Author: Jim Elliff
Source: Christian Communicators Worldwide
I talked with a charter member of the church I attended in another town that Sunday, a church with less-than-conservative views on the Bible. The question I asked was designed not only to give me information, but also to engage my new friend in thinking about his beliefs.
“What is your church’s view on the Bible?” I posed. “Well,” he answered, “I’m a chaplain for the Masons and I think we have a little stronger view of the Bible there than here. However, understanding the Bible is not easy. You have to know Hebrew, Greek and Babylonian to really get it.” (Babylonian?)
He must have assumed that his pastor knew Babylonian, because he avidly soaked in his senseless and untethered homilies. As I returned on a few occasions to this active religious gathering, I could tell the pastor’s Babylonian wasn’t actually working. He always missed the meaning of the texts he attempted to explain—and not by a little. If he did say something biblical, it was entirely by accident. I don’t think he was insincere, but rather, he just didn’t get it. And, as the saying goes, “When there is a mist in the pulpit, there’s a fog in the pew.”
Why don’t people understand the truths of the Bible? I’m not speaking of the finer points, but the basics, or that which a person needs to be justified. Why don’t they get it? To find the answer I went to the book of John, a book written to help people believe. John interplays with this notion of understanding versus blindness as an intentional theme.
We hardly begin reading John’s gospel before he alerts us to the sad fact that Christ was “in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own [the Jews], and those who were His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:10-11 NASB) God was standing there in the person of Christ, yet was not perceived. “Receive” here means that they did not understand who He was, even though His actions and words repeatedly displayed it.
Later Jesus tells the religious leaders, “You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He has sent.” (John 5:38) When these leaders appealed to their confidence in Moses writings over His words, Jesus said, “. . . if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47)
In fact, Jesus taught that it was impossible for these people to understand. “Why don’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.” (John 8:43)
He got even plainer when he said: “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe in 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 8:45,47, emphasis mine)
In other words, if Jesus had spoken deceptively, or untruthfully in some way, they might have believed Him. But precisely because He spoke unadulterated truth, they could not understand.
John is not describing people who just aren’t bright. Many of these Jewish leaders were scholars, masters of both the Law and the commentaries. And they were reading the Law in its original language.
One of Jesus’ most colorful depictions of man’s inherent blindness comes in His famous treatise on sheep in chapter 10. He explains that He has “other” sheep yet to come in. “But,” speaking again to some Jewish contenders, “you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:26-27, emphasis mine) Believers don’t become sheep; sheep become believers.
So what does all of this mean?
It means two things: First, it is impossible for a person to be His sheep without believing His Word. When it is all said and done, true believers embrace God’s words (the proximate object of faith) as well as His person (the ultimate object of faith). A person who disbelieves the Bible may never rightly be considered a Christian.
Second, it means that God must remove blindness so that a person can understand and believe. Though we preach and argue the case, persuade and compel them to come (as we must, for this is the means God uses), the ability to understand is first granted by God. *God has to be teaching through your teaching (John 6:44-45). You cannot merely educate people into the kingdom. The hope in this, however, is that even the most estranged person may, by an act of God that is sometimes sudden, understand so as to embrace Christ—both words and person.
“Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
*(Here are a few of the many passages that speak of this: Romans 3:10-11; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Acts 16:14; Mathew 13:11; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6)
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Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 11.30.2013
By now everyone knows that Dayna Morales, the lesbian waitress who claimed to have been denied a tip over her sexual orientation, was lying. It’s not the first politically correct receipt hoax and it won’t be the last. These hoaxes happen because leftist activists promote them and the media picks them up. The world is full of liars and con artists, but it’s revealing to see which of their lies and cons succeed.
- Examining Homosexual Myths
Morales’ hoax is a blip in the larger pattern of faked hate crimes. Bigotry is the witch hunt of the modern Salem and progressive witch hunters are just as careless about facts and evidence. Now as then, the goal is to stamp out an attitude and a cultural threat, rather than to enforce the law, and that leads inevitably to the entire tawdry parade of hysterical denunciations and moral panic.
But what is behind this need to manufacture intolerance?
The left built up its replacement for class warfare around identity politics. Though we take most of these identities, including the racial trinity and homosexuality, for granted, they are really modern artificial constructs that define how people should define themselves, rather than accepting them as they are.
Strangely enough, racial and sexual identities were more nuanced centuries ago than they are today where the “one drop rule” now goes completely unchallenged in matters of race and equally so in matters of sexual orientation. Anyone who can be claimed on any grounds by the victim group, must be identified with them or face accusations of false consciousness.
We are less willing to contemplate biracial and bisexual today than we were a century ago. Instead leftist collectivism demands that everyone be either one thing or another. Everyone is divided into categories of victim and oppressor. Just as no one can be both on both sides of the class struggle; so too the left rejects the idea of being on both sides of the victim line in race or sexual orientation.
- The Church of Victimology
On Seinfeld, Jerry’s dentist joined Judaism for the jokes. Leftists are joining native tribes for the victimhood. Meanwhile they’re defining those identities solely in terms of victimhood.
The absurdity of people lining up to be victims has led to the proliferation of fake Indians, like Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill in the United States, and white aborigines in Australia. The fake indigenous tribal has little in the way of a genetic or cultural connection to any native people; but chooses to trade in his or her white identity, at least temporarily, to enhance their leftist politics.
They are engaging in a fraud much bigger than a forged receipt; but they are doing it for the same reasons.
An identity defined in terms of victimhood needs fresh injections of oppression to sustain its existence. Those African-Americans who define “blackness” not in terms of positive values but in terms of negative values, need white racism, the real thing or the fake one, to remind them of who they are. And the same holds true for other oppressed minorities who define themselves not by their culture or values; but by their resentments.
Intolerance has become identity. If you define your minority identity on the left’s terms, then if you aren’t being oppressed, you aren’t real. And if you constantly read accounts about other black people or other gay people being discriminated against and those experiences don’t match yours; you begin to wonder if something isn’t wrong with you. If maybe you aren’t an authentic member of the group.
- Deconstructing Liberal Tolerance
There are two ways out of this intellectual trap; either recognizing that an identity need not be based on a sense of persecution or becoming “creative” about finding new forms of persecution.
It’s easy to mock Dayna Morales for forging a receipt snub. If only she had learned about critical race theory, she would have been able to denounce the family in question for their privilege. Instead of faking a receipt, she would have been able to express her internal need for persecution in the political language of the left.
Dayna only forged a single receipt. Obama spent five years in the White House forging phony racism accusations to protect him on every issue from the economy to ObamaCare.
The left’s need for victimization means that increasing levels of tolerance actually lead to escalating confrontations with these manufacturers of intolerance. The assertion that all white people are innately racist because of their privilege is one such response to increasing tolerance. By claiming that whiteness itself is racist, the left gets back to political identity, rather than actual discrimination, as the source of conflict and redefines even the most tolerant university multicultural spaces as racist.
The manufacturers of intolerance, whether they’re tenured academics like Ward Churchill, professional politicians like Barack Obama or angry waitresses like Dayna Morales, respond to tolerance with provocations. Their goal is to elicit evidence of intolerance to sustain their political identity. The more tolerance they encounter, the more they escalate their provocations.
Their goal is not a tolerant society. It’s not a multiracial society or a post-racial society. It is a society perpetually at war over identity politics. That conflict is what gives them power.
Tolerance provokes them by challenging their identity as members in good standing of the officially oppressed. Being accepted insults the entire basis of their identity. Schizophrenics experience the discontinuity between the real world and the distorted world in their heads as threatening. Likewise the left, which insists on racism, reacts with paranoia to any talk that the country has become more tolerant. Their political schizophrenia is unable to accept America as it is. Instead they are bent on seeing the bigoted country that they experience inside their own heads.
- Zero Tolerance for Non-Compliance
Paranoid schizophrenics manufacture things to be paranoid about. Identity politics manufactures its own illusory bigotries. The schizophrenic Two Americas of liberals are really the America that exists and the hateful cartoon of it that they draw in their own heads, depict in movies, scrawl into articles and broadcast on television.
Liberals claim to want a better America, but they reject it at every turn. Their cynicism even poisons what should have been their triumphs.
Obama’s victory was an opportunity for healing and unity. Even many Republicans cheered his inauguration, but liberals rejected the gift that Americans were giving and instead doubled down. Racism became their response to everything. Now every week brings another editorial accusing skeptics of government health care of being the new Confederacy. The New York Times even ran an op-ed describing a new Mason-Dixon line composed of states that rejected Medicaid expansion.
As disappointing at this behavior was to many, it was an inevitable as that forged receipt. The left derives its purpose from defending the oppressed and doling out social justice. If racism were gone, it would have to find a new reason to justify its existence. It had to go through that once when class warfare imploded under the pressure of American prosperity. It isn’t about to go searching for a substitute for the racial tensions it manufactures.
The dominant political identity groups have responded to growing tolerance in the United States by defining intolerance down or provoking intolerant responses through aggressive publicity stunts. If the stunts don’t bring out disgust and anger that they can work with, then they will simply invent intolerance wholesale by claiming that bigotry isn’t an act or a word, but an innate attitude that lurks buried deep within the majority group. And that the only healing can come when the majority rejects its own identity and joins a minority group.
Beyond the community organizers, the academics and the political hacks who feed off that hatred are the millions of Americans who have not only unknowingly swallowed their dogma, but who have built entire identities around that sense of insecurity and oppression. These people are driven to organically manufacture intolerance because it defines who they are.
The left has dumped millions of Americans into this shadowy world where they have no positive reason for existing, only a negative one of defying some phantom establishment of patriarchy and some nebulous idea of white privilege.
Wearing chips on their shoulders they seek to provoke the confrontations that give them meaning and when their anger is met with tolerance, they manufacture intolerance with forged receipts, with accusations of white privilege, with fake hate crimes and phony accusations of racism.
- Michelle Obama and Ferguson, Missouri
It’s a short distance from Dayna Morales forging a receipt to get some money and attention to Barack Obama faking accusations of racism to win a political fight and score another term.
Author: William Sullivan
Source: American Thinker – 11.21.2014
It’s difficult to imagine a sadder state of affairs than political figures suggesting that any constituent group must adhere to a predetermined ideology without question, preaching that the flock should unquestionably follow a political party’s whims in lockstep. We all know such a thing be an anathema among free-thinking people, don’t we?
[Related Article: Black Racism Is Politically Correct]
This is a trait of past civilizations that we often ridicule and lament, having the benefit of hindsight and the blessings of Western concepts of morality. How, indeed, did Germans fall under the Nazi spell? When, exactly, did the Khmer Rouge accept their roles as enforcers of party-line groupthink to the extent that they would murder their own countrymen for a lack of faith in the Communist regime? At what moment did Mao’s subjects sacrifice their own right to human choice such that millions perished under the yoke of communalist agricultural revolution called the “Great Leap Forward?”
These are all enduring questions in our effort to dissect political dysfunction and the nature of humankind. But I would offer this: we need not look at history. Look at our current First Lady to see such methods of indoctrination at work.
Before this month’s election, Michelle Obama beseeched an audience to vote along party lines, “no matter who’s on the ballot.” “It’s not about that person on the ballot,” she said. “It’s about you, and for most of the people we are talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on regardless of who said what or did this, that shouldn’t even come into the equation.”
[Related Article: Bishop E.W. Jackson Speaks]
As the television audience to whom she directed these comments is primarily composed of blacks, we can safely infer that she meant blacks should think and act of one mind, and march to the polls and vote Democrat at her behest. Or at the very least, the color of their skin alone should compel them to do so. That is a suggestion that should be pretty ridiculous if you consider in most other contexts.
Imagine that I were to suggest that all other Anglo-Hispanic Americans, be they from California, Maine, or anywhere in that broad space between, are singularly tied to my personal experience in such a way that despite having shared little or no common experience with me beyond our ethnic and racial background, we are bound by a singular expression of thought and action. Then imagine that I tell you that you should vote Republican, because anyone in that racial category should always vote for Republicans at all costs, regardless of which politician is on the ballot, irrespective of the party’s track record, and oblivious to what Republican politicians have expressed to be the intended consequence of their having a future mandate.
If you listened to me and unthinkingly voted Republican on the weight of my plea, you wouldn’t be acting on your own volition. You would be acting in accordance to my will, because you have surrendered your right to think for yourself and have put your faith in a political machine.
In a nutshell, that is how individualism dies, and collectivist ambition prevails — through the invention and exploitation of identity groups which elites insist must define one’s thoughts and expression. One’s supposed inclusion with this preset identity group must necessarily forbid any individual expression to the contrary — a message usually delivered by charismatic mediums.
Such are the sly seductions which have infected our culture in recent decades, and these leftist seductions — not institutional white racism — are the culprit that keeps Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a world where men are judged “by the content of their character” and not by the “color of their skin” just out of reach. Democrats outwardly claim to desire Dr. King’s post-racial world, yet they deny it an existence and smother his dream by relentlessly clinging to racial identities and fomenting racial animus. They disseminate theories about a society which is motivated by strangling black ambition and success, even as a black man and a black woman hold the two highest-of-high profile positions within that very society. Some among Michelle’s target audience have the good sense to recognize the hypocrisy in Democrats sermonizing about the curse of poverty among black demographics from their lavish pulpit. But tragically, most just take Michelle Obama’s plea to heart, and focus on the supposed microcosms of institutional racism against blacks — like black people are supposed to do, as I’m sure Michelle would argue.
[Related Article: The Church of Victimology]
And like marionettes on strings, the rabid flock, influenced by the attack-politics of Democrats and media race-hustlers, has descended upon Ferguson, Missouri, undoubtedly driven at some level by delusions of grandeur about it being this generation’s Selma, Alabama. Some are there to profit and/or grow the brand (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the deceased Michael Brown’s family, et al), while some are there to simply break things, steal stuff, and hurt people, disguising their selfish aggression and desire for attention as festering anger about racism, or something like that. And undeterred by the onslaught of released evidence which suggests that Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Darren Wilson was not a simple matter of a teen with his hands up gunned down by a murderous officer as the popular narrative suggests, and despite the results of a grand jury investigation which angry black mobs will likely find disagreeable in any event, Democrats and the media will report the profiteering, arson, thievery, and violence that will ensue in Ferguson as if it has anything to do at all with Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, and nothing to do with the incendiary and dangerous rhetoric that Democrats have delivered leading up to and surrounding the incident which brought all of it about.
[Related Article: Progressives and Blacks]
Yes, Ferguson is indeed a microcosm of a deeply rooted societal disease. But it’s certainly not white racism.
Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 11.19.2014
After serving a few years in prison for his role in the Munich Massacre, Willi Pohl moved to Beirut. The brief sentence was a slap in the wrist, but Pohl had still served more time in prison than the Muslim gunmen who had murdered eleven Israeli athletes and coaches during the 1972 Summer Olympics. Mohammed Safady and the Al-Gashey cousins were released after a few months by the German authorities.
They went back to Lebanon and so did he.
A decade after the attack, Willi Pohl had begun making a name for himself as a crime novelist. His first novel was Tränen Schützen Nicht vor Mord or Tears Do Not Protect Against Murder.
While Pohl was penning crime novels, Israeli operatives had already absorbed the lessons of his first title. Tears, whether in 1939 or 1972, had not done anything to prevent the murder of Jews. Bullets were another matter.
The head of Black September in Rome was the first to die, followed by a string of PLO leaders across Europe. Those attacks were followed by raids on the mansions and apartments of top Fatah officials in the same city where Pohl had found temporary refuge. By the time his first book was published, hundreds of PLO terrorists and officials were dead.
European law enforcement had failed to hold even the actual perpetrators of the Munich Massacre responsible, never mind the representatives of the PLO who openly mingled with red radicals in its capitals. Israeli operatives did what the German judicial system had failed to do, putting down Safady and one of the Al-Gasheys, while the other one hid out with Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.
The Israeli raid on the PLO terrorists in Beirut’s Muslim Quarter missed one important target. Arafat. And so, on another September day, some later, September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin shook hands with Arafat and proclaimed, “Enough of blood and tears! Enough!”
But the blood and tears had only begun, as a PLO on its last legs was revived and built its terrorist infrastructure inside Israel’s borders.
By 1993, the year of the infamous Rose Garden handshake, 45 Israelis had been killed and 34 injured in Muslim terrorist attacks. A year after the handshake, the toll stood at 109 Israelis dead and 456 wounded. By 2002, the year that Israel’s patience finally broke and Sharon sent forces storming into Arafat’s compound, the numbers for that year were a horrifying 451 dead and 2,348 wounded.
Today, some 40 years after that September in Munich and two decades after the even worse tragedy of that September in Washington D.C., with over 1,500 dead since that fatal handshake, there have been rivers of blood and tears. And a shortage of bullets.
PLO officials these days are more likely to die of morbid obesity or, like Arafat, of AIDS, than of Israeli raids. They are nearly as likely to kill each other, like Arafat’s cousin, Moussa Arafat, the former head of the Palestinian Authority’s terrorist forces, who was dragged out of his home and shot by his own people.
The murder of Mohammed Abu Shaaban, killed a week after the handshake, by his own people, was the first of a long string of Fatah on Fatah violence that is a far more likely cause of death for top terrorists than the jet planes and tanks of the hated Zionist regime.
The rivers of tears keep flowing, but tears don’t protect against murder. Neither do peace treaties. No amount of tears from the tens of thousands mutilated, tortured, crippled, wounded, orphaned and widowed by the PLO in all its front groups, splinter groups and incarnations, including its current incarnation as a phony government, has been enough to stop Western governments from supporting, arming and funding the terrorists.
Tears don’t protect against murder. They don’t stop killers from killing. They don’t prevent the authorities from looking the other way when the killings happen because there is something in it for them. They don’t bring the terrorists to justice. They don’t even ensure that the truth will be told, rather than the lie that rationalizes the terror.
Tears did not stop the operation of a single gas chamber. They did not save the life of a single Jewish refugee. They did not stop a single dollar from going to the PLO or Fatah or Black September or the Palestinian Authority or any of the other masks that the gang of Soviet-trained killers wore. They will not stop Iran from developing and detonating a nuclear weapon over Tel Aviv. They will not stop Israel from being carved up by terrorists whose demands are backed up by the diplomatic capital of every nation that bows its head in the direction of Mecca, Medina and Riyadh, and the old men who control the oil wells and the mosques.
In 1988, Willi Pohl published another book, Das Gesetz des Dschungels or The Law of the Jungle. That same year, PLO terrorists carried out the “Mother’s Bus Attack” taking the passengers of a bus, filled with women on board, hostage and demanding the release of all imprisoned terrorists. The terrorists killed two hostages and Israeli Special Forces moved in killing the terrorists and saving the lives of all but one hostage.
In response, Israeli commandos stormed Tunis, killing Abu Jihad, a former Muslim Brotherhood member and the number two Fatah leader after Arafat . The United Nations Security Council met and passed Resolution 611, noting with concern the “loss of human life”, particularly that of Abu Jihad, and vigorously condemned the “act of aggression”.
Not a single member of the Security Council voted against it. The United States abstained.
Not one single resolution was passed that year or the year afterward or the year after that condemning a terrorist attack against Israel or criticizing any of the countries that trained, armed and harbored the terrorists. Instead there were numerous resolutions condemning Israel for expelling and deporting terrorists.
The closest thing to a resolution critical of terrorism was Resolution 579 in response to the Achille Lauro hijacking, carried out by men loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the current President of the Palestinian Authority, who also provided the funding for the Munich Massacre. Resolution 579 did not mention the Achille Lauro, Leon Klinghoffer or Palestinian Arab terrorists. Instead it condemned “hostage-taking” in general.
In 1972, the year of the Munich Massacre, there were three Security Council resolutions condemning Israel. Not a single one condemning the massacre of Olympic athletes at an international event. Not a single one condemning the countries which armed, trained, harbored and controlled the terrorists. The countries that had refused that their flags be lowered in response to the massacre.
This was the law of the jungle disguised as international law. Against the law of the jungle, tears are futile. Jungle law cannot be debated away or subdued with the speechifying of an Abba Eban or a Benjamin Netanyahu. It cannot be moralized into decency or signed away with peace treaties.
It can only be met with resistance.
Tears don’t protect against murder. Bullets do.
Author: Robert Charles
Source: American Thinker – 11.17.2014
Understanding why pending executive action by President Obama on immigration, residency, and citizenship are objectionable, imprudent, and unconstitutional – and what can be done legally and politically about them, if he proceeds – requires a snapshot of history and law. Ten arguments stand between the president and such bold, unilateral actions.
First, executive directives of all kinds – and some have been creative – started with George Washington. They are theoretically justified by the indeterminate “executive powers” vested in each commander in chief by Article II of the U.S. Constitution. Their legal justification begins and ends there, and is necessarily nested in a larger constitutional text and intent, which has always favored avoiding unilateral executive actions unless absolutely necessary (as for national security). Thus, unless ceremonial or peripheral, the justification for directing agencies one way or another has been to clarify a law – never to create one.
So, here is the rub. Since the over-assertion of executive powers by Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), the U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate courts have ruled unconstitutional any Executive Order (EO) that seeks to usurp or effectively legislate where Congress has spoken or reserves the right to speak.
Thus, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned five of FDR’s EOs (6199, 6204, 6256, 6284 and 6855) for overreaching. Similarly, the Court threw out President Truman’s EO 10340, in which he attempted to control the country’s steel mills to put down labor strife. The Court was clear: the EO sought to make law, not clarify it. Again, an appellate court confidently nixed President Clinton’s EO 12954, which sought to prevent federal contracting with those who hire strike breakers. In the last case, an obvious conflict with existing law invalidated the EO.
Now we come to today. The first three arguments against the Obama EO are simple, and should be swiftly confronted in court if he issues broad executive action bestowing new rights on those otherwise not entitled to them under existing law or patently misinterpreting existing law to serve a political end, such as altering the process of citizenship. In sum, if he (one) obviously exceeds all formerly accepted constitutional authority, (two) seeks to legislate where the law is already clear or is clearly the province of Congress, or (three) intentionally disregards the law, the EO should be legally discarded, or viewed as “void ab initio” – that is, of no credibility or force.
Four: If you issue an EO making permanent residents or citizens out of a significant number (say, five to seven million) illegal, unentitled, or “undocumented” foreigners on U.S. soil, you are instantly obligating federal taxpayers and states to afford these newly minted “Americans” or “newly legal residents” any number of privileges, entitlements, and rights not previously held, above and beyond not being deported. This plainly costs taxpayers and States money, offering them every reason to appeal the decision and apparent standing to do so.
Next, there is the prudential side of the ledger.
Argument five: If you issue an EO that instantly grants “stay and work” status to currently illegal aliens, even if they have legal relatives, you instantly soak up part of the job pool from which real Americans are hoping to gain employment. In effect, you hammering the working-class Americans again.
Six: If you issue this EO, you instantly send an international message – a new and shocking invitation: “We just gave away the citizenship or residency farm – so please line up or flood over and come get yours.” In effect, such an EO will trigger multiple future waves of illegal migration for economic purposes by new and unconnected illegal aliens who see that our laws are not being honored, and so they will come for free entry, too – if not at once, then soon enough.
Seven: For every justification based on an illegal alien having a legal U.S. relative, we can now expect that the same argument will be made by the five to seven million newly minted “instant citizens” or “instant legal residents.” In short, one thing all members of humanity – those legal and illegal – have in common is relatives. Once all those here illegally with relatives make their relatives legal, the newly legal (and formerly illegal) relatives will now declare that they, wonder of wonder, also have relatives – that deserve to be legal. Ad infinitum.
Eight: Status without assimilation is irrelevant, counterproductive, and historically illegal. Legal status is traditionally achieved by processes of extended learning, intentional assimilation, and legal naturalization – all at a pace set by national need and absorption capacity. Without understanding the American history, language, laws, values, civic duties, and social expectations, and what it takes to live (and what the nation expects of those living) lawfully, a resident made instantly legal is not American. Absent the process that Congress has considered necessary for assimilation, we would become no more than a big holding pen, a mismatched conglomerate of humanity, with nothing in common but place.
That is not America, never has been, and cannot be. To be American takes an aspiration, and a commitment. It takes time, effort, and lawful process, as well as social integration. A president can no more declare an unprepared member of humanity American than he can declare red blue or vice versa. Assimilation means following a long and winding legal, social, economic and legitimate process. It takes time; that is the whole point.
Nine: Just as adopting a child into a home affects other family members, instantly making “legal residents” or “citizens” out of five or seven million people – many of whom snuck into the country unlawfully – would have profound effects on the rest of the country. It cheapens the brand we call American; it undermines the values and processes in which we take pride. It slights and diminishes the struggle of those who have strived long and hard to become naturalized citizens, or permanent residents, many of whom are also from these same countries. It says that laws under which we live are of less value, and can be unilaterally upended by one man. It reduces respect for all those who have come to our shores legally, and who take pride in being legally American. This is no small matter. We are, collectively, only what we say we are and live up to – when we cheapen the definition of American, we cheapen it for everyone.
Finally: We are a nation and people of laws, not of whimsy or capricious acts by self-adulating leaders, not subject to any dictator or the assumption of power by this or that president. These lines are well-drawn. The U.S. Supreme Court long ago made the point. We are not ruled by executive order, never have been, legally and prudentially cannot be, and should not now be. For any president to believe that he has the power to step upon all these legal and prudential considerations, because he has a pen and a phone, indifference to rule of law, or illusions of unilateral authority is simply misguided.
Nevertheless, if the dark day comes when unilateral authority is asserted in these new and sweeping ways by a president, the answer is clear. Instant moves to court for actions to stay and then reverse these executive orders would be fitting. Preparations should be made for interlocutory appeals, specific relief by states and others with standing, preliminary and permanent injunctions, and defense of individual and collective rights across the country in federal courts.
On the political front, Democrats and Republicans who respect our Republic’s history and can see into the future should prepare to garner and act upon legislation that can be passed swiftly with a supermajority, making void the presumptive executive orders, and Americans should speak – as they did once already in November – with one voice, saying we are ruled not by one man, but by ourselves through Congress. That is the text, design, history, and enduring intent of our Constitution. If there can be disagreements about other things, there can be no disagreement about that.
Robert B. Charles is a former assistant secretary of state under Colin Powell, former counsel to a congressional oversight committee, a former litigator, and a teacher of government oversight at Harvard’s extension school. He is currently a consultant in Washington, D.C.
The road to hell is paved with Obama’s Green intentions.
Author: Peter Ferrara
Source: The American Spectator – 6.13.12
What would you do if gangs of robbers roamed your neighborhood at night, breaking into your neighbors’ houses and stealing their family jewels and life savings? You would arm yourself, and your family members of sufficient age, to defend your property. Or you would move to a safer neighborhood.
But if the robbers formed gangs called Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, or the Natural Resources Defense Council, and assaulted your standard of living, the Che Guevara Democrats expect you to greet them with open arms, and gleefully turn over bushels of your cash, until your life savings is gone, and your standard of living has been reduced to the level of Argentina.
That third world destination is where Obama’s “green energy” economic strategy is taking America, all while he tells us sweet fairy tales about how this path is the road to 21st century prosperity.
Fancy political propaganda has us thinking that renewable, alternative fuels are the modern energy sources of the future. But just the opposite is true. Robert Bryce explains in his book Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future:
“For millennia, humans relied almost completely on renewable energy. Solar energy provided the forage needed for animals, which could then be used to provide food, transportation, and mechanical power. Traveling…was made possible by the wind, human muscle, or animal muscle. And though today’s wind turbines are viewed as the latest in technological achievement, land-based systems that captured the power of the wind have been recorded through much of human history.”
Indeed, the classic vision of the settlements of the Old West in America involves a decaying, wooden, windmill. Byrce continues, “The use of hydropower likewise goes way back. The ancient Greeks used waterwheels; so did the Romans, who recorded the use of waterwheels in the first century B.C. The use of mechanical power from water continued to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”
Moreover, “For 265 years after the Pilgrims founded the Plymouth Colony, and for 109 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, wood was the dominant source of energy in America.”
Coal surpassed wood in 1885. Oil surpassed coal in 1950. Natural gas is undergoing a resurgence today.
The world changed from wind, solar, and biomass to oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear for good reasons of physics and math. First and foremost are the concepts of energy density and power density. The hydrocarbons and nuclear pack a massively more concentrated punch. The power of solar and wind are very broadly diffused throughout the atmosphere, so more than herculean efforts are needed to collect and concentrate it in usable forms. Hence we see solar panels and several hundred foot wind turbines spread out over square miles, and it still doesn’t add up to much.
The South Texas Project nuclear plant produces 300 horsepower per acre of land used, about the same as natural gas, with oil close behind. Wind power produces 6.4 horsepower per acre, solar photovoltaic 36 hp per acre, biomass 2.1. Corn ethanol requires about 1,150 times as much land as nuclear to produce the same horsepower.
The Milford Wind Corridor is a 300-megawatt Utah wind project with 139 wind turbines covering 40 square miles. Manufacturing the concrete to build them used 14.3 million gallons of water in producing 44,344 cubic meters of concrete. That means “each megawatt of wind power capacity requires about 870 cubic meters of concrete and 460 tons of steel.” That’s 32 times as much concrete and 139 times as much steel as for a megawatt produced by natural gas.
The diffusion problem is greatly compounded by the high variability of wind and solar conditions for power production. Bryce writes, “We want the ability to switch things on and off whenever we choose. That desire largely excludes wind and solar from being major players in our energy mix, because we can’t control the wind and the sun. Weather changes quickly. A passing thunderstorm or high pressure system can take wind and solar power systems from full output to zero output in a matter of minutes. The result: we cannot reliably get or deliver the power from those sources at the times when it is needed.”
Then there is the problem of storing wind and solar power: “Renewable energy has little value unless it becomes renewable power, meaning power that can be dispatched at specific times of our choosing….And despite decades of effort, we still have not found an economical way to store large quantities of the energy we get from the wind and the sun so that we can convert that energy into power when we want it.”
As a result, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas concluded that just “8.7% of the installed wind capability can be counted on as dependable capacity during the peak demand period” and “conventional generation must be available to provide the remaining capacity needed to meet forecast load and reserve requirements.” With conventional energy sources needed to back them up completely on short notice, wind and solar are really just vanity supply to make the wasteful rich feel good.
These are the reasons why the world changed, and its not going back. As Bryce explains, before the Industrial Revolution, “while solar, wind, and water power all provided critical quantities of useful energy, they were no match for coal, oil and natural gas. Hydrocarbons provided huge increases in power availability, allowing humans to go from diffused and geographically dispersed power sources to ones that were concentrated and free of specific geographic requirements. Hydrocarbons were cheap, could be transported, and most important, had greater energy density and power density. That increasing availability of power has allowed us to do ever-greater amounts of work in less time.”
Hence the industrial revolution and modern prosperity, now spreading worldwide.
Energy, Economic Growth and Modern Prosperity
Across the globe, modern prosperity is perfectly correlated with the use of energy and electricity. Byrce writes, “[T]he simple, unavoidable truth is that using oil makes us rich. In fact, if oil didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it…. [A]s oil consumption increases, so does prosperity. And the correlation is so clear as to be undeniable.”
The OECD countries, basically the prosperous, developed countries of the West, generally produce about $25,000 to $30,000 GDP per capita, and use 14 to 16 barrels of oil per person a year. In 2008, U.S. per capita GDP was $48,100, while oil use was 23 barrels per capita. By contrast, the non-OECD countries produce $7,000 to $10,000 GDP per capita, and consume 3 to 5 barrels per person. The countries of Africa and Asia produce $2,000 to $4,000 in per capita GDP, and use 1 to 2 barrels per person.
That is no accident. As Bryce writes,
“[T]hanks to its high energy density, oil is a nearly perfect fuel for use in all types of vehicles, from boats and planes to cars and motorcycles. Whether measured by weight or by volume, refined oil products provide more energy than practically any other commonly available substance, and they provide it in a form that’s easy to handle, relatively cheap, and relatively clean.”
Moreover, oil is the only fuel that can power the modern engines of economic prosperity, the diesel engine and the jet turbine.
Besides oil, prosperity is fueled in the world today by electricity. And right now, that means coal, though the future may belong to natural gas and nuclear power. While only Canada among major countries has higher per capita electricity consumption than America, the 5 countries with the lowest electricity consumption are Gaza, Chad, Burundi, Central African Republic, and Rwanda.
You can see this in your own home. The American kitchen of three decades ago featured a refrigerator, stove, and toaster. But today, Bryce writes, that same kitchen will include as well, “a microwave oven, bread maker, coffeemaker, juicer, convection oven, dishwasher and food processor. And a few steps away, where there once was only a small black-and-white television, there is now a giant-screen TV, a DVD player, and digital video recorder, as well as a laptop computer and ink-jet printer. In 1980, the average U.S. household had just three consumer electronic products. Today, it has about twenty-five.”
Coal today produces 41 percent of the world’s electricity supply, followed by natural gas at 20 percent, hydropower (geologically limited) at 16 percent, and nuclear at 15 percent. Oil at 6 percent (old-fashioned for electricity production) is still 3 times “other” at 2 percent.
Every grown up outside of Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the modern Che Guevara Democrat Party understands what this means. Bryce writes, “The world’s developing countries are using their coal for electricity generation, and that electricity is propelling economic growth around the world, particularly in rapidly developing countries such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Between 1990 and 2008, electricity generation in those three countries jumped by more than 300 percent.”
As a result, just the increase in world coal use from 2007 to 2008 produced 25 times as much energy as all the wind turbines and solar panels in America in 2008.
Indeed, Bryce shows that just one modern coal mine in Kentucky, the 35th largest in America, produces nearly as much energy as all wind and solar in the U.S. And the natural gas production from just one state, Oklahoma, produces well over 9 times as much energy as all U.S. wind and solar.
Bryce adds, “[I]f we want to help developing countries bring more people out of poverty, we need to help them increase the amount of electricity they generate and distribute.”
And that means still more coal, as well as natural gas and nuclear power.
The Left’s flower power “renewables” such as wind, solar and biofuels are the energy sources of the Roman Empire, and they will produce the same living standards as the Roman Empire. Bryce shows the meager existence of those still stuck in the old ways: “The world’s most impoverished people have no choice but to cook their food and heat their homes with fuels that have low energy density, such as straw, dung, twigs, wood and leaves. They are denuding the landscape of biomass in their struggle to survive. But in doing so, they are also contributing to deforestation and to the production of airborne soot.” Using these outdated energy sources “often results in the living areas being filled with a variety of noxious pollutants, including soot particles, carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, and even dioxin.”
Byrce concludes, “More oil consumption among the world’s energy poor would help save the lives of hundreds of thousands of impoverished people every year who die premature deaths because of indoor air pollution caused by burning biomass.” Indeed, these are the reasons why “oil is greener than any of the alternative energy forms that might replace it. No matter whether the replacement is ethanol from corn, biomass—such as wood, straw, or dung—or biofuels…the conclusion is apparent. Oil (and if you can get it, natural gas) simply has no peers. Oil provides consumers with both high energy density and high power density… and the number of uses for it are essentially limitless.”
The Road to Hell: Paved with Green Intentions
The Bakken geologic formation in North Dakota has turned out to hold far, far more oil than the U.S. Geological Survey used to think, 25 times as much in fact, or 2400 percent more. That is trillions of barrels of oil, rivaling Saudi Arabia by itself. The result is that the official unemployment rate in North Dakota is 3.5 percent, with nearly 20,000 jobs paying $60,000 to $80,000 a year remaining unfilled for lack of sufficiently skilled applicants. Revenue from the booming growth is gushing into the North Dakota state government so fast that after 7 consecutive tax cuts, the state enjoys a rainy day fund of several billion dollars, even though the entire state budget is only $2 billion. Although North Dakota voters yesterday voted not to abolish property taxes, a permanent boost to its economy would occur if the state instead phased out state income taxes entirely, as enjoyed by Texas, Florida and 7 other states.
As Newt Gingrich said in a highly illuminating campaign speech, “But if North Dakota by itself has that much energy, how much do we think we have everywhere else? Turns out, we may have more oil in the United States today, given new science and technology, than we have actually pumped worldwide since 1870. We may, in fact, by one estimate have three times as much oil in the United States as there is in Saudi Arabia.”
Or as there ever was in Saudi Arabia.
Added to Bakken is the Green River Formation, which is where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together. That is now estimated to also hold more recoverable oil than the rest of the world’s proven reserves combined, according to GAO 3 trillion barrels, at least half of which is recoverable according to the Rand Corporation. That is two times all the oil in the Middle East, enough by itself to cover all U.S. oil consumption for 200 years.
Then there is a parallel revolution in natural gas. We have long known there was a lot of natural gas in shale, but we did not know how to get it out. As recently as 2000, people thought we had seven years of natural gas supply left in the U.S. Investors began committing big funds to building facilities for importation of liquefied natural gas from the Middle East.
But then entrepreneurs began applying to shale rock formations the horizontal drilling techniques that had been developed for deep water ocean drilling, where the most had to be gotten out of one hole by drilling in every direction. Combine that with the long time technique of fracking, breaking up the shale rock with steam, water and sand (supposedly so scary to “environmentalists”) and the net result, Gingrich elaborates, is that
“[W]e now have in shale tremendous amounts of natural gas that is recoverable. In one short decade, we went from 7 years of supply to over a hundred years of supply because science and technology had improved so much. Furthermore, instead of us importing liquefied natural gas from the Middle East, there is now serious talk that we’re going to build facilities in Houston…to ship liquefied natural gas to China.”
But this is all just the beginning, because as Gingrich adds, “in places like the Marcellus Shale in Western Pennsylvania, in eastern Ohio, cutting down along the Appalachians, all the way out to Dallas, Texas, there is formation after formation after formation.”
What that means is what I reported last year in my book, America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb. America has the resources to be the world’s number one oil producer, number one natural gas producer, number one coal producer, number one nuclear energy producer, even the number one alternative energy producer. And that all adds up to one truly enormous economic opportunity for America.
These revitalized, exploding energy industries themselves mean a booming economy, replicating North Dakota across the land. That means ultimately millions of high paying jobs just in the booming energy and related industries themselves. It means as well billions of dollars for landowners, farmers and others, who have these energy resources on their land.
And it means exploding tax revenues for our bankrupt governments as the revitalized energy industries earn soaring profits on which they will pay skyrocketing taxes. Indeed, the exploding royalties alone from the oil and gas boom over the next generation will be enough by themselves to pay off our entire national debt. This is why in the new prosperity America needs to elect free market conservatives so this cascading windfall won’t be wasted on still more runaway spending.
Moreover, plentiful, low cost energy means an economic boom more broadly. The resulting rapidly declining energy prices would be a powerful tax cut for the entire economy. That means in particular a revival of energy intensive manufacturing. It also means millions more jobs, higher wages, and still more tax revenue to balance the budget and pay off the national debt as America goes back to work.
Barack Obama tries to tell us that increased drilling will do nothing about high oil and gasoline prices. But notice that with the soaring supply of the shale gas boom, since 2008 natural gas prices have spiraled down by 90 percent. Declining energy prices mean lower prices for everything, which are further tax cuts for everybody boosting the economy even more.
But under Obama’s green energy watermelon policies, America does not get any of this. Instead the self-supporting, taxpaying, coal, oil and gas industries are phased out by the EPA. They are replaced by wind, solar and biofuels, entire industries surviving only because of corporate welfare, at the expense of taxpayers.
Because of the problems of diffuse and unreliable energy of these outdated sources as discussed above, these energy sources are inherently far more costly. Based on official U.S. government data, onshore wind is 2-3 times more costly than traditional fossil fuel sources, offshore wind 4-5 times more costly. Solar thermal energy is 5-6 times more costly, photovoltaic solar close to 10 times more expensive. The need for traditional energy back up online for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine adds still further to costs.
Just the opposite of what the market offers us, these higher energy prices are effectively another huge tax increase on the economy, killing still more jobs, raising unemployment, and inviting America still further into recession. The vast corporate welfare necessary to keep these alternative industries alive represents still another burden on the economy. Obama’s EPA cap and trade policies represent effectively trillions more in increased taxes, dragging the economy down further. Instead of a manufacturing renaissance for America with plentiful, low cost fossil fuels, Obama’s high cost energy policies mean further manufacturing decline for America.
The rhetoric of green jobs is just a PR slogan designed to trick the American people out of their traditional, world leading prosperity, which President Obama and his far left base considers immoral and unfair to the rest of the world. The reality has already been tried and failed in Europe, where studies show that green energy subsidies result in 2 to 9 jobs lost for every green job created. The reality is already in evidence in Great Britain, where brain dead devotion to windmills to power a modern economy has the nation on track for fuel poverty for half the nation, with more than 10 percent of their incomes consumed by high energy costs alone.
So the choice is clear for the American people this year. They can vote for the continued decline and fall of America with President Obama. Or they can vote for the revival of traditional raging American prosperity and the restoration of the American Dream, by sending Obama back to the fever swamps of the far left.
ObamaCare: The Truth is Out
Author: Frances Twitty
Source: American Thinker – 11.15.2014
The American electorate is not stupid about Obamacare… at least not all of us. We listened. We paid attention to the debates. Many of us even read the bill, all 1,100 pages of it! We knew so-called facts were being touted and spun. Lies, false dichotomies, logical fallacies, quid pro quos, backdoor deals — you name it — all were used as tools to pass it. If it was deceptive, underhanded, self-serving and/or illogical, it was added to the Democrats’ bag of tricks. The rallying cry was lies, lies, and more lies — anything to pass this bill! It was blatant. It was in-your-face. It went on and on. It was amazing to behold. The Democrats were large and in charge. They were in their own utopic bubble and nothing and no one was going to get in their way – including “We, the People”, the majority of whom have opposed the law since its passage.
The people wanted healthcare reform. They wanted lower costs and secure coverage, including coverage for pre-existing conditions, young adult children and the unemployed. That’s it. Otherwise, we liked our healthcare.
What the people received, however, was a whole lot more than they bargained for — a complete monstrosity of a bill, a convoluted, litigious mess that usurped a huge portion of the economy. It was filled with penalties, fees, mandates, and various taxes on both individuals and businesses. Yet, somehow, someway it was supposed to lower costs. Guess what? That didn’t happen.
As many of us anticipated, healthcare costs have increased dramatically — again, for individuals as well as businesses. Hillary Clinton’s musings notwithstanding, businesses do create jobs. Unfortunately, with the higher costs businesses have had to bear due to ObamaCare, they are creating fewer of those jobs, specifically fewer full-time jobs. So now some people have access to health insurance that they did not have before, but can no longer put food on the table to feed their families, by the production of their own hands and minds. Granted, health insurance is really nice to have, when you need it. But on the great totem pole of life’s priorities, putting food on the table comes first.
Just about everyone who is not subsidized has seen their expenses go up, directly or indirectly, since the passage of ObamaCare. A few were lucky enough to receive waivers or delays, some might argue arbitrarily and illegally, but those carve outs will not last forever. Some will see the financial hit in 2015. Others, 2016. Still others 2017 and beyond. By the time the full disastrous impact is felt, Mr. Obama will be long gone. And cynically, one might wonder if he planned it that way.
So, where was the mainstream media in all of this? Oh, they were around. They just weren’t doing their job very well. Most of the time, they failed to conduct any due diligence. When they actually did, they ignored the facts (Al Gore would call them ‘inconvenient truths’). As long as what the administration was spewing fit their agenda, everything was copacetic with them. And apparently, it still is.
It would seem that for the most part, the mainstream media has no issues with the recently surfaced videotaped comments of Jonathan Gruber. Presumably, the media agree with what he said. Of course, liberals have always been the ends-justify-the-means kind of feelers. In other words, they are people you cannot trust to be honest and straightforward when they have an agenda.
Now that the public is faced with the truth of what their government thinks of them, thanks to Gruber (who was paid approx. $400k for his stellar work), the only explanation the Democrats can offer is either 1) Gruber lied (yes, accuse the liar of lying when the lie is discovered!) or 2) everyone does it.
The ‘everyone does it’ argument is the very last refuge for the morally-challenged and sounds quite like fingernails on a chalkboard to conservatives. If the Democrats have gone there, and they have, they can no longer feign ignorance. If they defend the thinking and methods laid out by Gruber, they are complicit in the deception and equally as guilty as he is.
In the various videos of Gruber that have cropped up, he not only asserts the stupidity of American voters, but also specifically states that the subsidies were provided to entice (i.e., force) the states to set up their own exchanges. This point is at the heart of King v. Burwell, a case whereby the Supreme Court will decide if ObamaCare actually means what it says — that subsidies can only be given to those who have purchased health insurance on state exchanges.
The last time the Supreme Court had to decide whether or not ObamaCare meant what it said, it decided that it did. The irony was that the text was not what the government lawyers were arguing it said. If the federal government was forcing people to buy insurance and penalizing them if they did not, the Court would have declared the bill unconstitutional. But if these penalties and fees were in fact a tax, as the Supreme Court concluded, then the bill was constitutional. So in the blink of an eye, a ‘penalty’ became a ‘tax’ and voila! ObamaCare survived to live another day, supported by the taxing authority of the federal government. It was a good trick, really.
As Gruber said, the bill was tortured in an attempt not to call it a tax. Then, the Supreme Court tortured it some more to call it out as a tax. American voters still paid because a tax by any other name is still money out the door.
But you see, this is the essence of liberal big government – elitists thinking they know better than you do, that due to the very nature of their advanced brainpower and overall awesomeness, they get to tell you what to do, how to live, what to think, and who to believe. They get to pick the winners and the losers in their quest for complete control over American lives. And half of us are willing to let them because they tell us it is for our own good! Those in the ‘something must be done’, ‘healthcare should be free’, ‘we all need insurance’, ‘it’s for our own good’ camp are permitting it!
But now, with the revelation of what the Democrats in the federal government really think about us (aka “we, the stupid American voters”), can we not see that we have misjudged them?
Now, none of this is news to conservatives. We have been sounding the alarm bells for many, many years. We have pointed out the deceptions, the logical fallacies, the quid pro quos that went into passing this monstrosity. It is not our fault if the Democrats in Congress chose not to listen and/or to ignore the realities.
The process of passing Obamacare was ugly, the players corrupt, the deals underhanded and the methods disengenuous, but the end result, to a liberal Democrat, erases all that. Like Gruber, they would ‘rather have this bill than not’. If Democrats have to give up truth, transparency, the rule of law and their very souls to get what they want, so be it.
Hence, we found we cannot keep our plans as promised — they no longer exist. And we cannot keep our doctors either — those greedy capitalists actually expect to be paid for their work! The cost curve has been bent, but of course, in the opposite direction. Families are still waiting for that $2,500 annual savings they were promised — which if adjusted for all the increases in premiums, co-pays and deductibles, the lowered cap in annual flexible spending benefits along with the limitation of qualified purchases, the fees and penalties (some of which you see, some of which you do not see, but all of which you ultimately pay) that have occurred since the passage of ObamaCare — would now be upwards of $10,000 for many of us.
American voters do not like being misled. Or insulted. And Democrats did both of those things. In my best Obama impression: Let me be clear when I say: “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother!”
Last week, Democrats realized just how meticulously we have been keeping score. The midterms were a huge repudiation of them, their policies, their tactics and their ways. They can hold hands all they want, band together like a political phalanx, and proclaim that the midterms were not a mandate, but the fact of the matter is this: We bought them via donations to their campaigns. We paid for them via generous salaries and benefits. We thought they would be good civil servants, but they just didn’t work as intended. Thankfully, we kept the receipt and we returned them – last week. Reason: not as advertised.
We ought to be able to return ObamaCare for the same reason.