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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is this all true?

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary.
No longer voluntary

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program.
Now 7.65%

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year.
No longer tax deductible

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program.
Under Johnson the money was moved to the General Fund and spent

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.
Under Clinton & Gore up to 85% of your Social Security can be taxed


This e-mail is going around. I know some of it is true. Anyone notice anything that isn't?

Government ponzi scheme

"Yesterday Neal Boortz was comparing the social security system to Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme. The comparisons were amazing. The only difference between Madoff and our intrepid leaders is that he couldn’t force more people to 'invest' in his scheme and it ultimately collapsed under its own weight, but the government can hold a gun to our head and make us keep funding a system which is doomed to fail for the same reason his did. The other difference is that Madoff went to jail and our 'leaders' go to whatever resorts they want to at the taxpayers expense." -- March 30, 2010 on the Predestinarian forum

Monday, March 29, 2010

Open letter

Dear U.S. Census Bureau,

I have received a couple of notices asking whether we've submitted our census form. Please be advised that I will not be able to submit my census information until after April 1, 2010. The form asks how many people are living in our household on that day, and until it arrives I will not know. If you need this form returned before April 1, please have the nearest local prophet call or come by to advise me on how many will be living here on April 1.

Thanks. Have a nice day.

Sincerely,
I. Ken Count

P.S. Our school gathers daily enrollment numbers, so we won't need the census to tell us how many students we have. Thanks anyway.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Right to healthcare?

Some have claimed healthcare as an American's 'right'. I copied from a op-ed the other day one shining the light on this inconsistency (I forgot to copy the author's name). "(T)he government does not compel citizens to attend church in the name of religious freedom. The government does not compel citizens to own a gun in the name of the Second Amendment. And the government does not force citizens to engage in the political process in the name of free speech."

"In contrast, our radically 'progressive' friends are eager to compel every American using the heavy hand of government to exercise their so-called 'right' to healthcare. Should we celebrate the passage of a bill that in the service of non-existent rights actually diminishes our liberty?"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

God our Shepherd

PSALM 23, S. M.
God our Shepherd.

The Lord my Shepherd is,
I shall be well supplied;
Since he is mine and I am his,
What can I want beside?

He leads me to the place
Where heav'nly pasture grows,
Where living waters gently pass,
And full salvation flows.

If e'er I go astray,
He doth my Soul reclaim;
And guides me in his own right way,
For his most holy name.

While he affords his aid
I cannot yield to fear;
Though I should walk through death's dark shade,
My Shepherd's with me there.

In sight of all my foes,
Thou dost my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
And joy exalts my head.

The bounties of thy love
Shall crown my following days;
Nor from thy house will I remove,
Nor cease to speak thy praise.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Psalms of David, 1719

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

de jure and de facto

de jure [di joor-ee, dey joor-ay] adverb: By right; by law.
adjective: Rightful.

de facto [dee fak-toh, dey fak-toh] noun: actually existing, esp. when without lawful authority

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Insurance and health care

Most people aren't fans of insurance companies. Neither am I. There are other and better options. But they have been made a whipping boy of the proponents of health care reform. Folks need to understand that they work on a simple principle to survive -- they must take in more money that they pay out. Otherwise they won't exist. And this plain and simple formula -- perhasp too plain and simple for politicians -- still exists even when the government becomes a player in health care. Differences are (1) a business cannot make you buy their product; the government evidently thinks it can; and (2) the government can and will keep raising taxes and fees in order to take in more than they pay out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dirty little secret

For all the talk by the Democrats about the evil Republicans, the thing that they don't tell us (or at least only speak it in a whisper) is that they have the majority in the House and it was THEIR OWN PEOPLE -- 34 House Democrats voted "no" on the Senate-passed bill -- that they had to drag along kicking and screaming to get the bill passed 219-211.

For all his talk about the sanctity of life -- "a principle that meant more to us than anything" -- Bart Stupak and his coalition went down in a whimper of compromise.

H R 3590; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that the House agree to the Senate amendments
H R 4872; Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Deem

"There's an old saying that 'figures don't lie, but liars sure do figure'. Every major Demcare statistic -- from the inflated number of uninsured to the politicized junk-science statistic on the number of Americans who purportedly die from lack of health insurance to the mythical savings that will come from squandering '$940 billion' -- is a single-payer-promoting figment of liberal imagination." -- Michelle Malkin in The Deem-o-crats' towering deception

BTW, yesterday when I first heard that the House Democrats were going to deem the health care passed so they wouldn't have to vote on it, I thought it was a joke.
Looks like the joke is on us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Intellectual property

Back in February, Bart Barber discussed in two posts the subject of intellectual property in relation to sermons, books, religious music, etc. I found this an interesting topic. Some commenters brought up things I would not have thought of, I suppose because their experiences are so different from mine. It also brought to mind a song with a "non-copyright" notice -- "When I See the Blood". On number 49 in Stamps-Baxter's Heavenly Highway Hymns below the title: "Foote Bros., not copyrighted. Let no one do so. May this song ever be free to be published for the glory of God."

A Theology of Intellectual Property
Bart Barber: "It seems clear to me that I need to develop some sort of a biblical theology of intellectual property—some systematic approach to the topic that incorporates both a check against human hubris in exclusive credit for what God has done and an acknowledgement of the commandment not to steal."

Brother Bart openly what we should do about some things, like a pastor who copyrights a sermon? Do you believe God guides you and then go a print a book of sermons under copyright? "What happens to God's part" in the matter? What about Christian music?

The route I have taken thus far with the few books and booklets I have produced: I have put copyright notices on them, with the idea of trying to keep someone from printing them in a changed them -- not that I am making money on them, interested in make money on them or have produced anything original. I wouldn't mind if someone took something I've written and printed it and made money off of it (not that anything I would produce would be a money maker!). In fact I would be good for it to get wider distribution. The whole idea is to get the truth out to far and wide, isn't it? The only purpose I see for the copyright notice is to keep someone reprinting with doctrinal changes.

Speaking of Intellectual Property
In this one there was some discussion of "turning church work product into personal largesse". Since I have never functioned as an "employee" I had never thought of this. But, for example, one church's "staff manual" declares any work done on church time -- sermons, writings, books, etc. -- are the property of the church. Or as one person put it: "intellectual property developed on someone else's payroll belongs to the entity paying the person to develop it."

Bart's tentative conclusion
"...one has the obligation to protect material from wanton modification and distortion by others, many of whom may not be friendly to the cause of the gospel...Copyrights, however, ought not to be abused in order to claim as one's personal creation that which is the work of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we pastors must beware becoming greedy for 'filthy lucre'."

So I'm wondering if any of my readers have any thoughts about this subject??

Monday, March 15, 2010

DST

I need to apologize. I let the "time change" slip by without complaining about it. Sorry about that. I here and now officially complain!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not listening

II Chronicles 10:15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Did John doubt?

Below are thoughts by Wayne Gregory on John the Baptist regarding...

Matthew 11:2-3 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

"Did John the Baptist doubt that Jesus was the Christ? I am convinced that John was not doubting, but in his final hours on this earth was still fulfilling his ministry and pointed all his disciples to "the lamb of God."

"Jesus answered the disciples by referring them to the OT record: (Isa. 35:1-6) "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." These and kindred scriptures were the foundation for their faith and hope, not John's testimony.

"No, John did not doubt, but was committing his disciples to the care of the ONE to whom they belonged. This sending of his disciples was not for his benefit, but for the benefit of those he sent. Therefore, when John was beheaded, where did they go? (Matt. 14:12) "And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus." They went to the ONE John had pointed them to. IMHO, John's actions was a great testimony that he believed that Jesus was the Christ; and Christ had greater witness than John - His works.

"If you read all the Lord said about John in the following context, you might come to believe the same thing. As concerns the least in the kingdom of God or heaven, I understand that as later and referring to Christ. That was what John has repeatedly confirmed, 'He that cometh after me...is greater than me'."


By Wayne Gregory

Thursday, March 11, 2010

TJ Denson students

T. J. ("Uncle Tom") Denson was an important Sacred Harp singer, songwriter, publisher and singing school teacher. He taught singing schools into the 1930s, even here in Texas. Awhile back his grandson, Mike Hinton, sent me a list of the students of T. J. Denson that he knows about who are still living.

Myrl Jones (1930) TX
Lawson Smith (1934) TX
Lorraine Miles (1930) TX
Julietta Haynes (lived in AL until a couple of years ago)
Lonnie Rogers (1935 - was in the last class T J Denson taught)
A male member of the Denny family - does not sing now - GA (1935)

Lord willing, we will be singing Saturday at the
Smith Memorial Singing near Tyler. Myrl (Smith) Jones and Lawson Smith are part of this Smith family who were taught by Tom Denson, and hopefully will be there at the singing. Another former student Myra (Smith) Palmer, passed away in the fall of 2009.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Smith Memorial Sacred Harp Singing

The Smith Memorial Sacred Harp Singing will be held, Lord willing, this coming Saturday -- March 13th -- at the New Harmony Community Center in the New Harmony Community just northwest of Tyler, north of US Hwy 64 on FM 724. We will start singing at 10 a.m.

A map and other information can be found
HERE.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Church unanimity

The experience below is an example of an historical occurrence of a church moving in unanimity. Names, places, etc. were removed, but the sense still available, I think/hope.

"When I first came...the churches here practiced unanimity in all cases, except the exclusion of an unrepentant member, in which case he could not exercise a veto by his vote over his own case. It takes only ONE vote to table an issue here. So in effect, the nay vote is a veto.

"...Church...wanted to have electricity in their meeting house so that they could have night meetings...When the motion was made and seconded, and the votes were called for...nodded her head 'No'. The deacon was moderating, and therefore tabled the issue; and went on with other things in their conference. A few months passed, and the dear sister told of her earlier experience, and how her family had taken their Aladdin Lamp to meeting, and what a wonderful service they all had. Suddenly, it crossed her mind: they had done that before there was electricity available. She asked the deacon to bring the issue off the table; which he did, and the motion was passed with unanimity.

"I learned...as a young man, that there was never anything so pressing that it could not wait until all the saints were brought to agreement. And with all my heart I agree with that practice."


Should a church move in unanimity rather than the rule by majority vote?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

II Cor. 13:14 in verse

May the grace of CHRIST our Savior
And the FATHER's boundless love,
With the Holy SPIRIT's favor,
Rest upon us from above!
Thus may we abide in union
With each other, and the LORD;
And possess, in sweet communion,
Joys which earth cannot afford.


John Newton (1725-1807)
Olney Hymns, 1779

Friday, March 05, 2010

Praise God for the Furnace

From the writings of A. W. Tozer

"It was the enraptured Rutherford who could shout in the midst of serious and painful trials, "Praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace."

"The hammer is a useful tool, but the nail, if it had feeling and intelligence, could present another side of the story. For the nail knows the hammer only as an opponent, a brutal, merciless enemy who lives to pound it into submission, to beat it down out of sight and clinch it into place. That is the nail's view of the hammer, and it is accurate except for one thing: The nail forgets that both it and the hammer are servants of the same workman. Let the nail but remember that the hammer is held by the workman and all resentment toward it will disappear. The carpenter decides whose head will be beaten next and what hammer shall be used in the beating. That is his sovereign right. When the nail has surrendered to the will of the workman and has gotten a little glimpse of his benign plans for its future it will yield to the hammer without complaint.

"The file is more painful still, for its business is to bite into the soft metal, scraping and eating away the edges till it has shaped the metal to its will. Yet the file has, in truth, no real will in the matter, but serves another master as the metal also does. It is the master and not the file that decides how much shall be eaten away, what shape the metal shall take, and how long the painful filing shall continue. Let the metal accept the will of the master and it will not try to dictate when or how it shall be filed.

"As for the furnace, it is the worst of all. Ruthless and savage, it leaps at every combustible thing that enters it and never relaxes its fury till it has reduced it all to shapeless ashes. All that refuses to burn is melted to a mass of helpless matter, without will or purpose of its own. When everything is melted that will melt and all is burned that will burn, then and not till then the furnace calms down and rests from its destructive fury.

"With all this known to him, how could Rutherford find it in his heart to praise God for the hammer, the file and the furnace? The answer is simply that he loved the Master of the hammer, he adored the Workman who wielded the file, he worshiped the Lord who heated the furnace for the everlasting blessing of His children. He had felt the hammer till its rough beatings no longer hurt; he had endured the file till he had come actually to enjoy its bitings; he had walked with God in the furnace so long that it had become as his natural habitat."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Retirement and meditation

HYMN 122 L. M.
Retirement and meditation.

My God, permit me not to be
A stranger to myself and thee;
Amidst a thousand thoughts I rove,
Forgetful of my highest love.

Why should my passions mix with earth,
And thus debase my heav'nly birth?
Why should I cleave to things below,
And let my God, my Savior, go?

Call me away from flesh and sense,
One sovereign word can draw me thence;
I would obey the voice divine,
And all inferior joys resign.

Be earth with all her scenes withdrawn,
Let noise and vanity begone;
In secret silence of the mind
My heav'n, and there my God, I find.


Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book II, 1707

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

One more and I'm through

I generally write on musical and religious topics and not much on politics. But I got charged up hoping we would throw out the representative who a few years chose to run to Ardmore, Oklahoma rather than actually represent us (novel idea, what we elected him to do!). We didn't even get a pinch runner. Here's one final at bat for now and I'll move on to more salient less depressing topics.

Strike one
I'm no political analyst (no shock there), but I was very surprised by two things in yesterday's Republican primary. First, that Rick Perry took the governor's race with not even a run-off. About a year ago the prevailing notion was that Kay Bailout Hutchison would knock him out of the ballpark. But it was Perry who got the home run. Second, that Chuck Hopson won House District 11 without a run-off. A Democrat up until a few months ago, this RINO not only exceeded the 50 percent necessary to stave off a run-off but hammered the two long-time Republican challengers by garnering about 62% of the vote. I think he did it the old-fashioned way -- like George Steinbrenner bought, I mean won, all his World Series for the Yankees. (follow the money)

Strike two
"The Health Care Bill has raised apprehensions in many areas (e.g., the economic costs, the politics of socialism, the growth of governmental powers, etc.); however, very little has been presented of the numerous ways in which the bill is actually unconstitutional. In fact, should the bill eventually pass, several lawsuits are pending over its various unconstitutional aspects," writes David Barton. David has posted on his web site
Potential Constitutional Problems With H.R. 3590 by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Strike three
"Polls showing 74% of Americans think airport body scans will make us more secure are either incorrect or else we have become a thoroughly brainwashed and ideologically lobotomized assemblage of slaves who are happy to chant 'Thank you sir, may I please have another?' with each violation against our Bill of Rights and natural law.

"The fourth amendment guarantees:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
"Full Body Scanning is unreasonable as it presupposes guilt and ignores the aspect of our law that requires a warrant for searches." -- By Mary Starrett in "Keep America Safe - Get Naked." January 20, 2010

OK, I'm outta here
Election Night Returns

Find your representatives

"Who Represents Me provides information about current districts and members of the Texas Senate, Texas House of Representatives, the Texas delegation to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the State Board of Education."

Just plug in your Street Address, City, and ZIP Code and you'll find out "who represents me".

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Word today

Word: obnubilate (ob-NOO-buh-layt, -NYOO-)
Part of speech: verb tr.
Definition: To cloud over, obscure, or darken.
Used in a sentence: The polls are opening at 7:00 a.m. In the preceding months, politicians have obnubilated issue after issue for their own benefit.

Word: obnubilation (ob-NOO-buh-layt-shun, -NYOO-)
Part of speech: noun
Definition: mental cloudiness and torpidity; the act of obnubilating.
Used in a poem:
My joy and jubilation
(For I'm a politician)
Is sweet obnubilation.
It's my eternal mission.

Now you may think I'm funny
Since I seem to have plenty--
My friend, I need your money--
I don't mean just a twenty!

It is my fond ambition
To bring you to submission;
I will, for this condition,
Disregard your volition.

Yes, I'm a politician,
And under obligation;
To stay in my position
By sweet obnubilation.


(Ode to a politician, March 1,2010)

Monday, March 01, 2010

The animal world of politics

Donkey -- the symbol of the Democratic party. According to "The Political Arena", the donkey was first used to represent the Democratic party in a political cartoon in 1837.
Elephant -- the symbol of the Republican party. "The Political Arena" says elephant was connected with the Republican party in cartoons as early as 1860, cartoon an 1874 cartoon in Harper's Weekly was the important factor in sticking the elephant as the Republican symbol.
Blue Dog -- Blue Dog Democrats claim to be moderate-to-conservative Democrats who arecommitted to financial and national security. I think they are supposed to be former "yellow dog" Democrats who claimed they had been "choked blue" by their own party.
Rino -- these critters charging the savanna go by their acronym RINO (Republican In Name Only). In general these are Republican politicians whose voting records are contrary to the party platform. Specifically in Texas they are Democrats who saw the handwriting on the wall -- the Republican takeover of state politics -- and jumped ship for political expediency. Chuck Hopson, House District 11, is one such example. Virtually assured he could not be re-elected as a Democrat, he is now a RINO. Those Republicans who support his re-election in opposition to the local grass root Republicans of HD 11 are suspect as well (including Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Kay Bailout Hutchison, Sen. John Cornyn, Agricultural Ommissioner Todd Staples, State Sen. Kevin Eltife, Rep. Joe Strauss)

It's a dog eat dog world out there (and Elephants and Rinos and Donkeys). Tomorrow's primary will tell who survives.