Thursday, April 26, 2012

Inmates Rule the Asylum

People with a modicum of normal, healthy intelligence would agree that one never wants to allow the inmates to rule the asylum. But that’s the very situation we currently have in the governance of the United States.
Because our country is no longer healthy; we have become fat and lazy. We no longer practice the personal discipline to participate in exercising our bodies, spirits, or minds.
Physical Disciplines
Some do, of course, physical exercise: running, walking, hiking, working out at a gym, and participating in other individual or group sports. Some get exercise occupying a seat on a couch and watching team sports on TV while lifting their arms to convey food to their mouth and also doing “12 ounce curls” to partake of beverages in the process.
Spiritual Disciplines
Fewer people each week take advantage of the rich spiritual heritage of our country by attending religious services. In the past, Americans regularly attended weekly services at their preferred house of worship. Today, even the “C and E” (Christmas and Easter) Christians find reasons for avoiding religious occasions. In general, as a nation, we have adopted the European model of religion, which models non-participation in religious matters—except for weddings and funerals. Hebrews 10:25 exhorts those who call themselves Christians to not forsake meeting with God in gatherings, “as some are in the habit of doing.” This lack of discipline has left us moral deficient. One has simply to review the many reports of leaders in politics, religion, sports, and education who have failed their constituency in immoral ways: recent Secret Service escapades, politicians like John Edwards, sports “heroes” using prostitutes and drugs, religious leaders in adulterous relationships, educators engaging in illicit sexual activities with their students, etc.
Mental Disciplines
Our minds have been dulled by a public educational system which preaches tolerance as a high value and a “feel good,” non-competitive environment. After all, we don’t want to have anyone feel bad because they are not as talented or as pretty as others. The very competition which formerly sharpened minds and bodies in an educational environment has been taken away and we are poorer for it. Learning has declined markedly in traditional disciplines: math, science, language, history. Liberal educators regularly denigrate students who exhibit or communicate any kind of regard for religious practice. Critical thinking is a largely foreign concept in the classrooms of America. We would rather play mindless video games or watch media portrayals of so-called “reality,” than engage our minds.
No longer is it the goal of people providing leadership for this nation to serve the public. Instead, public leadership has become a venue to indulge their whims in self-serving ways.  Leaders manipulate the system to engorge their appetites for riches and fame at the expense of the “common folk.” Laws are written supposedly to benefit the public at large, but which, in fact, benefit the privileged leaders.
Broad Brush
Admittedly, this picture is being painted using a rather broad brush. Many people do attend to the maintenance of their physical conditioning. Many people follow their faith in regular worship of the Judeo-Christian God. Others satisfy their spiritual needs by following the practices of other religions. Many people engage in activities which engage their minds. It is grossly untrue in some ways, but all too true in the aggregate. We have become a flabby, often obese nation of selfish individuals seeking our own pleasures. A video posted on YouTube captures something of the dilemma in which America finds itself today. Click to go to:

The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy to:
Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Tim. 3:1-5 NIV)
America would do well to heed these words. For it should be obvious to any thinking person that truly, the inmates rule the asylum.
God spoke to His people these words: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14 NIV). Our land surely needs a healing! 
So let’s pray and intercede for our nation.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seemingly Innocuous Pieces of the Control Puzzle

You can run, but you can no longer hide. Given the proclivity for this administration to put in place initiatives that could be used by a government run amuck, several initiatives that could serve a president who wanted to move the United States toward participation in a one-world government are now in place:
White House Atrocities Prevention Board
President Obama’s National Security Adviser Samantha Power will head the new White House Atrocities Prevention Board, which is tasked with formulating a response to war crimes, crimes against humanity and mass atrocities.
Notorious left-wing radical Tom Hayden recently wrote Power sees war as an “instrument for achieving her liberal, even radical, values.”
The board’s creation was the culmination of Power’s efforts that last year defined preventing atrocities as a “core national-security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” The official White House statement marked the first time the U.S. government had made such a proclamation . . .
Power stated, “What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in sort of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.”
Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
What would happen if this effort was directed toward United States citizens within our nation’s borders? For example, by a presidential proclamation that a particular group opposed to his policies resulting in designation as potential atrocity-causers. Speaking out against strong control by the government on such subjects as abortion, free speech, 2nd Amendment rights, etc. could trigger labeling as crimes against humanity. Some liberals might feel that conservatives were opposed to the extent that they were perceived as threats to good order and discipline.
Big Data Research and Development Initiative
The Obama administration has launched a “Big Data Research and Development Initiative” aimed at improving the tools and techniques required to access, organize and glean pertinent information from huge volumes of digital data. 
Six federal departments and agencies announced more than $200 million in new commitments to achieve the goals of the initiative, including the Defense and Energy departments, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey. 
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], which gather large volumes of data, were not present at the event but will be in time, John Holdren, assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said March 29 at an event on big data in Washington, D.C. Many other agencies will be engaged in the big data initiative in the future, Holdren said
The ability to utilize technology is already developed enough that almost nothing remains private about citizen’s lives: banking records, verbal and electronic communications, and physical activities. The media continually portrays the violation of individual’s privacy by law enforcement. One has to refer to weekly TV dramas to see how far it has gone. The proliferation of video cameras in public areas enables tracking people like never before. Facial recognition software is employed to identify people in public places.
H.R. 347, the ‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011
Restrictions to the free speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution have now been implemented by the government with the complicity of both the legislative and executive branches of the government.
The White House has confirmed that Barack Obama has signed into law an update of restrictions around the White House, the vice president’s resident and other locations – a move critics say signals the “end to free speech.”
The bill states, “Whoever knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so; knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of government business or official functions; knowingly, and with the intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions, obstructs or impedes ingress or egress to or from any restricted building or grounds; or knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; attempts or conspires to do so, shall be punished.”
Presidential candidate Ron Paul stated, “The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.”
“While the Trespass Bill may have started out with the best of intentions, it has ended up as the government’s declaration of zero tolerance for individuals exercising their First Amendment rights,” he said. . .
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley's blog page notes that the imprecise language, just as in the NDAA, creates risks and can most definitely be seen as a threat to our First Amendment right to Free Speech, Freedom of Assembly, and Freedom to Petition our government.
Protests in any place designated a protected location can now result in felony charges and incarceration; even when done innocently and without overt knowledge of the restriction.
Realization of the Total Surveillance State
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute suggested that we might:
Imagine a robot hovering overhead as you go about your day, driving to and from work, heading to the grocery store, or stopping by a friend’s house. The robot records your every movement with a surveillance camera and streams the information to a government command center. If you make a wrong move, or even appear to be doing something suspicious, the police will respond quickly and you’ll soon be under arrest. Even if you don’t do anything suspicious, the information of your whereabouts, including what stores and offices you visit, what political rallies you attend, and what people you meet will be recorded, saved and easily accessed at a later date. It is a frightening thought, but you don’t have to imagine this scenario. We are only a few years away from the realization of this total surveillance society.
Congress has just passed a bill, the FAA Reauthorization Act, mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The FAA predicts that there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. This mandate is yet another example of the political power of the military-industrial complex, Congress’ disdain for the privacy of American citizens, and the rampant growth of government. With this single piece of legislation, Congress is opening the floodgates to an entirely new era of surveillance, one in which no person is safe from the prying eyes of the government. This may prove to be the final nail in the Fourth Amendment’s coffin.
There are battles regarding aerial surveillance which have yet to be fought. Formerly, satellites, high-flying aircraft and nosy old ladies in the apartment house across the street constituted the extent of surveillance one might expect in this nation. But now, the FAA has authorized the use of remote-controlled drones that are capable of watching and recording us pretty much anywhere within their operational flight envelope. So far, it still takes a court order to do this legally, but that does nothing to prevent irresponsible law enforcement, private investigators, and anyone else who obtains the technology to perform surveillance without legal authorization. Whitehead’s observation should give us all pause for thought.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Global Economic Woes

Continuing Chapter 2 of Spiritual Tsunami, here are a few events occurring in recent days:
Langley Intelligence Group Network (LIGNET) reported on April 11,2012,
U.S. Choice to Head World Bank Raises Eyebrows
On April 18, the World Bank will choose a new president and for the first time in history, the person picked to lead this important international organization may not be an American. The post is usually hand-picked by the White House, but President Obama’s surprise selection of a health care expert, Jim Yong Kim, has triggered unexpected opposition as well as two high-profile alternative candidates.”
Gerald Celente, a trend forecaster at the Trends Research Institute, says Americans should brace themselves for an "economic 9/11" due to policymakers' inability to solve the world's financial and economic woes. The coming meltdown, he predicts, will lead to growing social unrest and anti-government sentiment, a U.S. dollar with far less purchasing power and more people out of work.
Celente won't rule out another financial panic that could spark enough fear to cause a run on the nation's banks by depositors. That risk could cause the government to invoke "economic martial law" and call a "bank holiday" and close banks as it did during the Great Depression.
MoneyNews reported in March, “Obama to Triple Dividend Tax Rate”. Reporter Greg Brown said, “The latest proposal from the White House on dividend taxes is on a collision course with investors and corporations, raising the tax rate on dividends for the highest earners close to 45 percent — triple the current rate, warn experts who advise government on tax policy.”
Sean Hyman, reporting in MoneyNews, April 9, 2012, said in an article entitled, “Sluggish Growth Holding Back Jobs,”

U.S. job growth cut in half in just one month as reported on Good Friday when stock markets were closed. 
The government said 120,000 jobs were produced rather than an estimated 207,000 expected and much worse than last month’s revised number which was 240,000 jobs. 
This is the second monthly decline in a row now. 
Unemployment came in at 8.2 percent. But when you consider that unemployment hit its peak of 10.2 percent back in November of 2009, it’s coming down very slowly. . .
The worst case scenario of course would be that we would see the weak GDP levels to be un-sustained and turn into negative GDP growth which could lead to another recession. So let’s hope the former happens rather than the latter scenario. 

BBC News reports on the Eurozone:

Spain budget: Cuts to total 27bn euros this year

Why Greece won't go away

What's the matter with Italy?

Lots of things continue to happen in the global economy. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Under-the-Radar Power Moves

President Barak has become the master of obfuscation and there are signs that we may need to be alert for similar behavior from Mitt Romney, assuming that, now that Rick Santorum has suspended his candidacy for the Republican nomination, he remains secretive about his finances and some aspects of his Mormon background.
Obama’s recent signing of what I choose to call the Landscape Bill (HR 347 Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011) because it sounds like it has to do with landscaping the White House and other government properties. The bill is patently unconstitutional because it denies Americans their First Amendment rights of free speech, assembly and redress of grievances supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution. What was amazing was the minuscule notice the bill got in Congress before being passed nearly unanimously and forwarded to the President for his signature. There was almost no debate in the Committee on the Judiciary prior to the bill’s presentation for a vote and then its subsequent passing 399 to 3 in the House of Representatives.
The constitutional rights of Americans are being eroded bit by bit by this administration. This time it was with a complicit legislature. What is urgently needed is a radical house-cleaning by our alleged representatives. Clearly the predominant thinking in Washington is that we are stupid.
World Net Daily cites the book, A Nation of Sheep, by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, which:
Frankly discusses how the federal government has circumvented the Constitution and is systematically dismantling the rights and freedoms that are the foundation of American democracy. He challenges Americans to recognize that they are being led down a very dangerous path and that the cost of following without challenge is the loss of the basic freedoms that facilitate our pursuit of happiness and that define us as a nation.
Judge Napolitano asks the questions that no one else will, challenging readers to rethink why they are blindly following a government that has only its own interests in mind.
Are we sheep? Others are calling for complacent Christians to wake up, step up and speak up to their representatives, holding their feet to the fire, so to speak. Christians must no longer be sheep, but rather sheep dogs to protect those who want to remain sheep.
The kinds of things Obama and his administration are rapidly engaged in must be stopped or we can say goodbye to the freedoms we Americans have known for over 200 years! In Obama’s thinking, the U.S. Constitution is a dead instrument and the world would be better led by the diverse United Nations mandates.
Removal of the Second Amendment rights to bear arms is being signed away by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, acting on behalf of Obama.
Can anyone else see a problem here?
Hitler’s early success can be attributed to poor economic conditions of the time and partially to the disarmed people of Germany being unable to counter aggressive Fascist initiatives that are very similar to the Socialist initiatives of the Obama administration. It took a world war to counter that mistake. It may take another world war to counter the things that are going on today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

180 Degree President-update

President Barak Obama knows how to package his communications. He is the master of the Teleprompter and not so precise when responding extemporaneously. Unfortunately, what he actually means or intends when he makes pronouncements about domestic or world situations is usually 180 degrees from what he speaks:
When Obama says he will reduce the deficit, what he really means is that he will allow it to increase as much as necessary to accomplish his, often unspoken, objectives.
When he says we are solid friends of Israel and then finances the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt which has just declared Israel a mortal enemy.
When Obama declares that he is firmly on the side of the rule of law and then proceeds to ignore its provisions to do just what he wants.
We have got to get this non-citizen out of office before he turns our nation over to the control of the United Nations. Once that is accomplished, we need to prosecute him and his posse to the fullest extent of the Constitution.
Update: 4/4/2012
One of the highly developed talents of President Barack Obama is the ability to say things that are demonstrably false, and make them sound not only plausible but inspiring.
That talent was displayed just this week when he was asked whether he thought the Supreme Court would uphold ObamaCare as constitutional or strike it down as unconstitutional.
He replied: "I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
But how unprecedented would it actually be if the Supreme Court declared a law unconstitutional if it was passed by "a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress"?
The Supreme Court has been doing precisely that for 209 years!
Nor is it likely that Barack Obama has never heard of it. He has a degree from the Harvard law school and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago law school. In what must be one of the most famous Supreme Court cases in history -- Marbury v. Madison in 1803 -- Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle that the Supreme Court can declare acts of Congress null and void if these acts violate the Constitution.
They have been doing so for more than two centuries. It is the foundation of American constitutional law. There is no way that Barack Obama has never heard of it or really believes it to be "unprecedented" after two centuries of countless precedents.
In short, he is simply lying.
Sowell is a solid conservative observer and commentator on the political battles taking place.