Sunday, April 25, 2010

Waiting Patiently Upon the Lord

My dear brothers and sisters, today I would speak to you about patience.

When given this assignment, I felt to say, as Albert Einstein purportedly replied when asked to speak at Swarthmore College in 1938: “Thank you very much, but I have nothing to say.”

It’s not that I’m unfamiliar with the topic! I know what patience is. It’s just that I’ve assiduously avoided practicing patience practically all of my adult life!

As a youth, I wondered how “patience” was even considered a virtue. Don’t we live in a day when everything is “fast” and seemingly getting “faster”? Fast food. Fast cars. Faster and faster computers. Who would want anything to go slower? Or be delayed?

My idea that “perhaps patience isn’t so great a virtue” was reinforced by the prophet of the Lord during my youth. President Spencer W. Kimball’s mottos “Do it!” and “Lengthen your stride! Quicken your pace!” didn’t exactly inspire standing around and waiting for things to happen. They demanded action!

I thus spent my youth zealously putting my “shoulder to the wheel” and “push[ing] along”. With all my emotions, spirit, thoughts and body – with all my heart, might, mind and strength! – I strived to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I thought “Surely the gospel is true. And surely the Lord God will bless me!”

Like Abraham, I wanted to dwell in a city “which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). I desired righteousness, peace and the knowledge of God. I sought the blessings of the fathers. I sought the happiness of Heaven. (Abraham 1:2) I had my “head in the clouds”, as it were.

But, back on earth, I wanted to enjoy the companionship of a lovely wife, the comfort of a simple home, and the joy of beautiful, healthy children.

Like Abraham, I grew up in a family torn by strife and the worship of false gods. Like Moses, when I came of age, I turned my back on the world, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt”. For I, too, “had respect unto the recompence of the reward” (Hebrews 11:25-26).

Why did it surprise me then when the promised blessings didn’t materialize immediately? I suspected as much. My patriarchal blessing had foretold:
“You will be blessed with vision in finding a mate who will be compatible to you, whereby you can go to the Holy Temple to be sealed for time and eternity, and where also you later will be able to have your own family to raise in the Church.”
That word “later” deeply troubled me. I knew the Lord was a stickler for details. The word “later” implied “not now”. It suggested “waiting”. It even implied “maybe not in this life.”

Having my own righteous family, of both wife and children, was my heart’s desire. I was so bothered by this possible impending “delay” that I went back to the patriarch a few years later and sought “clarification”. I asked for a second blessing, a “father’s blessing” (inasmuch as my own father wasn’t a member of the Church). Patriarch E. Earl Hall laid his hands on my head and, after pronouncing many wonderful things, brought forth these words:

“You will have the privilege of having your own personal family of children. Bring them into this world to teach them and guide and direct them.”

Unequivocally, there it was! I would have my own children. I would bring them into this world. I would have my heart’s desire!

But when? There was still the little matter of that word “later”. How much later? I didn’t dare to ask! I didn’t want to know! (I was afraid of what I might learn!) I saw what happened to Abraham! A hundred years of waiting! I noticed what happened to Moses! Forty years in the desert! (And, even then, he wasn’t permitted to enter the Promised Land. Still, we shouldn’t lament his fate. God had an even greater work for him to do.)

The Lord appeared unto Abraham in a vision and promised him that he would have a son and, through him, countless posterity of children: “[H]e that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir,” God promised. “And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15:4-5).

This was Abraham’s patriarchal blessing. He “believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). But that doesn’t mean that everything was “sweetness and light” or “smooth sailing” for Abraham and his family from then on. The scriptures describe Abraham’s subsequent “nightmare”: how “an horror of great darkness” fell upon Abraham, and he discerned that his posterity would serve in a strange land, in captivity for 400 years, until they would be delivered (Genesis 15:12-14).

Abraham certainly saw “the big picture”. He had faith in God. He had faith in God’s plan. He knew everything would work out fine. He knew he would find his “city”, filled with his posterity. He just didn’t know exactly how he was going to get there!

There was still this one “little problem”: Abraham and Sarah were childless.

Abraham waited patiently for the Lord’s promises to be fulfilled. I say “patiently”, because Abraham didn’t just “sit around”! As they say, he got busy! Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf addressed the subject of “patience” in his most recent General Conference Priesthood Session address:
“[P]atience [is] far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience require[s] actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results [don’t] appear instantly or without effort.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”
When things didn’t happen in the expected fashion and Abraham and Sarah remained childless, after turning 86 years old, Abraham relented and, according to the custom of his day, took Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid, and conceived with her a son, Ishmael.

Abraham thought he was doing God’s will. He thought he was fulfilling the Lord’s plan for happiness. Abraham wasn’t just waiting around! He had a job to do! He had promises to fulfill! And he was getting it done!

Or so he thought.

When God appeared to Abraham again, 13 years later, He reaffirmed His promises to do great things for Abraham: “[T]hou shalt be a father of many nations…I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee” (Genesis 17:4, 6). Abraham imagined that these blessings would be fulfilled, as Abraham had worked them out, with Ishmael, through Hagar.

But the Lord had another blessing in mind. He planned to bless his daughter, Sarah, too: “I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her” (Genesis 17:16).

Abraham could hardly believe it. He “fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!” (Genesis 17:17-18).

But the Lord is nothing if not a God of power. He would fulfill His promises, in His way, in His time, by His power, even if it so be by miracles. “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” He challenged Abraham (Genesis 18:14).

Sarah did conceive and bore a son, Isaac, and so the word of the Lord was fulfilled.

But in order for that to happen, Abraham had to give up – figuratively and literally – his own plan for happiness…at least the way he proposed to bring it about. Abraham had to give up Hagar…and Ishmael.

This deeply grieved Abraham (Genesis 21:11). He had spent a lifetime waiting for, and 13 years nurturing, a dream that was not to be.

The Lord had other plans for Abraham. So Abraham – sorrowfully, tortuously, but ever faithfully – obeyed.

Through his attenuated afflictions, Abraham gained essential experience. The agonizing loss and delay he suffered taught him that the Lord is, indeed, faithful in fulfilling all His promises, no matter how unlikely (to our point of view). Promises delayed are never promises denied, when the Lord is concerned, so long as we remain faithful. His agonizing deferment, patiently (if imperfectly) endured, gave Abraham hope, even faith, in a later hour, when he was called upon to offer Isaac, also, as a sacrifice. Abraham knew, by his own experience, that if God miraculously could raise up Isaac once, he could raise him up again, even from death.

I bear witness, of my own experience, that God can raise up again the life shattered by loss and sorrow. He can fulfill His promises – He will fulfill them, no matter how unlikely – if we but remain faithful. If we are patient, anxiously engaged in doing all we can to fulfill the Lord’s promises, despite our weaknesses, despite setbacks and hardships and failures, the Lord will make up the difference. He will redeem us from our sins. He will deliver us from our sorrows and sufferings. He will restore our souls.

I now know, by sad experience, that God could not bless me by granting me what I wanted then, when I wanted it most, because He had another plan in store for someone else. He had another soul to save. He had another life to bless. He had a daughter to fill with joy: my wife, who was destined to be the mother of my children, a mother of many nations. I now know, what I only partly understood many years ago, when the Lord first revealed it to me, that I have covenanted with this woman, before the world was formed, to make this happen.

And I have lived to see the day when I would “go to the Holy Temple to be sealed for time and eternity, and where also [I] later [would] be able to have [my] own family to raise in the Church.”

Only through suffering, through the deferment of my desires, could this be so.

Thus it was with Abraham and Sarah. So it is with William and Andrea.

The ways of the Lord are, oft times, inscrutable and difficult to fathom. But His purposes are plain. He seeks our eternal welfare and everlasting happiness. All who come unto Him – who continue to come unto Him – He will save. Of this I am certain.

For some, the way seems hopeless, the malady too malicious, the foe too formidable. Even the power of the priesthood sometimes seems incapable of answering our prayers.

The scriptures tell of a man who had a “crazy” son, a “lunatic”, who was “sore vexed”, continually falling down and hurting himself, sometimes almost fatally. The man implored Jesus on his son’s behalf, saying:

“16...I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
  18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
  19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
  20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
  21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

Sometimes we cannot hope to be delivered from our trials and afflictions, or even from our enemies, to have our wishes granted and our dreams fulfilled, until we go without. Fasting from what we want now is sometimes the only way to achieve what we want later.

There are those here today who want something very badly. What they want is, perhaps, a righteous desire. They do not seek to “consume it upon [their] lusts” as James warned against (James 4:3). And, if they do, they seek to have that lust removed from them, as a “devil”, to be cast out.

But sometimes “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting”. In other words, only by continually turning to God and by doing without, by patiently enduring,  may we overcome. “Submit yourselves therefore to God,” James admonished. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It may take a while! But the devil is nothing if not impatient! He will eventually give up! We just need to outlast him!

Sometimes, because we are mortal, frail and failing, we give in to temptation. We fast and fast and fast and fast and fast some more…and then we break our fast, when we ought to continue fasting! God’s plan encompasses such missteps, even as He compensated for Abraham’s. He made of Ishmael a great nation! (Genesis 21:13) Even when we stumble, if we stumble in the Lord’s errand, we stumble forward, not looking back!

While we shouldn’t “continue in sin, that grace may abound” (Romans 6:1), God has indeed given us grace through the merits of His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus’ blood fully atones for our mistakes upon condition of our complete repentance. If we continue to resist the adversary, our Savior, the Lord of Hosts, will continue to fight our battles not only with us...but sometimes even for us. He suffered, bled and died in a way that none of us would want to, so that we wouldn’t have to.

I bear witness that Jesus is the Savior of the world. He is True Light that enlightens the world and leads all men out of darkness.

Fortunately for Swarthmore College, Einstein later reported that he now had “something to say”. He accepted the invitation. And so did I.

I am grateful for the revelations of the Lord, given to me in my weakness, allowing me to know as I have known, to feel as I have felt, and to do as I have done. I deliver this message: that there is always hope, and eventual happiness, peace and eternal salvation for all who wait patiently upon the Lord (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

*Delivered in Sacrament Meeting, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010


LorD asked in a previous post:

"Although I find your opinion completely lacking credibility, what real action do you propose taking, other than listening to the far right religulous (sic) talking heads and regurgitating their bane (sic) diatribes?"

First, I wouldn’t dismiss the message of the "far right religious", so called, with contempt. In the absence of God, no REAL "unalienable" human rights exist. They come from Him. As His children, we are natural heirs to those rights.

Men and nations have no power to confer human rights; they only may prevent others from enjoying them. Logically, any “right” bestowed by human authority may, by similar sanction, be revoked. Under the false assumption that government ordains human rights, all manner of evils, including infanticide and genocide, has been “legalized”. Can this be justified? (“Hey, what I did was LEGAL! That makes it 'okay'!”)

No. We are not God.

We cannot, but by procreation, confer human rights. Neither dare we indulge the proposition that we exist merely under the prerogative of the state. We are freeborn! Each of us possesses unalienable (divinely-bestowed) rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, these rights come fettered with responsibilities. We maintain those rights only as we live in conformity with "the laws of nature and of nature's God". Inasmuch as we violate that authority (i.e., God’s laws) – by lying, cheating, stealing, killing unjustly, etc. – we legitimately forfeit those rights.

A proper understanding of the moral and religious foundations underpinning all human rights is essential to preserving and maintaining them. All other foundations are built on sand.

Our Founders believed that “no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”

What do we do then? We preserve these things.

Inasmuch as our government has undertaken to usurp conscience, control property and deny life to countless millions, I would say “cut it W-A-A-A-Y back”! We must ween ourselves of the government teet: that false god and golden calf to whom many now look both for sustenance and direction.

If I were "king" I would do all of the following, as soon as possible, but not in any particular order:

  1. I would means-test Social Security to insure that only the truly needy received government assistance while the rich received none. But only until such time as S.S. could be eliminated entirely! (If you're under 55 now, too bad. No SS for you!) Ultimately, I would phase out S.S. entirely.
  2. I would rescind the 16th Amendment, abolishing federal income tax. Government has NO BUSINESS meddling in personal affairs and effects. The IRS 1040 is a gross affront to personal privacy, an unnecessary burden, and a violation of the 5th Amendment proscribing involuntary self-incrimination (should one fail to fully account for every penny).
  3. I would finance ALL federal government programs by a national sales tax -- and REBATE to ALL citizens that portion paid equivalent to expenditures at or below the poverty level. The tax collected on the first $12,000 spent (if that's the poverty line) per year would be refunded to EVERY citizen, rich and poor, REGARDLESS of how much they earned or spent. (No one in government would be keeping track of income anyway!) Thus, no ("unfair") regressive taxation would be levied upon the poor and everyone would pay “their fair share". The "rich" generally pay more because they spend more. This is called the "fair tax". With this change, the IRS would be relegated to corporate sales tax collector status. The IRS would no longer have access to personal data, nor be feared as the intrusive, belligerent agency it is now.
  4. I would abolish the clandestine Federal Reserve, that corrupt cabal of internationalist bankers and global elitists who have stolen our nation's wealth by manipulating our currency through insidious inflation, creating a fiat currency and destroying 97% of all America's real wealth. Imagine where we'd be if $20 today had the same value as $20 back then? ($20 then was the equivalent of over $1,000 today! All that wealth has been "stolen" by the Fed.) I would return control of our money supply to Congress and the Treasury, as required by the Constitution.
  5. In addition to Social Security, I would abolish Medicare, Medicaid, and all federally-funded "welfare" and "charity" of any kind, no matter how well intended (i.e., disaster relief, foreign aid, etc.).
  6. I would eliminate the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Commerce, Energy, and many other layers of bureaucracy, and greatly reduce the power of those remaining (i.e., Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, etc.).
  7. In place of these defunded agencies -- and, as a function of good government -- I would erect a "charitable clearing house" on the internet. Government would not control, endorse, or regulate those services offered (thus no "separation of church and state" issues would arise), only provide "public space” for people to encourage citizens to interact. Those wishing to contribute voluntarily could donate to the charity listed of their choice. They could see the sums collected, how the monies were spent, and determine (for themselves) if they wished to continue contributing. Those "in the business" of charity would live or die by their reputations. I would have the poor taken care of by this (and any other private) means. Liberals (who statistically give much less to charity than conservatives) could "put their money where their mouth is" and pony up the monies they deem “appropriate” to be collected for the poor, without “stealing” from others by compulsory taxation. Of course, when the money is gone, that would be it! No more aid would be given until those with means deigned to give more. No more “entitlement” mentality. No more imposition of government between those who give and those who receive. Also, there would be NO tax deduction for charitable beneficence. It would be TRULY charitable.
  8. I would get government out of the medical business entirely -- with the exception of Veterans Affairs and oversight by the FDA (which would take on an “advisory” rather than a “regulatory” capacity – much like the “Good House Keeping Seal-of-Approval”). The military would retain its own doctors and medical facilities (understandably). The military would be obliged to care for vets and their minor dependents, in perpetuity. All other citizen would be required to take care of their own medical needs, as they see fit. (See "charity" website for assistance, if needed.)
  9. I would have California (and all other states hopelessly indentured to public employees unions and “on the hook” for under-funded pension funds) immediately declare bankruptcy and renegotiate those retirement plans and benefits. I would DRASTICALLY cut public employee pay and benefits (now 40% ABOVE the private sector) to private-sector levels. There would be NO civil servants collecting 90%, or even 75%, of their salary for life, upon retirement. There would be no "defined benefit" programs as we now have. Such "guaranteed" income schemes are an unfair and unrealistic burden upon the people who have had little or no say in the formation of said contracts. There would no longer be a “guaranteed free lunch” for anyone.
  10. I would DRASTICALLY cut back fire and police protection at the local level, if I could. We have "first responders" needlessly running around on hook-and-ladder trucks (costing millions of dollars) on EVERY call! Simply to justify having the vehicle! Absurd! It would be cheaper to let a few buildings burn down (if necessary) than to operate such a plethora of over-protective self-indulgence and expense.
  11. I would allow any and all law-abiding citizens, of majority age and in good standing, to carry a concealed weapon at all times.
  12. I would make union membership (including the right to strike and collective bargaining) ILLEGAL for ALL public employees. They are public SERVANTS, not masters. We the People tell THEM what we will pay them, when and how they will work for us, and not the other way around. They are still free to associate and join professional and trade associations, clubs, etc.
  13. I would make the losing party to any lawsuit liable for the court costs and expenses of the prevailing party, thereby discouraging frivolous litigation.
  14. I would get the federal government OUT of education entirely. No more grants, loans, fellowships, etc., for education at ANY level. Education is now expensive because it is publicly subsidized, compulsory and unnecessarily restricted. Remove these factors and the upward pressure upon tuition prices, due to government funding and “easy” debt, would diminish. Slots would become available for eager students. Prices would fall as competition among schools increased. Opportunities for scholars would grow. (Technology renders “traditional” education obsolete anyway.)
  15. I would encourage states and municipalities to abolish ordinances and regulations restricting entrepreneurial private participation in public services, i.e., taxi services, hair cutting, mail delivery, etc.
  16. I would bring our troops home and end all involvement in foreign wars, i.e., “nation building”.
  17. I would beef up our Naval submarine and surface ship forces; greatly reduce the size of our Army infantry; and greatly expand our remotely piloted Air Force capacity. I would also strengthen our military presence in space. “An armed population is a polite population.” (Anyone who thinks space isn’t already militarized is kidding themselves.)
  18. I would advise friend and foe alike that we are a “peaceful, patient people”, slow to anger and quick to forgive. We will willingly suffer indignities, even atrocities, at the hands of those who mean us ill, with the expectation that they will repent – or be brought to justice. However, after the third such act of aggression, piracy, murder, plunder, etc., we will unleash unholy hell, the full might and fury of the America military, in response, heaven help the haven that harbors those fugitives from American justice. Nations will quiver in fear of America’s wrath, once summoned. And they will soon learn not to trample upon the rights of American citizens.
  19. I would de-fund all federal subsidies for “alternative” energy, including wind, solar, ethanol, etc. If such technologies hold promise, private enterprise will fund them. I would encourage private investors to form a national consortium to build 100 new nuclear power plants around the country, using common “safe” designs, and phase out virtually all fossil fuel consumption for generating electricity. Because of economies of scale, electricity rates would fall and our standard of living would rise as electricity-dependent technology (including air conditioning and heavy manufacturing) would become more affordable again.
  20. I would discontinue all government efforts to combat "anthropogenic global warming/climate change" as the farce that it is, including "cap and trade" legislation. I would direct the EPA to change its designation of carbon dioxide from "pollutant" to "essential component of life".
  21. I would change the laws to allow the sale of insurance across state lines. Current restrictive laws “carve out” state-wide monopolies for insurance companies, thereby eliminating competition and driving up costs.
  22. I would end the tradition of “tenure” for public school teachers. In fact, I would end “government education” as we know it. An educated citizenry is in the interest of good government. And communities should establish schools for the benefit of their people, as they see fit. But this is not a federal, or even a state, issue. Education is not a “right”, but a privilege. Government authority should ALWAYS devolve to the smallest/most local authority, thereby remaining most responsive and accountable to the needs and concerns of the community served.
  23. I would legalize all “recreational” substances by establishing “FDA-approved” and “non-FDA-approved” sections in every 7-11, Circle K and supermarket, with “dangerous” drugs maintained securely as “controlled” substances (as they are now, but with the list of "available" substances greatly expanded). Those drugs and commodities found by the FDA to be “safe and effective when used as intended” would receive the FDA’s seal-of-approval, rendering the manufacturer, marketer, distributor and retailer IMMUNE from prosecution or liability of any kind from detrimental effects resulting from their use and/or abuse (barring fraud, negligence, or other criminal conduct). The buyer/possessor would thus be 100% responsible for any harm done (as people now are with knives and scissors). Those involved in the manufacture, marketing, distribution or sale of non-FDA approved substances would be held 10% responsible for any and all adverse consequences arising from their use. Trial lawyers would be unleashed to “track down and prosecute” the offending parties. Consequently, stores would stop selling non-FDA approved "dangerous" drugs (if they ever did), but such would still be "available" (at reasonable prices) inasmuch as people could grow or make their own, join self-insured clubs, etc. The DEA, ATF, and other such “quasi-military” government law enforcement agencies would thus be rendered superfluous and be disbanded. People would be free again to do with their own bodies as they deem fit, but would still be prosecuted and punished for any harm they do to others. Children, of course, would still be prohibited from using or possessing “controlled” substances, as they are now.
  24. I would release EVERY federal prisoner incarcerated for non-violent, drug-use related offenses and pardon them – after they have been punished (as described below). Otherwise they may serve out the remainder of their sentences. I would give all others the option of being punished as outlined below in lieu of serving their sentence.
  25. I would bring back flogging, caning, and/or stocks for most offenses, i.e., vandalism, shoplifting, adultery, etc., with the penalty doubled for each recurring offense. Those adjudicated and found guilty will be incarcerated until (1) they have exhausted all appeals, (2) they have been found medically fit to receive punishment and (3) they have paid their financial obligations, including their upkeep while incarcerated. Medical authorities will ascertain that the condemned is drug-free and of sound mind before punishment. Those punished will continue to be incarcerated until they have substantially recovered – without anesthesia of any kind – from their imposed injuries. They will be provided opportunities to labor to earn the funds necessary for their redemption (see “charity”). Prisoners may voluntarily elect to receive punishment in lieu of continuing appeals and/or remaining incarcerated. There would be no “lifetime” (or prolonged) sentences, only severe punishment. Those sentenced to death for their crimes will have one year after their conviction to file any and all appeals. All appeals must be submitted simultaneously. Consequently, most prisons and jails will be closed and most corrections officers will need to find employment elsewhere.
  26. I would reinterpret the “birthright citizenship clause” of the 14th Amendment, namely, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” to exclude those persons whose parents were residing ILLEGALLY in the United States (inasmuch as they were NOT “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”), just as children of foreign diplomats and enemy forces in hostile occupation of the United States do NOT qualify for U.S. citizenship. Why should we grant our greatest national treasure – citizenship – to the offspring of criminals and trespassers? Doing so is akin to saying to someone who has just broken into and robbed a bank: “You're guilty of trespassing, but you get to keep all the money!” Ridiculous! No Western European, Asian or Middle Eastern nation grants citizenship to children of invaders, trespassers or law-breakers. Why should we?
  27. I would make Election Day a national holiday.
  28. I would require anyone who participates in any election for federal or state office, either as a voter or as a candidate, to provide proof of American citizenship to the proper regulating authority. 
  29. Inasmuch as our Constitution was written to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity", I would outlaw abortion except in those cases involving rape, incest or where the physical life of the mother is in jeopardy.
  30. I would support any candidate for office whose opinions and/or goals harmonize with those I've outlined.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Fence Is Defense

My boss, Principal Manuel Arredondo, recently lamented the building of walls to keep people out of the U.S.:

"Our founding fathers set up our school system to help our country preserve its ideals and its freedoms. It is ignorance which enslaves us and is the enemy of our democracy and our values. 'We hold this truth to be self-evident that all people are created equal.' These are the most beautiful words ever written and studied in the world. Our educational system has been in the forefront of change and insuring that we preserve our freedoms and making this beautiful message come alive for all of us.

We are building fences to keep people out (which is truly a terrible thing) and not to keep them from leaving. How many times have we heard someone forsaking the United States of America to go elsewhere? People will sacrifice everything they have to come to our country. We need to tear down any obstacle that keeps people from coming but we must also to (sic) preserve our freedom through education. We must continue to welcome all with open arms knowing that this makes our country what it is and must continue to be. We must continue to have universal education for all."

Mr. Arredondo means well. Even so, our Founders bequeathed us neither "democracy" nor the educational ruin we have today. When asked what form of government we had, Benjamin Franklin responded: "A Republic...if you can keep it!"

We haven't kept it.

Our country and government have been corrupted, contaminated by socialist seeds sown a century ago. Our schools now are tools of mass miseducation; incubators of socialist indoctrination (now masquerading as "environmentalism"), Godlessness, immorality, anti-Americanism, open borders, and political correctness: the bane of personal freedom and our "republican" form of government.

I responded:

Mr. Arredondo,

I, too, believe that erecting walls to keep people out of the U.S. is a terrible thing...but for an entirely different reason than you do!

Over the past 100 years, our little experiment with "freedom" has morphed into a monstrous "welfare" state, without which “magnet” we wouldn’t need walls. We have erected an "entitlement" bureaucracy and fostered a class of people who now subsist primarily on the beneficence and labors of the U.S. taxpayer.

20% of U.S. citizens now get 75% (or more) of their income from the federal government. Another 20% receive at least 45% of their income from federal coffers. Thus, NEARLY HALF of all Americans now get much (if not most) of their income from the federal government, while NEARLY HALF pay little or no federal income taxes!

I’m in the TOP 25% of income earners in this country and I paid NO FEDERAL TAXES this year! I haven’t paid federal taxes in 10 years! Why? Because I’m one of those “beneficiaries” profiting from the labors of those “others” who PAY taxes.

By what right do I claim their assets? The fruits of THEIR labors? How am I any different from the slave owner residing comfortably in the “big house” while others toil, on my behalf, in the fields?

Not only do I NOT pay federal income tax, I GET A CHECK from the federal government for SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH YEAR! That’s right! Others are working for me! I just sit back and collect the spoils of their labor. It’s a great system.

It’s a criminal racket!!!

How can we call it anything but “slavery”? One-half of our population is forced to support the other half. The majority (of “beneficiaries”) continues to heap larger and larger burdens on the backs of the “providers” (i.e., U.S. tax payers).

Insidiously, our nation's laws ENCOURAGE laziness, extravagance, going on the dole, remaining unemployed, not getting married. In short, our “entitlement” government DESTROYS thrift, independence, personal responsibility and initiative.

It’s bad enough that the productive members of our society -- by compulsory means, rather than by true charity -- now support the unproductive (and less productive) "dwellers" in America. (We can't call them all "citizens" anymore, because we know tens of millions are here illegally!) The U.S. provides numerous benefits to its residents, citizen and law-breaker alike: welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, subsidized housing, WIC, free lunch, free medical care, free education, social services.

With all these "freebies", who WOULDN'T come here?!

HALF THE WORLD would move here TOMORROW, if they could! (Can they all come live at YOUR house?)

Of course, NONE of this "free stuff" is really "free". It must ALL be paid for. And WE’RE footing the bill. Of course, the REAL costs are astronomical. We could DOUBLE the amount taxpayers now pay and still not pay the bills already owed.

So our government resorts to BORROWING...and printing money like crazy. TRILLIONS of dollars each year. My children and your children are now ENSLAVED by this enormous debt -- to feed, clothe, house, medicate, educate, adjudicate and incarcerate tens of millions who have come here ILLEGALLY.

Plus Granny, who was supposed to die at 62 – and NEVER COLLECT Social Security – now lives into her 100’s and collects taxpayer-paid benefits for up to HALF her adult life! By “gaming” the system, many now put in little, but “get back” MILLIONS – at our expense.

You want to know why we need walls, Mr. Arredondo? For the same reason you lock your doors at night: To protect what is ours from those who would take it from us.

And, oh yes, they are TAKING it from us! They are CLAIMING it for themselves. They are "entitled" to it. They claim the "right" to be supported by others -- by U.S.! What does that make U.S.?


Even now our nation groans under the burden of this ruinous entitlement economy and mountainous debt. Left unchecked, it will DESTROY our union. (This is NOT what our Founders envisioned.)

And what will we inherit in its place?

Mexico del Norte?

Why do we build walls, Mr. Arredondo? Because we’re racists? Because we lack empathy for the less fortunate?



Even WITH a wall, our society crumbles from within. Unwed mothers (of every nationality) proliferate, adding to the social burden. Retired government workers inflate their salaries with overtime and administrative duties in their final years, capped off by “disabilities” incurred in their final months, “entitling” them to tax-free income (at public expense!) for life! Under-funded pensions created by labor unions now drag our economy into the abyss!

And, again, why?

Because of this “entitlement” mentality. The liberal-progressive agenda (Marxist socialism) is destroying U.S.

Denying this fact bespeaks of ignorance even advanced degrees cannot eradicate.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Thanks

We spend over 700 billion dollars per year (almost HALF of what the ENTIRE WORLD spends) marshaling troops in 130+ countries. We (currently) have the most powerful, technologically sophisticated weapons and highly trained military force on the planet. We think we can do ANYTHING we want, militarily -- even "establish democracy" in other lands (by subjugating other people), if we will.

I call this hubris. I call this imperialism. I call this vain ambition.

George Washington warned us AGAINST "standing armies". While ours is made of volunteers, it nevertheless "stands" to fight other men's wars, NOT OUR OWN!

Can you tell me why we're currently in Iraq? Afghanistan? A hundred other places?

I can.

We fight these wars to expend munitions (that must be replaced), to improve lethal technology, to "feed" the military/industrial complex, to increase the power of the state, to maintain a compliant/subservient population willing to offer up their sons and daughters as "sacrifice", even while "giving thanks" for the opportunity to PAY hundreds of billions to prop up these corporations and power-hungry politicians, even in foreign regimes, who profiteer from deaths and destructions on BOTH sides of any conflict.

There is great money to be made in war! Randolph Bourne said: "War is the health of the state." When have we not been "at war" since Joseph Smith prophesied it would be "poured out upon all nations", beginning with the American Civil War? The Spanish-American War, World Wars I & II, Korea, Vietnam, other conflicts, Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan. Not to mention the war on "terror", the war on "drugs", the war on "poverty" -- likewise expanding the "health" of the police state.

Other than WWII, have we had ANY business (other than "strictly business") being in ANY of these conflicts?


"Entangling alliances" have brought us to this place where we are sent to fight and die by our leaders for OTHERS' interests, not our own. But at OUR expense!

I served in the military. I believe military service, in self defense, is honorable. But our government has morphed into a destructive, intimidating global police presence that imposes its will on others -- and kills -- unconstitutionally. We send our sons and daughters to destroy in our name, WITHOUT declarations of war. For what purpose?

I, for one, cannot recommend that my son or daughter join the armed forces to die for an Afghani poppy grower, profiteering from the heroin trade. Why should my child die so that some global capitalist has unrestricted access to the oil fields of Iraq or Kuwait? There are FAR WORSE atrocities going on in Africa. Why aren't we "saving the world" there? BECAUSE THERE'S NO CORPORATE PROFIT IN IT! If our military efforts were purely humanitarian, we would be projecting force elsewhere.

Our military has become a great, global "strong arm" of a criminal racket, organized and controlled by oligarchs of many nations. Our military no longer serves America. It serves global interests. Our servicemen are pawns.

Don't thank them. Pity them.