By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal
The first Sunday of the month is set aside as a Fast for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; at least that’s the plan. It’s called Fast Sunday; imagine that. I always wondered why they called it that. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way; but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Fasting means different things to different folks. For instance some fast to loose weight; depriving themselves of certain forms of nourishment in order to achieve a more perfect physical body while others associate fasting with an opportunity to become more spiritually in tune. When linking Fasting with Church, the latter is desired.
I remember sitting on the back row at church many years ago on a Fast Sunday and recognizing my back was trying to go out. Fortunately, I kept a prescription handy for sudden attacks and sent my daughter out to retrieve the magic little pills; the little pills that are supposed to be taken with food.
About fifteen minutes later my head was “buzzin”; that’s how you can tell you’re from Texas. If you were from California or maybe New York, it would have been “looped”, “stoned”, “wasted” or something else; you get the idea.
I tried to explain the effect to my wife and a peculiar observation came to me. Each time I spoke it was as if there’d been someone behind me who’d spoken and I was doing a lip sink; most disconcerting to say the least. I kept looking behind me to see who it was; did I mention my head was “buzzin”? Lucy wasn’t impressed.
I made it through the day and vowed not to ingest powerful narcotics on an empty stomach. Lucy drove us home from church.
That brings us to the present, this being the first Sunday of the month; it’s also Fast Sunday.
Our meeting hours change at the first of the year from starting at 2:30pm to much earlier, 8:30am. We share our building with several Wards and to keep everyone on their toes we swap meeting times each year; next year we’ll begin at 10:30am and so on.
My health took a hit this past week and I’ve been on pain medication nearly around the clock. I’d have to skip Fasting this time and enjoy the spiritual experiences shared by others as they stood at the pulpit to bear their testimonies.
I should also explain that testimonies are supposed to be short expressions which validate the truthfulness of the Gospel, that Jesus is the Christ or similar concise articulations of a personal nature.
That said, often times folks stand at the podium and talk on and on about vacations that made them happy or other events unrelated to sharing a testimony. Sometimes it gets awkward as folks in the congregation start looking down at their shoes wondering, “How much longer can this person talk?”, only to find they can talk on and on; seemingly forever. By the time we’ve had the book of Isaiah explained as it pertains to semi-automatic assault weapons; well, so much for the Spirit being present…
I’d intended to bear my testimony this morning, an expression of gratitude for all the many blessings the Lord has presented me, something along the lines King Benjamin shared.
“I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.” Mosiah 2:20-21
During the night hours the pain medicine played tricks with my mind; here’s a glimpse into what went on in the shadows.
Upon reaching the pulpit I began singing an old Mac Davis tune, Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble; not making this up, that’s what happened in my dream. I even had the congregation join in as if we were doing a concert version.
Lucy wasn’t impressed. Make a note; quit listening to the classic Country radio station while taking pain medication. We stayed home from church this morning to recuperate.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Millions of Americans got a nasty surprise this week in their paychecks. Their pay was effectively reduced due to the taxation football being fumbled once again by our so-called esteemed leaders in DC. Many Americans believed these politicians on both sides of the aisle when they claimed that they had to pass Obama’s mandate to raise taxes, because not to would be catastrophic. It would raise taxes on the middle class in the midst of a managed depression. Well, they passed the financial crap sandwich to avert the fiscal cliff and guess what? They raised taxes on the middle class. It was the middle class who makes $30,000 a year and up that was hit hardest. Not the wealthy, who were hurt very little if at all. This folks, was the Progressive elites sticking it to middle America to further fund their lavish lifestyles. And Obamacare hasn’t even really bit us yet – just wait. Some insurers this morning announced premium hikes of approximately 26%.
From Pat Buchanan:
The party that blocked tax increases since George H.W. Bush agreed to raise Ronald Reagan’s top rate of 28 percent to 35 percent, thus repudiating his “no-new-taxes” pledge, just signed on to one of the largest tax increases in history.
Payroll taxes on working Americans will rise by a third, from 4.2 percent of wages and salaries to 6.2 percent. For couples earning $450,000, the tax rate rises from 15 to 20 percent on dividends and capital gains, and from 35 to 39.6 percent on ordinary income. The death tax will rise from 35 to 40 percent on estates over $5 million.
Obamacare will push those rates up further. And now we learn the bill was stuffed with tax breaks for windmills, NASCAR owners and Hollywood.
Not only did they further enslave Americans and bleed them for more taxes, they didn’t cut spending AT ALL! They increased spending by about 3.9 trillion. What does it say about the nation’s finances when spending estimates can only be guessed to within the nearest 2 or 3 trillion dollars? I ask you, how long will America submit to this thievery and forced serfdom imposed on our citizens? What will be the tipping point? It could be any number of factors, but we are getting closer and closer to ripping our country apart. According to Bob Owens and Pat Buchanan, the seizure of arms will do the trick and they are right. According to Fox News and Mark Levin, the way both sides dealt with the fiscal cliff is a big step towards conflict and they are right as well. Just what does everyone think will happen when food stamps, social security, disability, pensions etc. stop, because there is no more money or money is worthless due to hyperinflation from printing? What do they think will happen when the government moves to confiscate our guns? (You think this is about protecting “the children?” Dream on.) It won’t be pretty in either scenario. Taxes, brought on the Declaration of Independence. The seizure of arms, sparked the American Revolution.
And it is not just Conservatives who have had enough, both sides are fed up with this government suppression:
Cramer who is by no means a staunch conservative, rants on about how Obamacare and taxes are affecting a wide range of American’s and their wallets:
Everyone who sat down with their accountants in the past 48 hours is dazzled, dazzled about what’s gonna happen. And I’m not just talking about the wealthy people, because we’re starting to talk about healthcare, small businesses — what they’re thinking about at the end of 2013.
This is nothing new. It seems every time there are hard times, there is a Progressive in office. Their solution is always to tax more, not cut spending. Build bigger government and more sweeping regulation to control America which stifles inventing and entrepreneurship. They further empower the IRS as a weapon and engage in criminal activity to line their pockets. Then at some point, a sane conservative comes in and cuts spending and taxes, and sanity and prosperity returns to America. Remember that Carter had a tax rate of 70% or so when in office. America really suffered until Reagan came in and eventually slashed the tax rate to 28% – America boomed. You saw the same thing with Calvin Coolidge, etc. We are running out of time for a true Constitutional Conservative to step forward and save us from the Progressive pit.
The ink has not even dried on the latest tax monstrosity and Progressives such as Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi are going down the French path calling for more taxes on the wealthy. Two points here… 1) The wealthy are not the ones being hurt by these rising taxes. They have shelters, etc. in place and they can always leave. 2) The Progressives are liars. They fully intend to crush Americans with these taxes and bleed every penny they can from us. And when the crash comes, they will be free to form a new and dictatorial government. As Michelle Malkin says: Elitism. Exemptions. Evasion. Watch for massive taxation that is on the way: carbon taxes, value added taxes, taxing by the mile for cars and on and on until these Marxist fiends are stopped. A patriot can definitely love his country and hate his government. Ask the patriots of ’76.
Our middle class is being absolutely destroyed and it is deliberate. Cloward and Piven is working and we stand by and just scratch our heads as the Progressives carry on their merry way towards the destruction of America. Soon there will only be the poor masses and the rich elite. Poverty and debt are rising in the wake of rising taxation. Food stamp usage is at an all time high and I contend there is real hunger in America now, behind the closed doors of our homes and soon in the streets. Employment statistics are a lie as is the stock market. Unemployment should be closer to 22 to 30% and the stock market is a Progressive fantasy. It won’t last. It can’t with the printing of money and the non-stop spending. We are broke and our debt will some come due with no way to pay the piper. You can bet our enemies are hungrily waiting in the wings. It’s hard to tell whether fiscal collapse or war will hit first, but they are the Progressive two-step anyway, always arriving in tandem during the reign of a Liberal.
America is under a Constitutional emergency. Our Constitution is being ignored and violated regularly. The government is assaulting us on so many levels, something, in the end, will have to give and that is what the Progressives want so they can bring the full weight and force of the government down on the majority of Americans. In closing, I will provide a warning to those who would be King from Bob Owens:
A nation with just 800,000 law enforcement officers and 3 million active and reserve military personal cannot easily defeat and enslave a free people armed with 300 million firearms, even if large numbers of the police and military didn’t walk away or switch sides to follow their oath to the Constitution instead of any given leader, as many assuredly will.
Retribution against those who would be responsible for such a conflict by attempting to undermine the Constitution is assured. They will face extra-judicial justice walking across the street with their families, or in a formal war crimes trial. Either way, their attempt at tyranny ends in death or prison… hardly what these would-be elites imagined for themselves as they planned to loot the remains of a once-powerful economic engine.
I have two words of advice for those that imagine they can subjugate the arsenal of freedom with the stroke of an autopen.
When patriots say, “Don’t tread on me…” they mean it. You cannot strip us of our Constitutional rights and not expect that we will defend the Republic. This is not the ‘Home of the Enslaved.’ This is the ‘Land of the Free’ and free men and women will fight as such. Tread carefully indeed.
Some months ago I wrote a number of times about a little boy named Zakkai, in the US, who was undergoing severe medical problems. I learned about his situation from his grandmother, whom I know — who had written and asked for prayers: He had an extensive tumor growing up his spine and into his thoracic area. At first it was thought be a rare form of malignancy and then was declared benign. This was cause for celebration, but he certainly wasn’t home free. Non-cancerous, rapid growing tumors can do extensive damage.
Zakkai underwent two serious surgeries to remove the tumor. The surgeries, in spite of minor hitches, were considered successful, and he then received follow-up treatments — physical therapy because of damaged muscle, etc. A scan indicated that there were two small spots on the spine and it was not clear at first what they were.
Now, with the latest scan it is clear: the two lesions on his spine were tumor-tissue and are now growing, rapidly. The doctors have not yet determined what to do.
But we can do starting immediately is pray for this brave and happy little boy, who is now a little over two:
Rephael Zakkai Avraham ben Yakira Avigael
We are now deep into the throes of an election campaign, which is just a bit more then three weeks away. I am not going to write about all of the inter-party goings on, which often have something of a “madhouse” tone about them and frequently make me very weary.
All this said, however, this is potentially a very significant election, with shifting alliances, new people coming to the fore, and a chance for some real changes.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu and his fellow Likud members are clearly nervous and handling themselves badly. Finally they have begun to aim their criticism at the center-left after a very unfortunate bout of attacking Habayit Hayehudi, their natural coalition partner.
The issue of coalition formation is critical in a variety of ways. There is, of course, the obvious: How the coalition shapes up — whether, for example, a victorious Netanyahu will include center/left parties instead of Habayit Hayehudi– will have an effect on who controls key ministries and what gov’t policy will be.
But there is more: After the elections, the president meets with all of the parties and asks for recommendations as to which faction’s head should be asked to form the coalition. Usually, the head of the party with the most mandates (and that will almost certainly be Likud) is asked, but this is not a given.
If the center-left parties say they will consider being included in a Likud coalition, then they presumably will recommend Netanyahu to form that coalition. But what they — notably Shelly Yachimovich of Labor and Tzipi Livni of the Tzipi Livni party — are saying now is that they will band together in refusal to join the coalition, making it more difficult (but hardly impossible) for him to form a coalition. Peres might be “inspired” to ask someone else.
Peres would be delighted to encourage a left wing coalition. (See more below.) This is well understood and a tad worrisome.
Yet another aspect of the left/center declarations of refusal to join a Likud coalition (for today, anyway — except for Lapid of Yesh Atid, who says he might), however, is that Netanyahu might be asked to form the coalition and then actually have no choice but to include Habayit Hayehudi in order to make the requisite number of mandates. Which would be great and precisely as it should be
Are you confused yet? I’ll track this more clearly as the factors sort themselves out.
PM Netanyahu (Likud) has been accused (not without reason) of waffling on what he stands for. That is more or less his MO.
And so today Avigdor Lieberman (head of Yisrael Beitenu and former foreign minister) came forward with a clarification. Remember that Likud and Yisrael Beitenu are running together on a joint list. Lieberman says that Yisrael Beitenu is for the formation of a Palestinian state, and that a Likud-Yisrael Beitenu government will base its policy on Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan speech.
Well…that’s pretty clear.
Voters who will not vote left have a choice, most significantly, between this and Naftali Bennett’s position as head of Habayit Hayehudi, which is solidly against a Palestinian state. (There is also the small, strongly nationalist Otzma l’Yisrael — Strength to Israel party.)
Bennett recommends annexing area C, and offering citizenship to the small number of Palestinian Arabs who live there. Habayit Hayehudi is in a merged list with National Union, which most certainly is not for a Palestinian state.
I see media reports that refer to Bennett as “radical right,” “extreme.” I see this as a joke. It’s an attempt to render what he is saying in defense of our rights as not legitimate. (Anything that rejects that “two state solution” is represented as not legitimate.)
In truth, Bennett’s position is moderate. He advocates expelling no one from his or her home — including no Arabs. Those Arabs in the area he recommends annexing would stay where they are and be given full rights.
Beware of politically-inspired labels.
There were rumors that Lieberman said his party would break apart from Likud and form a separate faction after the elections, which he is now denying — although there are suggestions that this was understood when the lists were merged. That would leave Likud further weakened.
One other political observation here: President Shimon Peres has been making political statements of a sort that are simply inappropriate for a man in his position. The presidency is not a political office.
He recently said that PA putative president Mahmoud Abbas was a partner for peace, and then found himself in the position of having to defend this because of severe criticism.
Yoel Marcus, in a piece — “President Peres – resign” — he wrote in Haaretz on Friday, provides us with a quote from Peres on the subject: “‘The role of our diplomacy has always been to stretch out a hand to anyone willing to talk,’ said Peres. He added: ‘I’ve known Abu Mazen…[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] for 30 years, he’s open and ready for rapprochement.'”
And here I thank David Bedein for calling this to my attention: Thirty years is ten years before Oslo. How did Peres happen to be acquainted with this PLO leader and protégé of terrorist Yasser Arafat back then?
As to that “peace partner” Peres has been referring to, we should heed the statement of IDF Ezion Sector Commander Colonel Yaniv Alaluf.
Credit: Effi Sharir
Alaluf, one of Central Command’s top ranking officers, said after a training session (emphasis added):
“We’re no longer on the verge of a third intifada – it’s already here. We anticipate many more [clashes] from now on. We may not be facing thousands of demonstrators storming border fences with AK-47s, but that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of the situation.
“The process lead by Abu Mazen [Abbas] is over, replaced by the attitude promoted by Hamas. Abu Mazen is trying to survive the Arab Spring and he understands that the path of negotiations with Israel is over.
“The question is – what will follow? We may see regional anarchy…
“The third intifada won’t be like the second one, which surprised us. We’re ahead of the game now and terror won’t be able to slither up to central Israel because we’re better prepared.”
I want to turn here (with thanks to Reisa S.) to a new documentary — “Jihad in America: The Deception” –from The Investigative Project on Terrorism, founded and run by Steve Emerson. Emerson reliably documents the threat in America from Islamists. Before 9/11 he had made predictions about an imminent major terrorist attack and was written off as an alarmist kook. After 9/11, he was sought all over as a commentator in the know. It is prudent now to learn what he has to say.
His concern is not “just” the fact that Islamist groups such as Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda seek world domination and imposition of sharia (Muslim) law, it is the fact that these groups masterfully disguise their intentions from the general public and are accepted as moderates within the halls of American power.
Here you can see a video interview of Emerson, with a discussion of the documentary and accompanying text:
In the course of the interview, Emerson speaks of Siraj Wahhaj who “is a major imam from Brooklyn who… was the first Muslim to open the invocation in Congress in 1991, but in fact is a very, very radical militant Muslim cleric who has called for jihad, he has supported terrorism. In fact he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case. And believe it or not, despite all that has come out including his unindicted status, to this very day he is still being invited to and paid for by US government agencies to speak at counterterrorism conferences.” (Emphasis added)
None of this should be dismissed or taken lightly.
The DVD documentary can be ordered via Amazon:
As to the good news, there is some:
The Jewish community of Rachelim in Samaria, which had been built with full support from the Housing Ministry but was referred to as “illegal” for lack of one Defense Ministry signature, has now been fully authorized.
Please see here for the full story of how this was accomplished
“Rachelim was built in 1998 in memory of two Rachels both murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists. Rachel Druck, 35, was murdered in a shooting attack on a bus in 1991 as she and her son traveled from Shilo to Tel Aviv. Rachel Weiss, 26, was burned alive in 1988 as she desperately tried to save her three young children, who were trapped in the flames after a terrorist hurled a firebomb at a bus.”
And then there is the weather. Last night and today there was heavy rain in the north, causing flooding. By tomorrow the rain is expected to move to the center of the country, and last most of the week. The level of the Kinneret is going up, perhaps about to reach better levels than it has in 20 years. All together a great blessing for us.
By: Toddy Littman
It may appear that the people of these United States are in the midst of a shift in demographics and politics and that many may find this irrefutable.
However I submit, via this link to the National Education Association’s website, as published to the web up until shortly before endorsing Barack Obama’s 2012 candidacy (with great thanks to the wayback machine’s archive of the Internet), http://web.archive.org/web/20090423190627/http://www.nea.org/tools/17231.htm to suggest, to even show more than a mere likelihood, that our views, our very attitudes and means of deriving an accurate conclusion, have been contaminated away from the most precious principles of life itself.
To illustrate, innocence is born. Yet regularly innocence is killed before birth with government funding the businesses that thrive on this activity with funds that can easily be commingled and without accountability (almost a government agency as a “public service”) – the value of life rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court as a subject of government’s definition irrespective of the lack of such activity being rendered an object entrusted to the authority, and appropriation, of the U.S. Government (see Article I, Section 8).
And now we turn to Newtown, where the insanity of the gunman will certainly be ignored in what I am bringing forward here, that his actions are a reflection of the intrusion of government in the private lives of the people as merely numbers, resources for government to tap at its will, intrusions regularly caused and encouraged by the fact the U.S. Supreme Court takes up such cases as Roe v. Wade, followed by the legislatures and politicians taking such things as an opportunity to intrude in the personal private lives of as many of the people-at-large as they can; government and its branches unable to let such an opportunity to expand the authority of government to be dismissed, and in so doing, causing the construction of a crisis as the public narrative.
To explain, I am a Christian and I do not agree with abortion at all, yet, I do not believe the government has any right to tell anyone they can’t have an abortion, and can’t violate Christ’s commandment not to harm a hair on their heads (recent technologies showing an identifiable head on the “tissue” in the womb by 3 weeks), but instead I believe that government has a certain duty to enforce safety standards on the doctors whose license is given according to the idea of public safety. Not that I entirely agree with the way the licensing system is done, the monopoly practice the AMA carries on State by State, much like the BAR association, has been no less like the United Auto Workers in their activities with each of the big 3 American automakers in assuring a union shop, irrespective of detriment to the State and the people (on the part of the AMA and BAR) or Chrysler, Ford, and GM respectively in relation to the UAW.
As you can see, my issue isn’t in the power they have assumed and is recognized by government but is instead that these types of government-funded and protected monopolies never reach a reflection point, for there is no challenge without competition that would lead to a reason to reflect, to re-view the point and purpose of their existence. These entities never have any reason to assure their actions aren’t detrimental to the public-at-large, and when they are called on it by a member of the public who is often paying for their existence in some way (as there is no competitor) these associations are unwilling to admit the wrong and retreat from the direction they pursued, never caring about acting with integrity, being honorable and learning from a mistake due to fear of lawsuits. And this takes us full circle to the Supreme Court’s need to not take on cases that could expand the government beyond objects entrusted to it under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Interesting how the very monopoly of the BAR has unbridled access to the court, the lawyers officers of the court in every state it is organized in and with an allegiance to the court before their own client, using the court to expand the government for the sake of expanding their market, and never held accountable, even when, as in California, their charter had expired and they were issuing BAR cards for over 40 years without any legal authority to do so.
Of course, this isn’t the measure of extremism for government, nor patronage, nor corruption, nor abandoning freedom, nor the imposition of slavery, nor the establishment of bureaucracy above the will of the people (the Constitution). No! No! No! The extremist is defined as that person who wants the governments in the United States of America, State and Federal, to follow the Constitution’s direction in regard to the objects entrusted to their care, and to cease from seeking to have powers well beyond these objects and thereby automatically trespassing upon the rights of every individual.
I offer this portion of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…” — Emphasis mine, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
Followed by this from the Constitution:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” — Emphasis mine, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html
Note how the bold sections hold to self-government? Is it clear that this Constitution was the institution of government among men, enumerating the just powers of the very government being instituted, and, that this Constitution represents the consent of the governed, that this parchment’s directive language telling government its limits and powers — State and Federal, without once telling nor granting the people anything — is our direct written will as to the government we find acceptable?
And note that directive language and nothing indicating a grant to the people of anything extends to The Bill of Rights as well:
“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” — Emphasis mine, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
Interesting it is that anyone could think that either the organic Constitution, or the Constitution as it was amended by The Bill of Rights, is granting any right whatsoever to the people, except the following extension from the previous quote of the Declaration of Independence:
“–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” — Emphasis mine, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
So when that Tea Party person, that Christian, that Conservative, that Constitutionalist, or any American is asserting their powers derived from the origins of government as an institution of the people, and not the reverse, please, oh Progressive who is upset at witnessing the failure of their grand takeover of our educational system and media, accept that Freedom is a flame that cannot be put out, that even your grand schemes of technologies to “make people think smarter” will not set back the need, nor desire, for Individual Liberty as the grand settlement for the difference between Tyranny and Freedom. Yours, your Collectivist, Socialist, and/or Communist ideas are not “progressive” but digressive for they are the very same ideas that the Crowned Heads of Europe imposed upon us and led to our American Revolution and Founding documents, http://changingwind.org/index/comment.php?comment.news.32.
Thank you for reading,