USA/America

Discernment and Observations

Opening Remark: These thoughts are shared from the heart of an appreciative US Citizen since March 1971in the hope that many will read, try to understand, and then allow themselves to start living a changed life; so that we/all Americans can get America back on track for a very fitting future, for the next generation and those to follow. We must never allow ourselves to take for granted what the past generations of patriots have provided us with in this great country.

The Current Picture

What is your perspective? Do you want to allow the tough current circumstances to cloud the picture you see?
Are you willing to take a genuine neutral and intelligent stand to observe? It is my sincere hope that you choose to do so; because I hope that the following will really open your eyes, heart, and mind. America needs this kind of people.

In order to understand the picture a bit better, i.e. for the sake of discernment, let me share the following statement; which I hope you will really digest and keep in mind while you read on and start thinking:

65 years ago, at the end of WWII, the world was in a very similar situation as it is now, and the destruction and great losses that the entire world had suffered was mainly due to greed for power and control that the few wanted to maintain; and most of them were from Europe and Japan. Now, in 2010, our world is in the same situation that it was then; and for the same reason; except that there were many more who wanted to control and from all over the world, including our own midst.

Humanity never seem to learn what is important in this –relatively short life, and most of us claim that we want a peaceful and enjoyable life; and the absolute majority lie: We always want more, because we never learn what JOY is all about and we want to control others; especially because we can not control ourselves and our earthly desires. Thus, we will never have the inner peace nor the real joy.

Now, let’s review the current situation:

  • Many lost jobs
  • Many lost homes
  • Many lost even hope for a future

As if that was not enough, leaders in all facets of life, have lost real understanding of what their role is, or the genuine commitment to keep learning; even as they humbly admit that they can only try. They pretend what they are not, and they keep lying about what they do not know.  Worse yet, they spend money like idiots and mad men thinking that that will help improve the situation; even when they are digging graves and traps for others, and –possibly- themselves.
Moreover, the tragedy is that this is what is happening in almost every country on planet earth, even though it might take a different shade of the same arrogance and ignorance.

The Clear Picture

>>> The world’s population has increased significantly due to all kinds of improvements in knowledge and medicine.
>>> The communications systems have helped to shrink the world very rapidly; and the transportation system has made it possible for people from all over the world to be on the move and almost at will.
>>> Thus, everyone wants a better life; and tens of millions will try to find it somewhere, often other than their own country of birth.
>>> Economic development also enriched many millions, and they became greedy for more money, power, and possessions.
>>> Housing (shelter) is a basic need, and what used to be a reasonably good home – to raise a family- is now known as dump.

I can go on and on, but you get the picture. In short, life has become so mater-ialisticly influenced and complex that the human ability to really absorb and still be in charge has become an almost impossibility. Therefore, when you add the other global dimensions; it really becomes impossible even for the best leader.

Having said all of the above, I now come to make the following points:

  • America is still the best country on this planet in almost every aspect of material life.
  • America has a more in-depth ability to tackle challenges and solve problems than any other nation on earth
  • More important than anything else, America has the spiritual foundations that no other country has; and these will be the source of stability for future problem solving and the recovery.

What Does/Will It Take? The Fundamentals

  • Above all, keep calm and maintain sound reasoning no matter the situation.
  • Focus on your faith and try to mature in it; learn more and understand better.
  • Start going back to the basics. First, love one another and be willing to sacrifice for your family, immediate and intermediate; and your neighbor.
  • Do not shy away from working whatever you need to do. Yes, humble yourself, and regain self-respect and personal accountability.  Earn it.
  • Cut expenses, and demand that the government at all levels do the same.
  • Take the risk and create your own job, and possible jobs for others.
  • Focus on quality of life contentment, joy, love and not the quantity of things you must have.
  • Begin to save more for a rainy day as soon as you can.
  • Maintain humility and thankfulness for what you have.
  • Value others; especially those who value what is precious –LIBERTY.

You will be amazed what a few years will do in helping recover our country to the sound foundations that it was built on over 230 years ago.

Helpful Hints

>>> There is not any other country that has the spiritual dimension/faith in God that this country has; and that will go a very long way to sustaining us.
>>> China will never be able to catch up with America no matter what others say. It can/will not try to bring this country down; because it will be cutting its own nose despite its face.
>>> No other country has ever generated the amount of wealth for the entire world than this country did; andno other country has ever done so much good to the entire world as this. Do not allow anybody to convince you otherwise.
>>> Give this country just three years, and you will see that it will be on the mend; and it will lead the world into a better future for all, like no other country can.

America, America God shed his grace on thee……

May God bless you, yours, and our beloved AMERICA!
Vic Bitar, Founder & Executive Director

 

More than one book

By Cullen Murphy
Review and commentary By James C. Denison

How would you help a farmer keep rabbits out of his garden? If you thought of replacing doors with ladders, you might graduate from first grade in Glen Rock, New York. In kindergarten, you would have designed a high-tech security system for the three little pigs, complete with a voice-activated security gate to keep the big bad wolf out.

For a person whose engineering expertise ended when I sold my 1965 Mustang, it’s impressive stuff. Today’s New York Times tells us that such efforts to teach engineering to elementary school students are part of a renewed national emphasis on science and math. The program can’t come too soon.

It was my privilege to spend a week in Beijing, China recently. As I mentioned in an essay upon returning, China and India together graduate six times more engineers than does the United States. No nation’s future is guaranteed.

Name this country: richest in the world; largest military in the world; center of world business and finance; strongest educational system; world center of innovation and invention; currency the world’s standard; highest standard of living. The answer is Great Britain, in 1900.

Is America a nation in decline? In 1988, Yale historian Paul Kennedy wrote The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.  His thesis: nations ascend due to the supremacy of their material resources; then they inevitably spend their wealth on military expansion to maintain their power, and fall into decline and eventual collapse. The Roman Empire is usually cited as Exhibit A of Kennedy’s thesis.

As America fights two wars overseas while struggling to recover from economic recession, it’s easy to see why “declinists” link us to Rome, accusing our nation of “imperial overstretch” and predicting our collective demise. This argument has been in the news in recent weeks, as we learn more about the ascendancy of China and India and worry about our economic and political status in the world.

Cullen Murphy’s Are We Rome? The fall of an empire and the fate of America is an excellent resource in comparing the two demographically and politically. He notes that Rome and America both built the most powerful militaries in their world, by far. America invests as much in military expenditures as the next 15 nations combined.

The Roman road system, stretching some 53,000 miles, was about the length of the U.S. Interstate system. And the Roman Empire and its Mediterranean Sea would fit neatly inside America’s lower 48 states.

So, are we Rome? Yes and no, as we’ll see tomorrow. For today, let’s embrace the biblical fact that our future is known to the ever-present God. Your Father is watching you read these words right now; if there’s a tomorrow, he can see its events as clearly as you can see this moment.

What about Tomorrow worries you on this Monday? Name it, put it in God’s hands, and know that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).  Do you have such peace this morning?

If only stopping the oil leak in the Gulf were this easy. All that stood between the battleship USS Texas and sinking in the Houston Ship Channel was a rag and a backup pump. Local news in Dallas is reporting this morning that an employee noticed the 1914-vintage ship, the last of its kind in the world, appeared to be sitting lower in the water than usual.  He found the leak and stuffed it with a rag. Backup pumps replaced the one which had burnt out, removed 105,000 gallons of water, and saved the ship.

President Obama spoke to the nation last night about the BP oil spill as frustrations continue to mount. Timereports this morning that rising deficits are polarizing Washington. Today’s Wall Street Journal documents the Senate’s “blistering bipartisan attack” on the war effort in Afghanistan. In the midst of such struggles, many are asking, Are we Rome? We’ve considered social and political similarities and distinct differences; now let’s think about spiritual answers to the question.

Roman religion was transactional: place your offering on the altars of the gods so they will bless your crops and give you victory in battle. They adopted the Greek division between the soul and body, the “spiritual” and the “secular,” “religion” and the “real world.”

The Greeks said that the gods lived atop Mt. Olympus, far removed from life below. The Romans adopted their gods, renaming Zeus as Jupiter, Hera as Juno, Ares as Mars, and so forth. But they preserved this division between the gods and us.

They added emperor worship to their pantheon, but not out of any desire to foster an intimate, personal relationship with Caesar. This was a loyalty oath, another transaction. Burn a pinch of incense on the altar of Caesar and say “Caesar is lord,” and you were given a certificate which made you a legal Roman citizen for another year. Religion was like renewing your license or car registration, something you had to do.

When Christianity spread into this Roman world, it eventually adopted this transactional religion with its spiritual schizophrenia between the “spiritual” and the “secular.” By AD 250 we separated the “clergy” from the “laity,” the “spiritual” people from the “secular,” making priests like those in Roman religion who could help us make our transactions with God. Then Constantine legalized the Church in AD 313 and we began constructing buildings like Roman temples where people could come to make their sacrifices and be blessed.

In the Modern Era we began measuring success by the size of our temples – our buildings and budgets and baptisms. In the Postmodern World we say that all truth is personal and subjective – it doesn’t matter what you believe so long as you’re tolerant of my beliefs and sincere in yours. You can worship Zeus while I worship Apollo or Athena or the emperor. Pay your dues for services received. This is a transactional religion, not a transforming relationship.

Unfortunately, many Americans have a Roman, transactional faith. Some of us go to church on Sunday so God will bless us on Monday. If we pay our spiritual dues, we’ll receive the result of our investment. We have compartments in our lives, with God here and the rest of life there.

What does God say to our consumeristic spiritual culture? He is calling us make him our King, not our hobby. To submit every part of every day to his Lordship. He can bless only what he can touch and lead only those who will follow. When we confine him to a day and a building we miss so much of what Jesus died to give us.

Consumerism abounds. This week we’ve compared America to Rome, focusing on the temptation to mimic the Empire’s consumeristic religion—give to God so God will give to you. Make God a part of your life, but not the Lord of your life, a hobby but not a King. C. S. Lewis says we’re like honest people who pay our taxes but certainly hope there will be money left over for us to do what we want.

How do we avoid such spiritual schizophrenia? Since we’ve compared America and Rome, let’s consider Paul’s admonition to the Romans:

I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).

Here was God’s cure for the spiritual consumerism of Paul’s day. It is equally needed for my soul this morning.

Our Father calls us to “offer your bodies as living sacrifices.” Not the transactional, dead, one-time sacrifices made by Romans to placate and bribe their gods, but daily, continual surrender of our lives to Christ as our Caesar, our King and Lord.  Not God as your hobby, but God as your King.

If Christ is your Caesar and King, you are sitting in his chair, reading these words on his computer. You and I are wearing his clothes and breathing his air.  Everything that is ours, is his.  He is Lord of the money we keep as well as the money we give; of what we do on Monday as well as Sunday; of what we do in private as well as what we do in public.

Our omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving God is ready to use and bless all we put into his hands. Have you offered him yourself as a “living sacrifice” yet?

 

USA – Flag, Independence, etc…

Alexander’s Essay – June 10, 2010

‘In God is Our Trust’

soldier

“Let us then… under God, trust our cause to our swords.” – Samuel Adams

In advance of the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, allow me to suggest another date that should be observed with equal reverence by all Patriots.
At the dawn of the American Revolution, on the first Patriots’ Day (April 19, 1775), armed citizens formed colonial militias that constituted the frontline of our nation’s defense.

However, with hostilities mounting, on June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of some 27,000 colonial riflemen to defend the new nation, establishing the American Continental Army and, a day later, appointed George Washington as its commander in chief.

The 1st Continental Regiment consisted of 10 rifle companies from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and they marched to Boston in support of the New England militia.

Fittingly, on June 14 two years later, the Second Continental Congress adopted the first flag of the United States, with the official entry reading, “Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

For the next decade, American Patriots would defend the young nation against what seemed insurmountable odds. They were, of course, led by General Washington, who would, at the close of hostilities and upon the ratification of our Constitution, become our nation’s first president.

Thus, June 14 of this year is both the 235th anniversary of the establishment of the United States Army, and the 233rd anniversary of the adoption of our flag, which has been carried into every battle since.

It was in a second conflict with the British, the War of 1812, that our national flag, flying over Fort McHenry overlooking Baltimore harbor, would give Francis Scott Key the inspiration to pen our National Anthem.

In 1814, James Madison authorized Key and John Stuart Skinner to seek an agreement with the British to secure an exchange of prisoners. Under a flag of truce, Key and Skinner met with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane aboard the HMS Tonnant for negotiations. However, while onboard, Key and Skinner learned of British plans to attack Baltimore, and thus, were held captive.

From his vantage point onboard, Key was able to observe at the end of the first day of that campaign that Fort McHenry’s “storm flag” was still flying into the night. He didn’t know if his fellow Patriots had withstood the assault until, by the dawn’s early light, he saw a much larger American flag had been raised victoriously over the fort.
On that day, Key, an amateur poet, penned “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” later put to music as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and formally recognized as our National Anthem in 1931.

While the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is familiar to most Americans, it is the fourth and last verse that speaks most directly to the humbling legacy of American Patriots, who have stood in harm’s way since 1775:

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

“In God is our trust,” was shortened to “In God We Trust” and established as our National Motto in 1956 by another Army general who went on to become president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

That message, “In God We Trust,” is the keystone of liberty, and our nation. But there are those who are endeavoring to remove it, and if they are allowed to succeed, our nation will collapse.

Please join us on one more frontline in defense of liberty.

I invite you to celebrate Army Day, Flag Day and our upcoming Independence Day, in part, by supporting The Patriot Post. From our humble beginnings, The Patriot has grown to become America’s most trusted advocate for First Principles, Essential Liberty and Constitutional Rule of Law.

This measure of success is (to paraphrase Ronald Reagan) not because we’re great communicators, but because we’re communicating great things to the current generation of American Patriots, and because you, in turn, have sustained our effort and helped us grow our ranks.

In 1821, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “[T]he flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism.”

True today, but those flames must still be tended with vigilance.

In 1833, James Madison’s Supreme Court nominee, Justice Joseph Story, wrote, “Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence.”

The primary objective of The Patriot Post is to keep the flame of liberty burning bright, and to ensure that the legacy of liberty, won at great sacrifice by generations gone before, is extended to our posterity.

While many of our readers support us at the end of the year, and some throughout the year, we also endure a perennial summer “dry spell,” a budget shortfall in our third quarter, and we need your help to bridge the gap between July and October.

If you have the ability and have not already done so, please take a moment to support The Patriot’s 2010 Independence Day Campaign. I humbly encourage you to make a contribution — however large or small. (If you prefer to support us by mail, please use our printable donor form.)

Your investment ensures that The Patriot’s timeless message of liberty, limited government and free enterprise, and our advocacy for national defense and traditional American values, is distributed to a wide forum of readers at all levels of government, academia, the media, and most important, to grassroots Patriots. Your support also provides free subscriptions for thousands of American military personnel and those in ministry and other professions with limited financial means.

That’s a lot of leverage for the future of American liberty!
Please support The Patriot’s 2010 Independence Day Campaign today. As a measure of our thanks for a donation of $26, we’ll send you our hot-off-the-press, newest edition Essential Liberty Guide. For a donation of $52, you will receive four copies; donate $100 or more, and we will send you 10 Guides.

Fellow Patriots, I thank you for being vigilant and faithful in your selfless support of liberty. We’re humbled to count you among our readers, and it’s my great privilege to serve you as editor of The Patriot Post. May God bless you, and may our great nation continue to be blessed with the liberty He has endowed.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

~Mark Alexander