If Ohio’s public employees are concerned about retirement system changes under Obamacare, it seems no one’s talking. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!“ shout-out to Obama from the floor of Congress in 2009 was indeed prophecy. Obama did lie. State of Ohio spouses cannot ‘keep their health insurance because they like it.’ I am one of those spouses.
Lying to America’s elderly about critical services like medical care far exceeds this president’s phony display of self-righteous indignation at Joe Wilson, for outing his lies. Calling out lies is what we expect of leaders. Well, Michelle, I have never been as ashamed of my American government as I am now … of this phony president, his phony policies, his phony Congress, and his phony peddlers.
Apparently the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) is one of those peddlers. Their seminars effectively blanket the effects of Obamacare in shrouds of economic generality, as if We bear some responsibility for this condition. An economic condition which is, in great part, because of Obamacare and is, in all part, because of Obama.
Reportedly Obamacare made it illegal for health plans to disclose all of the health care services that will no longer be covered. Those can’t be shared until October. OPERS instructs us to call our plan provider. OPERS will gradually increase members’ costs for spouse insurance over the next three years, beginning January 2014, until members bear all spouse costs by end of year three. Then their spouses are thrown to the Obamacare exchange wolves.
Spouse Coverage [excerpted] — Beginning in 2016, spouses over the age of 65 and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B can use the Medicare Connector to select a plan on the individual Medicare market.
But not to worry according to OPERS, they will guide spouses through the even more expensive Obamacare exchanges to see which plan they can afford. Sorry if your conditions aren’t covered or if you can’t afford the plan you need to cover your conditions. That’s just too bad.
OPERS uses a lot of gimmicky words with special, limited meanings and they cloak the bad news in good feeling concepts so you’re still feeling ingratiated when you read about them. “Access” does not mean coverage and it does not mean you don’t pay for having “access.” Go to the OPERS web site for more complete information.
Mark Steyn reports that spouses and children losing health insurance are the ultimate “unintended consequence” of Obamacare. Spouses and children are being taken off of employee health plans nationwide. This is said to leave more millions of Americans uninsured than were uninsured before Obamacare.
Forbes just released a Medicare/Medicaid study citing Obamacare is estimated to cost American families $7,450. I don’t know about yours, but our young families are doing good to meet survival needs as it is right now. Given our own senior fixed incomes and increasing risks for ailing health, I know we also cannot afford Obamacare. This is the most viciously corrupt transfer of wealth – and imposition of death sentences – as a free people have ever seen.
Most readers will find it easier to think about how this number translates to a typical American family—the very family candidate Obama promised would see $2,500 in annual savings as far as the eye could see. Between 2014 and 2022, the increase in national health spending (which the Medicare actuaries specifically attribute to the law) amounts to $7,450 per family of 4.
Let us hope this family hasn’t already spent or borrowed the $22,500 in savings they might have expected over this same period had they taken candidate Obama’s promise at face value. In truth, no well-informed American ever should have believed this absurd promise.
So that’s three more Obama lies Joe Wilson was remiss in pointing out. Where were the other 534 members of this not-so-esteemed Congress, huh Joe? Not to fear for them, those elitists are covered with expensive, lavish, private health plans outside of Obamacare exchanges, at our expense. I suppose that only matters to tax-payers and even some of those are still dizzy from Obama’s phony Liberal do-gooder ride.
The American people have until this Friday, September 27th, to call and email Senators, asking them to defund Obamacare. Congress listens when they receive thousands of calls. Burn up the phone lines. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senator. Tell them you want them to defund Obamacare and you will remember their vote when you vote again.
On Sunday Ted Cruz discussed plans that are necessary in the Senate this week:
A retired Constitutional lawyer – who actually read the healthcare bill – warns (excerpted):
This legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.
This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights… Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to “be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution.” If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.
Have you really thought about that? Here’s how he did it.
There are more stories about this than I have toothpicks and we owned a restaurant. (Trust me, you end up with a lot of toothpicks after closing a restaurant.) I have a much different take on things but first “the facts:”
“No worries America”
When you think about it – I mean really think about it – can you even imagine having the desires (plural), let alone the time and energy of what’s left in a 24-hour day, to think of all the places you could go or of all of the friends you could take or could you find enough hours in what’s left of that day to spend $585,000 for a one night stay – even in Paris with an entire security entourage? And just who’s running our country without this brain child of gluttony at the helm?
Rush Limbaugh hit this nail on the head: People like this self-serving hooligan could not and would not (because they could not) do such things with their own money. They couldn’t afford to, even on their Congressional pay and perks. OUR money is paying for this amoral gluttony and whether you are a Liberal or Conservative, if you aren’t mad as hell about this waste and excess then there’s something seriously wrong with you – get out of here. Now.
Biden did spend an evening in Paris in early February, but there are no details in the document about whether this contract is accurate or what the final hotel bill came to. A standard room in the hotel costs about $475 a night, and the royal two-bedroom suite runs about $3,900 a night.The Weekly Standard also points to another government contract for Biden’s London hotel stay in early February. The contract, to the Hyatt Regency London, totaled $459,339. An associated document with that contract said it was for 136 rooms for 893 room nights.
It can cost in the neighborhood of $500,000 a night — and that’s just for the hotel.Biden’s one-day visit to Paris on Feb. 4 required more than 100 rooms at the five-star Hotel InterContinental Paris Le Grand.
The lodging cost taxpayers $585,000.50, according to federal contracting records that emerged Friday.
When Mr Biden and his hefty entourage stayed in Paris for an evening in early February and it cost $585,000.50 for that single night. The Vice President likely rented out more than 100 rooms in the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand, though they must not have gotten a group discount rate.
The documentation for this contract is not as detailed as the London one, so the cost per room is not available. However, just like his London hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand is a five star hotel. Again, security concerns prevent these type of contracts from being open to bidding, but if the government was able to do some comparison shopping, the Hotel Intercontinental has a special offer, “Find a lower price elsewhere and your first night is free.” The Vice President stayed in Paris for one night.
Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, spent three days traveling Germany, London and Paris in February.They stayed at the five-star Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand then spent $459,388.65 at the Hyatt Regency London the next day, also according to the Weekly Standard:
If you want to know how Biden did this against all reasonable human odds, you’re in the right place … Go here.
This is no joke. That’s the only reason I don’t parody this lamebrain administration’s unconscionable thuggary-theft of taxpayer money more. You need to read this linked article and make time for its video. Until then this will only get worse. GOP Old Guard Republicans are no better. They’re lovin’ it just as much. All on the backs of our labors (or entitlement program cut, whatever your case may be – it DOES effect you). Stop it or stop whining.
Contact your legislator today. Tell them to stop this gross spending as they deprive taxpayers who’re paying their overly extravagant bills. If not you, who? We could function better without a government than with this one. Pick your poison. I’ll take my chances with YOU any day.
March 17th is the feast of St. Patrick, the most important holiday of the year for Irish Americans.
There were worse things in Early America than being a black slave. It’s probably surprising to learn that being an Irish slave was one of them. Early Irish settlers also filled the same service roles in American society, then, as claimed by illegal Hispanics today.
Ireland had no defense forces until about 1913 so its people were captured and enslaved by many nations. They endured more oppression than American blacks and suffered living conditions not unlike Jews of the Holocaust. But harboring grudges against ghosts of heritages past was not a mainstay for the Irish. They had more important things to do.
We know so little of the Irish’s torturous American history because of their impressive will to live beyond victimizations rather than living in them. America’s Irish are prime examples of sheer personal determination turning adversity into stepping stones to a better life. Their devout faith in God undoubtedly served them well, then and now.
As a small-town Protestant from the Midwest my knowledge of St. Patrick’s Day was limited to coloring shamrocks spun from school mimeograph machines; the once-a-year reprieve for pinching classmates if they hadn’t worn green; and images of leprechauns lounging alongside that illusive pot of gold at the end of a just as illusive rainbow. It wasn’t until an adult career landed me in New York City that I came to know the holiday and the roles Irish Americans continue to play in our country’s legacy of freedom.
New York City’s parade was my first St. Patrick’s Day parade and it doesn‘t get any better than that. Crowds were so encompassing that even Manhattan’s street traffic came to a halt for the bustling business of glittering green hats, flailing flags, drifting confetti, waving banners, and throngs of the highest-energy people I’ve ever seen come together in an endless string of pubs only then recognized bearing Irish surnames. If you couldn’t legitimately claim an Ireland County as your own by the time day was done you’d adopted one or they’d adopted you. That’s how the Irish roll.
I was a clean slate for learning the true character of Irish Americans from descendants who’d walked off their ships at Ellis Island so many years ago. Their impressively bold dispositions can scantly be found in other of America’s melting pot. The Irish stealthily, dauntlessly and eagerly acclimated to America, setting aside a past much worse than what others today find so ‘inescapable.’ We hear, even today, unending wails of grievous discontents that go back a hundred years or are as recent as the Irish settlers’ once were. The Irish have “been there, seen that, done that.” And what’s glaring from all of that is, who among us even knew?
Who was St. Patrick?
The shamrock is a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day because Patrick used its three cloves to explain God’s trinity. March 17th is believed to be the date St. Patrick died.
St. Patrick (387-461) was born in Scotland on the cusp of Christian evolution sweeping through the Roman Empire. Patrick’s parents were Roman and lived in Britain where they managed colonies. Ireland was still ruled by Druid pagans when Irish pirates captured Patrick as a young teenager. During his years in pagan captivity Patrick learned Ireland’s language, its people and its customs.
Isolated as a sheep herder Patrick turned to God, spending much of his time in prayer. At age 20 he escaped and returned to his family in Britain but Patrick felt God-called to go back to Ireland and convert its people to Christianity. He spent 40-years teaching and baptizing Ireland’s kings as well as its common folks.
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.
Slavery has been around since the beginning of time typically resulting from the spoils of war. By the 1500-1600’s England’s slave trade was a bloodthirsty industry in the New World under Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of King Henry VIII. The Irish were some of the first slaves traded, not the least of those traders being experienced Muslims. From “Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten White Slaves” by John Martin:
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
The African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.
[Jamaican English] settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.
Although the Africans and Irish were housed together and were the property of the planter owners, the Africans received much better treatment, food and housing.
The first Irish slaves were sold to a settlement on the Amazon River In South America in 1612. It would probably be more accurate to say that the first “recorded” sale of Irish slaves was in 1612.
Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.
More Irish were sold as slaves to the American colonies and plantations from 1651 to 1660 than the total existing “free” population of the Americas. There has been a lot of whitewashing of the Irish slave trade, partly by not mentioning it, and partly by labeling slaves as indentured servants.
Throughout the 1600-1700s the Irish settled in Early American colonies and by the 1860s they were among America’s greatest Civil War heroes, renowned for their bravery and leadership. Their competence, patriotic enthusiasm and ingrained confidence in overcoming obstacles helped to diminish some of the religious bigotry against them in a predominantly Protestant America. Of this Civil War Irish History writes:
“There is perhaps no other ethnic group so closely identified with the Civil War years and the immediate aftermath of the war as Irish Americans.”
But “despite their wartime heroics many Irish veterans came home to find the same ugly bias they faced before going off to fight for the Union.”
The Irish American Legacy
America‘s Irish are a resilient breed of forgiving spirits who constantly look for their next positive outcome rather than wallowing one iota in their pasts. They are a living example of “where there’s a will there’s a way.“ Given how triumphantly contagious and critical that mindset is to successes of any kind, the Irish have strengthened our country’s fiber beyond what can merely be recorded of them in history.
While some of America’s melting pot are still stuck spinning their wheels in the mud of old resentments, intent to find new ways to revive dead victimizations, the Irish clear those hurdles without any measure of stumbling. The article, “Irish Americans,” aptly coins an enthusiastic gratitude for American freedom that the Irish brought with them and continue to live out of today:
“The first time I saw the Statue of Liberty all the people were rushing to the side of the boat. ‘Look at her, look at her,’ and in all kinds of tongues. ‘There she is, there she is,’ like it was somebody who was greeting them.”
Thank you, Irish Americans, for interweaving your phenominal strength of character, for straightening the backbone of positive thinking, for your exemplary leadership, and for doing it all in the name of America’s freedom. You are an immovable boulder on our climb upward through American Exceptionalism. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
This was originally posted April 09, 2011 during that threat of government shutdown. It’s regrettable the American people are rounding this corner again. The sharp contrast of lost standards from a mere two-years ago reflects how Obama has effectively “nudged” a serious deterioration of American expectations. This is a most shameful course of action for any American President.
The president has enormous personal discretion in deciding ‘who’ and ‘what’ gets paid during a government shutdown. He can use that discretion to turn a government shutdown into a favorable or unfavorable event for The People; or, as has been the case with this president, to use it against The People to propagandize his own political gain. Legal authorities have suggested this behavior is impeachable. Bring it on.
Those certain to be paid without interruption are the politicians: The White House, Congress and their staffs. Most of us don’t know that “furloughed” federal employees are typically paid retroactively anyway. Of late we’ve been told federal employees were furloughed only to find they didn’t work but they did continue to receive pay. This sheds a glaring light on Obama’s self-serving propensity for imposing harships on people of an entire country, purely for sake of his personal pleasure and propagandizing political gain.
The big question in 2011’s government shutdown was, how does an American President possibly justify denying pay to troops who are defending our country; and to our most vulnerable elderly who’ve built it? Who among us could possibly condone such acts?
Prior administrations have generally accepted that the following services remain uninterrupted:
Services funded by permanent appropriations that don’t expire; and some services funded by annual appropriations, “if there’s a reasonable and articulable connection between the function to be performed and the safety of human life or the protection of property.”
Services that legally require new appropriations, having expired during a shutdown, can be extended, such as “national security, law enforcement and medical care for those already in hospitals, as well as some that many might find both surprising and infuriating, like ‘the conduct of foreign relations’.” Services requiring new appropriations are the government services most typically subject to shutdown. This president has proven his decisions as anything but “typical.”
Stan Collender of Capital Gains and Games of Roll Call, a political and economic news source, wrote “President has the Upper Hand in a Shutdown.” The article discusses a president’s wide range of personal discretion (excerpted below). It is appalling how much Obama has so radically altered this rationale from a mere two-years ago when first reported:
The Obama administration will have enormous discretion in other ways. Whole departments, agencies and programs are not automatically exempt just because they fall into one of the categories, it will be up to the White House to decide which activities will be conducted if a shutdown actually occurs.
The administration is also free to reject precedents for reasons that include economic and technological changes, new programs and functions, political hardball, and more.
The bottom line about a federal government shutdown is simple: The president has far more room to maneuver and is in a much better position to take control of the situation than Congress. As Clinton showed in 1995 and 1996, when he reclassified some programs several weeks into the fight so that they could operate despite originally being on the shutdown list, the White House even has the ability to change its determinations.
The Obama administration clarified the scope of the potential government shutdown saying that it would impact about 800,000 employees and stop services like IRS paper filling and returns, and close institutions like the Smithsonian.
A senior administration official also said that military personnel would continue to earn money, however they wouldn’t actually receive it until the government is funded again. They’ll be receiving full pay checks until April 8.
There are two areas that guide who will stay working. Government activities will stay open that:
1) Have alternative funding – like user fees or appropriations that aren’t renewed every year.
2) Are necessary for safety of life and protection of property.
Here’s a snapshot of what else stays open and what closes during this potential shutdown:
800,000 federal employees (the same as 1995) the official says is the “vicinity” of workers who would be affected.
Military members will continue get paid through April 8th, but after that are only earning and will get money when the government is funded again.
What services will be suspended? IRS filings with paper claims won’t be processed and audits will also be stopped. Electronic claims will continue. Small business loans and Federal House Administration mortgages will also be halted. (The official noted that FHA had 12 percent of housing market in 1995, and now it’s up to 30 percent)
Another excellent source is by Ed O’keefe at Federal Eye entitled “Government Shutdown: Facts and Figures.” These linked articles provide important, additional information about what is and is not typical in government shutdowns.
In 2011 I wanted to know why Obama, at his personal discretion, routinely opted not to keep paychecks going to our Troops overseas and during his “Kinetic Military Action?” Did he forget he’s supposed to be their “Commander In Chief” and the responsibilities that job truly entails? Did he ever know? Or is it as simple as it seems: Obama only knows how to use those around him in appeasing himself?
Given the countless lies this administration told in trying to ramp up fake consequences of the Sequester, we no longer have to ask these questions. If by now you are not indignantly insulted by the fools this president plays us, nothing can help. These are Obama’s personal choices. It cannot be any more clear than it is why he’s making personal choices that are directly aimed at denegrating us as a people. It is what it is. He is what he is.
The power of this is it’s bipartisan. Everyone will be equally tee’d.
Americans recall economic booms like the San Francisco gold rush, Detroit’s bustling hay day of automobiles, Texas’ cattle and oil spikes, and the more recent technology surge of Silicon Valley. All of these have the same thing in common: Someone produced something that others wanted and entire regions of the U.S. reaped the benefit of financial windfalls.
In the 1980’s Washington D.C. was a middle class town but today it tops the list of cities in the U.S. that have the highest concentration of wealth. While the rest of America still struggles against recession Washington and its surrounding areas are flush with money. It ranks 4th in cities that are fastest for churning out millionaires and its in the top ten of all wealth statistics reported. Seven of the ten wealthiest counties in the United States border Washington D.C. It has the highest per capita income in the United States and its wealth has now surpassed that of the Silicon Valley. Washington has the lowest unemployment, the highest per capita income, uninterrupted growth and their real estate market is the most robust in the country.
So what does Washington D.C. produce to generate such wealth at a time when one in every six Americans is impoverished and one in every four has a mortgage going under? Nothing. Washington is the only American economic boom that has not produced something to account for its wealth.
Washington also ranks 3rd in the country for income disparity. The top 5% of Washington households average $473,000 in yearly income. The top 20% average $259,000 annually. But the bottom 20% of households average only $9,100 in income per year.
The reason Washington D.C. tops all of the wealth charts is because America has a massive federal budget that also happens to be handed out by Washington. All of the money that makes Washington wealthy comes from money that they have extracted from the rest of us. They receive our tax money, they decide where it goes, how it’s spent and what it’s spent on. Fifteen percent (15%) of every tax dollar Washington spends is spent in Washington, on itself.
Washington can no longer sustain its lavish lifestyles on our tax revenues alone so now they’re borrowing money in the name of taxpayers to add to their boom arsenal. Washington demonstrates the epitome of a conspicuous consumption appetite for wealthy luxuries at taxpayers’ expense. The video below best demonstrates this.
The business of Washington D.C. is not politics. It’s not about political parties. The business of Washington D.C. is money. They don’t care which party is in power because their business is extracting money. The bigger our government the more money they have regardless of the party in power. The extraction of money is built into Washington much as a pyramid scheme. They have a baseline budget and they increase it each year even though they’re borrowing nearly 50-cents of every dollar that they spend.
The business of Washington is comparable to professional wrestling. It is not as it seems. Washington is not going to cut budgets because they make their money by growing government, not reducing it. That is their business model. The more money they add to the budget the wealthier they are. They have no incentive to reduce budgets or to cut spending. They create wealth for themselves by receiving and spending tax money, the more of it the merrier.
Most of the stimulus money that was added to taxpayers’ tab was captured by Washington D.C. On a per capita average Washington took nine times the stimulus money than average Americans outside of Washington received. Washington has one party of Big Government and a second party of Little Big Government. There is no party of limited government.
This is also seen with the stimulus and bailouts of banks: The rest of the country still has not pulled out of the recession but Washington is booming with cash. Washington is so awash in cash that Italian car dealerships like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, averaging a price of $325,000 per car, don’t need to advertise and the people who buy them pay cash. This comes from the dealers themselves. Lamborghini found Washington such a lucrative area for sales they put their headquarters there.
The wealth of Washington is not just because taxpayer money comes in to them. It’s also because Washington is the one that allocates where that money goes. Special interest money flows into Washington to influence the process of those decisions. A new Jet airport was built just to accommodate private corporate jets flying in and out of Washington and its slips sold out within 72-hours.
Extracting money from taxpayers has become a family business in Washington. Daughters, sons, spouses and in-laws of those sitting in Congress become lobbyists. People in Washington are either born into its eco system of money or they marry into it. The bigger the federal budget, the more money there is to spread around. This, too, is better illustrated by the video, offering a few Congressmen examples.
General Electric alone spends $107,643 every single day, 365 days a year, to influence Congress. Lobbyists pay Congressmen who’ve previously voted for bills that favor their company or industry. Many lobbyists are lobbying their own family members sitting on powerful committees. And we’ve watched Washington funnel our tax money into companies that funnel it right back into politicians’ personal campaign coffers.
Right now there are 78 members of Congress that have lobbyist family members – lobbying to them – to pass one bill or another: Twenty-seven Senators and fifty-one House representatives have family member lobbyists. Companies make more of a return on investment by lobbying than they do any other investment. A study concluded that for every $1 a company spends on a lobbyists it returns $220. That’s a 22,000% return on investment.
Today thirty major corporations spend more on lobbyists than they pay in federal taxes. GE lobbying provided them with taxpayer money for green energy, they were given tax credits and they spent considerable time carving out tax code benefits. This is how big government infects capitalism.
In Washington D.C. the mere fact that so much of the money being spent is borrowed creates job opportunities. There is a new federal agency named “The Bureau of Public Debt” hiring right now just to cope with the money that we’re spending that we cannot afford to repay.
Washington is an aristocracy: It has established a wealthy ‘permanent political class’ living off of taxpayers. Only $2.2 trillion of tax revenues come in and Washington has the arrogance to borrow the rest of a $4-trillion total. They are not worried about shrinking government or cutting budgets when they and their families’ benefit from keeping government big. What Washington is spending right now is like having a $4 trillion private equity fund at their personal disposal every year. Four-trillion dollars comprises about 25% of the entire American economy of about $16-trillion. It’s not just that all of the money is spent in Washington but it’s also that the money is controlled by Washington.
People who work on Wall Street always look at incentives, they follow the money. If you follow Washington’s money there is no incentive to shrink the federal government because the permanent political class – of both parties – are benefiting from the spending. When you see a budget debate you are watching a dog and pony show that’s playing out for your benefit.
Washington D.C. is unlike any other boom town of America’s past. Other towns created automobiles or beef cattle or technology to make themselves boom. The wealthy lifestyles of Washington, which are comparable to Beverly Hills or Wall Street, are very different from any other because they are not creating a product that people are freely choosing to buy. It is Washington’s system that is corrupt. Until we cut off that supply or reduce it, it can only get worse.
Context for this article was taken from the Special below and is not a complete picture. Beneath is a segment of that Special, “BoomTown.” Click the link beneath it for the full airing, which is highly recommended. Each segment addresses a different aspect of Washington and only when they’re brought together do you clearly see the big picture.
I strongly encourage Tea Party candidates in 2014. They are the only voices in Congress that have taken any stands in the best interest of The People. The video describes how difficult it is to garner the power needed to make these changes in Washington without succumbing to the cronyism that’s in place now. We need more Tea Party patriots so together they can be a workable force.
Unfounded character-assasinations against the Tea Party will undoubtedly increase. Big spenders reaping the most in Washington know the Tea Party is a legitimate force whose goal it is to cut their spending on themselves. It’s because the Tea Party poses a threat to their corrupt system that they resort to the demonization, Republicans and Democrats alike. Guard against attacks that have no basis in fact and speak loudly against them when they occur. Together we can fix this.
Update: This article was posted in early hours this morning. I awoke to a story about Karl Rove disparaging the Tea Party. When you see this you can know those are the political influencers you do not want in Washington for the very reasons this describes.
Click here to join the “Tea Party Community,” which is very similar to Facebook. Click here for the original Tea Party Patriots web page with more information about what the Tea Party stands for.
‘Forty is the old age of youth and fifty is the youth of old age.’
I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. I can’t believe people think it’s okay to have this conversation. It is apparently so, ‘this conversation’ having advanced rapidly since 2009. Of old age Longfellow appropriately wrote:
“Age is opportunity no less, Than youth itself, though in another dress, And as the evening twilight fades away, The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
Most of us know about the $700-billion taken from Medicare seniors to fund one-third of Obamacare; and of its 15-member, unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) bureaucracy coined “Death Panel,” to determine who receives what medical services. Harrowing first-hand accounts of declined senior care have surfaced. The lives and unnecessary, politically determined deaths of America’s elderly are now in play.
On the heels of these cutbacks and under guise of saving an already government-robbed-into-bankruptcy Social Security and Medicare system is the ever-increasing and often misleading conversation about seniors being too costly to the rest of America. That conversation has since expounded into the proposed bullying of those overweight for similar reasons, which I personally find just as indecently unconscionable. For some reason Americans are okay with this?
We’ve been nudged into having these ‘conversations’ casually now, over a cup of coffee, at the water cooler, among friends … even publicly, on television. As if the those affected are not here to see and hear us. As if they are so insignificant we don’t care whether they do. As if by not saying “my grandmother costs too much to keep alive” or “my grandfather does” we’re somehow escaping personal responsibility for what’s really at play. The conversation is inevitably preempted by faux courtesy to make it feel better, like “Well, it is time to have this conversation.”
Uh, no, it isn’t.
“Once a society begins to legislate death, human life becomes less valuable. It is like arithmetic. It just happens. It is inevitable. The German government’s embrace of euthanasia before the Holocaust was no accident.” [Dr. Keith Ablow]
That’s the convenient thing about indoctrinating young minds. They still think their old-years are too far away for concern or they won’t be ailing when they get old or they won’t want to live after they do get old. Surprise. That isn’t true either. And just who gets to say when “old” is? Can it be so simply defined as the moment some stranger determines another stranger’s usefulness has ceased?
Jack Kevorkian was a pathologist in Michigan, commonly known as “Dr. Death” for his assisted suicides. That was back when taking someone’s life – even when they wanted their life taken – was deemed murder. You know, way back in 2009 and in Michigan, one of our most Liberal states. Kevorkian claimed 130-assisted suicides beginning in 1990. Five times he defended himself in courts of law against very public murder charges, by a government just as determined then to tell us what was “right” as they are now in nudging us toward the very opposite. In 1999 Kevorkian was sentenced and imprisoned, released in ill health in 2009 on a promise he wouldn’t assist in any more murders. That was four years ago. Four years. He didn’t die until 2011 at age 83, all the while fighting for his last natural breath regardless of prolonged illness and his own “burden” on society.
“Who does not wish to be beautiful, and clever, and rich, and to have back, in old age, the time spent trying to be any of them.” [Robert Brault]
If I were a Michigan taxpayer I’d be suing for refund of prosecuting those five, very lengthy and costly court cases, as well as what was spent jailing, feeding and medicating Dr. Death for eight-years.
So let me make sure I have this right: Somewhere between this president taking office and now it’s become okay to have this conversation. All of the sudden this is The Conversation to have. And you don’t think you’ve been indoctrinated? (That’s just another word for brainwashed.) What a mockery of fools we make of ourselves. Or is that your definition of rampant “progress?” If so, sadder yet, serving only as glaring evidence of souls waxed cold.
Let us at least understand today’s conversation. This conversation is okay now because now it’s poised as some easy fix for your social security? After eons of honoring our elderly, in 2013 it’s just too expensive to do that any more because a bunch of politicians have run out of tax money to spend? And let’s be serious here, that is the real issue.
How much better to sell it as our vulnerable elderly living too long, costing too much and being too inconvenient because they do live so damned long. They’ve served their usefulness in paying for all they’ve handed down to us, not the least of which was being human guinea pigs for the medical technologies we do so enjoy. It’s time to get rid of them. Feed the tax monster so we don’t have to pay so much for ourselves. Fat chance. That monster isn’t going anywhere if you don’t vote it out.
Americans are allowing self-endowed intellectuals to convince us that we’ve ‘progressed’ so much it’s time to equate value of life to money. That kind of progress will be the end of you and you won’t be wise enough to see it coming because you will have killed-off all of the wisdoms left among you.
Obama Czar Cass Sunstein argues, “people are subject to all sorts of biases and quirks. [He] also argues that this human quality, which some would call irrationality, can be predicted and — this is the controversial part — that if the social environment can be changed, people might be nudged into more rational behavior.“ New York Times, 2010.
Only three-years ago even the Liberal New York Times hesitated, calling this conversation “controversial.” But today they’ve so widely nudged this conversation ‘forward’ even Conservatives are indulging it – out in the open. What’s wrong with us? Are we all kool-aid drinkers?
Let’s assume for a moment that money is a worthy argument. Do you really believe You are going to reap the rewards of any money saved? Do you think for one moment that whatever could be saved would actually run down to your pocketbook or social security account?
Are insurance companies going to do something they’ve never done and lower premiums and copays or will medical providers lower theirs or, even if both did, is government not going to eat up any excess? Do you really think those who’ve paid all of the prices you’re reaping benefit of now are expendable because they don’t keep paying beyond their own paying years – when it’s Your turn? And just what legacy do you plan leaving your children, then? Someone has to leave one if your children are to have any. Common sense alone tells us this sort of short-sighted vanity, in and of itself, spells social disaster.
In a few short years this country has gone from doggedly prosecuting and reprosecuting, convicting and imprisoning those who take lives of the willing to die, to a people of “having the conversation” about taking innocent lives of those who are not willing to die. We already take the lives of newborns. What are we, barbarians? These atrocities are invariably couched so you don’t need to feel any personal responsibility, you’re not really making the decision, right? You’re just ‘having the conversations’ that nudge the consequences ‘forward.’ Uh-huh.
Carl Jung is renowned for his collective thinking, an un-American principle to which I do not adhere. But given the masses who’re rushing to embrace extinction of their elderly on some fraudulent “collective” basis it’s worth reflecting on Jung for just a moment. Carl Jung is said to have spoken of a “Boon Quest,” one’s journey into the realm of unknowns, the boon being fulfilled when we return to share its lessons with others. Chances are he wasn’t referring to 25-year olds. Life is a journey. All the years of life are, not just the first 33, 44 or 55.
“A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species. The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning … .”
“Whoever carries over into the afternoon the law of the morning, or the natural aim, must pay for it with damage to his soul, just as surely as a growing youth who tries to carry over his childish egoism into adult life must pay for this mistake with social failure.“ [Carl Jung]
The value of our elders is not found in money. Nor is it found in some misnomer of “entitlements” for which they’ve paid handsomely and only now stand to benefit – or in what they do or don’t produce during their later years – any more than boon wisdoms can be found in twenty-five year olds. Our elderly years are those of introspection that youth has not had the time, experience or patience to afford and which season a more peaceful and compassionate view of the world than youth are wired to see.
Our families’ elders are the foundations and groundings of our own personal selves. They are our connections to who we have been, who we will be, and what works and what does not in living who we are. Elders tether us among families, to our pasts, in our futures, and among our ethnicities, the losses of which cannot be measured or replaced; and an imbalance of which leads to the worst kind of species extinction. Who among us is qualified to say who becomes extinct, least of all a government propagandizing to sustain and enhance its own wealth? We revere the extinction of animal species more highly than this. What IS wrong with us?
When you no longer have the wise among you, as a society you are doomed to be more vulnerable. The strongest links in your life chain are removed. That’s where an all-consuming government wants you, as should be crystal clear by the mere nudging of these conversations. A government that has, in a few very short years, indoctrinated the belief that everything will be better for you if only you will agree to kill-off your elderly.
You will be the next links of chain taken, whatever that justification may be, make no mistake about it. And it’ll be okay. After all, it’s just a conversation about betterment of the collective good.
Reported yesterday: “[Obama’s] new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens… . Those who will not are being removed.”
Obama is drenched in Americans’ skepticism about potential for martial law. Gun control fanatics have given more rise to what many perceive as an imminent possibility. Americans’ concerns first arose in 2008 when Obama spoke about instituting “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as our military. Given similar statements he’d made that ultimately were not what Americans believed his words meant (known as “information dominance”) such as “fundamentally transforming America,” Americans are right to remain concerned.
Subsequently in 2010’s Health Care Bill Obama provided for a “Ready Reserve Corps,” dismissed by some as simply being comprised of health care professionals in event of catastrophe. Since then questionable images have surfaced of Obama’s “civilian army” comprising young black chanting thugs quite unlike any military Americans have ever known. That was enhanced by Obama’s official statements defining “Veterans” and “Christians” as “domestic terrorists;” and by now the well known FEMA Camps that make no practical sense. Admittedly, two-years later Americans still know very little about just what is in the Health Care legislation – and why – so these legitimate questions do persist.
A year or more ago it was reported in legitimate Conservative news that Obama was infiltrating our nation’s military with street thugs, changing its composition with characters who’d have less discipline and no particular loyalty to the American People. I find this believable not only because of its source but mostly because Obama has, on many occasions, indulged in and allowed thuggary and, through his silence on a grand scale, has further encouraged it in his governing of America. Those behavioral examples speak loudly, as they should, regardless of the words being used.
Americans have taken comfort in believing our military will stand with us, they having sworn duty to our Constitution, not to any one president or his ideology. The formation of Oath Keepers gave us some reassurance. Oath Keepers had their first annual conference in 2009, understandably so given Obama’s wholly unAmerican handling of the Health Care Bill despite majority demands of The American People in opposing it. From the Oath Keepers site:
Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore … to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution.
On Monday Dr. Jim Garrow, a well-respected man dedicated to rescuing infant girls from China’s one-child policy and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, reportedly posted on Facebook:
I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new “litmus test” in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. “The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.” Those who will not are being removed.
When asked who his source was Garrow reportedly answered: “The man who told me this is one of America’s foremost military heroes.” Read Garrow’s Amazon bio here. The Examiner reported on this yesterday, adding:
This comes on the heels of Sunday’s report in the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) that the head of Central Command, Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis is being dismissed by Obama and will leave his post in March.
Lest we forget the three high-ranking Generals plus an Admiral who were inexplicably and untimely unseated from their positions immediately following Obama and Hillary Clinton’s “stand-down” orders in Lybia; and their nonsensical lies about a little-known “film” that clearly did not lend to that great American tragedy. Reports of inordinately replacing these officials were buried, curiously superseded by the just as suspicious “scandal” surrounding Lybia and our otherwise renown for his ethics general, General Patraeus.
Oh what a wicked web we weave when we seek first to deceive. God bless our Oath Keepers. God bless America.
Have you wondered why there’s an inexplicably dead silence among media and politicians when it comes to America’s fatherless children? The discussion is always about “women’s rights” or “a woman’s right to choose” or the struggles of “single mothers.” A politician’s rhetoric is as if children are the lone conception thus responsibility of immaculately impregnated women. The seemingly few men who want the joys and responsibilities of fatherhood are just as slighted as overburdened mothers and parentally under-nourished children are.
[Click on chart to view.] I’ve asked myself if this is happenstance of living in a man’s world: Men’s government, men’s politics, men’s mentality. Most politicians, women and men, seem perfectly content with the one-sided silence. Perhaps that’s an unspoken politics that falls better in line with inflaming overbearingly outspoken women who want what they want when they want it more direly than they want fathers’ helping, making themselves more easily manipulated in the process? Men who, in this century and advanced world, are aided and abetted in escaping all social accountability for fatherhood if not celebrated for it. “Baby’s Mama/Daddy,” are you kidding me? Are America’s women so easily led?
At behest of men I fear women have totally forgotten that the onus of rearing good kids does not and should not fall totally on them. It IS okay to talk about that. We should be talking about it and we need to be talking about that.
Anyone reading this who’s followed politics over the last four-years is probably aware of the 45 Communist Goals published by an FBI specialist in 1958, once deemed critical enough to be recorded in our country’s Congressional Record (1963). And, yes, that is directly related. If you’re not familiar with them remember those years (roughly 50-years ago) as you check off each one since accomplished. And, yes, that is alarming. In particular are the following two, though there are more that just as aptly apply covering the destruction of American morals and traditions, the taking over of school teacher unions and socializing churches:
40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influences of parents.
For startling statistics surrounding fatherless children visit Fathers Unite and not the least of which is gun violence, by the way. Or visit any number of other sites that pop-up when searching on the topic, though you’d never guess there were that many given what little we hear of this subject from today’s politicians – including women. Doesn’t that peak your curiosity in the least?
Having finally asked my nagging questions I leave this short article’s good reading (only excerpted here). It’s time this subject became a part of every political discussion laid on “women” and their “reproductive rights.” Or on gun violence and “gun control.” What women and their children – especially America’s children – have a ‘right’ to is the support and dedication of these shameless men – certainly not limited to absent fathers – who have no problem using “women’s rights” and our children for their own self-gratifying personal, financial and political power plays.
America’s Root Problem: A Culture of Fatherlessness
(… excerpted) In case you haven’t noticed there is an epidemic … I mean this both literally and figuratively. I don’t think for a second that it is an exaggeration to point to the single most important reason [Americans] are losing ground. The reason we are losing ground is because we have lost the men!
… This particular epidemic … is a problem in our nation. When we look at our educational system we must admit that the vast majority of teachers are females. Peg Tyre in her article “The Trouble with Boys” shows us that boys are having more difficulties in school as the teaching methodologies utilized primarily suit girls. She concludes that,
One of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed or fail in high school rests on a single question: does he have a man in his life to look up to? Too often, the answer is no. High rates of divorce and single motherhood have created a generation of fatherless boys. In every kind of neighborhood, rich or poor, an increasing number of boys – now a startling 40 percent – are being raised without their biological dads.
“The president has said a lot of things that made me think.”
Me too. A remarkably telling video by Stoplight with Stuart Shepard. Many of us know this second nature by virtue of our upbringings. How easily the next generation of Americans can be brainwashed to forget. Don’t allow your up & comings to be counted among them:
A Walk For The President
Post Script: While previewing I belatedly see this video was published last October with Kudos to Cindi. It’s new to me and because it can’t be seen too much by too many, I’m taking the liberty of publishing it again.
“For over four years conservatives like me have tried, unsuccessfully, to convince good liberals, you know those who actually love America but are misled by the liberal media, Progressives and socialist about what is in the nation’s best interest, that supporting Obama and most Democrats in Congress was ultimately not in the nation’s best interest.”
This article by David Catron is so well written and solidly founded it speaks for itself. His subject brings to bear the unspoken prospect of medical providers holding patients to similar consequences. That happens. I know. With the onset of Obamacare’s personal bank account access and new IRS agencies set up to enforce it, the prospect becomes even more perilous for American citizens.
Providers don’t typically take rescinded insurance payments laying down, even years later. Those can be passed on to unknowing patients years later. Having experienced that is why I (now) always add beneath my signature on medical financial responsibility forms, “I will not be responsible for provider or insurance errors and/or omissions.” So far it’s not been challenged. After all, that is the purpose of signing for financial liability, clarifying what you do or do not agree to pay.
As dreadful as they are to contend with, coverage glitches are better addressed before incurring unknown astronomical medical costs than being surprised by them years later. This was a not-so-long-ago surprise with my Medicare insurance provider, which I’m still contesting with great fervor and to no avail of my credit rating.
On a different note and determined not to leave my family in insurmountable debt when earlier cancer diagnosis threatened the very real prospect of dying, discussing those glitches brought resolve before it became a problem; and before I paid tremendously more than initially told I had to, to live. Sometimes we have to walk the straight and narrow. Praise God for the strength, it saved thousands of dollars I could’ve otherwise knowingly paid and I’m here to tell of it. That was when private insurance was its own man, how that’s changed since Obamacare is anyone’s guess. Where’s Nancy Pelosi when you really need her?
What’s right is right. What’s wrong is wrong. Despite socialist creeping, right and wrong haven’t changed. Regardless how intimidating big monopoly is, ‘big monopoly’ is all the more reason I will not financially burden our stipend income with consequences of someone else’s insidious negligence – someone whose job it is to know insurance; to whom I pay premiums for that very reason; and who is the most reluctant to relay that information when I ask.
As medically necessary as my recently contested care was I knew I couldn’t afford it; and I would not have agreed to the care without assurances of coverage. A friend used to say, “They can’t eat you.” So far they haven’t, though admittedly at times it feels like I can smell a seasoned pot coming to boil.
Something to consider in the context of Mr. Catron’s article. If you encountered a personal calamity of similar nature, please share it in comments.
… conservatives like me have come to the realization that “good” liberals will only change and wake up to the threats posed by Obama once they have experienced the “sting” of his socialist policies. It appears that is exactly what is beginning to happen.
Next time, be more careful what you wish for.
This unshakable belief in his own infallibility regarding government-administered health care was partly due to his hopelessly naïve view of Medicare, which he called “the most successful government program ever.” Never mind that this “success” had produced a $38 trillion unfunded liability, it was somehow “more efficient than private insurance.” Imagine my surprise, then, when I looked at the byline for this scathing piece bemoaning the depredations of that very program. The outraged author of “Medicare made the rules and now punishes doctors for following them” is none other than the redoubtable Shadowfax.
… a lot of money disappears from the bank account of the hospital. And it gets worse. The recent “fiscal cliff” deal changed the rule so that Medicare can now demand refunds for “overpayments” made as far back as 5 years ago.
… The most ironic feature of this program is that it proves our Beltway masters intend to do what Shadowfax and other advocates of government-run health care claimed they would never do — tell doctors how to practice medicine:
“Medicare is … reviewing charts and claiming that the physicians are fraudulently upcoding because we are documenting complete Reviews of Systems when they were not … medically necessary.”
In other words, the ultimate arbiter of medical necessity is no longer your doctor. This program means that the medical need for an examination, test, or procedure is retroactively determined by the government.
Understand what Obama’s doing, why he’s doing it & how his decisions are intended to influence you.
Raising the Debt Ceiling is the same as a credit card company raising your credit limit. It has nothing to do with paying what’s already owed. It simply allows you to spend more than you already owe. The Debt Ceiling doesn’t stop government from paying its existing bills any more than your credit limit keeps you from paying your existing bills. It isn’t possible to “default” when a debt ceiling isn’t raised. The whole purpose of a debt ceiling is to protect against defaulting.
The problem occurs when you don’t have enough sense to know to stop charging more than you can afford to pay. By Obama’s own admission, America is already there. That is exactly the cycle Obama is perpetuating. By his definition a debt limit is a circular that has no end as long as you want more than you can afford. We all know better. Until Obama most Americans hadn’t heard of the Debt Ceiling, because until Obama we didn’t have this perpetuating problem.
A humorous look at understanding the Debt Ceiling:
America already brings in enough revenue every month to pay for ALL of our essential services and still have money left over – including military and social security and existing interest on debt.
When Obama threatens military or social security payments, understand that he is voluntarily making those personal choices. It is not because there isn’t money to pay those particular items. It is only because he chooses those items from among all of the wasteful spending there is to choose. Obama is opting not to pay what will hurt Americans most. That is unconscionable fear-mongering. He is counting on you being so frightened at his prospects that your outcry pressures Congress to give him a higher debt limit … so he can keep spending more of other people’s money.
When we have someone at the helm who is not governing our money responsibly, it is our job to be the banker in the video.
Default. The only way the federal government would default on its debt in the event the debt ceiling remains unchanged is for the Treasury to choose to default—an utterly implausible eventuality. Suggestions to the contrary in the press and elsewhere are simply inaccurate and shameful.
Obama accused his opposition in Congress of threatening to “default” on America’s loans in order to make a political point.
“I am not going to have a monthly or every three months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills because that in and of itself does severe damage. Even the threat of default hurts our economy. It’s hurting our economy as we speak. We shouldn’t be having that debate.”
The “threat of default,” as Obama called it, is a red herring.
“Suggesting that the United States might default on its debt is factually wrong and shameful behavior on the President’s part,” Heritage’s J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, said yesterday.
The U.S. is not going to default on its interest payments, Foster said, and “this assurance rests not on congressional action to raise the debt ceiling, but on the simple fact that the Treasury has far more than enough funds to pay all interest as it comes due.”
Facts have been slim in the President’s rhetoric on the debt ceiling. And in his press conference yesterday, he dug himself into a deeper hole, again arguing against his toughest opponent: the Barack Obama of 2006.
Yesterday in his press conference, the President argued the opposite. This time, he said raising the debt ceiling was simply an acknowledgement of the country’s bills:
“America cannot afford another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they’ve already racked up.”
One might reasonably ask of Obama (he being a man of endless personal resources), if he has The People’s best interests at heart why wouldn’t he choose to withhold his salary or travel costs – or those of Congress – rather than already-earned pay of those he and Congress are paid to lead? Why wouldn’t he defund programs of any number of glaringly wasteful other spending, like the ilk of lice nits or dry river beds, BEFORE messing with the earnedpay that sustains our military and elderly?
As leader of a household, would you take food from the mouths of your children or spouse before you would your own? Would you keep your money in a bank if the bank was so poorly managed your money wasn’t there when you went grocery shopping or tried to pay a utility bill?
A leader holds himself aside from those who rely on them, because a leader is more responsible for making good decisions. Good leaders make decisions in favor of those who are most vulnerable and adversely effected by their decisions, before doing so in favor of themselves. That is what leaders do. They live by example. If for no other reason than to protect the less capable of protecting themselves, those for whom they are the most responsible. That is a leader’s job. Why else have one?
Obama’s personal choice in threatening military pay is an especially egregious act for a leader that calls himself ‘Commander In Chief’ of the very men and women he is personally threatening. We pay Obama and Congress to make good decisions and to set proper examples. When government fails in their job it is their obligation to absorb the consequences of those failed decisions, not shuffle them onto the least among us. That is their moral duty. That is their leadership obligation. That’s why they make the big bucks.
Enough is enough. If it doesn’t sicken you that a president would willingly use and knowingly hurt the most vulnerable and deserving among us, to coerce his way in a course of action that is self-serving, irresponsible and self-destructive, then something is very awry with the way you’re thinking.
Now it’s clear what Obama is doing and why he’s doing it. The only question remaining is, how are you going to allow his decisions to effect you? Just as Obama is counting on public outcry over his choices, to influence Congress, the reverse is true. When Americans decry what Obama is doing for the unconscionable reasons he is doing it, that influences him.
My family is reliant on one of the sources of income that Obama chooses to threaten. Common sense dictates that at this juncture Obama will not risk turning a nation of people against him by realizing threats of such an egregious nature. I am willing to call that bluff so we can get America’s spending back in line. And I will never forget that it is Obama’s doing – and only Obama’s doing – if the day comes when I can’t pay my bills because HE wanted more for himself, from My money, than what he was willing to repay in what he already owes Me.
Lessons learned from perseverance, Constantine & Constantinople
The goodness of Christian teachings attracted people to the new faith, prolonging their lives through better healthcare and by sustaining their procreation. The Roman state took a hit for being barbaric persecutors, serving only to attract attention to the appeal of Christianity.
We learn from history. It’s the one thing that doesn’t change. If little else can be agreed, most will agree that Jesus Christ was – and still is – a controversial historical figure. Persecuting Christians was the rule of the day. This is drawn from the most convincing evidence of a variety of sources (see “More Reading” below). Click map to enlarge for the Roman Empire in circa 300 A.D.
Christianity, the Roman Empire & Israel’s Place in It- Christianity began in Judae (Israel) with the birth of Jesus Christ in 1 A.D. and it spread through the eastern Middle East. Jesus was a Jew who taught God’s new covenant (New Testament). He was crucified by the Romans about 30 A.D. because His teachings and popularity posed a threat to the Roman state.
Roman religion was a variation of Greek mythology with gods residing over every undertaking. When Christianity hit the scene it was scattered and underestimated as an insignificant sect of the Jews. Christians believe Jesus Christ fulfilled the Jewish Torah’s (Old Testament) predictions of their promised Messiah (Savior). Constantine’s monumental influence on Christianity resulted in the first Christian church, the Roman Catholic Church.
I take exception to some representation made by this video but it’s a good foundation for how unlikely Christianity was to survive; and how Christianity overcame those odds. Constantine enters at minute 38:00. This depicts the development of Christianity, how Christians were socially misunderstood and how the faith flourished regardless of political persecutions under many Roman emperors leading up to Constantine.
Many Jews converted to Christianity. It was a faith open to all people regardless of religious beliefs or bloodline. Its teachings not only attracted people of various statures in life, it prolonged life through better healthcare and it sustained Christians’ procreation (summarized about minute 25:00).
Christianity flourished despite if not because of intense Roman oppression and horrific persecutions. Women played a particularly important role in protecting the survival of Christianity (about minute 21:00). Ironically the very nature of Roman persecutions intended to stifle Christianity brought more believers to it (minutes 17:28 and 25:00).
During the brief 50-years between 250-300 A.D. Christianity grew from about 1-million Christians in a population of 60-million to about 6-million Christians in roughly the same count 50-years later. Christians had become a power that could threaten the Roman state.
In 303 A.D. Roman Emperor Diocletian made a last effort to strike back at Christians and return Rome to its days of mythical gods and traditional religion. He demanded Christians adhere to the Roman tradition of sacrifice made to mythological gods. Roman sacrifices could be of incense, liquids, plants, or animals. It was a complex ritual performed in the presence of the community in front of the temple or in a private place in the house close to an alter.
Diocletian ordered all Christian writings and places of worship destroyed (minute 35:20). Christians lost their rights, they were imprisoned and many were tortured for not adhering to Roman laws. Being eaten by lions in the Coliseum or burning and crucifixion were common methods of death. Many Christians were imprisoned.
Some Christians gave in to the intimidation but it’s estimated about 5,000 died rather than betray their faith. Witnessing Christians’ willingness to die for their faith demonstrated impressive dedication. The Roman state took a hit for being barbaric persecutors of the devout, serving only to draw sympathy and attract attention to the appeal of Christianity.
Constantine The Great
I began this study with initial impressions of Constantine as a cruel Roman emperor. In further research I came to see him as a devout believer and benevolent servant of the Christian faith. Perhaps his conversion to Christianity changed him; perhaps initial impressions were tied to the era’s horrific persecutions of Christians or the bloody nature of Roman conquerers. The fact remains, some historical accounts are not kind to Constantine. I came to admire his devotion to Christianity.
Flavius Valerius Constantinus (Constantine) was born 280 A.D. He ruled from 324-337 after sharing a stint with Lucinius from 306-324. The Roman Empire’s successes had always hinged on their military might and knack for conquest. Their leaders’ names were made by winning wars.
Constantine’s father, Constantinus, was from an important Roman family. His mother was the daughter of a tavern-inn owner. When the Roman Empire was split into four parts in 293 A.D. Diocletian made Constantine’s father the emperor of Gaul and Britain. Constantine married Fausta, the daughter of Maximian who was another trusted officer and friend of Diocletian.
In 305 A.D. Diocletian stepped down and Constantine, despite being senior in rank, found himself a virtual prisoner of Galerius who’d served Diocletian well during his reign of Christian persecution. In 306 an overly confident Galerius let Constantine return to his father on a campaign to Britain. When his father died that same year the troops hailed Constantine as the new Augustus of Rome.
Galerius refused to accept Constantine’s new status but he faced strong support for Constantine as the son of Constantinus and because his wife’s father was the influential Maximian who’d returned to power in Rome. Galerius was forced to acknowledge Constantine as the new Augustus. While still residing in Constantine’s court Maximian turned against him in favor of his own son, Maxentius.
Some accounts describe Constantine as an autocratic ruler, a tyrant of absolute power who spent an abundance of money on military campaigns and who surrounded himself with pompous splendor. It was suggested that Constantine murdered his father-in-law (as well as his wife and son). Other accounts say his father-in-law, Maximian, committed suicide when Constantine revolted against him with no mentions of his wife and son.
At a conference of all ceasers and Augusti in 308 A.D. they demanded Constantine relinquish his title but he refused. About 310 A.D. Constantine decided to take Rome. He led a small army to the Alps for an important battle outside of Rome on the Tiber River, against his rival Maxentius, emperor of Rome from 278-312.
According to Roman historian Eusebius (263-339 A.D.), Constantine had a vision while staring up at the sky the day before his Tiber River battle. He reportedly saw a flaming cross above the sun with the words “In hoc signo vinces” (“in this sign you will conquer“). The video depicts this at about minute 38:55.
Constantine gave credit for his Alps’ military success to the Christian faith and is said to have entered Rome with Maxentius’s head on a pike. About 315 A.D. just outside the Roman Coliseum where hundreds of Christians lost their lives Constantine erected the triumphal “Arch of Constantine” and took control of the western half of the Roman Empire (about video minute 38:35).
Constantine inscribed his Arch with the third line of it reading “instinctu divinitatis,” meaning “to the inspiration of a divinity.” Christians were sure which ‘divinity’ Constantine meant and that led to free confidence in spreading their faith. Constantine’s embracement of Christianity had begun its launch into the official religion of the Roman Empire. [Click images to enlarge.]
Christianity under Constantine peaked with sweeping changes pulsating throughout the Roman Empire. He gave tax exemptions to Christian clergy and major amounts of land and money were given to the church. Christianity gained both physical and financial power. Under Constantine’s rule the church also became more efficient and centralized and his organizational skills ensured doctrinal decisions were reconciled.
Constantine’s bishops organized the new covenant texts and he relied on historians of the day to advise him which books were appropriate to become a part of the testaments and which were set aside. He is also given credit for distributing the first 50-copies of the New Testament. Universal enforcement of church decisions began with Constantine when he gave powers to and for the first time officially recognized Rome’s bishop.
[Abbreviated Rendering]: In 331 C.E. the Roman Emperor Constantine sent a letter, the text of which has survived, to Bishop Eusebius asking him to arrange for the production of fifty bibles. Books were to be skillfully executed copies of “the divine scriptures.” Eusebius was an advisor and confidant of the Emperor, widely regarded as the principal architect of the political philosophy of Constantine’s reconstituted empire. He knew Constantine was concerned about the unity of the church and the unity of the state. The inclusiveness of Athanasius‘* list has the look of political accommodation, resolving disagreement about the canonical status of Hebrews and Revelation by including both. Their publication was palpable evidence of the unity of the church and hence the unity of the empire. (*Athanasius was a theologian, ecclesiastical statesman & Egyptian leader.)
Constantine is described as becoming Pope-like and calling the first general ecumenical (worldwide) council in 325 A.D. to settle questions of church doctrine. The most important decision attributed to them is claimed the adoption of Nicene creed: The assertion that denial of Christ’s divinity was heresy and is said to have become the basis of all church doctrine from that time forward. Anyone who departed from the creed was branded a heretic. Commonly accepted events of this Council are held as misconceptions by some:
[Abbreviated Rendering] Constantine did not define the canon of the New Testament at the first Council of Nicaea in 325AD – in fact, the Council did not make mention of the Biblical canon. It was already defined by common use by the early 2nd century in the form in which it is still found in Catholic Bibles. Another little known fact is the Emperor Constantine had no voting power at the council – he was there merely as an observer. The full texts of the 20 Canons issued by the Council survive, as well as ancient summaries of the texts, and the famous Nicene Creed.
Christians widely accept Apostle Peter as the first leader of the Roman Catholic Christian Church, which is traced back to the Gospel of Matthew:
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16: 18-19)
Eusebius of Caesarea, a bishop and historian of the Council of Nicaea; and Augustine, a bishop and theologian, are said to have preserved successors of the Rome bishop:
Eusebius (260-339), The History of the Church, Book 3, 324 AD
“After the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, the first man to be appointed Bishop of Rome was Linus. … Linus, who is mentioned in the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul in Rome, as stated above was the first after Peter to be appointed Bishop of Rome. Clement again, who became the third Bishop of Rome … to Miltiades.”
Augustine (354-430), Letters, No. 53, 400 AD
“For, to Peter succeeded Linus, to Linus, Clement, to Clement Anacletus, to Anacletus Evaristus, … to Siricius Anastasius.”
The ‘City of Constantine,’ Constantinople
By 323 A.D. Constantine had unified the Roman Empire and brought it under his control by defeating his eastern co-emperor and rival, Licinius. The once imperial capital of the Eastern Roman Empire was Byzantium, named after its legendary King Byzas with settlers going back to the Greek city-state of Megara around 667 B.C.
About 330 A.D. Constantine changed the name of Byzantium to “Constantinople,” meaning “City of Constantine.” Today the city is called Istanbul, a name it has maintained since its change in 1923.
[Abbreviated Rendering: Click to enlarge image.] “Stanbulin,” (Greek for “to the city”) once commonly found on road signs to the capital, was punned by devout Turks into Islambol, where “Islam abounds.” The names Islambol and Konstantiniye were used interchangeably in Ottoman documents up until the empire’s demise in 1923. Westerners continued to refer to the city as Constantinople well into the 20th century. In the 19th century, however, the city’s large foreign expatriate community took to calling the old city Stamboul. Western accounts of the old city during this period make regular references to the name.
According to a popular story for many years, the Byzantines did not refer to the city by its actual name, but, because of it size, simply as ‘Polis’ (the City), and when they wanted to say ‘to the City’, they said ‘eist enpolin’ (is-tin-polin), which was the (possible) origin of the name ‘Istanbul’. Recent research has shown that the name ‘Istanbul’ was used if not during the Byzantine period, at least during the 11th century and that the Turks knew the city by this name.
About the same time that Constantine changed the city’s name German tribes began invading across Europe. Europe plunged into the “Dark Ages” causing economic and political turmoil. Language barriers of the less expressive, dying Latin language and the more creative, predominant Greek led to the West’s eventual religious estrangement from the East. By the 11th century this resulted in “The Great Schism,” a separation between Constantine’s Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orhtodox.
Constantine died in 337 A.D. and realizing he was on his deathbed he asked to be baptized. After Constantine died the Roman Empire was divided up among his sons and Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.
Paganism was banned at the end of 4th century and restrictions were placed on Judaism. The power and the wealth of the church grew quickly with the help of faithful Christians who donated their land and other possessions. By the beginning of the 6th century Christianity had 34 million followers and they made up half of the Roman Empire.
A vantage point for inquiring minds and those who’ve lived faith shy of geographical or historical context. Biblical maps are enlightening for tethering us to what was and what is and understanding how small our world has become, bringing Israel and the Middle East today into sharper focus.
The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire caused people to start questioning what they thought they knew. By 392 A.D. it was the official religion of the region. As it spread across the Mediterranaen, Christianity connected with larger themes in Roman history.
Reading Historical Dates
Without going into all of the science, emporer and political changes to calendars over time – and there were a lot of them – this keeps understanding date abbreviations simple. For more information see the “More Reading” resources below:
There is no Year 0.
There is no difference between “A.D.” & “CE.” They are the same.
There is no difference between “B.C.” & “BCE.” They are the same.
B.C. – means ‘Before Christ’ and starts with Year 1
A.D.- means ‘Anno Domini’ or ‘Year of our Lord.’ This is the year of Christ’s birth and also starts with Year 1. (Commonly referred to as ‘After Death,’ obviously not correct.)
CE – a more recent term meaning ‘Common Era,’ used in place of A.D.
BCE – a more recent term meaning ‘Before Common Era,’ used in place of B.C.
Jesus in Judae (Israel) & the Roman Empire
It’s widely accepted that Jesus Christ was born 4-6 B.C., two years before the death of the Roman Empire’s Herod the Great. Scientific calculations suggest Christ was born in the month of September or October.
Christianity began in Judea about 2,000 years ago with the birth and teachings of Jesus and the disciples who followed Him. Judea was a cultural hub of cities and farms. Click the map to view the area in what we now know as current day Israel.
When Jesus taught the “new covenant” (New Testament) in Judea, Rome was under its first emperor rule. Jesus is known by Christians as the Son of God and of Man, conceived by God by immaculate conception with the virgin Mary, who married Joseph.
The Jews hated Roman rule because it was a pagan reminder of their historical oppression and it violated their faith under the Torah* (Old Testament). The Romans worshiped a number of gods and superficial idols they‘d built to those gods. That was in direct conflict with the Jewish faith, which recognized the one and only God of the Bible.
*”Torah” refers to the Five [Biblical] Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But the word “torah” can also be used to refer to the entire Jewish bible (the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and to Jews as the Tanakh or Written Torah), or in its broadest sense, to the whole body of Jewish law and teachings.
The start of Christianity is recorded in accounts of the New Testament but its history began with Old Testament prophecy. There are over 300 predictions of the coming of a Jewish Messiah that are recorded in the Old Testament, spanning more than 1000 years.
Click this map to see the Jews’ exodus from Egypt through the Wilderness and into Cannan (current day Israel), their Promised Land.
Some Jews saw conforming to the Roman Empire as their only hope. Others became religious zealots developing warlike guerilla resistances against Rome. Still others withdrew into the Judean wilderness to study Jewish law and wait for the coming of their Messiah, or savior, as promised in the Old Testament.
Isa 7:14 [OT]Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Immanuel means “God with us”. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, had come to dwell with, or tabernacle on earth with, His people.
John 1:14 [NT]And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.
Jesus was a Jew. He observed Jewish faith and was well studied in its law. Said to be a carpenter by trade (though that is questioned today), by His early thirties Jesus traveled between villages teaching in synagogues, healing people and performing miracles. His news traveled swiftly. From a young age He challenged religious leaders to repent from their self-righteous and hypocritical ways and to realize that the Kingdom of God is rooted in service and love.
Jesus taught during the Roman rule of Augustus, their first emperor from 27 B.C. through 14 A.D. He urged purification of the Jewish religion with a moral code of love, charity and humility. Christ’s teachings stirred the hearts of people and His healings grew in influence and ever-increasingly high demand as word of His message and acts spread.
These things and Jesus’ growing popularity because of them created an instability that Jewish authorities feared. The disciples were faithful men who followed Him and Jesus taught them about the “new covenant” that God was bringing to humanity, because men had fallen into so much sin they’d lost the personal relationship with God that they had in Old Testament days.
Jesus was crucified on a cross about 30 A.D., believed to be in Golgotha or “The place of a skull” just outside of Jerusalem. His followers believe he rose three days later, proving that He was the Son of God. The Christian faith, unlike any other religion, hinges on historical events. An example can be seen in the eye-witness accounts evidenced by Paul in I Corinthians 15:3-6.
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
Manuscript studies point to this scripture being written within a few years after Christ’s death. Paul, born Greek, ends this passage with “most of whom are still living,” inviting people to confirm the facts for themselves. He wouldn’t have if he was trying to perpetrate a myth or fraud. It is the historical validity that gives Christians their belief and a genuine and eternal hope.
Roman Mythology & Christianity
Before the coming of Christ and Christianity the Roman Empire was “embroiled in myth,” having archeological traces of early settlements dating back to 750 B.C. The myths were based on both fiction and history in stories passed down through the ages.
Roman mythology was an emphatic state religion consisting of rituals and ceremonies. Their myths were more practical than the Greek’s but they adopted most of the Greek deities.
Every Roman god served a purpose and had an office to fill. There were “divisions of labor” between them, some presiding over births; some over bakers and some over the bakers’ ovens. Every vocation and household function had presiding gods and goddesses. This picture depicts a god tending to the wound of a solider with a Greek goddess looking on.
The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire caused people to start questioning what they thought they knew. By 392 A.D., Christianity was the official religion. As Chrsitianity spread it connected with larger themes in Roman history.
Christianity comforted social grievances in an empire marked by inequality and among the poor. Slaves, dispossessed farmers and impoverished city dwellers found hope in a religion that encouraged a goodness of morals and after-life rewards for living morally.
The Christian faith also answered cultural needs that Roman values, which stressed political goals and ethics about living in the world, did not. It brought political benefits to the Romans as their empire grew and consolidated, as well. The new faith was seen as universal, open to all, whether people followed the Jewish faith or not.
Click to enlarge this map showing the growth of the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean area; and Israel’s place within it (boxed).
Belief in Jesus spread among Jewish communities in the Middle East, the Roman Empire and beyond. When His disciples realized that Jesus was not returning to earth to set up the Kingdom of God, they fanned out to spread the news, particularly around the eastern Mediterranean area.
The predominant language of the day was Greek. Paul’s Greco-Roman culture helped to explain Christian beliefs in Greece and in Italy as well as in the Middle East. Paul essentially created Christian theology as a set of intellectual principles; and some speculate that he emphasized women’s more subordinate role to men and the dangers of sexuality in the books of the New Testament.
By the 4th Century A.D. Christian writings were the only creative cultural expression of the Roman Empire. Theologians sought to explain issues brought up by the new religion; and to relate it to ethics and Greek philosophy. Just as the Roman Empire was in decline Christianity produced complex thought and elegant language, redirecting its culture and preserving its earlier literary and philosophical achievements.
Christianity goes well beyond Rome and had more to do with opening a new era of history of the Mediterranean region than in shaping the Roman Empire.
Today’s Conflicts between the Middle East and Israel & The West
In the Bible’s Old Testament book of Genesis, chapter 17, God promised Abraham that he would become “the father of many nations.” Many today aren’t familiar with the divisions hinged on that promise.
Abraham’s wife, Sarah, could not bear children so she gave to her husband her Egyptian maiden, Hagar. Hagar birthed Abraham’s son, Ishmael. Many years later Sarah gave Abraham a son named Isaac (described in the scripture below).
When dissention in the houshold grew, Hagar returned with her son to her homeland of Egpyt. By then Abraham and Sarah had located to Cannan (Israel), where they remained. Today Sarah’s descendants are Christian and Hagar’s are Muslim. Indeed Abraham was “the father of many nations.”
Genesis 17 (OT, KJV excerpted): And when Abram was ninety years old and nine the LORD appeared and said, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect and I will make my covenant between me and thee and will multiply thee exceedingly and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house [and] which is not of thy seed. And God said unto Abraham, as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And 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.
Then Abraham 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? Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him.
Coming: What was Constantine the Great’s role in Christianity?
“From the time of Constantine onward, the worship of the Roman Catholic Church, in its forms and ceremonies, has been more clearly identified with the paganism of Ancient Rome, than with the religion of the New Testament. The customs of pagan religion were only baptized with Christian names.”
-Paganism Surviving in Christianity By Abram Herbert Lewis “The Control of Christianity by the State Under Constantine and his Successors,” Chapter X; pg. 210
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