How much would ‘Medicare-for-all’ REALLY cost the middle class? The answer is shocking

During the most recent round of Democratic presidential debates, nearly all the leading candidates reiterated their commitment to transition the U.S. health insurance industry to a “Medicare-for-All,” government-run model. Some promised to do it more quickly than others, but in the end, the result would be the same: the federal government would control health care within a decade.

Here’s a link to the post at Fox News.

On socialism, Democrats’ only debate is how quickly they want to get there

Round two of the debates is the books and Democrats are firmly committed to doubling or tripling the size of government. From health care to education and beyond, Democrats’ plans mean that, for them, socialism is a matter of when, not if.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Max Lucado: El Paso, Dayton and more – How are we to respond to this dark season of bloodshed?

More bad news. Killings in El Paso. Shootings in Ohio. All this on the heels of a violent weekend last week. All of this violence adding up to too many mass shootings in just 216 days. Is our society coming unraveled? How are we to respond to this dark season of bloodshed?

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

‘The red line of the unthinkable …’

Image by Miki Yoshihito / Used with permission under Creative Commons licensing

“The red line of the unthinkable has been moved again.”

Those 10 poignant words by a psychologist discussing the massacre of 26 people – 20 of them six and seven-year-old children – at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, sums up the world that we live in nowadays.

This event coupled with a never-ending 24-hour news loop on cable television prompts the same reaction that we have become accustomed to when there is yet another mass killing – revulsion, anger, fear, dread and the inevitable finger-pointing about why.

The bodies of the victims had not been identified on Friday before suggestions on how to prevent another mass shooting started. Talking heads on television, people on message boards and social media and of course politicians always looking to further their cause and re-election all had a variety of answers on how to make life in the 21st Century safe.

And of course passing tougher and more stringent gun control measures is as always at the top of the list. Others want to have an armed security guard at every school and every business in America while some believe that arming school officials, teachers and employees is the answer. Others say add prayer back to our schools and into our daily life and these horrific mass killings will stop.

While all these issues merit discussion I believe attempting to find an answer to what is happening in our country lies much deeper.

Let me explain.

Several years ago I wrote a series of columns about what I called the subtle erosion of America. Certainly, this point of view will be looked at by some as simplistic because I’m from a generation that grew up before Columbine, West Paducah, Pearl and now Newtown. The list of places where a mass shooting can take place has now grown to include any business, any church, any mall, any movie theater and any town, big or small. Close your eyes, point your finger to a location on a map … and that could be the next location for mass murder.

The way this erosion works is a simple two-step process. You see, what once shocked us and made us gasp and recoil in horror now barely merits a raised eyebrow. What once was considered perverse and bizarre is now considered the norm and oftentimes even celebrated. And what once was looked at as outlandish, unheard of and over-the-top is now considered to merely be routine. And this has happened because a silent majority has failed to speak up and voice their opinion and take action when necessary.

The second step in this erosion takes place when every person that does have the courage to offer a differing view is quickly shouted down and labeled as judgmental, moralistic and bigoted … and, of course let’s not forget the pet word of those leading this erosion – intolerant. Not wanting to meet the wrath of this group, who by the way, might be the most intolerant and judgmental crowd that exists, most people do as they’re told and shut up.

And that’s allowed the erosion to take place, one small step at a time. The direct result of this erosion is that we are now a country where God has been booted from the courthouse, the schoolhouse and virtually every other aspect of life. After all, we’ve been told, we must be tolerant and not offend anybody.

Now, here we are in 2012 looking for reasons why a 20-year-old man who has no conscious or value of life could open fire at close range on a group of innocent babies. While all the arguments being tossed out might be symptoms of what is taking place the disease that is causing young men to kill at will I believe, is a cultural issue.

Consider this.

During this erosion we have allowed a culture where a generation of young people have embraced songs that talk about killing, rape and shooting police officers and its celebrated as freedom of expression.

We have allowed a culture of violent video games where people are massacred and slaughtered and these are then gobbled up by parents for their childrens’ entertainment and as a babysitter. Again, freedom of expression.

We have allowed a culture where children think reality television is real, where teen pregnancy is glamorized, where a ‘gangsta’ lifestyle is a goal for some and where 90-plus percent of what is on television is trash and not fit for any eyes, let alone the eyes of troubled young people.

We live in a culture where small children are routinely given anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs even though the effects of those drugs are many times violent, irrational and unpredictable behavior. We live in a culture where mental illness is still talked about in hushed tones and in many instances completely overlooked. Out of sight … out of mind, right? Well, out of sight that is until a mentally ill person opens fire in a first grade classroom, a church or a busy retail shopping center. Again … any town, any place.

In short, what shattered the tranquil setting of the small New England town of Newtown is a cultural issue caused by the erosion of America and no amount of gun control legislation or armed security guards can protect any of us from a deranged shooter hell-bent on killing. Shootings in malls, movie theaters, crowded street corners and even churches is proof of that. Ironically, the morning after the shooting I read a story in the Chicago Tribune with the headline: 10 people including four teens shot overnight on South Side.’ And Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the nation.

As a footnote, let me add that I think the prayer in school issue certainly adds irony to what has taken place in Newtown. In my life I have watched as God was literally booted out of the schoolhouse by a small minority of people – part of the erosion of America group. And again this erosion has taken place because the majority stood back and allowed it to happen. And perhaps the Christian community is the most at fault because they have sat on their collective hands and ‘shut up’ as they were told.

But, isn’t it ironic that nearly every comment and every plea from everybody involved in the Newtown massacre has asked that the victims of this horrific and senseless act be remembered in prayers. I also found it interesting that when the crazed gunman was in the building that teachers and children turned to God and prayer to protect them and in the days since the killings there have been countless prayer vigils. There used to be a saying that stated ‘there are no atheists in foxholes.’ I guess the 21st Century version of that is that ‘there are no atheists in schools and its OK to pray in the classroom when a deranged gunman is hunting for somebody to shoot.’

Gun control, armed guards, armed school administrators, prayer in schools and beefed up security are all items that merit attention but only after the cultural issue — the root of this problem — is addressed. Because, if this is life in the 21st Century there is no place of safety — let me emphasize that again– there is NO PLACE OF SAFETY — that exists and God help us all.

If we continue on the path we are on, as horrific as it is to imagine, that ‘red line of the unthinkable’ will move again one day – because the erosion will continue.

Clarence Page: Alas, poor Mad magazine, pulled under by its own humor wave

What? Mad magazine will disappear from newsstands after August? Well, as Dorothy Parker is said to have said after hearing of President Calvin Coolidge’s death, “How can they tell?”

Here’s a link to the column at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Editorial: Joe Biden has been ‘part of the problem in DC for 50 years’

Former Vice President Joe Biden constant push to become president has made him a big part of the problem with the federal government, according to Charlie Hurt.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Op-Ed: Chicago pension bailout isn’t the solution, reform is

I feel for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. I really do.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Illinois News Network.

Op-Ed: Illinois lawmakers’ ‘accomplishments’ will weaken state

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and lawmakers are touting their many accomplishments from the recently completed legislative session.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Illinois News Network.

Editorial: 2020 Dems and ‘Medicare-for-All’ — here’s what ‘free’ health care really means

Americans hate to wait. We scout out the shortest grocery line. We choose the fastest delivery option. We chafe at slow-moving internet speeds. And we don’t like to wait for health care when we or our loved ones urgently need it.

Here’s a link to the editorial at Fox News.

Your Daily Prayer: A Prayer for the Sabbath

A Prayer for the Sabbath – Your Daily Prayer

A Prayer for the Sabbath
By Rick Warren
“You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me.” Exodus 20:9 GNT
Rest is so important to God that he put it in the Ten Commandments. He wants you to take a day off every week. That’s called the Sabbath, which literally means a day of rest, and God wants us to do it every seventh day. (The day isn’t important. It doesn’t have to be a certain day, just every seventh day.) It’s so important that even God rested on the seventh day when he created everything — not because he was tired but to give us an example of how we should rest.

What do you do on this Sabbath day to actually have it be a day of rest?
1. Rest your body.
God has made us so that we need rest. If your car engine heat light were showing red, you would stop because you would know it’s going to damage the engine. God says if you don’t take one day out of seven to rest, if you keep pumping the adrenaline all day, every day, seven days a week, your engine is going to explode somehow. So your best requires rest. You have to take the time to rest.

2. Recharge your emotions.
Just be quiet! Or maybe you need to reconnect in your relationships. Maybe there’s some kind of recreation that rejuvenates you. I’m not talking about competitive recreation. Some of you aren’t recharging your emotions out on the golf course. You’re just getting angry at the other guy!
3. Refocus your spirit.
During your Sabbath, you don’t take a day off from God. You worship! Worship puts life into perspective. If you’re too busy for God, you’re just too busy. To make this happen, you have to schedule it. Psalm 127:2 says, “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?” (MSG)
God enjoys giving rest to those he loves. Be intentional about taking your Sabbath, and make it count!

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