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Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Obamas’ Unending Summer Vacation

Four lavish vacations in three months The Obamas’ Unending Summer Vacation A record-breaking 47.8 million Americans,http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2013/03/13/record-number-on-food-stamps-but.html are on food stamps, an increase of about 1.3 million from a year earlier. The official unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, a number that obscures the reality that millions of Americans who have given up looking for work aren’t counted, and that the labor force participation rate of 63.6 percent measured in December 2012, is the lowest in 32 years. The national debt is $16.7 trillion and growing. White House tours have been cancelled due to sequestration. And amidst it all, Barack Obama and his family have taken four lavish vacations in three months.http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/more-vacation-month-obamas-2013_711998.html Every president deserves time off. Yet the unabashed luxuriousness of the Obamas’ lifestyle reflects a genuine tone-deafness with regard to the pressing concerns of millions of Americans, as well as the president’s priorities. Even as he blamed sequestration for the decision to cancel White House tours that would have cost a total of $2 million for the rest of the year, it was revealed that the known cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation in Hawaii last year was at least $4 million. That vacation was also the fourth one taken in Hawaii in four years, three of which involved separate flights First Lady Michelle Obama took to get there ahead of her husband. This year’s separate flight, necessitated by the president’s trip back to Washington to complete the fiscal cliff deal before returning to Honolulu, cost taxpayers an additional $3.24, and ran the total tab for the 2012-13 trip to more than $7 million. The total for the four trips combined? More than $20 million. However, holiday vacations to Hawaii hardly scratch the surface. These vacations were also interspersed with trips to locales like Florida or Southern California. In addition, the president’s “mini-vacations” have raised eyebrows. His three-day golf outing at an exclusive club in Florida, where he was joined by Tiger Woods, occurred less than two weeks before the sequester kicked in—even as the White House Blog raised the specter of “harmful automatic cuts” that are “threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cutting vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.” Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) put that trip in perspective, noting that it cost American taxpayers “over a million dollars,” which was “enough money to save 341 federal workers from furlough.” The rest of the family was on vacation in Colorado at the time, meaning taxpayers are billed for yet another separate use of Air Force One, which costs approximately $180,000 an hour to use. This marks the fourth Colorado ski vacation in four years for the First Lady and and her daughters, Malia and Sasha. Judicial Watch confirmed that the cost of 2012 trip, including U.S. Secret Service costs, as well as accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen, totaled $48,950.38. Speaking of Malia and Sasha, Breitbart News reports they are currently on spring break in the Bahamas at the exclusive Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, a story neither the White House or Atlantis would confirm. At this time it is unclear how much this trip will cost taxpayers, but Judicial Watch confirmed that last years’ trip to Mexico by Malia, accompanied by 25 U.S. Secret Service Agents and as many as 12 of her friends, cost taxpayers $115,500.87. And then there is Martha’s Vineyard. Politico is reporting that the First Family will be going back there for the second time in three years, for the “traditional Vineyard vacation” the president was forced to skip last year when he was campaigning for reelection. In 2011, Obama and his family spent eleven days at a $50,000-per-week beachfront rental property. At the time US News & World Report noted that while the president is picking up the tab for the rental, the title of the article reminded Americans that there are far more expenses—borne by the taxpayer—associated with such a trip: “Obama’s Vineyard Vacation Will Cost Taxpayers Millions,” it stated. Former Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry dismissed critics of that vacation. “I think all this ‘Why is he taking a vacation?’ stuff is ginned up by the media,” he said. “I don’t think any American will fault him for getting away, especially if he comes back with some fresh ideas on how to create jobs.” Four days ago, Planet Money reporter Chana Joffe-Walt illuminated the Obama administration’s “success” in that regard. “Since the economy began its slow, slow recovery in late 2009, we’ve been averaging about 150,000 jobs created per month,” he said during a Public Radio International (PRI) interview. “In that same period every month, almost 250,000 people have been applying for disability.” Again, no one is denying that vacations are a necessary component of the First Family’s life. Yet it is a bit more than ironic that the same media who roundly criticized former president George W. Bush for what amounted to a series of working vacations at his own ranch in Crawford, Texas, is conspicuously uninterested in the lavish nature of the current president’s sojourns. That silence becomes even more curious when, unlike his predecessor, Obama has constantly railed about the need for “shared sacrifice,” the “deeply destructive” nature of the sequester, and in one of the more recent of many his many class warfare rants, bashed Republicans for favoring “jet owners over teacher jobs”—even as he and his family have often doubled down on the use of Air Force One to arrive in the same place at different times. In fact, the only thing that has seemingly upset the media about Obama’s excess was their lack of access during his get together with Tiger Woods. Ed Henry head of the White House Correspondents Association was particularly incensed. “We’re not interested in violating the president’s privacy. He’s entitled to vacations like everyone else. All we’re asking for is a brief exception, quick access, a quick photo-op on the 18th green,” Henry complained. “It’s not about golf—it’s about transparency and access in a broader sense.” That would be the same media that both criticized Bush for golfing, and ridiculed him when he gave it up because he thought it sent the wrong message to families grieving over soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. When a member of the White House press corps recently brought up a question about the cost of the president’s outing with Woods, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was clearly agitated. “John, you’re trivializing an impact here,” Carney said, before getting back to the administration’s talking points about the sequester and its devastating effects on ordinary Americans. Yet it is precisely those talking points that are completely at odds with the First Family’s lifestyle. As many Americans continue to cope with the weakest recovery on record, it would be nice to think the president might demonstrate some sensitivity to their ongoing plight or at least make a minimal effort at limiting the stunning bill they have left the taxpayer with. With regard to that reality, there are plenty of places Obama and his family could enjoy both down-time and privacy that would cost far less taxpayer money at a time when the economy remains exceedingly fragile—and president is allegedly concerned about every dollar in reduced spending that has been engendered by the sequester. Instead, Americans are witnessing the kind of self-indulgence that puts an exclamation point on the “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy that afflicts so many progressives who express their “solidarity” with “ordinary Americans” even as that solidarity amounts to little more than lip service. When the Obamas enjoy yet another lavish vacation at Martha’s Vineyard this coming August—accompanied by a taxpayer-funded entourage that includes dozens of Secret Service agents, communications officials, aides, chauffeurs, U.S. Coast Guard personnel, a presidential helicopter, a jet, and armored SUVs to transport the First Family around the island—perhaps the president will take a moment or two to reflect on the reality that millions of Americans, due in large part to the Obama administration’s woeful economic policies, won’t be taking any vacations at all. Four lavish vacations in three months The Obamas’ Unending Summer Vacation A record-breaking 47.8 million Americans,http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2013/03/13/record-number-on-food-stamps-but.html are on food stamps, an increase of about 1.3 million from a year earlier. The official unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, a number that obscures the reality that millions of Americans who have given up looking for work aren’t counted, and that the labor force participation rate of 63.6 percent measured in December 2012, is the lowest in 32 years. The national debt is $16.7 trillion and growing. White House tours have been cancelled due to sequestration. And amidst it all, Barack Obama and his family have taken four lavish vacations in three months.http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/more-vacation-month-obamas-2013_711998.html Every president deserves time off. Yet the unabashed luxuriousness of the Obamas’ lifestyle reflects a genuine tone-deafness with regard to the pressing concerns of millions of Americans, as well as the president’s priorities. Even as he blamed sequestration for the decision to cancel White House tours that would have cost a total of $2 million for the rest of the year, it was revealed that the known cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation in Hawaii last year was at least $4 million. That vacation was also the fourth one taken in Hawaii in four years, three of which involved separate flights First Lady Michelle Obama took to get there ahead of her husband. This year’s separate flight, necessitated by the president’s trip back to Washington to complete the fiscal cliff deal before returning to Honolulu, cost taxpayers an additional $3.24, and ran the total tab for the 2012-13 trip to more than $7 million. The total for the four trips combined? More than $20 million. However, holiday vacations to Hawaii hardly scratch the surface. These vacations were also interspersed with trips to locales like Florida or Southern California. In addition, the president’s “mini-vacations” have raised eyebrows. His three-day golf outing at an exclusive club in Florida, where he was joined by Tiger Woods, occurred less than two weeks before the sequester kicked in—even as the White House Blog raised the specter of “harmful automatic cuts” that are “threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cutting vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.” Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) put that trip in perspective, noting that it cost American taxpayers “over a million dollars,” which was “enough money to save 341 federal workers from furlough.” The rest of the family was on vacation in Colorado at the time, meaning taxpayers are billed for yet another separate use of Air Force One, which costs approximately $180,000 an hour to use. This marks the fourth Colorado ski vacation in four years for the First Lady and and her daughters, Malia and Sasha. Judicial Watch confirmed that the cost of 2012 trip, including U.S. Secret Service costs, as well as accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominium and the Inn at Aspen, totaled $48,950.38. Speaking of Malia and Sasha, Breitbart News reports they are currently on spring break in the Bahamas at the exclusive Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, a story neither the White House or Atlantis would confirm. At this time it is unclear how much this trip will cost taxpayers, but Judicial Watch confirmed that last years’ trip to Mexico by Malia, accompanied by 25 U.S. Secret Service Agents and as many as 12 of her friends, cost taxpayers $115,500.87. And then there is Martha’s Vineyard. Politico is reporting that the First Family will be going back there for the second time in three years, for the “traditional Vineyard vacation” the president was forced to skip last year when he was campaigning for reelection. In 2011, Obama and his family spent eleven days at a $50,000-per-week beachfront rental property. At the time US News & World Report noted that while the president is picking up the tab for the rental, the title of the article reminded Americans that there are far more expenses—borne by the taxpayer—associated with such a trip: “Obama’s Vineyard Vacation Will Cost Taxpayers Millions,” it stated. Former Clinton spokesman Mike McCurry dismissed critics of that vacation. “I think all this ‘Why is he taking a vacation?’ stuff is ginned up by the media,” he said. “I don’t think any American will fault him for getting away, especially if he comes back with some fresh ideas on how to create jobs.” Four days ago, Planet Money reporter Chana Joffe-Walt illuminated the Obama administration’s “success” in that regard. “Since the economy began its slow, slow recovery in late 2009, we’ve been averaging about 150,000 jobs created per month,” he said during a Public Radio International (PRI) interview. “In that same period every month, almost 250,000 people have been applying for disability.” Again, no one is denying that vacations are a necessary component of the First Family’s life. Yet it is a bit more than ironic that the same media who roundly criticized former president George W. Bush for what amounted to a series of working vacations at his own ranch in Crawford, Texas, is conspicuously uninterested in the lavish nature of the current president’s sojourns. That silence becomes even more curious when, unlike his predecessor, Obama has constantly railed about the need for “shared sacrifice,” the “deeply destructive” nature of the sequester, and in one of the more recent of many his many class warfare rants, bashed Republicans for favoring “jet owners over teacher jobs”—even as he and his family have often doubled down on the use of Air Force One to arrive in the same place at different times. In fact, the only thing that has seemingly upset the media about Obama’s excess was their lack of access during his get together with Tiger Woods. Ed Henry head of the White House Correspondents Association was particularly incensed. “We’re not interested in violating the president’s privacy. He’s entitled to vacations like everyone else. All we’re asking for is a brief exception, quick access, a quick photo-op on the 18th green,” Henry complained. “It’s not about golf—it’s about transparency and access in a broader sense.” That would be the same media that both criticized Bush for golfing, and ridiculed him when he gave it up because he thought it sent the wrong message to families grieving over soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. When a member of the White House press corps recently brought up a question about the cost of the president’s outing with Woods, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was clearly agitated. “John, you’re trivializing an impact here,” Carney said, before getting back to the administration’s talking points about the sequester and its devastating effects on ordinary Americans. Yet it is precisely those talking points that are completely at odds with the First Family’s lifestyle. As many Americans continue to cope with the weakest recovery on record, it would be nice to think the president might demonstrate some sensitivity to their ongoing plight or at least make a minimal effort at limiting the stunning bill they have left the taxpayer with. With regard to that reality, there are plenty of places Obama and his family could enjoy both down-time and privacy that would cost far less taxpayer money at a time when the economy remains exceedingly fragile—and president is allegedly concerned about every dollar in reduced spending that has been engendered by the sequester. Instead, Americans are witnessing the kind of self-indulgence that puts an exclamation point on the “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy that afflicts so many progressives who express their “solidarity” with “ordinary Americans” even as that solidarity amounts to little more than lip service. When the Obamas enjoy yet another lavish vacation at Martha’s Vineyard this coming August—accompanied by a taxpayer-funded entourage that includes dozens of Secret Service agents, communications officials, aides, chauffeurs, U.S. Coast Guard personnel, a presidential helicopter, a jet, and armored SUVs to transport the First Family around the island—perhaps the president will take a moment or two to reflect on the reality that millions of Americans, due in large part to the Obama administration’s woeful economic policies, won’t be taking any vacations at all.

UN Arms Trade Treaty

Iran and North Korea just blocked consensus adoption of the arms trade treaty UN Arms Trade Treaty On The Verge Of Adoption Update From the UN at New York City: Iran and North Korea just blocked consensus adoption of the arms trade treaty. Syria also objected but did not raise its flag to formally block consensus. The meeting was suspended pending informal consultations They are still conferring but the most likely outcome in the absence of full consensus today is referral to the General Assembly for a vote next week on the draft treaty which should require no more than a two thirds vote. I would predict that one way or the other this folly is going to be adopted within a week for signature and ratification by the member states. The President of the United Nations’ Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty plans this afternoon to proceed to take final action by consensus on the adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. While a few issues remain to be sorted out, it is expected to pass with overwhelming support of the member states including most likely the United States. The treaty regulates international trade in seven categories of conventional weapons listed in Article 2(1), which includes small arms and light weapons - for example, pistols and rifles. The international trade in these arms that is subject to global regulation involves all manner of “transfers,” which are defined loosely as comprising “export, import, transit, trans-shipment and brokering.” The treaty has a specific article dealing with the regulation of “exports” of ammunition/munitions. Gun control non-governmental organizations and some member states pushed unsuccessfully for regulating all types of “transfers” of ammunition on the same scale as the conventional arms in which the ammunition would be used. But the inclusion of ammunition in the treaty at all provides a foot in the door for more expansive regulation to come. Notably, armed drones are not specifically covered at all in the treaty. In an attempt to answer those critics concerned about the potential overreach of the treaty into matters reserved for the internal decisions of each member state, the treaty reaffirms “the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system.” (Emphasis added) However, the use of the word “exclusively” implies that the treaty would apply to the global regulation of the covered conventional arms that could possibly end up beyond a member state’s borders at some point in the future. Moreover, the proponents of the treaty have not explained why another clause in the treaty limits the recognition of the individual right of ownership to “legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities,” while excluding any recognition of other traditional individual uses such as self-defense. The only mention in the treaty text of an “inherent right” to self-defense applies to the member states themselves either in their separate state or collective capacities. The treaty requires each treaty party state to establish “a national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty” and to “provide its national control list to the Secretariat, which shall make it available to other States Parties.” Presumably, the national control list is aimed at reporting on “transfers” of covered arms in international trade. However, the problem is that “transfers” is defined very broadly in the treaty to include the “transit, trans-shipment and brokering” of arms within the territory of a member state, and applies to arms (including guns) that may be “diverted.” As a consequence, the national control list provision can be interpreted and applied broadly as a pretext for national registration of all guns in private hands, since they may possibly be “diverted” into international trade at some point. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s budget bill to prevent the United States from entering into the deeply flawed UN Arms Trade Treaty. The amendment passed 53-46. Whether or not this amendment, or something like it in a separate bill, makes it through Congress, expect Obama to adopt the key provisions of the treaty in one of his Constitution-busting executive orders as part of his aggressive gun control agenda. Iran and North Korea just blocked consensus adoption of the arms trade treaty UN Arms Trade Treaty On The Verge Of Adoption Update From the UN at New York City: Iran and North Korea just blocked consensus adoption of the arms trade treaty. Syria also objected but did not raise its flag to formally block consensus. The meeting was suspended pending informal consultations They are still conferring but the most likely outcome in the absence of full consensus today is referral to the General Assembly for a vote next week on the draft treaty which should require no more than a two thirds vote. I would predict that one way or the other this folly is going to be adopted within a week for signature and ratification by the member states. The President of the United Nations’ Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty plans this afternoon to proceed to take final action by consensus on the adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. While a few issues remain to be sorted out, it is expected to pass with overwhelming support of the member states including most likely the United States. The treaty regulates international trade in seven categories of conventional weapons listed in Article 2(1), which includes small arms and light weapons - for example, pistols and rifles. The international trade in these arms that is subject to global regulation involves all manner of “transfers,” which are defined loosely as comprising “export, import, transit, trans-shipment and brokering.” The treaty has a specific article dealing with the regulation of “exports” of ammunition/munitions. Gun control non-governmental organizations and some member states pushed unsuccessfully for regulating all types of “transfers” of ammunition on the same scale as the conventional arms in which the ammunition would be used. But the inclusion of ammunition in the treaty at all provides a foot in the door for more expansive regulation to come. Notably, armed drones are not specifically covered at all in the treaty. In an attempt to answer those critics concerned about the potential overreach of the treaty into matters reserved for the internal decisions of each member state, the treaty reaffirms “the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system.” (Emphasis added) However, the use of the word “exclusively” implies that the treaty would apply to the global regulation of the covered conventional arms that could possibly end up beyond a member state’s borders at some point in the future. Moreover, the proponents of the treaty have not explained why another clause in the treaty limits the recognition of the individual right of ownership to “legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities,” while excluding any recognition of other traditional individual uses such as self-defense. The only mention in the treaty text of an “inherent right” to self-defense applies to the member states themselves either in their separate state or collective capacities. The treaty requires each treaty party state to establish “a national control list, in order to implement the provisions of this Treaty” and to “provide its national control list to the Secretariat, which shall make it available to other States Parties.” Presumably, the national control list is aimed at reporting on “transfers” of covered arms in international trade. However, the problem is that “transfers” is defined very broadly in the treaty to include the “transit, trans-shipment and brokering” of arms within the territory of a member state, and applies to arms (including guns) that may be “diverted.” As a consequence, the national control list provision can be interpreted and applied broadly as a pretext for national registration of all guns in private hands, since they may possibly be “diverted” into international trade at some point. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s budget bill to prevent the United States from entering into the deeply flawed UN Arms Trade Treaty. The amendment passed 53-46. Whether or not this amendment, or something like it in a separate bill, makes it through Congress, expect Obama to adopt the key provisions of the treaty in one of his Constitution-busting executive orders as part of his aggressive gun control agenda.

Global environmentalism through U. N. Agenda 21

Global environmentalism through U. N. Agenda 21 “We’ve Become Rich Plundering the Planet” I do not watch TV much anymore. There is too much propaganda and re-engineered information to advance the progressive agenda. Historical facts have fallen victim to political correctness and the war on truth is waged on all fronts by progressive liberals from academia, the main stream media, and Hollywood. Channel surfing one day, I found a “documentary” produced in 2011 that captured my attention. The breathtaking photography, the music, the powerful narrative, and the clever editing would have made a convert out of me, had I been a low-information American who believed everything the MSM said, factoids repeated at nauseam and coated with a veneer of veracity. When Hollywood hypocritical elites are the messengers and the pop culture icons speak, millions follow what they say with blind devotion and adoration devoid of rational thought. The theme was “addiction to money” but the subtle topic was global environmentalism through U. N. Agenda 21. Economist and author David McWilliams presented the scenario of reengineering a sustainable economy and why it was necessary. The film starts in Copan, Honduras, panning over the remains of the Mayan civilization, a city of 27,000 people, a thriving civilization for many years. “It overstretched,” said the narrator, implying that the west will suffer the same fate unless globalists intervene and re-engineer it on the path to sustainability. The Australian film criticizes the United States in particular, the thorn in the side of the globalists. The Mayans fatal flaw that doomed them was “cutting down the forest.” It would have been honest to say that the Mayans did not know forest management, ran out of an important resource at the time, “sowing the seeds of their own destruction.” Professor Paul Ehrlich, ecologist and climatologist from Stanford, is quoted throughout the film, exposing what a former VP termed, the “inconvenient truth.” Here are some examples: •“Eastern Islanders did the same thing, cut down all the trees and wound up eating each other” •“For the first time with globalization, we are facing collapse of everything” •“We are done with fossil fuels, we are done with automobiles, most Americans may have bought their last car” •“If we continue on the long range energy course that we are on, sooner or later we will melt the polar ice caps and we will be swimming around, at least in the coastal areas” (Sydney, 1971) •“What do we do about the current economic problem so that it does not lead to a social collapse?” •“How do we move to a sustainable civilization?” If one explores other statements by Paul Ehrlich, it is evident what he considers social collapse, sustainable civilization, and who decides the definition. For example, “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” Another example, “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.” Could we suffer the Mayans fate, since “the system that sustained us is in ruins?” The camera pans cleverly over pumping oil wells, assembly line cars in Detroit, and Wall Street. He blames the principal “architect” Alan Greenspan, for creating “an economic philosophy that has completely failed.” Never mind that this failed system has created wealth beyond anybody’s dreams, millionaires, billionaires, and has improved the standard of living of billions around the globe. Yet the insatiable greed of six billion people who want to live better is going to destroy the planet. “The environment is under unsustainable assault.” The financial crisis caused the wealthy endowments of many Ivy League schools to lose billions of dollars. “They were not wise, they were in fact, quite stupid,” said Robert Reich. Oxford lost more than 100 million pounds. Economists, bankers, regulators were wrong and “did not see this coming.” This is not true, most knew this was coming. The technocrats of EU have moved to salvage their union by allowing the largest Cypriot bank to collapse and by confiscating 40 percent of everyone’s deposits exceeding 100,000 euros. What rights do socialist technocrats (bent on re-engineering the economies of 27 nations) have to the depositors’ money in order to salvage the poorly run socialist Cypriot economy is a very good question. “The future is going to look very different from the past.” True, but the question is, will the future be “fundamentally” altered by globalists’ re-engineering intervention, or will it be a future resulting from normal change. The future will be violent and angry when jobs disappear. Robert Reich said, “The blame game can be very attractive when people are hurting.” Did we not lose millions of jobs in the U.S. in the last four years and none are being created in the foreseeable future except “green jobs?” I did not see any anger and hurt, just 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. The price of energy has gone through the roof, especially oil, as China and India are buying more cars. Did the current administration not stop the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought cheaper oil from the oil sands in Canada? Did they not put a moratorium on domestic drilling in the Gulf of Mexico while allowing Brazil and other foreign countries to drill? Did the EPA not reject the building of new refineries and nuclear plants in the U.S.? We are going to fight in the future over food and water since it reached its limits. “The global economy cannot grow in this model.” We have to adopt the environmentalists’ model of sustainability to save ourselves. We are running out of everything because there are too many people on the planet, “60 million more each year,” McWilliams said. In Malthusian fashion, the narrator warns that the most “terrifying’ of all future prospects is a “climate that is changing so rapidly that we have no time to adapt to it because we are pressing against the limits of the planet to sustain our civilization.” Climate and weather are two different things, not interchangeable, but low information viewers are easily persuaded. Professor Robert Solow describes how “we did not run the society very well” in the 20th century and thus we must rethink how we do things – “that is the advantage of a crisis that we do not want to waste.” Where did we hear that before, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste? Is it not the modus operandi of the current administration? “A crisis gives us the reason to change everything, we cannot continue as before.” The common denominator of all our problems is energy, cheap energy that fuels our economy. We burn too much oil, a giant supertanker every twenty minutes. “We have to redesign our economy around people, not around automobiles,” said Ehrlich. Who gave him the mandate to redesign the economy and why does it need to change to suit his opinions? Apparently, we have reached the point of no return, oil supplies are going to decline and, according to a BP oil executive and activist, we are going to run out of oil in 30-40 years at the current levels of oil use. China and India will have more cars than America and oil is going to be very expensive. How can a low-knowledge person argue with such a definitive and scary statement? Yet huge sources of oil have been discovered around the globe. We are such “resource junkies,” that we are craving one last hit from an ever more scarce resource that has been polluting our environment and destroying Mother Earth. Electric cars will “save us from an addiction to oil, for which we are mortgaging all of our assets.” But changing to electric cars is not enough, says the documentary. We have to re-engineer agriculture as well, the next item on the environmentalist agenda because it is not sustainable. We use too much fuel, too much fertilizer, “we are effectively eating fossil fuels.” We consume more grain than it is produced, reducing stockpiles of rice, wheat, and corn by 40 percent since 2002. The documentary fails to describe how droughts and the use of grain as biofuels have reduced the supply of food in poor countries. Riots took place as a result of doubling of rice and corn prices. Environmentalists are responsible for pushing the use of grains as biofuels. “We have a world in which you have a relatively few incredibly rich people and huge numbers of poor people, getting more hungry and desperate and we must do something about that,” says Ehrlich. Rich people again are at fault that starvation resulted from an ill-designed biofuel energy policy by the very groups who claim that fossil fuels are not sustainable. “We’ve spent billions bailing out banks and car companies, but peanuts securing food supplies,” laments McWilliams. Do we not give food aid to third world countries all the time? As China loses more land to urban development, food prices will go “through the roof.” If China changes its tastes from rice to meat, the price of meat would double, the narrator predicts. Meat is also not sustainable because animals pollute the environment and use too much water. China is building 3 gorge dam projects, rivers around the world are running dry, and by “2025 three billion people will suffer water shortages.” Which is it, are our shores going to flood and water will cover islands around the globe due to polar ice caps and glaciers melting, or are we going to have a severe manufactured water shortage? The world’s finite resources will cause unstoppable migration, wars over land, food, and water. Parading a throng of low information citizens, the common cause identified for all the ills enumerated is GREED, the greed of the rich who stole everything from the rest of us. We have to fundamentally change. Capitalism is bad, unregulated markets are bad, governments are financially and morally bankrupt and not trustworthy. FDR was the only president who had the courage to confront the banking oligarchy. American taxpayers saved the banks from the “huge losses they made.” Actually, Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 had a lot of to do with the worthless mortgages – it changed the dynamics of lending and borrowing. Realtors were eager to sell to people who did not qualify for loans, buyers were eager to buy what they could not afford but felt entitled to, and banks bundled good loans with bad loans to reduce losses and then sold them to unsuspecting investors. There are 41,000 lobbyists in Washington who force the agenda of the U.S. government. Nothing happens in D.C. without lobbyists. “The threat to democracy by business and financial lobbyists is profound,” said Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary. I believe that out of control spending (generational theft), resulting in the increase of the national debt by $6 trillion in four years, is the biggest threat to our national security. The documentary suggests that the resolution of problems, the ageing population, migration issues, global warming, the coming wars over oil, water, and food rests with the merging of the “Mean and the Green,” forcing Wall Street to support the environmentalist cause (global warming) and to finance the “green economy.” There is a potential $10 trillion electric car industry, with China’s BYD as the leader and the largest car maker in the world by 2025. How do they propose to generate electricity for these cars since wind and solar power are not enough? A different type of nuclear power plant will be the solution if the Chinese are successful. Our “addiction to money” and a better standard of living will put the planet in peril unless we fundamentally change. Professor Ehrlich has been warning us since 1971 and we have not been paying significant attention. Unfortunately, globalists will re-engineer us on the path to sustainability. It may require the reduction in global population to a manageable size of 1 billion because the existence of the other 5 billion is unsustainable and inconvenient to the resource environmentalist planners. I have described in my book, “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” all the ways and venues by which globalists will fundamentally change every facet of our lives but the question remains, will the low information citizens pay attention and learn quickly that everything they like to do and cherish is going to be labeled unsustainable? Global environmentalism through U. N. Agenda 21 “We’ve Become Rich Plundering the Planet” I do not watch TV much anymore. There is too much propaganda and re-engineered information to advance the progressive agenda. Historical facts have fallen victim to political correctness and the war on truth is waged on all fronts by progressive liberals from academia, the main stream media, and Hollywood. Channel surfing one day, I found a “documentary” produced in 2011 that captured my attention. The breathtaking photography, the music, the powerful narrative, and the clever editing would have made a convert out of me, had I been a low-information American who believed everything the MSM said, factoids repeated at nauseam and coated with a veneer of veracity. When Hollywood hypocritical elites are the messengers and the pop culture icons speak, millions follow what they say with blind devotion and adoration devoid of rational thought. The theme was “addiction to money” but the subtle topic was global environmentalism through U. N. Agenda 21. Economist and author David McWilliams presented the scenario of reengineering a sustainable economy and why it was necessary. The film starts in Copan, Honduras, panning over the remains of the Mayan civilization, a city of 27,000 people, a thriving civilization for many years. “It overstretched,” said the narrator, implying that the west will suffer the same fate unless globalists intervene and re-engineer it on the path to sustainability. The Australian film criticizes the United States in particular, the thorn in the side of the globalists. The Mayans fatal flaw that doomed them was “cutting down the forest.” It would have been honest to say that the Mayans did not know forest management, ran out of an important resource at the time, “sowing the seeds of their own destruction.” Professor Paul Ehrlich, ecologist and climatologist from Stanford, is quoted throughout the film, exposing what a former VP termed, the “inconvenient truth.” Here are some examples: •“Eastern Islanders did the same thing, cut down all the trees and wound up eating each other” •“For the first time with globalization, we are facing collapse of everything” •“We are done with fossil fuels, we are done with automobiles, most Americans may have bought their last car” •“If we continue on the long range energy course that we are on, sooner or later we will melt the polar ice caps and we will be swimming around, at least in the coastal areas” (Sydney, 1971) •“What do we do about the current economic problem so that it does not lead to a social collapse?” •“How do we move to a sustainable civilization?” If one explores other statements by Paul Ehrlich, it is evident what he considers social collapse, sustainable civilization, and who decides the definition. For example, “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” Another example, “A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.” Could we suffer the Mayans fate, since “the system that sustained us is in ruins?” The camera pans cleverly over pumping oil wells, assembly line cars in Detroit, and Wall Street. He blames the principal “architect” Alan Greenspan, for creating “an economic philosophy that has completely failed.” Never mind that this failed system has created wealth beyond anybody’s dreams, millionaires, billionaires, and has improved the standard of living of billions around the globe. Yet the insatiable greed of six billion people who want to live better is going to destroy the planet. “The environment is under unsustainable assault.” The financial crisis caused the wealthy endowments of many Ivy League schools to lose billions of dollars. “They were not wise, they were in fact, quite stupid,” said Robert Reich. Oxford lost more than 100 million pounds. Economists, bankers, regulators were wrong and “did not see this coming.” This is not true, most knew this was coming. The technocrats of EU have moved to salvage their union by allowing the largest Cypriot bank to collapse and by confiscating 40 percent of everyone’s deposits exceeding 100,000 euros. What rights do socialist technocrats (bent on re-engineering the economies of 27 nations) have to the depositors’ money in order to salvage the poorly run socialist Cypriot economy is a very good question. “The future is going to look very different from the past.” True, but the question is, will the future be “fundamentally” altered by globalists’ re-engineering intervention, or will it be a future resulting from normal change. The future will be violent and angry when jobs disappear. Robert Reich said, “The blame game can be very attractive when people are hurting.” Did we not lose millions of jobs in the U.S. in the last four years and none are being created in the foreseeable future except “green jobs?” I did not see any anger and hurt, just 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. The price of energy has gone through the roof, especially oil, as China and India are buying more cars. Did the current administration not stop the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought cheaper oil from the oil sands in Canada? Did they not put a moratorium on domestic drilling in the Gulf of Mexico while allowing Brazil and other foreign countries to drill? Did the EPA not reject the building of new refineries and nuclear plants in the U.S.? We are going to fight in the future over food and water since it reached its limits. “The global economy cannot grow in this model.” We have to adopt the environmentalists’ model of sustainability to save ourselves. We are running out of everything because there are too many people on the planet, “60 million more each year,” McWilliams said. In Malthusian fashion, the narrator warns that the most “terrifying’ of all future prospects is a “climate that is changing so rapidly that we have no time to adapt to it because we are pressing against the limits of the planet to sustain our civilization.” Climate and weather are two different things, not interchangeable, but low information viewers are easily persuaded. Professor Robert Solow describes how “we did not run the society very well” in the 20th century and thus we must rethink how we do things – “that is the advantage of a crisis that we do not want to waste.” Where did we hear that before, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste? Is it not the modus operandi of the current administration? “A crisis gives us the reason to change everything, we cannot continue as before.” The common denominator of all our problems is energy, cheap energy that fuels our economy. We burn too much oil, a giant supertanker every twenty minutes. “We have to redesign our economy around people, not around automobiles,” said Ehrlich. Who gave him the mandate to redesign the economy and why does it need to change to suit his opinions? Apparently, we have reached the point of no return, oil supplies are going to decline and, according to a BP oil executive and activist, we are going to run out of oil in 30-40 years at the current levels of oil use. China and India will have more cars than America and oil is going to be very expensive. How can a low-knowledge person argue with such a definitive and scary statement? Yet huge sources of oil have been discovered around the globe. We are such “resource junkies,” that we are craving one last hit from an ever more scarce resource that has been polluting our environment and destroying Mother Earth. Electric cars will “save us from an addiction to oil, for which we are mortgaging all of our assets.” But changing to electric cars is not enough, says the documentary. We have to re-engineer agriculture as well, the next item on the environmentalist agenda because it is not sustainable. We use too much fuel, too much fertilizer, “we are effectively eating fossil fuels.” We consume more grain than it is produced, reducing stockpiles of rice, wheat, and corn by 40 percent since 2002. The documentary fails to describe how droughts and the use of grain as biofuels have reduced the supply of food in poor countries. Riots took place as a result of doubling of rice and corn prices. Environmentalists are responsible for pushing the use of grains as biofuels. “We have a world in which you have a relatively few incredibly rich people and huge numbers of poor people, getting more hungry and desperate and we must do something about that,” says Ehrlich. Rich people again are at fault that starvation resulted from an ill-designed biofuel energy policy by the very groups who claim that fossil fuels are not sustainable. “We’ve spent billions bailing out banks and car companies, but peanuts securing food supplies,” laments McWilliams. Do we not give food aid to third world countries all the time? As China loses more land to urban development, food prices will go “through the roof.” If China changes its tastes from rice to meat, the price of meat would double, the narrator predicts. Meat is also not sustainable because animals pollute the environment and use too much water. China is building 3 gorge dam projects, rivers around the world are running dry, and by “2025 three billion people will suffer water shortages.” Which is it, are our shores going to flood and water will cover islands around the globe due to polar ice caps and glaciers melting, or are we going to have a severe manufactured water shortage? The world’s finite resources will cause unstoppable migration, wars over land, food, and water. Parading a throng of low information citizens, the common cause identified for all the ills enumerated is GREED, the greed of the rich who stole everything from the rest of us. We have to fundamentally change. Capitalism is bad, unregulated markets are bad, governments are financially and morally bankrupt and not trustworthy. FDR was the only president who had the courage to confront the banking oligarchy. American taxpayers saved the banks from the “huge losses they made.” Actually, Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 had a lot of to do with the worthless mortgages – it changed the dynamics of lending and borrowing. Realtors were eager to sell to people who did not qualify for loans, buyers were eager to buy what they could not afford but felt entitled to, and banks bundled good loans with bad loans to reduce losses and then sold them to unsuspecting investors. There are 41,000 lobbyists in Washington who force the agenda of the U.S. government. Nothing happens in D.C. without lobbyists. “The threat to democracy by business and financial lobbyists is profound,” said Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary. I believe that out of control spending (generational theft), resulting in the increase of the national debt by $6 trillion in four years, is the biggest threat to our national security. The documentary suggests that the resolution of problems, the ageing population, migration issues, global warming, the coming wars over oil, water, and food rests with the merging of the “Mean and the Green,” forcing Wall Street to support the environmentalist cause (global warming) and to finance the “green economy.” There is a potential $10 trillion electric car industry, with China’s BYD as the leader and the largest car maker in the world by 2025. How do they propose to generate electricity for these cars since wind and solar power are not enough? A different type of nuclear power plant will be the solution if the Chinese are successful. Our “addiction to money” and a better standard of living will put the planet in peril unless we fundamentally change. Professor Ehrlich has been warning us since 1971 and we have not been paying significant attention. Unfortunately, globalists will re-engineer us on the path to sustainability. It may require the reduction in global population to a manageable size of 1 billion because the existence of the other 5 billion is unsustainable and inconvenient to the resource environmentalist planners. I have described in my book, “U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy,” all the ways and venues by which globalists will fundamentally change every facet of our lives but the question remains, will the low information citizens pay attention and learn quickly that everything they like to do and cherish is going to be labeled unsustainable?

Impeaching Supreme Court Justices

It is time “We the People of the United States” hold our elected and appointed officials to this rigorous standard Impeaching Supreme Court Justices Most Americans incorrectly believe Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and therefore somehow immune from public accountability, but this understanding is contrary to the Constitution and detrimental to our Republic. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.” Accordingly, it is for a term of good behavior our federal judges hold their office, not life, and they can be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors, as the founders defined them, includes attempts to subvert the Constitution through misinterpretation or other methods. George Mason explained that impeachment is for “attempts to subvert the Constitution,” and Elbridge Jerry considered “mal-administration” as grounds for impeachment. Justice Joseph Story listed, among other reasons for impeachment, “unconstitutional opinions” and “attempts to subvert the fundamental law and introduce arbitrary power.” Alexander Hamilton and Justice Story defined “misdemeanor” as “mal-conduct” and Justices James Wilson and Story described “misdemeanors” as “non-statutory”, which means they are offenses for which no legal code exists. From all these definitions and descriptions, it is clear the Constitutional framers intended misdemeanors to cover acts of political misbehavior, because the framers wanted to ensure every elected and appointed official at the national level is accountable to the people. A common legal maxim maintains all contracts are to be construed according to the meaning of the parties at the time of making them. To interpret any contract contrary to its originally understood meaning is deceitful, subversive and criminal. When the State ratifying committees and the private citizens of each State debated ratifying the Constitution, they did so under a commonly understood meaning to its words and clauses. Eventually, all thirteen original States ratified the Constitution and joined in union not only for their generation, but on behalf of all future generations. Federal judges who interpret the Constitution in a manner that distorts this original intended meaning are altering the Constitution by circumventing the amendment process in Article V, which is a breach of our national contract. Any time the Constitution is changed, it is to the advantage of one group of people and to the detriment of another, because any change would either add another requirement to, or take away liberty from some group in society. If this is done without three fourths of the States agreeing to a change it is a despotic “encroachment and oppression” upon those it disadvantages, which is an illegal act deserving of punishment. This criminal behavior is not just limited to purposeful misinterpretation of the Constitution, but extends, as pointed out by Justice Story, to referencing a different source of law other than what our founders used in establishing the Constitution and in defining boundaries to rights that are contrary to the understanding of that law. Common law, as defined by William Blackstone, was not only the foundation of the American legal system, it was the Rosetta stone by which every American during the founding era understood law. As such, every word and clause in the Constitution, unless otherwise stated in the document, must be interpreted according to this pre-constitutional common law. It is a non-statutory criminal act for those in public office, who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, to reference another source of law or limit or extend rights based on other principles than pre-constitutional common law. For example, when considering the subject of torture, Justice Ginsburg referenced foreign law in her opinion and for this reason alone, she should no longer be on the bench. To some, breaking “the supreme Law of the Land” may seem like an irrelevant procedural offense, especially if one likes the change. The danger in this is that it sets a bad precedent and when a change is made that people do not like, they have very little to no legal recourse to correct it. If we, as a nation allow elected and appointed officials to violate the Constitution through its misinterpretation then every law in our nation will be viewed in the same way and law will be used against the people instead of for them. This is why the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, must be held to a rigorous standard of Constitutional interpretation based on original intent. Accordingly, if Supreme Court Justices and Federal judges cannot logically support their opinions by connecting them to constitutional original intent or pre-constitutional common law and refuse to change them, then they need to be impeached and found guilty. Implementing such a standard may not be easy, but it is not impossible. It begins with American citizens understanding original intent, voting for public officers based on this criterion, and demanding Federal supreme and inferior court judges are impeached if they unrepentantly cross this line in their opinions. Elected officials will usually do what the majority of their voting constituents demand, therefore if voters from a simple majority of congressional districts across the nation demand their Representative impeach Federal judges, the Representatives will. Additionally, if voters in enough States demand their Senators convict an impeached civil officer, the Senators also will. This would send a very loud and clear message to Federal judges to stop legislating from the bench and to uphold constitutional original intent. It is time “We the People of the United States” hold our elected and appointed officials to this rigorous standard. We must do this even when we individually do not like the outcome an original intent interpretation provides. Doing anything else will undermine our Republic and either turn us into a democracy, in which we are subjected to the tyranny of the majority, or it will allow the few to impose their will upon the rest, by which we will be subjected to the tyranny of the minority. It is time “We the People of the United States” hold our elected and appointed officials to this rigorous standard Impeaching Supreme Court Justices Most Americans incorrectly believe Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and therefore somehow immune from public accountability, but this understanding is contrary to the Constitution and detrimental to our Republic. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.” Accordingly, it is for a term of good behavior our federal judges hold their office, not life, and they can be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors, as the founders defined them, includes attempts to subvert the Constitution through misinterpretation or other methods. George Mason explained that impeachment is for “attempts to subvert the Constitution,” and Elbridge Jerry considered “mal-administration” as grounds for impeachment. Justice Joseph Story listed, among other reasons for impeachment, “unconstitutional opinions” and “attempts to subvert the fundamental law and introduce arbitrary power.” Alexander Hamilton and Justice Story defined “misdemeanor” as “mal-conduct” and Justices James Wilson and Story described “misdemeanors” as “non-statutory”, which means they are offenses for which no legal code exists. From all these definitions and descriptions, it is clear the Constitutional framers intended misdemeanors to cover acts of political misbehavior, because the framers wanted to ensure every elected and appointed official at the national level is accountable to the people. A common legal maxim maintains all contracts are to be construed according to the meaning of the parties at the time of making them. To interpret any contract contrary to its originally understood meaning is deceitful, subversive and criminal. When the State ratifying committees and the private citizens of each State debated ratifying the Constitution, they did so under a commonly understood meaning to its words and clauses. Eventually, all thirteen original States ratified the Constitution and joined in union not only for their generation, but on behalf of all future generations. Federal judges who interpret the Constitution in a manner that distorts this original intended meaning are altering the Constitution by circumventing the amendment process in Article V, which is a breach of our national contract. Any time the Constitution is changed, it is to the advantage of one group of people and to the detriment of another, because any change would either add another requirement to, or take away liberty from some group in society. If this is done without three fourths of the States agreeing to a change it is a despotic “encroachment and oppression” upon those it disadvantages, which is an illegal act deserving of punishment. This criminal behavior is not just limited to purposeful misinterpretation of the Constitution, but extends, as pointed out by Justice Story, to referencing a different source of law other than what our founders used in establishing the Constitution and in defining boundaries to rights that are contrary to the understanding of that law. Common law, as defined by William Blackstone, was not only the foundation of the American legal system, it was the Rosetta stone by which every American during the founding era understood law. As such, every word and clause in the Constitution, unless otherwise stated in the document, must be interpreted according to this pre-constitutional common law. It is a non-statutory criminal act for those in public office, who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, to reference another source of law or limit or extend rights based on other principles than pre-constitutional common law. For example, when considering the subject of torture, Justice Ginsburg referenced foreign law in her opinion and for this reason alone, she should no longer be on the bench. To some, breaking “the supreme Law of the Land” may seem like an irrelevant procedural offense, especially if one likes the change. The danger in this is that it sets a bad precedent and when a change is made that people do not like, they have very little to no legal recourse to correct it. If we, as a nation allow elected and appointed officials to violate the Constitution through its misinterpretation then every law in our nation will be viewed in the same way and law will be used against the people instead of for them. This is why the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, must be held to a rigorous standard of Constitutional interpretation based on original intent. Accordingly, if Supreme Court Justices and Federal judges cannot logically support their opinions by connecting them to constitutional original intent or pre-constitutional common law and refuse to change them, then they need to be impeached and found guilty. Implementing such a standard may not be easy, but it is not impossible. It begins with American citizens understanding original intent, voting for public officers based on this criterion, and demanding Federal supreme and inferior court judges are impeached if they unrepentantly cross this line in their opinions. Elected officials will usually do what the majority of their voting constituents demand, therefore if voters from a simple majority of congressional districts across the nation demand their Representative impeach Federal judges, the Representatives will. Additionally, if voters in enough States demand their Senators convict an impeached civil officer, the Senators also will. This would send a very loud and clear message to Federal judges to stop legislating from the bench and to uphold constitutional original intent. It is time “We the People of the United States” hold our elected and appointed officials to this rigorous standard. We must do this even when we individually do not like the outcome an original intent interpretation provides. Doing anything else will undermine our Republic and either turn us into a democracy, in which we are subjected to the tyranny of the majority, or it will allow the few to impose their will upon the rest, by which we will be subjected to the tyranny of the minority.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Destroy America

Australia is reeling from the cost to its economy and the higher energy costs its people are paying A Carbon Tax Would Destroy America If you want to know what a carbon tax on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would do to America you need only look at the destruction of industry and business in Australia, along with the soaring costs for energy use it imposes on anyone there. “The carbon tax is contributing to a record number of firms going to the wall with thousands of employees being laid off and companies forced to close factories that have stood for generations”, Steve Lewis and Phil Jacob reported in a March 18 issue of The Daily Telegraph, a leading Australian newspaper. “Soaring energy bills caused by the government’s climate change scheme have been called ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ by company executives and corporate rescue doctors who are trying to save ailing firms.” The passage of a carbon tax in America would have the exact same results and it remains a top priority for the White House and Democrats in Congress who see it as a bonanza in new funding for the government. As Paul Driessen says in a Townhall.com commentary, “More rational analysis reveals that dreams of growth are nothing more than dangerous tax revenue hallucinations. They would bring intense pain for no climate or economic gain.” Too many Americans still believe that CO2 is causing global warming, but CO2 plays no role in climate change and is barely 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. More to the point, there is no warming and hasn’t been for the last seventeen years as the Earth is in a natural cooling cycle that has prolonged the advent of spring with severe snow storms throughout the nation. There is no scientific justification for such a tax, but those advocating it don’t care about the science. They care about raising revenue for an ever-growing government to spend and waste. Under Government Control: A carbon tax Hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat, and do Driessen points out that “Hydrocarbons (coal, oil, and natural gas) provide over 83% of all the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat, and do. It would put the federal government in control of, not just one-sixth of the economy, as under Obamacare, but 100% of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally, less able to provide opportunities for our children.” The case for a carbon tax simply doesn’t exist, but there are powerful forces in Congress and the support of the White House to impose such a tax. The power of the environmental movement and its long history of lies about the climate, primarily the global warming hoax, cannot be dismissed or ignored. In Australia, “The Australian Securities & Investments Commission reports there were 10,632 company collapses for the 12 months to March 1—averaging 886 a month—with the number of firms being placed in administration more than 12 percent higher than during the global financial crisis.” It represents “a record high…led by widespread failures in manufacturing and construction, which accounted for almost one-fifth of collapses.” Greg Evans, the chief economic economist for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that “It defies logic to adopt a policy which even the Treasury acknowledges will lower our standards of living and be harmful to national productivity.” Adding to Australia’s struggling companies, the carbon tax and one on mining were showing up as “sovereign issues” in discussions with foreign investors.” Who would want to invest in Australia if these two taxes were destroying the economic strength of the nation? Politics in Australia is no less a battleground than here in America. Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who introduced the carbon tax, just beat back a bid by her Labor Party’s dissidents to reinstall former leader Kevin Rudd who lost to her in 2010 and 2012. Much of the opposition to her comes from the harm being inflicted by the carbon and mining taxes. Marlo Lewis is a senior fellow in energy and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. During the 2012 campaign, he described a carbon tax as “political poison for the Republican Party.” Mitt Romney opposed it, but ‘the big attraction of carbon taxes these days is not as a global warming policy but as a revenue enhancer. In both parties, deficit hawks and big spenders (often the same individuals) are flailing for ways to boost federal revenue.” That is precisely the problem afflicting a nation whose Congress and President could not find a reason to cut anything from the federal budget. The result was the “sequestration” that imposed cuts neither party could agree upon. In a Fox News article, “Here comes Team Obama’s carbon tax”. Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment and author of “Democracy Denied” reported that “The Treasury Department’s Office of Environment and Energy has finally begun to turn over documents about its preparations for a carbon tax in response to transparency warrior Chris Horner’s Freedom of Information Act request. The documents provide solid evidence that the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have every intention of implementing a carbon tax if we fail to stop them.” President Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is on record wanting to double or triple the cost of energy, much as his predecessor wanted. A carbon tax, if enacted, would totally undermine a nation that has a debt climbing toward $17 trillion and millions unemployed in an economy that is struggling to inch its way out of the depths of the financial crisis. If you wanted to destroy America, you could do it with a carbon tax. Australia is reeling from the cost to its economy and the higher energy costs its people are paying. We don’t want that here. Australia is reeling from the cost to its economy and the higher energy costs its people are paying A Carbon Tax Would Destroy America If you want to know what a carbon tax on emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would do to America you need only look at the destruction of industry and business in Australia, along with the soaring costs for energy use it imposes on anyone there. “The carbon tax is contributing to a record number of firms going to the wall with thousands of employees being laid off and companies forced to close factories that have stood for generations”, Steve Lewis and Phil Jacob reported in a March 18 issue of The Daily Telegraph, a leading Australian newspaper. “Soaring energy bills caused by the government’s climate change scheme have been called ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ by company executives and corporate rescue doctors who are trying to save ailing firms.” The passage of a carbon tax in America would have the exact same results and it remains a top priority for the White House and Democrats in Congress who see it as a bonanza in new funding for the government. As Paul Driessen says in a Townhall.com commentary, “More rational analysis reveals that dreams of growth are nothing more than dangerous tax revenue hallucinations. They would bring intense pain for no climate or economic gain.” Too many Americans still believe that CO2 is causing global warming, but CO2 plays no role in climate change and is barely 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. More to the point, there is no warming and hasn’t been for the last seventeen years as the Earth is in a natural cooling cycle that has prolonged the advent of spring with severe snow storms throughout the nation. There is no scientific justification for such a tax, but those advocating it don’t care about the science. They care about raising revenue for an ever-growing government to spend and waste. Under Government Control: A carbon tax Hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat, and do Driessen points out that “Hydrocarbons (coal, oil, and natural gas) provide over 83% of all the energy that powers America. A carbon tax would put a hefty surcharge on everything we make, grow, ship, eat, and do. It would put the federal government in control of, not just one-sixth of the economy, as under Obamacare, but 100% of our economy and lives. It would make the United States increasingly less productive, less competitive globally, less able to provide opportunities for our children.” The case for a carbon tax simply doesn’t exist, but there are powerful forces in Congress and the support of the White House to impose such a tax. The power of the environmental movement and its long history of lies about the climate, primarily the global warming hoax, cannot be dismissed or ignored. In Australia, “The Australian Securities & Investments Commission reports there were 10,632 company collapses for the 12 months to March 1—averaging 886 a month—with the number of firms being placed in administration more than 12 percent higher than during the global financial crisis.” It represents “a record high…led by widespread failures in manufacturing and construction, which accounted for almost one-fifth of collapses.” Greg Evans, the chief economic economist for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that “It defies logic to adopt a policy which even the Treasury acknowledges will lower our standards of living and be harmful to national productivity.” Adding to Australia’s struggling companies, the carbon tax and one on mining were showing up as “sovereign issues” in discussions with foreign investors.” Who would want to invest in Australia if these two taxes were destroying the economic strength of the nation? Politics in Australia is no less a battleground than here in America. Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who introduced the carbon tax, just beat back a bid by her Labor Party’s dissidents to reinstall former leader Kevin Rudd who lost to her in 2010 and 2012. Much of the opposition to her comes from the harm being inflicted by the carbon and mining taxes. Marlo Lewis is a senior fellow in energy and environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. During the 2012 campaign, he described a carbon tax as “political poison for the Republican Party.” Mitt Romney opposed it, but ‘the big attraction of carbon taxes these days is not as a global warming policy but as a revenue enhancer. In both parties, deficit hawks and big spenders (often the same individuals) are flailing for ways to boost federal revenue.” That is precisely the problem afflicting a nation whose Congress and President could not find a reason to cut anything from the federal budget. The result was the “sequestration” that imposed cuts neither party could agree upon. In a Fox News article, “Here comes Team Obama’s carbon tax”. Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment and author of “Democracy Denied” reported that “The Treasury Department’s Office of Environment and Energy has finally begun to turn over documents about its preparations for a carbon tax in response to transparency warrior Chris Horner’s Freedom of Information Act request. The documents provide solid evidence that the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have every intention of implementing a carbon tax if we fail to stop them.” President Obama’s nominee to be the next Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is on record wanting to double or triple the cost of energy, much as his predecessor wanted. A carbon tax, if enacted, would totally undermine a nation that has a debt climbing toward $17 trillion and millions unemployed in an economy that is struggling to inch its way out of the depths of the financial crisis. If you wanted to destroy America, you could do it with a carbon tax. Australia is reeling from the cost to its economy and the higher energy costs its people are paying. We don’t want that here.

“We are the Easter People and Hallelujah is our song

Embrace the Light. It may not have the sort of cookies that the Dark Side has, but it does offer love, hope, direction, and salvation. Thank you Jesus. Embrace the Light “We are the Easter People and Hallelujah is our song!”—Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) “Rejoice!” Jesus’s first statement after His torture, crucifixion, and death.—Matthew 28:9 NKJV “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice!”—Philippians 4:4 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good…” —Genesis 1:3, 4 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of Light.”—Ephesians 5:8 “This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”—1 John 1:5 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” —John 1:4, 5 “All these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, ‘What are light quanta?’ Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken.”—Albert Einstein (1879-1955) John Paul II spoke for all Christians when he made the above pronouncement. Christians are indeed “the Easter people,” and our song is, or at least should be, one of joy and jubilation. As the apostle Paul admonished us, we should rejoice in the Lord always, not just on religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, not just on Sundays, but always. For in truth every day is the Lord’s day, and every location a potential place of worship. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning observed some time ago (referencing Exodus 3:5), for those who have eyes to see—that is, for those with a sufficiently elevated level of consciousness—everything is imbued with the sacred. There is naught that is not holy: Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries…. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) It has ever been thus—the ever-present glory around us, and our ignorance of it. Jesus knew all too well about our blindness, and forgave us our ignorance. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” applies to all of us, not just the ones who crucified Him. When it comes to spiritual matters we are all dumb as a box of doorknobs most of the time. There is a side of us that is…quite at odds with our spiritual side. I have long enjoyed the way the poet Carl Sandberg likened our various proclivities to the way different animals act: There is a wolf in me ... There is a fox in me ... There is a hog in me ... There is a fish in me ... There is a baboon in me ... There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird ... O, I got a zoo…I came from the wilderness.—Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) “Wilderness” Indeed, we all come from the “wilderness,” but as Jesus taught in the parable of “The Prodigal Son,” it is past time we came to our senses and stopped having “fun” in the pig sty and headed home—where our Father awaits to welcome us with love and open arms. I acknowledge the light and the dark in me. I do not deny my feet of clay, my humanity, my faults and foibles—but neither do I celebrate them, nor permit them to run roughshod over my “better nature.” That “better nature” is the spark of divinity we all have in us—a “chip off the old block” you might say. I consider it my job and privilege to cultivate and nurture that spark until it flares into the clear spiritual light of Truth. Then I shall be released. In the meantime I play the old balancing act between right and wrong, good and evil, God and ego. And as I practice my balancing act, I am wending my way “home,” however haltingly and slow. My spiritual progress is often of the “three steps forward, two steps back” variety, but nevertheless it is progress—and that’s key. It is not a case of my being either a saint, or a sinner—I am both a saint and a sinner. And so it is with most of us. The important thing; the key thing, is that we not be content with our spiritual status quo, but strive to reach the light, to release what Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s husband Robert called our “imprisoned splendor.” As we sit here on “spaceship earth,” zooming through outer space at 67,062 mph, and wondering if we will be able to find a good parking spot at the mall and other such weighty matters, we would do well to occasionally broaden our horizons and elevate our consciousness a bit by contemplating just how very…strange and marvelous reality truly is. One of my favorite snippets of poetry by Conrad Aiken touches on this sense of wonder: There are houses hanging above the stars And stars hung under a sea… And a sun far off in a shell of silence Dapples my walls for me…. —Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) The Bible tells us that a feeling of respectful awe toward the Creator (and His creation) is the beginning of wisdom, and so it is. (Although “fear of the Lord” is how the Bible expresses the “respectful awe” I mention, it should be noted that the word “fear” as used in the Bible is very “context sensitive.” That is, its meaning depends on the words surrounding it. In this case a “respectful awe” is what is meant, as opposed to “fear” as it is commonly understood). “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7 As the above scripture points out, God does not want timid fearful supplicants, but powerful, joyous, courageous devotees. When confronted with the dim, dark, unenlightened areas of this material world, Jesus did not back away and say “that is the way of the world,” or kismet, or fate. No, He courageously changed things. Where there was illness he cured it, where there was arrogance and vanity He exposed it, where there was religious stupidity He ridiculed it, and where there was darkness he brought Light. He brought Love. Not love as the world knows it, but the radiant undiluted light of God’s unconditional Love. And for that He was beaten and crucified, and for that He died. But He did so much more than that, didn’t He? ...when you get down to it, His death was not that remarkable; horrible, yes; but there have been many horrible deaths, and many crucifixions. The one absolutely singular event involving Jesus Christ was His resurrection from the dead. No one before or since has ever done that. Forget all your near death experiences; there was nothing near about the death of our Lord. Everyone recognized that He was dead. There was no question about that. Vic Biorseth “Thoughts on the Easter Rising” And let’s have no talk of “his followers made up the whole story” shall we? “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 People 2,000 years ago were no doubt technologically ignorant, but they were far from stupid. The intelligence of Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul), or a bit later Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine) shine across the years undiminished. Folks today are no smarter than the people were 2,000 years ago simply because we have all these “gadgets and gizmos” made possible by the knowledge slowly accumulated over the centuries. Jesus’s followers were not country bumpkins who packed up and left home for all points of the compass, and reportedly suffered painful martyrdom, just for grins. Like Saul on the road to Damascus they had all experienced something that shook their world to the bone—something worth dying for, something worth living for. They did not just believe, they knew. Jesus had died and then come back from the dead, and they knew it. Now that’s something worth writing home about. That’s something worth celebrating and shouting from the roof tops. Death had demonstrably been proven to be a fraud, a phony, an ephemeral boogie-man that disappeared when the Light was turned on. “Where, Odeath, is your victory? Where, Odeath, is your sting?” (Sidebar: Permit me a brief aside—it is “off message” a bit from this article’s subject, but it does tie in with its theme. I wish to underline the fact that we are not our bodies. This may sound like utter foolishness to most folks, but nonetheless it is true—my body is mine, but it is not me. There is nothing especially mysterious or spiritual about my observation, it is simply the way things are—as a little thought will prove. We cannot be that which we observe—simple as that. Or to put it another way, we cannot be that which we are aware of. We must “step back” from something in order to observe it, in order to be aware of it. If you were to, say look at a flower, you would not claim that you are that flower. You would say that you (the subject) were observing that flower (the object). It is not rocket science then to extrapolate that truth to a more personal level and say that you (the subject) are not your body (the object). If we are aware of something then we are obviously not the thing that we are aware of. I am aware of my body, hence I am not my body. As I say, it is mine but it is not me. The same goes for my intellect and thoughts—I am aware of them, therefore they cannot be me. So what are they? They are my most immediate environment. But where’s that leave me? As pure awareness. There is nothing spooky, or mystical, or especially difficult to grasp about any of this [experiencing the truth of it, as opposed to grasping it intellectually is a different matter altogether]. I mention all this by way of introducing the idea that humanity is still very much asleep to reality, and in an almost hypnotic state of denial about what is true. The truths that Jesus brought to the world 2,000 years ago are just as valid, true, and vital as when He first brought then to our attention. Given our still woeful state of ignorance, coupled with the two-edged sword of our technological cleverness, His teachings are more needed today than ever. “Awake thou that sleepest.”) Many of us will celebrate Jesus’s Resurrection this Easter Sunday, as well we should. Permit me to suggest that we take the opportunity to commit, or re-commit ourselves to the reality of being “children of light.” Embrace the Light. As Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Yes, and there are more things than science has dreamt of, whatever is said to the contrary. I love science; it is a marvelous tool for delving into material things—but it has its limits, which are unfortunately glossed over for the most part by those intent on pushing a secular humanist agenda. Science can tell us much that is useful, helpful, and even essential, but it cannot tell us why we exist. It cannot weigh and measure love, nor can it calibrate joy. It has no empirical way of “proving” happiness. At best it can observe the effects of such things, but not the reality of the thing itself. In short, science has its limits of usefulness and value, and to say otherwise is myopic foolishness. Just as Newtonian physics is incorporated into and enfolded within the larger context of quantum mechanics, science too is enfolded within the larger context of spirituality. In a recent article Andrew Ferguson wrote “A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency, seeing his friends and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.” Ferguson goes on to say that materialists generally do not practice what they preach, and are not in the least psychopathic. To which the obvious question is, then why preach such things? Why disseminate a philosophy that when followed to the “T” leads inexorably to a bizarrely barren life, if not an actively psychotic one? The answer seems to be that the people who expound such views suffer from a sort of “godphobia,” or more to the point, “Godphobia,” which makes anything remotely spiritual anathema to them. The current impasse between science and spirituality really needs to end. It is parochial, limiting, and asinine. Science and spirituality should be complementing each other, not ignoring or fighting with one another. As I have mentioned before in my articles, I have every sympathy for a person who has turned away from “God” because of faulty religious teachings, or an erroneous concept of what God is or isn’t—but I have no time for someone who uses such excuses as a beard for their self-centered wish to grant carte blanche to their ego’s endless list of desires. Daniel Greenfield recently wrote an article about radical environmentalism (”Night Falls on Civilization”) in which among other things he describes “Earth Hour”—a staged event in which the power is turned off for an hour to a house, or a village, or a city. As Greenfield explains it: Environmentalism has degenerated into a conviction that all human activity is destructive because the species of man is the greatest threat to the planet and all life on it. Each death, each act of undoing and unmaking, each darkness that is brought about by the cessation of humanity becomes a profoundly environmentalist activity. Greenfield uses a short, one sentence paragraph to describe the philosophy behind “Earth Hour”—“Embrace the darkness.” I thought when I read that, “Good God, that pretty much sums up the radical left’s philosophy doesn’t it?” Abortion, euthanasia, population reduction, and all the rest of their misanthropic, misandric, misogynistic collection of nay-saying nihilistic clap-trap—all fit in nicely with the sentiment “Embrace the darkness.” Besides, it sounds snappier than “Come to the Dark Side—we have cookies.” I’ll go Daniel one better—I can sum up the Left’s position in one word—“No!” No life, no birth, no family, no country, no freedom, no guns, no borders, no gas, no property, no industry, no cars, no rights, no lights, no meaning, and no point. And that’s just for starters. It is worth noting that the very word itself tends to make one shrink inside, and feel diminished and small. Oh, and no Jesus. “No” can be good sometimes though. A student in Florida (Ryan Rotela) recently told a teacher “No” when the teacher told the class to “Stomp on Jesus”—or specifically, to stomp on the word “Jesus” written on a piece of paper. It says something about the state of our educational system and culture that Ryan was the only student who refused to comply with the teacher’s demand. Mr. Rotela was suspended from this class for his “rebellious” attitude. I’m surprised he wasn’t sent to a re-education camp. (Can you imagine the hue and cry that would have exploded from the media if the name written on that piece of paper had been “Muhammad?” Can you imagine!? Do you need any more proof that Christianity is targeted for extinction by the Left. Do you need any more proof that Islam has “most favored status” among the intelligentsia and academics)? As opposed to the contracting, restrictive feel of the word “no,” the word “yes” has an expansive, freeing, uplifting effect. Jesus returned from the dead in order to give us all one big YES! “...as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us…was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes…” Embrace the Light. It may not have the sort of cookies that the Dark Side has, but it does offer love, hope, direction, and salvation. Thank you Jesus. Embrace the Light. It may not have the sort of cookies that the Dark Side has, but it does offer love, hope, direction, and salvation. Thank you Jesus. Embrace the Light “We are the Easter People and Hallelujah is our song!”—Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) “Rejoice!” Jesus’s first statement after His torture, crucifixion, and death.—Matthew 28:9 NKJV “Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice!”—Philippians 4:4 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good…” —Genesis 1:3, 4 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of Light.”—Ephesians 5:8 “This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”—1 John 1:5 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” —John 1:4, 5 “All these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, ‘What are light quanta?’ Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken.”—Albert Einstein (1879-1955) John Paul II spoke for all Christians when he made the above pronouncement. Christians are indeed “the Easter people,” and our song is, or at least should be, one of joy and jubilation. As the apostle Paul admonished us, we should rejoice in the Lord always, not just on religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, not just on Sundays, but always. For in truth every day is the Lord’s day, and every location a potential place of worship. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning observed some time ago (referencing Exodus 3:5), for those who have eyes to see—that is, for those with a sufficiently elevated level of consciousness—everything is imbued with the sacred. There is naught that is not holy: Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries…. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) It has ever been thus—the ever-present glory around us, and our ignorance of it. Jesus knew all too well about our blindness, and forgave us our ignorance. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” applies to all of us, not just the ones who crucified Him. When it comes to spiritual matters we are all dumb as a box of doorknobs most of the time. There is a side of us that is…quite at odds with our spiritual side. I have long enjoyed the way the poet Carl Sandberg likened our various proclivities to the way different animals act: There is a wolf in me ... There is a fox in me ... There is a hog in me ... There is a fish in me ... There is a baboon in me ... There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird ... O, I got a zoo…I came from the wilderness.—Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) “Wilderness” Indeed, we all come from the “wilderness,” but as Jesus taught in the parable of “The Prodigal Son,” it is past time we came to our senses and stopped having “fun” in the pig sty and headed home—where our Father awaits to welcome us with love and open arms. I acknowledge the light and the dark in me. I do not deny my feet of clay, my humanity, my faults and foibles—but neither do I celebrate them, nor permit them to run roughshod over my “better nature.” That “better nature” is the spark of divinity we all have in us—a “chip off the old block” you might say. I consider it my job and privilege to cultivate and nurture that spark until it flares into the clear spiritual light of Truth. Then I shall be released. In the meantime I play the old balancing act between right and wrong, good and evil, God and ego. And as I practice my balancing act, I am wending my way “home,” however haltingly and slow. My spiritual progress is often of the “three steps forward, two steps back” variety, but nevertheless it is progress—and that’s key. It is not a case of my being either a saint, or a sinner—I am both a saint and a sinner. And so it is with most of us. The important thing; the key thing, is that we not be content with our spiritual status quo, but strive to reach the light, to release what Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s husband Robert called our “imprisoned splendor.” As we sit here on “spaceship earth,” zooming through outer space at 67,062 mph, and wondering if we will be able to find a good parking spot at the mall and other such weighty matters, we would do well to occasionally broaden our horizons and elevate our consciousness a bit by contemplating just how very…strange and marvelous reality truly is. One of my favorite snippets of poetry by Conrad Aiken touches on this sense of wonder: There are houses hanging above the stars And stars hung under a sea… And a sun far off in a shell of silence Dapples my walls for me…. —Conrad Aiken (1889-1973) The Bible tells us that a feeling of respectful awe toward the Creator (and His creation) is the beginning of wisdom, and so it is. (Although “fear of the Lord” is how the Bible expresses the “respectful awe” I mention, it should be noted that the word “fear” as used in the Bible is very “context sensitive.” That is, its meaning depends on the words surrounding it. In this case a “respectful awe” is what is meant, as opposed to “fear” as it is commonly understood). “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7 As the above scripture points out, God does not want timid fearful supplicants, but powerful, joyous, courageous devotees. When confronted with the dim, dark, unenlightened areas of this material world, Jesus did not back away and say “that is the way of the world,” or kismet, or fate. No, He courageously changed things. Where there was illness he cured it, where there was arrogance and vanity He exposed it, where there was religious stupidity He ridiculed it, and where there was darkness he brought Light. He brought Love. Not love as the world knows it, but the radiant undiluted light of God’s unconditional Love. And for that He was beaten and crucified, and for that He died. But He did so much more than that, didn’t He? ...when you get down to it, His death was not that remarkable; horrible, yes; but there have been many horrible deaths, and many crucifixions. The one absolutely singular event involving Jesus Christ was His resurrection from the dead. No one before or since has ever done that. Forget all your near death experiences; there was nothing near about the death of our Lord. Everyone recognized that He was dead. There was no question about that. Vic Biorseth “Thoughts on the Easter Rising” And let’s have no talk of “his followers made up the whole story” shall we? “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 People 2,000 years ago were no doubt technologically ignorant, but they were far from stupid. The intelligence of Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul), or a bit later Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine) shine across the years undiminished. Folks today are no smarter than the people were 2,000 years ago simply because we have all these “gadgets and gizmos” made possible by the knowledge slowly accumulated over the centuries. Jesus’s followers were not country bumpkins who packed up and left home for all points of the compass, and reportedly suffered painful martyrdom, just for grins. Like Saul on the road to Damascus they had all experienced something that shook their world to the bone—something worth dying for, something worth living for. They did not just believe, they knew. Jesus had died and then come back from the dead, and they knew it. Now that’s something worth writing home about. That’s something worth celebrating and shouting from the roof tops. Death had demonstrably been proven to be a fraud, a phony, an ephemeral boogie-man that disappeared when the Light was turned on. “Where, Odeath, is your victory? Where, Odeath, is your sting?” (Sidebar: Permit me a brief aside—it is “off message” a bit from this article’s subject, but it does tie in with its theme. I wish to underline the fact that we are not our bodies. This may sound like utter foolishness to most folks, but nonetheless it is true—my body is mine, but it is not me. There is nothing especially mysterious or spiritual about my observation, it is simply the way things are—as a little thought will prove. We cannot be that which we observe—simple as that. Or to put it another way, we cannot be that which we are aware of. We must “step back” from something in order to observe it, in order to be aware of it. If you were to, say look at a flower, you would not claim that you are that flower. You would say that you (the subject) were observing that flower (the object). It is not rocket science then to extrapolate that truth to a more personal level and say that you (the subject) are not your body (the object). If we are aware of something then we are obviously not the thing that we are aware of. I am aware of my body, hence I am not my body. As I say, it is mine but it is not me. The same goes for my intellect and thoughts—I am aware of them, therefore they cannot be me. So what are they? They are my most immediate environment. But where’s that leave me? As pure awareness. There is nothing spooky, or mystical, or especially difficult to grasp about any of this [experiencing the truth of it, as opposed to grasping it intellectually is a different matter altogether]. I mention all this by way of introducing the idea that humanity is still very much asleep to reality, and in an almost hypnotic state of denial about what is true. The truths that Jesus brought to the world 2,000 years ago are just as valid, true, and vital as when He first brought then to our attention. Given our still woeful state of ignorance, coupled with the two-edged sword of our technological cleverness, His teachings are more needed today than ever. “Awake thou that sleepest.”) Many of us will celebrate Jesus’s Resurrection this Easter Sunday, as well we should. Permit me to suggest that we take the opportunity to commit, or re-commit ourselves to the reality of being “children of light.” Embrace the Light. As Shakespeare wrote, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Yes, and there are more things than science has dreamt of, whatever is said to the contrary. I love science; it is a marvelous tool for delving into material things—but it has its limits, which are unfortunately glossed over for the most part by those intent on pushing a secular humanist agenda. Science can tell us much that is useful, helpful, and even essential, but it cannot tell us why we exist. It cannot weigh and measure love, nor can it calibrate joy. It has no empirical way of “proving” happiness. At best it can observe the effects of such things, but not the reality of the thing itself. In short, science has its limits of usefulness and value, and to say otherwise is myopic foolishness. Just as Newtonian physics is incorporated into and enfolded within the larger context of quantum mechanics, science too is enfolded within the larger context of spirituality. In a recent article Andrew Ferguson wrote “A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency, seeing his friends and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.” Ferguson goes on to say that materialists generally do not practice what they preach, and are not in the least psychopathic. To which the obvious question is, then why preach such things? Why disseminate a philosophy that when followed to the “T” leads inexorably to a bizarrely barren life, if not an actively psychotic one? The answer seems to be that the people who expound such views suffer from a sort of “godphobia,” or more to the point, “Godphobia,” which makes anything remotely spiritual anathema to them. The current impasse between science and spirituality really needs to end. It is parochial, limiting, and asinine. Science and spirituality should be complementing each other, not ignoring or fighting with one another. As I have mentioned before in my articles, I have every sympathy for a person who has turned away from “God” because of faulty religious teachings, or an erroneous concept of what God is or isn’t—but I have no time for someone who uses such excuses as a beard for their self-centered wish to grant carte blanche to their ego’s endless list of desires. Daniel Greenfield recently wrote an article about radical environmentalism (”Night Falls on Civilization”) in which among other things he describes “Earth Hour”—a staged event in which the power is turned off for an hour to a house, or a village, or a city. As Greenfield explains it: Environmentalism has degenerated into a conviction that all human activity is destructive because the species of man is the greatest threat to the planet and all life on it. Each death, each act of undoing and unmaking, each darkness that is brought about by the cessation of humanity becomes a profoundly environmentalist activity. Greenfield uses a short, one sentence paragraph to describe the philosophy behind “Earth Hour”—“Embrace the darkness.” I thought when I read that, “Good God, that pretty much sums up the radical left’s philosophy doesn’t it?” Abortion, euthanasia, population reduction, and all the rest of their misanthropic, misandric, misogynistic collection of nay-saying nihilistic clap-trap—all fit in nicely with the sentiment “Embrace the darkness.” Besides, it sounds snappier than “Come to the Dark Side—we have cookies.” I’ll go Daniel one better—I can sum up the Left’s position in one word—“No!” No life, no birth, no family, no country, no freedom, no guns, no borders, no gas, no property, no industry, no cars, no rights, no lights, no meaning, and no point. And that’s just for starters. It is worth noting that the very word itself tends to make one shrink inside, and feel diminished and small. Oh, and no Jesus. “No” can be good sometimes though. A student in Florida (Ryan Rotela) recently told a teacher “No” when the teacher told the class to “Stomp on Jesus”—or specifically, to stomp on the word “Jesus” written on a piece of paper. It says something about the state of our educational system and culture that Ryan was the only student who refused to comply with the teacher’s demand. Mr. Rotela was suspended from this class for his “rebellious” attitude. I’m surprised he wasn’t sent to a re-education camp. (Can you imagine the hue and cry that would have exploded from the media if the name written on that piece of paper had been “Muhammad?” Can you imagine!? Do you need any more proof that Christianity is targeted for extinction by the Left. Do you need any more proof that Islam has “most favored status” among the intelligentsia and academics)? As opposed to the contracting, restrictive feel of the word “no,” the word “yes” has an expansive, freeing, uplifting effect. Jesus returned from the dead in order to give us all one big YES! “...as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us…was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes…” Embrace the Light. It may not have the sort of cookies that the Dark Side has, but it does offer love, hope, direction, and salvation. Thank you Jesus.