Tis the season my friends.
It's the season of conflict, uproar, panic and all out chaos. The world cracks and splits as politicians run around screaming on deck, watching the ship (I mean country) sink, and being sure to stuff their pockets full of all the silverware and trinkets they can pilfer from the ship's ballroom.
I figured, seeing as Christmas is a joyful, peaceful occasion, we would discuss the crazy nature of the news lately, and what we can actually do about it.
The Omnibus Bill
Isn't it amazing that our government, in the last couple days of a session, can somehow come together and get something major done? Of course, it's a 4,000+ page spending bill that costs a tiny pittance of 1.7 trillion dollars. This is only 5.4% of our total national debt, so it's really nothing major.
And before you become some crazy conspiracy theorist and claim, “It's just pork and useless spending!” I want to set the record straight, and show you how sensible our politicians in DC are.
45 billion for Ukraine support, including 9 Billion for the Ukrainian military, 12 billion to replenish our weapons stocks, and 13 billion as economic support for their government.
38 billion for emergency funding to help areas of the country affected by recent national disasters
Overhaul of the 1887 Electoral Count Act, making the vice-president purely a figurehead
12 months of Medicaid postpartum coverage for low-income mothers, rather than 60 days
More funding for National Institutes of Health, CDC and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
858 billion in defense funding
4.6% pay raise for troops and 22.4% increase in support for VA
Make a summer EBT program permanent, providing families whose children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meal with $40 grocery benefit per child, per month
8 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grant
12 billion for Head start (an 8.6% boost)
5 billion for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Extra 576 million for the EPA, putting them to 10.1 billion in funding
14% increase in funding for wildland firefighting
132 million increase for Capitol Police, totaling 735 million (for 2,126 sworn officers and 567 civilians)
3.6 billion for homeless assistance grants, serving 1+million homeless people
6.4 billion to the Community Development Block Grant Formula Program
2.6 billion for US attorneys to prosecute January 6th, which would include funding efforts “to further support prosecutions related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol and domestic terrorism cases”
Plus 11.3 billion to the FBI, including efforts to investigate extremist violence and domestic terrorism
Part of 39 billion for the Justice Department
I'm not even done, but for the sake of your sanity, I'll quit here. What hit me as I was typing this out was how much money is spent on public programs for social assistance. We're not just giving millions, but BILLIONS to programs for social assistance. James Madison argued against this exact problem when discussing the General Welfare clause. We're now giving billions of dollars to various programs in the name of general welfare, despite the warning that such a clause would create a blank check for government. Of course, we attempt to solve things like homelessness and child hunger, yet the issues remain.
Look, when you select an individual program, it sounds reasonable and needed. But when you add all of them together, it becomes an absolute mess. All of a sudden, we're watching billions upon billions of dollars being promised to various programs that have nothing to do with what a government should be doing.
Our Constitution spells out exactly what the government was supposed to handle. Social programs WERE NOT PART OF THE PLAN. But that's a whole different conversation.
Some of the most concerning parts of this budget include the billions more being given to Ukraine, and of course all of the billions getting poured into stopping this supposed emergency onslaught of domestic terrorism, and the scourge of the January 6th protesting grandmas. Who knew we could spend a wartime budget chasing after people who killed no one, broke some windows, and took a podium?
Covid is Making a Comeback
We thought it was over. Heck, even good ol' Tedros, the head of the WHO predicted the COVID “pandemic” would end next year. And then China had to come and throw a big heap of COVID cases blowing up lately. Their streets are empty, their hospitals are full, and their supply chains are weak or breaking.
The Chinese Communist Party, in their infinite wisdom, over the course of the past couple years, chose to ban normal flu medicines because people did not want to be tested and sent to centralized detention facilities if they tested positive. Now, pharmacies do not have any stock of certain medicines to help people who are sick, and the pharmaceutical companies are now struggling to ramp up production.
Projections are even predicting cases will eventually affect 60 to 90 percent of the Chinese population, and of course those projections are also predicting millions of deaths. This is a result of the current strain running through China, which is extremely similar to the original virus strain, as opposed to the weaker Omicron variant. The old-school symptoms of high fever, dry cough, and lower respiratory infection seem to be making a comeback.
I think what I find most strange about all of this, is that 2 years ago, around this same exact time, we were witnessing the first steps in this whole COVID craptastic story. Several months after hearing about all the issues China was facing, and hearing all the questions as to whether it was going to spread or not...the virus spread and the whole world went into lockdown mode. Our world shut down for two years, and we fought things like COVID passports, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and a massive “othering” of people who didn't feel comfortable giving in to all of the measures. We watched social distancing become a supposedly medically recommended distance, despite experts admitting they made it up out of whole cloth.
We watched a group of people state that they would never take a vaccine supported by Trump, only to then give full-throated endorsement of the same vaccine after Biden became president. Our world turned upside down with the lockdowns, as governments chose winners and losers in the market, all based on how big they were and whether they were an online business or not.
Politicians became unapologetic dictators, and a few tyrannical progressives tried to plead for mercy afterwards, despite at the end of it admitting they ultimately did what they felt was right.
I'm telling you, it's all gearing up again. Nothing gets people stirred up and giving up their rights and liberties like a brand new, state-of-the-art crisis that causes a panic in everyone. They'll latch onto the stats coming out of China, and will of course determine that we will suffer the same catastrophe if we don't do something immediately. Of course that “something” includes stabbing ourselves relentlessly with needles carrying questionable substances, placing 40 masks over our faces (perhaps a plastic bag would work better?) and shutting down our businesses as they weld us into our apartments and houses.
Their solution to the issue is all out war on the individual. And guess what, they're preparing to blow their battle horns with all the hot air they can muster.
That's Not All
Other things are making the news with the same “The World Is Ending” style headlines. The Snowpocalypse is crushing most of the US, the energy grid is in danger (when isn't it?) and the markets are running around like a psychopathic killer clown whose about to drive off a cliff with all of us in the car.
The news has not stopped predicting the collapse of the nation and the world for the past...ever, but with a 24/7 news cycle, we're inundated with it in a massive new way. The news cycle hits all of us when we're scrolling social media, we're performing online searches, or random news pops up on our screens. The onslaught is vicious, and it washes over us until we drown in the bad news of the day.
We become numb to it all, or we become so panicked that we submit to anything we're told from another NPC talking head. The mission statement of all news source these days should be, “To make you scared! And attentive to us...”
I did my best to avoid all of the catastrophic doom-and-gloom for a month, and I tell you: it was a very refreshing time of my life. It hurts to have to start looking at all of this again, and I'll admit that today was what made it all sink in. I watched a podcast I enjoy, and they discussed the omnibus bill and its role in devaluing the dollar. They believe the mission of the elites includes controlled implosion of the US dollar and economy, in order to give rise to a digital currency, and therefore be able to attach your personal finances to a social credit system and everything you do.
Whether they're right or wrong, it's a frightful prospect.
What Do You Do?
What can you do? I'm not here to give you the specific choices to make when facing a crap-storm like this. Instead, I'm going to give you a reminder. We follow God, not man. The insanity of the nations and the running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off mentality is nothing new for humanity. Since humans first walked onto the scene, they have been going crazy and trying to predict the end of the world.
We're obsessed with it. We are absolutely tunnel-visioned when it comes to our own eventual destruction. We're always waiting for that moment when everything collapses. We've created entire genres of story-telling based on what the survivors would do if everything collapsed.
But as Christians, we don't need to get our heads buried under all that mess. The truth is, the Lord gives, and the Lord takes. The promise of Heaven provides the necessary relief that takes the burden off the Christian's shoulders, and puts the responsibility of direction in the hands of the Lord. But again, He gives and He takes. We can look to Him for provision, and God has provided in mighty ways to His people when everybody else was suffering greatly.
However, even if He doesn't provide physical sustenance, we still have a choice of whether to praise Him for eternal truths, or to “curse God and die” as it says in Job.
Not only that, but we're not even in the middle of it yet. Things are bad, but for a lot of us, they could be a whole lot worse. I'd rather spend this time enjoying the Lord, the blessings I have, and doing my best to steward and protect my family. I cannot fall into the trap of worrying about what hasn't happened yet, and resigning myself to a fate yet unseen. This pulls me away from relying on the Lord and placing all of my trust in my own imagination, which is extremely powerful in create anxiety and worry in me when it's not properly applied.
My job is to present myself faithful to Him each day, and be the best steward I can be. He's given me brains, family, opportunities, and a little bit of finances (could always use a little more, right?) I resolve to use what I've been given in the best way possible for the kingdom and my family. What I do with what I've given is between Him and me, and my prayer is that when He looks at me, He'll say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I'll say it this way: Despite all the ruckus going on: as for me and my house, I'm going to serve the Lord. I'll leave the future up to Him.