Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Civilization Revisited

par·a·digm  (pr-dm, -dm)
n  3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.

What are we really considering when we ask our Supreme Court to rule on such things as marriage? Have these questions come up before in other civilizations?  Why is it necessary to ask and answer these questions over and over?  To answer these questions I must first state that I have chosen in my life to operate from the paradigm that Creator God knows what is best for His creation.  The problem arises when we consider that God created us with a will to chose what paradigm we will follow.  He endowed us with a knowledge of his omnipotent presence and His desire that we follow the rules he set down for His creation, but we can choose to set our own rules and worship the creation instead of the Creator.  Look at your history.  Every major civilization that has come and gone on this planet has, at some point, decided that the creation should set the rules, and in doing so has set in motion its predictable decline and ultimate destruction.  We here in the United States are no different.  History would tell us with the visible warnings of crumbling ruins that the Holy scripture is correct when it states that Creator God will not tolerate our aberrant choices.  Yet we find ourselves there once again, self-centered and haughty in our belief that because more and more people are choosing to embrace aberrant behavior as a lifestyle that all of us should acquiesce and legitimize the behaviors with a ruling by the highest court in our land.

Let's go back to Rome around 60 A.D.  The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Christian Church meeting in Rome comments on this very issue in Chapter 1 of his letter. (The text is from the New Living Translation)

God’s Anger at Sin

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.[i] 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.  

It is not normal or natural, it is a paradigm choice of those who refuse to acknowledge a loving God and his perfect plan for His creation.  Our nation (and each individual in it) must choose what paradigm to follow.  I am only an old sinner saved by the Grace of God through his Son Jesus Christ, but I have never regretted my choice and I pray that others will examine themselves and see that Jesus Christ is the only way to fill the natural longing to have a relationship with Creator God. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What really happened?

This entire editorial commentary was published by Rabbi Pruzansky on November 12, 2012.  http://rabbipruzansky.com/2012/11/07/the-decline-and-fall-of-the-american-empire/ .  I am going to present excerpts from this piece as teasers hoping that you will be inclined to read the entire piece.

"The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is
that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent President
and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship,
incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And
fewer people voted. As I write, with almost all the votes counted,
President Obama has won fewer votes than John McCain won in 2008, and
more than ten million off his own 2008 total. (Note: this was written
the day after the election. The final results indicate that Romney
exceeded McCain’s total by less than one million votes, while Obama
received almost four million votes fewer than he did in 2008 – the first
time in history that a president won a second term with fewer votes than
he scored in his first victory. RSP)

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile
explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the
chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of
Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he
ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have
chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a
slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.

Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win."

"Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to
compete against free stuff. Every businessman knows this; that is why
the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool.
Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults
among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they
should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who –
courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits
(which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also
motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall)
surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate “free” health
care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the
government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible."

The Rabbi's entire blog entry is well worth reading.  I hope you will take the time to do so.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chicken Little Reigns

I have been trying to find a single piece to illustrate the madness we are experiencing in our government today.  I have searched the usual sources for an explanation that is clear and concise with little success.  However, when I opened my e-mail this morning, I received a missive from David (you are acquainted with him) that does just that.  I will share it, with comments, if the muse moves me to do so.

Take it away David,  "I thought I might pass along the bottom line in this sequestration business for those of you who might not be aware.

Our Chicken Little in Charge has been running all over the country giving campaign speeches about how the sky is going to fall if sequestration goes through tomorrow. Lacking in these speeches has been the fact that the whole thing was his idea to begin with, as well as the fact that he signed it into law last year with the whole hearted approval of the Dems.

Also missing in his hysterical rhetoric is the fact that these are not spending cuts as he is portraying them. They are cuts to future increases. They amount to 85 billion dollars, 2% of the proposed budget. Even so, there will be future increases. For example, even with the "cuts", the Defense Department spending will increase 121 billion dollars between 2014 and 2023. And so it is with the other agencies, also.

Of course, there is the fact that there is no budget. The Senate Democrats have refused to pass a budget for the past four years, even though they are required by law to do so. Perhaps I should have said they haven't even proposed a budget.

The last year before the Dems took over Congress, Bush's deficit, with two wars raging, was 245 billion. Then Senator Obama gave a speech about how incredibly "irresponsible" that deficit was and how it displayed "a total lack of leadership." Nonetheless, he has been running a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit ever since he came into office and that's perfectly okay.

Does no one hold this man accountable for anything?

We are to the point that we cannot balance the budget even if there was an attempt being made to do so. Just three programs, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security cost more than we take in each year. We could shut down the entire federal government except for those three programs and we would not be able to balance the budget. But never mind, we will keep spending more than a trillion dollars each year than the government receives in revenue. You know, damn the reality of the thing and full speed ahead. We will spend $180,000 and hour, and that's just for the plane, to fly Obama all over the country telling us the "cuts" are going to horrific while at the same time we turn illegals set for deportation loose because we can't afford to lock them up anymore. I would imagine just one hour of Air Force One plane time would keep a lot of illegals locked up.

This is insanity.

No, wait a minute. I know what we will do. We will tax the rich more. That's never worked in the past but we will do it anyway. Of course there is the unfortunate fact that taxing the rich the extra amounts that Obama wants to will only run the government for six days. I know. We will just take everything that rich Americans own. We will take their companies, their homes, their corporate jets, their bank accounts, and their little dogs, too. Well shoot. Come to find out, if we did that it would only run the country for 7 months. The only thing to do is take everything we can from everyone. At least that way everyone will be equal.....equally miserable.

Ain't socialism wonderful? There is only one problem as Margaret Thatcher said, "Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money." Oh well, when that happens, we will find somebody to blame....or maybe start a world war....or maybe just shoot anyone who complains.

Sarcasm aside, I would like to mention two history lessons which neither party seems to be paying any attention to. I have mentioned these to some of you in the past so please indulge me while I do it again.

Why do the politicians keep pushing for tax increases? History has proven that every time there is a serious tax cut, government revenues increase. It happened with John Kennedy, Bush the Younger, and Reagan. After Reagan's 1983 tax cuts, the revenues almost doubled in 2 years. Under Bush, revenues went up 40%. What's so hard to understand about that?

Everything Obama is doing with the economy has been tried before and it never worked. It didn't work for Hoover and it didn't work for FDR. When the stock market plummeted one year under Reagan everyone ran to him wanting to know what he was going to do. He refused to do anything, stating that the free market would correct itself without government interference. Within a couple of months or so, the market reached new highs.

In 1920 we had a relatively sorry president by the name of Harding. A depression hit which later indicators reflected would have been worse than the 1929 depression. Harding did two things. He cut government spending across the board by 20% and cut taxes by 50%(those percentage are as I remember them. I am not going to take the time to look them up right now). Within two years unemployment was 2.9% and the 20's were roaring.

So why can't the government learn from history? Well, there are several reasons, none of them good. I will leave it to you to figure them out, but mark my words, we are heading for a terrible economic disaster which doesn't have to happen."