Saturday, June 30, 2012

Obamacare ruling: Worst example of "bait & switch" in U.S. history!

Where do I begin? I take a 2-week vacation from writing this blog, and here's what I come back to: The Attorney General is found in contempt of Congress for not being forthcoming with requested documents & emails in the "Fast & Furious" investigation. Then, the big bombshell this past Thursday as the Supremes ruled that Obamacare is constitutional and nothing more than a tax (the biggest tax increase that we've ever had here in America).

My thoughts on Judge Roberts and the majority ruling on Obamacare is simply this: It was "bait and switch." We were told countless times that Obamacare was NOT a tax. In fact, the government's counsel argued one day before the court that it wasn't a tax, and then the next day, they argued that it was. You can't have it both ways. You can't appear in any court of law and argue one day that a person is guilty and then argue the next day that he is innocent. You'd be laughed out of the court or held in contempt but that's exactly what Obama's solicitor general did in his Supreme Court appearance.

To refresh your memory, here's what Obama said on September 20th, 2009 in his appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos where they were discussing the the health care reform bill:
STEPHANOPOULOS said, "Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money and fining them if they don't. How is that not a tax increase?"
OBAMA: No, tha-tha-that's not true, George. Eh, for us to say that you've gotta take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is is that we're not gonna have other people carrying your burdens for you, any more than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, "That is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I'm not covering all the costs."
STEPHANOPOULOS then said, "Well, it may be fair, and it may be good public policy, but for you to say that this isn't a tax. This just..."
OBAMA: No, no. B-b-but George y-y-y-you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I don't think I'm making it up. Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "Tax: A charge, usually of money, imposed by authority --
OBAMA: (snickering)
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- on persons or property for public purposes."
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Miriam's dictionary (sic), the definition of tax increase indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise you wouldn'ta gone to the dictionary to check on the definition! I mean --
OBAMA: If -- if what you're saying is --
STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself, but your critics say it is a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything's a tax increase! My critics say that I'm taking over, uhh, every sector of the economy. You know that! Uh, eh, eh... Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we're gonna have an individual mandate or not but --
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it's a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.
So, there you have it. Obama said that "Obamacare" was NOT a tax increase. What we now have is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people along with the assistance of Chief Justice John Roberts. This bill was passed by Congress (only Democrats voted for it) and we were told that it was NOT a tax on the American people. And Obama has said countless times that if you make $250,000 a year or less, you will not see your taxes go up--not one dime." Now we know that was a lie--one of many lies since this new health care bill IS A TAX.

This is the first time in U.S. history where Americans will be taxed for NOT DOING something. If you don't sign-up for health insurance, you will have to pay a tax. Not much at first--about $95.00 for a single person in 2014, but in 2016, a family that doesn't have health insurance will be taxed about $2400. Plus there are added taxes now on over-the counter drugs, tanning salons, and medical equipment (passed on to you the patient).

Imagine the government taxing you for not buying an electric car, or for not exercising or eating healthy food? That's exactly what Obamacare is doing. Taxing you for not participating in the this government fiasco!

Even though the President and his spokesmen will spin this every which way and tell you that it's not a tax, even if Chief Justice Roberts says it is. It comes down to this: "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....."

(I'll continue with some added thoughts on Judge Roberts and this ruling in my next post).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Portrait of a Hollow Man

The Amateur, written by Edward Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and the editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, is an expose on the Obama presidency, or as Hans Christian Anderson would say, "The Emperor has NO clothes."

"The Amateur" presents a president who is inept in the art of management and governance, who doesn't learn from his mistakes and chooses to blame all his problems on those with whom he disagrees including Republicans and George W. Bush. Author Klein paints a portrait of a man who discards old friends and supporters when they are no longer useful (this list includes Democrats, African-Americans & Jews-those who aided Obama both with getting out the votes as well as substantial financial support when he was a complete unknown).We discover a man who is so thin-skinned that he constantly complains about what people say or write about him. 

The picture of Obama that emerges in The Amateur is different from the Photo-shopped image that Obama's campaign staff and media fed to the public. Obama portrayed himself as a new kind of politician, a peacemaker, a mediator, a conciliator, a man who would heal the rift between the red and blue states, and help to heal the racial divide here in America. In effect, he campaigned as the "great uniter." So where did that Obama go, or did he ever really exist or was he just a figment of his own imagination, our imagination or both?  How did he turn out to be the most divisive president in American history?

Ed Klein exposes Obama as a left-wing radical who has refused to embrace American exceptionalism and who rails against our capitalist system, demonizes the wealthy, and even embraces failed groups like the Occupy Wall Street movement. 

As a state senator and U.S. senator, Obama was MIA (missing-in-action). He didn't even show up for picture day at the U.S. Senate, never went to committee meetings. One observer noted, "He had no interest in government itself. He just wanted to stand on the Senate floor and give speeches." And true-to-form, this is the image of Obama that emerges time and again. 

Obama: Master of the "Blame Game"
As President of the United States, he calls meetings with his experts on foreign affairs which include high-ranking generals, and every time, he does most of the talking. We are presented with a man who has two big ears, but does very little in the way of listening. In every meeting, he plays the role of the wisest man in the room, or the adult in the room amidst all the children. He lectures but he doesn't listen. Even when he listens, he is not listening. As referenced time after time in the book, Obama has already made up his mind. He is just acting like he's interested in what you're saying, or put another way, he's enduring your presence and your foolishness, waiting so he can finally lecture you and tell you what he's going to do, whether you like it or not. This is exactly how he treated Benjamin Netanyahu, current prime minister of Israel

In the Amateur, those who have known Obama the longest recall that he always had delusions of grandeur and was preoccupied with his own place in history--so much so that he wrote his own autobiography before he was 30 yrs. old and during his first year in the White House, hosted a dinner with 12 famous historians so that he could influence his place in history.

Barack & Michelle guesting on Oprah!
One other shocking revelation is the chapter on the sacrifice of Oprah Winfrey who jeopardized her career and her television ratings, going out on a limb to support and campaign for Obama. Soon after the election, Oprah was treated like a pariah, left out in the cold, not even welcome at the White House.

The chapter where Obama's pastor of 20 yrs., Jeremiah Wright, is interviewed, is worth the price of the book itself. Wright talks about the ways Obama has stabbed him in the back and disowned the black community in Chicago.

The Amateur is a compelling, spellbinding book about a man who is cool, aloof, detached, and hollow to the core, yet as a passionate ideologue, wants another four years to finish the job of destroying America.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There are gods...and then there is the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob

Just once, I'd like to see a celebrity receive an award like a Grammy, Oscar, Emmy or Espy and raise their hand up toward heaven and say, "I'd like to thank the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for this award!"

Now that would mean something instead of the generic, non-offensive offering up of thanks to "god" whoever he, she or it may be.

There are gods and then there is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This distinction separates the Almighty God from any other god, including the god, Allah. The fact that God identifies himself with 3 Hebrew patriarchs is very significant because it identifies Him as the God of history. He creates, guides and changes the course of history and uses individuals and nations to accomplish His will.

In Acts 6-7, Stephen was one of seven chosen to wait on tables and administer funds and supplies to the widows. Stephen was a man who was said to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit (How often do you hear that description used of someone today?). Stephen is doing signs and wonders (for insight in a modern-day context, see my post on Mama Heidi in Mozambique). Because of these signs and his gifted ability to speak with much wisdom, he had his detractors who wanted to destroy him and to do so, they fabricated lies. Stephen is arrested and brought before the Jewish leaders. This is a kangaroo court if there ever was one with the men who are trying Stephen in league with his false accusers, probably being paid for their efforts as liars.

Just before Stephen is stoned to death, he lays out the history of the Jewish people starting with God's call to Abraham in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). This is the longest recorded message in the book of Acts (I suggest you go and read it right now--it's really a summation of the Old Testament). Luke includes it because it succinctly describes God's past workings with Israel and how everything He did led to the ultimate fulfillment of the promised Messiah, Yeshua.
Stephen recounts Moses hiding out in the desert of Midian for 40 yrs, and he comes upon a burning bush. Upon closer inspection, he hears the voice of the Lord saying: "I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." 
There were plenty of gods then, and there are plenty of gods now. But there is only One who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This even sets him apart from Allah because according to the Qur'an, Allah is the God of Abraham and Ishmael. In their twisted, fabricated theology, they don't believe that Isaac was the firstborn child of promise, they instead believe it was Ishmael, the child of Hagar the bond-slave to Sarah.

I'll leave you with this. One of the reasons why God identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that he is the God who cares about individuals. He chooses them to help raise up a small group of people who would become nation that would spread the glory of God throughout the entire earth.

God also is the God of place. He met Abraham in Mesopotamia when Abraham was totally clueless and had no idea who this God was, and He met with Moses in Midian. He is the eternal, almighty God who meets us right where we are. That's why I can humbly say that because He found me years ago at the age of 14 sitting in the L.A. Coliseum listening to some preacher named Billy Graham. Because He found me way back then at a certain time and place, He is my God as well. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Dale. And He will meet me right where I am today. For that I am truly thankful and praise His Holy Name.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Right to No Rights

Over the past few decades, we have witnessed an explosion of so-called "rights." It may have started with the Civil Rights Act on 1964. But now, the mantra goes like this:

  • You have the right to a job
  • You have the right to a place to live
  • You have the right to a decent living wage
  • You have the right to 3 yrs. of unemployment insurance.
  • You have the right to free health care.
  • You have the right to free birth control.
  • You have the right to an education.
  • If you have a special needs child, he or she has the right to an education and the right to be treated as a normal child (even though normal children don't need an aide at their side at all times).
  • You have the right to live and work in a smoke-free environment.
  • You have the right to work in a fragrance-free environment.
  • If you live in Boulder, Colorado and you're a dog or a cat, you even have pet's rights. 
I've been reading the philosopher John Locke who greatly influenced our founding fathers. Locke based his understanding of individual rights and liberty on the Bible. He believed that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights: The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and because of Locke's writings, we have the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. 

I am so tired of hearing my fellow Americans clamor for this right and that right. As far as I'm concerned, we have no rights other than to love God and love one another. 

I become concerned for my own soul when I find myself claiming some of these rights. It means that I have become lost in the herd mentality and that I have forgotten my identity as a child of God. 

The more we demand special rights, the more it reveals our lost condition and how we are seeking to be the kings of our own little governments where everyone serves us and gives us whatever we demand, whatever right we feel entitled to.

I am reminded of one man who gave up all his rights and privileges for the human race.
Philippians 2:4-11 (MSG)
4 Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
5 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.
6 He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.
7 Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!
8 Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.
9 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever,
10 so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ,
11 and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
With God's help and strength, I want to go through this day, setting aside my privileges and rights. I want to look to helping, encouraging and strengthening others this day rather than seeking to have my own needs or rights met. Oh Lord, restore my soul, and renew a right spirit within me.