Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Middle Eastern Refugee Dilemma

Thousands of people are fleeing Syria and other Middle Eastern countries because of the fighting and bombing taking place. They aren’t migrating to Europe for economic reasons, but to save their lives. Most of these refugees are Muslim.

At the same time, Islamic terrorists are attacking Europe and planning more attacks if their propaganda is to be believed. This creates a dilemma for European countries and the U.S. From a practical point of view, we should ask these questions:

-How can we expect a country absorb so many people so quickly, people who don’t speak the language, and are culturally different?

-How can we find jobs for so many people?

-How will medical facilities and social services cope with such an influx?

While these are important considerations, the main sticking point is that Western countries will be welcoming people who are affiliated with a religion and culture that are hostile to Western culture and the Christian religion. What might happen if we let these people in?

-Terrorists may sneak into a country posing as refugees.

-Some of the refugees may become radicalized as has happened to other Muslims in the West.

-It’s impossible to check the backgrounds of these refugees because the countries they are leaving are in chaos.

So the dilemma is: do we show our compassion for these people who are fleeing for their lives, or do we make safety and security our main concern and don’t risk problems by letting the refugees into our countries?

The Western countries are generally compassionate as a result of our Judeo-Christian ethic. On the other hand, the first priority of any government is the safety and security of its citizens.

Another consideration is this: why don’t the oil-rich Middle Eastern countries take in many of these refugees? Language is the same, culture is the same, religion is the same. The refugees could be more easily absorbed into those societies than into the West. Where’s Saudi Arabia in all this? They have billions of dollars from oil revenue and they can’t take care of their fellow Muslims?! They leave it up to us.

Write your governor, senator, and congressman with your position on the matter so they can make decisions based on the will of the people. Pray that they’ll make the right decision, whatever that may be. Pray for the safety of the people, and pray that Western intelligence services uncover and thwart all planned terrorist plans. Finally, pray for President Obama and Congress, that they will act firmly and decisively to defeat those groups who want to harm us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Thoughts on Terrorism

We Are at War

The western nations were rightfully outraged when the terrorists struck Paris in January 2015. They were even more outraged by this most recent attack, on November 13, 2015.The President of France called this aggression “war”, and that’s what it is. Unfortunately some western leaders, most notably President Obama, refuse to accept that reality. ISIS and other Islamic fanatics know they are at war with the West, but despite numerous attacks on innocent civilians, the West doesn’t get it. Don’t these leaders know they are putting their people at severe risk? Have we lost the will to fight for our survival as a nation and for security for future generations? Do we really want to live under Sharia law?

What about Israel?

While everyone is rightfully outraged by these latest attacks in France, where’s the outrage when Israel is attacked? With Islamic militants shooting 11,000 rockets from Gaza into Israel since 2005 and 4,000 rockets from Lebanon in 2006 alone, where’s the outrage? With the Arab militants constantly breaking the cease-fire agreement they signed with Israel, where’s the outrage?

The outrage comes when Israel eventually retaliates and bombs Palestinian strongholds in an attempt to stop the rockets and protect its citizens. All of a sudden the world jumps all over Israel for bombing poor, innocent Gaza. How many countries would tolerate continuous rocket attacks like Israel has had to endure? Yet the Europeans and U.S. liberals are quick to condemn Israel for doing what any country would do: try to protect its citizens. Talking doesn’t do any good, treaties are useless, so Israel must resort to military options. Can you blame them?

When Israel does retaliate, the liberal press condemns Israel for killing civilians. Meanwhile, where are the Palestinian rockets aimed? At population centers, in an attempt to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible. If the press criticizes Israel for killing Palestinian civilians, they should criticize the Palestinians for using human shields, and for using hospitals and schools for their operations, guaranteeing there will be civilian casualties.

To show how naïve Obama is, he’s signed a terrible treaty with Iran that benefits them and we get very little. You can be sure Iran will break the treaty as soon as it’s convenient for them to do so.

In the U.S. next November, we will have to opportunity to vote in a new President and various senators and representatives. We must pick a President who is a leader, isn’t naïve, is willing to stand up to ISIS, and is a strategic thinker. Too bad Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t available.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Another Attack

Once again there has been a major terrorist attack, this time in Paris again. It appears that ISIS is responsible. As ISIS gains strength and other terrorist groups get bolder, the world must stand up and seriously deal with this ongoing threat.

What can we do? Plenty. I’m no expert but I believe western countries could do the following at a minimum to defeat those who seek to destroy us.


The Allies defeated the Axis powers in World War II because they were fully committed. The U.S. was on a war footing, with much of our resources devoted to the war effort. Failure was not an option.

While the nature of today’s war is different from WWII, there is no less need for total commitment. The weapons of today can be very destructive. Think of cyber warfare as an example. The allies must use all weapons at their disposal, including propaganda, cyber, and military.


The Allies defeated the Axis powers in World War II because they were united in their resolve to defeat the enemy. The U.S. provided supplies and equipment to its allies. For example, Studebaker trucks by the thousands were sent to Russia, which made huge difference in its ability to transport goods and troops to the front. It’s said that those trucks were a significant factor in defeating the Nazis. With Russia as an ally, both the U.S. and Russia can redirect resources to fighting the war on terrorism.

If we are to win the war against Islamic terrorism, Russia must become our ally, similar to what happened in WWII. I don’t know what it will take to do that, but I would hope that Putin would realize that it’s in his best interest to share intelligence data with other countries for the good of Russia as well as the whole alliance. Russia must get over its historic mistrust of the West.


The Allies defeated the Axis powers in World War II because there were no restraints put on the military. In Vietnam, for example, the military was forbidden to go certain places and do certain things, and I’ve read where there were similar restrictions put in place in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you’re going to fight a war, do it right.

In the case of Islamic terrorism, the allies must fight to win, meaning the total destruction of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, including destruction of training camps. Why these training camps aren’t bombed is a mystery to me. We must know where they are. Why can’t we destroy them?

People suspected of terrorist ties or for whom there is evidence of radicalization, should be deported and never allowed back into the country. This includes those who have traveled to certain countries where terrorist training takes place. International borders must be made more secure. It might be a good idea to restrict the free flow of people across borders in the European Community for the time being.


As long as there are Hitlers in the world and there are movements like Islamic jihad there will be conflict. Distasteful and repugnant as war is, our survival as a free country is at stake. Israel’s enemies want to totally destroy it (“push it into the sea”). Now the west is faced with a similar threat: destruction of our way of life, living instead in a harsh caliphate sunder sharia law.

Unconventional wars such as the war against terrorism are difficult to fight in a free society. Moreover, many of our enemies are within, even citizens of our country (such as France and England especially) Our freedom and openness make us vulnerable. So does our compassionate nature. Look at what the Europeans are doing: letting in thousands of refugees from Syria and other Islamic countries. Once those refugees get settled, sleeper cells will be established and they will carry out terrorist attacks. But the west’s Judeo-Christian ethic dictates that we show compassion and help these refugees, many of them fleeing for their lives.

We hear talk of “the war on terrorism” but are we really fighting against those who seek to dominate us? Have we become so complacent that we no longer have the will to fight, and will we, like ancient Rome, fall to the barbarians at our door?

Not only should we do what I wrote above, but most importantly we must turn back to the God who has blessed us as a nation. The jihadists are fighting us in the name of their god, so shouldn’t we seek the help of our God? If we don’t return to the faith of our fathers, then I don’t know what will become of us. One thing I do know, and that is, it won’t be pretty.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. Revelation 16:16 (NIV)

There’s always been an interest in the End Times, especially when there are movies and popular books available that contain fictionalized portrayals of those events. Just like we want to know how we got here, we also have a desire to know how it all will end. I remember back in the 1970s and 1980s that whenever there was trouble in the Middle East, people would say, “Armageddon.” It was sort of a knee-jerk reaction.

Today, I’m beginning to think that Armageddon may not be too far in the future. Obviously a number of things must happen first according to the Book of Revelation and other apocryphal books of the Bible. Nevertheless, with Russia now involved militarily in Syria, and ISIS a factor, an Armageddon-like battle doesn’t seem so remote any more. We could see the End Times play out in our lifetime. Are you prepared?

My advice is to grow closer to God by weekly worship, daily prayer, reading your Bible and maybe even attending a Bible study. If you are interested in the End Times, get a book on the subject by a reputable Christian author. Those who have a personal relationship with God have nothing to fear from the End Times. Indeed the End Times will usher in a whole new era, with a new heaven and a new earth. I’m looking forward to it. Are you? Read this description from the Book of Revelation:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:1-4 (NRSV)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Head for the Hills!

There are people who plan for catastrophes by keeping stocks of food and water. They are called survivalists, because they plan to survive any disaster that may result in disruption of the supply chain. There are any number of possible disasters of that nature, such as trucker strikes, massive crop failures, widespread power outages, communications systems shut down, oil shortages, and a host of other calamities. These can be man-made (such as strikes) or natural (such as solar flares disrupting communications and frying electronics over a wide area).

These risks have been with us for a long time, but there’s a new risk which is difficult to defend against. I’m talking about a cyberattack. As I understand it, the technology exists to disrupt electronic communications, bring down the power grid, and shut down much of the electronic activity of a country. When Russia attacked Georgia a few years back, they shut down Georgia’s electronic communications in a cyberattack.

I’m not an alarmist, but I think these are real threats. I’m especially worried about North Korea and ISIS. The leadership of North Korea is unstable, and ISIS consists of fanatics. Moreover ISIS is well-funded and is sophisticated when it comes to communications. From what the experts say, the U.S. is woefully unprepared to weather a cyberattack. The world is a dangerous place, with technology allowing countries or movements to do all kinds of damage that was unheard of just a few years ago.

So what can we do? We can and should pray for our country to be protected from such devastating attacks. Rather than turning our backs on God we should be seeking his protection and drawing closer to him. We should also stock up on non-perishable foods like MREs, freeze dried foods, and canned goods. Rotate your stock because these items only last for a limited time (MREs last about 5 years).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Greed is not good

In the 1987 movie “Wall Street” Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, says in a speech, “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good.” He goes on to say how greed is a key motivator in business and in life.

Sorry Gordon, greed is not good. The word “greed” implies excessive desire for money, and often the motivation to accumulate wealth by less than honest means. It implies you gain at the expense of others.

Greed has been with us since the beginning of time. When it’s mentioned in the Bible, it is usually among a list of sinful behaviors. For example, Jesus says in Mark 7:21-23:
“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” (NIV)

Jesus suggests we get our priorities straight in Luke 12:15:
Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (NIV)

We are seeing greed today with the increasing gap between the income of management and the income of the workers. The workers are facing increasing costs of benefits (if they even get any) with minimal (if any) increases in their income. Meanwhile, CEOs and other top management get huge bonuses (in addition to obscene salaries and perks) for saving the company money. Such a growing disparity between “rich and poor” is dangerous, meaning it could result in social unrest. Just as bad treatment of the workers led to the union movement over a century ago, there could be some sort of movement resulting from today’s situation.

I just read an article that stated that companies aren’t doing all they could to prevent data from being stolen by hackers. Why? It costs companies less to clean up after a hack than to invest in better systems and encryption. They don’t care that the costs to the public – economic and emotional – is large and somewhat preventable. Companies are too focused on the bottom line and not being responsible citizens.

Another big area where greed is at work is in the pharmaceutical industry. Recently the drug companies have been raising prices on many medicines, including ones that have been around for a while, with no apparent justification. Even the generic drug manufacturers are raising their prices. These are no small increases, but very large ones.

Cost of manufacturing hasn’t grown, so why are these companies raising prices? What is motivating them is nothing more than greed as far as I can tell. What’s infuriating is that these huge increases impact the elderly and those with chronic conditions, the most vulnerable in society. So what happens to these people as a result of the pharmaceutical industry’s greed? They do without drugs they need, the skip doses, they don’t have a good quality of life because they can’t afford decent food, housing, or entertainment.

What’s going to happen as a result of these price increases? Eventually people are going to rebel and Congress will have to act. The result might be price controls or some other government plan to bring prices more in line with reality. I would hate to see this happen, because government interference could stifle research. But what’s the alternative?

If the pharmaceutical executives are smart (which is questionable), they’ll roll back prices to more reasonable levels before the government makes them do it. These ridiculously high prices, even by generic manufacturers, are immoral, unethical, and socially unacceptable. Things must change to make them accountable for their pricing and less greedy.

This goes for other industries, governmental agencies, and quasi-governmental agencies. I’m thinking of the MTA and the Port Authority of NY & NJ (which controls the bridges and tunnels in NYC) I’m thinking of colleges and universities, whose cost increases are beyond obscene. If we want to avoid a marketplace that is loaded with governmental controls, industries had better reduce prices and look out for the benefit of their employees and their customers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trump’s Appeal

With 16 reasonably qualified candidates vying for the Republican nomination, why is Donald Trump leading in the polls? What is his appeal? What’s going on here?

I think that the American public is absolutely positively fed up with the politicians in Washington. They have accomplished very little and are more interested in partisan politics than conducting the people’s business. The political system is broken and needs to be fixed. Trump, with all his rhetoric and bluster, claims he’s going to fix the mess. Will he?

Some of what he’s been saying resonates with people. However, demagogues like Trump can be dangerous. Germany was in bad shape in the 1920s and early 1930s. There was hyperinflation and all kinds of other problems. The Nazi party promised better times ahead if they were elected. In desperation, the electorate gave the Nazi party enough seats in Parliament so that Hitler was made Chancellor.

We all know what happened, and I don’t think anything like that would happen here – but you never know! We don’t want to elect someone who’s all bluster and no action. On the other hand, we don’t want the same old, tired, and ineffective politicians. Something has to be done to fix our political system, but I don’t think Trump is the answer. So what is the answer?

I think the answer is, throw the bums out! Why reward is ineffective politicians with two or six more years in power? It’s like rewarding bad behavior with a child. If we turn over Congress enough times hopefully they’ll get the message. We are critical time in our history, with multiple threats from within and without. We need strong leadership bipartisan cooperation, or we might end up going the way of the Roman Empire. The barbarians are the door!

Donald Trump will end up being a sideshow in this election and will eventually fade away. As it gets closer to the primaries and eventually the election in next November, people will get serious about whom they vote for. I pray we get true leadership, both with the new president and a mostly new Congress.

I also suggest that we all pray for our country, especially its leaders at all levels of government. Prayer is especially important as we drift away from our Judeo Christian tradition and our culture becomes more and more trashy.

God bless America!