Monday, July 3, 2017

An Open Letter to POTUS

To: President, Donald Trump
From: Larry Burnett
Subject:  Health Care Reform                   7/3/2017

      Mr. President, 

I have noticed that you are a man who listens.  So, I hope you are willing to listen to an idea for reforming the American health care system.  But first, please allow me to lay a bit of groundwork for this idea by outlining 3 basic realities.

The Driving Force:

1. We are really only dealing with two issues:  Cost and Coverage.
  
2. Both of these issues have only become problematic because of the tremendous inflation rate in the health care industry.

3. This hyper-inflation is caused by only one thing – the “deep pockets” of the insurance companies.  And yet, our lawmakers seem oddly unaware that this huge availability of insurance money in the system is the driving force behind the health care dilemma.

Nevertheless, here is the obvious conclusion.  To deal with the issues of both health care costs and health care coverage, you must first deal with the effect of those inflationary deep pockets.

Please know that I am no hater of insurance companies.  They are what they are; and, they certainly serve a purpose.  

But, the reality is this. As long as the insurance industry introduces those vast reserves of cash into the health care sector, the health care industry is going to gobble up as much of it as they possibly can by charging exorbitant prices for their services.  And then, insurance companies will charge more for coverage.  And then, the health care industry will charge more for services, etc. etc., etc.

The Difficult Requisite:

Obviously then, the insurance company becomes the beginning place for a solution.  But, there is a very difficult requisite which must happen before meaningful and positive change can be introduced to deal with this inflationary impact of the insurance industry.

The Insurance Lobby must be removed from the front row at the “Solution Table.”

Certainly, their interest must be considered at some level.  But, without question, what must ultimately be done will be completely unpalatable to this industry.  And, they will never agree to the viability of the required actions.    

I'm sure you already know that confronting this lobby in Washington will be a huge, huge political challenge.  The influence of this lobby is what has already been producing the disjointed, "Frankenstein" like plans which have thus far been put forward.  

Those reform plans have come out awkward and disjointed because of the hidden political agenda which force fits their mismatched parts together. And that subliminal political agenda is the congressional mind-set which says, “we must stringently protect the economic interest of the insurance companies.”

Time To Get Real:

Mr. President, it's long past time for lawmakers to get honest about the real problem in our health care industry and what's really driving that problem.  It is time to courageously go wherever the best solution leads - in spite of the insurance lobby.  

The truth is, their wealth is, indeed, the very string which begins to untie this health care knot. And, the exclusion of their interests, at least as a front row consideration, is no less necessary than it is difficult.  Then, you can do the relatively simple thing which can actually resolve the health care dilemma.

A Real and Innovative Solution:

And, that thing is this.  It is to introduce a “Super Competitor” into the insurance industry.  This would be an outside-the-industry competitor capable of simultaneously driving down both inflationary medical pricing and high cost of health insurance. 

So, the impact of this Super Competitor would be to establish bench mark, fair market values for medical services while at the same time introducing a true competition into the insurance policy marketplace to drive down coverage costs.

Obviously, this is a tall order.  And certainly, the practical reality is that you are never going to get such a competition or such a competitor from among the ranks of the players within the insurance and health care industries. 

Thus, in this very unique situation, there is really only one candidate who need apply for the job.  It is "Uncle Sam." But, it is not an Uncle Sam that is dressed in his usual entitlement garb.  

So, Here’s My Suggestion, Mr. President:

Obviously, the federal government is already in the insurance business in a limited sense with regard to seniors and Medicare.  So, it is not like that is a completely foreign idea.  Thus, I would suggest that Medicare go one small, money making, step (that’s right, “money making step) further and create what might be called, for example, “Medicare Vital.

              BUT - MEDICARE VITAL WOULD NOT BE
                      AN ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM!

Medicare Vital would be a bona fide, low cost, government generated, highly tailorable health insurance, based on real world actuaries with premiums paid to the Medicare Vital Program by the insured of any age below the normal retirement level who choose to buy a Medicare Vital policy.  So, Medicare Vital Insurance would merely be administered under the Medicare bureaucratic umbrella, but it would be bought-and-paid-for entirely by the premiums of the insured – not by the taxpayer.

And, this lower cost insurance would be made so in at least a couple of ways.   The lower cost would stem from the government’s ability to set health care service prices paid through the program (as it does with regular Medicare).  And, it would also derive from the absence of the need to pay annual dividends to stockholders.

But, the real beauty of Medicare Vital is that the net income which it generates could be invested, as is that of all other insurance policies, to produce investment income which in turn could provide, or help provide, coverage to the very poor and those with existing and high risk conditions.

And, this need to do this additional charitable funding for the disadvantaged, plus the need to attract widespread Doctor and Hospital Participation with above regular Medicare level payments  (for example: regular Medicare + 20 or 30%) ​will enable private sector insurance companies to still compete, price wise, with the Medicare Vital policy offerings. 

So, this will not create a "Single Payer System." Rather, it will simply create a stiffer competition by this potent outside-the-industry super competitor.

And certainly, it is typically that when there are large imbalances in the economy, good balance is restored through laws, bureaucratic mandates, etc.  But, the nature of the “health care beast” simply defies this more straight forward way of establishing economic balance.  And so, in the case of health care, we are really only left with real and very robust competition as the needed tool to restore and maintain good balance.

But – What About the Present Urgency?

Very obviously, the American health care crisis is happening now as Obama Care is quickly and completely imploding.  So, in the interim, to relieve the pressure between the present crisis and the time when the Medicare Vital Concept could be fully implemented, I would suggest that the federal government do the following. 

Immediately start working with private sector insurance companies to develop, as quickly as possible, two “federally sanctioned” insurance policies.  These sanctioned policies would serve as “Bridge Policies” until the Medicare Vital Concept could be implemented.  The policies would be roughly as follows:

      Policy 1:  A very basic, no frills, Standard 80 / 20 Policy w/ $1000 deductible.

      Policy 2:  A policy which would cover Existing Conditions and High Risk Clients.

The cost of these Bridge Policies, would then be somewhat subsidized by the federal government only until Medicare Vital comes on-line. This would satisfy the government’s good faith obligation to ACA clients and to severely disadvantaged citizens.

However, very obviously, the obligation involved with Policy 2 is, by far, the more expensive one.  But, this larger expense can, for that interim period, be best handled by dividing it among all of the players:  The Client, the Government, the Insurance Company, and the Health Care Provider.  And certainly, each of these entities are, indeed, somewhat morally obliged to contribute to the rescue of these most vulnerable people.  

And, this load sharing can be very simply and efficiently implemented, using the same Medicare Vital type Payment Schedule discussed above.   By simply setting up Policy 2 with, for example, a Medicare + 30 % Payment Schedule for services rendered, all involved parties are taking on part of the load for this expensive group. 

The Insurance Company takes on the risk with a relatively lower policy cost (base on the Medicare + type payment plan).  The Insurance Client pays part of the cost of the insurance policy.  The Government funds the remaining cost of the policy.  And, the Health Care Providers accept a somewhat reduced payment schedule for services rendered.   

These Bridge Policies would then allow for the immediate and entire repeal of the Affordable Care Act, effective on some reasonable date after these Federally Sanctioned Policies become available.  And, to further provide some immediate relief to all insurance purchasers in the interim, concurrent with the repeal of the ACA, Congress could also establish a single, nationwide marketplace for health insurance sales (causing insurance companies to compete across state lines - as has been long talked about).

Now, Just a Quick Recap:

1. Medicare Vital is a bona fide insurance policy generating premium inflows instead of entitlement pay outs.  And, the investment income generated by Medicare Vital could be linked to regular Medicare or Medicaid Grants to off-set, or help off-set, the cost of insuring those with an existing or high risk condition and the very poor. 

2. The Medicare Vital concept would use the same cost-controlling tactics as regular Medicare setting the acceptable price for a given procedure - but with some added value (for example, the regular Medicare Price + 30%). 

    This additional percentage is still covered by premiums.  But, it keeps the Medicare Vital business financially attractive to doctors and hospitals etc. 

3. But, the really important take-away here is that Medicare Vital is able to establish a cost benchmark - a fair market value - for both health care services and medical insurance policies across the age spectrum of the below retirement age marketplace

4. And finally, Medicare Vital would provide a stellar replacement for Obama Care, thus enabling the opportunity for the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

     Final Summary:
  
So, in summary, by being able to insert both Fair Market Medical Treatment Pricing and truly Competitive Insurance Policy Pricing at the same time, into the health care marketplace, Medicare Vital becomes a kind of “Pace Car” for the economics of both industries.  And yet, it leaves both industries reasonably dynamic, just not in such an unfettered way.

 Now, the upward inflationary pressure created by the deep pockets of the insurance companies is tempered by an opposing force.  It is countered by the downward pressure created by this new, outside-the-industry “Super Competitor,” - Medicare Vital.

Under such a system, an insurance customer would then have truly competitive policy choices. And these would include, not only the Medicare Vital Policies, but also those produced by the private sector insurance companies as they start really competing for market share against each other and this new pace setter in the industry.  And, health care professionals would be reasonablyif not exorbitantly, compensated at the end of it all.  

Thus, all of the players would once again be playing on a reality based playing field.  And, most importantly, doctors and patients would once again be in charge of health care decisions.

And, it would seem that the over-arching framework for the Medicare Vital Concept is already in place in the Medicare Structure.  You may need a few more bureaucrats, but not a whole new bureaucracy.  You would just need to add some really bright insurance guys and gals to design the policies and administer the money making program.

Mr. President, I am politically very observant.  And yet, I have not heard a single politician in Washington even mention these true dynamics behind our health care dilemma - much less offer solutions which will effectively address them.  

Please sir, challenge our lawmakers to get beyond the "rabbit hole" paradigms of Washington-think and do something really bold and thoroughly effective - not just to make a political point with a get-by health care system - but to achieve the most successful, near-universal health care system on Earth.  

Sir, if we would brag about American Exceptionalism, it is in times like these that we must demonstrate its reality. 

                       
                                                  Your very supportive friend,
                                                                 Larry Burnett

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Intrusions Of The Darkness

The larger human picture is not that hard to grasp.  And yet, most of us really never do. Perhaps it’s the generational thing. Every time a generation kinda’ figures it out, before you know it, they’re all dead. Then we have to start all over in the species, trying to make ourselves truly aware again.

Or, maybe it’s just a willing ignorance which has become ingrained in our psyche. Intuitively, we all understand that if we know something, then, we kinda’ feel pressured to do something about what we know. 


So, if we don’t want to be bothered, then we just don’t bother to know. Thus, we often merely bury our head in the “sands” of life’s tedium as a means of escaping the responsibility of a larger knowing.

But, for those who are courageous enough to look at the larger view of the human existential picture, there is a more truthful perspective to be had. That larger revelation goes far beyond the limits of our competing political philosophies, exposing such as merely a compartmentalized aspect of our physical existence.  

Rather, the larger view more accurately places these competing philosophical intrigues into the context where they belong.  The larger view understands them to be a very real part of the raging war between the Light and the Darkness - that conflict which has always been an ingrained part of the larger human reality.

 Indeed, this larger view of things is the more complete and accurate view of what is really going on in our philosophical and political confrontations.  And, for those who want to understand this larger dynamic, the jumping off point is at a very basic question.  And, that question is this: "What is Truth?" 

And, here is the short and simple answer.   Truth is merely the correct interpretation of reality.

The nature of the truth is just that simple. Truth is only ever just reality as it actually is.  So, all we have to do to arrive at truth is correctly interpret reality - right?

But wait! Therein lies the human dilemma. The real difficulty lies not in knowing the definition of truth, but in actually achieving what the definition specifies. It is in the fog of our varied interpretations of reality that we typically lose our way.

And, that is understandable; because, You and I were never meant to be the authoritative interpreter of reality. Rather, God has always reserved that role for Himself – and rightly so.

Even the brightest human beings are pitifully under-qualified to define true morality, true right or wrong, true good or evil. We simply do not have the capacity to make those calls.

Thus, God requires that we trust Him and embrace, through Christ, His values and the interpretations of life which result from those divine values. The Bible refers to our awareness of those divine values and interpretations as "Light."  And, it refers to the absence of that awareness as "Darkness."


Further, it follows logically that in the absence of an accurate awareness of God's truth (His correct and authoritative interpretations of life), great space is left for alternative interpretations of reality, bogus though they may be. And, it's these alternative interpretations which compete with God’s view of things, His truthful interpretations, and give rise to the conflict between the Light and the Darkness.

The roots of this conflict can be traced all the way back to the mind of Satan.  This idea that there can be an alternative view of good and evil which can "legitimately" compete with God's views originated there. And, in turn, Satan then passed it on to mankind by his treachery in the Garden of Eden. 

His false promise to Adam and Eve was this, "You shall be like God, knowing good and evil."  But, the “knowledge of good and evil” which Satan offered to Adam and Eve was not a knowledge based in an accurate and concrete interpretation of reality. Rather, it was a very subjective determination of good and evil - entirely based in the ever changing personal perspective of the individual.

In other words, Satan offered a view of good and evil which was no longer based in God's authoritative interpretations of life.  Instead, with the fall of mankind, "Good" became, "What seems good to me."  And, "Evil" became, "What seems evil to me."


In the moment that Adam and Eve embraced this competing interpretation of reality, their relationship to their Creator became poisoned, as was their relationship to each other.  For, they no longer shared a consistently common view of good and evil even between themselves.


And, in turn, through this first couple, the whole of mankind was also infected with this dark alternative view of reality which was personality based, and ever changing. And that was exactly what Satan intended to achieve.

So, in the Garden of Eden, mankind lost the divine perspectives on reality and replaced them with his own self-generated and very individualized interpretations. And, in doing so, the whole of humanity became infected with the prime motive which clearly marks and identifies the Darkness: the motive of  Self-determination.   


And, indeed, it is this motive which is the primary sin essence.  It is from this motive, the intent to determine good and evil for ourselves, that all acts of sin then emanate.  So, this heart motive is the first issue of God's judgment of the human soul.  

Thus, it is this dark elemental motive of self-determination within the human heart which the redemptive work of Christ first and most urgently targets.  The reason being, it is the sin-source.  Solve this problem, and all else all but solves itself.

Nevertheless, even at this late hour in redemptive history, much of humanity remains lost in the dark delusions of what might be very accurately called, "designer truth" - the Satan inspired alternative versions of reality, the alt truth, if you will.  Many, even now, know only their own small, deluded perspectives on life issues - which then become just one more competing antithesis to God’s authentic truth. 

And, because these believe in their own moral superiority, they become easy pray for Satan's sophisticated subtlety. Thus, they become his dupes - the unwitting servants of the Darkness. 

And, through these deluded human pawns, the Darkness finds an easy means to repeatedly insert itself into the human political and philosophical landscape to confront God's truth and agenda.  And sadly, humanity, absent the benefit of the divine perspective on reality, repeatedly fails to recognize the work of the Darkness for what it is. 

So, in generation after generation, the Darkness is able to powerfully intrude into the human experience with horrible results. And, this remains true, even though the Darkness never really bothers to change its essential tactics.

For example, always, the Darkness comes with the prospect of some delusional noble cause, the worth of which ultimately justifies the hateful actions which are required to see the cause through. Then, using this cause of twisted and exaggerated worth, the Darkness tempts deluded individuals, who fancy themselves, people of the higher conscience, to do its treacherous bidding. 


And eventually, the Darkness always points to some straw demon at which its hateful energy might be directed. And so, the satanic encouragements come: hate the black man, or the white man, or the rich man, or the capitalist, or the Jew, or the Christian, etc., etc., etc., “for they threaten our noble agenda.”

Then, when the Darkness has secured enough dupes to its delusion, it always turns militant. It begins to demand the submission of non-subscribers on pain of violence. 


In this stage of its intrusion, the Darkness becomes the open oppressor. The cloak of pretense is cast away. And those who have given themselves to the Darkness are now forced to abandon, altogether, any lingering shred of questioning conscience. Now, they too are forced to follow the cruel dictates of the Darkness.


And, so they do. They consummate the sale of their soul by mindless obedience.  And, by now, their actions are more to protect themselves from the wrath of the Darkness than to achieve any "noble" cause. 

 So, by the time the consuming fire of the Darkness is finished, even those who fanned its flames are destroyed by it.  And, one more time, the Evil celebrates the success of its intrusion into the human thought process and experience.  And always, it does so standing on the new graves of a freshly slaughtered humanity.

In the 1930’s, Adolf Hitler, one in a long line of human apostles who have served the Darkness in this way over the course of history, followed this exact pattern. His noble cause was German supremacy and prosperity – an Arian Race who "deserved" to rule over the Earth.


And, to that cause, he drew his dupes of the Darkness – the Nazi rank and file. And, he directed their manufactured hatred toward his straw demons, especially the Jewish people, among others.

Eventually, the ranks of Hitler’s Nazi Party, devout and ready to serve the Darkness, became sufficiently powerful to capture the German Government. And predictably, with power came the militant phase. They began reprisals, including outright murder, against all who opposed their “noble” agenda.

In the course of this offensive from Hell, millions died. And six million defenseless Jews, from little innocent boys and girls, to their mothers and fathers, to feeble old men and women were callously butchered by these deluded, satanic henchmen. And, it was all in the name of their “righteous cause” - essentially Hitler's deluded perspective on good and evil - the Nazi version of the "truth."

And then, roughly contemporary with the Nazi madness, the Darkness opened a second offensive - this time, alighting on Russian soil in the form of Marxist Communism.  First, Vlad Lennin became the new apostle of the Darkness, spouting a new cause and pointing to a new straw man to hate and destroy. 


 His cause was to free the world of the scourge of Capitalism with its "Bourgeoisie" ruling class.  His twisted delusion was a world of working class equality.

Again, by means of political intrigues and murderous force, when the ranks of his deluded followers became strong enough, Lennin made his revolutionary move.  He then violently and mercilessly put down all opposition to his Socialist interpretations of reality - his version of good and evil. And again, from Lennin, to Stalin, through a long list of violent oppressors, even to the present day, millions of innocents have died under the boot heel of the Darkness wielding the Communist / Socialists banner. 


In total, it is estimated that 100,000,000 graves were dug around the world to mark the blood path that this offensive of the Darkness has taken over its decades.  And still, that total continues to rise.  

That is true because, even as its Russian host was waning under the weight of its own infection with the Darkness, Satan managed to spread the delusions of Marxist Socialism to other parts of the planet. He found many willing converts to the delusion of this "noble cause,” including many in America.

And so, an expanded offensive of the Darkness began.  And, indeed, this time it has an American epicenter.  And from that epicenter,
the composite energy of Neo-socialism, Liberalism and Progressivism, radiates its tentacles outward in the new "noble cause" of the Darkness:  Globalism

And, especially in America, the Darkness has now begun to very forcefully use this aggregate of the political Left.  Its face in America is the Democrat Party leadership. And, its muscle is the smug elitists who empower them, and the ever necessary rank and file dupes who mindlessly buy in to their insanity.

Thus, one more time, we see a deluded, devilish group who believe themselves to be the people of the higher conscience.  And, true to form, they are following the normal track and employing all the typical tactics of the Darkness.  

They tout their cloaking "noble cause" of "social justice in a global community" to cover their true ugliness.  And, their new “straw demons” are the Wall Street capitalists, the political right, Christians, the "one per centers," and on, and on, and on, goes their hit list to include any opposition to their version of good and evil. 

 And now, very systematically, as the Darkness always does, American Liberalism is becoming increasingly militant.  Recent revelations have clearly demonstrated just how militant with the intentional culturing of race and class hatred, the riots inspired and financed by the wealthy Left, their encouragement of the murder of police officers, election fraud, free speech suppression, and every kind of political intimidation - including the hiring of violent thugs to attack opposition voters.  

Nevertheless, increasingly, Americans, especially naive young Americans, are buying into the empty promises and twisted interpretations of good and evil offered by these satanic liberal spin doctors. And, as they become augmented by the largest American generation in history, the Millennials, things will quickly go from bad to worse. 

You need no prophet to forecast what lies ahead for an America that fails to recognize this Darkness of American Liberalism / Progressivism for what it is.  One need only look to those large cities in the USA, which the Left has controlled for many decades. They serve perfectly well as a very accurate and foreboding omen of what is to come for this nation as a whole if it becomes dominated by the political Left in service to Satan's destructive agenda.

But still, many Americans, especially young Americans, just don't see it. They just don't recognize Satan's dark economy operating through the American political Left for what it is - though it still appears much as it always has, historically.  

So, as a result, each day we lose a little more of our moral sanity, of our daily hopefulness, of our personal decency. And, if this American cycle of the Darkness is not arrested, as always, our graves, and the graves of our children, and the ash heap of our national greatness, will memorialize our gullible stupidity as a people.

But, there does yet remains a better way forward. Both individually and nationally, we can still embrace the divine light.  We can still choose the path of true enlightenment that is confirmed by Christ in opposition to the interpretations of the Darkness.


Individually, we can still choose to embrace the Lordship of Christ with its inherent allegiance to God's values and His interpretations of reality.  As a nation, we can again turn to the good ways of God produced by following those values.  We can again recognize the worth of God's good ways and return to the light of love, respect, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, understanding, compassion, honesty, honor, integrity, truthfulness, justice, holiness, and a respect for life. 

The Darkness would tell us that this approach is the wrong one. But, that is just the Darkness being the Darkness – creating an alternative view to compete with the truth and goodness of a God guided reality. 


Nevertheless, the only truly good way forward for an individual, and for the nation as a whole, is to humbly pursue and embrace the divine light.  Such humility has the power to save both our soul and our nation. But, our continued arrogant national tendency toward the dark prescription of "designer truth" will see both destroyed.

When we look past those dark human faces on the pages of history, we can then easily recognize, in the background, the hideous face of Satan and what are actually his violent intrusions into the human experience.  And, in each succeeding generation, his tell-tale tactics confirm his mean hand in humanity's suffering.  

At that point, his twisted deceptions start to become apparent for what they are.  And, by comparison, the Light, God's benevolent truth, once again begins to shine as the glorious thing that it has always been, and shall always be - despite the tendency of our species toward gullibility and arrogance.

“I am the light of the world.” - Jesus

Monday, January 5, 2015

Long Ropes And Stone Cold Hearts

In these modern, or as those who are so full of themselves like to say: in these “Post-modern” times, there is a question which has lately begun to desperately present itself. The question is this. Is there a way to deal with an arrogant, majority America who typically has no real awareness of, or concern for, anything beyond their own “small-life shopping list.” Is there yet a way to cause this self-consumed majority to care again about the divine perspective on their character and behavior?

The great gift which Christ offers to the individual is a way back from this self-centered darkness which so blinds us to the divine perspective. But, how does that work when we don’t even recognize that we are, indeed, immersed in a personal darkness?

Well, sometimes it simply doesn’t work. Sometimes, our darkness is so impermeable that it is, in fact, terminal. Sometimes the long rope of God’s great patience becomes the very rope with which we simply hang ourselves, spiritually. 


Thus, as we continually ignore His overtures, we eventually just miss our opportunity for personal renewal and a life lived in the joys of the higher plane. And, that’s that.

But sometimes, there is a better outcome. Sometimes, resulting from the twists and turns of life, we find ourselves humbled before God and at the end of our own arrogant rope. And there, sitting in the puddle of our own calamity and stripped of our sense of self-sufficiency, finally, we are able to truly see the degraded condition of our life for what it really is. 


And, in those moments of clarity, we suddenly understand the value of Christ’s offer to start us over and make all things new. So there, at the end of our own rope, we decide to tie a big knot of devotion to God and hang on for dear life.

And, in those desperate moments, it becomes much easier to see the stupidity of ever believing that the quality of life could actually reside in such fleeting things as possessions, or primo jobs, or costly hobbies and toys, etc. And how could it not become obvious when we find ourselves surrounded by those things, and yet, also find that we are still devastated and miserable in both our inner and outer life. 


From gold chains, to custom wheels, to smartphones, to nice homes, to bank accounts and spectacular vacations, all taken together, such “trinketry” and low aspirations never amount to anything more than a powerful testimony to our own small mindedness.  And this is especially true when we compare the empitiness of those things to Christ’s offer to bring a sweeping elevation and nobility to our life. 

 And, indeed, He does entirely change who we are and what we are about. He brushes aside our silly little materialistic ideas of what life is supposed to be and brings a hugeness, not only to our awareness level, but to our personal potential. 

And, He does it in precisely the right way.  He empowers a profound transformation of our character which entirely changes how we encounter life – and thus, the quality of life, itself.

So - is there a way to deal with this very self-assured majority in present day America? Oh, there’s a way. It is just a matter of giving them “enough rope,” and then, waiting to see which one of those aforementioned knots they tie when they come to the end of it. 
And, in fact, God is doing that very thing, right now.

If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! - Jesus

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Before Now

I am 65 years old. And here is the America I knew before now.

It was an America that had racial resentments. But, it was not an America where government officials actually sought to catalyzed those resentments and use them for political gain. Even in the 60’s when the Civil Rights Movement brought racial tension to a pinnacle, the core interest of the government was to bring the nation together – not racially divide and inflame it. But, that was before now.

And granted, in the former America, there was racial inequality. But, in that America, we righted much of that inequality with more just laws and a true change of national heart on the issues of civil diversity. 


And, for a time, in that America, our progress was truly measurable. Our definition of “my neighbor” actually was becoming more broadened. But sadly, that was before now, when we have lost so much ground.

And, in the former America, the Office of the Attorney General was the devoted guardian of the integrity of our laws. It did not summarily dismantle that integrity with grotesque reinterpretations and a pick and choose enforcement style as with the Obama administration.

In former America, we elected presidents who saw the nation’s warts and sought to change them. But, they did not do so by disavowing the character of the nation as a whole and acquiescing to its twisted caricature as some sort of world oppressor.

In that former America, there were the “Have’s” and the “Have Not’s,” as there always will be. But, in that America, we largely rejected the hateful “Cain and Able” notion that the way up is to pull your brother down. 


 Rather, the former America more widely embraced the idea that hard work and risk taking were the way up. In that America, personal wealth building was thought to be an admirable pursuit and the best means of personal security.

Barack Obama promised to profoundly changed America. Regrettably, I believe he has kept his word. But, I much prefer the “Old America” where we sought to employ the more honest and truly effective processes of trans-formative national enlightenment over political “thuggery.” But, as usual, the Darkness prefers to employ its own familiar means.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Space Between

More gun control! Better legislation regarding the mentally disturbed! We raise our voices to say something that will help us somehow endure the painful insanity of 20 dead children in Connecticut. 

 We frantically search our mind for anything that will move us back from this horrible aberration and return us to the peacefulness of normal. And, no doubt, in the intensity of our present emotions, we will find new mechanics to make our society more and better controlled.

And it seems we must do this for the sake of our own sanity. Because we know, deep down, that what happened at Sandy Hook and in many other such instances is, on some level, endemic to the species. 

 And, while most of us, on a normal day, would rather die, ourselves, than harm a child, we also know very well that, as a group, we are not absolutely impervious to lapses in the certainty of normal. So, we are tormented by the possibility of those abnormal days.

Maybe, our slip will stem from mental illness, as in Sandy Hook. Maybe it will come through a moment of road rage. Maybe aberration will find us in a moment deluged by alcohol. Or, maybe we will lose ourselves because of the fierce emotions of a broken heart, or some grinding abuse, or some deep disappointment.

There are a thousand directions from which our variance can come. And that awareness frightens us as a species. And so we look for better ways to contain ourselves and make our behavior more certain.

Many do look to laws and legislation. But, while those things are helpful and necessary, they are not really the headwaters of the solution – especially in a society as free as ours. 

 With this higher level of personal freedom, also comes the opportunity for higher levels of personal and social misconduct. And, in fact, the progressing reality in America is that the society has very intentionally moved away from the mechanisms which help us hold at bay the dark side of liberty.

For example, we have more recently embraced a parental attitude which says it’s OK to dispense with implanting a respect for the values and authority of a holy God in the heart of our children? But, is it really OK to send a child into adulthood and into society without their own well vetted moral compass?

What, then, will guide them when they are deciding whether or not to drink and drive, or use drugs, or resort to violence? Will we, as parents, always be there when they are deciding whether or not to risk their future to premarital sex? 

 Is it really reasonable to believe that we will always be there to guide them every time they are faced with reckless, or dangerous, or immoral choices? We, absolutely will not.

But, God can be there. He can accompany them through every moment of every day in their mind, their value system, and their conscience. And yet, as a society, we are quickly trending away from His influence on the hearts and minds of our children – and on our own, for that matter.

As a further example of this vector, we have largely surrendered our children to base and violent movies and video games while neglecting their exposure to the Church and the Bible? And we seem also to have surrendered to the idea that public schools and peer groups are an adequate replacement for loving and available parents wielding a resolute “veto power” and well proven values to pass along?

If, in the wrenching emotions of such national tragedies as Sandy Hook, we are desperately looking for redemption and answers, we would be well served to simply return to the old ones. The best way to hold the line against social aberrations and the excesses of freedom is to begin with the inner person. Our best hope is to reinvest ourselves in the cultivation of a government within the heart of the citizen.

The larger reality is this.  A society that is not first governed in the heart of its citizens is not truly governed at all.
This is true because, in the space between the gaze of a police officer, and the reach of law, and the decrees of political governments, people will always do what they want to do. And that space where there are no external controls always exists.

So, the real hope of any society is that the heart of its people will simply incline to good and right things. Then, we are truly governed – even in the space where no one sees.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Double Down Devotion

OK, I admit it. I listen to the politicians talk in their capital rotunda interviews. I listen to the pundits give analysis. And I listen to my people (family and friends) making their case, expressing their point of view, decrying conditions, defining the facts as they see them. And, I do the same, myself.

But, my question is this. Who in the world are we all talking to?
We all go on and on, as though we were making our case before some “Cosmic Political Referee” who might be persuaded to side with us and settle the issues once and for all. And sometimes, it seems we imagine some vast, untapped voter pool who can be persuaded to come along beside us and suddenly change the balance of power in our favor.

Really?  Who are we kidding? That empowered political referee is just not out there? And, that unspoken voter pool is silent for a reason – they don’t exist.

The hard reality which patriotic, conservative Americans must face is that no political reinforcements are coming. There simply aren’t any.

So, here is my suggestion. Why don’t we stop appealing to some imaginary political force, and start appealing to the supreme force in the universe. And, instead of spending so much time "talking to the hand" of those who adamantly oppose us, why don’t we simply take the hand of the One who made us.

If we have a case to make, doesn’t it make more sense to get on our knees in humility and make it to Almighty God? Isn’t that smarter than talking to the uninterested, the unempowered, and the un-convincible? Isn’t it better to take that same level of energy, and angst, and intellect and aim it toward someone who actually has the power to change the situation? Did I mention that He is - ALMIGHTY!

If we can persuade Him to our cause – nothing else really matters. So, maybe we ought to stop addressing our “imaginary friends” and our avowed political enemies, and just persuade Him, convince Him, sway Him to act in our behalf.

If we're looking for a "Referee," it's God. The Divine Referee is the only one who actually has the power to settle this life and death argument between the darkness of liberalism and enlightened America? And, we will lose this argument to the Darkness without His help.

So, as patriotic Americans, isn't the better course to simply embrace a real lifestyle upgrade? Could we not just double down on a new level of personal devotion to, and respect for, God?

This is the real key to our delimma. It is only as God notices a rising tide of humility and devotion in the national character, that He will be persuaded to arrest the social and financial devastation that militant liberalism is inflicting on this nation.

"Double Down Devotion" - it's a much better plan than trying to talk our way out of this mess with our “imaginary friends.”

           *****

You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart - God

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Interpretations

I hope you can bear with me for three short paragraphs while I wax a bit abstract:

When we look beyond the small panoramas of the daily tedium, we realize that, indeed, the Apostle John had it right. In his writings, he portrays life in terms of Light and Darkness, and the tension which exists between the two. *1

We now know the meaning of the apostle’s analogy. The Light represents an accurate perception of reality, or truth - especially God’s truth. The Darkness represents a false interpretation of reality, or delusion - especially the delusions authored by Satan. So, the idea is that our perception of reality is defined by one or the other of these views.

Thus, either the divine voice interprets reality to our mind, giving us a true perspective on the circumstances of life. Or, the satanic voice interprets our reality with a deceptive alternative view, so that we no longer see reality correctly - as God sees it.

Alright, I’m done with “waxing.” Now, let’s look at how these ideas play out in the more concrete terms of this American culture.

America, in service to God’s purpose, was raised up by Him for a very specific reason. It was to champion the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the modern world. There are many more facets to America's existence. But, this is God's priority for her.

As the practical means to serve that purpose, God has used American capitalism. And, in the process, He taught the culture to embrace these primary values: personal liberty, personal responsibility, charity, and faith. And from these economic and philosophical threads the Creator has woven the unique fabric of the American culture.

And, though there have been growing pains, glitches, and mistakes along the way, for America’s first two hundred years, this mix has been a winning combination. This blend of elements has, indeed, enabled the nation to accomplish its divine purpose. 

 It has also made the nation benevolent beyond any other. It has made her ever more just. And, it has made her broadly and wildly affluent.

Thus, America has truly been a bright and shining reflector of God’s light and goodness to all peoples of the modern world. And, bottom line, the Darkness “ain’t” one bit happy about that.
The Darkness, the satanic antithesis to God’s light, has its own designs for America. The intention of the Darkness is to bring down this instrument of divine enlightenment. And it has found willing servants for its plan in the leadership of the Democrat Party and their supporting network of elitists and "sell out" special interest groups.

Under the pretentious banner of “Social Justice,” these servants of the Darkness, whether wittingly or unwittingly, intend to rip apart the good fabric of American life, and reweave it into a much more sinister pattern. Their intention is to use the coarse fibers of Marxist Socialism to do this. This political philosophy necessarily leads to a demanding and intrusive central government, much diminished civil rights, and the micro regulation of citizens and institutions.

The Democrat plan to achieve this transformation of the American culture is really just a simple one-liner. It goes like this. “By whatever means - make every citizen and institution dependent on (and therefore subject to) the central government.”

So, for example, states are made dependent by the money which is returned to them from federal funds for transportation, education, social programs, etc. Business is made beholden to government through contracts, loans, crony capitalism, and bail outs, as well as the need for favorable laws and regulations. Citizens are made dependent on the government through give-away and entitlement programs, government provided medical care, retirement and disability programs, etc.
And on and on it goes, the plan being to eventually engulf all of our citizens and institutions in a similar way. Then, as the number of “federal sucklings” swells to a sufficient level, the harsh intent of these Socialist schemers will emerge as an empowered national tactic - without pretense: “Do as we wish or know the pain of our disapproval.”

The Darkness and the liberal elitists who serve it have every intention of extinguishing the bright light of America by this simple, “sell your soul to us” method. And, they intend to do so while keeping their treachery carefully cloaked under noble sounding rhetoric and the pretext of serving the "higher social conscience.”

But, in truth, the Darkness cares nothing for any moral high ground, social or otherwise. The Darkness cares only about extinguishing the light of God’s love and benevolence. Their real intention is to remake America, and ultimately the world, into a place where only the views of the Darkness shape and rule reality.

Indeed, American politics do not happen in an existential vacuum. As do all other things, they occur, just as John indicated, in the context of this larger struggle between true Light and deceptive Darkness. And, the vortex of this great conflict draws all of us in, on one side or the other. Be assured, our political affiliations in these days make very clear the true allegiance of our soul.

May a merciful God dispel the liberal darkness in America before its natural outflows can become our just deserts.






*1. John 3:16 – 20