- Time to Care
Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC
I had an interesting witness of kindness early this morning. As I journeyed back to Ahoskie from taking my son to school, I noticed some vehicles on the roadside and people standing by a ditch bank. I slowed to see if there was a need to stop.
As I neared them, I noticed someone with a shovel digging a hole. The man was working steadily to make a grave and a deceased dog that had been hit by one of the cars was lying next to his soon to be grave.
In just the slow passing for me, I could see and sense the caring that was coming from those persons. One option that the driver had was to hit the dog and keep on going. Another option was to stop and inquire who the precious animal belonged to. Apparently, the driver was able to do just that. And someone was kind enough to dig a hole and resume with a proper burial for the pet. The people involved simply took the necessary time to care.
The bible says that the hairs on our heads are numbered and not a sparrow falls to the ground without his awareness. He knows all about us and all of creation. I’m thankful that His highest form of life has been created in the image of God with the basic proponents of personality – MIND, WILL, and EMOTION. And sometimes we witness when that great emotion of sadness governs the minds of those who make a conscious decision (will) to do what is right.
This person stopped, apparently discovered the owner of the pet, took the initiative to find some help and properly bury God’s creation.
I don’t know who you are, but thanks for taking the time to care.
Please visit us on the web at http://www.cscministries.com/ or http://www.wallacephillips.org/
Dinner & A Movie
Carpenter’s Shop Church has purchased rights to the public showing of the Sherwood Pictures production of “Fireproof”. On Monday, February 9th at 7:00 P.M. the ministry will offer a “dinner and a movie” setting at their YZONE youth center located at 417 Peacock St. in Ahoskie.
“We want to offer couples a wonderful evening with a fabulous meal and a movie targeted at strengthening the marriage,” states Pastor Wallace Phillips. “It’s just in time for the Valentine’s Day celebration and couples don’t have to leave town to enjoy a great evening,” Phillips added.
Fireproof is a movie targeted at strengthening the marital relationship. At work, inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his own rules.
Growing up, Catherine Holt always dreamed of marrying a loving, brave firefighter...just like her daddy. Now, after seven years of marriage, Catherine wonders when she stopped being "good enough" for her husband.
Regular arguments over jobs, finances, housework, and outside interests have readied them both to move on to something with more sparks.
As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment: "The Love Dare." Wondering if it's even worth the effort, Caleb agrees-for his father's sake more than for his marriage. When Caleb discovers the book's daily challenges are tied into his parents' newfound faith, his already limited interest is further dampened.
While trying to stay true to his promise, Caleb becomes frustrated time and again. He finally asks his father, "How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?"
When his father explains that this is the love Christ shows to us, Caleb makes a life-changing commitment to love God. And with God's help he begins to understand what it means to truly love his wife.
But is it too late to fireproof his marriage? His job is to rescue others. Now Caleb Holt is ready to face his toughest job ever...rescuing his wife's heart.
Pastor Wallace Phillips encourages all couples to consider this venue as an option for something special and unique this Valentine’s Day. Seating is limited and tickets are available at the church office or by calling (252) 332-6113.
Map to YZONE - 417 Peacock St.
The Last Of The Kennedy Dynasty
Everyone in the press is trying to portray Ted Kennedy as some Great American. This is a list of what he is really like going around the Internet. Some good laughs here.
Ted Kennedy's accomplishments:
1. He was caught cheating at Harvard when he attended it. He was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test, and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him.
2. While expelled, Kennedy enlisted in the Army, but mistakenly signed up for four years instead of two. Oops, the man can't count to four. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to England (a step up from bootlegging liquor into the US from Canada during prohibition), pulled the necessary strings to have his enlistment shortened to two years, and to ensure that he served in Europe, not Korea, where a war was raging. No preferential treatment for him like "he" charged President Bush received.
3. Kennedy was assigned to Paris, never advanced beyond the rank of;Private, and returned to Harvard upon being discharged. Imagine a person of his "education" NEVER advancing past the rank of Private.
4. While attending law school at the University of Virginia, he was cited for reckless driving four times, including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood with his headlights off after dark. Yet his Virginia driver's license was never revoked. Coincidentally, he passed the bar exam in 1959, amazing!!!
5. In 1964, he was seriously injured in a plane crash, and hospitalized for several months. Test results done by the hospital at the time he was admitted had shown he was legally intoxicated. The results of those tests remained a "state secret" until in the 1980's when the report was unsealed. Didn't hear about that from the unbiased media, did we.
6. On July 19, 1969, Kennedy attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. At about 11:00 PM, he borrowed his chauffeur's keys to his Oldsmobile limousine, and offered to give a ride home to Mary Jo Kopechne, a campaign worker. Leaving the island via an unlit bridge with no guard rail, Kennedy steered the car off the bridge, flipped, and into Poucha Pond.
7. He swam to shore and walked back to the party, after passing several houses and a fire station. Then two friends returned with him to the scene of the accident. According to their later testimony, they told him what he already knew, that he was required by law to immediately report the accident to the authorities. Instead Kennedy made his way to his hotel, called his lawyer, and went to sleep. Kennedy called the police the next morning and by then the wreck had already been discovered. Before dying, Kopechne had scratched at the upholstered floor above her head in the upside-down car. The Kennedy family began "calling in favors", ensuring that any inquiry would be contained. Her corpse was whisked out-of-state to her family, before an autopsy could be conducted. Further details are uncertain, but after the accident Kennedy says he repeatedly dove under the water trying to rescue Kopechne, and he didn't call police because he was in a state of shock. It is widely assumed Kennedy was drunk, and he held off calling police in hopes that his family could fix the problem overnight. Since the accident, Kennedy's "political enemies" have referred to him as the distinguished Senator from Chappaquiddick. He pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, and was given a SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF TWO MONTHS. Kopechne's family received a small! payout from the Kennedy's insurance policy, and never sued. There was later an effort to have her body exhumed and autopsied, but her family successfully fought against this in court, and Kennedy's family paid their attorney's bills... a "token of friendship"?
8. Kennedy has held his Senate seat for more than forty years, but considering his longevity, his accomplishments seem scant. He authored or argued for legislation that ensured a variety of civil rights, increased the minimum wage in 1981, made access to health care easier for the indigent, and funded Meals on Wheels for fixed-income seniors and is widely held as the "standard-bearer for liberalism". In his very first Senate roll, he was the floor manager for the bill that turned U.S. immigration policy upside down and opened the floodgate for immigrants from third world countries.
9. Since that time, he has been the prime instigator and author of every expansion of and increase in immigration, up to and including the latest attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Not to mention the Pious grilling he gave the last two Supreme Court Nominees, as if he were the standard bearer for the nation in matters of right.
10. He is known around Washington as a public drunk, loud, boisterous and very disrespectful to ladies.
Former NFL Star Slated For
Superbowl Weekend Of Ministry
Joe Jackson is slated to be with the Carpenter’s Shop Church for a weekend of outreach and ministry to the Ahoskie area on a weekend that is popular among sports enthusiasts; SUPER BOWL WEEKEND! Joe Jackson played with the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings with quarterback greats Joe Namath and Fran Tarkenton respectively. [Personal note: I got to meet Fran Trakenton when I was in the seventh grade because his Mom was my teacher. He came to our class in Atlanta his Sophomore year while quarterback at the University of Georgia.]
Pastor Wallace Phillips states, “Our ministry schedule is full this week with a variety of events sure to attract the interests of sports enthusiasts. Carpenter’s Shop begins on Saturday, January 31st with a free breakfast to all men. CSC Men’s Director, Gary Felton says, “All men are invited to join us on Saturday at the YZONE located at 417 Peacock Street in Ahoskie. Breakfast starts promptly at 9:00 AM and is free to all.”
This will be Jackson’s first ministry event for the weekend. He will share with the men his personal vision. Jackson states, “My vision is the vision of our Lord who said, ‘I come not to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom for others.’” Jackson encourages all men to join together for a special time of Christian fellowship and inspiration.
Second on the list of opportunities is the Sunday morning worship service at Carpenter’s Shop Church. Jackson will be the guest speaker for one joint service at the church located on South CC Road in Ahoskie. Service time is 9:30 A.M. on February 1st.
Pastor Wallace Phillips states, “We are asking everyone to join us in wearing a sports tee shirt, sweatshirt, or jersey of your favorite sports team. The sanctuary will be clad with Joe Jackson’s former banners and colors; purple and yellow for the Minnesota Vikings and green and white for the New York Jets.
Door prizes will be given away and Jackson will bring the morning message. Phillips added, “We are making every effort to welcome this NFL star to our city.” The public is invited to attend all of the services.
The weekend concludes with a Super Bowl Party at the YZONE Youth Center on 417 Peacock Street. Doors open at 4:00 P.M. and close after the NFL season finale. A full snack bar is available and the game will be presented on the center’s 60 inch flat screens with surround sound. Admission is free.
For further information you may call the church office at (252) 332-6113.
The Changing Face Of Change
by Abe Greenwald - January 24th, 2009 - Commentary Magazine
Yes, President Obama is closing Guantanamo Bay. But as it dawns on the mainstream media that prisoner relocation falls a bit short of national metamorphosis, industrious journalists are mining some unexpected corners in hopes of finding the change they had believed in. Here’s Liz Sidoti, writing for the Associated Press:This is a great article poking fun at the MSM's attempts to defend words as actions.
Barack Obama opened his presidency by breaking sharply from George W. Bush’s unpopular administration, but he mostly avoided divisive partisan and ideological stands. He focused instead on fixing the economy, repairing a battered world image and cleaning up government.
So President Obama broke sharply from George W. Bush by being vague and wishy-washy?
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Will We Embrace
Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
At least one concern I have that Bob does not seem to recognize is Barack Obama does not expect any beneficiaries of entitlements to actually share in the pain. Simply talking about sacrifice means nothing. I have to caution my conservative friends again and again to remember, Obama is a Saul Alinsky devotee. That means he has completely embraced the philosophy that you never show your real intentions to anyone. Everything is a feint to confuse others so you can get through the back door what you never allow anyone to know is your real agenda. Even with liberals, Obama is cautious to rarely say exactly what he wants.
Walgreens ran an entertaining series of television commercials last year centered on the idealistic, utopian, town of “Perfect.” Whatever anyone desired could be found there. The fantasy abruptly ends with the words, “But life isn’t always perfect; that’s why there’s Walgreens.”
Clearly, the town of “Perfect” doesn’t exist, at least not in this world. Individually, we must continually confront challenges that test our resolves. These challenges are increasing as a result of the financial crisis that stretches from Wall Street to Main Street. Basics like putting food on the table, staying warm, stretching money to pay bills and obtaining basic healthcare and trying to find or keep a job are increasingly more difficult. This may not be the Great Depression of the 1930s, but don’t tell that to someone who is hungry or out of work. It’s a recession when it affects our neighbors-a depression when it affects us.
In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama told the nation that we need to return to the country’s roots by focusing on hard work and accountability. “Our capacity remains diminished, but our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions-that time has passed,” he said. His rhetoric is point-on. The difficulty will come when those “unpleasant decisions” must be made.
When trying to find one’s way out of a financial dilemma, personal or business, the tendency is to start eliminating those little expenditures that no longer seem necessary. While this certainly helps to reduce debt and increase cash flow, it seldom is enough.
In another life, I advised business clients not to delude themselves into thinking that simply making minor adjustments in expenditures would turn their balance sheets from red to black in an economic downturn. Needed was an honest evaluation of their biggest business expenses. It might be payroll, inventory or benefits. Even the personal perks like that new car every couple of years, healthy bonuses and country club memberships needed to be assessed. Only then could they begin to fix the problem. Denial wouldn’t do it.
The government’s biggest expenditures are entitlements. Last April, Rep. Randy Forbes, (R-VA), pegged automatic government spending on current entitlements at 62 percent of the nation’s budget and increasing. The Congressional Budget Office reported that Social Security and Medicare, the two largest entitlement programs, account for 33 percent. If any meaningful fiscal reforms are to be made, they must start here.
It won’t be easy. Many incumbent politicians have used entitlement reform against an opponent who suggests reform is necessary; by scaring voters into thinking those changes might put at risk their current or future benefits. But with the deficits continuing to spiral out of control, Obama is seeking to get Congress to do the unthinkable: rein in entitlements.
Reforming Social Security was a top priority of President Bush. He recommended making changes to that venerable program that would have given participants an opportunity to invest a small portion of their Social Security taxes into low risk bonds and securities. Participation was to be optional. Bush was taking a “long- term” look at increasing the rate of return for those with many years to go until retirement.
Whether Congress viewed Bush’s plan as breaking a sacred trust between the government and the folks is hard to say. His plan was scrapped. Congress once again showed reluctance to deal with Social Security’s pending insolvency.
Obama will be holding a Fiscal Responsibility Summit next month. Certain to be discussed are possible adjustments in the Social Security tax rates and benefit tables. Lifting the salary cap on the FICA tax is one option under consideration. Depending on how Congress views the electorate’s acceptance of any reduction in benefits will go a long way in determining whether there will be reforms.
Medicare, in the short- term, is the more at risk entitlement and needs immediate restructuring. Obama is emphasizing preventive health care for the long haul while finding cost savings in the here- and- now. Government estimates show that one third of Medicare’s costs are for administering the program. Obama feels there is money to be saved here. In addition he estimates that billions of dollars could also be saved by allowing the government to negotiate pricing with drug companies, while reducing the amounts currently being paid to Health Maintenance Organizations for services.
When it comes to entitlements, Americans have opposed change that calls for sacrifice. Clearly change is needed. But can Obama’s rhetoric convince enough people to ingest the unsavory medicine he says is needed to stabilize our entitlement programs? We’ll soon have the answer. But one thing is almost certain; if we don’t swallow it, Congress won’t either.
That frightens me. It should frighten anyone. It should also mean you must look for the hidden agenda in everything Obama does or says. He is more duplicitous than most can comprehend. I think his real agenda is to move funding of these programs to productive businesses and productive members of society. Those are the real threats to freedom in the socialist vision of the world. Obama is totally committed to that type of thinking.
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Bush: He Kept Us Safe
Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
I agree with that. No one who understands the good job President George W. Bush did as Commander in Chief, can doubt we owe him our appreciation for that. My endorsement of this “thank you” comes from someone who on most other issues, is NOT a Bush fan.
On January 20, Barack Obama becomes the leader of the free world. For some this ends eight long years of bitterness toward and frustration with President George W. Bush. The non-stop onslaught of resentment and rancor from the left and the main-stream media would have eventually compromised a less stalwart president. Bush, right or wrong, held steadfast throughout.
In spite of any faults one finds with his presidency- and there are many- in this there is no debate: Bush kept the homeland safe. Some attribute this to luck. But this type mindset led to the horrific assaults of 9-11.
We hope the new administration doesn’t lose sight of the elements that are hell-bent on destroying us. It is important our intelligence gathering agencies not be compromised or emasculated. Keeping the folks safe at home is the commander-in chief’s most important responsibility.
With the economic downturn center stage, the mandate for our new president will be to focus on returning our economy to sound footing. But whatever progress Obama makes would be short lived following another terrorist hit at home. Should that occur, any progress made toward economic recovery will seem minor compared to the destruction resulting from another attack.
The Associated Press reports that Obama will issue an executive order to close the U. S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, currently housing 250 al-Qaida and Taliban detainees. Many are suspects and potential witnesses to terror activity. The problem Obama will face is what to do with the inmates. Some are eligible for release, but many of their countries of origin are refusing to repatriate them. It has been suggested we build a new detainee retention facility in the U. S., automatically bestowing upon those currently being held in Cuba legal rights they now don’t posses. Bush also supports closing Guantanamo, but does not advocate relocating detainees here. I suspect most average Americans don’t either.
Many of Obama’s appointees to cabinet and agency positions have been fairly solid. There have been exceptions:
1) Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) had to withdraw his name from consideration as Obama’s new Commerce Secretary because of a federal grand jury investigation into his possible involvement in an alleged “pay-to-play” scandal in his home state.
2) Last week it was discovered that Timothy Geithner, Obama’s choice to head the Treasury Department, failed to pay $34,000 in taxes several years ago. In fact, the Washington Times reported last week that Geithner never attempted to resolve the tax issue completely until he found himself under serious consideration for Secretary of the Treasury.
Another Obama selection should send a chill down the spine of anyone who remembers the level of terrorist activity against the U. S. during the1990s. Seventy year- old Leon Panetta is the new president’s choice to lead the Central Intelligence Agency- the arm of government responsible for the gathering of intelligence and counter-intelligence data needed to prevent clandestine intrusions here and abroad.
In spite of this agency’s crucial importance, Obama has chosen someone with absolutely no practical intelligence background. A career politician, Panetta served 16 years in the U. S. House of Representatives. In 1994 he became President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff where he presumably was privy to intelligence briefings. His supporters in fact use this as justification for why Panetta is qualified to run the CIA. But there were seven terrorist attacks against this country and its interests during Clinton’s reign. Was the intelligence bad? Or was good intelligence mismanaged, misinterpreted or ignored? We don’t need a repeat of the security failures of the past. What we do need is someone in charge of this agency that has more than good management skills. We need an intelligence expert. Panetta shouldn’t qualify.
I, along with other Americans, have been disappointed with some aspects of the Bush presidency. For me, his failure to help enact meaningful immigration reform was a missed opportunity. Bush also lacked fiscal discipline, at times spending money like a drunken sailor. And the perception by the media of a delayed response to Katrina probably hurt his presidency more than anything else.
Some unfairly want to blame the entire economic debacle on Bush. There is plenty of blame to go around. Others point to our invasion of Iraq as egregious. While there were strategic blunders aplenty from the outset, it appears that significant elements of stability have finally taken hold. Our military can eventually leave Iraq claiming success, something few thought possible two years ago.
There have been other accomplishments, including hefty tax cuts. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security and was instrumental in establishing the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. And often overlooked are his efforts in securing massive assistance for Africa in its war against HIV-AIDS. Bush’s cabinet appointments reflected ethnic diversity and his administration was “relatively” free from scandal.
Most importantly, Bush has kept this nation safe at a time when terrorist attacks have been rising elsewhere. He had the fortitude and resolves to do whatever necessary to accomplish it. His fiercest critics even acknowledge that. In his final address to the nation last Thursday evening, Bush said, “There is legitimate debate about many of those decisions, but there can be little debate about the results.”
Bush leaves the Oval Office with his approval rating in tatters. Perhaps history will assess him differently. But we don’t have to wait for history’s judgment to know this: George W. Bush helped keep this nation free from terrorist attacks every single day since September 11, 2001. For that we can all say, “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC
A lady approached me in the post office of our town this past week. With a smile on her face, she said, “Thank you….thank you so much!” Her smile continued and I wondered what this dear lady was thankful for. I could not recall doing a good deed, stopping to assist her, or anything that involved her. She continued, “I just want to thank you.” She explained her gratitude of riding in to Ahoskie every day and being reminded by our billboards that “nothing is too hard for God”.
Where are you? Are you in a place that seems impossible? Wondering how you got where you are? Has the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but it’s cancer?” Are you facing the financial pressure of the end of another year with it’s holiday expectations? Are you alone? Just where are you today; in this season of your life? Let me remind you that there is nothing that is too hard for Him. Scripture reminds us that “with men some things are impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Faith is the key that unlocks the doors that are closed in our lives so many times. And the doors don’t always swing open. Sometimes we have to wait. Be reminded that nothing that you are facing or will ever face is too difficult for God. Visit our website at http://www.nothingstoohardforGod.org. You will find amazing stories of lives that have been miraculously touched by His power. Thanks for reading and have a faith-filled day. Please visit us on the web at http://www.cscministries.com/ or http://www.wallacephillips.org/
Finally, A Real Peek At Our Valley Girl, Caroline Kennedy
by Howie Carr - January 23rd, 2009 - Boston Herald
Another liberal icon caught allegedly not paying taxes. First Charlie Rangel, then Tim Geithner, now the Valley Girl of Camelot. Do as they say, not as they do. I guess they didn’t get the memo from Joe Biden - the vice president lectures us all how “patriotic” it is to pay taxes, Caroline.ROTFL
But Caroline was so uniquely qualified.
She is both “wife and mother” (cited by both Caroline and her cousin Kerry).
She hails her own cabs (a revelation by Albert “Scoop” Hunt).
But my favorite argument came from the daughter of the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, who in the Daily News cited the fact that Caroline is a “good hostess.”
I am actually disappointed that she did not get the nomination. This liberal imbecile would have been great for America's comedians.
Teach The Pleasure Of Gay Sex
To Children As Young As Five
by Steve Doughty - January 20th, 2009 - Daily Mail
Children as young as five should be taught to understand the pleasures of gay sex, according to leaders of a taxpayer-funded education project.If you think that homosexuals will be satisfied with gay marriage you are deluded. The next step in the gay power agenda is recruiting your children to experiment with gay sex, starting in kindergarten.
Heads of the project have set themselves a goal of 'creating primary classrooms where queer sexualities are affirmed and celebrated'.
The Carpenter’s Tools
- Finally … Some GOOD News?
Article by Pastor Wallace Phillips
- Ahoskie, NC
Hey, hey, hey! Did you hear about the crash and splash landing of US Airways Flight 1549? I know you did. I could not believe it; finally some good news on the tube. It is so amazing that even the media used the word “miraculous”. Now I think that’s a miracle!
In a world that is laden with news such as Israel / Palestine problems…..a global economic demise….a hidden terrorist mastermind …..lost jobs…..murders…..robberies….and the list goes on we finally find a story that the whole world is talking about and calling a miracle. I love it!
It’s so good to hear the chatter of good news. And then I stop to realize that we believers are products of the good news – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!” Paul reminds us of this good news and then adds….”of whom I am chief.” He took the initiative to remind us that he was a sinner and then told the church at Rome that “we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
The good news is that God so loved us that he gave His Son to die in our stead. He took upon himself the sin of the whole world. And when he died on the cross of Calvary, he made a life saving move that was greater than that of flight 1549. Yes, it’s good news that 155 were saved on that great day. But the greatest news is that Jesus came to save “whosoever will believe on Him.”
Trust His good news today.
Thanks for reading and visit us on the web at http://www.cscministries.com/ or http://www.wallacephillips.org/
The Wrong Address
by Gene Weingarten - January 18th, 2009 - Washington Post
Some people were unnerved to learn that Barack Obama has chosen a 27-year-old speechwriter for his inaugural address. I'm not. Obama could have made a much worse choice. He could have chosen me.Gene, I do not agree. This is funny!
President Obama? Could You Be More Specific?
by R.J. Lehmann - January 14th, 2009
Breaking with a decades-old tradition, the Associated Press -- keepers of the AP Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, which purports to serve as the "bible" for copy desks everywhere -- announced in a Nov. 12 ruling that henceforth, it would use a president's title, first name and family name whenever he or she is first referenced in a story. In other words, rather than calling him President Obama, newspapers will be expected to spell out that it is President BARACK Obama to whom they are referring (presumably, to distinguish him from the very many other President Obamas out there.)Funny article if you don't think much of the MSM, especially the Associated Press.
A Conservative Viewpoint
- The Case Against Further Stimulus
Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
It is sad how much of a disconnect there is between people who are gung ho about the chance Obama has to prove socialism works, many of them our young who have been brain washed by pro socialist teachers, and those who see the return to the socialism crises that nearly destroyed our nation twice in the last century as a risk that may finally bring our great nation down.
I write this column in early January and our national debt stands at an unfathomable $10.7 trillion or $34,844.47 for each of us. That means a typical family of four would ostensibly shoulder more than $139,000 of the debt, which in most cases far exceeds their net worth.
CNN Money recently reported that a 33 year old worker- one that’s halfway toward today’s retirement age of 66 and earning an average of $25,000 over the past 10 years- has a net worth of $2,125. In fact Americans save a paltry one percent of their income; the lowest by far among our largest industrialized trading partners. We have an average of nine credit cards with balances totaling $16,000. In this decade, real wages went up four percent; credit card debt soared by 75 percent.
The difference between our individual debt and that of our government’s is that we eventually have to pay our bills on a predetermined payment schedule. The government simply sells more securities in the form of treasuries and other U. S. guaranteed notes to finance its debt. A growing amount of this paper is held by foreigners, led by government, individual and institutional investors from China, Japan and the United Kingdom.
The government only pays the minimum due to those holding the paper, which is like making the minimum payment on a credit card debt. It’s called interest. According to the U. S. Treasury Department web site, our government paid $412 billion in interest for debt service in 2008.
U. S. Treasury securities have been safe and reliable investments for many years. When the world wide economy was booming, foreigners were willing to invest in the U. S. because in many cases we were their primary market. With most of the world now reeling economically, that money is drying up. Yet our debt at home continues to climb, with our government continuing to spend money like it actually had it. Giveaways such as the recent financial institution and auto industry bail-outs may help prolong the taxpayers’ day of reckoning, but as certain as death itself, it’s coming.
President-elect Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress are painting an economic picture so dire that they are proposing adding a trillion additional dollars in economic stimulus to an already incomprehensible debt with hopes of staving off the wolves. And if things begin to turn around, albeit temporarily, we will undoubtedly continue to rely on foreign money to finance our debt, much the same way we rely on foreign oil to run our vehicles.
During the 1990’s Congress adopted a “pay- as- you- go” policy. Tax cuts had to be accompanied by a like dollar amount in spending cuts. If new spending was required the money could only come from a corresponding dollar- for- dollar increase in taxes. This resulted in annual budget surpluses. Congress allowed pay- as- you- go to expire in 2002. Unwilling to make the tough decisions necessary to maintain fiscal responsibility, including addressing the still expanding national debt, they embarked instead on a spending free for all.
Politicians as a rule are not strategic planners. They are more interested in winning popular support than dealing with the difficult and pressing issues that call for national sacrifice.
In his book “Imposter: How George W. Bush bankrupted America and betrayed the Reagan legacy,” conservative author Bruce Bartlett describes how Bush’s “Compassionate Conservatism” was nothing more than socialism, citing Medicare’s prescription drug plan as one example. While the author acknowledges that Bush is a patriot who has kept the nation safe from another terrorist attack, he sees him as betraying the very principle of conservatism: fiscal restraint.
And it’s fiscal restraint that will ultimately save us from ourselves. While there are few today who are unaware of the enormity of this economic crisis, we are still reluctant to accept what it’s going to take to fix it. Stimulus packages and bailouts are not long term solutions. Reducing the nation’s debt is.
While Obama’s stimulus package will emphasize expenditures on badly needed public works projects, it won’t have an immediate impact on the economy. These projects are time consuming, not only in the developmental stages, but to implement. And those rebate checks last spring? They went mostly to pay down existing debt. I suspect the proceeds from Obama’s refunds will be used similarly.
Last fall’s economic downturn that turned into a full-fledged panic was fed by opportunistic politicians on both sides of the aisle in the closing days of their campaigns. Some of those, including Obama, continue to make statements that have done nothing to “encourage” spending but rather promote a wait- and-see attitude, discouraging spending even among those with the resources to do so. Thus we remain in a state of economic paralysis.
The only way out of this crisis is less, not more government along with more savings and increased productivity. Congress needs to give the steep rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and the trillions of dollars in assistance they have put in place an opportunity to work. Next, they need to address the cost to the taxpayers of any additional “new” government spending and how we are going to pay for it. Congress needs to reinstitute their pay- as- you- go policy that led to the budget surpluses in the `90s.
America loves reality T-V. We now have our own dose of it in the form of economic chaos. Will we and those who lead us remain voyeurs in this drama, or will we become active participants who acknowledge the gravity of the situation, accept the plan to escape it, and then have the guts and unselfishness to actually try?
The first of these two crises was FDR's virulent form of socialism, fascism, with government works programs wasting our money on useless unproductive projects that repeatedly ended incipient recovery. If you doubt FDR was fascist then you have to explain why one of the foremost practitioners of fascism, Mussolini, praised FDR repeatedly for his fascist example. FDR's misguided plans drug the depression out for several years longer than any prior recession in our history. The results were due totally to the inability of FDR’s socialist delusions to be honestly accepted as wrong headed by his admirers. Only World War II ended FDR's depression. It takes a special kind of stupidity to adore FDR when the depths of the suffering and the length of the suffering were caused by the man who is adored.
The second slow motion recession was the Lyndon Johnson – Richard Nixon – Jimmy Carter trilogy of socialists. At the end of the Carter Presidency we were in the disastrous shape that we will shortly be in if Obama's plans are successful. Their Keynesian driven damage to economic health and freedom was only reversed by Ronald Reagan's ability to inspire enough people to vote him in to office. Tough love prevailed and created a huge explosion in jobs and economic success for our nation and the world for the next twenty years. It should be remembered that the current Democrat pretense that they loved Ronnie at the time is not true. Reagan in actuality was the target of a constant barrage of lies and denunciations which equalled the lies now being spread about Sarah Palin.
The problem we have this time is the serious subversion of Republican resistance to socialism due to the “compassionate communism” [actually Bush uses a more popular expression “compassionate conservatism”] big government philosophy that has been sold to a large segment of the Republican Party. There is no party right now that is unified in its resistance to socialism due to this Republican squabbling between traditional conservatives and Bush socialists. In one party we have the enthusiastic socialism of the Marxist Barack Obama and the other is the fractured Republican Party still trying to deal with the socialism of Karl Rove and George W. Bush and its devastation on party unity.
This is seriously damaging the ability to fight against socialism at one of the most critical periods in our nation's history.
This article by Bob is an important article. I just don’t know how much acceptance he will get from that element in the conservative movement that bought the Bush-Rove lies. I will be curious to see the reaction to his article.
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Will Caroline “Inherit”
NY Senate Seat?
Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
It is funny how Democrat voters seem never to care about anything but the cult of personality. The poor are always ready to vote for those who inherited money and are outrageously rich. The only thing that the Democrats seem to care about is that the person has not themselves ever earned their money through actually producing something that they have to sell. Strange.
In the fall of 1966, Sen. Bobby Kennedy (D-NY) paid a visit to our college campus in upstate New York. Those who gathered to meet him were captivated by his presence. The famous younger brother of the late President John Kennedy had been elected to the U. S. Senate in November 1964, one year after his brother’s assassination.
A continuing rift between Bobby and President Lyndon Johnson finally provoked Kennedy to resign as U. S. Attorney General in June, 1964. Only 38 years old, Kennedy was beginning to think about furthering his own place in history.
The senate seat in Bobby’s home state of Massachusetts formerly held by Jack was open. His brother Ted held that seat. But across the border in New York, incumbent Republican Senator Kenneth Keating was facing reelection in a year when controversial Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) was the party standard- bearer. He was no favorite of Bobby’s. In 1962 it was Keating who released photos to the press given to him by frustrated CIA personnel showing new missile launching pads in Cuba, just 90 miles off the Florida coast. The Kennedy’s saw this as meddling in crisis management, but more importantly worried about how voters would perceive their managing of the Cuban missile crisis. Bobby vowed revenge and this would be a perfect opportunity to extract it. He moved to New York and filed to run against his nemesis. In spite of Keating’s portrayal of Kennedy as an interloping carpetbagger from New England, it wasn’t enough to overcome President Johnson’s coattails and the Kennedy mystique.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) also proved you don’t have to be a New Yorker to be elected there. Being the wife of a former popular president with access to unlimited financial resources, she too changed her residency to New York and easily defeated Republican congressman Rick Lazio for the senate seat formerly held by Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
President –elect Barack Obama has asked Clinton to serve as Secretary of State, and she has accepted. Her confirmation is certain. Later this month, New York Governor David Paterson will need to select someone to fill Clinton’s unexpired term. Enter Caroline Kennedy who has expressed her desire to become New York’s new junior Senator. She certainly has the right pedigree. Ms. Kennedy is the only surviving offspring of our late 35th president and a niece of New York’s former fallen senator. And, unlike her uncle Bobby and Sen. Clinton, Caroline is already a resident of New York.
There are however, several individuals who appear to be better qualified. Andrew Cuomo, the 51 year old former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton and the state’s current Attorney General is worthy of strong consideration. So, too, are six members of New York’s congressional delegation along with the mayor of Buffalo, all of whom have expressed interest. But if it comes down to who can raise the most money for the Democratic Party- Kennedy will get the nod.
In America, we tend to treat presidents like monarchs and members of congress as royalty. And if an aspirant is a member of a prominent political family, the electorate seems less concerned with qualifications than lineage.
There have been many political dynasties in our nation’s history in addition to the Kennedys of Massachusetts. Among them are the Longs of Louisiana, the Daleys of Illinois (Chicago), the Roosevelts of New York and the Tafts of Ohio.
President John Quincy Adams was the son of President John Adams. President George W. Bush is the son of President George H. W. Bush. Another son, Jeb, served as governor of Florida. He is contemplating a run for the U. S. Senate in 2010, possibly envisioning his own run for the White House.
Unfortunately for us, politics today is about money, power, prestige and access. Our founding fathers’ concept of part- time “servant” citizen legislators disappeared long ago. According to recent numbers available, members of the Senate today have a median income of $1.7 million. The members of the House have an average net worth of $746,000. One in four members in the House has an annual income at least a million dollars; in the senate, one in three. Contrast these numbers with the less than one percent of average Americans who earn a seven figure income. Our government has an identity problem: they no longer identify with us.
This brings us back to Caroline Kennedy; she is wealthy and has a rich and varied life. She and her family have many accomplishments. But Ms. Kennedy does not appear to have the passion, the temperament or the experience to hold the office of United States Senator.
In her recent New York Times interview, Kennedy continually dodged, showing little aptitude for addressing problems in the ailing banking and auto industries; nor for other issue oriented questions regarding the state of the union. Listening to her interview was painful. Kennedy struggled with responses, injecting one “you know” after another. Even the New York Times, the citadel of America’s liberal media, suggests she’s not Paterson’s best option to replace Sen. Clinton.
Ultimately it’s unlikely to be about experience. A Senator Caroline Kennedy will insure Democrats add millions to their coffers nationally, and Governor Paterson is under tremendous pressure from liberals across the nation to make it happen. Will he succumb to the left and end up playing the “name game,” or will he do what’s best for New York and the nation by choosing a more politically savvy and experienced individual? In a state steeped in the tradition of great theatre, we’ll have to wait for the final curtain.
At least one interesting event has just happened. Drudge has a link reporting the latest poll that Cuomo is the choice of New York voters by more than 20% over Caroline. It will be interesting to see if that influences the corronation of Caroline in any way.
EPA 'Cow Tax'
EPA Could Charge $175 per Dairy Cow to Curb Greenhouse Gases
by Jeff Poor - January 5th, 2008 - Business & Media Institute
Call this one of the newest and innovative ways your government has come up with to battle greenhouse gas emissions.
Indirectly it could be considered a cheeseburger tax, but one of the suggestions offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act is to levy a tax on livestock.
Those of us who have not bought in to the "global warming is caused by man" nonsense have often pointed out that far more damaging than cars is the pollutants caused by large grass eating mammals. You know, like cows! Well the EPA is rushing to the rescue with a proposal to TAX COWS NOW.
Maybe the EPA did not listen to the whole story. Even worse than cows are termites which produce huge quantities of green house gases as they digest wood and other vegetation. Every forest has numerous old trees that are infected with termites. Even the plains around the world have termite nests that eat other forms of vegetation. Termites are the number one cause of greenhouse gases. How are the EPA fanatics going to tax termites?
This new tax of course contradicts the strong evidence that high levels of CO2 are NOT associated with global warming, but are associated with ice ages. Since the ice covers up the vegetation, it reduces the CO2 consumed by vegetation leaving it in the air. High levels of CO2 does not cause ice ages but is caused by ice ages. That has not slowed down the global warming fanatics though.
Cause and effect has never been a strong suit of the gullible believers in global warming so now the chicken little fanatics who buy this nonsense are screaming that global warming causes global cooling. That they have as little evidence of the new theory as they did for their last ignorant claims has not slowed them down. You see the real issue is that they insist you turn over government to them so they can tax what they see as "wrong", mostly you having a good standard of living.
What they see as wrong is you having a car to drive, milk for your kids, meat to eat, or anything that is not given to you by government. They are socialists who are using this hysteria to get you to give them control of your life. Wake up before it is too late.
Bernie, Barry, And The Art Of The Con
by James Lewis - January 5th, 2009 - American Thinker
What kind of sucker do you have to be to fall for the lovable pretensions of a really high-class hustler? Well, apparently exactly the same kind of sucker who falls for a really high-class Ponzi artist. In fact, you might be the very same person in the flesh, just begging to be relieved of your excess cash. (Or maybe just your rights and freedoms.)Great satire. I love it.
It might also help to be a fatuous liberal of great wealth --- and even greater moral pretensions --- and shazzam! you're shark bait.
Such is the history lesson of 2008.
Impostor: How George W. Bush
Bankrupted America And
Betrayed The Reagan Legacy
Author Bruce Bartlett
Great book about the man I call the inarticulate retard. It is a few years old yet predicted with pretty good accuracy the recent fiscal disasters that occurred on Bush's watch. That perspective makes it worth reading for all of the Bush supporters who still have not figured out why, for all of his good points, Bush was a failure.
It stresses the Medicare Drug Benefit failures, yet it provides much insight into the basic inability of George W. Bush to react with reason to criticism of his fiscal policies.
Some quotes from the Amazon reviews are informative.
Taking the competence question first, Bartlett examines how little appetite the current administration has for serious analysis and research. Citing sources on issues ranging from national security, to economics, to healthcare, the author offers examples to prove a pattern of stifling debate, cajoling, sidelining, and even threatening those who would question the policy conclusions determined mostly by political handlers instead of policy experts. Surrounding himself with "political hacks" whose main ability rests in the ability to "say yes and ignore the obvious," the administration often begins with policy and then searches out justifications. Thrashing dissent and ignoring the traditional policy experts who work from positions of expertise, Bartlett sees the President's failure on important issues as Social Security, healthcare, and perhaps even Iraq arising from this dysfunctional process. Thus the author looks to the rough treatment of both the Treasury Secretaries and the Council of Economic advisors, used not to formulate thoughtful policy, but instead to sell an often incoherent program to the public.Another quote:
- J.A. Magill
Much of what Bartlett says will already be familiar to people who follow politics to some degree. To me an important purpose this book serves is that it represents a well-respected conservative confirming what anyone who follows politics honestly will have concluded on their own by now about the Bush administration: that it is not conservative, that it fails to represent Republican principles, that it engages in grandiose and reckless initiatives that are not grounded in reality, and that a good case can be made that essentially everything it has undertaken has been a failure.The Republican Party says now that they need to rethink what created the total trashing of the Party image in the view of the public. Stating with admitting the fiscal disaster of George W. Bush would be a good place to start.
One particularly good point made by Bartlett is that many of Bush's initiatives have been geared toward winning popular support for the Administration and the Republican Party, rather than serving the public interest (e.g. Medicare drug program), yet they have turned out not only (as expected) to be policy failures, but political failures as well.
- Lance Sjogren
'Dear Mr. Obama,'
Why are our Kids so Brainwashed?
by Warner Todd Huston - December 26th, 2008 - NewsBusters
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has launched a wonderful little feature that will run until Barack Obama takes the oath of office next month. They are calling it "Dear Mr. Obama" and it is a heartwarming exercise in child indoctrination and brainwashing. The Post-Gazette will be publishing letters from local students to Obama asking him for all sorts of global warming fixes, Iraq war enders, and big government programs.This effort by the Post-Gazette is a great example of the pride our socialist teachers and socialist press have in the kids they have taught the brainwashed biased views that pass for learning in many of our classrooms today.
Sadly, it appears that the government schools these kids have been subjected to have failed to teach their charges about anything like the American system, federalism, even science seems neglected. But they SURE taught their kiddies that government is there to spend, spend, spend, that government is to be treated like our collective parents, and that the war in Iraq is obviously an evil venture. Obviously.
With no other views but those of a socialist teacher, it is easy to believe in the Utopia that is promised by socialism, as these naive kids do. It does beg the question, why does Barack Obama insist you cannot call him a socialist? If he isn't a socialist, why is it that so many socialists are so proud of him and so totally committed to supporting him?
A Conservative Viewpoint
- Politics: America’s Cesspool
Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
The only caveat that I suggest Bob add is that before getting involved, more people need to come up to speed with an understanding of what our nation is and how it works. It depresses me that the Republican Party allows Wall Street, an evil power that has little regard for free enterprise, so much say in Republican politics. That is because few have yet caught on to the way Wall Street has rigged the system so that they get huge rewards for people committing the kind of duplicitous fraud found in the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Recently federal authorities arrested Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois on charges that he shamelessly conspired to sell or trade to the highest bidder the open Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama. He was seeking personal benefits for himself and his wife. Blagojevich was overheard on court-authorized wiretaps saying, “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain.” He added that the seat was “a valuable thing-you just don’t give it away for nothing.”
The governor joins a growing list of politicians and lobbyists who abuse their power and influence in exchange for money, merchandise, services, privilege and sex.
Democratic Mayor Larry Langford of Birmingham, Ala. was arrested on Dec. 1 by the FBI in an indictment alleging conspiracy, fraud, bribery and money laundering.
Alaskan Republican Ted Stevens who has served in the U. S. Senate since 1968, barely lost his bid for reelection in November, in spite of being found guilty 10 days earlier on seven felony counts of failing to properly report gifts.
Earlier this year former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a Democrat, had to step down because he lied under oath during questioning in a whistle blower case about a romantic affair with his chief of staff. He was charged with obstructing justice by perjury. Kilpatrick is serving jail time for his offense. His chief of staff will begin serving her time in January.
On May 2, Democratic Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann admitted he had an extra-marital affair with an employee and stepped down 12 days later. Three of his aides were earlier forced out of their jobs because of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
In March, New York’s Democratic Governor Eliott Spitzer resigned after admitting to patronizing prostitutes. And Republican U. S. Rep. David Vitter’s name showed up on the client records of a D. C. Madam’s outcall service.
And it’s not just politicians. In September, disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to four years in prison after admitting giving favors to politicians and others of influence to gain access and action on behalf of clients.
Dishonesty is no stranger in Raleigh either. Last year former Democratic House Speaker Jim Black pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge of public corruption and currently is serving a prison sentence for his misdeeds. And in March of this year, Democrat Rep. Thomas Wright became the first member ever to be expelled from the state House of Representatives for allegedly failing to report campaign donations in addition to other purported misappropriations of money.
Malfeasance exists at the local levels of government as well. Cronyism is one example. This is where folks who are ill-qualified receive an appointment. These merit-less selections insure that those who placed them in these jobs will have their absolute loyalty.
In Chowan County, a sitting board of county commissioners allowed their county manager of 29 years to do virtually whatever he pleased when it came to managing the taxpayer’s money. By not properly overseeing the county’s finances, a once fiscally sound county is now among North Carolina’s most financially distressed.
In a collaborative effort between Chowan County and the town of Edenton to bring economic development to the area, the Edenton Chowan Development Commission was formed. Incredulously, not one of its members recalls approving the hiring of a lobbyist that over a three year period cost the taxpayers of Chowan $260,000. The lobbyist was seeking federal government grant money. The commission should have been lobbying for these funds themselves.
Ignorance or laziness on the part of any elected or appointed officials is inexcusable. But what makes the situation worse is the apparent naiveté of the folks. The public is either terribly uninformed or simply doesn’t give a damn. Even when we’re fortunate enough to be armed with the facts, we choose to either “forgive or forget,” or accept the unacceptable as “business as usual.”
Consequently it should come as no surprise that our nation, states and communities are struggling to keep their heads above water. Deluding ourselves into believing every problem our nation has incurred since January of 2000 is the fault of George W. Bush, as many suggest, is not only disingenuous but a significant part of the problem. President Bush made plenty of mistakes, but making him the only scapegoat for all our woes will do little to reverse our economic and moral decline.
Many believe President-elect Barack Obama is going to step into office in January and immediately fix all that ails us. That thought process is as equally flawed as the one that blames President Bush for all of our current problems. No president can accomplish any meaningful change without the full support and participation of the American people.
Much of America is broken. Repairing it starts with each individual. It begins on Main Street and then works its way up the ladder. Whether it’s education, repairing our infrastructure, taking pride in our homes and communities, getting involved in local government or mending the fences that divide us, it all begins right here.
Each of us must assume some responsibility for having helped create this political environment, rife with corruption and scandal. Our lack of citizen participation and oversight played a significant role. Changing that behavior by becoming more involved in the process, will go a long way toward changing the behavior of those who govern us.
We also have a majority of the Republican Party who are perfectly fine with the socialism of “compassionate conservative” ideology even though it is merely big government socialism under a different name.
What good does it do for more people who don’t have a clue about what is happening in our world to get involved? Will they reduce the corruption? Or is misunderstanding the very nature of today’s political issues the more serious problem?