Friday, April 13, 2012
400-408 – Lynn Edgington, founder-president of Eagle Research Associates (eagleresearchassociates.org), here to warn us of the latest scams, frauds, rip-offs, and identity theft schemes – and he's available to speak to your group. To protect yourself or someone you care about, or to spot the red flags, or sadly if you've already been a victim, Lynn can help – email him at email@example.com, or call him at 949-837-6078). His book is Robbing You With a Keyboard Instead of a Gun (2010) (Amazon).
Scams are big business, about $100 billion a year in the US alone. And, if you live in the United States, you have a 1-in-10 chance of being the victim of an internet scam, fraud, or ponzi scheme in the next 12 months – it could be a mortgage modification swindle, a cash gifting program, a "too good to be true" multi-level marketing pitch, a sweet-sounding affinity fraud program, or a "get rich quick" investment opportunity pitch – and it could come at you not only through an email, phone call or an online posting, but through a trusted professional like a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or even pastor. Or you could be one of the many victims of identity theft.
• Lynn begins today by warning us about the current litigation against inspirational speaker Stephen Pierce. If any listener has had dealings with him, contact Lynn through the website.
413-423 – Lynn Edgington
428-438 – Lynn Edgington
443-452 – Lynn Edgington
458-508 – Dr. Peter Jones, (from Liverpool, and yes he knew John Lennon who asked him to be in a band!) former professor of Greek and New Testament at Westminster Seminary in Escondido (wscal.edu), and director of the truthXchange (truthxchange.com), argues there are only two religions in the world, but many synonyms for them: homocosmology or heterocosmology, pagan monism or biblical theism, Christianity or Gnosticism, the One True or the many false – or simply, as Peter calls them, Two-ism and One-ism. What many students today believe is a "new and improved spirituality that is secular and naturalistic" is actually the same ancient pagan gnosticism – or one-ism – the early church confronted and overcame, and we can learn a lot from them on how they did it. On their website, truthxchange.com, sign up for the monthly comment on the culture called InsideOut. Peter's latest is One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (2010).
Check out their new 8-min video describing one-ism and two-ism.
Romans 1:25 – For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
His earlier books are: On Global Wizardry: Techniques of Pagan Spirituality and a Christian Response (2010); The God of Sex: How Spirituality Defines Your Sexuality (2006); Stolen Identity: The Conspiracy to Reinvent Jesus (2005); Cracking Da Vinci's Code: You've Read the Fiction, Now Read the Facts (2004); Capturing the Pagan Mind: Paul's Blueprint for Thinking and Living in the New Global Culture (2003); Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies: Can You Tell the Difference? (1999); Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America (1997); and The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back: An Old Heresy for the New Age (1992).
512-523 – Dr. Peter Jones,
528-539 – Dr. Peter Jones,
544-554 – Dr. Peter Jones,
558-608 – It's time to focus on some neat ministries in something we're going to call "You Have Not Because You Ask Not," where you guys get a chance to help out or participate.
I got an email from Ron Hopkins, who told me about a ministry one of the guys in his Saddleback Men's Group is involved with, the guy's name is Tim Heaslet, and he's the founder of a ministry called Children of Fallen Soldiers (childrenoffallensoldiers.org).
612-623 – I got an email from Doug Malousis, the event coordinator for a charity called "Friends of Rollo" (rollokids.com), that since 1999 has taken over 75,000 underprivileged, at-risk, and special-needs kids on an all-expenses-paid, half day – and for many of them, for the first time in their lives – catch and release deep sea fishing trip! Last year, they took about 11,000 kids, and they're hoping to do even more this year. They've got a couple of upcoming fundraisers for you fishermen – the first is an online auction, and the second is a 10-day fishing trip off Baja, coming up on September 29, 2012! The charity is named after James "Rollo" Heyn, who was one of the most-popular captains of the sport-fishing community, who had a tragic, and untimely accidental death in 1999. Rollo died while skippering Frank LoPreste's boat, and Frank, Rollo's mentor, started the charity in his memory, and Frank will be the captain on the 10-day trip in September. To donate stuff for the auction, call 714-292-0108, or email Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org.
628-639 – I got an email from Amy Bellomo, whose husband Matthew is a teacher and head baseball coach out at Compton High School, telling me they're in big need of some of the basics, like bats, balls, gloves, helmets, and catcher's equipment, but they could also use a pitching machine. If you want to help the program, send your checks to: Compton High School Baseball Program, 601 S. Acacia Ave., Compton, CA 90220.
644-654 – I got an email from Scott Prophet, who told me about a neat group called the Artists for the Arts Foundation (aftafoundation.org) started by his friend and co-worker Marty Carrillo. What AFTA does is help create and sustain visual arts, drama, music, and dance programs in public schools amidst all the budget cuts. Their biggest fundraisers are concerts that feature high school artists performing alongside their professional counterparts – in the past they've had David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason, Billy Idol, and America – all performing pro bono. Since 2003, they're raised $900,000! Their next concert is coming up next Saturday night, April 21st at 7pm, in the Santa Monica High School Auditorium with Venice, Glen Phillips, and Jackson Browne. Get your tickets at aftafoundation.org, prices range from $35 for balcony to $125 for orchestra.
• Michelle Malkin (NRO, 4/13/2012) Real Moms of the GOP.
• Jim Geraghty (NRO, 4/12/2012) Who Is Hilary Rosen? Crass? Gilded? Stern?
• Rich Lowry (RNO, 4/13/2012) Gender Hysteria.
• James Taranto (WSJ, 4/12/2012) The Battle of All Mothers: Hilary Rosen and the misogynistic foundation of contemporary feminism.
• Jake Tapper (ABC News, 4/13/2012) President Obama's Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did.
President Obama today released his 2011 federal income tax, with he and his wife reporting an adjusted gross income of $789,674. The Obamas paid $162,074 in total tax – an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5%. The Obamas also reported donating approximately 22% of their income to charity — $172,130.
President Obama has been making a big political push for the "Buffett Rule," which would require millionaires to pay a minimum of 30% of their income in taxes. To illustrate the point, the president has pointed out that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than does his secretary.
President Obama's secretary, Anita Decker Breckenridge, makes $95,000 a year. White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage tells ABC News that Breckenridge "pays a slightly higher rate this year on her substantially lower income, which is exactly why we need to reform our tax code and ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share. "
It should be noted that president would not be impacted by the Buffett Rule, though he would see his taxes go up if the so-called Bush tax cuts on higher income wage-earners were allowed to expire, as the president says he wants.
• Washington Free Beacon (4/13/2012) Obama Family Tax Shelter.
President Obama and his wife, Michele, gave a total of $48,000 in tax-free gifts to their daughters, according to tax records made public on Friday.
The president and his wife separately gave each daughter a $12,000 gift under a section of the federal tax code that exempts such donations from federal taxes.
There is nothing illegal about the president's taking advantage of this tax shelter, but it does raise eyebrows given that he has lamented the myriad tax exemptions used by the wealthy—"millionaires and billionaires" like himself—to pay less in taxes. He has yet to propose a comprehensive plan to reform the byzantine tax code.
The Obama's tax return indicates that the gifts, likely for their daughter's college educations, began in 2007, when the maximum exemptible amount was $24,000 per couple. The maximum exemption has since increased to $26,000 per couple.
The Obamas paid a total federal tax rate of 20.5 percent on a gross adjusted income $789,674, which would typically fall within the top federal rate of 35 percent. According to an analysis of the president's tax return, he may have paid a lower rate than his secretary despite making more than eight times as much money as she did.
His most recent tax proposal—the so-called "Buffett Rule"—would increase taxes on about 4,000 millionaires and raise about $4.7 billion in new revenue per year, enough to cover about 0.4 percent of the projected budget deficit in 2012. Though the rule would apparently not hit the president himself.
The Obama's untaxed gift to their daughters will leave American taxpayers to subsidize the college education of the children of the multi-millionaire Obamas.
• CNS News (4/12/2012) Shovel Ready in San Fran: $205,075 to 'Translocate' One Shrub from Path of Stimulus Project.
LINER – The annual Christopher Laurie Memorial Golf Classic benefitting Harvest Crusades is Monday, April 30, 2012. To show your support, go to harvest.org/golf/donate.