Copyright 1994 - 2017 Bill's Bible Basics
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December 13, 2010
Last Updated :
December 13, 2010
America Hypocritically Points Finger At China And Russia, Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo, Vladimir Putin's Russia And Olga V. Safronova, American Freedoms Slowly Being Eroded, Mechanisms To Control Vote, Illusions Of Political Freedom, American Politics: The Rich And The Elite Will Always Win, Why Only Two Major Political Parties: Maintain Status Quo, COICA - Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, United States Senate Bill S.3804 May Restrict The Internet, COICA: Good Legislation But In The Hands Of Wrong People?, Domain Name Blacklists, US Government Seizes Domain Names, My Experience With Copyright Infringement & Fair Use Abuse, The Controversial Bittorrent Protocol, Not All Are Pirates, Bittorrent & Bill's Bible Basics, Bittorrent Targeted By US Government And Entertainment Industry, Targeted While Innocent?, Abusive Commercialized Internet, Personal Data Sold Without Your Consent, Adios Online Privacy & Internet Neutrality, America's Evolving Police State, Just Test Them, God Gives People Government They Deserve, God's Sovereignty, Worldly Leaders Rule Only By God's Permission, Good Or Evil, God Is A Wise Parent, Bitter Experience Is A Tough Teacher, Israelites Reject God And Demand A King, Sad Story Of Saul, Obama: The Liberal President That America Wanted & Deserves Pres. Obama Rejects Anti-Gay And Lesbian Verses In Romans, Don't Just Cherry-Pick The Bible, Balance Verse With Verse
Today when I opened my online news packet, I just about had to laugh. It was just more of the same of what we have seen in the news in recent weeks. The level of hypocrisy that is currently being displayed by the American mass media, and the US Government, is ridiculous, but it is also very sad.
On one hand, there are a number of news articles concerning big, bad naughty Communist China, and how just yesterday the the Nobel Committee in Norway awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissent and writer, Liu Xiaobo, in his absence, because China would not allow him to receive the prestigious award in person, obviously.
On the other hand, there are also a series of articles which on a regular basis now, have been attacking the ruthless and shrewd Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, and deriding the fact that his government is suppressing all manner of opposition, and gradually turning Russia into an upgraded version of a Soviet state, with just one political party, and a strong central government which has oversight of, and controls, just about everything, from the court system, to police departments, to regional governments, to election commissions, to prosecutor's offices, and more.
In a recent example of Mr. Putin's heavy-handed tactics, an opposition candidate by the name of Olga V. Safronova, who belongs to the "A Just Russia" party, was scheduled to give a rousing speech at a particular school, as the conclusion to her campaign in a regional election in Siberia. To Miss Safronova's dismay, certain local members of Vladimir Putin's party -- "United Russia" -- did everything in their power to stop this woman, which they obviously did.
As you probably know, these two issues have been a top news story for a while now, and to be honest, they really reek of American hypocrisy. I'm not saying that China and Russia are not guilty as charged, as they more than likely are. But what irks me, is the fact that the American Government is guilty of some of the very same improprieties. It simply uses much more subtle methods, such as one particular vote recount in Florida a number of years ago, or making it more difficult for some citizens to vote, or "unintentional" voting snafus, etc.
In this way, not too many American citizens arouse themselves from their materialistic slumber, and begin to realize what is really going on. They fail to realize how their personal freedoms are slowly but surely being eroded by new American laws which put more power into the hands of the elite, but which the regular American citizen rarely ever hears about; by design, of course. They fail to recognize that America is slowly evolving into a veritable Police State, not that much different from the oppressive governments that the American mass media and the US Government lambast on a regular basis.
Stop and think about it, and be honest with yourself. When it comes to small local elections, it is a little easier to become a candidate for a particular office. There may still be some obstacles, but with the right connections, as well as sufficient funds and enough popular support, a person can achieve their political objectives. However, the higher up the political ladder one attempts to go, the more difficult it becomes to even get a foot in the door. Any successful, honest -- oh, really? -- candidate will inform you that it takes piles of money, which most regular people don't have. This automatically sets up an artificial -- but intentional -- barrier to achieving higher office, such as, for example, US Representative, US Senate, and most importantly, the US Vice President and President.
Personally, I have no doubt that these latter two offices are intentionally restricted -- through financial means -- to the rich and the elite. The little guy at the bottom who may have the right answers and the right solutions to the issues, does not stand a chance. The results of major elections are most certainly not determined by the integrity of the candidates, or by the electoral vote, or by the popular vote, or by voter appeal, or by anything else that the mass media may try to tell you. Long before a constituent goes to cast their vote for a president, the outcome has already been determined; and it was determined not by votes, but by who has the most money to purchase votes. You may think that you are fulfilling your civic duty by voting for Candidate A or Candidate B, but why are you limited to just Candidate A and Candidate B, neither of whom may even meet all of your personal requirements?
This is why there are only two major political parties in the United States. This con job guarantees that the status quo is maintained, while the Republicans and the Democrats continue to play "land-of-the-free, home-of-the-brave" ping pong every year. It creates an illusion of political freedom to American citizens. After so many decades of "political freedom", why is there still no real, strong, third or fourth political party alternative in the USA? Isn't the answer rather obvious? The rich and the elite don't want there to be another contender, as it would upset their comfortable political apple cart. So through financial means, by making it extremely expensive to even get one's name known to a wide audience, they control the rules of the game. You have to be rich to win.
But let's change gears now and discuss another related topic. It is also extremely hypocritical that the US Government, and the mass media, are currently criticizing China's stringent control of the Internet, when at the same time, there exists a controversial bill that is making its way through Congress, and creating a lot of commotion and concern amongst Internet privacy advocates, digital rights groups, consumer groups and similar organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch.
This bill -- United States Senate Bill S.3804 -- is known as the COICA, or Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. It was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, (D-VT), on September 20, 2010. A month later, on November 18, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill; so the next step for the COICA is to pass the hurdle of the full Senate. This bill is supported by some very powerful people and organizations, such as the Motion Picture Association of America, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Screen Actors Guild, Viacom, Moving Picture Technicians, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States.
If the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act is able to bypass opposition and becomes law next year -- which is very likely, considering the powerful backing that it has -- it will provide the American Government with the ability to greatly restrict Internet usage in the United States. On the surface, the COICA seems like a good piece of legislation as it will give those in authority the ability to curtail the rampant Internet piracy, online commercial scams, copyright infringement, etc. However, there are also certain potential dangers with this bill. For example, the passage of the COICA will result in the creation of a set of Internet domain name blacklists. The problem is that domain names will be added to the lists at the whim and discretion of the American courts, and the US Attorney General's office. If your domain name is listed on the main list, chances are that it will be seized by the US Government. In other words, your site will simply be zapped out of existence.
Now, if any of you think that I'm overreacting, then consider that only a few weeks ago, the US Government did in fact seize the domain names of eighty-two websites. While I don't doubt that some of these websites were engaged in questionable, and probably illegal, activities, how do you and I know that they all were? Obviously, we don't. But here's what you may find a bit alarming: this was done even before the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act has become law. In other words, these actions were taken under current US law, and it has been said that the COICA is even more lenient, and will make it even easier to carry out such actions.
Now, some of you may argue, "Well, unless you are an Internet pirate, what does it matter to you? How will it affect you?". I agree; it may never affect me personally, or this ministry; but then again, it might, and I will tell you why. As some of my long-time readers may recall, there have been a few times over the past thirteen years when I have had problems with a few people seriously infringing on our copyright. I am not referring to people who choose to take advantage of the "fair use" clause -- Section 107 of the US Copyright Code -- as a way to quote small portions of my articles and series. I do not have a problem with this. In fact, I encourage it, just as long as my work is not included in any commercial work where the owner stands to profit from my work, or from God's Word, which I firmly condemn.
However, there have been a few people -- at least I have only discovered a few -- who have gone way past "fair use". Some unscrupulous people have taken entire articles, perhaps made a change to the opening sentence, and then quoted the whole article word-for-word, and then posted their name at the top of it, claiming that they are the original author. Now, what if one of such people were to try to enforce their claim, by suing me, and accusing me of copyright infringement, even if I am truly the original author of the work? If said person is a good liar, and can create convincing evidence that they are the rightful owner of my work -- which they have stolen -- my domain names could easily end up on one of those government lists. Now do you understand why the COICA is of concern to me?
That is not all. As some of my readers will know, I rely upon a variety of means to distribute my work across the Internet. We have our Bill's Bible Basics website, a PC-ANSI BBS, an FTP server, a messageboard, and I sometimes even post comments in a local newspaper. However, that is not my only means for distributing the Bill's Bible Basics articles. Sometime ago I discovered the bittorrent protocol, which is a very popular medium for sharing files on a peer-to-peer basis. While many people have heard of bittorrent, thanks to the mass media and some of the aforementioned organizations who are a part of the entertainment industry, they've been erroneously led to believe that the bittorrent community is only populated by pirates and similar questionable characters.
While the bittorrent community has indeed been heavily abused by movie, music and software pirates -- it would be foolish to deny it -- they are by no means the only people who rely upon the bittorrent protocol. There are in fact many people who are the rightful owners of their work who choose to use bittorrent simply because it is a fabulous and effective way to propagate one's work. If one adds his torrent to one bittorrent site, in a very short amount of time, it will go viral, and will appear on many other bittorrent sites. Furthermore, in the case of larger files -- such as would be created by Indie bands, Indie film directors and actors, etc. -- the fact that many people are sharing the same file, means that download speeds are very fast; in fact, much faster than I have seen with any other download mechanism that I have used over the past seventeen years.
While I can't provide an exact figure at this time, being as I haven't tabulated downloads in a while, I do know that some of my articles have been downloaded by bittorrent users thousands of times. Between all of the different methods that I've used over the years, I know that my articles have been downloaded at least a few million times by now. I lost track a few years ago.
Now, please understand that what I do with bittorrent is very legal, because I am the original owner and author of my work. I can do with it as I want. I can distribute it in any manner that I choose. But here's the thing. I wouldn't doubt for a minute that bittorrent sites are at the very center of the US Government's bullseye; and, of course, at the center of the bullseye of many of those filthy rich media moguls. While the bittorrent site that I use has put in place policies to make sure that their users only upload and share material that is truly and lawfully theirs to share, what if, for whatever the reasons, the site were to be blacklisted? Obviously, it would affect this ministry directly, even though I am doing nothing illegal. All it takes is one person in the government to say, "Hey, I don't like that site. Let's blacklist them". I would lose a valuable outlet for my work, as a result of someone's whim, personal prejudice, or whatever.
Even our Bill's Bible Basics website could possibly end up on one of their blacklists if I write to many anti-American things that they don't like. Of course, they won't say that this is why we have been blacklisted. They will find -- or perhaps even invent -- some other technical reason why they took us down. So, in conclusion, yes, there remains a great deal of political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press in the United States. It would be foolish for me to deny this. If there was no freedom, I wouldn't even be able to write my current comments. Perhaps even now I would find myself in a similar situation to dissident Liu Xiaobo in China. However, these precious freedoms are even now being slowly curtailed under our very noses, thanks to liberal legislation such as the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.
Personally, it sickens me the way that commercial interests have taken over the Internet. It upsets me to think that it is possible that some unscrupulous company or individual is tracking my every online move, without my knowledge and even without my consent, in the hope that it can figure out a way to profit thereby. It also angers me that without my signed permission, my email address and other personal particulars, are even now being distributed and sold on lists, to people who I do not know, who will also strive to profit from said information. I think it's fair to say that online privacy is now a thing of the past -- if it truly ever existed -- and that so-called "Internet Neutrality" will likewise go the way of other extinct species in the not too distant future.
Furthermore, for the United States Government and mass media to be tooting its horn so loudly, and to be pointing a finger so self-righteously at other oppressive governments, while it clearly has similar issues at home, and is gradually evolving into a Police State that isn't much different from others, is hypocritical. For the United States to verbally chastise China and Russia and other regimes, while it continues to erode the rights of its own citizens, using the well-worn-out excuse of fighting the so-called "war against terrorism", is similar to trying to pull the mote out of your brother's eye, while you have a beam in your own eye. Through its spying on American citizens without their knowledge or consent, treating them as if they are guilty until proven innocent, forcing its moral code and ungodly beliefs on our children through the public education system, the United States Government is the pot calling the kettle black. Where will it end?
Finally, if you really want to test your American freedoms, then just try going a little beyond what the powers-that-be are willing to accept, and see what happens . . . censorship, harassment, wire taps, police surveillance, restrictions on your finances, etc. Welcome to the New Amerika! What's that? It can't happen there? Oh really?
While I have come down rather hard on the American Government in this article, please understand that as a Bible-believing Christian, I believe that all of these things are happening in America for very specific reasons which are known to God. For many years now, I have believed that people receive the kind of government that they deserve. As I have shared on a number of previous occasions, I do not doubt God's Sovereignty for a minute. Contrary to certain people, I firmly believe that God is intimately involved in the affairs of men, moving history in a direction which He alone has foreordained. I believe, as the Scriptures firmly reveal, that the rulers of this world can only rule by His Divine Permission, whether they be good or evil. Consider the following verses:
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Psalms 75:5-7, KJV
"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
Daniel 2:20-21, KJV
"This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Daniel 4:17, KJV
"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."
Proverbs 21:1, KJV
While some people may not realize this, quite often, leaders are a reflection of those they govern. We find a good example of this in the first king of ancient Israel, King Saul. As I first explained in my 1997 article "The Children Of God And Politics", sometimes God will give us things or allow certain things to happen, which may not be His perfect will. You may say "Well, if God is Sovereign as you claim, then why would He do this?". The answer is quite simple: God is a very wise parent. If in our hard-headedness we reject the wise counsel of His Word, then we leave Him with no recourse but to let us learn through an even tougher teacher: bitter experience. In the case of the ancient Children of Israel, their rebellion against the Lord grew to such a degree, that during the days of the Prophet Samuel, they were foolish enough to demand an earthly king, as we see by these verses:
"And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing DISPLEASED Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD."
1 Samuel 8:1-6, KJV
Not only did their request displease the Prophet Samuel, but as we see by the following verses, it greatly displeased God as well. But, as any wise parent would do, the Lord did not deny their request; He in fact told Samuel in so many words, "Go ahead and give them their desire. They will learn soon enough":
"And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them."
1 Samuel 8:7-9, KJV
Samuel then described to them the ruthless king that God was going to set over them, being as they had clearly rejected the Lord as their one true King. In fact, Samuel even went a step further, by warning them that the day would come in the which they would beg the Lord to remove the king from them, but God would turn a deaf ear to their cries, as we see here:
"And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day."
1 Samuel 8:18, KJV
Despite this solemn warning from the Prophet Samuel, in their stubbornness and hard-heartedness, those foolish Israelites continued to insist that they wanted to have an earthly king over them, as we see by these verses:
"Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city."
1 Samuel 8:18-22, KJV
Being as I discuss the remainder of this story in a number of other articles, I will not be going into extensive detail in this article. Suffice it to say that, true to the word of the Lord, King Saul turned out to be a very stubborn, rebellious king who wanted to do things his way, instead of God's way. As a result, the Lord eventually, and soundly, rejected him, and Saul was killed in battle some years later. Consider the following verses:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel."
1 Samuel 15:23-26, KJV
At this point in our discussion, some of you may be thinking to yourselves "Wow, what gives? You spent a good part of this article criticizing the American Government, and now you are talking about the Jews, King Saul, and things that happened thousands of years ago. Who cares? What's with that?".
In your patience possess ye your souls, my friends. Everything that I just shared with you concerning King Saul is related to our discussion concerning America. You see, the stubborn Jews got exactly what they deserved; that is, an equally stubborn and rebellious king. King Saul was an honest reflection of the people that he ruled over. God's Laws do not change, and His methods don't change either. That is why today, the people of America have exactly the kind of leader that they deserve too, who is a clear reflection of their own sins, just as King Saul reflected the sins of his constituents thousands of years ago.
As I explain in part four of my 2008 series "Obama, McCain And The Bush Legacy", President Barack Obama is a liberal through and through. He has also turned out to be a rather weak US president as well, as is evidenced by the fact that just recently, we learned that Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, has just added yet another American president's shrunken head to his war trophies. I'm referring to the fact that just a few days ago, it was announced that Obama has retreated from his goal of trying to pressure Netanyahu into freezing settlement construction for a ninety-day period. So it is very obvious that Netanyahu has won this round, as the Israeli PM's always seem to do.
Furthermore, Obama has backtracked on so many of his campaign promises, that one must wonder if he is in any way related to George W. Bush. To wit, almost two years after his presidency began, America is still engaged in two costly and destructive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, only a few days ago, in contrast to Obama's efforts to project himself as the defender of the poor, he compromised with the Republicans, and the tax cuts which were so generously given to the rich by the Bush administration, will remain in place, while hard-working Americans, students, the poor, the sick and the elderly try to find ways to make ends meet in a very depressed economy.
Regarding President Obama's liberal record, as I point out in the aforementioned series, it more than speaks for itself. As a reminder to those of you who may possess faulty memories, consider the following Obama positions:
01. He supports Roe v. Wade.
02. He voted against prohibiting minors from crossing state lines in order to obtain an abortion.
03. He voted against notifying parents of minor children who obtain out-of-state abortions.
04. He voted in favor of expanding research to include more embryonic stem cell lines.
05. He is undecided on whether or not life begins at conception.
06. He voted against banning partial-birth abortions.
07. He stated that we should trust women to make their own decisions regarding partial-birth abortion.
08. He is opposed to a constitutional ban on gay and lesbian "marriage".
09. He believes that homosexual relationships are no more immoral than heterosexual relationships.
10. On one occasion, in reference to gay and lesbian marriages, he stated ". . . nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount".
11. He opposes gay marriage, but supports civil unions and gay rights.
12. On one occasion, he remarked that he does not believe that being homosexual is a curse, and also stated "I do not believe being gay or lesbian is a choice".
I would like to comment on point number ten above. First of all, I am assuming that by "an obscure line in Romans", Mr. Obama is referring to the following verses that were written by the Apostle Paul, in which he exposes the carnal sins of the hedonistic Romans:
"Wherefore God also 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, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 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 receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;"
Romans 1:24-28, KJV
President Obama stands to be corrected. That is not just "an "obscure line in Romans"; it is in fact four full verses. It also escapes me as to why he refers to these verses as being obscure. On what does he base his description? Or maybe what he actually means, is that he wishes that the verses really where obscure, or hidden, so that he personally doesn't have to contend with them, because they expose the error of his own misguided beliefs, which obviously are not Bible-based beliefs. Does he consider the verses politically-incorrect? I find it troubling that because he disagrees with the truth that the verses convey, like a shrewd lawyer, Obama attempts to downplay their importance by pitting them against Jesus's words that are found in the Gospels. In other words, it is a very subtle, divisive strategy that Obama is employing. The underlying message appears to be "You don't believe more in the words of the Apostle Paul than you do in the words of Jesus, do you?". Now, how would weak Christians respond to such a shrewd remark?
The truth of the matter, as I point out in my 1997 article "A Biblical Cafeteria, Or The Whole Course?", is that we are not to cherry-pick the Bible. In other words, we can't just choose to believe in the verses that we like and agree with, and then just ignore or reject the rest. We must diligently study God's Word, comparing Scripture with Scripture, until we arrive at a balanced understanding of the truth. Barack Obama fails to do this by his own choice, because it's not politically expedient for him to do so.
Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .