Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Review - Voices of the Faithful, Book 2

This lovely book of daily devotions is both aesthetically appealing and intelligently put together with very helpful back-of-the-book indexes, Organized by monthly titles, each of the 366 devotions follows under its topic-related month, and each begins with a verse inspired by experiences of our many varied and caring missionaries in service around the world.

As I read each page, I felt my heart melt and my faith deepen. God does work surprising miracles--most of them done in silence, many of them unknown, and all of them from a small seed of hope. While these missionaries worked ardently to change the world day by day with the treasure of saving one person at a time, they experienced adversity, answered prayers, triumph, and the wisdom of lessons learned. Through their committed lives, we are assured that when we seek God in patience, He will guide and sustain us toward our divine appointment.

Some cases in point:

Aisha's husband forced her to be a muslim. When her son became extremely sick, she turned to her Christian roots and prayed fervently for her son's healing. The fever soon subsided, and Aisha committed her life to Jesus. She left her abusive husband but continued to cook and clean for him while he was gone. Her kindness eventually caused him to look into Christianity and he was completely transformed.

In Asia, 'K' ran a Bible study for three girls with one of them, Emma, debating her every point. One evening, when 'K' really did not look forward to another debate, Emma came running in with a tract she had been given weeks before. She was excited as she said, "I believe this is true!" 'K's' tears began to well up as Emma expressed a desire to follow Jesus.

For several months, a Romanian pastor traveled to and from a small village known for its alcoholism and immorality. After Vioral, a man with the worst reputation in town, became saved, he, too, began to witness for Christ. It took time but the day came when the entire village was transformed by belief in the Gospel. All four bars shut down, wife-beating ceased, and the police left town. There is no longer any crime in Valea Mica.

When Omar's sister received a Bible, he slapped her face with it and then burned it. In a dream that night, God spoke to him with powerful words, so powerful that Omar woke up and ran frantically to the place where he had burned the Bible. It was on top of ashes, "unburned,
clean, and new."
These aforementioned incidents and others like them gave reason to pause in reflection as I read their concluding prayers. I felt the stories so true and moving that this book has now become part of my quiet time routine and also serves as a reminder to pray for the nations.

Title: Voices of the Faithful, Book 2
Author: Davis, Moore
Genre: Non-fiction essays
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN-13: 978-0-8499-2071-4
Review by Kara Louise Kramer posted at:
Thomas Nelson, publishers

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Man of Rare Moral Conviction - Joseph McCarthy

Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Freedom. Bring forth the trumpets of alarm to risk being branded a mere disturber of the peace.
In the 1940's Joe McCarthy became aware of and tried to expose the communist threat of his time, a threat which still exists today in a different but equally destructive form. His methods were not pristine and pure, they were aggressive. After all, he was dealing with weasels who covered so assiduously for soviet spies like Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White. McCarthy was a bulldog, and he did prove communism had infiltrated high levels of our government. Even so, the leftists branded McCarthy a 'witch hunter' and turned the media toward total destruction of his reputation. Today his name as villainous is better known to us than those of the communist ne'er-do-wells that conspired to overturn our political system. "With Joe McCarthy it was the losers who've written the history which condemns him," said Dan Flynn, director of Accuracy in Academia's recent national conference on McCarthy, broadcast by C-SPAN.

Joseph Raymond McCarthy(1908- 1957)studied engineering and earned a law degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee, 1935. While in school, he had coached boxing and was elected president of his law school class, all while working a series of part-time jobs. In 1939, he was elected as a circuit judge, the youngest in Wisconsin state history. A few years later, at age 33 and although exempted because of his judicial position, McCarthy volunteered for the U. S. Marine Corps and served during WWII. He fought in the South Pacific, flew over 30 combat missions, and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. Admiral Chester Nimitz issued the following citation regarding the service of Captain McCarthy:
“For meritorious and efficient performance of duty as an observer and rear gunner of a dive bomber attached to a Marine scout bombing squadron operating in the Solomon Islands area from September 1 to December 31, 1943. He participated in a large number of combat missions, and in addition to his regular duties, acted as aerial photographer. He obtained excellent photographs of enemy gun positions, despite intense anti-aircraft fire, thereby gaining valuable information which contributed materially to the success of subsequent strikes in the area. Although suffering from a severe leg injury, he refused to be hospitalized and continued to carry out his duties as Intelligence Officer in a highly efficient manner. His courageous devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service.”
In 1947, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Gregarious and open with his friends, McCarthy was invited as a guest speaker by many different organizations; and he was found to be well-versed on a variety of subjects. Becoming a regular in the Washington social circle, he was described as charming and friendly by those who met him. However, in working hard and trying to do his job efficiently, his fellow senators found him quick-tempered, impatient, and something of a loner.

Finding a series of discrepancies and problems in government, McCarthy's star was about to rapidly and unexpectedly rise. On February 9, 1950, McCarthy made a sensational speech at Wheeling, WV, stating that he had a list of communists who had infiltrated the State Department. That speech brought attention from the whole country upon his shoulders, and he soon became a major political force. John F. Kennedy, who knew Joe fairly well, evaluated his accusations seriously and had later called him a 'great American patriot.' In 1953 Robert Kennedy joined McCarthy's staff.

It was expected that all true Americans wanted to weed our government of communism and, therefore, McCarthy readily cooperated with officials of the FBI. However, he ran into resistance when trying to retrieve information from them. He hadn't realized he was fighting against much of the Washington establishment. High government officials did not want known that many of their past appointments and associations were with communists or sympathizers, and President Truman was fearful that exposures would reflect on key Democrat members. Big media and the academic world also had their reasons for hoping McCarthy failed as they had become very leftist as a result of the Depression and World War II.

There had been subliminal pressures to get people like Hiss and Miller to resign, but the whole thing was kept secret from the public and numerous suspects stayed on the payroll. There was also a lot of internal squabbling that blocked effective action. So as McCarthy willingly shared his information with the FBI and asked for supporting documents, the documents requested were heavily censored or redacted. The FBI was getting the information and funneling it to the State Department security office, which then dealt from within over named suspects in trying to avoid public scrutiny. McCarthy adapted and proved tough in spite of such adversity and animosity.

It had been said that McCarthy was simply fishing, that he had no sources, very little information, and that he was exaggerating what he had. However, J. Edgar Hoover knew better, and it now appears McCarthy had a lot more incriminating leads than he let on. If anything, he understated his concerns, not overstated them. Early in his investigation, "McCarthy concluded that to fight communism effectively it was not enough to denounce communism in general; anyone--even a communist--could claim to oppose communism. The Senator decided that it was necessary to identify those responsible for treasonous policies and then accuse them on the basis of what they actually had done, not on the basis of the ideas to which they paid lip service." He forged on with rare moral courage, and he did uncover communism within our government.

1953 - In the spring, he investigated waste and mismanagement at Voice of America.
In the summer, he investigated the State Department overseas. From their libraries were withdrawn 30,000 pro-communist books.
In the fall, he investigated the Army and the Defense Department, focusing on the spy rings at Ft. Monmouth, NJ. That was where the Rosenbergs had infiltrated U.S. atomic secrecy. A few years later, a Democrat Congress decided Ft. Monmouth was so compromised by Soviet penetration that it had to be shut down.

Other soviet agents in high positions included:

Harry Hopkins, who was so close to FDR that he lived in the White House,
Laughlin Currie, an economist and administrative assistant to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman,
Alger Hiss, Roosevelt foreign policy advisor and first secretary general of the United Nations, a key figure in getting the U.N. started.
Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury and Truman’s appointee as director of the International Monetary Fund.

The above have all been confirmed, among hundreds of others, to have been agents of the USSR. In addition to the multitudes of executive branch agents, we also now know of at least three Congressmen working clandestinely for the Soviet Union during this time period.

There was a communist spy ring involving Foreign Service officer John S. Service and Philip Jaffe, the editor of pro-communist magazine Amerasia. In addition to Service, other State Department China hands who gave aid and comfort to the Communists were John Paton Davies, Edmund Clubb, and John Carter Vincent.

McCarthy accurately targeted Owen Lattimore, a key State Department adviser and a Communist. Owen Lattimore was the man that McCarthy made the most allegations against, going so far as to say that he would stake his entire reputation on the question of whether Lattimore was a communist agent. Now, we have absolute proof that McCarthy was right.

His charge against Mary Jane Keeney, a Soviet agent who served as a State Department employee at the U.N., was proven correct.

He investigated an Army dentist named Irving Peress who took the 5th amendment 20 times in connection with his affiliation with the Communist Party. In its report on the Peress case, the McClellan Committee said that "some 48 errors of more than minor importance were committed by the Army in connection with the commissioning, transfer, promotion, and honorable discharge of Irving Peress." Therefore, the Army made big changes in its security program, including a policy statement that said "the taking of the Fifth Amendment by an individual queried about his Communist affiliations is sufficient to warrant the issuance of a general discharge rather than an honorable discharge."
--Desperately, the Army made a complaint of their own that Roy Cohn, a McCarthy committee staff member, had tried to get extra passes for a former staffer David Schine. The Hearings concluded that McCarthy himself had nothing to do with that.
--That same committee did find against the Army that their Secretary Robert Stevens and Army Counsel John Adams "made efforts to terminate or influence the investigation and hearings at Fort Monmouth," and that Counsel Adams also "made vigorous and diligent efforts" to block subpoenas for members of the Army Loyalty and Screening Board "by means of personal appeal to certain members of the [McCarthy] committee."

"With the opening of the KGB archives and the release of the VENONA intercepts - decoded Soviet KGB and GRU traffic - it has been proved that McCarthy was absolutely right about the extensive Soviet penetration of the U.S. government in all the most sensitive sections and i ts danger to America. According to the KGB archives the NKVD had 221 agents in the Roosevelt administration in April 1941 and the Soviet military GRU probably ha d a like number. He was proved right that the Communist Party, U.S.A., was an arm of the Soviet intelligence apparatus and the Soviet Union considered the US as their "main enemy." His liberal critics in academie and the mainstream media, who denied there was communist subversion and made excuses for it, were proved absolutely wrong! This should have discredited the liberal ideology and those who mouthed it. Because the left had no answer or effective reply to the challenge McCarthy posed, they engaged in personal destruction - they smeared and demonized McCarthy."
from The Life and Times of Joseph McCarthy, Professor Thomas C. Reeves, 1997
"Government was hardly the only domain targeted by Soviet espionage. Influential media figures like I.F. Stone of The Nation, Michael Straight, editor of The New Republic, and Pulitzer Prize Winner Walter Duranty of The New York Times were actually agents of the Soviet Union. Prominent unions like the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the Screen Actors Guild were dominated by Communists. Even major industrialists like Armand Hammer did their part by laundering Soviet money to domestic U.S. Communists."
Daniel J. Flynn
"McCarthy attacked liberalism itself, exposing its fraud by proving liberal's willingness to side with communist infiltration and treason, to glamorize the brutality of communist governments. Liberalism sympathizes with and protects communism's champions and professes to find moral worth in a system of absolute evil. Liberalism and communism are both infected with the same materialistic secular virus and have such philosophical affinity that usually they cannot be distinguished. Their identical world-view creates a "strong affinity between the communists and New Dealers; between the progressive and totalitarian visions of the maximalist state."
Professor A. Herman
By 1954, interest in McCarthy's cause began to experience fatigue. Senator Ralph Flanders saw his opportunity to introduce a resolution accusing McCarthy of conduct "unbecoming a member of the United States Senate."

When a special session of the Senate convened to vote on November 8, 1954, these were the two bogus charges to be debated:
1) That Senator McCarthy had "failed to cooperate" in 1952 with a senate subcommittee that was looking into his private and political life in connection with a resolution for his expulsion from the Senate; (No one has to voluntarily come before a Senate Committee, and certainly not a Senator.)
2) That in conducting a senatorial inquiry, Senator McCarthy had "intemperately abused" General Ralph Zwicker.
(This was dropped at the last moment. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 21, 1957, Zwicker's own assessment of his testimony before McCarthy on February 18, 1954, was: "I think there are some circumstances … that would certainly tend to give a person the idea that perhaps I was recalcitrant, perhaps I was holding back, and perhaps I wasn't too cooperative.... I am afraid I was perhaps overcautious and perhaps on the defensive, and that this feeling … may have inclined me to be not as forthright, perhaps, in answering the questions put to me as I might have been otherwise.")

The vote went against him. Although meaningless in itself, the liberal press used the vote as their best weapon to bash McCarthy the rest of his life. Whereas in the beginning of 1954 he was rated the fourth most admired American with a 50 percent favorable, he experienced a downward spiral as the media kept at him. By summer of 1954, he had 36 percent favorable and 51 percent unfavorable rating.

McCarthy retained about 35 percent favorable ratings throughout the rest of his life. Bobby Kennedy never lost faith in him and remained loyal, even naming McCarthy the godfather of his first child. Though asked, JFK would never say anything negative about Joe McCarthy. Perhaps the ever-astute John Kennedy also saw the truth about communist infiltration and knew that the facts would come out one day.

After his censure, McCarthy continued senatorial duties for another two and a half years, but he was noticeably declined physically and mentally. At age 48, on May 2, 1957, McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital. The official cause of death was acute hepatitis.

"On the evening of May 1, 1957, while convalescing from a bout of hepatitis at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, the courageous senator was quietly administered poisonous carbon tetrachloride by persons unknown. (Eight years earlier the CIA had murdered Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, in that same hospital. Forrestal had been working on an expose of Soviet espionage rings in the Pentagon and treason in the Truman Administration when he was suddenly silenced in 1949)."

The Media Fools a Naive NationAlien subversives and traitors of the New World Order in their effort to silence McCarthy, ironically characterized him as an enemy of free speech. The First Amendment, of course, is there to protect men like McCarthy, men who dare to identify treason in high places.

These traitors released news stories about the five volumes of McCarthy hearings, reporting that McCarthy accused people of being communists who were not, and saying that he bullied innocent people. Reporters had written what Donald Ritchie, the Senate historian who edited the published hearings, told them. Author M. Stanton Evans contacted reporters for Roll Call newspaper, the Washington Post, and Reuters in a fruitless attempt to get the name of one innocent victim of McCarthy.

Ritchie appeared on a Fox News show hosted by John Gibson, who said McCarthy was a drunk who “went around the bend.” He went on to say that while McCarthy did find communists and security risks “from time to time,” he uncovered no espionage agents or subversion. Wes Vernon of wrote a series of stories noting that Ritchie’s criticism of McCarthy was just wrong.

Joel Brinkley in the New York Times said McCarthy did not hesitate “to destroy reputations and lives.” Closer to the truth is that some in the media wanted to destroy McCarthy. The Washington Post was preparing to publish major allegations of illegal conduct against McCarthy until it learned at the last minute that its source was a con man.

A group of left-wing assassins created a group called the 'Clearing House' to smear McCarthy. They got much of their information from columnist Jack Anderson.

Reed Irvine, chairman of Accuracy in Media, told how he himself had been a leftist in his early career. He had been against McCarthy, but McCarthy's speeches had made him think and start to read "evidence that I had avoided." He described how all during his military career as a Marine officer and later in Japan with the U.S. occupation he had never hidden his leftist views and later had even been offered a job at the CIA. Irvine argued that real communists were only in the hundreds, but that thousands of leftists, such as he, all feared McCarthy and had wanted him discredited.

Innocent victims?
To this day, it is impossible to find any innocent victims of McCarthy's bully tactics. "No American citizen was interrogated without benefit of legal counsel, none was arrested or detained without due judicial process, and no one went to jail without trial."
Arthur Herman, George Mason University History Professor, author of Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America’s Most Hated Senator
The Communist Party was not outlawed and being a member was not a crime.

Leftist George Clooney made a picture featuring Annie Lee Moss portraying her to seem innocent. Annie Lee Moss was a black woman who worked for the Army as a code clerk in the Pentagon. She was identified by an undercover agent of the FBI as a member of the Communist Party. Moss denied it, the Democrats sprang to her defense, and she has been treated ever since as an innocent victim of McCarthy. However, FBI files on her that shows otherwise. Records prove she was a party member. The FBI record further shows that the Army itself had been trying to get rid of Mrs. Moss as a security risk throughout 1951, but somebody up at the top had mysteriously cleared her despite this.

NBC News correspondent Pete Williams aired a report about the transcripts of the closed-door McCarthy hearings. He focused on an alleged innocent victim of the senator: composer Aaron Copland. Williams said that Copland, when asked about Soviet policies replied, “I spend my days writing symphonies, concertos, ballads, and I am not a political thinker.” Williams said Copland “was never called to testify in public,” suggesting he was completely innocent of charges that he had communist connections.
But writing in National Review, historian Ronald Radosh noted that Copland had “a record of a vast amount of cooperation with communist front groups.” Radosh said that Copland was “thoroughly dishonest” in claiming he didn’t have communist connections and that his attendance at a communist “peace” conference was for the purpose of investigating the communists. Radosh said that Copland, who swore under oath in 1934 that he never knew a communist, was in fact a member of the Composers Collective, an affiliate of the Workers’ Music League of the Communist Party. Copland even wrote a May Day song for the communists, “Into the Streets May First,” whose music and text were featured on the cover of a communist party cultural magazine, New Masses.
AP quoted Terry Teachout, a New York-based music critic and commentator, as saying, “He was involved with the communist party up to his ears. Whether or not he was an actual card-carrying member of the party, nobody knows.” Professor David Schiff of Reed College says that the Depression transformed Copland “from an alienated aesthete into a politically engaged populist. Most of his friends turned to communism for solutions to the economic crisis. Howard Pollack reveals that on two occasions in 1934 Copland actually got on the stump to support Communist Party candidates...” In spite of knowledge about his communist ties and his perjury in regard to such, no prosecution of Copland ever took place.

"Although Joseph McCarthy was one of the most demonized American politicians of the last century, new information -- including half-century-old FBI recordings of Soviet embassy conversations -- are showing that McCarthy was right in nearly all his accusations......almost every case he charged has now been proven correct. Whether it was stealing atomic secrets or influencing U.S. foreign policy, communist victories in the 1940s were fed by an incredibly vast spy and influence network" Jon Basil Utley
Setting the Record on Joe McCarthy Straight, December 2013

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. Isaiah 59:14, 15 ESV

Saturday, September 19, 2009

America Helps Israel

It was the year 1973 when twelve Arab nations lined up their tanks, armored carriers, and troops along the desert against a tiny army fighting for the survival of its country. The tiny army's supply of ammunition was dangerously low, and Israel knew it was on the brink of annihilation.

The situation had been building up for weeks and hope for the determined Jews was hanging on by a thread. Prime Minister Golda Meir wrote in her diary about committing suicide, and her cabinet members were set to go on exile.

Meanwhile overseas In America, the President was experiencing his own darkest days as he was in the middle of the Watergate controversy. Congress had advised him to concentrate on dealing with those problems; he could not take on any more new projects, especially not in regard to foreign policy.

Meir had already made her plea to America. She had talked to Henry Kissinger because he was both the Secretary of State and a Jew: "She tried to encourage Henry Kissinger to make Israel a top priority. He sent her a letter: 'I would like to inform you that I'm first an American citizen, second Secretary of State, and third a Jew.' She responded back to him: 'In Israel we read from right to left.'

As she reflected upon her failed pleas, she somehow found the courage to try once more. Golda Meir picked up the phone and made one last desperate attempt in reaching out to America. She directly telephoned Nixon at 3 a.m. and woke him up.

Having his ear, she made him understand that Israel's existence would cease if they did not get help, and she explained that America was her last hope.

With problems of his own, Nixon was barely listening. He had already been advised specifically against helping Israel, but then he experienced a strange and brief flashback. Half asleep, he remembered what his mother had told him. As a youth, she had read from the Bible to him almost every evening. There was one point when she told him that if ever he were in a position to help Israel, he must do so. It was one lesson among many, but those prophetic words stuck with him.

As they spoke, the battlefront was alive and burning to go. It contained more than 600 Syrian tanks lined up while the other five nations were licking their chops, ready to strike with thousands of their own heavily armed troops. The Arabs hated Israel and they were going to do away with her once and for all.

After his conversation with the Israelite Prime Minister, it had dawned on Nixon that Israel was the reason why he was made President at that particular time. God had placed him there to help that country now clinging to the last hours of its life. He knew what he had to do.

Knowing that he signed his own death warrant, so to speak, Nixon prepared a presidential order to send equipment to Meir's small democratic country. Within 24 hours, her grateful army received planes, Sherman tanks, weapon carriers, and ammunition as he okayed sending planeload after planeload to resupply the depleted Israeli military stocks.

While estimates vary slightly, Colonel Trevor N. Dupuy, U.S. Army, writes in Elusive Victory that the American resupply included 815 total sorties bringing Israel 56 combat aircraft and 27,900 tons of munitions and supplies. Taken together with the Soviet resupply to Arab countries fighting Israel, military analysts told Time magazine that it was the largest airlift in the history of both countries.

From the book Against All Odds, the story is told that as Israeli tanks moved on in the evening, a tank crew commander lifted out of his tank and ordered his men to take out their knives and start digging the ground behind their tank and they extracted a landmine. They had to proceed very carefully, digging for mines slowly as they progressed.

But out of nowhere, strong gusty winds engulfed the vast desert field for 36 seconds. Once the winds stopped, the moon came forth with its light. Made visible were thousands of landmines, and the Israel tanks were able to pass through the mine field safely and onto their destiny.

When the fiercest encounter started, Israel's bombers and fighter planes, including the U.S. Sherman tanks, were a surprise as they annihilated the multi-nation Arab armies. No matter what the Arabs tried, the Israelis were one step higher in resolve and strategy. The world watched while Israel's ground troops advanced to drive the retreating Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and Syria back to their homeland enraged and defeated.

Hundreds of the enemies tanks, artilleries, weapon carriers, and planes laid frustrate in the vast desert of the battlefield. It was the third war since Israel gained her independence from the British in 1948, and the third war won by Israel. Long live Israel, and may God bless America.

It is interesting to note that Sir Isaac Newton, a great Bible scholar who was particularly fascinated by the prophecies of Daniel, had foreseen a large "friendly kingdom" who would one day help the restored nation of Israel.

Nixon: The rumor persists that Richard Nixon was anti-semitic. In reading some of what he said, this author concludes that he disliked the Jews in America, not because they were Jews, but because they were liberal in their politics. I read where he had a conversation with Billy Graham who expressed a similar view. Graham was friends with Nixon and had agreed with him on several points in regard to America's left-leaning Jews as well as the atheistic college professors infiltrating our institutions, though his personality was far less dark than Nixon's.

"I think 90 percent of them are atheists or worse. They have no confidence in themselves; they have no faith in this country," said Nixon. Graham agreed: "They're undermining the country."

On September 26, 1962, the Kennedy Administration had broken a long-standing policy of not selling arms to middle-east nations by agreeing to sell defensive missiles to Israel, thus making JFK the first President to officially support Israel in spite of his father's anti-semitism and in spite of Defense Secretary McNamara's strong advice to the President to stay out of the Middle East. There is a theory that Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy because of his brother's decision to help Israel.

When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:1,4

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail.
Deuteronomy 31:6

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.
2Samuel 22:18

And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
1Kings 20:28

And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.
Zechariah 10:5

The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. 1Samuel 2:10

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Legacy of a Great Man - Herbert C. Hoover

"It [freedom] is a thing of the spirit. Men must be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions, to speak without fear. They must be free to challenge wrong and oppression with the surety of justice." Herbert Hoover

Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964), our 31st President (1929-33), was the first President to be born west of the Mississippi River in Iowa. He was orphaned by age ten and sent to live with his Quaker uncle in Oregon whom he later recalled as being "a severe man on the surface, but like all Quakers kindly at the bottom."

At a young age, Hoover proved self-reliant and ambitious. During the day, he worked in the office of his uncle's land company where he excelled in bookkeeping and typing, and at night he attended business school.

When Stanford first opened in 1891, Hoover was there to enroll, majoring in geology. Though his background was comparatively modest, his presence was felt throughout the school. He managed the baseball and football teams, started a laundry, and ran a lecture agency. He was also elected student body treasurer. Stanford is where he met his wife Lou Henry who shared with him a love of geology and the environment.

After graduating, Hoover first worked as a clerk with a San Francisco consulting firm and later found employment with the British mining firm, Bewick, Moering & Co., which sent him to inspect and supervise mines all over the world. While in Australia, he recommended the company buy "Sons of Gwalia" mine, and it later proved to be one of the richest gold mines in history.

In 1899, Hoover and his wife went to China where she soon learned the language. In June of the next year, the Boxer Rebellion broke out while the Hoovers were in Tientsin. For almost a month the settlement was under heavy fire while Hoover helped organize defensive barricades and food supplies, once risking his own life to rescue small children. His wife was kept busy working in the hospita ls.

Between 1907 and 1912, Hoover and his wife translated from Latin Georg Agricola's De re metallica (On the Nature of Metals (Minerals)), a book from year 1556 cataloging the state of the art of mining, refining, and smelting metals. Its clarity of language at 670 pages, 289 woodcuts, with extensive and detailed footnotes of classical references to mining and metals such as the Natural History of Pliny the Elder, historical safety, the history of mining law in England, France, and the German states, as well as safety in mines and known minerals of 1556, the Hoover translation remains and will likely forever be the definitive English translation of Agricola's work.

When Germany declared war on France, Hoover was in London, and the American Consul General asked his help in getting stranded tourists home. In six weeks Hoover organized the return of 120,000 Americans. With Belgium being overrun by the German army, Hoover arranged to get them relief by leading five hundred volunteers to distribute food, clothing, steamship tickets, and cash. He crossed the North Sea forty times seeking to persuade the enemies in Berlin to allow food to reach the war's victims. It was at this time that Hoover made the decision to give up his engineering career and devote the rest of his life to public service.

"From that day forward Hoover never accepted for his private use a dollar in payment for any of his manifold public services. He paid his own travel and out-of-pocket expenses. His salaries as Secretary of Commerce, and then as President, w ent into a special fund for disbursem ent in full for charitable causes, to raise wages of aides who needed it, or to pay for expert personnel not provided by official budgets. Money that came to him for writing or speaking went likewise to private charity and public causes." Eugene Lyons, Hoover Biographer

Grateful for his efforts, the Belgian city of Leuven named a prominent square after him.

When the U.S. entered the war, President Wilson asked Hoover to officially head up food relief efforts whereby Hoover was able to cut consumption of foods needed overseas yet keep the Allies fed and avoid rationing at home. The American Relief Administration, a privately-run organization with headquarters in Washington, became a major emergency agency, ranking far above the others in efficiency and success in feeding more than 350 million starving people in 21 nations in Europe and the Middle East from 1919 to 1921.

Hoover had employed a newly formed Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee, for much of the logistical work in Europe. When he extended aid to famine-stricken Communist Russia in 1921, a critic inquired if he was not thus helping Bolshevism. Hoover retorted, "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed."

After the war, Hoover had become an international hero. Not yet knowing his political leanings, the democratic party was interested in having him become an ally in their party. He, however, announced he was a Republican and supported Warren Harding.

Harding appointed him to a fairly meager postion at the time, Secretary of Commerce. Hoover, famous and well-respected throughout the world, transformed it to the most visible agency of government. It became a most effective service organization, empowered to forge cooperative voluntary partnerships between government and business.

He sought the elimination of waste and the increase of efficiency in business and industry. He aided manufacturing by pioneering standardization of parts, designs, and materials for paper, automobiles, plumbing, carpentry and other industries. He progressively reduced labor losses from trade disputes and seasonal fluctuations, reduced industrial losses from accident and injury, and reduced the amount of crude oil spilled during extraction and shipping. He energetically promoted international trade by opening offices overseas that gave advice and practical help to businessmen. He also promoted the showing of American films overseas.

As the new air transport industry developed, Hoover held a conference on aviation to bring about codes and regulations. His radio conferences brought early organization, development, and regulation of radio broadcasting.

He became president of the American Child Health Organization, and he raised private funds to promote health education in schools and communities. He worked with bankers in producing the new long-term home mortgage, which dramatically stimulated home construction.

As early as 1925, then-Secretary of Commerce Hoover had warned President Coolidge that stock market speculation was reaching too far, and he was concerned for the American economy. Coolidge saw no reason for alarm and continued business as usual for the next two years.

"The [Federal Reserve] Board knew that Mr. Hoover, from 1926 on, had been protesting that the money policy of the Reserve System was certain to bring about disaster and calamity. Mr. Hoover before and after he took office was struggling desperately to curb credit extravagance. ... The record will show that he became the victim of a policy that was anathema to him the whole time it was in operation." Adolph C. Miller, member of the Federal Reserve Board, 1935

In the spring of 1927, the Great Mississippi Flood broke the banks and levees and flooded millions of acres on which people lived. Several governors asked specifically for Hoover's help so President Coolidge sent Hoover to mobilize state and local authorities, militia, army engineers, Coast Guard, and the American Red Cross. With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Hoover set up health units to work in the flooded regions for a year. These workers stamped out malaria, pellagra, and typhoid fever from many areas. Hoover had earned an unparalleled reputation for public service as an engineer, administrator, and humanitarian.

Then in 1927 while on vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Calvin Coolidge gave reporters waiting outside his house a slip of paper which read: “I do not choose to run for President in nineteen-twenty-eight.” He did not give a reason why, nor did he take any questions. It was hard to understand since the economy was still going strong and he was popular.

So began the 1928 election between two gritty, self-made men, each known for their rugged individualism. As it turned out, Hoover won 58% of the popular vote and 444 electoral votes to former governor of NY Al Smith's 87 of the electoral vote. Some attribute Smith's loss to his Catholicism and his desire to repeal prohibition. Some say Hoover won because he came across better on the radio, even though in person he was lacking the color and charisma which Smith possessed. Indeed, Smith had the pizazz and support of such stars as Babe Ruth on his side.

Largely ignored is the fact that Hoover had a far more impressive record in national service and contribution except not so ignored in that his service was acknowledged as radical and that he had an 'alarming desire to issue regulations and to tell businessmen generally how to conduct their affairs." (Franklin D. Roosevelt). Hoover had fed Belgium, run the U.S. Food Administration for Woodrow Wilson, and ministered to victims of the Mississippi River flood. He was the secretary of Commerce and a self-made millionaire who had become known for overseeing humanitarian aid to thousands of starving Europeans during and after World War I.

Having won by a landslide, Hoover remained typically realistic and down to earth, not carried away by his popular endorsement. Still riddled with fear for the economy, he urged the Federal Reserve to halt "crazy and dangerous" gambling on Wall Street by increasing the discount rate the Federal Reserve charged banks for speculative loans. He asked the press to run stories warning of the dangers of rampant speculation. In an almost prophetical way, he told the Christian Science Monitor shortly before he was inaugurated that the American people "expect the impossible of me and should there arise in the land conditions with which the political machinery is unable to cope, I will be the one to suffer."

"My conception of America is a land where men and women may walk in ordered freedom in the independent conduct of their occupations; where they may enjoy the advantages of wealth, not concentrated in the hands of the few but spread through the lives of all; where they build and safeguard their homes, and give to their children the fullest advantages and opportunities of American life; where every man shall be respected in the faith that his conscience and his heart direct him to follow; where a contented and happy people, secure in their liberties, free from poverty and fear, shall have the leisure and impulse to seek a fuller life.
Some may ask where all this may lead beyond mere material progress. It leads to a release of the energies of men and women from the dull drudgery of life to a wider vision and a higher hope. It leads to the opportunity for greater and greater service, not alone from man in our own land, but from our country to the whole world. It leads to an America, healthy in body, healthy in spirit, unfettered, youthful, eager — with a vision searching beyond the farthest horizons, with an open mind, sympathetic and generous."

On 1929's inauguration day, Hoover's address explained that our country's prosperity needed to be spread evenly: "We want to see a nation built of homeowners and farm owners. We want to see more and more of them insured against death and accident, unemployment and old age. We want them all secure." It wasn't long after those words that he implemented action to expand civil service protection throughout the federal establishment, canceled private oil leases on government lands, and directed federal law enforcement officials to clean up Chicago, which lead to the conviction of Al Capone on tax evasion charges. Additionally, his administration secured 5.3 million acres of land for national parks and forests.

He allowed plans for more dams in the Tennessee Valley and California and surged ahead with graduated tax cuts to favor low-income Americans. Hoover also established the Federal Bureau of Prisons and overhauled the Bureau of Indian Affairs to give greater protection to Native Americans. It is said that his Quaker upbringing influenced his views that Native Americans needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. He chose Senator Charles Curtis, an Indian--as his Vice President. (Curtis was the first and last Indian to hold high national office.)

Hoover proposed a federal Department of Education as well as pensions for Americans over sixty-five. He approved White House conferences on child health/protection and home building/ownership. He signed the Norris-La Guardia Act that limited judicial intervention in labor disputes. Hoover originated what Roosevelt later called the "Good Neighbor Policy" by withdrawing American troops from Nicaragua and Haiti. He and his powerful Secretary of State Henry Stimson formulated the Stimson Doctrine that said the United States would not recognize territories gained by force. Japan's seizure of Manchuria, therefore, was not acknowledged as legitimate. The administration negotiated a treaty authorizing construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway along the U.S.-Canadian border, but it was defeated by an opposing senate.

Before the end of that summer, Hoover had convinced Congress to establish a Federal Farm Board to support farm prices. He created the Veterans Administration and doubled the number of veterans' hospital facilities, established the antitrust division of the Justice Department to prosecute unfair competition, required better service from air mail carriers, and advocated federal loans for urban slum clearance.

Then it happened. The end of October was a shock throughout the country . It showed radio stocks lost 40 percent of their paper value. On black Tuesday, the 29th, sixteen million shares were traded and thirty billion dollars had vanished. Anecdotally, when Hoover realized a friend took his advice to buy a stock that later nose-dived, he later confessed, "To clear myself, I just bought it back and I have never advised anybody since."

Nevertheless, Hoover sprung into quick action. Rather than accept that the country had to suffer cuts in business investment, production, and wages, he summoned industrialists to the White House that November to conference with business, labor, and farm leaders. They agreed to hold the line on wages with Henry Ford promising to actually increase workers' daily pay from six to seven dollars. From the nation's utilities, Hoover won commitments of $1.8 billion in new construction and repairs for 1930. Railroad executives made a similar pledge. Organized labor agreed to withdraw its latest wage demands.

The President ordered federal departments to speed up construction projects. He contacted all forty-eight state governors to make a similar appeal for expanded public works. He went to Congress with a $160 million tax cut, coupled with a doubling of resources for public buildings and dams, highways, and harbors.

So effective was Hoover in those first few weeks, that the New York Times did not judge the crash as the biggest news story of 1929. Instead, they chose Commander Richard Byrd's expedition to the South Pole as most newsworthy. For Hoover, they gave praise, "No one in his place could have done more. Very few of his predecessors could have done as much."

However, production was outstripping demand. Twenty-six million new cars flooded the market. Agriculture, mired in depression for much of the 1920s, was deprived of cash it needed to take part in the consumer revolution. At the same time, the average worker's wages of $1,500 a year failed to keep pace with the spectacular gains in productivity achieved since 1920.

The United States had too many banks, and they played the stock market with depositors' funds or speculated in their own stocks. Government had yet to devise insurance for the jobless or income maintenance for the destitute. With unemployment, buying power vanished overnight. Even though government and business were outspending themselves, it didn't help the economy. Consumers did not buy any more than they had to, and a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland beginning in the summer of 1930. Foreign banks went under, draining U.S. wealth and destroying world trade. Unemployment soared from five million in 1930 to more than eleven million in 1931.

As the depression continued on for another decade, Hoover's critics blamed him. They argued that in approving the Smoot-Hawley tariff in the spring of 1930, he effectively raised barriers around U.S. products, worsened the plight of debtor nations, and set off a round of retaliatory measures that crippled global trade. Hoover said the depression continued because of the dislocations brought on by World War I, the rickety structure of American banking, excessive stock speculation, and Congress's refusal to act on many of his proposals.

The Smoot-Hawley act, originated by Senator Smoot (R), Utah, and Representative Hawley (R), Oregon, asked Congress for an increase of tariff rates for agricultural goods and a decrease of rates for industrial goods. Hoover opposed the bill and called it "vicious, extortionate, and obnoxious" because it would undermine the commitment he had pledged to international cooperation. Henry Ford and J.P.Morgan's chief executive Thomas W. Lamont agreed that the bill was asinine and economically stupid. However, the Republican party insisted Hoover sign the bill, and he yielded to their influence.

It turns out, as later events would prove, that Hoover should have followed his own instincts. The international community protested in the best way they knew how with a retaliation begun long before the bill was enacted into law. Boycotts broke out and foreign governments moved to increase rates against American products. Canada imposed new tariffs on 16 key products that the U.S. exported to them. They later also forged closer economic links with the British Commonwealth. France and Britain protested U.S. policy and developed new trade partners.

By the time the next election came around, Hoover was denounced as a do-nothing, and his reputation has never really recovered. Both Smoot and Hawley were defeated for reelection in 1932.

After Hoover was defeated by Roosevelt in the next election, he returned to working on world-wide hunger relief and later helped to plan World War II recovery abroad. In spite of the hatred and denouncement shown him by the liberals, he was still powerful in speech and became a well-spoken critic of the New Deal.

"Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of "Emergency. It was a tactic of Lenin, Hitler and Mussolini... The invasion of New Deal Collectivism was introduced by this same Trojan horse."

Hoover lived another three decades, leading the isolationists in foreign policy and working with his friend President Harry S. Truman to reform the federal bureaucracy. He was appointed chairman of an efficiency commission by President Eisenhower in 1953. Many economies resulted from his commissions' recommendations. Over the years, Hoover wrote many articles and books, one of which he was working on when he died at age 90 in New York City in 1964.

More facts about and quotes by Hoover:

Hoover was one of two American Presidents to give away his salary, JFK being the other.

He anonymously donated $25,000 a year to aid victims of the Depression and raised $500,000 toward the 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and Welfare.

Hoover initiated massive public works projects such as the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Boulder (Hoover) and Grand Coulee Dams, as well as the Mississippi flood control projects.

"My country owes me nothing. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope."

"What the world needs today is a definite, spiritual mobilization of the nations who belive in God against this tide of Red agnosticism. ...And in rejecting an atheistic other world, I am confident that the Almighty God will be with us."

"I am firmly opposed to the government entering into any business the major purpose of which is competition with our citizens... for the Federal Government deliberately to go out to build up and expand... a power and manufacturing business is to break down the initiative and enterprise of the American people; it is the destruction of equality of opportunity amongst our people, it is the negation of the ideals upon which our civilization has been based."

"Liberalism should be found not striving to spread bureaucracy but striving to set bounds to it. True liberalism seeks all legitimate freedom first in the confident belief that without such freedom the pursuit of all other blessings and benefits is vain. That belief is the foundation of all American progress, political as well as economic."

"I come of Quaker stock. My ancestors were persecuted for their beliefs. Here they sought and found religious freedom. By blood and conviction I stand for religious tolerance both in act and in spirit."

"The migration of our forefathers to America was in refuge from the continued regimentation of men and men's minds still frozen by classes, by feudalism, by the churches, and by governments. Liberty was already implicit in their religious beliefs and their spiritual aspirations. Their purpose was to establish it in government." The Challenge to Liberty, 1934, p18

"The difference between dictatorship and democracy is simple: dictators organize from the top down, democracies from the bottom up."

"We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land."

"If the law is upheld only by government officials, then all law is at an end."

Information researched/collected/organized into biography by K.L.Kraemer
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9

If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18

Friday, September 4, 2009

History - Fate of the Apostles

Not One of them Chose to Save His life if it Meant Denying their Faith

About 300 years after the death of Christ, historian Eusebius recorded events based on early sources such as were written by Philo and Josephus Flavius and also on writings of the first church fathers. He explained how the apostles expressed their factually-based faith, a faith which was borne and grew as a result of first-hand experience with their friend Jesus. History shows that even at the point of torture and sure death, each one of the apostles stood unshakeable in his conviction of the Truth. Not one of them chose to save his life if it meant denying their faith.

Paul was imprisoned, tortured, and finally beheaded by Emperor Nero in AD 67. While in prison, Paul focused on the task of spreading the gospel and teaching Christian doctrines. He sent letters of encouragement and instruction throughout the Roman Empire to the churches he had formed. These letters can be found in our New Testament of the Bible.

Around the same time that Paul was beheaded, Peter was placed upside down on a cross and crucified. His beloved wife had already been martyred years before.

Andrew had successfully established churches in parts of Russia and the Ukraine. In time, he was lashed by several soldiers and then crucified on a cross in Greece. He hung for two days, preaching while in agony. Rather than curse his circumstances, he said he felt privileged to die on the cross as it had been consecrated by the body of Christ. This was in AD 60 during the reign of Emperor Nero.

John somehow escaped death after being boiled in oil during one of the many Roman persecutions of Christians. Years later under the reign of Emperor Domitian, he was sent to the prison mines on the island of Patmos where he received astonishing prophetic visions which we still read and study today. He later died peacefully in Turkey as a very old man some time between AD 98-117 during the reign of Emperor Trajan. The apostle John became one of the first bishops, maintaining numerous churches throughout Asia including the seven churches named at the beginning of Revelation.

Matthew was killed with a sword as a result of his preaching in a land south of the Caspian Sea. Matthew had started out preaching the gospel throughout Israel. Before traveling to other lands, he wrote down in Hebrew an authoritative account of the miracles, sayings, and fulfilled prophecies of Jesus Christ in an effort to convince the Jews that Jesus was the one they were waiting for, the promised Messiah. There is evidence that Matthew's account was written within 20 years of the events he recorded. Bearing this in mind, it is obvious other people living at the time acquainted with Jesus would quickly have refuted or even laughed at his story if they knew in fact any of it was based on wistful imagination.

Mark, the first disciple to travel to Egypt, was dragged by horses throughout the streets of Alexandria until he was dead.

Luke was a Greek scholar born at Antioch in Syria. Talented as a painter and trained as a medical physician, his greatest accomplishment was in working with the apostles and recording the life of Christ. He also continued his genius in carefully recording what happened during the early growth of the church. As an untiring preacher, his brilliance and success in converting others offended the powerful Greek disbelievers who hanged him sometime between AD 75-100.

Jude was killed in Persia by pagans with arrows because his faith didn't match their superstitions.

James, brother of Jesus, became bishop of the Church in Jerusalem. Early church sources record that James was thrown by non-Christians over a hundred feet down from the Temple. When those enemies discovered that he survived the fall, they clubbed him to death.

James, son of Zebedee, was found guilty by the Romans after being put on trial to defend his Christian faith. The Roman officer who guarded James was so moved by the earnest and unwavering apostle that he became convinced that only the Truth could be within such an untiring heart. This same guard humbly walked with James to the place of execution, affirmed his new faith to the judge, and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew became a missionary for Christ and was ultimately flayed to death in Russia. Philip also became a missionary and also died a martyr for his faith in Christ. Matthias, the apostle officially selected to replace Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Thomas was stabbed by pagans with a spear in India while forming another Christian church. The church he established has survived to this day.

The disciples were ordinary, everyday men chosen to follow Jesus for three years. Upon the tragic and seemingly hopeless death of their friend and Lord, they became disheartened and confused.

Is it possible that these disillusioned men decided to form a conspiracy? If so, if they had simply tried to make their leader something he was not by concocting miracles that never happened, what advantage did they achieve? Did they gain wealth or status? No. They were hated and their lives were continually threatened.

If they made up the inexplicable darkness that covered the earth after His crucifixion and the joy in miracles that He brought to others, wouldn't witnesses of the time denounce such untruths as absurdities? Would such fantastic stories, if untrue, have even survived within Jerusalem? Could a lie have inspired all the disciples to glorify His name, even at the point of torture and death?

The only explanation for their overwhelming transformation from ordinary men to extraordinary is that they were true to their eyewitness accounts which they recorded. These men clung to their testimonies, even to their brutal deaths at the hands of their persecutors, and despite being given every chance to recant their stories. Why would so many men knowingly die for a lie? They had nothing to gain for lying… and everything to lose.

Unbeknownst to them, their powerful testimonies were not forgotten or eradicated as intended by their tormentors. Their stories continue down through the centuries for anyone who honestly yearns for and seeks cogent Truth to mysteries we cannot otherwise know.

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in our hearts: II Peter 1:16-19

Blog Archive

About Author of This Blog