Obama: GOP attacks on refugees help ISIL

OK Kids, proof that smoking Pot alters your perception of reality, right and wrong, and makes you look stupid in public.

What we need now are for 100,000 people to march on Pennsylvania Avenue and make sure that THE MEDIA AND THE WORLD KNOWS THAT WE WANT THIS INCAPABLE IDIOT OUT OF OFFICE NOW!

And it’s interesting that in spite of it all, he insists on using the term ISIL to refer to the Islamic Extremists that have caused trouble in Iraq, Syria, and most recently Paris. I think we’d all feel better if he wasn’t playing juvenile word games with the media, confusing the public, and just called them  “Islamic Extremists”. I’ll take that.

Obama: GOP attacks on refugees help ISIL

ISIL’s still not the varsity team, President Barack Obama said Sunday, but if Republicans running for president and in Congress continue to respond to attacks by playing off fears, they’re doing the terrorists’ work for them.

A Republican reaction that’s tried to block refugees from entering the country—and members of the media whom he blamed for lacking perspective in coverage over the last week—gives into the fear like they want, helps them recruit, and lets a group of people who’d have no hope of actually defeating American forces on the battlefield win anyway.

Upending American policy and talking about Christian-Muslim tests for entry that he said accept ISIL’s terms of a religious war will increase the threat for more attacks.

“Prejudice and discrimination helps ISIL and undermines our national security,” Obama said.

Even as Obama credited the group also known as the Islamic State for the Paris attacks, and for the first time publicly, for taking down the Russian passenger jet in Egypt, Obama repeatedly spoke about the limitations of the terrorist network he two years ago he referred to as the “JV team” —a remark that his critics still cite as evidence that he underestimates the threat.

“They’re a bunch of killers with good social media,” Obama told reporters Sunday. They are “dangerous,” he said, but, “Our way of life is stronger. We have more to offer.”

Obama stayed muted but firm during a press conference in Malaysia that wrapped up a frustrating nine-day trip abroad for the White House as it watched the political debate slip away back home. Obama used the session to outline the broad strokes of the counterterrorism strategy he’s overseen — a coalition of 65 countries responsible for 8,000 airstrikes, humanitarian aid and other actions.

Obama echoed language he’s used to condemn mass shootings in America in recent months, saying he’s not going to accept the prospect of terrorist attacks on soft targets as “the new normal.”

Letting that happen, Obama said, or letting politicians get away with reactions like proposing a religious test for entry — as he several times condemned Republican presidential candidates for doing — is the essence of giving in.

“They can’t beat us on the battlefield, so they try to terrorize us into being afraid, into changing our patterns of behavior, into abandoning our allies and partners into retreating from the world,” Obama said. “As president I will not let that happen.”

The man behind the attacks, Obama said at another point, is “not a mastermind. He found a few other vicious people, got their hands on some fairly conventional weapons, and sadly it turns out if you’re willing to die, you can kill a lot of people.”

Obama said he understands why Americans are feeling afraid, but “I want to be very clear about this: I am not afraid that ISIL will beat us because of their operations.”

“In addition to hunting down terrorists, in addition to effective intelligence, and in addition to missile strikes, and in addition to cutting off financing and all the other things that we’re doing, the most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we’re not afraid; to not elevate them; to somehow buy into their fantasy that they’re doing something important,” Obama said.

Immediately after finishing the press conference, Obama headed to the airport in Kuala Lumpur to fly home and find out whether he can hold the line against Republican efforts to halt the entry of Syrian refugees. The House bill that passed last week with changes to the refugee screening and admission process looks likely to stall in the Senate, particularly with the time that will pass until Congress returns after the Thanksgiving break.

But with Brussels on highest alert as Obama was speaking and fears peaking across America, he faces an uncertain way forward. Because of that opposition in the Senate, the government shutdown over the refugee policy that some Congressional Republicans have threatened for now seems unlikely, though Obama has already conceded that he would be willing to consider certain changes to the refugee system.

Obama also faces challenges with allies after he returns to Washington. In recent conversations, Obama has refused to give ground on his insistence that Bashar Assad needs to give up power as part of the stabilization of Syria. That is expected to be one of the main points that French President François Hollande will press him to concede when he meets with the president at the White House on Tuesday.

After the Paris attacks, the French feel that there’s no more time to put into waiting out Assad’s collapse, and Hollande will be pressing for more immediate intervention to combat ISIL. That would include a level of partnership with Russia and President Vladimir Putin that’s left Obama unenthused — and which he said again Sunday that he viewed skeptically.

“The question at this point is whether they can make the strategic investment,” Obama said, noting that recent Russian strikes haven’t targeted ISIL so much as groups that are fighting both Assad’s forces and ISIL, and that he believes Putin underestimated the threat of ISIL to Russians. “We don’t know that yet.”

“Even if I were to cynically say my priority is ISIL and not removing Assad,” Obama explained, “the United States could not stop the fighting in Syria by those who are opposed to Assad’s rule. This is a practical issue, not just a matter of conscience.”

Those all come down to details in how he reaches that goal, Obama repeated several times at the press conference with a confidence but still not with an emotional display or fervor that critics have been calling for out of him since the Paris attacks.

Overall, Obama said, he’s sure of how the campaign against ISIL ends.

“Destroying ISIL is not only a realistic goal,” Obama said. “It’s gonna get done.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/obama-isil-terrorism-fear-216130#ixzz3sEj9tZi7

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The (Lucrative) Politics of Identity

identitypoliticsCheck this out…. From Wikipedia. “The term identity politics and movements linked to it came into being during the latter part of the 20th century. It can most notably be found in class movements, feminist movements, gay and lesbian movements, disability movements, ethnic movements and post colonial movements. Identity politics is open to wide debate and critique.[1] Minority influence is a central component of identity politics. Minority influence is a form of social influence whereby a majority is influenced by the beliefs or behavior of a minority. Unlike other forms of influence this usually involves a personal shift in private opinion. This personal shift in opinion is called conversion.”

Conversion is about the death of your former identity, and rebirth into a new being, much more than simply changing your thoughts on a select subject. It is not just a shift in opinion.  Out of ignorance they’ve misappropriated a deeply spiritual term.

Nevertheless, identity politics is an interesting subject. It is about special interest/minority politics, which depending upon your background is either an incredible dumbing down of a constitutional republic, or the best way to foment drastic social change. At least in this country. Here it usually depends upon your colour. It starts out being focused on the rights of the oppressed, and becomes a sword in the hands of politicians to cut away at inequalities and liberties, simultaneously. It certainly is now being used to speed the demise this country, and establish the new world order. It is the perfect vehicle to rally the unwitting to one side in the popular hijacking of society. Look at what has happened with the homosexual agenda in the name of civil rights. They have taken the blood, sweat, and tears of untold millions, rallied factions of hyphenated Americans to their side, and are now furiously chopping away at the roots of society as we speak. The axe has been laid to the tree.

Identity politics generates power from a commonly recognized wrong or injustice, focuses it, and directs the social upheaval that follows as a weapon of change. The interesting thing is that politicians are the ones who parade it around, unleash it, and then benefit from it.  Think about Obama’s co-opting of the Henry Louis Gates débâcle, Trayvon Martin, Occupy Wall Street, Ferguson, Sandy Hook, Black Lives, etc.  It could be very well employed to protect this country from the illegal alien invasion, and Islamization of America. If we had the collective gonads to do it. I think we’ve become too liberal, and week-kneed to go for it. It does seem, comically, that Donald Trump has tapped into the deep energy reserves over these things to the chagrin of the Republican status quo. Another example of identity politics in motion. My cynical side warns me that Trump could simply be a system hologram, a Trojan Pied-Piper sent to inspire/identify and then neutralize. Only time will tell. Yeah, you have to keep your wits about you when you watch the news. There are times that alcohol may actually help.

At any rate, identity politics is a lucrative game, so “never let a good crisis go to waste.” And if there isn’t one at hand, you can always make your own. Think Al Sharpton and Twana Briley. Or Adolph Hitler and the Reichstag fire. Or, depending upon who you read and believe, Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon Bombing. It is the politics of division. The only clear winners in all of this are politicians, let your brain chew on that for a while.

Civil rights, which stemmed from the injustices that Black Americans had endured since they were brought here as slaves, is a good example of how identity politics can be hijacked.  Blacks have made notable strides in social status, economic clout, social visibility and integration into society at large. To the point that they have been successful at every level of society, now as much as they have desired to be. That should result in a lessening of the rhetoric of race, a cooling of the original fires that fed the source of civil change. But that is not the case. Our President, a half-white, mulatto beneficiary of civil rights, has seen fit to expand the scope and rhetoric of race and division. Yes, he is the Lincoln anti-type, dividing the country where the ‘other Junior Senator from Illinois’ had unified it. And it seems a great paradox, that the more we focus on these things, decry them, and magnify them in the public eye, the worse they seem to become. It may all go back to hitting what you are focused upon. If you focus your efforts on seeing division and bad, it’s no surprise that you will engender more of the same. If you focus on seeing how well we are working together, in spite of real differences, then you will be a bridge builder. Enough said. I am certain that social recognition of polyamory is soon to follow. And that paedophilia will gain recognition as something other than a crime, as a disease or condition. Once we are at that point, we can be assured that as a nation are done. When God judged Israel, alien invaders from elsewhere came in upon them like a cloud of locusts. And they were conquered and taken away into captivity.

Perhaps that’s all that’s going on here.

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Your Life…

systemfailure” is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent in the programming of the Matrix- The Architect, The Matrix Reloaded

There is something about you and I that remains unfinished, incomplete, unbalanced.  And it is due to the world around us, the system that surrounds and fills everything we see, feel, taste, and experience on this earth. We search for the answer to “The Question”. You know the Question… “What is the Matrix”, what is this life all about? We will search for the answer till the day of Jesus Christ. There has come One who broke through the dark clouds, the aberrant programming we’ve all been subjected to, and has shown us blue skies ahead. Yet there remains a war to fight, a battle within and without that won’t end until He returns or we rest with our fathers.

The largest part of the battle is in our heads, believing that we even belong in this struggle. That God wants us to do more than survive underground. He wants us to wake up, and walk in all that He has given us. Because we are required if this world is to be saved, reconciled to God. That looks ridiculous in print. It doesn’t make sense if others knew you or me the way we know ourselves. That means that we are not here by accident, that God understood our failures, shortcomings, and besetting sins long before He chose us. He knew that about us before He ever sent His Son.

As a kid, I always thought that I had been born into the wrong time period, that somehow I was better suited to have lived in another place and time.  That God had made a mistake and that it would have been better, more exciting, easier, or more fulfilling had I entered time at another point. I have come to understand, I think, what the words of Irenaeus, “the Glory of God is man fully alive”, really means. That I bring Glory to God when I am walking in the fullness of who he made me. Here and now. Even in my incompleteness.

It is our job to fight past the allure, deception, and condemnation of this life, to discover the joy of unique excellence in our own personal context. To become fully alive. And then pray for grace and strength to live that out here and now until our end.

Most people want to believe that their lives matter, that they are here for a reason. Only a few actually discover what that is, come fully alive, and live that out to the Glory of God.  Looking at my own life, I see how I was redirected and given the substitute, the vaccination to real life. But it is not too late, if you believe the Gospel.

Jesus words ring loudly regarding money, the accumulation of things, and following the crowd that walks into the wide gate.

I believe that God’s judgement is already being visited upon us. We sacrificed our children to Molech, have glorified homosexuality from the highest offices in the land, and have made the name of God a forbidden word in public. We look at 911 as a terrible terrorist act on our soil.  No doubt it was. But why did it happen? God has used foreign invaders in the past as  instruments of judgement, so many times.  We should fight terrorism, but reflect upon why it has come to our shores. What have we done, or not done, that has caused God to allow this? If we aren’t careful we may find in our struggle that we are really struggling against God himself while we try to stem the tide of illegal immigration and terrorism.  We won’t hide from his judgement because we’re better fighters with superior technology. As Agent Smith said, “It is the stench…” Our immorality reaches heaven, and yet we sit like a pig farmer on a muggy Sunday morning, busily trying to fan the stench away from ourselves so that those around us don’t notice.

God will protect His own in the midst of it, but that’s not to say that we won’t experience tribulation along the way. Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, and his family experienced great famine. Daniel was carried off to Babylon, and spent many sleepless nights praying, seeking God’s wisdom and direction, becoming an enduring testimony to God’s faithfulness.

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In The 10 Ring- “Black Lies Matter”


Black “Lies” Matter


By Chuck Lehmann — Bio and Archives  August 23, 2015
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Sheriff David Clarke, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (a black sheriff) came up with that play on the phrase,  “Black Lives Matter”, which is an off-shoot of the radical black group called, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” (a proven discredited phrase that came about during the Ferguson, Mo. incident of last year).

This racist loosely-knit organization, “Black Lives Matter” (which is similar to the predominantly white radical group of a few years ago, called “Occupy Wall Street), is going around the country trying to agitate racial incidents, and by shutting down speakers at various political gatherings.  They have had some success in a few places and events.  The main disruptions have been against mostly Democrats, but it is most likely going to extend to Republicans in the near future.

This group is trying to generate controversy by injecting racial animosity into almost every case where there is a confrontation between a black person and a white law enforcement official.  Leaders of this “racist” movement are the usual suspects, Al Sharpton,  Professor Cornel West and other “racial arsonists”.

It seems that they are only interested in getting involved in incidents between blacks and whites.  They don’t seem to care about the enormous uptick of violence and murder that is occurring in the predominantly black communities around the country and its black on black violence, mayhem and looting.  I guess that doesn’t fit their agenda of roiling up racial discord to further whatever ends they are trying to accomplish,

Meanwhile, predominantly black towns and cities are reeling under the impact of this racial turmoil.  It seems that the powers-to-be in the Obama administration are not using the “bully pulpit”, like they should, to stem this movement and the violence it is engendering by its provocative actions.  Obama said six years ago that he was going to be a racial healer, but it seems he has abdicated that goal and has instead became a racial agitator by injecting himself into various incidents over the years, generally against the cops.  Cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Ferguson, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Oakland etc. have become battlegrounds, whereby the police have become the enemy, not the protectors of the community they are sworn to protect.  The police in these communities are very hesitant to act and carry out their duties for fears of being arrested and charged with a crime, of losing their job, notwithstanding, the fear of bodily injury by attacks on them by people in the community.  Politicians have used the police as scapegoats for the inefficiency of the public officials running these communities (mayors and public prosecutors).  By the way, most all these communities under siege, are run by liberal Democrats, might there be a correlation?

So yes, Sheriff David Clarke has coined the proper revision of that phrase of “Black Lives Matter” to “Black Lies Matter”, for that is what it is, a false narrative by black rabble-rousers trying to agitate for more violence and confrontation.  Where is our president when we need leadership to stem this violence?  Probably on the golf course or hosting a championship sports team at the White House?  Rome burns while Nero (Obama) fiddles.  How sad!


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The Didache – Lord’s Teachings of The Twelve Apostles



This may be the earliest document ever put out by the Apostles, concerning the Church, and how to conduct yourself in this world. It has been dated by some around 96 A.D., and as early as 50 A.D., nearly contemporary with the Gospel of Matthew. It isn’t inspired in the same sense as the whole of the New Testament, but I think it is a good primer on early Christian living.



Roberts-Donaldson translation;

The Didache
The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations.

Chapter 1. The Two Ways and the First Commandment. There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. And of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If someone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you shall be perfect. If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, ask it not back, for indeed you are not able. Give to every one who asks you, and ask it not back; for the Father wills that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts). Happy is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. Woe to him who receives; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless; but he who receives not having need shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what. And coming into confinement, he shall be examined concerning the things which he has done, and he shall not escape from there until he pays back the last penny. And also concerning this, it has been said, Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give.

Chapter 2. The Second Commandment: Grave Sin Forbidden. And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, you shall not swear, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall bear no grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed. You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.

Chapter 3. Other Sins Forbidden. My child, flee from every evil thing, and from every likeness of it. Be not prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Be neither jealous, nor quarrelsome, nor of hot temper, for out of all these murders are engendered. My child, be not a lustful one. for lust leads to fornication. Be neither a filthy talker, nor of lofty eye, for out of all these adulteries are engendered. My child, be not an observer of omens, since it leads to idolatry. Be neither an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, nor be willing to took at these things, for out of all these idolatry is engendered. My child, be not a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Be neither money-loving, nor vainglorious, for out of all these thefts are engendered. My child, be not a murmurer, since it leads the way to blasphemy. Be neither self-willed nor evil-minded, for out of all these blasphemies are engendered.

Rather, be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth. Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good and always trembling at the words which you have heard. You shall not exalt yourself, nor give over-confidence to your soul. Your soul shall not be joined with lofty ones, but with just and lowly ones shall it have its intercourse. Accept whatever happens to you as good, knowing that apart from God nothing comes to pass.

Chapter 4. Various Precepts. My child, remember night and day him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as you do the Lord. For wherever the lordly rule is uttered, there is the Lord. And seek out day by day the faces of the saints, in order that you may rest upon their words. Do not long for division, but rather bring those who contend to peace. Judge righteously, and do not respect persons in reproving for transgressions. You shall not be undecided whether or not it shall be. Be not a stretcher forth of the hands to receive and a drawer of them back to give. If you have anything, through your hands you shall give ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, nor complain when you give; for you shall know who is the good repayer of the hire. Do not turn away from him who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are partakers in that which is immortal, how much more in things which are mortal? Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; rather, teach them the fear of God from their youth. Do not enjoin anything in your bitterness upon your bondman or maidservant, who hope in the same God, lest ever they shall fear not God who is over both; for he comes not to call according to the outward appearance, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. And you bondmen shall be subject to your masters as to a type of God, in modesty and fear. You shall hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way forsake the commandments of the Lord; but keep what you have received, neither adding thereto nor taking away therefrom. In the church you shall acknowledge your transgressions, and you shall not come near for your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life.

Chapter 5. The Way of Death. And the way of death is this: First of all it is evil and accursed: murders, adultery, lust, fornication, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rape, false witness, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness; persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing a reward for righteousness, not cleaving to good nor to righteous judgment, watching not for that which is good, but for that which is evil; from whom meekness and endurance are far, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, not pitying a poor man, not laboring for the afflicted, not knowing Him Who made them, murderers of children, destroyers of the handiwork of God, turning away from him who is in want, afflicting him who is distressed, advocates of the rich, lawless judges of the poor, utter sinners. Be delivered, children, from all these.

Chapter 6. Against False Teachers, and Food Offered to Idols. See that no one causes you to err from this way of the Teaching, since apart from God it teaches you. For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able to do this, do what you are able. And concerning food, bear what you are able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols be exceedingly careful; for it is the service of dead gods.

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

Chapter 8. Fasting and Prayer (the Lord’s Prayer). But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week. Rather, fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday). Do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, like this:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily (needful) bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, evil); for Thine is the power and the glory for ever..

Pray this three times each day.

Chapter 9. The Eucharist. Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup:

We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever..

And concerning the broken bread:

We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..

But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”

Chapter 10. Prayer after Communion. But after you are filled, give thanks this way:

We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name’s sake; You gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant. Before all things we thank Thee that You are mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou have prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.

But permit the prophets to make Thanksgiving as much as they desire.

Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets. Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not. But if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the Gospel. Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain more than one day; or two days, if there’s a need. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet who speaks in the Spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not every one who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; but only if he holds the ways of the Lord. Therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be known. And every prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it, unless he is indeed a false prophet. And every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the Church in the world, yet not teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with God he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets. But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for others’ sake who are in need, let no one judge him.

Chapter 12. Reception of Christians. But receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. But if he wants to stay with you, and is an artisan, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, according to your understanding, see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep away from such.

Chapter 13. Support of Prophets. But every true prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of his support. So also a true teacher is himself worthy, as the workman, of his support. Every first-fruit, therefore, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and of sheep, you shall take and give to the prophets, for they are your high priests. But if you have no prophet, give it to the poor. If you make a batch of dough, take the first-fruit and give according to the commandment. So also when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give it to the prophets; and of money (silver) and clothing and every possession, take the first-fruit, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.

Chapter 14. Christian Assembly on the Lord’s Day. But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: “In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”

Chapter 15. Bishops and Deacons; Christian Reproof. Appoint, therefore, for yourselves, bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men meek, and not lovers of money, and truthful and proved; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. Therefore do not despise them, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers. And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the Gospel. But to anyone that acts amiss against another, let no one speak, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have it in the Gospel of our Lord.

Chapter 16. Watchfulness; the Coming of the Lord. Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

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Judgement Day: Musk, Hawking warn of ‘inevitable’ killer robot arms race

Terminator27 July 15 by Michael Rundle

A global robotic arms race “is virtually inevitable” unless a ban is imposed on autonomous weapons, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and 1,000 academics, researchers and public figures have warned. In an open letter presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aries, the Future of Life Institute signatories caution that “starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control”.


Although the letter, first reported by the Guardian, notes that “we believe that AI has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways, and that the goal of the field should be to do so”, it concludes that “this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow”. Joining Professor Hawking and SpaceX founder Elon Musk below the letter are Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, linguist Noam Chomsky, cofounder of Sky Jaan Tallinn and Stephen Goose, director of Human Rights Watch’s arms division. The UK says it is not developing lethal AI, but the potential to build such weapons already exists and is developing fast — a recent report into the future of warfare commissioned by the US military predicts “swarms of robots” will be ubiquitous by 2050. In response, experts and high-profile figures like Musk have made repeated calls to limit the development of deadly AI, even as peaceful autonomy grows more central to virtually every other area of tech and industry. The Future of Life Institute announced in June it would use a $10m donation from Elon Musk to fund 37 projects aimed at keeping AI “beneficial”, with $1.5m dedicated to a new research centre in the UK run by Oxford and Cambridge universities. The latest letter starts by defining autonomous weapons as those which “select and engage targets without human intervention”, including quadcopters able to search for and kill people, but not remotely piloted missiles or drones. It also lists the arguments usually made in favour of such machines — such as reducing casualties among soldiers. But for the academics and figures who signed the letter, AI weapons are potentially more dangerous than nuclear bombs. “Unlike nuclear weapons, they require no costly or hard-to-obtain raw materials, so they will become ubiquitous and cheap for all significant military powers to mass-produce. It will only be a matter of time until they appear on the black market and in the hands of terrorists, dictators wishing to better control their populace, warlords wishing to perpetrate ethnic cleansing, etc. “Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilising nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.” The letter also notes specifically that most AI researchers do not want to “tarnish their field” by contributing to lethal AI and “by doing so, potentially creating a major public backlash against AI that curtails its future societal benefits”. “Indeed, chemists and biologists have broadly supported international agreements that have successfully prohibited chemical and biological weapons, just as most physicists supported the treaties banning space-based nuclear weapons and blinding laser weapons.” Prompted in part by anti-autonomous weapons pressure groups, the United Nations debated the potential for a global ban on lethal autonomous weapons earlier this year — which the UK has officially opposed. The Foreign Office stated earlier this year that “at present, we do not see the need for a prohibition on the use of Laws, as international humanitarian law already provides sufficient regulation for this area”. Also earlier this year, Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkley, wrote in the journal Nature that two programmes commissioned by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) would — if successful — “foreshadow planned uses” of killer robots, and potentially contravene the Geneva Convention. “As flying robots become smaller, their manoeuvrability increases and their ability to be targeted decreases,” Russell said. “They have a shorter range, yet they must be large enough to carry a lethal payload — perhaps a one-gram shaped charge to puncture the human cranium.”

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For The Love of Texas

castaway angel wingsI’ve planned to write about my love of Texas for a while now. It’s not exactly what you might think, though.  Yes, I have a fascination with Texas that began way back when, the very first time that I watched Castaway. There is something about the film that speaks to the parallels in my life, times of isolation and solitude, pointing me in new directions, to change. And in this you could say that I’ve found Angel wings.

No, I don’t think that I’m Chuck Noland. And no, I don’t really look like Tom Hanks.

At all.

Back to the story.

Sometime soon after I saw Castaway for the first time I actually went to Texas, for the first time.  The visit hardly warrants retelling.

This very first time was at a business meeting in Shreveport, La. One of the guys I was on the project with just ‘out of the blue’ asked if I’d ever been to Texas. “Well no, I never have been to Texas, maybe one day”, I said. Perhaps it was my thinly veiled Yankee accent that convinced he and my team-mates that we must make a late night run to a Steak & Ale house somewhere over the border. I had lived in the South for 16 years by that time, but had never affected any degree of Southern accent. Some of my vowels have softened, but “you can take the boy out of Ohio, but you can’t take Ohio (completely) out of the boy”. As we finished eating, he smiled at me, satisfied he’d done something extraordinary for me. “Now you can say that you’ve been to Texas.” I smiled, and said “thanks.” I had been inoculated. Or perhaps infected. At the very least I had eaten a good steak, washed down by a good cold beer. A Shiner Bock, I believe. There wasn’t anything mysterious about it, just a friendly gesture. I think it was just an excuse to put some steaks and a couple of beers on his expense report.

Technically, THAT was my first visit, though certainly not my last. It was not enough to set the hook. That was to come later.

In late 2011, I spent a week at a friends ranch somewhere in Texas. They are a wonderful couple, good people.  Yeah, it sounds glamorous, extravagant.  ‘Ranch’ is being generous, it’s mostly pasture, a lot of hard work in rough surroundings, very Spartan when it came to creature comforts.  But I was a bachelor by then. Roughing it didn’t bother me, I was accustomed to it nearly as a life style. I had already spent years of weekends with grubby little Boy Scouts puking in their sleeping bags at night, washing their hands only when reminded, wearing the same pair of clothes for nearly a week while away at camp, etc.  So I could hardly be offended by frontier-like amenities. I just needed a place to get away.

So… my divorce had been final for about 6 months, and I needed to get away from things for a bit. Yeah, I had wanted to do things right, treat my ‘Ex’ well, and had hopes that she would work with me on seeing the kids as much as possible, because Dads are important in a child’s life. It was not that easy. It was painful, gut wrenching stuff for me, confusing for the kids, and at times I needed to get far away just to clear my head. Some guys would have bought a Harley and socked her in the nose. I didn’t have the money, nor the temperament for that so instead I went and shovelled out horse stalls. I think I made the better choice.  At least I slept well.

So, while at the ranch I slept in my sleeping bag, on top of a bed in the trailer, and I didn’t shower near as much as I would have liked (just like the Boy Scouts!). But it was good for me to see another part of the world, as I mentioned I just needed to get away. Still, a hot shower in a clean place would have been more than appreciated, it would have felt like heaven.

While I was there, I met a tall, dark, and very attractive woman who was a friend of my friend’s wife. Yep, a ‘friend of a friend’. That was cool. It certainly made the trip more enjoyable, the air was charged with a subtle intrigue. I wasn’t looking for someone so soon, and certainly not that far away. I still had my head up my A#$, as that is what happens to you after a divorce. At least it did to me. As a point of reference, I had four speeding tickets in the two years surrounding the time our divorce was final. I didn’t have but maybe 2 in the previous 36 years. But when you drive around with your head up your backside, thinking about how much you miss your kids, (did I tell them that I loved them enough? did I show them as well every time I had the chance?) well, it’s hard to read speed limit signs like that through the rain and the fog, when your mind is a million miles away held captive by such things.

I remember the first time that ‘tall, dark and beautiful’ and I met, very well. I was sitting at the kitchen table, talking with my friend when she suddenly walked in. Our eyes met, we smiled, and I thought “wow”. I stood up and shook her hand, like she was a business associate or something. She was drop dead gorgeous, and funny, I felt awkward. “Why are you nervous?” I thought. “Man, this would’ve been easier if she had not been sweet, and incredibly attractive”. “Yep, it’ll be tough duty to hang out around here now”, I thought sarcastically to myself. This was an unexpected pleasure that I wasn’t ready to handle.

The next morning, I discovered that I had made a dreadful miscalculation. My hosts either didn’t drink coffee, or didn’t think coffee was an essential part of life. Either way, my inner Gollum was about to be exposed for the nasty little troll that he was.  My life, without coffee, is a sad tale indeed. A dark, frightful tale filled with Orcs, and dreadful beasts.  Simply because I don’t have one freaking cup of coffee in the morning.

I stumbled out the next morning, thinking I’d have to make a 15 mile drive to McDonalds for a cup of watered down “McCoffee”…yuck. But here she came, holding out a steaming hot mug of freshly ground French Roast.  She was a vision from heaven itself.  I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. “Where have you been all of my life?”, I thought. Wow. The first sip felt so good going down, it must be what an addict feels when he finally gets his fix.  My dopamine spiked, and I quickly returned to my normal, less dangerous self. She had, in one swift stroke, found the chink in my armour and tamed my inner beast. All too easy…

The week sped by quickly, with an endless number of stalls that needed cleaning, horse feed that needed hauling, work that needed doing, and coffee that needed drinking.  I found time to talk with my friends, and with “Tex” (as one of my friends calls her), in between the chores. And she was interested in talking with me too. We developed an easy rapport, you can just tell when you have met someone who understands the way that you think, that sees things the way that you do. It doesn’t happen often for me, and when it does I like to keep in touch with that person. I thought about this, but she was in Texas, I in Alabama, and under different circumstances this could turn into something. Yeah, very interesting and definitely someone who I’d spend more time with if we lived closer. But let’s face it, in a practical sense, this just ain’t gonna fly.  I prayed about it a few times, and didn’t hear much. I thought that meant “move on”.

Work was crazy, my friend on the ranch was begging for more help, and so I decided to take a week off early the following year and head back out to lend a hand. And yes, in the back of my mind I was thinking about ‘Tex’. The chances were slim that I’d see her again. But within days of deciding that I was going back, I emailed her and let her in on the news, on the off-chance that we might have dinner once while I was there.

I was pleasantly surprised when she told me that she was planning to head out for that entire week as well, and asked if I minded. Of course not, though in the back of my mind I knew this could be no coincidence.

This second visit began pleasantly enough. She was so bothered by the condition of the trailer that she spent an entire morning cleaning it up before my arrival.  I walked in as she was finishing up. The place shined, she had worked very hard trying to make the place comfortable for me. I was very touched by her efforts. We gave each other a nice little church hug, and smiled. And once again, we found more time to talk in between chores than I would have thought. We spent evenings talking about all sorts of things, people we knew in common, books we had read, current events. She was smart, self-effacing, and very interesting. Add to that funny, and I found myself beginning to think about her in ways that a 50-year-old man should have outgrown by now. I didn’t allow myself to think too far down this road… she was in Texas and I was, usually, in Bama. It became increasingly difficult to keep my head on straight as the week wore on. I prayed, and survived.

That week flew by, we had discovered a rare friendship, shared a lot of laughter, and our perspectives on religion, government, the world, life. Yes, in another time and place, we could be dangerous together.

In the nearly four years that have followed, I’ve been to Texas multiple times , she to Alabama, and so it goes. We have found ways to stay in touch, to be a part of one another’s life. It hasn’t been easy, I wouldn’t have believed it had someone told me. But she is worth it.

A year and a half ago, an old business associate called me out of the blue. We had stayed in touch, talked regularly, and so it wasn’t unusual for him to call.  This time was different though. His company needed someone to do the some of the things that I do. And it was the company that I had most wanted to work for, doing the job I loved most. The problem, he said, was that the job wasn’t in Alabama. I’d probably have to move. Hmm.  I just didn’t know about this… I’d lived in Alabama since 1998, and in the South East since 1989. Though it would be the answer to a number of prayers.

My job had become increasingly difficult. I was the Daddy-Rabbit, the one that made things happen, that made sure we posted a profit, found new projects to keep cash flow positive, and made sure my people were engaged and empowered to do what they did best. In the last year I was often at the office by 5:30 am, and didn’t get back home until 6 pm. Yes, I loved what I did, but working like that is not sustainable. Not if you aspire to having a personal life.

My friend and I talked several times over the year that followed. I sent a resume’, eventually had several interviews, and then he asked me to meet him for breakfast the next morning. He said that I WOULD have to move. “Chuck, you may not want this job, you’ll have to leave Alabama for sure, you’ll have to move.”  Long pause. “Probably to Texas.”  I smiled. “Really? Tell me about Texas…”

When it was all said and done, he was close, like hand grenades and horseshoes.   “Probably to Texas” has put me just one state away, a little over 4 hours away from my sweetheart. Doing what I love, near the one that I love.

I’m farther away from my kids, my friends, everything that I’ve known for the last 20+ years. One of my buddies told me, “You don’t seem to be afraid of an adventure. Most people hate change, run from it. You seemed to grab this as you ran past it, you seem ready.” It’s called taking a year to think about it, pray about it, and get ready for it.

Yes, I was ready. I heard something back in 2004 that I couldn’t get out of my head. It called me to adventure, to suffering, to growth and change. I heard something more in it. Most of the time it didn’t make sense.

Now, sitting here and looking back, I understand a little of what was happening so long ago. I was being prepared for a journey I’d have otherwise been afraid to take. I was becoming conditioned to a level of change I’d never have embraced otherwise.

Like Chuck in Castaway, I’ve been sent somewhere I’d not have chosen. But in this adventure, I also have found Angel Wings. In Texas. Chuck didn’t understand why that box spoke to him, why it was special. All he knew was that when he finally saw those wings again, he had to follow them.

I get it. I really, really get it.

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Report: Rand Paul calls for scrutiny of Muslims

Rand has it right.

All I can say is “Roger that.”  We have abandoned common sense, and have fostered a national self-hatred that now surpasses lunacy, that is unparalleled except for perhaps the understandable national shame and guilt shouldered by post-WWII Germany.  Our President wants to take away all of our rights, including our ability to think for ourselves, protect our borders, continue to be governed by the rule of law (unless he thinks it convenient to impose a new one),and our right to self-determination. Yes, scrutinize those coming into this country, make no excuse for it, and if there is something questionable about them, nothing that we as a country want or need, let them take their wares elsewhere. As for those here illegally, find them root them out, and buy them a C-130 ride back to the tarmac of their land of origin.

Report: Rand Paul calls for scrutiny of Muslims.

Report: Rand Paul calls for scrutiny of Muslims

Breitbart News is reporting that GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul told one of its reporters backstage at a speech in Houston last night that the U.S. should provide extra scrutiny of people coming into the country from predominantly Muslim countries after the Chattanooga, Tenn., terrorist attack on Friday.

“I’m very concerned about immigration to this country from countries that have hotbeds of jihadism and hotbeds of this Islamism,” Paul told Breitbart. “I think there does need to be heightened scrutiny. Nobody has a right to come to America, so this isn’t something that we can say ‘oh, their rights are being violated.’ It’s a privilege to come to America and we need to thoroughly screen those who are coming.”

The alleged shooter in the Chattanooga incident — which claimed the lives of five U.S. Marines — was named Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. The 24-year-old was born in Kuwait and immigrated to the U.S.

Paul also cited an incident in his hometown of Bowling Green, Ky., where two Iraqi refugees who were placed in Kentucky tried to buy military grade missiles.

“I think we’re doing the wrong thing by just having this open door policy to bring in people without significant scrutiny. I’m for increasing scrutiny on people who come on student visas from the 25 countries that have significant jihadism. Also, any kind of permanent visas or green cards, we need to be very careful. I don’t think we’re being careful enough with who we let in,” he said.

Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he would ask that senators to look at reinstating the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System program.

Started in 2002 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the DHS system recorded the arrival, stay and departure of people from countries chosen based on an analysis of possible national security threats. Registrants were also required to register when they left. The program was effectively eliminated in 2011.

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Big Surprise – Health Insurance Co’s Seek Big Rate Increases in 2016

Just in case you thought you were better off having Big Government run any part of your life… I’d rather drink English tea.

Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016 – The New York Times.

Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016

Jesse Ellis O’Brien, a health advocate at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, said: “Rate increases will be bigger in 2016 than they have been for years and years and will have a profound effect on consumers here. Some may start wondering if insurance is affordable or if it’s worth the money.”

President Obama, on a trip to Tennessee this week, said that consumers should put pressure on state insurance regulators to scrutinize the proposed rate increases. If commissioners do their job and actively review rates, he said, “my expectation is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested.”

The rate requests, from some of the more popular health plans, suggest that insurance markets are still adjusting to shock waves set off by the Affordable Care Act.

It is far from certain how many of the rate increases will hold up on review, or how much they might change. But already the proposals, buttressed with reams of actuarial data, are fueling fierce debate about the effectiveness of the health law.

A study of 11 cities in different states by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that consumers would see relatively modest increases in premiums if they were willing to switch plans. But if they switch plans, consumers would have no guarantee that they can keep their doctors. And to get low premiums, they sometimes need to accept a more limited choice of doctors and hospitals.

Some say the marketplaces have not attracted enough healthy young people. “As a result, millions of people will face Obamacare sticker shock,” said Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming.

By contrast, Marinan R. Williams, chief executive of the Scott & White Health Plan in Texas, which is seeking a 32 percent rate increase, said the requests showed that “there was a real need for the Affordable Care Act.”

“People are getting services they needed for a very long time,” Ms. Williams said. “There was a pent-up demand. Over the next three years, I hope, rates will start to stabilize.”

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, said that federal subsidies would soften the impact of any rate increases. Of the 10.2 million people who obtained coverage through federal and state marketplaces this year, 85 percent receive subsidies in the form of tax credits to help pay premiums.

In an interview, Ms. Burwell said consumers could also try to find less expensive plans in the open enrollment period that begins in November. “You have a marketplace where there is competition,” she said, “and people can shop for the plan that best meets their needs in terms of quality and price.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico has requested rate increases averaging 51 percent for its 33,000 members. The proposal elicited tart online comments from consumers.

“This rate increase is ridiculous,” one subscriber wrote on the website of the New Mexico insurance superintendent.

In their submissions to federal and state regulators, insurers cite several reasons for big rate increases. These include the needs of consumers, some of whom were previously uninsured; the high cost of specialty drugs; and a policy adopted by the Obama administration in late 2013 that allowed some people to keep insurance that did not meet new federal standards.

“Healthier people chose to keep their plans,” said Amy L. Bowen, a spokeswoman for the Geisinger Health Plan in Pennsylvania, and people buying insurance on the exchange were therefore sicker than expected. Geisinger, often praised as a national model of coordinated care, has requested an increase of 40 percent in rates for its health maintenance organization.

Insurers with decades of experience and brand-new plans underestimated claims costs.

“Our enrollees generated 24 percent more claims than we thought they would when we set our 2014 rates,” said Nathan T. Johns, the chief financial officer of Arches Health Plan, which covers about one-fourth of the people who bought insurance through the federal exchange in Utah. As a result, the company said, it collected premiums of $39.7 million and had claims of $56.3 million in 2014. It has requested rate increases averaging 45 percent for 2016.

The rate requests are the first to reflect a full year of experience with the new insurance exchanges and federal standards that require insurers to accept all applicants, without charging higher prices because of a person’s illness or disability. The 2010 health law established the rate review process, requiring insurance companies to disclose and justify large proposed increases. Under federal rules, increases of 10 percent or more are subject to review.

Federal officials have often highlighted a provision of the Affordable Care Act that caps insurers’ profits and requires them to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care and related activities. “Because of the Affordable Care Act,” Mr. Obama told supporters in 2013, “insurance companies have to spend at least 80 percent of every dollar that you pay in premiums on your health care — not on overhead, not on profits, but on you.”

In financial statements filed with the government in the last two months, some insurers said that their claims payments totaled not just 80 percent, but more than 100 percent of premiums. And that, they said, is unsustainable.

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, for example, the ratio of claims paid to premium revenues was more than 115 percent, and the company said it lost more than $135 million on its individual insurance business in 2014. “Based on first-quarter results,” it said, “the year-end deficit for 2015 individual business is expected to be significantly higher.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the largest insurer in the state’s individual market, said its proposed increase of 36 percent could affect more than 209,000 consumers.

“There’s not a lot of mystery to it,” said Roy Vaughn, a vice president of the Tennessee Blue Cross plan. “We lost a significant amount of money in the marketplace, $141 million, because we were not very accurate in predicting the utilization of health care.”

Julie Mix McPeak, the Tennessee insurance commissioner, said she would ask “hard questions of the companies we regulate, to protect consumers.”

After public hearings and a rigorous review, Ms. Cali, the Oregon insurance commissioner, found that the cost of providing coverage to individuals and families in 2014 was $830 million, while premiums were only $703 million. She directed some carriers to raise rates in 2016 even more than they had proposed.

Health Net, for example, requested rate increases averaging 9 percent in Oregon. The state approved increases averaging 34.8 percent. Oregon’s Health Co-op requested a 5.3 percent increase. The state called for a 19.9 percent increase.

“We share the concerns expressed through public comment about the affordability of health insurance in Oregon,” said Ms. Cali, an actuary. But, she added, “inadequate rates could result in companies going out of business in the middle of the plan year, or being unable to pay claims.”

Coventry Health Care, now owned by Aetna, is seeking rate increases that average 22 percent for 70,000 consumers in Missouri. “The claims experience for these plans has been worse than anticipated,” Coventry reported.

In its proposal to increase rates by an average of 25 percent for more than 397,000 consumers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina cited “inpatient costs, particularly in treatment of cancer and heart conditions, emergency room utilization, and cost for specialty drug medications” to treat hepatitis C, breast cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas sought increases averaging 37 percent for 2016 and said the increase could affect 28,600 consumers.

“Kansans who purchased these individual plans since 2014 were older, in general, than expected and required more medical services than anticipated,” the company told federal health officials.

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Culture Wars

conservatives-liberals-culture-warExcerpts from Matt K.Lewis’ story that is running in The Telegraph

The most accurate and succinct depiction of where we are as a people, as a culture, is given to us by a British subject. And it’s obvious that he is recognizing and mourning the loss of our society more clearly then even we.  Britain must look on in amazement at what we’ve done and become since 1776, at least till now.

“But putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes is a two-way street… Now, pretend for a minute that you’re a 50-year old white man living somewhere in the Deep South. You cast your first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984. As a kid, your favorite show was the Dukes of Hazzard, which featured a car called The General Lee. The backdrop to every party or prom you’ve ever attended was the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd (with lyrics like “In Birmingham they love the governor”). Today, your way of life is under attack – and this (by far) transcends the Confederate flag. You’re experiencing what feels like a radical cultural revolution. The White House celebrates Same-Sex Marriage ruling.  You grew up being taught to respect authority – and now the police and the military are increasingly coming under attack. Then-candidate Barack Obama mocked people who “cling to guns and religion”. But you grew up around guns – both for hunting and protection. And you grew up attending church every Sunday. Now Christianity and guns are both under attack all of a sudden. Some are even suggesting Walmart shouldn’t sell guns any more. Friday night football was another huge part of your life. Today, there’s talk about banning high school football – and your own president declared that if he had a son, he’s not sure he’d even let him play.

Bruce Jenner – you know, the man who was considered the greatest athlete in the world when you were 10-years old? – now goes by the name Caitlyn. (More astonishingly, your kids scold you when you refer to “him” and not “her.”) You turn on the TV and hear about a woman named Rachel Dolezal, a white girl who unilaterally decided to become black. The assumption, I suppose, is that nothing is permanent. The once immutable concept of gender and race are now fluid. You grew up being taught that homosexuality was a sin. On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. In what seems like a matter of minutes, the Confederate flag has been replaced by the gay rights rainbow flag. The smoky bar you used to go to do drown your sorrows is now “a smoke-free environment”.

You’re not sure when it happened, but all of a sudden, Bruce Jenner is a woman, marriage is for two men, and Rachel Dolezal is black. Institutions you grew up with are being being torn down, almost overnight. Behaviour which was once completely normal is now considered politically incorrect, or even intolerant. Some of these changes are clearly good; some of them will probably lead to problems down the road. Either way, it’s all happening very rapidly. And I think we can expect there to be major political reverberations – just as there were during the 1960s.

The sad part is you can expect agitators and politicians on both sides of the aisle to use this to gin up anger and attention and votes. The progressive winners in this culture war want to punish their opponents. They don’t want comity, they want revenge. Meanwhile, politicians on the right will likely play up the politics of resentment for their own purposes, as well. Neither impulse is healthy…”- end quote.

All I can honestly say is “Come, Lord Jesus”..quickly!

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Pope Francis To Followers: “Koran And Holy Bible Are The Same” | WashingtonPost

How bout we play “Find the Pope in the Cow Pie”… This is a bunch of papal fertilizer…

Pope Francis To Followers: “Koran And Holy Bible Are The Same” | WashingtonPost

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

On Monday the Bishop Of Rome addressed Catholic followers regarding the dire importance of exhibiting religious tolerance. During his hour-long speech, a smiling Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican’s guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein, are just as valid as the Holy Bible.

“Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Jehovah, Allah. These are all names employed to describe an entity that is distinctly the same across the world. For centuries, blood has been needlessly shed because of the desire to segregate our faiths. This, however, should be the very concept which unites us as people, as nations, and as a world bound by faith. Together, we can bring about an unprecedented age of peace, all we need to achieve such a state is respect each others beliefs, for we are all children of God regardless of the name we choose to address him by. We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now. No longer shall we slaughter our neighbors over differences in reference to their God.

The pontiff drew harsh criticisms in December after photos of the 78-year-old Catholic leader was released depicting Pope Francis kissing a Koran. The Muslim Holy Book was given to Francis during a meeting with Muslim leaders after a lengthy Muslim prayer held at the Vatican.

St. John Paul II has courted several controversies since being elected as Pope Benedicto XVI’s replacement in 2013. Francis has gone on record to say that homosexuals are not to be judged, Proselytism is nonsense and has endorsed the usage of contraceptive by Catholics.

The Vatican will meet again with Muslim leaders in late February where they plan to talk about further steps that can be taken to spread understanding and awareness of the Islamic religion.

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When Ravens Bring News From The South



“Most of us are not so strong. What is honour compared to a woman’s love? And what is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms? Or a brother’s smile?”… “We’re all human. Oh, we all do our duty when there’s no cost to it. Honour comes easy then. Yet sooner or later, in every man’s life, there comes a day when it is not easy. A day when he must choose.”
– Master Aemon, Game of Thrones

“Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for?
– William J. Bennett

I accidentally pre-posted this the other day. Anyone who saw it probably thought it didn’t make much sense. They may still think so after its completion.

This is not about stopping illegal immigrants who have passed through the Isthmus of Panama, or Isis operatives down on the border. Or putting together a plan to survive our current Presidents efforts to turn this country into the greatest third-world-has-been-Super-Power.  Or being prepared to defend the homeland against the inevitable terrorist attack, false flag event, or some other nationalistic flag waiving attempt to “retake” the homeland.

It’s about what the church will do when (not if) it is cut out of the herd, betrayed, made enemies of the state, and denied her Constitutional right to freely exercise her religion, and freedom of speech.

Will she pale, bow the knee and deny her Lord?

Will we pale, and tremble, and bow the knee?

Or will we stand.

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