Saturday, February 27, 2016

Our next president?

I finally got around to watching the last debate (on Youtube) and was embarrassed to know THIS is the process being used to select OUR next president. What is this? The election for homecoming queen or student body president? Free ice cream for all? Our school will be better than ever!?

Even worse, these are the only "serious" choices we have? The only ones "given" to us?

How absurd.

While Trump is seriously entertaining, I find him "attractive" only in the way I imagine Hitler, Mussolini or Obama were once attractive (to some). He is a "strong man" (like Putin, only English-speaking). He is, I fear, a Bavarian buffoon who haphazardly will lead us into (even more) wars, being a "bully," full or braggadocio, bravado and pride.

I want a president who is humble; who understands the proper limits of political power that ought to constrain all government action; who has experience in government; who loves the principles this country was founded on. 

(And, no, our country's "greatness" is NOT primarily based on the principle that people can get RICH here by hard work -- and by working with Donald Trump has. It's MUCH more than that.)

As freedoms and opportunities diminish and society crumbles into chaos, people start looking for a strong man to "save" them. Trump is America's latest iteration of that quest -- only farther down the road to full-blown "dictator." I like his plain-spokenness, his breath-of-fresh-air, common-sense approach. We NEED that. We need more "non-politicians" in Washington. A LOT MORE of them!

But we DON'T need a hothead, a bully, or an arrogant SOB in the White House who will start WWIII with the Arabs, the Russians or the Chinese just to make a point about how "great" America is again.

Quite frankly, Trump is NOT the "independent" he portrays (or believes) himself to be (even with all his wealth). His "power" will crumble the moment he realizes how beholden he is to The REAL Powers That Be that pull the strings. (He probably already knows this.)

But NO politician can get elected and admit it. Americans do NOT control their government. We are controlled by the Federal Reserve, international bankers and globalist business conglomerates who have "gamed" the system to keep Americans happy (and captive) to serve their ends.

Our monetary system is poised to collapse imminently. It is utterly unsustainable. Within the term of office of the next U.S. president (if he is elected to two terms), ALL our support structures and systems, I believe, will unravel...if not come apart altogether. (They already are!) I do not believe Donald Trump is the man to negotiate America (and the world) through this great crisis. (He's not even talking about it!) I do not think it is in America's best interests to gamble with her fate by placing her trust in a man who has built his wealth, in part, on the back of casinos that went bust!

Then again, America already is bankrupt. What better person to lead U.S. through bankruptcy than one who has strategically bankrupted his own businesses -- amassing a fortune by leaving others to to pay the bills -- four times?

While no man can "save," us, Ted Cruz (in my mind) has what it takes to be president of the United States today.

Sadly, America apparently doesn't deserve him.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Impotent Restoration

I share this post by Rob Smith (at Upward Thought) simply because it may otherwise be overlooked by some.

Rob recognizes and fearlessly articulates the painful truth about what we need and what is lacking. Without this, nothing else matters. Without this, all is lost. Without this, all is vain. (You may wish to read this short essay again and again until it "sinks in".)

For me, the "money quote" is this:

"What can all the ordinances, priesthood, and commandments in the world give you if it has not given you access to God? Isn’t it dangerous to think that, somehow, these things which have been powerless to give you access to God in this life, will suddenly become effectual in the next? 
If we lack these fruits, as groups and as individuals, it is a sign that we need to repent."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Made in China

Announcements like this have been replicated thousands of times across America since NAFTA became law 22 years ago. (I knew when Congress passed the North American Free Trade Agreement that our politicians had sold U.S. down the river.) Since then, the global chieftains of commerce have realized enormous gains by outsourcing labor and lowering costs, then importing those cheaper products to relatively wealthy American consumers.

At first, we all gained by this exchange. Even the displaced American worker (who got another job) could afford to buy more "stuff" at lower prices. 

But who will pay those prices once all the American jobs are gone?

We used to make everything in America. Now we make almost nothing. With American manufacturing gone, American skills fled offshore. Now even America's "know-how" and "can-do" spirit must be imported. (Actually, that's always been the case. America's premier entrepreneurs have usually been her immigrants!)

Native-born Americans are not just do-nothings. Now they are largely know-nothings. Americans have laid down pick up now made in China. (But even our tools are now made in China!) Unlike their contemporaries in rising industrialized nations, today's American kids graduating from college (or otherwise entering adulthood straight out of high school) have practically no practical skills or knowledge. They cannot build anything! They're hardly even allowed to work! Our laws are designed to prevent children from "competing" with American adult labor. 

Meanwhile, children in other countries make much of the stuff we now buy at Wal-Mart.

Our homes are serviced and constructed, our crops are planted and harvested, our meals are prepared and packaged, our clothes are sewn and our shelves are stocked largely by people who cannot even speak our language! (Some of them were even born here.) 

This doesn't begin to address all the other things we realistically can't live without anymore. Who would stay in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York or Chicago without modern air conditioning and heating? Transportation? Piped-in, pumped-in water? Electricity? Or all the other stuff that makes modern life possible? Stuff now made almost exclusively elsewhere?

If China (and other countries) stopped selling U.S. the wares all Americans now rely on, we would be thrown back at least 70 years. Worse than that, our cities would become like those our bombers once devastated during WWII. 


First our shelves would be emptied -- as "cheap," ubiquitous imports became both rare and luxurious. (What would be left to buy? Almost nothing.)

Then the real bombing would start. People raised on "entitlements" -- but bereft of knowledge, skills and morality -- are fit only to destroy...and be destroyed. Riots, chaos and civil war ensue.

All because other countries just stopped selling U.S. stuff.

As of 2013, we owed $1.3 trillion to China...and about $4 trillion to other countries. We owed $5 trillion to ourselves. (Those numbers have only gone up.) Now we owe $19 trillion...more than our entire economy can produce in a given year. 

What if we couldn't pay that money back? What if our money became worth less? (Or even worthless? After all, it's only paper, if that.) What if everyone stopped taking our (worthless) paper in return for practically everything we now buy, use and need?

How long would it take U.S. to retrain, retool and reopen our factories (if we still could), getting American workers back to work? (So long as the rest of the world produces things that cost us less than what we would pay ourselves, it would never happen.) Politicians promising to "create more American jobs" without sealing our borders to both imported products and labor deceive us -- unless they plan to produce those jobs by employing us to make everyone else richer. 

But if we seal our borders (and "buy only American"), what would prevent other countries from doing the same? Large countries with abundant resources (like U.S.) can fairly well "make due" on their own. But others (with fewer resources) need international commerce merely to maintain "first world" status.

The rise of the "third" world at the expense of the "first" seems all but inevitable. (It also seems like the "right" thing to do. Why should 5% of the world's population (America) consume 50% of the earth's resources?) Even with plenty to go around, for many (of U.S.), the transition to first-world prosperity and one-world equality is painful. Will our citizens leave our first-world "workers' paradise" to work elsewhere at third-world wages? (If things are so great elsewhere, why are people still coming here?)

I can sense the fear and frustration felt by those now losing their jobs. What will these people do? How will they live (and make a living)? What will they teach and pass on to their children?

The man making this announcement doesn't fear for his life or livelihood. (He's probably expecting a raise!) Carrier, the corporation, will experience gains after it exchanges its higher-paid U.S. workers (and their benefits) for lower-paid Mexican replacements (with fewer or no benefits). 

But when the incomes of (former) U.S. employees are gone -- a scenario repeated millions of times since 1994 -- who will buy all those air conditioners being imported from Mexico?

This is a short-term gain for Carrier...but a long-term loss for U.S.

(You can only imagine the "love" now being "installed" in every Carrier air conditioner coming off the line in Indianapolis since Carrier announced it was moving operations to Mexico. Care to buy a Carrier, anyone?)

The time will come (it always does) when the scheming, powerful and murderous conclude that the fastest way to wealth and prosperity is to selectively ruin everyone else's. Bombing the rest of humanity into oblivion did wonders for the U.S. economy after WWII. Ours were the only factories left standing! Since everyone needed new stuff (and with competition nil) everybody wanted everything "Made in U.S.A."

That's no longer the case. 

Most of "our" factories are now gone. (They're in China!) China has built entire new cities -- using 50% more concrete (in just three years, from 2011 to 2013) than U.S. used during all of the 20th century! Who will fill those new (now empty) cities China has built? What will they do with the old ones? What are they planning?

I fear the day when China wishes to be as wealthy and powerful as U.S. They may want the same stuff we have. (Why shouldn't they? It's mostly theirs anyway! They made it!) When all else fails -- and all else will fail -- they may propose to achieve wealth and prosperity the same way we did.

We may want to prevent that from happening. But how could we? Once even our weapons are made in China. 

Don't worry. 

They'll "export" them to us.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Another prophet is cast out

Last night one of my friends and brothers in Christ, Robert Smith, was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for "apostasy." He was weighed in the balance of modern LDS tradition and found wanting.

At his "trial," he boldly (and matter-of-factly) testified of seeing and hearing Christ. That testimony fell on deaf ears, apparently. (I have discovered that such a witness usually arouses only suspicion in the minds of those Latter-day Saints who cannot honestly make the same claim.) Rob told his accusers that Jesus personally commissioned him to write a book: Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men: Tradition in Modern Mormonism. (Read my review of Rob's book here.)

For reasons explained in his book -- reasons requiring an entire book to explain! -- Rob argued that the LDS Church has departed from the path ordained by the Lord for the salvation of mankind. (In other words, Latter-day Saints are doomed and damned if they continue doing what they're doing now.)

Last night the LDS Church "officially" dismissed Rob and his book without further argument. By his own account, however, most of those who cast him out did nothing to evaluate the merits of his claims. They did not compare his arguments with scripture or his essays with recorded histories and the teachings of LDS leaders, past and present. (Most of those condemning him probably never even read his book! Or knew of its existence until last night!) 

Those raising their hand in agreement to spiritually murder Rob (and his family) trifled with the souls of men. (They also frittered away another opportunity for themselves to repent!) Myths, lies, foolish traditions, distortions, man-made protocols and the philosophies of men, masquerading as "doctrine" and mingled with scripture, now dominate the teachings of "Mormonism." Those "in charge" now dictate those falsehoods to the masses. Their teachings are inconsistent and unreliable. In effect, they make God a liar. They have been deceived by their own presumptions of authority. By their own ignorance, arrogance and misguidance, they now hinder others from coming unto Christ and, in effect, prevent themselves (and others) from being saved. 

Rob's experience (by being excommunicated from the LDS Church) has become commonplace, though his witness has been uncommonly supported, inspired, forceful, and direct. Rob lost his membership in the LDS Church when he refused to renounce his testimony of Jesus or deny the truths he knew to be true. He now joins a chorus of others who have been moved to make similar choices and sacrifices.

The "leaders" of the LDS Church, wittingly and unwittingly, are now anti-Christ. They preach of Christ, but speak against His work and the truth of things as they really are, were and are to be. They are false prophets. They do not recognize how their own behavior conforms to the pharisaical and apostate patterns found in scripture. They do not see themselves as persecutors of saints or prosecutors of prophets. But they are.

The impenitent see themselves as "righteous," "worthy," and "walking in the right way" while the humble, honest in heart and poor in spirit recognize their own deficiencies, their own "nothingness," their own unworthiness, "blindness" and need for continuing light, repentance and redemption! The wicked say "we have enough!" and "all is well," while the righteous hunger and thirst after greater righteousness and further knowledge of God. The proud say "Listen to us! The Lord has placed us in charge! Hearken to our precept! Follow us! We can't deceive you! We know the way!" while true messengers simply declare: "Follow Christ."

I commend Rob for standing firm in his convictions and for evidently discharging faithfully his duty to God. I pray the Lord continues to strengthen him and use him in His service. I pray for Rob's family, as well, knowing (by experience) what perils await. May his wife be blessed, even as Sarah, Sarai, and other daughters in Israel were blessed as they stood beside their righteous husbands as they were guided by the Lord to a promised land.

I firmly believe that Robert Smith has testified truthfully. It now falls to us to rid our minds of false traditions and ideas, our hearts of disbelief and doubt, and our hands and garments of the blood and sins of this generation.

May we all turn unto Christ and be saved.