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Omaha, Nebraska, is a surprisingly fascinating place. Here in the heartland -- amid the cornfields, in a region where people still say hello to everyone they pass, where their smiles are open, sincere -- the people so good -- there are a number of surprising elements.

One is the level of spiritual warfare.

The battle has come even to places we don't associate with darkness. The cornfields!

Yet, here it is.

Just outside of Omaha is one of the few clinics in America where women used to go for late-term abortions. Fortunately, the state restricted the practice in 2010. But one cringes of the thought of this occurring here (or anywhere). This was in the suburb of Bellevue and the abortionist was the notorious Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who still owns an abortion mill in Bellevue (for first and second trimester, up to twenty weeks); prayer need.

Then there are those farms.

Nebraska and other states are now covered with millions of acres of genetically-modified corn.

That means its fundamental structure has been "engineered" so the plants resist insects and can withstand more chemical herbicides without themselves succumbing. More than 86 percent of corn in the U.S. has now been changed from the way God made it -- much of it produced by the same chemical company that brought us PCBs and dioxin, which also produces those herbicides that can now be used on corn in ever-greater volume. (Some animal studies have shown that genetic crops have effects similar to pesticides, including inflammation disorders and problems with livers and kidneys -- yet companies don't even have to tell us such food is in what we purchase!).

This too is a "pro-life" issue.

There are the sounds.

We didn't realize that Omaha was one of the places where the "booming" or "rumbles" of unknown origin have been reported in recent months and ourselves heard unusual reverberations Saturday night (4/28/12) that were alternately like a train that stopped and started in the close distance and a vibration that whirred like a distant factory and perhaps -- in the dead of night -- was a distant factory (although at times it also seemed to be in the hotel).

We live in strange times.

In Omaha, one day last week the mercury hit ninety, then plunged into the fifties. There is just this sense when the wind whirls hard.

And finally, for our purposes, there is financial "oracle," "sage," and "wizard" Warren Buffet -- who lives in Omaha and who, in 2008, with a net "worth" of $64 billion (as in a thousand million), was said to be the richest man in the world -- if anyone truly knows who has the most money.

His standing dropped a bit in subsequent years after he made massive payments to philanthropic causes, primarily the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (in 2011 he was "only" the world's third wealthiest).

But the point is that he is another intriguing aspect of this city in Nebraska, and driving by his home on the way to the downtown it was interesting to observe how modestly he lives.

While his stucco home is stylish and certainly looks comfortable -- at least 4,000 square feet or so, with a little atrium for security and a cement post to halt would-be car bombers -- it is "only" valued at $700,000: pocket change for Warren. He has lived in this house since he bought it in 1958 for $31,500 and is known to walk around the area, waving to passersby and attending a movie theatre with no pretense. It is an example, in this time of McMansions, of humility. There is a Volvo in his driveway (where he could so easily afford a Rolls Royce or a Bugatti -- and in fact could easily afford to buy those entire companies). For years he tooled about in an old Lincoln, before auctioning it for a charity. He does have a second home in Laguna Beach (this one worth $4 million). And he has a hangar at the airport, Eppley Airfield.

When Gates comes to town, they play bridge and eat lunch at a Dairy Queen -- which he basically owns (not just the franchise but the corporation). Buffet and company also have huge stakes in or outright own Coca Cola, Wrigley gum, Geico Insurance, See's Candy, Fruit of the Loom, and one of the world's largest construction companies -- among many others. It is nearly quaint: this hometown boy who once went door to door selling chewing gum and had a newspaper route now own Wrigley and the Omaha World-Herald (as well as the Buffalo News). He quietly donates locally -- often anonymously. Recently, those who attended a local play were startled when he showed up onstage (un-advertised) playing the part of a newspaper boy. Refreshing: to see someone of such immense wealth acting like a normal guy, without the pretenses of many who are not "worth" a thousandth as much (they being very numerous in our time). He says he wants to give 99 percent of his money away. That would be good; 1.3 billion people on this planet live on $1.25 a day or less. And as is so common, in our strange time, the money was made, for the most part, switching paper back and forth, as opposed to inventing or producing. (Do we call it "earnings" or "winnings"?)

Now, unfortunately, for a real underside:

There are certainly questions about his personal life.

And Buffet donates to causes, including that Gates foundation, that promote contraception and abortion. He contributes to liberal "pro-choice" candidates. In essence, he backs unchristian movements. It is impossible to excuse this. "Doctors are trying to bring abortion back to mainstream hospitals, as the procedure is currently mostly done in standalone clinics," noted a news clip. "One way they're accomplishing this is through the creation of abortion-training programs for OB-GYN residents. For instance, the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program has given 58 medical school campuses financing, and the money for this program reportedly comes from a pretty famous source: Warren Buffett, via the Susan Thomas Buffett Foundation [Susan was his wife; they separated in 1977 and she died a few years back]."

Claims one website: "A secret meeting took place on May 5, 2009 at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, President of Rockefeller University, among some of the wealthiest people in America. The exclusive letter of invitation was signed by Gates, Rockefeller and Buffett. They decided to call themselves the 'Good Club.' Michael Bloomberg, Peter G. Peterson, John Morgridge and Ted Turner were also present. But the central theme and purpose of the secret Good Club meeting was the priority concern posed by Bill Gates, namely, how to advance more effectively their agenda of birth control and global population reduction."

Back to Omaha: Is there is spiritual stronghold over this area, to do with abortion?

A tragedy that is, supporting dark causes. And with so much cash.

Oh "Oracle of Omaha": It's nice to be modest. And friendly. Down home. But where the money goes really does tend to smudge and even ruin the rest.

  [Resources: Spiritual Warfare for Catholics]

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