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Interesting that nobody was fired, but then this is the new norm I suppose!
The Huffington Post says, “shockingly.” I am in no way shocked. I doubt many of our readers are either. If one works for the government, even if one is charged with enforcing drug laws and one is caught using drugs, the chances of being fired are slim. Very slim. More people should know about the completely ridiculous level of “job security” federal employees enjoy. Remember, you pay for them. (Which is why accountability is in such short supply. After all, you are only the taxpayer.)
(From The Huffington Post)
USA Today reporters Brad Heath and Meghan Hoyer found that, from 2010 through 2015, DEA employees have avoided getting fired despite serious violations of agency policy, including distribution of drugs, falsifying official records and having an “improper association with a criminal element.” And in the few cases in which administrators did recommend termination, the DEA’s Board of Professional Conduct often reduced sanctions to suspensions or lower forms of discipline and even required the agency to rehire problem employees…
…Indeed, a closer look at the internal log turns up numerous examples of disturbing behavior being punished with suspensions of a few days, at most. From 2010 through 2015, HuffPost found 62 instances of an employee losing or stealing a firearm; more than 30 violations for driving while intoxicated, including four while driving a government-owned vehicle and one that involved a hit-and-run; two occasions in which employees deprived individuals of their civil rights; nine instances of employees losing or stealing drug evidence; 10 cases in which agents lost or stole a defendant’s property; four violations for committing fraud against the government, two of which were punished by a letter of caution; and two more general violations of DEA policy on drug use. The DEA didn’t fire anyone as a direct result of these actions.
The DEA has faced intense scrutiny for its handling of discipline in the wake of a string of high-profile scandals at the agency. The criticism came to a head earlier this year with the revelation that agents stationed abroad attended cartel-funded sex parties involving prostitutes.
Our Religious Documents are being removed just like our Religious Freedoms are being taken away!!
Construction crews needed special lighting as they removed a Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma capitol grounds in the dark of night Monday.
Oklahoma Ten Commandments removal
“We wanted it to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and doing it at night gave us the best opportunity to do that,” Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus tells KOCO. “The Highway Patrol was also very concerned that having it in the middle of the day could lead to having demonstrations of some kind.”
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the privately-financed monument removed after ruling in June “that the monument’s display violated a constitutional prohibition on the use of public property to support a ‘system of religion,'” News 9 reports.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin had previously defied the Supreme Court’s order, saying she would keep the monument in place while an appeal was heard.
“The Ten Commandments monument was built to recognize and honor the historical significance of the Commandments in our state’s and nation’s systems of laws,” Fallin said at the time.
“The monument was built and maintained with private dollars. It is virtually identical to a monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol which the United States Supreme Court ruled to be permissible. It is a privately funded tribute to historical events, not a taxpayer funded endorsement of any religion, as some have alleged.”
In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court sided with the ACLU and its three plaintiffs. The group immediately denounced Fallin’s decision.
“The Supreme Court did not give any leeway in their opinion. The bipartisan, seven-member majority did not say remove the monument except if you look into your crystal ball and think the law might allow it at some point in the future and go ahead and keep it,” ACLU of Oklahoma executive director Ryan Kiesel told the Tulsa World. “The court said remove the monument.”
Kiesel believed Fallin was in “contempt” of the court’s ruling.
“Frankly, I would be astonished if we get to a point where the governor outright defies an order of our state’s highest court,” he said. “That said, if she does, there is a word for it. It is called contempt.”
The monument is being relocated to the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs’ offices.
The activity of God in the world today is twofold. First, there is His saving activity-"Surely His salvation is at hand for those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land." God is saving men and women all over the world, even though it may seem like a trickle in the great riverbed of human need. But, if revival were to visit us, the tens would become hundreds, and the hundreds thousands, and the thousands, millions.
The activity of God in the world today is twofold. First, there is His saving activity-"Surely His salvation is at hand for those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land." God is saving men and women all over the world, even though it may seem like a trickle in the great riverbed of human need. But, if revival were to visit us, the tens would become hundreds, and the hundreds thousands, and the thousands, millions. You have only to read the story of the great movements of the Spirit over one hundred years ago in Great Britain and the United States to see what God did in a matter of months. Oh, for another such visitation!
Secondly, there is God’s sanctifying activity. This is demonstrated in personal life-- "Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other." What a delightful portrayal of a sanctified life! Those glorious qualities were gathered up in the nature and personality of our Lord Jesus. When by His Spirit He dwells in us in revival fullness all flesh can see the glory of God.
Revival - Pastor Robert K. Teske
Tomorrow - Part 4O: The Why of Revival
When we come before God, we must remember two simple facts—who He is and who we are. We must remember that we’re talking to the King, the Sovereign One, the Creator, but we are only creatures. If we will keep those facts in mind, we will pray politely. We will say, “By Your leave,” “As You wish,” “If You please,” and so on. That’s the way we go before God.
When we come before God, we must remember two simple facts—who He is and who we are. We must remember that we’re talking to the King, the Sovereign One, the Creator, but we are only creatures. If we will keep those facts in mind, we will pray politely. We will say, “By Your leave,” “As You wish,” “If You please,” and so on. That’s the way we go before God. To say that it is a manifestation of unbelief or a weakness of faith to say to God “if it be Your will” is to slander the very Lord of the Lord’s Prayer.
It was Jesus, after all, who, in His moment of greatest passion, prayed regarding the will of God. In his Gospel, Luke tells us that immediately following the Last Supper:
Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:39–44)
It is important to see what Jesus prays here. He says, “Not My will, but Yours, be done.” Jesus was not saying, “I don’t want to be obedient” or “I refuse to submit.”
Jesus was saying: “Father, if there’s any other way, all things being equal, I would rather not have to do it this way. What You have set before Me is more ghastly than I can contemplate. I’m entering into My grand passion and I’m terrified, but if this is what You want, this is what I’ll do. Not My will, but Your will, be done, because My will is to do Your will.”
I also want you to notice what happened after Jesus prayed. Luke tells us that an angel came to Him and strengthened Him. The angel was the messenger of God. He came from heaven with the Father’s answer to Jesus’ prayer. That answer was this: “You must drink the cup.”
This is what it means to pray that the will of God would be done. It is the highest expression of faith to submit to the sovereignty of God. The real prayer of faith is the prayer that trusts God no matter whether the answer is yes or no. It takes no faith to “claim,” like a robber, something that is not ours to claim. We are to come to God and tell Him what we want, but we must trust Him to give the answer that is best for us. That is what Jesus did.
Because Luke tells us that the Father sent an angel to strengthen His Son, I would expect Jesus’ agony of soul to have been alleviated. It appears, however, that with the coming of the strength from the angel came an increase in the agony of Christ, an increase so profound that He began to sweat so profusely that it was “like great drops of blood.” In a sermon on Luke 22:44, Jonathan Edwards said that this increase in Jesus’ agony was due to a full realization of the will of God for Him in His passion. He had come to the garden with the fear that He would have to drink the cup. Once He knew it was indeed God’s will that He drink it, He had a new fear—that He would not be able to do it. In other words, Jesus now was in agony that He not come short of complete and perfect obedience to the will of God.
But He did it. He drank the cup to the last drop. And in that moment, Jesus didn’t give us words to show us how to pray; He gave us His life as an example of praying that the will of God would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Then she [Naomi] said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you [Ruth] know how the matter will turn out; for the man [Boaz] will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”
When You Rest, God Works
Boaz wanted to redeem Ruth from all her financial woes and marry her. However, according to the custom of the day, he could do so only after a relative closer to Ruth gave up his right to redeem Ruth. So Boaz went to the gate of Bethlehem to settle the matter with this relative.
When Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, heard what had transpired, she told Ruth to sit still and not be anxious, because Boaz would not rest until he had successfully resolved the matter concerning Ruth that very day. Now, because Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our kinsman Redeemer, the truth here is that when we “sit still” and not be anxious, Jesus goes to work on our behalf!
Beloved, what provision challenge are you facing today? A troubling bodily symptom? The fear of losing your job? Commit the matter to your heavenly Boaz, Jesus, and rest in His ability, His willingness and His favor. When you rest in Him, He will not rest until He has successfully resolved the matter for you!
Do you still watch the news? I don't!!
In his book Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power, the German Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper wrote the following: “That the existential realm of man could be taken over by pseudorealities whose fictitious nature threatens to become indiscernible is truly a depressing thought. And yet, the Platonic nightmare, I hold, possesses an alarming contemporary relevance. For the general public is being reduced to a state where people are not only unable to find out about the truth but also become unable even to search for the truth because they are satisfied with deception and trickery that have determined their convictions, satisfied with a fictitious reality created by design through the abuse of language.”
Pieper was describing a world in which reality has given way to narratives as societies can no longer discern the difference between what is real and what is fake. Non-stop distractions are deliberately used by those in power as instruments of policy for the purpose of preventing people from paying attention to reality. Propaganda is used by those in power to manipulate language, thought, and opinion in a way that causes the progression from thought to action artificially. When the public is reduced to a state where people no longer care about the truth and are unaware of what that truth even is, propaganda takes hold and shows them what to do. The world Pieper was describing is the world that we live in today as more and more Americans are subjected to a bombardment of propaganda that is based on the ever changing news cycle that predominates our lives.
The danger of this kind of constant propaganda is explained by Jacques Ellul in Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. Ellul writes:
“To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; he is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness-of himself, of his condition, of his society-for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate anyone point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events…Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude”
One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under the conditions in which we find ourselves living crisis to crisis, there can be no thought as the steady stream of propaganda is fed to us in the form of “news” that never strays from a certain narrative. The events that unfolded last week surrounding the shooting at Umpqua Community College (UCC) in Roseburg, Oregon that resulted in the deaths of nine students serves as the latest example of how propaganda is used by both the media and the current administration in order to further an agenda that is not rooted in reality.
With the bodies of the victims still warm, the nation still in shock, and the shooter as well as the motive yet to be reported, President Obama took to the national airwaves in a prepared statement to vilify and attack the American people for their supposed responsibility in not supporting more “common sense” gun control laws that would not have prevented this shooting. Obama began by stating that, “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America — next week, or a couple of months from now. Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this.”
The President continued:
“And what’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: We need more guns, they’ll argue. Fewer gun safety laws. Does anybody really believe that? There are scores of responsible gun owners in this country –they know that’s not true. We know because of the polling that says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws — including the majority of responsible, law-abiding gun owners…So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer? We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.”
By stating that one cannot “make the argument that more guns will make us safer” while claiming that “states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths,” the President deliberately lied while also taking the focus and the blame off of the individual who perpetrated the crime and onto the gun and society itself. The President made no mention to the fact that the shooting occurred once again on a gun-free zone as he deceitfully claimed that states with the most gun laws have the fewest gun deaths. If we look at the actual facts “borne out by the evidence,” it isn’t hard to refute Obama’s claim.
For example, in 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. The law banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.“Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”
In reality though, the law that was touted as being “common sense” was a disaster for law-abiding gun owners as it didn’t address the criminals and since its passage in 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse. For example in 2011 there were 122 murders committed with firearms as opposed to 65 in 1998. Furthermore, robbery with firearms climbed 20 percent as did aggravated assaults by 27 percent since the law was first enacted. Relative to the rest of the country, Massachusetts has become a more dangerous state and according to the data released by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the murder rate has increased by 33 percent since the law was passed. This example of “common sense” gun control reflects the reality of a law that not only fails to address the problem, but in fact exacerbates the problem. The law was so tough on law abiding citizens and their ability to obtain a firearm that it effectively rendered them defenseless in the face of criminals who used the law to their advantage.
Yet, none of this matters in the face of a President who is hell bent on politicizing a tragedy aided by a media that regurgitates his propaganda. Daniel Greenfield of FPM, highlighted this as he observed Obama during his “news” conference on Thursday openly inform the media what propaganda he expected them to print.
“This is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. I would ask news organizations to tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports. This won’t be information coming from me; it will be coming from you.”
Except that it is coming from “me.” Greenfield notes, “the media here got in their human centipede positions and started running the propaganda they were told to run.” To confirm Greenfield’s assertion, look at the following headlines from “news” outlets such as NBC, CNN, and the New York Times immediately following Obama’s Thursday press conference. From NBC the headline reads Number of Americans Killed by Gun Violence Vs. Terrorism Shows Stark Contrast while at CNN, American deaths in terrorism vs. gun violence in one graph and finally at the New York Times, Terrorism vs. Gun Violence. “This is real progress,” writes Greenfield concluding “any day now the media will stop pretending that it’s a news organization and just print straight White House press releases.”
Yet, this wasn’t enough for Obama as he doubled down in his press conference on Friday declaring that “the main thing I’m going to do is talk about this on a regular basis, and I will politicize it because our inaction is a political decision that we are making.” The President then took it a step further by mocking gun rights advocates as “absolutists” and declared they “think that any gun safety measures are somehow an assault on freedom or communistic or a plot by me.”
Obama stated the following:
“If we’re going to do something the politics has to change. And the people who are troubled by this have to be as intense and as organized and as adamant about this issue as folks on the other side who are absolutists and think that any gun safety measures are somehow an assault on freedom or communistic or a plot by me to, you know, take over. And stay in power for ever or something. I mean, there are all kinds of crack pot conspiracy theories that float around there. Some of which by the way are ratified by elected officials in the other party on occasion. So we’ve got to change the politics of this.”
In order to “change the politics of this” the media has launched a full fledged propaganda campaign against those they consider “absolutists” and “crack pot conspiracy theorists.” Therefore, Obama took aim at the National Rifle Association (NRA) for being the organization that he believes is full of “crack pot conspiracy theorists” during Thursday’s press conference as he urged gun owners to “think about” whether their “views are properly represented by the organization that suggests it’s speaking for you.” On Saturday, Linda Stasi of the New York Daily News called on the State Department to list the “gun loving NRA as a terrorist organization.” Stasi writes, “One terrorist group is responsible for more civilian deaths since December 2012 (the Sandy Hook massacre) than Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas and the Taliban. Yet it is the only nearly-state sponsored terrorist group that is not listed by the U.S. State Department as such. It is the National Rifle Association and for their unending lobbying that’s kept a lid on gun control we now have 428 times more American deaths by gun than deaths by foreign terrorists.”
Stasi’s article is the epitome of propaganda as it combines both a comparison to terrorism, which Obama called for on Thursday, while also going after Obama’s “absolutists” in the NRA, which he called for on Friday. While Stasi’s article will be overlooked as just “nonsense”, it shouldn’t be because it’s a perfect example of how this adminstration uses their own talking points to exploit a horrific event in order to push an agenda based upon the media’s willingness to regurgitate pure propaganda. To truly understand how upside down reality has become in America under this adminstration and their control of our media, read the following statement by a foreign newspaper in wake of the aftermath surrounding the Charleston church shooting that left nine dead earlier this year.
“In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, a familiar, shameful charade of exploitation unfolded yet again, seeking to reassert the ‘gun control’ agenda amid both national public opinion and across America’s legislative bodies. A mad rush has ensued to exploit anger, sorrow, and fear to once again attempt to snatch from responsible Americans their right to bear arms based on the criminal actions of a single individual.”
The paper then goes on to note:
“574 people have been killed in mass shootings for the last 30 years. However, 10,076 citizens are reported killed by drunk drivers each year. That is about 20 times more people killed in a single year due to drunk driving than in the past 30 years due to mass shootings. Mass media argues that gun ownership is increasingly unpopular, the primary cause of higher levels of violence than other industrialized nations, and that mass shootings are a major problem. Yet, when placed alongside other senseless causes of death, mass shootings while clearly better at grabbing headlines, are also clearly not the greatest challenge.”
Finally the article concludes:
“The inconvenient reality regarding the true nature of violence and its relationship with guns is entirely sidestepped by the gun control agenda, primarily because the gun control agenda is about disarming the American public thus removing an obstacle toward totalitarianism, not to preserve innocent lives.”
If you find yourself nodding with approval to those statements it should alarm you because the paper in which I quoted was none other than Pravda.
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