Sunday, September 21, 2014

God's Sufficient Word - Part 2

By John MacArthur and originally published at gty.org 
There is a direct parallel with advertisements for soft drinks and psychology—they both not only make promises they can’t keep, they actually leave people yearning for the real source of life, energy, and vitality.
In our last post we began to explore—through a study of Psalm 19—the reality of God’s Word as complete, trustworthy, and course-correcting. Those who trust in it find transformed lives, wisdom, and everlasting joy. We’ll now look at three more remarkable aspects of Scripture, and how it is sufficient for your life.
Scripture Is Pure, Enlightening the Eyes
Psalm 19:8 gives a fourth characteristic of Scripture’s utter sufficiency: “The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” “Commandment” stresses the Bible’s non-optional nature. It is not a book of suggestions. Its divine mandates are authoritative and binding. Those who treat it lightly place themselves in eternal peril. Those who take it seriously find eternal blessing.
“Pure” could better be translated “lucid”—Scripture is not mystifying, confusing, or puzzling. The synonym “clear” is best. God’s Word is a revelation—a revealing of truth to make the dark things light, bringing eternity into bright focus. Granted, there are things in Scripture that are hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16). But taken as a whole, the Bible is not a bewildering book.
Scripture, because of its absolute clarity, brings understanding where there is ignorance, order where there is confusion, and light where there is spiritual and moral darkness. It stands in stark contrast to the muddled musings of unredeemed men, who themselves are blind and unable to discern truth or live righteously. God’s Word clearly reveals the blessed, hopeful truths they can never see.
Scripture Is Clean, Enduring Forever
In Psalm 19:9 David uses the term “fear” as a synonym for God’s Word: “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.” “Fear” speaks of the reverential awe for God that compels us to worship Him. Scripture, in this sense, is God’s manual on how to worship Him.
The Hebrew word translated “clean” speaks of the absence of impurity, filthiness, defilement, or imperfection. Scripture is without sin, evil, corruption, or error. The truth it conveys is therefore absolutely undefiled and without blemish. That truth is pictured in Psalm 12:6, where David calls the Word “flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times” (NIV).
Because it is flawless, Scripture endures forever (Psalm 19:9). Any change or modification could only introduce imperfection. Scripture is eternally and unalterably perfect. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). That guarantees that the Bible is permanent, unchanging, and therefore relevant to everyone in every age of history. It has always been and will always be sufficient.
It must grieve God when people slander Him by claiming that the Bible is outdated or isn’t sophisticated enough for our educated society. Scripture needs no updating, editing, or refining. Whatever time or culture you live in, it is eternally relevant.
It needs no help in that regard. It is pure, sinless, inerrant truth; it is enduring. It is God’s revelation for every generation. It was written by the omniscient Spirit of God, who is infinitely more sophisticated than anyone who dares stand in judgment on Scripture’s relevancy for our society, and infinitely wiser than all the best philosophers, analysts, and psychologists who pass like a childhood parade into irrelevancy.
Scripture Is True, Altogether Righteous
Verse 9 gives the final characteristic and effect of God’s all-sufficient Word: “The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.” “Judgments” in that context means ordinances or divine verdicts from the bench of the Supreme Judge of the earth. The Bible is God’s standard for judging the life and eternal destiny of every person.
Unbelievers can’t know what is true because they are blind to God’s Word. Being deceived by Satan, they search vainly for spiritual truth. But aside from God’s Word they cannot discover ultimate truth about the things that really matter: origins, the purpose of life, morality, values, life, death, destiny, eternity, heaven, hell, true love, hope, security, and every other fundamental spiritual issue.
I once received a book on how to deal with depression, which was written by a psychiatrist. A section entitled “Reprogramming Your Conscious Mind” particularly caught my attention. The doctor’s first suggestion was to shout, “Cancel!” every time you have a negative thought. She also recommended sleep programming—playing a tape recording all night that contains lots of positive feedback. During the day she said you should listen to positive music.
The doctor also thought it would be helpful to cultivate a meaningful spiritual philosophy. She said to find a belief system that works for you—any will do—but be sure to avoid people who talk about sin and guilt. Her final point was that you are to find the light in yourself. Unfortunately, that is the best human wisdom can do. [1]
Jesus illustrated the desperate, hopeless search for truth in human wisdom when He said to a group of unbelievers:
Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. ... He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God. (John 8:43–47)
By way of contrast, believers have the truth about everything that really matters. What an enormous privilege to possess the Word of truth!
Because Scripture is true it is “righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9). The implication of that phrase is that its truthfulness produces a comprehensive righteousness in those who accept it. And because it is a complete and exhaustive source of truth and righteousness, we are forbidden to add to it, take from it, or distort it in any way (Deuteronomy 4:2Revelation 22:18–192 Peter 3:15–16).
Contrary to what many are teaching today, there is no need for additional revelations, visions, or words of prophecy. In contrast to the theories of men, God’s Word is true and absolutely comprehensive. Rather than seeking something more than God’s glorious revelation, Christians need only to study and obey what they already have!
More Than Much Fine Gold
David concludes that God’s Word is “more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold” (Psalm 19:10). Scripture is infinitely more precious than anything this world has to offer, perfectly sufficient for every need of life. Thus Scripture assesses its own immense value.
As for its ability to satisfy our spiritual appetites, David goes on to write that it is “sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” To David, meditating on God’s Word was a source of great pleasure and enrichment. It meant more to him than the sweetest things in life.
Nothing this world has to offer is more precious than God’s Word. I have a friend who collects rare Bibles. He owns a wonderful collection, with one Bible dating back to the fourth century. But my favorite is a Bible from sixteenth-century England, one of the earliest printed copies of God’s Word. The top third of this Bible is covered with the blood of its original owner. My friend let me hold it in my hands, and tears came to my eyes as I leafed through it.
How did blood get on the pages of that Bible? When Bloody Mary ruled England, she terrorized Protestants, murdering as many as she could. Her soldiers would spill the person’s blood, then take his Bible and dip it deep into the blood. A few of those Bibles have been preserved and are known as Martyrs’ Bibles. Scientists have tested the paper and confirmed that the dark stains on every page of my friend’s Bible are human blood.
I examined that Bible carefully, page by page. I could see where it was well worn from being studied. There are water stains, as if from tears, and places where a thumb had frayed favorite pages. This was someone’s most valuable possession, and his or her blood is there to prove it.
In sad contrast, however, contemporary Christians tend to take their Bibles for granted, forgetting that many have given their lives just to own one copy. If the church today placed as high a value on God’s Word as those martyrs did, perhaps there would not be so many people running off to experts in human theory and seeking counsel other than the perfect wisdom God gives us in His Word.
I am convinced that many who submit to various kinds of extrabiblical therapy do so precisely because they are looking for a way of solving their problems without surrendering to what they know God’s Word requires of them.
Scripture hasn’t failed them—they’ve failed Scripture. Many have never learned to let the Word of Christ richly dwell within them, as Paul instructs in Colossians 3:16. They have treated Scripture in a cursory way and never plumbed its depths. Their sinful neglect inevitably bears the fruit of doctrinal confusion and spiritual impotence.
Because they never disciplined themselves to live according to biblical principles, they’re now abandoning Scripture for worldly alternatives. They turn to psychoanalysis to solve their problems, to science to explain the origin of life, to philosophy to explain the meaning of life, and to sociology to explain why they sin. Churches, schools, and seminaries have thus made themselves vulnerable to the influence of such teachings.
In Psalm 19:11 David concludes his hymn on the sufficiency of Scripture: “Moreover, by [Your judgments] Your servant is warned;/In keeping them there is great reward.” The warnings of Scripture help to protect us against temptation, sin, error, foolishness, false teachers, and every other threat to our spiritual well-being. And to heed those warnings brings great reward. It is not a material prize; the Hebrew word for “reward” speaks of a spiritual blessing, not temporal riches. It is the settled joy and rest that come to those who live by God’s Word.
There is no substitute for submission to Scripture. Your spiritual health depends on placing the utmost value on the Word of God and obeying it with an eager heart. If you think you can find answers to your spiritual problems through human counsel or worldly wisdom, you are forfeiting the most valuable and only reliable source of answers to the human dilemma. Don’t relinquish the sweet, satisfying riches of God’s Word for the bitter gall of this world’s folly.
David ended this psalm by praying, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart/Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” (v. 14). How can we be assured of having such acceptable thoughts and meditations? Joshua 1:8 gives us the answer and the results: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”
Join the Conversation
How has Scripture proved itself valuable in your life in times of struggles with sin or suffering?
(Adapted from Our Sufficiency in Christ)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

ISIS Update, Ukraine Wants Weapons, FED Easy Money Continues


ISIS Update, Ukraine Wants Weapons, Fed Easy Money ContinuesBy Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
The U.S. is at war with ISIS, well, sort of.   ISIS is definitely at war with America.  ISIS produced a video warning of putting U.S. ground troops back in Iraq.  It looks like the President is listening to ISIS because he has said repeatedly that there will be no boots on the ground.  I don’t think a single general and many in Congress think this plan will work.  Everybody says we will have to use ground troops if we are serious.  We could have bombed ISIS months ago and didn’t, even though the Iraqi government was begging Obama to do so.  It probably would have been much more effective back then.  Why the delay?  Why do we continue to let ISIS sell oil and make millions every day?  Why don’t we sanction or bomb that?    Both the House and the Senate agreed to arm the “moderate” rebels in Syria.  Haven’t we already tried this?  Didn’t Senator Rand Paul accuse Hillary Clinton of running weapons out of Libya and into Syria?  We may not have overtly armed the so-called moderate rebels, but we certainly did it covertly.  We know at least some of these weapons ended up with al-Qaeda, and that is how ISIS got power.  Now, we are going to double down on a bad policy and overtly arm the rebels who are fighting side by side with al-Qaeda, according to Rand Paul.  Lots of people in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle think arming rebels is a bad idea that won’t work and may backfire—again.
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, is in Washington asking for money, and he’s getting it.  The U.S. is chipping in more than $1 billion in various aid packages.  The IMF is approving billions in future loans.  Poroshenko also wants weapons and, so far, he’s not getting them, at least, that is the story coming out of the White House.  Even though there is a ceasefire with the pro-Russian separatists, Poroshenko said, “It is Europe’s, and it is America’s war too. It is a war of the free world, and for the free world.”  Are you catching this?  Poroshenko is calling this a war, and it is far from over.
Meanwhile, Russia is hitting back for the recent round of new sanctions from the EU and the U.S.  Guess what is happening to gas supplies to the EU?  If you guessed gas supplies were cut, you guessed right.  Some are feeling supply cuts of 20% such as in Poland.  Guess what happens when supply gets cut?  The price goes up, and that is going to be the Russian game and ace card for the rest of this fall and winter.  If supplies get tight enough and prices get high enough, you could see the EU fall into a depression or they may knock off the fight in Ukraine.  We will see.
Finally, the Fed made a decision to continue the zero interest rate and easy money policies with no expiration date.  If things were really recovering, wouldn’t the Fed be jacking up interest rates and trying to normalize?  Of course, and that means the easy money policies are your tip-off that there is no real recovery.  Lots of people are now sounding the alarm, and even the IMF warns that “Sharp Downside Risks are Rising.”  Isn’t that a nice way of saying another big crash is on its way?  What could cause another market calamity?  It could be war, a terror attack, new markets for gold and silver in China or some unexpected bad news that makes everyone run for the exits.  Who knows, but another crash is coming.  Gregory Mannarino at TradersChoice.net said this zero interest rate policy is “stealing from savers” and what is really going on is a “gigantic wealth transfer via the stock market.”  Mannarino pointed out that margin debt (borrowing money to buy stocks) was near an all-time high, same as just before the 2008 meltdown.  Do the math.
Join Greg Hunter as he analyzes these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Obama’s Speech To America: Stop ISIL By Funding ISIL



By Brandon Turbeville and originally published at Activist Post
As many had expected as soon as the announcement was made that Barack Obama would make a speech on September 10 regarding his strategy against ISIS, the U.S. President has confirmed that he reserves the right to engage in airstrikes inside Syria.
The President outlined a four-point strategy that would, according to him, “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Obama stated that, “if left unchecked, ISIS could prove a threat across the middle eastern region” and possibly the American “homeland.” Obama warned that ISIS terrorists originating from the United States and Europe could return home and engage in terrorist attacks on both American and European soil.
The President also announced his desire to create a “broad coalition” to “roll back the terrorist threat.”
The four-point strategy is allegedly 1) “a systematic campaign of airstrikes” against terrorists in Iraq as well as a plan to work with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military forces. 2) To increase support to forces fighting ISIL on the ground. This will take the form of 475 additional U.S. service members. Obama claims that these troops will not have a combat mission, but instead an advisory role. Obama also stated his intention to increase assistance to Syrian death squad fighters fighting against Bashar Al Assad. 3) Increase counter-terrorism efforts, cut off funding to terrorist groups and improve intelligence on the ground. Obama stated that he intends to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council in two weeks to discuss these matters. 4) Increase humanitarian assistance to the victims of the crisis in Iraq and Syria.
Obama made clear that he will “not hesitate to take action against ISIL” and that he has “the authority to combat ISIL” but he believes that the country is stronger when the President consults Congress in these decisions. Toward the end of his speech, Obama stated that he intends to “take out ISIL wherever they exist.”
All in all, Barack Obama’s speech to the nation was nothing more than an exercise in the live broadcasting of utter insanity. Obama’s four-point plan is entirely full of deceit and contradictions.
Obama’s statement regarding ISIS in Iraq and Syria is a thinly masked lie covering up the ultimate goal of launching air strikes against the secular government of Assad in Syria. Despite all of the air strikes taking place in Iraq and those to take place in the future, ISIS/ISIL is entirely a creation of the United States and NATO.
In the same speech, Obama professed a desire to cut off funding for ISIL while he simultaneously announced his intention to increase financial and military assistance to ISIL in Syria.
If Obama were truly serious about ending terrorism in Iraq and Syria, he would immediately cease funding it. He would also call on his NATO allies and his allies of the Gulf State feudal monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar to cease their funding and assistance.
Aside from comments that have no basis in reality, such as his statement that “America’s manufacturing industries are thriving” and that American businesses are experiencing the “biggest streak of job creation in our history,” Obama also took the opportunity to take a jab at what he called “Russian aggression.” Taken with the statement that he reserves the right to “use force against anyone that threatens core American interests,” one can only surmise that the western provocation in Ukraine will continue as planned.
While echoing the Brzezinski-esque [1] cry for “dignity” Obama also proceeded to take credit for the rescue of the trapped Yazidis on Mount Sinjar despite the fact that it was the Syrian Kurds who rescued the Iraqi victims.
In the end, Barack Obama’s statements of aggression and duplicity came as no surprise to informed observers. The Western-backed terrorist organization known as ISIS will be used as an excuse to continue American Imperialism in the Middle East and to justify a military strike on Syria.
Notes:
[1] Tarpley, Webster Griffin, Obama the Postmodern Coup, Progressive Press, 200

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Illegals And The Unraveling To Come...

By Fred Reed and originally published at fredoneverything.net 
A few thoughts for Americans (justifiably) upset by the influx of illegal Mexicans:
First, they come because you invite them. In effect you say, “Diego, don’t you cross that river. If you do, and we catch you, we’ll just put you back across the border and you can try again, perhaps the same night. When you make it across, which is easy, we’ll give you a good job and, depending on where you are, a driver’s license, schools for your kids, welfare, food stamps, and medical care. Any children you have will be US citizens and, as we all know, sooner or later you will have amnesty Now, don’t cross that river, you hear?.”
That’ll work.

Second, they come because you guys changed the immigration laws. Mexico didn’t change your laws. The illegals didn’t change your laws. You did.

Third, you let them stay. You are not deporting them. You encouraged them to come and, when they did, you let them stay, and now you complain that they came and stayed. How sensible.
Fourth, you grouse that Latinos take American jobs. They do not. It is probable that no Latino has ever taken an American’s job. How would he do it? Point a pistol at the gringo’s head and say, “Give me that shovel or I’ll blow you into gruel”?

In fact conservative, noisily patriotic American businessmen give them American jobs. Businessmen know they are doing it. After all, Mexicans are easy to recognize. They are brownish and speak Spanish. These are the same conservative, patriotic etc. who off-whored (that was a typo, but accurate so I’ll leave it) other American jobs to China. They are the same ones who import programmers from India. My country tis of thee….

Fifth, Americans don’t want the jobs that Latinos do. If a young man from El Salvador can come all the way from Central America to harvest tobacco in North Carolina or work in restaurants in Washington, so could an unemployed “teen” from Detroit or Chicago. They don’t, which leaves the jobs to…yes!...Latinos.

Sixth, the federal government is complicit. Obama does all he can to further immigration. Mexicans didn’t elect Obama. You did.

The feds know where the illegals are: You can’t hide an entire agricultural work-force, or construction sites and meat-packing plants manned almost entirely by obvious foreigners. How many Mexicans do you think can go unnoticed in a small Midwestern town?
Do you think immigration a bad thing, mis amigos? You did it to yourselves. And you are still doing it.

Seventh, all the grrr-bow-wow-woof about a border fence is silly. It isn’t going to happen. Republicans will make appropriate noises, but the businessmen who desperately want Mexican labor are Republicans.

Eighth, methinks amnesty is a foregone conclusion. The current racially-obsessed administration may get it through soon, in bits and chunks perhaps. De facto amnesty is still amnesty. A Republican administration may block it for another eight years (while leaving the illegals in  place to work). Yet the illegals are not going to go away, and Latino political power will grow.

Ninth, there will be serious bad blood between black and brown. It is beginning. Latinos already are more numerous than blacks, and become more so daily. The two compete in the same strata of society, and do not like each other. Blacks now have immense political power, but numbers eventually tell.

Further, Latinos seem well on the way to becoming absolute majorities in four states: California (sometimes referred to as North Mexico), Arizona, Texas, and the appropriately named New Mexico, . Think about that.

Tenth, there is grave danger that the newcomers will be corrupted by the American welfare state. Mexicans at least arrive with a strong work ethic. They take any job they can get and maybe a couple of others on the side. When have you seen fifteen members of any other ethnic group waiting outside a Seven-Eleven at five in the morning hoping for work?

But if they find that they can go on the dole and get things for free, they will. Nobody who doesn’t have to will shovel asphalt under a hot sun or stand in two inches of blood in a slaughterhouse ten hours a day. Would you? They seem to be beginning to demand things on grounds of historical mistreatment. Where have we heard this before? The economy probably cannot stand another large dependent class.

Eleventh, the absolutely crucial question is whether they will assimilate, or at least co-exist, or become another self-aware anti-white group. The intense hostility of nativist whites drives them toward confrontation.

How assimilable are Latinos? It is hard to tell. Much depends on the country of origin I think.  I can speak with any degree of knowledge only of Mexicans.

They, the majority of the immigrants, are sort of half European genetically, for what that’s worth, Christian, and speak a European language. In Mexico itself, they maintain a mostly modern society functioning at perhaps seventy-five percent of the declining American norm. Call it sixty, or eighty if you will. How do you measure? But it is clearly, if certainly trailingly, in the European mold of technology, semi-democracy, and ascent into the middle class. Their intellectual tradition—for example, the works of such men as Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, and Alejandro Colunga—are within the European framework, though with a Mexican flavor.

On the negative side, those going to the United States are mostly from the lower half of Mexican society. Though not evil people (crime is low in the villages) they are not ready for American society. While illiteracy is not as common as imagined by gringos, literacy in Mexico is not the same as literacy in Finland. And it is people with a fourth-grade education, not the middle class, who swim the river.

If you want a straightforward idea of how emigration to the US actually works, I suggest Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail by Ruben Martinez.

Twelfth, the numbers and concentrations of Mexicans in America are such that before long  they will be able to  tell Eurowhites to screw off, and form their own society in the Southwest. If that happens, so much for the Union. They know that in 1848 the US stole half of Mexico, specifically those states in which Mexicans are marching toward a majority. (Blowback, do we call it?) Americans, who typically have never heard of that invasion, can say, "Get over it." Good luck. Young Mexican males, some anyway, are saying things like “We will be the majority. We will rule.”
Monument in Guadalajara to Los Niños Heroes, young cadets who died fighting the Americans in the Mexican-American War, in which America annexed the Southwest. There are at least hundreds of Niños Heroes Streets all over Mexico. This explains why Mexicans have little sympathy for complaints that they are illegally entering American territory. They don't think it is American territory. Payback's a bitch.

Having become a voting majority in the Southwest, they could choose, piecemeal or all at once, to ignore the central government. Then what? Do you send the Marines to conquer California?
All of this results from American policy. You buttered your bread, a curmudgeon might say. Now lie in it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dropping The Shackles Part 5

Fifth in a series  

By Alan Jonson
In my last entry I explained how we disposed of an unwanted property, sold off personal items that were no longer needed, and moved in with our eldest son to share expenses and save money while we looked for another home.

I also had mentioned in that post that my boss had explained to me that we needed to meet as soon as possible, and not to worry, he had great news that he needed to deliver in person.
The following week I had a project scheduled outside of Memphis Tennessee, and he wanted to come down and meet with me in the evening on that Tuesday. Now, my boss is a great guy, and I normally was happy to meet with him if it was necessary. I am a conscientious employee, have always applied myself to my work and never given him any cause to scrutinize my work. I was largely self supervising, and only spoke with my boss a couple times a month or so, and saw him maybe once or twice a year. But in the past, I knew ahead of time what I would be meeting with him about, and I was always prepared. I do not like surprises - of any kind!

My boss met me at a restaurant that was close to my hotel. After the usual  small talk and casual conversation like we had shared in the past, he explained why he wanted to meet in person to share this 'great news' with me.
He said he wanted to see in person how I received the news, so he could better gauge how I felt about it.
Then he went on to explain to me that I would no longer be working projects in all of the regions and territories, I was now assigned to the 'Southwest Region' and that would be my main responsibility.
"Great! I have been working many projects in that regions for several years, and I am fine with that, Steve".
In addition to that news, he told me that they also wanted me to relocate to the Dallas area, the company would, of course help me with the relocation expenses. Huh? Why?!
It seems that the sales people are having a difficult time explaining the technical aspects of our products and they would like me to be closer, so I could accompany them on their sales calls. 
You gotta be freakin' kidding me!
I'm a Field Service Engineer, not a sales wonk. Why not hire some salespeople that know what they're doing, instead of uprooting my family's life? 

My boss said he hoped I would be willing to make the move, he really did not want to lose me. One more thing; I needed to be there in two weeks!
Huh? 
Are you telling me that the only choices I have are move or become unemployed? - Pretty much.
Now, my wife has worked for her employer for about twenty years, and after she turns fifty five next year is eligible for a small pension and can take her medical benefits with her (big!). This deserves some serious consideration.

I told him I would need to discuss this with my wife when I got back home on Friday. Man, this really did bring some unwanted complication to our plans.
When I returned home at the end of the week, my wife and I began discussing how we would make this work. We thought the first thing to do was to cancel the escrow on the property that we wanted to buy, and hope we could get our deposit money back.

My wife was less than enthused about this 'great news'. She wanted to be closer to our grandkids, as did I, not further away.
Then, was she supposed to just throw away twenty years of employment and quit with only months to go before she was eligible for retirement benefits?

We decided that we could not let this whim of my employer derail our life plans. We kept the new home in escrow, and decided I would rent a room somewhere in the Dallas area, but I would still come home to our 'real' home on weekends and holidays.

I told my employer I would need more time, since I had projects scheduled in other states for the next few weeks, and all I could guarantee was that I would have a mailing address established within two months.
There, that should hold 'em off until I can find a suitable room to rent, though it's not likely I would often even stay there. During the week I stayed in hotels near the project sites, and those were never close to Dallas.
On weekends and holidays I wanted to be with my wife and family, not sitting alone in a room a thousand miles away from home. I did that in the evening all week long. 

In the mean time, we closed the deal on the new homestead and prepared to empty our storage unit and move it all up to the new property.

If we had not eliminated our debt, had an emergency fund of several months expenses available and now had a home that we actually owned with no mortgage I may have been much more stressed than I was.
If you are a wage slave you are more easily compelled to acquiesce to the corporate demands, no matter what negative effects may be.
Debt drives us like a wagon master drives his mules.

I wanted to keep my job, but I could not let a job completely scrap our plans for living. I would allow it to bend our plans and alter our course slightly, as long as we were still heading toward our ultimate goal. I had decided some time ago that I would not live just to work.
And like the line from the old spaghetti western, 'The Good The Bad and the Ugly' - "If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?"

It can be had to keep your perspective in times like this, flexibility allows for assessment of needs versus wants and desires. My employer wants something that may cost me more than I can afford in the long run.

Next time we'll continue our struggle, and it really is a struggle, to free ourselves from the chain and the gerbil wheel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Obama's "Iraqization" of America

By Daniel Greenfield sultanknish.blogspot.com
When it comes to Iraq, Obama lectures the Sunnis and the Shiites on getting along and forming a government that won't exist for the sole benefit of a single group at the expense of the other.

But in America he runs exactly that sort of government.



Only 27% of whites see Obama as a "Uniter" compared to 78% of blacks. Those are Sunni-Shiite numbers. And numbers like that have consequences.  

Iraqis are not stupid. They look at the news and they see Ferguson and Al Sharpton screaming at 
angry mobs and know that Obama is not practicing what he preaches to them. Obama may have forced out Maliki, but his own tribal politics are hard to distinguish from those of Maliki or ISIS.

Obama rules not by inspiring people, but, like Maliki and ISIS, he divides and conquers, setting people against each other. Obama's America is as spitefully tribal as Maliki's Iraq. Its bosses, like Eric Holder, hold a divisive worldview that excludes much of the country.

Al Sharpton, Obama's close political ally, and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his mentor, are familiar types in Iraq. You can find a thousand Jeremiah Wrights on any given Friday screaming about killing the Shiites or the Sunnis. You can find a million Al Sharptons community organizing local hatreds until they explode. One of the most prominent Sharptons of Iraq is a Shiite named Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Sharptons and Wrights of Iraq have guns because the machinery of law and order there has collapsed even more comprehensively than it has in Detroit. In a country divided by ethnic and sectarian politics, a multicultural military and police are incapable of enforcing the law and uninterested in standing up to violence from their own people.

Those are the ugly tribal politics that Obama has brought to America. Instead of repairing the economy, he focused on wealth redistribution. Instead of bringing Americans together as one nation, he calculatedly tore them apart around manufactured crises of race, gender, class and religion. He pitted blacks against whites, liberal Protestants against Catholics, the poor against the middle class and the cities against the suburbs. 

Not only did Obama pit his own voting bases against the country, but he even sought to make his own voters fight each other. 

Instead of reaching out to white Americans after they thoroughly rejected him in the 2012 election, he instead decided that divisive and racist politics were the key to staying in power.

In 2012, Obama decisively lost white voters 59% to 39%. He lost white voters of every sex and age. He lost white voters in almost every state. In the three states where he won them, it was only by the narrowest of margins.

And he only tied Romney among white voters in New York with a 49% to 49% split

Obama lost white men. He lost white women. He lost young white voters. He lost middle aged and old white voters. He lost white Protestants and he lost white Catholics.

That did not happen because the white voters of 2008 who came out for him in New York 52% to 46% or the young white voters who came out for him 54% to 44%  (only to turn him down 44% to 51% in 2012) developed a sudden belated case of racism.

It was Obama's governing style that developed a sudden belated case of racism.

Obama promised us a united America and gave us a divided America. He has shown that he is a slicker and more polished version of Al Sharpton.

After coming to prominence with a vision of "There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America" he shrugged off helping Americans as a whole and instead championed narrow tribal interests.

Maliki wasn't the Prime Minister of Iraq. He was the Prime Minister of a Shiite Iraq. Obama isn't the President of the United States. He's trying to be the President of Black America, Gay America, Latino America, Asian America, Transgender America and a thousand other micro Americas.

At no point in time has he been the President of the United States of America.

His antics in Ferguson, as in Florida, are yet another reminder that his governing style is tribal. It's Iraqi, not American. He doesn't bring people together, he tears them apart. He plays on racial crises to make minorities feel vulnerable and insecure while his emissaries denounce the majority.

To the left, this politics of acrimony is passed off as being more legitimate than the Sunni and Shiite tail-chewing in Iraq because one race is guiltier than the other. It's not. It's equally vile and equally cynical. And while there is no ISIS rampaging around America (though Muslim violence continues to flare up regularly with brutal killings) the miasma of hatred has consequences.

The victims of the Knockout games and the stores looted and burned in Ferguson are a consequence of Obama's tribal style of leadership. On the other side of the rusty coin are the people stocking up on weapons and preparing for a national collapse.

All that doesn't add up to Iraq, but it's not as far away from it as we would like to think.

America has been weakened by being divided. Divided nations are too busy fighting among themselves to put up a strong defense. The world is going to hell because everyone from Putin to ISIS is confident that Americans are too busy fighting over Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, over gay marriage and illegal alien amnesty, to pay much attention to them.

And they're right.

Obama's governing style isn't just inept, it makes America seem weak. Strong leaders don't need to divide and conquer their populations to keep them in line. Only weak leaders afraid that the people will wake up to their corruption and incompetence play those games.

America's strength was rooted in a republicanism that transcended tribal politics. Now America is sunk in a swamp of tribal politics. Its government is obsessed with negotiating every possible tribal demand on terms favorable to the tribes. There can be no better formula for tearing apart a nation.

Obama's America is as intimidating to ISIS as Maliki's Iraq was. A country at war with itself frightens no one. And Obama's America leaves the world with the impression that it's taking every possible effort by the authorities just to keep it from devolving into another Iraq.

There's nothing to spare for Putin or Al Qaeda except more token gestures. And we're almost out of those.

Democrats accused Bush of wrecking Iraq. Now they have turned America into another Iraq; a tribal society that is growing poorer every day while the tribes bicker over preferential treatment from the government. Americans are losing hope in the future as the left promises them that these conflicts will continue indefinitely because its social justice tribal grievances matter more than national unity.

Iraq fell before ISIS because despite its heavy armor, its air power and large military, it lacked national unity. As we move through a century of Islamic wars, we must take a lesson from the Iraqis.

If we live as a divided nation, we will forever be at the mercy of demagogues like Obama and tribal armies like ISIS. If we cannot unite as Americans, then we will find ourselves scattered as separate tribes, arguing to the last about precedence and privileges, like the Iraqi parliament, while the enemy destroys everything in its path.

Freedom was America's promise. Our equality was not based on tribal privileges, as the left insists it was and as it demands that it should be, but on the open equality of freedom.

Obama's tribal politics are dedicated to squelching the open equality of freedom and turning every aspect of life into a subsidized commodity to be dispensed by a central authority on a tribal basis.

That is not America. That is Egypt. That is Saudi Arabia. That is Iraq. 

Iraq couldn't afford Saddam or Maliki. America can't afford Obama. A leader that divides a nation, bribing one half to support him and punishing the other half on account of their religion, their skin color or any other tribal variable is not out to make a nation strong or just.

He is out to weaken it by strengthening his own power over them.

The "Iraqization" of America, the "Sharptonization" of America, will mean the end of America. It will transform us from a country of hope and ambition into a warren of quarreling slums protected by rival gangs whose citizenry feel they have as little in common as the Sunnis and Shiites of Iraq. 

That will strengthen Washington and destroy America.

While Obama lectures Iraq on unity and its politicians on working together, he is leading America down the same ugly path of tribe against tribe, religion against religion and citizen against citizen. It's too late for the Iraqis to change, but it's not too late for us to learn from their example.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why Is Independence So Frightening To Some People?



By Brandon Smith and originally published at alt-market.com
In past articles I have examined the nature of power and division in our society and have always come to the same conclusion, that there are only two types of people: the people who want control over others and the people who just want to be left alone. However, there are also subgroups that swim within the boundaries of each end of the spectrum. Often, psychologists and self-help gurus attempt to promote the idea that the defining quality of the average person’s life is whether he is a follower or a leader. I have seen this spectrum applied to every political and social organization.
Ironically, I have heard so-called “leftists” argue that the nature of their ideology makes them more adept at leadership and that conservatives are more prone to become followers (ostensibly because conservatives tend to be more religious). I have heard the same argument from people on the so-called “right,” only in reverse. The problem is that very few people in our society understand anymore what it actually means to be a leader. Most Americans today are followers, whether they know it or not.  And sadly, followers tend to also seek out control over other people, if only to make up for the lack of control they feel in their own lives.  That is to say, most followers tend to pursue petty opportunities for leadership.
The concept of leadership has become ridiculously warped. Many people feel that to become a leader, one must clamor his way through the system — be it government or corporate — and achieve artificial status, which others are conditioned to recognize and respect. One cannot become a designated “doctor”, no matter how personally skilled the individual, without earning the correct accolades from the establishment, accolades that are essentially bought at the right price or given as a pat on the head to those who excel at parroting the mainstream consensus. The same goes for scientists, economists, political authorities, etc. This creates a professional class, a percentage of the population whose opinions are treated with immediate reverence simply because of their titles.
The reality often ignored in mainstream thought, however, is that many "professionals" are actually more clueless than laymen, if only because they have been subjected to far more complex indoctrination.  How many Ivy League economists, for instance, completely overlooked the inevitable collapse of the derivatives market and the housing bubble simply because they were taught by the mainstream system that such things do not happen in American finance anymore?  The truth is, a glossy diploma from the establishment does not necessarily make one intelligent, nor does it automatically make that person a leader to be blindly followed.
Others in our culture assume that leadership is measured by level of influence. Influence, however, can be stolen, rather than earned. The number of fans and worshipers a person retains is not a measure of the real man or woman. Some people lie about who they are to gain popularity, while other people devour such lies because they are desperate for an icon to show them the path to an imaginary promised land. Celebrity — whether by aid of media, finance or bureaucracy — is almost always superficial.
Still other men and women believe that leadership requires empty gestures of cultural rebellion. Do our style preferences, body art, sexual orientations, musical tastes, obscure philosophical hobbies and elitist attitudes really make us different or unique? No, they do not. These things are an expression of our orientation to others, not an expression of our inner selves. One can live a life immersed in what we believe to be the wildly eccentric and still be an empty follower, devoid of originality and independence.  My generation in particular has become so obsessed with superficial expressions of artificial individualism I think future historians will one day avidly study this era in stupified wonder.  How many times a day do we log on to our social media website of choice or walk outside our homes only to ask other people to love and adore our looks, our cynical but smarmy sense of nihilism, or our wit, carefully crafted to please as large a portion of the collective as possible?
This article from NaturalNews.com really says it all.  Even when putting on elaborate displays of their brilliant uniqueness through "selfies" and tweets, Americans today at their darker core are desperate for the approval of others.
Carl Jung, one of the few psychologists in history I actually find useful, once said that all human beings are in search of a particular treasure, a psychological or spiritual treasure that is unique to them and makes them whole. Many people spend the entirety of their lives searching for this treasure in the world around them, rather than looking within, and they end their days feeling mostly miserable and thwarted. They look for it in politics. They look for it in religious representatives (without ever understanding their true relation to the religion). They look for it in wealth and stature. And they always come up short. This is the life of the follower, a life of endless transference in which complete happiness is always outside of oneself, somewhere over the horizon or in the hands of others.
One might ask what any of this has to do with independence and liberty? But, consider the implications...
How many socialists and collectivists in the world think THEIR happiness is dependent on the taxation of YOUR savings and labor, YOUR acceptance, YOUR submission to their ideal society. How many collectivists seek to complete themselves by forcing others to participate in their philosophical fantasies? How many of them will call you a "narcissist" or a "terrorist" because you only wish to make your own decisions free from the social pressures of their arbitrary group? They do not look within; they look without. And if you happen to be standing in their field of vision, you might become a prop in their self-serving theater.
Also consider that such collectivists will never be satisfied with the control they find in the outside world because the perfection they seek does not exist.  Therefore, their efforts to force you to conform will only become more suffocating and demeaning to your humanity as time goes on.  Followers are a cancer that never stops growing.  They well eat up the Earth in order to diminish their fears.  They'll say they are doing it for the greater good, but in the end, they are only self absorbed brats playing at being socially responsible adults.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are many within the Liberty Movement who also suffer from the follower’s disease. They are the relentless crybabies on message boards screaming: “We keep talking about the problem but when are YOU going to give us a solution!?” Or they ask: “When is EVERYONE going to stand up and do something about this!?”  Or, "When are all of you going to realize the magnificence of MY solution and follow ME?" Notice the inclusiveness of such statements.  What they should be asking is:  "What can I do myself to fix the problems I perceive?" These people are always waiting around for someone else to take action, while never taking action on their own. They are followers by default of their own apathy.
These are the folks looking for the next George Washington (or to become the next George Washington) on a white steed ready to charge into the center of D.C. like some ill fated Light Brigade.  They are the bitter pills that rage over the fact that movement activists didn't support their favorite random silver bullet solution flavor of the week, be it Bitcoin to 'Operation American Spring'.  They are livid because no one will march lockstep behind them into whatever halfhearted battle they envision.  They become indignant when activists move to support methods outside of their ideal. They want YOU to follow the plan and planners THEY follow, no matter how poorly conceived the plan is, and if you don't, then you must be some kind of traitor.  They never consider that perhaps their ideal solution is actually destructive rather than practical, or that no one will rally behind them because no one has much faith in their abilities.
The point is, the fight for liberty is not a follower's game.  It is a fight that begins with individuals taking individual measures first and foremost, and if anything, inspiring others through their actions, not demanding fealty for themselves, or their pet strategies.
What can be done to instill independence and legitimate leadership in Americans once again? The conundrum is that such values cannot be instilled; they can only be encouraged. Each individual must make the decision on his or her own to stop looking for the world to fix itself, or them. Each individual must take the first step toward the long journey of becoming a self-reliant and self-owned human being. When faced with this conundrum, I can do nothing but make suggestions:
Find a useful skill, something that you love, and master it completely. Try to become the foremost expert on just one thing — not to impress others, but to challenge yourself. When people assert the incredible effort required to master a skill, they grow their sense of self-worth instead of measuring their worth by the guidelines of hollow academia or the collective.
Never look for traditional leaders. Always look for teachers. A real teacher is someone who seeks to make each individual his own leader through knowledge and empowerment. A real teacher has no desire to rule others, only to help others so that they do not feel the need to be ruled.
Independence comes from self-leadership. As long as you are reliant on the system or its participating oligarchs to decide your future for you, you will never be anything more than a follower, even if the system has given you a “place at the table” and a title to make you feel special.  As long as you are vying for approval from the system or the collective, you will never be free.  When you can stand in front of a hostile crowd of people and give your viewpoint without fear of how they may respond, then you are on your way to self-leadership.
If you see a problem in the world, stop asking permission to fix it! Stop waiting for the establishment to police itself. Stop concerning yourself with the actions of others and take your own actions, however small they might be. Revolutions are sparked in the minds of individuals and implemented by the hands of the courageous few. There will be no mass awakening and there will be no grand march to glory, so stop holding your breath. If there is an unrelenting evil in the world, then you must fight it if you expect anything to change. If you are the only person who recognizes it, then you may have to fight it alone.  The potential for success or failure is irrelevant. It is the fight that matters.
If you are going to lead others, lead by example. Hopefully you have realized by now that true leadership has NOTHING to do with people actually following you.  Much more important is the ability to show people how to achieve something more by building something of your own. There are also far too many Americans who seek to falsely elevate themselves by attacking the achievements of others from the anonymous comfort of their computers, rather than doing anything constructive on their own merit. There was a time when Americans were respected as people of action, rather than talk. When you do talk, do so from a position of strength. Talk as someone who has actually done something worth talking about.
If you are going to join, do so with the intent to learn, and to teach. All organization must be voluntary if it is to succeed in the long term, and voluntary organization thrives when participants contribute their knowledge and skill sets without sacrificing their individual self determination.  The group does not outweigh the individual, because without the contributions of the individual, the group is meaningless.
Make a list of your dependencies. Do you have the skills to survive without a job? Without money? Without on-grid utilities? Without consistent aid from others? Can you live without modern comforts if you had to? Do you have the fortitude to endure great hardship? Have you ever endured great hardship, or have you avoided it your whole life? The more self-sufficient you are, the less you will need to look to the system or other people to make your decisions for you. You will become fearless, and fearless people cannot be ruled.
I believe independence terrifies some people because it requires a human being to challenge the unknown and take responsibility for the consequences if he fails. Followers trade in their mental and spiritual freedom to governments, oligarchs and gatekeepers so that they never have to face these difficulties. Sometimes, they are simply lazy. Sometimes, they lack confidence in their own abilities. Sometimes, they are just cowards. In any case, the result is the same: a life of relative ease riding the tides in a vast school of self-serving minnows but always prey to the ever circling sharks. I say don’t be a minnow; man-up, and build something of your own.