Higher Criticism — How High Do You Have to Be?

Higher Criticism — How High Do You Have to Be?
Vol: 124 Issue: 31 Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Historical criticism, also known by the more grandiose-sounding “higher criticism” is a branch of Biblical criticism that purports to investigate the origins of the ancient text in an effort to understand the world and worldview behind the text.

As it is applied to the Bible, however, “higher criticism” begins with the presumption that the Bible is wrong, and then focuses its effort on proving that presumption.  They approach the Bible as being guilty of error until proven innocent. 

Higher criticism works like this.  When the Bible makes an assertion, such as the creation story, its critics seek some other contemporaneous documents or other evidence that tend to dispute the Bible’s position.  

If none is found, then the Bible account is generally considered to be “undisputed” rather than true.  If another contemporary account differs from the Bible, then the Biblical account is, by definition, disputed. 

“Disputed” doesn’t mean “disproved.”  It means “not agreed upon; argued.”  An undisputed passage simply means nobody has found a way to question it yet.

While “higher criticism” can be applied to any ancient text,  its default meaning is always related to the Bible.  When it comes to the Bible, any dispute — historical, philosophical or interpretative — is sufficient to call a passage into question.

Given the importance of the Scriptures, this makes perfect sense.  The Bible claims to be 100% accurate on all things, past, present and future, 100% of the time.  If any one thing contained in the body of Scripture could be conclusively proved untrue, then the entire testimony of the Bible is called into question.

If Eve didn’t eat of the tree, if Noah didn’t build an ark, if Jonah wasn’t swallowed by a “big fish”, if Moses didn’t receive the tablets, then how can we know that the part that says, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never die” is any more reliable?

Bible critics love to point to the story of Creation as absolute evidence the Bible is untrue.  First, they say, if God created the universe in six days, then how is it that the light now reaching us from Alpha Centauri originated millions of years ago?

It’s a trick question.  Their alternative explanation is the Big Bang.  How far apart were those stars five nanoseconds after the Big Bang, when science says the universe was compacted into an area the size of an orange? 

Science says the universe expanded over millions of years, but time functions within the universe, not outside of it.  Space and time are inseparable; if space was compacted, time would be also.   God wasn’t inside the universe when He created it.  

Science knows that the universe is expanding, but we can only reckon time from the inside — if one were standing outside of the universe, how many days did it take for the universe to expand, as viewed from that perspective? 

God says six.  Science has no way of proving or disproving, since it is impossible to calculate.  If it is impossible to calculate, how can anyone know?  Answer?  They don’t.  They are guessing.  There is but one authoritative explanation, because there is only one source that claims absolute knowledge.

That source is the Bible.  Critics slam it as unreliable, until they are challenged to disprove (not dispute) a single substantive fact.   

The Book of Job is believed to be the oldest book, chronologically speaking, written before Moses wrote the first five Books dealing with Creation and the Law.

Job lived sometime before Moses, somewhere in the Middle East. Yet Job records;

“He stretches out the north over empty space;  He hangs the earth on nothing (Job 26:7)

Who told Job that?  Especially since it wasn’t until 1981 that astronomers discovered a huge, unexplained ‘hole’ in space in the direction of the northern hemisphere?

Before the time of Moses, Job explained the earth’s hydrological cycle, writing;

“For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man.”(Job 36:27-28)

How did Job know?

The complex nature of how water is supported in clouds despite being heavier than air is clearly implied when God demanded of Job,

“Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge.” (Job 37:16).

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31).

In the last century astrophysicists have discovered that the stars of Pleiades move in unison with each other, and are thus gravitationally bound, exactly as Job describes.

What else did Job know? 

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

Note the italicized sections.  Job was not a Jew.  Neither was he a Christian.  Job was born before Abraham and was probably still alive during Abraham’s lifetime.  Before the birth of Joseph.  Before the captivity in Egypt.  Before the Exodus.  Before the Ten Commandments. 

But Job knew his Redeemer was alive at that moment.  Job knew He would stand upon the earth in  “latter days.”  Job knew of the resurrection and knew his own eyes would behold the Messiah – almost a thousand years before Moses penned the first five Books of the Bible.

Here’s a trick question for the skeptics.  Who told Job?

Assessment:

The Bible is the #1 best-seller in history.  It has been translated into 2,123 languages and dialects.  Nine out of every ten Americans own a Bible.

There are plenty of folks who claim they’ve found mistakes in the Bible, but the simple fact is this.  If somebody actually found a verifiable, provable error contained in Scripture, they have yet to demonstrate it.

Christians are used to seeing the world twist and pervert the Bible, deny its Authorship, question its teachings and condemn it as ‘hate literature.’  There are entire collegiate-level curriculums exclusively devoted to Biblical criticism.

Ever notice that other religious books, like the Hindu Upanishads, the writings of Buddha or Zoroaster, and, most particularly, the Koran, are never subjected to a scholarly analysis of their historical or textual accuracy?

Of course, I can’t say “never” since I’ve not read every book ever written.  How many organizations devoted to disproving Zoroastrianism or Islam are you aware of?  Why not?

The Angel Gabriel is said to have told Muhammad: “This book is not to be questioned.”  That is an article of faith among Muslims — subjecting the Koran to the same kind of textual criticism given the Bible would be suicide for a Muslim.

Questioning the Koran isn’t a popular enterprise among non-Muslims, either.  It’s a great way to wake up one morning to discover you are dead.

The Arab scholar, Suliman Bashear, argued that Islam developed over time as a religion rather than emerging suddenly. (His students in the University of Nablus threw him out the window).

Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” resulted in a fatwa because it was thought to mock Muhammad.  Islamic scholar Naguib Mahfouz was stabbed because his works were said to be ‘irreligious.’

One scholar of Semitic languages, writing under the pseudonym Christopher Luxenberg, published a criticism of the Koran in which he claims the text is both mistranslated and misread.

His work involving the analysis of the earliest copies of the Koran led him to the conclusion that parts of the Koran came from pre-existing Aramaic texts.  These, he says, were misinterpreted by later Islamic scholars who composed the Koran as it is circulated today.

The classic example of this relates to the virgins supposedly awaiting loyal Muslim martyrs.  Rather than ‘virgins,’ Luxenberg observes that in the original text, the Koran actually promises “white raisins” of crystal clarity.

This, one would think, would be a verse carefully scrutinized by Islamists.  Especially those planning to blow themselves up in jihad.  Who would want to commit suicide in exchange for a box of transparent raisins?

Those Semitic scholars who dare to voice an opinion are unanimous in their contention that there is no historical evidence of the existence of the Koran prior to 691 AD, about sixty years after Mohammed’s death.

Much of what is known of Muhammad is based on texts that were written 300 years after his death.  But nobody in the West is particularly interested in disputing the Koran.  Granted, there is the whole “call us intolerant and we’ll kill you” dynamic, but then why just pick on the Bible? 

The four largest religions in the world in order are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.  Although Christianity is the largest, (2 billion) Islam is a close second, (1.65 billion) and Hinduism is a close third (1 billion).

One could fill a library with all the books written aimed at disputing the Bible.  The books disputing the three other major world religions would barely fill a single shelf. Have you ever asked yourself why?

Christianity welcomes, even invites textual criticism of the Scriptures.  Each effort merely serves to confirm the Bible’s Divine Authorship.  And, logically speaking, who would want to trust their eternity to a God Who might not be real?

(If the Bible wasn’t true, I know that I’d want to know about it).

But examining the Koran for accuracy and textual consistency is not just unpopular, it is dangerous to the point of being deadly.  Islamists don’t merely discourage any scholarly investigation of the Koran.  They fear it. 

There is no real reason to criticize Hinduism —  with three hundred and thirty million different gods, where would one begin?

The Buddha allegedly lived at a time when writing was largely unknown, and so everything about the Buddha was written hundreds of years after the fact.  Where are all the critics of Buddha?

So why does the Bible attract so much more criticism?  There is only one logical reason.  If the Bible wasn’t a true record, then the battle would not be so fierce.  The debate would not be so divisive.

There are no headline-making polls about the existence of Buddha.  And nobody would dare question the existence of Allah or the veracity of the Buddha.  Why not?  

Because they are no threat to the prince and the power of the air.  Jesus Christ Himself explained the principle:

“But He, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?” (Luke 11:17-18)

It is often said that you can tell more about a person by taking the measure of his enemies than you can by looking at his friends.

If the Bible isn’t true, then there is no Satan.  If the Bible is true, then it stands to reason that the only sacred writings Satan would inspire attacks against would be the ones that point to the real God of salvation.

He certainly wouldn’t attack the religions and scriptures that serve him.   If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?  He isn’t.  Because it couldn’t.  But it does.

For now.

First SOPA and PIPA — Now ACTA

First SOPA and PIPA — Now ACTA
Vol: 124 Issue: 30 Monday, January 30, 2012

Now that SOPA and PIPA have been shelved, a lot of worried folks have breathed a (premature) sigh of relief.  But while all the attention was focused on domestic laws like SOPA and PIPA,  nobody was watching what the administration was doing via treaty law.

Treaty law is just as binding as any domestically enacted legislation, with one major exception.  Domestic legislation must pass Constitutional muster, since domestic law is subordinate to the Constitution.  The Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Although the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent consistently hold that treaty law is also subordinate to the Constitution in theory, in practice, treaty law is treated as if it were above the Constitution. 

The Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2 states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The bone of contention is the phrase; “and all treaties made” which suggests that the Constitution and treaties are at least co-equal in authority, if one doesn’t look any closer, which is how the globalists get away with making that argument.

Under the Constitution, the President can only make treaties with the consent of two-thirds of the Senate present.  That is different than two thirds of the Senate.  That allows Senators to skip the vote so as not to be held accountable for taking a stand. 

Or to schedule the vote during a time when most of the Senate is not in Washington, the way the Federal Reserve was passed, two days before Christmas in 1913 when most of the Senate was away from Washington.

(Or, like Obama, they could simply vote “present” as necessary).

If a treaty is so approved, then it actually does supersede the Constitution in practice, if not necessarily in theory.

Noted Patrick Henry during the Virginian Ratifying Convention:

“The Senate, by making treaties, may destroy your liberty and laws for want of responsibility. Two thirds of those that shall happen to be present, can, with the President, make treaties that shall be the supreme law of the land; they may make the most ruinous treaties; and yet there is no punishment for them..”

This enables activists to take the government to court to have national laws quashed on the grounds they violate existing treaty commitments.  The judicial system can order the government to take steps to meet treaty commitments, even when said commitments violate US Constitutional provisions. 

It takes two-thirds of the Senate, two thirds of the House, and two thirds of the States in a referendum to amend the Constitution.  But treaty law can effectively accomplish the same thing with only two-thirds of those senators present in agreement. 

It isn’t legal, but in recent years, and under this administration in particular, the primary meaning of “illegal” has come to mean “a sick bird.”

In the last days of the 106th Congress (2000), the U.S. Senate ratified a package of 34 treaties almost without notice.  They were ratified as a package.  There was no debate.  There was no recorded vote.

Under Obama, the Senate isn’t even necessary.

Assessment:

In October 2007, the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan simultaneously (and quietly) announced that they would negotiate a new intellectual property enforcement treaty.

The treaty, titled the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) sounds like it was designed to curtail counterfeiting of physical goods like medicines, currency, DVDs, or designer jeans.   

President Obama quietly signed the ACTA treaty in September, 2011 as “an executive agreement” — without even presenting it for Senate ratification.  Obama promised to bypass the Congress “in order to get things done” and ACTA is one of those things he decided needed doing.

So what is ACTA and why should we care?  First, what it is:

“The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, or the United Nations.”

Did you see it?  At the end of the first sentence . . . “and copyright infringement.”  That is the same provision that axed SOPA and PIPA since it would give the government the authority to shut down ANY website deemed to be infringing on someone’s copy rights. 

That sounds ok, until one realizes what it means.  We’re back to the place where you could upload a video of yourself singing a karaoke version of a copyrighted song and be in violation.  It authorizes any member government to  shut down any site on the grounds of copyright infringement.

ACTA is self regulatory and can be amended as needed without any public or judicial review:

“Articles 5 and 6 of the treaty provide creation of an “ACTA committee” which may make subsequent amendments to the agreement, subject to the approval of the parties. Public review or judicial review will not be needed to create amendments. Industry representatives may have consultatory input to amendments.”

It would create a new governing body outside of existing organizations.  One that gets to make up its own rules.  It is outside the public and judicial process, and not accountable to a nation or an international body.

The committee won’t even be accountable to those countries governed by the agreement, including the U.S. government and the European Commission.  The European Digital Rights Commission (*pdf) points out:

“ACTA provides an extremely low threshold for imposing criminal sanctions.” This means that should a person, a company, or even a government accidentally or unintentionally infringe copyright, this could be considered a criminal act. Further into this, what used to be a civil offence can now be deemed a criminal offense”

And, as we’ve already noted, Obama has already signed on the dotted line, subordinating America to its provisions.

If you didn’t like SOPA or PIPA, then you will really dislike ACTA.  ACTA removes all the legal safeguards that protect ISPs from liability for the actions of their subscribers, meaning ISP’s either censor content on their servers or go out of business.  

Who decides what is a copyright infringement?  Pretty much anybody.  If somebody complains to your ISP that a photo you posted on your blog of a cute puppy is copyrighted, the ISP will have no choice but to shut down your website first, and ask questions later.

It is worth mentioning (again and again) that ACTA was negotiated in secret until it was exposed by Wikileaks in 2008.

ACTA provides for “statutory damages.”  In the US, the basic level for damages ranges between $750 and $30,000 per work.  So posting the cute puppy photograph can cost you your website plus a fine of $750.00. 

Downloading a song falls into the upper ranges of damages.  One college student, Joel Tennenbaum, was ordered to pay damages in the amount of $675,000.00 for illegally downloading 30 songs.  

In addition to the statutory damages provisions, ACTA also calls for extensive seizure and forfeiture provisions covering everything from infringing goods to assets whose value equals assets derived from infringement. 

What does that mean?  It means that under ACTA, should the government so desire, you could download thirty songs and not just end up just with a judgment, but could end up losing everything you own.

ACTA demands that each signatory nation must include the option of imprisonment as well as monetary fines, and includes criminal provisions for “aiding and abetting” copyright infringement.

“Each Party’s enforcement procedures shall apply to infringement of copyright or related rights over digital networks, which may include the unlawful use of means of widespread distribution for infringing purposes. These procedures shall be implemented in a manner that avoids the creation of barriers to legitimate activity, including electronic commerce, and, consistent with that Party’s law, preserves fundamental principles such as freedom of expression, fair process, and privacy.”

It is worth noting that anything on the internet automatically meets the threshold of “widespread distribution.”

ACTA has been signed, but not ratified, and the battle over whether or not Obama’s signature will require Senate ratification is ongoing.  But what I want to highlight in today’s brief is the way that the internet is becoming a vehicle for transforming the globalist agenda from theory into practice.

Look at the infrastructure that is under construction and where it could lead.  Today, the effort is focused on restricting file sharing and copyright violations.  

While one can easily avoid file-sharing, avoiding copyright restrictions is practically impossible.  So every website is vulnerable, but only certain websites need fear the government.  Avoid calling government attention to yourself and you’re relatively safe. 

So Far Left websites and those of the Soros network have little to fear, while Christian websites and the politically incorrect could go dark and the individuals behind them could be financially ruined or imprisoned.

“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:18)

When the Scriptures say, “here is wisdom” it implies that there is something important being revealed, if only we had the wisdom to see it.  

In this case, the clue is the number, 6-6-6.  We aren’t told much else, other than it is the number of the beast, and the number of a man and that is related to the Mark of the Beast.

So somehow, and in some way, John is telling us that the antichrist’s government will in some way be linked to either three sixes or the number six hundred and sixty-six (666). 

The Book of the Revelation was inked in Greek by the Apostle John, a Judean Jew who undoubtedly also spoke Hebrew.  Much of the Book was written using symbols that were intended for Christians.

The early Church was primarily made up of converted Hebrew-speaking Jews who then spread the Gospel to the Gentile world.

If one wanted to impart spiritual wisdom from God to the Church without necessarily sharing it with the secular authorities, the best way to accomplish that would be to encode it within the sentence itself. 

Hebrew, like Latin, is alpha-numeric — each alpha letter has a corresponding numeric value.  In Hebrew, the alpha equivalent to “W” (as in “www”) is the letter “vov.”  

The numeric value of vov is “six”.  Let’s look at Revelation 13:18 one more time, only this time, substituting the alpha equivalent first, and then translating to English.

“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is http://www.”

That leaves two possible conclusions.  One might conclude that the antichrist’s economic and political empire is in some way related to his eventual control of the world wide web.  The only other conclusion is that it is an amazing coincidence. 

But that second conclusion demands a greater leap of faith than I can muster. 

It’s the ENERGY CRISIS That Is Man-Made, Not the Weather

It’s the ENERGY CRISIS That Is Man-Made, Not the Weather
Vol: 124 Issue: 28 Saturday, January 28, 2012

There is a battle ongoing north of the border that most Americans aren’t aware of, but whose outcome will affect how Americans live for the next two hundred years.

At issue are the “oil sands” of Alberta.  First, what that is, and then, what it means.  Oil sands, (also known as tar sands) are petroleum deposits containing naturally-occurring mixtures of sand, clay, water and an extremely viscous form of bitumen petroleum.

“The crude bitumen contained in the Canadian oil sands is described by Canadian authorities as “petroleum that exists in the semi-solid or solid phase in natural deposits. Bitumen is a thick, sticky form of crude oil, so heavy and viscous (thick) that it will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons. At room temperature, it is much like cold molasses”.

When oil was selling for ten dollars a barrel, it made no economic sense to harvest the oil contained in the oil sands, which costs about $28.00 per barrel to extract.  But at current prices, oil extracted from the oil sands is a bargain.

And Alberta’s oil sands contain a lot of oil — enough oil to supply ALL of North America’s needs for at least the next two hundred years!

Alberta’s oil fields cover an area larger than England, and contain some 85% of the world’s known reserves of bitumen oil.  Consequently, Alberta’s proven oil reserves amount to about 1.75 TRILLION barrels of oil.

What is a ‘proven’ reserve of oil?  According to Wikipedia;

“Proven reserves are those reserves claimed to have a reasonable certainty (normally at least 90% confidence) of being recoverable under existing economic and political conditions, with existing technology. Industry specialists refer to this as P90 (i.e., having a 90% certainty of being produced).”

According to the same Wikipedia source, Canada ranks third in the world as a oil producing country, slightly behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, the UAE, Russia, Libya, Nigeria, Kazakstan, Qatar and China.

A footnote to the Wikipedia article says that,

“Although the IEA insists on Canada’s Reserves as being listed as 178 billion barrels, many experts including CEO of Shell Canada, Clive Mather estimate it to actually be 2 Trillion barrels or more, essentially 8 times more than Saudi Arabia.”

The International Energy Agency is an international body charged with finding and developing alternative sources of energy, and so it is in the best interests of the IEA to maintain the fiction that the world is running out of fossil fuels.  

If they acknowledged the actual proven reserve figures, it would also be an acknowledgement that there is no energy ‘crisis’ and an admission that the IEA is another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy we could do without. 

If Canadian reserves are eight times those of Saudi Arabia, then there is no energy ‘crisis’ — except the man-made kind.  So what is the problem with using Canadian oil sands? 

Opponents claim that the extraction process is dirty and increases so-called “greenhouse” gases.  The oil industry denies that, pointing  out that it is cheaper, cleaner and more plentiful than coal.

However, so-called greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide have long-since reached “record-high” levels, which, according to the Al Gore Model, should also mean we’ve experienced record high temperatures.

Indeed, levels of greenhouse gases have risen every year since we began recording them in 1998. And yet, global temperatures have fallen every year since the turn of the 21st century.

“Alarmists theorize the small warming they say is caused by carbon dioxide emissions can trigger higher atmospheric relative humidity and more prevalent upper-level cirrus clouds, which would then bring substantial additional warming. Without that feedback effect, computer models predict little future warming.”

“National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measurements dating back several decades show there has been no increase in atmospheric relative humidity, even while atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased. Similarly, NASA instruments show there has been no increase in upper-level cirrus clouds in conjunction with the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The positive feedback loops asserted by global warming alarmists have failed to materialize.”

President Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline that would have carried Canadian oil from the Alberta oilfields to Gulf refineries on the grounds that Canadian oil pollutes the environment with greenhouse gases, and so America remains dependent on Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela and Mexico. 

And about fifty-one percent of all the oil the US imports comes from OPEC states in Africa and the Persian Gulf, with another ten percent coming from Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela, also a member of OPEC.  Most of the OPEC countries are hostile to the United States, making dependence on OPEC a threat to US national security.

Canada, which is a non-OPEC country, could easily replace every barrel of oil the US currently imports from OPEC without breaking a sweat.  It would be cheaper to produce, cheaper to import, cheaper to deliver, and it comes with no strings attached. 

But the White House vetoed it.

Assessment:

Greenhouse gases have already risen to record levels even as the global temperature continues to decline, and they continue to rise without any affect on the global temperature. 

Al Gore knew this all along, since core samples proved that greenhouse gas levels rose some four hundred years AFTER periods of global warming.  But now, you know it too.  

And you’re not alone.

A recent Pew Poll showed out of 22 identifiable challenges facing Americans in 2012, global warming came in dead last.  About a quarter of Americans now believe global warming is a top challenge, down from nearly 40 percent in 2007.  

What does that mean?  It means two things.  The first is that three out of four Americans don’t believe in it.  

The second thing is that the number of Americans that believe in global warming is about the same as the number of Americans that self-identify as liberals. So it isn’t science controlling the debate.  It’s politics.

But all of us pay for this liberal delusion, despite the number of times it has been debunked as a myth. The IPCC rhetoric continues, although none of their predictions have come true.  They forecast ever increasing temperatures, while global temperatures continue to fall.  

While the IPCC is forecasting global warming, actual climatologists are predicting global cooling, with some even predicting a little Ice Age.  Remember when the famous “hockey stick” graph ignored both the Medieval Warming Period and the little Ice Age that followed?

The myth of global warming is an indispensible tool in the hands of the liberal elite.  The fact that it is provably wrong is irrelevant, since the liberals control the media and the media controls everything we see, hear and learn.

The rejection of the Keystone Pipeline does not hurt Canada — surplus oil does not go begging.  The Chinese are lining up to buy as much oil-sands oil as Canada can produce. 

It isn’t Canada’s preference — Canadians would prefer to sell their oil to the US because a strong, energy-independent US is as much in Canada’s interests as it is in America’s.  

It isn’t about energy independence.  It is all about keeping Americans off-balance politically.  Its purpose is to breed fear and guilt.  Enough guilt to want to change it, and enough fear to justify giving up essential freedoms and incurring massive expenses in order to do so.

Which is exactly what the Lord predicted would be the political climate of the last days. 

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

Isn’t it interesting?  Because that is where the signs are.  In the sun.  And in the moon.  And in the stars.  But where are the liberals focusing all their attention?  On the sea and the waves roaring.

What is the response?  The distress of nations.  With perplexity.  Men’s hearts failing them for fear.  We can pretend to do something about the sea.  We can’t do anything to “fix” the sun.

Climate change is real, but not in the sense that we’re responsible, or that we can change it.  It used to be called, “weather.”  But it would be hard to make a case that America doesn’t need a plentiful, affordable energy supply from a friendly neighboring country, because of the weather.

Wouldn’t it?

Conservative? Then You’re Stupid. And a Racist! And Not Logical and . . .

Conservative? Then You’re Stupid. And a Racist! And Not Logical and . . .
Vol: 124 Issue: 27 Friday, January 27, 2012

It appears that Live Science has a lot less to do with actual science and a lot more to do with partisan politics. According to Live Science, if you are a conservative, you are more squeamish than if you were a liberal.

That’s why conservatives are less likely to support liberal agendas like gay marriage, the study says.

“. . . new research suggests those individuals who respond with a more intense “yuck” are more likely to hold conservative political views and specifically are more likely to oppose same-sex marriage.”

According to study researcher Kevin Smith, it means your political attitudes and behaviors are reflected by your biology.  The more easily disgusted you are, the more likely you are to be a conservative.

For instance, a study by Cornell University’s David Pizarro and his colleagues found that those people who scored high on the so-called disgust sensitivity scale tended to hold more politically conservative views. The findings, reported in 2009 in the journal Cognition & Emotion, relied on participants’ reported level of disgust linked to various scenarios.

And a 2008 study by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) found that people who are highly responsive to threatening images were likely to support defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism and the Iraq War.

According to unnamed “scientists”, “disgust sensitivity” is some kind of primeval instinct that helped our human ancestors avoid disease.  But when conservatives demonstrate disgust sensitivity today, it is out of fear.

“I think that one plausible explanation is sort of along the lines that one way to understand some of these attitudes about politics and morality is that they have a strong emotional component,” Pizarro told LiveScience in a telephone interview. Different emotions are linked with different kinds of judgments and behavior, he added. For instance, fear is linked to vigilance and preparedness, he said, while disgust is linked to steering clear of any sort of contamination, “foreign looking” things, or possibly even strange people.

What is it that conservatives are afraid of?  According to this study, conservatives are afraid of sex, and in particular, gay sex, and so that is why they oppose gay marriage. 

“Sex, with its exchange of bodily fluids and all that can be viewed as disgusting,” Hibbing told LiveScience in an email. “And this appears to be particularly true for homosexual sex [and] in fact this response is often described as the ‘ick’ factor. So the long-standing hypothesis that variations in disgust would be correlated with policy stances related to sexuality and homosexuality seems to follow naturally from this.”

If you are a conservative, it is because you are a homophobe.  Or, possibly, you are a homophobe because you are conservative. 

In either case, it doesn’t really matter, since if you are a conservative, you’re stupid. 

Live Science concludes that people that give in to racism and prejudice are simply not very bright, based on cherry-picked studies from a Canadian university and two studies conducted in the United Kingdom.

Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to Live Science.

According to Live Science, earlier (unnamed) studies “found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice.” 

“Earlier studies have found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, Hodson said, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step. The researchers turned to two studies of citizens in the United Kingdom, one that has followed babies since their births in March 1958, and another that did the same for babies born in April 1970. The children in the studies had their intelligence assessed at age 10 or 11; as adults ages 30 or 33, their levels of social conservatism and racism were measured.”

Another study was conducted in a kindergarten involving forty white kids and a black kid.  The white kids ostracized the black kid.  They then did the same study involving forty black kids and a white kid.  The black kids ostracized the white kid. 

What does that prove?  It proves that racism and prejudice are not learned behavior, but instead are instinctive reactions that must be unlearned. 

And so, in that extremely limited sense, one might be able to find a link between low education levels (like kindergarten!) and higher levels of prejudice. 

But that matters not at all to Live Science, since the objective here is to draw a straight line between racism and conservatism.

Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world.

“Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order,” Hodson said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.”

That’s why conservatives don’t approve of President Obama.  Not because he is a failed president.  But because he is black. (If you weren’t such a bigot, you’d probably think he’s doing a great job.)

In another study, this one in the United States, Hodson and Busseri compared 254 people with the same amount of education but different levels of ability in abstract reasoning. They found that what applies to racism may also apply to homophobia. People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays.

See?  If you are a conservative, you’re not too bright.  Because you’re not too bright, you don’t like President Obama because of his race, not his policies, which you clearly aren’t smart enough to understand.

And because you are a conservative who is not too bright and therefore prone to racism and bigotry, you probably support the Defense of Marriage Act.

Prejudice is of particular interest because understanding the roots of racism and bias could help eliminate them, Hodson said. For example, he said, many anti-prejudice programs encourage participants to see things from another group’s point of view. That mental exercise may be too taxing for people of low IQ.

“There may be cognitive limits in the ability to take the perspective of others, particularly foreigners,” Hodson said. “Much of the present research literature suggests that our prejudices are primarily emotional in origin rather than cognitive. These two pieces of information suggest that it might be particularly fruitful for researchers to consider strategies to change feelings toward outgroups,” rather than thoughts.

These conclusions aren’t new, by any means.  Indeed, they were articulated clearly during the campaign, when Candidate Obama was trying to explain flyover country to his smarter West Coast liberal friends.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustration,” he explained patiently.

So pity the poor conservative idiot.  He can’t help it.

Assessment:

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” (1 Timothy 6:20)

Live Science goes on and on and on, citing study after study that seems to suggest that William F Buckley was a prejudiced, blathering idiot because he was a conservative, whereas Joe Biden must be some kind of Renaissance man, open and egalitarian and, ummm, smart.

In yet another study dedicated to “proving” that liberals are superior to conservatives, Live Science offered the conclusion that conservatives become liberals when they get older, suggesting a link between liberalism and wisdom.

Live Science argues that it only appears that the opposite is true.

“If people really become more liberal as they age, why does common wisdom hold the opposite to be true?

“People might find an average 60-year-old to be more conservative than an average 30-year-old, Danigelis said, but beware of extrapolating a trend. The older person, for example, might have started off even more conservative than he or she is now.”

Aha!  See?  You don’t know how conservative they were when the started off.  Take an unknown factor and use it as evidence to support your conclusion. (I don’t understand how that works scientifically, but I’m a conservative and consequently too stupid to grasp such complex ideas.)  

Why do only twenty percent of Americans self-identify as liberals, while forty percent of Americans self-identify as conservatives?  To explain that, they needed to cherry-pick another study.

“The study showed that on average the amygdala is bigger in conservatives, likely indicating greater use of it in neurological processing. In contrast, liberals often possessed larger anterior cingulate cortexes.

Altogether, these findings suggest liberals can more easily tolerate uncertainty, which might be reflected in their shades-of-gray policy positions. In the U.S., those typically include being pro-choice and lenient on illegal immigration.

Conservatives, meanwhile, have a more binary view of threats versus non-threats. Again, such a predisposition could be extended to policy positions, such as being pro-life and stricter on the immigration issue. 

In the end, however, Live Science goes back to its original conclusions.  Conservatives are motivated by fear, mainly because they’re not too bright, which is why conservatives are racists. 

Liberals, on the other hand, possess larger logic centers, because they are smarter, which is why they are more egalitarian and less likely to operate on primitive prejudices.  That is why conservatives oppose national health care, while liberals favor it.

Because liberals are so logical and so smart they can see right through the problems facing the UK and Canada, like not enough doctors, long waits for life-saving treatments, hospital closures and rationed health care.  The reason conservatives oppose it is because they are “deeply attached” to their beliefs, or, put another way, closed-minded.

“People get deeply attached to their beliefs,” Hoffman said. “We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter.”

“Just about everybody is vulnerable to the phenomenon of holding onto our beliefs even in the face of iron-clad evidence to the contrary, Hoffman said.

But especially conservatives, since they are racists, not too bright, fearful and closed-minded.  It’s scientific — the liberals are smarter, which is why there are only half as many liberals as there are conservatives.

So, in case you were wondering why the liberal media is liberal, it is because they are smarter than the average American, which is why the average American thinks they’re nuts.  

But they aren’t nuts — they are just sooo smart that you can’t figure them out.  It’s scientific!

I’ll go back to my comic book, now. 

Lord or Lunatic?

Lord or Lunatic?
Vol: 124 Issue: 26 Thursday, January 26, 2012

One of the most confusing claims I’ve heard repeated about Jesus is the one that says Jesus Christ never claimed to be God.

Indeed, some will go so far as to say that Jesus Christ didn’t even THINK He was God.  I read one critic’s opinion that said if Jesus were alive today, He would be astonished and dismayed to find Himself an object of worship. 

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, and I’ve seen it in print under the names of some otherwise fairly astute and intelligent authors. 

There are as many opinions about Jesus as there are religious worldviews on this planet.  Everybody wants to include Him as part of their own religious dogma, provided He doesn’t mind playing second fiddle to their own deity. 

There is a Muslim ‘Jesus’ [Isa] but the Muslim Jesus is not God.  The Muslim Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin, did not go to the Cross, and certainly never rose again from the dead.  The Muslim Jesus was not God, but instead, he was a prophet and a teacher. 

Jesus plays some kind of role in most of the great pagan religions of the world.  But with the exception of Christianity, the pagan Jesus was invariably depicted as a ‘good man’ or as a ‘wise teacher’. 

And for THAT reason, those who deny the Deity of Christ do so in order to keep their own religious doctrine from flying apart.  If the real Jesus claimed to be God, then He was neither ‘good’ nor ‘wise’. 

‘Good’ men don’t lie about who they are.  ‘Wise’ men don’t allow themselves to be executed to perpetuate a lie.  If Jesus Christ wasn’t God, but claimed He was, then He was a liar and a lunatic. 

So whether or not Jesus Christ believed He was God is of critical importance to their doctrine.  The Islamic Jesus says of himself,

He [Jesus] said: ‘I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me revelation and made me a prophet; He has made me blessed wheresoever I be; and He has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!’ Such was Jesus the son of Mary. It is a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Sura 19:30-35).

So Islam’s Jesus is NOT the begotten Son of God — because it does not befit their god to have a son. 

“Christ, the son of Mary, was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how God makes His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!” (5:75).

For Islam to recognize that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God would require throwing out the Koran. 

The Koran advances the belief that Mohammed was the final prophet of God.  But if Jesus had claimed to be the only begotten Son of God, then Mohammed would not only be a liar, he would have been unnecessary. 

Or Jesus would have to be exposed as a fraud.  Since Mohammed evidently couldn’t credibly deny His existence, the best he could do instead was ‘adopt’ Him as a mascot. 

Islamic theology relies on Mohammed being superior to Jesus, but makes no claim that Mohammed was divine.  If Jesus therefore simply CLAIMED to be the Son of God, then Mohammed would either be an inferior prophet, or Isa couldn’t be a prophet at all.  In either case, Islam’s foundational stone would crumble. 

Most cults find a way to reduce Jesus to the status of a created being, for the same reason.  If Jesus claimed to be God, then their god can’t be, or they wouldn’t need a Jesus.  They’d have their own Jesus and wouldn’t need to steal ours. 

To the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ isn’t the Eternal God, but rather, a creation OF God. 

Charles Taze Russell accomplished this transformation by including a single letter in the text of John 1:1 in his ‘New World Translation: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was [a] god.”

The Mormons not only deny the Deity of Christ, they deny the Deity of God Himself.  The Mormon God was once a man himself, and Jesus Christ was really Satan’s smarter brother. 

Mormons believe that God liked the plan for the salvation of mankind that Jesus submitted better than the one that Satan came up with.  So Jesus got to be the Savior of Mankind, and Lucifer became Satan out of sibling rivalry. 

All the cults who claim Jesus do so on the grounds He was either a good man and a wise teacher or that He was a prophet sent from God. 

If at some point, Jesus claimed to be God come in the flesh, then He could be neither. 

Assessment:

As I said at the outset, the argument that Jesus never claimed Divinity is among the most baffling of all. 

Consider this.  There are somewhere between a billion and two billion Muslims on this planet.  They not only believe He was just another prophet, their entire religion demands it. 

It isn’t that Islam would crumble if Jesus WAS Divine, it would crumble if Jesus simply BELIEVED He was Divine.  As previously noted, if He believed He was the Son of God, He could NOT be a prophet of God.  He could only be Who He claimed to be, or He would be a liar.  There is no logical third option.

If He said He was the Son of God, He cannot be a prophet.  And if He thought that He was, and was mistaken, deluded or insane, well, then He cannot be a prophet. 

Jesus never said, “I am God” in the English Bible.  Instead, the Bible quotes Jesus as saying, “before Abraham was, I am.”  “I am” is one of the Hebrew Names for God.  When Moses asked God to identify Himself, He replied, “I am that I am.  Tell them that I AM sent you.” 

To the Jews living under the Mosaic Law, “I AM” could only be a reference to the God Who handed Moses the two tablets. 

Jesus knew exactly what He was saying, and so did the assembled Jews.  Abraham lived around 2160 BC; about as far removed from Christ’s time as Christ’s time was from our point on the timeline.  After He made the claim, the Jews prepared to stone Him for blasphemy, but He slipped away in the crowd. 

To somehow see this as a claim of anything other than one of Divinity is an act of desperation.  What else could it POSSIBLY mean?  If I said to you, “before Jesus was, I am,” how would YOU, a non-Jew living in 21st century, interpret that remark? 

If YOU see it that way, how could the religious Jews of the 1st century have interpreted it to mean something different?

Matthew 28:18 records Jesus saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”  Who has ALL authority in heaven and earth?  Who does Islam think that refers to? 

Mohammed?  Hardly.  Only Allah is all-powerful.  Who do the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe has all power in heaven and earth?  Or the Mormons?  Or any other religion that co-opts Christ in a supporting role? 

Jesus claimed to be “Lord of the Sabbath”.  Who did the Jews believe was the Lord of the Sabbath?  (Answer: the One Who gave Moses the tablets. They knew Him as “I AM”.)

Jesus said that authority was given Him to forgive sins.  Remember, He was addressing the most religious Jews of His day — they knew that the authority to forgive sins belongs to God alone.

Jesus claimed to be the “light of the world’ that provides salvation.  David identified Jehovah as his “light and salvation.” (Psalms 27:1)

Jesus identified Himself as “the Good Shepherd” who was ‘sent to the lost sheep of Israel’ (Matthew 15:24) Ezekiel 34:11 identifies the Good Shepherd; “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.”

Jesus said He would separate the sheep nations from the goat nations. Ezekiel 34:17 says that this is a function of God:

“And as for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats.” 

Jesus said of His sheep:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)

Now, is it even POSSIBLE that the observant Jews of Israel circa AD 30 could be confused as to the identity of the One Who gives eternal life?  Can you conceive of the possibility that the observant Jews of circa AD 30 were unfamiliar with the identify of the “Great I AM”?

Or that there is any other way for the Jews to have understood Christ’s claim to be anything less than Divinity?  What was the charge under which Christ was convicted by the Sanhedrin? 

Did Jesus ever directly claim to be the Christ, the Son of God?  You tell me.

“Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I AM:” (Mark 14:61-62)

Is this unclear? 

If one requires proof that Jesus Christ is real, and that Jesus Christ IS the only-begotten Son of God, the most convincing evidence is found in the number of religions that co-opted Him into it — to lend themselves legitimacy. 

Why do the religions that claim Christ do so?  And having done so, why claim a watered-down version of who He is?  The reason they cannot deny Him outright is because He is real. 

The reason they cannot acknowledge Him for Whom He claims to be is because it would expose their own religion as false. 

Even acknowledging that He made the claim of Divinity exposes that religion as false.  If He claimed Divinity, but was merely a man, He has no credentials as a prophet of God. 

God cannot lie.  If He was a liar Who allowed Himself to be executed to perpetuate a myth, then He has no credentials as a wise teacher. 

In either case, there would be no reason for any other religion to even WANT Him, let alone kidnap Him as their prophet. 

In the final analysis, logic dictates that the Person of Jesus Christ was either the Son of God, truly God and truly Man, Who lived a sinless life and died a sinner’s death as full payment for the sins of mankind, and now sits at the Right Hand of the Father. 

Otherwise, those religions that have adopted Him as their prophet are knowingly following a liar and a lunatic.  In either case, it exposes them as cheap counterfeits.  If He is not Lord OF all, then He cannot be Lord AT All. 

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12

That Name is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.

”Every Man a King”

”Every Man a King”
Vol: 124 Issue: 25 Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Huey “Kingfish” Long was born in Winnfield, Louisiana on August 30, 1893.  He was a direct descendant of American Revolutionary War soldier Richard Vince and was born the seventh son in a middle class farm family.

He married Rose McConnell in 1923.  Long had two sons, one of whom was seven-term Senator Russell Long, who represented Louisiana in the US Senate from 1948 until 1987. 

Huey Long Sr. attended Tulane Law School in New Orleans and was admitted to the bar in 1915.  Huey Long spent the next ten years representing small plaintiffs against big business, later bragging that he “never took a case against a poor man.”

Long came to national prominence when he took on John D. Rockefeller’s powerful Standard Oil Company over unfair business practices — and won.

(Notice how much of the following sounds somehow vaguely-familiar.)

In 1918 Long was elected to the Louisiana Railroad Commission at the age of 25 on an anti-Standard Oil platform. (The commission was renamed the Louisiana Public Service Commission in 1921.)

His campaign for the Railroad Commission used techniques he would perfect later in his political career: heavy use of printed circulars and posters, an exhausting schedule of personal campaign stops throughout rural Louisiana, and vehement attacks on his opponents.

He used his position on the commission to enhance his populist reputation as an opponent of large oil and utility companies, fighting against rate increases and pipeline monopolies.  (Sort of like a community organizer?)

As chairman of the Public Service Commission in 1922, Long won a lawsuit against the Cumberland Telephone & Telegraph Company for unfair rate increases.

Long successfully argued the case before the Supreme Court, prompting former President of the United States and later, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Howard Taft to remark that Long had “one of the best legal minds” he had ever encountered.

In 1928, Long ran for governor of Louisiana on the slogan, “Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.” 

Long’s attacks on the utilities industry and corporate privileges were enormously popular, as was his depiction of the wealthy as “parasites” who grabbed more than their fair share of the public wealth while marginalizing the poor. 

Long won in 1928 by tapping into class resentments, pitting rich against poor and becoming a hero to the state’s poor and disenfranchised.  (It sounds more familiar with each paragraph, doesn’t it?)

In 1929, Long called a special session of both houses of the legislature to enact a new five-cent per barrel “occupational license tax” on production of refined oil, to help fund his social programs.  

Long was elected to the US Senate in 1932.  He became a staunch opponent of President Franklin Roosevelt, complaining that Roosevelt’s “share the wealth” program didn’t go far enough.  In 1933, Long offered  a series of bills collectively known as the “Long Plan” for the redistribution of wealth.

In February 1934, Long introduced his Share Our Wealth plan over a nationwide radio broadcast.  He proposed capping personal fortunes at $50 million and repeated his call to limit annual income to $1 million and inheritances to $5 million.  

Denying that his program was socialist, Long stated that his ideological inspiration for the plan came not from Karl Marx but from the Bible and the Declaration of Independence. 

Once in power, Long turned to demagoguery, prompting comparisons to European politicians Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.

Long began a reorganization of the state government that reduced the authority of local governments in anti-Long strongholds New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria.  It further gave the governor the power to appoint all state employees.

Long passed what he called “a tax on lying” and a 2 percent tax on newspaper advertising revenue.  He created the Bureau of Criminal Identification, a special force of plainclothes police answerable only to the governor.

He also had the legislature enact the same tax on refined oil that in 1929 had nearly led to his impeachment, which he used as a bargaining chip to promote oil drilling in Louisiana.

After Standard Oil agreed that 80 percent of the oil sent to its refineries would be drilled in Louisiana, Long’s government refunded most of these tax revenues.

In the summer of 1935, Long called for two more special sessions of the legislature; bills were passed in rapid-fire succession without being read or discussed.  The new laws further centralized Long’s control over the state by creating several new Long-appointed state agencies.

Long could well have become president in 1936, had his career not been cut short.  On September 8, 1935, Dr. Carl Weiss, son-in-law of one of Long’s political opponents, shot Long in the abdomen.

Long’s bodyguards returned fire, hitting Dr. Weiss sixty-two times¸ killing him on the spot.  The “Kingfish” died two days later in a hospital.

Assessment:

As I watched this year’s “State of the Union” speech, I could hear Huey Long’s campaign song playing in the jukebox in my mind:

“Why weep or slumber America/Land of brave and true/With castles and clothing and food for all/All belongs to you/Ev’ry man a king, ev’ry man a king/For you can be a millionaire/If there’s something belonging to others/There’s enough for all people to share”

Here is how the Associated Press characterized the speech in its lead paragraph:

“Declaring the American dream under siege, President Barack Obama delivered a populist challenge Tuesday night to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes. Seeking re-election and needing results, the president invited Republicans to join him but warned, “I intend to fight.”

I couldn’t help but feel that I’d heard this speech before.  Evidently, there was a reason for that.  Because I had — well, some of it, anyway. 

The Weekly Standard had a team analyze his previous SOTU speeches and came up with the following:

  • Obama 2010: “It’s time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs.
  • Obama 2012: “Colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.”
  • Obama 2010: “And we should continue the work by fixing our broken immigration system.”
  • Obama 2011: “I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration.”
  • Obama 2012: “I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration.”
  • Obama 2010: “We face a deficit of trust.”
  • Obama 2012: “I’ve talked tonight about the deficit of trust . . .”
  • Obama 2010: “We can’t wage a perpetual campaign.”
  • Obama 2012: “We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign.”

You can watch the comparisons here. (video) The same theme, over and over . . . “Share the Wealth”;  “If there is something belonging to others, there’s enough for all people to share.”

“You can call this class warfare all you want,” Mr. Obama said of his call to create a more even economic playing field. “Most Americans would call that common sense.”

Actually, most Americans call this “class warfare”.  Common sense would dictate that best way to level the playing field is to put the economy ahead of politics — by doing things like approving the Keystone Pipeline.

In his speech, Obama listed a number of indicatives that he threatened to enact by executive order, bypassing the Congress, since they would probably go down in flames if they made it that far.  (It is important to remember that Obama’s party controls five-sixths of government, with the GOP controlling one half of Congress).

Obama announced that he was putting Eric Holder in charge of creating a special unit of federal prosecutors to go after banks and mortgage companies for “abusive lending.”

(I’ll bet that will encourage banks to stop sitting on their money and start lending it out, don’t you?)

Even as he promised to make life harder for lenders, he called for new legislation to make it easier for Americans to refinance their homes if their interest rates are above market rates.

He also promised to create a new trade enforcement unit that would add to the number of government investigators pursuing unfair trade practices and that would be responsible for filing lawsuits against foreign countries, namely China.

His speech promised steep taxes on the wealthy, and after arguing for three years to increase the stimulus and repeated bailouts of failed companies like Solyndra, he proposed the exact opposite this year:

 “It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts and no copouts.  An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.”

An America “built to last” — doesn’t that slogan already belong to Dodge Ram or Chevy Volt or something?

In 1935, America was left to wonder what would have happened if a dyed-in-the-wool socialist had managed to capture America’s top job.  How would a President Long have dealt with Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan?

Probably the same way that President Obama dealt with the Iranian uprising in 2009 or the way he dealt with Syria’s Bashar Assad in 2011. 

I’ve noted a number of times over the last ten years the amazing similarities between our world today and the world as it was in the 1930’s, making the observation that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.  

Last night’s SOTU speech makes the case for me.

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

The Most Dangerous Man in the World
Vol: 124 Issue: 24 Tuesday, January 24, 2012

George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930, meaning he will turn eighty-two this August.  Soros likes to call himself a philosopher and a philanthropist, but his philosophy is the overspreading of Marxist-style socialism and his philanthropy is limited to funding Far-Left partisan groups and causes.

Soros’ main claim to fame (apart from his Far Left partisanship) is as the “Man who broke the Bank of England.”  In an interview with The Washington Post on November 11, 2003, Soros said that removing President George W. Bush from office was the “central focus of my life” and “a matter of life and death”.

He said he would sacrifice his entire fortune to defeat President Bush, “if someone guaranteed it”.

To that end, during the 2004 presidential contest, Soros gave $3 million to the Center for American Progress, $2.5 million to MoveOn.org, and $20 million to “America Coming Together“.

On September 28, 2004 he dedicated even more money to the campaign and kicked off his own multi-state tour with a speech: Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush.

Soros was defeated in his effort to prevent President Bush’s re-election, an event that some suspect may have unhinged the guy even more than previously.

Soros was not a large donor to US political causes until the 2004 presidential election, but according to the Center for Responsive Politics, during the 2003–2004 election cycle, Soros donated $23,581,000 to the various 527 groups dedicated to defeating President Bush.

One of Soros’ big philanthropic efforts is the legalization of drugs, starting with marijuana, but not stopping with any particular drug.

On October 26, 2010, Soros donated $1 million, the largest donation in the campaign, to the Drug Policy Alliance to fund Proposition 19, that would have legalized marijuana in the state of California if it had passed in the November 2, 2010 elections.

In 2008, Soros donated $400,000 to help fund a successful ballot measure in Massachusetts known as the Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative which decriminalized possession of less than 1 oz of marijuana in the state.

Soros has also funded similar measures in California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada and Maine. 

“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”  (Proverbs 8:36)

Soros is also a big supporter of euthanasia and suicide legislation.  Soros funded the “Project on Death in America” which sought to “understand and transform the culture and experience of dying and bereavement”.

In 1994, Soros delivered a speech in which he reported that he had offered to help his mother, a member of the Hemlock Society, commit suicide! (His own mother!!) In the same speech, he also endorsed the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, the campaign which he helped fund.

Soros started the Open Society Institute in 1993 as a way to spread his wealth to progressive causes. Using Open Society as a conduit, Soros has given more than $7 billion to a who’s who of left-wing groups. 

This partial list of recipients of Soros’ money says it all: ACORN, Apollo Alliance, National Council of La Raza, Tides Foundation, Huffington Post, Southern Poverty Law Center, Soujourners, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization for Women.

Soros is an entrenched globalist who wants more power for groups such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, even while saying the U.S. role in the IMF should be “downsized.” In 1998, he wrote: 

“Insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.”

Soros is a financial backer of Media Matters for America, a progressive (Marxist) media watchdog group that hyperventilates over any conservative view that makes it into the mainstream media.  Media Matters has made disrupting and discrediting Fox News its main mission.

This, despite being a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt “educational” organization that is barred by IRS rules from participating in partisan political activity.  Soros funds Moveon.org, a 501(c)(4) “non-profit” organization.

Soros funds the Center for American Progress, a far-left “think-tank” headed by former Clintonista John Podesta and dedicated to the collapse of the existing system and its replacement by a Soros-envisioned socialist paradise.

Soros never heard of a left-wing cause he didn’t like, and the more extreme, the better.  Anybody that claims a green agenda and advocates overthrowing the existing financial order can count on hearing from George Soros.

Soros is a major backer of Van Jones and extreme environmentalism; the Ella Baker Center, Green For All, the Center for American Progress, and the Apollo Alliance.  Soros was instrumental in getting $110 billion in green initiatives included in Obama’s stimulus package.

Soros also funds the Climate Policy Initiative to address global warming and gave Friends of the Earth money to “integrate a climate equity perspective” in the presidential transition.

Assessment:

Soros was the subject of a fawning Newsweek (actually, Newsweek sold for $1 and is now called the Daily Beast) interview conducted by John Alridge.  After all the usual left-wing accolades, “He Broke the Bank of England!”; “He Bet Against the Bush White House”  they get down to business.

Sitting in his 33rd-floor corner office high above Seventh Avenue in New York, preparing for his trip to Davos, he is more concerned with surviving than staying rich. “At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” he says, peering through his owlish glasses and brushing wisps of gray hair off his forehead. He doesn’t just mean it’s time to protect your assets. He means it’s time to stave off disaster. As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.”

One might almost agree with Soros, except that the “evil” of which Soros warns is Western prosperity.

“Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.”

Alridge notes during his conversation with Soros that “riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable”.

“Yes, yes, yes,” he says, (almost gleefully, says Alridge). 

“It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”

Soros denies any connection to the “Occupy” movement that he predicts will ultimately bring violence to America’s streets, even as he funds the organization through his “Tides Foundation” which directly funds the Canadian-based “Adbusters” who dreamed up and organized the Occupy movement through its “Ruckus Society.”

Ruckus, which helped spark the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, was also listed as a “friend and partner” of the “Occupy Days of Action” in October.

Where is all this leading?  Precisely where the Bible predicted for the last days.  The Bible predicts the rise of the antichrist to global power via his control of the media and his influence over the economy. 

Revelation 13 indicates his control over the media is such that he can invest the False Prophet with the ability to cause everyone on earth to witness the same events at the same time. (Revelation 13:4,13)

The antichrist will reject all existing models of government and finance and offer his own vision, which Scripture indicates will be wildly popular with the masses. 

Like Soros, he will oppose traditional values, like life, economic and political freedom, faith, peace, and especially, things that remind him of God, like the existence of Israel or the concept of America as the world’s most Christian country.

Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find another person in history more perfectly suited to the role than George Soros, except that at 81, George Soros is too old.

But George Soros is only the window dressing for today’s report.  What I want you to see is how events of our generation exactly mirror the prophesied events of the last days.  Everything that Soros predicts, the Bible predicts.  Everything Soros stands for, the Bible predicts the antichrist will embrace.  

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.”

And everything Soros advocates, the Bible predicts the antichrist will accomplish.  It isn’t George Soros.  But George Soros is the perfect model.  It is as if the enemy is moving the chess pieces, trying to decide if this is his time, and making sure the world is ready for him if it is.

Everything is in place and almost ready to hand over.  The only thing standing in his way — right now — is the Holy Spirit that indwells you.

Until He, (together with the vessels He indwells), is “taken out of the way.”

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Soon.  Very soon.