Monthly Archives: March 2012
A Christian’s Heart 3-26-2012
America The Fool
[Updated 4 2 12]
The 4 2 2102 submission will be delayed until later today or at the latest, Tuesday 4 3 2012.
[Updated 3 26 12]
The ink had not yet dried on this statement in the last paragraph of the blog below: (By his actions and by statements made to the press, but not in so many words, our current president would clearly love to have this absolute power.) when this article appeared in Times 24/7: Obama authorizes himself to declare martial law in the event of a war with Iran. This would give Obama absolute power to control the country. Since Obama has already stated that he can take offensive military action without the consent of congress, and since he could easily do this in Iran, he would have created a scenario where “war” has broken out. Then Obama can exercise this self-realized power and suspend the November elections. (I have declared in other venues that Obama will seek a way to suspend the November elections, because he knows he’s in trouble.) We will have arrived at the destination on our road to Tyranny.
Building a Tyranny on the Backs of the Poor (Part II)
“The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. … even from childhood … [even from] birth …” (Gen 6:5, 8:21a, Ps 51:5a)
In this blog I will refer to this wonderful article: Does Advocating Limited Government Mean Abandoning the Poor? By Ryan Messmore, D. Phil on the root causes of poverty and how America’s (Godless) political solutions to this problem cannot solve it.
Americans think of poverty as being extreme material deprivation. And it is, in a sense, although, that is not how our government defines poverty, as I posited my March 12 blog. Material deprivation in itself is not a cause of poverty; it is, rather, a symptom of deeper problems, all of which arise from spiritual poverty, the kind that is growing in and destroying America.
In this blog, I am specifically excluding material deprivation caused by physical or mental disability, though our godless government cannot adequately address these issues either: 40% – 45% of the homeless population is mentally ill, having been thrown out of institutions that could have helped them during the civil rights movement in the mid 1960’s, their homeless fate sealed by a 1974 Supreme Court decision, Donaldson v. O’Conner ruling that:
“A finding of ‘mental illness’ alone cannot justify a State’s locking a person up against his will and keeping him indefinitely in simple custodial confinement… In short, a state cannot constitutionally confine without more a nondangerous [sic] individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.”
Here is the Kafkaesque irony: Far from respecting civil liberties, legal obstacles to treatment limit or destroy the liberty of the person.
This result is consistent with the insanity of a country that is spiritually dying, if it is not completely dead already: throw helpless mentally ill people out onto the streets in the name of their civil rights!
To summarize from Dr. Messmore’s article:
“Poverty in America is often the result of a relational problem, such as fatherlessness [sic] or community breakdown, which government programs cannot adequately address … Such relational breakdowns are addressed most effectively through various civil society institutions. … People have many needs that extend beyond simple material possessions—needs that cannot be met by any single institution. Families, churches, businesses, and other forms of association play crucial roles in sustaining liberty and meeting people’s needs.”
Not only can godless government solutions not correct the problem, they actually make the problem worse. According to Dr. Messmore:
“Since the beginning of the War on Poverty in 1965, the federal government has spent $16 trillion on welfare. Sadly, this massive spending has failed either to break the cycle of government dependence or to help low-income families to climb the ladder of social mobility. Instead, welfare dependence has grown dramatically. From 1960 until shortly before the welfare reforms of 1996, the total number of welfare recipients more than tripled. The overall poverty rate has not changed much over the past four decades, and today, one in seven Americans lives at or below the official federal poverty line.
“Moreover, since the War on Poverty was launched, the rate of births out of wedlock has increased from 7 percent to 41 percent nationally, exceeding 70 percent among the black population. This has devastated the well-being of these single mothers and their children and has sharply limited their prospects of escaping poverty.”
For example: a child born to a never married mother is seven times more likely to live in poverty than a child born to an intact family. 62% of all poor children live in single parent (never married) families. Nearly 80% of all children suffering long-term poverty come from broken or never married families. Never married mothers are twice as likely as married mothers to be victims of social violence. A child living with a single mother is fourteen times more likely to suffer from serious child abuse than one living in an intact family. (Google: The Positive Effects of Marriage: A Book of Charts to get the previous statistics).
What’s the obvious solution to these vexing and socially destructive problems? Keep unmarried women from getting pregnant (by moral suasion, such as belief in the rightness of God’s solutions, rather than through whatever evil coercive means the hearts of men will come up with); and keep families together (again by the same moral suasion). It was these types of social pathologies that the moral values and commandments of God were designed to prevent. It is God’s solution to these problems that our society has specifically rejected. Therefore effective solutions to these problems are impossible in the current Godless climate.
This is the underlying message in all of my blogs: since America has turned away from God, there is no longer any way to restrain the evil inclinations of all human hearts. Thus any political solutions to problems of poverty and its accompanying social pathologies will exclude a God-centered approach and will therefore be doomed to make the problem worse. At some point, the abominable sense of entitlement fostered by our political class will become so great, and the politicians’ inability to fix the problems they themselves have created so evident, social strife will increase to the point that it will threaten to tear this country apart. Enter an absolute ruler who will take over to calm the strife. (By his actions and by statements made to the press, but not in so many words, our current president would clearly love to have this absolute power.) We will have become a full blown socialist nanny state, one that can only exist at the point of a gun, as the Russian, Chinese, Cambodian, and other peoples of the world have sadly found out. (See this wonderful book by Jean-Francois Revel, which proves this point: Last Exit to Utopia: the Survival of Socialism in a Post-Soviet Era, (translated by Diarmid V.C. Cammell, New York, Encounter Books, 2000)) Our economy and our freedoms will be a ruin, and we will have graduated to full third-world banana-republic status.
A Christian’s Heart 3-19-2012
America The Fool
O Land of Tears
O Land of Sorrows
In 1973 a great evil came to live in America. Since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision 54 million innocent Americans have been put to death.
It has been disclosed that one of the chief providers of abortion services in America, Planned Parenthood, has established a monthly quota for abortions to increase profits.
How great a judgment is due to the country that I love!
Here’s what God did to another country that filled the streets of its cities with the blood of the innocent:
“16 [Israel] forsook all the commands of the LORD their God … They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire … and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger. 18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. “ [2 Kings 17:16, 18]
Abortion is the moral equivalent of sacrificing children to the demon gods Israel worshiped, only the alter here is “woman’s reproductive rights.” Both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah were utterly destroyed by God because of the evil they did in His sight.
We chant “God Bless America” in this country. Really? Why do we think God will bless America? Rather, how can America escape God’s divine judgment?
In this and in many other ways (e.g. legalizing homosexual marriage), we have sown the wind in America. I am frightened to death that we are about to reap the whirlwind, and how great a storm that will be
O land of sorrows, O land of tears I weep for thee.
A Christian’s Heart 3-12-2012
America the Fool
Tyranny on the march in Washington.
This article by Jeffrey T. Kuhner in the Washington Times shows how scary it’s getting in Washington under our current president.
Mr. Obama has now asserted that he can lead America into a full scale war without the consent of Congress. This is a blatant power grab, a blatant violation of our Constitution, but only one of the many that our president has engaged in during his term. What I’m wondering is, why is Congress so silent. This is not a partisan issue: this is an issue of the very survival of our constitutional democracy – of America itself.
Just to let everyone know, my March 19 blog may be delayed a few days.
America the Fool
Building a Tyranny on the Backs of the Poor
“[The] Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
In this blog I will begin to discuss the destructive welfare state that has been building since the 1930s, getting a rocket boost with the Great Society programs of 1965. Here I assert that Anti-poverty programs are not primarily about alleviating the causes of poverty in this country; they are, rather, about redistributing income between groups; the politicians who depend on them to stay in office by pandering to people’s greed, sowing hatred between classes, and by this encourage the rule of the mob.
I am not questioning here the desirability of helping those in need; I absolutely believe that the strong in a wealthy society such as ours have a moral obligation to help the weak. As demonstrated by the very Word of God quoted above, this is the core and basis of truly living the Christian faith. What I am going to question is how we’ve gone about doing this. The bottom line: the welfare state, well-meaning as its origins might be, is destroying this country, the poor it was designed to help and the freedoms we cherish.
To begin, the definition our government uses for poverty is very complex, involving 48 income thresholds as measured by the Census Bureau. A quick and easy summary of these thresholds can be found at this site. They are so complex, however, that to see them in all their enormous detail one must download an excel spreadsheet at this site . This is also very important: poverty as defined in this country is NOT synonymous with severe deprivation. Those defined as poor in this country are not poor as the world, or as the typical American, would define the word.
Note that as the level of average income increases in America, these thresholds tend to be adjusted upward, so that the number of poor tends to stay the same, no matter how wealthy Americans become. Thus the politicians that run the poverty industry in this country are always assured of having a group dependent on their generosity. Of course, it costs them nothing to be generous with our money. And anyone who questions their intentions with regard to the poor is labeled cruel, bigoted, racist, stupid: a downright all round bad person. This is indeed the behavior of political oppressors, megalomaniacal (you bring a knife, I bring a gun) politicians—tyrants: shut off all debate by intimidating and punishing those who call their actions into question.
As pointed out by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield in this article, if you were to ask a typical American what poverty was, they’d rightly say that poverty is synonymous with severe deprivation: “destitution: an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter.” Yet a careful reading of Rector and Sheffield’s paper, this type of deprivation is uncommon in this society. In fact:
- The poorest Americans [as defined by official government statistics] today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.
- The home of the typical poor family was not overcrowded and was in good repair. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European.
- The typical poor American family was also able to obtain medical care when needed.
- By its own report, the typical family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.
- 78 percent of poor households had air conditioning, 64 percent had cable or satellite TV, and 38 percent had a personal computer.
This cannot be repeated enough: when Rector and Sheffield refer to the “poor” family, it is defined not by the deprivation it suffers, but by how it’s income fits into one of the 48 Poverty Thresholds the U.S. Census Bureau uses.
In the same paper under a paragraph labeled Misrepresenting Poverty in America Rector and Sheffield state, in part:
As noted, for the average American, the word “poverty” implies significant material hardship and deprivation. Politicians, activists, and the mainstream media reinforce this image, asserting that each year, over 35 million Americans live in chronic material deprivation, unable to obtain “the basic material necessities of life.”
For example, former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards made poverty the centerpiece of his repeated campaigns for the presidency. Edwards proclaimed that 37 million Americans “struggle with incredible poverty.”He explicitly equated poverty as defined by the Census Bureau with dramatic unfulfilled material need. According to Edwards, America’s poor, who number “one in eight of us…do not have enough money for the food, shelter, and clothing they need.” The poor, he said, were forced to live in “terrible” circumstances.
As seen from a close examination of the statistics presented in this article by Rector and Sheffield, this statement is absolutely false! They then continue:
In a campaign to promote higher welfare spending [my emphasis], Catholic Charities USA tells the public that the government-defined poor lack the basic material necessities of life:
“We speak of [the United States] being the land of plenty: a country with living standards so high that others wish to emulate our success. But for nearly 37 million Americans there is another story. What is life like in this other America? How can it be that millions of us lack the basic material necessities of life?” [I have added the quote marks around this paragraph.]
Continuing under the section labeled Confusing Poverty and Deprivation, Rector and Sheffield state, in part:
For example, confusion [between poverty (as defined by the government, as in: I don’t have the same income as someone not defined as “poor”) and deprivation (I can’t feed or house myself or my family)] of this sort can be found in Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America by evangelical Ronald J. Sider. Sider begins his book with a chapter entitled “What Does Poverty Look Like?” in which he informs his readers, “In 2005, in the United States, 37 million people lived in poverty in the richest society in human history.” … But Sider is seriously misleading when he implies that such living conditions are representative of 37 million poor people. [Bold face type is my emphasis]
Rector and Sheffield, under Depictions of Poverty in the News Media, then point out how the mainstream news media parrot these misleading statements. They conclude by saying:
To the extent that the networks suggest that the living standards of these families are representative of the living conditions of 35 million poor people across the nation, they are profoundly misleading viewers.
Of course the truth about the extent of real poverty in this country is not reported in the mainstream media because, as I’ve pointed out in a previous blog, it has become the propaganda arm of the collectivist redistributionist tyrants in our government.
As Rector and Sheffield state in the same paper under Increasing the Misinformation: Obama’s New “Poverty” Measure:
There is a vast gap between poverty as understood by the American public and poverty as currently measured by the government. Sadly, President Barack Obama plans to make this situation worse by creating a new “poverty” measure that deliberately severs all connection between “poverty” and actual deprivation. This new measure will serve as a propaganda tool in Obama’s endless quest to “spread the wealth” and will eventually displace the current poverty measure.
Under the new measure, a family will be judged poor if its income falls below certain specified income thresholds or standards. There is nothing new in this, but unlike the current poverty income standards, the new income thresholds will have a built-in escalator clause. They will rise automatically in direct proportion to any rise in the living standards of the average American.
The new poverty measure will produce very odd results. For example, if the real income of every single American were to triple magically overnight, the new poverty measure would show no drop in poverty because the poverty income standards would also triple. Under the Obama system, poverty can be reduced only if the incomes of the “poor” are rising faster than the incomes of everyone else. Another paradox of the new poverty measure is that countries such as Bangladesh and Albania will have lower poverty rates than the U.S.—even though the actual living conditions in those countries are extremely low—simply because they have narrower distribution of incomes, albeit very low incomes. [My emphasis]
According to Obama’s measure, economic growth has no impact on poverty.[My emphasis]
The Tyrants know that an overwhelming majority of Americans would not agree to support the vast federal poverty industry spending, funded by their confiscatory tax policy, if they were to propose such a tremendous redistribution of wealth head on. No indeed: the tyrants knowingly exaggerate the extent of real poverty in America to justify their confiscatory tax and spend policies. And Americans, naturally a kind-hearted people, willingly allow their wealth to be confiscated to alleviate the problem as presented falsely by the collectivist politicians.
In our increasingly authoritarian society, programs to relieve poverty have become weapons of oppression in the hands of tyrants. For anyone who disagrees with them or who wants to propose policies that will actually alleviate poverty in this country is characterized as a bigot or racist, being cruel and unfeeling, leaving the impression that he is lower than the scum of the earth. The tyrants, by knowingly misrepresenting the nature of poverty in America, pander to human greed and the sense of victimization their political rhetoric has built up over many decades. This leads to class characterizations being made (e.g. that one class, “the poor” or the 99% are the victims of the 1%) that sow hatred for one class against another. (We can see expressions of this class hatred (and the beginning of mob rule in this country) through the Occupy Wall Street movement which expresses human greed in all its forms and leaves ugliness and filth in its wake. )
In the next blog (hopefully forthcoming March 19) I will discuss how these anti-poverty programs are actually increasing deprivation and want in America by destroying people’s will to work, and encouraging people to consider themselves entitled to the work of other people’s hands; that they (the victims of the wealthy) deserve to get welfare payments, even if they are physically able to work.