Saturday, April 3, 2010

Today hell groans and cries aloud

...On Holy Saturday morning, hell is again a subject in the hymnography, and this time is personified and speaks.
Today hell groans and cries aloud: "It had been better for me, had I not accepted Mary's Son, for He has come to me and destroyed my power; He has shattered the gates of brass, and as God He has raised up the souls that once I held."
Today hell groans and cries aloud: "My dominion has been swallowed up; the Shepherd has been crucified and he has raised Adam. I am deprived of those whom once I ruled; in my strength I devoured them, but now I have cast them forth. He who was crucified has emptied the tombs; the power of death has no more strength." Glory to Thy Cross, O Lord, and to the Resurrection.
This "hell"  is the "sheol" in the Old Testament, or "hades," the place of the dead, not the final hell of the last judgement.
Glory is given, in the last line, to both Cross and Resurrection, and one might add the smashing of the gates of death. There is a Gospel reference, also to the phrase above "emptied the tombs"--Matthew 27:52--"the tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised."
Sermons that simply assert vague notions about life after death, how the soul lives on in some fashion, and do not preach what the Scriptures teach, are not delivering to their hearers much more than beliefs in immortality you might find in various cultures at various times. The Gospel is earthshaking news, not philosophy about eternal values and hope and springtime. The Resurrection is the ending of a cosmic battle. Or just the beginning. Accept nothing less than that Good News. (read the whole thing here)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Truth About the Health Care Bill- From the Left's View

Some myth busting from the Left, courtesy of FDL:

 The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.
A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.
5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it.
A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:

  • 21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children
  • 18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it
6. This bill provide health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured.

This bill will mandate that millions of people who are currently uninsured must purchase insurance from private companies, or the IRS will collect up to 2% of their annual income in penalties. Some will be assisted with government subsidies.
7. You can keep the insurance you have if you like it.
The excise tax will result in employers switching to plans with higher co-pays and fewer covered services.
Older, less healthy employees with employer-based health care will be forced to pay much more in out-of-pocket expenses than they do now.


The Fear of Honest Accounting

Washington Examiner: ... Democratic leaders in Congress have used every government accounting and budget gimmick at their disposal to deceive Americans for the last year about the true costs of Obamacare. These Washington politicians have no business lecturing CEOs on honesty in accounting. ...On Capitol Hill and in the White House on Monday, Democrats were fuming over a series of announcements that started Friday from Fortune 500 firms saying their bottom lines will take huge negative hits because of changes in tax law mandated by Obamacare. That hit in turn means lower profit projections. Caterpillar estimates, for example, that Obamacare will cost it $100 million; John Deere faces expenses of $150 million; 3M, $90 million; AK Steel, $31 million; Valero, $20 million. And then there's AT&T, which is marking its balance sheet down by a whopping $1 billion. All in all, the Wall Street Journal estimated a $14 billion haircut for these corporations.

Under post-Enron accounting rules, the corporations were required to revise their projections to account for the effect of Obamacare on their bottom lines. The effect is negative because Democrats, in their zeal to raise revenues and improve Obamacare's claimed effect on the federal deficit outlook, took away a tax break these companies needed in order to supply prescription drugs to their retirees.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Political Folly

From the Newsweek Blog no less...

...In Gallup's new poll, Americans by narrow margins agree that the new health-care law will improve coverage (44–40 percent) and the "overall health of Americans" (40–35 percent). In a way, it's astonishing that sizable minorities could disagree with those two statements, since everyone agrees the law will provide medical coverage to 32 million more Americans.

But that's where support, however ambivalent, ends. Americans think the law will harm the U.S. economy (44–34 percent), the overall quality of health care in the U.S. (55–29 percent), and the federal balance sheet (61–23 percent).

It's almost as bad when you ask voters how the law will affect them personally. There is lots of doubt and some considerable belief (or hope) that the new law won't affect them at all. But respondents who said the measure would affect them generally fear what that change would be. They think the measure would adversely affect "the health-care coverage you and your family receive" (34–24 percent); "the quality of health care you and your family receive" (35–21 percent); and the "costs you and your family pay for health care: (50–21 percent).... (more)

Iran Nuclear Scientist Defects to U.S. In CIA 'Intelligence Coup'

From ABC Blotter
"The significance of the coup will depend on how much the scientist knew in the compartmentalized Iranian nuclear program," said former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant. "Just taking one scientist out of the program will not really disrupt it." (more)

Still, its a start and a definite plus.