The Musterion of Anomia

The Musterion of Anomia
Vol: 125 Issue: 29 Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One of the more frightening things about living in the 21st century is the realization that if the government wanted to find something to arrest you for, it could.  If the government wants you, there is no security.

If you live and work and participate in everyday society, then you are probably guilty of committing at least three felonies a day, according to author Harvey Silvergate.  He provides a number of examples, some of which are pretty chilling.

Under Title 18 of the US Code, Section 1346, a person commits an offense if he conspires or schemes to defraud by depriving another of the intangible right to honest services.  

So, you are a salaried employee of a large company.  Your cousin phones you up to tell you he’s got two tickets to the Knicks game for tomorrow, but tomorrow is a work day.  But you really want to go to the game, so you call in sick. 

Because you are on salary, you are being paid while you are at the ball game.  You have just defrauded your employer by depriving him of the right to your services, which he paid for.  Oh, and your cousin is guilty of conspiracy.

In the hands of an ambitious-enough federal prosecutor, you might both get convicted of racketeering under the Rico Act.

How about this one?  You discover that your son has a stash of marijuana in his bedroom.  What you don’t know is that the cops are already watching him.  What do you do? 

Do you call the cops and have him arrested, saddling him with a criminal record and probably destroying your relationship with him for the rest of his life?  Or do you flush the dope and deal with him yourself when he gets home from school? 

So, which is it?  If you decided to flush the dope and deal with him yourself, then you have just destroyed evidence in an ongoing investigation, making you guilty of a felony.  It doesn’t matter that you were unaware of the investigation.  Or that the alternative choice is to be the one to destroy your own son’s future.

You and your family enjoy a picnic at a national park.  After the picnic, you clean up your trash, throw it away and leave.  One of your kids is less careful and leaves some trash behind.  As you are leaving the picnic area, a ranger asks if you and your family cleaned up all your trash. 

You tell him yes, and you have just committed a felony.  Any false statement made to a government official, even in casual conversation, leaves one open to charges of making a false statement to a federal official.

Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby was convicted of making a false statement to prosecutors during the Valerie Plame investigation.  Prosecutors were allegedly probing who had revealed Plame’s CIA connections. 

Libby was not guilty of that, but he gave conflicting testimony about the details of an unrelated two year old phone conversation.  He was convicted of making false statements to a federal official and went to prison.

Martha Stewart was accused of violating insider trading rules.  In the course of the investigation, it was determined that although she was not guilty of insider trading, she did lie to federal investigators. 

They didn’t get her for the insider trading, but she went to jail anyway.

Assessment:

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” – Ayn Rand

A law professor named John Tehranian published a paper entitled “Infringement Nation” in which he demonstrated how easily one could find oneself in legal jeopardy without ever intending to violate a single law.

In his paper, he created a hypothetical law professor named “John.” (Clever, isn’t he?) “John” doesn’t file share or steal music or movies.  He uses his computer for work. 

In the course of the day, he answers his emails, the contents of which are reproduced by his email program when he hits the ‘reply’ button.  Each unauthorized reproduction of someone else’s copyrighted text—their email—represents a separate act of copyright infringement, as does each instance of email forwarding.

He distributes three just-published internet analyses of a Supreme Court decision just handed down to his class, violating the analysts’ copyrights. While the students are reading, he doodles a sketch of something he saw at an art museum, creating an “unauthorized derivative work.”

Later he reads a 1931 poem to his Law and Literature class, an unauthorized public performance.  Then he emails pictures his friend took of him at a football game.  The pictures are of him, but his friend owns the copyright on the pictures.

He sings Happy Birthday to a friend at a restaurant and records it on his iPhone.  He has just recorded an unauthorized public performance of a copyright-protected work.  If the holders of all the various copyrights violated by these acts were upheld, Professor Tehranian concludes the following:

All told, he has committed at least eighty-three acts of infringement and faces liability in the amount of $12.45 million (to say nothing of potential criminal charges). There is nothing particularly extraordinary about John’s activities. Yet if copyright holders were inclined to enforce their rights to the maximum extent allowed by law, barring last minute salvation from the notoriously ambiguous fair use defense, he would be liable for a mind-boggling $4.544 billion in potential damages each year. And, surprisingly, he has not even committed a single act of infringement through P2P file-sharing.

The point being made by Harvey Silvergate and Professor Tehranian is that all of us are lawbreakers, whether we intend to be or not.  Indeed, it is impossible for a person to operate normally within normal society without breaking some law, somewhere. 

Under the terms of Google’s terms of service contract, (which nobody ever reads) you may not use the search engine or gmail or any of the company’s other features if “you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google.”

So a seventeen-year old using Google to research a term paper is breaking the law.  Did YOU know there was a law against underaged Googling?

We are no longer a nation governed by laws, but rather, we are a nation governed according to the whims of lawyers.  And politicians. 

Laws, which were originally given to protect us, have made us slaves to the law.  We either go along to get along or we could find ourselves going to jail.  There are two Biblical applications here.

The first, of course, is that the situation mirrors our spiritual condition before God.  The Ten Commandments were too many laws for any human being to be expected to keep.  No matter how hard one tries, a person WILL run afoul of at least one of them over the course of a lifetime.

The runaway legal system we find ourselves in now is designed to keep us outside the law, and therefore enslaved by it.  The Ten Commandments functioned in exactly the same way.

Except that the legal system is designed to enslave us, whereas the Ten Commandments were designed to point the way to freedom by grace through faith.  

Once we realize that the deck is stacked — and that nobody can keep the law — then we understand WHY we need a Savior.  Understanding one’s need for salvation is the first step to seeking salvation.  

The second Biblical application I want you to see is how this fits with the Bible’s outline of the last days. 

The Apostle Paul writes of the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit’s earthly ministry and the revelation of the antichrist:

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

Jesus said that in the last days, “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

The word “iniquity” is translated from the Greek anomia which means, “lawlessness.”

So the picture that the Bible presents in the last days is one in which lawlessness “abounds” — a condition that the Apostle explains as a ‘mystery’ (musterion) — meaning it will only make sense to the generation to whom it was intended.

To a generation that routinely commits three felonies on any given day, anomia isn’t all that musterion.

“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)

Christian Libertarianism

Christian Libertarianism
Vol: 125 Issue: 28 Tuesday, February 28, 2012

If you listen to Ron Paul for twenty minutes, you want to vote for him.  If you listen to him expound on the Federal Reserve, the Constitution, the IRS  or the size of government, you don’t just want to vote for him, you want to have him to your house for dinner.

You have to listen to Ron Paul carefully — especially on subjects like US foreign policy, and especially US foreign policy where Israel is concerned, or you are liable to believe his election might be a good thing for America.

Ron Paul is a libertarian.  Suddenly, being a libertarian seems to be a good thing — like being a Republican, only more conservative. 

One hears a lot about libertarianism; John Stossel over at the Fox Business Network is a libertarian — and his specials on panhandling, racial quotas, government regulations and the federal budget are all “must-see” TV.

Libertarianism sounds a lot like conservativism on steroids — it is amazing how many members of the Republican Party self-identify as “libertarian.” 

Or maybe it isn’t so amazing — among the more famous libertarians of history is the late Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and one of the great heroes of capitalism.

Other prominent Republicans that lean libertarian include Senator Rand Paul, Rep Jeff Flake of Arizona, former Georgia Rep Bob Barr, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, former governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson and former President Calvin Coolidge.

These are all good guys — each one adheres to the basic tenets of conservative Republicanism, like personal responsibility, personal liberty and fiscal conservativism.   Especially fiscal conservativism.

Libertarians are advocates for lower taxes at every level of government.  They advocate reducing federal spending.  They oppose welfare-state giveaways. They oppose federal regulations on business. They are strong advocates for welfare reform.  They oppose budget deficits and deficit spending.

I am almost persuaded that I am a libertarian.  Almost. But not quite. 

The problem with being a libertarian is that I would have to compromise on almost everything that I believe as a Christian.

A libertarian believes in the concept of victimless crime.  To a libertarian, patronizing prostitutes is a victimless crime.  Buying drugs from a drug dealer is a victimless crime.  Gambling is a victimless crime.  Suicide is a victimless crime.  Drug abuse is a victimless crime. 

Generally speaking, libertarians would favor the abolishment of laws banning victimless crimes on the grounds they have no rational or moral reason for existing.

A libertarian would argue that the harm caused by the prevention or prosecution of these activities is often far greater than any harm caused by the activities themselves.

Applying that logic would justify repeal of these laws on the same harm reduction grounds that were originally used to justify them. 

To a libertarian it is all an issue of freedom.  Freedom.  We all want freedom.  Don’t we? 

According to this principle, individuals have the right to partake in any actions they choose, as long as these actions do not impede the rights of others, even if the actions could be considered detrimental to that person.

In such a scenario, the government should not be allowed to regulate the actions of people unless they affect other people as well. 

Libertarians want to see the War on Drugs eliminated on the grounds that the war on drugs violates the Law of Unintended Consequences.  

For example, it creates a huge profit margin for organized crimes and anyone else who is willing to break the law in order to get ahead financially. 

If these drugs were legal and sold in a fair competitive market it would drive the price of these drugs down which would result in less “secondary” crimes from drug addicts.

If the drugs were more affordable these people would not need to commit these “secondary” crimes such as burglary and theft, nor would it be as profitable for large criminal organizations.

Many criminal originations depend largely on their huge amounts of profit from selling illegal substances; putting these substances on a fair and regulated market could be a significant blow to the economics of these corrupt organizations.

So legalizing drugs would eliminate the profit margin, which would eliminate the market, which would eliminate organized drug cartels.  Wouldn’t it?

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

Assessment:

As noted, libertarianism sounds pretty reasonable.  Indeed, if one were to sum up libertarianism in few words, those few words would be “live and let live.”  It really, really sounds attractive:

“Libertarians believe that this combination of personal and economic liberty produces abundance, peace, harmony, creativity, order, and safety. Indeed, that is one of the central lessons of world history. Virtually all the progress the human race has enjoyed during the past few centuries is due to the increasing acceptance of these principles. But we are still far from a truly libertarian world. Libertarians believe we would see far more progress, abundance and happiness if the ideas of liberty were fully accepted and allowed to work their miracles.”

What a great philosophy — “Do no harm.”  (That sounds familiar, somehow. Oh yeah . . . it is the principle doctrinal statement of the Church of Wicca.)

At Libertarianism.com, one can examine the various political positions of libertarianism.  For example the entry on Foreign Policy and National Security reads as follows:

“A non-aggressive, isolationist stance (as outlined by George Washington) is the appropriate role of the state.  This includes not engaging and participating with international bodies like the UN that threaten our national sovereignty.  People should be allowed to make any contracts with any other actor as long as their agreements aren’t imposed on others who haven’t consented.”

This sounds good.  Let’s apply it to the situation with Iran and see how it sounds.  Whether or not Iran gets the Bomb is none of our business.  

What about Israel?  Again, that is none of our business.  Israel is its own country.  Let them figure it out.

What about libertarianism and religion?  Again, it sounds pretty mainstream to me:

“All people should have the right to worship any religion they want, as long as their religious standards are not imposed on others.  In order to ensure this freedom of and from religion, we must have a complete separation of church and state.”

Libertarians view privacy as a sacred right.

Privacy is a fundamental right defined and enforced by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution.  Free people are innocent until proven guilty and the government doesn’t have a right to wiretap, surveil, or search a person or their property without a judicially sanctioned warrant, supported by probable cause.

These protections must not be removed simply for the presence of external threats.  The PATRIOT Act must be repealed.  Law enforcement must exercise restraint and apply due process before searching private property or making an arrest.  The government does not have legitimate power to collect an individual’s personal data, including medical records, gun ownership, or banking information.  There should be no national I.D. card.

Ron Paul opposes the existence of the Federal Reserve.  He believes the Federal Reserve Act should be repealed.  He opposes the existence of the CIA, believes that the United States should withdraw all support for Israel and sees no problem with constructing a mosque at Ground Zero.

Another thing about libertarianism is that it is a ‘big tent’ philosophy.  In addition to conservative Republicans, there is also room in the libertarian tent for anarchists, pedophiles, pimps, drug dealers, Satanists, gay activists, euthanasia activists, atheists . . . pretty much anybody. 

Except Christians.  Well, sort of.  I found this listing of qualifications for one to be a “Christian libertarian.”   And so, if you are a Christian who. . .

  • Believes social conservatives are often intolerant;
  • Believes the Christian Coalition often gives Christians a bad name;
  • Understands that, historically, theocracies have been some of the most brutal forms of government;
  • Believes that, “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me,” has no place hanging in a United States court of law;
  • Understands why John Adams wrote (in the Treaty of Libya under the Washington Administration and ratified by Congress) that the United States government is in no way based upon the Christian religion;
  • Understands there is no law that prohibits a child from praying in school;
  • Realizes that the push for sanctioned school prayer is actually about zealots using the force of government to indoctrinate other children in their religious principles;
  • Realizes that a national agenda at federal, state, and local levels to Christianize America is not going to lower taxes or reduce the size of government;
  • Practices the humble and sublime morality of the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount without government participation, regulation, and enforcement;
  • Understands that statism threatens traditional religious values;
  • Understands that responsibility is something that cannot be understood with government programs like welfare;
  • Understands that charity will eventually disappear because of the increased taxation burden;
  • … then you may be a Christian Libertarian.

Or, you might be something else.  Here is another list that I found that sounds a lot like “Christian” libertarianism.

  • I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
  • So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.
  • Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
  • I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Of course, the above list isn’t taken from Christian libertarianism website.  It is the Lord’s description of the last days’ Church of Laodicea, (Greek: “the Church of the People’s Rights”) as outlined in Revelation 3:15-18.

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)

It looks like I am quoting the same verse from Proverbs twice.  Look again.   The first quote is Proverbs 14:12.  The second quote is Proverbs 16:25.   They are identical in wording for a reason.  

When God really wants to us to ‘get’ something, He says it more than once.

Dhimmi: One Whose Responsibility Has Been Taken

Dhimmi: One Whose Responsibility Has Been Taken
Vol: 125 Issue: 27 Monday, February 27, 2012

The media, the US government and NATO are in universal agreement that it was a major blunder to burn copies of the Koran that had allegedly been desecrated by Islamic prisoners who used them to write messages to one another.

Let’s go there first.  According to the Wikipedia entry on “Koran desecration”:

“Muslims must always treat the printed book with reverence, and are forbidden, for instance, to pulp, recycle, or otherwise discard worn-out copies of the text; instead, burning or burying the worn-out copies in a respectful manner is required.”

How should American, non-Muslim forces in Afghanistan deal with worn-out or damaged copies of the Koran?  What should they do?  Nobody seems to have an answer to that question.   

Back in 2005, rumors that US forces guarding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay were desecrating Korans, sparking deadly rioting among Muslims.

A US military investigation later confirmed that while there were four instances of intentional disrespect of the Koran by US forces, there were fifteen instances of desecration by Muslim prisoners.  

But isn’t it interesting that all the attention was focused on the four instances by US guards?  Which would carry more weight?  If a Muslim disrespected a Christian holy book?  Or if a Christian did? 

If a Muslim believes Christianity is a perversion of his religion, then what reason would he have for reverencing Christian symbols?  They aren’t sacred to him.

Rastafarians worship Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I as the reincarnation of Jesus.  They believe Africa was the original birthplace of mankind, that western society is corrupt and that the use of marijuana is spiritual and the drug itself is a sacred sacrament.

Does that mean that everybody should respect the use of marijuana by the Rastafarians?   What would be the reaction if a million Rastafarians rioted because possession of their sacred sacrament was a crime? Another Apology Tour

Should the President of the United States apologize to the adherents of Rastafarianism for routinely rounding up and destroying its most sacred sacrament?  

The United States government is not a Muslim organization.  By any possible understanding of how religions work, religious rules are only binding on those who are under the authority of that religion.

Non-Christians face no penalty for ignoring Lent or Easter.  There is no penalty due non-Buddhists for stepping on a spider.  Nobody is apologizing to the Hindus for butchering and eating cows.

Nobody would expect a Muslim to apologize for not observing the tenets of a faith he does not share.

Certainly, nobody (in their right mind) would justify murdering Muslims because they failed to show Christianity the respect that we believe that it deserves.  That would be completely nuts.

Wouldn’t it?

Assessment:

One of the facts that is missing from all the chest-beating and soul-searching is the fact that the books that were burned belonged to the United States military.  They bought them.  They paid for them. 

They were provided by the US government for the comfort and pleasure of those prisoners who are trying to kill the infidel unbelievers that paid for them. 

Here’s the deal.  The people who are conducting holy war against the West are inspired by the Koran.  Nobody is disputing that fact.  The Koran is the source code and the oft-cited reason for holy war.  That isn’t my opinion.  It is the opinion of those waging it. 

So, when viewed along those lines, this is the functional equivalent to apologizing to Nazi POWs for disrespecting Mein Kampf.

“I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident,” Obama wrote in the letter delivered to Karzai today, and released by the Afghanistan government. “I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies. The error was inadvertent,” the letter added.  “I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”

Defense Secretary Panetta and NATO commander John Allen also apologized, for good measure.

What, exactly, does “holding accountable those responsible” mean?  Is it a crime under US law to burn a Koran? 

If so, does that mean it is equally a crime to burn a Bible?  Or does Islam hold some special place in American life that is above and beyond the Constitution? 

As a factual matter, it would appear that it does.  What else could it mean when the President of the United States apologizes for desecrating the Koran and promises to, “hold the desecrators responsible” in some way?

For good or ill, the right to burn books as a political expression is protected by the First Amendment.  The right to burn books that one personally owns is protected by the 4th Amendment.  Under the Constitution, all books, like all men, are created equal.

Except that now, the President of the United States has officially acknowledged the supremacy of the Koran over all other books and documents and writings on earth, including the Torah, the Old Testament, the New Testament and every other religious text.

While hordes of Muslims rioted over the mistreatment of the Koran by non-Muslims with no religious reason to view it as anything more than a book, causing America’s top leaders to tremble in apologetic fear, Muslims are free to attack Christians and burn churches without fear of retribution. 

No apologies are forthcoming (or expected) for the Nigerian church suicide bombing on February 26 that killed three innocent Christians, including a father and child.  At least 38 people had to be taken to hospital for treatment after the attack.

As Bruce Thornton noted in his excellent essay detailing America’s double standard when it comes to Islam:

“Indeed, over the past few decades, no amount of apologies for alleged “insults” to Muslims has stopped Islamists form attacking us. Nor have the good deeds benefitting Muslims, from rescuing Bosnians from genocide to liberating Libyans from Gaddafi, stopped jihadists from wanting to kill Americans for an endless list of reasons. The past decades of such incidents have shown instead that apologies are useless, and merely confirm the impression among Muslims that we are spiritually inferior, and so endorse the perverse logic that accidentally burning a book is worse than murdering our soldiers and citizens.

Why else would we publicly flagellate ourselves over such “insults” even as we say nothing about the Muslim murders of Christians in Egypt and Nigeria, or the Muslim laws prescribing capital punishment for converts to Christianity, or the Muslim vandalizing and destruction of 300 churches in Cyprus, or the Muslim slow-motion extermination of Christians in lands that worshipped Christ for 6 centuries before Islam even existed?”

Islamic law recognizes the religious rights of those subject to Islam, classifying them as dhimmis. Linguistically, the word “dhimmi” means “one whose responsibility has been taken.”

“The status of the dhimmi was for long accepted with resignation by the Christians and with gratitude by the Jews” but ceased to be so after the rising power of Christendom and the radical ideas of the French revolution caused a wave of discontent among Christian dhimmis.”

Historically, Islam waiting until after it had conquered a land militarily before imposing dhimmi status on its infidel inhabitants.  Unless that land surrendered itself to Islam before conquest, as America’s president did with his apology.

By his apology, complete with a promise of punishment for the perpetrators, President Obama has conveyed the message that rioting Muslims are justified in continuing their religious temper tantrum. 

And that the US government just might be willing to consider dhimmitude as a form of “compromise’.  Evidently the word “compromise” is less negative, politically speaking, than the word  “surrender” is.

But functionally, it would appear a distinction without a difference.

Cunningly Devised Fables?

Cunningly Devised Fables?
Vol: 125 Issue: 25 Saturday, February 25, 2012

There are tens of thousands of MANPADS – shoulder-fired missile systems — in Syria and nobody really knows where they all are, according to State Department officials.  And as far as Syria’s WMD are concerned, Syria is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention.  So nobody knows how many Assad has, or where he hides them.

And that’s only part of the story, according to US assistant Secretary of State Tom Countryman, who addressed a breakfast meeting of the Defense Writer’s Group in Washington.

Countryman’s division plays a major role in monitoring international compliance with nonproliferation and arms control rules.  He declined to go into specifics at the meeting but he confirmed that Syria is still being supplied by Russia and Iran with weapons it can use against its civilian population.

“We do not believe that Russian shipments of weapons to Syria are in the interests of Russia or Syria,” he said.

According to Countryman, the Iranian weapons being funneled through the Syrian government to Hezbollah are not being used by Hezbollah inside Syria, but are being transferred to Hezbollah groups inside Syria’s neighbor Lebanon.

Countryman also said the U.S. government is working with allies to try to get a handle on the stores of conventional, biological, and chemical weapons inside Syria, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands if and when the Assad regime collapses.

Countryman admitted that the West “has ideas about the quantity” and “ideas as to where the weapons are” but that is about the extent of US intelligence on the issue — ideas.

Western intelligence has been loathe to investigate Syria’s WMD too thoroughly or to be too specific on what they believe is going on there. 

The black eye they received when they suggested that Saddam Hussein transferred most of his WMD arsenal to Syria in the run-up to the Gulf War made them gun-shy about being too definite in their guesswork — and besides, Syria was always Israel’s  problem.  

And in any event, whatever they officially reported back to Washington would mean that Washington would have to do something about it, so very little about what is reported is reported via official channels.  So what we’re learning now is unusual — and therefore noteworthy.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable.

For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria — while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad’s downfall.

Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons.

According to the report, the administration has begun working with the Jordanians and others in the region about what to do with the stockpiles if and when Assad’s government falls.   

Clearly, as the security situation continues to deteriorate, the United States has made contingency plans.  Perhaps not.

Obama administration officials have begun using phrases like, “Syria isn’t Libya” and “Syria isn’t Iraq” to explain why it has consistently rejected calls by the Syrian National Council, the Saudis, the Arab League and even tacit suggestions by the UN to assist the Syrian opposition.

“It’s essentially a recognition of the danger to the regional and international community of the stockpiles that the regime possesses and the importance of working with countries, given the potential fall of the regime, to prevent the proliferation of these very sensitive weapons outside of Syria’s border,” one administration official said. “It’s an exponentially more dangerous program than Libya. We are talking about legitimate WMDs here — this isn’t Iraq. The administration is really concerned about loose WMDs. It’s one of the few things you could put on the agenda and do something about without planning the fall of the regime.”

“Legitimate” WMDs?  Oh. I get it.  Allow me to translate.  This isn’t like in Iraq where an immature and idiotic president invented an excuse to invade Iraq in order to make his daddy proud of him. 

No, this is the Obama administration.  You can trust us.

Assessment:

Getting past the politics and the back-stabbing and the finger pointing and the rest of the excuses for how the administration managed to lose the Middle East, what I really wanted to discuss once again is the incredible, amazing, astonishing accuracy of Bible prophecy and why it is so important to this generation.

First, let’s set the time frames involved.  More than twenty-six centuries ago, the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians (modern Syria and Iraq) and its inhabitants, (the Ten Northern Tribes) dispersed, resettled or executed. 

The Bible promises retribution in the last days in which the Assyrians would have visited upon them what they visited upon the Israelite Kingdom.  The Prophet Isaiah predicted the “Burden of Damascus”.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” (Isaiah 17:1)

Think about what an impossible prediction that really is.   Look at what was necessary in order to make it happen.  

First, Assyria doesn’t exist — and yet it does.  The Assyrian Empire of Sargon II encompassed Syria, parts of Southern Turkey, all of Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq northern Saudi Arabia and southwestern Iran. (See map.)

Secondly, Damascus is the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth.  It has never lost its status as a major city, or been turned into a “ruinous heap” for any discernible period in its history. 

“The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 17:4)

The Assyrian Empire is no more, but the rest of the prophecy remains unfulfilled.  Over the past sixty years, Syria has steadily increased in regional importance, primarily because of its institutional opposition to the existence of Israel.

Hafez al Assad, father of Syrian president Bashar al Assad, ruled Syria from 1971 to 2000.  Assad also killed more than thirty thousand of his own people in 1982 during the infamous Hama massacre that ended an effort to overthrow his government. 

But it was also Hafez al Assad that made Syria a force to be reckoned with, according to his Wikipedia biography:

“[Assad] consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, and continued foreign influence related to the cold war. His rule brought changes, including the 1973 constitution which stated that it guaranteed women’s “equal status in society”. Assad attempted to industrialize the country, and it was opened up to foreign markets. He invested in infrastructure, education, medicine, literacy and urban construction. As a result of the discovery of oil, the economy expanded. . . “

Today, Syria is a nation of such regional power that great nations like the United States, international institutions like the Arab League and the United Nations and great national coalitions like NATO are all blustering threats, which is precisely the picture presented by the Prophet.

“Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.”

All of the nations that are named by Isaiah are part of the overall Big Picture — it is impossible to imagine that, once the dominos begin to fall, they will be able to escape the conflagration to come.  And just look at how the Prophet describes that conflagration:

“And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not.” (Isaiah 17:14)

Just LOOK at the elegant precision of this prophecy.  Now, consider the time frames involved.  Look at the various nations named by the Prophet and the positions they have taken concerning Israel since 1948. 

Now imagine, just for a second, that any resemblance between Isaiah’s prophecy and the current situation in the Middle East is merely a product of random chance.  You would also have to assume the following:

  • Israel just so happens to be back in its ancestral homeland after a twenty-five century absence.
  • The Assyrian Empire just so happens to exist — only in the form of the “Arab League.”
  • For the first time in history, the technology exists to render Damascus an overnight ruinous heap.
  • The Arab League has already done EXACTLY as Isaiah predicted; rushing in, making lots of noise, but ultimately fleeing for their lives, literally chased out of Syria.

Supporting the Assad government are members of another predicted end-time alliance,  Russia and Iran (Gog-Magog).  The Prophet Ezekiel predicts that both Russia and Iran survive the Burden of Damascus and the Arab-Israeli war to follow (Psalms 83, Obadiah).

None of this is to say that the events unfolding now are the exact fulfillment of any specific prophecy of the Old Testament, or even to suggest that they might be. 

I’m not a prophet and if I ever claim that I am, cancel your subscription immediately.  

I don’t know how all the finer details will be worked out.  But what is important isn’t what we can’t know — I want you to see the importance of what we know already.

Everything the Bible predicts for the last days is at some level of fulfillment right now — either in open fulfillment, like the restoration of Israel, or trending in the direction predicted by the Prophets, like the Burden of Damascus or the growing alliance between Russia and Iran.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

It isn’t “kind of like” the Bible predicted. It is exactly as the Bible predicted on every level; ecological, historical, political, sociological, geological and even spiritual. 

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient . . .” (Romans 1:28)

To play off the words of Jesus, “no stone is left unturned” (Matthew 24:2)  It is impossible to miss the significance of Bible prophecy to current events.  

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His Majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

There is only one other generation that can lay claim to being eyewitnesses of His Majesty besides the generation that witnessed the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning His First Advent. That is the generation currently witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy concerning His Second.  

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

Why Does God Allow Deformed Babies?

Why Does God Allow Deformed Babies?
Vol: 125 Issue: 24 Friday, February 24, 2012

Why is the world the way it is?  Why do some people die slow, lingering painful deaths, while others slip away peacefully in their sleep?  Why do some people suffer life-long debilitating illnesses while others live their lives through with nary a sniffle?  Why are babies born with birth defects?

That was the question that popped into my email box yesterday.  Does God make defective babies?

“I have a challenging question you may or may not want to tackle. I am 60 years old, I am a Christian and I have been a nurse for almost 32 years.  I work in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at a big, teaching hospital. In Psalm 139:14 God tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He knits us together in our mother’s wombs.  He knows us before this is even done!  How do I reconcile the fact that God knits us together in the womb with the fact that we see many anomalous infants born? (I am asking for my own understanding as well as to be able to minister to families who have these anomalous infants and either lose them in death or take them home to care for them long-term). I know we live in a sin-fallen world and things are not what they were meant to be, but does God actually knit a baby with Down’s syndrome together in the womb or one with an underdeveloped brain or heart?  I am looking and seeking to understand this myself, but wondered if you had any insight into this.  Thanks for considering.”

Virtually every meaningful conversation I have ever had with people on the subject of God and religion has either started with this question, or one like it.  No doubt, you probably can say the same thing.

If God is real, then how come He allows evil?  Let’s start there.

“Evil” is actually something that is completely beyond our comprehension.  As finite human beings, we can discern “good” on a subjective level — if we like the outcome, then it is good.

The same applies to recognizing evil.  We can discern that it is evil — subjectively — because we can perceive the outcome will be a bad one.

But the premise that we human beings can know good and evil is part and parcel of the first lie ever told in the universe.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

Instead of knowing good and evil, Adam and Eve learned about bad and worse.  Bad was how they felt after they had sinned, and worse was how they felt after they were penalized for their sin.  But they couldn’t know good and evil.

We can discern moral and immoral, right and wrong, but good and evil are outcomes, not concepts. Outcomes are known only to God.  We witness an earthquake and we wonder why God created such a great evil.

The earthquake swarm that spawned the Japanese tsumani was a great evil because of the deaths and damages that followed.  Yes?

It depends on how you look at it.  As already noted, evil is subjective.

Earthquakes are necessary to sustaining life on earth.  Land masses wear down with time because of rain, snow, freezing, heating, glaciers, landslides, and gravitational forces. If there were no forces that lift the land to replenish the worn away parts, after a while all land on the earth would be under water.

Because the earth is liquid inside, land is constantly being lifted to replace the land that is worn down.  So earthquakes are actually good, because without them, the earth could not sustain life.

Death is evil, because we cannot fully understand it, not because it is actually evil.  Death is a necessary part of our transition from darkness into light.  You cannot go to heaven without dying first. (Unless you happen to make it to the Rapture).

And so, from the perspective of those who perished in Japan, it was only “evil” for those that died in their sins.

Those who were in Christ are presently in the company of their Savior, alive forevermore, beyond the reach of sickness, loss or death.

From the perspective of those who are left behind, the tsunami was a great evil.  But that is because we don’t know the whole story.  We never do.  That’s why it is so hard for us to grasp how God can “allow” evil.

If the tsunami had not struck an inhabited area, but instead swept across an uninhabited desert island, would it have still been considered “evil”?  No.

What made it “evil” was our perception of the outcome.

Assessment:

To a secularist, it is a greater evil to allow a defective baby to live with a birth defect than it would be to spare him a life of misery by aborting him in the womb.  But in order to make that judgment, one must first put oneself in a position of judging an outcome.

“God tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knits us together in our mother’s wombs. He knows us before this is even done! How do I reconcile the fact that God knits us together in the womb with the fact that we see many anomalous infants born?”

Helen Keller was struck deaf and blind by meningitis at the age of 19 months.  By every possible human measure, this sounds unspeakably evil.  Certainly, it would have been ‘good’ had Helen Keller miraculously recovered her vision and hearing.

One might even call such a restoration a triumph of good over evil.  Especially from the perspective of pretty much anybody living back in the 1880’s.

But Helen Keller never recovered her sight and hearing.  She lived for eighty-seven years in a world of soundless darkness.  Had “good triumphed over evil” in this case, American sign language might never have been developed.

Why does God allow anomalous infants to be born? “The Lord works in mysterious ways” isn’t a very satisfying answer. There is good reason for that.

It is because the Lord doesn’t work in ‘mysterious’ ways; He works according to His will.  He has a purpose for everything that He does.  Whether we understand that purpose is irrelevant — HE does.

“So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My Mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

To the unbeliever, this life is all there is — so when God takes it, it seems exceedingly cruel.  But this is no more ‘all there is’ than the blackness of the womb is to the unborn child.  The blackness of the womb is simply all it knows until it is born.

What seems exceedingly cruel from this perspective of existence may well be an act of exceeding mercy when viewed from the perspective of God.

God allows birth defects for the same reason that he allows for the existence of both good and evil.  God uses what we might consider evil to accomplish what He knows is good.

Take the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.  His brothers were jealous of Joseph, so they kidnapped him and sold him into slavery.  They went back to their father and reported Joseph dead.

They intended to do evil.  That was their plan.  In those days, slavery was usually a fate worse than death. But Joseph became the most powerful man in Egypt while his brothers were starving to death as the result of a great famine.

Had Joseph not been in the position he was at the time, his brothers, who were not Egyptians, would have been turned away to starve.  God had a plan for Israel and it didn’t involve them starving to death before it could come to fruition.

As Joseph himself noted, his brothers meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.

It isn’t a very satisfying answer to the question, does God form anomalous babies?  But it is the only logical answer, notwithstanding.  Of course God is responsible for birth defects.  He is God.  But birth defects are “evil” only because of our lack of understanding.

When she was a young child, it would be impossible to see Helen Keller’s life as anything but a tragedy.  But God intended it for good and Helen Keller went on to use her disabilities to become one of the most famous educators in American history.

In the end, we can say without doubt that God knits together every person in the womb, including those with birth defects.  We can say with confidence that if God didn’t want that baby to have a birth defect, then it wouldn’t.

So that leaves only one remaining possibility.  God intended it for reasons of His own that we cannot understand, which is, in and of itself, a point of understanding.

Good and evil are outcomes, and outcomes are known only to God.  That’s why He wants us to trust Him.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Yardstick Salvation — How Good is Good Enough?

Yardstick Salvation — How Good is Good Enough?
Vol: 125 Issue: 23 Thursday, February 23, 2012

One of the most profound evidences that these are the last days before the return of Christ for His Church is borne out by the shifting battlefield tactics being used by the enemy.

As we get closer to the end of the age, there is a spiritual battle ongoing for the hearts and minds of men being waged with an intensity unlike any in history.

The airwaves are saturated with psuedo-Christian subliminal messages that reinforce all kinds of false, but reasonable sounding counterfeit alternatives to salvation.

If you watch family-values oriented entertainment, you will learn that when people die, they become angels and come back and help other people.

You can also tune into TV ‘evangelists’ to learn how to buy your way into heaven (by sending payments directly to them).

Our social structure teaches that all religions are equally valid and that there are as many ways to God as there are religious systems.

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, former President Bush took that position, claiming that the god of Islam is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews.  It has since become a secular article of faith rigidly defended by the Politically Correct.

Science, as a discipline, has pretty much dedicated itself to disproving God exists in the first place — even if it has to violate its own canon of ethics in order to do so. Allow me to sidetrack for a moment and explain.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that energy spontaneously tends to flow only from being concentrated in one place to becoming diffused or dispersed and spread out.

In other words, all things break down eventually.  A hot frying pan cools when removed from heat because the energy in that hot pan flows out into the cooler room air.

The opposite never happens.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics explains why paper, trees, coal, gas and all things like them burn, why sand and dry ice even in pure oxygen can’t ever burn, why the sun will eventually cool down, why iron rusts, why there are hurricanes or any weather at all on earth, what makes things break, why houses get torn apart in tornadoes or explosions, and why everything living tends to die.

Science demands empirical evidence; that is to say, before something can be a scientific fact, it must first be able to be demonstrated in a lab experiment.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics can be demonstrated by closing up your house for five years and letting it ‘go to seed’.  When you come home again, you will have your proof that things, left to themselves, deteriorate.

The theory of evolution requires reversing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.  Somehow, your abandoned house will eventually clean and fix itself up.  I’d like to see that demonstrated in a lab.  

The only thing about evolution that is demonstrable is that somehow, a ‘theory’ evolved into a ‘fact’ — all by itself.

Yet all these concepts are continually hammered into people — from turning into angels to denying God even exists.  And if we have learned anything about how the human brain works at all, we know that the best way to teach something is by constant repetition.

Consequently, there are probably as many opinions being offered about how to get to heaven as there are people who have them.  At one time or another, all of us have run into somebody who is planning to trust that his good works will counter-balance his bad ones.

Or people who think that simply believing there is a God will go to heaven.  Others think going to church is their ticket.  Some think that anybody who has led a ‘good life’ will be granted admission. 

Others believe that keeping the Ten Commandments will get them into heaven.  As long as you never break one of them in your entire life, it’s a good plan.  

(Interestingly, about the only religious system that secularists are certain won’t get you to heaven is Biblical Christianity.  There is NO defense for Biblical Christianity — it is too intolerant to be tolerated by the tolerant.)

For the rest of us, it’s even less logical than planning for retirement by buying a lottery ticket.

At least, with a lottery ticket you have one chance in a several million of winning.

Assessment:

It is the mission of every Christian to be “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear,” according to 1 Peter 3:15.

That is why your Omega Letter exists — to supply you with the ammunition and a tactical plan of battle — before you step out onto the battlefield.

The battle is of eternal importance.  Every person we meet over the course of a day has an eternal destiny.  They will spend eternity in unspeakable joy in the Presence of Christ, or they will spend a Christless eternity in unspeakable torment.

Those who think that living a ‘good life’ — or that the scales will balance out somehow in their favor before the Throne — start out with a misunderstanding of their relationship with God.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ” (Romans 3:20)

Being ‘good enough’ is a belief structure that measures one person against OTHER people.  THAT is the fatal flaw that proves salvation must be a function of grace and not works or behavior.

‘Good enough’, compared to whom?  Mother Teresa?  Your cousin Phil?  The Pope?  Bashar al Assad?  

Whose yardstick do we use to measure “good enough”? 

Mine?  Your pastor’s?  The Pope’s?  My wife’s?  You see the problem.  Everybody’s yardstick is a different length.  No matter how we measure good enough, it really isn’t good enough — because we’re not in charge of that.  We only think we are.

The only fair standard against which God could measure ‘good enough’ would be His own.  Since God is sinless, He can not stand sin, or people with sin.  To be good enough for God means to be sinless — an obvious impossibility.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

Think of it this way. If three of us throw darts at a dart board and one gets two inches away from the bullseye, another four inches away, and another misses the board completely, which one of us actually hit the bullseye?

The reason for the ‘hope that is in you’ is the knowledge of the fact that missing the bullseye means exactly that.  NOBODY hit it — except Jesus.

But in a dart game, it only takes one guy on the team to hit it for that team to win.  The Bible says that team membership is sufficient — if you are on the team that hit the bullseye.

It is incumbent upon each of us, who have been granted the unspeakable gift of salvation, to teach other people how to join the team.

Repent (change your mind) about your sin nature and your ability to clean up on your own.  Trust Jesus.

“To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:26-28)

“Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Hebrews 4:14)

Until He comes. Maranatha!

Dreaming of Deadlock

Dreaming of Deadlock
Vol: 125 Issue: 22 Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Given the  dissatisfaction with the overall field of candidates, many in the GOP are hoping that nobody will get the 1,145 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, forcing what is called a “brokered”  convention.

Here’s how that works.  Suppose that no one candidate gets enough delegates to ensure the nomination before the convention convenes.   In that case, each candidate is nominated by their champions and there is a delegate vote.

If nobody comes out a clear winner, then the decision could go to the party bosses.  They could simply declare one of the candidates the winner of the nomination and that would be that.  Suppose that Mitt Romney had the most delegates from the primaries, but not enough.

During the nominating round, Rick Santorum gets more votes than Romney, but still doesn’t quite have enough.  The party bosses could decide to run Santorum instead of Romney.  Or Romney against Santorum.

OR — they could reject ALL the primary candidates and pick somebody new that they are more confident can defeat President Obama in the fall.  In that case, they could tap some other GOP rising star; Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, John Thune, or even Sarah Palin.  (I wouldn’t bet on Palin, however.)

In a normal world, President Obama should be easy to beat.  But we don’t live in a normal world.  In a normal world, when the White House does something that presents a clear risk to national security, those affected, (ie; the public via the media) make their feelings known.

The White House, conscious that there is an election coming up later this year, becomes, or at least, appears to become more responsive to public opinion.  But that isn’t the case this year.  No matter what this president does, the mainstream media either heartily approves or it keeps its opinions to itself.

President Obama just announced that he is going after US corporate overseas profits. Currently, US corporations have to pay a corporate income tax (the second-highest in the world – Japan is #1) on profits that come back into the States.

Ordinary economics would dictate that such corporations (think GE) would therefore keep their profits outside the reach of the IRS.  Logic would dictate that the best way to bring those profits back to America would be to reduce corporate taxes.

That would bring more corporate investment back to the US, which would create more jobs, which would in turn raise tax revenues by having more workers paying payroll taxes. 

Making the United States a tax-haven for corporations would bring back many of the companies high corporate taxes that have been driven overseas.  Instead, the White House is going to tax profits made by US corporations overseas.  

For example, Malaysia has one of the world’s lowest corporate tax rates.  It collects 17% from corporations operating inside its borders.  Consequently, Malaysia enjoys the third largest economy in Southeast Asia.

Because of its corporate tax rate, many American manufacturers build manufacturing plants overseas where they manufacture goods that are then sold inside the United States. 

The new Obama tax plan would force multinational corporations to pay ANOTHER 27% to the US government in corporate taxes, even though the manufacturing occurs overseas and the products are subject to import taxes when they are shipped back into the States.

Ok, so you are the head of a multinational corporation.  Let’s pick Caterpillar. 

Caterpillar’s headquarters are located in Peoria, Illinois, but Caterpillar has 59 plants located in various overseas markets.  As Caterpillar’s CEO, your chief responsibility is to your shareholders.  Suddenly, they are about to take a 27% hit simply because Caterpillar’s headquarters are in Peoria.

Moving the main fax machine and corporate offices to Malaysia in order to save 27% in taxes on all fifty-nine overseas plants is not that drastic a solution.  On the other hand, reducing or eliminating corporate taxes would bring all fifty-nine of those overseas manufacturing plants, and all those jobs, back home.

What manufacturer would NOT want to locate inside the United States, especially if there was a big enough tax incentive?

But instead, Obama is doing exactly the wrong thing, IF his intention is to improve the American jobs situation.  Imposing an American tax on overseas operations will have many multinationals considering moving their headquarters outside of IRS jurisdiction. 

It is a recipe for even higher unemployment.  So why do it?  It is not a stretch to conclude that President Obama has some kind of pathological hatred for private business, especially successful private business. 

Beating Obama this time around is more than just the path to power for the GOP.  For many, it is a case of national survival.  We are already baffled by his seeming lack of concern for upcoming elections — can you imagine what Obama might do when he doesn’t have to worry about re-election?

For that reason, the fear that GOP field of candidates is too weak to defeat Obama is more than just a political necessity.  For many, it is an issue of national survival.

Many are not comfortable putting America’s survival in the hands of Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich.  

They want a candidate that can win.

Assessment:

President Harry Truman came to the office when President Roosevelt died in office in 1945.  By the time of his first election, Truman was even less popular than Barack Obama, with approval ratings in the low thirties.

By any reading of the politics of the day, Harry Truman should have gone down in flames no matter who the opposition was.  Howdy Doody had a better chance of winning than Harry Truman. 

Like Obama, Truman suffered a major defeat during the midterms, which swept fifty-five Democrats from the House and thirteen from the Senate, handing the Republicans a majority for the first time in sixteen years.

Of course, the first thing the new Republican majority did was attempt to undo some of the Democrat policies that created the economic mess that they rode to power in 1946.  Congress would pass legislation, Truman would veto it, and nothing got done for two years.

Truman turned his 1946 defeat into a political asset.   He seized on the tactic of running against a “Do-Nothing” Congress, so turning the tide that by early 1948, the Republicans were beginning to fear that the field of potential challengers might be too weak to unseat him.

By the time of the 1948 GOP Convention, they had no clear winner.  So the Republicans ended up with a brokered convention instead of a typical nomination based on the primary delegate count. 

On the third nomination, the party bosses agreed on New York State Governor and former mob prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey.  

Truman was such an underdog that the Chicago Tribune didn’t even wait until the election was called before running its famous headline, “Dewey Beats Truman” which of course, he did not.  He should have.  But he didn’t.

The Tribune was not the only paper to make the mistake. The Journal of Commerce had eight articles in its November 3 edition about what could be expected of President Dewey.  The paper’s five-column headline read, “Dewey Victory Seen as Mandate to Open New Era of Government-Business Harmony, Public Confidence.”

The GOP is hoping for a brokered convention.  Mark Twain once observed that “history doesn’t repeat itself  — but it rhymes.”  The last brokered convention was in 1948 — and they lost.  

If they lose this time, then Barack Hussein has four more years to fundamentally transform America — without fear of political backlash.  Assuming America could survive four more years of fundamental transformation.   

That may well prove to be an unwarranted assumption.