Black and White TV

Let’s go back a few years in history.

… I think you’ll enjoy this. Whoever wrote it could have been my next door neighbor because it totally described my childhood to a ‘T.’
Black and White
Black and White

(Under age 45? You won’t understand)

You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
‘Good Night, David.
Good Night, Chet.’
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting E.coli.
Almost all of us would

Have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE… and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked’s (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
Flunking gym was not an option… Even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.
We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations
Oh yeah… And where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played ‘king of the hill’ on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.
Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $99 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.
Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.
Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a jerk. It was a neighborhood run amuck.
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family.
How could we possibly have known that?
We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes.
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even

notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?
LOVE TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA; AND TO ALL WHO DIDN’T, SORRY FOR WHAT YOU MISSED. I WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING!
Pass this to someone and remember that life’s most simple pleasures are very often the best.

 

 

The Christian Situation

Beyond the Cusp

There are a number of different peoples who have problems in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa (MENA). One of the most covered is Israel where over half the world’s Jews reside and are in mortal danger in one way or another every single day, especially with the missiles and weapons of mass destruction held by Iran. Another group which has gotten its fair share is the Kurds who despite being largely Muslim are not accepted well by their Arab coreligionists. But there is one group that unless there has been some heinous act of barbarity or one particular group is facing a special situation, they are mostly ignored. These groups are the many different types of Christians. We spend much of our time here at BTC on Israel and the United States as that is where much of the news coverage emanates from and where we do or…

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Burying Obama’s legacy

It may very well be that this week was the week that Israel and the US put to rest former president Barack Obama’s policies and positions on Israel and the Palestinians.

If so, the move was made despite the best efforts of Obama’s team to convince the Trump administration to maintain them.

The details of Obama’s policies and positions have been revealed in recent weeks in a series of articles published in Haaretz regarding Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry’s failed peacemaking efforts, which ended in 2014.

The articles reported segments of two drafts of a US framework for a final peace treaty between the PLO and Israel. The drafts were created in February and March 2014.

The article series is predicated on the assumption that Kerry and his team were on the precipice of a historic breakthrough between PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. But a close reading of the documents shows that the opposite was the case.

There are two reasons that Kerry had no prospects for reaching a deal

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Egypt’s Battle Against Islamic Extremism

For a Western audience, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a complex figure, who was shunned by the Obama administration. There appear truly pressing, immediate priorities in Egypt, such as developing the economy and combating the avalanche of extremist attempts to overthrow him. Among Middle East and North African territories, Egypt stands out as a primary target, given the cocktail of challenges that position it as a center of radical Islam.

President Sisi faces violent extremist hotbeds in the Sinai Peninsula, and the still-destabilizing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood (a political arm of violent radicals). Most notably, Sisi brought a reality check to the Arab Spring when he led the military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, ushering a spiritual and cultural Islamic reformation with widespread popular support from Egyptians on a grass-roots level.

Sisi faces more than just militant and political extremists within Egypt’s borders; he is also walking a theological tightrope. Egypt is home to the regressive theocratic influence of the most revered Islamic institution in the Sunni world, Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, which openly views freedom as a “ticking time-bomb.”

Being held hostage intellectually by the grip of Al-Azhar University ensures that there is a constant supply when it comes to producing the next generation of militant and political Islamists.

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