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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, June 13, 2009

China’s REAL ID: Name Not on Our List? Change It, China Says

NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Sharon LaFraniere - April 20, 2009 BEIJING - “Ma,” a Chinese character for horse, is the 13th most common family name in China, shared by nearly 17 million people. That can cause no end of confusion when Mas get together, especially if those Mas also share the same given name, as many Chinese do. Ma Cheng’s book-loving grandfather came up with an elegant solution to this common problem. Twenty-six years ago, when his granddaughter was born, he combed through his library of Chinese dictionaries and lighted upon a character pronounced “cheng.” Cheng, which means galloping steeds, looks just like the character for horse, except that it is condensed and written three times in a row. The character is so rare that once people see it, Miss Ma said, they tend to remember both her and her name. That is one reason she likes it so much. That is also why the government wants her to change it. For Ma Cheng and millions of others, Chinese parents’ desire to give their children a spark of individuality is colliding head-on with the Chinese bureaucracy’s desire for order. Seeking to modernize its vast database on China’s 1.3 billion citizens, the government’s Public Security Bureau has been replacing the handwritten identity card that every Chinese must carry with a computer-readable one, complete with color photos and embedded microchips. The new cards are harder to forge and can be scanned at places like airports where security is a priority. The bureau’s computers, however, are programmed to read only 32,252 of the roughly 55,000 Chinese characters, according to a 2006 government report. The result is that Miss Ma and at least some of the 60 million other Chinese with obscure characters in their names cannot get new cards - unless they change their names to something more common. Moreover, the situation is about to get worse or, in the government’s view, better. Since at least 2003, China has been working on a standardized list of characters for people to use in everyday life, including when naming children. One newspaper reported last week that the list would be issued later this year and would curb the use of obscure names. A government linguistics official told Xinhua, the state-run news agency, that the list would include more than 8,000 characters. Although that is far fewer than the database now supposedly includes, the official said it was more than enough “to convey any concept in any field.” About 3,500 characters are in everyday use. Government officials suggest that names have gotten out of hand, with too many parents picking the most obscure characters they can find or even making up characters, like linguistic fashion accessories. But many Chinese couples take pride in searching the rich archives of classical Chinese to find a distinctive, pleasing name, partly to help their children stand out in a society with strikingly few surnames. By some estimates, 100 surnames cover 85 percent of China’s citizens. Laobaixing, or “old hundred names,” is a colloquial term for the masses. By contrast, 70,000 surnames cover 90 percent of Americans. The number of Chinese family names in use has tended to shrink as China’s population has grown, a winnowing of surnames that has occurred in many cultures over time. At last count, China’s Wangs were leading with more than 92 million, followed by 91 million Lis and 86 million Zhangs. To refer to an unidentified person — the equivalent of “just anybody” in English — one Chinese saying can be loosely translated this way: “some Zhang, some Li.” The potential for mix-ups is vast. There are nearly enough Chinese named Zhang Wei to populate the city of Pittsburgh. Nicknames are liberally bestowed in classrooms and workplaces to tell people apart. Confronting three students named Liu Fang, for example, one middle-school teacher nicknamed them Big, Little and Middle. Wang Daliang, a linguistics scholar with the China Youth University for Political Science, said picking rare characters for given names only compounded the problem and inconvenienced everyone. “Using obscure names to avoid duplication of names or to be unique is not good,” he wrote in an e-mail response to questions. “Now a lot of people are perplexed by their names,” he said. “The computer cannot even recognize them and people cannot read them. This has become an obstacle in communication.” But Professor Zhou Youyong, dean of Southeast University’s law school, said the government should tread carefully in issuing any new regulation. “The right to name children is a basic right of citizens,” he said. Miss Ma said that while her given name was unusual, bank employees, passport control clerks and ticket agents had always managed to deal with it, usually by writing it by hand. But when she tried to renew her identity card last August, she said, Beijing public security officials turned her down flat. “Your name is so troublesome and problematic,” she recalled an official telling her. “Just change it.” Miss Ma argues that the government’s technology should adapt, not her. “There were no such regulations when I was born, so I should be entitled to keep my name for my whole life,” she said. If she changes her name to get an identity card, she noted, it will be wrong on all of her other documents, like her passport and university diploma. Besides, she said, “I can’t think of another, better name.” Using the time-honored Chinese method of backdoor connections, Miss Ma was able to get a temporary card in January. She must renew it every three months but considers that a small sacrifice for keeping her name. Zhao C., a 23-year-old college student, gave up the fight for his. His father, a lawyer, chose the letter C from the English alphabet, saying it was simple, memorable and stood for China. When he could not get a new identity card in 2006, Zhao C. sued. But security officials convinced him that it would cost millions of dollars to alter the database, his father said, so he dropped the suit in February. His case might suggest that resistance against China’s powerful bureaucracy was futile. Still, the government’s plan to limit the use of characters has not gone all that smoothly. The new rules were originally supposed to be issued by 2005. Now, 70 revisions later, they have yet to be put in place. An official this week batted away questions, saying publicity might delay the rules even longer. Huang Yuanxi contributed research. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/world/asia/21china.html?th&emc=th 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. 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NAU: Land of the free on the verge of extinction?

Note: This is an excerpt of the introductory essay for the Be Alert! published on September 27, 2007 that contains part of Scott Brisk’s personal testimony. In approximately 1979 I viewed the movie version of Hal Lindsey’s book The Late Great Planet Earth. Now looking back, at only twelve years old the movie had the most profound and life changing impact of anything in my childhood. I began to pay attention to world events and to expect certain things to happen and slowly over time those things indeed did begin to happen. I was brought up Roman Catholic, but my mother went through what I can only describe as a searching phase where we stopped attending mass and I was exposed to some evangelicals such as Pat Roberson and his 700 Club. In retrospect, I didn’t really know anything but some very basic truths and many lies and distortions, but I did have a personal trust in God the Father, and had a personal relationship with Him as best as I could based upon my limited understanding and I do now see that the Lord was calling me. I didn’t buy into Roman Catholicism (although I didn’t understand or think there was anything wrong with it either) or any denominations for that matter, I just knew a Christian was a Christian, but I couldn’t tell you why. Of course I was just a child and praise the Lord, had the faith of a child. Twice, I believe the Lord answered my prayers and healed, the first time being when I was maybe nine years old and sprained my ankle very badly the day before a large family function. I was very sad because I thought I would be laid up in bed and miss the event so I prayed to the Lord that He would heal my ankle and I awoke the next morning as if nothing had happened. The second time, only a few years later my pet cat was diagnosed with a fatal illness and was very sick. The vet said she would have to be put to sleep. Again I prayed and the next day she was better, no sign of the illness and our cat went on to live another ten years or so. As I progressed into my teen years I drifted away from my daily prayers and child-like trust in the Lord and slipped into rebellion and a party lifestyle, but in the back of my mind I always believed in the God of the Bible which made for some awkward moments when hanging around my stoned, drunken hippie and punk rocker friends. In my ignorance I made it a habit to blaspheme one friend’s statue of Buddha as much as possible as way of countering all of their blaspheming of God and Christ. However, the images from that movie stuck with me and as I watched world events unfold I knew that something about the Bible was true. I started to develop a hunger for reading the scripture and had a goal that sometime in my life I would read through the whole Bible. Of course, at that point in time it was very difficult to understand and some of it just made absolutely no sense and the stuff about “sin” I could understand but didn’t like to read. I just wanted to read the “good parts”, which for me always had to do with the end times. Finally as I grew older, conviction began to really take hold and I finally surrendered to the Lord in 1996 at the age of 29 while reading a book by Dave Hunt called How Close Are We? Suddenly the veil was torn and I could see and the Bible made complete sense, I was blind but now I could see! It was absolutely amazing hearing so many of those cliché’ terms over the years but now suddenly experiencing them. Through all those previous years however, I had kept one eye on world events and had built up some expectation of things that would come. Part of what brought me to surrender was seeing so many events pointing more and more towards what the Bible spoke concerning the time of Christ’s return. Today, many of those things are taking place at a frightening pace. One area that tends to always get a negative response from subscribers of the alert is that of the sudden increase in the destruction of personal rights, the growth of a police state and the birth of a fascist government here in the United Stated as well as other Western Democracies. When I say fascist I feel I must always explain myself by stating that I am not referring to what took place in Nazi Germany with Hitler but to the classic definition of fascism, which is a marriage of government and business. Adolph Hitler was a dictator who used fascism while those in power today sway people emotionally away from reason by throwing out words such as “Nazi” and names such as “Hitler”. This is done daily by politicians and the press to such a point that the public has become non-thinking puppets controlled by any emotion the puppeteers want to exploit rather than by using rational thought. This one-world trend I have expected for a very long time, so I am not surprised when I see it, but what does surprise me is how many Christians just don’t see it, don’t want to see it, won’t except it, or ridicule me and others for exposing it. Actually, as I have done research this trend began quite earlier in the history of America than most people realize. Numerous sources tend to agree that the original “free” America that we are all taught to believe in dissipated somewhere between the end of Andrew Jackson’s presidency in 1837 and the end of the Civil War, depending on what characteristics you focus on. It is interesting to note the timings of the last great revivals in this country also when considering these items. I have come to the conclusion that we have been living in Laodicea and a delusion for generations and hence the great difficulty in awakening Christians from the enormous stupor that has overtaken the church. `Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, - Revelation 3:17 For instance, between High School and College I endured Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs teaching in at least ten different classes. These types of false teachings have been rammed down our throats for decades in now America and so most people including Christians don’t even question the truth, origins, etc… I believe if Christians back in the 1970’s or 1980’s could have looked ahead and see the reports you are about to see it would have taken their breath away! How I wonder if today many Christians have not had their “breath” really taken away, if I may say so in a typological sense. If you take time to look at the reports these are not “conspiracy theories” but facts backed up by the governments own reports and websites. Why do so many just blatantly disregard the facts? Is it too uncomfortable? Does it trample on a preconceived idea? Does it jeopardize your material goods and your bank accounts? Or does it put in jeopardy your dreams and plans for your future and that of your families? Probably the same reasons the plain truths of the Bible have been disregarded for fads, gimmicks and outright lies. I don’t really know the answer to these questions but I just observe what is happening around me and have seen a terrible shift over the years from an evangelical church looking forward to the return of Christ to one looking forward to the fruits of this life, to the pleasures the world has to offer, the great white picket-fence Disneyland delusion that has swept across America and the West. … I do not know of one major newspaper that will cover the North American Union although a few local papers will if they happen to be a considered a “local issue” (more on that in the media special also). Why? At the newspaper I work at trucks loaded with newsprint from Canada line up each night (last night 5 tractor trailers from Quebec) and I can’t help but wonder what financial benefit (because it all comes down to money) open borders will give the media as a whole. Could that be part of the reason along with the cheap labor pool that fills the many temp and part-time positions that are open at newspapers? What is interesting to consider is that in Canada and Mexico the story seems much different. A visiting Circulation Director from Halifax, Nova Scotia I spoke with was very familiar with the NAU as Canadians are mostly dead set against it. Their media and newspapers cover the issue. The Mexican government and Mexicans on the other hand are very much for it and so again the coverage is there. However, it seems that Americans are living up to there world-renowned reputation for being basically stupid when it comes to issues that effect the world only now it’s also in their own backyard. Also, there are much larger and complicated trade and financial issues to consider. In America the people have been lied to about the financial condition of the country and how the banking industry works for years. It is now starting to come to a head with the trade imbalance, Federal deficit, oil considerations, the credit and mortgage crises, countries that have or are threatening to change from the dollar to the Euro or to some other standard of backing not to mention the largest group of expected retirees starting next year. These things could easily bring the US to it’s knees unless something is done and turn the US and Canada along with Mexico into a competitor on the world state with more of a third world system that China and India already use may just be the sneaky solution to problem. Not to mention the China factor, Saudi Arabia also plays a big role in this whole mess. However, none of my ideas really matter. I am not trying to be political or offer a solution to these problems because I believe the return of Christ is very near and these one-world movements are signs pointing to that along with the bias, distortions and the cover-ups in the media which has become the mouthpiece of Satan unless you know how and where to look and the lens to read and view through which is the Word of God. The point of this alert is to warn you that the “land of the free” is on the verge of extinction along with her Western counterparts and this is all part of the enemy’s strategy to destroy God’s people, both Christians and Jews, who mostly are in desperate need of the truth and hearing of the gospel of the Kingdom. We need to be diligently spreading the truth and pulling as many out of the fire before that great and awesome day of the Lord comes. I pray that this may be a tool you can share with others as a way of opening that door. BE/\LERT!