Jan 28, 2011

Debt,Usury,Surety? Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be!

Common Sense Commentary:
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be". Shakespeare said it but undoubtedly paraphrased the Bible verse spoken first by a much wiser man, King Solomon. "The rich ruleth over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender." Prov.22:7. Another wise man, author Norman Franz wrote, "Gold is the money of Kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants, but DEBT is the money of slaves". I'm afraid that too often, the rich have made their riches on the backs of modern day slaves ... in the form of debt plus usury interest. Sometimes the desperate poor agree to pay exorbitant interest (usury) to survive or to pay older debts, only to become slaves to the lender. Excess debt, like a chain of steel, holds many a person captive. Usually it is their own addictive spending behaviour, but not always. There are more old alcoholics, smokers, drug addicts, prostitutes and spendthrifts who brought p0verty upon themselves, than there are "innocent" poor who did not. In many countries, including ours, the government is at least partly at fault. Our government is the most spendthrift nation on earth and our leaders are becoming tyrannically Socialistic. Thomas Jefferson said, "I have sworn UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the minds of men". If he were alive today, he would be in prison. History shows him to be especially concerned with unreasonably restrictive Government, Political Correctness (new word- old problem), financial and tax "tyranny".

I. What is debt ? Debt can be breaking someone else's tool (we must pay for it), promising God or a person we will do something (we must fulfil that promise), or borrowing money. We must repay that debt with interest as the agreement or contract prescribes. A young man asked me one time, "Preacher, if I signed an agreement to repay a loan, but didn't actually promise, do I have to repay it ?" I have to wonder who raised such people or if they are aliens from another planet. Whether it's a signed agreement, my given word, a promise, or just the right thing to do, it's all the same in God's economy. See Ecc.5:4-5. Legitimate debts are a matter of sacred honor. Elisha even told a poor widow, "pay your debt" . He then gave her the resources to pay it and enough to live on as well. 2K.4:7. Debt causes more divorces that philandering.

II. What is usury ? Usury, according to Webster is, "Excessive interest". In my opinion, Credit Card companies charging more than 10% are guilty of usury. Many charge 18% or more. Credit Cards are a borrower's BLACK HOLE which sucks in every meteor, star, light and everything else, never to be seen again. Some credit card addicts have a whole deck of cards, maxed out, buying unneeded junk and useless "stuff". Companies that keep badgering young , just out of High School, children to take a credit card, deserve to lose their money but young people also need to learn the pit falls of debt and to pay what they owe, which they surely will with their first credit card. If you take the card, the terms are sent with it, you are responsible to read the fine print. The good thing is, that young people who get burned bad enough, and have to repay their folly, have learned an important lesson .... we hope. Yes, I know, those who get themselves in that bind are either very naive, very desperate or very dumb, but when a large "percentage" of a population wake up head over heels in impossible debt, even when it's their fault, can become volatile and even violent to the point of Civil Unrest and even Civil War. It was debt that drove Wiemar Germany to print currency until it was worth nothing and caused a tsunami of inflation which drove them into the arms of Hitler's Nazi, Socialist Party. Debt was also a factor in arousing the stress and dissension among a faction of Jews who came together in a rebellion against King Saul and caused Civil Unrest. "And every one that was in distress, and ...in DEBT ... and discontented, gathered themselves together ...." 1Sam.22:2. Civil War would have broken out except for David's leadership. Similarly, when Nehemiah saw the ruling class charging the poor people of Israel excessive interest (usury), he said, "I consulted myself, and rebuked the nobles, and the rulers and said unto them, Ye exact usury ... and I set a great assembly against them"! Neih.5:7. That is what we, in America, need ....a Nehemiah who will "consult with himself" and take action.Working Americans pay several hundred different types of taxes plus income taxes, inflation taxes and high interest on Credit Cards as well. See my blog on "Inflation: The Most Misunderstood Government Tax". We Must have leaders like Nehemiah who will "Rebuke them" and "Set a great assembly against them".... an assembly of conservative, voting patriots against these nobles, rulers and tyrants. These Liberal Socialist Tyrants think it can't happen in America; so they continue on down the same "deficit spending" track Wiemar Germany and Atheist Socialism (Communism) traveled to the end of the track, crashed and burned.

Concerning Debt, the ideal is, "Owe no man anything but to love one another." Rom.13:8.

III.What is Surety ? Again, Webster says it is "to make sure" or "to guarantee"... "One who has become legally liable for a debt, default or failure". In other words, to sign someone else's loan note. As a young pastor, I felt obligated to lend money to anyone who asked and to sign the bank notes of any family, friend or church member. It didn't take long to realize it was a mistake .... but it took considerably longer to pay off all those notes. Well, all but one. I had a wife and six children to care for and was getting deeply in debt. That all stopped when I read Prov.6:1 "My son, if thou be SURETY for thy friend , thou hast (shook hands with) a stranger. Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou are taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this
NOW, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a (deer) from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler." To paraphrase, If you co-sign a friend's loan, he won't be a friend long but a "stranger". He won't know you next month. Your words "sure I'll sign it", have caught your foot in a bear trap. So stop "NOW" and extricate yourself from financial ruin. Go weeping to your friend and beg him or her to forgive you for being an innocent idiot and to let you off the hook, free from the chains of debt slavery. Don't sleep a wink until you have ESCAPED THIS PAUPERS PRISON. You are only a little, fawn deer in his headlights .... run for your life ... he is the enemy.

My policy is, If you can afford it, give him $100 or $200 but never, ever sign any one's loan note unless you intend to pay it off yourself .... because you most likely will. "A man void of understanding shakes hands, and becomes SURETY in the presence of his friend." Prov.17:18. Take it for what it's worth.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 26, 2011

Tango Mike Mike...Mexican Medic...True U.S. Hero

Common Sense Commentary:
As most of you know, I am a Marine, Korean War Vet, flag waving, salute all members of our military, Conservative, Constitutionalist, Bible believing, eithty year old, American Patriot with an attitude. Again,today, I am sending you a true story of an American War Hero. Here is one of the most courageous human beings I have ever heard of. I'm also a strong proponent of closing our borders to illegals.... but I really don't care how this guy got here, he is a true "American" Mexican Hero. I would trade a lot of Grengos for this Mexican. I dare you to see and hear his "Medal Of Honor" story.RB

Click on this link or copy and paste it.


Pass it on. RB

An Article About The World's Oldest Money

Common Sense Commentary: This is not my work but that of Weiss Research. I have, however, studied the subject matter for the past ten years and felt my friends should have the opportunity to read this article.RB

It is the "The LOVE of money" which is "the root of all evil" 1 Tim.6:10

13 Reasons Why Gold Still Has Further to Go
by Claus Vogt

Dear Rayburn,

Financial history teaches that market prices are not just subject to cyclical fluctuations — mainly following the business cycle. They are also liable to much longer lasting secular trends, often spanning 15 years, 20 years or longer. These secular cycles are visible in stocks, commodities, bonds and precious metals.

Take gold as an example ...

Gold experienced a secular bull market starting in the late 1960s and culminating in a spectacular high in 1980. What followed was a severe secular bear market lasting roughly 20 years. Then, around the turn of the millennium, another secular bull market got going.

I believe gold's current secular bull market probably has much further to go. And since bull market corrections are buying opportunities you should use them as such.

That might sound easier than it is to do. Buying into nerve wrenching corrections can be a tough pill to swallow. But it's much easier if you have some strong arguments at hand.

Let me give you 13 of them:

Reason #1
A Global Debt Crisis
Has Broken Out

No matter where you look — Europe, Japan, or the U.S. — the same dire picture shows up: Mountains of government debt plus larger mountains of unfunded liabilities. Many of the modern welfare state's promises will be broken sooner or later. The easiest way to kick this can down the road is by printing money.

The second option is outright default ...

In that case government bondholders would have to bear the losses. This is a much more honest and evenhanded way of dealing with the inevitable, because those who have willingly taken the risk of lending money to over-indebted governments and have received interest payments as long as the going was good should bear the losses if things turn sour. Unfortunately our political elite seem set on averting this outcome at any cost.

Reason #2
The Quest for a Weak Currency
Has Become Respectable

Not too long ago most economists and even everyday people knew that economic development and the creation of wealth went hand-in-hand with a strong and strengthening currency.

This knowledge seems to be lost. A global currency war has started; sabotaging thy neighbor's policies via currency depreciation is common.

Gold is insurance against this loss of relative wealth on an international scale.

Reason #3
Derivatives Are Hanging Like a "Sword
of Damocles" over the Financial System

Derivatives have grown exponentially during the past 20 years. They have yet to withstand a real stress test. The panic after hedge fund LTCM went bust in 1998 or the case of AIG may be harbingers of what to expect.

Reason #4
U.S. Fed Chairman Bernanke
Is a Stated Inflationist

Fed chairman Bernanke has no qualms in keeping the printing presses rolling 24/7.

Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke's predecessor as Fed chairman, tried to cultivate an image of being a sound money advocate. Covertly he did the exact opposite!

Not so Mr. Bernanke ...

From the beginning of his career as a central banker he has openly declared his clear convictions as an inflationist. For him the printing press is the universal remedy of each and every economic problem as he made clear in his famous November 2002 speech: "Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn't Happen Here."
Reason #5
The Current Monetary System
Has Entered Its Endgame Phase

History shows that monetary systems are mortal. They come and they go. The current system of fiat money backed by government monopolies has been in existence since August 1971. And it's a huge economic experiment, probably the largest since communists took over Russia in 1917.

The weaknesses of this monetary system, especially the ease of government manipulation, are getting more obvious by the day.

Reason #6
Markets May Force the Return
to a Sound Monetary System

When confidence in a monetary system is lost, it is very difficult to regain it. A disappointed and deceived population won't fall for the same political promises that were just broken. They'll insist on something reliable.

If this were to happen, gold would naturally reemerge as the basis of a new and sound monetary order. This reasoning may actually explain why gold is still in the coffers of most central banks, even the Fed's.

Reason #7
Gold Is Coming Back
as an Asset Class

Globally, gold holdings make up only 1 percent of all financial assets. Not too long ago 5 percent to 10 percent was typical for conservative investors. And most institutional investors are totally out of gold. With the above mentioned problems gaining more and more publicity gold may see a revival as an asset class.

Demand for gold in emerging markets is exploding.

Rising gold prices have also sparked interest. And the introduction of ETFs has paved the way for individual investors to easily add gold to their portfolios ... even their IRAs.

Reason #8
Growing Emerging Market Wealth
Leads to an Increase in Gold Demand

China, India, Brazil — the largest emerging economies — are booming. And it looks like a durable long-term shift to more growth and wealth has emerged. Consequently, investment and jewelry demand for gold are also growing.

Plus, China has step-by-step allowed its citizens to buy the precious metal.

Reason #9
Central Bank Bureaucrats Are
Rethinking Their Stance

Global gold supply did not match demand in the recent past. Sales by central banks filled the gap. But now, with rising gold prices, central bank bureaucrats have started to rethink their stance ...

Most have actually stopped selling. And those of emerging economies — India, South Africa, China, Russia and Argentina — have started buying relatively huge amounts.

Reason #10
Gold Mining Production Is
Stagnating at Best

Despite rising prices, gold mining supply has hardly budged during recent years. The easy to exploit mines — the huge deposits — are already in production. In short, it's getting more and more difficult to find enough new gold.

It's becoming more difficult and more expensive to mine gold.

Reason #11
Gold Mining Is Getting More
and More Expensive

It's not only getting harder to find new exploitable deposits, it's also costing more to get the metal out of the earth. The most important factors of production are becoming more expensive, especially energy, the same for manpower in emerging countries. Environmental costs are also soaring.

Plus miners have to use more expensive technology for extracting gold from difficult locations, since the easy ones, as noted above, are already in production.

Reason #12
Gold Is Still Cheap

The global money supply has increased dramatically during the past decade, especially since 2008. And if you use money supply as a reference to value gold, the precious metal is still very cheap.

For example, if M1 were taken as the basis of a new 100 percent gold standard monetary system in the U.S., gold's price would be anchored at $6,910 per ounce.

The same reasoning for Euroland gets us to €13,628 per ounce using Europe's M1 money supply.

Relative to other asset classes gold is also cheap. The Dow to gold ratio is currently at 8.3. Historically it has been as low as 1 and even lower.

Reason #13
The Current Secular Up
Trend Has More Leeway

During secular bull markets prices usually go up by a factor of at least 10 to 15.

Just think, during the last secular bull market the Dow rose from 800 in 1982 to 12,000 in 2000. Same thing for gold during the 1970s: From $35 per ounce to $850. And based on all the reasons I've given you today, gold's current bull market should achieve similar magnitude.

Of course, there will be corrections along the way — even cruel ones. To give you an example: In 1974 gold declined more than 40 percent. But since the drivers of that bull market were still valid, even that slump turned out to be a buying opportunity.

Make sure you don't miss this one!

Best wishes,


After years of studying this subject, and investing in general, I am convinced of the reality of the case made above by Money and Markets. One thing I would add. The case for silver is even more convincing. RB
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About Money and Markets

For more information and archived issues, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com

Money and Markets (MaM) is published by Weiss Research, Inc. and written by Martin D. Weiss along with Nilus Mattive, Claus Vogt, Ron Rowland, Michael Larson and Bryan Rich. To avoid conflicts of interest, Weiss Research and its staff do not hold positions in companies recommended in MaM, nor do we accept any compensation for such recommendations. The comments, graphs, forecasts, and indices published in MaM are based upon data whose accuracy is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Performance returns cited are derived from our best estimates but must be considered hypothetical in as much as we do not track the actual prices investors pay or receive. Regular contributors and staff include John Burke, Marci Campbell, Amber Dakar, Maryellen Murphy, Jennifer Newman-Amos, Adam Shafer, Julie Trudeau, Jill Umiker, Leslie Underwood and Michelle Zausnig.

This investment news is brought to you by Money and Markets. Money and Markets is a free daily investment newsletter from Martin D. Weiss and Weiss Research analysts offering the latest investing news and financial insights for the stock market, including tips and advice on investing in gold, energy and oil. Dr. Weiss is a leader in the fields of investing, interest rates, financial safety and economic forecasting. To view archives or subscribe, visit http://www.moneyandmarkets.com

The Finger Print Of God Is Upon All The Universe

Common Sense Commentary:
If every house in a city had the fingerprints of a local builder on every board, shingle, window and door, any reasonable person would assume that builder had built all those houses. If all those houses were filled with furniture,canned food, appliances and thousands of other items,also with his fingerprints alone on all of it, any reasonable person would also assume that builder owned the whole of it, and was letting younger descendants live there .... because they all had his "image and likeness"Gen.1:26 imprinted all over every one of them.RB

Here is a link to a video clearly, magnifying the presence of God's fingerprints on the entire universe. This fact cannot be honestly, effectively denied. To seek to do so is utter folly. RB


"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psm.24:1. Also read Ex.19:5, 1Chron.29:14, Psm.50:10,Deut.32:6, Eze.18:4

See also my blog , prior to this one a day or two, "The Marvelous, Miraculous, Mathematics Of God".

Pass it on. RB

True War Story... Beyond Courage To Self Sacrifice

Common Sense Commentary: Common Sense to one man is, "Don't risk your own life for anyone else" ; but for another man, Common Sense requires you to face the "risk" of dying to save a comrade from certain death. The difference in the two is the difference in cowardess and courage, love and indifference. Here is such a story ... a true story or war.

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in
the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam .

It's November 11, 1967.
LZ (landing zone) X-ray.

Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.

You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you're not getting out.

Your family is half way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again.

As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.

Then - over the machine gun noise - you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter.

You look up to see a Huey coming in. But.. It doesn't seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.

Captain Ed Freeman is coming in for you.

He's not MedEvac so it's not his job, but he heard the radio call and decided he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway.

Even after the MedEvacs were ordered not to come. He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 3 of you at a time on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the doctors and nurses and safety.

And, he kept coming back!! 13 more times!!
Until all the wounded were out. No one knew until the mission was over that the Captain had been hit 4 times in the legs and left arm.

He took 29 of you and your buddies out that day. Some would not have made it without the Captain and his Huey..

Medal of Honor Recipient, Captain Ed Freeman, United States Air Force, died August 20, 2008 at the age of 70, in Boise , Idaho

May God Bless and Rest His Soul.

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing, but we've sure seen a whole bunch about Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods and the bickering of congress over Health Reform.

Medal of Honor Recipient Captain Ed Freeman

Shame on the American media !!!

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Pass it on. RB

Jan 25, 2011

Marvelous Miraculous Mathematics of our Creator

Common Sense Commentary:
God has Numbered everything in the universe from the first seven days of Genesis, the stars of the universe, the twelve Apostles, the Beast of Revelations (666), the millions of Christians who get to heaven (Rev.7:9), the 144,000 Jews sealed through the tribulation, every soul ever born and the exact days of our lives. He named one of the books of the Bible "Numbers". "And these are the numbers .... according to the word of the LORD." 1 Chron.12:23. Here is a link to a video demonstrating the phenomenal, almost unbelievable symmetry, structural perfection and genius of numbers. RB


See also my blog, the day after this one, "The Fingerprint Of God". RB

Pass it on. RB

Jan 24, 2011

Arab Reflection Of The Apostle Paul. A Video

Common Sense Commentary: This is one of the most convincing Christian testimonies, especially for Arabs and Muslims, there has been since the Apostle Paul on the Road to Damascus.

Copy and Paste this link ....twice if necessary.


Pass it on. RB

Marine Colonal Who Escorted KIA's Back Home

Common Sense Commentary: This is the personal account of the Marine Colonial whose last command was escorting the bodies of Marines "Killed In Action" back home to their families. A MARINE STORY also common in all branches of our Military.

Subject: Burial At Sea

To those only who would or could appreciate this heart rending account of our war dead. This one of a kind, powerful description of taking these young, American war heroes home to their parents, wives children and friends steps beyond heart-break and tears into the misty unknown of total sacrifice. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. War, and the casualties of war, is Tough Duty.

Burial At Sea ....
By Lt. Col. George Goodson, USMC (Ret)
In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me from time to time as a series of vignettes. Some were significant, most were trivial.
War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there, Vietnam was my war.
Now 42 years have passed and, thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia , Laos , and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army. Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:
*The smell of Nuc Mam.
*The heat, dust, and humidity.
*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.
*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.
*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.
*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.
*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.
*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.
*My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina , Virginia , and Maryland .
It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam . Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk , rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.
A week later I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5'9", I now weighed 128 pounds -- 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.
I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant's desk and said, "Sergeant Jolly, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket."
Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, "How long were you there, Colonel?" I replied "18 months this time." Jolly breathed, “You must be a slow learner, Colonel." I smiled.
Jolly said, "Colonel, I'll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, "No, let's just go straight to his office." Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, "Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He's been in this job two years. He's packed pretty tight. I'm worried about him." I nodded.
Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major's office. "Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Officer." The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand, and said, "Good to see you again, Colonel." I responded, "Hello, Walt, how are you?" Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.
I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt's stress was palpable. Finally I said, "Walt, what's wrong?" He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, "George, you're going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I've been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months. Now I come here to bury these kids. I'm putting my letter in. I can't take it anymore." I said, "OK, Walt. If that's what you want, I'll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps."
Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.
Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.

My third or fourth day in Norfolk , I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:
*Name, rank, and serial number.
*Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.
*Date of and limited details about the Marine's death.
*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.
*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.
The boy's family lived over the border in North Carolina , about 60 miles away. I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina , I stopped at a small country store/service station/Post Office. I went in to ask directions.
Three people were in the store. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The store owner walked up and addressed them by name, "Hello, John. Good morning Mrs. Cooper."
I was stunned. My casualty's next-of-kin's name was John Cooper!
I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, "I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper of (address.)
The father looked at me -- I was in uniform -- and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.
The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes. Then I drove them home in my staff car. The store owner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.
I returned the store owner to his business. He thanked me and said, "Mister, I wouldn't have your job for a million dollars." I shook his hand and said, "Neither would I."
I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk . Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.
My Marines steered clear of me for days. I had made my first death notification.

Weeks passed with more notifications and more funerals. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys, and how to fold the flag.
When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, "All Marines share in your grief." I had been instructed to say, "On behalf of a grateful nation..." I didn't think the nation was grateful, so I didn't say that.
Sometimes my emotions got the best of me and I couldn't speak. When that happened I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod. Once a mother said to me, "I'm so sorry you have this terrible job." My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.
Six weeks after my first notification I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother's house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenly the door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming, "NO! NO! NO! NO!"
I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen minutes later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.
The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.
One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, "You've got another one, Colonel." I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special telephone directory that translates telephone numbers into the person's address and place of employment.
The father of this casualty was a Longshoreman. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman's Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father's schedule.
The Business Manager asked, "Is it his son?" I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, "Tom is at home today." I said, "Don't call him. I'll take care of that." The Business Manager said, "Aye, Aye Sir," and then explained, "Tom and I were Marines in WWII."
I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, "Is Mr. Smith home?" She smiled pleasantly and responded, "Yes, but he's eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?" I said, "I'm sorry. It's important. I need to see him now."
She nodded, stepped back into the beach house, and said, "Tom, it's for you."
A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, "Jesus Christ, man, he's only been there three weeks!"
Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth... I never could do that... and held an imaginary phone to his ear.
Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, "Got it," and hung up. I had stopped saying "Thank you" long ago.
Jolly, "Where?"
Me, "Eastern Shore of Mary land . The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam ."
Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, "This time of day, it'll take three hours to get there and back. I'll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I'll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief's home."
He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father's door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, "Which one of my boys was it, Colonel?"
I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number, and told him to call me anytime.
He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). "I've gone through my boy's papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?" I said, "Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will."
My wife who had been listening said, "Can you do that?" I told her, "I have no idea, but I'm going to try."
I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, "General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?" General Bowser said, "George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you."
I was and the Admiral did. He said coldly, "How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel." I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, "Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?" The Chief of Staff responded with a name.
The Admiral called the ship, "Captain, you're going to do a burial at sea. You'll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed."
He hung up, looked at me, and said, "The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don't have to sic Al Bowser on my ass." I responded, "Aye Aye, Sir," and got the hell out of his office.
I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship's crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of. He said, "These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?"
All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, "Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out."
They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worse for wear, and said, "It's simple; we cut four 12" holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs. of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat."
The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a U.S. Senator, and a Navy band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12 fathom depth.
The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplin spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played "Eternal Father, Strong to Save." The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.
The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever.
The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, "General, get me out of here. I can't take this anymore." I was transferred two weeks later.
I was a good Marine but, after 17 years I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.
Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, "Well done, Colonel. Well done."
I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor!
A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to
The United States of America for an amount of up to and including their life.
That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Please Pass it on. RB

The Secret To Successful Business Is No Secret

Common Sense Commentary: Here are Ten Commandments of GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICES that lead to success in any business endeavour. I gleaned these verses, on "Business", from Old and New Testaments.

1. Be Consistent - Joseph had proven himself to be consistently productive and honorable; so Pharaoh "made Joseph overseer of his house, and all that he had". Joseph was "minding his business", but his bosses wife constantly tried to tempt Joseph to "lay with her". "Joseph went into the house to do his business.... and she caught him by his garment, saying lay with me ... and he fled and got him out." Gen.39:11-12.

2. Good Management - "Five men of valour" found the city of Laish leaderless, wasteful, careless and badly managed in Judges 18:7 " Then the five men ...came to Laish, and saw the people that were careless...and there was no magistrate ... that might put them to shame ... and they ... had NO BUSINESS ...."
I must say, this city of Lavish Laish resembles the "carelessness" and bad business practices of our country, most of our states and cities here in the USA as well as Wall Street, the Federal Reserve Bank System, almost all Politicians, and Major Corporations.

3. Be Motivated - The Apostle Paul lists good business practice with Spiritual gifts in Rom.12:5-11. He lists prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, ruling, mercy and then he includes, "Not slothful in BUSINESS."

4. Be Honest - Paul also challenged the Thessalonian Christians to use good business practices. Concerning brotherly love, he said, "Study to be quiet, and do your own business, and work with your own hands .... walk honestly toward them that are without." l Thess.4:9-12.

5. Get Organized - Nehemiah appointed everyone a job according to their talent, ability and calling. "... I appointed ... everyone in his business." Neh.13:30.

6. Multiply Business Not Talk - One of my most used, key, ministry verses (given me by my wife) over thirty six years of church and church missions building is, "... Let thy words be few. For a dream comes (true) through the multitude of BUSINESS; and a fools voice is known by multitude of WORDS." Ecc.5:3.

7. Quality Products - Never deal in inferior or faulty products or workmanship. "There are ... workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning (chakam=wise and skillful) men for every manner of work of gold, silver, brass, and iron. l Chron.22:15-16.

8. Do Due Diligence - The most successful business man in history, King Solomon said, "Seest thou a man
diligent in his business ? he shall stand before Kings ...." Prov.22:29.

9. Be Committed & Faithful - Daniel let nothing hinder his faithfulness to the KING'S BUSINESS. "Daniel
fainted, and was sick" but he "rose up, and did the King's BUSINESS ...." Dan.8:27.

10. Be Responsible & Obedient - Jesus is the perfect example of determination to fulfill His calling and commission. At the early age of twelve years, he asked his mother and Joseph if they did not understand
"... that I must be about my FATHER'S BUSINESS?" Luke 2:49.

As Gideon said, "Look on me, and do likewise". Judges 7:17

Pass it on. RB

Jan 22, 2011

Our Only HOPE Is True CHANGE In Jesus Christ

Common Sense Commentary: God's Word, the Bible, commands every true Christian to "...Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the HOPE that is in you ...." 1 Pet.3:15. You didn't ask; but here is my answer.

I. Our Only HOPE ! (1) The only real HOPE, for anyone, is true, lasting CHANGE which endures forever as revealed in Col.1:7, "CHRIST in you is the HOPE of glory". (2) "The Lord Jesus Christ IS our HOPE." 1Tim.1:1 (3) The Apostle Paul said this "HOPE in Christ" comes with joy and peace to all who believe on Christ. "Now the God of HOPE fill you with joy and peace in believing" ...." Rom.15:13.

II. True, Eternal HOPE comes ONLY through Spiritual CHANGE ! (1) "The Lord Jesus Christ .... shall CHANGE our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" ...." Phil.3:21.
(2) "Therefore if any man (human) be in Christ, he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW." 2Cor.5:17. (3) "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind ...." Rom.12:2. (4) Jesus said in John 3:3 that without this Spiritual Conversion (CHANGE) there is NO other HOPE ...."Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

III. HOPELESSNESS ! (1) Our natural, fleshly state is, without spiritual CHANGE ... HOPELESS ... "Without Christ .... aliens .... and strangers from the covenants of promise, having No HOPE, and without God in the world ...." Eph.2:12. (2) HOPELESSNESS is a choice .... "Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their OWN hearts, to dishonour their OWN bodies between themselves: Who CHANGED the truth of God into a lie .... For this cause God gave them up unto VILE AFFECTIONS: for even their women did CHANGE the NATURAL use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the NATURAL use of the woman burned in their LUST one toward another ; MEN WITH MEN working that which is unseemly .... And even as THEY did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind ...." Rom.1:24-28. It's a Choice !!!
(3) Secular, worldly promises of "HOPE" are futile and insufficient at the last judgement. "All that forget God; and the hypocrite's HOPE shall perish". Job 8:13. (4) All physical, mental or material CHANGES which YOU or I perform, without SPIRITUAL CHANGE through faith in Jesus Christ, are only temporal and will not suffice at the Great White Throne Judgement of our Creator God. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin? or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."

IV. TESTIMONY of HOPE ! King David was far from perfect and claimed no righteousness of his own. He was, like us, a sinner saved by grace and had no other HOPE except his faith in the coming Messiah Christ. He declared his faith and only hope in Psm.38:15 "In the Lord do I HOPE". David also encouraged other believers when he testified, "Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that HOPE in the Lord." Psm.31:24.

And so, with Titus, I want to "give an answer for the hope that is in me" " with his words ... I am "Looking for that blessed HOPE, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus2:13.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 21, 2011

If I Were The Devil

Common Sense Commentary:

As a pastor for thirty six years, people would often say to me things like, "Pastor, I don't understand what's happening in the world or in our country. Why is there so much division and confusion among Christians ? Why are so many ministers bringing reproach on the cause of Christ ? Why do good candidates for political office, after elected, become just like the other crooks and liars in public office ?" My answer would be something like this:

IF I were the devil, I would not "go to and fro in the earth" (Job 1:7) looking cruel and wicked. I would be smart enough to transform my appearance "as a minister of righteousness". 2 Cor.11:13-15. Only then could I lead astray the innocent, the young and the immature Christian. For these would never believe or follow an obvious, wicked monster. I would LOOK good, act holy and speak convincingly to accomplish my evil purposes. Mt.7:15

IF I were the devil, I would use the well planned and plausible sounding lie to mislead nonspiritual and immature Christians and cause confusion, discord, bitterness, jealousy, and division in homes, churches and public office. Jn.8:44

IF I were the devil, I would play upon the pride of sensitive and self-righteous Christians and cause them to sow discord and doubt in the minds of gullible church members. There are always a few folks ready and willing to believe and repeat anything bad about someone else. Prov.16:18

IF I were the devil, I would turn husbands and wives against each other with suspicion, accusations, jealousy and impatience. I would tell them to demand their rights and stand their ground regardless of what the Bible says. Eph.5:22-25

IF I were the devil I would make "evil" look desirable and "good" look unsophisticated. I would make good seem evil and evil seem good. I would tell people to "do your own thing", "do what comes naturally", "sow your wild oats", and "let it all hang out", "Just be yourself", "if it feels good do it" .... and I would do it all in the name of "Your Rights" and "It's only natural". Isa.5:20

IF I were the devil, I would use all my powers to neutralize, disgrace, weaken, wound or kill the men of God who preach His Word, defend His churches, lead God's people and love Jesus ... and I would do it from within his own family or within the churches if I could. After all, ministers are only human like everyone else and subject to the same sins. Ps.105:15

IF I were the devil, having failed in my attack upon God, I would attack those created in His image. I would convince intellectuals that the human race is nothing more than a large herd of evolved animals. Thus, I would attack the sanctity of human life and give people a conscience-less excuse to eliminate unborn babies and old, sick people like useless animals. And if we are animals, we have a right to act like animals. Gen.1:27

IF I were the devil, I would make homosexuality look "gay" NOT "queer", "normal" NOT "abnormal". I would make lying the easy way out of difficulty and swear there is no absolute truth. I would make abortion a RIGHT of personal choice .... and so it is, since we are only evolved animals and there is no God to judge me or you. Rom.1:27

In other words, IF I were the devil, I would do exactly what the devil himself is in fact doing and what he has always done. He isn't stupid, he is simply wicked. A host of folks are following his agenda and think it is their own idea. Yes THAT is what is happening in the world. So, what would you do if YOU were the devil, look vicious, hateful, nasty and wicked ?

Pass it on. RB

Jan 20, 2011

Inflation: The Most Misunderstood Government TAX

Common Sense Commentary:

Inflation is not when prices on the shelf go up, but when the value of the dollars in your pocket go down and buy less.

The problem is not the "greedy" Store, which must compete, but the "out of control" Government which has no competition, printing too much new currency (Fiat money) out of thin air and giving it away.

Fiat Money is "paper currency" which has nothing behind it of value, gold or silver, guaranteeing it's worth.
Both gold and silver, which once guaranteed our U.S. currency, have been removed and all that's left is the government's "promise" and 2 cents worth of green paper. Fact: If they doubled every TAX PAYER'S TAXES, it would not even pay the interest on the Federal Debt. Good-bye American dream.

Why has the Federal Reserve Bank printed so much new Fiat cash ? To pay for all the "free stuff" and "free money" our politicians have given and promised to more than half of the American people, for doing nothing, and calling it "Entitlements"... but the TAX PAYERS will foot the bill, pay the price for generations to come.

What is the remedy ? It is too late to avoid the pain and loss of the dollar's demise, default of U.S. debt ... by repaying "good" dollars borrowed with new, worthless dollars. We are also losing the dollar's throne as THE ONE AND ONLY WORLD RESERVE CURRENCY which has prospered all U.S. citizens since 1944.

It is not too late to remove the politicians and Federal Reserve Bank System which are responsible for this National and now World-wide Catastrophe.

How ? Talk, give, pray & vote. Talk, give, pray & vote. Talk, give, pray & vote. That's what I'm doing now.

"And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth." Genesis 47:15
Pass it on. RB

Jan 15, 2011

The Devil of Delusion, Diversion and Deceit

Common Sense Commentary: Jesus said, in John 8:44, that "The devil ... is a liar and the father of it."

Satan is the universal expert of the lie. More than that, he is "the father of it", it's originator and inspiration. He lied to God, to the Angels, to the Prophets, Apostles and to you and me. As the universal champion of the lie and liars, he is also the title holder for Delusion, Diversion and Deceit. He is the evil genius of mis-information, sabotage, and the wasted life. This blog has to do with an example of the Devil's devious dealings with Christians, in order to waste our time, substance and reputation, by misleading us into FALSE CAUSES . These FAKE CAUSES drain our energies and abilities away from THE TRUE CAUSE OF CHRIST.

The Example:

Over 40,000 letters were written to Washington, in the late 1970's through the early 1990's, objecting to something that never happened. A petition letter criss-crossed our nation for nearly twenty years which dealt with a non-existing problem. Each time it made the rounds, many Christians thought it was a whole new threat. Every few years I would call the FCC to be sure it was the same old letter so I wouldn't add my voice to the false alarm. It even graduated to the computer age and raced onto the world-wide web. It was still circling the globe after the accused instigator of the evil legislation, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, was murdered by an Atheist Staff Member of hers. I don't know if some misguided, well intentioned church goer or a devious enemy of Christ was the human author of this strange lie .... but "the devil was the father of it". The FCC, Congress, and those who knew it was false, had to wonder if all Christians were a bunch of charlatans and liars. Needless to say, it did the cause of Christ only harm. It not only hurt our Christian Testimony but absorbed an immense amount of wasted Christian energy and resources while Good Causes went down and dying for lack of support.

The infamous "false" letter, was believed by Christians because it was so like Ms.O'Hair. Here it is:

"Madalyn Murray O'Hair ... has been granted a federal Hearing in Washington, D.C., on the subject of religion and the airways by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The petition (R.M. 2493) would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the Gospel on the airways of America. She took her petition with 27,000 signatures to back her stand. If her attempt is successful, all Sunday worship services being broadcast either by radio or television will stop. We need 1,000,000 (one million) signed letters, This should defeat Ms. O'Hair and show that there are still many Christians, ALIVE AND WELL AND CONCERNED in our country. This petition is number 2493."

The letter was followed with a petition addressed to the F.C.C. with lines for names, addresses, and date.
Over 40,000 letters, with envelope and stamp, were sent. At today's prices, that's about $20,000 plus untold time and energy wasted .... accomplished nothing .... except harm to the cause of Christ.

Now, here's the punch line. If Christians had put in just half that amount of effort in stopping Ms. O'Hair when she was getting prayer and Bible reading removed from public schools, we could have stopped her. Why didn't Christians devote as much time and energy into THAT cause ?

And, believe it or not, to this day, evil puts more pressure on Congress to pass bad legislation than Christians do for Congress to pass good legislation and against bad legislation. Strange indeed. I guess the answer to this mystery is, where the Devil pushes, shoves, screams and lies to motivate evil doers, God simply whispers and encourages Christians to His Cause.

I often wonder who originates so many totally false emails which are forwarded on the internet these days.
Some are so blatantly false, but seemingly from Christians, that it's hard to believe a true Christian would just make that stuff up. Sometimes, even old skeptical Rayburn thinks, "This has to be true" ... only to google it and discover there is no basis of fact in it. I don't use Snopes anymore, they have a Liberal agenda. Google it and you will find the truth ... usually. Whoever originates and sends those pro-Christian lies out, "the Devil is the father of it". Google it before sending it.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 12, 2011

Congress & Mr.President, Listen Up !

Common Sense Commentary: Short message to our Political Leaders and the Fed.

Fed Policy, with the encouragement of Congress and the Obama Administration, appears to be to RE INFLATE the burst "bubbles" you gentlemen created in the FIRST place.

When your intention is to blow up a balloon to pacify and impress the children, remember it's limitations.
A balloon is a fragile toy which bounces, floats and elicits screams of joy from children. It is not a dirigible ! It can contain a limited amount of Congressional and Presidential HOT AIR ! When our BLOWHARD Political leaders BLOWHARD, it BLOWS UP in the children's faces and the children aren't happy anymore. It's time you people GROW UP and stop all these BLOW UPS.

I am your humble SERVANT, Rayburn Blair, Taxpayer and Provider of toys for political tots.

Jan 10, 2011

Normalcy Bias #1 " Is Dancing With The Music"

Common Sense Commentary: The Apostle Peter warned of  "Normalcy Bias" in 2Pet.3:3-4, "....There shall come ... scoffers.. saying ... all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." King Solomon also warned his people of it ... "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth".
Proverbs 27:1.

"Normalcy Bias" is one of several mental malfunctions of the brain in both animals and humans. It perverts the judgement and hinders understanding of everybody, at one time or another, and is  common among the majority of people. It reveals itself, over a long period of time, in whose who have become  locked into the opinion that certain extreme changes cannot possibly happen ...."Because they have never happened before". Blind in mind. It is not normal, not the norm, and so extremely different that it simply "won't happen", no matter what the evidence. Now, stop for a moment, and think about it.

The plain fact is that "Normalcy Bias" was in play and very widespread preceding every War, Flood, Revolution, Famine, Tsunami, Assassination and Empire failure which ever happened on earth. It is also an obvious fact, mostly mentally avoided, though it has never happened before, that your husband, wife, child or parent could die in a car crash, heart attack, fire, flood, lightening or a hundred other ways next week. Those things happen to others not my family.... Normalcy Bias.

It is my opinion that Normalcy Bias has probably never been so thoroughly prevalent, so embedded in the minds of an entire nation as it is in ours today. Most of us have never known calamities such as have been commonly experienced by many other nations. Can real catastrophe happen in America ? Let's wake up old Rip Van Normalcy Bias and ask his opinion. "Hey Norm, can Revolution or Anarchy or Poverty or Civil War come to America ?" "Don't you believe that negative nonsense Preacher, read your Bible, 'War no more'. 'Peace in the valley' an them other verses." Well, Norm, we did have a Civil War one time. It could happen again. "Ah phooie, this is the U.S. of A., the Civil War was a one time only Historical Event. It can't happen these days. It's happening in other nations, Norm. "Yeah, but that's them ... this is us. It's never happened here and won't.  And them Tsunamis only happen away over there on foreign shores. Volcanic eruptions happen 99 % of the time on islands like Italy. And Famines happen in Africa or Asia but never have happened in good ole U.S.A.
Yeah, I know, the Great Depression happened back over a hundred years ago but that was caused by some Republican vacuum cleaner guy named Hoover and he's long gone." But that was a world-wide depression.
"Who says ? Anyway, so what ! Don't be so smart aleckie and negative. What about Hyper Inflation, Norm ?
Now your just throwin out big words. It cannot and will not happen here ! A hundred other nations didn't think it could happen to them either ...but it did ... and not so long ago.

Rule out all the natural disasters and just consider this one disaster caused by politicians and the Federal Reserve Bank ..... National Babkruptsy ...INFLATION...  which is eroding the value of our money.  Food and energy prices going up is NOT Inflation. That is the result of Inflation. Inflation is caused by the printing of too much currency by the Federal Reserve and eroding the buying power of our money.It is a government hidden tax used to supply politicians with money to give the voters more free stuff to gain votes. The only reason Hyper Inflation is not too obvious in our country yet is that the Gov. is increasing the speed and amount of new money and flooding it out across the nation and the world. Millions of roosting Chicken Littles are asleep with the roosters and hens, the fox is in there too with a menu, And ole Fido is on guard at Fort Knox making sure no gold gets in, and the Canaries in the coal mines are all dead ... So what to do ?

My challenge to America is, Wake up to the music of our very own Pied Piper Printing Presses playing our new national anthem, " Free Stuff, MY Free Stuff". Old Norm and young Pied are leading the national parade down that Yellow Brick Road to ... where it disappears ... Bridge Out ! When the flood of "free money music" STOPS ... Our Nation stops working, but to keep printing may delay, but compounds the depth
of calamity when it does come.

It's rather like "Musical Chairs". Everybody is dancing around a circle of empty chairs in rhythm with our other National Anthem, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" when suddenly the music stops and everybody lunges for a chair. But there are not nearly enough chairs, so most frolicking Americans are left standing... without a chair, a pot or a peso. That, my friends,is not normal nor expected of 99% of Americans. It is Normalcy Bias before the tragic fact.

A word to Mr. and Mrs. Norm Bias, save your money ... But Not in green paper promises.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 9, 2011

Young Person, You Are Not Inferior But Equal !

Common Sense Commentary: My "adoptive volunteer" 15 year old great grandson wrote me that he loved his family, high school, ROTC, and building web-sites. I was so impressed, he inspired me to write this blog to young people.

"All men are created Equal"

That is not a quote from the Bible; God did not say it. The quote is found in the second sentence of our United States Constitution. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights, that among these are, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What God's Word does say is, "You say, the way of the Lord is not equal? Hear now, is not my way equal? are not YOUR ways unequal?" God repeated this four times in Ezekiel. It is not God who is unequal in His acceptance and blessings to those who are equally obedient and faithful. Would He not also be equally accepting and bless those who are disobedient and unfaithful if they would turn and follow Jesus, as He wants? Jesus said, "Masters (employers), give unto your servants that which is JUST AND EQUAL ...." Col.4:1. That means, EQUAL WORK DESERVES EQUAL PAY.

So what did our Founding Fathers mean by "Equal" ?

"All men are CREATED equal" means, Equally Human but not Equal DNA. Equally Eternal but not Equal in Eternity. Equally Created in the "image and likeness of God" but not equal to God. Equally loved by God but not Equally loved by parents. Equally deserving of Freedom ... before the crime is committed not after.
An Equal Right, NOT to Happiness, but to the "PURSUIT" of Happiness. You have the right to Pursue it not a Right to BE Happy but to "PURSUE" it. That's great but if you will "Pursue" God's will and approval, "Happiness" will "PURSUE" YOU, catch you and jump all over you.

If your DNA limits you to one talent, cultivate, and educate THAT talent.

If you were not born to be beautiful, make the most of your face, hair and body; but major on a beautiful spirit, personality and reputation. That will make you TRULY beautiful.

If you were not a born athlete, you may have been born an intellect, musician, inventor, High Class Geek. Every single person has some inborn talent to do SOMETHING exceptionally well. Even the retarded teen who bags groceries at our supermarket makes everybody's day by his happy spirit and anxious helpfulness. Mrs. Blair just loves that boy. HE IS A SUCCESS !!!!! You too can learn to do something very well, make a living at it and be happy doing it.

If you were not born with the best of parents, be the best son or daughter in town. You don't have to act out what you THINK you are or someone said you were. You don't have to act nasty because you feel nasty or curse or get drunk or smoke pot because you THINK you are nothing. You are SOMEONE, Important, Loved of God, and YOU have a wonderful life ahead .... IF, IF, IF, you start acting like it and grow to believe it, and then you will BE what you practice. You WILL if you don't give in to the wrong friends or your negative opinion of yourself.

If you were not born with supportive relatives, GOOD ! God intends for you to be a SELF STARTER.

Young Person, you cannot choose your own family or relatives but you can and will choose your own friends.
But remember this, you will slowly become like the friends you choose. God will not hold you responsible for what parents or relatives you have; but He will hold YOU responsible for the friends you choose. Do not simply accept those who just happen to be close by or willing, as your best friends ...by default, but search out the kind of friends who have the good character traits you know is right and you will each take on the others good attributes.

Discover your inborn talents and spend your life cultivating and using those talents, or that talent, in the way God, who gave it to you, would approve of. BE the boy or girl God wants you to be and you will become the man or woman, father or mother HE wants you to be.

May God give you wisdom and patience to become the person God knows you can be ... and will help you get there.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 8, 2011

Investment Question From A Dear Friend

Common Sense Commentary: The following is my answer to an old friend who asked my advice on an investment question. I do not give investment advice, but here is my answer to a very close friend:

The equity stock markets of the whole world, especially in the U.S., are in such a state that giving investment advice, even good advice, doesn't work anymore. When the market crashes, so many investors have bought on margin that they have to sell their best investments to keep from losing everything. That results in even the best investments falling with all the rest.

There is so much "rotten wood" theory in the foundations of our national institutions today that evil methods are acceptable and good methods are rejected. We see it on Wall Street, in the Federal Reserve System, in Congress, the White House, in Gov. Regulation agencies and even in Churches. The majority of National Leadership, in our nation today, fits the description in Isaiah 5:20, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" This type of perverted thinking and manner of operation has finally resulted in bringing the whole, corrupt, market system into dysfunction. It reminds me of two drunk, political Pilots .... flying an overloaded 747 ... through a hurricane over the Atlantic ... at midnight ... and they have neglected to fuel up in Miami. They can't fly it, their two political party leaders can't fly it and I can't fly it. I'm just a motion sick, unwilling, passenger who paid to take the trip and has a barf bag in my fingers.

The frightening thing is that our country still has two more "bubbles" ready to burst ...Bonds and currency.
When those two blow ... look our below ... so we have nowhere to go. Well, almost nowhere. My advice is to PRAY a lot, PLAN for hyper-inflation, PAY for no advice, and PUT your investment money in something that will never be worth zero. And, that doesn't mean cash money or money markets either. You see, the Fed is printing so much new currency that hyper inflation, like a Tsunami, rushes out just before it rushes back in to drown everybody in cash that won't buy a cheap wiener.

The bottom line is, our politicians, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve System have all devolved into the obis by departing from proven, good, business practices, into financial fantasy land. Even worse than that, the American people have embraced this "credit, credit, credit card religion" which shuns, as heresy, old fashioned common sense, frugality, next egg savers, live within your means, and the U.S. Constitution. Their god is themselves. They pray to the mirror. Their bible is the Liberal Socialist Manifesto. Their salvation,
"I-me-my-mine Freestuff" which they pay for with "I-me-my-mine Freedom", is Heaven on earth and will last forever and ever and ever.

If your question is, "what would old Rayburn do" ... I am resting in Jesus and "Riding A Bull Called Precious". Reread my blog of that title dated August,17, 2010.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 7, 2011

"TRUST ME, You'll Be Glad You Did". B. Madoff

Common Sense Commentary: God gave us sight, hearing, smelling, muscle and a BRAIN for a reason !

A flock of Junior Highers were laughing and playing together at a party. One of the boys suddenly shouted for every one's attention and asked excitedly, "Everybody who wants to do it, raise your hand". "Do WHAT?" a cautious girl asked. "TRUST ME", the boy with the idea answered. This was the boy's method to create interest in doing something he doubted his friends would do if they knew what "IT" was. Children who blindly follow other children's ideas of "fun" may not result in too much damage at the moment, but it is a dangerous way of life to follow into teen-age and adulthood. There have been literally tens of thousands of teen-agers, who "trusted" another teen-aged driver to get them home safely, who's lives ended in disastrous car crashes. Likewise, there have been tens of thousands of adults who "trusted" some pseudo, financial "Professional" advisor who cost them their life's savings.

Far too many grownups still play that child's game of "Trust me", but with adult CONSEQUENCES. It is seldom wise to "trust" someone .... anyone .... whose only guarantee of his product, scheme, or proposition is, "TRUST ME". Anyone who wants you to do something or go to some mysterious "meeting", but won't tell you what it is but wants you to blindly "trust" him or her, is not only not to be trusted, but also insults your own intelligence and betrays your friendship. God gave each of us a brain for a reason !! Adults do not need anyone else making their decisions for them. If you want my friendship, teach me, inform me, give me facts, and even warn me, but I will decide the merit of your words, and I will give account to God for all of my decisions or those I should have made. Teach your children to think for themselves and make decisions by the time they leave for college or move out. They should be making most of their decisions the last year at home .... I said, "MOST' not all.

Of course, trust is vital to every one's happiness, peace of mind and success. Trust is, however, a treasure one cannot afford to share promiscuously with too many others. Whether they are fly-by-night con- artists, exaggerating sales people, greedy brokers, self serving friends or preachers who milk people like a dairy farmer. Make your own decisions and use your own brain because you will give account to God for it. Anyone who respects you as an equal will never ask you to blindly "trust me". Yes, I want my family and friends to "trust me", but only when and if I have proven myself worthy of their trust. And, if I AM worthy of their trust, I will not ever want them to blindly trust me, especially concerning things which involve them. Yes, there are exceptions such as husbands and wives trusting each other for family decisions, and children trusting their parents' decisions, and there are a few others, of course.

Many times in my years, a friend or acquaintance has tried to harness me up to their pyramid scheme or Ponzi scam. These two things are criminal twins. Of course, the person selling it didn't call it a pyramid scheme or Ponzi scam, but that is what it often was. All of you have faced ole Ponzi, who called himself your "friend" and wanted to make you rich. I won't mention any names of the schemes or the friendly sellers of them, but you know what I mean. Like when your friend or acquaintance, either ignorantly or greedily, approached you with this "wonderful, easy way to make a lot of extra money". Usually, they were harnessed up by their friend who was harnessed up by someone else and on and on. The idea always sounds good and started with one brilliant con-artist who was good at math, otherwise known as a "perverted crook", in the guise of a real genius entrepreneur. He winds up retiring at 35 as a multi-millionaire but those at the bottom of the pyramid lost an equal amount. Such pyramids are mostly constructed , like those in Egypt, of blockheads. But, the guy with his name on that pinnacle piece, way up there on the tippy top, called the "Capstone", well he ain't even there any more. He groomed his brightest convert for that "Capstone" job with a room full of telephones,
blackberries and mini-skirted secretaries. But Ole Original himself, who built this pyramid monstrosity, is back in his castle on the Nile drinkin fine wine and smoking pot with his harem. The message eventually screams itself to each blockhead investor .... "Easy riches steal it from someone else", "No such thing as a Free Lunch", "The WORKman is worthy of his hire", "Two plus two is FOUR", "Whatsoever a man soweth, THAT shall he also reap", "Economics 101"

Some of the worst politicians this country has ever known rode into Washington on the theme ... "Trust me".
"Everybody who wants to do it with me, raise your hands" he shouted. "What is IT ?" asked the voters .....
"IT is change" . "What is change ?" asked the voters. "Change is IT" answered the politician. But, exactly what is this "It Change". ...... "Trust me, I believe in transparency" said the Politician. The devil said the same thing to Eve and then whispered it in Ponzi's ear and Bernard Madoff's ear and then in your investment advisor's ear.... and he repeated it to you.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 5, 2011

Investing Wisely Is A Stewardship Responsible

Common Sense Commentary: If a GREAT investment opportunity "comes to you" on line, in the mail, or in person, delete it, dump it, or discharge the friend or relative who brought it, bought it, or thought it. Maybe one in a thousand investment offers, "which seek you out" , will turn out well. They never have for me in sixty years of investing. Sometimes they look so perfect, so reasonable, so destined to do well, that I still nearly respond to the few ... but catch myself and delete it or trash it. Time has proven the wisdom of rejecting the hundreds of investment recommendations which "came to me looking for investors". Of all the unbelievable, money making parades which have crossed my path, with drum roll and trumpets, all of that host of Philistines, except one or two, would have lost my money. I fell for a couple in my early years but those two inoculations immunized me to all "Get Rich Quick" schemes. As the experienced, wise investors have said, "If it sounds too good to be true .... 99% of the time, it is." These mass mail-outs with a series of BOLD HEADLINES, boasting miracles and wonders, also say in all that tiny print, at the end, that the sender is being paid, in stock or cash, by the same company, to highly recommend their stock to you. Trash it ! Don't let yourself be sucked in. The same goes for you young unmarrieds. Just because someone picks and pursues you with promises of marital bliss, means nothing, except they are most likely not God's choice for you. Make a list of priority traits, not perfection, which you know your mate should have and look for that type person and nobody else. YOU do the picking, but wait on the Lord to lead you in your choice of a life-mate. The cost of a mistake is too high.

I do read and get valuable information from a few financial newsletters which do not recommend specific stocks but do a lot of research. I also get a lot of great articles about trends, sectors and specific companies from their Message Boards, which MB members have read and passed on, but take no advice from the member himself. A good Mutual Fund (no load, no broker)can be a good place for a beginning investor to start but, again, don't let them search you out. You search them out. If you are going to use a broker, check out each stock he recommends before you buy it and ask a lot of questions. I had a broker once who churned my account constantly, and made a commission each time, until I wised up , closed the account, and started doing my own investing. Lost a lot that way too until maturity and experience kicked in. There is as much difference in Brokers as Mechanics, Doctors and Preachers. The main thing about investing your money is, DON'T LOSE IT and DON'T LET SOMEONE ELSE LOSE IT FOR YOU. Be slow, deliberate and careful.

Your computer has a million sources of information about every company on earth in practically every detail about each. Brokers are pushing the stocks, funds, bonds, annuities and ETF's which their firm has an interest in or connection to, or, are partial to for whatever reason. You will get the best advice from a very successful, investor friend who has proven over a long period of time that he consistently knows what he is doing and knows the markets and spends huge amounts of time in due diligence. If he lost a lot of money in the financial crash, he may have known a lot about one or two areas of investment but not enough about world markets and world events, and common sense, to give financial advice. The evidences of a Tech Bubble , a Housing Bubble, and a Credit Bubble, each ready to burst, in turn, and drag the Stock Market with it, was undeniably obvious. There is now a Bond Bubble and a Currency Bubble which I believe will do a similar job on the Markets and lead to Hyper Inflation, in my opinion. I say this because I believe it, but please don't seek my advice on investments, and take what I'm saying here with diligent skepticism, but READ, READ, READ. I am not a licensed investment adviser but a "Common Sense Commentary" guy who reads volumes of information on world events, national financial facts, world and national trends and how they relate to Bible Prophecy. I am a Bible Preacher not a financial adviser so do your own due diligence. READ ! You care more about your life, family, finances, and future than anyone else on earth. You are the Steward of all God has put into your hands and under your control, not your broker, brother, preacher, neighbor, boss or friend, but YOU. You are the one who will give account to God for the way you used and invested those things HE gave you .... for your good and HIS GLORY.

Every individual on earth is responsible to our Creator for what we do with our TIME, TALENT, TESTIMONY, TREASURE, and TRUTH as God knows it. Each of us must accept responsibility for ourselves from the moment we reach the age of personally knowing good from evil as Adam and Eve did; Not because Mom or Dad said it, or the Preacher said it, or the Teacher said it, but because God's Holy Spirit told your own heart it was good or evil. Preachers call it the age of accountability. Youngsters mature and develop at somewhat different rates. Some develop earlier than others. In the first of two churches I pastored over thirty six years, an old Deacon, Dad Brown, had a retarded son who had been in church all his life and had never shown any interest or knowledge of a need to accept Christ as his "personal" Saviour. He was forty years old and in every service. I had been his pastor for several years when all of a sudden in a Sunday morning service, Gene Brown realized he was lost, a sinner and needed Christ. I think he had just reached the age of accountability.Though forty years old, he had the mind of a child and had very slowly matured to maybe eight or ten, mentally, when he was saved. Praise God. Old Dad Brown was thrilled beyond measure because his son, Gene, had never shown any concern for his soul until that moment.

My point is this. You are God's Steward (manager) over all He has given you. To be recognized by Him, as "a good and faithful steward", when He returns, you must cultivate and invest those things as God leads you and His Word teaches, to the best advantage for an increased "return". Waste is a Stewardship sin. Negligent
investing is a Stewardship sin. Foolish spending is a Stewardship sin. We are simply His Managers of His property. We should treat what we have as God's property and business and be very care full with it.

Let me give you three keys I use in investing. First, study and learn all you can about world "trends". What is developing and what is fading? What is in short supply? What is going to be needed most in the future? What changes are developing ? What interruptions are possible. Search out world "trends". Second, study all you can learn about what the most likely "trend" will lead to or require in what "sector" of the markets. When you have found the best probable "sector" within the trend, search all the companies and sources which will supply and occupy that "sector" . Third, study all those companies and related sources and chose the two or three best of them as likely investments. Then, you learn all you can about those companies. Pray about every move. Pray before you invest but don't expect God to bypass your brain and your lack of time or effort to miraculously show you where to invest. He gave us brains to use as he did those three investors in Matt.25:14-28. One did extremely well, another did quite well, and the third did nothing. Their Master held them each responsible, not for how many "talents" he gave them, but for how well they used and invested it.

Pass it on. RB

Jan 3, 2011

Lurid Tail Surfaces In Swampville, Florida

Common Sense Commentary takes leave of it's senses, for a change of pace, to report a report of a lurid tail, which surfaced in Swampville Florida recently. It concerns a mysterious disappearance which was solved in just nine days. First reported in THE SWAMPVILLE SUN TIMES by Reporter, Fabricator Gator, these are her nine headlines of stories she wrote during the nine day mystery.

Sun.- "Swampville resident, Alli Gator, alias "Shoes", suspected in his wife, Ima Gator's mysterious disappearance."

Mon.- "Swampville, Big City Detective, Invest I. Gator, says victim's bloody shoe found in hubbie's mouth."

Tue.- "Seminole witness, Navi Gator, leads Detective to hidden remains and says 'Alli Gator ater'."

Wed.- "Chief of Detectives, Interr O. Gator says Accused points index toe at his mistress, Miss Insti Gator."

Thur.-"Defence Attorney, Irri Gator waters down his client's guilt by accusing his mistress, Miss (Lips) Gator."

Fri. - "Prosecuting Attorney, Cassti Gator, wins case against terminally hungry killer, Alli (Shoes) Gator."

Sat. - "Guilty verdict delivers Alli Gator to Prison Warden, Fumi Gator for sensitivity training plus 100 years."

Sun.- "Prison Physician, Doctor Gator Aid, discovers Alli Gator is actually Allie's wife, Ima Gator, wearing his shoes, bow tie and toothpick."

Mon.-"Ima admits posing as Alli, eating him and falsely accusing his missing mistress, Miss Insti Gator... whom she also enjoyed."

The story is true to the news we read in today's world. Only the names have been changed.

Yes, yes, I confess, I wrote it. Forgive me. RB