Friday, April 30, 2010

Click-Click Communication

From My Perspective - - -

In this multi-lingual world, communication is vital and important. There are far too many languages to learn so translators and linguists are employed in the hope that accurate communication can occur. More than 100 years ago, a means of communication was developed based upon sounds that were transmitted. Most people are knowledgeable in terms of Morse Code. Almost everyone knows that Dot-Dot-Dot, Dash-Dash-Dash, Dot-Dot-Dot stands for SOS (Save Our Ship). Morse Code was originally created for Samuel F. B. Morse's electric telegraph in the early 1840s. Morse code was also extensively used for early radio communication beginning in the 1890s. In the early part of the twentieth century, the majority of high-speed international communication was conducted in Morse code, using telegraph lines, undersea cables, and radio circuits. Morse code is a type of character encoding that transmits telegraphic information using rhythm. Morse code uses a standardized sequence of short and long elements to represent the letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of a given message. The short and long elements can be formed by sounds, marks, or pulses, in on off keying and are commonly known as "dots" and "dashes" or "dits" and "dahs". The speed of Morse code is measured in words per minute (WPM) or characters per minute.

It’s fascinating to read a recently published article: “People All Across The World Are Discovering Numerous Ways To Communicate” By Jeff Winkler in The Daily Caller on 04/29/10. He writes: “In London, a translation firm has posted an ad on Craigslist seeking freelance translators. They’re not interested in Chinese, Italian or even Swahili speakers. They need people who speak Brooklynese. According to the New York Daily News: The freelance gig pays up to $210 a day. It’s open to anyone who can decipher such Brooklynisms as “not for nothin,’” “cawfee” and “whatayagonna do? We’re looking for someone who loves the dialect and is able to understand someone who has the heaviest Brooklyn accent, said Mick Thorburn, spokesman for Today Translations….The most amazing story of the day comes from The Daily Mail, which is reporting that a blind boy has acquired his sight by learning a different language. To be clear, the language is dolphin…Young Jamie Aspland utters tiny high-pitch clicks to rebound the sound off surfaces and guide him round obstacles. The four-year-old who was born without his sight was taught the echo location technique as part of an exciting technique pioneered in the U.S to help the blind. He copied the technique dolphins used to navigate their way through the murky depths – using high pitch clicks to penetrate objects and reflect off their internal structure. Jamie is able to mirror that behavior, which complements his use of a cane, by flicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth to mimic the porpoise’s underwater tones. Little Jamie still hasn’t decided what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s narrowed it down either Dr. Doolittle or The Daredevil."

There was a time when there was just one language in the world. Genesis 11:1-9 gives the account of when and why multiple languages came into being. The text states: “The whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly. They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them…let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel - because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world...” One of the instigators of this plan was Nimrod (his name means: “Let Us Revolt”). Today, finding ways and means to communicate clearly and accurately is a challenge and need. And yet, The Bible reminds us that “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.” In I John 3:18, “…let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” If this is implemented, we can easily get beyond merely Click-Click Communication. At least, let’s try! Consider these things with me!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Apple-Carts and Turnovers

From My Perspective - - -

In a bygone day in larger cities, there used to be street vendors with push carts where many things were sold. A common item was Fruit and Vegetables. Sometimes, a wheel might come off the cart and it would be upset and the product spilled on the street. A phrase that described such a moment was: “Upsetting The Apple-Cart.” The meaning is both simple and obvious, namely, “To cause upset - to create a difficulty.” The origin of the phrase has a political tone to it: This allusory (illusory) phrase is first recorded by Jeremy Belknap in The History of New Hampshire, 1788: “Adams had almost overset the apple-cart by intruding an amendment of his own fabrication on the morning of the day of ratification [of the Constitution].”

When Arizona passed an Immigration Law recently, the reaction was manifold. Not the least of which was: “Mexican President Felipe Calderon has accused Arizona of opening the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement." That is a fascinating statement, especially in light of Mexican Law and Approach to Immigrants trying to enter Mexico legally or illegally. Michelle Malkin has written: How Mexico Treats Illegal Aliens. These regulations and restrictions are imposed on foreigners. Some of the Legal Requirements are: (a) The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset "the equilibrium of the national demographics." (b) If outsiders do not enhance the country's "economic or national interests" or are "not found to be physically or mentally healthy," they are not welcome. Neither are those who show "contempt against national sovereignty or security." They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own healthcare. (c) Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years' imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years' imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country. (d) Law enforcement officials at all levels - by national mandate - must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens' arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities. (e) Mexico's National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens' identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.” She concludes her article with these words: “Mexico is doing the job Arizona is now doing - a job the U.S. government has failed miserably to do: putting its people first. Here's the proper rejoinder to all the hysterical demagogues in Mexico (and their sympathizers here on American soil) now calling for boycotts and invoking Jim Crow laws, apartheid, and the Holocaust because Arizona has taken its sovereignty into its own hands: Hipócritas.”

The Bible has several implications and applications regarding aliens. Deuteronomy 24:14-17 gives a basic instruction: “Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns. Pay him his wages each day before sunset…Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice…Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there…” Deuteronomy 27 is a listing of “curses” pronounced by The Lord. In verse 19: "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow. Then all the people shall say, Amen!” The New Testament also makes some “alien and stranger” comment. Hebrews 11:13-15, “All these people…did not receive the things promised…they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” In I Peter 2:11-12, “I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires…Live such good lives among the pagans that…they may see your good deeds and glorify God…” Don’t let anyone or anything Upset Your Apple-Cart or cause it to Turnover. The Alien and stranger – could it be that The Lord is bringing a Mission Field to your doorstep? Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Pig's Last Oink and Squeal

From My Perspective - - -

The Hog has been butchered; the hams have been smoked; the sausage has been ground; the process of making Head Cheese is well underway; and the fat has been rendered - but - the hew and cry is: Bring home more Sausage and Bacon! The demand for more ignores the reality that there is nothing left of the Hog. It might be said that even the hog’s squeal went into the Sausage.

The Government’s Fiscal Commission held its first meeting and the Daily Caller dated April 28th reports: “The pig has died…In such memorable fashion…former Sen. Alan Simpson Tuesday kicked off the U.S. government’s effort to keep itself from drowning in debt. Simpson’s point was that America is running out of money. Simpson, one of two co-chairs of President Obama’s Fiscal Commission, told the 17 other members that during his career in the Senate, his constituents often told him to ‘bring home the bacon.’ Tuesday’s meeting began an attempt – which some think is doomed from the start and others see merely as an exercise to justify higher taxes – to take on America’s deficit, debt and runaway entitlement spending. This might be the last best hope to right this listing ship of state of ours, said Simpson, in what was both a warning and a plea. The meeting was full of grave forecasts of disaster if nothing is done to rein in the national debt approaching $13 trillion, deficits that will add to the debt by around $10 trillion over the next decade, and unfunded entitlement spending commitments that Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, said add up to $66 trillion. The longer we delay, the greater the risk of catastrophic economic consequences, said Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute, who gave testimony and answered questions from the commission….Commission co-chair Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said the nation’s debt is a cancer … that is going to destroy our country from within. It’s as plain as day - what is really hard is the solution. Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and ranking member on the House Budget Committee, led the charge to try and focus the commission on cutting spending and not raising taxes. If you look at the math of all of this, spending is the culprit. Mathematically speaking, you literally cannot tax your way out of this problem. Bernanke said that the American people will have to choose among making modifications to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, restraining federal spending on everything else, accepting higher taxes, or some combination thereof.

The adage cannot be repeated too often: “If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.” The Congress of the United States needs to learn some simple definitions and mathematic formulas. First, define the word Budget. It is: “(a) an estimate of expected income and expense for a given period in the future; (b) a plan of operations based on such an estimate; (c) an itemized allotment of funds for a given period; and (d) the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose.” This is basic for a family and household and should be for the government. Secondly, basic mathematics should be utilized. When there was a Gold and Silver Standard in this country, we had a foundation on which the currency and coinage were based. When that was removed as the Standard, then the foundation became the good faith in the American Government (that’s when our “word” meant something and wasn’t parsed into something vague and meaningless). It was said and meant: Our Word Is Our Bond. Not everyone believes that anymore.

There are Ten Basic Biblical Financial Principles. Some of them are: The first is that God is the source of everything. Philippians 4:19 - "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Proverbs 8:20-21 - "I lead in the way of righteousness…that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures." “The third is living on a margin. Living on a margin simply means allowing room for things to happen.” The fifth: keep out of unnecessary debt. The minute a person goes into debt, he loses a portion of his freedom. As Proverbs 22:7 says, "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." The sixth: learning to be content with what one has. Hebrews 13:5 puts it succinctly: “…be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Make this your choice! Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bare Facts and Naked Truths

From My Perspective - - -
What did Nero allegedly do while Rome was burning? What does an American President do while Washington, DC is faltering and in turmoil? What do the minions in Government do when oversight is their task? Do they fiddle? Do they play another round of Golf? Or – is there some other diversion to keep one from focusing on the immediate and to defer his thought processes and energies in other directions?
In a Byline of the Daily News on April 23rd, Leo Standora wrote: “While Economy Crumbled, Top Financial Watchdogs at SEC Surfed for Porn on Internet.” In particular, what were the Senior Staffers at the Security and Exchange Commission doing while the economy was in a free fall? Standora continues: “The country's top financial watchdogs…spent hours gawking at porn Web sites as the economy teetered on the brink, according to a memo released Thursday night. The shocking findings include Securities and Exchange Commission senior staffers using government computers to browse…and an accountant who tried to access the raunchy sites 16,000 times in one month. Their…pastime was discovered during 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the past five years, said the memo obtained by The Associated Press. Among the startling findings: (1) A senior attorney at the SEC's Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When his government computer ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs. He later agreed to resign. (2) An accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in a single month from visiting…pornography" sites, but still managed to amass a collection of very graphic material by using Google to bypass the SEC's internal filter. He wound up with a 2-week suspension. (3) Seventeen of the employees were at a senior level earning salaries of up to $222,418…” The Washington Post contained the same information received from the Associated Press.
A similar report in the Washington Times from 2009 indicated: “Porn Surfing Rampant at U.S. Science Foundation…Number of Cases Overwhelms Watchdog, Costs Taxpayers” By Jim McElhatton. He wrote: “Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew six-fold last year…The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency's Inspector General and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars. To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud, the Inspector General recently told Congress in a budget request. We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result…One senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women…the records show. When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women…He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that," investigators wrote in a memo.
Lamont Cranston was a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers who appeared as The Shadow in a 1930s radio drama. The program began with a question: “Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Hearts of Men…?” With a crackling voice, he would respond: “The Shadow Knows….!” It is more important to know and realize that Almighty God knows. In Matthew 15:16-18, Jesus was explaining a parable to His Disciples and stated:” the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man unclean.” The instruction in Proverbs 4:23-27 should be heeded: “23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” Consider these things with me!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mama Nature's Messed Up Minions

From My Perspective - - -

Yesterday was designated as Earth Day. The idea – take care of the Planet, Littering… Pollution… and… Contamination... People who do not care - are all part of our ongoing experience and frustration. At the Creation of the world, a Cultural Mandate was issued by the Creator – Genesis 1:28 – “And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." It was a right priority then and it is a right priority now. Care for the Environment and the Planet is an obvious responsibility for each inhabitant.

In the concern for the Planet, there are those who are given to Absurdities, Speculation and Ignorance. The Alarmists and Speculators in their Earth Day Predictions offered 40 years ago – in 1970 – included some of the following:
An Ecologist, Kenneth Watt stated - "We have about five more years at the outside to do something." and "At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it's only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable." Also, "By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate...that there won't be any more crude oil. You'll drive up to the pump and say, Fill 'er up, buddy, and he'll say, I am very sorry, there isn't any." – and - "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age."
A Biologist, Paul Ehrlich stated: "Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." – and - "By...[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s."
One additional speculation by Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University: "Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine."
There are also the followers of Al Gore and the Global Warming focus group. Their basic thesis is there will be: “An increase in global temperature that will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional variations is uncertain.”

The accuracy of the above statements leaves much to be desired. Those who espouse them are undaunted in their speculations and beliefs. Although some are very sincere, they are sincerely wrong. But Note - a Day of Global Warming and Planetary disruption will occur. In II Peter 3:8-12, we read this description: “the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” This passage, along with Matthew 24 and 25 are not speculating about “The Day of the Lord.” It is a day of judgment! It is a day when the universe as we know it will be altered by the Power of the Lord. Question: Are you prepared for That Day? Have you placed your life under the control and authority of Jesus Christ? You would be wise to do it! Consider these things with me!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flamboyant and Fragrant

From My Perspective - - -

Something has happened to the culture and average lifestyle that is more critical than a major health issue – we are forgetting how to have Fun. In most areas of life – politics, religion, international matters, health concerns - we seem to be on a Collision Course. Choose a side in this societal free-for-all! It would be almost a breath of fresh air if someone Flamboyant appeared – someone who could cause a cross-section of people to forget about issues that cause division and conflict – and to focus on what might be classified as either the ridiculous, humorous or maybe – subtlety sublime.

What may be needed is a reincarnation of Gorgeous George. Gorgeous George came on the scene following the Great Depression and near the conclusion of World War II. He had no limit to his Flamboyant manner and display. In actually, he was: “George Raymond Wagner (March 1915–December 1963) who became an American professional wrestler best known by his ring name Gorgeous George. In the United States, during the First Golden Age of Professional Wrestling in the 1940s-1950s, Gorgeous George gained mainstream popularity and became one of the biggest stars of this period, gaining media attention for his outrageous character, which was described as flamboyant and charismatic. When Someone or Some Thing is Flamboyant, it is to be: “strikingly bold or brilliant; showy; conspicuously dashing and colorful…”

He debuted and dramatized his new glamour boy image on a 1941 card in Eugene, Oregon; and he quickly antagonized the fans with his exaggerated effeminate behavior when the ring announcer introduced him as Gorgeous George. Such showmanship was unheard of for the time; and consequently, arena crowds grew in size as fans turned out to ridicule George…He would be known as the Human Orchid as he would through his kisses and flowers to the chanting crowd. His persona was created in part by growing his hair long, dyeing it platinum blonde, and putting gold-plated bobby pins in it (he called them “Georgie Pins” while distributing them to the audience). Furthermore, he transformed his ring entrance into a bona-fide spectacle that would often take up more time than his actual matches. He was the first wrestler to really use entrance music, as he strolled nobly to the ring to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance," followed by his valet and a purple spotlight. Wearing an elegant robe sporting an array of sequins, Gorgeous George was always escorted down a personal red carpet by his ring valet “Jeffries,” who would carry a silver mirror while spreading rose petals at his feet. While George removed his robe, Jeffries would spray the ring with disinfectant (Chanel No. 5 perfume), which George referred to as "Chanel #10" ("Why be half-safe?") before he would start wrestling. Moreover, George required that his valets spray the referee’s hands before the official was allowed to check him for any illegal objects, which thus prompted his now-famous outcry “Get your filthy hands off me!” Once the match finally began, he would cheat in every way he could. This flamboyant image and his showman's ability to work a crowd were so successful in the early days of television that he became the most famous wrestler of his time,

In the Christian religion, there just might be room and a place for someone who is both Flamboyant and capable of spreading that which is Fragrant. Consider what the Apostle Paul was intimating in II Corinthians 2:14-17, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” Allow your imagination to think of the impact one could make if Pomp and Circumstance indicated the “Triumphal Procession In Christ”, and Chanel No.5 used to indicate “The Fragrance of the Knowledge of Christ.” You may immediately recoil at the thought – but – how well do you do at demonstrating the Triumphal Procession in Christ and being the Fragrance of the Knowledge of Him? We need to seek and use creative ways and means as we Know Him and Make Him Known! Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Should Topsy-Turvy Be Cloned?

From My Perspective - - -

Life was far more predictable before someone messed around with Topsy-Turvy! The equilibrium might have been off slightly – but at least we knew we could make heads or tails out of most situations. But then – someone or something got to Topsy-Turvy. Has anyone seen or tried to clone Topsy-Turvy?

We knew that Topsy-Turvy – (meaning: “with the top downward and the bottom up; upside-down.; in or into a state of utter disorder or confusion) – was where most have lived during their lifetime. There was something about it that kept one comfortable and not too distressed with most of life-situation experiences that came ones way.

Then a decision was made by someone – an Anti-Topsy-Turvy-Type person – to remove religion from our way of life; to submit to psycho-analysis and psychological behavioral counseling; to take medication for attention disorder; to minimize the work effort and incentive by instituting entitlement programs planned and controlled by the government; etc. – and all-too-quickly – Topsy-Turvy was no longer prominent among us. We had lost a well-known companion and friend. Some have offered something similar, as though a clone was possible, but it was easily an abject failure.

Why is there such polarization in Congress and Government today? Why is there such rivalry among the nations of the world? Why is it that the Courts (Judges and Lawyers) cannot agree on Constitutional Law? Is it possible that forgetting about and ignoring Topsy-Turvy is The Reason?

As odd as it may seem, sometimes marriage can be a cause of the loss of Topsy-Turvy. One spouse is a neat type person – the other is a leave it laying around type. This writer knows – his spouse comes with her duster and wants the desk set in order and things put away so she can dust. The failure here is that the desk is so covered with “important documentation” there is no room for the dust to accumulate. However, things get rearranged and Topsy-Turvy has lost another haven – and – now the chore is to locate the items that were made to be relocated.

It should be easy to understand the response and reaction of King Hezekiah in II Kings 20:1-11, The gist of the historical narrative is: “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah went to him and said, This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” In other words, straighten out the Topsy-Turvy stuff in your life! This is check-out time for you!” There’s an interesting turn here, namely, Hezekiah wanted to continue living – maybe in part because of all the Topsy-Turvy Details he had put off to “some other day”! Note what happens: “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, Remember, O Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes. And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David…”

In some ways, Topsy-Turvy is alright. In other ways, it is not! Matthew 5:23-26 enjoins that Topsy-Turvy delays are not acceptable. Note: “First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary…” Keep short accounts with each other! Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. The points of emphasis are: (1) First Go, and (2) Settle Matters Quickly. Maybe we need to let Topsy-Turvy be in seclusion for now! Time seems to be running out and we need to do what must be done to set things in order while we have this moment to do it. Consider these things with me!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Is Truth? - What Is Fiction?

From My Perspective - - -

What is Fact? What is Fiction? What is True? What is False? Has Fantasy, Fraud, and Fiction supplanted Fact, Truth, and Reliability? Does it matter any more? Truth and Integrity seem to have been sacrificed; fiction has been substituted for reality; and journalism has yielded to “something feigned, invented, or imagined.” However, the Associated Press Headline article By Liz Sidoti this morning reads: “Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington.” She writes: “America's Great Compromiser, Henry Clay, called government the great trust, but most Americans today have little faith in Washington's ability to deal with the nation's problems. Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills, the survey found.”

Peggy Noonan is a very gifted and creative writer. In The Wall Street Journal: April 9, 2010, she wrote: “After the Crash, A Crashing Bore.” In her desire to see some indication of Transparency in the climate of our times, she resorted to both Fiction and Hyperbole (an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally) to make an important point: “The men behind the bailout take refuge in impenetrable jargon. Like all Americans, I continue to seek to understand exactly what moods, facts, assumptions, dynamics, agendas and structures underlay and made possible the crash and the Great Recession…That’s why this week’s Financial Industry Inquiry Commission hearings were so exciting, such a public service. The testimony of Charles Prince, former CEO of Citigroup, a too-big-to-fail bank that received $45 billion in bailouts and $300 billion in taxpayer guarantees, was riveting. You’ve seen it on the news, but if you were watching it live on C-Span, the stark power of his brutal candor was breathtaking. This, as you know, is what he said: Let’s be real. This is what happened the past 10 years. You, for political reasons, both Republicans and Democrats, finagled the mortgage system so that people who make, like, zero dollars a year were given mortgages for $600,000 houses. You got to run around and crow about how under your watch everyone became a homeowner. You shook down the taxpayer and hoped for the best. Democrats did it because they thought it would make everyone Democrats: Look what I give you! Republicans did it because they thought it would make everyone Republicans: I’m a homeowner, I’ve got a stake, don’t raise my property taxes, get off my lawn!’ And Wall Street? We bundled the mortgages and sold them to fools, or we held them, called them assets, and made believe everyone would pay their mortgage. As if we cared. We invented financial instruments so complicated no one, even the people who sold them, understood what they were. You’re finaglers and we’re finaglers. I play for dollars, you play for votes. In our own ways we’re all thieves. We would be called desperadoes if we weren’t so boring, so utterly banal in our soft-jawed, full-jowled selfishness. If there were any justice, we’d be forced to duel, with the peasants of America holding our cloaks. Only we’d both make sure we missed, wouldn’t we?”

Noonan continues: “OK, Charles Prince didn’t say that - he would never say something so dramatic and intemperate. I made it up. It wasn’t on the news because it didn’t happen. It would be kind of a breath of fresh air though, wouldn’t it?” But then - the News on April 16: “The government on Friday accused Wall Street's most powerful firm of fraud, saying Goldman Sachs & Co. sold mortgage investments without telling the buyers that the securities were crafted with input from a client who was betting on them to fail. And fail they did. The securities cost investors close to $1 billion while helping Goldman client Paulson & Co., a hedge fund, capitalize on the housing bust. The Goldman executive accused of shepherding the deal allegedly boasted about the exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!" What separates Truth from Fiction? A Biblical Guideline that should be embraced and adhered to is: II Corinthians 8:20-21, “We want to avoid any criticism…For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.” And, Romans 12:17, “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.” To walk in Truth and Integrity is a life-choice and a life-style. It has been called – “Spiritual Breathing!” We need to do it! Consider these things with me!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cadres and Calamities

From My Perspective - - -

The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition defines Cadre as: “An elite or select group that forms the core of an organization and is capable of training new members. The Regular Dictionary states: “A tightly knit group of zealots who are active in advancing the interests of a revolutionary party; A group capable of forming, training, or leading an expanded organization, as a religious or political faction, or a skilled work force…”

Having just passed April 15th and Financial Accountability as Income Tax Forms were filled in and Taxes Paid, a reality is that with the increasing numbers of people being beneficiaries of the Entitlement Programs of our nation, fewer people are producing revenues to cover the costs and benefits of the non-producers. Will there be enough money available to cover the costs of the benefits and entitlements? An insight into how monies will be secured to cover costs and expenditures can be seen in the action of Argentina. On October 21, 2008 an article appeared: “Argentina seizes pension funds to pay debts. Who's next?” By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Economics. It states: “Here is a warning to us all. The Argentine state is taking control of the country’s privately-managed pension funds in a drastic move to raise cash. Should we worry about our pensions? It is a foretaste of what may happen across the world as governments discover that tax revenue, and the bond markets are unwilling to plug the gap…My fear is that governments in the US, Britain, and Europe will display similar reflexes. The forced-feeding of banks with fresh capital – whether they want it or not – and the seizure of the Fannie/Freddie mortgage giants before they were in fact in trouble (in order to prevent a Chinese buying strike of US bonds and prevent a spike in US mortgage rates), shows that private property can be co-opted – or eliminated – with little due process if that is required to serve the collective welfare. This is a slippery slope…”

Interestingly, there is already discussion of this possibility in our own nation. Bloomberg reports: “The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged.The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort...There is “a tremendous amount of interest in the White House” in retirement-security initiatives…A bill requiring employers to report 401(k) savings both as an account balance and as a stream of income based on an annuity was introduced on Dec. 3, 2009 by Senators Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, and Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat. Sounds innocuous, right?” Wrong! This will be a seizure of funds and a redistribution of wealth, long-term savings and investments, and accumulated interest. Your private funds will no longer exist. Never believe this is innocuous! Don’t be that naïve! It ignores personal thrift and fiscal discipline so there can be an equal money-flow to all.

Ironically, at this juncture and time when Prayer should be vital, a Headline reads: “Judge: National Day Of Prayer Unconstitutional” April 15, 2010 by: Mike Levine “The National Day of Prayer, honored in the United States for more than a half-century, is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Wisconsin - U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said - "the holiday violates the 'establishment clause' of the First Amendment, which creates a separation of church and state.” The Judge has missed Historical significance in her ruling, namely, “In 1775, as the Continental Congress began the task of forging a new Nation, colonists were asked to observe a day of quiet humiliation and prayer…Almost a century later, as the flames of the Civil War burned from north to south, President Lincoln and the Congress once again asked the American people to pray as the fate of their Nation hung in the balance." In Luke 18:1, “Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Listen to Jesus! Consider these things with me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Trending Toward Despotism

From My Perspective - - -

Most of us were taught and grew up to believe that we live in an elected representative government. That’s the way The Founders of this nation and the Writers of the U.S. Constitution established it. However, what happens when the rules of Government are changed and the elected representatives of the people no longer adequately represent their constituents? How do the undocumented and non-citizen migrants or aliens receive equal or greater privilege and benefits regarding entitlements? How is it that a large number of the millions without Health Care – 15 million or more who are not citizens – are the ones for whom this, and other provisions, become the driving force for such legislation? Has anyone ever thought about (a) how the nation will pay for it, (b) how Physicians will be able to manage the increased load, (c) when reimbursements are being reduced, will the Physician be able to afford having Medicare and Medicaid patients, (d) what about Medical Schools and the disincentive of men and women to subject themselves to years of study, preparation and costs – when they cannot recover financially due to Government Regulated Services and Fees?

Oddly, even though we appear to be in a trend toward Despotism, there are those who like it that way. Despotism is: “Rule by or as if by a despot; absolute power or authority; The actions of a despot; tyranny; A government or political system in which the ruler exercises absolute power.” The Founders cautioned lest the citizenry gain access to the nations Treasury and receive Largess: “(a gift or money given as for service or out of benevolence; usually given ostentatiously; liberality in bestowing gifts; extremely liberal and generous of spirit)”.The U.S. Federal Budget – Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes. The generalized calculation is that 54% is Military and 46% is Non-Military. The particularization of these categories show (and this is not exact) that 11% goes to General Government; 5% for Physical Resources; 36% for Current Military (plus cost associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars); 18% for Past Military; and 30% toward Human Resources.” As we know, Despotism allows actions and expenditures that are not defined, such as, the hiring of 30 or more Czars (who basically duplicate the work of the Cabinet Officers); and Executive Orders that take effect immediately until the next Congress convenes.

The Book of Judges speaks of a people who, by and large, lived and operated independently from Biblical Standards. They wanted what they wanted when they wanted it. The Lord sent Judges to call the people to their senses and to live in accord with God’s standards. The Primary Judges were: 1) Othniel, (3:7-11) 2) Ehud (3:12-30); 3) Shamgar (3:31); 4) Deborah (and Barak) (4:1-5:31); 5) Gideon (6:1-8:32); 6) Tola (10:1-5); 7) Jair (10:1-5); 8) Jephthah (10:6-12:7); 9) Ibzan (12:8-15); 10) Elon (12:8-15); 11) Abdon 12:8-15; 12) Samson (13:1-16:31). Despite the Message from The Lord, and the clear Warnings given by the Judges, the message and messengers were mostly ignored. They had lost their way and their moral compass. The conclusion - the very last words are these - Judges 21:25 – “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

A case in point may be the following: the Nuclear Security Summit Logo, depicting a hydrogen electron in its orbital path around its nucleus, looks too much like the flag of several predominantly Muslim nations. Michael Goodwin of the New York Post wrote: "I am certain the crescent-like design of the logo chosen by President Obama is not a coincidence, especially at an event where Iran's nuclear ambition and al Qaeda's search for a bomb are prime topics." In Revelation 6:12-17 - When he (Jesus Christ) opened the sixth seal…there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth…The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" We seem to be rapidly approaching that day of The Lamb. Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Moochers and Miscreants

From My Perspective - - -

A Moocher is one who “obtains or tries to obtain by begging; stealing; filching; to get or try to get something free of charge…” A Miscreant is: “a depraved, villainous, or base individual; an evildoer…” Nothing reveals a Moocher or a Miscreant like the Income Tax Filing Deadline. One half of the nation is receiving welfare of some sort and will file no Tax Return for any personal income. At the same time that the government has seen fit to spend more money than it has, the number of non-payers (there are people without income tax liability) has increased by 59% in less than a decade. The number of non-payers grew from 32.6 million in 2000 to 51.6 million in 2008. At the same time, the total number of tax filers only grew by 10%. This is simply unsustainable.

The deadline for payment of Taxes for 2009 is April 15, 2010. The Heritage Foundation has details and gives us some insight into exactly how much of the wealth that the working citizens of this nation have created Washington is spending - and - how they are spending it. “In 2010, Washington will spend a record $31,406 per household. In 2010, Washington will collect $18,276 per household in taxes. The $13,130 difference between spending and revenue is our budget deficit per household…on top of all prior government debt. Since 2008, government spending has increased by $5,000 per household. That's in just two years. Over the last decade, government spending has increased $10,000 per household.”

The Heritage Foundation also has information regarding the breakdown for us of how Tax Dollars are disbursed. Here are the highlights: “Social Security/Medicare: $9,949 per household; Defense: $6,071 per household; Antipoverty programs: $5,466 per household; Unemployment benefits: $1,640 per household; Interest on the federal debt: $1,585 per household; Veterans' benefits: $1,052 per household; Federal employee retirement benefits: $1,018 per household; Education: $914 per household; Highways/mass transit: $613 per household; Health research/regulation: $550 per household; Mortgage Credit: $470 per household; All other federal programs justice, international affairs, natural resources, the environment, regional development, farm subsidies, social services, space exploration, air transportation and energy: $2,078 per household.” The outgo is exceeding the income – and – the upkeep will be our downfall.

The Question is sometimes asked: Did Jesus Christ have to pay Taxes? The answer is: Yes! In Matthew 17:24-27, “After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax? Yes, he does, he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. What do you think, Simon? he asked. From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes from their own sons or from others? From others, Peter answered. Then the sons are exempt, Jesus said to him. But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." Another similar incident is in Matthew 22:15-22, “…the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him (Jesus) in his words…Teacher…we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth….Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?...Show me the coin used for paying the tax…Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription? Caesar's, they replied. Then he said to them, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.” We also find that the Biblical approach to taxes and payment of the same is clearly stated in Romans 13:5-7, “…it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Jesus Christ expects His followers to do the right and honorable thing, namely, pay the taxes that are due! Don’t fall into the morass of those choosing to be Moochers and/or Miscreants. Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Witless and Wistful Non-Whimpering Wimps

From My Perspective - - -

There are all too many people who exhibit a Will-O'-The-Wisp (“anything that deludes or misleads by luring on”) characteristic. The Encyclopedia Britannica indicates that: “in meteorology, a Will-O'-The-Wisp is a mysterious light seen at night flickering over marshes; when approached, it advances, always out of reach.” In some ways, it is similar to The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz who silently lives with his fears due to his sense of inadequacy and perceived lack of Courage. He doesn’t seem to understand that Courage means acting in spite of and in the face of Fear.

On April 27, 2009 an article appeared in the Russian Pravda News Site. It is entitled “American Capitalism Gone With A Whimper”, written by Stanislav Mishin. Some of the shared thoughts are: “It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people…The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists. Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters. First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather than the classics. Second, their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different branches and denominations were for the most part little more than Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more than happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the winning side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Third, the final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed…has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Weimar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe…There came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, losses, and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more than ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them? These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties, and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more than a whimper to their masters…Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride. Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "free man" whimper.” See:

Obviously, those who stand for nothing will fall for anything! An Earth Worm has more spine than many of our citizens. Too many are focused on what they deem to be their vested interests than they are to stand on principle and for what is right. They are willing to accept the inevitable without so much as a whimper. An illustration of this is in I Kings 18:21 when Elijah is in the Contest with The Prophets of Baal. “Elijah went before the people and said, How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him. But the people said nothing.” Not a whimper! No demonstrated commitment! No willingness to be involved! No standing on principle! No courage in a vital cause! Just witless and/or wistful! No whimper or word of support for Elijah. More than 50 years ago, Paul Tillich wrote a tome with an intriguing title: The Courage To Be. He notes: “The breakdown of absolutism…” and observes: “In this the anxiety of emptiness and meaninglessness is dominant. We are under the threat of spiritual non-being.” That’s what Witless and Wistful Non-Whimpering Wimps embrace. Consider these things with me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hogwash or Natural Fertilizer

From My Perspective - - -

E Pluribus Unum – fact or fiction? It’s a great slogan for the nation but does it really happen? Does it have true, credible and practical meaning? Is there evidence that it has worked so far? Should we ask the American Indian Tribal peoples in this regard? What if we could ask those who were brought to this country to be Slaves – what would they think or say? The people who streamed through Ellis Island to the shores of our nation – who journeyed far to find hope and realized potential – how would they respond? Those who passed by and observed The Statue of Liberty who might not have been able to read the Inscription on her base: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." – did they find this to be true in their experience and acceptance into the Novus Ordo Seclorum (Latin for "New Order of the Ages") that appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States?

E Pluribus Unum - describes an action: Many uniting into one. An accurate translation of the motto is "Out of many, one", The motto was selected by Charles Thomson when he created the final Great Seal of the United States in 1782 and inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM on the scroll carried in the beak of the American bald eagle who carries the power of peace in his right talon. Diversity is a foundational part of the genesis of this nation – but – has it instead become a division of people and ethnic groups? Politically, there is discussion of the disparity between the classes – rich or middle class or poor. The idea of “class divides” and distinctions can be hideous. It views people as pawns – those who are vulnerable and who can be manipulated. Rather than make this type of distinction, would it not be more helpful to challenge people in terms of their potential and try to motivate them to be ambitious and creative and to move from one “class” to another? Is the concept of redistribution of wealth the best and only resolve to gain some sort of an artificial equality among all people groups?

So much of Political-Speak can be designated as Hogwash – that is – “refuse given to hogs; swill; any worthless stuff; meaningless or insincere talk, writing; nonsense; bunk.” The Word Origin and History states: “from hog + wash; originally "slops fed to pigs;" extended to "cheap liquor" (1712) then to "inferior writing" (1773).” In the process of Governmental Programs, are the poor more often than not still being viewed as those described in the Inscription on the Statue of Liberty – “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore…”? The Philosophy that suggests: “if you give a hungry man a fish, you will feed him for a day – if you teach him how to fish – you’ll feed him for a lifetime” – would this not be a better approach to facing and alleviating the vast disparity within our nation (and several other places in the world)?

From a religious viewpoint, how well does/has E Pluribus Unum worked? Is there unity among the Churches and Denominations? Is diversity of people groups a reality in the pews of this nation? Is there a valid community outreach to minister to some of “your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? Or, is that just jargon and more Hogwash to which so many have been subjected – politically and religiously? For His followers and His Church, Jesus prayed – John 17:9-11 – “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” Has this worked? Is it working now? We read this same thought in Ephesians 4:1-3 – “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace…” Is this working satisfactorily in and among the Churches, if so, where? The overall consideration – both politically and religiously in terms of functioning credibly toward people – If not now, when? If not here, where? Some is done by proxy through organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse and World Vision – but isn’t it supposed to be personal rather than proxy? Consider these things with me!

Friday, April 9, 2010


From My Perspective - - -

Recent generations have become more aware of the use of Hyphens to define and designate various ethnic and people groups, as well as organizations and what the purportedly represent. It can be thought of as a Hyphen-Fixation or a Hyphen-Hypertension. We have also become aware and accustomed to the use of Acronyms. In some ways, Hyphens are more easily understood than Acronyms. Consider some well-known Acronyms: “AIDS: acquired immune deficiency syndrome; SCUBA: self-contained underwater breathing apparatus; RADAR: radio detection and ranging; AAA: American Automobile Association, or Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, or Anti-Aircraft Artillery, or Amateur Athletic Association; ATM: automated teller machine; PIN: personal identification number; UPC: Universal Product Code. Probably the most notorious Acronym recently publicized has been A.C.O.R.N.: The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now,

The use of Hyphens is also common-place. An example is: “Census Bureau Counting Same-Sex Couples.” The following observation is made by way of commentary: “In the first U.S. census that will tally same-sex couples who say they are married — even those without a marriage license — gay-rights activists are urging maximum participation by their community with the strong backing from the Census Bureau. Only the District of Columbia and five states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa — have legalized gay marriages. But, the Census Bureau says same-sex couples in any state who consider themselves "spouses" should feel free to check the "husband" or "wife" boxes on the census form, rather than "unmarried partner." Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, says the Defense of Marriage Act forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex relationships as "marriages." "The President's Commerce Department is actively encouraging people to ignore U.S. marriage law and invent new definitions for their relationships," Perkins said. "What kind of government actively lobbies citizens to lie on their forms?" [The Associated Press,]

If one has responsibly taken the time to open and fill in the Census 2010 form, the Hyphenated Factor is very predictable. Question 8: Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? In Question 9: What is Person 1’s Race? And then the list of selections: White; Black; African American, or Negro; American Indian or Alaskan Native. The list continues with Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro, Samoan, or Other Pacific Islander. In some regard, it is easy to understand why the designations are solicited, but one can only suppose that the emerging or dominant groups will become a Hyphenated-Group before long. Why can’t we all be just American without hyphens?

There are several names of God, especially in the Old Testament, that are Hyphenated. Some examples are:
JEHOVAH-ROHI - Psalm 23:1 = "The Lord my shepherd"
JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH - Ezekiel 48:35 - "The Lord who is present"
JEHOVAH-RAPHA - Exodus 15:26 - "The Lord our healer"
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU - Jeremiah 23:6 - "The Lord our righteousness"
JEHOVAH-JIREH - Genesis 22:13-14 - "The Lord will provide"
JEHOVAH-NISSI - Exodus 17:15 - "The Lord our banner"
JEHOVAH-SHALOM - Judges 6:24 - "The Lord is peace"
JEHOVAH-SABBAOTH - Isaiah 6:1-3 - "The Lord of Hosts"
EL-ELYON - Genesis 14:17-20,Isaiah 14:13-14 - "The Most High God
EL-SHADDAI - Genesis 17:1,Psalm 91:1 - "The Almighty God"
God wants to be known in a personal and intimate way. He wants to be known as The One Who is more than sufficient at all times and for all things for those who trust in Him. Paul gives some summary to this in Ephesians 3:20-12, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. This God (hyphens and all) can be known personally by you. Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Phlegmatic Philosophy

From My Perspective - - -

Two areas that can generate much debate are Politics and Religion. When Politics intrudes into Religion, the friction it causes usually generates more heat than light. The scope and sincerity of the speaker, as well as what is spoken will be scrutinized. Great care should be exercised so that one’s belief system doesn’t alienate a nation founded upon certain values and traditions. If the speaker is somewhat phlegmatic in his approach, more harm than good will ensue from what is being spoken. Consider the Thesaurus presentation for phlegmatic: as an adjective it means unemotional. Some of the primary Synonyms are: cool, apathetic, disinterested, dispassionate, unexcitable, unfeeling, uninvolved…

There is usually a Presidential Proclamation issued at Easter that is focused on the traditional values of that seasonal observance in the Judeo-Christian beliefs and practices. In his April 3rd, 2010 Weekly Address, President Obama stated: “This is a week of faithful celebration. On Monday and Tuesday nights, Jewish families and friends in the United States and around the world gathered for a Seder to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the triumph of hope and perseverance over injustice and oppression. On Sunday, my family will join other Christians all over the world in marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And while we worship in different ways, we also remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all – Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike…These are aspirations that stretch back through the ages – aspirations at the heart of Judaism, at the heart of Christianity, at the heart of all of the world’s great religions. The rites of Passover, and the traditions of Easter, have been marked by people in every corner of the planet for thousands of years. They have been marked in times of peace, in times of upheaval, in times of war…Their only hope that this unity will endure…Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all those celebrating, here in America, and around the world.”

By comparison, the 2008 Easter Proclamation issued by George W. Bush, President of the United States…stated: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies." John 11:25 – “Laura and I send greetings to all those celebrating the joyful holiday of Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds people around the world of the presence of a faithful God who offers a love more powerful than death. Easter commemorates our Savior's triumph over sin, and we take joy in spending this special time with family and friends and reflecting on the many blessings that fill our lives. During this season of renewal, let us come together and give thanks to the Almighty who made us in His image and redeemed us in His love. On this glorious day, we remember our brave men and women in uniform who are separated from their families by great distances. We pray for their safety and strength, and we honor those who gave their lives to advance peace and secure liberty across the globe. Happy Easter. May God bless you, and may God bless our great Nation.”

A Christian Nation should have some prerequisites for its Leaders – not the least of which would be a dependence upon the Lord. In II Kings 18:13-19: “The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army…to King Hezekiah…They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool…They called for the king; and…the field commander said to them, Tell Hezekiah: This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours?” In II Kings 19:14-19, we see what King Hezekiah did: “(He)…went up to the temple of the Lord and spread the letter out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed…"O Lord, God of Israel…Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God…Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God." What has happened to our nation? Why is it we have allowed the negatives to dominate the positives? Why is it we have allowed cultural values to supplant Christian values? Why do we allow ourselves to march toward the dangerous precipice of loss, defeat and oblivion? The time to reverse course is now! The time to seek the Lord and His help is long past due! Consider these things with me!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reprehensible Representation

From My Perspective - - -

In the 18th Century, a movement began that essentially believed there should be “No Taxation Without Representation.” The issue pertained to the imposition of taxes by Great Britain upon the 13 Colonies. When the British sent troops to the colonies to enforce the Tax levy, it led to The Revolutionary War and the writing of The Declaration of Independence. Fast-forward to the 21st Century - Are you, as a legal citizen of this country, adequately and properly represented? In a practical sense, is it possible that the nation is once again having to endure Taxation Without Representation? Taking this one step further, do you feel that the Congress is spending & incurring debt without any regard for those they have been elected to represent?

Charlie Reese, a former columnist of The Orlando Sentinel Newspaper has written an article entitled: 545 PEOPLE. He states: “Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, why do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, why do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators,435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court Justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman,or a president to do one…thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.”

“What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits... The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. It seems inconceivable…that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted - by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red…If the Army and Marines are in Iraq, it's because they want them in Iraq. If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way…”

When the Lord issues His assessment of the nation and people in Jeremiah 5:30-31 (NLT), he says: “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in this land - the Prophets give false prophecies, and the Priests rule with an iron hand. And worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?” This nation is nearing the abyss of uncertainty, demise and/or destruction. Warnings are met with ridicule! Those who govern are dismissive of those they supposedly represent. Apparently, the people love to have it that way because they keep electing the same people to office – year after year! We can do better! While you have the opportunity you should insist on it! Consider these things with me!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Don't Cry For Me Argentina

From My Perspective - - -

Can anything be learned from History? Should attention be given to the rise and fall of empires and nations? Is there any historical narrative that parallels the trends and directions of this nation in the 21st century? How much credence should be given to historical fact? Is it true that history has a way of repeating itself? Could it be based upon the arrogance and short-sightedness of a nation’s leaders?

Don't Cry for Me Argentina is a song from the 1978 musical Evita. Sung by the title character Eva Peron, it appears early in the second act as Evita addresses the crowd from the balcony of the Casa Rosada and containing broad themes of regret and defiance. The play concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentinean president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita's early life, acting career, rise to power, charity work, feminist involvement and eventual death. Why is it significant to reference Argentina as a comparison to the times in which we live?

Someone has recently written: If there is one thing we can count on, it is that we can learn from history. In this case, maybe we should take a peek at what happened to one country - Argentina - when it increased its national debt to staggering levels and then implemented redistributionist policies to try and correct its wrongs. Could it happen in the United States? In 1914, Argentina was one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and its living standard exceeded that of Western Europe until the late 1950s. Then President Juan Peron squandered his nation's prosperity by introducing a host of redistributionist economic and regulatory policies, nationalizing utilities and foreign investments, and pumping up the national debt. What followed was three decades of political instability, growing dependency, and economic stagnation. There was a brief period of privatization and booming foreign investment in the 1990s. But that was negated by the return of political leaders espousing Peronist principles who created a downward economic spiral by breaking contracts with foreign utility companies that had invested heavily in Argentina. Today, the country has lost its international credit standing and an estimated 10 percent of the population has moved abroad to escape the stifling taxes, regulation and inefficiency.”

Another comparison is shared by Archie Brown, in his book The Gorbachev Factor. He writes: "The changes in what used to be the Soviet Union have been so great that one forgets how modest were the expectations when Mikhail Gorbachev took over as top Soviet leader in March 1985. Neither Soviet citizens nor foreign observers imagined the USSR was about to be transformed out of existence…No one figure represents the confusion that destroyed the Soviet Union better than Mikhail Gorbachev. It was a Western fantasy that the man named to be general secretary of the Communist Party would not be a devoted Communist…Whose fantasy is it that the man elected President of the greatest capitalist country in the world is not devoted to capitalism? The Soviet Union fell apart completely. And at the age of 74, on December 8, 1991, the Soviet Union died." Will History repeat itself in our nation?

The Pledge of allegiance suggests we are “one nation under God” and our coins and currency state “In God We Trust!” If this is true, and if this nation chooses to walk in obedience to the Lord, then Prosperity in all areas of Life and Economics will ensue. Some excerpts from Deuteronomy 28:1-12, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands…the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country…The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you…Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity…” This nation is standing on a precipice! Will we be wise and turn back, or obstinately pursue demonstrated failures of other nations? It’s not too late to change and to amend our ways! Will we have the courage to retrace our steps and return to the Lord? Or – will we become an example of failure to others? Consider these things with me!