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Users use fools, fools have nothing to use March 2, 2016

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Poetry.
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Excuses abound and friends abandon each other
like lunch yesterday never happened, like a shared vacation last year
never happened.
Yes, we have responsibility to self first in this business world,
experience teaches us promises are vapor, like breath hanging
in a Chicago January day, like paper wrappers blowing down I-94.
Never happened.
Trying to remain valiant and altruistic, maybe a little naive,
it’s easy to be hit by that metaphorical Mac truck missing its red light
and consequences lay heavy upon those unaware, unprepared.
Every eyewitness sees it differently, their perspectives shaded by
their pasts or simply the angle of view and even they say,
“I don’t think I would have done anything different.”
Never happened.
So the boss gives the white knight speech, it’s all for the best,
new goals to pursue, new horizons with new sunrises and sunsets,
and while all of this is true, when the moment arrives,
there’s no level of education, no worldly wisdom releases the pain.
Sure, there’s humiliation, recrimination, fright, loss, and anger.
And it is the last one that is replayed on TV news all the time.
Lose your job, go “postal” – a bad rap for the Postal Service since
it doesn’t happen frequently there at all. Sound-bite history.
Most simply choose to suffer in silence, sometimes alone,
separated from family, never again willing to trust a friend or colleague,
those bastards who so easily dispose of people who open themselves up.
Users use fools and fools have nothing to use.
So much for honesty, integrity, a little ego and ambition, sadly,
none of those things can feed a family or move a career along.
Yet, finding a way is all we have. Rugged individualism colored by
tough love and as the severance package is read to us we think
“Never happened”.

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Mercenary farmer February 15, 2016

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Poetry.
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When the fields yearn for water in a drought-ridden valley
men study and irrigate and bring the pasture back.
As cattle produce little fruit from loins or dairy
men work tirelessly to replace portions they lacked.
Heat may stunt berries, corn, and wheat
after frost killed peaches, oranges, and cotton.
This is not a computer code you simply delete
it is life on the land and it is sweet, and it is rotten.
A mercenary farmer swoops in with an MBA or better
armed with theories of efficiency and commodity speculating.
He possesses less common sense than your uncle’s Setter
and, worse, believes his perspectives are scintillating.
Business is learned out here on the land
not for one who can’t stomach risk, who is easily chased away.
A mercenary farmer is armed with charts, certain he can take the land
using its droughts and floods for market rises and falls.
A mercenary farmer doesn’t need to include God in his plan.
He easily walks away from furrow, coop and stall.
When furious commodity trading is done
he can take his fine education and refined style to Wall Street,
vacation in Cabo under the warm Mexican sun
while others remain to make the ends meet.

What’s in a name? Osawatomie December 16, 2011

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, US Politics.
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President Obama delivered an address to high school students in Osawatomie, KS, recently, that raised eyebrows, especially of his naysayers, like me.

Here’s some background from Joe Pollak at Big GovernmentBlog:

“Osawatomie was the site of a historic battle between abolitionist John Brown and pro-slavery forces (who were backed by the Democrats of the age). Though Brown’s men were defeated, his audacious tactics earned him the nickname “Osawatomie.” Obama may have chosen deliberately to cast his struggle against “the rich” in the same emotive terms.

Obama alluded to Osawatomie in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, in discussing his Kansas ancestors (p. 12):

…Kansas had entered the Union free only after a violent precursor to the Civil War, the battle in which John Brown’s sword tasted first blood…

Obama also cited John Brown as one of his historical inspirations in his second autobiography, The Audacity of Hope. In a passage that almost anticipates the radical themes of this week’s speech, he writes (p. 97):

The best I can do in the face of our history is remind myself that it has not always been the pragmatist, the voice of reason, or the force of compromise, that has created the conditions for liberty… It was the wild-eyed prophecies of John Brown, his willingness to spill blood and not just words on behalf of his visions, that helped force the issue of a nation half slave and half free.

Obama conspicuously neglected to mention Osawatomie’s history in his speech on Tuesday, but the town is clearly important to Obama’s personal identity, as well as to the way he understands his political destiny.”

Osawatomie plays another important part in Obama’s “political identity”. It was the name of a newspaper published by the Weather Underground, a domestic communist/anarchist group bent on terror in the early 1970s. Several deaths and many injuries were attributed to WU bombings. WU was headed by two close friends of Obama, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. The same two people Obama claims to have started his political career in the living room of their home.

So, what did President Obama say on December 7 to the impressionable youths in his audience? An excerpt:

“Today, we’re still home to the world’s most productive workers. We’re still home to the world’s most innovative companies. But for most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded. Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefited from that success. Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments – wealthier than ever before. But everybody else struggled with costs that were growing and paycheques that weren’t – and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up.

Now, for many years, credit cards and home equity loans papered over this harsh reality. But in 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We all know the story by now: mortgages sold to people who couldn’t afford them, or even sometimes understand them. Banks and investors allowed to keep packaging the risk and selling it off. Huge bets – and huge bonuses – made with other people’s money on the line. Regulators who were supposed to warn us about the dangers of all this, but looked the other way or didn’t have the authority to look at all.

…But, Osawatomie, this is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

I am here to say they are wrong. I’m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we’re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1% values or 99% values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.”

Thus, old hippie values don’t die, they just get re-packaged for the next generation. Then, to be sure it doesn’t sound like re-wrapped policy ramblings, he evokes the memory of Teddy Roosevelt:

“And in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came here to Osawatomie and he laid out his vision for what he called a New Nationalism. “Our country,” he said, “means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy … of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.”

Now, for this, Roosevelt was called a radical. He was called a socialist – even a communist. But today, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what he fought for in his last campaign: an eight-hour work day and a minimum wage for women, insurance for the unemployed and for the elderly, and those with disabilities; political reform and a progressive income tax.

Today, over 100 years later, our economy has gone through another transformation. Over the last few decades, huge advances in technology have allowed businesses to do more with less, and it’s made it easier for them to set up shop and hire workers anywhere they want in the world. And many of you know firsthand the painful disruptions this has caused for a lot of Americans.”

As usual, the president didn’t get it quite right. Teddy Roosevelt said it this way:

“If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.”

This is a far cry from Obama’s radical socialism.

The failures of socialism and communism are apparent to all except the president, Ayers, and their ilk. They long for a chaotic, third-world United States, no more “exceptional” than the Sudan.

I will do my best to defeat this president in the next election so Osawatomie thinking can be relegated to the political backwaters where it belongs, if anywhere.

 

PresBO is a Statist and it’s worse than you think August 22, 2010

Posted by vsap in 2008 Presidential Election, Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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Today, our nation is being run by Statists. If you are unsure what this means, Wikipedia gives you a glimpse (bold is mine):

“Statism (or etatism) is a term assigned to political movements and trends that are seen as supporting the use of states (nations) to achieve goals, both economic and social. Economic statism, for instance, promotes the view that the state has a major and legitimate role in directing the economy, either directly through state-owned enterprises and other types of machinery of government, or indirectly through economic planning. It may refer to the ideology of statism that holds that: Sovereignty is vested not in the people but in the national state, and that all individuals and associations exist only to enhance the power, the prestige, and the well-being of the state. The concept of statism, which as seen as synonymous with the concept of nation, and corporatism repudiates individualism and exalts the nation as an organic body headed by the Supreme Leader and nurtured by unity, force, and discipline.”

For those squeamish about calling PresBO a socialist, it may be more accurate or politically correct to call him a Statist. He can say what he likes, spin it however David Axelrod prefers, but PresBO is a statist.

Edward Crane, of the CATO Institute, put it this way on April 29, 2009:

“Pres. Barack Obama is not a socialist. He is a thoroughgoing statist, perhaps the worst in American history. And with Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, he’s got some serious competition…

“There is a reason sales of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged are going through the roof. The book is nothing if not prescient. The “Troubled Assets Relief Program” is straight from its pages. Monday’s New York Times front page suggests Atlas may be starting to shrug. “Doctor Shortage Proves Obstacle to Obama Goals,” laments the headline. Hmm. Wonder why there would be a doctor shortage in the face of nationalized health care? Perhaps bright young people considering a career don’t want to work for the federal bureaucracy?

“Time for those conservatives serious about limited government to re-read Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative.”

Mark Levin, in his 2009 book “Liberty and Tyranny” lays it out this way:

“The Modern Liberal believes in the supremacy of the state…. For the Modern Liberal, the individual’s imperfection and personal pursuits impede the objectives of a utopian state. In this, Modern Liberalism promotes what French Historian Alexis de Tocqueville called soft tyranny, which becomes increasingly more oppressive, partially leading to hard tyranny…. As the word “liberal” is, in its classical meaning, the opposite of authoritarian, it is more accurate, therefore, to characterize the Modern Liberal as a Statist.” – (p.4)

Again in April 2009, Orson Bean (yes, the actor) commented on the Big Hollywood Blog:

“Levin’s book is the equivalent of a popular college course in conservatism. Strict adherence to the Founding Fathers’ words are necessary, in his view, to be able to call oneself a genuine conservative. He has withering scorn for neo-conservatives, whom he regards as wolves in sheep’s clothing. His word for the liberal is Statist, a term he uses over and over until it begins to sound like an ugly epithet. “The state will take care of me,” is the mantra of the leftist, as Levin describes him, but as a bronco once broken discovers, there’s a heavy price to be paid.”

To the contrary, on August 29, 2009, Conor Friedersdorf, on The Daily Dish blog commented:

“It is difficult to overemphasize how important that paragraph [the one previously quoted from Levin’s book] is to the balance of Mr. Levin’s book, and his entire intellectual oeuvre. The United States that he comments on isn’t one that pits Republicans against Democrats, or conservatives against liberals, or the center right against the center left, or where citizens of complicated political persuasions — mixing ideology, pragmatism and ignorance — do some combination of participating in politics and ignoring it. Instead Mark Levin’s America is one where the conservatives are pitted against the Statists, or to put things as he would, where liberty is pitted against tyranny.

“…Terrible as he sounds, The Statist that Mr. Levin describes—his ill deeds keep growing as the book winds down–would at least play a clarifying role in American politics if he actually existed. Imagine how useful a blueprint Mr. Levin’s book would prove if the primary opponents of conservatives were actually cunning Statists with malign motives and hatred of liberty in their hearts. But re-read all the attributes that describe the Statist. Does anyone in American politics fit that description, let alone a plurality sizable enough to enact their agenda?”

Mr. Friedersdorf’s answer is, of course, no.

Salvo magazine reviewer Terrell Clemons offered this in the Autumn 2009 edition:

“The inexorable culmination of statism is tyranny. For statists, government interventions are required to perfect society. Capitalizing on human imperfections, the statist, who has an insatiable appetite for control, stirs up grievances. Then, in classic divide-and-conquer mode, he poses as a champion or savior for one “oppressed” group while reviling another, all along camouflaging the reality that both groups’ liberties are being gradually subjugated to the insuperable authority of the state.

“Statism behaves like a false messiah. The statist “veils his pursuits in moral indignation, intoning . . . injustices and inequities . . . for which only he can provide justice and bring a righteous resolution,” Levin writes. “And when the resolution proves elusive, as it undoubtedly does . . . the Statist demands ever more authority to wring out the imperfections of mankind’s existence.” Unopposed, he exhibits the traits of a megalomaniac.”

If this doesn’t sound like PresBO, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, et al, I can’t find a more apt description.

Do the research and you will discover that in November 2008 the majority turned the nation over to Statists. The correction will begin in November 2010 and, by God’s grace, end with the ousting of PresBO in the November 2012 election.

Pray every day for this nation!

Don’t let the anger overtake you July 19, 2010

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Uncategorized.
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There are many business situations that call for righteous indignation. There are none that deserve an anger leading to hate, whether directed internally at a colleague who has betrayed you or externally to a competitor who won’t cease spouting lies about you or your company.

You can go back to the basics, as shown in this brief video from Phyllis Davis:

http://www.videojug.com/expertanswer/human-interaction-in-american-business-2/it-is-appropriate-to-show-anger-in-business

Or you can accept the Darwinian thesis, as explained by Carol Tavris, PhD:

In The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, written in 1872, [Charles] Darwin argued that rage is a simple response to threat, which requires an animal to become aroused to defend itself. In fact, Darwin actually defined rage as the motivation to retaliate: “Unless an animal does thus act, or has the intention, or at least the desire to attack its enemy, it cannot properly be said to be enraged.”

Tavris continues:

Darwin was a brilliant ethologist, but a poor psychologist. He had animal rage down cold, but human anger eluded him. His account of anger was oversimplified: Someone offends you, so you dislike him; your dislike turns to hatred; brooding over your hatred makes you angry. This progression of events is certainly possible, but by no means inevitable, or the only origin of anger. (Maybe it occurs the other way around for you: You hate someone’s values, and therefore dislike the person; your dislike turns to anger; your anger causes him to offend you.) Further, it seems that Darwin did not have to deal with inept bank tellers and surly checkout clerks, for he assumed that “if the offending person be quite insignificant, we experience merely disdain or contempt.” And he shared the delusion of his social class that a subordinate would never dare get angry with a superior: If the offending person is “all-powerful, then hatred passes into terror, as when a slave thinks about a cruel master.” Clearly Darwin had never been a slave.

Davis and Tavris demonstrate a couple of things worthy of note. Davis views anger from a business etiquette point of view. She begs the question: Is it really worth getting angry about anything in business since it can burn a bridge that you can never return and rebuild? Tavris presents it from Darwin’s humanistic point of view and demonstrates its many flaws.

What about anger from God’s point of view? Let’s look at the http://www.gotquestions.org website for an answer:

“Christian counselors report that 50 percent of people who come in for counseling have problems dealing with anger. Anger can shatter communication and tear apart relationships, and it ruins both the joy and health of many. Sadly, people tend to justify their anger instead of accepting responsibility for it. Everyone struggles, to varying degrees, with anger.

“Anger is not always sin. There is a type of anger of which the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” God is angry (Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5), and believers are commanded to be angry (Ephesians 4:26). Two Greek words are used in the New Testament for our English word “anger.” One means “passion, energy” and the other means “agitated, boiling.” Biblically, anger is God-given energy intended to help us solve problems. Examples of biblical anger include Paul’s confronting Peter because of his wrong example in Galatians 2:11-14, David’s being upset over hearing Nathan the prophet sharing an injustice (2 Samuel 12), and Jesus’ anger over how some of the Jews had defiled worship at God’s temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-18). Notice that none of these examples of anger involved self-defense, but a defense of others or of a principle.

“Anger turns to sin when it is selfishly motivated (James 1:20), when God’s goal is distorted (1 Corinthians 10:31), or when anger is allowed to linger (Ephesians 4:26-27). Instead of using the energy generated by anger to attack the problem at hand, it is the person who is attacked. Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Unfortunately, this poisonous speech is a common characteristic of fallen man (Romans 3:13-14). Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied (Proverbs 29:11), leaving devastation in its wake, often with irreparable consequences. Anger also becomes sin when the angry one refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside (Ephesians 4:26-27). This can cause depression and irritability over little things, often things unrelated to the underlying problem.”

You and I can think of a number of scenarios, real and imagined, where anger is justified, that “righteous indignation” that we can easily validate to God and self. We might be able to restrain ourselves so there is no public outburst but the ripples can manifest themselves in passive-aggressive behavior or lashing out at family, friends or those we equate as Darwin did, “beneath us”, who have no power to lash back (or wouldn’t dare, so we think).

When an insurance company attempts to diminish our loss, righteous indignation occurs. When we have been wrongfully accused of an act, righteous indignation ensues. When we believe a friend or colleague has wronged us, or worse, betrayed a trust, there is righteous indignation.

What pushes us over the edge from Biblical righteous indignation to destructive anger leading to hate? And, what is the logical and emotional outcome of acting on the anger leading to hate? Is there a positive benefit to “bottling it up” or not acting on it? These are all tough questions and it led me back to http://www.gotquestions.org:

“We can handle anger biblically by not returning evil for good (Genesis 50:21; Romans 12:21). This is key to converting our anger into love. As our actions flow from our hearts, so also our hearts can be altered by our actions (Matthew 5:43-48). That is, we can change our feelings toward another by changing how we choose to act toward that person.

“We can handle anger biblically by communicating to solve the problem. There are four basic rules of communication shared in Ephesians 4:15, 25-32:

1) Be honest and speak (Ephesians 4:15, 25). People cannot read our minds. We must speak the truth in love.

2) Stay current (Ephesians 4:26-27). We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. Dealing with and sharing what is bothering us before it gets to that point is important.

3) Attack the problem, not the person (Ephesians 4:29, 31). Along this line, we must remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).

4) Act, not react (Ephesians 4:31-32). Because of our fallen nature, our first impulse is often a sinful one (v. 31). The time spent in “counting to ten” should be used to reflect upon the godly way to respond (v. 32) and to remind ourselves how anger is to be used to solve problems and not create bigger ones.

Finally, we must act to solve our part of the problem (Acts 12:18). We cannot control how others act or respond, but we can make the changes that need to be made on our part. Overcoming a temper is not accomplished overnight. But through prayer, Bible study, and reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit, ungodly anger can be overcome. Just as we may have allowed anger to become entrenched in our lives by habitual practice, we must also practice responding correctly until it becomes a habit itself.”

At this point, you and I can find peace and calm after a mighty storm of emotion. In business, we must “keep our cool”. With family and friends, we must be shelters from the storms, not create the very storms we should be defending ourselves and loved ones from. As it was stated earlier, this is not easy to do in a fallen world. But the love of God shows brightest even to the darkest stranger when we demonstrate our righteous indignation without the anger that leads to hate.

What have you found to help you deal with your righteous indignation in business, home or anywhere you are?

We don’t like PresBO’s health care reform cause he’s black! February 26, 2010

Posted by vsap in 2008 Presidential Election, Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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Well, it’s Black History Month so we might as well get it out there. We simply don’t support the president’s health care reform because he’s black.

And if you think that’s preposterous, and it is, then you have to believe the farcical television spectacle, hosted by the President, was equally preposterous.

Also, we didn’t like the first attempt to overhaul health care because it was spearheaded by a woman – Hillary Clinton.

So, there, it’s out there now. Americans don’t like what blacks or women have to say about health care and they should just go away. Find another issue to wring hands over, sweat, and palpitate until they’re red-faced.

Today’s televised farce was promised at the outset. But truth is of little concern to this President. Surrounded by leftists, socialists, and worse, this President revels in “running the show” but knows nothing of administration.

He is disingenuous in chiding Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about the campaign being over because the campaign has never been over for this President. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for his constant campaigning or campaign-like speeches, there would be nothing to report on this empty suit.

“Do you miss me yet?” says a smiling George W. Bush from a billboard running around the email circuit recently. As a conservative, I must admit that even a centrist Republican would be preferable to the “government first, last and always” administration in power today.

I sincerely believed Jimmy Carter was the worst President I had ever experienced…until Barack Obama…and that’s just a little more than a year in. It took nearly twice the time to figure Carter was a dote.

Do elections have consequences? You’re living the nightmare today.

So, in having vilified blacks and women on health care, what group actually makes the most sense on this issue? Old white guys. Not Harry Reid, Dick Durbin or Barney Frank. They don’t count. They and their ilk sold out their bonafides years ago. It’s just now you notice it since they hold the national stage. No, the old white guys are John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Saxby Chambliss and any blue dog Democrat who knows better than to side with the rabid left in destroying the best health care system in the world regardless of its flaws.

Start over, Mr. President. If you’re pretty sure you’re not wrong, you sure have been listening to too many Kool-Aid drinkers who don’t have a clue about what’s happening in the real America.

You, Mr. President, don’t know what’s happening in real America. You believe government can handle more than 15% of our economy. You believe government is the answer to every aspect of our lives and it simply is not the case. For all you know, it’s what you don’t know that’s most dangerous to us all. You don’t know how to govern. All you know how to do is campaign.

Indeed, the campaign is over, Mr. President. You need to figure out how to govern. In the Seventies Illinois elected a populist, Dan Walker. Walked the state. Looked good. Couldn’t govern. Served one term. Joe Teasdale in Missouri. Same thing. Could tickle the ear but didn’t know what to do with the office once he occupied it. Served one term.

My sincere hope is that your fate is the same, Mr. President. One term and you can go out on the lecture circuit, talk about how tough it was to create the hope and change you believed in, to adoring crowds, a la Al Gore.

We won’t let the door hit your butt on the way out.

Renew the new year with prayer December 28, 2009

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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The Lutheran Book of Prayer is published by the Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO. I came across the 1951 version, owned by my grandmother and given to my mother in 1980, just before Christmas.  There are a couple of prayers therein that I’d like to share with you. If you’d like to know more about Concordia, and they are an excellent Christian publishing company, check them out here:

http://www.cph.org/cphstore/default.asp?ct=true

The prayers I’m sharing include: For Lawmaking Bodies, For the Government, and For Days of Unemployment.

For Lawmaking Bodies

Heavenly Father, as a citizen of our Commonwealth I intercede with Thee for our representatives in government. Thou hast established in our midst law-making powers dedicated to the upholding of order and liberty. I beseech Thee, bless and preserve our form of government in state and union. Grant that our legislators may ever be mindful of the welfare of all their constituents. Grant that they be guided to serve unselfishly the common good of the people. Preserve them from all double-dealing, pettiness, and self-seeking. Protect, I beseech Thee, those liberties of rule by representation which are the cornerstone of our government. Teach us Christians the grace to use our freedom to proclaim Thy Word and use each and every opportunity to serve our fellow men. May we give proof of our gratitude in seeking the welfare of our State, in using our privileges of ballot and freedom of press and speech for the improvement of our own community and our entire nation. These blessings grant us, dear Lord, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

For the Government

Lord God, as I pray for all who are in authority, I thank Thee especially for our form of government given us in our beloved country. Give me the grace with my fellow citizens to esteem the officers and magistrates of our government as sent by Thee. Instill in me that respect and honor which is due to them. I pray Thee, Lord, endow them with wisdom for their several duties, with a spirit of sacrifice for the common welfare, with mercy and justice, with uprightness and kindliness. Correct, I pray Thee, the evils of selfishness, greed, vain desire for honor, or abuse of power in the governments of the world.  Grant that the true purposes of government may prevail, safeguarding peace and prosperity, to the end that we may live soberly and uprightly in Thy sight and have opportunity to tell of Thee and Thy kingdom. These petitions I direct to Thee because in Jesus I know Thee as my Father and Lord. Amen.

In Days of Unemployment

Heavenly Father I entreat Thy aid and encouragement in these days of unemployment. I beseech Thee to give me a fuller measure of Faith in the promises of Thy Word. Grant that I may live trustingly one day at a time, knowing that Thou wilt not fail me.  Even the little I receive I accept with a grateful heart. Protect from the dangers of enforced idleness, unnecessary worry, and sleepless nights. Restore to our community and land normal conditions that we all may find necessary employment. Root out greed, selfishness, and all other social distress in human society. Grant success, earnestness, sobriety, and skill to those that are employed. Heavenly Father, Thou hast blessed man’s labors, and even Thy Son dwelled in a workman’s home and toiled in the carpenter shop and hallowed the simple duties of life. I pray Thee, satisfy the hungry with bread, and open Thy hands to give me my daily bread. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us remember these and other prayers as we enter the new year.

“Climatnistas” infest Copenhagen, leave frustrated December 19, 2009

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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Pat Buchanan tell us what’s going on with the “climatnistas”  (derivative of Clintonistas) in Copenhagen: Third world shakedown of developed nations.

Look at the bottom line first, as Buchanan explains:

“In April 1992, as the alarm over the Earth’s end times began, scientists worldwide issued what was called the Heidelberg Appeal, aimed at just the kind of hysteria we are witnessing now in Copenhagen.

“We are … worried … at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development,” said the scientists.

“We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look towards the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man’s first appearance in the biosphere. … (H)umanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse.

“We do, however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet’s destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudo-scientific arguments or false and non-relevant data.”

Since then, 4,000 scientists and 72 Nobel Prize winners have signed on. Again, it needs be said: Global warming is cyclical, and has been stagnant for a decade. There is no conclusive proof it is manmade, no conclusive proof it is harmful to the planet.”

Now, with that Clinton-era knowledge in place, here’s what Buchanan says:

f you would know what Copenhagen is all about, hearken to this nugget in The Washington Post’s report from the Danish capital.

“Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenari — who is representing all of Africa here — unveiled his proposal Wednesday for a system in which rich countries would provide money to poor ones to help deal with the effects of climate change. …

“Zenawi said he would accept $30 billion in the short term, rising to $100 billion by 2020. … This was seen as a key concession by developing countries, which had previously spurned that figure … as too low.”

There was a time when a U.S. diplomat would have burst out laughing after listening to a Third World con artist like this.

But not the Obamaites. They are already ponying up.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack just pledged $1 billion at Copenhagen to developing countries who preserve their forests. Thus, America, $12 trillion in debt and facing a second straight $1.4 trillion deficit, will borrow another $1 billion from China to send to Brazil to bribe them to stop cutting down their trees.

When you slice through the blather about marooned bears and melting ice caps, oceans rising and cities sinking, global warming is a racket and a crock. It is all about money and power.

Copenhagen has always been about an endless transfer of wealth from America, Europe and Japan and creation of a global bureaucracy to control the pace of world economic and industrial development.

End game: enrichment and empowerment of global elites at the expense of Western peoples whose leaders have been bamboozled by con artists.

When Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and Rita came ashore in Texas in 2005, we were told this was due to global warming, and hurricane seasons would now get worse and worse until the world radically reduced the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

President Bush ignored the hysteria. What happened?

As Michael Fumento reports, the 2009 hurricane season ended quietly, with the fewest hurricanes since 1997, and not one hurricane made landfall in the United States.

When the feds sought to list the polar bear as an endangered species, Gov. Sarah Palin protested this “politicized science” and sued, claiming the polar bear was a healthy species whose numbers had doubled in recent years.

Was she wrong?

Is the Arctic ice cap melting? So we are told. But what harm has befallen mankind other than to have a Northwest Passage opened up to maritime traffic in the summer?

The Antarctic ice sheet is nine times as large as the Arctic, and here is what the British Antarctic Survey wrote last April:

“(D)uring the winter freeze in Antarctica this ice cover expands to an area roughly twice the size of Europe. Ranging in thickness from less than a metre to several metres, the ice insulates the warm ocean from the frigid atmosphere above. Satellite images show that since the 1970s the extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a rate of 100,000 square kilometres a decade.”

One hundred thousand square kilometers a decade?

This would mean Antarctic sea ice expanded by 300,000 square kilometers since the 1970s, or 116,000 square miles, which is an area larger than all of New England.

How can the Antarctic ice cap grow for three decades as the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has steadily increased, unless carbon dioxide has little or nothing to do with global warming?

Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica is a continent, and while chunks of ice are cracking off in Western Antarctica, in Eastern Antarctica, four times larger, the ice sheet is thickening and expanding. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research reported last April that the South Pole had shown “significant cooling in recent decades.””

Thanks for setting the record straight, Pat.

The AP just reported:

“The agreement brokered by President Barack Obama with China and others in fast-paced hours of diplomacy on Friday sets up the first significant program of climate aid to poorer nations. But although it urges deeper cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming, it does nothing to demand them. That will now be subject to continuing talks next year.

The compromise document indicated richer and poorer nations are ready for closer cooperation on climate. Its key elements, with no legal obligation, were:

—Nations agreed to cooperate in reducing emissions, “with a view” to scientists’ warnings to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) above preindustrial levels.

—Developing nations will report every two years on their voluntary actions to reduce emissions. Those reports would be subject to “international consultations and analysis” — a concession to the U.S. by China, which had seen this as an intrusion on its sovereignty.

—Richer nations will finance a $10 billion-a-year, three-year program to fund poorer nations’ projects to deal with drought and other climate-change impacts, and to develop clean energy.

—They also set a “goal” of mobilizing $100 billion-a-year by 2020 for the same adaptation and mitigation purposes.

In a U.S. concession to China and other developing nations, text was dropped from the declaration that would have set a goal of reducing global emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Developing nations thought that would hamper efforts to raise their people from poverty.

In a news conference here Friday, Obama deflected criticism that Copenhagen had failed to achieve a strong agreement. If the world waited to reach a binding deal, “then we wouldn’t make any progress,” he said, warning that could produce “such frustration and cynicism that rather than taking one step forward, we ended up taking two steps back.”

Environmentalists and a handful of developing countries were unconvinced.”

Really? So am I. Not convinced there is a problem PLUS I believe the old communists, hippies, and socialists, having no more Red Soviet Union to run interference for, needed a new issue and found it in a fraud equal to communism itself: climate change.

Newt doesn’t need my help (still) so listen to him! December 11, 2009

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Financial Crisis, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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PresBO is at 47% approval rating. Lowest of any president since polling began (at this point in a presidency). People are finally getting wise!

Recent blog post by Newt Gingrich hits the nail on the head. So, listen up!

“Over at Pollster.Com, President Obama’s “streams crossed” this week.  That’s part-“Ghostbusters,” part-pollster speak for saying the President’s approval rating dipped below his disapproval rating, causing the lines of the graph charting his standing with the American people to cross.

The declining popularity of one of the most popular and charismatic presidents in memory is no accident.  He and his political party, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), are committing political suicide in three stunningly inexplicable steps.

Step 1: Raising Taxes the Day of the Day of “Jobs Summit”

As I wrote last week, the White House had its political dog and pony show otherwise known as its “Jobs Summit” last Thursday.

While entrepreneurs and authentic job creators met elsewhere to discuss a real plan to create jobs, the White House convened big business cronies, labor bosses and liberal academics to do…nothing.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, House Speaker Pelosi decided to hold a vote to raise taxes on the struggling American economy the same day.

The House voted to keep the death tax, which was scheduled to expire in 2010.  The bill the Democratic House majority approved sets a top rate – in perpetuity – of 45 percent for any American who has worked hard to create wealth and is unfortunate enough to die after doing so.

Step 2: Forcing through Democrat Health Reform by Christmas

“Another day, another study confirming that ObamaCare will increase the price of health insurance.”

So began a report on the latest study – this one by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association – finding that Democratic health care reform will raise the cost of health insurance.

The study found that individual market premiums will rise under Democratic “reform” an average of 54 percent, a cost increase of $3,341 for families and $1,576 for individuals.

Check out this chart from The Center for Health Transformation, which lays out what many different analyses have concluded about the effect the different health care bills would have on premiums.

Note that each of the proposed and/or passed Democratic bills would increase individual and family premiums according to the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.

53% – And Climbing – Of Nevadans Don’t Like Harry Reid’s Health Care Bill

The Democratic leadership’s rush to pass health care reform before Christmas is made even more inexplicable by the fact that the more Americans learn about the bills being pushed, the less they like them and the politicians who support them.

In Nevada, home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a new poll shows that a majority – 53 percent – disapprove of Democratic health reform.  And that number is up four points since October.

Democrats may think they are playing to their liberal base when they push liberal health care reform, but for Senator Reid at least, this strategy seems dubious.  Only 39 percent of Nevadans approve of the job he’s doing.  Fifty three percent of independents don’t support his effort.

Step 3: Off to Copenhagen while “Climategate” raises temps at home

Next week President Obama will attend yet another summit, this one in Copenhagen, Denmark under the auspices of the United Nations.  The point of the summit is to develop policies in response to the “consensus” around scientific evidence that man’s activities are causing global temperatures to rise.

The problem is, there is no such consensus.  And President Obama’s trip to Copenhagen – not to mention his administration’s attempt to curry favor with the international climate change crowd by announcing Monday that it will regulate carbon as a pollutant – is a dangerous travesty in light of this fact.

The emails uncovered from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit show a cynical attempt by leading climate scientists to manipulate data and suppress any dissent by scientists to the manmade climate change orthodoxy.

What’s worse, the emails reveal that the Climate Research Unit inexplicably lost or destroyed much of its original data – the very data that the United Nations relied heavily on to form the conclusions about climate change being acted on this week in Copenhagen. Both Copenhagen and EPA rely on lost or destroyed climate data.

And it gets even worse.

In making its announcement this week that greenhouse gases will be regulated by the government under the Clean Air Act – raising the costs of virtually every aspect of life in the United States – the Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also relied on the mysteriously-gone-missing data of the Climate Research Unit.

It’s little wonder then, that Americans are increasingly not buying the alarmism.  Polls show a dramatic decline in public belief that global warming is a serious problem.

If President Obama and the Democratic Congress are sincere in their belief that human activity is changing our environment, they will work to restore the public trust in the science they claim underlies this belief.

Before anyone goes to Copenhagan, before any EPA ruling is implemented, and before cap and trade is voted on in the Senate, the Democrats who control Washington must open a full scale investigation into bias and politicization in the climate change community.

The old saying goes, “never murder your opponent when he’s busy committing suicide.”  And that may be good for politics, but this is much more than politics.

Democrats are in charge in Washington.  Their fatal missteps are America’s fatal missteps.

For every American who believes in building a better future for our children and grandchildren, now is not the time for complacency.

Now is the time for action.

For more information, go to www.AmericanSolutions.com.”

Thanks, again, Newt!

Better than a Stephen King novel, Dr. Fraser explains the health care debacle to you! December 1, 2009

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Would you like to do a little line-by-line on the health care plan Congress and PresBO believe is good enough for you and me but not them? I wouldn’t bother but  Dr. Stephen E. Frazer, MD, who practices as an anesthesiologist in Indianapolis, IN, did. I think you will be interested in it. Better than a Stephen King novel since it’s FOR REAL!

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Here is a letter I sent to Senator Bayh. Feel free to copy it and send it around to all other representatives. — Stephen Fraser
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July 23, 2009
Senator Bayh,
As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the health care bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government’s proposed involvement in the patient-physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a health care system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our health care system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.

I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.

Page 22 of the HC Bill:  Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!

Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill:   THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!

Page 42 of HC Bill:  The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!

Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

Page 58 HC Bill:  Govt will have real-time access to individuals’ finances & a ‘National ID Health card’ will be issued!

Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24:  Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer.

Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations: (ACORN).

Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the ‘Exchange.’

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill:  Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans The Govt will ration your health care!

Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services.  (Translation: illegal aliens.)

Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps) to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members – your health care WILL be rationed!)
Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill:  Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. (No choice.)

Page 12 4 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt monopoly.

Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical Association – The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.

Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!)

Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees AND their families.  (Employees shouldn’t get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.)

Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll!  (See the last comment in parenthesis.)
Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn’t provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.

Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.

Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.)

Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin..  will have access to ALL Americans’ finances and personal records.

Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.”  (Yes, it really says that!)
Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors.  (Low-income and the poor are affected.)

Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn’t matter what specialty you have trained yourself in — you will all be paid the same! (Just TRY to tell me that’s not Socialism!)

Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor’s time, profession, judgment, etc.  (Literally– the value of humans.)

Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for “private” HC industries.

Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.   BUT community input is required.  (Can you say ACORN?)

Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e…re-admissions).

Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission — the Govt will penalize you.

Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)

Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion.  (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.)
Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception

Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of=2 outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want — rationing.)
Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc.  (Forcing people into the Govt plan)

Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of ‘special needs people!’   Unbelievable!

Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a “Tele-Health Advisory Committee.”  (Can you say HC by phone?)

Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates “Advance-Care Planning Consult.”  (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.)

Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc.  (And it’s mandatory!)
Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an “approved” list of end-of-life resources; & nbsp; guiding you in death. (Also called ‘assisted suicide.’)

Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on “end-of-life.”  (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!)

Page 429 Lines 1-9: An “advanced-care planning consultant” will be used frequently as a patient’s health deteriorates.

Page 429 Lines 10-12: An “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans.  (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?)

Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.  (I wouldn’t want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!)

Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life!  (Again — no choice!)

Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations.  (Hello?  ACORN Medical Services here!?!)

Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy.  (Which means Govt will insert itself into your marriage even.)

Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.

Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.

Furthermore, if you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor-patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.

Respectfully,
Stephen E. Fraser, MD