Just last week, I again heard this president talking of our purified democracy. Democracy, Mr. President? Really? When did we become a democracy?
Over and over again and administration after administration, Americans have been continually inundated with this sort of propaganda coming from those who should know the difference (Hosea 4:6).
To say that we are a democracy shows the very pith and marrow of the ignorance that is on a daily display coming from those who are to uphold our enumerated laws found in our constitutional republican form of government.
Architect of the First Amendment Fisher Ames said:
“A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way. The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness (excessive license) which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.”
James Madison, 4th President and Father of our Constitution, said of democracy:
“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security of personal rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been in their violent deaths.”
No matter how many times I broadcast this or preach this from the pulpits across the country, I see that the people continuously return to what they are told from these politicians, which are incrementally undermining our constitutional republic by convincing you that we are a democracy (Jeremiah 5:31).
The 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson said:
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
The 2nd President of the United States, John Adams said:
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”
Is this what is happening today? Yes, in fact, it is.
Yet again, Americans continually follow the example of those who are perverting this nation's foundations rather than those who established them (Hebrews 13:7).
Now, they are even going so far as to take on a language that is foreign to our US Constitution.
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful…”-George Orwell
The American people, under the tutelage of those who are undermining our foundations, have conditioned themselves to speak the same language as their teachers. In the end, it is designed to divide and conquer.
“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” -Mark 3:25
Now, there are over 101 un-constitutional party affiliations or caucuses (As was a new Muslim Caucus most recently added). Caucus was not a word defined in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary for the Colonies were ruled by ecclesiastical law (Canon Law), not party affiliations. In other words, Americans, we are ruled by constitutional law (Article 6, Section 2, US Constitution), not by your favorite politicians found today in the “Circus of Politics.”
We were warned long ago about taking on this language.
George Washington said, in his 1796 Farewell Address, that political parties “are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
What Washington called “the spirit of party” was, he argued, “inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind”—namely, the tribal passion to separate the world into “we” vs. “they,” into rival and competing groups. This spirit can then easily become a desire to see “our side” win, regardless of whether our side is better than “their side” and regardless of the issues at stake or the facts of the matter.”
President John Adams provided a far more succinct comment on the matter.
"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution." - Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), "The Works of John Adams", vol 9, p.511
How is it that the un-Constitutional, two-party system is set up today? In contrast, to its original intent (Jeremiah 6:16).
In the United States Constitution, Article 4, Section 4, US Constitution it states:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive, against domestic Violence.
The CDC reported this week that teen suicide rose 58% over the years 2007-2017 in the age group 10-24. Although many experts blame social media and teen drug use, one theory may need to be considered: nicotine withdrawal from vaping.
Millions of middle school and high school students admit to vaping…and many more are assumed who don’t admit to it when surveyed. So we have an underestimation of how many adolescents take regular hits of their electronic cigarette, exposing them to the powerful, addictive nicotine. One pod, placed in an electronic cigarette to be vaped, contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Hence if a pod is smoked at school, and when the child is home goes hours without, they may “come down” off the nicotine high that they had hours earlier.
In 2002 Picciotto et al discussed how nicotine can affect mood swings, anxiety and depression, where in some cases it can act as an antidepressant but when one withdrawals from it can have increased and anxiety and depression.
The teenage mind and psyche is still developing during this time and a chemical dependency could muddy the mental health waters.
There’s no doubt social media and the misconception teens have that their lives are not as glorious as those who they view online is contributing to lack of confidence, poor self-esteem and depression. But the decision to commit suicide may also be chemically induced, or a withdrawal of one and should be investigated.
A study from New York University found the nicotine in electronic cigarettes to cause DNA damage similar to cigarette smoking.
Dr. Moon-shong Tang and his colleagues exposed mice to e-cig smoke during a three-month period, 5 days a week for three hours a day. They found these mice, compared to those breathing filtered air, to have DNA damage to cells in their bladders, lungs and hearts. The amount of nicotine inhaled was approximately 10mg/ml. That dose would be commonly consumed by many humans who vape.
They then looked at human bladder and lung cells and found tumor cells were able to grow more easily once exposed to nicotine and vaping chemicals.
Last May, researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville found e-cig smoke to increase one’s risk of bladder cancer.
In 2015, the University of Minnesota identified chemicals commonly found in e-cig vapor to include:
Although electronic cigarette “juice” may appear safe, it could produce harmful chemicals once heated to become a vapor.
A lethal dose of nicotine for an adult ranges from 30-60 mg and varied for children (0.5-1.0 mg/kg can be a lethal dosage for adults, and 0.1 mg/kg for children). E-cigs, depending on their strengths (0 – 5.4%) could contain up to 54 mg of nicotine per cartridge (a 1.8% e -cig would contain 18mg/ml).
The topic of nicotine increasing one’s vulnerability to cancer is nothing new as decades ago researchers found nicotine to affect the cilia (brush border) along the respiratory tree, preventing mucus production and a sweeping out of carcinogens trying to make their way down to the lungs.
More research needs to be performed but this recent report reminds us that exposing our delicate lung tissue and immune system to vaping chemicals may not be as safe as we think.
For more on the study read here.
Last week, experts warned that many chemicals in vaping liquid may change to toxic substances (once heated) that can irritate the lungs.
Last year one study reported that toxic levels of lead and other metals may leak from the heating coil element into the vapor inhaled during e-cig use.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found these metals to include:
We’ve known for some time that vaping fluid could contain chemicals that turn toxic once heated, but this study shed light on e-cig metal components causing metal leakage to the vapor making contact with delicate respiratory epithelium (lining).
Reported by Forbes, Rich Able, a medical device marketing consultant, stated the following, “the FDA does not currently test any of the most popular vaping and e-cigarette instruments being manufactured at unregulated factories in Asia that source low-grade parts, batteries, and materials for the production of these devices,” suggesting that “the metal and parts composition of these devices must be stringently tested for toxic analytes and corrosive compounds.”
These chemicals may act as neurotoxins, affecting our nervous system, cause tissue necrosis (cell death) and even multi-organ failure. Moreover, they can affect how our immune system reacts to other chemicals as well as foreign pathogens, affecting our ability to fight other diseases.
Although studies have suggested e-cig vapor to be safer than tobacco smoke, not enough research has been done, in the relatively few years vaping has been around, looking at how heat-transformed chemicals and leaked metals affect our breathing, lungs and other organs once absorbed into the body.
Let’s say that all you knew about Adolf Hitler was that he painted scenic pictures, postcards, and houses in Vienna, loved dogs and named his adorable German Shepard “Blondie,” and frequently expressed solidarity with “the people.” You might sport a T-shirt adorned with his image if you thought such a charismatic chap was also good-looking in a beret. But your education would be widely regarded as incomplete.
If you later found out that the guy on your T-shirt was a mass murderer, you might ask your oppression studies professor why she left out a few important details.
This hypothetical resembles a real-world phenomenon seen today on numerous college campuses. Fifty-two years after his demise in Bolivia—on October 9, 1967—the maniacal socialist Ernesto “Che” Guevara is still making headlines and spoiling perfectly good clothes.
In film and pop culture, Che comes off as an adventurous motorcyclist, a humble-living commoner, a romantic egalitarian revolutionary, and a swashbuckling sex symbol. His ghastly history as one of Fidel Castro’s favorite thugs routinely gets whitewashed because, in spite of all the murders, he supposedly had good intentions (read: hate the rich, concentrate power, eliminate dissent, help the poor by creating more of them).
In his remarkable 2007 volume, Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him, acclaimed journalist Humberto Fontova contrasted the fiction with the facts in these terms:
Who Was “Che” Guevara?
Myth: International man of the people. Humanitarian. Brave freedom fighter. Lover of literature and life. Advocate of the poor and oppressed.
Reality: Cold-blooded murderer. Sadistic torturer. Power-hungry materialist. Terrorist who inspired destruction and bloodshed through Latin America.
Here are some lesser-known info bits about the psychopath-on-the-T-shirt, drawn from Fontova’s book and other sources:
Fidel Castro appointed Che Guevara as communist Cuba’s first “Economics Minister” and president of the country’s National Bank. Within months, the Cuban peso was practically worthless. Castro appointed him Minister of Industries, too. In that job, Che proved equally incompetent. He once bought a fleet of snowplows from Czechoslovakia because he thought they would make excellent sugar cane harvesters but, sadly, the machines simply squashed and killed the plants.
Che was Castro’s economic czar, though he knew nothing about economics beyond Marxist bumper stickers. His former deputy Ernesto Betancourt said Che was “ignorant of the most elementary economic principles.” Nonetheless, he actually wrote communist Cuba’s agrarian reform law, limiting the size of all farms and creating state-run communes. Production plummeted and is still lower today than before the revolution.
The Soviet missiles in Cuba that nearly precipitated a world war in 1962 were Che’s idea. When the Soviets were pressured by the Kennedy administration to remove them, Che publicly declared that if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have been fired at the US because the cause of socialism was worth “millions of atomic-war victims.”
Che left Cuba in 1965 to foment violent insurrections first in Africa and then back in Latin America. He was captured by the Bolivian military on October 8, 1967, and administered a dose of his own summary medicine the next day.
Bottom line: Think twice (actually, just once ought to be enough) about adding a Che Guevara T-shirt to your Christmas giving this year.
Lawrence W. Reed is President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Ambassador for Global Liberty at the Foundation for Economic Education. His opinions are his own. This article originally appeared on fee.org, then pennypress. Reprinted with permission.
My father was a big shot in the worlds of engineering and education.
He retired as the Dean of the College of Engineering at Bradley University after a years long career, producing hundreds of engineers for companies like Caterpillar. One of those young engineers was NOT me.
If I had come to his office one day, when I was still in college, and told my father that Caterpillar had hired me for (this was the 70s) say a mere $20,000 a month in an unspecified position with unspecified responsibilities he would have come unglued.
He would NOT have been proud and congratulated me.
He would have rightfully called the Chairman at Caterpillar (in those days, his friend William L. Naumann), demand I be fired and would never have allowed such a conflict of interest to take place. (I actually had to fight him over the $200 a month job of running the University’s radio station and he ultimately did have me fired after two years.)
Contrast that with former Vice President Joe Biden.
His son, Hunter, is a drug addict who got himself kicked out of the Navy. Serious skillset there.
His father basically had a few responsibilities as Vice President. In addition to staying alive in the event of the President’s untimely demise, two of those were representing President Obama’s policies in China and the Ukraine.
After he got kicked out of the United States Navy, Hunter hitched a ride to China on Air Force Two and a few days after they returned, Hunter’s private equity company got a BILLION dollar “investment” from China’s government.
Imagine that. Coincidence?
Doubtful. But to listen to the former Vice President, sonny boy didn’t do anything wrong—like he intimated the Trump children have. There is, however, a difference. The Trump children were in business long before their father ran for President.
Does Joe really want to take the position that someone who is a businessman CANNOT serve in public office?
You see, Donald Trump is the first President we have had in many years who is NOT part of the political club. Who is so wealthy he cannot be bought, despite the ridiculous claims by people that, somehow, he has become enriched by becoming President. However much the media hates him, it would be very hard for a President as vilified as he to actually increase his net worth while in office.
And his inability to be bought is just another reason he is vilified by people and institutions which would love to buy him.
How is it that a clown like Joe Biden could use his position to make his son wealthy and look the media in the eye and say that nothing was done wrong? That during his tenure there was no corruption?
That’s the very swamp which Trump is in the process of draining. People expect this crap in DC, just as they used to expect the mob to control Chicago, New York and Las Vegas.
Biden would have you believe that he’s an honest man in Washington—that Donald Trump is corrupt. That using his position as Vice President to enrich his son never happened. And, if it did, well, that’s how things work in big time politics.
The truth can be divined in a quote from a video of Biden talking to the Council on Foreign Relations about a Ukrainian prosecutor who apparently was getting a little too close to Sonny Boy. “I said we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said ‘you can’t do that, you have no authority, you’re not the president. I said if the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch, he got fired."
(Editor's note: This quote is taken from a one hour video of Biden (and others) discussing Biden's efforts on behalf of the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine into prosecuting corruption and firing prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was universally recognized by diplomats and officials as an ineffective prosecutor who refused to go after corrupt politicians. Shokin's office was also investigating Burisma, a company that Biden's son Hunter, was a board of director member. Shokin was later fired and replaced by another prosecutor. Therefor, many are pushing an idea that, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor in order to protect his son who must have done something illegal while he was on the board of directors of this company. The above quote is used as "proof." The first problem with this is that Biden's quote is taken completely out of context and if you watch the full hour video, which is much more interesting than you would expect it to be, it speaks for itself. The second problem is that, if you read about the actual Burisma investigation it dealt with Ukraine's Ministry of Ecology, which allegedly granted special permits, that may or may not have been illegal, to Burisma between 2010 and 2012. Hunter Biden did not join the company until 2014. But, because the investigation was still on going when he joined the company it is factually accurate to say that Hunter Biden was on the board of directors while the company was being investigated by Shokin's office. But, as you can see, it would be impossible for Hunter Biden to have anything to do with the investigation since he wasn't even involved in the company until multiple years after the fact. Finally, the reason Shokin was actually fired was because he refused to go after corrupt politicians. He was replaced by a prosecutor who was known to go after corrupt politicians. So, while it is all true that Hunter Biden raised $1.5 billion with China's state bank by having his fater, who was Vice President at the time and was in China on a state vist, introduce him to some very wealthy Chinese folks, which is a bit shady. There is clearly nothing going on with the no story of the Burisma / Hunter Biden investigation as it was about an issue that was two to four years before Hunter joined the company.)
Monday, April 4, 2016, the greatest sportscaster ever began his 67th and final season.
Don’t take the word of two life-long Dodger fans that 88-yearold Vin Scully, the Voice of Da Bums since 1950, is the best. His awards and recognitions are way too numerous to list, so here are the greatest highlights. The American Sportscasters Association named him Sportscaster of the Century in 2000 and first on its all-time Top- 50 list later. Numerous halls of fame, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, etc.
The reasons for that extend from his encyclopedic knowledge of the game and technical broadcasting skills to his modesty, casual friendly manner, and personal warmth, all conveyed in a lyrically descriptive style via a dulcet voice. His vivid yet simple description of a game has thrilled fans for years.
It all starts with his signature introduction: “It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good day/evening to you, wherever you may be.”
When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, fans began bringing their transistor radios to the ballgame because he added so much to what they saw. Part of his charm is his mastery of baseball history and anecdote, which makes fans feel a special connection to him and the game.
He learned early on to be objective and understated, not a home-team shill and loud. And he always kept in mind that sportscasting is about the players and the game, not about him.
He’s witnessed more spectacular sports history moments than anyone. He was there (but not calling the action) for baseball’s most famous moment ever, Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning “shot heard ‘round the world” homerun in 1951 for the Giants that broke Dodger hearts forever.
Four years later, he called the seventh game of the Dodgers’ first World Series championship ever, which Scully recalls as his favorite moment. On the last out, he said simply, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world.” Then he turned the mic to the cheering crowd for an extended time in what became another signature move.
He explains that as an eighty year-old boy, he used to lay his head on a pillow under the large radio counsel in his parents’ home and let the sounds of the crowd and the game wash over him as ate crackers and drank milk. That memory comes back at every good baseball moment, and that’s what he shares with fans.
Other highlights? Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series walk off homer that’s widely viewed as the second most memorable moment in baseball history. Hank Aaron’s 715th homer in 1974 that broke Babe Ruth’s most famous career record. Barry Bonds’ 71st, 72nd and 73rd home-runs in 2001 to capture the single-season record.
Did we mention that he called “The Catch” on TV in 1982, when the San Francisco 49ers’ Joe Montana and Dwight Clark beat the Dallas Cowboys and started a dynasty? Yes, he’s great at television, too, plus football, golf and tennis broadcasting.
He’s called five baseball perfect games – no one else has two – beginning with Don Larsen’s in the 1956 Series, the first perfect game in 34 years. And 18 no-hitters, including four by Sandy Koufax, culminating with his perfecto in 1965. Two more perfect games in 1988 and 1991. Then, in 1999 he played himself in arguably the best sports (and date) film ever, For Love of the Game. As the hero takes the mound for the ninth inning, seeking to finish his perfect game, Scully says: “Billy Chapel is 40 years old, arm weary and aching. And you know, Steve, you get the feeling that Billy Chapel isn’t pitching against left-handers, he isn’t pitching against pinch-hitters, he isn’t pitching against the Yankees. He’s pitching against time. He’s pitching against the future, against age, and even when you think about his career, against ending. And tonight I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer.”
Vin Scully used that dulcet voice to push the sun back up in the sky for one more summer for all of us.
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. -Fredrick Douglass former slave, abolitionist
Just recently, while speaking at an event, I heard a preacher ask the question to the congregants why, in the state that America is in today, it is that ministries such as Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Pat Robertson etc have not taken to the streets in protest concerning corruption within the government (Matthew 16:17-19). Many of these national ministries are put up to keep the people down (1 Kings 13:33). The fruit proves the seed (Matthew 7:16).
In fact, they are driving support to created opposition, teaching men to submit to corrupt government rather than God's moral law (Deuteronomy 4:6). Scripturally, they have it backward (Isaiah 59) and upside down (Deuteronomy 17:9).
Now after I heard the preacher bring forth his question, I thought that was a good question to those who are not paying attention. Yet, there is an obvious answer to those who are paying attention.
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach." -Isaiah 30:1-5
The first thing I would have you take notice of is that America’s favorite preachers are not the standard of Christianity. Christ Jesus is the standard.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” -Acts 4:12
If the coaches in the NFL have lost as many games as preachers in America have metaphorically lost (prayer, abortion, marriage, etc.), they would have been thrown off their teams long ago.
The hierarchies in the American Church are the problem. They have forfeited our possession (To the other evil team) through false doctrine and through their inactions over and over again. They are the reason that corruption prevails within the walls of government and why, because they don't preach out against the sins that they themselves are guilty of (Luke 6:41). How could it be otherwise when corruption prevails within the walls of the Church?
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” -2 Peter 2:19
These are also the ones that have somehow convinced the rest of Christendom that luke-warm is the temperature that the Lord has set when it comes to His children and how they are to live out their walk, and yet Jesus stated the contrary in Revelation 3:16:
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
“By the time the average Christian gets his temperature up to normal, everybody thinks he has a fever.” -Watchman Nee
How diametrically opposed to Scripture can Americans become?
Hebrews 1:7 tells us “Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.”
Benjamin Franklin stated that "Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."
What the Church in America has become is a group of saltless, effeminate and spineless men who fail to judge themselves (Psalm 119:30) and, therefore, have no power to confront the world (Matthew 7:3) with the message of repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2).The church is called to bear testimony against corruption (Matthew 10:18). And because they fail to be the salt, they are simply trodden under the feet of men. And so it is. The Spirit of the Lord will not bear witness to their compromise and lies (1 John 5:9-12).
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” -Matthew 5:13
What do we hear from the Church hierarchy today, "Let's pray. God is on His throne. Jesus is coming back. Just trust Jesus" (Throw your hands up in hopelessness). Yet again scripture commands Christians that they are to occupy till He comes (Luke 19:13).
These hirelings are teaching the congregants to stand down instead of standing up in protest with their lives, if need be (Luke 12:4). The church is to be the barracks that soldiers of the cross are to be spiritually equipped (Ephesians 6:12-18).
They are opening up the gates to the wolves (John 10:12) so that the sheep may be devoured (Matthew 26:15).
These ministries have taught their congregants to submit to what God has commanded to throw off (Daniel 3).
“For now the common song of all men is, 'We must obey our kings, be they good or be they bad; for God has so commanded.' True it is, God has commanded kings to be obeyed; that which they commit against His glory, He has commanded no obedience." –John Knox
The American Church will call for prayer and yet fail to act. The hirelings of the day apparently have forgotten to read the book of ACT's. The scripture is clear on this matter: “The body is without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead" (James 2:26).
“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;” -1 Timothy 1:18
Christianity is a battle waged against invisible foes who are always alert and ever seeking to entrap, deceive and ruin the souls of men.
I end with E. M. Bounds who stated "The Christian life is no picnic or excursion. It is not entertainment or a pleasure trip. It involves effort, wrestling and struggling (Acts 14:22). It demands putting forth the full energy of your spirit in order to frustrate the foe and be, in the end, more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). It is not a flower-strewn path, no rose-scented affair. From start to finish, it is spiritual warfare. It is a battle, not a game. From the moment they first draw their spiritual swords, Christian warriors are compelled to “Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).
What a misconception many people have of the Christian life! How little the average Church members appear to know of the character of the conflict and its demands upon them! How ignorant they seem to be of the enemies they must encounter if they are to serve God faithfully, succeed in getting to Heaven and receive the crown of life! (Matthew 7:13) They scarcely seem to realize that the world, the flesh and the devil will oppose their onward march – and will totally defeat them unless they give themselves to constant vigilance and unceasing prayer (Revelation 12:17).
It is just at this point that I mean to highlight the professed Church’s greatest defects. There is little to nothing of the soldier element in it (2 Timothy 2:3). The discipline, self-denial, spirit of hardship and determination that belong to the military life and are so prominent in it are lacking in Christianity. Yet, my friends, the Christian life is warfare from the beginning to end."
Remember, God is willing to give the Church that for which it is willing to fight, but you do not get the victory without a fight.
How is the Church in America at peace with corruption that is at war with God?
Time to start reading and acting for ourselves, for we will answer for what it is that we do, and what it is that we do not do (2 Corinthians 5:10), for we see that the professors in the American church will not.
"Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?" -Psalm 94:1
As thousands of acres burn in Southern California, those residents lucky enough to escape the flames worry what consequences could result in inhaling the smoke.
According to the EPA, smoke emanating from forest and community fires may include any of the following:
According to the EPA,
Smoke is composed primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor,
carbon monoxide, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and other
organic chemicals, nitrogen oxides, trace minerals and several
thousand other compounds. The actual composition of smoke
depends on the fuel type, the temperature of the fire, and the
wind conditions. Different types of wood and vegetation are
composed of varying amounts of cellulose, lignin, tannins and
other polyphenolics, oils, fats, resins, waxes and starches, which
produce different compounds when burned.
Some may have no idea they are breathing in harmful compounds that could affect their lungs and heart. However, many may experience:
What are PM2.5s?
PM2.5 are particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that are present in pollution and wildfire smoke that can penetrate deeply into the lung linings. Larger, coarse particles 10 micrometers in diameter are called PM10. Both impair lung function as they inflame the lungs and interfere with the work of alveoli that need to oxygenate the blood. Moreover the small particles can use this pathway to enter the blood stream. Although the direct health impacts of the fine particulate matter is not clearly defined it is believed that increased PM2.5 levels increase the risk of lung and heart disease as discussed above.
Symptoms may begin at levels greater than 55 µg/m3 .
Avoiding the area of wildfires is paramount. Additionally, the following may be considered:
Ever since Senator Bernie Sanders made “Medicare for All” (M4A) the centerpiece of his campaign, it has attracted support, and others have joined the bandwagon. In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll earlier this year, 56 percent of respondents and 81 percent of Democrats backed “a national health plan, sometimes called Medicare for all,” which has been used to assert a mandate for M4A.
Medicare’s Unfunded Liability
Since exactly what M4A details (where the devil lurks) are less than crystal clear, and even the best-articulated versions are more like political talking points than complete plans, backed by questionable, if not provably incorrect assumptions, the goal is clearly to pass a bill that would be very hard to undo before most citizens have any clear idea of what is involved.
Consequently, it is important to remember what most stories hyping the popularity of M4A leave out: When people were informed it would entail a massive increase in costs and taxes, support cratered. Given that Sanders’ proposal could add $3.2 trillion in annual government spending (when America now spends $3.5 trillion annually on health care), that is easy to understand. However, there is also another multi-trillion-dollar reason why many who now support M4A might switch sides: Medicare’s massive unfunded liability.
As with other Social Security expansions, when Medicare was created in 1966, those in or near retirement paid little or no more in taxes but got substantial benefits throughout retirement. That imposed a large unfunded off-budget liability on later generations. And every expansion since (most recently, Medicare Part D’s prescription drug benefit, whose officially estimated unfunded liability at the time was $17 trillion) has created another free lunch for those older, expanding the huge tab facing later generations.
The same sort of conclusions were reached in an Urban Institute study of Medicare, which found that in 2012, average-earning males were “buying” $180,000 in Medicare benefits for $61,000, while similarly situated females, with smaller lifetime contributions and longer life expectancies, did even better.
The result, as reported by Michael Tanner, was a 2015 forecast of almost $48 trillion of unfunded liabilities under implausibly optimistic assumptions. A return to higher medical cost inflation rates could make it $88 trillion. A continuance of lower birthrates than forecast would push it higher. So would including future commitments to recipients who have qualified for but not yet received all their benefits as of the end date of a study.
So why might recognizing that massive unfunded liability and its continued expansion move Americans into the “anti-M4A” camp?
Because of the wealth transfer to early enrollees, as well as from ensuing expansions, Medicare provided many with a great deal. But that deal was the result of dumping an enormous bill on future generations (bigger than the unfunded liabilities for Social Security plus the national debt).
With that bill starting to arrive, Medicare is not even close to sustainable in its present form, much less to be leveraged to cover the entire population (although one can understand the vote-buying potential in promising massive new M4A generational transfers).
Not only is a massive expansion of an already far-in-the-hole Medicare program a fool’s errand, but the massive unfunded liabilities it has built up also mean that the previous costs were far higher than what recipients paid and continue to be so (even underestimates of its unfunded liability growth add more than $1 trillion per year of hidden costs to Medicare).
As a result, Medicare was a far worse deal than M4A salesmen and women admit, and it is now decaying at an increasing rate, making its extension to all a 14-digit boondoggle, not a boon. And doubling (or more) down on the already unpayable burdens Medicare has laid on future generations also highlights the blatant hypocrisy of backers who, at the same time, preen about all the new plans they have to “invest in the future.”
Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. His opinions are his own. This article originally appeared on fee.org, then pennypress.com Reprinted with permission.
Oooooh…The President said “Bullshit” in a tweet as a description of Adam Schiff’s and Nancy Pelosi’s actions in the latest kafuffle regarding his phone call with the President of the Ukraine. That’s a comment even Schiff can understand.
And at least two of the three broadcast TV news divisions could not resist mentioning it.
This is nuts.
You want an enemy of the people? Just watch the evening news. Even during the dog days of Viet Nam it wasn’t this bad. ABC and CBS should be ashamed.
Most of these clowns cannot see or admit that something smells, even when the derelict son of a then-sitting Vice President took huge amounts of money from companies in the very countries his father was assigned to monitor. What a coincidence! Even some Pulitzer Prize winning twit at the Wall Street Journal called the Biden corruption “widely discredited.” Which should bring a new level of scrutiny to the Pulitzer Prizes.
I have a friend of long standing, who, among other positions in a long, distinguished career of public service, served as a United States Attorney. He has a serious understanding of the United States Code. Asked if he could cite any specific portion of the law which the President could have violated with the phone call being bandied about by Adam Schiff, here was his reply: “No treason. No bribery. No criminal conduct.”
This “impeachment” inquiry has zero basis in law and, if it goes too much further, will be regretted by the saner elements (if there are any) of the Democrat Party should it ever gain any serious power again.
They are making this crap up as they go along. And here’s a big hint it’s crap. None of the TV lawyers on the various cable channels can name a single section of the U.S. Code that the President appears to have violated.
Now keep something in mind. Every day, the average American commits three felonies. So argues civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate in his book Three Felonies a Day, the title of which refers to the number of crimes he estimates that Americans perpetrate each day because of vague and overly burdensome laws. Yet, all the media and Democrats can talk about where President Trump is concerned are generalities. Collusion is not a crime. Asking a fellow head of state to look into a former sitting government official’s actions is not a crime.
This is purely political.
And it will surely come back to bite certain purveyors of Trump conspiracy theories on their well upholstered asses.
As I am writing this, I just heard Jessica Tarlov tell Fox news that this was “an abuse of power” and thus a “constitutional violation”. Well…that was certainly a valid use of her Bryn Mawr College B.A. in history and two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in political science and government from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
It’s just amazing what professors teach people these days.
The Constitution is NOT to be confused with the law. It is a framework. The Constitution does not codify “abuse of power.” Ms. Tarlov is a classic know nothing who was educated by people who know less.
And yet, Fox uses her so it can trumpet Fair and Balanced as if having a slightly older Greta Thunberg parrot Democrat talking points allows a conversation to be “balanced.”
Undoing an election means telling 63,000,000 Americans to pound sand.
Before these leftist screamers take the first step to doing exactly that, maybe they ought to consider what other nations look like which try to tamper with the will of the people.
Look closely at Hong Kong. Or Great Britain, where the elites are trying to not do what the public voted for in Brexit.
What might the reaction of 63,000,000 voters be if the elites in Washington keep it up?
You know the cliché “power corrupts,” but what does corruption look like? Wherever people have a little bit of power over other people, at least some will misuse it. Most people are not evil or cruel, but if they think they’ll get away with it, they’ll game the system to get rich.
Each year, at least 5 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is wasted by corruption. Corruption makes everything cost more. You might be forced to pay bribes for a permit to build your house, pay police to use roads or bridges, pay kidnappers to avoid violence, to save your child’s life from disease. But corruption costs more than just money.
When the wealthy and well-connected get special access to power, we all suffer. Corruption threatens civic and human rights. Citizens lose autonomy over their bodies and their property, journalists lose their right to speak truth to power. Checks and balances get weaker: elections may be cancelled or rigged to protect the corrupt. Prosecutors and judges are bribed into silence. The rule of law begins to unravel.
Around the world and throughout the centuries, people with power have found ways to exploit others and enrich themselves. The costs—both economic and humanitarian—are devastating.
1. Russia: (Cost of Corruption: 30 Percent of GDP)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians were pressured to pay for a “krysha” (literally “roof” but meaning “protection”), essentially safety from criminal gangs. Recently, extortion has become an accepted function of government. The government offices that control access to medical care, education, housing, and utilities are highly corrupt bureaucracies, and demand bribes just to do their jobs.
Officials who can hand out contracts or land triple their salaries in graft and kickbacks. Police can be bought off and judges bribed, so criminal extortion often goes unpunished. Organized crime syndicates conspire with government ministries to exploit average people and then evade justice.
2. China: (Cost of Corruption: 10 Percent of GDP)
Though growing wealthier by the day, China has lagged behind other developed economies due to corruption. Bribery of public officials is commonplace, with 35 percent of Chinese companies admitting to paying bribes for special licenses or to evade taxes.
Average citizens often must pay “facilitation payments” to access public services. An accepted system of favors, bribes, and gifts known as guanxi (literally: ‘relationship’) obscures the total cost of corruption, which may be 10 percent of China’s GDP.
Recent crackdowns that saw 58,0000 corrupt officials indicted were politically motivated and highly selective. The strict rule of the Communist Party in China, and its close ties to the military, perpetuates further enriching the wealthy through “public” power.
3. South Africa: (Cost of Corruption: 10 Percent of GDP)
South African police officers are among the most corrupt in the world. Women are particularly vulnerable, sometimes accused of being sex workers and then assaulted by officers as a “test.” Actual sex workers suffer abuse to avoid arrest. Police often accuse drivers of being under the influence, then demand money to release them.
Prison-building corporation Bosasa secured profitable deals by bribing individual cabinet ministers and the president’s close associates with cash, cars, vacations, and homes. Bosasa’s executives also bribed journalists and prosecutors, resulting in (according to Corruption Watch) “the near destruction of the law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of corruption.”
4. Somalia: (Cost of Corruption: Up to 20 Percent of GDP)
Somalians live with corruption in every aspect of civic life. 80% of state funds are withdrawn by individuals, and not spent on social services. Would-be voters meet with violence, threats, and harassment. Journalists—at least 30 since 2008—have been murdered for investigating corruption or human rights abuses.
Entrepreneurship is barely legal, and most transactions include bribes or violence. Trade is dominated by those with financial ties to the ruling elite. The embezzlement of public funds saps what little money Somalia has to invest in the welfare of its people. Courts lack authority to prosecute corruption.
5. India: (Cost of Corruption: 1.5 Percent of GDP)
As many as 90 percent of Indians work in semi-legal “gray” markets, so they live in constant fear and become easy to extort. Two-thirds of Indians report bribing an official at least once last year. The typical fee to obtain a driver’s license is more than doubled by bribes, and truckers are routinely stopped at makeshift highway checkpoints where regulators or police demand cash.
An exceptionally high tax rate is selectively applied; buying favorable rates or exemption from fines is an established part of the tax system. Few independent media sources exist, and investigative reporting on corruption, especially at high levels, is dangerous for journalists.
6. Venezuela: (Cost of Corruption: >50% of GDP)
The well-publicized devastation of the Venezuelan economy followed a decade of embezzlement and rampant theft at the highest levels of government. Customs officials sell illegal passports to non-citizens, often for the purposes of transporting weapons or drugs.
Government price controls encouraged officials to overstate the costs of basic goods, then sell subsidized goods on the black market for personal gain. Venezuela’s military was caught trafficking food rations. Shortages of medicine, electricity, and clean water are still widespread. Government officials went on printing (and then pocketing) money as inflation increased to nearly 1 million percent. Now 90 percent of the population of a once-wealthy nation lives in poverty.
To retain power while the country’s economy fell apart, President Maduro murdered journalists, attacked protesters, jailed opposition leaders, and terrorized their population.
Is Corruption Human Nature? Is There Hope?
US data is much harder to acquire. Trillions can get lost, $16 Billion missing here, $10 Billion overpaid there... a person could get suspicious. Likely, it’s 5-10 percent of government spending, or 3-5 percent of GDP.
In general, the wealthier and freer the people, the less corrupt and more transparent their government.
Independent courts, a free press, lower taxes, and less government spending all contribute to oversight of power and the ability of citizens to oust abusers.
Corruption is a constant, but strong civic institutions can help combat its worst effects.
Dr. Laura Williams teaches communication strategy to undergraduates and executives. She is a passionate advocate for critical thinking and individual liberties. Her opinions are her own. This article originally appeared on fee.org, then pennypress. This is an edited version, reprtinted with permission.