Category Archives: Business/Economics
by Dr. Tommy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an unavoidable dilemma that the world has had to contend with since the beginning of humanity. It is clearly defined and noticeable, but there is little consensus as to its purposeful origin. No suitable explanation of the origin of evil has ever been formulated. The problem of evil is a reality that affects every segment of our society. Natural evil concerns the devastation, suffering and loss caused by tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, disease, famine, to name some; moral evils that reflects the underlying philosophy of the culture; and social evils, which deals with ethical relationships between humans. As a metaphysical entity, evil is entirely opposed to good in nature and function. Perhaps it is necessary to point out the person behind all the forces of evil.
One of the most misunderstood characters in the history of the world is Satan himself. There are many assumptions concerning him. Some people believe that he does not exist, and some believe him to be a powerless personality; and some people go to the far extremes and place the devil everywhere which gives him the status of omnipresence. We will examine the Scriptures to see how the Bible describes the devil. It is crucial that this subject matter be analyzed from a biblical perspective to dismiss the false assumptions and portray the reality of this spiritual being.
One need only to look around at the calamitous events that takes place daily in the world to notice that some form of adversary exists. Hopefully we can conclude that all contributions of evil are a result of Satan’s fall from heaven. It should also be noted that Satan does not desire to be identified as the culprit. While he seeks to hide his identity, God rather exposes him! Satan exists because God created him and later determined (as opposed to being good) that Satan was evil.
In the book of Ezekiel, Satan is described as being the most beautiful of angels. The prophet wrote: “ You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire, thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:14-15 KJV). Again, it is important to establish that only God can determine the nature of a thing. During the week of creation, it was God who said that it “was good” (Genesis 1). God alone reserves the right to determine all things (see Isaiah 45:7).
Satan, which means adversary, is mentioned quite often in the Bible. He is referred to by every New Testament writer and cited at least 13 times by Christ Himself in the New Testament. Satan has many names in Scripture. He is called Beelzebub (Matt. 12:24), the deceiver (Rev. 20:10), the dragon (Rev. 12:7), a liar (Jn. 8:44), the accuser (Rev. 12:10), the tempter (1 Thess. 3:5), the ruler of darkness (Eph. 6:12), the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4), and Belial (2 Cor. 6:15). What did Satan do that God would find iniquity in him? Most scholars agree that the prophet Isaiah records the fall of Lucifer. He writes,
“How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14 NKJV).
Lucifer was so beautiful and powerful that he wanted to usurp God’s authority. Therefore, his chief sin was pride. It is evil because God said it was. The prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Thus, as we see, Satan has characteristics that identifies with rationality and deceit. Such actions are emulated by humans. Our ignorance and rejection of the truth is contradictory to God’s standard.
Various perspectives have been formulated in an attempt to identify the origin of evil. Dr. Norman Geisler wrote:
“Although every worldview has had to deal with the problem of evil, it is an especially acute problem for theism. Of the three major worldviews, Atheism affirms the reality of evil and denies the reality of God. Pantheism affirms the reality of God but denies the reality of evil. Theism affirms the reality of both God and evil. Herein is the problem; how can an absolutely good Being (God) be compatible with evil, the opposite of good?”
In respect to Dr. Geisler’s quote, the major worldviews at least allows for the word “evil” to exist in their vocabulary. Thus, those who would actually deny that evil exists still incorporate the term as a concept. To be more clear, if the skeptics, who deny evil, really believe it does not exist, then they would not even indicate the term! The moral wickedness that humanity experiences involve sickness, misery, self-centeredness, folly, and crime in revolt against God. People who deny that evil exist often have complaints when they are offended! Take for example, social evils, which can be identified as corrupt politics, drunkenness, cheating, and racial discrimination. Do we redefine these problems, or call it what is— vice?
God is omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient (all knowing); and omnipresent (everywhere). Since God is all powerful, evil can only exist at His pronouncement. At some point in time when evil was brought forth, it had already taken its toll before mankind was created. In Genesis 1:4-31, God had proclaimed at least seven times that what He created was “good.” Why do the Scriptures record this? There had to be an opposing idea—-something contrasting with good. Since God is all knowing, He was aware of evil or there would have been little reason (logic) to make pronouncements by calling His creation good. God is not subject to rules and regulations because he is God. Therefore, even if God created evil, He would still be a just God. This is a prerogative that we fail to attribute to an all-powerful God. He writes ALL the rules! He is NOT subject to them!
When God created man, He gave him direct instructions and said to him: “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….” (Genesis 2:16-17a). In his sinless position before God, Adam obeyed naturally. Perhaps he asked himself what good and evil was. One cannot be recognized apart from the other. At this point, evil was a nonrepresentational perception. Adam would only know “good” after the Fall. Only God was aware of the distinction. After the Fall, evil became a problem for mankind because the consequences was now physical (see Genesis 2:17b). The aftermaths of sin now saturated the thoughts of humanity which influenced our desires. The only antidote to such evil is the cleansing work of Christ.
In Ephesians chapter six, the Apostle Paul gives vivid illustration how we can guard against and overcome satanic influences. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, he encouraged them to put on the whole armor of God; not some of it, but all of the armor of God. Paul wrote, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10).
It is significant to note how we go about doing this. First we have to recognize that we are fighting a spiritual enemy. After taking up the whole armor of God we have to resist Satan by taking a stand against him and receive the truth of God’s Word (v. 14). Then, believers are instructed to “put on the breastplate of righteousness” (v. 14). This tells us that we have to be sure we believe in the righteousness that only comes through Christ alone. We are justified and made righteous by grace through faith. It is God’s Word that matters—not our presuppositions.
Believers are also instructed to have our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace (v. 15). Thus, we have to be ready at all times to present the Gospel. We have to make sure that we are feasting on the Word of God and be quipped to preach the Gospel. Also, the shield of faith (v. 16) protects us from the satanic influences like doubt, discouragement, and the zodiac (false prophecies). These are things that CANNOT penetrate our armor, but we will not lift our armor if we don’t recognize this as an attack (opposing ideas). Wayne Grudem wrote, “In thinking about God using evil to fulfill His purposes, we should remember that there are things that are right for God to do but wrong for us to do: He requires others to worship Him, and He accepts worship from them. He seeks glory for Himself.”
Evil is real; and the effects of it will surround us whether we acknowledge it or deny it. Since God is ALL powerful (omnipotent), ALL knowing (omniscient), and present everywhere (omnipresent), it is impossible for Him to be unrighteous because He is the One who wrote ALL the rules! Whatever God says—GOES! Good and evil exists because God defined the terms.
 Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002), 219
 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994) 329
Last week the House passed with bipartisan support the Protect Life Act, which amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to assure that no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund abortion. It also assures that health-care providers that do not wish to provide abortions are not forced to by government.
The bill’s Republican sponsor, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., had co-sponsored essentially the same amendment along with then-Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., when Obamacare was in the making in 2009.
Because a similar provision was not in the Senate version of the bill, and had no prospect of making it through the Senate, Stupak stood as a major obstacle to the passage of Obamacare.
In the end, the ways of Washington prevailed, and Stupak caved to pressure from the White House. He agreed to support the health-care bill without his anti-abortion provision, in exchange for President Obama issuing an executive order prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions in health care provided in the framework of Obamacare.
An executive order is a flimsy substitute for law; thus Rep. Pitt found another pro-life Democrat, Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., to co-sponsor his amendment, which has now passed the House 251-172.
However, Pitt’s new bill faces the same prospects as the amendment that he cosponsored with Stupak in 2009. Its chances of passage in the Senate are remote.
So why bother?
After the bill passed, I was asked on a PBS talk show, “To the Contrary,” if Republicans were being frivolous in taking up congressional floor time to deal with abortion when what Americans want today is congressional action on the economy.
My response was “no, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and actually in light of Obamacare, it is critical for lawmakers to protect health-care workers and hospitals with a conscience clause.”
In fact, the attention the bill has gotten in the short time since it passed the House indicates that the level of interest in abortion, and the potential use of taxpayer funds for it, remains high.
Two high-post Democrats – former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Democratic National Committee chairwoman – issued statements criticizing the bill shortly after it passed.
According to Pelosi, the provision assuring that health-care providers, including hospitals, are not forced to provide abortions, even though they receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, means “that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene.”
Wasserman Schultz said, “This extreme legislation is dangerous for women’s health and does nothing to address the jobs crisis facing American families.”
Liberals love to frame the killing of developing humans as being about women’s lives, health and rights.
But, according to the Center for Disease Control, about 3 percent of abortions are performed for reasons of a woman’s health. Abortions that are performed because a woman’s life is in danger amount to a fraction of 1 percent. That leaves more that 96 percent for convenience with some 50 percent repeat customers.
Regarding abortion, the liberal agenda is really about two things – 1) an alleged right to sexual promiscuity and, 2) an alleged right to have others bear social and financial responsibility for that promiscuity.
Fortunately, a sizable part of the American population doesn’t see things this way. And, fortunately, a sizable part of our population remains in awe of the miracle of life and our responsibilities toward all aspects of life, both in and outside of the womb.
It doesn’t take that much thought to realize the fallacious thinking that suggests that matters of economy and matters of morality have nothing to do with each other.
The “right to abortion” culture is simply a subset of the entitlement culture, the culture that says your life is about making claims on others rather than personal responsibility.
Disrespect for life and disrespect for property go hand in hand. We can’t divorce our sexual promiscuity from our fiscal promiscuity. Restoring personal responsibility in both areas is what we need today to get our nation back on track.
Star Parker is president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, and author of the recently re-released “Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can Do About It.”
ECONOMY | President Obama’s plan goes after the wealthy while leaving entitlements alone | Edward Lee Pitts
WASHINGTON—House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama have now delivered two speeches in five days seemingly aimed at targeting our nation’s economic woes. But what did the two party leaders really accomplish? They bluntly threw down their policy gauntlets ahead of next year’s crucial election.
Obama delivered his speech on Monday in the White House Rose Garden before just as many laughing partisans as reporters. Like a well-trained sitcom studio audience, they chuckled at all the right lines—at least from a Democratic perspective.
In unveiling his $1.5 trillion in new taxes, the president lectured Republicans that raising taxes on the wealthy “is not class warfare. It’s math.” He then threatened to veto any deficit reduction plan that does not include new tax revenue.
“We can’t just cut our way out of this hole,” Obama said. “It’s only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share.”
But rewind to last Thursday when, during a speech to the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., Boehner laid down his own marker. Tax increases, Boehner said, “are off the table. It is a very simple equation. Tax increases destroy jobs.”
These strong lines in the sand place in a pickle the joint congressional committee now meeting to find, by Nov. 23, at least $1.5 trillion in mandatory deficit cuts over the next decade.
“The good news is that the joint committee is taking this issue far more seriously than the White House,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement released soon after Obama’s speech Monday. McConnell attacked the president for the “massive tax hike” and for “punting on entitlement reform.”
Obama’s plan to reduce the deficit by a little more than $2 trillion during the next decade would increase revenue by $800 billion just from letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for families making more than $250,000. It also adds more revenue to the federal coffers by reducing tax deductions and loopholes available to wealthy earners and corporations.
Republicans have signaled a willingness to pursue an overhaul to the tax code. But Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who is his party’s go-to budget guy, warned on Fox News Sunday that “permanent tax increases on job creators doesn’t work to grow the economy.”
Ryan continued, “It’s actually fueling the uncertainty that is hurting job growth right now. And don’t forget the fact that most small businesses file taxes as individuals. So, when you are raising these top tax rates, you’re raising taxes on these job creators where more than half of Americans get their jobs from in this country.”
Republicans also criticized Obama’s plan for largely neglecting mandatory spending.
The plan does reduce spending by $580 billion in entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. But these cuts go after the medical providers and not the growing rolls of beneficiaries.
Conservatives warn that reimbursement cuts to doctors treating Medicare and Medicaid patients may harm the needy by driving medical providers away from high need areas.
Obama’s plan does not touch Social Security and does not propose erasing the eligibility age for any entitlement beneficiaries—something his own deficit reduction panel last fall suggested.
Republican lawmakers are calling for a greater focus on reforming an open-ended benefit system that does not foster efficiency.
“In a three-and-a-half-trillion dollar budget, two–thirds of which is entitlements, there is enough slop in the system that you can find a trillion and half in savings,” said Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., who also sits on the new super committee. “People kid about waste fraud and abuse. But it’s real.”
Obama’s plan has vitally no chance of passing a Republican House. And the president and his White House staff obviously know that.
So Monday’s proposal and speech became more about bolstering Obama’s chances for a second term by reassuring his liberal base. Democrats believe that their storyline of going after the wealthy and protecting entitlements will resonate with voters next fall.
The differences between the two parties are now clear to anyone still confused after nearly three years of Washington partisanship. Obama’s economic-plan-turned-campaign-speech on Monday hammered home the sentiment that solving the nation’s job problems will play second fiddle during the next 14 months to the top goal for all lawmakers, from the White House to Capitol Hill: protecting their own jobs.
Copyright © 2011 WORLD Magazine
Articles may not be reproduced without permission
Published September 19, 2011
by Jerome Hudson (7-10-11)
With a bit of Chicago-machine swagger about him, Bill Clinton, a “war room” veteran, is back in the spotlight and stumping for Obama.
Speaking to Campus Progress last Wednesday, Clinton asked the crowd of young progressives, “Are you fighting?” Taking talking points almost directly from the mouth of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D.-Fla.), the former President asserted, “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the voter Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit a franchise that we see today.”
Likening Republican policies aimed at preserving voter integrity in states from Florida to California to poll taxes and literacy tests of the Jim Crow era proves Democrats are desperate. Obama’s tax-and-spend agenda stinks on ice. So his segregation mudslingers—in this case, Clinton—must rely on shopworn clichés that stir racial animus to fire up his left-wing base.
Are Clinton and Shultz insinuating that minorities, college students and the elderly are all born Democrats, that they are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates? Is this what Democratic elites think of their constituents? Do Democrats believe blacks and Latinos, old people and youngsters, are too stupid to acquire a photo I.D. by next November?
Moreover, decrying all Republicans as racists is a Democrat article of faith. But why dredge up Jim Crow?
In 1832, the phrase “Jim Crow” was born. By 1900, every former Confederate state (including Wyoming, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma) had enacted “Jim Crow” laws prohibiting everything from interracial marriage to racially integrated public school systems. These state laws served to place blacks back on a virtual plantation. Similar to the “Black Codes” that came before them, Jim Crow laws were numerous. However, one denominator codified their sound support in Southern states: They all resulted from Democratic legislators of the “Solid South.”
When Bill Clinton was 18, his future vice president’s father, Sen. Al Gore Sr., was locked arm-in-arm with other segregationist Democrats to kill the Civil Rights act of 1964. Clinton’s “mentor” and “friend,” klansman J. William Fulbright, joined the Dixiecrats, an ultra-segregationist wing of Democratic lawmakers, in filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and in killing the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Clinton, now 64, in his dotage, probably forgot (or was too embarrassed) to mention to the far-Left crowd of youngsters that his party is the party of segregation. Or as Congressman Jessie Jackson Jr. (D.-Ill.) explained in an interview with Fox News contributor Angela McGlowan in her book Bamboozled:
“There is no doubt that the Democratic Party is the party of the Confederacy, historically, that the Democratic Party’s flag is the Confederate flag. It was our party’s flag. That Jefferson Davis was a Democrat, that Stonewall Jackson strongly identified with the Democratic Party, that secessionists in the South saw themselves as Democrats and were Democrats. That so much of the Democratic Party’s history, since it is our nation’s oldest political party, has its roots in slavery.”
How did the same Jim Crow Democrats who fought tooth-and-nail with segregationists to keep blacks on a virtual plantation become the party that now wins 95% of the black vote? Republicans passed Civil Rights laws, Democrats wrote revisionist history.
Nevertheless, deception—what all warfare is based on, according to ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, won’t work with independents. Obama’s reelection strategy of slander and defaming all conservatives and Republicans as racists won’t win him that all-important center.
With a “recovery” missing 8.5 million jobs, unemployment going in the wrong direction and no perceived end to our economic misery in sight, Obama obviously doesn’t see winning a second term without getting down in the gutter to inspire his bulwark leftists.
This latest attempt to stir up Obama’s base by former President Clinton is just the beginning. Digging up the ghost of Jim Crow Past may have worked before, but the political landscape has changed. And Americans are seemingly ready to vote their wallets in 2012.
This contest will be a battle between the Democrat Party of higher taxes, more spending and backbiting, and the Republican Party of lower taxes, job creation and solving America’s problems.