Archive for April, 2010

Just one state and its problems

April 8, 2010

Hi folks,

A good friend of mine sent me this in an email.  He and I live in California, the “Golden State”, and it apparently has become golden for most of the illegal aliens who have come across the border and are living off of the taxpayers of our state.  The statistics in this post are meant to educate, not encourage hate, as many on the left will more than likely claim.  California taxpayers are being overburdened with excessive taxes and out of control spending, as well as by having not only to pay for their own welfare but also for those who are in the state of California illegally.  As if the situation in California isn’t bad enough with the tremendous drain on our already weakened economy, Nancy Pelosi wants to make it worse by taxing the retirement income of all legitimate citizens so that she can then give it to those who are here illegally, raising their financial status while cutting down the financial status of people who have paid more than their fair share of taxes all of their lives.  If she and all of the other liberals in the US want to financially build up all of the illegal aliens, then let them lead by example, starting with George Soros, and go right on down the line, doing what Jesus told the young rich man to do – namely give all of their wealth to the poor.  I’ve heard enough talk from Pelosi and the others about this.  Let’s see them give away all of their money to the illegal aliens.  Jesus told people to give from their hearts as the Holy Spirit moved them.  He did not say that it was right for the government to take from those who have to then give to those who don’t have.  Please, lead us by your example, Madame Speaker. 

The following is the email I received from my friend:

Just One State be sure and read the last part.. 

This is only one State………………If this doesn’t open eyes, nothing will!  

 
>From the L. A. Times 
1. 40% of all workers in L. A. County ( L. A. County  has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. 
   This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.
2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.  
4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in   Los Angeles County are living in garages.
7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
9. 21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking.
10. In L.. A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish.. (There are 10.2 million people in L. A. County .)
  
(All 10 of the above facts were published in the Los Angeles Times
  
Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare. Over 70% of the   United States ‘ annual population growth(and over 90% of California , Florida , and New York ) results from immigration. 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens .  
  
We are fools for letting this continue  
  
HOW CAN YOU HELP ?
  
Send copies of this letter to at least two other people.  100 would  be even better.
This  is only one State…………….
  
If this doesn’t open your eyes nothing will, and you wonder why Nancy Pelosi wants them to become voters!
   
                                           ************************************* 
 
LET’S IMPEACH HER NOW BEFORE SHE DOES FURTHER DAMAGE!! 

Windfall Tax on Retirement Income 

Adding a tax to your retirement is simply another way of saying to the American people, you’re so darn stupid that we’re going to keep doing this until we drain every cent from you. That’s what the Speaker of the House is saying. Read below……………
 
Nancy Pelosi wants a Windfall Tax on Retirement Income.  In other words tax what you have made by investing toward your retirement..  
Madam speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to put a Windfall Tax on all stock market profits (including Retirement fund, 401K and Mutual Funds! 
 
Alas, it is true – all to help the 12 Million Illegal Immigrants and other unemployed Minorities!
 
This woman is frightening.
 
She quotes…’ We need to work toward the goal of equalizing income, (didn’t Marx say something like this?), in our country and at the same time limiting the amount the rich can invest.’  (I am not rich, are you?)

When asked how these new tax dollars would be spent, she replied:

‘We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed and minorities. For example, we have an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country who need our help along with millions of unemployed minorities. Stock market windfall profits taxes could go a long way to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as ‘Americans’.’   
(Read that quote again and again and let it sink in.)  ‘Lower your retirement, give it to others who have not worked as you have for it’.

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Ben Stein’s Sunday message

April 5, 2010

Hi folks,

I just got this forwarded to me and I felt that it was too good to be relegated to just being forwarded via email.  It is allegedly a televised message by Ben Stein.  The reason I say allegedly is because I haven’t checked it out on Snopes.  It doesn’t really matter because I wholeheartedly agree with what Mr. Stein is saying.  Here is Ben’s message:

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees..  I don’t feel threatened.  I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me.  I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .  If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him?  I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina)..  Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives….  And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out..  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school..  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr…. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said okay..

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing..  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.
 
If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did…  But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.  

My Best Regards,  Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Mormonism and its growth rate

April 2, 2010

Hi folks,

I recently did research on the growth rate of Mormonism in the US and world-wide and found the statistics interesting and many times contradictory.  In general, however, I thought the following excerpt from and article on Mormonism by U.S. News and World Report from November 2000 worthy to pass along.  It is just a portion of the article, so as not to violate fair use law.  As with any article that contains membership numbers, they must be taken with several grains of salt because many people are retained as members even after they have left the church, which has always puzzled me.  If, after all, they are indeed the fastest growing religion, why the need to hold on to those who have left and thereby lie about how many members they actually have?

By the way, more interviews have been posted at www.solomonspalding.info, so be sure to check back at our site from time to time.

Art

By almost any measure, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the world’s richest and fastest-growing religious movements. In the 170 years since its founding in upstate New York, the LDS church has sustained the most rapid growth rate of any new faith group in American history. Since World War II, its ranks have expanded more than 10-fold, with a worldwide membership today of 11 million – more than half outside the United States. In North America, Mormons already outnumber Presbyterians and Episcopalians combined. If current trends hold, experts say Latter-day Saints could number 265 million worldwide by 2080, second only to Roman Catholics among Christian bodies. Mormonism, says Rodney Stark [often referred to as a “cult apologist“] , professor of sociology and religion at the University of Washington, “stands on the threshold of becoming the first major faith to appear on Earth since the prophet Mohammed rode out of the desert.”

Church leaders express little surprise. The LDS message “strikes a spiritual resonance in people,” says Elder Neal Maxwell, one of the church’s 12 Apostles, a body of lay leaders near the top of the LDS hierarchy. Indeed, say religion experts, Mormonism’s unique doctrines along with its emphasis on family and wholesome living may help explain why so many spiritual seekers are drawn to the LDS church. But there are other, more mundane reasons. Among them, say the experts, are an aggressive missionary program that enlists more than 60 percent of all young Mormons; a powerful hierarchy of lay leaders who maintain organizational discipline and marshal the church’s vast resources with a businesslike efficiency unrivaled in other religious movements; and a highly motivated membership that submits in overwhelming numbers to the church’s strict moral code and to its taxing demands on their time, money, and allegiance. “We have a demanding religion,” says Gordon B. Hinckley, the church’s president, prophet, and chief spiritual leader, “and that’s one of the things that attracts people to this church.”

Being flush with cash doesn’t hurt either. The church keeps a tight lid on its financial records, but bits and pieces of information extracted over the years by journalists and former church members offer a tantalizing glimpse into the depth and breadth of the Mormon financial empire. In their 1999 Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, journalists Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling estimate the church’s assets at $25 billion to $30 billion, and annual revenue approaching $6 billion, at least $5.3 billion of which comes from member contributions (officials say tithing – the giving of 10 percent of one’s income – remains the primary source of church revenues). In recent years, the church has divested itself of some commercial assets, including banks, hospitals, and manufacturing plants. But it continues to amass farm and ranch land, is heavily invested in stocks and securities, and operates a far-flung media empire that includes two television stations, more than a dozen radio stations, and a newspaper. Besides its opulent temples, traditionally located in major Mormon population centers, the church owns and operates more than 12,000 local churches, or meetinghouses, throughout the world. Its real estate holdings are valued in the billions.

Yet as Harold Bloom noted in his 1992 book, The American Religion, beyond the inner circle of the Mormon hierarchy, “no one really knows what portion of the liquid wealth in America’s portfolios is held by the Latter-day Saints Church.” Even so, it is clear, wrote Bloom, that “Mormon financial and political power is exerted in Washington to a degree far beyond what one would expect from one voter in 50.”

That influence has been hard won. In its early years, the LDS church was widely regarded by outsiders with suspicion and outright disdain. Its members, many of whom practiced “the divine principle” of polygamy, were run out of Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. The movement’s leader and founding prophet, Joseph Smith, was murdered by an angry mob in 1844. Years later, the stronghold where the Mormon faithful had settled, now Utah, was denied statehood until after the church officially abandoned its practice of polygamy in 1890.

Although violent opposition has long since faded, the church has continued to face almost unrelenting controversy over its origins. From the beginning, critics have disputed and ridiculed Smith’s claim that an angel led him to a set of golden plates hidden in a woods near his home in Palmyra, N.Y. The plates were said to contain the sacred history of an ancient Israelite civilization in North America, along with teachings said to have come from Jesus during a post-Resurrection visit to America. Smith published his translation as the Book of Mormon.

Detractors have dismissed Smith’s story as religious fantasy and the Book of Mormon as coarse fiction filled with clumsily reworked passages from the King James Version of the Bible. They argue that there is no archaeological evidence of an ancient Israelite sojourn in America – although some Mormon scholars say a link may exist to the ancient Mayan culture. Other critics contend that Smith, a former Mason, drew upon Masonic rituals rather than divine revelation when he instituted Mormon temple rites.

But today, religion experts note, the LDS church is widely respected for its devotion to faith and family, and its pioneer past is celebrated as an integral part of the American saga. Such a dramatic shift in public perception has not come easily or by accident. In 1995, leaders hired an international public-relations firm to combat what they saw as unfair characterizations of Mormons in the media. One of its first efforts was to encourage the redesign of the church’s logo to emphasize the centrality of Jesus Christ in LDS theology. “We don’t see it so much as PR,” says Maxwell, “as trying to define ourselves, rather than . . . letting others define us.” Church headquarters is gearing up for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and plans to take full advantage of the limelight.

The afterlife. Savvy media relations aside, LDS leaders emphasize the church’s unique doctrines and beliefs. Among LDS teachings, say church leaders and others, none has proved to be more attractive to potential converts than the church’s view of the afterlife. Mormons teach that only “sons of perdition”lapsed Mormons who betray the church and its teachings face eternal punishment. Everyone else will at least make it into the “telestial kingdom,” a sort of third-rate Paradise where one spends eternity apart from God. The most faithful attain the “celestial kingdom,” where they commune directly with God and may themselves become gods and inherit universes to rule and populate with their own spiritual offspring.

Even those who die outside the faith will get a second chance in the afterlife to hear and respond to the Gospel, according to Mormon doctrine, and will receive eternal rewards if they accept it. To pave the way for such postmortem redemption, Mormons believe they can undergo proxy baptism on behalf of ancestors who died as nonbelievers. Mormon temples are typically busy six days a week with the comings and goings of members taking part in the ritual. The church’s world-famous genealogical library in Salt Lake City has hundreds of millions of microfilmed records, many of them available on the Internet, to help church members identify non-Mormon ancestors for proxy baptism.

A strong focus on traditional families is a central feature of Mormon teaching, one many converts find appealing. As in other faiths, marriage is sacred and couples are encouraged to bear children and build strong, stable homes. But Mormons also teach that families can be bound together “for time and eternity” by undergoing a special “sealing” ritual in the temple. In the here and now, families are expected to conduct once-a-week “family home evenings” during which parents and children play, pray, and study Scripture together. Most local congregations, or “wards,” sponsor Scout troops, youth recreation programs, and other family activities.

For a devout family, like David and Mary Driggs and their four children, of Salt Lake City church activities dominate the week, from worship, classes, and committee work on Sundays to youth activities, temple visits, and volunteering at church-sponsored charities during the rest of the week. “It’s no burden,” says Driggs, 38, a University of Utah fundraiser and fifth-generation Mormon. Because so many church activities involve the entire family, he says, “it means we’re able to spend more time together, not less. And it gives my life and my family’s life tremendous order and peace and blessings.”

Faithful Mormons also are expected to adhere to a strict moral code that, among other things, emphasizes modest dress and rules out gambling, premarital and extramarital sex, and the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeinated beverages. The church’s heavy emphasis on a “wholesome lifestyle” is so pervasive, one academic observer wryly notes, that while many of their young peers get into trouble experimenting with sex, drugs, and alcohol, when Mormon teenagers rebel, “they sneak off and drink a Pepsi.”

Despite a birthrate higher than the national average, church officials say more than two thirds of new members each year are converts, making the Mormon church one of the most aggressive and successful at proselytizing. Last year, the church dispatched 58,600 missionaries about three fourths of them 19- or 20-year-old males across the United States and to 119 other countries. Each spent from three to eight weeks in “boot camp” at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, or at one of 14 satellite centers in other countries, where they study foreign languages and polish their door-to-door skills. Then they set out in pairs, at their own expense, on two-year assignments of teaching and preaching. Last year Mormon missionaries won more than 306,000 converts.

Welcome to my WordPress blog!

April 2, 2010

Hi everyone,
Welcome to my new WordPress blog. I was having tech problems at the Blogger.com site so I changed to this one at WordPress.com. I plan to continue the same general subject matter as at my Blogger site and perhaps expand to cover other subjects as well. Please feel free to post and comment to posts “as the spirit moves you”.

As with my other blog, please let’s keep all comments respectful whether there is agreement or disagreement. Discussions work much better when everyone shows respect and courtesy.

With that being said, I wish everyone a great weekend.

Art