About Me

My photo
Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.



The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.



Scroll through the page and stop to read any of the articles you wish. If you like what you see leave a comment, then tell someone where they can find this site. If you don't like what you read then leave a comment reflecting your thoughts and I will read them when I visit the site from time to time.



Thanks again for stopping by.





Friday, June 21, 2013

NSA surveillance

 


By now most everyone has discovered the advertisements on their face book account or their email accounts.  When we use Google or other search engines for searching something like a book or any item, we begin to find advertisements on our pages that are similar to items we have purchased urging us to look at those similar items since we liked the item we bought.  Some have thought this is a convenience thinking someone else has done the legwork in searching out those things that match our personal likes and dislikes.  It is a technology that can be used in many different forms.

 

The current debate regarding the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance practice has sparked a nation-wide discussion regarding the protection (or reduction) of civil liberties.  A giant data storage facility has been built in Utah where a vast amount of personal data may be stored for each individual citizen in America.  Telephone calls, emails, social media postings, locations of telephone usage, incoming telephonic messages, items purchased, travel plans and a myriad  data-set of information that outlines specifically the routines, practices and desires of each individual citizen.  Regardless of the motives now for collecting that enormous data-set, it is the future use that may have the greatest impact on our individual lives.

 

Many are concerned the personal information may be collected in an effort to control future behaviors of people.  Privacy is important to Americans even if they don't think of their privacy too often; privacy is just assumed to be protected since the Fourth Amendment ensures that it will be.  The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."  With the large digital footprint each American leaves behind during each daily walk of life affords the "data-watchers" the opportunity to build a profile of personal information that would nullify the Fourth Amendment at the very moment the information is exposed.  That leaves the individual in a position of being controlled by the person or entities who possess that personal information and threatens to release it publically.

 

During the NSA debate of spying on individual Americans, the Administration has insisted no one is "reading" the information being collected.  Yet we know that currently technology has the ability to "read" the meta-data to establish categorical data showing trends, correlations and similarities.  Hence, Amazon can recommend other books by the same author who wrote the book we purchased at Amazon.  If that is a reality presently in commercial ventures , what kind of tracking and trending can the giant computer facilities in Utah accomplish?  So it is feasible to believe the Administration when it says, "No person is reading this collected information", but it that also true for the computer reading and categorizing the information?  It is only a short leap from collecting and storing the information to analyzing and using the information.

 

Think of some future date when some Administration more unscrupulous than any we have ever seen is in power and have all the stored information available for use.  How easy would it be to have the Director of National Security to have the computer generate reports on the life of every opposing Senator or Representative or Federal Judge to uncover some embarrassing incident from their "digital footprint."  Not just the particular Senator, Representative or Judge, but each member of the official's family, spouse, children, siblings, grandchildren.  Possession of that kind of power could cause sway over decisions for laws or other positions of power.  Use of such information just lying in storage accessible to those in power have unlimited uses to gain and maintain control to make people virtually dependent on those in power.   

 

From a Biblical viewpoint there is precedence (or prediction) that some sort of identification process will be used at sometime in the future for people to engage in normal commerce.  In the Book of Revelation in the Bible we read, "He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast – that is, his name or his number."  (Revelation 13:16-17)   This passage in Revelation is not presented here to imply in any way, shape or form that the NSA  surveillance practice is the process described in the Bible.  It is merely presented to remind us that we are living in a world where this process has been invented and the conditions are now available to implement such a process.

 

Christians need to remember that our faith in Christ is our assurance that He has already won the battle over all evil.  We may be subjected to such man-made surveillance processes, but in the final analysis ours will be citizenship in the Kingdom of God rather than the oversight of the kingdom of man.

 

Jim Killebrew

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Profiling

 


Just when you think you have heard it all something comes along to make you stop and say, "huh?"  It seems a couple of New York's politicians have gotten together and introduced a bill that will preclude the police from describing any perpetrator in terms that would even remotely "profile" the person.  When a crime has been committed and the police have a description of the perpetrator, the law would only allow them to broadcast a description of the perpetrator's clothing.  No longer would they be able to describe the person in terms of ethnicity or any description that would disclose any physical characteristics such as tattoos, limps, disabilities, missing limbs or any such physical characteristics that might be offensive to any person having any of those characteristics.  If the police violate that edict they would be subject to discipline.  Even the Mayor of New York City commented this practice would hinder the process of catching the perpetrator.

 

My suggestion is that henceforth when we become aware of anything even remotely as stupid as this, we arrest the people who thought of such politically correct requirements and charge them with aiding and abetting the suspected criminals they are seemingly trying to protect by forcing these kinds of practices on law enforcement.

 

Jim Killebrew

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The pie

 
A liberal thinks the economic "pie" is finite because they are socialist thinking and believe it can never grow.  A conservative, on the other hand, believes that through free market capitalism the economy can continue to grow and the wealth spreads naturally, hence the pie gets bigger and bigger as people work, invest and grow their businesses.  The greatest killer of "pie-growth" is to adopt the values of a liberal's economic principles.  By the way, the most effective "stimulus" is for each American who pays taxes be allowed to keep more of the money earned.  Money in the hands of millions of Americans across the land that they have earned create a great boon to the economy when they spend it on products and services.
 
Jim Killebrew

The robber

 
When a robber takes the wealth of a person by force and tries to play Robin Hood with the money, the people receiving the money make a hero out of the Robin Hood.  What they don't realize is that the people who have the wealth establish more ways to secure their wealth.  In fact, they will move their wealth to places where they know it is safe from the robber.  Ultimately the people who are being fed by Robin Hood begin to suffer because the wealthy have greater security for their money and they remove it from circulation by placing it in investments in other more safe locations.  When the government practices the "Robin Hood" tactics of taking from the taxpayers and giving it to those who do not pay taxes, why do people believe there are different consequences from the "Robin Hood" experience?
 
Jim  Killebrew

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day

 
I had the good fortune to have my Dad around me throughout my entire young life and even into adulthood.  When he passed away all of my kids had already been born, so he was able to see and know his grand children.  That was also true with my brother and sisters; they had all grown up and had children of their own and Dad was able to see and know them all. 
 
I write that because I believe that is a blessing that many people are not given.  It was a blessing for him to live long enough to see his family flourish; it was a blessing for us because we were able to learn valuable lessons of life just from being around him.  His was a generation that seems decidedly different from the upcoming generation.  There was glitziness in his generation, of course, but I am not so sure it was as magnified and self-centered as much as it seems to be today.
 
Having lived through the "great depression" identified with the crash of the stock market in 1929, Dad knew what it meant to "live by the sweat of his brow" and work long, hard hours to provide for himself and his family.  His generation had been dealt a hand that really held no personal, individual power that would result in vast winnings.  His world was changing fast through the industrial revolution, horseless buggy, flight through the air, electricity, automation, explosion of energy through oil and the beginning of modernization.  Radio had come into its own, communication had shrunk the world in a way that gave him more information more quickly than his Dad had enjoyed.  But just as he and millions of other Dads across the country had managed to stand ready to take a toddling step, tragedy struck at Pearl Harbor.
 
Uncle Sam made the call and tens of thousands of men just like my Dad ran to get the job done that needed to be done.  Later in our history, this generation was to be called, "The Greatest Generation."  I think those "knock-out" years that leathered the skins of those men having survived the depression and the World War created within them a sense of responsibility that had its foundation firmly planted on honor, character, morality, solidarity of trust and a sense of passing those values on to their children.  That is what I witnessed growing up under his tutelage. 
 
We were poor, but my Dad worked every day.  His consistency was rock-solid, always working, doing the job he had been trained to do and sticking with it to complete a "career."  From my earliest age I can remember being taught the value of work.  His advice:  "Do not do just what is expected by your boss, do much more than that and exceed your boss's expectation."  He thought that was the code to live and work by and it would always make things better than what you expected.  I believe it was good advice.
 
Values that focused on family, spiritual matters, hard work, telling the truth, holding fast to the principle of your word being your bond, trusting in others to keep their word and helping others who had needs were presented every day.  I remember going with my brother and sisters door-to-door collecting small bits of change from people for the "Milk and Ice" fund.  We would turn the money into those in charge to buy those commodities for poor people.  Dad and Mom always led the way to worship on Sunday morning (and in those days Sunday and Wednesday nights too), never just sending us kids to Sunday School by dropping us off at the door.
 
My Dad was an average guy, worked all his life, lived through the depression of the 1930's, fought in the World War II, raised a family, took care of his elderly parents when the time came, and lived to see his grandchildren.  He never received any awards that I know of, he was never on television, he never wrote a book, he was never elected to a high office, he never made enough money to be termed as "wealthy" and he is not now mentioned in any history books.  All in all however, his was a life that showed humility, character, a sense of justice, a positive regard for his neighbors, and a quiet determination to make things better for his family and his fellow men.  I believe his is a life deserving of honor, and I do.
 
Jim Killebrew    



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

coup d'état

 


Throughout history there have been despots and tyrants who have taken over countries or large people-groups.  When the take-over was complete the person in charge had achieved almost absolute power to impose personal will over the majority of people in that country or people-group.  We call them by various names like Czar, ruler, dictator, Chairman, Chancellor, Führer, King or Supreme Leader.  Governments created by these types of people are referred to as totalitarian, Monarchs, autocracies or Realms.  These types of leaders and governments were formed in many different ways; sometimes by quickly using force to topple those in power.  The least violent way has been the gradual changing of the government by working through the government process from the inside to accomplish the goal of complete take-over.

 

The  coup d'état.  This is simply a strike against the state to displace the government with another force, usually from forces, sometimes military if they are willing and complicit, but more often, political, inside the current government.  Either way, these following steps are usually similar steps that have been observed throughout history that paves the way for these takeovers.  A look at those past countries and their leaders have displayed a pattern. 

 

1. They implemented a new Ideology.  Generally the first step was the establishment of an ideological premise that seemed logical and offered solutions to the problems outlined in the society or current government.  This helped people get on board with new ideas to accept the fundamental change that was to come.  Generally that new ideology contained some target group who had to be eliminated from society because they were blamed for the ills experienced by the society.  Those groups have generally been religiously oriented groups whose allegiance is directed toward God rather than man.  The most recent example of that was the Jewish culture in the 1930's under the Nazi ideology.

 

2.  They used Policies, regulations and laws.  A flurry of new regulations help set the pace for a set of new policies that would change the way people lived and did business.  Policies, regulations and laws had a tendency to set the standards and bend the practices into a direction the leaders wanted the people to travel.  This was especially important in the beginning as the new leadership implemented the policies and laws that would ultimately disarm the population from any weapons they may have had.

 

3.  They issued Executive orders from the established leader.  This served to circumvent any competing pushback from anyone in authority who attempted to go a different direction or stand firm on the status quo.  It also helped to deflect any inquiries from other government officials with their questions about changing practices that may have been occurring.

 

4.  They created dependent populations.  This was a tremendous help in countries where the people had a part in selecting the government officials.  If the new leader could keep them dependent either at or below the poverty level they would be beholden to the new leader and continue to vote for transformation.  For longevity rule, it became necessary for generational poverty with government dependence with allegiance to the ideology sponsored by the government.  

 

5.  They created crisis situations.  This was essential; people became much more compliant when they were in crisis.  They grasped leadership, any leadership that would change or remove the crisis.

 

6.  They controlled crisis through imposed restrictions.  Of course the freer a people had been living, the more difficult it was to take those freedoms.  However, crisis caused people to spend their capital and freedom was a type of capital they would give away if the crisis could have been removed from them personally and placed on the backs of others.

 

7.  They took control of financial institutions.  This was a two-edge sword.  They believed all financial institutions like banks and investment firms had to be castigated in order to become the enemy of  the people.  If the people could have been taught they were the victims of the richest citizens of the country it was easier to bring the institutions under control.  Class warfare was a favorite; pitting the poor against the rich.  When the rich land owners and industry lords were seen as taking the wealth illegally or unjustly, it gave the poor the authority to move against the rich with justification for redistributing the wealth.

 

8.  They used existing government agencies as political instruments.  This was especially true if the government agencies were the law enforcement agencies, or the tax collection agencies.  They were ones with specific powers that ultimately controlled the population that could have been more easily brought under control if individual assets were confiscated.  Through regulations and special taxes imposed on the people, the government agencies responsible for implementing the laws and collecting the taxes became legitimate tools to control the people and their personal assets.

 

9.  They took control of media outlets to control their message.  This was essential for a less violent take-over.  If the media could become a chorus in-synch with the leader's message, it was easier to discredit the dissenters' voice as the transformation proceeded.  Tied to that control of media was the redefinition of proper language.  A filtering process for "news" disseminated to the people-at-large was used to make sure the "right" message was delivered.  That message had to be controlled through "talking points" issued from the leaders so the message was consistent and in line with the ideology.  

 

10.  They established an internal communication monitoring system.  It was essential to know what people were saying and doing; it made it easier to know what they were thinking.  If every form of their communication could be monitored to find the trends of dissention, it became much more flexible in deflecting all opposition.

 

11.  They took over the education system.  For sure the new leader had to re-brand the elementary, secondary and university learning environments.  Curriculum had to be rewritten to conform with the new message of transformation, teachers and professors had to be on-board to preach the message and reshape the minds of those who were in their prime socialization years. 

 

12.  They made alliances with outside countries whose ideology was consistent with the new leader's.  It made it much easier for assimilation, especially as the immigrating groups from other countries were migrating to the new leader's country.

 

13.  They marginalized or eliminated Christianity from the citizens.  Karl Marx called religion the "Opium of the people."  Judeo-Christianity offers the antithesis to totalitarianism and teaches love, peace, tolerance, forgiveness and allegiance to God alone.  Judeo-Christians look beyond the political structures of the day and place their faith in Christ alone, looking to Him and the work He did on the cross regarding their personal salvation.  Their world-view moved beyond the current events while they focused their eyes and hearts toward eternity.  For that reason, among others, Christians were more difficult to control and generally were eliminated as much as possible.

 

If we look at the history of the world we find these steps have been systematically implemented as the new leaders took over.  This was especially true when the take-over was meant to happen without outright fighting in the streets.  This pattern can be seen in all the great historical empires of the past:  Greece, Rome, Europe.  More recently, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Union, Cuba and many of the Middle Eastern and African countries.  There is a lot to be gained from a study of history.

 
Jim Killebrew

Monday, June 3, 2013

Scandal

 


There is a lot of media air-time and words spent talking about the unconscionable targeting by the IRS of conservative groups seeking to gain status as a charitable organization in order to obtain tax exempt status.  One point of contention and disgrace of the practice is that it specifically targeted only select groups that had words like patriot, or tea party as part of its title.  The charge is that other, more liberal, organizations were not treated so unfairly by not being targeted for a microscopic review of the organization with questions that actually risked restricting individual's and organization's rights to privacy.  This scandal has reached proportions that may result in the firing of high-ranking officials of the IRS and possibly even Administration Cabinet-level officials.

 

As egregious as this scandal is, when we put it in perspective with another incident that occurred in 1973, it becomes questionable that this incident is quite so enormous by comparison.  That incident was the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized the death of children by legally taking their lives through abortion based on a woman's right to choose.  Talk about targeting conservative groups think about abortion targeting only unborn babies.  Those babies have been legally targeted by the lawmakers at the state and federal level.  No other group has been targeted for such treatment; if they were, it would cause a scandal that could be heard around the world.  Those babies' rights have been completely ignored for all these years; a number of human lives that have accumulated to over 56,281,000 infant souls taken from this world through abortion completely legally.

 

The fact alone that these two scandals can stand side-by-side in our society with one being viewed as perfectly legal, and even desired by so many in our country, while the other is viewed as the atrocity it is, demonstrates the sliding toward almost total immorality and the decline of civility in our culture.

 

Jim Killebrew