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. 

Let’s say that during a previous administration, this nation had a Vice President who is such a nebbish that he personifies what former Vice President John Nance Garner meant when he called the office a “warm bucket of spit.”

 

And, let’s say that when he was a sitting Vice President he took his son, a drug addict who was kicked out of the Navy, on Air Force Two to China and a Chinese bank “invested” a BILLION and a HALF dollars in his son’s “private equity” firm.

 

And, let’s say that the same son was given a board seat in a foreign oil firm, for which he was paid $50,000 a month in spite of the fact that the only fracking he had any experience in involved needles and opioid injections.

 

And then, let’s say that the currently sitting President asked a favor of the leader of the nation which domiciled the company which hired the young drug addict.

 

Should this President be impeached?

 

Well, since all of the above happens to be true, apparently only if you’re a Democrat who is fixated on overthrowing a duly elected President who you hate.

 

It follows, then, that Nancy Pelosi and her buddies, apparently have read a little history of Nazi Germany (or, in the case of Adam Schiff have had it read to them) and think that Joseph Goebbels’ and Adolph Hitler’s Big Lie Theory will still work right here in the USofA.

 

Goebbels theorized that, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

 

That was based on a line from Hitler’s Mein Kampf , “The great masses of the people... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”

 

But back in those days, the population of Germany was only around 69-million and the state controlled all the media, which consisted of a few newspapers and a few radio stations.  And those were not people accustomed to having any freedom.

 

Can the Big Lie Theory work in 2019 in the United States?

 

Well, the left sure thinks it can.

 

Here’s what the left does not understand:

 

  1. There’s a whole nation out there West of the Hudson River, East of the Los Angeles County line and South of the Cook County line which mostly thinks that what happens in Washington ought to stay in Washington and really doesn’t care much about the supposed wrongs that Donald Trump has allegedly committed.  These are the people who elected him.
  2. The people in Washington who do NOT understand number 1 are so cemented into their positions that they do not believe any real power emanates from the voters described in number 1.  They believe they absolutely control the levers of power.  Many of them are in the media and the rest are part of the deep state which really DOES exist.
  3. The people described in number 2 are leading the nation into uncharted territory and they have no idea of what can happen if their calculus is wrong.  Here’s a hint:  Hong Kong.  Only our military is NOT the Red Chinese Army and its members probably will NOT fire on their fellow citizens.

 

This could be ugly.

 

But the big question is how hard will anybody fight for Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff?

 

My neighbors mostly say it won’t even be a fight. That the Democrats will fold like the cheap suits they are.

 

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Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column, reprinted with permission. 

AOC was holding a town hall meeting in Queens, when a woman stood up and … well … ranted crazy person stuff. The video (linked on the front page) captures the entire thing. The woman acts agitated because no one is taking climate control seriously but then she quickly switches gears to throw out these oddities:  

“I’m happy that you are really supporting a Green New Deal, but it’s not enough … we don’t have enough time … we have to get rid of the babies … even if we were to bomb Russia, we still have too many people, too much pollution. So we have to get rid of the babies. That’s a big problem. Just stopping having babies is not enough. We need to eat the babies.” 

She even had a t-shirt that said, “Save the Planet. Eat the Children.” At first it appears the woman is mentally ill and you feel kind of sorry for her. AOC keeps her cool through the rant, ignoring the crazy stuff and repeats to the woman a few times, “it’s okay,” in an effort to try and calm her down. AOC clearly assumed what we all did - this woman is ill! Alas, by the end of the crazy rant you can tell she’s trolling AOC.

I mean, “eat the babies?” My spider sense exploded. There is no way this woman is legit. 

Turns out, she isn’t! The woman was posing as an AOC supporter but was actually a member of LaRouchePAC, a far right climate change denying group that supports Donald Trump. Thursday evening they posted the video on Twitter and wrote “It was us. Malthusianism isn’t new, Jonathan Swift knew that. Sometimes, only satire works.” (Editor’s note: Malthusianism is the idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply is linear and in theory cause massive food shortages and starvation.) 

Lyndon Larouche Jr, who died in February, co-founded the LaRouche group sometime in the mid 70’s so he could, well - troll politicians. He was kind of a kooky guy who was a cult leader and convicted fraudster, and filled to the brim with conspiracy theories and shady connections. He was paranoid and was super convinced that everyone from the CIA, the FBI, the KBG up to and including the Queen of England wanted to have him killed. Despite that, he was a fringe political activist for many decades and died at the age of 96. 

I give the LaRouche team points for the trolling effort but AOC was unflappable during the event so I’m calling this one a tie.

"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." - John Stuart Mill

Quite often, you will find with live feeds on social media memes or posts of Americans declaring their professed love for their freedoms by honoring the fallen soldiers (Or Christ) with their lips (Matthew 15:8).

You will also notice other posts on the same feeds magnifying the crimes of the corrupt that they tolerate both in the Church and in government (Jeremiah 17:19). These are crimes that the soldiers in the natural and Christ in the spiritual have fought against by magnifying the law that exposes sin and these tyrants (Isaiah 42:21; Psalm 40:8; John 3:16; Hebrews 8:10; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2).  

Additionally, when looking further into the person’s profile page, you will find more often than not, that to which their hearts are really attached (Matthew 6:21) and what it is that they really love the most. You will find their page filled up and down with their favorite sports teams, etc.

One guy's profile will help serve the point: On one half of his meme is a picture of wounded soldiers where it states that “These guys get paid less than $35,000 a year and risk their lives."  On the other side, it states, “So these guys (kneeling football players) can get paid $11 million a year and protest our national anthem…because they feel oppressed.”

So what I did, in turn, was post a meme of a filled stadium of football fans, the headstones of our fallen at Arlington cemetery and the front of a state capital with no one to be found in protest.

Hold that thought.

 

America’s new god is “Sports.” 

 

So, one must ask the question, how much do you Americans truly love their blood bought freedoms (Revelation 1:5)? Are Americans out protesting corruption within the American Church for which Christ died (1 Timothy 4:1, 5:20)?

In the natural (1 Corinthians 2:14), are these those who love their blood-bought freedoms protesting corruption in their government? Hardly, which only shows a lack of love (1 John 3:18).

Last week, my family and I were out on the road again “seeking and saving that which is lost” (Luke 19:10) in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania.

While going through the state, we stopped by a local restaurant and sat down to get some lunch. As you know, restaurants today are filling up wall space with television sets to keep patrons in their booths as long as possible while entertaining guests in hopes that they will continue to spend more on eating and drinking at their establishments, all the while ignoring one's family (1 John 2:15).

One of my children said to me, “Dad, look at all those people in that stadium (average seating per stadium 69,444 seats x 32 teams) watching a football game (Jeremiah 11:13).” 

This is every Sunday, all across the country.

I said back to him, “It merely shows you where their hearts are (Exodus 20:4).” To prove the point I must ask why do we have babies being illegally murdered in the womb (Proverbs 6:17)?

Why do we have sodomites illegally targeting America’s children through forced, sexually immoral indoctrination in public schools (Luke 17:2)?

Why do we have transgender felons targeting pre-kindergarten children in American libraries (Deuteronomy 22:15)?

Why do we have foreigners being allured by representatives and Churches into America who mean to conquer us (Deuteronomy 28:43)?

Why do we tolerate a government that runs counter to its purpose while they attempt to strip us of the right to bear arms (2nd Amendment)?

Why do we have a government that is attacking our freedom of speech (1st Amendment)?

Why do we have Churches filled with hirelings who refuse to preach out against and stand in protest concerning the issues above? After all, Churches are to be the barracks in which the soldiers are raised up (Ephesians 6:12).

Yet, we see today that they have become mere buildings where congregants are taught to stand down against the evils of the day which they are commanded to preach out against (Deuteronomy 4:6; Matthew 16:15-20). 

These pastors are fearful cowards, who are not appointed nor ordained by the Living God (Revelation 21:8) and their congregants are taught to follow in close pursuit.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7

I say that it is a good thing our forefathers in the faith (Hebrews 11) didn’t think and act in such a deceived and impotent fashion (James 2:14-26).

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." -Accredited to President Abraham Lincoln

 

The Forerunners of the American Revolution: The Black Robed Regiment - Part 2

 

Apparently, according to the new translation of the heresies of change (Proverbs 24:21) and that among the American hirelings (John 10:12), who are the greatest advocates of the crimes above, the crosses that adorn their buildings have no relevance in today’s society (Philippians 3:18).

According to George Barna, the reasons that the Church in America refuses to address the issues above to their congregants is because they are afraid it would affect attendance and offerings (Proverbs 29:25).

Why do Americans, of which 86% profess to be Christians (1 John 2:4), say that they love their country, but go no further than to tolerate, by their inaction and idolatry, corrupt politicians, lawlessness, the indoctrination of their own children and more.

Americans are dishonoring and trampling under foot that which our veterans and the Christ died (Hebrews 10:28-30) fighting against (1 John 3:8) and are allowing tyranny to flourish in their own country through their complacency. Is this how you honor the fallen-sacrifice? Absolutely not! Is this love? Absolutely not! But one thing that we know for sure, this is where the people's hearts are which explains the state of America today.

 

The Awful Price of Freedom and Redemption

 

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Liberty, broadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This is an edited version of an op-ed originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

Wednesday, 02 October 2019 22:55

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Written by

Celebrities such as Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Olivia Newton-John, Christina Applegate and Cynthia Nixon have revealed their breast cancer diagnoses, helping raise awareness for the most common cancer to affect women.  It’s the second most common cause of cancer death in females. 

How common is breast cancer?

1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 268,000 cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US with 63,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer, a rise from last year. 41,700 women and 500 men are expected to die this year of breast cancer. 

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Age greater than 50
  • Family History
  • BRAC1 and BRAC2 genetic mutations
  • Alcohol use
  • Never been pregnant or becoming pregnant for the first time over 35 years old
  • Early menarche at age 11 or younger
  • Obesity, especially after menopause
  • Dense breasts
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Previous “precancerous” tumors such as atypical hyperplasia
  • DES exposure
  • Previous radiation therapy

How is breast cancer staged?

Breast cancer is staged based on the size of the tumor, if lymph nodes are affected and whether the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body.  Prognosis varies greatly on the stage.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-27-at-9.59.51-AM.png

 

IMAGE ABOVE FROM JOHNSTON HEALTH
 

Is family history a huge factor?

85% of breast cancer cases occur in women with NO family history.

 

Screening of breast cancer

Mammograms are the first line screening tool for breast cancer and are currently recommended biennial for women aged 50-74.  However for those at higher risk, mammogram screening should start earlier, with possible follow-up ultrasound, and be performed more regularly.

 

FullSizeRender (1)

 

3-D MAMMOGRAM IMAGE

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news, her views and opinions, medical or otherwise, are her own. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

 

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 00:40

All about that weird Ukrainian Whistleblower story!

Written by

Well, we know how most of this story plays out in the media. Liberals laugh at anything conservatives say. Conservatives laugh at anything liberals say. And none of that gets us closer to the truth. So, I thought I would try and round up simple facts. The who, what, when and where. As to the “why,” well - we don’t know exactly why some of these things happened. I’ll let you speculate. 

A timeline: 

More than a week before the infamous Trump / Ukraine phone call in question, the U.S. President froze almost $400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine. The reason? The White House claims they were reviewing where the military aid goes, as there have been concerns about corruption within the Ukraine government; and questioning the level of support from other countries. As in, “If no one else is giving Ukraine military aid, why should we?” 

Okay. Fair enough. The problem is that, despite pressure from the Ukraine asking the reasonable, “Why are you delaying military aid? We seriously need it,” the WH did not respond to Ukraine. 

Which leads to the phone call. At this point, Trump has cut off military aid to Ukraine and has not given the Ukrainian government an explanation for doing so. This is the first time the two Presidents have spoken and the first time the President, or any from the State Department, has discussed military aid with Ukraine - since the freeze. 

In an unclassified rough transcript of the call, the two Presidents, on speaker phone with approx. 30 other people in the oval office listening in, exchange pleasantries for a while. Then President Trump says: 

“... I will say that we do ·a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should ·really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks (about?) Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the. same way, so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”

Then Zelensky says:

 “I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to cooperate for the next steps … ready to buy more Javelin (missiles) from the United States for defense purposes.”

And Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor, though …” 

At that point President Trump asks Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his chief political rival, Joe Biden. You see, Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board of directors for Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company while the company was under investigation for some undisclosed reason. 

Trump says about that:  

"There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the persecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. ... It sounds horrible to me."

So, to be clear and from my understanding of “the investigation,” it seems as if there was an investigation into Burisma for - something. And the prosecutor in charge of the investigation was removed and replaced with another prosecutor. Which is what President Trump is referring to when he says, “Biden (Joe) stopped the persecution…”   Implying the first prosecutor was on to something ... and Joe Biden used his power and influence and had him removed in order to protect his son, Hunter. 

The phone call ends with the President of Ukraine basically saying that yes, we’ll help you in any way we can. 

Then, according to multiple White House aids, and per the Whistleblowers allegations, WH lawyers “directed” aids to remove the transcript from the computer system and place it into a separate system designed for “sensitive intelligence.” This would seal the transcript and prevent it from getting out to the public. 

Enter the Whistleblower. After hearing about the phone call from multiple sources the Whistleblower wrote to the chairman of Senate Committees on August 12th, expressing “concern over Mr. Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian President,” calling it an abuse of power and broke down a detailed analysis of the subsequent cover up / lock down of phone call / transcripts because - everyone in the room knew what the President of the U.S. had just said and done was illegal.  

The story broke in the Wall Street Journal on September 21st

President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudi Giuliani at first denied the story, but then confessed on camera that both did indeed pressure the Ukrainian President to investigate the son of Trump’s chief political rival. So, it’s clearly a true story. 

Then, the transcript of the phone call in question was released confirming the vast majority of the Whistleblower's initial testimony. 

Then, Nancy Pelosi said, “We’re moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.” 

Then, no one has been able to find any wrong doing with Hunter Biden during his tenure with the gas company in question and even the Ukrainian prosecutor himself, the one who was investigating Hunter Biden’s gas company came out and said, “We investigated Hunter Biden and he didn’t violate any laws.”

And now we’re finding out that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also on the July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President which is not exactly what WH officials have told the media. Pompeo is now being subpoenaed for not turning over information and documents pertaining to the call. As are many, many others including AG William Barr and Rudy Guilianni. 

Okay. So what does this all mean? 

Well, first of all, if you’re the President of the U.S. and you withhold aid to a foreign power and use those frozen assets as leverage to pressure said foreign power to investigate a political rival of yours then …  you’ve probably just broken multiple federal law. Which would make it an impeachable offence. 

Now, you can say, “But what the President did wasn’t THAT big of a deal - so I don’t care if it’s illegal.” 

Fair enough. You are entitled to that opinion. 

But … despite that opinion, it very well might be illegal and it might be a gross misuse of power. Either way, an investigation into the matter is - a totally reasonable way to handle this!  

Remember, “impeachment” does not mean “remove from office.” Impeachment means, “put the President on trial.” Perhaps the President will be removed from office, perhaps not. Bill Clinton was impeached, as in - he was put on trial. As you know, he was not removed from office despite Ken Starr running the most costly federal trial in history costing American taxpayers $70 million.

So, the impeachment inquiry is moving forward. 

A new poll from CNN shows Republican support for Impeachment Inquiry is climbing. Even Hilary Clinton weighed in. (Which, please, Hilary - for the love of God - please shut up and go away before you lose the Democrats another election that you won’t even be in!). 

Like it or hate it, the impeachment inquiry is rapidly moving forward for legitimate reasons. But, that doesn’t really mean that anything will come of it. Or, even if it does go to an impeachment trial, that doesn’t mean much will come of that, either. 

It’s only just the beginning.

 

“When government takes away it’s citizens right to bear arms it becomes the citizens duty to take away the government's right to govern." -Accredited to President George Washington

It is interesting how this is playing out in front of the people in this country when it comes to more illegal encroachments or infringements on law-abiding gun owners. Remember, they accuse the law-abiders of the crimes of the law-breakers (1 John 3:12).

Here is how it is played out:  On one side of the divide and conquer aisle (Mark 3:25) we have Donald Trump, sold to you as the Republican, who calls for illegal “red flag laws,” which are not law.  In the end, they will be aimed at their political opposition.

On the other hand, we have those who are sold to you as the Democrats, who are calling for the removal of AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons.

Which do you prefer?  Do you prefer small infringements through Donald Trump, or complete disarmament by Democrats? Either way, you are being disarmed and tyranny wins out.

I would advise everyone to take heed to President George Washington, who is responsible for arming the citizenry that we are to “guard ourselves against the impostures of pretended patriotism” (Matthew 24:5-8; 2 Corinthians 11:14).

If you are paying attention, this is not only leading through “created” opposition, but it's also happening through what is called the Hegelian dialectic (John 8:44).

The Hegelian dialectic is defined as "a framework for guiding thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead to synthetic solutions (of a proposition- having truth or falsity determinable by recourse to experience) which can only be introduced once those being manipulated take a side that will produce the predetermined agenda (Outcome)."

Recently, the mainstream media’s push of un-constitutional debates and their Communist candidates included Beto O’Rourke and his gun confiscation plan.

'No, it’s not voluntary 'It is mandatory,'" O'Rourke said of his proposal. "It will be the law. You will be required to comply with the law." He then went on to say:

"We expect people to comply with the law."

The problem that Mr. O’Rourke is having here is that it is not law nor will it ever be law regardless of what he or any other Communist candidate wants you to believe.

“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

Americans, where have these anti-gunners received delegated authority to advance their agenda?  They did not receive it from “We the People.”

Have Americans really become this dumbed down as to believe that representatives change laws that counter our rights? Our rights didn’t come from the state's generosity.  They came from the hand of God, period!

“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” -President John F. Kennedy

Representatives of government in this country have, in fact, sworn to uphold the laws found in the US Constitution, not to tear it down and recreate it into the ungodly image of the United Nations.

Friends, look to history.  George Mason warned us that those who mean to disarm, mean to enslave. They mean to be your masters while you become their slaves, and the best way to enslave people is to disarm them (Hosea 4:6).

Look to the example, which our forefathers exhibited not just in writing, mind you, but also in action.  Our forefathers armed the people for the very purpose of what is happening in America today.

Americans must come to terms that corrupt politicians are not the type that you can help or rehabilitate.  They are the type that you must lawfully remove, or you will lose your God-given right! (Article 2, Section 4, US Constitution)

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – President Thomas Jefferson

You must fight for your God-given rights! (Deuteronomy 1:8; James 2:14-26)

It is the difference between a free people and an enslaved people.  There is no in-between (Luke 11:2).

Firearms are second to the Constitution in importance; they are the people’s liberty’s teeth.

Therefore, Americans, it is time to grin  (Romans 12:21) in the face of tyranny.

 

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Bradlee Dean is a guest contributor to GCN news. His views and opinions are his own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the Genesis Communication Network. Bradlee's radio program, The Sons of Libertybroadcasts live M - Sat here at GCN. This is an edited version of an op-ed originally published by Sons of Liberty Media at www.sonsoflibertyradio.com. Reprinted with permission. 

 

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 20:50

Envy, the root of many modern evils

Written by

To dislike a person because of the color of his skin is racism. To scorn someone because of her same-sex preference is homophobia. To disdain for reasons of gender is sexism. To frown upon people because of their foreign origins is xenophobia. Such manifestations of bigotry, to a person of peace, tolerance, and logic, are shameful and indefensible.

Why?

Color, sex, sexual orientation, and national origin have nothing to do with the content of one’s character. That’s one reason.

Another is that humans are not a blob; each human is a unique individual. If one is to be judged, he should be judged by his choices and behavior—that is, by his own sins and virtues and not by the sins and virtues of others who simply share some accidental resemblance to him.

A third reason is that finger-pointing takes the spotlight off self-improvement. Scapegoating is not a pathway to achievement for either persons or nations. It’s what losers do.

A Politically Acceptable Scapegoat

But suppose you despise and seek to punish an entire class of people because they’re rich or successful. Is that bigotry, or is that the foundation of a political campaign? Sadly, it’s both. Frequently.

Second only to Donald Trump—a specific individual whose sins and virtues we can largely identify and hold him responsible for—the number one punching bag every political season is “the rich.” They are monotonously demonized by candidates who vie for your vote and affection and count on your ignorance and myopia.

It would be both unpopular and stupid to express a dislike for “the poor” as an income group. We all know that among the poor there are both good and bad people. Some are poor through little fault of their own and possess strong personal character. Others are poor because of bad choices and lousy behavior rooted in rotten character. We surely want to determine the difference and render our judgments and reactions accordingly.

Listen to presidential “debates” carefully, and you’ll easily see a very different perspective with regard to the rich. Income bigotry is on full and proud display. Candidates don’t define “the rich” precisely, but they do hope that you’ll think you’re not among them. You’re supposed to be the victim of the rich so the politician can be your savior. The demagogue doesn’t say he wants to sift the good rich from the bad rich and treat them accordingly. He wants to go after them all, just for their richness.

You can be rich because you stole something or used your political connections to get special favors, or you could be rich like most of the rich, that is, because you created and built something; worked long, hard, and smart for what you have; added enormous value to society; invested resources wisely; or just entertained 50,000 happy, paying customers many times at concerts. Doesn’t matter which.

When New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declares with fire in his eyes that he will “tax the hell out of the rich,” he means all of them. His competitors, as well as large swaths of their audiences, cheer because of the perverse satisfaction they derive from just thinking about the punishment. Suggest that “taxing the hell” out of anybody might be counter-productive to philanthropy, job creation, or economic growth, and you’ll quickly be the skunk at the garden party because it’s the punishment that matters, not outcomes.

Envy Is the Root

Welcome to the ugly world of envy, defined by philosopher Immanuel Kant as

“…a propensity to view the well-being of others with distress, even though it does not detract from one’s own. [It is] a reluctance to see our own well-being overshadowed by another’s because the standard we use to see how well off we are is not the intrinsic worth of our own well-being but how it compares with that of others. [It] aims, at least in terms of one’s wishes, at destroying other’s good fortune.”

Envy is almost as old as the world itself. It was Cain’s motive for killing Abel. Professor Paul Fairfield of Queen’s University in Ontario describes it as an animosity “that eats away at you from the inside out and that hides itself behind a dubious morality.” It comes in several shades.

The less harmful version, for example, is when you count the other guy’s blessings instead of your own but try to attain them for yourself peacefully—by trade or by emulating the decisions of the successful. A more malicious type takes this form: You despise someone for who he is or what he has and take personal delight in punishing him for it in the hope that you’ll benefit in one way or another. Maybe you’ll get some of his stuff or attain power by vilifying him.

The worst kind of envy shows up when you take action to make sure no one can ever possess what the successful person has because you believe equality in misery is more virtuous than inequality, period.

Perhaps the 20th century’s best book on the subject was the Austrian-German sociologist Helmut Schoeck’s Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior, which appeared in the late ‘60s. Schoeck noted that “to claim ‘humanitarian motives’ when the motive is envy and its supposed appeasement, is a favorite rhetorical device of politicians.”

It’s a tactic that politicians have been using for ages—profoundly evidenced at least as far back as the sad, final decades of the old Roman Republic. I know of no moment in history in which the encouragement or practice of widespread envy produced anything but a bad outcome.

For good reasons, it’s counted as one of the seven deadly sins. It builds nothing up but concentrated state power; it tears everything down from the object of the envy (e.g., the rich) to the very souls of the envious themselves.

Envy Rots the Bones

You don’t have to take my word for it. Several thousand years ago, the tenth of the Ten Commandments warned of envy’s close relative, “coveting.” Many Biblical passages from both Old and New Testaments caution against it, including Proverbs 14:30 (“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones”) and Ecclesiastes 30:24 (“Envy and wrath shorten the life”).

What follows is a representative sampling of historical wisdom on the matter from across the centuries since.

The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Democritus noted that a free and peaceful society would actively seek to discourage envy.

The laws would not prevent each man from living according to his inclination, unless individuals harmed each other; for envy creates the beginning of strife.

Seneca the Younger was a prominent Roman Stoic thinker and statesman of the 1st century AD. He was well aware that envy played a key role in the demise of the Republic in the previous century:

It is the practice of the multitude to bark at eminent men, as little dogs do at strangers.

Envy generates an internal struggle in three stages, according to the 13th century’s St. Thomas Aquinas. In the first stage, the envious person attempts to defame another’s reputation; in the second stage, the envious person receives either “joy at another’s misfortune” (if his defamation succeeds) or “grief at another’s prosperity” (if it fails); the final stage sees envy turned into hatred because “sorrow causes hatred.”

Italian poet and author of The Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri saw envy as “a desire to deprive other men of theirs.” In his Purgatory, the envious are punished by having their eyes sewn shut with wire “because they gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low.”

Leonardo da Vinci, the quintessential Renaissance Man, wrote:

“Envy wounds with false accusations, that is with detraction, a thing which scares virtue.”

In the 17th century, the English essayist Francis Bacon condemned envy as an enervating attitude that leads directly to deplorable actions:

“A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others. For men’s minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others’ evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another’s virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depressing another’s fortune.”

A hundred years later, the English theologian Robert South echoed Bacon.

“Of covetousness, we may truly say that it makes both the Alpha and Omega in the devil’s alphabet, and that it is the first vice in corrupt nature which moves, and the last which dies.”

At about the same time, the famous playwright Joseph Addison observed that envious people are usually unhappy people.

“The condition of the envious man is the most emphatically miserable; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in another’s merit or success, but lives in a world wherein all mankind are in a plot against [him].”

When the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in the early 1830s, he found that one of the country’s strengths was that we were focused on building things and people up instead of tearing either down. Prophetically, he predicted that if envy took root, the result would be suicide.

“I have a passionate love for liberty, law, and respect for rights. Liberty is my foremost passion. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.”

Equality is a slogan based on envy. It signifies in the heart of every republican: “Nobody is going to occupy a place higher than I.”

Theodore Roosevelt regarded himself as a “progressive” of his day (late 19th and early 20th century), but he understood then what most “progressives” today do not: namely, that envy is the root of much evil.

“Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.”

Philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand was an avowed atheist who would never argue that envy is evil because God says so. But she certainly regarded envy as evil and destructive. She equated it with “hatred of the good,” by which she meant “hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable.”

“If a child wants to get good grades in school, but is unable or unwilling to achieve them and begins to hate the children who do, that is hatred of the good. If a man regards intelligence as a value, but is troubled by self-doubt and begins to hate the men he judges to be intelligent, that is hatred of the good.”

Robert Barron is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and founder of the popular Catholic ministerial organization Word on Fire. In his view:

“Envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of another’s goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself, even unjustly. When it wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin: St. Augustine saw envy as “diabolical sin.” [In Augustine’s words,] “From envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity.”

Rooting out Envy

It would be easy to supply the reader with a thousand more quotes on the subject of envy. The difficult thing would be to find one that defends it. The irony is this: Universally condemned, envy is nonetheless widely practiced. Ayn Rand christened our times as an “Age of Envy.”

Search your conscience. If you find envy within it, expunge it before it does its awful work.

--

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. The article originally appeared on fee.org reprinted with permission. 

Let me put it plainly: 

 

Joe Biden is a liar, his son is a bumbling crook and any member of our so-called national security team who somehow has access to a Presidential phone call with the leader of another nation and files a whistleblower complaint should be in prison for the rest of his or her life.

 

That clear enough for you?

 

Joe Biden told a reporter that he has not discussed his son’s off shore investments.  When was that?  On Air Force Two when Sonny Boy hitched a ride?  Bullcrap.

 

I don’t care what Andrew Napolitano said on Fox.  The Judge is losing his fastball just like Biden.  What’s happening here is that the Mueller investigation turned out to be a nothingburger as opposed to the smoking gun Democrat like Adam Schiffhead were assuming it would be.

 

And later, the news is that in this case the so-called whistleblower may not even have sat in on the call but heard about it second hand.

 

Did any of that end it?

 

Nope.

 

This President had the discourtesy to beat Saint Hillary in 2016 and the swampmonsters are not going to stop trying to eject him from Washington like a heart transplant which won’t take.

 

The problem they are having is that the American public has wised up to these clowns and no longer accepts the CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC version of things.

 

Democrats want to impeach the President?  Please.  Stop hinting.  Do it.  American voters will make the final decision on the first Tuesday after the first Sunday in November of 2020 because—pure and simple—anything the House does do is merely mental masturbation.  They, quite simply, don’t have enough votes or support to do anything else.

 

Never Trumper Bill Weld (Mitt Romney lite) wants Trump executed for treason?  Honest.  Saw his rant on TV.

 

When pink pigs fly from his butt.

 

Meanwhile, we’ve seen the tape of Joe Biden bragging in 2018 about getting a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Sonny Boy’s company fired or he was going to withhold a BILLION DOLLARS in United States foreign aid,

 

Talk about your quid pro quo.

 

And, by the way, this is what some woman at the Wall Street Journal named Rebecca Ballhaus called “widely discredited” in her story about this set of facts.  The Wall Street Journal! For comparison purposes, I happen to be the CEO of the USA Radio Networks in real life and if any of my news anchors used that phrase, they would be fired before their next newscast.  This bundle of genius is a 28 year old millennial who has already won a Pulitzer prize.  Not exactly Brit Hume.

 

The fact is that these people are unhinged.  This is Trump Derangement Syndrome on steroids.

 

Forget the opioid crisis.  This is a crisis of stupidity involving people who are so busy throwing a tantrum they have no idea how entirely moronic they look.

 

Worse, it’s as big an indication that there IS a deep state which needs to be excised.

 

And the only way to solve the issue may well be arrests—a lot of them—and jail terms.

 

They could load up a whole wing of a Federal Prison with these people—starting with the first batch, James Comey, Andrew McCabe and the FBI lovers, Peter Strozk and Lisa Page.

 

----

 

Fred Weinberg is a columnist and the CEO of USA Radio Network. His views and opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GCN. Fred's weekly column can be read all over the internet. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column, reprinted with permission. 

 

 

Monday, 23 September 2019 20:12

Movie Pass goes "the way of the dodo."

Written by

Last week parent company Helios and Matheson hammered the final nails into the MoviePass coffin. For those who do not know, briefly - MoviePass was a monthly subscription plan that offered users to see one movie per day for approx. $10 per month. That means you could see up to 31 movies per month - for $10. Now, it was like a Mastercard backed debit card with MoviePass loading money onto your card in order to pay full price for your ticket. But since you’ve already paid the monthly or yearly subscription cost - you don’t owe any more money. You pay approx. $10 per month to see, let’s say - six movies. But MoviePass loaded FULL PRICE cost on your card to cover the ticket. So, while MoviePass paid approx. $70+ to cover the cost of your six movies, it only recouped $10 from you. Which, as we all like to say, “Sounds too good to be true.” 

But, it wasn’t. It wasn’t sustainable … but it was true! I bought the yearly MoviePass subscription for about $85 plus a one time sign up free for $20. And in the year I used Movie Pass I saw forty two movies. Which means I paid about $2.5 per movie. So, I happen to know that MoviePass was legit. 

That being said, the deal was too good to be sustainable without additional revenue support because, as you can see, MoviePass lost a lot of money on me alone. You multiply that by the 3 million subscribers they had and you can understand why MoviePass was posting $170 million losses per quarter. 

But they had a plan to make money - try to get the theater chains to give them a very, very small percentage of the box office but mainly - the concessions. Theater chains make the majority of their money selling you popcorn and soda.  MoviePass was trying to show the chains, “Look, about ten percent of moviegoers come to your theater chain and use MoviePass. Don’t you see how important that is? We could just tell them to take their business to another chain. Don’t you think you should give us say, 1% of your concession sales?” 

It was a fine plan. But all the theater chains said, “Nope.” 

But MoviePass had more plans. Produce their own movies and profit off them. But they disastrously chose Gotti, a John Travolta nightmare of a film which has, um - a 0% rating on rotten tomatoes. I’ve never seen a movie get worse ratings. MoviePass lost a ton of money on that film. 

So that plan didn’t work for MoviePass either. But hey, they still had three million subscribers - they must be able to do something with them, right? 

Well, MoviePass made wrong choice after wrong choice when, in an attempt to lower the amount of money they were burning each month put all sorts of minor restrictions on subscribers - restricting repeat views, ticket verification, blocking out some new blockbusters, then only offering a few movies to choose from each week. Then reverting all of those changes and going back to “See whatever movie you want whenever you want” but … we’re raising the price. 

Basically, their subscribers lost all faith in MoviePass and bailed en’ mass. I stayed until the end of my one year contract but, to be honest, I was only able to see a single movie in the last two months of my subscription because of the restrictions MoviePass put on accounts. 

So, I didn’t renew. And they didn’t ask me to. We parted company about six months ago. And now they’re gone. MoviePass certainly was a bold plan and people certainly liked their initial idea so much that lots of other folks noticed and now there are all sorts of rival plans out there, but they are usually restricted to a specific theater chain. So, for example: the AMC card only works at … well, AMC chains. And that’s what made MoviePass unique. It was a Mastercard that you could use anywhere that accepted Mastercard which means it was highly accessible. 

In the end though, MoviePass was just managed poorly. Too many poor choices, too many subscription changes, too many partnerships with other companies that always felt more like a “get rich quick with this partnership” scheme and not an actual legitimate partnership that was going to help MoviePass in the long run. I’ve also recently found out that the guy who took over Helios and Matheson, and therefore MoviePass, was a man named Ted Farnsworth. And, Mr. Farnsworth has lawsuits and failed companies trailing behind him a mile long. 

According to theverge.com

“Mr. Farnsworth … been sued numerous times, according to the Miami Herald, and he found his way into a chief executive role after years spent racking up legal disputes in Florida, related in some cases to real estate investments and other inscrutable financial dealings. The Herald reports that Farnsworth has registered more than 50 companies over the last 30 years, a majority of which have shuttered.”

MoviePass may have been doomed before it even had a chance to thrive. But still, it was a great nine month run for MoviePass ... and then it wasn't.  

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