Daily Archives: November 18, 2018

NOVEMBER 18 WASTED RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

—Isaiah 64:8

There is probably not another field of human activity where there is so much waste as in the field of religion….

In the average church we hear the same prayers repeated each Sunday year in and year out with, one would suspect, not the remotest expectation that they will be answered. It is enough, it seems, that they have been uttered. The familiar phrase, the religious tone, the emotionally loaded words have their superficial and temporary effect, but the worshiper is no nearer to God, no better morally and no surer of heaven than he was before. Yet every Sunday morning for twenty years he goes through the same routine and, allowing two hours for him to leave his house, sit through a church service and return to his house again, he has wasted more than 170 twelve-hour days with this exercise in futility….

I need only add that all this tragic waste is unnecessary. The believing Christian will relish every moment in church and will profit by it. The instructed, obedient Christian will yield to God as the clay to the potter, and the result will be not waste but glory everlasting. BAM100-101, 103

I don’t ever want to waste another hour just going through the motions, Father. As I worship may I do so with an attitude of obedience, expectancy and yielding—as the clay before the potter. Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

November 18 Heavenly Peace

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.

Philippians 4:7

Today’s verse promises inner calm or tranquility to the believer who prays with a thankful attitude. Notice it doesn’t promise what the answer to our prayers will be.

This peace “surpasses all understanding,” which refers to its divine origin. It transcends human intellect, analysis, and insight. No human counselor can give it to you because it’s a gift from God.

The real challenge of Christian living is not to eliminate every uncomfortable circumstance from your life, but to trust the infinite, holy, sovereign, and powerful God in the midst of every situation.

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So begin to live on the supernatural plane, accept that you live in a fallen world, and allow God to do His perfect work in you. And God will give you His peace as you confidently entrust yourself to His care.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 347). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

President Trump Interview With Chris Wallace… — The Last Refuge

President Trump sits down with swamp gatekeeper Chris Wallace for an extensive interview over multiple events. Fox News posts the interview in three segments. Part I:

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Part II:

Part III:

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Howie Kurtz interviews Chris Wallace:

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via President Trump Interview With Chris Wallace… — The Last Refuge

How The Bubbles In Stocks And Corporate Bonds Will Burst

Authored by Jesse Colombo via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

As someone who has been warning heavily about dangerous bubbles in U.S. corporate bonds and stocks, people often ask me how and when I foresee these bubbles bursting. Here’s what I wrote a few months ago:

To put it simply, the U.S. corporate debt bubble will likely burst due to tightening monetary conditions, including rising interest rates. Loose monetary conditions are what created the corporate debt bubble in the first place, so the ending of those conditions will end the corporate debt bubble. Falling corporate bond prices and higher corporate bond yields will cause stock buybacks to come to a screeching halt, which will also pop the stock market bubble, creating a downward spiral. There are extreme consequences from central bank market-meddling and we are about to learn this lesson once again.

Interestingly, Zero Hedge tweeted a chart today of the LQD iShares Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF saying that it was “about to break 7 year support: below it, the buybacks end.” That chart resonated with me, because it echos my warnings from a few months ago. I decided to recreate this chart with my own commentary on it. The 110 to 115 support zone is the key line in the sand to watch. If LQD closes below this zone in a convincing manner, it would likely foreshadow an even more powerful bond and stock market bust ahead.

Thanks to ultra-low corporate bond yields, U.S. corporations have engaged in a borrowing binge since the Global Financial Crisis. Total outstanding non-financial U.S. corporate debt is up by an incredible $2.5 trillion or 40 percent since its 2008 peakwhich was already a precariously high level to begin with.

U.S. corporate debt is now at an all-time high of over 45% of GDP, which is even worse than the levels reached during the dot-com bubble and U.S. housing and credit bubble:

Please watch my presentations about the U.S. corporate debt bubble and stock market bubble to learn more:

Billionaire fund manager Jeff Gundlach shares similar concerns as me, saying “The corporate bond market is going to get much worse when the next recession comes. It’s not worth trying to wait for that last ounce of return, or extra yield from the corporate bond market.” Another billionaire investor, Paul Tudor Jones, put out a warning this week, saying “it is in the corporate bond market where the first signs of trouble will emerge.” GE’s terrifying recent credit meltdown may be the initial pinprick for the corporate debt bubble, but make no mistake – it is not an isolated incident. GE may be the equivalent to Bear Stearns in 2007 and 2008 – just one of the first of many casualties.

Anyone who thinks that the Fed can distort the credit markets for so long without terrible consequences is extremely naive and will be taught a lesson in the days to come.

Source: How The Bubbles In Stocks And Corporate Bonds Will Burst

Gorka: Dem ‘lunatics are taking over the asylum’

(THE HILL) — Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka took aim at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) and progressive members of the Democratic Party in a new interview, asserting that former President John F. Kennedy would not be welcome in the modern-day incarnation of his party.

In an interview airing Sunday on AM 970 New York, Gorka tells “The Answer” host John Catsimatidis that a “hardcore, pro-nationalist” such as Kennedy would be unwelcome in the party.

“Today, a hard-core, pro-nationalist politician like John F Kennedy would not be allowed in the Democrat party. That’s how bad it is,” Gorka says, adding: “The lunatics are taking over the asylum…Bill Clinton and his ilk would at least rein in the loonies.”

Source: Gorka: Dem ‘lunatics are taking over the asylum’

Had to happen: Democratic presidential candidate proposes China-style social credit system here

Oh, but ours will be a really good socialist social credit system…

Leftists always insist that their proposals for socialism will be nothing like what’s found in communist hellholes way down the rapids to the falls. But somehow, the opening ideas are always the same.

So here we have a well-meaning Democratic candidate for president in 2020, entrepreneur Andrew Wang, who’s proposing an idea that’s already being implemented in China and Venezuela.

According to the Daily Caller:

New York entrepreneur and Democratic 2020 candidate Andrew Yang wants to implement a system in which a government-run mobile app rewards Americans with “digital social credits” (DSCs) for good behavior.

Americans would receive DSCs under Yang’s system for things such as “participating in a town fair,” “fixing a neighbor’s appliance” or “tutoring a student,” his presidential campaign website explains.

“As individuals rack up DSCs, they would have both a permanent balance they’ve earned over their lifetime and a current balance. They could cash the points in for experiences, purchases with participating vendors, support for causes, and transfer points to others for special occasions,” Yang states on his website. “As their permanent balance gets higher, they might qualify for various perks like throwing a pitch at a local ballgame, an audience with their local Congressperson or meeting their state’s most civic-minded athlete or celebrity.”

Oh it won’t be anything like China’s, his flak tells the Caller, because there won’t be a social punishment element to it. Over in China, if you rack up a bad social credit score, you can be denied access to a passport or a train ticket to get the heck out of there.

Which is pure baloney.

There are so many problems with this it defies belief that anyone would propose such a thing.

Who says an audience with a congressperson can’t be used to shut people out? Punishment would be pretty easy to engineer with such a system, as China (and now Venezuela) have proven.

What’s more, who determines what good and bad behavior is? How long before some Democrat finds a way to put ‘attend a Democratic rally’ as a social credit?

And how about the creepy potential to enforce conformity? Walking a little old lady across the street will be good for social credit, while walking a little old man across the street won’t be listed as creditable, so it won’t be long before only little old ladies will get walked across the street.

And wouldn’t this corrode the very idea of doing charitible acts? Many people do nice things such a volunteer at schools, help old ladies cross the street or give change to bums precisely because they expect nothing in return. They are free of material considerations and that is why they are so nice. That is what sociologists call ‘social capital.’ To make it about getting something back in return suddenly transforms all charity a calculated business transaction, utterly debasing it.

Then there’s the corruption potential. How does anyone prove you helped your neighbor mow his lawn? Can’t a couple of bucks paid to the neighbor be used to get him to say he got the help so that the recipient can get that million-dollar facetime with that congressman? People look at their options and always game the system. Values vary – a meeting with a congressman might be a very prized thing to a rich lobbyist and utterly worthless to an illegal immigrant family that would like a bag of beans, so the corruption potential is amazing. Let’s not even get into the potential for fake social credits and hacking to get them.

Yang argues it’s not like China’s nasty punitive social credit system, but more like ‘time banking’ as it’s practiced in places like Vermont or frequent flyer miles, according to the Daily Caller. But try telling China it set up its system with ‘nasty’ in mind – its system is, after all, to encourage what the state determines is “good” behavior, too, so it’s all good, because the state is always right, right? And surprise, surprise, that country has no social capital, precisely because of this kind of state meddling.

Maybe it’s all as nice as claimed, as such an idea starts, but the bottom line is, the architecture will be in place for more coercive purposes as Democrats take power.

What’s more, now that the idea is out there, it will gain traction with other Democrats. Yang is unlikely to make much impact due to his being an unknown, but the reality is, Democrats always glom onto the most extreme ideas out there among their own and make them mainstream. Rest assured, this will be Democratic Party line in time.

It sounds like the kind of gee-whiz social manipulation we saw a lot of during the Obama administration, when the latter’s political allies, the tech giants reigned supreme.

Remember Cass Sunstein’s “nudge“?

Remember the Obama surveillance state abuses?

Remember Google’s bowing to Obamadom and manipulating its own product in Obama’s favor?

Remember Michelle Obama’s corruption-plagued, bad-tasting, coercive and skimpy school lunches forced down student athletes’ throats?

Remember ‘No Impact Man‘ and how his totally “voluntary” acts to reduce his carbon footprint progressively led to blue state legislation such as stealing people’s straws at Starbucks?

That kind of ‘for your own good’ state planning always comes to a bad end. It starts out sounding nice, but then new applications get attached to them and suddenly, tech becomes surveillance and tyranny. Green stamps may be a great idea in the private sector, but one only need look at China to recognize that the government shouldn’t be allowed to touch this stuff. It’s amazing how Democrats just don’t learn, or more likely, really want a China- and Cuba-style of socialist intrusion, but don’t want to say so.

Image credit: Democracy Chronicles, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Leftists always insist that their proposals for socialism will be nothing like what’s found in communist hellholes way down the rapids to the falls. But somehow, the opening ideas are always the same.

So here we have a well-meaning Democratic candidate for president in 2020, entrepreneur Andrew Wang, who’s proposing an idea that’s already being implemented in China and Venezuela.

Source: Had to happen: Democratic presidential candidate proposes China-style social credit system here

Middle Class Destruction: Suicide Rates Soar Among American Workers

During 2000–2016, suicide rates among American workers (aged 16–64 years) jumped 34%, from 12.9 per 100,000 population to 17.3, according to a newly published report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Increasing suicide rates in the US are a concerning trend that represents a tragedy for families and communities and impact the American workforce,” said Dr. Debra Houry, director of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

“Knowing who is at greater risk for suicide can help save lives through focused prevention efforts,” Houry said.

With the American workforce declining for decades, only now it this disturbing evidence of the catastrophic damage that has already been done being released.

Suicide rates are rapidly expanding in almost every state, as it now becomes the 10th leading cause of death in the US and is one of three leading reasons that are on the rise.

The CDC discovered that in recent years suicide rates were the highest among males in construction jobs and the highest for females working in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog analyzed recent Social Security Administration data of median yearly wages in the US.  He discovered 50% of all American workers make less than $30,533 per year, which of course is not enough money to sustain a middle-class lifestyle.

“The American people are working harder than ever, and yet the middle class just continues to erode,” he said.

Snyder said the “deeper we dig into the numbers provided by the Social Security Administration, the more depressing they become.” Here are just a few examples from their official website:

  • 34% of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.
  • 48% of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.
  • 59% of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.
  • 68% of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

In retrospect, it all makes sense as the inequality gap between the rich and poor is the largest that it has ever been since right before the 1929 crash, and America’s once-thriving middle class has been systematically eviscerated over the last thirty years.

Source: Middle Class Destruction: Suicide Rates Soar Among American Workers

CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE: Is 80-Year Old Frank Caprio The Most Compassionate Municipal Court Judge In America? — Now The End Begins

 

An 80-year-old judge is an unlikely viral video sensation, but somehow Municipal Court Judge Frank Caprio has been winning hearts and clicks on Facebook with a mix of compassion, humor and a rotating cast of the poor souls who have been ticketed in the city of Providence.

For anyone who has ever spent time in municipal court for a traffic violation or various other charges that can be issued, you know it can be a long and tedious process. Many times a judgment is handed down that, while sticking to the letter of the law, seems to be served without a whole lot of compassion for the offender. A Rhode Island municipal court judge decided to change all that, and run his court according to the ‘golden rule’, with oftentimes amazing results.

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2 (KJV)

Judge Frank Caprio, at the age of 80, has become an Internet sensation because of how he operates his municipal court room. He uses humor, shows compassion, and does his level best to serve the interests of both the residents and government of Providence, Rhode Island. He has a soft and tender hear, but a pushover he absolutely is not. After you’ve watched a handful of these videos, you will be wishing Judge Caprio was handling your case the next time you get a ticket.

80-year-old judge becomes unlikely internet star

FROM CBS NEWS: Videos featuring the kind-hearted judge have now reached hundreds of millions of views. Judge Frank Caprio calls children to come up on the bench to help pass judgment on their parents and makes high schoolers promise to attend college in return for dropping tickets. He works out payment plans for people who are struggling. Occasionally he loses patience, especially when he thinks the person is trying to give him “a snow job.” He even gets laughs when he turns down pleas for a break.

The judge thinks he’s gone viral because people have lost faith in government and are accustomed to institutions coming down hard without regard for personal circumstances.

“I think I should take into consideration whether somebody is sick and whether their mother died and whether they have kids who are starving,” he said. “I don’t wear a badge under my robe. I wear a heart under my robe.”

One video features a woman who had racked up tickets and fines of $400. She broke down as she described trying to pick up the pieces after her son was stabbed to death.

“I’m just really having a tough time, your honor,” she told the judge through tears, as Caprio listened attentively. “I don’t think anyone in their lifetime would ever want to experience that,” he told her.

“It’s the worst feeling in the world. I feel so empty and lost,” she replied. He dismissed the tickets. The case has been viewed nearly 170 million times on Facebook and given subtitles in nine languages.

People from around the world weigh in on the videos about the judge’s tender-hearted approach and the American court system, something Caprio mentions with pride.

“I may be adding just a little bit more understanding toward the United States system of government and how it works, that we are a decent peace-loving people, and not how we’re being portrayed in other parts of the world,” he said.

He learned his compassion from his father, an immigrant from Italy and fruit peddler-turned-milkman, who would pay milk bills for customers who fell behind, even though his own family lived in a cold-water flat with few resources of their own.

Frank Caprio taught high school history to support himself as he attended law school at Boston’s Suffolk University at night. After building a law practice, he became a part-time judge on the municipal court in 1985, hearing mostly non-criminal matters. A few years later, his brother, Joe, began filming the proceedings, calling the show “Caught in Providence.”

It has aired locally since then, but Caprio’s fame took off after shorter clips started appearing on Facebook last year, posted by Joe’s production company and Sociable, a Providence social media company.

“Uncle Joe” as he’s known to online fans, says his brother is the same off camera as on, and he has a good message for America and the world.

“He’s like a father figure to the world,” he said. “He’s a senior gentleman. When he says something, they listen.”

People who come into court are given the chance to opt out of being filmed, and a handful did on one recent morning. But most didn’t seem to mind, including Judy Barros, who has watched the show for years and appeared before him twice.

“If you have a problem, he listens,” she said, shortly after he dismissed a ticket for parking in a no-parking zone, even though she had a disability placard.

When he’s not on the bench, the judge has a busy law firm, owns an oceanfront restaurant and keeps up an active social life as the head of a sprawling family. President Donald Trump’s ex-wife, Marla Maples, stayed in Caprio’s guesthouse with mutual friends earlier this month. The following night, he had dinner with talk show host Regis Philbin.

Singer Paula Abdul is considered a member of the family after she started dating his son, John, six years ago. Another son, Frank T. Caprio, was the Democratic nominee for Rhode Island governor in 2010.

Back in the courtroom, Caprio said he’s not trying to change the world, but he’s trying to do his part. “In the final analysis, I’m only doing what my father taught me to do,” Caprio said. “I’m following his advice, and it resonated in the world.” source

via CAUGHT IN PROVIDENCE: Is 80-Year Old Frank Caprio The Most Compassionate Municipal Court Judge In America? — Now The End Begins