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MAGA Raises For American Workers October 16, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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“If it bleeds it leads” is how the old saying concerning media attention goes.  And with the anti-Trump mob smelling blood in the water all we hear is “IMPEACH!! IMPEACH!!! IMPEACH!!!!” as if repeating this mantra over and over will make their dream of reversing the results of the 20916 election come true.  And because of this obsessive compulsion to control the narrative the good news concerning America’s economy is buried below the fold on page 57 of the classifieds.

However, as is always the case eventually the truth comes out.  President Trump, the blue collar billionaire, who sacrificed living the dream to living in a fish bowl filled with sharks, continues to work with little fanfare and less credit to improve the lives of American citizens.

As an example let’s look at the wages of American workers.  According to the Pew Research Center as of 2018, “despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago.”  Of course this report in 2018 was chronicling the findings from 2017 as the nation began to stir after years of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama managed decline model.

Even as the relentless and furious attempt to reverse the 2016 election continues the positive changes initiated by President Trump are fighting through a log jam of phony charges and kangaroo hearings to benefit the citizens of our great republic.  Today it’s morning again in America as the Trump Bump gathers steam bringing concrete benefits all of us.

On July 24th the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) published its annual revisions to personal income data.  This download of data included a pleasant surprise.  There was a notable increase in disposable income and employee compensation.

These revisions showed employee compensation rising 4.5% in 2017 and 5% in 2018—some $4.4 billion and $87.1 billion more than previously reported. The trend has continued into 2019, with compensation increasing $378 billion or 3.4% in the first six months alone. Wages and salaries were revised upward to 5.3% from 3.6% in May year over year. And in June wages and salaries grew at an annual rate of 5.5%, which is a rocking 4.1% after adjusting for inflation.

The BEA also revised overall personal income up by 1.7% for 2017 and 2018 and transfer receipts down 0.7%.  What does this mean?  It shows that Americans are earning more and relying less on government.

As an example of Americans becoming more self-reliant we can look at the precipitous decline in the number of people who require food stamps to maintain a healthy diet.  According to Fox News, “The latest intel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) affirms that the amount of food stamp beneficiaries reached 40,083,954 in March 2018. The foregoing number is the lowest since February 2010. Experts have moreover attributed the decline to crackdowns on fraud within the food stamp program, coupled with President Trump’s economic improvements.”

In addition the BEA report also offered a revision in the personal savings rate.  The government’s estimates were increased by $217 billion for the first two years of the Trump administration and are now $1.3 trillion, which means Americans are saving more of their earnings.

The BEA report continued uncovering more positive information concerning savings.  It revised the personal savings rate upward to 8.1% from 6.1% in May, which is much higher than the roughly 5% before the last two recessions. This should make the current economic expansion more sustainable since consumption isn’t based on increased household debt consumer spending is increasing as wage growth grows due to a tight labor market.

Just think for a moment about how the liberal media endorsed President Obama’s “New Normal” as the reason worker incomes weren’t growing faster during the previous administration.  Then came Trump: and today employee compensation has increased by $150 billion.  That is more in the first six months of 2019 than in all of 2016.  Let this comparison sink in.  It is even more pronounced when we look at the first two years of the Trump Presidency: compensation increased 42% more since Trump’s inauguration than in 2015 and 2016 combined.  This completely discredits the claim that the economy is merely continuing the same trajectory since 2017.

This all flows as naturally as water over a cliff from President Trump’s two pronged plan to revitalize America.

First there is the on-going effort to scrap the economic strangulation of regulation.  According to the Washington Examiner, “Deregulation explodes under Trump, 13 regulations killed for every new one, $33B saved.”   This unleashes the entrepreneurial spirits of Americans.  Just think about the fact that after decades of promising energy independence while restricting where and how we could drill for oil or dig for coal after just three years of Trump’s “Drill Baby Drill” policies and the removal of oppressive regulations we’ve become the largest producer of energy in the world.

Secondly there is Trump’s tax reform.  This has inspired businesses to invest in new facilities and equipment.  In the long run this investment will lead to higher worker productivity and wages.

And we are endlessly bombarded with the story that the profits of the 1% are far out pacing the financial benefits of the 99.  This doesn’t seem to match a statement found in the Wall Street Journal, “Corporate after-tax profits increased by about $220 billion between 2016 and 2018 while employee compensation swelled nearly $1 trillion. Corporate profits declined 2.9% in the first quarter of 2019 even as wages grew at an annual rate of 10.1%. This sure sounds like an economy that is benefiting the 99%.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

Show Me The Money October 9, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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The Laffer Curve is a theory developed by supply-side economist Arthur Laffer to show the relationship between tax rates and the amount of tax revenue collected by governments. The curve is used to illustrate Laffer’s argument that sometimes cutting tax rates can increase total tax revenue.  The Laffer Curve is alive and well in the Renaissance America of President Donald J. Trump.  As a matter of fact the policies of the Trump Administration have demonstrated that the Laffer Curve isn’t constrained by international borders.

You see Trump’s 2017 tax reform is delivering on its promise to bring money back to the US from overseas by making America more competitive.

Before this monumental tax reform the US had one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.  And on top of that we had a worldwide tax system that compared unfavorably with the territorial systems in 28 of the other 36 countries who are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organization founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

This worldwide tax system taxed the foreign earnings of US corporations once their overseas profits were brought home.  This provided a massive incentive for our corporations to park their earnings from foreign subsidiaries offshore.  In the year before Trump’s tax reform US corporations had more than $2 trillion stashed overseas.

Besides this massive reduction in available capital in the US these incentive draining tax policies led many US firms to implement what came to be called “Inversion Transactions.”  This means they gave up their status as American corporations and reincorporated in foreign countries often through acquisitions and mergers.

The 2017 tax reform bill President Trump proposed and shepherded through Congress has radically changed all this.  This history making law lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and it also allowed US companies to bring money home from their foreign subsidiaries at the much reduced US tax rate.  On top of that the bill also made changes to laws which address the ownership and profitability of intellectual property.  Under the previous laws there were economic incentives to locate the ownership of intellectual property in low-tax foreign countries.  That has now been reversed and American is once again the best place on earth to innovate.

The new Trump inspired program has erased the lure of corporate inversions and fostered an economic environment where the US is once again an attractive and competitive place to host international businesses.  And there is even proof in a two real world multi-billion dollar examples: The AbbVie acquisition of Allergan and the new Pfizer-Mylan combination.

According to Fox Business News, “Allergan was previously a U.S. company, but in 2015, it became an Irish company through a merger with Actavis.  Mylan also was previously a U.S. company, but in 2015, it became a Dutch company. The adverse U.S. tax rules, coupled with low foreign tax rates and territorial tax systems, made it advantageous for the companies to shield non-U.S. income from the reach of the U.S. tax system by becoming incorporated and headquartered overseas.

AbbVie itself tried to invert in 2014, but the Treasury Department blocked its effort. A recent Bloomberg story noted, ‘A few years ago, this deal would likely have gone differently – Allergan would be the one buying AbbVie.’

The 2017 tax reform changed that. Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), who led the congressional battle for tax reform as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said following the announcement of the AbbVie-Allergan transaction that, as a result of 2017 tax reform, ‘companies can domicile here and stay competitive throughout the world.’”

And as Robert Willens, an independent tax consultant told Bloomberg, “Unlike an inversion where U.S. income is transformed into foreign income, in the instant case, the polar opposite may well occur since, here, foreign income might be transformed into U.S. income.”

So how is this working today?  According to Investor’s Business Daily, “They said it wouldn’t happen, but it did: The money companies stashed overseas to protect them from high U.S. corporate tax rates is flooding back in, boosting growth, jobs and confidence in the economy. Thank the Trump tax cuts.

All told, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported, some $305.6 billion returned to the U.S. from overseas accounts. That’s a $1.2 trillion annual rate, and far more than the $35 billion one year before.”

By changing incentive-killing tax laws which appeared to be more like confiscation and the punishment of success President Trump is making America more competitive which is how he planned all along to Make America Great Again.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

 

Can Anyone Say Amen? October 2, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Staring at the carnival mirrors of this life we squint through a swirling mist at the constantly shifting mirage of a fallen world.  Things are not as they seem.  Good is so often trampled underfoot while evil triumphs.  The innocent are sacrificed as the guilty ride roughshod over justice.  Walking in the ways of the flesh is stumbling through a maze all alone.  Social Darwinism runs amuck.  Survival of the fittest is the order of the day as the weak, the poor, and the defenseless are shoved out of the way for the next conqueror as they elbow their way to the fleeting throne that will eventually become their funeral pyre.  Allowing our flesh to rule and guide us is walking with our eyes closed in the dark and following the lie that we can be like God creating our own realities through our selfish choices. 

There is a better way.  Walking with God is walking in the light reaching out for His revelation in His Word which is truth.   

As we mature by meditating on the Word of God the things of this world grow strangely dim.  Suddenly a light shines through the darkness and the spiritual world which is invisible to the natural man comes into focus.  Paul put it best in his first letter to the Corinthians, “The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, ‘Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?’ has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.” 

Look at it this way if tomorrow morning when we opened our eyes we saw Jesus standing right there beside our bed physically manifested before us do you think we might have a different kind of morning than normal?  Now imagine if He were to walk next to us all day.  Everywhere we went He went.  Do you think an experience like that might change the way we saw things? 

The Lord is with us every day wherever we are and wherever we go because He prayed that the Father would send us the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God.  And we know the Father always hears and answers the prayers of His Son Jesus.  Here’s what Jesus said about this, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”  He lives within in us.  This is the fact of a born-again life.  But do we really live this way?  Or do we let the mundane sameness of this life gradually gloss over the sparkling joy of our first love?  If we will open our spiritual eyes we’ll see through the filthy fog of this world and see Jesus in all the power of His resurrection with us every step of the way. 

I’m not saying this’ll instantly convert a vale of tears into a bed of roses.  Jesus told us we shouldn’t expect any better treatment than He received at the hands of man, and they crucified Him.  Look at Stephen the first martyr.  He preached the good news that man can be reconciled with God by confessing Jesus as the Lord and leader of our life and by believing that God raised Him from the dead.  This upset the applecart for all the religious leaders who made their living and maintained their power by confining people within the straightjacket of religion filled with rituals and symbols but lacking in a personal relationship with God. 

These wolves in sheep’s clothing couldn’t meet Stephen in open debate.  They couldn’t contend with the power of God that was so obvious in his preaching.  So they manufactured lies and spread false rumors.  They stirred up a crowd and then aimed the violence of the mob directly at this man of God.  But even while they stoned him he had his eyes on Jesus and while the last breaths were crushed from his tortured lungs he cried, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 

We too can live our lives walking, breathing, and speaking in the presence of the Son of Man, Jesus the Christ and there’s nothing the world can do about it.  No one can snatch us out of God’s hand.  To paraphrase one old song Jesus gave it to us and the world can’t take it away.   So abandon the snipe hunt of seeking peace or fulfillment through walking in the flesh and embrace the reality of walking in the Spirit.  Heed the words of the Master, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” 

Here’s a prayer I’d like to share, “Father let me see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, speak with Your words, love with Your heart, and touch with Your hands.  Reach through me to those in need.  Let the fire of Your love burn so bright in me that when others look in my direction You are all they see.” 

Can anyone say, “Amen?” 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 

 

 

Finally the Right Prescription for Runaway Drug Prices September 24, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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For as long as most of us can remember we have paid substantially higher prices for prescription drugs than the citizens of other countries. In Congress there’ve been endless speeches about the skyrocketing cost of medicine for American patients, especially senior citizens.  And every election cycle there are campaign promises from both the Republicans and the Democrats who talk and talk but they’ve never done anything about it.

Until now that is.  President Donald Trump continues his revolutionary idea of actually trying to fulfill his promises.

On the morning of July 31, 2019 the Trump Administration announced a new plan to effectively address this long festering situation.  This brilliant plan allows companies to import drugs that are sold in other countries.  This will save Americans money.  Under the newly announced Trump plan Manufacturers can now bring the lower-cost versions of the drugs they sell abroad home to the United States.  Of course these drugs will still be verified by the FDA as meeting our safety standards and identical to what is currently available.

Here’s the sad state of affairs that our leaders have for so long forced us to labor under.  Foreign countries buy their drugs at substantially lower prices.  This means that American patients subsidize the cost of drug research and development for the rest of the world. And that costs us vast sums of money each year both personally and nationally.  Often prescriptions costing hundreds of dollars in the U.S. will cost just a few dollars overseas.  As in so many of the deals our give-away-the-store negotiators have maintained for so many years, American citizens get the worst deal.

This broken and unjust system not only hurts patient’s pockets it costs taxpayers billions. Here’s one example: a medication that helps prevent blindness that annually costs Medicare more than one billion dollars would cost 187 million dollars if instead we paid the prices other countries pay.

Big Pharma has been against any change because they’re more than happy for the American citizens to be their ATM, financing their research and development while others reaped the benefit.  However, as Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, “Access to affordable prescription drugs can be a matter of life or death for American patients. The President has heard how much this matters to Americans, and we at HHS have heard the same. We all know how unfair it is that other countries are paying lower prices for the same drugs, and we’re taking action.”

The July announcement moves toward fulfilling President Trump’s promise to make medicine affordable for all Americans.  After last year’s release of the President’s blueprint to lower prescription drug costs for the first time in forty six years, according to the government’s inflation index as of December 2018, drug prices dropped.

Referring to the unfair two tier drug prices American’s have labored under for so long President Trump said, “It’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Loose Him and Let Him Go September 17, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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There’s a story in the Bible about Jesus raising a man from the dead.  The man’s name was Lazarus and he was one of Jesus’ good friends.  When the moment came for the great miracle Jesus stood before the open tomb and, “cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’   And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”  

We who believe the Bible is God’s Word accept this as a true story of actual events.  It can also be seen as an illustration of what happens when we step out of the smothering embrace of the religious systems humans create to reach God and thus accept what God has done to reach us.  When we reject the bewildering straightjacket of rules and regulations humans inevitably devise, and accept that Jesus paid the price, finished the work and welcomes us home He stands at the tomb of our self-help religion and says, “Loose him, and let him go.” 

Once we’ve confessed with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believed in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead we’re made right with God.  And though Jesus has ascended to heaven He didn’t leave us alone.  Just before He left He said, “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!”  Embracing that and allowing the Spirit of Truth to guide us is the ideal for those who follow Christ. 

Christ’s final command was to take this light to the world.  Instead we built thousands of competing lamps betraying the unity of the Gospel and confusing unbelievers with our multiplicity of slightly different presentations.  But then again it’s easier to make rules than it is to be sensitive to the Spirit of God.  Laws and regulations can appear to bring order out of chaos relieving the pressure of walking by faith in a faithless world.  But these endless rules cannot change us from the inside out.  To paraphrase Ben Franklin: if we seek order and security from religion we’ll never find either one of them. 

When following rules defines the state of our spiritual life we walk in constant fear of crossing the lines, of veering off even if it’s by mistake into the deception of sin.  This fear of deception won’t keep us from deception.  It’ll lead us into it.  We’re called to walk in faith not in fear.  So if we’re walking in fear we’ve already fallen for deception.  The Bible tells us that the only way we can avoid falling for deception is to embrace the Spirit of Truth.    

Think about it. When we open the blinds at night does darkness come rushing in?  No. When we throw open the blinds light rushes out into the darkness.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can’t overcome it.  If we’ll immerse ourselves in what God is calling us to, the unearned grace that flows from the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus, we’ll find the order and security we long for. 

Following God which is walking forward in the light can at first feel like walking backwards in the dark because we’re surrounded by and have been raised in a world that’s in revolt against its creator.  We must dedicate ourselves to following the voice of the Spirit of Truth who lives within us.  It’s vitally important that we learn to recognize His voice so we can recognize it out of all the voices in the world.  When the whole of creation is shaking He’s the rock solid foundation giving us the security of our salvation. 

Does this mean we should abandon all restraint and follow the voice in our head?  First we must know whose voice we’re following, than we must acknowledge that God wrote us a book to explain it all from beginning to end.  His voice will never contradict His Word and His Word shows us exactly how to live moment-by-moment.   

Paul put it this way, “It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.”  

Because we live in a fallen and evil world some laws and regulations must be imposed to maintain people’s safety to provide external order.  However, rules and regulations must never be imposed to bring about spiritual purposes because only the Spirit can birth spirit. 

The Bible is the operator’s manual for life on earth.  In it God has shared with us the greatest wisdom and the deepest insights.  In it we receive not only the instructions on how to live in this world but also how to be born-again as a glorious Spirit-birthed child of God. It’s not possible to put a price on God’s gift of His revelation.  But even the Bible can be used to weave a web of soul-strangling regulations keeping us imprisoned in the law. 

We must always remember the Bible was given to us to lead us to Christ not to take His place.  The tyranny of the law seeks to confine us in a prison of our own making.  But Christ stands at the door to our cell and says, “Loose him, and let him go.” 

One last thing: Having a Bible we can understand really helps us to understand the Bible.  In the New Testament where Christ quotes the Old Testament He quotes from the Septuagint, a translation in the common language of the day and not from the traditional Hebrew texts.  The New Testament itself was written in the Koine dialect of Greek.  This was the supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written by the people.  I’m not trying to share a lecture on biblical languages.  What I’m getting at is that Jesus and the Apostles used the language of the day so that everyone could understand what they were saying.  They didn’t use the fifty cent words and nuanced meanings of the intellectuals or the technical jargon of theologians.  They didn’t use a language that was no longer spoken or a dialect that was from another era.

Today there are many translations that render the Bible in the language we use every day at work, at the market, and at home without all the thees and thous which no longer form a part of our daily speech.  I’m not saying don’t use a Bible with those words if that’s what suits you I’m just saying use a Bible you can easily understand.  Personally my favorite is the Message but there are plenty of others.  Find the one you’re comfortable with and let it speak the Words of God into your spirit and breathe the Spirit of God into your life.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 

Serving Those Who Served US September 11, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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After the rollout of President Trump’s Maintaining Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act (MISSION Act) Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie responded to the previously predicted problems on Military.com.  “One story said to ‘expect glitches.’ Another said it was ‘confusing.’ Some lawmakers who supported the bipartisan bill suddenly warned about the possibility of ‘overreach’ by the Trump Administration, while others warned of a ‘ tech nightmare.’  But thanks to thousands of dedicated VA workers around the country and President Donald J. Trump’s support for this historic reform, elements of the MISSION Act took effect on June 6, and veterans immediately began benefitting from the largest transformation in veterans’ health care since the end of World War II.”

Secretary Robert Wilkie went on to clarify what this fundamental change in the services we offer to those who answered the call and fought for our freedom and our interests around the world is.  “At its core, the MISSION Act reflects the President’s vision that veterans need to be at the center of their health care decisions. If it’s too long a drive to the VA, if wait times are too long, if we can’t offer the services a veteran needs, or if it’s simply in the best medical interest of a veteran to use non-VA services, they can now seek care in their community.

That change was a long time coming for our rural veterans, many of whom live nowhere close to a VA hospital or clinic. And it’s much more than just an extension of the Choice program enacted under President Obama. That program was temporary, narrow and incomplete, while the MISSION Act is permanent and will put a much broader group of veterans in the driver’s seat when it comes to their health.

The response from those who wore the uniform to defend this great Nation was immediate and sustained. A tool we developed to decide whether veterans are eligible for community care is being used tens of thousands of times each day.

The MISSION Act also created an urgent care benefit that finally gives veterans what others have in their neighborhood; access to nearby care to treat ailments that need immediate attention, like the flu or a sprained ankle. One veteran in Texas said this change is a ‘godsend’ because under the old system, getting a sore throat treated meant a 45-minute ride each way to the VA.

And he’s not alone. Thousands of urgent care visits have been scheduled for veterans under the MISSION Act. By mid-July, we were starting to exceed 500 visits each day, and that number has been growing each week as veterans learn more about this important new benefit.

In the end, the MISSION Act simply gives the VA what all other major healthcare systems have — a way of referring patients to outside care when needed. Community care is one piece of that, as is the new urgent care benefit. We have nearly 5,000 urgent care providers in our network so far, and that number is expanding as we continue to provide veterans with more options to get care when and where they need it.”

After years of neglect a broken system is getting fixed.  During his historic campaign in 2016, then candidate Trump called out the VA for its failure to meet the needs of America’s heroes.  It was a broken system that no president had been able to cure.  Now after two years in office we’re finally on the road to serving those who served US thanks to the vision and leadership of America’s blue-collar billionaire, President Donald J. Trump.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Stand Up for Americans Who Stand Up for America August 27, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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On July 29, 2019 President Donald J. Trump signed into law a permanent authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).  This fund provides financial support for families who lost their loved ones as a result of the September 11 attacks.

The VCF was initially created in 2001 and ran through 2004. It was revived in 2011 and went into law in 2015, but it only gave victims the opportunity to make claims until 2020.  The new bill signed by the president allows victims to make claims until 2090.

During its first four years, the fund gave out $7 billion to the families of more than 2,880 people who died and to 2,680 people who were injured in the 9/11 attacks.  When it was reactivated in 2011, it expanded eligibility and allotted $2.775 billion. The fund was set to end in 2016, but in 2015, Congress and President Obama allowed for the bill to continue another five years, until 2020, with another $4.6 billion.  That left the VCF with a total of $7.375 billion. As of May 31, more than $5.174 billion has been given out to 22,500 victims of the attacks.

However, more than 40,000 people have applied to the VCF, which covers illnesses potentially related to being at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the attacks. There are about 21,000 claims pending.  Officials estimated it would take another $5 billion to pay pending claims and the claims that officials anticipate will be submitted before the fund’s previous December 2020 deadline.

VCF’s Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya said, “The plain fact is that we are expending the available funds more quickly than assumed, and there are many more claims than anticipated.”  She added, “A total of 835 awards have been reduced as of May 31.”  The Justice Department said in February that the fund is being depleted and that benefit payments are being cut by up to 70 percent.

Realizing that the periodic Congressional haggling over funds for VCF was causing added stress to the victims and their families President Trump’s new bill appropriates such funds as may be necessary to pay all approved claims. The new bill also allows claimants to be paid what was reduced from their initial amount and remove the cap on noneconomic damages in specific circumstances.

More than 100 Americans who were personally affected by the devastation of the September 11 attacks joined President Trump at the Rose Garden signing ceremony. These individuals included first responders, survivors, and family members of victims.

In his speech President Trumps said, “Today, we come together as one nation to support our September 11th heroes, to care for their families, and to renew our eternal vow: Never, Ever Forget.  Our nation owes each of you a profound debt that no words or deeds will ever repay.  But there is something we can do.  We can and we will keep our nation’s promise to you.”  Honoring those who honor us with their sacrifice and service President Trump continued, “To every 9/11 hero, you poured out your heart, your sweat, your soul, and everything you had for your country.  You went back day after day and night after night to save lives and return the fallen to their families, to rebuild and recover, and to show the entire world that nothing will ever break America’s spirit.  They fought to rescue every person trapped in the rubble, and then searched for months to find the remains of the fallen. The love and loyalty of our 9/11 responders knew no bounds.”

In the years since we were attacked more than 2,000 first responders and survivors have passed away from illnesses directly related to the toxic fallout from those attacks.  Even today, thousands more are battling health problems stemming from that day in American history.  Thanks to the leadership of President Trump The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund will now provide them with permanent support.

In an age when people who kneel for our national anthem and burn our flag are called heroes by many including the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media, President Trump continued to stand up for Americans who stand up for America when he made the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund permanent.

May God pour out His blessings upon the surviving victims of 9/11, their families, and the families of the fallen.  May God bless President Trump for leading us in honoring their sacrifices.  And may God bless the United States of America.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows Dancing On A Wall August 20, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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The idea that everything came out of nothing is an assault upon reason.  Since creation is often presented this way as a straw-man argument by the opponents of faith, many thinking people fall for this siren song of secularism.   

But that isn’t what the Bible presents.  In the beginning, in Genesis we’re told that God called all things in this physical reality into being out of nothing physical.  This reality did not exist before God willed it to be here.  God said, “Let there be,” and there is.   

But this doesn’t mean that everything came out of nothing. In the letter to the Hebrews Paul put it this way, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”   It was God’s word and His faith in His word that created everything.  And it’s God’s faith that sustains all that we see. 

Ponder for a moment the incredibly complex relationship between the physical reality and our perception of it.  The computer screen you’re reading this article on is made up of more empty space than matter.  As is the table or desk it’s sitting on.  As are you and I.  From the dark matter and dark energy that scientists theorize makes up the vast majority of the Space-time continuum to the sub-atomic world which goes as far in as the stellar expanse goes out this physical reality is actually tiny bits of matter held together by invisible forces.   

Accepting ourselves as the center of the universe because that’s the only point of observation each of us has we look at our macro view of the micro world and see solid things and we accept that this is the totality of reality.  However, that’s only how we perceive things.  That’s not what they really are.  All matter is enveloped in emptiness powered by energy and the fabric of creation is sustained by faith. 

Long before modern science revealed the mirage of solid matter or the inability of perception to account for an expanding universe without a preponderance of dark everything, one of the greatest of secular thinkers aptly described the shifting sands upon which our understanding rests. 

In his book The Republic Plato used the allegory of the cave to explain the relationship between perception and reality.  His story goes like this; prisoners are chained in a cave, only able to look forward at the shadows on the wall. The shadows they see are real to them, but in reality the shadows are just the shadows of real objects in the room and shadows of the prisoners themselves being projected on the cave wall from a fire behind them.  The sounds they hear and images they see are real to them, even though they are unaware of the true source.  The allegory of the cave is a theory put forward by Plato, concerning human perception. Plato claimed that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning. 

Thus even those who knew nothing of God could see that what we see is not all there is and that what we do see is more a representation of what it is than what it appears to be.  However, the wisdom of the wise is foolishness to God and the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise. 

The problem with this thinking past the shadows is that we can’t reason our way to God.  He’s outside the bounds of our reality, the source and summit of that reality and therefore, beyond anything we can think or imagine.  If He didn’t reveal Himself we could no more reason what He’s like than an ant could reason its way to man. 

God used an allegory to teach the Israelites about the death-defeating life-giving nature of the Messiah’s mission.   

Since the days when the Jews were slaves in Egypt the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb has been the symbol and the purchase of redemption.   Originally Moses ordered the Jews to sacrifice the Passover Lamb and then apply the blood to the door posts of their homes.  Seeing the blood of the sacrifice the Angel of Death passed over God’s chosen people.  For more than a thousand years the Jews sacrificed the Passover Lamb every year to cover their sins never knowing this was a shadow of things to come.  

Christ’s ministry was first announced to a fallen world when John the Baptist said, “Behold the lamb that takes away the sins of the world.”  And from that moment on His life brought the true form of reality out of the shadow. 

Following the command of Moses as interpreted by the elders every year each Jewish family chose a lamb and took it into their home to live with the family for five days.  During this time they examined the lamb for blemishes.  Only after it was found to be perfect could it become the Passover Lamb.  Then the lamb was sacrificed and the blood poured out on the altar of God to cover the sins of the people. 

Jesus, the Lamb of God entered Jerusalem on the same day that the lambs entered the homes of the Jews.  For five days He was examined by the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Pharisees.  After He was found to be without guilt they were forced to bring in false witnesses.  Than on the fifth day; the Day of Preparation just as the Jews were sacrificing the Passover Lamb the light of revelation pierced the darkness of a fallen world as thousand year old shadows took on flesh and blood for when Christ was nailed to the cross the shadow became real. 

At the time of Christ’s death and resurrection even His Apostles didn’t understand what it was all about.  They scattered and hid fearing they would be the next to go.  It was only after they were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that they boldly proclaimed the Gospel.  It was only then that they finally grasped that Jesus came to fulfill the scriptures, to make the shadows real. 

We may ask ourselves, “How did they miss it?”  But just as the proof is in the pudding so faith is in the living.  Do we live consistently in a way that reveals our grasp of God’s revelation?  Or do we judge our acceptance with God by how well we’re doing?  Do we live each day in the full knowledge that we’ve become eternally acceptable to God only by our faith in Christ?  Our ability to walk boldly into our Daddy’s throne room must never be measured by how good we are.  If it is we can never enter.   

People say that hind sight is 20/20.  Yet we all know those who fail to learn the lessons of History are doomed to repeat it, and all around us we watch as History repeats itself over and over.  We who’ve confessed Jesus as Lord and who believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead have the benefit of revelation.  We’re given insight into the shadows which still lie over this vale of tears like a fog.  We can see the forms which to those without Christ are nothing more than shadows dancing on the wall of a cave. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 

 

 

 

Trump Works For US August 13, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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While the Theater of the Absurd that is the modern American political scene tries to turn the “swing and a miss” collusion conspiracy into a do-over in the best Congress money can buy, President Donald Trump continues to go quietly about his business of making America great again.  

One year ago this past July President Trump inaugurated the Pledge to America’s Workers.  This is a program lead by his daughter and Advisor to the President, Ivanka.  As the number of job openings soars and the unemployment rate plummets to a near-50-year low, American wages, after hitting a decade long plateau, are starting to rise.  That’s great news.  But it comes with a daunting challenge.   With the tightening labor market American companies are struggling to find enough workers with the right skill sets to fill the open jobs. 

And that’s where the Pledge to America’s Workers comes in.  Last summer, President Trump inaugurated a new approach in an effort to bring more Americans off welfare rolls and unemployment.  He wants to see them reintegrated into the labor force.  To do this the President issued a challenge for businesses.  He asked them to actively create more opportunities for meaningful career training.  He asked that these new opportunities be available for students and workers of all ages. 

At a recent meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House to mark the first anniversary of the program Ivanka Trump said “Over the last year, more than 300 businesses and organizations, large and small, have signed our Pledge to America’s Workers, and today we celebrate reaching over 12 million pledges.”  Also at this meeting the National Association of Manufacturers announced they’ll become the latest organization to meet the President’s challenge.  The members of the Association include American manufacturing giants such as Caterpillar and Boeing.  With this addition another 1.2 million blue-collar workers will have a chance to enhance their skills under President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers initiative. 

Pointing to the expanding program and what it is doing to help every American benefit from the expanding economic boom Ms. Trump said, “Every single pledge is a commitment to the promise of an individual and his or her potential. We are changing the conversation on workforce development, so we can prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.” 

Thanks to President Trump for 12+ million commitments for meaningful career training and counting!  He’s working for US. 

Let’s talk about what’s right with America. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 

 

Lead Me Not Into Temptation August 8, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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This line from the model prayer Jesus taught us something the Apostle James also points out, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God;’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”  Or, as it says in the Message, “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, ‘God is trying to trip me up.’ God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.”

It’s us and only us who choose to sin, to turn our backs on the good and embrace evil.  “Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”

Just like everyone else who’s wandered this earth since the fall of man I struggle with temptation.  It matters little that I know these struggles come from my own lust.  I still have a battle on my hands.  And just like everyone else I can stand strong against most temptations but I do have those sins which so easily ensnare me in their web of momentary pleasure and future guilt.  These are the things I struggle with.  Anyone who’s honest with themselves will admit they have the same situation.

Recently after a service I had a man asked for counsel about this very thing.  All I could do is all I can ever do; share my witness.

When I’m faced with the temptation to fall into my pet sins, which I face on a daily basis, I admit I’m not strong enough to resist the temptation.  These sins have years, decades even of practice in enticing me to wander from God’s path of obedience.  My own lusts have their spiritual hands on all the right levers to pull me away.  How can I resist?  Who’ll save me from myself?

Christ has come to set us free and when He sets us free we’re free indeed.  I know that’s what the word says.  But how do I get in on all this freedom when I’ve spent so much of my life as a willing slave to these sins?

The first step is to admit my inability to resist the sin.  And to realize that these thorns in my flesh are there to protect me from pride and to shape me into what the Lord intends me to be.  It’s the act of surrender, of admitting my inability to resist that makes a way.  You see when I get to the end of my rope if I give up my struggle and ask Jesus to use His strength to resist the temptation for me I can walk unscathed through the fires of my lust.  When I’m weak then I’m strong because Christ’s strength is perfected in weakness.

We’ll never be tempted by more than we can endure and in every temptation there’s a way of escape.  This is one of the many promises we can hang on to when we face our pet sins across the gulf of temptation.  Think of how the Lord himself resisted temptation in the wilderness.  He used the Word of God to rebuke Satan.

In the same way we need to have the Word of God in us if we want to have the strength to admit our weakness so we can find His strength.

Walking with God can sound and feel like walking backwards to anyone steeped in the wisdom of the world.  For the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise of this world.  Just as the weakness of a sinner becomes the strength of the saint as hand in hand with the Man who stilled the sea we give it all to Jesus so He can give it back to us.

Those who seek to keep their lives lose them and those who give their lives away keep them for all eternity.

So how do we resist temptation?  We trust Jesus to do it for us since every sin was paid for at the cross.  Accept Him as your Lord and Savior.  Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.  And you will be saved.  That isn’t pie in the sky.  That isn’t a hollow promise for the great by-an-by.  That is a constant reality for the here and now.

So when those pesky old sins reach up and try to drag us down remember we aren’t out here all alone.  Once we’ve given ourselves to God in and through Jesus it’s no longer just us facing these struggles it’s Christ within us the hope of Glory.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

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