Monday, April 1, 2013

The Origins of Political Correctness


An Accuracy in Academia Address by Bill Lind
Variations of this speech have been delivered to various AIA conferences including the 2000 Consevative University at American University

Where does all this stuff that you’ve heard about this morning – the victim feminism, the gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies, the demands, all the rest of it – where does it come from? For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.
We have seen other countries, particularly in this century, where this has been the case. And we have always regarded them with a mixture of pity, and to be truthful, some amusement, because it has struck us as so strange that people would allow a situation to develop where they would be afraid of what words they used. But we now have this situation in this country. We have it primarily on college campuses, but it is spreading throughout the whole society. Were does it come from? What is it?
We call it “Political Correctness.” The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious.
If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious.
First of all, both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted “victims” groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges – some star-chamber proceeding – and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole.
Indeed, all ideologies are totalitarian because the essence of an ideology (I would note that conservatism correctly understood is not an ideology) is to take some philosophy and say on the basis of this philosophy certain things must be true – such as the whole of the history of our culture is the history of the oppression of women. Since reality contradicts that, reality must be forbidden. It must become forbidden to acknowledge the reality of our history. People must be forced to live a lie, and since people are naturally reluctant to live a lie, they naturally use their ears and eyes to look out and say, “Wait a minute. This isn’t true. I can see it isn’t true,” the power of the state must be put behind the demand to live a lie. That is why ideology invariably creates a totalitarian state.
Second, the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness, like economic Marxism, has a single factor explanation of history. Economic Marxism says that all of history is determined by ownership of means of production. Cultural Marxism, or Political Correctness, says that all history is determined by power, by which groups defined in terms of race, sex, etc., have power over which other groups. Nothing else matters. All literature, indeed, is about that. Everything in the past is about that one thing.
Third, just as in classical economic Marxism certain groups, i.e. workers and peasants, are a priori good, and other groups, i.e., the bourgeoisie and capital owners, are evil. In the cultural Marxism of Political Correctness certain groups are good – feminist women, (only feminist women, non-feminist women are deemed not to exist) blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals. These groups are determined to be “victims,” and therefore automatically good regardless of what any of them do. Similarly, white males are determined automatically to be evil, thereby becoming the equivalent of the bourgeoisie in economic Marxism.
Fourth, both economic and cultural Marxism rely on expropriation. When the classical Marxists, the communists, took over a country like Russia, they expropriated the bourgeoisie, they took away their property. Similarly, when the cultural Marxists take over a university campus, they expropriate through things like quotas for admissions. When a white student with superior qualifications is denied admittance to a college in favor of a black or Hispanic who isn’t as well qualified, the white student is expropriated. And indeed, affirmative action, in our whole society today, is a system of expropriation. White owned companies don’t get a contract because the contract is reserved for a company owned by, say, Hispanics or women. So expropriation is a principle tool for both forms of Marxism.
And finally, both have a method of analysis that automatically gives the answers they want. For the classical Marxist, it’s Marxist economics. For the cultural Marxist, it’s deconstruction. Deconstruction essentially takes any text, removes all meaning from it and re-inserts any meaning desired. So we find, for example, that all of Shakespeare is about the suppression of women, or the Bible is really about race and gender. All of these texts simply become grist for the mill, which proves that “all history is about which groups have power over which other groups.” So the parallels are very evident between the classical Marxism that we’re familiar with in the old Soviet Union and the cultural Marxism that we see today as Political Correctness.
But the parallels are not accidents. The parallels did not come from nothing. The fact of the matter is that Political Correctness has a history, a history that is much longer than many people are aware of outside a small group of academics who have studied this. And the history goes back, as I said, to World War I, as do so many of the pathologies that are today bringing our society, and indeed our culture, down.
Marxist theory said that when the general European war came (as it did come in Europe in 1914), the working class throughout Europe would rise up and overthrow their governments – the bourgeois governments – because the workers had more in common with each other across the national boundaries than they had in common with the bourgeoisie and the ruling class in their own country. Well, 1914 came and it didn’t happen. Throughout Europe, workers rallied to their flag and happily marched off to fight each other. The Kaiser shook hands with the leaders of the Marxist Social Democratic Party in Germany and said there are no parties now, there are only Germans. And this happened in every country in Europe. So something was wrong.
Marxists knew by definition it couldn’t be the theory. In 1917, they finally got a Marxist coup in Russia and it looked like the theory was working, but it stalled again. It didn’t spread and when attempts were made to spread immediately after the war, with the Spartacist uprising in Berlin, with the Bela Kun government in Hungary, with the Munich Soviet, the workers didn’t support them.
So the Marxists’ had a problem. And two Marxist theorists went to work on it: Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary. Gramsci said the workers will never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are freed from Western culture, and particularly from the Christian religion – that they are blinded by culture and religion to their true class interests. Lukacs, who was considered the most brilliant Marxist theorist since Marx himself, said in 1919, “Who will save us from Western Civilization?” He also theorized that the great obstacle to the creation of a Marxist paradise was the culture: Western civilization itself.
Lukacs gets a chance to put his ideas into practice, because when the home grown Bolshevik Bela Kun government is established in Hungary in 1919, he becomes deputy commissar for culture, and the first thing he did was introduce sex education into the Hungarian schools. This ensured that the workers would not support the Bela Kun government, because the Hungarian people looked at this aghast, workers as well as everyone else. But he had already made the connection that today many of us are still surprised by, that we would consider the “latest thing.”
In 1923 in Germany, a think-tank is established that takes on the role of translating Marxism from economic into cultural terms, that creates Political Correctness as we know it today, and essentially it has created the basis for it by the end of the 1930s. This comes about because the very wealthy young son of a millionaire German trader by the name of Felix Weil has become a Marxist and has lots of money to spend. He is disturbed by the divisions among the Marxists, so he sponsors something called the First Marxist Work Week, where he brings Lukacs and many of the key German thinkers together for a week, working on the differences of Marxism.
And he says, “What we need is a think-tank.” Washington is full of think tanks and we think of them as very modern. In fact they go back quite a ways. He endows an institute, associated with Frankfurt University, established in 1923, that was originally supposed to be known as the Institute for Marxism. But the people behind it decided at the beginning that it was not to their advantage to be openly identified as Marxist. The last thing Political Correctness wants is for people to figure out it’s a form of Marxism. So instead they decide to name it the Institute for Social Research.
Weil is very clear about his goals. In 1971, he wrote to Martin Jay the author of a principle book on the Frankfurt School, as the Institute for Social Research soon becomes known informally, and he said, “I wanted the institute to become known, perhaps famous, due to its contributions to Marxism.” Well, he was successful. The first director of the Institute, Carl Grunberg, an Austrian economist, concluded his opening address, according to Martin Jay, “by clearly stating his personal allegiance to Marxism as a scientific methodology.” Marxism, he said, would be the ruling principle at the Institute, and that never changed.
The initial work at the Institute was rather conventional, but in 1930 it acquired a new director named Max Horkheimer, and Horkheimer’s views were very different. He was very much a Marxist renegade. The people who create and form the Frankfurt School are renegade Marxists. They’re still very much Marxist in their thinking, but they’re effectively run out of the party. Moscow looks at what they are doing and says, “Hey, this isn’t us, and we’re not going to bless this.”
Horkheimer’s initial heresy is that he is very interested in Freud, and the key to making the translation of Marxism from economic into cultural terms is essentially that he combined it with Freudism. Again, Martin Jay writes, “If it can be said that in the early years of its history, the Institute concerned itself primarily with an analysis of bourgeois society’s socio-economic sub-structure,” – and I point out that Jay is very sympathetic to the Frankfurt School, I’m not reading from a critic here – “in the years after 1930 its primary interests lay in its cultural superstructure. Indeed the traditional Marxist formula regarding the relationship between the two was brought into question by Critical Theory.”
The stuff we’ve been hearing about this morning – the radical feminism, the women’s studies departments, the gay studies departments, the black studies departments – all these things are branches of Critical Theory. What the Frankfurt School essentially does is draw on both Marx and Freud in the 1930s to create this theory called Critical Theory. The term is ingenious because you’re tempted to ask, “What is the theory?” The theory is to criticize. The theory is that the way to bring down Western culture and the capitalist order is not to lay down an alternative. They explicitly refuse to do that. They say it can’t be done, that we can’t imagine what a free society would look like (their definition of a free society). As long as we’re living under repression – the repression of a capitalistic economic order which creates (in their theory) the Freudian condition, the conditions that Freud describes in individuals of repression – we can’t even imagine it. What Critical Theory is about is simply criticizing. It calls for the most destructive criticism possible, in every possible way, designed to bring the current order down. And, of course, when we hear from the feminists that the whole of society is just out to get women and so on, that kind of criticism is a derivative of Critical Theory. It is all coming from the 1930s, not the 1960s.
Other key members who join up around this time are Theodore Adorno, and, most importantly, Erich Fromm and Herbert Marcuse. Fromm and Marcuse introduce an element which is central to Political Correctness, and that’s the sexual element. And particularly Marcuse, who in his own writings calls for a society of “polymorphous perversity,” that is his definition of the future of the world that they want to create. Marcuse in particular by the 1930s is writing some very extreme stuff on the need for sexual liberation, but this runs through the whole Institute. So do most of the themes we see in Political Correctness, again in the early 30s. In Fromm’s view, masculinity and femininity were not reflections of ‘essential’ sexual differences, as the Romantics had thought. They were derived instead from differences in life functions, which were in part socially determined.” Sex is a construct; sexual differences are a construct.
Another example is the emphasis we now see on environmentalism. “Materialism as far back as Hobbes had led to a manipulative dominating attitude toward nature.” That was Horkhemier writing in 1933 in Materialismus und Moral. “The theme of man’s domination of nature,” according to Jay, ” was to become a central concern of the Frankfurt School in subsequent years.” “Horkheimer’s antagonism to the fetishization of labor, (here’s were they’re obviously departing from Marxist orthodoxy) expressed another dimension of his materialism, the demand for human, sensual happiness.” In one of his most trenchant essays, Egoism and the Movement for Emancipation, written in 1936, Horkeimer “discussed the hostility to personal gratification inherent in bourgeois culture.” And he specifically referred to the Marquis de Sade, favorably, for his “protest…against asceticism in the name of a higher morality.”
How does all of this stuff flood in here? How does it flood into our universities, and indeed into our lives today? The members of the Frankfurt School are Marxist, they are also, to a man, Jewish. In 1933 the Nazis came to power in Germany, and not surprisingly they shut down the Institute for Social Research. And its members fled. They fled to New York City, and the Institute was reestablished there in 1933 with help from Columbia University. And the members of the Institute, gradually through the 1930s, though many of them remained writing in German, shift their focus from Critical Theory about German society, destructive criticism about every aspect of that society, to Critical Theory directed toward American society. There is another very important transition when the war comes. Some of them go to work for the government, including Herbert Marcuse, who became a key figure in the OSS (the predecessor to the CIA), and some, including Horkheimer and Adorno, move to Hollywood.
These origins of Political Correctness would probably not mean too much to us today except for two subsequent events. The first was the student rebellion in the mid-1960s, which was driven largely by resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War. But the student rebels needed theory of some sort. They couldn’t just get out there and say, “Hell no we won’t go,” they had to have some theoretical explanation behind it. Very few of them were interested in wading through Das Kapital. Classical, economic Marxism is not light, and most of the radicals of the 60s were not deep. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for our country today, and not just in the university, Herbert Marcuse remained in America when the Frankfurt School relocated back to Frankfurt after the war. And whereas Mr. Adorno in Germany is appalled by the student rebellion when it breaks out there – when the student rebels come into Adorno’s classroom, he calls the police and has them arrested – Herbert Marcuse, who remained here, saw the 60s student rebellion as the great chance. He saw the opportunity to take the work of the Frankfurt School and make it the theory of the New Left in the United States.
One of Marcuse’s books was the key book. It virtually became the bible of the SDS and the student rebels of the 60s. That book was Eros and Civilization. Marcuse argues that under a capitalistic order (he downplays the Marxism very strongly here, it is subtitled, A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, but the framework is Marxist), repression is the essence of that order and that gives us the person Freud describes – the person with all the hang-ups, the neuroses, because his sexual instincts are repressed. We can envision a future, if we can only destroy this existing oppressive order, in which we liberate eros, we liberate libido, in which we have a world of “polymorphous perversity,” in which you can “do you own thing.” And by the way, in that world there will no longer be work, only play. What a wonderful message for the radicals of the mid-60s! They’re students, they’re baby-boomers, and they’ve grown up never having to worry about anything except eventually having to get a job. And here is a guy writing in a way they can easily follow. He doesn’t require them to read a lot of heavy Marxism and tells them everything they want to hear which is essentially, “Do your own thing,” “If it feels good do it,” and “You never have to go to work.” By the way, Marcuse is also the man who creates the phrase, “Make love, not war.” Coming back to the situation people face on campus, Marcuse defines “liberating tolerance” as intolerance for anything coming from the Right and tolerance for anything coming from the Left. Marcuse joined the Frankfurt School, in 1932 (if I remember right). So, all of this goes back to the 1930s.
In conclusion, America today is in the throes of the greatest and direst transformation in its history. We are becoming an ideological state, a country with an official state ideology enforced by the power of the state. In “hate crimes” we now have people serving jail sentences for political thoughts. And the Congress is now moving to expand that category ever further. Affirmative action is part of it. The terror against anyone who dissents from Political Correctness on campus is part of it. It’s exactly what we have seen happen in Russia, in Germany, in Italy, in China, and now it’s coming here. And we don’t recognize it because we call it Political Correctness and laugh it off. My message today is that it’s not funny, it’s here, it’s growing and it will eventually destroy, as it seeks to destroy, everything that we have ever defined as our freedom and our culture.

Global Warming? Oops! Never Mind!

The AMERICAN THINKER ^ | April 1, 2013 | Jonathon Moseley

What was the Earth's temperature yesterday? Nobody knows. In fact, it's a ridiculous question. Almost every place on Earth today has a different temperature from that of any other location. So, is our planet's temperature rising? Do we even know?
However, it is officially admitted: Global warming stopped 15-20 years ago. The mainstream media is struggling very hard to explain this away. They admit that the Earth stopped warming 15 to 20 years ago. But just you wait -- disaster is coming unless we vote liberals into office. They cannot explain the pause. Yet they "know" global warming will kill us all unless we vote Democrat.
So was global warming ever real? Or is this hysteria a hoax, like the Y2K computer disaster that never happened?
Just concerning today's temperature first, we would have to measure hundreds of thousands of locations and then average temperatures from all over the planet. We don't have that many weather stations. So we don't even know what yesterday's temperature for the planet was. We certainly don't know what the temperature was a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago.
Are today's weather measurements accurate? Heck no. Weather stations are measuring the jet blast from airplanes taking off at airports, the heat from air conditioners on office building rooftops, the heat of asphalt parking lots and streets and cities.
Meteorologist Anthony Watts is one of the greatest heroes of truth and freedom. His blog "Watts Up With That?" has changed the world and is one of the most influential resources on global warming. Watts became truly famous with his recurring "How Not to Measure Temperature" series reviewing the world's automated weather stations.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Obama Proclaims April the Month to Teach Young People ‘How to Budget Responsibly’ !

Cybercast News Service ^ | April 1, 2013 | Terence P. Jeffrey

President Barack Obama, who has increased the national debt by $53,377 per household, has proclaimed April “National Financial Capability Month,” during which his administration will do things such as teach young people “how to budget responsibly."

“I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices,” Obama said in an official proclamation released Friday.

“My Administration is dedicated to helping people make sound decisions in the marketplace,” he said. …
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...

Musician delivered from homosexuality, happily married for 29 years!


By Mark Ellis

Dennis Jernigan
Dennis Jernigan
He could play the piano by ear in the first grade. His artistic and creative bent set him apart from the other boys, and this sense of being different grew steadily over time.
“I could hear a song on the radio and sit down and play it,” says Dennis Jernigan, acclaimed Christian songwriter and musician. His life is the subject of the forthcoming feature film “Sing Over Me” that will focus on his deliverance from homosexuality, when God made him a new creature in Christ.

Jernigan grew up in Boynton, Oklahoma, a prairie town of only 400 people about 50 miles from Tulsa. “The guys labeled me a sissy pretty early on,” he admits. “By junior high they called me fag and queer.” He found solace by hanging out with girls, because they seemed to connect with his emotional side.
He and his family attended a small church originally pastored by his grandfather. “I didn’t know anything different but going to church,” he recalls. Jernigan made a profession of faith at nine-years-old in the family church.
A budding athlete, he began to excel at baseball and basketball and noticed he received approval from his father and other men as a result. Mostly, however, he felt disconnected emotionally from his father, who never told him he loved him until many years later.
The secret life
In junior high school, he first began to experiment with homosexual behavior and developed a secretive alternative existence through his high school years.
“I was living two different lives,” he confesses. “I was failing sexually all the time. There were other boys I experimented with quite regularly. In a small town, where everyone knew everyone’s business, we went out of our way to hide things.”
One of only 12 in his graduating class from high school, Jernigan went on to Oklahoma Baptist University. Surprisingly, he found “even more rampant” homosexual activity at this Christian institution, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention.
“If it was discovered, we would have been kicked out, so we had to be very careful in the way we practiced our sexual encounters,” he notes.
Although Jernigan’s athletic gifts allowed him to make the basketball team, he quit to devote himself to his music studies. “I had to work extra-hard to learn the theoretical concepts of music,” he recalls.
To keep up appearances, he began to date a woman named Melinda. “I thought she was beautiful but I had no sexual attraction to her,” he admits. At the same time he dated Melinda, he was involved with other male students sexually. “Finally, in my senior year, I told her I never wanted to see her again.”
“Trust me,” he told her. “You will be better off if you never see my face again.”
An older mentor
By his senior year of college, his self-esteem had plummeted to new lows. “I was shocked when an older Christian man came into my life. He was a husband and father, well-respected, and he began praying with me each week, calling and asking how my studies were going and genuinely investing in me in a godly way.”
Jernigan and his older Christian mentor went out for a Coke one evening. As they sat across from each other in a booth, he decided to let his guard down. “I’m not who you think I am,” Jernigan confessed. “I am really struggling and I don’t know how to help myself. I need help, but I can’t even tell you what it is unless I know you will love me no matter what.”
“You can trust me,” the older man responded. “I’ve probably heard it before and I will love you no matter what.”
Jernigan paused for a moment, then told him the agonizing truth. “I struggle with same-sex attraction and I don’t know what to do.”
In his confession, he felt a massive weight began to lift from his shoulders. But the feeling did not last long. The older man had been setting Jernigan up and a few minutes later made a sexual advance. In Jernigan’s vulnerable state, he gave in.
“I went away from that encounter feeling used, betrayed, and humiliated,” he says. “I felt worthless.”
Suicidal despair
Jernigan went back to his small apartment, turned on his gas stove without lighting the burner, and lay down nearby.
As he listened to the hiss of escaping gas and smelled the telltale odor he wondered if the apartment would blow up or he would pass out, but he didn’t care which came first.
As he lay there, a quiet small voice pierced through his despondency. Are you ready for eternity? Do you know what waits for you there?
“It scared me so badly I got up and turned off the gas,” Jernigan says.
This brush with eternity, however, did not alter his lifestyle choice. “I decided that this is the way I was born and I’m going to stop fighting it.” In the summer following his college graduation, he moved in with another gay man.
Now that he could live fully and freely in the homosexual lifestyle, he expected his inner torments to cease. “I expected peace to come, but the opposite happened,” he admits. “I got more miserable than ever.”
Because he felt used in the relationship, Jernigan severed it abruptly and then made a major course correction. “I decided to go to seminary because I thought God would meet me there. I tried suicide and seminary couldn’t be any worse.”
A prophetic voice
But three days before school started, an old friend called. “Dennis, the Lord has been speaking to me about you. He came to me in a dream and in the dream God was giving you music and people all over the world are singing your songs.”
Jernigan thought his friend had lost it, because at that point in his life, he had only written three songs.
Then his friend told him his mother had the same dream, a further confirmation. “We want to invite you to move into our house and give God a chance to work this in your life.”
Three days later, Jernigan decided against seminary, moved in with his friends in Oklahoma City, and took a job driving a school bus.
“Before and after my morning bus route, I would go to the piano and start playing, open my Bible to Psalm 1, and begin singing,” he recalls. “I had to do something for my sanity.”
He faced a titanic inner struggle for his allegiance. On the one hand, homosexual temptations pulled him strongly in one direction. On the other hand, his friend’s powerful prophetic word about his destiny with God pulled in another. He felt double-minded, and he knew from Scripture that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
“I remembered when King Saul was beset by evil spirits he would send for the shepherd boy, David, to come and play the harp. Then the enemy would flee. So I decided to do that for myself and I sang through the psalms many times.”
As he played, he reflected on David’s life. “I realized that David committed adultery and murder, but he is remembered as being a man after God’s own heart.”
Lord, will you do that for me? he asked quietly.
A powerful concert experience
Shortly after this, Jernigan attended a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert at the University of Oklahoma. Halfway through the song “Mansion Builder,” lead singer Annie Herring began to prophecy. “The Lord told me there is somebody here tonight who is going through things. You have things hidden you think no one sees, but He sees the things you’re hiding and He loves you anyway,” she said.
Up to this point, Jernigan thought God hated him because of his sinful lifestyle. “I thought homosexuality was too vile for Jesus to take on the cross.”
“Jesus died for every sin,” Herring said. “God loves you right where you are. We’re going to sing over you. While we sing, we want you to take the hidden things from your heart, lift them in your hands, and by faith give them to Jesus like a gift on Christmas morning.”
“On Christmas, you don’t just give things away; you receive things in return,” she added.
Jernigan began to sob as he slowly lifted his hands to God. “For the first time I realized that homosexuality was placed on Jesus on the cross, that He died for my sins.
Jesus, you’ve been crucified with me. You’ve been buried with me, but you came forth out of the grave, he said to himself.
At that moment, the resurrection power of Jesus delivered Jernigan from his bondage to homosexual sin. “That night I walked out of homosexuality and I never looked back. In an instant I was given a new identity. I wouldn’t let those past experiences define me.”
A new creature in Christ
During the next two years, Jernigan immersed himself in God’s Word. “I had been believing a lot of lies. I had been duped by the enemy. I became passionate to know the things I believed in and why I believed them.”
While homosexual thoughts dominated his mind in the past, the time he invested in God’s Word helped the temptations to recede. “It used to be all I could think about. But that’s changed. I have transformed my mind by renewing it in God’s Word.”
Jernigan never thought he could have a romantic relationship with a woman, but something unexpected happened. God brought Melinda back into his life, the woman he dated in college. Two years later, they got married.
“I was scared to death of sexual intimacy with a woman,” he confesses. As the wedding approached, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to respond physically to his wife.
“By the time the marriage came along, I had renewed my mind for a two-year period, so I was confident that everything would work as God intended.”
Jernigan wedding
Jernigan wedding
God supplied abundantly more than he could have hoped or imagined. “Sure enough, on our wedding night we made love four times,” he says.
After the first time, he wept, because God had removed his guilt and shame about his sexuality. “That sent me over the edge in my understanding, to know God really does transform. I know it’s possible.”
Jernigan went on a trip with his father a few months after he got married. As they drove, he turned and asked the question that causes a hungry ache in many young people’s souls. “Daddy, why didn’t you ever tell me you loved me?”
“My dad never told me, so I didn’t know how to tell you,” he responded.
Jernigan sees a causal link between his same-sex attraction and his early home life. “With homosexuality, 99% of the time there is a disconnect between the child and the parent of the same sex,” he notes. “Everyone with a disconnect like that takes a turn toward something. In someone else, it could develop into an addictive behavior of another sort.”
Dennis and Melinda have been happily married for 29 years and have nine children. Songs like “We Will Worship the Lamb of Glory,”
Melinda and Dennis
Melinda and Dennis
“Thank You,” “Great is the Lord Almighty,” “Who Can Satisfy My Soul (There is a Fountain),” “I Belong to Jesus,” “Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus,” and “You Are My All in All” have been sung throughout the world by Christians, in fulfillment of the prophecy spoken to him many years before.
In conjunction with the documentary currently being made about his life, Jernigan is writing a novelized version of his life story. He is also working on a fantasy series for boys.
“God does renew and transform,” he exclaims. “God does restore. Look at my life. Think of what I would have been robbed from if I never followed the Lord. I would not have my wife and children. I would have nothing, really.”
Jernigan family
Jernigan family

Sequester won’t interrupt collection of taxes from 'ObamaCare'

The Hill ^ | 03/2013 | By Bernie Becker and Sam Baker

Implementation of the taxes and fees from President Obama’s healthcare law is on track despite the cutbacks at the IRS from sequestration.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted 2010 and derided by Republicans as “ObamaCare,” contains the broadest set of tax changes enacted in some two decades — more than 40 alterations in all, including penalties on people who choose not to purchase insurance.
But while IRS and Treasury officials have warned of reduced services as employees are furloughed under the sequester, neither agency has expressed any concern that the automatic spending cuts would delay the rollout of the healthcare overhaul.
A spokesman for the IRS declined to comment any further on the agency’s concerns about sequestration. Democratic and Republican lawmakers also haven’t raised the issue though major tax changes from the law are just seven months away.
“The silence is deafening,” said Chris Condeluci, a former tax counsel for Senate Finance Committee Republicans who is now at Venable law firm.
Condeluci argued that the response from the IRS to the sequester cuts shows that getting the healthcare law off the ground is a top goal for the agency and that the government would shift resources to ensure the law goes into effect.
But because the sequester’s $85 billion in cuts for the rest of fiscal 2013 were meant to be unwieldy and harsh, agencies have limited leeway in putting them into effect. “ACA implementation is a priority,” Condeluci told The Hill. “Their silence with regard to the sequester indicates that they won’t let anything get in the way of implementation, sequestration or otherwise.”
The tax changes from the healthcare law will have a broad impact on the public. Spotting an opportunity, the tax preparation firm H&R Block is already running advertisements offering to help individuals navigate the law’s requirements.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...

The Good Book’s big numbers: A miniseries stuns Hollywood religious skeptics!

Washington Times ^ | 03/29/2013

Television watchers across the country are glomming on to an unlikely megahit: the History Channel’s 10-hour retelling of stories from the Bible. To the disbelief of Hollywood executives, viewers are shunning a lineup that includes “Revenge” and “The Mentalist” to watch another telling of the greatest story ever told.
During its first three weeks, the miniseries produced by reality-show producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, the star of “Touched By an Angel,” has drawn upward of 10 million viewers for each episode. That’s more, our critic Daniel Wattenberg reports, than anything aired by ABC or NBC during the same period. Who needs “Scandal” or “Deception” when the original, complete with serpent, is available?
This is not a line-by-line, chapter-and-verse telling of the stories from the Bible. Events are compressed, and more than one critical eyebrow has been raised over the ninja-style fighting engaged in by angels and the Israelites in their escape from bondage.
SNIP SNIP
Hollywood itself would do well to closely examine the overall success of “The Bible,” which concludes its initial television run on Sunday. Home-video release will follow by Tuesday, and the DVD and Blu-ray discs are expected to be hot sellers, too.
Sordid and trashy has become the norm for much of television entertainment, and the Bible’s blockbuster success should inspire entertainment executives to think again about taking stories from the Bible. A lot of people thought the runaway success of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” a decade ago would inspire Hollywood, too. The market for family-oriented, values-affirming entertainment is huge and all but untapped. The success of “The Bible” ought to persuade Hollywood, where the pursuit of money is all, that such stories are where the money is.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

The Unaffordable Care Act (ObamaCare Fraud)

National Review Online ^ | March 27, 2013 | Yuval Levin

As Obamacare begins to roll out, its champions are beginning to have to confront reality. But because they’re getting a lot of leeway and protection from the political press, the results of this confrontation with the consequences of the law’s poor design and misguided economic assumptions often take the form of little nuggets of truth buried in mountains of frantic, wishful obfuscation. Such was the little nugget buried in the middle of a story that was itself buried in the back of the A section of last Friday’s New York Times.
The story was about the enormous challenges of implementing the law, and while it was careful to inform us (in the mouths of unnamed “supporters of the law”) that a lot of these problems are surely functions of the fact that “President Obama has done little to trumpet its benefits, educate the public or answer the critics,” it also notes the following curious fact:
Mr. Obama scored his biggest legislative achievement exactly three years ago when he signed the Affordable Care Act. But this week the administration cautioned officials to be careful about suggesting that the law would drive down costs.
After extensive research, the administration said it was unwise to tell consumers that they could get “health insurance that fits your budget.” That message, it said, is “seen as highly motivational, but not as believable.
This makes it sound like the “extensive research” in question was research into public opinion, which it may well have been. But of course, the more fundamental reason “to be careful about suggesting that the law would drive down costs” is that no one really expects it to do so — not even the administration.
Administration officials and many others on the left who talk about slowing health costs in the coming years never really attribute that expectation in any concrete way to the new law. Rather, they point to the fact that the growth of health costs has slowed a bit during the recession and the painfully slow recovery of the past few years, and they simply expect that slow rate to continue even as they simultaneously expect the economy to recover much more robustly in the coming years.
It’s very important to understand just how much the Left now hangs on this very implausible expectation about health costs. It is at the core of the Democrats’ fiscal arguments, and at the core of their optimistic assumptions about how Obamacare will work out.
That expectation is, to begin with, what allows Paul Krugman and others (including administration officials) to suggest that we just don’t have to worry about the deficit and debt at this point because they will be pretty stable for about a decade before beginning a catastrophic rise that would crush the economy. That’s what amounts to fiscal optimism these days, and it’s the essence of the Democrats’ resistance to entitlement reform. It is embodied, for instance, in this chart that you’d find if you trudged through the president’s 2013 budget proposal all the way to the 510-page “analytical perspectives” volume that was released with the budget:
This projection, which predicts an epic disaster for the American economy if we remain on our current fiscal course in the long run, is, to repeat, a very rosy view, since it suggests we have about ten years of relative stability (if at a high level of debt) in which to change course before the steep upward trajectory of debt resumes — although the people who use this figure somehow use it to argue against changing course. But in any case, even this sorry excuse for optimism is only made possible by the notion that the growth of health costs won’t soon return to even its postwar norm, let alone to its norm of the last two decades. It assumes, for instance, that Medicare spending will only be 3.3 percent of GDP in 2020, while the Congressional Budget Office assumes it will be 4.2 percent of GDP — a huge difference. And it’s a difference that has a massive effect on medium and long-term expectations. The CBO uses somewhat less rosy assumptions (but still assumes health-cost growth will take a while to resume), and so expects federal debt to reach 200 percent of GDP not in 2080 but in 2037 — again, a huge difference, which means the CBO sees a far steeper rise in deficits and debt in the near and medium term.
But the optimistic assumptions about health-care costs have much more immediate consequences too. The relative stability projected in that chart for the next decade is simply assumed, it is not asserted to be a function of any particular reform in Obamacare. In fact, it is assumed in the administration’s expectations of how the Obamacare rollout itself will work out, and therefore allows them to skirt over two huge problems with the law’s design.
The first is that, unless health costs grow very slowly and keep the growth of Medicare costs very low, Obamacare’s additional price controls (in the form of the IPAB) would have to kick in, and, because they are only allowed to take the form of across-the-board rate cuts for providers, they would result in drastically reduced access to health care for seniors. The actuaries of the Medicare program (who work for Barack Obama) have projected(PDF) that this would require payment rates for doctors in Medicare to dip well below Medicaid rates and keep falling. Here’s how they see it:
We know that Medicaid’s low payment rates cause many doctors to refuse Medicaid patients, and therefore make it difficult for many poor Americans to find health care. Taking Medicare rates below that level should have similar, but even more drastic, effects. It’s not even worth trying to think through the details of what that would look like because it would simply never happen — we’ve seen that far smaller cuts than that are undone each year through the “doc fix” and there is no way doctors or seniors would put up with such blunt across-the-board cuts and such a loss of access to care. The only way to really avoid that mess is if health costs just magically remain very low, and that’s basically what the administration (and to some extent the CBO) now project when assessing the law. The CBO assumes, for instance, that the IPAB wouldn’t even have to start doing anything at all until after 2022.
But that’s not all. The second large design problem that the rosy health-costs scenario allows the administration to ignore reaches even closer to the heart of Obamacare. After the law’s designers got their first real CBO score in 2009, they realized they had to find some way to cut the projected costs of the law’s exchange subsidies if they were to have any chance of pretending the law would cost less than a trillion dollars over a decade. So they inserted a provision that kicks in in 2018 and requires that, if the cost of the exchange subsidies exceeds 0.5 percent of GDP in any given year, the level of subsidy would be cut in a means-tested way. The provision didn’t draw much attention even from health wonks at first, but in 2011 the CBO produced an analysis of it showing that it would cause very significant declines not just in the growth of subsidies but in their nominal value year-over-year for many middle-class families. These families’ out-of-pocket costs would quickly grow larger than the penalty (or tax, for John Roberts fans) they would have to pay for not having coverage, and many could well opt to go uninsured until they needed care. (Jed Graham of Investors Business Daily has done some great reporting on this provision, especially here and here.)
Until this year, the CBO has always assumed that these families just wouldn’t drop their coverage, but in its latest score of Obamacare(PDF), the agency for the first time projects that the number of people in the exchanges will actually begin to drop after 2018, declining by almost a tenth over the subsequent five years even as the population grows. And since the people who remained in the exchanges would tend to be poorer and sicker, the costs of providing them subsidies would grow very quickly (by almost 6 percent annually), since the exchange pool would become more risky. (And this projection, remember, is still based on rosy expectations about overall health-cost growth.) This nightmare scenario, too, is pretty unlikely to happen, since the people involved would be middle-class families. They’re not going to accept the enormous downside of Obamacare without even the modest upside of exchange subsidies, and they’re not going to like being forced to go uninsured. The politics of this just wouldn’t hold.
In both cases, it is only possible to imagine that Obamacare might be sustained if we assume very low growth in health costs. That assumption is absolutely critical to liberal fiscal and health policy today. But of course, Obamacare doesn’t really offer any serious mechanism to achieve such low costs — in fact, it’s actively hostile to the kind of consumer incentives and competitive pressures it would take to achieve it.
These are just a few of the many increasingly evident reasons why Obamacare in its current form has no future. For now, you’ve got to dig pretty deep in your newspaper to see it. But it’s going to become clearer and clearer to real voters as implementation proceeds.

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus


Tree octopus photo
Rare photo of the elusive tree octopus

The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) can be found in the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America. Their habitat lies on the Eastern side of the Olympic mountain range, adjacent to Hood Canal. These solitary cephalopods reach an average size (measured from arm-tip to mantle-tip,) of 30-33 cm. Unlike most other cephalopods, tree octopuses are amphibious, spending only their early life and the period of their mating season in their ancestral aquatic environment. Because of the moistness of the rainforests and specialized skin adaptations, they are able to keep from becoming desiccated for prolonged periods of time, but given the chance they would prefer resting in pooled water.
An intelligent and inquisitive being (it has the largest brain-to-body ratio for any mollusk), the tree octopus explores its arboreal world by both touch and sight. Adaptations its ancestors originally evolved in the three dimensional environment of the sea have been put to good use in the spatially complex maze of the coniferous Olympic rainforests. The challenges and richness of this environment (and the intimate way in which it interacts with it,) may account for the tree octopus's advanced behavioral development. (Some evolutionary theorists suppose that "arboreal adaptation" is what laid the groundwork in primates for the evolution of the human mind.)
Reaching out with one of her eight arms, each covered in sensitive suckers, a tree octopus might grab a branch to pull herself along in a form of locomotion called tentaculation; or she might be preparing to strike at an insect or small vertebrate, such as a frog or rodent, or steal an egg from a bird's nest; or she might even be examining some object that caught her fancy, instinctively desiring to manipulate it with her dexterous limbs (really deserving the title "sensory organs" more than mere "limbs",) in order to better know it.
Range map
Map of estimated tree octopus maximum range, including spawning waters
Tree octopuses have eyesight comparable to humans. Besides allowing them to see their prey and environment, it helps them in inter-octopus relations. Although they are not social animals like us, they display to one-another their emotions through their ability to change the color of their skin: red indicates anger, white fear, while they normally maintain a mottled brown tone to blend in with the background.
The reproductive cycle of the tree octopus is still linked to its roots in the waters of the Puget Sound from where it is thought to have originated. Every year, in Spring, tree octopuses leave their homes in the Olympic National Forest and migrate towards the shore and, eventually, their spawning grounds in Hood Canal. There, they congregate (the only real social time in their lives,) and find mates. After the male has deposited his sperm, he returns to the forests, leaving the female to find an aquatic lair in which to attach her strands of egg-clusters. The female will guard and care for her eggs until they hatch, refusing even to eat, and usually dying from her selflessness. The young will spend the first month or so floating through Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and as far as North Puget Sound before eventually moving out of the water and beginning their adult lives.

Why It's Endangered

Although the tree octopus is not officially listed on the Endangered Species List, we feel that it should be added since its numbers are at a critically low level for its breeding needs. The reasons for this dire situation include: decimation of habitat by logging and suburban encroachment; building of roads that cut off access to the water which it needs for spawning; predation by foreign species such as house cats; and booming populations of its natural predators, including the bald eagle and sasquatch. What few that make it to the Canal are further hampered in their reproduction by the growing problem of pollution from farming and residential run-off. Unless immediate action is taken to protect this species and its habitat, the Pacific Northwest tree octopus will be but a memory.
Cascadia Evening Post
Tree Octopus hat from 1923 (Click to enlarge.)
The possibility of Pacific Northwest tree octopus extinction is not an unwarranted fear. Other tree octopus species -- including the Douglas octopus and the red-ringed madrona sucker -- were once abundant throughout the Cascadia region, but have since gone extinct because of threats similar to those faced by paxarbolis, as well as overharvesting by the now-illegal tree octopus trade.
The history of the tree octopus trade is a sad one. Their voracious appetite for bird plumes having exhausted all the worthy species of that family, the fashionistas moved on to cephalopodic accoutrements during the early 20th Century. Tree octopuses became prized by the fashion industry as ornamental decorations for hats, leading greedy trappers to wipe out whole populations to feed the vanity of the fashionable rich. While fortunately this practice has been outlawed, its effects still reverberate today as these millinery deprivations brought tree octopus numbers below the critical point where even minor environmental change could cause disaster.

How You Can Help

Here are a few things that you can do to help save the Pacific Northwest tree octopus:
Tree Octopus poster
Posters motivate the citizenry to action! Post them!
  • Write your representatives to let them know that you are concerned and that you feel the tree octopus should be included on the Endangered Species List and given special protection.
  • Help build awareness of the tree octopus by telling your friends and co-workers.
  • Place a tentacle ribbon on your website.
  • Participate in tree octopus awareness marches. You can demonstrate their plight during the march by having your friends dress up as tree octopuses while you attack them in a lumberjack costume.
  • Pamphlet your neighborhood. Tentacle ribbons make excellent doorknob hangers.
  • Join and donate to an organization committed to conservation, such as Greenpeas.
  • Boycott companies that use non-tree-octopus-safe wood harvesting practices.
  • Sign an online petition! Nothing activates activity like an Internet petition.

Activism:

Activities:

Spread awareness with our Tree Octopus Activities.

More Tree Octopus Information

  • Tree Octopus FAQs — Frequently asked questions, now with answers.
  • Tree Octopus Sightings — Includes photos of and behavioral research on the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and other tree octopus species.
  • Tree Octopus In The Media — appearances of tree octopuses, both real and fictional, in the media and popular culture.

Research On Other Tree Octopus Species:

The author of this article and its subsections is Lyle Zapato.
This site is not associated with any school or educational organization,
other than the Kelvinic University branch of the Wild Haggis Conservation Society.
Not to be confused with the Pacific Northwest Octopus Tree.

New Monuments

Posted Image

Light Rail

Posted Image

Trophy

Posted Image

So Hollow

Posted Image

The Chances

Posted Image

Free Cheese

Posted Image

An agreement?

Posted Image

Here's and idea.

Posted Image

Logic

Posted Image

Undisclosed

Posted Image

Stopping Movement?

Posted Image

Evolution of ObamaCare

Posted Image

Fool 'em

Posted Image

Sequestration Lies

Posted Image

Magic Man

Posted Image

Swallow?

Posted Image

Frogs, pine cones still getting fed dollars!

WorldNetDaily ^ | April 1, 2013 | Steve Peacock

While the U.S. Senate, for the first time in years, has adopted a budget, it includes $1 trillion in new taxes, adding to the record deficit.
The budget also doesn’t align with a House plan that spends hundreds of billions of dollars less. Both, however, project spending more than the government receives far into the future.
Ads by Google
"Silver Bounce Coming"Here's What to Do After Silver's Correction is Over. See New Report: www.Sovereign-Investor.com
But even so, frogs, Uganda and pine cone projects apparently are so important to the Obama administration that it’s worth borrowing money and paying interest to fund them.
Also, there’s high-priced construction of a new embassy in Mexico and the need to prevent crime – in El Salvador.
Despite the looming threats from overspending that has put the U.S. more than $16 trillion in debt, questionable spending priorities were found in database searches of federal documents.
Notable among recently launched initiatives is a State Department plan to design and build an embassy compound on 5.6 acres in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico – a venture that might cost close to $100 million.
“Continuing a legacy of outstanding diplomatic architecture, OBO [Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations] seeks to commission our nation’s top designers and constructors to create facilities of outstanding quality and value,” State said in a Request for Proposals, or RFP.
State likewise plans to spend ............
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...