The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (abbreviated FACT Act or FACTA, Pub.L. 108-159) is a United States federal law, passed by the United States Congress on November 22, 2003,[1] and signed by President George W. Bush on December 4, 2003,[2] as an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The act allows consumers to request and obtain a free credit report once every twelve months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, the three major credit reporting agencies set up the website, AnnualCreditReport.com, to provide free access to annual credit reports.[3]
The act also contains provisions to help reduce identity theft, such as the ability for individuals to place alerts on their credit histories if identity theft is suspected, or if deploying overseas in the military, thereby making fraudulent applications for credit more difficult. Further, it requires secure disposal of consumer information.

Grover Cleveland

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Cleveland is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and therefore is the only individual to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times – in 1884, 1888, and 1892 – and was the only Democrat elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1861 to 1913.
Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism and subsidies to business, farmers or veterans. His battles for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era.[1] Cleveland won praise for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism.[2] Cleveland relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. Indeed, as a reformer his prestige was so strong that the reform wing of the Republican Party, called “Mugwumps”, largely bolted the GOP ticket and swung to his support in 1884.[3]
Disaster hit the nation as his second term began when the Panic of 1893 produced a severe national depression that Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic party, opening the way for a Republican landslide in 1894 and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of his Democratic party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era.[4]
Cleveland took strong positions and was heavily criticized. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide and angered the party in Illinois; his support of the gold standard and opposition to Free Silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party.[5] Furthermore, critics complained that he had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation’s economic disasters – depressions and strikes – in his second term.[5] Even so, his reputation for honesty and good character survived the troubles of his second term. Biographer Allan Nevins wrote: “in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not.”[6]

The Chimey-Sweeper by William Blake

The Chimney-Sweeper
by William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry ‘Weep! weep! weep! weep!’
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved; so I said,
‘Hush, Tom! never mind it, for, when your head’s bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.’

And so he was quiet, and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight!–
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.

And by came an angel, who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins, and set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing, they run
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.

Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind;
And the angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy,
He’d have God for his father, and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke, and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm:
So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

November 15: Matthew Chapter Twenty-Six in Blank Verse by Day Williams

MATTHEW CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

When he had finished saying all these things,
Jesus told his disciples, “As you know,
Passover is two days away−and then

The Son of Man will be delivered to
Be crucified.” Just then the chief priests and
The elders of the people gathered in

The palace of the high priest, whose name was
Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest
Jesus in secret and to kill him. “But,

They said, “not while the Feast of Passover
Is going on, or there would be a riot.”
While Jesus was in Bethany, he was

Simon the Leper’s guest. A woman came
To him who had an alabaster jar
Of very costly perfume, which she poured

Upon his head as he reclined right at
The table. Seeing this, his followers
Became indignant, asking, “Why this waste?”

“She could have sold this perfume for a mint
And given all the money to the poor.”
Jesus, who was aware of this, told them,

“Why are you bothering this woman? She has
Done an exquisite thing to me. The poor
You’ll always have with you, but you will not

Always have me. And when she poured this perfume
Upon my body, she did it to get
Me ready for my burial. The truth

Is that wherever that this gospel’s preached
Throughout the world, what she has done will be
Told too, in memory of her.” And then

A member of the Twelve−the one known as
Judas Iscariot−went to the chief
Priests, asking, “How much will you pay me if

I help you get your hands on Jesus?” So
They gave him thirty silver coins. From then
On Judas watched out for a chance to hand

Him over. On the first day of the Feast
Of Passover, the followers came
To Jesus, asking, “Where shall we prepare

To eat the Passover?” He answered, “Go
Into the city to a certain man
And say to him, ‘The Teacher says: My time

Has come. I’ll celebrate the Passover
With my disciples at your house.’ ” And so
The followers did as he had told them and

Prepared the Passover. When evening came,
Jesus was eating at the table with
The Twelve, and as they ate, he said, “One

Among you will betray me.” They were sad
And each one asked, “Am I the one, Lord?” Jesus
Replied, “The one who’s dipped his hand inside

The bowl with me first will betray me. For
The Son of Man will go just as it is
Written about him. But alas for him

Who will betray the Son of Man! It would
Be better for that man if he had not
Been born.” Then Judas, who was to betray

Him, asked him, “Rabbi, am I the one?” “Yes,”
It’s you,” said Jesus. As they ate, he took
Some bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to

His followers while he said, “Take and eat;
This is my body.” Then he took the cup,
Gave thanks and offered it to them and said,

“Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood
Sealing the covenant, which is poured out
For multitudes for the forgiveness of

Their sins. Mark my words, I won’t drink this wine
Again from now on until that day when I
Will drink it new with you within my Father’s

Kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went
Out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus told
Them then, “This very night you will all fall

Away because of me, for it is written:
“ ‘I’ll strike the shepherd, and the sheep within
The flock will scatter.’ But once I have been

Brought back to life, I’ll go ahead of you
To Galilee.” But Peter answered, “Even
If everybody falls away because

Of you, I never will.” “The truth is that,
This very night, before the rooster crows,”
Jesus said, “three times you’ll deny me.” But

Peter vowed, “I would die first. I will not
Desert you,” and the other followers
Said the same thing. Then Jesus went with his

Disciples to a garden grove known as
Gethsemane, and said to them, “Sit here
While I go over there and pray.” He took

Peter and the two sons of Zebedee
Along with him, and he began to be
Mournful and troubled. Then he said to them,

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to
The point of death. Stay here and stay awake
With me.” He went a little farther, fell

Prostrate upon the ground and prayed, “My Father,
If it is possible, may this cup be
Taken from me. But I want your will, not

Mine.” Then he went back to his followers
And found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep
Awake with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.

Stay vigilant and pray so that you will
Not fall into temptation, for the spirit
Is willing, but the body’s weak.” He went

Away a second time and prayed, “My Father,
If it’s not possible for you to take
Away this cup unless I drink it, may

Your will be done.” When he returned, again
He found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
So he left them and went away once more

And prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then he returned to the disciples and
Told them, “Are you still sleeping . . . resting? Look,

The hour is near; the Son of Man has been
Betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise,
Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” While

He was still speaking, Judas came, one of
The Twelve, and with him was a large crowd armed
With swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and

The elders of the people. The betrayer
Had pre-arranged a sign with them: “The one
I kiss is he; you should arrest him.” He

Went instantly to Jesus and he said,
“Rabbi, hello!” and kissed him. Jesus said,
“Friend, go ahead and do what you came for.”

The men stepped forward then, seized Jesus and
Arrested him. A man with Jesus drew
His sword out, struck the high priest’s servant and

Cut off his ear. “Put back your sword,” said Jesus
To him, “for all who draw the sword will die
By swords. Do you not realize that I

Could call upon my Father, and he would
At once send me more than twelve legions of
Angels? But how then would the Scriptures be

Fulfilled that say it must occur this way?”
At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am
I leading a rebellion, that you have

Come out with swords and clubs to capture me?
Each day I sat and taught in temple courts,
And you did not arrest me. But this has

All taken place so that the writings of
The prophets might be realized.” Then all
The followers deserted him and fled.

Then those who had arrested Jesus led
Him off to Caiaphas, the high priest, where
The teachers of the law and elders had

Assembled. Meanwhile, Peter followed at
A distance, right up to the courtyard of
The high priest. He went in and sat down with

The guards to see the outcome. The chief priests
And the entire Sanhedrin looked for false
Witnesses as to Jesus so that they

Could have him put to death. But they did not
Find any who agreed, though many false
Witnesses testified. At last two came

Up and declared, “This man contended, `I
Am able to destroy God’s temple and
Rebuild it in three days.’ ” Then the high priest

Stood up and said to Jesus, “Won’t you talk?
What of this testimony from these men?”
But Jesus said no words. The high priest told

Him, “By the living God I charge you: Tell
Us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
“Yes, it is as you say,” said Jesus. “But

I tell you: In the future you will see
The Son of Man, and he’ll be sitting at
The right hand of the Mighty One and coming

On heaven’s clouds.” At once the high priest tore
His clothes and said, “He’s spoken blasphemy!
Why do we need more witnesses? Look, now

You’ve heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They shouted, “Death!” and spit in Jesus’ face
And struck him with their fists. Some others slapped

Him, saying, “Prophesy to us, O Christ.
Who hit you?” Peter was sitting out in
The courtyard, and a servant girl approached

Him, saying, “You too were with Jesus of
Galilee.” And yet he denied it in
Front of them. “I don’t even know what you’re

Talking about,” he said. Then he went to
The gateway, where another girl saw him
And told the people there, “This man was with

Jesus of Nazareth.” But he again
Denied it, with an oath: “I do not know
The man!” A little time went by, then those

Standing there went to Peter, saying, “Surely
You’re one of them, because we can tell by
Your accent.” Then he started calling down

Curses upon himself and swore to them,
“I do not know the man!” Immediately
A rooster crowed, and Peter then recalled

The words that Jesus had declared: “Before
The rooster crows, you will disown me three
Times.” And he went out, weeping bitterly.

–From New Testament in Blank Verse by Day Williams

 

Ron Paul’s Farewell Address to Congress

Ron Paul’s Farewell Address to Congress

Ron Paul is retiring from Congress this year. He just gave a wide-ranging farewell speech to Congress. The 48 minute address includes this dire warning:

“If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties.”

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community:

“The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.”

John Mason: Those Who Don’t Take Chances Don’t Make Advances

John Mason is a best-selling author, minister and speaker. He is the founder and president of Insight International. This organization is dedicated to helping people reach their dreams and fulfill their destiny.

Those Who Don’t Take Chances Don’t Make Advances

Articles – Christian Living
Written by John Mason

All great discoveries have been made by people whose faith ran ahead of their minds. Significant achievements have not been obtained by taking small risks on unimportant issues.

Don’t ever waste time planning, analyzing, and risking on small ideas. It is always wise to spend more time on decisions that are irreversible and less time on those that are reversible.

Learn to stretch, to reach out where God is. Aim high and take risks. The world’s approach is to look to next year based on last year. We Christians need to reach to the potential, not reckon to the past.

Those who make great strides are those who take chances and plan toward the challenges of life.

Don’t become so caught up in small matters that you can’t take advantage of important opportunities. Most people spend their entire lives letting down buckets into empty wells. They continue to waste away their days trying to draw them up again.

Choose today to dream big, strive to reach the full potential of your calling. Choose to major on the important issues of life, not on the unimportant.

H. Stern said, “If you’re hunting rabbits in tiger country, you must keep your eye peeled for tigers, but when your are hunting tigers you can ignore the rabbits.” There are plenty of tigers to go around. Don’t be distracted by or seek after the rabbits of life. Set your sights on “big game.”

Security and opportunity are total strangers. If an undertaking doesn’t include faith, it’s not worthy of being called God’s direction. I don’t believe that God would call any of us to do anything that would not include an element of faith in Him.

There is a famous old saying that goes, “Even a turtle doesn’t get ahead unless he sticks his neck out.” Dream big, because you serve a big God.

Source: An Enemy Called Average by John L. Mason
Excerpt permission granted by Insight Publishing Group