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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Holiness – The Remedy for Apostasy

APOSTASY ALERT - By Sherry Neese - May 12, 2007 An Elusive Quality Revisited This topic usually brings up visions of self-righteous Pharisaical Christians or some unattainable level of piety to which the average Christian cannot relate. Nothing could be farther from the truth! We will explode these myths with a challenge to seek true holiness in the light of Scripture. We will track the fruitless pursuit of holiness that has resulted in error and confusion. J. C. Ryle, an Anglican bishop who went to his reward over 100 years ago, preached a powerful sermon on the topic of holiness. If he was alive today he would be appalled at the decline of his denomination and Christendom at large. We hear a lot of talk about corruption in political and worldly circles and how the culture has gone bad but the Bible says that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God.? 1Peter 4:17. We, the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ are meant to be salt and light to a lost world. To be holy means to be set apart for service to the Lord. The evidence is all around us that the light of truth has dimmed, the salt has lost its savor. There are those who would dispute this and truly believe revival is on the horizon but the Bible predicts otherwise. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 The Word says, For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark and knew not until the flood came and took them all away. So shall also be the coming of the Son of man. Matt. 24:37-39 We as believers bemoan the fact that our culture is in the gutter, but have we considered that there could be a connection to the compromised state of Christianity? There are those who would emphatically deny that we are experiencing a "falling away" - apostasy. The very fact that they deny it is symptomatic of the problem. "The average Christian is so cold and contented with his wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness." -A.W. Tozer Born After Midnight 7 "We stink more of the world than we stink of sackcloth and ashes. A lot of contemporary churches today would feel more at home in a movie house rather than in a house of prayer, more afraid of holy living than of sinning, know more about money than magnifying Christ in our bodies. It is so compromised that holiness and living a sin-free life is heresy to the modern church. The modern church is, quite simply, just the world with a Christian T-shirt on!" -N. Cruz Holiness Is Not An Option! Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 20:7 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19 The Misguided Quest for Holiness Billions of Roman Catholics are working toward holiness through baptism, penance, good works, consuming and worshipping the Eucharistic wafer, or by cloistering themselves in a monastery or nunnery. The complicated history of the various aspects of the Protestant Holiness Movement runs the gamut from austerity in dress and lifestyle to falling into trances and barking like dogs. Surprisingly, the latter phenomenon did not originate with the "Toronto Blessing". The movement continues to evolve and we see history repeating itself in some respects. Satan never seems to run out of ideas or novel ways to repackage his old tricks. An apparent innateness exists within man to seek holiness in various ways, but those efforts fall short because they stem from a false premise. The Apostolic Restoration movement that is sweeping the nation and the world believes its so-called modern day apostles and prophets are uniquely holy and "soaking prayer" [1] [2] and other ecstatic experiences bring one closer to God. There is an overlap between this group and Dominionists who are convinced holiness can be achieved on a world-wide scale through ecumenical unity with no regard for doctrinal purity. Contemplatives believe they can reach a state of holiness through centering prayer, and spiritual formation techniques. Emergents with their "anything goes" mentality consider inclusiveness a virtue, so holiness is a non-issue. Seeker Friendly churches don’t talk about holiness - it might make people uncomfortable. Many well-meaning people erroneously equate high moral standards, works of charity and church attendance with holiness. True Holiness The humility, diligence and wisdom with which Bishop Ryle endeavored to define holiness should be a wake-up call to the Body of Christ. Leave it to a "dead guy" (actually a term of affection and admiration) speaking from the past to hit the nail squarely on the head. He has a lot to say and I recommend reading the entire message. [6] He addresses the need for purity in lifestyle, while avoiding the trap of legalism. True holiness comes from the inside out, not the reverse. "Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God…It is hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word." "He will have… a greater fear of displeasing Him than of displeasing the world, and a love of all His ways. He will feel…. what David felt when he said, Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way." Psalm 119:128 "He will dread all filthiness and uncleanness of spirit, and seek to avoid all things that might draw him into it. He knows his own heart is like tinder and will diligently keep clear of the sparks of temptation …. .. Few Christians are ever too watchful and too particular about this point." "He will desire …to esteem all others better than himself. He will see more evil in his own heart than in any other in the world. Holy Bradford, that faithful martyr of Christ, would sometimes finish his letters with these words: "A most miserable sinner, John Bradford." "He will endeavor to set his affections entirely on things above and to hold things on earth with a very loose hand. He will not neglect the business of the life that now is; but the first place in his mind and thoughts will be given to the life to come. He will aim to live like one whose treasure is in heaven and to pass through this world like a stranger and pilgrim traveling to his home. To commune with God in prayer, in the Bible, and in the assembly of His people—these things will be the holy man’s chief enjoyments." This quote from A.W. Tozer (another dead guy) is timeless. "The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments. By faith he rises above the tug of earth and the flow of time and learns to think and feel as one who has already left the world …... Such a man would rather be useful than famous and would rather serve than be served. And all this must be by the operation of the Holy Spirit within him." Pursuit of God Chapter 4 Ryle continues, "I know a road may lead from one point to another and yet have many a winding and turn, and a man may be truly holy and yet be drawn aside by many an infirmity…….. But after every allowance, I cannot see how any man deserves to be called "holy" who willfully allows himself in sins and is not humbled and ashamed because of them. I dare not call anyone "holy" who makes a habit of willfully neglecting known duties and willfully doing what he knows God has commanded him not to do. Well says Owen, "I do not understand how a man can be a true believer unto whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow and trouble." He points out that sanctification of the believer is a process and none of us will achieve perfect holiness in this life, but that should be the utmost desire of our heart. "The Passion" Unmasked Pragmatism Practiced and Paganism Preserved True holiness slams the door on leaven and false teaching and stops wolves in their tracks because true holiness hates every false way. Sadly, the doors of many churches are open wide for the wolves to rush in! The "Passion of the Christ" movie is a Trojan Horse filled with counterfeit holiness. It was promoted with wild abandon by evangelicals while dissenters were given a deaf ear and even rebuked and ridiculed. The true motives behind the movie are now being revealed in a DVD set called "The Passion of the Christ: Definitive Edition". [3] It includes commentary by Mel Gibson, Catholic priests and a Roman Catholic apologist. Detractors of the film are being vindicated as it becomes clear that the movie was intended to promote Roman Catholic doctrine. Mel Gibson is indeed a great evangelist for the Roman Catholic Church, unwittingly aided and abetted by the majority of evangelicals. Wouldn’t it be wonderfully refreshing if evangelical leaders would acknowledge that they were duped by a slick marketing strategy orchestrated by Satan himself as part of the plan to bring the world "home to Rome" and to soften the stance on Catholicism? The booklet described below was written specifically for using "The Passion" movie to lead people to the false Gospel of Roman Catholicism. "Catholic Passion Outreach. has been established as a grassroots initiative to provide Catholic dioceses, parishes, apostolates, and individuals with practical resources to maximize the evangelization potential of Mel Gibson’s epic film, The Passion of The Christ. Believing that this extraordinary film offers Catholics a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the Gospel with friends and family, we have published the definitive companion to the movie: A Guide to The Passion: 100 Questions About Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ, a 70-page question-and-answer booklet that offers a scene-by-scene analysis of the film as well as explanations of its theological insights." [4] Priest Praises Passion Movie For Promoting Mysticism and the Roman Catholic "Gospel" Fr. Phillip Chavez’s book entitled Mystical Revelations In the Passion of Christ " [5] examines the celebrated writings of Catholic mystics concerning the Passion of Our Lord….reveals little known insights into the most important event in human history from Sacred Scripture and from the enlightening meditations of Anne Catherine Emmerich,……Such revelations of these chosen instruments help unlock the power of Jesus by opening new avenues of grace and growth for your spiritual life. Chavez’s writings "provide a helpful backdrop to better understand and appreciate….."The Passion of the Christ"……..The success of the movie has also revived renewed interest in the Gospel and the writings of modern mystics." These are some of the "highlights" of his writings: • Why the gifts of the stigmata, visions…manifest the depth of Christ’s intense love for souls. • How to approach mystical revelation to deepen your spiritual union with Christ. • Which scenes from "The Passion" were inspired from the mystics and how they can be reconciled with traditional Catholic theology • How our Lady intimately shared in the Passion of Christ according to the Bible and mystics. A Golden Opportunity It is my humble prayer that evangelical leaders who promoted "The Passion" will clothe themselves with sackcloth and ashes, and publicly confess they made a mistake by declaring it as a wonderful tool for evangelism. I pray they will exhort their flocks to destroy all copies along with the commemorative books with foreword by Mel Gibson that grace many an evangelical bookshelf and coffee table. I pray they would seek to rectify the harm done by pointing out the false doctrine in the movie because they feel responsible for the multitudes of men, women and children whose minds were contaminated by this masterfully manipulated propaganda piece. I pray they will mourn the fact that they helped finance Mel Gibson’s ongoing efforts to further the cause of Roman Catholicism. Dear Father God, please break hearts over all those who have been drawn into mysticism and the clutches of Rome through the vain philosophies of tragically demented women whose writings played a big role in the movie. Please let them see that this is the time to return to holiness and stand for truth. Convict their hearts and let them know that You would honor their obedience and humility. Impress upon hearts that there is a cost for holiness, just as You bought us with a price, and suffered rejection to purchase righteousness for us. Holiness is not a cheap commodity, it is more precious than gold. The Falling Away Is in Free Fall Purpose Driven and secular motivational philosophies have permeated the fabric of Christianity around the world. TBN and televangelism continue to thrive. The emergent church forges ahead at a lightning pace. Prominent Christian leaders are promoting unholy prayer practices that are eastern religion repackaged. Bereans are largely shunned and unwelcome. Generally the Church has gone its merry way with man-conceived pragmatic methodologies that seem to be working, false professions from a compromised "Gospel" that seem to be genuine. On the mission field, pagan religious practices are being "Christianized" to accommodate cultural traditions. Advocates of this false evangelism proudly declare that they are converting people to Christ but not Christianity, meaning "converts" can continue to perform their pagan rituals as long as they honor Christ in doing so. Is this holiness? Christian leaders continue to form unholy ecumenical alliances. The majority of shepherds are not teaching a proper concept of holiness because they are not practicing it themselves. Of course there is a remnant that continues to go against the flow, but the struggle intensifies. May God raise up men and women of God who will pursue genuine holiness in these last days. Hebrews 12: 14 says Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Achieving peace and not stirring up strife is important. However, peace and holiness are bound together, you cannot have true peace without holiness. Without holiness it is impossible to "see the Lord" and discern truth from error. Matthew 5:8 says The pure in heart shall see God. When holiness is sacrificed on the altar of unity, the ability to discern is clouded. True holiness is a safeguard against apostasy. A Moment of Truth is Soon Coming The day is fast approaching, a moment of truth, when all will be revealed. All believers will be held accountable at the Bema Seat for how we handled God’s truth and His command to be holy. Rewards will be lost as works fail the test. I fear it will be a sober day with many tears shed before we enter into the joy of the Lord. If we are to be commended for our walk as believers when we stand before our holy heavenly Father, we must exhort one another to seriously examine ourselves in this life and make holiness a desire of our heart. May we all join in the following petition to our holy and perfect Lord and God to Whom we owe all. Grant my mind and my affections Wisdom, counsel, purity That I may be ever seeking Naught but that which pleases Thee Let Thy knowledge spread and grow, Working error’s overthrow. Holy Spirit, strong and mighty, Thou Who makest all things new, Make Thy work within me perfect. Help me by Thy Word so true; Arm me with that sword of Thine, And the victory shall be mine. In the faith, oh, make me steadfast; Let not Satan, death, or shame Of my confidence deprive me; Lord, my refuge is Thy Name. When the flesh inclines to ill, Let Thy word prove stronger still -----Heinrich Held, Trans.--- From The Daily Sacrifice by Dr. Harry Ironside (Another of my favorite "dead guys") [1] http://www.christianitymagazine.co.uk/engine.cfm?i=92&id=330&arch=1 [2] http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/soakingprayer.htm [3] http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/spurgeon/web/ryle.holiness.html [4] http://aquinasandmore.resultspage.com/search?w=mystical+revelations+passion+of+christ&x=13&y=12 [5] http://www.worddistribution.com/products.php?mode=detail&pID=2583 [6]http://www.aquinasandmore.com/index.cfm/title/The-Passion-of Christ/FuseAction/store.viewCategory/Category/1443/index.htm Note: Emphasis Added ---------- Sherry Neese: The only child of an alcoholic father and abusive, mentally-ill mother who disowned her, Sherry received Christ through a radio broadcast as a child. He has been faithful to sustain her through many challenges in her walk of faith. She is a wife, mother and “Mimi” to her grandchildren. She is active in foreign missions and evangelism and has a special heart for those who are emotionally hurting, especially children. The Lord has given her a burden for the Church in these last days, to expose error and speak the truth in love to all with an ear to hear. Sherry Neese can be reached at Truth_and_grace@yahoo.com http://www.apostasyalert.org/Sherry/holiness.htm FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Floods and drought: Lloyd's assesses climate change

Creation Groans REUTERS - May 7, 2007 NEW YORK - Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurer, offered a gloomy forecast of floods, droughts and disastrous storms over the next 50 years in a recently published report on impending climate changes. "These things are fact, not hypothesis," said Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd's America in an interview on Monday. "You don't have to be a believer in global warming to recognize the climate is changing. The industry has to get ready for the changes that are coming." In a report on catastrophe trends Lloyd's is disseminating to the insurance industry, a bevy of British climate experts, including Sir David King, chief scientist to the British government, warn of increased flooding in coastal areas and a rapid rise in sea level as ice caps melt in Greenland and Antarctica. Northern European coastal levels could rise more than a meter (3 feet) in a few decades, particularly if the Gulf Stream currents change, the report says. Floods, which now account for about half of all deaths from natural disasters, could multiply and become more destructive, with annual flood damages in England and Wales reaching 10 times today's level, according to some studies. At the same time, drought patterns that are already forming in some parts of the world are going to get worse, particularly in southern Africa. Even the lush Amazon may dry up, and with less vegetation, more carbon dioxide will leak into the atmosphere, making the global warming problem even worse, the Lloyd's study says. - - - - http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN0737930020070507?feedType=RSS&rpc=22 FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The new religious right

THE SPECTATOR [UK] - By James Forsyth - February 26, 2007 The three leading contenders for the Republican nomination are two divorcees and a Mormon. Hardly, an ideal choice for the Christian conservative establishment. The rest of the field does, though, contain two candidates with seemingly sound religious right credentials, Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee. What makes them more interesting than previous candidates from this wing of the Republican Party is that their agendas go far beyond the standard liturgy of the religious right. Brownback and Huckabee are both solidly pro-life and anti-gay marriage. Both want Roe versus Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that declared broad bans on abortion unconstitutional, overturned. Both argue against gay marriage with Huckabee declaring that, “Until Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain saying he's changed the rules, let's keep it like it is.” Yet, this is not where their politics end. Huckabee, the former governor of Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkansas, is an evangelist for healthy eating. He lost 110 pounds after being diagnosed with type 2-diabetes. Much to the ire of fiscal conservatives, he has pumped State money into various healthy lifestyle programmes. Small government conservatives have been irritated by what they see as his nannying bans on smoking and unhealthy school vending machines. This is not the first time that Huckabee has broken with Republican orthodoxy. Back in 1996, he pushed through a conservation tax to help pay for environmental upkeep. Brownback touts an even more diverse set of issues. Even those who recoil from his social views, regard him as one of the most committed humanitarians in the Senate. He is the leading voice for US intervention in Darfur and a major proponent of increased US funding for AIDS prevention. Domestically, Brownback is also an advocate of penal reform. The significance of Brownback and Huckabee’s agendas is that it means they have to work with those who do not share their social and cultural views to get things done: Huckabee has teamed up with Bill Clinton on healthy eating, Brownback has done the same with Barack Obama on AIDS. This has led both of them to publicly step away from the shrill rhetoric traditionally associated with the religious right. Huckabee confessed to an interviewer last year, “we’ve not been very good about depicting the Christian evangelical faith. We’ve done a lousy job, sometimes focusing more on what we seem to be against than what we’re for… we’ve done a lousy job of communicating warmth and heart.” While Brownback famously apologised to Hillary Clinton for having hated her at a meeting of a Senate prayer group saying “I felt righteous. That’s not a Christian virtue.” Since then, the unlikely pairing of Brownback and Clinton has worked together on various bills. Brownback and Huckabee’s tone stands in stark contrast to that of the previous generation of leaders of the religious right. Days after 9/11, Jerry Falwell, a co-founder of the Moral Majority, fulminated “that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen’.” Falwell’s statement, which he made on the radio show of another key figure on the religious right--Pat Robertson, caused such a furore that in the patriotic atmosphere following 9/11 Falwell felt obliged to apologise. But the remarks were not out of keeping with the way in which the old religious right with its narrow outlook has conducted politics. By contrast, a religious right with an agenda that goes beyond abortion and gay rights could help end the needless polarisation that so cripples the US political system. http://www.spectator.co.uk/online-edition/exclusive/28182/the-new-religious-right.thtml FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Jeremy Grantham: All the World's a Bubble

Mammon Revelation 18:17a for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!'... THE STREET - By Brett Arends - April 27, 2007 How high will the Dow go? 15,000? 20,000? How about 36,000? While euphoria sweeps stock markets here and worldwide, there are at least a few voices of dissent. One, unsurprisingly, is legendary value investor Jeremy Grantham -- the man Dick Cheney, plus a lot of other rich people, trusts with his money. Grantham, chairman of Boston firm Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo, has been a voice of caution for years. But he has upped his concerns in his latest letter to shareholders. Grantham says we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes. Everything is in bubble territory, he says. Everything. "From Indian antiquities to modern Chinese art," he wrote in a letter to clients this week following a six-week world tour, "from land in Panama to Mayfair; from forestry, infrastructure and the junkiest bonds to mundane blue chips; it's bubble time!" "Everyone, everywhere is reinforcing one another," he wrote. "Wherever you travel you will hear it confirmed that 'they don't make any more land,' and that 'with these growth rates and low interest rates, equity markets must keep rising,' and 'private equity will continue to drive the markets.' " As Grantham points out, a bubble needs two things: excellent fundamentals and easy money. "The mechanism is surprisingly simple," he wrote. "Perfect conditions create very strong 'animal spirits,' reflected statistically in a low risk premium. Widely available cheap credit offers investors the opportunity to act on their optimism." And it becomes self-sustaining. "The more leverage you take, the better you do; the better you do, the more leverage you take. A critical part of a bubble is the reinforcement you get for your very optimistic view from those around you." It's something to think about the next time you hear someone tell you that the stock market will keep rising simply because the world economy is doing so well. That would make sense only if we were paying a constant price for each unit of world GDP, instead of higher and higher prices for one slice of that GDP -- equity. Grantham concludes that every asset class is expensive today compared with historic averages and compared with the cost of replacing it. By his calculations, the only assets likely to beat inflation by any significant margin if you hold them for the next seven years are managed timber, "high-quality" U.S. stocks, and bonds. http://www.thestreet.com/_breitbart/funds/followmoney/10353243.html?cm_ven=BREITBART&cm_cat=Free&cm_pla=Feed&cm_ite=Feed&puc=breitbart FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Flippers Flop As Housing Market Cools

Mammon Proverbs 16:16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Ryan Nakashima - April 29, 2007 LAS VEGAS - In the rampant real estate speculation of the Las Vegas valley three years ago, people lined up outside Pulte Homes sales offices overnight as if they were waiting for the release of the latest video game console or hot new movie. Having seen his house in an upscale part of suburban Henderson, Nev. jump $200,000 in value in 18 months, Sam Schwartz felt he couldn't miss any part of the boom. He spent the night in the parking lot with TV, snacks and drinks, along with about a hundred other people. Schwartz intended to buy a new home and then quickly sell it within the year - for a huge profit. Most people waiting were flippers just like him, he said. "We had seen real evidence of what was possible in this crazy, inflated market, and we just wanted to get a piece of that investment equity," Schwartz said. But when home prices unexpectedly took a backward step, many investors seeking to cash in quickly were left "upside-down," or owing more on their mortgages than what their homes were worth. The result was a glut of homes in the marketplace, communities spotted with empty houses and for sale signs - and a foreclosure rate in Nevada that leads the nation as owners unable to sell became saddled with unbearable debt payments. Foreclosure filings across the United States rose 47 percent last month from a year ago to 149,150 - one for every 775 households, according to statistics from Realty Trac Inc., a foreclosure listing service. And for the third straight month, Nevada's foreclosure rate led the nation when it rose 220 percent from a year earlier to 4,738 filings, or one in every 183 households. - - - - http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070429/D8OQ9IMG0.html FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons

Creation Groans NEW YORK TIMES - By Alexei Barrionuevo - April 24, 2007 What is happening to the bees? More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives. As with any great mystery, a number of theories have been posed, and many seem to researchers to be more science fiction than science. People have blamed genetically modified crops, cellular phone towers and high-voltage transmission lines for the disappearances. Or was it a secret plot by Russia or Osama bin Laden to bring down American agriculture? Or, as some blogs have asserted, the rapture of the bees, in which God recalled them to heaven? Researchers have heard it all. The volume of theories “is totally mind-boggling,” said Diana Cox-Foster, an entomologist at Pennsylvania State University. With Jeffrey S. Pettis, an entomologist from the United States Department of Agriculture, Dr. Cox-Foster is leading a team of researchers who are trying to find answers to explain “colony collapse disorder,” the name given for the disappearing bee syndrome. “Clearly there is an urgency to solve this,” Dr. Cox-Foster said. “We are trying to move as quickly as we can.” Dr. Cox-Foster and fellow scientists who are here at a two-day meeting to discuss early findings and future plans with government officials have been focusing on the most likely suspects: a virus, a fungus or a pesticide. About 60 researchers from North America sifted the possibilities at the meeting today. Some expressed concern about the speed at which adult bees are disappearing from their hives; some colonies have collapsed in as little as two days. Others noted that countries in Europe, as well as Guatemala and parts of Brazil, are also struggling for answers. “There are losses around the world that may or not be linked,” Dr. Pettis said. The investigation is now entering a critical phase. The researchers have collected samples in several states and have begun doing bee autopsies and genetic analysis. So far, known enemies of the bee world, like the varroa mite, on their own at least, do not appear to be responsible for the unusually high losses. Genetic testing at Columbia University has revealed the presence of multiple micro-organisms in bees from hives or colonies that are in decline, suggesting that something is weakening their immune system. The researchers have found some fungi in the affected bees that are found in humans whose immune systems have been suppressed by the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or cancer. “That is extremely unusual,” Dr. Cox-Foster said. Meanwhile, samples were sent to an Agriculture Department laboratory in North Carolina this month to screen for 117 chemicals. Particular suspicion falls on a pesticide that France banned out of concern that it may have been decimating bee colonies. Concern has also mounted among public officials. - - - Honeybees are arguably the insects that are most important to the human food chain. They are the principal pollinators of hundreds of fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts. The number of bee colonies has been declining since the 1940s, even as the crops that rely on them, such as California almonds, have grown. In October, at about the time that beekeepers were experiencing huge bee losses, a study by the National Academy of Sciences questioned whether American agriculture was relying too heavily on one type of pollinator, the honeybee. - - - - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/science/24bees.html?th&emc=th Also: Honey Bee Die-off Alarms Beekeepers, Crop Growers And Researchers SCIENCE DAILY - April 23, 2007 Science Daily — An alarming die-off of honey bees has beekeepers fighting for commercial survival and crop growers wondering whether bees will be available to pollinate their crops this spring and summer. Researchers are scrambling to find answers to what's causing an affliction recently named Colony Collapse Disorder, which has decimated commercial beekeeping operations in Pennsylvania and across the country. - - - - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070422190612.htm FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Bee Swarm Shuts Ark. Hospital's ER

Creation Groans ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE/ASSOCIATED PRESS - May 1, 2007 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A swarm of bees clustered outside the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center shut down the emergency room Monday, as officials waited for a beekeeper to come vacuum up the 7,000 insects. Although no one was stung, the Little Rock emergency room still decided to be closed for ambulance traffic. "We'll take walk-ins, but ambulances are being diverted to other hospitals," UAMS spokeswoman Andrea Peel said. Doctors did not see any patients with bee stings, but emergency room physician Dr. Delaney Kinchen said it was an important precaution to close the ER while clearing out the bees. "I've been stung thousands of times and never had any problems, but I know people who've been stung twice and almost died," he said. Beekeeper Harvey Johnston arrived Monday afternoon to remove the beehive. "Somewhere around here was a beehive that got overcrowded," he said. "When bees get crowded, (the queen) leaves and takes a portion of the bees with her." The emergency room reopened shortly after 2 p.m., Peel said. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8ORQTLG0&show_article=1 FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Albert Einstein and the Honey Bee

Creation Groans Actual quote attributed to Albert Einstein "Wenn die Biene von der Erde verschwindet, dann hat der Mensch nur noch vier Jahre zu leben. Keine Bienen mehr, keine Bestäubung mehr, keine Pflanzen mehr, keine Tiere mehr, keine Menschen mehr." Translation by Babel Fish into English: "if the bee of the earth disappears, then humans have to live only four years. No more bees, no more dusting, no more plants, no more animals, no more humans." Also: A pamphlet distributed [in Brussels] by the National Union of French Apiculture quoted Albert Einstein. "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination ... no more men!" [From Chris Mclaughlin's "Fearful Beekeepers Plead for Curbs on Honey Imports," The Scotsman, 25 January 1994.] The beekeepers' warnings had some heavyweight expert support. A pamphlet distributed by the National Union of French Apiculture quoted Albert Einstein. "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live," Einstein was quoted as saying. "No more bees, no more pollination ... no more men!" [From Paul Ames's report for the Associated Press, "Life's Not So Sweet for Europe's Embattled Beekeepers," 24 January 1994.] There seems to be much debate as to whether Einstein actually said these words. Many claim it is just an urban legend and that seems to be supported by the fact that this quote cannot be found in any research and reference material published on the quotes of Alert Einstein. Nevertheless, any crisis involving an important component of the food chain is a serious danger to man. This is a "no brainer". BE/\LERT!

Western homeschoolers need political asylum from democracy

Expert says federal crackdown likely the 'edge of coming night' Persecution Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. WORLDNETDAILY - By Bob Unruh - April 15, 2007 A growing crackdown on homeschool families – most of whom are Christian – is the "edge of the night that's coming" for believers, according to an expert in the field. Michael P. Farris, cofounder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, says his concern is not just for Germany, where the government is being especially intolerant, but other democracies too. "Germany is the only Western democracy taking this incredibly hard-line approach, but there are growing clouds on a number of national horizons," Farris told WND in an interview after his recent travels to review the status of homeschooling. One stop was in Germany, where in recent months homeschoolers have been fined the equivalent of thousands of dollars, had custody of their children taken away, had their homes threatened with seizure and in one case, that of Melissa Busekros, had a team of SWAT officers arrive on a doorstep with orders to seize a homeschool student, "if necessary by force." Farris, who visited with Melissa's parents, Hubert and Gudrun Busekros, during his trip, also met with other homeschool families under attack from a government that has held the activity illegal since before the Nazi juggernaut failed to conquer the world. One of the families is paying a fine each month for refusing to turn children over to a mandatory public school system that advocates alternative sexual lifestyle choices and promotes other beliefs objectionable to Christians. "Most homeschoolers have concluded when the family courts begin to get involved, their only realistic opportunity is to seek asylum in another country," Farris said. "You don't expect to apply for political asylum from a Western democracy but that's what's happening and with greater frequency." "One of the people we met with said as it pertains to the family, parents and the policy of the government towards children generally, it wasn't so much that the [Berlin] wall came down after the fall of communism, but that the wall moved to the left," he said. "The East German government's philosophy seems to be the style adopted by today's German government as it approaches children." He said even the United Nations, a regular advocate for governmental intervention and influence over most matters, has concluded Germany is stepping over the line because it forbids parents from having significant control over their children's education. The internationally recognized laws acknowledging parental authority in the education of children were adopted, after all, in response to earlier education standards enforced in Germany. The issue of German parents and their decision-making authority for their children's education was covered in this once-enforced statement: "And this [government] will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing." Adolf Hitler issue the dictate when his government, in one of its first actions when he came to power, took control of all educational institutions and issues. Farris, a constitutional lawyer who has been named by "Education Week" as one of the most significant "100 Faces of a Century," said the Busekros family is coping as one would expect. "They're doing remarkably well under the circumstances. It's pretty evident this is a very hard thing. The children, parents, all showed signs they miss their sister and daughter, and they're very concerned about a long-term resolution." He said a conclusion is unlikely to come quickly or easily, and the family's best hope just may be in the idea of leaving Germany and seeking protection elsewhere. Several families in Germany have gone into hiding in order to avoid being prosecuted by the courts, and there are other families who already have left Germany. However, Joel Thornton, of the International Human Rights Group, said even those families who already have fled to other countries are moving into hiding in fear of the possibility they could be returned to face German fines or jail time. German social service workers, Farris told WND, are using the same lines of argument as in other nations, including the United States, except that while social workers in the U.S. are using a "PG-rated" script, in Germany, it's "R-rated," he said. "The philosophy that the government knows best how to raise children is really becoming a worldwide phenomenon," Farris said. "I think Germany represents the edge of the night that's coming." He said what Germany fails to recognize is that a crackdown on Christian homeschoolers isn't going to eliminate any problem. In fact, it's actually attacking pluralism. "These homeschoolers want to be good German citizens," he said. "They speak the language, they want their kids to be able to be involved in social events." Gudrun Busekros, Melissa's mother, with some of the supportive letters the family has gotten from around the world In the Busekros case, he said, the government actually is creating a "parallel society," which it so abhors, by isolating Melissa. "When she was homeschooled [at home] Melissa got to see her friends, got to go to church, be out and about," he said. "Now she's being taught the same curriculum but she's entirely isolated. "It's the German government that has robbed her of her normal life, including life with a family, which is supposed to be a child's right under the international law that Germany supposedly adheres to," he said. A separate website, FreeMelissaB.com, has been launched by some homeschool supporters in the U.S. to provide addresses of people to contact to protest the situation in Germany. Farris said the German government has reason to object to "parallel societies" but not from Christian homeschoolers. He said the largely Muslim Turkish population in Germany numbers in the millions, and members have not assimilated. "What we were told was in many German cities the de facto legal authority is (Muslim religious) sharia law, not German law, and that 'parallel society' is what German officials should worry about," he said. "For Germany to demand universal government-based socialization of children brings up some very disturbing questions," he said. "I thought the issue of whether governments could indoctrinate all children was not a disputed principle under international human rights law, but apparently it is." Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has commented on the issue on a blog, noting the government "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole." Drautz said homeschool students' test results may be as good as for those in government school, but "school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures and helps students to become responsible citizens." The German government's defense of its "social" teachings and mandatory public school attendance was clarified during an earlier dispute on which WND reported, when a German family wrote to officials objecting to police officers picking their child up at home and delivering him to a public school. "The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling," said a government letter in response. "... You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. ... In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement." Farris suggested that a solution, if one is to be found, would be political. "I hope the political leaders of Germany will show some oversight to what their bureaucracy is doing, and recognize they can adopt some reasonable standards for homeschooling, instead of these draconian over-reactions." For the United States, Farris has called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the right of parents to educate their children at home. Farris, who also has been inaugurated as the first president of Patrick Henry College, advocates for family and parental rights in print, on the air, on Capitol Hill and in various courtrooms where disputes are being resolved. The HSLDA is a nonprofit advocacy group defending and advancing the constitutional rights of parents to direct the education of their children. With more than 80,000 families who are members, it is the largest homeschool association in the world. http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55175 FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Gideons battling 2nd round of charges

'Why does Florida prosecute people who hand out Bibles?' Persecution Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. WORLDNETDAILY - April 20, 2007 Two members of Gideons International who were arrested in Florida for handing out Bibles on a public sidewalk are battling a second round of charges, after the initial trespassing charges against them were dismissed, but authorities filed a new set. "Why is Florida so interested in prosecuting people who hand out Bibles?" asked the Alliance Defense Fund, which is working on the case for the two volunteers. "Does the state now believe that its citizens will be safer if 'protected' from Bibles? In a country founded on religious freedom, the actions of the State are a disgrace." Officials with the law firm have confirmed that they now have filed a new motion to dismiss the new charges facing the Gideons for their work in Key Largo. As WND reported earlier, Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson of Monroe County were arrested, charged with trespassing, and booked into jail after the school principal called police while the two men were distributing copies of the Bible on a public sidewalk earlier this year. They were verbally assaulted and badgered by the arresting officer, according to court filings in the case, and sustained injury to their wrists when he handcuffed them with their hands behind their backs and detained them in a closed, un-air conditioned car for nearly an hour in 90-degree heat. "Following the initial motion to dismiss filed by ADF attorneys, the state dismissed the charges but then filed new ones under a different statute," the ADF said. "The distribution of Bibles on a public sidewalk is not a criminal offense," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. "The attempts by Florida officials to continue pressing for the prosecution of Mr. Mirto and Mr. Simpson is not only blatantly unconstitutional, it borders on religious persecution." The incident developed Jan. 19, when the two men were distributing Bibles on a public sidewalk outside Key Largo School but did not step onto school grounds, the ADF said. Both men were arrested, booked, and charged with trespassing after the school's principal called police. On March 8, ADF attorneys filed a motion to dismiss and the state did dismiss those counts. However, it filed new charges under a different law that prohibits anyone from being within 500 feet of any school property, including on public sidewalks and streets, without having either "legitimate business" or permission, the ADF said. "The facts are clear: Mr. Mirto and Mr. Simpson are guilty of nothing more than peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights," Cortman said. "For whatever reason, the state is grasping at straws in order to justify the punishment of these men." The state of Florida is now in the "untenable position of trying to justify the punishment of fundamental First Amendment activities in a quintessential traditional public forum," the law firm said. Under U.S. Supreme Court precedents over the last century, that is a "blatant violation of their constitutional rights." - - - - http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55304 FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Harvard Club Promotes Abstinence

As in the days of Lot Romans 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,.. What a sign of the times - as the church falls further away a secular group promotes abstinence. ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Jesse Harlan Alderman - March 23, 2007 CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sometime between the founding of a student-run p- -n magazine and the day the campus health center advertised "Free L - - -," Harvard University seniors Sarah Kinsella and Justin Murray decided to fight back against what they see as too much mindless s-x at the Ivy League school. They founded a student group called True Love Revolution to promote abstinence on campus. The group, created earlier this school year, has more than 90 members on its Facebook.com page and drew about half that many to an ice cream social. Harvard treats s-x - or "hooking up" - so casually that "sometimes I wonder if s-x is even a remotely serious thing," said Kinsella, who is dating Murray. Other schools around the country have small groups devoted to abstinence. On most campuses, they are religious organizations. Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have Anscombe Societies, secular organizations named after an English philosopher and Roman Catholic. True Love Revolution is secular as well. Some feminists, in particular, have criticized True Love Revolution's message. Harvard student Rebecca Singh said she was offended by a valentine the group sent to the dormitory mailboxes of all freshmen. It read: "Why wait? Because you're worth it." "I think they thought that we might not be 'ruined' yet," Singh said. "It's a symptom of that culture we have that values a woman on her purity. It's a relic." Others on campus have mocked the group. Murray said his friends take pleasure in loudly, and graphically, discussing their sex lives just to taunt him. - - - - http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070322/D8O1CRD84.html FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

People Who Feed Off Anarchy in Somalia Are Quick to Fuel It

Nation rising against nation Luke 21:10 Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,... NEW YORK TIMES - By Jeffrey Gettleman - April 25, 2007 GALKAYO, Somalia — Beyond clan rivalry and Islamic fervor, an entirely different motive is helping fuel the chaos in Somalia: profit. A whole class of opportunists — from squatter landlords to teenage gunmen for hire to vendors of out-of-date baby formula — have been feeding off the anarchy in Somalia for so long that they refuse to let go. They do not pay taxes, their businesses are totally unregulated, and they have skills that are not necessarily geared toward a peaceful society. In the past few weeks, some Western security officials say, these profiteers have been teaming up with clan fighters and radical Islamists to bring down Somalia’s transitional government, which is the country’s 14th attempt at organizing a central authority and ending the free-for-all of the past 16 years. They are attacking government troops, smuggling in arms and using their business savvy to raise money for the insurgency. And they are surprisingly open about it. Omar Hussein Ahmed, an olive oil exporter in Mogadishu, the capital, said he and a group of fellow traders recently bought missiles to shoot at government soldiers. “Taxes are annoying,” he explained. Maxamuud Nuur Muradeeste, a squatter landlord who makes a few hundred dollars a year renting out rooms in the former Ministry of Minerals and Water, said he recently invited insurgents to stash weapons on “his” property. He will do whatever it takes, he said, to thwart the government’s plan to reclaim thousands of pieces of public property. “If this government survives, how will I?” Mr. Muradeeste said. Layer this problem on top of Somalia’s sticky clan issues, its poverty and its nomadic culture, and it is no wonder that the transitional government seems to be overwhelmed by the same raw antigovernment defiance that has torpedoed earlier attempts at stabilizing the country. - - - - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/25/world/africa/25somalia.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Africa’s Crisis of Democracy

Nation rising against nation Luke 21:10 Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom,... NEW YORK TIMES - By Lydia Polgreen - April 23, 2007 KANO, Nigeria, April 22 — Nigeria’s troubled presidential election, which came under fire on Sunday from local and international observers and was rejected by two leading opposition candidates, represents a significant setback for democracy in sub-Saharan Africa at a time when voters in countries across the continent are becoming more disillusioned with the way democracy is practiced. - - - African voters are losing patience with faulty elections that often exclude popular candidates and are marred by serious irregularities, according to the Afrobarometer survey, published last year, which sampled voters in 18 countries, based on interviews with 1,200 to 2,400 people per country. - - - Twenty-five candidates vied to replace the departing president in the Saturday vote, the first time in Nigeria’s history that power will be transferred between two civilian administrations. But the election was marred by chaos, violence and fraud. Results are not expected until Monday at the earliest. Election officials gave themselves high marks on Sunday for the handling of the polls, but their comments were in sharp contrast to assessments of international observers. Madeleine K. Albright, the former secretary of state, who observed the election for the National Democratic Institute, said that “in a number of places and in a number of ways, the election process failed the Nigerian people.” The International Republican Institute said that the election fell “below acceptable standards.” Such observations represent a stunning turnabout for Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and second richest country, and reflect the deep frustrations of millions of Nigerians. In 2000, in the euphoric aftermath of Nigeria’s transition from a long spell of military rule to democracy, 84 percent of Nigerians said that they were satisfied with democracy as practiced in Nigeria, according to the Afrobarometer survey. By 2005 that number had plummeted to 25 percent, lower than all the countries surveyed save Zimbabwe. Almost 70 percent of Nigerians did not believe elections would allow them to remove objectionable leaders, the survey found. - - - For every successful election, like those held this year in once-troubled countries like Mauritania and Democratic Republic of Congo, there have been elections in countries that seemed on the road to consolidating democracy but then swerved, like Gambia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Zambia. There are also countries that hold regular elections, but they are so flawed they cannot really be called democratic, like those in Guinea, Zimbabwe and Gabon. In 1976, according to Freedom House, just three countries in Africa were listed as “free,” while the vast majority, 25, were “not free.” Thirty years later, the not-free category had shrunk to 14 states, and the bulk of Africa now falls into the “partly free” category. In the middle of that group is Nigeria, a nation of 140 million people divided among 250 ethnic groups and two major religions, Islam and Christianity, all of whom live in a space twice the size of California. It is rich in oil, exporting about two million barrels a day, but the riches that oil brings have not translated into meaningful development. - - - - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/23/world/africa/23nigeria.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=all FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.