Sunday, April 20, 2014

title pic Turnkey Tyranny

Posted by Lorren on January 22, 2014

There has been a lot of talk on the news recently about NSA spying and the like. The President implied that he was going to cut back on what is collected about Americans. Do we really trust him though? I certainly don’t. The government has lied to us about so many things before, and has shown itself to tell us lies when it’s in their best interest.

A couple hosts on the Blaze Radio had two different opinions on the government’s collection of data. On Friday’s Jay Severin Show, Jay was of the opinion that data collection was necessary in order to protect us from terrorists. On the other hand, Buck Sexton discussed the subject on Saturday’s Buck Sexton Show, pointing out that what our country had at this point was “turnkey tyranny.”

Many people have the argument “If you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to be afraid of?” Well, I happen to be one of the most boring people on the planet, yet this government disturbs me. I don’t steal or use drugs (never even smoked one cigarette). I’ve never cheated on my spouse, and I generally try to follow the principles outlined in the Bible. In a sane society, I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I generally don’t do anything that I wouldn’t broadcast to the world, yet I am very wary about what the government can collect about me.

I am reminded of the story of Justice Roberts. People expected him to vote against Obamacare when it came up to the Supreme Court, yet he said that it was okay for the government to tax the people in this way. What I find interesting is that I have heard that there was a picture that showed up briefly on Twitter of Justice Roberts that looked like it was taken from a laptop camera in his bedroom. Was he perhaps blackmailed?

I am very aware of cell phone and laptop cameras. When I get dressed in the morning, I will either go into the closet or place a blanket over any camera that might be in the room. I know that it sounds a little paranoid, but they can be turned on remotely at any time. Not just the government, but hackers have turned them on and spied on people in this way. One time, when I was using my laptop, the camera light actually did come on on my laptop. I’m not sure if it was being remotely accessed or if my computer was just going haywire, but it did raise my awareness on the issue. While I don’t think that the government is interested in watching people get dressed, I do think that if they have the right video, it could serve as blackmail fodder for the right people.

I am aware when I am around cell phones that have the batteries in place. There are certain things that I will not say when I am in the presence of one. While I am not doing anything illegal, I am reminded of the Holodomor in the Ukraine, where millions of Ukrainians were purposely starved to death under Soviet rule because they resisted collectivization.

What do I have to fear? I wish to survive. A tyrannical government has no place for people like me. I’m the kind of person that would rather escape to the forest and eat grass and berries than live like a slave under a tyrannical government. We’re not there yet, but have you read your history? People living in Nazi Germany didn’t go from freedom to tyranny overnight. The Soviet Union didn’t spring up overnight either. There were warning signs. These warning signs are present in the United States, and it is concerning.

I went camping last summer. It was nice. Outside of the camping aspect, there was one extra little tidbit about the trip that I especially enjoyed, that 20 years ago (or even 10, for that matter) would not have had me feeling a bit freer: there was no cell phone access where I was. I suppose that today, drones could fly up into the wilderness, but as I (currently) have no interest to the government, as far as I know, I’m sure I was safe from that. It’s sad when you have to go out into the middle of nowhere in order to feel absolutely sure that nobody is recording your words and actions.

title pic The Times They Are A-Changin’

Posted by Lorren on October 30, 2013

I’ve been paying attention to world events for quite a while now. As the world becomes more and more dangerous, I almost see it as a matter of survival. I have recently started a concentrated effort to become multilingual: as we don’t know exactly what is going to happen, or where we might end up, it doesn’t hurt to become fluent in Spanish and a few other languages. Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of people comment on how things are about to change. In a way, we seem to be on the verge of a change that perhaps hasn’t been seen since the changes brought about after Columbus rediscovered the New World for Europe.

It’s not just one person that’s been talking about it. Independent sources have been discussing it. Phoenix3333 has been talking about “the leveling”, or a period of time when the people at the bottom will rise up and the people at the top will be knocked down a peg or two, for quite a while. Glenn Beck mentioned yesterday that he thought that we should be optimistic about the future because people are waking up. Just today, Jay Severin (who is not exactly independent of Glenn Beck because he works for him, but nevertheless has his own opinions) was talking about how people who are truly in the middle class (that is, could survive for quite a while if they lost a job without being on the streets or living with relatives) were few and far between, and how the fact that there are many people working hard all day at jobs without the ability to survive poverty, while others who shuffled paper all day were making millions, just wasn’t sustainable.

All over the world, there is discontent. In the United States, there was the Occupy Wall Street movement. While seemingly opposed, the Tea Party yearns for more freedom from governmental regulation and burdensome taxation. Across the Atlantic in Europe and the Middle East, the Arab Spring was full of people who wanted to be freed from the oppressive dictators that had been running their country for years. While at the top, there are plenty of hard working business people, but there are also plenty of corrupt politicians and crooked businessmen making deals with them.

When I was in high school, I got my first “regular” job. I earned $5 an hour making pizza. Today, the price of gas has almost tripled, the price of beef has almost tripled (from 10 years ago, not when I was in high school), and the price of stamps have doubled. My husband, who has a doctorate degree and is not making pizza for a living, can afford a little bit more than my pizza-making self could have, if I had worked full-time, but not much more. I’m currently working at a hotel in order to help us get caught up on bills and scrape together some savings, because these days, while a doctorate degree can get a job that will pay for necessities, it doesn’t pay much more than that. This is before Obamacare completely takes over.

Obamacare will be another nightmare. People are barely scraping by as it is, and now the government wants to squeeze hundreds of dollars per month more to pay for substandard health care? The masses in the middle are not going to be able to afford it. I don’t know what is going to happen, but perhaps Phoenix, Glenn, and Jay are correct about massive changes coming our way.

Often it seems that the books that I read tend to be related to the things that are going on in the world as I read them… or perhaps I am looking at the books through the perspective of what is going on, and I extract the relevant information as a result, so it just seems like it. 1493, by Charles C. Mann, is no exception (you may have read his other book, 1491). This book talks about the world-wide changes that resulted from the rediscovery of the Americas by Europe.

On the surface, we might think that the world changes after 1492 were primarily those made by the movement of people. Europeans moved across the seas, and later ended up transporting Africans across the seas as well. There was more to it though. Diseases were accidentally brought over to the New World, from both Africa and from Europe. Foods like potatoes and tomatoes made their way back to Europe, saving many people from starvation (but then again, the potato blight also went from the New World to Europe, starving many). It is difficult to really wrap your mind around all of the changes that were made in that period of time, if you really sit to think about it.

Are we on the verge of changes of this magnitude? I don’t know, but people are trying to survive, and are finding it increasingly difficult to do so. We are increasingly finding that we have been duped by those in power, in a manner similar to the way that some Native Americans agreed to contracts, only to find out that they were duped by the Spaniards or Englishmen, or the way that some Asians signed contracts to come to the Americas as indentured servants, only to discover that they were bound for slavery in South American mines. The future seems frightening, but at the same time, who knows what it will be like? Plus, there’s that whole possibility that Jesus might come back himself and set everything straight.

The times they are a changin’. For good, bad, or indifferent, I don’t know.

title pic Nat Geo’s Animal Jam Markets Lewd Material to Children

Posted by Lorren on October 2, 2013

If you are a parent, then you want your kids to be in a safe environment when they go online. That doesn’t always happen, but if they are visiting sites designed for children, then you normally expect an online environment with measures that will keep them safe. Most sites designed for children will implement things like chat filters and perhaps moderation in order to keep kids from using foul language, posting their real names or addresses, or from participating in lewd activity or making references to sex. My kids have been using kid-friendly sites like Club Penguin, Webkinz, and PBS Kids for years without problems; however, it has been recently brought to my attention that Nat Geo’s Animal Jam, which is designed for kids, is anything but kid-friendly.

I belong to a closed Facebook group designed for homeschool families. One mom described her experiences with Animal Jam. Her children became upset when some of the other “kids” were having their avatars jump on other avatars in a sexual manner, and using lewd talk with them. The mom felt to a degree like they were being sexually harassed, and complained to Nat Geo about it.

Most of these games designed for kids are also open to adults. I have a Webkinz account, for example, and I have played with my kids on it. There are actually quite a few adults that play Webkinz online, Toontown, etc. and are not there to stalk kids or behave inappropriately. They are expected to follow the rules like everyone else, and most of them do. I do not know if it was “kids” involved in this inappropriate play or not, but no matter who it was, that kind of behavior shouldn’t have been tolerated. However, Nat Geo’s response to the complaint of sexual harassment was “We understand that you have some concerns regarding a role-play scenario you’ve recently seen in Animal Jam. While we truly appreciate your feedback, and we will be sure to pass it along, we wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that it is a very common and natural role play game for children to pretend.”

While it is natural for kids to role-play in many different ways, it is NOT appropriate for them to act out sexually. When I worked in day care, we did have some children who had older siblings, or who were exposed to inappropriate material at a too-young age, and we did have to let them know on occasion that certain behaviors were not appropriate for the classroom. Sexual behavior is not natural for young kids to role play if they have not been exposed to age-inappropriate material; even if they are role playing material that they have been exposed to and shouldn’t, that still does not make it appropriate.

Some of us believed that perhaps there were a few rogue kids (or adults) involved in this behavior, that Nat Geo had perhaps sent an auto-response, and would take care of the situation later; however, the parent ratings of Animal Jam on Common Sense Media seem to indicate otherwise. More than a third of the parents interviewed said that they thought that sexual content was a problem, a fourth of the parents said that there was a problem with language, and a fourth of the parents said that there were problems with privacy. If Nat Geo really cared about children, then there would not be this many parents writing about their negative experiences. This was based on a total of 23 parent reviews that were written between 2011 and August 2013, so it doesn’t look like this is a case of a situation that has been resolved or was short-term.

Most MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) that I have used at one point or another, that are designed for teenagers and adults (not children) do not allow this sort of behavior when interacting with the general population (although it may be acceptable when in a guild or when speaking in private to someone that you already know… I’m not sure on that one). If games designed for adults do not allow this sort of behavior, shouldn’t kids games be even more strict?

Animal Jam describes itself as “an online playground for kids where they can learn about the natural world while playing with friends.” They claim to have safety features in place, but they don’t seem to work well; malicious teens (and perhaps adults) are getting around the safety measures in place. For an example of these inappropriate interactions, you can follow this link. WARNING: Not appropriate for children (even though it is a children’s game). The only reason why I am linking to it is to give an example of what is going on. I personally was only able to watch a short amount of the video before I got disgusted and had seen enough. I would NOT allow my kids to play this game.

title pic Disney’s New Disabled Policy. And the Problem is…?

Posted by Lorren on September 25, 2013

Disneyland evidently is going to have a new disabled policy, that is getting everybody into an uproar. In the past, for most rides, if you were a disabled guest, you would get to go into most rides through the back entrance and would get to skip the lines. With the new policy, disabled guests will not get to skip the lines, and will have to wait to go on a ride like everybody else. To my understanding, it will work a lot like the FastPass, where you get a ticket that will wait in line for you, and you come back at the time that you normally would have if you would have stood in a line. A lot of people are upset by this. I don’t really know what the problem is. If there is someone out there reading this that has an idea of why this would be a problem, feel free to enlighten me.

The disability system at Disneyland has its problems. There are a lot of people who abuse this system. I’ve been at Disneyland where even my friends would suggest that we rent a wheelchair to skip the lines… some of us turned down the idea because it would be wrong, but if the thought came to our minds, then you can guarantee that the thought has come to others, and other people have actually followed through with it. The other problem with the disability system is that the amount of people with legitimate disabilities going to Disneyland seems to be increasing. Perhaps it is due to the increasing rates of obesity and the disabilities that some people face as a result, perhaps it is due to the increasing rates of disabilities like autism, or perhaps it is due to the fact that people with disabilities are more mobile now due to improved technology, but there are more and more people who can legitimately use this system. Allowing these people to skip ahead of the lines just makes the lines longer and longer for those that have the ability to wait.

I have had to use a wheelchair at amusement parks in the past. When I was in boot camp, I injured my knee. Over the next decade, my knee would occasionally give me problems. Once, I re-injured it very badly. I was playing soccer, and all of a sudden, my knee gave out on me. I could not stand up or even move my knee. My husband (then boyfriend) had to drive my car out onto the field, literally pick me up and put me into the car, and drive me to the emergency room. I was given a set of crutches. Over the next week, my knee gradually regained its ability to move, and I was able to put weight on it. Eventually, I could walk normally on my knee.

For several years around that time, my knee would occasionally completely give out on me. I would be walking along, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t put weight on it. At the time, I lived in Los Angeles, and we’d go to Disneyland and Sea World a lot. When that happened, we’d have to go and get a wheelchair. It wasn’t a ploy to go to the beginning of the line (there wasn’t really any advantage to using a wheelchair at Sea World back then anyway). I really couldn’t walk on it. Yes, I was physically able to move myself a couple of feet between the wheelchair and the rides, but I couldn’t walk any long distance. Was getting head-of-the-line privileges at Disneyland kind of nice? Of course. It wasn’t really necessary though, other than the fact that there were places that the wheelchair couldn’t go, like over stairs.

The new policy, I think, is fair to everyone. People in wheelchairs will still get to go on the rides. They won’t have to wait longer than everybody else, they just won’t be able to get head-of-line privileges any more. People with other kinds of disabilities also can use these passes; people that have kids with autism can use these passes, and they can take their kids and wait somewhere calming until the time that they can get on the ride come up. People with other disabilities, like not being able to stand for a long period of time or not being able to be in the sun for long, can also get tickets and then go wait for their ride time. They won’t have to stand in the lines; they just won’t be able to get on the ride right away. They will get a ticket that will wait for them. I can’t think of any reason why someone would have to get on a ride immediately; if you know of one, please let me know. There might be the occasional person that might not be able to stay awake for long… but then, parents of toddlers know that sort of pain. We once paid for my husband’s mom to come with us on one trip so we had a “nanny” that could take our daughter to the hotel to take a nap.

Now, some people suggest that disabled people get a doctor’s note so they could go back to the way things used to be. While that would solve the problem of scammers trying to cheat the system, that doesn’t address all forms of disabilities. Some disabilities are temporary or intermittent, like the problem that I had with my knee. I had a legitimate problem what required a wheelchair, that would have prevented me from waiting in the regular line. Even though at one point I had talked with my doctor about getting a knee replacement (we decided against it), I never needed a disabled placard, because usually I was fine. It also doesn’t address the fact that needing a wheelchair doesn’t really impede a person’s ability to wait, and it is slightly unfair to be able to cut in front of people that don’t have disabilities.

Is it fun to not be able to walk, or to have some other sort of problem? Of course not. Despite the problems that come with it, it doesn’t mean that someone is entitled to special treatment.

Today, my knee is just about back to normal. I haven’t had it give out on me in years, although occasionally I might go to yoga class or be dancing or something and will feel that I’m pushing it a bit too far, and I know to be careful with it. When that happens, I usually try to increase my intake of nutrients that are good for my cartilage, and I heal myself. :)

title pic The Pass & ID Office and the DC Shooting

Posted by Lorren on September 16, 2013

Today the United States faced tragedy as 12 people were killed at the military base in Washington DC. One or two gunmen entered the Washington Navy Yard (in DC) and killed people on the base. On his Facebook page, Wayne Dupree (News Ninja) wanted to remind people that in order to get onto the base, you had to have clearance. As a former anti-terrorism officer, I happen to know a little bit about base security. Just because you need to pass security in order to get onto a military base doesn’t mean that the base is 100% safe. While the Pass & ID office is important and does keep the random terrorist from entering a military base and shooting the place up, it will never be 100% foolproof. Diligence is always important, even on base.

As part of my duties as the anti-terrorism officer, I was in charge of all of the Pass & ID offices on four bases. We had one entrance two the hospital, the housing base, and the shopping base. There were two entrances onto the main working base. Although there was a NATO base in the area, that was a separate deal that I wasn’t involved with (although I did train many of the NATO personnel in terrorist protection).

We had a lot of people coming and going on those bases. Most of the people coming onto the bases were the people that worked there every day. They were either military personnel or civilians that worked in the various offices there. We also had a lot of family members that lived in the area. They were able to enter all of the bases with their ID cards. Friends would also be able to enter the base, if accompanied by the military member. In addition to these groups, there was another group of people that would regularly enter the base: the contractors.

Contractors would have access to the base as needed to perform their duties. On the bases that I worked at, there was often a lot of construction going on. At a Navy Yard, you would also expect a lot of construction to be going on. Some contractors needed regular access to the base. Others might only need to come in once or twice, if they had a specialized, non-regular need to come in. The Pass & ID office had to manage all of these people wishing to gain entrance.

I managed these Pass & ID offices after the September 11th attacks. For probably about six months after these attacks, we were under a very high level of security. Many of the security workers had to work twelve hour days during this time just to keep the security up. We often had checkpoints where we would inspect a person’s bags as they entered the base. While I do not know what the level of security was at the Washington DC base, it’s doubtful that they were at a higher security level than we were at. Still, our base was never 100% secure. No base will ever be 100% secure. Nothing is ever 100% secure.

There are a few ways that a bad guy could access the base in Washington DC. They could have stolen someone’s ID. They might have been able to forge an ID. They could have even taken jobs as construction workers and come onto the base legitimately as contractors.

The facts of this incident are still coming out. We don’t know exactly how the suspect(s) gained access to the base. What I do know is that a determined terrorist can find a way to get the job done. Terrorists, like progressives, can be very patient. They are willing to take ten years (or more) to plan an attack, if necessary. Now, an attack like this wouldn’t take ten years to plan, but it would be very simple for a terrorist to plan and execute an attack like this in about a year. All they would have to do is recruit someone that had skills that could be used on a military base like this. This recruit would start working as a contractor for the base, and then make the attack. There’s not much you can do to protect against an attack like this except to have good intelligence. That’s not scan and save everybody’s email intelligence either. It’s actually monitoring the organizations that are known to be committing terrorism. But we don’t do that.

title pic Does Your Background Check Have False Information?

Posted by Lorren on September 12, 2013

Sometimes it seems like everything is NOT going in your favor. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. For example, did you know that you might have false information in your background check that can prevent you from getting a job? That happened to us just recently. Before I say more, I have to mention that things will be okay for us: between me and my husband, we now have four jobs, and although we won’t really start seeing much in the way of paychecks until the end of October, we will be okay, and won’t get evicted. It will be a little tight between now and then, but we’ll survive.

Back to the topic of this post, information on your background check might surprise you. For example, my husband applied at Wal-Mart, because we figured that Wal-Mart is a job that is fairly easy to get, and it could provide us some income that could keep us from getting evicted between now and the time he got a real job. Even though Wal-Mart hired him, he ended up not getting the job, because some of the information on his background check was unfavorable.

Although the information on my husband’s background check had a felony on it, that felony did not belong to my husband. It belonged to some guy named Robert Tolley _____ (sorry Mr. _____, whoever you are, but it’s a public record, and whatever you did made it so it was harder for my family to live indoors). Now, my husband’s name is not Robert Tolley _____… his name isn’t even Robert. Mr. _____ and my husband evidently have the same birth date. And last name.

Why did it show up on my husband’s background check? Other than the birth date, I have no clue. Mr. _____ lives in Oklahoma. We have never lived in Oklahoma, although we did drive through there once in October of 2000. So evidently, driving through a state 13 years ago and sharing the same birth date is enough to make a felony pop up on your record.

Evidently, Wal-Mart won’t check to see if the felony conviction on your background check makes sense (like having the same name or something), they will just immediately choose not to hire you. We did dispute the felony on dh’s record, but it’s too late for this job (although he has a better one now, so it doesn’t matter). The job that I was recently hired at requires a background check; hopefully there’s nobody in Mississippi or something that shares my birth date and last name with a felony. After all, I did drive through there once, 15 years ago.

With all this extended government spying going on, and the introduction of the government into your health care… these background check problems can only get worse.

title pic Teaching Kids About War

Posted by Lorren on September 11, 2013

Whitfield Enterprises: 9/11 Poster
9/11 Poster by wenterprises

Today was the twelfth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. For school today, I showed my kids a documentary on that horrible day, and explained what happened. While my oldest is 11, my youngest is 6, and still sometimes has difficulty understanding that even though bad things happen in other places, he is usually safe. Is it good to teach kids about war? How do we do so? While all kids are different, this is the approach that I often take to bad things and to war.

I’ve never felt like I had to hide information about what is going on in the world from my kids. While I don’t want them to worry, I don’t want them to be caught by surprise either. I want them to learn that although bad things happen in the world, they can trust that God will be with them, no matter what.

Sometimes this does cause kids to worry a little bit, but often, the right words can get the kids to stop worrying. Yesterday, my son and I were talking about Louis XIV in history class. I mentioned that Louis XVI was killed, and my curious son asked how he was killed. I explained briefly that the people weren’t happy with him, so they started a war and killed him. My son knows that there is a high probability of us going to war in Syria, so he was a little scared. When I asked him why he would be scared about a king that was killed more than 200 years ago, he mentioned that the U.S. might go to war. I told him that since he was neither a king nor a soldier, he probably didn’t have anything to worry about. He seemed to accept that explanation.

War and scary things are a part of life. Twelve years ago, we told ourselves that we would “never forget” what happened after the World Trade Center attacks occured on 9/11. Today, there are young adults graduating from high school that were just six years old when that event occurred. Because that event was such a huge day in the lives of anyone with awareness on that day of what was going on in the world, most of them will have memories of that day; however, almost all of our young teenagers will not. My children weren’t even born on that day. How will they grow up knowing about what happened if we don’t teach them? If we really did mean it when we said “never forget”, then we have to teach them.

Today, the U.S. is assisting the very people that attacked us on that day. If we truly hadn’t forgotten, then why is the U.S. assisting people associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Al Qaeda? We need to teach kids about war… not so they will be fearful, but so they can grow up to be informed citizens that hopefully won’t continue making the same mistakes that the people in power today are making.

title pic Leave Syria Alone

Posted by Lorren on September 9, 2013

by soopermexican

Syria has been all over the news for the last week or so. As a result, the media seems to have been ignoring some of the other big stories of the day: government spying, illegal immigration, Benghazi, and the attempt of Congress to defund Obamacare. It seems like if the government doesn’t like what the people have been talking about, then just start a war or bomb something and get the people talking about something else.

I don’t write much about Syria, especially compared to how much it is getting talked about in the news. I did mention in June that we should Stay Away from Syria, as the Bible has prophesied its destruction. We know a little bit more about the situation over there now, and I believe just as strongly as ever that we need to leave that country alone.

One of the best reasons to leave Syria alone is that there is no good side in this conflict. While I’m sure that there are many, many good people in Syria that are caught in the middle of this conflict (many are being killed as a result), both the people in power today and the rebels are bad, bad people. If a country was being run by the Bloods gang, and the Crips were fighting against them, do we really want to take sides? Yes, there may be millions of good people in that country that are not affiliated with either gang, but I don’t want to help either side get into power. If one side or the other was actually good, like in the conflict between Britain and Hitler’s Germany in World War II, then I would say that perhaps we’d want to help the good side. That is not the case here.

Syria is not our business. We do not have an interest in Syria, one way or another. While it is a shame that hundreds of thousands of people are getting killed, the US cannot step in and make demands any time an atrocity occurs.

The rest of the world does not want us there. U.S. leadership seems to forget that we are not the only powerful country on the planet. Like the rotting, corrupted government of Rome in the early 3rd century, we seem to think that we are an invincible force, forgetting that there are other countries that have power. The US may have a strong military, but it does not currently have a strong economy or a strong moral authority to be intervening in this conflict. It also should not be so arrogant to think that it can go against the entire world and emerge unscathed, especially considering that much of the US population itself is against the conflict.

While I’m not sure if there is anything that anybody really can do to prevent intervention from happening, it will turn out badly if and when it happens.

title pic Obama Guilty of High Crimes? I’m Sure Congress Won’t Act

Posted by Lorren on September 3, 2013

My Anti Obama Bumper Sticker
My Anti Obama Bumper Sticker
by Megatudes

Barack Obama seems to be the president that can do no wrong. He allows people to die by making sure that nobody can come and save them? That’s okay. Holds giant parties while everybody else has to tighten their belts? That’s fine too. Enriches his brother and sends bribes to the Muslim Brotherhood? That’s fine too, right? I’m sure that congress will be okay with that. They’ve been okay with everything else that he’s done so far.

It’s evidently quite lucrative to be in the Muslim Brotherhood, if you’re high enough up on the food chain to receive bribes. This document shows the “Direction of grants and gifts in 2013″; as you can see, that’s written in English. Also note that the numbers listed in the column are US dollar amounts, not pesos or yen or some currency that is currently thought of as small. So these people on the list are being given grants of $250,000, $600,000, and other high amounts. US government workers aren’t allowed to receive “grants and gifts”, so why is the US sending them?

Muslim Brotherhood Bribe List

If sending bribes to Muslim Brotherhood officials isn’t bad enough, the story gets even more interesting by sprinkling in a little bit of nepotism. While some of Barack Obama’s half-brothers, like George Obama, live in shacks in third-world slums (I suppose the ones that believe that poor countries should take responsibility for their condition), another half-brother, Malik Obama, gets to oversee billions of dollars for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. So the United States is sending billions of dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Obama’s half-brother is managing these funds (and I’m sure enriching himself at the same time), and there’s nothing to see? I’m sure there isn’t. But that does explain, to a degree, why the Obama administration is so pro-Muslim Brotherhood.

But there’s nothing to see here. I’m sure that congress will approve of all of these actions, even if normal people would go to jail for doing the same thing.

title pic Rome in the Early 200s, and the US Today

Posted by Lorren on

I’ve been rereading Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (this time the unabridged version, but I’m reading other things too). I’m still working on chapter 8 (of 71). I’ve currently finished reading about a line of emperors that served in the early 200s (AD). While history never repeats itself exactly the same way twice, there are historical themes that do repeat themselves over and over again throughout history. The United States seems to be repeating many of the themes of the Roman Empire in the early third century.

For example, the really good leaders that actually want people to work and to reap the rewards of their work are cast aside. In the United States, the politicians who will give the most freebies often get the most respect, as long as they can deliver. Fortunately for the U.S. politicians, they aren’t murdered, as Pertinax was. Then you have someone like Severus Alexander, who tried to instill discipline in the military (he was murdered too). We have this one advantage over the Roman Empire: at least the US doesn’t murder their former leaders.

The United States has politicians that will go golfing or sailing while the world is crumbling around them; the Roman Empire had emperors like Egalabus, who would act as a prostitute and dress up in women’s clothing while more pressing issues existed.

One line stood out to me in Chapter 7 of Gibbon’s History though:

The industry of the people was discouraged and exhausted by a long series of oppression. The discipline of the legions, which alone, after the extinction of every other virtue, had propped the greatness of the state, was corrupted by the ambition, or relaxed by the weakness, of the emperors. The strength of the frontiers, which had always consisted in arms rather than in fortifications, was insensibly undermined; and the fairest provinces were left exposed to the rapaciousness or ambition of the barbarians, who soon discovered the decline of the Roman empire.

The US government has done everything that it can to extinguish the virtues of its military. The armed forces now has gangs in it, gives special rewards to same sex couples (they get extra leave if they choose to get married), and deliberately lets its own soldiers die in order to cover up the crime of gun-running in Benghazi. Like Rome, the US military props up the former greatness of the state.

The frontiers. You mean the borders? The US borders are quite porous, and it’s not just people coming over for work. There are terrorists coming over the borders too, and the US does nothing about it. There are drug-runners and human traffickers coming over the border. Some places on the US “frontier” are so dangerous that the government has posted signs warning citizens to stay out.

Are there “barbarians” who are ambitious and starting to notice the decline of the United States’ “empire”? While I’m not going to call the Chinese, Russians, and many other nations on the earth “barbarians,” if you substitute the word “foreigners” for “barbarians” then I would say that that is definitely the case.

The United States is in serious danger. So many of our workers are discouraged and exhausted from the high taxes and regulations that are in place. There are many others on unemployment or welfare who are equally oppressed. Yes, I’ll say that even the poor among us are being used by the United States government. They’re being used by politicians who don’t give a damn about them (if they cared, they’d stop giving away more freebies and instead would do away with the “welfare cliff” points where it’s cheaper to decline a raise than to lose benefits). They’re being used by places like ACORN who hire them for work that is unscrupulous, and then throw them under the bus when they get caught. Illegal immigrants are being used by politicians and businesses alike. The government is rife with corruption.

The US government needs to stay out of Syria. I hate to say this, but the once-great nation of the United States is going to see more of Gibbon come to life. Only this time, I don’t think that it’s going to take 1000 years for it to fall… although we might see another Middle-Ages style era of history if God doesn’t come back before it can happen.

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