March 30, 2011

Ancient prophecy in modern headlines




Once upon a time, back in the days when a 24KB modem was a blazing fast internet connection, HTML was an obscure protocol used by universities to organize text files, and 256 color VGA graphics were the hotest ticket to realistic computer gaming, those of us who were the earliest explorers of cyberspace used to hang out in a place called "Usenet". Buried in amongst some 40,000 or more discussion forums was a desert of red sand vistas, colorful bazaar tents, camel jockies and crumbling stone ruins known as "alt.bible.prophecy". The community was mostly wandering bedouins in small tribes of five or ten swaggering young warriors with gleaming swords, ancient family traditions, multi-generational fueds, and long-standing rivalries. Women were rare, respected, and fought over, and some of them were men in disguise. Flame wars were as common as peace treaties and neither lasted long.

I had wandered into this particular desert valley in search of someone to debate theology with. The vitriol, caustic rhetoric, and intense personal attacks that passed for "open-minded discussion" caught me completely off-guard. It didn't take long for me to gather battle scars of my own, sharpen my sword until it gleamed, and learn to scale up my defenses in accordance with how I was approached. There were no moderators or "rules" in those days; none that anyone could enforce anyway. I have to admit, sometimes I miss it. The modern internet is far too civilized and as a result, hackers who hide in the shadows and strike from behind have become far too commonplace.

The reason I mention this relic of bygone days is because one of the first duels I survived was a fiery discussion on the veracity of the Bible with a devout atheist. Militant atheism is quite common in today's world, largely due to the influence of Dawkins and Hitchens, but in those days it was still quite rare. My attacker opened with standard moves related to Noah's Ark and the Seven Days of Creation and I of course countered with standard millennialist blocks of epochs and ages. As battles go it started rather slow. Things quickly ramped up though as we worked our way through scapegoats, Levitical dietary restrictions, and a rapist being forgiven if they married their victim. Then he surprised me with a feint into false redemptions followed by a quick double thrust of unfulfilled prophecy and the Millerite's Great Disappointment.

That hurt. I hadn't done any prophecy study in over a decade. My parry was feeble, misdirected, and inappropriate. The killing blow came when he casually slapped my parry aside with, "Can you seriously imagine the Arabs joining together with the Europeans to invade Israel? The only thing Arabs hate worse than the Jews is each other! And the only people Europeans hate worse than Jews are Arabs!"

Our encounter ended there and I went off to tend my wounds and restudy end-times prophecy. At the time, he was right. Resentment between Sunni and Shia ran so deep they used suicide bombers on one another as often as they did on Tel Aviv. At the time, France and Italy had both just finished repatriating thousands of Tunisians and Algerians. On one occasion they had even allowed a ship filled with Algerian refugees to sink within sight of land while the shore patrol stood by casually watching the victims drown. No one in their right mind seriously argued that Revelations 9 and 19 were on the verge of becoming reality.

That was then, this is now:

Wall Street Journal: Cairo Revolt Finds New Target: The Free Market
New York Times: Democracy is Messy
BBC: Turkey, the Growing Power
Today's Zaman: Turkey's 360-degree Foreign Policy
The Palestine Chronicle: Who Will Protect Freedom Flotilla II?
Defence Web: Israel Says Seized Arms Justify Gaza Blockade
International Business Times: Egypt Extends Olive Branch to Iran
Council on Foreign Relations: Messages to Americans from Muslim Brotherhood
People's Daily Online: Iran Seeks Better Relations With EU
Post and Courier: Iran Behind Escalating Attacks on Israel
The Trumpet: Iranian Propoganda Film Claims Mahdi Is About to Appear

If someone were to hit me with the same comments today, a mere fifteen years later, I would not even have to open my Bible. I would simply point them at the news headlines of the past twenty-four hours. They would, of course, parry with accusations of "hypothetical" and "you can't know what's going to happen", which would be true. That does not change the simple fact that over the past day or two, we have entered into an entirely new world. Nothing like this has ever happened in my lifetime. While it is entirely possible that Biblical prophecy is not coming true right before our very eyes and in a few months all of this will blow over, it is equally possible that the great chessboard of the world is being set up for the final clash between God and Satan.

For someone steeped in Biblical prophecy everything that has happened since the year began is both frightening and joyful to behold. If these are the very last days, then some of the worst chaos, pain, and horror the world has ever known is about to unleashed on planet Earth. There is no guarantee that believers will be snatched away before the worst of it begins. Those who are counting on the Rapture to deliver them (and I am not saying they are wrong!) are overlooking Revelation 6:9-11. If these are in fact the very last days, then those martyrs are today's believers. On the other hand, it is possible that over the next few months the world will turn over a new leaf and peace will reign in the Middle East. Should it turn out that despite the many parallels with end-time prophecy the final judgment does not happen then there is no reason to be disappointed. After all, 2 Chronicles 7:14 still holds true: if God's people repent of their sins and return to fellowship with him judgment is forestalled.

This is the aspect of God's wrath that tends to confuse both believers and non-believers. When Jesus declared that "no man knows the day or the hour", he was not being cryptic. The end of time is wholly dependent on the faith of God's people. When people believe, judgment is forestalled. When the world falls into sin, depravity, and arrogance, they make the same mistakes they have been making ever since Adam took the apple from Eve. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the result is still the same. Sin is not sin because it's fun, and evil is not evil because it's selfish. The acts and behaviors that the Bible describes as "sin" are all self-destructive. Sometimes it takes a generation or two for the result to be realized, but the consequences of those actions do not change. When people drift away from God they indulge in behavior with very negative consequences. If the people repent and return to God, their behavior changes and they prosper.

Watching events now unfolding in the Middle East fills me with both expectation and trepidation. The end-times is not some kind of game. A global dictator, a global war centered on Jerusalem, a global plague that weakens and makes miserable but does not kill, these are not consequences I would expect anyone to actively invite! If the cycle is not broken, the consequences are as predictable as tomorrow's sunrise. The same cycle has been repeated periodically right down through the ages starting with the fall of the Sumerian city-states in about 2000 B.C. There is only one way to break the cycle: God's people must align themselves with God. Greed, ambition, self-promotion, acceptance of sin as something normal, corruption in all aspects of life, deal-making and compromise instead of strong integrity, all these things weaken the ability of the individual to reach their full potential. When enough people fail to realize their potential, all of society begins to collapse.

Is this the end of the world? Is the next step a global dictator, a global plague, and a global war? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on you and I.







March 29, 2011

The false promise of "Responsibility to Protect"




Life is not simple, although I wish it were. Since the life of every individual is filled with complications from personal relationships, the need to provide for their family, and the need to pay taxes, it should not surprise anyone that managing a world with nearly seven billion people would create one nightmare scenario after another. An international doctrine such as "Responsibility to Protect" makes several assumptions about mass populations rather than focusing on empowering individuals to live in freedom. Those assumptions are grounded in old, archaic ideas about strong central governments. Consider the rapidly evolving situation in Libya. Under the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine, the United Nations ordered the United States to help create a "no-fly zone" over northern Libya with the express intention of protecting the Libyan people from their own government. The real-world result of this is that the United States spent $600 million in less than a week in a military action that empowered a civil war against an established dictator. Now, as the rebels gain the upper hand, the world learns that this insane dictator who almost everyone agreed needed to be removed was right about one thing: the rebels are backed by terrorists!

The world is complicated because every individual life is complicated. Assumptions like the "Responsibility to Protect" are flawed because they gloss over these complications and pretend that magically every person is the same, every citizen is law-abiding, and the only thing anyone wants is to live in peace. This assumption in turn is directly derived from the idea that "the people" are naive, ignorant, unable to make responsible decisions, and desperately in need of intelligent, educated "leaders" to make their decisions for them.

It is true that some individuals are desperate for a divine king to rule over a land where everyone thinks, feels, and acts the same, but this does not mean it is true for everyone, nor even for a majority. After all, tribalism did evolve into city-states which in turn evolved into kingdoms and kingdoms led directly into imperialism. The Imperial Age ended with World War One which in turn gave birth to the League of Nations, our very first attempt at a genuine global government. It is important to note here that from Tribalism to the League of Nations the same assumption held true throughout: the people need a Machivellian Prince to keep order and the larger the princedom the more despotic the prince must be.

The United Nations was set in place following our second global war. It corrected many of the flaws of the old League of Nations, but it still rested on the assumption that in order for nations to cooperate someone had to provide a guiding hand. Now, six decades later, that guiding hand is ordering the United States to defend those who seek to destroy her while our President bows down to the oil-rich despots that provide our enemies their funding. In the shadows, wealthy elites and monarchies with ancient roots are cooperating together to transistion us into a genuine global government with centralized control over banking, trade, health regulations, education standards, personal prosperity, and personal freedom.

There is a great deal of talk about "protecting individual rights", but somehow the implementation of this protection always results in the protection of terrorists, anarchists, violent revolutionaries, and criminal syndicates rather than their victims. Consider, for example, "Project Gunwalker". American Federal Agents over strident objections from individual gun shop owners, escorted over two thousand firearms across our southern border and aided in the delivery of those weapons to Mexican drug cartels. In both the case of Project Gunwalker and the Libyan no-fly zone, centralized control resulted in the arming, equipping, and defense of violent criminals. This is the core problem of relying on a strong central government at any level. As soon as the government is allowed to become the source of individual rights, the Machivellian Prince raises his ugly head and he always has more in common with violent thugs than he does with individuals who seek personal freedom and a peaceful life.

My solution is the same solution proposed by the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States. We need to dismantle the bureacracies, all of them from the county level to the global. Individual rights are derived from the Divine, regardless of how you define it. The role of government is to protect those rights, protect private property, and provide for the common defense. Nothing more, nothing less. If people want to rebel against their national government, let them. If a national government wants to impose draconian laws, let it. The role of a global government is to insure freedom of movement and protection of private property at the individual level. Let people vote with their feet and their wallets, or when necessary, with their privately-owned firearms. The only time a global government gets involved should be when two sovereign nations take up arms against one another, or when one country prohibits their people from leaving and taking their personal wealth with them. Money must be allowed to move freely, without restrictions, without taxation, and without government interference. The only time the government should be involved is when two individuals have a dispute over whose money it actually is. Settlement must then start at the local level and work its way up until both individuals are satisfied with the outcome. Limits can be placed each step of the way so that we won't find something bizarre happening like two people in world court arguing over a single chicken or two nations trapped in a city court arguing over tariffs.

We don't need a global government that dictates everything from how you manage your farm pond to what kind of light bulbs a city apartment dweller can install. Those issues belong at the local level, not the state level, not the national level, and most assuredly not at the global level! Local governments should be tasked with local issues and local issues only. That includes the role of global corporations, by the way. If a city does not want a Walmart, a McDonalds, an HSBC branch, a temple, a church, a mosque, or even a Red Cross, they should have the right to exclude them. A nation should not have that right, but a city should. Local communities have the right to define their local culture while neither states, nations, nor a global government should have the authority to interfere. The only caveat should be violence between two individuals (handled at the city level) or two nations (handled at the global level). Naturally if two tribes, two cities, two counties, or two states/provinces try to go to war then the level immediately above them needs to intervene.

The key is that intervention must restricted to organized violence between two politically equal forces. It is not the job of the county (let alone the United Nations!) to tell a city how to manage its water supply. If a city can't manage its water supply and people become sick, they can move to a better city. The focus of government at all levels must be empowering individuals to take charge of their own destiny without resorting to violence.

True, some people will fail, but it can not be the responsibility of government to ease suffering, feed the poor, and house the homeless. A city government might take on those responsibilities, but the moment it rises even to the county level bureaucracies must be created, policies instituted, laws passed, regulations adopted, protections against fraud set in place, and before you know it a meal that would cost a private charity pennies to create and distribute is costing hardworking taxpayers millions of dollars. There will always be poor individuals, poor cities, poor counties, and poor nations. Poverty is the inevitable result of bad choices, natural disaster, or undeveloped individual empowerment. Government involvement in any of these situations is expensive, inefficient, and inevitably results in confiscation of wealth from other individuals.

We don't need the government telling us what kind of light bulbs to use and we don't need the government ordering our military to protect terrorists. Smaller, more responsive, less involved government restricted to precise limits of authority is the key to freedom and freedom is the key to empowering each individual.

Our military does not have a "responsibility to protect" Libyan rebels, Palestinians, or any other oppressed group. We never should have gone into Iraq and we never should have agreed to support the U.N. no-fly zone in Libya. It is not in the people's interest to continue policing the rest of the world. We currently have over $113 trillion in unfunded liabilities. That is over $1,000,000.00 per taxpayer. We need to end overseas military interventions and we need to end them now. Let the rest of the world burn if it must. Our government has a responsibility to protect our own people, not the people of the world.

Yes, we do need a global government. We need a global government founded on the idea that each individual has an inalienable right to self-determination provided they do not use that right to justify violence aimed at the people around them. All sovereignity rests in the individual, then their community, then their region, then their nation. No government at any level has the authority to deny people their individual rights, but if one of them does, it is the responsibility of those individuals to rise up and defend those rights.

In short, if Libya must have a no-fly zone Let Saudi Arabia and Israel work together and create it. They do, after all, have the two most advanced air forces in the region. Conversely, if the Europeans want to waste tax money, manpower, and equipment defending the oil interests of their nation's private companies in nothern Libya, then that is their business not ours. There is no justification whatsoever for American forces to be involved in policing the government of Libya, or any other government for that matter. It is not our responsibility.






March 25, 2011

The UN and individual rights




The United Nations has a very mixed record on human rights. This is a direct result of their historic tendency to view human rights not as natural and inalienable, but as being collective and derived from the authority of government. Today, however, I stumbled across this:

Boston Globe: UN rights body ditches "defamation" idea

I cannot begin to express what a profound difference this makes. Granted, at the moment this is limited to one tiny area of human rights. On the other hand, this reflects a complete shift of the very foundation that the UN's definition of "human rights" rests upon. If the UN, like the U.S. Constitution, defines human rights on the basis of the individual rather than the collective, then they must also transform their global political role from a defender of minor governments (most of whom are totalitarion) to individuals regardless of what country they live in.

For most of my adult life I have hated and reviled the United Nations. The UN Charter reeks of Marxism, big government, and society as a paternalistic overlord dedicated to defining how the individual lives, contributes, and participates in society. George Orwell's "Big Brother" is woven into the UN Charter so deeply I have never once considered that the UN might someday find the wherewithal to redefine itself into a global body politic dedicated to the genuine preservation of individual human rights. It would be absolutely stunning if they follow up their redefinition of "freedom of religion" with a complete reworking of the entire charter.

I have long contended that if we must have a global government, and surely someday soon we must, then that government must be predicated on the protection of the individual's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The only way a global government could ever be a greater benefit than burden would be if that government focused on three simple areas: preservation of natural rights, preservation of private property, preservation of the common defense. To expand that role into the realms of food regulations, local crime enforcement, and whatnot would necessitate a bureauracy so vast and monolithic it would crush both freedom and economy throughout the world.

All governments are by their very nature parasitic. They must bleed off the production and livelihood of the people they protect. If we expect too much from a government (as we do with any kind of socialism) then our society very quickly reaches the situation we find ourselves in today where the parasite is larger than the host and as a result, the host is dying.

We definitely need a global government. We definitely do not need a global dictatorship. The vast majority of legal protections must be created and preserved at the local level by small, fast-acting local governments. The only real purpose of a global government is the clear defining of individual human rights and the creation of a mechanism that provides incentives for local governments to comply with those rights. Any form of punitive measures on a global scale wind up in expensive, poorly coordinated, poorly executed military adventures such as Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Somalia, and so on. Whether the current situation in Libya will turn into a success like South Korea or an abject failure like Somalia is anybody's guess. The only certainty is it will be expensive and bloody at a time when the world no longer has the resources to fight another major war.







March 22, 2011

Destroying Wall Street will not make poor people rich




I hate elitism. I really do. I have worked with people from all walks of life and the only people I cannot stand to be around are those who believe their personal opinion respresents the norm. No one individual can stand as a representative of the whole. Period. It is impossible.

Although I do not hate rich people, I do hate rich people who feel they are wholly entitled to their wealth because they are better bred, better raised, better educated, or whatever. A person who earns their wealth is always entitled to it, that does not make the person inherently more human than someone who is less successful. Capitalism is not a zero sum game. You can win, you can lose, or you can wind up anywhere between the two extremes. That is the power of a genuinely free market. True, some people enjoy insane wealth while others starve. The fringes are irrelevant. In a free market the vast majority wind up with enough food, enough resources, and enough small luxuries to genuinely enjoy their life, regardless of how their personal success compares to the extremes. There has been no other system throughout history that this can be demonstrated for. In every other economic system humanity has ever tried you still wind up with extremes, but now the extremes completely dominate the society and there is nothing in between!

So when I see something like this, I am completely flabbergasted:



If they succeed in destroying the minor, fragile recovery and inducing another economic collapse they will not win redistribution of the money and resources enjoyed by the most successful into the hands of the least successful. If you shut down Wall Street, you shut down the world.

There will be no money.

None.

It will simply vanish.

The money is not real. The entire world uses fiat currencies loosely tied into the perceived value of the U.S. dollar, which is in and of itself a fiat currency. Collapsing the system (which is inevitable by the way) means the money disappears. Sooner or later the fiat currency-based, fractional reserve banking system that our world completely and wholly depends on will come crashing down around our ears. That is the weakness of the system. The goal is to find a better system to replace before it fails and then to transistion into the new system. So far, no one has come up with a better system for redistributing the world's wealth!

Redistribution is what the entire system is based on. The fiat currencies must circulate and must maintain a perception of value both on their own and in relation to the others. If you remove one without replacing it with another fiat currency (note the Euro) the entire house of cards comes crashing down, the world's resources get concentrated into a few hands, and the rest of us starve to death.

If you crash Wall Street there will be no money to pay oil workers, thus there will be no oil. If there is no oil, there is no transportation, no fertilizer, no research, no global communication system, no electricity, no heating oil, no food, no consumer goods, no lumber, no material goods, there is nothing. Each individual will be forced to survive on the basis of whatever immediately falls to hand. Communities like the Amish will thrive, cities like New York will be abandoned, billions of people will either starve to death or kill each other trying to steal food from the few who have it.

There are many problems with the current world system. Communism or any form of collectivist organization will only make those problems worse. The situation in Libya and throughout the Middle East, for example, is the direct result of collectivist thinking in conflict with individualist thinking. One group, the "people" feels cheated by their leaders, the very same leaders who have spent six decades designing their societies on the basis of what the "people" themselves have held to be true. People in local leadership in towns, villages, tribes, and neighborhoods throughout the Middle East have demanded their national leaders preserve ancient traditions and reject the encroachment of the modern world. Well, a new generation has arisen that no longer agrees. They are demanding the modern world be allowed to replace traditional society.

They are not demanding theocracies.

They are not demanding Marxist redistribution of national wealth.

They are not demanding greater centralized social control.

The danger is that one or all three of these might replace the traditional social structures they are demanding be removed. If that happens, then they will wind up worse off than they were before.

If the American progressive movement succeeds in both their coalition with unionized labor and their desire to link up with extreme elements of Islam, then the fiat currency based, fractional reserve banking system will implode because it cannot exist without some degree of freedom in the markets and some degree of faith that individualism is superior to collectivism. If individuals cannot keep the resources earned through honest work in a diverse range of occupations each based on meeting a real and existing need then the system fails. Period. No exceptions. An individual's ability to improve their access to resources through hard work and creativity is the single fundamental idea the entire house of cards stands on. If you shake the foundation hard enough you do not redistribute the resources more fairly. In fact, you accomplish just the opposite. Collapsing the system will result in concentration of available resources back into the hands of those who happen to be sitting on top of them when the collapse occurs and it will also completely remove the ability of those individuals to improve their lives by transporting those very same resources to people who need them.

The current level of redistribution of resources is completely and wholly dependent on the existence of fiat currencies. If you collapse Wall Street, the currencies vanish. Yes, the system is flawed and does need to be replaced. No, collapsing the system will not result in the natural creation of a better system. Instead, it will only result in a reversion to one of the failed systems that the current system replaced.

Now is the time for creative thinking not destructive thinking. We need to be looking for a better system before this one comes crashing down around our ears. Forcing that collapse will result in reversion, not advancement. A series of forced collapses is the historic pattern that brought us to this point in the first place. Creating another forced collapse will only repeat the pattern. It will not generate a better system.







March 20, 2011

Samaritan's Purse sends 90 tons of aid to Japan







While the rest of the world pretends Japan is too rich to need aid, a Christian charity backed by some of my favorite performers sends 90 tons of supplies. The Red Cross is already there, naturally, they are always first to arrive at this kind of disaster, but I have seen almost no news about nations and charities rushing to aid the victims of this most recent earthquake and tsunami even though this is clearly one of the greatest natural disasters in recorded history.

I will, however, acknowledge that following as this does so closely on the heels of Christchurch and Haiti, resources for many nations and charities may very well be stretched to the breaking point. This year has gotten off to a terrible start.







March 15, 2011

Japan and the Middle East in crisis




Like most of the world connected to television and the internet, I have been watching events unfold in Japan and the Middle East with morbid fascination. The parallels with Biblical prophecy are extreme to the point that taking time to outline them would be both redundant and unnecessary. If we are not living in the precursor to the Biblical "last days", then I honestly do not know what reasonable explanation there is for the expotential increase in war, disaster, and suffering that the past decade has brought us. We are teetering on the brink of social collapse on a global scale. While it is entirely possible that we will find our way out of this mess, at this point in time is it equally possible that our modern civilization is coming undone right before our very eyes. What the final product will be, and whether it will be better or worse than what we have had for the past two centuries, is still undecided.

Anyone who believes that human industry and industrial waste caused the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is either delusional or fighting to advance a hidden agenda. I am ignoring such people completely, blocking them at Facebook, and refusing to answer their e-mails. Likewise, I am doing the same for anyone who insists unequivocably that events in the Middle East will result in modernization, greater freedom for the people, and truly open societies. I hope Japan's nuclear power plants do not suffer catastropic meltdowns. I hope the people of the Middle East are on the threshold of joining the modern world. Both of those situations are fluid and dynamic and even the experts are uncertain what the final outcomes will be. Now is not a time for dogmatic insistence on a single possible future. No one truly knows. At this point in time the best any of us can do is prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and pray for those who are suffering.

I am praying and watching. I am stocking my shelves, buying silver, and distracting myself by learning to play guitar. Even if we work our way through this mess and wind up with utopia, these things will help me survive the transistion. If everything falls apart, I am prepared for the first few years of chaos and stand a very good chance of surviving long enough to see for myself what we wind up with once we reach the other side.

Things are bad right now, very bad. My wife and sons are in Tokyo trying to get back to a normal life while keeping an eye on news reports about the Fukushima nuclear plant. I have friends in the Middle East that I have not heard from since December so I have no idea how they are doing. I do not understand how so many people can go about their days pretending that none of this is happening. I have no patience at all for either blind optimists or doomsayers. This is the most dangerous moment in human history since John F. Kennedy took us to the brink of nuclear war in October of 1962. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure things are going to get even worse before they get better.






March 07, 2011

MSNBC lies about an anti-abortion bill




Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Read the bill here: Georgia General Assembly, H.B. 1

Note in particular Section 1(b)(2):
(2) 'Prenatal murder' means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus; provided, however, that if a physician makes a medically justified effort to save the lives of both the mother and the fetus and the fetus does not survive, such action shall not be prenatal murder. Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a 'spontaneous abortion' and popularly as a 'miscarriage' so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.

In short, the bill specifically lays out a clear definition of "pre-natal murder" and then contrasts it with a natural spontaneous abortion (a miscarriage). Therefore, it would be impossible to indict a woman who had experienced a natural miscarriage on charges of pre-natal murder. Since she cannot be indicted, she cannot be tried, she cannot be found guilty, and she cannot be given a sentence of death. The bill seems very clear and specific to me. The commentator, Jen Phillips from "Mother Jones" magazine is either lying, or not familiar with legal wording. There is nothing "murky" about this bill. Perhaps she has not read it?

MSNBC is lying about the nature of this bill. Period. I don't live in Georgia, but if I did, I would be writing to my State representatives and asking them to support this bill. It completely reverses Roe v. Wade and does so in a manner that could easily be implemented in every state in the nation. Abortion is not an issue I normally get involved in. The reason is simple, I do NOT want to see a return to back alley abortions that kill both the fetus and the mother. At the same time, I DO believe abortion is murder. Rather than solely being focused on killing unborn babies that are conceived in rape, conceived in a youthful burst of passion, or simply unwanted, I want the pro-choice movement to focus on the complete presentation of real choices available to a woman who does not want the child she is carrying, including choices like receiving counselling to help her accept her child or help in giving the child away for adoption.

In the decades since the Roe v. Wade decision abortion has killed more American babies than all the world's genocides combined. Tens of millions of doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, gas station workers, shop clerks, factory workers, professional athletes, ministers, farm workers, and all the various trades that keep our country running strong were never given a chance to contribute. How many would have become productive citizens and tax payers and how many would have become criminals? There is no scientific way to definitively say. We can speculate and throw up hypotheticals, but the simple fact is we will never know!

The downside to the Georgia law is that it will bring back the illegal abortions that have killed hundreds and possibly thousands of young women in their prime. In many ways, the Georgia law is just as extreme as Roe v. Wade only on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Somehow we need to find a point where we as a society can both preserve a woman's freedom of choice and create incentives for her to carry an unwanted child to term. Bouncing back and forth between Roe v. Wade and H.B. 1 is not helping either the mothers or their unborn children. Both are suffering as our society struggles to find that middle ground where suffering can be minimized and freedom maximized. I hope we find it soon.

In the meantime, for politicians and news media to tell deliberate lies in order to sell the American people on some hidden agenda must stop. Falsification of facts destroys the credibility of both sides in this debate and all others. We must be honest with one another in order to find that middle ground where everyone walks away from the table with their most important needs met. Deception must be punished forcefully and honesty rewarded. If we do not do so, if we continue to prefer lies to the truth, then our country will continue to slide irretrievably into the great dustbin of history holding the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Persians, the Medes, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Ottomans, and all of the other great empires of the past. All of them were built by hardwork, righteous warfare, rapid expansion of merchantilism, and a profound emphasis on the freedom of the common man to make his own way in the world. All of them were destroyed by corruption, deceit, and a refusal to face reality.

Far more important than either Roe v. Wade or H.B. 1 is the dire necessity for open, honest debate. Without that honesty we cannot negotiate. If we cannot negotiate, we will have no choice except to pick a side and destroy everyone who disagrees. In this debate, for example, I fall on the side of State Rep. Bobby Franklin. I don't see a civil war opening up any time soon between pro-choice and pro-life supporters, but if it did, I would definitely throw in with the pro-life supporters. The problem is that this debate does not exist in a vacuum. It is part and parcel of an ongoing ideological war that spans the entire globe. Sometimes this war does turn violent and when it does, everybody loses. How many people working in abortion clinics have been attacked? How many protestors outside the clinics have been hit with rocks, bottles, and false arrests? The lack of honesty on both sides does nothing but provide an opening for those who prefer violent, immediate solutions.

I don't care which side of the debate you fall on. You have a responsibility to present your case as honestly as you are able and to genuinely consider what validity exists in your opponent's case. It takes time, but we can find a solution. Somewhere between mass murder of unborn children and forcing unwanted pregnancies to carry to term is a middle ground where young women will have a high incentive to save their child's life, or if necessary, regain control of their own by aborting that child. We must find that middle ground and the only way to find is to conduct an honest debate, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.