Monday, March 2, 2015

Editorial: GOP - You are warned - Do not fund executive amnesty!


No matter what the House and Senate GOP does on Homeland Security, if they fund executive amnesty, then there is no difference between them and the Democrats.

They have many options. End the filibuster, use the nuclear option, or even impeach the president. Even letting DHS shut down is not a bad idea!

Pro-Life Groups Re-Launch Girl Scout Cookie Boycott After Group Honors Pro-Abortion Politician

An interesting story from about the Girl Scouts. This follows this post about China's one child policy.For two very interesting books click HERE
I am leaving TWITTER SOON. Please continue to follow me here.

Pro-Life Groups Re-Launch Girl Scout Cookie Boycott After Group Honors Pro-Abortion Politician

National   Steven Ertelt       Washington, DC

Leading pro-life organizations are re-launching a boycott of Girl Scout cookies after the Girl Scout group continued its abortion advocacy by honoring a radically pro-abortion Congresswoman.
The pro-life movement has been concerned for a number of years about the ties between the Girl Scouts and the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Although the Girl Scout organization maintains that it takes “no position” on the issue of abortion, parents, churches, and pro-life activists have long complained of the pro-abortion slant of the Girl Scouts’ resources, role models, and affiliations.
The Girl Scouts came under a boycott last year due to their extensive ties to the Planned Parenthood abortion business and for generally promoting pro-abortion politicians as role models for young girls. Now, the Girl Scouts are under fire for honoring a pro-abortion member of Congress credited with inventing the slam “war on women” to attack pro-life people as supposedly opposing women’s rights because they want to protect unborn children.
Brietbart has more:
Two weeks ago the Girl Scouts honored Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who claims to have coined the phrase “war on women,” and angry moms and dads have once more launched a national boycott of Girl Scout cookies.
They are announcing the boycott just in time for National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend when cookie booths will be visible throughout the nation.

Called “CookieCott 2015,” organizers say the Girl Scouts have made no progress in distancing the organization from leftist politics, most especially from the issue of abortion.
Just a few weeks ago the Girl Scouts honored Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Though written in conjunction with Black History Month, organizers of the boycott say that does not matter given that Lee is such an ardent promoter of abortion rights. In fact, Lee takes credit for the phrase “war on women,” a meme used against conservatives attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider.
In their tribute to Lee, the Girl Scouts claimed she works “to protect and help the most vulnerable” and called her a “shining example of leadership.”
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Christy Volanski, one of the boycott organizers, said, “I have to wonder if the Girls Scouts USA considers the preborn victims of abortion to be included in the ‘most vulnerable’ among us because Congresswoman Lee, an ardent abortion supporter, certainly does not protect the babies in the womb.”
Volanski pointed out that Lee voted in favor of partial birth abortion and N,ARAL Pro-Choice America gives her a 100% rating for supporting abortion legislation.
After a series of articles on the boycott and the Girl Scouts-Planned Parenthood link, that featured the Girl Scouts logo to identify the organization, Brian Crawford, an executive with Girl Scouts USA, wrote LifeNews a scathing letter attempting to intimidate us into stopping our reporting on their link and to no longer use their logo or image to identify them as we bring attention to their support for the nation’s biggest abortion business.
However, the links between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood are longstanding, with a Girl Scouts CEO and individual troops admitting as much.
Fresh on the heels of Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) sharing a recommendation for pro-abortion Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis as a 2013 Woman of the Year via their official Twitter account, the organization suggested pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a woman “with courage, confidence, and character.”
Meanwhile, the new national spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, Kelly Parisi, is the former spokeswoman for a pro-abortion organization — one founded by Gloria Steinem.
The Girl Scouts have been criticized for their involvement in the May, 2013 Women Deliver Conference, an international event that included “safe and legal abortion” among its overarching themes. It documents its role in the planning and facilitating of the December, 2012 Bali Global Youth Forum and the outcome declaration, which demands youth access to abortion.
The ties between the two groups have been questioned ever since former Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger admitted on NBC’s The Today Show: “We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with…Planned Parenthood organizations across the country.” See the video here.
Then, in a national survey, seventeen Girl Scouts councils admit to partnering with Planned Parenthood; many other councils refuse to answer the survey question. Of the 315 Girl Scout councils in the U.S., 17 councils reported having a relationship with Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and 49 reported they do not. The other 249 refused to disclose any relationship.
In 2010-2011 Girls Scouts in New York partnered with Planned Parenthood for a sex-ed program, “Real Life. Real Talk.” The program website touts their partners (link has since been removed): “Real Life. Real Talk. is proud to count the following organizations, faith communities and companies as partners: …Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways.”
For fourteen years, the Girls Scouts in Waco, TX co-sponsored a sex ed conference with Planned Parenthood. “It’s Perfectly Normal” a book written by a Planned Parenthood executive was  given to all children in attendance says abortion can be “a positive experience.” And in January 2012, Girl Scouts employee Renise Rodriguez wore a “Pray to End Abortion” t-shirt during off-duty visit to her Tucson Girl Scout office and was ordered to her to turn the shirt inside out or leave.
As LifeNews reported in 2012, the Girl Scouts joined with Planned Parenthood to head a UN conference and LifeNews reported on the investigation the Catholic Church is undertaking into the ties between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups.


Wknd Box Office: Focus, The Lazarus Effect, Red Army

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Belated Wknd Box Office: Focus, The Lazarus Effect, Red Army

By Debbie Schlussel
Sorry for the belated movie reviews, but better late than never (although sometimes better never than late). You didn’t miss much, as I wasn’t impressed much by the new offerings, but for an art house documentary. Remember, you can always hear my movie reviews on the day they debut, first thing every Friday morning on “The Mike Church Show” on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 after 7:05 am Eastern and on “The Pat Campbell Show” on KFAQ 1170 AM Tulsa at 7:35 am Eastern. I do my movie reviews on both, as well as some discussion of current political issues and pop culture topics on both shows. So here’s what’s new at theaters, this weekend:


* “Focus“: I’ve seen plenty of con artist movies, all of them better than this one. This is a whole lotta nothin’. Just lame. It starts out as what might be a fun caper movie about two con artists in a crime ring, but it degrades into an unbelievable, nonsensical mess, with a silly ending. Oh, and Will Smith and the more attractive Jaime Pressly-lookalike, Margot Robbie, don’t have much in the chemistry department. Also, the movie really glamorized stealing and cons, and didn’t show the dark side. They really wanted you to root for these crooks, but I didn’t. The movie was just too slow and boring, even if I had been so disposed. And I could have done without some of the graphic sexual “humor” (which wasn’t funny) about oral sex and lesbian oral sex. The language was more explicit than I’d expected for a “comedy” or “rom-com”–or whatever this was supposed to be–about con artists.
The story: Robbie is a con artist who tries to con Will Smith at a hotel. But he, being a bigger con artist (unbeknownst to her), doesn’t fall for the con and tells her the jig is up. Later, she tracks Smith down and asks him to teach her how to be a better con artist. He tutors her and then tests her in New Orleans, where she is invited to join his ring of crooks. It’s Super Bowl weekend, and there are a lot of wallets, expensive watches, and other loot to steal from people. Soon, Robbie and Smith are sleeping together. But at the end of New Orleans con artist week, everyone gets his/her cut sent to him/her, and Smith abruptly says good-bye to Robbie.
Three years later, Smith is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, helping a race car driver scam his competitors. And Robbie shows up as the driver’s girlfriend. Smith is jealous and wants her back, which puts him off his game. But, predictably (and you could see this a mile away–I did), things are not as they seem, as in every previous caper movie (though most others are better at surprising you than this sloppy flick was). And after seeing this, you have to wonder if Will Smith has lost his touch at the box office. He seemed to be going through the motions and playing himself, which ain’t that interesting.
Like I said, after the first third of the movie, I was bored. A caper movie should be fun and amusing. This wasn’t. I expected more from this. I got less.
There wasn’t that much focus in “Focus.”
Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Lazarus Effect“: For what was supposed to be a “scary” movie, I didn’t flinch even once. It was boring, slow, and stupid. Much of it was also nonsensical and never explained. And what was supposed to be just an hour and 20 minutes seemed like three hours. A complete waste of time, and not scary at all. You know each time someone’s head is going to pop up or something is going to happen. The ominous music plays, and it’s just so predictable.
The story: a husband and wife team of doctors (Mark DuPlass and Olivia Wilde) and their crew work in a lab, studying animals and whether they can be brought back to life after long periods of being dead. They secretly developed a serum that brings the animals back to life, a dog being their first guinea pig. The dog does all kinds of weird things and disappears and re-appears like a ghost. Soon, the company that gave the doctors their grant yanks the grant, after having discovered that the doctors violated the conditions of the grant . . . and developed a “Lazarus” serum, which could be worth trillions and will now be the property of the company. After all, who wouldn’t want to buy a drug that could bring their relatives, or themselves, back to life?
The doctors want to prove that they invented the serum and prove that it works to bring animals back to life. So, after being kicked out of the lab, they break in, one night, and accidentally electrocute the female doctor (Wilde) to death. So, they bring her back to life by injecting her with the serum. But she disappears and reappears and has magical powers, which she uses to kill members of the team.
The movie never explains why this happened–why the serum brings dead beings back as evil beings. And none of the characters are particularly likeable, so you just don’t care. Plus, the story is just not tight. As far as scary movies go, I’d put this in the bottom 25%. It’s just a complete waste of time.
You walk out of this movie thinking, “Is that all there is?”
Watch the trailer . . .

* “Red Army“: This documentary, purportedly about the Soviet Central Red Army Hockey Team back in the old days of the Soviet Union, is really just a story about Vyecheslav “Slava” Fetisov’s experience as a star Soviet hockey player (it touches a little bit on his later career as an NHL pro), told from his point of view. As a former hockey agent and someone who followed the Russian hockey influx into the NHL, I had an interest in seeing this movie.
And while I found the movie somewhat interesting (it even shows us the Soviet Honey Booboo–the granddaughter of a former KGB agent), I felt it severely downplayed the severity of the Soviet Union and its human rights abuses. The movie also presented Vladimir Posner as “Journalist,” and didn’t mention that Posner is a Marxist who served as the spokes-apparatchik for the Soviet Union. If you really strain to look and know better than most audiences who will see this, you can see a faint photo of Stalin on Posner’s desk in the background, while he is being interviewed. (Posner’s parents were Hollywood Marxists who left America during the McCarthy era because they really were Commies working for the enemy in our midst.) The lack of coverage of what the real Soviet Union was really about might, in part, be due to the fact that Fetisov returned to Russia and now serves as the Sports Minister for former KGB-head Vladimir Putin’s government. But this doesn’t excuse filmmaker Gabe Polsky from his responsibility to show the truth. It’s his movie.
The movie did show that these members of the Red Army team were professionals in every sense and were treated to harsh terms generally imposed on athletes in Communist countries. They were sent to train full time and barely ever allowed to visit family members, including a dying father (the player wasn’t even allowed to attend the funeral), wives, and so on. But, in reality (and this was NOT shown in the movie), they had it much better off than most Soviets. If any of these Soviet hockey players had been Jews, for example, they might be sent to Siberia or imprisoned for years, merely for trying to practice their faith or applying for a visa to go to Israel. (And I’ve heard from some people in the know, in the Detroit Russian community, that some of the Soviet players who came to Detroit to play for the Red Wings were anti-Semitic, something they picked up being raised as hockey royalty in the Soviet Union.)
The highlight of this movie was watching the replay of the U.S. Olympic Hockey team beating the Soviet team in 1980 in the semi-finals at Lake Placid. And after that, the movie shows how the Soviets fired almost everyone and rebuilt the team, from the players to the coach. Fetisov was the only “survivor.” The movie showed what happened to the various members of the team, with one being elected to the Russian Parliament, Fetisov getting his appointment by Putin, and one of the other team members working for Fetisov. About one member, though, the movie leaves questions it doesn’t answer. He looks and seems very sad and unhappy, and the movie doesn’t tell us why. He died not long after his interview for the movie was completed, and the movie doesn’t tell us the circumstances of that, either.
This documentary provides an interesting and entertaining–but only baseline–look into the Soviet hockey system from one man’s perspective. It doesn’t go very deep. And, again, it largely whitewashes how bad things were under the Soviets.
Watch the trailer . . .

Friday, February 27, 2015

Israel: A Nation in Constant Peril

An interesting article from about the nation of Israel. This follows this post about the U.S. government. This follows this post about Homeland Security. For a free magazine subscription or to get the books recommended for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886- 8632.
I am leaving TWITTER SOON. Please continue to follow me here.

Israel: A Nation in Constant Peril

Hostility against the Jewish state, encircled by antagonistic countries, threatens to get completely out of control. How will Jerusalem cope with these anti-Semitic outbursts? What does the Bible reveal about this vulnerable nation's destiny?

Israeli flag
Israel, a small democratic nation about the size of New Jersey, is virtually surrounded by 22 Islamic nations, some of which have regularly called for its total demise.
Typical of such statements is the most recent utterance of open hostility from Khaled Meshaal, leader of the terrorist group Hamas: "Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land. We will never recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation" ( The Observer, Dec. 9, 2012).
"From the river to the sea" is typical Islamist shorthand for the territory between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea—meaning the entirety of the land of Israel. No "two-state solution" there!
Even more hostile statements have periodically come from the lips of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, who regularly threatens Israel with annihilation.
Recently installed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has also joined in such calls. He presented himself as the arbiter of the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza and in July 2012 called Israeli President Shimon Peres a "great and good friend."
But when interviewed on video in Arabic earlier in 2010 he called Israelis "bloodsuckers" and "descendants of apes and pigs." Morsi also argued for Muslim "military resistance" against Israel and referred to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as "a waste of time." In addition he firmly declared: "There is no place for them on the land of Palestine," adding that Jews "are hostile by nature—they have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history. There should also be political resistance and economic resistance through a boycott, as well as supporting the resistance fighters.
"This should be the practice of the Muslims and the Arabs outside Palestine. They must not be given any opportunity, and must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land . They must be driven out of our countries" ( The Jewish Chronicle , Jan. 11, 2013, emphasis added throughout).
Morsi also stated on video in 2010: "Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue" (posted at the Middle East Media Research Institute [MEMRI] website, Jan. 10, 2013).
Has President Morsi softened his approach toward Israel since becoming head of state in Egypt? Time will tell, but his actions to date don't offer a great deal of hope. (For more on him, be sure to read " Winter Advisory: The Arab Spring That Wasn't ")
As foretold in the Bible, the Jewish state has been and will increasingly be a focal point of enemy rage and global conflict. What does this mean for Israel, and what lies ahead?

What the Bible reveals

The Bible remains an up-to-date, now book, continually commenting on current affairs with astounding accuracy.
You may be surprised to learn that some 3,000 years ago a psalm of "Asaph the seer" (2 Chronicles:29:30) was right on target with these prophetic words about Israel in the end time: "O God . . . Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
"They have said, 'Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.' For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You" (Psalm:83:1-5).
While Israel has faced its share of enemies throughout its turbulent history, this vivid description applies even more now. Today the Arab nations are partially divided among themselves, but they generally agree on one point—their fervent desire for Israel's demise. Today the ominous threat level has increased on all of its borders.
Truly Israel today remains a fulfillment of Ezekiel:5:5: "Thus says the Lord God: 'This is Jerusalem: I have set her in the midst of the nations and countries all around her.'" This passage reflects a lot deeper meaning than its historical context alone would indicate. Throughout Israel's history, God has always understood her fragile position in a hostile world. (For further historical and prophetic insight, see "A Biblical Prophecy of an Arab Confederation .")

A free world unfriendly to Israel

British author Melanie Phillips, also a Daily Mail columnist and contributing writer for The Jewish Chronicle, concluded a recent Internet piece with this stark statement about current world conditions—especially in the West:
"You are looking at the emergence of a new world order: the eclipse of the west, brought about by the unholy alliance between the Obama administration and death-wish Britain and Europe—and leaving Israel, once the forward salient of the west in the Middle East, emerging instead as the lonely and isolated defender of liberty in the face of a gathering Islamic storm" ("Into the Abyss," Dec. 12, 2012).
Britain and Western Europe have a history of often favoring the Arab countries over Israel. But the United States has long been a loyal supporter and ally of this tiny democratic state. That threatens to change, perhaps more radically than we could ever imagine.
Many observers have pointed out that President Barack Obama's recent choices for two key cabinet posts, State and Defense, do not have an encouraging history of support for the state of Israel. As Melanie Phillips, who also appears as a commentator on radio and TV programs in Britain, observed, "John Kerry, tipped to become Secretary of State, is an anti-war activist and left-wing fantasist."
As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry warned against "prejudging" the Muslim Brotherhood as it prepared to take power in Egypt. And he gave assurances that Egypt's President Morsi was committed to freedom and good relations with Israel and the United States—despite much evidence to the contrary ("Exclusive: Muslim Brotherhood Preaching Israel Destruction After Election," IPT [Investigative Project on Terrorism] News, June 27, 2012).
Phillips went on to remark: "The record of Chuck Hagel, is more troubling still . . . He has consistently voted against sanctions on Iran to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability; he voted against naming Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization; and he refused to sign a letter calling on the European Union similarly to name Hezbollah—which has the blood of countless Americans on its hands—as a terrorist organization. Instead he advocates engaging with Iran."
A Wall Street Journal editorial adds that Hagel "has long advocated engagement with Syria's dictator [Bashar al-Assad] and the terror group Hamas" ("A Hagel Education," Jan. 9, 2013).
The Economist quoted Lindsey Graham, Republican U.S. Senator of South Carolina and a member of the Arms Services Committee as stating that Hagel is "well out of the 'mainstream' in his foreign-policy views" and, if confirmed, would be "the most antagonistic Secretary of Defense towards the state of Israel in our nation's history" ("Obama Picks His Soldiers," Jan. 12, 2013).
Texas Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz echoes this observation, stating: "His record on Israel strongly suggests that he views Israel not as a friend, but as a nuisance. The U.S.-Israel alliance is critical to our national security, but Hagel has been far too willing to undermine that alliance" ("Why I Expect to Oppose Hagel," USA Today, Jan. 9, 2013).
We should also recognize that President Obama's foreign policy has favored Islamists during and following recent uprisings (see " Puzzling U.S. Support for Islamists Over Moderates "). And Islamists are hostile to the state of Israel.

Israel's long history of encirclement

Douglas Murray stated in his article "Israel Under Siege" in The Spectator: "Since 1973 Israel has suffered a status quo of quiet enemies and even quieter friends. Now it is surrounded by disappearing friends and even louder enemies" (Nov. 24, 2012). He spoke of "the overarching movement that has been overlooked for too much of the [20th] century since its birth [in 1948]."
But Israel has faced many enemies since the nation left Egypt some 3,500 years ago. The late British theologian and historian F.F. Bruce tells us, "The departure of the people of Israel from Egypt marks their birth as a nation" ( Israel and the Nations, 1969, p. 13). He had observed earlier: "Yet Israel's national history was not lived out in isolation from other peoples. The Israelites were surrounded by nations greater and mightier than themselves, who impinged upon the life of Israel, at many points" (p. 11).
During Israel's early days as a nation, "it was not only Canaanite cities in the land that tried to reduce them to serfdom; from time to time they suffered from incursions from beyond Jordan, by their own kinsman of Moab and Ammon [descendants of Abraham's nephew Lot] and Edom [the descendants of Jacob's brother Esau], and more disastrously by the beduin [or Bedouin] from remoter parts of Arabia, who mounted on camels, raided their territory year by year at harvest time and destroyed their crops" (pp. 19-20).
Yet ancient Israel also had her share of national heroes and deliverers—Joshua, Gideon, King Hezekiah and King David, the latter conquering the city of Jerusalem and founding it as his nation's capital. In more recent times we think of Israel's modern founder David Ben-Gurion (1948), Moshe Dayan (of the 1967 War) and even of Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Still, throughout too much of Israel's history its peoples have been in either actual or virtual captivity. In the eighth century B.C. the northern 10 tribes of the kingdom of Israel were taken captive into Assyria, followed in the sixth century B.C. by the southern kingdom of Judah being invaded and exiled by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. In the days of Jesus Christ and His apostles and the early Church, the Jews were under the occupation of Rome.
After two failed revolts against Rome's might, the Jewish nation was crushed and its people scattered. Many centuries later the tragic experience of the Holocaust (with 6 million Jews perishing) was followed by the prophesied return of many Jews to their ancient homeland.
These hardy survivors were determined not to become slaves yet again. Thus we see the strong survival mentality of the modern state of Israel, again threatened by a host of enemy countries and now also hindered by waning friendships with key supporter nations.
The late historian Barbara Tuchman wrote in her book Practicing History: "With all its problems, Israel has one commanding advantage—a sense of purpose: to survive. It has come back. It has confounded persecution and outlived exile to become the only nation of the world that is governing itself in the same territory, under the same name, and with the same religion and the same language as it did three thousand years ago. It is conscious of fulfilling destiny . It knows it must not go under now, that it must endure" ("Israel: Land of Unlimited Impossibilities," 1981, p. 134).

What Bible prophecy clearly reveals

So what does Bible prophecy tell us about what will happen to Israel and Jerusalem in the years ahead? One specific prophetic passage in the Bible becomes supremely important at the time of the end of this age of human misrule, which will be followed by the utopian, millennial reign of Jesus Christ and His saints (Revelation:20:4-6). This key scripture is found in Zechariah:12:2-3, where God says:
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day [of God's direct intervention] that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."
Although Jerusalem (often meaning not only the city itself, but the nation of Israel as a whole) has been a source of contention throughout much of its history, this prophetic passage primarily speaks of the time of Armageddon (see Revelation:16:14-16). This occurs just prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ. (For a detailed account, read the article, "Armageddon: The End of the World? ")
But what decisive geopolitical events lead directly to this most crucial of all benchmarks in future world history? In brief, a new European-centered superpower will arise and take control of Egypt and the Holy Land. The leader of this power is identified in Bible prophecy as "the king of the North."
Another end-time leader referred to as "the king of the South" (most likely leading an alliance of Islamic Middle Eastern nations, possibly a restored Islamic caliphate) will attack or "push at" the king of the North. This will provoke the North into a blitzkrieg-like invasion of Egypt and neighboring lands, with northern forces also entering the "Glorious Land"—the Holy Land (Daniel:11:40-42).
But then what happens to these conquering enemies? Zechariah:14:3-4 gives us the answer with a basic prophecy about Christ's return to the earth: "Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations . . . and in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east." These nations will have been gathered together at Armageddon to fight the Messiah, Jesus Christ, at His coming.
Shortly before that time, "half of the city [of Jerusalem] shall go into captivity" (verse 2). So the clear indication is that Israel will once again be occupied by foreign armies, coming under gentile control for 3½ years just before Christ's second coming (Revelation:11:2).
As mentioned at the outset of this article, a number of surrounding nations are already intent on destroying the nation of Israel. Yet in spite of all the troubles they may inflict on Israel, Bible prophecy indicates that these Middle Eastern nations will not be able to eliminate the Jewish state.
Ultimately Israel's captivity and occupation is destined to come from an unexpected source—the aforementioned prophesied European-centered superpower. Then the peoples of Israel will finally learn how dependent they are on God for safety and security (these peoples being more than just the Jews—see "Where Are the 'Lost 10 Tribes' Today? "). Then they will welcome the Anointed One, their-long-sought-for Messiah.

Christ will rescue Israel

An encouraging, yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy of Christ enters this end-time picture: "'Behold, the days are coming' says the Lord, 'that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness'" (Jeremiah:23:5-6).
The fulfillment of this prophecy will be so important to Israel's future that it is repeated almost verbatim in Jeremiah:33:15-16.
The context of this particular prophecy makes it even more intriguing. These wonderful, inspiring words are uttered by Jeremiah in the midst of a series of prophecies relaying the terrible news that the nation of Judah was going into Babylonian captivity at that time.
Yes, even in the most discouraging of circumstances, God keeps His plan of ultimate rescue and deliverance fully in mind.    
Whatever troubles the peoples of the tiny Middle Eastern nation of Israel may have to endure before that ultimate outcome, we may be absolutely sure that God Himself will come to Israel's rescue through the direct intervention of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Our Creator keeps His eyes on Jerusalem and Israel. And so should we!

Flyer To Print Out For CPAC– Warned You!

A timely post about from about CPAC. This follows this post about movies better than the Oscars.
You can follow me here.


Flyer To Print Out For CPAC– Warned You!

Neil Munro in the Daily Caller had a story yesterday headedObama: Immigration Will Reshape America’s Politics“. Really? Who knew? Well, in fact, we knew.
Specifically, Peter Brimelow knew, when he wrote Alien Nation in 1995 (Chapter 10: Immigration Has Consequences–Political Power) and also when he wrote Electing a New People as a National Review cover story. [June 16, 1997]
But there are many people who don’t know, and  a lot of them are at CPAC. They need to know. At this point, if you are a Republican operative, immigration is endangering your job.
A flyer saying  all this, suitable for printing and handing out to the throngs at CPAC  can be downloaded here. (6.2 MB PDF, 1 printable page.)
Time for some grassroots activism!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

U.S.A.: Best Government in Existence?

An interesting article from about the U.S. government. This follows this post about Homeland Security. This follows this post about the book Flashpoints from Stratfor. For a free magazine subscription or to get the books recommended for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886- 8632.
I am leaving TWITTER SOON. Please continue to follow me here.

Best Government in Existence?

Printer-friendly version

Is the U.S. form of government "the best existing, or that ever did exist"? Does its system of "checks and balances" produce strength—or contentiousness?

With all the imperfections of our present government, it is without comparison the best existing, or that ever did exist," wrote Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington in 1787 ( Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government, © 1995-1998, by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr., ME 6:227). Now 213 years later, the 2000 presidential election process afforded a test of that lofty claim. Is the U.S. form of government really "the best existing, or that ever did exist"?
Leaders who answer to no one have it easier than leaders in a democratic republic. Interviewed by the press after meeting with partisan leaders of Congress, President—elect George W. Bush commented that he would not want to live in a dictatorship—"unless I was the dictator," he quipped!
But, despots are easily corrupted. History is replete with the biographies of kingly leaders who were corrupt either before their coronation or were corrupted in time by the cheers of their subjects. Setting aside for the moment the despots who have forced the hands of their citizens together in applause, even well intentioned, democratic leaders have also fallen prey to the praise of those who surround them. Too easily, they begin to rate themselves more highly than they should.
Enter the American model of government. (By "American," I mean U.S.—apologies to Canada, Central and South America!) "The Founding Fathers knew well the kind of government they were trying to avoid, but could only project what their own experiment in government would become. They based this projection on their analysis of governments in the past, on principles derived from natural rights, and on an assessment of the nature of man" (ibid., Introduction).
Looking forward along the annals of time, Jefferson forecast, "Those who will come after us will be as wise as we are, and as able to take care of themselves as we have been" (Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1811, ibid . ME 13:40). Have the present leaders and citizens fulfilled his optimistic prophecy? Let's first consider how the U.S. founding fathers constructed the U.S. governmental structure.
Checks and balances
Theoretically, each of the three branches of government in the United States "checks" or restrains the other two. An executive (the president) administers and enforces laws that are made by the legislature (the House of Representatives and Senate). A court (the ultimate being the Supreme) speaks to the legitimacy of executive policies, based upon law, and the validity of new legislation, based upon the Constitution.
The hypothesis continues with the premise that every branch strengthens the other's performance. The mutual strengthening lies in the fact that no one branch is permitted to do the tasks of all three: create and administer law, as well as respond to challenges about both law and its administration. The system acknowledges the founders' assumption that any person or group of people vested with overly much power would become despotic.
A given division of the government that performs questionably in the discharge of its responsibility would face challenges by the other two. Thereby, orders, propositions and rulings would be made stronger than they would be if their issuers answered to no one. It's at least a partial application of the biblical proverb, "Iron sharpens iron" (Proverbs:27:17).
In idealistic terms, the ultimate authority of the U.S. government, the force that could and would stop all abuses of power, is its citizenry. The Electoral College chooses the president. How the college members vote is determined by popular vote in each state (not by the popular vote nationwide, as many were reminded in the daily civics lessons associated with the recent election contest). Members of the Congress are selected by popular vote, based upon a formula that was designed to insure a stable government. The president appoints members of the Supreme Court for life, but the Senate must confirm each appointee.
The American press evolved over the centuries into a "fourth branch of government," often called "the Fourth Estate," taking on the role of holding the nation's leaders to an honest commitment to the constitutional responsibility each occupies. (The media did not always enjoy the freedom and power it now notably wields. Once, in frustrated anger over the Washington press corps, President Jefferson had every member of it jailed over a weekend! How times have changed!) Ostensibly, the media is made up of "the people" and furthers the objectives of the U.S. founders.
So, it is ultimately the people's government. Common citizens can question the highest officials of the land. The sought-after result is a nation whose citizens would enjoy the greatest possible freedoms to pursue their personal goals.
Government of, by and for the people
Jefferson extolled the foundational role of the citizenry in a private letter to Richard Price in 1785. "The happiness of governments like ours wherein the people are truly the mainspring is that they are never to be despaired of. When an evil becomes so glaring as to strike them generally, they arouse themselves, and it is redressed. He only is then the popular man and can get into office who shows the best dispositions to reform the evil" (ibid., Papers, 7:630).
President Lincoln, in his renowned Gettysburg address, intoned, "...we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people , shall not perish from the earth."
Has the United States been able to fulfill this noble, idyllic aim? As charges and countercharges were fired back and forth during the recent postelection challenges in the United States, many reporters observed that at least it was words, not lead, being fired. To be sure, this is good! The country's politicians lauded themselves that they resolved their disputes peacefully.
Did they? I referred to Proverbs:27:17 above, noting the sense of "iron sharpens iron" imbedded in early American thought. The rest of that verse reads, "so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend ." That is, challenges made with respect to people who are honored can engender better decisions, better thought, better policies. However, hostile opposition and rivalry will only reinforce a party spirit-as postelection events have demonstrated.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: "We have no interests nor passions different from those of our fellow citizens. We have the same object: the success of representative government. Nor are we acting for ourselves alone, but for the whole human race. The event of our experiment is to show whether man can be trusted with self-government . The eyes of suffering humanity are fixed on us with anxiety as their only hope, and on such a theatre, for such a cause, we must suppress all smaller passions and local considerations" (Thomas Jefferson to Gov. Hall, 1802, ibid.).
More self ish than self less
Has the United States demonstrated that "man can be trusted with self-government"?
What began as the world's best answer to despotism has become a complex tangle of conflicting interest. Presidents "legislate" by executive order, bypassing the lawmakers. President Clinton used this avenue to place thousands of acres into national parks, without going through legislative channels. Many conservatives already are calling on the incoming Bush administration to issue countermanding executive orders to rescind the Clinton directives.
Legislators have their own "creative" means of getting their way, by adding non sequitur amendments to critical bills. For example, a congressman may write an amendment that authorizes several thousand dollars to be paid to someone in his district for the study of methane gas produced by cattle manure (seriously!). He would then add that amendment to a crucial highway appropriations bill that has passed committee debate and is ready to go to the president for his signature.
Activist courts go beyond interpreting the law, adding precepts to existing statutes. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court, not the Congress, mandated busing. Vermont had no law acknowledging same-sex relationships, but the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that such "couples" were entitled to the same benefits as married couples. The legislature felt obliged, with the encouragement of the governor, to respond by creating the infamous civil union law. A more recent example of an activist court is the Florida Supreme Court, whose justices added new election law in the course of interpreting existing law. Another example of judicial activism is the action of the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided the presidential election.
Nothing human could be perfect
"Perfect human government" is an oxymoron, for nothing "human" could be "perfect." Truthfully, Americans themselves make no claim that their government is perfect, but they often assert that it is "the best possible" form of government. We've already noted several imperfections. Breaking down the U.S. system further, we see more.
That ambiguous entity, "the White House" is synonymous with the presidency at the same time as it affords an illusory anonymity. "White House sources" attempt to mold and shape public opinion, amplifying the influence of the executive branch of government. An "unofficial" call from the White House, asking for consideration for a certain person or project conveys a weighty endorsement in itself.
The Congress is comprised of liberals, moderates and conservatives principally of the two major political parties, Democrats and Republicans. Each one theoretically represents his constituency, his ideological allies in both parties, his own party, his own conscience and his personal political ambitions for reelection or for higher office-at the same time! Additionally, congressmen respond to professional lobbyists who seek legislation favorable to their private interests.
Courts theoretically are made up of men and women who are not ideologues, but rather "pure" jurists who seek to adjudicate the law and the Constitution. The Supreme Court justices typify the "supreme" jurist-in theory, anyway. In practice, students of the high court know that the justices are selected for the bench, in part, on the basis of their personal ideology. Why else would people pose the oft-asked question of the presidential candidates: "Would you nominate a pro-life or pro-choice judge for the Supreme Court?" Further, many justices have been blatant about pursuing their personal political convictions at every possible turn.
Jefferson's prayer
Thomas Jefferson said he prayed that selfishness of the few would not obstruct serving the needs of the many. "A government regulating itself by what is wise and just for the many, uninfluenced by the local and selfish views of the few who direct their affairs, has not been seen, perhaps, on earth. Or if it existed for a moment at the birth of ours, it would not be easy to fix the term of its continuance. Still, I believe it does exist here in a greater degree than anywhere else; and for its growth and continuance...I offer sincere prayers" (Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, 1816, ibid., ME 15:31).
His prayer might have been answered for a time, or it simply may have taken time for the innate selfishness of human nature to permeate the U.S. system. Either way, selfishness is more evident than cooperation for the common good. Even those who proudly claim "the system works" would not be so naïve as to posture that its participants act unselfishly.
The perception of the U.S. founders about the corruptibility of human nature truly was insightful, and the model of government they devised has been remarkably successful. However, Americans would be remiss to take undue credit for their triumph, given the state of their government's inherent divisiveness. It is to the credit of God's will and mercy that the country has endured so long.
If the U.S. form of government is truly "the best existing, or that ever did exist" and if the "eyes of suffering humanity are fixed on" the United States as its only hope, then the future of humanity is bleak indeed. Such a claim likely sounds patriotic to its citizens and, perhaps, self-congratulatory to other world citizens, but it actually is a presumptuous assertion.
Nonetheless, an answer to Jefferson's prayer will come-not in the way that he expected. The best is yet to come in the form of the government of God, which Christ will soon establish over the world. He alone will rule with unselfishness. His government will not be " of the people, by the people" for no human government could achieve what a government should accomplish. But, His government truthfully will be " for the people."
Of this perfect government, Isaiah prophesied, "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel and might; the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight will be obedience to the Lord. He will not judge by appearance, false evidence or hearsay, but will defend the poor and the exploited. He will rule against the wicked who oppress them. For he will be clothed with fairness and with truth" (Isaiah:11:2-4, The Living Bible). WNP
Nobody has commented yet. Be the first to kick off the discussion!
Login/Register to post comments