Monday, December 31, 2007

Kiss 2007 Goodbye ...

2007: The Year in ThugsDamming the flow of freedomSteve Chapman December 20, 2007

For a few years in the 1980s and 1990s, the world was changing for the better and seemingly destined to keep doing so indefinitely. Back then, freedom resembled justice as described in the Bible—rolling down like waters. But in the last few years various governments have managed to dam it up, and in some cases, like the engineers who manipulated the Chicago River in 1900, even reverse the flow.
Between 1990 and 1997, the number of democracies in the world rose from 69 to 118, according to the human rights group Freedom House. In the past decade, though, the number has crept up by just five. Worse yet, in some places where democracy emerged back then, it has survived only in name.
This year, Russia noted the death of Boris Yeltsin, the first democratically elected ruler in its long history. The second, Vladimir Putin, sees no pressing need for a third. His party won a parliamentary election in which opposition activists were arrested and beaten and foreign election monitors were so restricted that they left long before the polls opened.
Meanwhile, Putin planned to get around the two-term limit on his power by installing a handpicked successor and becoming prime minister. "It's not even a third term; it's eternal," one former adviser told The Wall Street Journal.
Many of the former Soviet republics also proved inhospitable to rule by the people. One exception is Ukraine, which experienced an "orange revolution" in 2004 and held an election in September that The Economist magazine pronounced "a thoroughly democratic and unpredictable affair."
Unpredictability is not a condition favored by the rulers of China, where President Hu Jintao promised the expansion of "socialist democracy" in a country that is neither. Some 40 high school students in Tibet, some as young as 14, were arrested for allegedly writing pro-independence slogans on buildings.
In Myanmar, Buddhist monks in an anti-government demonstration carried a banner reading, "Love and kindness must win over everything." Maybe so, but not right away: The government killed at least 20 people in crushing the protests, according to Human Rights Watch, and arrested hundreds.
Cuban police detained dozens of young people for wearing white wristbands decorated with a single word: (SET ITAL) cambio (END ITAL), or change. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who takes Fidel Castro as his model, suffered two sound rebukes -- one from King Juan Carlos of Spain, who said, "Why don't you shut up?" and one from his people, who voted down measures designed to keep him in power permanently.
Authoritarian rule, the exception in South America, remains the norm in Africa. The Human Rights Forum in Harare reported that human rights violations in Zimbabwe nearly doubled in the first half of 2007. But at a summit meeting of leaders from Europe and Africa in Lisbon, African leaders united in refusing to criticize President Robert Mugabe—under whose rule average life expectancy has dropped from 62 years to 37.
Former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor went on trial in The Hague for allegedly helping rebels who killed and maimed thousands of civilians during Sierra Leone's civil war. He pleaded not guilty, but one of his former soldiers said, "If you start prosecuting war crimes, you'll prosecute every Liberian.
"Nigeria had its first peaceful transfer of power from one civilian government to another, after an election with so much vote-rigging that the winner's victory margin, according to The Washington Post, "surprised even supporters of the ruling party.
"Iraq's parliament took a month-long vacation in August even as U.S. troops were surging in an effort to provide lawmakers the security they needed to overcome their political stalemate. In Saudi Arabia, a young woman raped by seven men was sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes for her crime—being in a car with a male who was not her relative. King Abdullah, under international pressure, granted a pardon.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf forgot a lesson most people learn young: Don't antagonize lawyers. His sacking of the country's chief justice sparked protests by attorneys, eventually moving the president to impose a state of emergency. Musharraf allowed opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to return from exile abroad, but when asked when he would step down, he replied, unencouragingly, "When there is no turmoil in Pakistan.
"That was the political story in many places around the world in 2007—enough turmoil to give authoritarian rulers an excuse to expand their control, but not enough to sweep them from power.
The Year That Wasn't2007 defied conventional political wisdomDavid Weigel December 11, 2007
William Safire is one of the most respected political prognosticators in the business, a fact that never seemed less true than when he was asked on Meet the Press about Hillary Clinton's potential running mate.
What about Rahm Emanuel, the most powerful voice in the House of Representatives that agrees with Hillary Clinton on foreign affairs? He's a hawk. And although he's a rootin' tootin' liberal on domestic affairs, he is a hawk on foreign affairs. I was at a roast for him for Epilepsy Association, and Hillary Clinton was there, and I said, quite frankly, here you have the hawkish side of the Democratic Party. If they get together, the bumper sticker will read "Invade and bomb with Hillary and Rahm."
The stolen Appalachian slang, the name-dropping from an event that transpired two years ago, the boy-in-the-bubble disconnect from political reality: exquisite stuff. But, again, Safire is a writer who's supposed to be good at this. Later this month, when he publishes his 34th annual "Office Pool" in the pages of the New York Times, people will parse his lines and report out his predictions, to see if they could come true. Even the risible Clinton/Emanuel prediction inspired credulous commentary from writers who surmised that, well, Safire wouldn't just say anything. He's got sources. He knows people.
Washington is full of such people, and for them 2007 was a lousy year. It's not that pundits and politicians are usually so prescient. As Philip Tetlock demonstrated in Expert Political Judgment, his 2005 survey of punditry, the pros, on average, are no better at predicting the future than a Denny's night manager or a part-time blogger or Miss Cleo. Rarely, though, do so many prognostications believed by the whole of the Beltway fall apart. Most everyone believed that Hillary Clinton would end the year as the Democratic frontrunner, which is still mostly true.
Not much more of the conventional wisdom of 2007 bore out. There was a moment when Washington was truly ready to accept Fred Thompson as the GOP frontrunner, as the natural candidate who could unite the party with charisma on loan from Cary Grant. All he needed to do was not flop. And then he flopped. (This was one of the few prognostications I didn't buy into. I was shocked at Fred's smug and fumbling campaign persona, a cacophony of "uhhhs" and "we've got some problems," and really thought he'd fail. For this I was raked over the coals at Free Republic. And how has Fred done? He's fallen asleep on the coals.)
The following, roughly chronological, list of six botched predictions isn't intended to name and shame the people who got 2007 wrong. It's more interesting to call them back and see why they didn't pan out.
1.) The Iraq Study Group will change our policy.
2.) The Democrats will overreach and George W. Bush will mount a comeback.
3.) Al Gore will run for president.
4.) Sam Brownback will matter.
5.) John McCain is the GOP frontrunner and the natural heir to Bush.
6.) Ron Paul's run will be bad for libertarians.
And on and on. [For more information, read the entire article on-line]
Predictions for 2008The un-parodiable state of civil liberties in America
Radley Balko December 21, 2007
As the end of the year approaches, it's time for another column of government overreach predictions for the New Year. What outrageous, beyond-parody grabs at power and erosions of civil liberties will transpire in 2008? My predictions:
• The Bush administration will claim it has the power to kidnap citizens of foreign countries for violating U.S. law, and extradite them to the U.S. for trial and imprisonment—even for white collar crimes unrelated to terrorism, and even for acts that aren't illegal in the countries where the target is a citizen.
• Police will take enforcement of prostitution laws to a new level, by arresting and seizing the cars of anyone who merely talks to an undercover cop posing as a sex worker. Good samaratans, beware.
• The war on prescription painkillers will also reach new absurdities, as people will begin to be arrested and convicted of possessing painkillers for which they have a prescription . Prosecutors will weirdly argue that there is no "prescription defense" to possessing prescribed medication.
• How about sex crimes laws? I predict that here too, prosecutors will overreach. Watch, as some overzealous district attorney will charge middle school kids with sex crimes for such childhood shenanigans as slapping fellow classmates on the buttocks.
• While it continues to federalize crime and find new reasons to toss people in prison, members of Congress will simultaneously continue to attempt to put themselves above the law. I predict that the House of Representatives will attempt to prevent police from searching the computers of one of its members, even if that member is being investigated for soliciting sex with minors.
• Public schools will teach not just reading, writing, and arithmetic, they'll start teaching students to spy on their parents , and to report their parents to local authorities for minor violations of city codes, such as failing to recycle, or failing to keep their lawn trimmed.
• Pressed for revenue, at least one state in the country will pass draconian new traffic laws mandating fines of $1,000 or more for routine traffic violations, in a bald attempt to fill state treasury coffers. The bill will be sponsored by a lawmaker who, conveniently enough, also has a law practice that specializes in defending people accused of traffic violations. He will not disclose during the debate that the bill will almost certainly benefit him financially. He'll be reelected, anyway.
• A state governor will propose legislation calling for two-year prison terms for people who play online poker . Rather shamelessly, the proposal will come in the same bill that calls for allowing the construction of three new casinos in the same state.
• While we're talking about gambling, states will continue to crack down on the poker craze. Even VFW posts won't be immune. Soon, we'll see cops sent to break up $5 cribbage games, and SWAT teams to break up charity poker games. In fact, cops will raid bars where it merely looks like people are gambling, even if no gambling is actually taking place. Meanwhile, states will continue to spend millions promoting their own lotteries.
• Standing on the sidewalk will become a crime .
• Cities will begin seizing the cars of people who play their stereos too loud . In fact, they'll seize the cars based on little more the word of someone else that the car's owner was playing his stereo too loud.
• Proving there's no part of your life the Nanny State can't reach, states will begin asking bars to install talking urinal cakes, which will warn men as they relieve themselves that drinking and driving isn't cool.
• Another state's lawmakers will propose a bill that bans "eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, interacting with pets or cargo, talking on a cell phone or using any other personal communication device" while driving.
• Two years after banning traffic cameras in the name of "liberty," the Virginia legislature will decide that revenue is more important than liberty, and will revoke the ban .
• The FBI will imply to Congress that sometimes it has to let it's undercover informants get away with murdering American citizens so as not to disrupt drug investigations.
• Following up on the enormous "success" (that's sarcasm) of laws putting cold medicine behind the drug store counters because they can be used to make meth, legislators will propose putting baking soda behind the counter , too, because it can be used to make crack.
Too over-the top? Too paranoid? As you may have guessed from clicking the embedded links (of if you read either of my two prior year-end columns ), none of the bullet points above were actual predictions. Each of the above already happened in the past 12 months, in 2007.
Each year, government at all levels encroaches a bit more on our personal, economic, and political freedom. One prediction that I'm pretty confident will come true: Come December 2008, there will be more than enough material for another column like this one.
Radley Balko is a senior editor for reason. This article originally appeared at
Goodbye 2007 and Good Riddance!
Hello 2008 and You'd Better Shape Up!
By Alexander Cockburn
It was the No! 2007 was never the best of times. It was a whiny, fretful twelve months, and what should have been a time of keen enjoyment, poking at the graying ashes of the Bush era, saw the left and progressive sectors grasping at phantoms and with less of a significant presence on the national political scene than at any time in the past thirty years. There's scant sign that this will change in 2008 unless some unforeseen earthquake tosses up some exciting Independent candidacies, of which there is zero evidence at the turn of the year.
The Clock is Ticking on America's Last Year of Freedom
By Greg Evensen
December 30, 2007
There is not a single person left above ground in America that has not yet had their obituary published, that can admit to feeling positive about the coming months before our next general elections. Out of 280 million American citizens and 20 million illegals occupying space within our borders, we have 20 auditioning professional liars and pretenders willing to say anything to live in the White House. Only one in my view, Ron Paul, holds the minimum requirements to legitimately seek and honestly campaign for the office. He isn’t my guy 100%, but I can live with most of his platform and his character.
Without running through the abysmal list of candidates from all parties again, I will just say that I am embarrassed to think that this list of loud-mouthed, know nothing about anything group of charlatans, believes that they represent me or my fellow disillusioned citizens concerning the sorry state of our nation. Yet, the all-powerful national elites that ultimately control our destinies, believes that you believe these sorry examples of potential “presidential” choices do, in fact, model your desires for national leadership in 2008. That is why Ron Paul is the ONLY choice that has merit worthy of our support.
If Ron is to win, then he must have the support and active participation of every last one of us who holds out the last shred of hope for the future of a free and prosperous America. If Ron loses, it will be because those same Americans who paid lip service to him and even gave money for his campaign, failed to follow through when it came to the vote. It will be for lack of motivation to insist that Dr. Paul be allowed the chance to participate FULLY in the election process that ultimately defeats him. In so doing, the power brokers, the party hacks, the media pundits, and the national managers of America’s future, will be able to lay the Ron Paul failure at the feet of the very people who brought him to the brink of success and then walked away. If, or I should say, when that happens, the ruling class will have called it exactly right. We in the Constitutionalist movement have earned the title “empty rhetoric” whiners for quite some time. There is no reason to believe, and certainly no evidence what-so-ever to assume, we won’t carry on in that same “grand” tradition. Complain, blow and go, promise to do something and then just quit. Because of that performance, we are far worse in our failure to America than are the turncoats who have actually done what they said they would do right from the start. We promised to work to bring America back from the brink and when we had her five feet from rescue upon the shore, we let her drown in a foot of water.
That is what we will do with Ron Paul as well. We will worry about our Republican Party membership card. We will feel jilted when we don’t receive a call from state headquarters asking for a donation for candidates who aren’t worth the powder to blow them to hell. We will try to come up with reasons that seem plausible concerning our vote for such a wasted cause in Dr. Paul. However, we won’t hesitate in rah-rahing for the only hope America has at this point in our history and then voting for Rudy, or John or Hillary………..because WE wanted to feel a part of the big picture.
That is why the Federal Reserve still issues a debt riddled currency worth nothing. That is why we begin a war every few years, waste our military into the next spending cycle of arms build-ups, and butcher a generation of young men and women for the sake of a few more Memorial Day speeches. That is why our all-powerful America can stand helpless on our borders as we are invaded by a dirt poor army of Mexican and other worldly renegades. That is why we are giving up every last one of our freedoms in exchange for GPS chips in everything we own, machine gun toting SWAT officers and TASER happy assaulting sheriff’s deputies in every community.
We want to be part of the big picture of what America has become rather than a part of what America could still be. You see, it is easier to talk big picture and pose for something far less. We simply are not willing to put in the effort necessary to create a work of art. As a result we are now part of a grand illusion, nothing more. We are to blame. We are the ones who allowed the Patriot Act and Homeland Security to waltz us in to the North American Union without so much as a question asked about WHY we needed this. By what Constitutional authority did our communistic moron leadership in Washington use to justify this “Union?” We can’t even be trusted on our own street corners. Security cameras must hover over every move we make. And stupid, fearful, gullible, “accept the lies for your own good Americans,” think that this Orwellian security is as good as it gets in this life—until you’re the one doing the funky chicken with two electrical probes stuck in your ass.
That is why Ron Paul will lose. That is why Ron Paul won’t even get to the main event. That is why IF, by some remote chance, Dr. Paul does make it through Iowa, New Hampshire and the upcoming marathon primaries, he runs the risk of assassination by the same world class murders that eliminated JFK, Congressman Larry McDonald and others who saw the international conspiracy face to face, tried to change it, and paid the ultimate price for it.
Who will be to blame? You, and me, that is who. As the clock clicks down the moments until our last major stage show for the 2008 elections, remember this. America’s last days of freedom are upon us. Your only chance to make a final, compelling, resounding and history changing difference, is standing in front of you. Walk past the jokers on the candidate’s stage, put down your long white cane, open your eyes and get to work.
We wish you a peaceful, restful and fulfilling new year. Greg and Liz Evensen
2007: A Global ForecastBy Debra Rae
January 14, 2007
With our tummies full of holiday goodies, we’ve dusted off last January’s resolutions for yet another whirl as we ponder what’s in store throughout 2007 for our families; community, state, nation; and world. Whether prospects for the future bode well, or not, Father Time marches on.
While the War on Christmas is behind us for another year, Americans continue to face the War on Terror and what has popularly become known as today’s Culture War. Fewer grapple with what Phyllis Schlafly dubs “the Quiet War against American Independence.” We can be assured, however, that this World War of sorts, being fought in the name of “harmonization,” is not going away anytime soon.
“Harmonization” is today’s trendy term for eliminating boundaries of nation-states (i.e., sovereignty) in exchange for democratic trans-nationalism. Toward this end, America’s Constitutional Republic is being coaxed to morph into a regionally-defined social democracy headed by “civil society” (i.e., non-elected non-governmental organizations).
These NGOs effectively transcend political barriers at all levels, from local to international. They work to supplant rightful private ownership with public ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange. This is called “socialism,” far from what the original Superman defended as “the American way.”
Certainly, no one has the “inside scoop,” but ongoing trends shed light on reasonable expectations for 2007—whether in reference to marriage/alternative families; “free speech”/pornography; life/abortion, euthanasia; private property/urban clusters; sovereignty/globalism—all of which factor into the global forecast.
So Long, Sovereignty
In providing a worldwide system of checks and balances, sovereignty has served the world well historically in that it answers the essential question, “Who’s in charge?” No matter, globalists demean the concept as an unfeasible, deplorable division of humankind on nationalistic grounds; some go so far as to brand it a “virus.”
Bottom line: The late Ronald Reagan rightly noted that a nation without borders is not a nation at all. Of course, this poses no problem to internationalists. You see, these have in view a sort of utopian Global Village. By definition, globalism is an interdependent, borderless one-world state rejecting America’s rugged individualism for so-called collaborative cosmic consciousness. Global citizens pledge allegiance—not to the US of A—but rather to the world community.
Globalization speaks specifically to redistributing the world’s wealth and, then, concentrating that wealth, and therefore power, into the hands of few who wish to manage masses by means of international “soft law” inclusive of agreements, conventions, declarations, executive orders, pacts, summits, treaties.
Railing against “the hegemonic pretensions of the American empire,” Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez recently fingered George W. as “the devil” himself, “placing at risk the very survival of the human species.” A second look reveals an even more ominous threat to America than her presumed pretensions. That being, an emerging North American integration model with planned superhighway system destined to divide our nation in half.
Already, the European Union serves as model for “a common future,” soon to be realized worldwide. EU economic fundamentals outshine the United States, now the world’s largest debtor nation. As a result, the 7th CIVICUS World Assembly (Glascow, May 2007) will call upon Europe, not the U.S., to take the lead in establishing a Global Marshall Plan in order to redistribute wealth and, thus, advance the UN guiding principle of sustainability.
To further the global agenda, planned political and economic union among Mexico, Canada, and the US will model the EU. But, then, this problematic marriage comes as no favor. America’s exposure to the real “devils” of this fallen world is all the more enabled in view of today’s geo-political climate when coupled with free and open movement of people, trade and capital. Already, America hosts upwards of twenty million illegal aliens, plus millions more foreign workers, supposedly here temporarily.
Good-bye, Grand Meta-narrative
For the harmonized—i.e., borderless—New World Order to gel under elitist, trans-federal government, a proper global mindset must be established, traditionalism undermined, history rewritten, and fundamentalism silenced.
The multi-faceted seduction of postmodernism originated with the Enlightenment, when many intellectuals announced autonomy from God. To make sense of reality, postmodernists believe in no “grand meta-narrative”—that is, no “big story.” Therefore, truth crumbles into nothing more than self-serving social or personal constructs.
In their weakness, Christians—even men of the cloth—are not exempt from its lure. Just last year, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals Pastor Ted Haggard effectively stiff-armed God in becoming embroiled in gay-sex and methamphetamine scandals. Humble repentance before a compassionate God yields forgiveness and cleansing, true. However, Bible wisdom eschews continuance in wrong doing so that grace might abound—seemingly a vanishing principle even within our faith communities.
Not chastity, not godliness, but restraint from giving offense emerges as the virtue of highest order in today’s postmodern world. Make no mistake. “Enlightened, higher-order critical thinking” demands the stranglehold of political correctness. Virginia Senator George Allen learned well this dogged mandate during a stump speech when, unfortunately, he dropped an obscure racial epithet, which no doubt cost him the election.
Ta-ta, Traditionalism
Each year, the Supreme Court grants fewer petitions for review. This means that federal lower-court decisions more often than not stick. While favoring feminist and gay agendas, federal judges have become more aggressively biased against parents’ rights and religious expression. Clearly, America’s justice system bolsters the national campaign to purge Christianity’s God from public life and government buildings.
Although over seventy million Christians attend America’s churches, traditional Christian speech (called hate-talk) is just about the only expression banned today. In the words of Chief Justice Rehnquist, federal courts “bristle with hostility to all things religious in public life.” Not so for non-Christians. In 2006 the Supreme Court heard appeals from war-on-terror prisoners who demanded access to pornography. Hmmm. Christian voice silenced; war criminals heard—something is very wrong with this scenario.
Super-sizing the judicial voice in American culture has inflicted irreparable harm. On one hand, taking 34 minutes to execute cold-blooded murderer Angel Nieves Diaz was deemed cruel and unusual punishment. The same Eighth Amendment rights no longer apply to a baby when aborted in probable pain due to a fully developed nervous system. At first, the Supreme Court imposed an arbitrary trimester rule; however, subsequent rulings align with the global agenda in favor of abortion on demand for any or no reason and at any time (©Tribune Media Services, Inc.).
The only human rights treaty which affirms “reproductive rights of women”—the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women—targets culture and tradition. Few among us disagree that white slave trade and female circumcision are damaging traditions. Problem is, ratifying nations are bound legally to CEDAW’s provisions. This vague-by-design treaty supersedes even their constitutions in redefining the family, promoting “choice,” and usurping parental authority.
All too many affirm redrawing, eclipsing, and eroding the U.S. Constitution by means of “living Constitutionalism” and “soft law,” which favor official preliminary ratification of an Earth Constitution in accordance with the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. June 2007 marks the date for the Tenth Session of the Parliament to meet Kara, Togo, West Africa.
Hidey-ho, Revisionist History
Revisionism introduces factual and interpretive errors, omissions, and one-sided treatments that censor the dynamic role of Biblical Christianity in United States history. Today’s “social science” is skewed to ignore Western culture with its Bible base—always in the interest of diversity. For example, seventh graders in California’s public schools are robbed of their national heritage, but required to study Islamic history and religion (always in favorable light).
Forget about heroes, successes, and divine intervention associated with the founding and perpetuity of our great nation. History and lit courses are more inclined to teach “blame America first” propaganda simmered in a stew of political correctness and multiculturalism. For example, Mexican rewrite of history wrongly accuses the U.S. of stealing their homeland. According to Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington, the reconquista of the Southwest (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California, and Utah) is “well under way.”
Today’s “alternate ethic” emphasizes differences instead of shared values. That is to say, the melting pot has given way to a salad-bowl metaphor. For example, rather than support our Constitution and laws, speak the English language, and embrace all that being an American entails, thousands of illegal aliens refuse to assimilate into the melting pot our culture. This is demonstrated by recent release of a Mexican variation of the U.S. National Anthem.
Sadly, the outcome of cultural and historical amnesia is that our children fail to measure up academically. Over time, undereducated, but fully indoctrinated youth enter the adult work force with the utopian vision of pseudo-egalitarian global governance. No longer do they pledge allegiance to the flag of the US of A. Theirs is a presumed-to-be ”higher calling.”
Hooray for Kinsey
Dr. Kinsey’s flawed (even criminal) research gave rise to the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. Indeed, Kinsey-trained “sexperts” openly encouraged need for, and right to, nonproductive sexual gratification at any age and in any way. As a result, culturally-defined preconceptions of right and wrong were sorely challenged.
Even though some 70% of voters approve state marriage amendments, the president of SIECUS (Sex Instruction/Information Education Committee in the US) fingers “faith communities” as threats to its allegedly superior pro-gay, non-abstinence, abortion-friendly sex education, all of which trivialize the traditional family. So much so that the U.S. Census Bureau no longer collects data with respect to marriage, divorce, and related matters.
At odds with traditional, Bible-based morality, a reality-check study concluded that fully 95 percent of Americans have engaged in sex before marriage. Research director for a private New York-based think tank, Lawrence Finer based findings on random interviews with more than 38,000 participants (Crary, David. 20 December 2006. “Study: Premarital Sex Normal for Most.” Seattle, WA: The Seattle Times).
It stands to reason that the longer one delays having sex, the fewer life partners and, thus, the less risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases. While defying reason, non-proliferating Kinseyan sexuality holds high the UN banner of sustainability.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child frees children from parental intrusion in their religious, entertainment, or sexual choices, but that’s not all. The UN views as legitimate the North American Man/Boy Love Association. NAMBLA advances “intergenerational intimacy,” better known as pedophilia. Also, voluntary prostitution is endorsed as a legitimate career choice—this, in the name of gender equality.
No wonder the chaste today are viewed as cultural lepers. Indeed, assistant secretary for children and families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wade Horn referenced society’s looking askance at “the small minority that chooses to remain abstinent before marriage.”
Quell the Christians
Power shift in the wake of America’s mid-term election pales in comparison to the certain impact of recent UN transitions. Incoming UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon began his appointment on the first of January, not long after U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, resigned his post. This change of command presupposes a global paradigm shift yet to be determined.
UN reformation and treatment of Israel aren’t the only concerns. An International Criminal Court lacks legal safeguards guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Once ratified, the ICC is poised to wield permanent jurisdiction over numbers of “rights” that defy clear Biblical mandate. Examples include reproductive and lesbian rights, voluntary legalized prostitution, and adolescent autonomy from parental guidance.
Even so, opportunistic political strategists have learned that religion sells. From Nancy Pelosi’s Faith Working Group to serious candidates’ hiring high-profile religious advisors, partisan politicians aspire to corner the market on god, yet one lone voice above all must be silenced—that of born-again, Bible-believing fundamental Christians.
Curious, isn’t it, when no one requires Wiccan symbols to be balanced by comparable Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim ones. Yet Halloween and Christmas—both celebrated secularly (with taffy pulling and Santa Claus)—are likewise decidedly religious (in celebrating Wicca’s New Year and birth of the Savior). Only Christmas falls prey to so-called “distancing” and “proximity” rules in the public arena.
This month, the World Social Forum meets in Nairobi—its official slogan: “Another World is Possible.” In the maze of differing cultures and, therefore, religious viewpoints, this “other world” scraps much that Americans have held dear. In fact, the Nairobi forum promises to give way instead to a burgeoning one-world religion (neo-pantheistic syncretism), as advanced by New Age gurus.
Try as they might to quell the voice of Christianity, one-world religionists are forced to swallow a bitter pill. Despite repeated back-door and frontal attacks, as noted above, Biblical Christianity has surged in China and other countries as well. Among China’s estimated 100 million Christian believers are business leaders and other urban professionals. It seems those pesky Christians simply won’t go away!
Perilous Times
The Bible’s prophecy of escalating wars and rumors thereof no doubt references insurgent attacks ongoing in Iraq. At the height of summer travel, U.S. officials raised the airline terror threat level to red—this, for the first time since 9/11—and most assuredly not for the last time. Face it. The world faces escalating chaos.
Continued fighting in the western region of Sudan (Darfur) between rebels and government-supported militias has resulted in catastrophic suffering, and the State Department’s top diplomat for Latin America expects no shift from brutal Castro-ism. Despite Fidel’s disappearance from the public eye, his brother Raul is expected to carry on Cuba’s hard-line policies.
No matter that India has yet to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. U.S. companies now are authorized to conduct nuclear business with India. Speaking of which, North Korea will not rule out further testing of its manufactured, up-to-date nuclear weapons.
Former legendary Israeli leader, Ariel Sharon was quick to offer that “Israel won’t be the first country to introduce nuclear weaponry into the Middle East.” In January of 2006, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke the seals at three nuclear facilities. Thereafter in October, he declared Israel “on the verge of death,” later insisting that she will “soon disappear,” as did the Soviet Union.
Though a ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel took effect in August, Lebanon’s internal conflict has only intensified. Regional provocateurs like Iran and Syria warrant keen scrutiny, and combat in Afghanistan passed the five-year mark. Last June when militants linked to al-Qaeda took control of the capital of Somalia (Mogadishu), Ethiopia offered support. This well could lead to regional war on the Horn of Africa, thus opening a new front in the global struggle for Islamic rule.
Escalating warfare, engineered genocide, and today’s New Eugenics of Roe v. Wade legacy all support the global charge of zero population growth. Policies translate into sex-education (actually indoctrination), taxpayer-funded abortions, UN foreign aid programs, and cash-for-sterilization initiatives.
Once granted a June parole from prison, Michigan’s own Dr. Death promises to lobby for his unique brand of managed death. At 78 years old, pathologist Jack Kevorkian claims to have assisted 130 suicides throughout the 1990s; nonetheless, he is but a drop in the death-by-design bucket.

Drawn from 52 countries and five continents, about one hundred members of the Club of Rome expressly purpose to reduce earth’s population by astounding numbers, inevitability for which resonates with Matthew 24. The Bible anticipates widespread ethnic animosity and warfare on multiple fronts; religious deception and persecution; world disasters and pandemics. Add to that, abounding iniquity—not a pretty picture.
Globalism, harmonization, anti-traditionalism, religious persecution, so-called sustainable society—all these contribute to what many perceive as America’s free fall in these perilous times. Still, the forecast for 2007 is a mixed bag of death, on one hand; countered on the other by life.

As believers ponder what’s in store throughout 2007 and beyond for their families; community, state, nation; and world, they rest assured that the Heavenly Father reigns supreme. He alone grants otherworldly peace, victorious and abundant living—even life itself.
In God’s time, leaves of the Tree of Life referenced in Revelation 22 will affect the healing of nations. This, I contend, is well worth the wait—and any price to be paid.
© 2007 Debra Rae - All Rights Reserved
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