Ranting and Raving about Fires and Things

Richard Salbato 10-26,2007

I have had two experiences that somewhat disrupt my security, calmness, and complacency.  For me, a slave to daily routine, any change not planned by myself is minor catastrophe.  Two weeks ago I went in for a minor surgery to have two spots of melanoma (not cancer) removed from my forehead and ear.  A simple thing that could have been done in a dermatologist’s office turned out to be something to write about.  Then after a week of unnecessary recovery massive fires hit my peaceful mountain top forcing me and my family to evacuate and stay in Hotels in the high desert below the mountains and simply watch the fires take out hundreds of homes, not knowing if any of our four homes were destroyed.  From our hotel room in the valley we could see the fires in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead that spread out for 50 miles.  News reports said that 1,700 homes were destroyed in the 20 Southern California fires and 200 were in our area. 

Watching the fires from far off, I was impressed with my children and grandchildren, who took everything in with a positive, even happy, attitude.  My granddaughter, 17 years of age, said, “It is only things.” My daughter said, “If we loose everything it is because that is what God wants for us.”  At the same time we worried about the other people on the mountain more than ourselves and talked about how we could help them when it was over. 

I was very impressed not only with myself, but with my entire family who did not let this disruption in our security take away our happiness and confidence in God’s care.  No big deal was everyone’s attitude. 

But these experiences give me an opportunity to express again what I have tried to do on my web and writings for 30 years now.  What seems at first sight self-evident is not always the truth.  What appears good, holy and true may in time prove to be destructive.  All sin is presented by the enemy as something good at first.  What anyone sells (a product, an idea, a movement, a political philosophy, a protect children bill) will always be sold as something good by showing the positive and hiding the negative.  It is always our job to look deeply into things to see if they are what they pretend to be.  Looking harder at things with the eyes of logic and not the eyes of emotion is central to my philosophy and writings. 

Religion and Government

I am working on some documents that are strictly religious, one on three fake priests in America with large followings, one on “end times” mistakes, one on the Knights Templar, and one on the coming chastisement.  Not one of these things is about governments, which I feel I have been writing too much about lately.  However, let us face facts, the biggest enemy to freedom of religion throughout history has been governments.  In fact Christ was crucified by the Roman Government. The Great Beast of Revelation 17 is the Roman Empire and the Great Harlot of 17 and 18 is Jerusalem who rode the back of the Roman Empire to persecute the Christians for the first 350 years from Christ.  It was a warning from John to the Christians to get out of Jerusalem before 70 AD because the Beast would turn on the Great Harlot and destroy her. (Revelations 18:4)  These same two chapters also warn that governments like Rome would continue to persecute the Church until the end of time.  As I wrote in `Why Did Peter Go To Rome? , there is no way to enjoy true religious freedom without converting governments into some form of sanity.  It took the death of many popes before Rome was converted but it gave the Church a 1000 years of freedom until the coming of the French Revolution and then Communism. We still fight the philosophies of the so-called enlightenment age and must keep up the fight or loose all freedom.  Even the 1200 year war with Islam has not been with a religion but with Islam governments.    

History and Government

Understanding true history can be difficult because history is written by the people of governments and all history is corrupted by the prejudice of the writer. A good example of this is the Socialist Government of Spain, who this weekend will condemn the actions and rein of President Franco, who stopped the socialist-communist persecutions of the Church in Spain in the 1930s. On the day of this condemnation of Franco, Benedict XVI will beatify 506 martyrs and the vast majority of them were martyrs from the religious persecution in Spain before Franco stopped it. From the historic view of socialists Franco was an enemy but from the view of the persecuted and martyred bishops and priests he was a savior. The history of most European governments has painted the Knights Templar as heretics but now the truth will be told by the Vatican.  The very things the Knights were condemned for were things they would not accept in members and tested them on these things. I will write more on this later.

Fires and Government

Keeping in mind that we often do not look deeply into things, let us look at the 20 fires in Southern California and the largest evacuation in American history, over 400,000 people.  These fires are common to California and happen every year when the winds change and come off the deserts towards the ocean. The winds are dry and hot and gust up to 70 miles an hour.  I have been in Southern California since the 1940s.  Up until 15 years ago, we had “fire breaks” or fire trails cut into the forests and chaparral brush.  Trails over the peaks of mountains and hills and in the valleys were cut 30 to 40 feet wide to allow a fire break and a place for fire trucks to come in and fight the fires.  These fire lines were keep clean of trees and brush and it was always here that the fire-fighters could stop the fires and protect the forests.  The fire-fighters also conducted “control burns” in the cool and windless times of the year to get rid of the dried brush under the trees and the dead trees.  These controlled burns helped the forest stay green and prevented the massive forest fires that were historic in California. 

But then came the “tree-huggers” and the government passed laws against the fire trails and the controlled burns.  These environmentalists have done more harm to the environment than can ever be imagined.  San Diego was a desert all the way to the Pacific Ocean and there were no trees except in the high mountains.  Hard to believe for anyone flying over San Diego but all those millions of trees you see now were planted by man and not natural to the area.  Without the “tree-huggers” there would still have been fires but they would have been quickly controlled.  Without those fire trails all we could do this time was watch the fires burn and try to stop them at the paved roads.

In Northern California there was a huge fight with the “tree-huggers” over strip logging until if was proved that strip logging helped the forests grow even more.  Loggers plant 4 trees for every one the cut down.  But that is only in America, it does not stop the Japanese from stripping the Amazon forest without re-planting any trees. The real environmental problems are universal and not restricted to any one country.  One has to look closely when one realizes that most Environmental Organizations are financially supported by the Big Oil Companies.    

Medicare and Government

“Save the children” was the recent cry of the Democratic Congress as they attempted to add a few million people to the Medicare System.  Someone figured that this would cost tax-payers something like $60,000 per child per year. Not sure that is true or not but I am against the Federal Government from being in the health care business at all. With the cry of “save the children” most Americans will fall for Socialized Medicine like in England and Canada. 

But let us look at England and Canada because if we have Socialized Medicine in America the English and Canadian will have no place to go to save their lives.  In England there are over 10,000 English who fly to America or Eastern Europe for medical care simply because they cannot get it in England.  Fewer and fewer doctors and dentists are willing to work for the low pay and massive paperwork that it takes to collect from the government medical programs and their private practice has gone so high that people cannot afford it.

Canadians cross over the border into America simply because they cannot afford the wait for medical care.  Canadians pay more taxes than almost any other industrialized nation, mostly because of medical care and they cannot get the care.  Sometimes in Canada the wait for a simple heart examination might take 6 to 8 months.

I have my own personal experience with the American Medicare system that was forced on me by my daughter.  I am the type of guy who just waits until I can afford something before I do it.  When I came back to California I walked to Mass for 8 months until I could afford a car and insurance.  I have had two (non-malignant) melanomas on my face for 5 years, and I was in no hurry to have them removed until I could afford them.  Of course, I am retired and so I can use Medicare for free but never trusted it.  OK! My poor daughter could not wait because she worried about me and I used the system.  This meant driving 75miles to the closest place that used Medicare for a useless physical from one doctor who I never saw – only 18 year old girls who passed as nurses.  Then I went back another 75 miles to a dermatologist at 7:30 in the morning who spent a total of 50 seconds with me in a total of 8 hours. His nurse cut the melanomas off and sent them to an in-house lab as I waited 3 hours.  The cut took 2 minutes.  The nurse then cut larger areas and sent them to the lab and I waited another 3 hours for them to do what I already knew because I had them tested in Portugal.  In the 7th hour of mostly waiting they came back to say what I already knew and the nurse, not the doctor, stitched me up.  This was done by claming my skin together will clamps that pulled the skin together and then stitched up with such force that it pulled my head back and forth.  A paper towel was placed over my face so that I could not breathe. Blood flowed into my eyes but was not wiped off.  It was a brutal stitching and then I was told to go home. My entire head of hair was filled with blood down past my shirt because no attempt was made to protect cover my hair or clothes.  I had to throw the shirt away because of the blood.  The next day and for three days after my eyes swelled up so that I could not see. I’ll pull the stitches out myself, thank you. 

I do not know what the government paid that doctor but he saw me for a grant total of 45 seconds.

Now do you want to hear the horrors of Medicare homes for the elderly?  I am sure you don’t but the corruption is beyond belief.  The way to get care cheaper and insurance cheaper is to get government out of the business.

Social Security and Government

I am now retired and glad to get my monthly Social Security checks but the system will go broke someday because it was flawed from the beginning.  When the idea of SSI came into being (a good idea) the government should have mandated that everyone put aside money for old age that could not be touched until such and such of age and then stepped aside to let people to it their own way.  If I had taken all the moneys I paid into SSI and put it into a simple compound interest account, I would now have $14,000,000 for my retirement.  Instead it went into the general tax fund and is now broke.

Illegal Immigration

And that is the true reason no Democrat or Republican wants to do anything about illegal immigration.  In order to take care of the now started baby boomers retirement (6,000 additional per day) the government must increase the general working population of this country by millions per year.  Of course, birth control and abortions has not helped. 

Schools and Government

A few years ago President Bush passed a bill called, “No child left behind.”  Sounded great didn’t it.  But if you read the fine print you see that schools were rewarded or penalized for children that did not pass their grades. It does not take a rocket scientist to predict what would happen. Schools just passed the kids no mater what their test grades were and even if they could not read the tests.  Of course all you see is that more people graduated.  American schools have gone from the best in the world to the 27th best in the world and the worst of the industrialized world.

All this happened when the Federal Government got involved in Education. By law the Feds are not allowed in Education but they get around this by offering states Federal Aid if they do this or that.  The states could turn down the money but almost never do.  When it comes to states the Teachers Unions are the biggest problem because merit does not matter.  China has far less schools that the United States but produce 600,000 Engineers a year whereas we produce 60,000.  Laws that govern discipline in schools has led to all the horror you read about everyday.

How often have I heard parents say that sending their children to college was a mistake because they lost their faith and became socialists? 

Taxing the Rich

Democrats are talking about “Robin Hood” tax laws, taxing the rich and giving to the poor.  The Republicans are up in arms about this but in truth neither the Democrats or the Republicans are telling you the truth.  The Democrats want to tax businesses but not the people who own the businesses or the rich that make money on money like Buffet.  Warren Buffet pays less percentage of tax (17%) than his secretary.  Democrats do not want to tax the rich because most of them are rich, but most Democrats do not and never have owned businesses so they want to tax businesses. 

But the truth is that you cannot tax businesses, not now and not ever in the past.  When you tax a business, the business just adds that to the cost of doing business and passes it on to the poor consumer.  And if the business pays more tax than his competitors in Europe or China, he simply goes out of business.

I am not against taxing the rich.  They can afford it and already pay the bulk of tax, 10% of the people pay 80% of the tax, but I am against any business tax at all.  At a time when all the major countries in the world are lowering business taxes, we are not talking about raising them.  It a world economy that just means they will close down or go overseas.

The Compromise

Now my ranting and raving about government has a point. Right now it seems that we will elect Clinton or Giuliani for president at a critical time in history.  Most of you will vote some kind of compromise because I am sure you do not like something about either of them. I will not under any circumstance vote for either of these two because I consider it a sin to vote for a pro-abortion candidate based on (not what they say) but how they have voted in the past. 

In truth Giuliani would harm the pro-life movement more than Clinton would.  (Buchanan) “Rudy (Giuliani) offers the right the ultimate Faustian bargain: retention of power at the price of one's soul.”  At least Clinton would energize Christians to get rid of her and bring life back to true Christians. 

The Federal Government should be in National Defense, Interstate Commerce and Foreign Affairs – nothing else. But they are not doing what they should in Interstate Commerce – federal highways, bridges, water ways, dams, the electrical grid, pipe lines, and oil and coal exploration.  The Defense has gone from 10% of the gross national product to just 5% in the last 12 years.  And our foreign Affairs, is a mess – border control.  We need another Teddy Roosevelt, who built dams, waterways, national parks, railways, highways and kept us out of war by carrying a big stick.

Give the rest back to the states and keep the feds doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Thank you for letting me rant and rave about governments so that I can now concentrate on religion.

Richard Salbato