Tag Archives: government control

Seems Like a Good Idea … The Ultimate World Religions Database

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 This is an early version of a snippet from my NaNoWriMo Work in Progress — “What will You Die For?”

“Miz Rodriguez, you should totally do this.” Jayna blew on her hands as they watched the kids file into the buses.

“But Jayna, they want to collect people’s Bibles. I mean take them away. Would you give them your Bible?” Keith asked.

“I totally would, Mr. Bradley. They’re saying the stuff I underline and my notes are just as important as fancy commentaries and famous preachers. They want everybody’s ideas and thoughts that they write in their Bibles. Won’t it be cool? I could help some sister a thousand years from now understand the Bible better!”

Talia looked up at Keith. Everyone shivered as another icy blast blew through the bus parking lot. “Mr. Bradley, did you ask your grandmother about letting them use her Bible? What did she say?”

“I … I did ask her.” Keith looked across the street toward the rundown building where his grandmother had her apartment. “She said this whole thing sounded like the Mark of the Beast to her. She said she would never give up her Bible.”

“Jayna, go get on the bus. I can’t drive you home again,” Talia ordered.

“The Mark of the Beast?” Jayna ran a few steps toward her bus but turned back “That’s crazy. This is a good thing, Mr. Bradley. This is gonna make history! You tell her not to be old-fashioned.”

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“Are You So Selfish?”

 

From My Work in Progress — What Will You Die For? — Mary C. Findley

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“What?” Keith jumped up. “What are you saying? We’re supposed to take the kids’ Bibles away from them? Their prayer journals? Their memory cards?”

“There’s no need to be defensive.” Doctor Summers glared up at him. “Please be seated. You will only be borrowing them, to get them scanned. And we want materials from everyone in the community. Parents, grandparents, pastors – Anyone who studies the Bible. Don’t you see? This will become a resource people all over the world can use, for all time. Mr. Bradley, your prayers, your thoughts, your study of the Bible could teach someone in Thailand, Mali, Alaska – someone in a spaceship traveling to Mars – these insights will become eternal.”

“But it’s voluntary, right?” Talia asked. “People don’t have to give us their Bibles, do they?”

“This program fails if it doesn’t accomplish the critical goal of gathering all the possible data,” Doctor Summers insisted. “It must be completely inclusive to succeed. How can we say that only fifty percent, or seventy-five percent, or even ninety-eight percent of people’s Bible study information gives a complete picture of this vital topic?”

“What exactly do you mean by ‘this program fails’?” Keith’s dad demanded.

“It doesn’t fulfill the requirements,” Doctor Summers said. “It doesn’t qualify for the grants.”

“You mean additional grants,” Keith prompted.

“No, I mean any grants,” Doctor Summers responded.

“You mean we lose everything we’ve gotten from implementing the Bible as Literature program?” Principal Bradley choked.

“It’s clearly stated in the contract you signed that this is a graduated program, consisting of steps that must be followed. The program itself is voluntary, but you agreed to provide this information – complete information. Really, there’s nothing scary or unreasonable being asked for here. Are your Bible studies secret? Why does the idea of sharing them with the world disturb you? Are you that selfish?”

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The Future Is Now

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While is it certainly not universal, and the technology will certainly change as it develops, the mark of the beast is with us today.

“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:18

Secularists often say that they would believe God, or His followers, if they would do miracles in front of them that could be repeated and verified. They will get their wish, only the miracles will be done by the beast, in order to deceive them.

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10

The great interest of the moment seems to be in the mark of the beast. I find it strange that even though it is with us today, people still wonder what it is. The mark has two parts or purposes. One is identification. Roman soldiers had tattoos identifying them by unit (legion). Nazis wore armbands, barbers have stripped poles, boy scouts have uniforms and badges and you get the general idea. Identification is not necessarily bad. It depends on who you are identifying with. The second purpose is to identify you. There is a clamor for some form of identification which cannot be stolen or duplicated. Identity theft can be eradicated if each and every person on the planet can have a unique identifier which cannot be duplicated or stolen.

Beginning somewhere around the year 2000, certain nightclubs began issuing tattoos on the right hand or forehead that were invisible in normal light. These tattoos were necessary for admittance. While they did not all work the same way, some of them had a unique code which allowed the person checking for the tattoo to both know who you are and find out if you had enough money in your account to enter the club.

While this invisible tattoo is not going to be the worldwide mark of the beast because it is possible to duplicate someone else’s tattoo, it has all the elements of the mark of the beast.

1) You are identified as a unique individual. 2) You are identified with the club. 3) It grants access to a financial account.

The mark of the beast will exist when all financial transactions are electronic. I am not saying that electronic financial transactions in and of themselves are the mark of the beast. I am saying that the government of the beast will need all financial transactions to be electronic so that he can control people by cutting off access to their money.

The actual, physical mark is something that both identifies you to the government and uniquely marks you as individual. One possible unique identifier could be a social security number. The important part of the mark of the beast is access to your money through an electronic account. That will be how the government controls you.

There is enormous speculation as to the exact technology used. When the original Star Trek TV series was produced, computers used tape drives and had little, if any, main memory. The crew used round disks which were praised for being forward thinking. They never envisioned SD microchips and smartphones. People who wrote on clay tablets probably never envisioned pen and paper, books, typewriters, computers and light displaying monitors. So taking a guess on future technology is very risky. But here goes anyway.

1) I doubt there will ever be just one currency because it will not be necessary. With efunds, you can be paid in whatever currency you desire and the money in your account can be instantly converted to any other currency. When people buy our books from the many countries Amazon and Smashwords offer them in, currency conversions take place electronically so that we are paid n American dollars through Paypal or our bank account. The important point is control of the personal electronic accounts, not the type of currency they are held in.

2) Many people who write on this subject are convinced that tiny implanted RF chips will contain all your personal data. Perhaps RF chips might play some role in the future, I do not see RF chips as either important or something to be concerned about for several reasons. Though difficult, it is possible to remove RF chips. It is also possible to damage or alter RF chips. There is great resistance to implanting or even carrying an RF chip. But the most compelling reason for not using RF chips is that they are not necessary. The only information the individual needs to have on his person is some form of a unique identifier. All other data can be stored somewhere else, preferably on numerous mirrored sites to keep the data valid.

You will need this unique identifier in order to vote, to buy or sell, to get a job, to rent an apartment or buy an automobile, even if you are paying cash. This kind of unique identifier, or personal ID is being promoted today by Conservatives to control people who cross the border illegally and people who cheat on welfare. The very same information could be used to collect taxes without the individual even being aware that the government has access to his account.

I can easily see this as an invisible tattoo of your social security number. There will also need to be some type of mark identifying you as a member of the world government. This is where the “666” comes in. That is the mark that will “put you in the system.”

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The Mark of the Beast

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Revelation 13:16-18 KJV

For almost two thousand years men have puzzled over these words. Today the answer is readily available. Though I have no special insight, wisdom, revelation or knowledge, the pieces, in vague form, already exist. That is, the technology already exists. There are still problems putting it all together into a system. Here are the pieces.

I drive a commercial tractor-trailer with a Prepass transponder. My transponder is similar to a transponder in an aircraft. This transponder contains a very difficult to forge identification code. This code allows various state DOT officers to almost instantaneously access data stored in various other locations concerning my truck. The only information actually stored on my truck is the unique identification code. Since the information about my truck is stored elsewhere, the actual ID can be microscopic.

Many countries are attempting a cashless society. By dollars amounts, not number of transactions, the USA is 98% cashless now, in 2012. Other countries are completely cashless within their own borders. Cash is still needed to use with foreign currency. People carry a card like a VISA debit card. All transactions, from riding a bus and paying the fare to collecting a paycheck are processed either by credit or debit in electronic accounts. The three major concerns at this time are the lack of security, errors in the system and large number of places which do not have card readers.

One method of security is the use of invisible tattoos. These are being used now by clubs as proof of membership and access to the club. The tattoo is applied to either the forehead or the back of the hand. It is invisible except under a scanner which is designed to read it.

Some type of invisible mark could easily be used on a gullible society if the mark was only for ID only. That ID would give you permission to vote, work and register your car. It would act as a passport and do anything else you need to do with an ID. It could also access an account that would allow you to buy and sell. Government is already salivating over the prospect of tracking you and your purchases. At the same time, this control could deny you access to your own money if the guardians decided that you were a criminal.

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Book Review of The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr

Men’s minds and thinking are getting shallower all the time, but it’s wrong to blame that on the Internet. Many things are just as powerful as the Internet in changing our lives and our thought patterns. Rock music, television, video games and addiction (alcoholism) still play a greater role in “shallowing” the mind than the Internet. The human brain works the same way it has since Adam. The Internet is a minor cultural change compared to the Civil War in the American South, Concentration Camps for Jews, the ten plagues in Egypt and the decimation of Native American culture by Europeans.

(Note that all quotes below are from Carr’s book unless otherwise stated.)

Sabrina’s “workaholic” Linus Larrabee shouts, “My life makes your life possible!” “And I resent that!” playboy younger brother David shouts back. “So do I!” Linus retorts. This popped into my head as I read the repeated descriptions of the deep readers and contemplative thinkers. Nathaniel Hawthorne lay back and experienced nature for hours. Trains and busy working people disturbed him. The “shallow thinkers” Carr brings up are productive people, people with jobs. They have always paid for the lives of these deep thinkers.

Deep thinkers may not be playboys. They still need to be supported to lie in the grass listening to the breeze. Artists and writers from ancient times had patrons or they starved to death. Today their support still comes from those who can handle the world’s distractions. I say this as an artist and writer forced into the distraction of working or helping my husband work to pay bills and buy books like The Shallows.

Carr’s concept of “deep reading” sounds like Eastern Mysticism, opening the mind to everything, rather than reading as the Scriptures teach, “to know wisdom and understanding,” “comparing Scripture with Scripture.” If you can’t lose yourself in a long book you don’t learn properly? Then why does he reduce the Nathaniel Hawthorne tale of his Sleepy Hollow reverie to “snippets?”

Carr quotes wicked men as praiseworthy examples. Emerson, Freud, Nietszche and Marx are just a few of his favorite secularists. Studies are automatically authoritative. In our book Antidisestablishmentarianism we include this: “Dennis Prager, anthropologist and historian, laments the unthinking reliance on pseudo-science in today’s society. ‘In much of the West, the well-educated have been taught to believe they can know nothing and they can draw no independent conclusions about truth, unless they cite a study and “experts” have affirmed it. “Studies show” is to the modern secular college graduate what “Scripture says” is to the religious fundamentalist.'” (Prager quote from “Breastfeeding as a Religion,” World Net Daily, wnd.com, posted November 11, 2003 1:00 am Eastern.)

Carr’s “facts” are lies or skewed into lies. Plato’s Phaedrus strongly supports oral tradition. Theuth and Thamus illustrate oral versus written traditions. “Unlike the orator Socrates, Plato was a writer, and while we can assume that he shared Socrates’ worry that reading might substitute for remembering, leading to a loss of inner depth, it’s also clear that he recognized the advantages that the written word had over the spoken one.” Carr twists it to say Plato is supporting writing over oral tradition.

Plato knew of the honored Spartan tradition that their laws had to be memorized. “Plutarch, in his discourse on the life of Lycurgus and his rule in ancient Greece, expresses the belief that oral tradition is a way of making the law more firmly fixed in the mind.

“None of his laws were put into writing by Lycurgus, indeed, one of the so-called ‘rhetras’ forbids it. For he thought that if the most important and binding principles which conduce to the prosperity and virtue of a city were implanted in the habits and training of its citizens, they would remain unchanged and secure, having a stronger bond than compulsion in the fixed purposes imparted to the young by education, which performs the office of a law-giver for every one of them.”

Carr says Plato’s Republic opposes the oral tradition. “In a famous and revealing passage at the end of the Republic, … Plato has Socrates go out of his way to attack ‘poetry,’ declaring that he would ban poets from his perfect state.” Book Ten of Plato’s Republic starts off by saying that he wanted to banish the type of poetry that did not support his state. His goal was to rewrite the religious and imitative literature. Plato wanted absolute regulation of content, not the banishment of the oral tradition, as stated in Book II. “Then the first thing will be to establish a censorship of the writers of fiction (which includes the Poets) …and we will desire mothers and nurses to tell their children the authorized ones only.”

The book relies on the shallowness of gleaning opinions from others without testing them by researching in the work itself. Carr didn’t seek out the real meaning of the discussions in the Republic and Phaedrus for himself. This would be almost comical if it weren’t for his repeated emphasis on deep thinking and reading.

Carr talks about the cool serenity of library stacks, but we went to a college where the stacks were closed and the frustrations of getting the right books were endless. Open stacks are still time consuming if the book in the card catalog isn’t on the shelf. Leisure reading and research reading are very different. Long novels like War and Peace and Bleak House and technically difficult works like Einstein and Infield’s The Evolution of Physics are worth the time to read cover to cover. But the library is confining and the Internet is liberating when there is time pressure.

Carr loses the struggle to define determinism because he is thoroughly deterministic in his approach to the studies, the experiments, and the use of what he condemns (superficial research and study) to prove his point. He mentions a couple of histories of societies making technology choices, but, “Although individuals and communities may make very different decisions about which tools they use, that doesn’t mean that as a species we’ve had much control over the path or pace of technological progress.”

How dare he say the brains of London cabbies won’t be as interesting if they start using GPS? That thinking isn’t much different from withholding medicine and clothing from jungle tribes. They’ll be “less interesting” for anthropologists to study. “Anthropologists are often faced with situations where members of the tribe they are studying die on a regular basis from easily curable diseases. But administering medicine may be the first step toward the loss of a culture. Many tribes actually express desire to become more technological. Anthropologists usually pressure them not to do so. One Brazilian indigenous tribal chief, after hearing such a recommendation, is quoted saying, ‘Do they think we like not having any clothes? It may be the way of our ancestors, but the bugs bother us…’ Should tribes like these be exposed to the modern world? There are no easy answers.” (Quoted from BBC online, updated April 10, 2002, in our book Antidisestablishmentarianism.)

E-books already outsell paper books on Amazon.com, and have for over a year. The Kindle is easy to read, keeps your place, allows written comments and highlighting. It’s a “real book.” Many small and medium conventional publishers are out of business. Only publishing giants and specialty “boutique” publishers can sustain the costs of producing paper books. The minimal costs of e-books will force this trend to continue.

Carr even quotes Psalm 115:3-8, a description of the deadness and powerlessness of idols, and warps it to fit his thesis about “technology’s numbing effect. It’s an ancient idea, one that was given perhaps its most eloquent and ominous expression by the Old Testament psalmist.” The creation of idols didn’t just “amplify and in turn numb the most intimate, the most human, of our natural capacities — those for reason, perception, memory, and emotion.” This is blasphemy. How can he equate the deadly sin of idolatry with the mere loss of “natural capacities”? He does this because he’s a secularist. (The passage is included here) “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not. They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” ( KJV)

Placing of scientific journals online does not narrow the scope of research and scholarship, which has always built on past scholarship. An article from 2005 need not cite one from 1945. That research was incorporated into, for example, a 1960 article. Further study, experimentation and research would occur by 1960, or more recently.

At one time many libraries had that 1945 issue, interlibrary loan privileges or microfilm. Libraries today rely on online research, which requires membership fees, payment by the article or both. Some of these charges are prohibitive to keep paying and paying for every article an author wishes he could study and reference. Newer articles are more readily available, often free or cheap, and easier to find.

We have been bombarded with distractions and choices and sensory overloads for centuries. It was happening before the Internet, before Gutenberg, before Plato. It’s up to us to filter.

Nicholas Carr pays tribute to the Scriptures by calling Psalm 115:3-8 a “most eloquent and ominous expression.” Hear then, more of the Scriptures and judge whether Carr has any conception of how eloquent the Word of God can be, and how little he understands about how it should shape our thinking. (The following quotes are from the King James Version)

Ecclesiastes 1:8-11: “All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.”

Ecclesiastes 12:11-14: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

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