much. Is the 33-doctrine tinkering with the formula? By moving the beginning back in time, I think it will be hard not to also move the day off into the vague future. It may be that some are gingerly poking at the foundation, as JWI seems to think, but I would not expect any wholesale change.
  10. I don’t see any backing off of 1914 whatsoever. It was pedal to the metal at last nights meeting where the assigned reading was Revelation 10-12. Moreover, I thought of talks I had put together over the years, using some of the details in those verses. I thought of how I had made a big deal of Rutherford & crew unambiguously ‘advertise, advertise, advertising’ the King and his Kingdom at almost the exact same moment that the Federal Counsel of Churches was hailing the League of Nations as the political expression of the kingdom on earth today—each side publicly parting ways at the fork in the road. I read that background WT of how 100 years ago it could not even have been conceived that humans might “ruin the earth,” yet how that manifestly is a great threat today, as humans invent & implement new technologies without regard or ability to control the consequences. (I finally figured out why my wife had been able to get the Research Guide on her IPad but not me on mine—I had thought it was @James Thomas Rook Jr. messing with me from afar.) And now you propose that it should all go? What would be the effect of this strange new teaching of yours that Jesus began to rule in 1933–period, end of story—and that WWI was just “boys will be boys?” How will it affect “last days,” ‘urgency of the end,’ ‘the end of all things has drawn close’ ‘ridiculers will come with their ridicule’ and so forth? Do I understand this correctly? (Maybe I don’t) We have been living in the last days since 33? Constantine lived in the last days and should have been keeping on the watch? Napoleon lived in the last days? George Washington lived in the last days? Sleepy Rip Van Winkle lived in the last ‘Keep on the watch’ days? People couldn’t even read that there were last days that they were supposed to be keeping on the watch for until 3-400 years ago when the Bible began to appear in languages other than Latin! I think the “33 doctrine” effectively waters down the urgency of keeping on the watch to the point where the practical response is—why do it at all? I can envision several historic Watchtowers, to run in successive weeks: 1) We are out of harmony with the majority of ancient date scholars. Therefore, let us acknowledge that they must be right, and kick 1914 to the curb—Advertising, League, WWI, Atlanta—it all goes. 2) We are out of harmony with the majority of scientists. Therefore let us concede that Darwinian evolution is the bee’s knees and let us consign Adam and Eve to fairy tale. 3) Let us work on giving our children a “good education” so that they can get a “good job” and turn their talents to making a difference in the world—let us get in there and fix those problems! We can do it! 4) Let’s get Trump out of office and the sooner the better! He spreads meanness. Of course, we realize that some in the congregation will feel another way. They can buy another building and meet there. 5) Let’s focus more on love. Why should we care about what gender people are attracted to? The Bible was written a long time ago when people had different sociological needs and were less enlightened than now. 6) Let’s lighten up on the kingdom preaching work. Who knows how far off it is? I mean, if you have time on your hands and nothing else to do, that’s okay, but don’t let it get in the way of anything important. Let’s have our religion but keep it in its place. There are many roads and they all lead to heaven.
  11. I was there about a month ago, having flown into Orlando for the wedding of my nephew. I arrived near closing time, and was only able to walk around the outside of the fort. But I had just before came from Ft Matanzas, about ten miles south, party closed due to hurricane damage. The next day I went to Ft Caroline, outside of Jacksonville. Ft Caroline was French. They send a raiding party to the Spanish Ft Matanzas, but the party got upended in a squall. When the Spanish discovered that, they took those French soldiers captive and slaughtered most of them. (Matanzas literally means ‘slaughter’—landmarks, businesses, and roads all around that area are named Matanzas this or Matanzas that.) The docent at Ft Caroline told me the Spanish commander sent a letter to the French king saying the prisoners were killed, not because they were French, but because they were Protestant. The few captured French soldiers that were Catholic were spared.
  12. The steward that robs his master blind and the master ends up commending him. The unrighteous judge that will not grant justice until the widow nags him half to death and that judge is used to illustrate the Father. Just now I am spinning others (on the TDS thread) regarding current politicians who will provide my own underpinnings as Sect Leader. I know I will have at least one follower—JTR.
  13. Unnecessary on his account. He is so bombastic that I can hear him in my sleep.

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