No. 358  |  Sept 18, 2011   Start   Study   Intellect vs. Reason   SONS OF ANAK   9/11: Wave This Flag Or Else   Hurricane Katrina   A Woman's Place   Video   Back

The Sons Of Anak

The Message Of The Ten

Speaking Things Into Existence

Much of this misery is perpetuated if not made worse simply by all of the barking going on n Washington. If these people would run their mouth less and actually get things done, if they would only lift the tone of rhetoric to a more positive and hopeful one, that in itself would have a profound effect on the world economy. Even if nobody has a bright idea, if we’d just stop the grammar-school childish bickering, that could be worth a few dozen points on the Dow. The world is listening to us, responding to us. The world is saying, “My goodness, those Americans are crazy.” Republicans like Bachmann merely voicing a willingness—feigned or not—for the U.S. to go into economic default for political reasons was enough to shake up the entire globe. It amazes me that these people don’t see that. It further amazes me how dumb the American public has grown, that Michele Bachmann has any political life at all is an utter condemnation of the American public. This woman is a menace to the entire planet, yet her adoring, cheering throngs of clueless housewives continue to cheer her on.

What neither Dems nor Republicans will admit: nobody knows nothin.’ Every politician is going to tell you, with conviction, that he or she knows the way out of this mess. They’re lying. Nobody knows. We are in uncharted waters. Eliminating automatic digital trading would be a good first step as these trades—millions made within tenths of seconds—is what is causing the market turbulence. But, honestly, nobody actually knows where we are going. And, in the face of looming economic disaster, we are a people divided and bickering and pointing fingers.

The Sons of Anak

When the twelve spies Moses sent over to the Promised Land returned, ten of them gave an evil report, telling of undefeatable giants in the land--Anakites, a mixed race of giants descendant from the revered tribal leader Anak. The text states that Anak was a Rephaite [Deuteronomy 2:11] and a son of Arba [Joshua 15:13]. Etymologically, Anak means long neck. The sons of Anak are first mentioned in Numbers 13, where the spies enter from the Negev desert and journey northward through the Judaean hills until they arrive at the brook of Eshcol near Hebron, where reside Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the sons of Anak. After the scouts have explored the entire land, they bring back samples of the fruit of the land; most notably a gigantic cluster of grapes which requires two men to carry on a pole between them. The scouts then report to Moses and the congregation, that "the land indeed is a land flowing with milk and honey," but ten of the twelve spies discourage the Israelites from even attempting to possess the land, for they reported that the men were taller and stronger than the Israelites, and moreover the sons of Anak dwell in the land, and that they felt like grasshoppers in their presence. [Wikipedia]

Hearing the report, fear and panic swept through Israel, these ten spies speaking defeat into the lives of the people. The people rebelled against Moses and, in a panic, rallied to select a new leader who would take them back to Egypt—back to slavery, back to the very oppression they’d been fleeing.

Sound familiar? I'm not sure how or why the majority of voting Americans seem to think the answer to this crisis is a new president. Republicans have consistently tied the hands of this president from day one. America's criticism of President Obama seems to mirror my own frustration with him: that he won't get things done. That he's wasted nearly two-thirds of is presidency trying to appease demonstrably evil people. The right direction/wrong track numbers fairly condemn the president's economic policies, which misses the point that these are not his policies. These are the watered-down milquetoast leftovers of Obama's policies, the shards the GOP would allow to pass. In other words, America is blaming the president for choices not wholly his own while now clamoring for more of the same by turning to the very people the president has allowed to shape his presidency and policies. if anything, America should be screaming at Mr. Obama to wake up and to find ways to implement his policies rather than continuing to allow Republicans to dismember them piecemeal. But that's not what the polls say we are doing. We are, instead, turning to the very people who got us into this mess, the very people who have tied the president in knots for three years, who are deliberately dragging their feet and prolonging this misery even while pointing blame at the president. The are giants in the land! We will surely die!

The nation's capitol, the seat of power, is overrun with children. It shocks and saddens and angers me that, in the face of global economic disaster, these people simply will not stop playing their idiotic political games. Republicans trying to grab power and using their usual tactic of fear-mongering to accomplish that, Democrats being clueless and in disarray. Panic spreading through the land. People paralyzed by fear of seeing their retirement savings go, seeing their house go, close up their pocketbooks and create the very recession they were afraid of. Losing faith in their leader, ready to turn back to Pharaoh.

What we need, what the world needs,

are the remaining two spies—Joshua and Caleb. We need a calming and rational voice to articulate vision and direction in strong, steady and even tones. Not the wild gesticulations of the conservative fringe or the smug, eel-like quality of Rick Perry, but a grown up. The country, the world, is in desperate need of a grown-up, of someone who will give a good report. Who will put faith into action while encouraging each of us to do the same.

I used to think Barack Obama was that leader, but, like Former Governor Mitt Romney--a professional candidate and empty suit--the president is demonstrating troubling blind spots in terms of how the nation and the world perceives him. I hope he is not as disconnected from us as he comes across. I am also assuming no one in his inner circle wants to tell him he is being perceived as a man ignoring a ringing phone. A man we dearly love but who seems to be inexplicably distant from the great trouble confounding the nation. The president seems to be unaware of how powerful words can be. How powerful his image in and of itself can be. Calming, reassuring, leading. Like Joshua, like Caleb, ending the hysteria and speaking victory into existence. We need men of virtue and resolve who embody those qualities, who can paint a bright future for America and make us believe it.

Changing presidents in a crisis is like swapping pilots as the plane hurtles toward the ground. We are demonizing Obama because he's the guy in the round room. But the president is only the public face of the problem. The problem is fear. The problem is paranoia. anxiety. stress. The problem is Americans not having enough faith in America. Fearing the sons of Anak. If the nation were less divided, if the nation were galvanized and moving forward, it ultimately would not matter who the president was. The GOP's entire agenda is about keeping us scared, keeping us broke and keeping us divided. I can't imagine why we would want to reward those tactics. The enemy, here, is not even the economy so much as the paranoia over it. America needs a good report, needs to believe it because it's absolutely true: the sons of Anak are out there, but we can take 'em.

Christopher J. Priest
18 September 2011

No. 358  |  Sept 18, 2011   Start   Study   Intellect vs. Reason   SONS OF ANAK   9/11: Wave This Flag Or Else   Hurricane Katrina   A Woman's Place   Video   Back