Archive for December, 2012

A Game Called “Fiscal Cliff”

Is there anyone out there who is still unconscious enough to believe anything our politicians say or do?  I suppose the incredulous answer is “Yes” because they’re still “saying  and doing” and, as in the President’s staged statement made just moments ago concerning the pending fiscal cliff… they’re still allowing themselves to be used as useful idiots positioned for the camera behind the President with smiles on their faces. Amazing. Truly!

th (64)These corrupt, disingenuous and self-serving public servants have just been given a pay raise by our President to be paid for with your tax dollars while they vacationed for Christmas at their respective homes (in the President’s case Hawaii) while we were left twisting in the wind over the potential price of milk and our tax burdens for 2013 and beyond. Then, they did us a favor and returned from holiday to perhaps cut a totally inadequate and piecemeal deal at the 11th hour when they should have, and could have, worked this out months ago.

This is but the latest example of why you have to disengage from “The Game.”

The purpose of The Game is to keep you twisting in the wind and therefore, frightened. Frightened people are infinitely more manageable and easily manipulated (read: “enslaved”) than are independent, internally directed, personally responsible people. Hence, why they perpetuate all the uncertainty and fear.

I love board games but I don’t play chess. The reason I don’t play is because no matter how many times it’s been explained to me, I don’t get it. Besides, there are a multitude of other games to play with rules I do understand. Now, maybe it’s not the best analogy. After all, the rules of chess don’t change mid-game as do the rules of elite power brokers. Power brokers, and those sycophants who hang by their sides, play by rules and change them at will while the rest of us are forever playing catch up.

But where the analogy is GREAT is that we don’t have to play this game. We can get off this board and choose another game.

The one I like is “The Game of Oneness.”

It has many dimensions but the rules are constant no matter which one you’re in:

1. Be personally responsible. 2. Have unfaltering integrity. 3. Think for yourself. 4. Buy only what you like regardless of what is marketed. 5. Back off technology. 6. Exhibit compassion for yourself and others. 7. Spend time in Nature and realign with its rhythms. 8. Cultivate joy in your heart and spread it outward. 9. Do no harm.

When you get to the end of that board, having played by the rules, the win is so much more than dying with the most toys.

The win is Eternal Life.

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Righteous Anger

I understand why Jesus smashed the tables in the Temple courtyard. I could smash a few myself. There simply comes a time when enough is enough. When every rational and civil attempt to right the wrongs has failed.

th (33)The fiscal cliff is looming, Obamacare is about to change our lives (not for the better), and 20 children who had no means of defense are dead. Meanwhile…

– Members of Congress have gone home for Christmas. Really?

– The President and his family are vacationing in Hawaii. Really?

– We’re told we’re in an economic recovery and should believe the numbers… not our personal experience. Really?

– Congress has a better healthcare plan that the rest of us. Really?

– Sasha and Malia have guards with guns to protect them at school. Really?

– The children of many Congressman and Senators go to private schools with enhanced security. Really?

– In 2000, then President Bill Clinton requested $60 million in federal funding for a program called “COPS in Schools” that does exactly what the NRA has now proposed and which the media is currently mocking. Really?

There is such a thing as righteous anger. Righteousness, as I define it, is the “rightful use of energy.” When energy is properly utilized and directed so that both the intent and the outcome are in alignment with eliminating that which is diseased and corrupted, then such use is necessary.  As our “leaders” vacation and provide themselves with exceptions, exemptions, protections and perks unavailable to the rest of society, I am reminded of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

At the moment I have but one prayer:  “Please, God, show me the way to the tables.”

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The Sandy Hook Takeaway

I don’t know why he did it. No one does. It was a tragic and senseless act by a troubled soul.  I wept as did the Nation and as we each try to find some fact, some new information that could perhaps bring something resembling meaning to the chaos I am certain of one thing.

th (60)Hatred and further polarization are inappropriate and destructive responses. Whether media personalities or politicians… family members, friends or co-workers…“coming at each other” over gun control is to wildly miss the point. Only a world that has lost its moral and value-based compass could have strayed as far from Truth and harmony as we have strayed.

It’s about so much more than guns. That is precisely what we will try to avoid. We will try and tie it all up in a political package aimed at curbing assault weapons rather than accepting personal responsibility for how we have abdicated doing what is right when confronted with the opportunity to do what is expedient.

We have shunned putting forth the time to be parents to instead turn the children over to be influenced by technology. We have avoided living lives that establish standards that would then give us the right to demand the same of our elected leaders. We have failed to provide decent facilities and care for the mentally ill. We have determined the success of our personal lives by our incomes rather than our degree of inner peace, and that of the Nation by its Moody’s credit rating rather than its citizens proliferation of compassion. We have neglected to revere life in all its forms thus destroying at will that which is inconvenient or burdensome. We have lost the patience to allow our lives to unfold in harmony with natural rhythms and, by so doing, misplaced conscience as we took what we wanted when we wanted it without regard for consequence. We belittle and mock our own inner connection to the Divine while falling prostrate at the feet of material false idols.

There is no President, no legislation, and no committee to see about all the ways in which we have erred and rebelliously refused to self-correct. For in the end, this is what it has come down to. Self-correction. For if we do not use this moment, this tragedy, this waste of human life to stop the hatred, name calling and polarization… to awaken to our Oneness… then it will be too late to Self-correct.

We will have moved beyond any remedy conceivable by our limited capacities and inflated egos to turn the tide of self-destruction. If that should happen, the correction will come from a place outside of our understanding and may God have mercy on us.

Awaken now. Stop the separation now. Take responsibility now. Feel your humanity now. There is only One of Us.

What I do to you I do to myself. What I think of you I think of myself. What I wish for you I bring upon myself.

This is law and it is incontrovertible.

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Dismissing History’s Inconvenient Truth

It now seems the Obama Administration has decided upon a new, definitive and focused approach to Israel regarding the latest contention in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It goes something like this (and I paraphrase): “Remain silent and let the other guys do the dirty work.” This is, in essence, the approach the Administration will take towards Israel’s announcement to commence new settlement construction in Judea and Samaria (a/k/a/ the West Bank).

According to American Jewry liberal spokesman Peter Beinart, also considered one of Obama’s associates, the President and Secretary of State Clinton have decided that they will sit back and say nothing while allowing the EU members to put the pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli’s to forego construction plans.  The Administration also hopes this strategy will put additional pressure on what they perceive to be a recalcitrant Netanyahu to make more concessions to “the peace process” as no Special Envoy will be sent to kick start peace talks.

Further, Daniel Levy, Middle East director at the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, has noted that in recent days the Administration has not been “investing diplomatic capital” in seeking to call off the escalating EU criticism of Israel.

This approach by the Administration is resulting in a progressive (no pun intended) isolation and alienation of Israel in relation to other world governments. Such a turn does not bode well for Israelis, Jews around the world, or free societies wherever they may exist.

To think that we in the United States can remain silent in the face of Israel’s escalating vulnerability and its condemnation by surrogates doing our bidding is foolhardy. It also flies in the face of history. The world, and the United States in particular, once before remained silent while Hitler sought to deliberately, methodically and without opposition marginalize and isolate Jews with the intention to destroy them. The inevitable outcome was disaster not only for the Jews but for the entire free world.

The Obama Administration may think it is being clever by its silence, providing itself a veneer of impartiality and distance from the unfolding Middle East scenario as it relates to Israel’s security and Islamic extremism. However, as German pastor and dissident anti-Nazi Deitrich Bonhoffer so succinctly stated in the face of this same emerging pattern of behavior 72 years ago, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

I would add that silence will neither insulate the silent from the taint of evil nor will it exonerate them from being judged culpable co-conspirators. However, culpability is not limited to political leaders. It is incumbent upon each of us awake enough to comprehend the magnitude of this error to speak and act. One voice can change history. It has and will again.

Yours may be that voice.

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Christmas at Versailles aka The White House

Qu’ils mangent de la brioche, commonly translated as “Let them eat cake,” was not actually spoken by either French Queen Marie Antoinette or First Lady Michelle Obama although it could have been uttered by either.  Like Marie, Michelle continues to display her propensity for excess and luxury while espousing, through word only, her compassion and understanding for the economic plight of the Nation and its citizens.

She is a perfect representation of her husband’s Administration. Self-indulgence and hubris sum it all up.

We need look no further than Christmas. You know, that time of year when we step outside our own wants and egos to fulfill the needs and wants of others.  In theory, it’s a season of compassion, charitable giving and unity. Even when we fall far short of the theory and the ideal, finding ourselves caught up in the materialism of it all, we none-the-less stretch our minds, and our pocketbooks, to give what we hope others will delight in receiving. During tough economic times such as we presently find ourselves in, the stretching is all the more challenging and therefore, perhaps more heartfelt. We make do with less in order to give more.

Except for the Obamas.

A $4M taxpayer funded vacation to Hawaii in the face of looming economic crisis and 54 (yes I said 54!) Christmas trees throughout the White House is the First Couples way of saying not “Merry Christmas” but rather Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.

I do not begrudge a sitting President a Christmas break. Nor do I think the First Family should deny themselves a Christmas tree or two. After all, it’s a big house. And besides, there is nothing inspiring about your leader living like a peanut farmer in the most respected residence in the world. However, it’s a long way from peanut-farmer-austerity to the excesses of French nobility…or, in the instant case, those of the current inhabitants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Don’t even get me started on the President’s “my way or the highway” proposal to Congress to resolve the fiscal crisis that was delivered this week by an arrogant, self-impressed and unapologetic Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner. That’s the earlier hubris reference.

We have serious and mounting challenges to face. You and I are living the reality of those stresses every minute of every day. Yet those in whom we have placed both our confidence and the power to solve, or at least try to solve, these challenges are going about their lives arrogantly, uncompromisingly, and extravagantly.

Lately, I hear people attempting to compare President Obama to Abraham Lincoln. I will admit that both faced a fractured Nation. They are also both thin. Beyond that, I find the comparison laughable. If there is a leader with which to compare our current President I would suggest not Lincoln but Louis…as in Queen Marie’s husband, Louis XVI.

Louis started his reign as a popular monarch, but his indecisiveness led to the populace eventually perceiving him as part of the tyranny they sought to shake off.  It was also the people’s belief that Louis was seeking foreign invasion as a means of political salvation. His credibility eventually undermined, his reign foreshadowed the end of the monarchy and likely birth of the Republic.

At the recent Soul Train Music Awards, actor Jamie Foxx referred to “…Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama.” I think that was a bit extreme. King Barack, and Queen Michelle, would have been just fine.

Perhaps with prayer and an awakened populace this too will end with (a return to) the Republic.


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A Lesson From Israel

A Palestinian terrorist breaks into the home of an Isreali woman asleep with her two children. He is wielding a knife and a pipe. His intentions are clear. Absent a miracle, the horrific scene from Itamar where the Fogel family was slaughtered in their sleep will be repeated. I am uncertain whether this qualifies as a miracle or just good defensive planning…but the mother, Yael Matzpun, trained in Krav Maga (an Israeli defense technique) battles her attacker, secures him in a bathroom, and calls for help. Upon trying to escape the bathroom window while refusing to put down his weapons, the terrorist is killed by the arriving IDF forces.

I have a few politically incorrect questions.

1.  Where are the stories of Israeli men, breaking into the homes of Palestinian women and children with the intent to slaughter them in their sleep?

2. What is wrong with a culture/religion that breeds such men, labels them martyrs and celebrates their atrocities?

3. How amoral or blind has the worldwide media become that it sees no distinction, or lacks the courage to articulate, the difference between the basic humanity of these two societies?

If you approach it like a quiz, the answers are 1) there are none; 2) it is perverse; and 3) very amoral and cowardly.

There comes a time when those with eyes to see and ears to ear are called upon to use their voices to speak truth to power. We are living in such times. The world should cease deluding itself while labeling terrorists as freedom fighters. Both use violence to achieve their ends but that is where the commonality stops.

Freedom fighters seek autonomy and a free society. Terrorists seek death and total destruction using fear as their means of achieving it. The people living in Gaza have an autonomous society (Hamas is their “democratically” elected government) that is free of Jews. It is not enough because neither freedom nor autonomy are their goals. Their goal is murdering every Jew until none remain then obliterating the Jewish homeland.

The terrorist who broke into the Matzpun home to carry out Hamas’ mission is where he belongs; Yael Matzpun is a hero whose children are alive as I write this because she knows who she is dealing with; and I have called it as I see it.

To hell with political correctness.

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