Friday, December 25, 2009
" 5THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
65And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." ~Luke 1:5-80
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
"The Independent Medicare Advisory Board will become the Healthcare Soviet—dictating rules, rates and procedures in America's health care system with no appeal. That is why Reid has given it the most protection," Wilson explained.
In the Reid Substitute, under Section 3403 in a section entitled "Limitations on Changes to this Subsection," it states, "It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."
Section 3403 establishes the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB), which would "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending" under the Reid substitute. Wilson said that is "rationing."
"The whole purpose of this panel is to ration health care to seniors, no question," Wilson said.
"To hide that, the bill states that 'The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care' right after it gets through establishing the power for the IMAB to ration health care," Wilson explained.
"This is Orwellian Newspeak of the first order," Wilson declared, adding, "Right in this section, Harry Reid is saying that they're going to ration health care away from seniors, but they're just not going to call it that."
"And then, to lock it in place, Reid goes as far as to require a two-thirds vote in order to amend or repeal the rationing board," Wilson explained.
The Senate rules change was exposed on the floor of the Senate by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), as reported by the National Review Online. Senator DeMint said, "This is not legislation. This is not law. This is a rule change. It's a pretty big deal. We will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a Senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or repeal the law."
DeMint said that under Senate rules, it should take a two-thirds vote of the Senate to invoke cloture on legislation that contains such rules changes. And, that, "[A]s the chair has confirmed, Rule 22, paragraph 2, of the standing rules of the Senate, states that on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the senators present and voting."
However, the Senate President ruled that the rules change was not a rules change, but a change in procedure.
"This is completely unconstitutional," Wilson noted, pointing to Article I, Section 5 of the Federal Constitution, which states: "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings…"
"Under current rules, the Reid substitute, which includes a rules change making it out of order to amend or repeal a section of the bill, should require a two-thirds vote in order to be enacted," Wilson explained, concluding, "That has not happened, and will not happen, meaning that once passed, any attempt to remove the health care rationing board will be deemed out of order forevermore. People are going to die."
I don't usually post other people's work on my blog, but the information in this press release from Americans for Limited Government needs to be circulated.
"Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. " ~Psalm 14:4
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Or so we think. If a candidate takes money from a political party, are they obligated to vote as that party would have them vote? The technically correct answer is, of course, no. But the real life answer is all too often yes.
When the parties are able to withhold financial and other resources from candidates in order to influence their vote, then there is a conflict of interests involved in a candidate's acceptance of party support.
- When those who are running the parties have no problem with using the resources at their disposal to influence a legislator's vote, we have a problem.
- When getting re-elected is more important than representing one's constituents faithfully, we have a problem.
- When "We the People" allow these things to become accepted practice and question neither the ethics of the parties nor the ethics of the candidates/legislators, we have a problem.
The problem we have, when these things are true, is that we no longer have a republic. We do not have a republic, at that point, because the legislators have effectively sold their votes to the political party or group from whom they wish support. If they have sold their vote to a political party, then they are not representing us. If they are not representing us, but rather the party or group who assures them of re-election resources, then what we have, has become an oligarchy, ruled by those groups(the media, the political parties, etc.) who can command the most legislative votes.
When there is any question that a legislator's vote is dependent upon how that vote will affect that legislator's ability to get re-election resources from a political party, there is something dreadfully wrong with the republic. This is why we now have terms like RINO and DINO to describe candidates who do not share the values of the parties from whom they accept financial and other resources in their campaigns to be elected and re-elected.
It is a shame to us as a people that we have allowed our election process to be usurped in this manner. This is why so many call for term limits, because they think this will solve the problem by limiting the damage that can be done by any given candidate. The problem is, that since the root of that problem is not that the candidates and parties are behaving badly, but rather that "We the People" have been lazy in allowing the political parties and the media to choose our candidates for us, giving us an easy button in the form of term limits will no more solve that problem than putting bumpers along the sides of the road will keep people from driving recklessly.
We can do better. The people of this country have morals and standards. We must no longer stand by while political parties or other groups usurp our authority by purchasing the votes of legislative candidates. It is a lie that a candidate cannot win without the support of a major party and it has always been a lie. When We the People bestir ourselves to determine the best candidate on an objective basis, we will have a republic and not before. That is the true message of the TEA Parties, that We the People are done with allowing others to steal our authority over the political process in this nation. The parties would do well to pay attention and become honest brokers of the values and principles they purport to hold.
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. " ~Matt 13:22
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I think this is a large part of our current problem in this country. Not that we seem to be bitterly divided over whether this country will abandon individualism and embark on collectivism. Nor that we are embroiled in a war with terrorists that wish to kill us all. Nor even that our elected officials are preparing to sign away our sovereignty via international treaties which they don't bother to actually read before they sign them. Those are challenges, but none are unsolvable but for the fact that we refuse to believe that such things could be so.
Open and honest discourse requires that both parties believe that the other party's points could be valid. I have been spending a bit of time lately "discussing" some of the issues currently before our country with those who seem to be starting from a point of view that disallows even the possibility that I could be right. Even when I point out that I have have spent much time reading books on the subject of the discussion as well as researching various bits from credible 1st party sources, these folks refuse to believe that what I am saying could possibly have any validity. Even when I name the books and authors and provide links to multiple, well known and credible web-sites, my knowledge is dismissed as irrelevant, because these folks simply refuse to believe...
I am somehow the inflexible one (and other names not so nice) when I refuse to give over my well researched opinion on the basis of a cursory web-search on their part to provide one or two links to articles that they think are all anyone needs to come to a rational conclusion. One man recently directed my attention to a wikipedia article and the BBC interview of a particular Imam to make his point and thought that this should be enough to sway me. When I refused to be swayed, he directed me to the result of a cursory web search showing compromised sources who were saying what he wanted to hear. I very much doubt that he bothered to look at the links I and others posted for his edification. Why should he? Those things don't fit his belief that such things cannot be true. And he refuses to believe that what I am saying might be true. (And really-wikipedia as a source? Ask your children if they are allowed to use wikipedia as source material for a book report.)
How are we, in this country, to preserve our Constitution, heritage and values, when our fellow countrymen have closed their minds to the possibility that they could be wrong? When those who present well researched facts are ridiculed? I once believed as did that fellow I mentioned above. When I was challenged, I did my homework, found that I was wrong and changed my opinion. It's called learning. Perhaps the problem is pride. Perhaps we find it too humiliating to be wrong and would rather die than admit to being mistaken. I am sure there are any number of folks willing to oblige us, if that be the case. If you can't admit your mistakes, how can you possibly expect to correct them?
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom." ~Prov 11:2