After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cubans suffered greatly through what Fidel Castro called “The Special Period“. Collectively, the collapse of the USSR and the subsequent Cuban “Special Period” (my Cuban friends always make quotation marks when they mention this phrase) demonstrate the inevitable end of a socialist economy.
“This is the result of 18 years of misery and socialis[m], and we have the responsibility to denounce it, but above all to do what is necessary to change it. To wait another year is to prolong hunger, allow more deaths, it is pain. How much more will we ask the people to withstand?” – Vente Venezuela Coordinator Javier Chirinos
What’s next? I foresee a violent and bloody civil war in Venezuela’s future. A Civil war in Venezuela could (and probably will) ignite rebellions in Columbia and Ecuador. I can even imagine anti-government uprisings in Mexico.
There are communists in all western hemisphere countries who hate Americans as they oppose civil freedoms.
Nicolás Maduro is without a doubt attempting to establish a communist government in his country of Venezuela. His adoration of Fidel Castro and his use of Cuban bureaucrats to run Venezuelan government is all the evidence you need.
The numbers cry out for answers. Why are more people, per capita, locked up in the USA than any other nation on the face of the earth? Click on the link below the to enlarge the view.
Any ordinary American would expect the people whom we incarcerate to come out of prison better than what they were when locked away from society. Some do come out better people, but on the dark side, petty criminals tend to become well-trained, crafty, dangerous criminals and this lends well to explain high recidivism rates.
Consider these facts about prison gangs.
The Aryan Brotherhood is a product of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). This well-organized gang has a written constitution and five generals who direct criminal enterprises inside and outside prison walls.
Like cancer, the Aryan Brotherhood metastasized. This gang is now active beyond Texas borders
. Favored symbols include the Nazi swastika. Unlike cancer, their tattoos make them easy to detect. Known for being ‘white supremacists’, they are pragmatic criminals who work well with Latino and African-American gangs.
The important fact you should know is this: the Aryan brotherhood wasn’t spawned by criminals in the community; it was spawned inside Texas prison walls.
This gang was birthed in Los Angeles County jail where criminal illegal immigrants chiefly from El Salvador learned the ropes from fellow prisoners. Today, MS-13 has members from other Central American countries and the gang operates in every major city in every state in the Union. Their crimes are vicious beyond description.
MS-13 members that were deported built a criminal enterprise in their native country of El Salvador where even the government fears them. Deportations of these hardened criminals further exacerbate civil unrest in El Salvador, leading to more people fleeing that the Banana Republic in search of a better life in the United States.
As throwing debtors into prison did not help the lenders, throwing non-violent lawbreakers into jails and prisons does not contribute to the general welfare of the population as a whole.
Prisons notoriously transform petty non-violent criminals into hardened dangerous criminals who go on to perpetrate greater offenses after release from prison.
First: It’s time to unleash Christian ministries. As the Bible says, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Second: Let’s end the practice of using jails and prisons to punish nonviolent lawbreakers. The only persons who should be locked away are those who are sure to harm persons or property if allowed to go free.
Former prisoners face formidable barriers to returning to civil society. Who will hire them?
Back to the first answer, I point to CARE Center Ministries and the head of that highly successful ministry that focuses on the least, the last, and the lonely, the poorest of the poor. I’ve known the head of CARE Center Ministries about 30 years. Today, the ministry has branches in Birmingham AL, Managua Nicaragua, and Mountain Home Arkansas.
Pastor Eldred Sawyer’s disciples are living proof that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. His ministry proves there is a better more effective way to restore lives than any prison.
God has been in the business of turning sinners into saints from the beginning of mankind. He never went into retirement.
Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church appeals to you to call your state representatives to bring HB-2899 to the floor of the House for a vote.
A local Democrat leader remarked that this bill is “stupid”. So, it’s stupid to protect one’s vulnerable women and children? I would say to welcome men into the private dressing areas and restrooms reserved for women is stupid.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus isn’t stupid, but he is inclined to vote with Democrats on such matters, despite the fact he votes Republican in the primary races.
Thank you for standing for women and children and against an insidious political movement to erase traditional distinctions between males and females.
In an email today, the ACLU says, “North Carolina should truly repeal its unjust HB2 law that permits discrimination against LGBT people — and we’re calling on the NCAA to refuse to allow championship games to take place in NC until that happens.”
What’s wrong with the above ACLU complaint? Let’s do a little reality check.
While the left’s popular euphemism for homosexuality is the acronym LGBTQ, homosexuality remains a same-sex attraction.
Here’s the fun part. Are you ready, ACLU?
Men who are afflicted with same-sex attraction have no interest in the invasion of women’s restrooms, dressing rooms, and gymnasium showers. Homosexual men prefer men. Is this too deep for you? I’ll pull back and elaborate somewhat.
Women with same-sex attraction are not interested in men. Like homosexual men, they have no interest in the invasion of men’s restrooms, dressing rooms, and gymnasium showers. Does this help?
The North Carolina HB2, like a similar bill before the Texas Legislature, was crafted to protect vulnerable women and children from sexual predators, guys who wish to walk into women’s restrooms, dressing rooms, and gymnasium showers with impunity. These heterosexual males are perverts and creeps who are generally unwelcome in the aforesaid facilities reserved for women and young children.
I know, I know. I’ve written some facts about life that challenge your baseless complaints, but you will eventually gain understanding (aka common sense) if you re-read the above several times, clicking your heels together while repeatedly saying, “I’m not in the women’s restroom. I’m not in the women’s restroom. I’m not in the women’s restroom.”
As Margaret Thatcher wisely noted about the end of socialism, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
“The South American nation of Venezuela is about to erupt.
“Thousands of citizens are fed up and are now taking to the streets to express their anger and frustration towards President Nicolas Maduro, a man that has forced a sizable portion of the population to go to bed hungry and live without the necessary medications they need to stay alive.
“And according to the Economist, that’s not all, inflation is estimated to exceed 1,600% this year, a situation that will make it even more difficult for the average person to purchase food when it’s available.” CBN News, 12 April 2017 http://tinyurl.com/mxdl94a
“To say life is hard in Venezuela is an understatement. The socialist regime has continued to fail their people in every way imaginable. Thousands of natives are forced to stand in lines for necessities like food and medicine. In January the first infant death from starvation in Venezuela this year was reported. Citizens have had to take measures including the consumption of dogs, cats, and exotic animals in an extreme attempt to survive.” – Natural News, 14 February 2017 http://tinyurl.com/l3d4e4k
Most of South America is struggling economically, nutritionally, and spiritually. The empty promises of socialism remind us that socialism shall forever remain an unproven economic theory.
My Cuban friends endured a similar fate after the Soviet Union withdrew its support from that island bastion of socialism.
I invite your prayers of intercession for the desperate people of Venezuela. Their chief need is a nationwide spiritual revival. Between now and such time there comes a spiritual revival, ask the Lord to deliver the people from the ham-fisted tyranny of a socialist government led by a belligerent former bus driver.
Mosul is in the news—the Iraqi forces believe they have ISIS surrounded and will defeat them in this city in the very near future. One of our staff working at the Samaritan’s Purse Field Trauma Hospital sent this incredible report. It’s long, but it is gripping and I hope you will read it. – Franklin Graham
—My first day at the emergency field hospital just east of Mosul, Iraq was very much like my last day. Mortar strikes on civilians, children bloody and broken, black bags to hold the dead. The slow, solemn walk, cradling a ten-year-old in my arms, counting the steps to the morgue. Laying someone’s son down on cold gravel, reading his name one last time on the death certificate taped to the body bag.
Time of death 18:17.
I’ll never forget the sounds of his dying. The rattling and the gurgling. I’ll never forget the songs we sung over him, the prayers strangled by grief and sorrow. The tear stained cheeks and our righteous anger. I’ll never forget the faraway look on his precious face. I’ll never forget his face. What was left of it.
Many of us were strangers a week before, two days before. Strangers taking care of other strangers. One set from the west, a land of peace and prosperity, one set from northern Iraq, a region ravaged by terrorism and war. And now here we all were, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, translators, construction workers, administrators, and HR reps. One and all hearts turned inside out and taking care of the dying while other new friends fight for the living in mobile operating theaters a few hundred feet away.
That last night may have been the worst. The toddler with ribs exposed from mortar wounds. 9 children in one day. But there were other days, other nights when I thought my heart might die. The toddlers with their feet shot off. The whole families targeted by drone strikes. The burnt and blackened restaurant patrons, victims of a suicide bomber. One night in particular I carried five children to the morgue. It leaves you breathless, concussed. The mortar of sorrow, a direct shot to the soul.
I’m processing, I’m free bleeding my heart and thoughts here so I don’t explode and because I don’t have the luxury of denial. I cannot separate my belief in a good and sovereign God and the suffering of innocence. If there is no reconciling the two than I am lost. We all are. Especially Christians, fools to be pitied of all men.
But what we found there, behind those blast walls, with the ceaseless drums of artillery fire, the strangled song of the whine and wail of one ambulance after another, was that hope is not a thing you wish for, it is the only thing afloat in a raging sea of chaos. It is what you hold on to, what holds on to you so you do not go under the relentless waves of grief. And we found that you hold on to each other. And you pray like gasping for your last breath. And you plead with heaven, even when heaven is silent. And you raise your broken hearts together in a pitiful little petition, more whimpers than words, and you beg, unified in grief, “Jesus please…..”
The Bible says that suffering produces hope. A comical, sadist thought when the belly is full and the sun of our futures never sets, always shines on our glorious destinies. But when the night never ends, when the morgue is full, when evil seems to be laughing in every shadow, on those nights you somehow see it. Suffering produces hope in this way: when terrorism and hate and the cancer of evil spreads over all that is good with a blight of darkness, the light still does not go out. There is a flame in the hearts of those who have known the love of God. There is a song of praise that is not stalled on their lips, is not silenced. There is a light in the inner places of those who have heard the Word of Life and believed. This is the flower of hope that grows in the garden of souls by heaven’s Holy seed. This is the hope that springs eternal, because it has always existed, always will exist apart from the human stain, in the Holy heart of God.
Suffering produces hope in the same way bomb blasts produce the broken bodies of children. It is the inevitability, the cause and the effect of universal laws. But only one will remain. Hope will swallow grief one day because Love will conquer all. But Hope is inevitable in us only when we trust, against our own instincts, in the goodness of God and allow ourselves to be taken deep into our own human frailty, far past vulnerability to the point of despair. And in that wasteland of our utter uselessness, in that wilderness of our unraveling, God is there, He is faithful, He alone, as He has always been, is holding the universe together and simultaneously holds us in the palm of His hand.
That is the only hope: that God holds His own in the palm of His hands while they yet suffer. And that the insatiable hunger of the mouth of Hell cannot devour the ragtag, broken band of believers called the church.
In the picture above I hold in my hand a 50 caliber bullet taken from the body of a pre-teen boy. An ISIS sniper shot him because their’s is an ideology of fear. They target the weak, not just because the weak are a low-hanging fruit, but because most of us are weak. Most of us are trying to live our simple lives in peace. ISIS needs capitulation. They need submission. A sniper bullet in the side of a child reminds us the world is not at peace and things are not simple. It reminds us that suffering isn’t a concept, that no abstraction paralyzed this young man. It reminds us that we are fragile and vulnerable. It reminds us that to walk the way of love our hearts will be obliterated by suffering.
And so against all hope we hope, that Love will one day conquer all. But not human love. Only God’s selfless love, for with it carries His perfect all-powerful justice and the promise and ability to make all things new. Godspeed that day. Especially for the precious children of Mosul.