2013 In Review by
Kenneth M. Axelson
The Andrea Gail was a seventy-two foot, New England fishing vessel that sailed from Gloucester, Massachusetts September 20, 1991, with a crew of six men, bound for the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. No one, including the crew suspected they would never be seen again. After poor fishing, Captain Frank Tyne headed east to the Flemish Cap, a series of raised submarine plateaus in the North Atlantic between Newfoundland and Ireland, where he hoped for a better catch, but refrigeration problems threatened to spoil the few fish they caught, so he headed back to Gloucester October 26th, despite threatening weather reports.
Three devastating meteorological systems, a Canadian front moving eastward over New England, a high-pressure system building over Canada’s east coast and the dying remnants of Hurricane Grace that skirted our east coast converged ahead of the Andrea Gail. Together, these weather systems produced hurricane-force winds and one hundred foot waves that swept the Andrea Gail into eternity. This incident was the basis of a book by Sebastian Junger entitled “The Perfect Storm” and subsequent movie.
I use this 1991 incident to set the stage for what happened in 2013 here in the United States. The electorate voted Barack O’Bama into office, not once, but twice on the premise of change, assuming improvement, but never suspecting America, as we knew it was sailing into eternity. Some voters examined his background and associations and concluded that he was dangerous, but the majority disagreed. Since his election, America has…
- Experienced exploding national political corruption.
- Weakened defenses and shame before our adversaries.
- Rising unemployment and under-employment, while employers reduce existing employee hours to shield companies from O’Bama Care overhead.
- A President who pledged transparency, but has stonewalled his constituents while deploying his socialistic ideology with cohorts behind closed doors between expensive vacations at taxpayer expense and golf games when he should be attending to national business.
- A Congress that contemplates its navel while increasing the national debt geometrically, indifferent to the President’s goal of reducing the United States to a powerless, Third World country.
- Growing naiveté in the population preoccupied with entertainment and overwhelmed with fear of growing, unexpected violence.
- Heightened racial tension by a man who pledged to work toward racial harmony.
- Determination of the liberal news media to disregard truth and castigate conservatives who challenge the political press toward socialism.
- National efforts to accept immorality, including the redefinition of marriage, while pressing individual states to follow suit, together with demands to normalize homosexuality by laws to prosecute the intolerant.
- The United States has witnessed the most corrupt and scandalous White House to date!
O’Bama is living proof that majorities are seldom right! This chaotic concoction is a perfect storm, and 2013 delivered a litany of peril. Adolph Hitler demonstrated that if you lie to people long enough, they would accept the deception and act on it. The American public is so preoccupied with smart-phones that some plow into other pedestrians and even walk into moving traffic, to die in ambivalence. This practice is so prevalent that police are citing pedestrians involved in such practice.
This is the group positioned to be the most negatively affected by liberal press toward socialism, and they neither see the looming danger, nor do they care, but they are naïve enough to believe the lies and vote Democratic. Please do not mistake this as a plug for the Republican Party, because it is not! Scandal and corruption are just as rampant in Republican ranks, but they are not socialistic, yet, see the looming danger of big government and the exploding debt. Republicans also tread carefully when asked about homosexuality and abortion, both of which Scripture condemns.
2013 opened with political corruption boiling out of Washington D. C., like puss from a lanced boil, including the Benghazi Cover-up, the Fast and Furious cover-up, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal and cover-up, the National Security Agency (NSA) scandal and cover-up, the U. S. Census scandal and cover-up, the fear and bickering over Presidentially-devised socialistic health-care laws that Congress did not read, or understand before voting to pass, and the majority of Americans are against.
The self-aggrandized Congress that approved this incredible hulk, refuse to submit to the same health-care laws they voted to force their constituents to accept. This is representation by the politicians, of the politicians and for the politicians! The people are nothing more than unwilling bankers for this folly. So the President ‘fiddles while our nation deteriorates’, the consequence of ‘leading from behind’.
2013 opened with the White House Spokesman Jay Carney dodging questions about the Benghazi, Libya September 11, 2012 attack, as well as O’Bama-Care? The man is a master at speaking without saying anything, but his commentary only reinforces public belief in multiple government cover-ups. You may remember the White House tagged Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador at the time to appear on the weekend Sunday morning talk show circuit following the Benghazi attack. This incident left four Americans dead, including United States Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Rice asserted that the violence was the spontaneous protest to an anti-Islamic YouTube video. Rice’s story did not pass the ‘straight-faced-test’, and she became a laughing stock for many months. Attempting to reinforce Rice’s story, officials arrested the video’s maker and in the course of 2013, the President named Rice as the National Security Adviser, thereby removing her from the heat. This was a promotion when she should have been fired and prosecuted, certifying that O’Bama rewards deception and stupidity in those who demonstrate it for his benefit.
2013’s Headline Events
Terror At Sea
Carnival Cruise Lines captured headlines twice, the first in February and the second in September. You may remember the Carnival cruise liner Costa Concordia incident on January 13, 2012. It struck a submerged rock when Captain Francesco Schettino ordered an unauthorized sail-by of the Italian, Tuscan island of Giglio. Seawater flooded the engine room causing loss of power. The ship drifted toward shore, ran aground, listed, and then rolled and sank in shallow water, creating a navigation hazard and offense to tourists. Of the three thousand, two hundred, twenty-nine passengers and one thousand and twenty-three crew, thirty souls died and three more were unaccounted for. A salvage crew winched the Costa Concordia upright September 17, 2013, planning to patch the hull, refloat her, and tow her to a dry-dock for scrap in the summer of 2014. Boarding the upright wreck, inspectors found two badly decomposed bodies September 26th and a third body in October.
Bad news about another Carnival Cruise Lines ship, the Triumph hit the headlines February 10, 2013. An engine room fire left the Triumph adrift in the Gulf of Mexico, with no electrical power, no running water and a dysfunctional septic system. Passengers likened their experience to being in a floating toilet. Authorities first planned to tow the Triumph to Mexico, but several factors militated against that. Prevailing currents had pushed the ship northward, and forcing passengers to go through Mexican customs without passports would present unnecessary hardships, therefore plans changed to tow the Triumph to Mobile, Alabama. No lives were lost, but all passengers were distraught with ruined plans for a relaxing cruise, and needless to say, Carnival Cruise Lines lost more credibility from an already plunging reserve.
Change At The Vatican
Joseph Ratzinger, or Pope Benedict XVI announced his intent to step down from the papacy on February 11, 2013, his eighty-fifth birthday, feeling his advanced age and diminishing strength would impact his Papal responsibilities.
One hundred and fifteen conclave cardinal-electors met beginning March 12, 2013 to select a new Pope. News cameras trained on the Sistine Chapel chimney, the traditional signal point for conclave progress. Black smoke appeared from the chimney four times indicating division, before white smoke announced unanimity for the two hundred and sixty-sixth Pope on March 13, 2013. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, an Argentine cardinal and archbishop of Buenos Aires, accepted their choice, taking the name Pope Francis.
Non-biblical prophecies foretold that the two hundred and sixty-sixth Pope would be a puppet for a behind-the-scene- power broker, and many Roman Catholics feared for the future of Roman Catholicism. While the true nature of Pope Francis remains to be seen, there is growing concern over his stand, or lack thereof on homosexuality, which is a departure from Roman Catholic tradition.
Terror In Boston
The annual Boston Marathon, organized by the Boston Athletic Association is the world’s oldest and most celebrated foot race. It is a twenty-six point two mile course from Hopkinton to Boston, Massachusetts on the third Monday in April, also known as Patriot’s Day; a state holiday observed in Main and Massachusetts commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord. In terms of interest, it is the second biggest single-day sporting event behind the Super Bowl and an ideal opportunity for a terror attack.
The people of Massachusetts were ready to host the 117th running of the Boston Marathon by April 15th. Marathon officials in Hopkinton began releasing three waves of approximately twenty-seven thousand athletes from every state in the nation, as well as ninety other countries at 10:00 A.M., with over five hundred thousand spectators lining the route. The fastest runners would start crossing the finish line in about four hours.
Two bombs exploded on Boston’s Boylston Street near the finish line, the first blast at 2:50 P.M. and the second blast came just over ten seconds later, fifty to one hundred yards away. The bombs killed three and injured one hundred, seventy people. First-responders reacted immediately to deal with the wounded, and law enforcement quickly cordoned off the area, halted all public transportation and had media outlets ask people around Boston to ‘shelter in place’.
By Tuesday, April 16, 2013, more than one thousand law enforcement officers from a variety of cooperating jurisdictions were sorting through leads. Recovered forensic evidence revealed the bombs were made from pressure-cookers packed with explosives, nails and BB’s, carried to their places of detonation in a black, nylon bag or backpack and detonated by an electronic device, likely triggered by a cell phone.
By Wednesday, April 17, 2013, investigators had images from a Lord & Taylor department store surveillance camera between the two bombsites, of two young men believed to be the bombers. Attempting to reduce the time required to identify and capture the suspects, investigators distributed the video to television broadcast outlets, and this proved to be productive. Officials referred to the two male images as Suspect No. 1 and Suspect No. 2.
Thursday evening April 18th Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students on the Cambridge campus reported gunshots, approximately two miles from the bombing on Boylston Street. About ten minutes later, MIT campus police found Officer Sean Collier, twenty-six dead in his police cruiser from two bullet wounds. Reports of a Mercedes Benz carjacking by two armed men came in, and the plot began to thicken. Fortunately, the thieves released the owner, but escaped in his vehicle.
About 1:30 A.M. on Friday, April 19th, police located and pursued the stolen Mercedes. The police realized the magnitude of the pursuit when the suspects threw explosives from the vehicle. By now, police identified Suspect No. 1 as twenty-six-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and his younger brother, nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar as Suspect No. 2. The duo stopped and a shootout with police followed. Police wounded Tamerlan, but Dzhokhar escaped in the Mercedes, running over Tamerlan in the process. Dzhokhar was able to avoid capture several times, abandoned the Mercedes and fled on foot into a residential neighborhood. By this time, authorities had lifted the ‘shelter in place’ order and Boston’s citizens were resuming some sense of normality. One of the residents noticed fresh blood on a trailered boat in his back yard, with a plastic cover over it. Authorities used a thermal imaging equipped helicopter to detect life under the cover. Police surrounded the area, found the injured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and took him into custody.
I found it disturbing to watch the nonchalant expressions on Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s faces, recorded on the Lord & Taylor surveillance video, taken before the bombs exploded. These two likely never suspected their crime was being recorded, which should be a signal to the rest of us that while the Lord is omniscient and watching, ‘Bib Brother’ considers himself omniscient and is definitely watching you, as well! Learning that these two, as well as their parents were recipients of taxpayer benefits, paid by our politically correct leadership, planning to wreak so much havoc is disgusting. Our bureaucrats need to get their head out of the sand!
News broke on Monday, May 6, 2013 that three women were freed in Cleveland, after over a decade of captivity. This graphic story that horrified the nation unfolded when Amanda Blake made a frantic escape from her prison, alerted a neighbor by her screams for help, who loaned her a cell phone to call 9-1-1. Amanda reported that fifty-three-year-old Ariel Castro kidnapped her and two other women (Georgina (Gina) DeJesus, and Michelle Knight), then held them captive for over a decade in his west Cleveland home. Castro habitually locked the doors from the outside when he left, but on May 6th, he was careless and Amanda discovered his error. Police invaded Castro’s property, where they found and freed the other two women, as well as Amanda’s six-year-old daughter, and took Castro into custody. Police had searched for the girls when their families reported them missing without any results, not suspecting they were captive so close to their homes.
Castro would offer a lone, young female pedestrian a ride, and when they accepted, they were caught. Thirty-two-year-old Michelle Knight was Castro’s first captive. Castro saw her walking in August of 2002, and offered her a ride home, but took her to his house where he chained her in the basement instead. Amanda Berry was his second victim. She was walking home from her job at Burger King in April of 2003, the day before her seventeenth birthday, and Castro offered her a ride. He gained her confidence by telling her his son also worked for Burger King. She got in his car and found herself in chains beside Michelle Knight. Gina DeJesus reported that Castro initially approached her with his daughter with an invitation to hangout at his house and she found herself imprisoned beside Michelle and Amanda.
Investigators filed nearly one thousand offences by Castro against the three women and minor child. On July 26, 2013, Castro pled guilty to nine hundred thirty-seven criminal counts of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder, as part of a plea bargain. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole, plus one thousand years. Less than one month into his sentence on October 11, 2013, prison guards found him dead in his cell, hanged to death at his own hand with a bed sheet. How ironic that this pervert could not face confinement similar to what he subjected his captives to. I found it interesting that the local court processed this case as quickly as it did, and that it ordered Castro’s ‘house of horror’ be demolished, with plans to create a park on that site.
Jodi Arias’ Trial
As the previous news story of the kidnapping in Cleveland unfolded, Jodi Arias’ murder trial was drawing to a close. The Maricopa County jury found Jodi Arias guilty on May 8, 2013 of killing her former boy friend, Travis Alexander on June 8, 2008 in Mesa, Arizona. The Arias’ seventeen-week murder trial received widespread media attention, that some refer to as a circus. The public seemed captivated with this attractive, thirty-two-year-old, soft-spoken woman, charged and convicted of First Degree Murder. Evidence showed that Arias’ victim died in a particularly heinous manner, which added to public fascination with this case. Arias claimed her actions were in self-defense, but Travis Alexander’s manner of death and extent of bodily injury made Arias’ claim difficult to accept.
In an interview with FOX News, Jodi Arias said, “I think I just went blank. I just feel overwhelmed. I think I just need to take it a day at a time. It was unexpected for me. There was no premeditation on my part. I said years ago I’d rather get death than life and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it,” she added. The Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, placed Jodi Arias on suicide protocol, and curtailed further media communication with her. In consideration of Arias’ commentary, the Maricopa County Court postponed Arias’ sentencing phase, during which she began to waffle on her death wish.
On May 23, 2013, the judge declared the sentencing phase a mistrial because of a hung jury. Eight of the twelve jurors believed she deserved to die, but the other four would not agree so with a litany of legal maneuvers, Jodi Arias’ future remains uncertain.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Scandal and Cover-up
On May 13, 2013, President O’Bama grew angry when questioned why the IRS was harassing conservative groups and delaying their process of applications for tax-exempt status, beginning in 2010. In his standard O’Bama style, he denied knowledge of the complaints, but pledged to find out what happened. This was just more O’Bama rhetoric, as he and his party are the sole benefactors of such conduct.
O’Bama tagged Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to appear on National Television to debunk the matter, starting with damage control on testimony by IRS lawyer Carter Hill, who implicated the office of William Wilkins, the IRS’s chief counsel and O’Bama appointee.
As an editorial note, not once in my career, was my office called to fix a problem or answer any questions about something in my area of responsibility! The inner workings of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had a term for this: orbital referral! Just orbit the problem until it loses altitude and burns up in the atmosphere. Even though President O’Bama assigned Jack Lew the responsibility of determining what happened, he was noticeably evasive when FOX News’ Chris Wallace asked him about the matter. Evidence of his activity emerged as the 2010 mid-term elections approached. I find it disgusting that the most intelligent thing Team O’Bama can offer is ‘I don’t know’!
On April 23, 2010, Williams met President O’Bama in the White House Roosevelt Room; traditionally the only place the president meets to discuss political matters. The next day, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House. On April 25th, Wilson’s Office of Legal Counsel send IRS units that handle applications for tax exemption, additional guidance for handling applications from Tea-Party groups. We learned in the midst of this, that Lois Learner, the IRS official, then on paid administrative leave for her involvement in a the non-profit scandal apparently colluded with one or more officials in the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to influence the outcome of their decision on the legality of certain nonprofit, conservative groups’ actions. The evidence suggests that the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond IRS into the FEC, which received tax information on the conservative group, American Future Fund (AFF) before recommending the Commission prosecute the AFF for violation of campaign-finance law. Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS’s Exempt-Organization Division worked at the FEC from 1985 to 1996 and was known for her aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there. IRS employee Hillary Goehausen stated that scrutiny of conservative nonprofit organizations that already had tax-exempt status was not based on their current activities, but on the potential for future abuses. To shorten a lengthy, and involved story, the IRS scandal is growing, not shrinking. The real tragedy is that the exposure of this scandal has not expedited this conservative organization’s application processing. O’Bama knows well about the situation and will not do anything about it!
arly in 2013, news broke that the NSA was listening to U. S. citizens’ telephone conversations, reading their e-mail and reviewing personal Internet navigation, all on the premise of national security. This news infuriated many citizens who flooded Washington D. C. Capitol switchboards with complaints. Jay Carney stepped to the microphone for damage control, denouncing the magnitude of the reports, and spinning the story to justify NSA activity in the name of national security.
On June 23, 2013, WIKILeaks affirmed its willingness to assist Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who had copied a wealth of secure information from NSA computers that validated the rumors about NSA spying on U. S. citizens. At the time, no U. S. government official knew the extent of information Snowden actually had, but what Snowden did release, discredited Jay Carney’s commentary, escalating mass public distrust of the United States Government.
British and United States intelligence officials say they are worried about a “doomsday” cache of highly classified, heavily encrypted material they believe Snowden has stored on a data cloud. These files include NSA-generated documents containing names of U. S. and allied intelligence personnel. Standard NSA procedure protects highly classified files with sophisticated encryption and multiple passwords, but it is not clear whether adversarial nations such as Russia or China even know where Snowden hid it. United States intelligence believes both Russia and China have cryptographers skilled enough to open the cache if they find it. Snowden’s revelations have certified the validity of NSA access of U. S. citizen’s private domains such as telephone, e-mail and social media that Jay Carney tried to discredit.
After meeting with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, Glenn Greenwald, reporter for the Guardian newspaper said Snowden had taken extreme precautions to distribute copies of these archives to many different people in numerous countries to guarantee these stories will inevitably be published. Snowden has an agreement with his contacts that if anything happens to him, they are to release all the files to several news media. Snowden’s cache of information is his insurance policy against arrest or physical harm.
While the United States charged Edward Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, under the Espionage Act, U. S. officials are more concerned with the consequences of his actions than trying to apprehend him. It is tragic these same officials were not equally concerned when President Clinton gave away land and technology, or when O’Bama embarrassed the United States to the entire world. White House officials believe Snowden downloaded between fifty thousand and two hundred thousand classified documents. At the time of this writing, Snowden has only released about five hundred separate documents, but what remains could fuel news reports for several years.
Snowden first appeared in Hong Kong, a former British Colony with a high degree of autonomy from Mainland China, where he attempted unsuccessfully to get asylum in Ecuador. Snowden’s actions left the O’Bama administration puzzled about their next move. The United States formally sought Snowden’s extradition, but Hong Kong officials denied our request, saying the United States’ request did not comply with their laws. The Justice Department rejected their ploy, claiming it had met all the requirements for Snowden’s extradition, but that did not get Snowden back to the United States. Our adversaries seemed to enjoy what Snowden was doing.
The State Department contacted suspected countries Snowden may seek asylum in, to hasten his return to the United States, but Snowden made it to Moscow. Until this point, O’Bama had made public denunciation statements, but really had no direct interface with foreign officials. At the time, O’Bama was meeting with leaders of other countries concerning the world’s financial issues. Snowden was in Moscow about the time O’Bama and Vladimir Putin met at a summit. O’Bama appealed to Putin to return Snowden to the United States, but Putin thumbed his nose in O’Bama’s face.
This is a direct result of O’Bama’s dismal foreign policy that has weakened America militarily, while we continue to fund terrorist organizations determined to destroy the United States and Israel. O’Bama has repeatedly apologized to predominantly Muslim-Brotherhood nations for the stand we take against terrorism. O’Bama is anti-Christ, anti-Semetic, anti-American and favors Muslim countries. There is Muslim Brotherhood chatter that America is well on our way to becoming a Muslim state. The debacle with Edward Snowden is a direct result of O’Bama’s determination to transform the American Republic into a socialist state. How ironic that many Americans view Snowden as a hero and the United States government as the traitor. Politicians use to speak with a tissue of truth, sandwiched in a lie, but O’Bama just vomits arrogant deception, expecting Americans to believe him.
Washington D. C. Naval Yard Shooting
Monday morning, September 16, 2013, employees, staff and technicians converged on the Washington D. C. Naval Yard to start a new day and week, clueless that pandemonium was about to erupt. A gunman identified as Aaron Alexis, thirty-four of New York was working as a technical contractor for the Navy and had a valid pass and security clearance allowing him entry to the highly secure building in south-east Washington D. C. Alexis was discharged from the Navy two years earlier after serving hitches in Texas and Illinois.
Being a familiar face and possessing necessary identification, he made his way to the fourth floor of the Naval Sea Systems command headquarters, overlooking the cafeteria below around 8:15 A.M., where he opened fire using an AR-15 and a pistol he took from a guard he shot, on unsuspecting patrons of the restaurant. Authorities responded and Alexis died in the firefight, but not before he killed twelve unsuspecting people below. Authorities initially thought Alexis had two accomplices, but once they questioned one suspect, they concluded Alexis worked alone, released the suspect and halted any further search.
Partial Federal Government Shutdown
The United States Congress failed to come to a budget agreement by September 30th, so the Government partially shut down between October 1st and October 16th. This proved to be an absolute farce from the outset, as Presidential and Congressional amenities did not close, but the government spent money to barricade sites of national interest that did not require staffing prior to the shutdown. The overwhelming message was that the government wanted to make the public hurt, to make a point for political aggrandizement. A few Republicans attempted to defund O’Bama-care and stall its rollout, to no avail. Ted Cruise, Republican from Texas, a leading opponent, got castigated unmercifully for his efforts. The shutdown did not impact the O’Bama-care rollout, although other federal on-line services were not available.
The president signed the short-term bill enabling furloughed federal employees to return to work for the first time since September 30th. The White House directed all federal agencies to promptly restore staffing to normal levels. While the result comes as a relief to furloughed federal workers, it leaves unfinished any long-term agreement over the nation’s fiscal future. Despite Republicans’ grand goals of unraveling O’bamaCare with this legislation, the health law was barely touched. Republican leaders vowed to fight that fight another day, ‘drank the Kool-Aid’ and ‘kicked the can down the road once again.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also commonly referred to, as O’Bama Care remains negative in the view of many Americans. If you review the government-produced fact-sheet at http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-facts.php, the casual observer is pressed with all the advantages and free benefits the ACA will provide. The fact remains that there are no ‘free lunches!’ Somebody is going to have to pay for all these entitlements. Actuarial tables profile the cost of insurance, which no executive decree can alter. I speak as one who has had a preexisting medical condition that has prohibited me from insurance purchases all of my life. This taught me to depend on the Lord for all of my needs, medical included, but liberals have pressed the government to exclude the Lord from public acknowledgment.
O’Bama-Care has become predominantly a partisan matter. Until recently, supporters were liberal politicians, illegal aliens and those with preexisting medical conditions. The opposition for the most part was Republicans, and the electorate who realized we would be paying an exorbitant bill together with loss of medical benefits. At introduction and throughout the time since, the President assured everyone that if they were happy with their current insurance and/or current doctors, they could keep what they had. Detractors said all along that this was false, but the beat went on. Media ‘talking-heads’ have tagged O’Bama’s promise as a ‘Four-Pinocchio Lie’, but the negative press does not seem to faze O’Bama. As early as the summer of 2013, insurance companies began sending out cancellation letters. When recipients reached-out to the national news, Jay Carney came on to dismiss the alarm, claiming that these complaints represented only a small portion of the insured, but they would be able to get better insurance at lower rates. This also turned out to be false, as the people formerly insured were finding replacement policies were more expensive, had higher co-pay requirements, and the choice of doctors restricted. When the White House discovered the debacle O’Bama created, the President came on national television to assure everyone he was going to fix the problem, but even the President cannot unscramble an egg. Federal regulations prohibit insurance companies from reinstating cancelled plans, period.
Meanwhile, when O’Bama-Care when live on October 1st, those attempting to use the website were first denied access, but those who got in became frustrated with response time measured in hours, not seconds or minutes. Not only was that, Internet hackers having a hay-day getting personal information on those who actually got in. At the end of October, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, appeared in front of a House committee to apologize for the bungled launch of healthcare.gov, and to explain why many holders of individual policies were receiving cancellation notices. Her logic was hollow and her explanation, meaningless. Having spent much of my career in large mainframe performance and security, the problems experienced by users of healthcare.gov flow out of faulty design, by short-sighted architects. Evidence certifies that healthcare.gov coders lacked understanding of overall system expectations. Testing and quality control are conspicuous by their absence from this disaster. It is clear that Kathleen Sebelius was and remains clueless about the nature and magnitude of system development. She should be fired for lack of performance and prosecuted for compromising the identities of the gullible whose personal information is now public.
O’Bama-Care passed by a slim margin, and survived a Supreme Court challenge and a government shutdown. Is this just its latest growing pains, or are we watching its undoing from within? The fact of the matter is socialized medicine was the missing link in transforming a Republic to a socialist state. O’Bama entered the Presidency wanting to redistribute wealth, and no one put much stock in his objective until they realize how far we have moved toward his goal. Attempting to regain lost credibility, O’Bama addressed the nation regarding the O’Bama-Care rollout debacle.
He fumbled with words saying he may have misstated some aspects of the new law, but White House correspondence in the spring of 2013 showed that both the President and Congress were well aware of the coming cancellation of insurance policies, but did nothing to overt the crisis, nor warned anyone of the looming ‘Blob’. They were determined to plod forward, regardless of the collateral damage. It is interesting that Democrats who voted for O’Bama-Care are resending their support and trying to distance themselves from the crisis, like rats from a sinking ship.
On December 3, 2013, O’Bama made the bold statement that in spite of the complication of ACA, the law would not be repealed under his administration. O’Bama and his cohorts are determined to implement his ideology! While he was making this bold proclamation, news was breaking that there is no mechanism within the ACA code to transfer money from the Federal Government that people who signed up for a particular plan paid, to the chosen insurance company. That means that U. S. citizens could submit for health care and/or medical procedures after January 1, 2014, thinking they have health insurance and discover in that tender moment that they have no coverage, whatsoever.
On December 23, 2013, headline news touted President O’Bama’s official enrollment in the ACA BRONZE PLAN. This was another government spoof on the American public, because the President and his family, who are covered by Military Health Insurance for the remainder of their lives will not be bothered by the ACA ramifications. Not only that, President O’Bama was in Hawaii when his enrollment actually happened, so his staff took care of his meaningless, ‘will-o-the-wisp’ effort. Adding insult to injury, none of President O’Bama’s personal information can be jeopardized like other healthcare.gov users, because it is not available for access. The outstanding question remains: who do they think they are fooling?
When an individual applies for a policy, they only have tentative coverage until the insurance company actually cashes the check. The deposit of those funds binds the insurance contract for the specified duration. In this case, there is no mechanism for that to happen, and insurance companies could not afford to agree to cover people who may or may not pay the premium. Realizing the magnitude of this blunder, the federal government suggested that insurance companies estimate premium cost and the federal government would pay them and work out the details later. This is another bailout incubating, not a single payment, but a perpetually increasing expense. WOW!
The media continues to publish surveys of public opinion of Washington D. C. shenanigans. After President O’Bama’s token ACA gesture, we learn that sixteen percent of Americans will benefit from ACA enrollment and eighty-four percent will be forced to pay the bill with no benefit. What is wrong with this picture? Is it any wonder that fifty-nine percent of Americans surveyed disapprove of President O’Bama’s leadership. The bottom line is that O’Bama is a pied-piper with sixteen percent willing followers and eighty-four percent of us being dragged to destruction.
As a child, one of my favorite cartoon characters was the Little King, who always got himself into precarious situations. In one episode, the Little King is walking along a shoreline and sees a guy building a boat that interests him. He looks the boat over, then looks at the boats in the water and notices that the red line was always above the water. The King’s conclusion was, ‘all that stuff below the red line was completely unnecessary, because nobody ever sees it. The Little Kings starts building his boat. His project had all sorts of neat things on the deck and cabin. He painted a red line along the bottom edge on the sides of his boat and declared it complete. He called a contingent of his people to watch him launch the boat. Standing on a platform near the bow, he breaks a bottle of Champaign on the bow and hops on the deck as his project slides down the ways into the water. The final scene shows the boat submerged and only the King’s head and crown near the cabin with water up to the wheel, profiling little king O’Bama and his health care system.
Shooting At Washington D. C. White House and Capitol Building
Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Connecticut, driving a black Infinity with a one-year-old child, led Secret Service and Washington D. C. police on a wild car chase Thursday, October 3, 2013. The woman attempted to penetrate security barriers at both national landmark locations. Tourists and government employees watched a caravan of law enforcement vehicles chase the woman down Constitution Avenue between the White House and the Capitol Building. At one point, law enforcement vehicles surrounded the black Infinity, but the woman rammed a Secret Service vehicle and continued driving. She struck a Secret Service Agent in her flight before law enforcement surrounded her car again and killed her. Early impressions were that this was a terrorist act that proved invalid. This incident followed just two weeks after the Washington D. C. Naval Yard shooting that left everyone in Washington D. C. on edge.
Shooting At LAX Airport
Having worked for Continental Airlines in Los Angeles, I am familiar with the international airport there known as LAX, being one of the busier terminals in the United States. Myriads of people pass through that stage for an airborne destination, most not giving much thought to danger, except from pickpocket thieves. Paul Ciancia, twenty-three, revamped air travelers’ perspectives on Monday, November 2, 2013 when he killed Gerardo Hernandez, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker with an assault rifle, and wounded another TSA agent, together with several would-be passengers. The shooter’s motive stemmed from a concern for the advancing New World Order and anger over the freedoms the traveling public is losing to TSA endeavors. Gerardo Hernandez never suspected when he left home that morning, that he would not be back, nor did the wounded traveling passengers suspect their destination would be a hospital. Airport police wounded Ciancia and took him into custody.
United States Census Bureau Scandal (Unemployment-Gate)
On November 19, 2013, the New York Post ran an article that said the United States Census Bureau reported a sharp decrease in unemployment from 8.1% to 7.8% only one month prior to the 2012 Presidential election. What an amazing coincidence! This gave Barack O’Bama pseudo-legitimate talking points to bolster support for his campaign.
Census Bureau insiders claim the unemployment numbers have been manipulated for an extended period, that the survey numbers were fake, and that the fabrication continues today. What is troubling about this is that unemployment numbers are one of the barometers of economic health. The Census Bureau employee named as having participated in this fraud is Julius Buckmon, one of two thousand, two hundred individuals tasked to collect this information. Buckmon claimed upper Census Bureau management told him to make up numbers and he simply followed orders. The Census Bureau collects this information for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) under dubious demands and criteria. The Census Bureau expects callers to get a ninety percent return rate on survey calls in a season of paranoia when individuals having caller-id refuse to answer calls from anyone unless they are known. This requirement would temp those who likely need their job to falsify information to meet the quota, despite any political bias and/or without a management directive to do so. This begs one to wonder if there is any truth emanating from Washington D. C.?
Senate Nuclear Option
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, the Senate overturned the use of filibuster for the minority party to veto a President’s nominees for executive position, and the lower court Liberals in the American judicial system affirmed the Senate’s decree. We have already seen the Supreme Court capitulate to affirm ACA. Liberal Justices, which is almost a mutually exclusive term are legalizing all forms of perverted behavior. In some cases, liberal judges are overturning matters locals voted to reject in the name of political correctness. With this November 21st Senatorial vote, the President can flood the courts with liberals without restraint, and these appointments are for life! May the Lord help us.
National Spiritual Reflexion
The stories above highlight a tragic timeline of peril here in these United States, such as the Apostle Paul wrote would be societal norms prior to Jesus’ return in II Timothy 3:1-7. There is little doubt by Bible students that America is under the Lord’s Judgment, which arrives in multiple phases. The Lord first gives the sinner a season to wallow in their own stupidity, with ample warning and opportunity to repent from sin. If the sinner disregards the warning, the second phase follows, where the Lord turns them over to their own stupidity. The common denominator in these reports is the unsuspected peril the people experienced. American seems to be expecting Washington D. C. to fix this problem, when they are the cause and have no motivation to fix anything, because they have no accountability. When sinning nations disregard the Lord’s restrained protection and fail to repent, the Lord turns them over for destruction, most commonly by an enemy country.
Another pertinent point is prophecy students have questioned why no power like the United States exists in Scripture, with one possible exception. Ezekiel 38 documents a future time when a contingent of forces (Muslim Brotherhood Nations) led by Russia will move to invade Israel, but there will be a voice that opposes the move…
“Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’ “‘ Ezekiel 38:13 (KJV)
The ancient names of Sheba and Dedan are the modern nations on the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. We believe the merchants of Tarshish are the United States of America and the young lions are all nations such as Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zeeland. If you take the time to read through Ezekiel 38, you will find that the geopolitical alignments are already in place, just waiting for something to bump the trip wire triggering this confrontation. Ezekiel identifies Persia as one of the enemy nations coming against Israel. Ancient Persia is modern Iran and Iraq combined. You should know that serious tension has been building between Israel and Iran for at least a decade, over Iran’s development of nuclear warheads, and something in this scenario may very well be the catalyst for Ezekiel 38.
The fact is that the United States may not be a major end-time player in the Lord’s Redemptive Plan. The analyst in me examines the evidence through a Scriptural filter to determine if what we are experiencing can be validated scripturally, and I believe it can. For every effect, there is a cause. I cannot remember the last time I heard anyone say they were happy or content with the status and direction America is moving, desirous to stop the demise, but clueless how to apply the breaks. There must be a common denominator.
We live in a land of prosperity at a time of technological advancement, which should generate satisfaction and contentment, but both are bygone fantasies. There are both physical and spiritual laws that govern our existence, gravity being the most obvious. Spiritual laws are less obvious and much easier to disregard, but come with demands and consequences just like their physical counterparts.
There was a time in this country when, as a nation, we abided by Scriptural principles. This is not to say or suggest that America was ever a Christian nation, but its government was founded on Biblical principles, operated that way for over two centuries, and Americans recognized Scripture as authoritative, but this trend seems to stop after World War II. Following Japan’s attack on our Navy at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, the United States was in no condition militarily to take on anyone, let alone two major enemies simultaneously. The Christian community realized the magnitude of danger and rallied to the cause on their knees, beseeching the Lord to intervene, and He did! The Lord answered their petition, enabling the United States to develop a serious war machine that prevailed over the Axis Powers of Europe and the Imperial forces of Japan. The Scripture says…
1 Thess 5:18 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; KJV
It would be masochistic to suggest anyone should be joyful over what America is experiencing now, but when you examine current events through the lens of Scripture, you find we are in the midst of a divine principle at work, that the Lord will enable the faithful Christian to endure, and learn through. The benefit we receive through trials depends on your perspective and the spirit with which you handle the situation. The Scripture is clear that we are to give the Lord thanks in, and for everything, no exceptions, but America did not do that.
We took credit for the World War II victory and set the Lord on the shelf with Mohammed, Buddha and a host of other gods, but the fact is that America’s top-shelf deity is entertainment, sports and personal aggrandizement. Colossians 1 declares that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, and He will not share His Sovereignty with anyone! The Scripture warns that pride and a haughty spirit precede destruction and a fall (Proverbs 16:18), and America is now experiencing free-fall toward destruction. A man jumped from a balcony on the thirty-second floor, and someone on the twentieth floor asked him how things were going, as he passed by? He responded, ‘so far, so good’. So goes America!
I have written about the spiritual and ethical downgrade principle documented in Romans 1:18-32. The downward trend begins with failure to repent of idolatry, which the United States stands guilty of in the post-World War II years. Scripture warns that failure to repent will yield the Lord’s turnover of the accused to sexual impurity, and that happened to the United States in the 1960’s, the decade of free love. Scripture then warns that if the accused does not turn from the idolatry and sexual impurity, the Lord will turn the accused over to homosexuality, and so it was in the 1980’s.
With the diagnosis of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a litany of perverse lifestyles appeared on national television to declare they were ‘coming out of the closet’, and yonder we went! Lastly, Scripture warns that if the accused fail to turn from the idolatry, sexual impurity and homosexuality, the Lord will turn the accused over to a reprobate mind, which is lunacy, the very profile of the current United States government and social structure. Historical revisionists have gone to great lengths to disguise the implosion of the Babylonian, Greek and Roman Empires to homosexuality, because America is following their destruction, but our liberal leadership believes we are immune to fallen empire’s follies. There remains a remnant of Americans who see what is happening, and attempt to speak out, but find themselves accused of intolerance. The beat goes on and the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). There was a time when Americans could legitimately ask the Lord to bless this land, but those days are long gone. Solomon wrote…
Ps 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. KJV
I use care in citing this verse, not to associate myself with replacement theologians, who believe the Lord set Israel aside and redirected His blessings to America. David’s context in the thirty-third Psalm was Israel, , whose forefather was Jacob, the Lord renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28), but there is a general principle that does apply to righteous nations. Incrementally, liberal leadership has turned America against the Lord while the Church sat on our blessed assurance, and America has experienced a proportional decrement in the Lord’s blessing of our nation. Now America is experiencing the corollary of Psalm 33:12, but we seem clueless about the correction for this malady. The thinking is if we vote out the hoodlums in Washington D. C., the good-guys will fix our dilemma, but that is but a fantasy. We have lost sight of an important Scriptural precept our founding fathers knew very well…
Ps 75:7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. KJV
Historical revisionists have done all they can to remove the Lord from the founding and development of the United States, and now pluralism has tainted our culture so that increasing numbers of naïve Americans believe there is no hell, except the one we make for ourselves through intolerance. This non-Biblical belief further holds that all religious disciplines lead to Heaven, and all one needs to do to reach Heaven is demonstrate sincerity in one of the many religions! Of this…
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. KJV
Contemporary Western culture has come to talk about a god, void of Jesus Christ, but this is not Christianity. Sam Shoemaker said, ‘becoming a Christian is committing all that I am and know, to all that Jesus Christ is, and growing, as a Christian is learning more about Him.’ The fear and wonder of Jesus is conspicuous by its absence from our horizontal world (Psalm 8:4-5). Have you ever fallen before Christ in fear and wonder that He is mindful of you and monitors the very air you breathe? Jesus is a genuine Friend, but He will not share His Glory or Sovereignty with anyone. The prophets of Scripture preached repentance, which remains the prescription required to heal the United States. The Lord’s willingness to forgive the people of Nineveh at Jonah’s message of repentance is Scriptural evidence of the Lord’s mercy to forgive on a national level, but the key is that everyone in Nineveh repented beginning with the king.
The leadership’s conduct in Washington D. C. presses the Christian in how to pray for them? They certainly do not need help with a dysfunctional plan, as they seem to intend to force it on America whether it works or not. There needs to be a sweeping work of the Holy Spirit inside the Beltway to spiritual renewal through repentance. In the mean time, a couple of Scriptural frames to remember and a suggestion in how to pray…
31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; KJV
Ps 140:8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah. KJV
Some of you know I am dwelling in an area of extreme hedonism. Public comments of anything but endorsement endanger one to citizen arrest, charged with hate, but hedonism is not restricted to sensual conduct, but encompasses self-centered life completely void of God. In Matthew’s account of the Mount Olivet discourse, he recorded the Lord’s words…
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, KJV
The environment around me resembles Jesus’ words above, describing a culture completely immersed in temporal pursuits. The analyst in me wonders what were the components that drew an entire society like ours, as far as they are from God; yet declare how good it is. Regardless, Isaiah issued warning to those who do so…
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! KJV
Exposure to such life has brought me to thanksgiving for my awareness of Who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and for the blood He shed for my sin. It isn’t that I consider myself any better than the people around me, because I must deal with a desperately wicked heart (Jeremiah 17:9) like everyone else, but I depend on the indwelling Holy Spirit to quicken me about yielding to temptation, and He enables me to resist temptation and pursue the Lord’s objective for my life. I want to thank those of you who pray for me. Please continue, and…
Jude 21 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. KJV