Monitor The Strategic Trends
“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.”
-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
The Best of Times?
By many reckonings, it appears to be the best of times in America: We enjoy a robust economy, reinforced by continually advancing technologies. At least one computer in every home, and a personal telephone on almost everyone’s belt. People are buying their 3rd and 4th cars. Our military is the most feared throughout the world. Indeed, in many ways, it seems like the best of times.
Judgment on the Horizon?
However, let’s assess the State of the Union in the mirror of God’s Word. Homosexuality is accepted as simply “an alternative lifestyle.” We murder babies that are socially inconvenient. We change marriage partners like a fashion statement. We have abandoned the sanctity of commitments in our families and in our businesses. Immorality and deceit have come to characterize the highest offices in our land; our politics have condoned and covered up more murders than we dare list. Our public enterprises have been prostituted to the convenience of the elite. Our mainline media takes pride in forming public opinion rather than informing it, which had been its sacred role in a representative republic. Our culture has disconnected character from destiny. Our entertainments celebrate adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sexual practices and every imaginable form of evil. We have become the primary exporters of everything that God abhors.
One of the major theological mysteries is why hasn’t God judged America? The parallels in Bible (Cf. Hosea 4-14; Isaiah 5; et al) would suggest that it is long overdue. The only ostensible answer is God’s commitment in Genesis 12:2-3, in which He promises Abraham that He “will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee.” It may well be that America has been spared-so far-due to its support of the nation of Israel. But that, too, may be short lived...
Conspicuous by Its Absence?
One of the mysteries in the Biblical prophetic scenario, is where does America appear?
The final battle-the Battle of Armageddon-is a four-power conflict: triggered by the “Kings of the South” (Egypt?), responded to by the “Kings of the North” (Syria? Russia? ...various opinions), and dominated by a Western Confederacy (The Antichrist, et al) until the “Kings of the East” are drawn in.
Where is the United States? There are many conjectures among scholars. Some assume that we will ultimately be somehow associated with the Western Confederacy. The continuing erosion of our constitutional republic, plus the increasing move toward a police state to “fight terrorism,” seems consistent with the growing tide toward a global government.
Others assume that America simply will not be a major player at that time. As variations of this second view, some suggest that America will have become economically and militarily less relevant by then. Others (disturbed by the hint in Ezekiel 39:6), fear that we may have been the subject of a major nuclear exchange over the growing tensions in the Middle East.
Life Cycle of Nations
As we study the rise and fall of nations, there is a disturbing sequence throughout history. The sequence of nations, as observed by Alexander Tyler, 1750, follows a predictable pattern “from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependence back again into bondage." It is hard to deny that we may well be at the zenith of that sequence. If you ask the average American what is the biggest problem facing our nation, Is it ignorance or apathy? He will likely answer, “I don’t know and I don’t care!”
It remains to be seen whether the wake-up call of September 11, 2001, will prove to be more effective than simply a brief spasm of patriotism, or whether it may lead to a more serious revival and return to our heritage. In any case, we each need to prepare and to rise to the opportunities that present themselves for a spiritual revival and we must begin with ourselves. God has declared an immutable principle:
If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Notice that this isn’t addressed to the Congress, or the Administration, or to the pagan left. It is addressed to His people, who are called by His name. It is the members of the Body of Christ that are standing in the way of what God would prefer to do in our land. A revival needs to begin with us.
[RETURN TO THE MOST RECENT LINKS]
Roe Brought Us Gosnell May 14, 2013
Onward Christian Soldiers May 07, 2013
National Day of Prayer is May 2 April 23, 2013
Heretic Thomas Nagel and The Derision of Naturalists April 02, 2013
In Anticipation of Civil Unrest March 26, 2013
Government's Revolving Doors February 19, 2013
Baby Carriage, Marriage, and Love February 05, 2013
Isaiah 3 and the Fall of Nations January 29, 2013
40 Years After Roe v. Wade January 15, 2013
Finding Safety After Sandy Hook December 18, 2012
Gay Marriage To Hit Supreme Court December 11, 2012
Giving Thanks: For Babies, Oil, And Rescue From Organ Harvesting November 20, 2012
Close Historical Elections - The Value of Each Vote October 23, 2012
40 Days for Life Sees Lives Saved October 23, 2012
Calif. Bans Reparative Therapy For Gay Teens October 02, 2012
14-Year-Old Killers - Doing What They're Taught October 02, 2012
Churches To Speak on Politics on 'Pulpit Freedom Sunday' - October 7 September 25, 2012
Public v. Private Schooling: Even Beyond Statistics September 18, 2012
Religion in America: Radical Muslims Welcomed To DNC August 28, 2012
Akin, Abortion and Rape August 21, 2012
Olympians And God's Pleasure August 07, 2012
The Trauma And Triumphs Of The Colorado Shooting July 24, 2012
Boy Scouts Under Attack For Gay Member Policy July 17, 2012
In God We Trust: 148 Years And Counting July 10, 2012
Jimmy and Andy: Loving God From Tinseltown To Mayberry July 03, 2012
The True Wars On Women June 26, 2012
Futile Recall: Wis Voters v. Ill Lawmakers June 12, 2012
Thy Will Be Done: FDR's D-Day Prayer June 05, 2012
Preparing For The Coming Battle A Time to Stand by Dr. Steve Elwart
The Progressive Loss Of Freedoms The War on Guns by Dr. Steve Elwart
A Christian Nation In God We Trust? by Dr. Steve Elwart
Faith of Our Founders A Tale of Two Histories by Brad Cummings
America 2012 The Problem Is Us by Dr. Chuck Missler
Strategic Trends The United States Constitution by Dr. Steve Elwart
America 2012 What’s At Stake by Dr. Matthew Spalding
A Cure for the Depression by Steve Elwart
Financial Terrorism by Mary Gehl
The Wheat and the Tares by Mary Gehl
The Reluctant Hegemon by Steve Elwart
The Economics of Pharmakeia by Mary Miller
The Days of Black Swans by Mary Miller, Executive Analyst, Koinonia Institute
Global Threats by Steve Elwart, Senior Analyst, Koinonia Institute
River Lodge Conferences by Chuck Missler, President/Founder, Koinonia Institute
WHY PREPARE? by Mark Gustafson, Chief Operations Officer, Koinonia House
The Future of Energy by Steve Elwart, Senior Analyst Koinonia Institute
States In Crisis by Mary Miller
The Decline of the U.S.: Habakkuk's Dilemma by Chuck Missler, President of Koinonia Institute
Decline of the U.S.: Sound Money by Mary Miller, KI Executive Analyst
Issachar Report: Normalcy Bias and the U.S. Dollar by Mary Miller, Director of Issachar Studies and IDB
Islam Taught in Charter Schools: The Gulen Movement by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
Issachar Report: Rescuing a Broken America: Part 2 by Mary Miller, Director of Issachar Studies and IDB
Issachar Report: A New Way to Look at "Coordination" by Mary Miller, Director of Issachar Studies and the IDB
State of the Union: Has Judgment Come to America? by Mary Miller, Director of Issachar Studies and IDB
A Bushel of Wheat for a Penny: Part 3 Hyperinflation and its Effect on Cultures by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
A Bushel of Wheat for a Penny: Part 2 The Rise of the Central Banks by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
Commodity Money and Fiat Money: A Bushel of Wheat for a Penny by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
Issachar Report: Border Insecurity: The Deceit of Audacity by Mary Miller, Director of Research
Issachar Report: U.N.American Education by Mary Miller, Director of Research
A New Hidden Tax? The Value Added Tax by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
Issachar Report: The Tenth Amendment Debate by Mary Miller, Director of Research
Strategic Update: How Do You Spell Economic R-E-C-O-V-E-R-Y? by Mary Miller, Director of Research
2010 and Beyond: The Middle East in the Crosshairs Part 3 by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
INTERPOL: America's New Police Force? by Mary Miller, Director of Research
Issachar Report: The Middle East in the Crosshairs: Part 2 by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
Issachar Report: Is Hate Speech a Hate Crime? by Camilla Bryner, IDB Folio Specialist
2010 and Beyond: The Middle East in the Crosshairs by Steve Elwart, IDB Folio Specialist
Hosea, Can You See? The Slippery Slope of Deception by Mary Miller, Koinonia Institute
Twilights Last Gleaming, Update: The Fleecing of America by Mary Miller, Koinonia Institute
Our Continuing Vortex Series: The Impending Storm by Chuck Missler
A Forecast for 2008: The Turbulence Ahead by Chuck Missler
The Vortex Strategy: Part 3 Guarding Your Liquidity by Chuck Missler
Updated Briefing: The Vortex Strategy: Part 2 by Chuck Missler
Updated Briefing The Vortex Strategy: Part 1 by Chuck Missler
Excerpt from Prophecy 20/20 The American Challenge by Chuck Missler
For the Fourth Understanding the Worth of our Nation by Frank Salvato
In Memoriam The Passing of the Constitution by Chuck Missler
An Alternate Scenario: The Twilights Last Gleaming? by voicefromzion.org
A New Threat on the Horizon: The Quiet Game by Chuck Missler
An Interesting Perspective: The Denial of Guilt by Bruce Malone
An Additional Perspective: Katrina's Geopolitical Legacy by Chuck Missler
A Respite for America? An Election Mandate by Chuck Missler
Hosea, Can You See?: Hosea's Challenge to America by Chuck Missler
Twilight's Last Gleaming: Clinton's War on Hate Bans Christian Values by John Loeffler and Berit Kjos
None Dare Call It Fascism: Reflections on Our Republic by Chuck Missler
A Personal Challenge: Our Desperate Warfare by Chuck Missler
Freedom of the Press? Media Madness by Chuck Missler
Twilight's Last Gleaming? Judgment on the Horizon by Chuck Missler
The Federal Reserve: The Engine of Power by Chuck Missler
**ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS AND LINKS**
Note: These links are provided for your further research and education. Koinonia House does not necessarily agree with the information on these sites or support the specific organizations.
Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform - The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system. Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.
Interpretation of U.S. Constitution will “Have to Change” - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes that the Boston Marathon bombings have created a unique scenario—one in which traditional interpretations of the U.S. Constitution must change. The politician claims that the most recent attack calls for a new paradigm.
Official Warning Against Christians - This weekend, an email written by Ron Trowbridge, the undersheriff of Prowers County, Colorado, started sweeping some of the viral corners of the internet. It alleges that a Colorado State Police training encouraged law enforcement officials to look at Bible-believing Christians with intense skepticism.
Special Forces Commander: ”Constabulary Force“ Coming - There have been plenty of theories about why the Department of Homeland Security is buying billions of bullets. Maybe they actually do have a destination, according to a U.S. Special Forces commander. He’s actually warning of a “constabulary force to control the population.”
John Brennan Chooses Not to Use Bible for Swearing In as CIA Director - When Vice President Joe Biden performed the swearing in ceremony of John Brennan in the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Friday, the new CIA director chose to put his hand on a copy of the Constitution—before it included the Bill of Rights—and not a Bible. Hours after the ceremony that took place behind closed doors on Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest drew reporters’ attention to the use of a copy of the Constitution, and not the Bible.
‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Just The Beginning - A new video released by conservative activist Jason Mattera will surely have gun rights advocates up in arms. In an exchange with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) that was caught on camera last month but only released Monday, the Democratic politician spoke openly about her gun control views, noting that current proposals are only the beginning.
USDA 'Sensitivity Training': Pilgrims Were Illegal Aliens - Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has obtained videos of seminars for U.S. Department of Agriculture
employees with an instructor explaining that the "Pilgrims were illegal aliens."
The organization said the "Cultural Sensitivity Training" demanded USDA employees bang on tables, chant "The
pilgrims were illegal aliens" and were instructed no longer to use the word "minorities."
The training, done on a government contract by Samuel Betances, told the workers that they should say
"emerging majorities" instead.
According to JW's report, "The sensitivity training sessions, described as 'a huge expense' by diversity
awareness trainer and self-described 'citizen of the world' Samuel Betances, were held on USDA premises.
Hillsdale College Offers Free American Heritage Online Classes - Hillsdale College reaches nearly half-a-million people with its online courses on the Constitution and
America's founding principles. This respected conservative college (est. 1844) is offering a free, not-for-
credit American Heritage online course to teach the principles of liberty necessary to preserve the republic
of the United States of America. Lectures are delivered by members of Hillsdale's history
department faculty. The 40-minute lectures will be released every Monday starting Feb 25.
Justice Dept Memo Says Gun Ban Efforts Don't Work - Gun control may still be very much a topic for national conversation, and the prospects of some variety of
gun control legislation may look better for anti-gun forces than they have in nearly 20 years, but a Justice
Department internal memo from early in the year that just got leaked to the public may scuttle all of that.
The memo comes from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a subgroup within the Justice Department. The
memo takes aim at nearly every form of gun control proposed by the Obama administration and its allies in
Congress, and systematically shoots it all down (no pun intended).
Dr. Benjamin Carson's Prayer Breakfast Speech - The director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Dr. Benjamin Carson delivered a much-
watched speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 7, promoting education and politely discouraging
the chains of political correctness. He was invited for three reasons, according to the emcee: "He loves
Jesus, he has a compelling life story, and he is a distinguished man of science and healing." His speech
begins at 34:20. Other notable speakers include Elizabeth Dole and U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert. Olympic
champion Gabby Douglas gives the final prayer in Jesus' name.
Boy Scouts Delay Vote on Gay Members - The Boy Scouts of America's national executive board said Wednesday that it is delaying a vote on changes to the group's ban on gay scouts and leaders, amid pressure from
religious groups that say more discussion is needed. The board delayed until the Scouts' May annual meeting the decision on a proposal to let local groups that charter Scout
troops create their own rules on gay membership. The proposal was on the agenda at the board's meeting that started this week in Irving, Texas, the Dallas suburb where the
Scouts are based.
City East Of L.A. Purchases High Powered Rifles For School Officers - Fontana Unified School District police purchased 14 of the Colt LE6940 rifles last fall, and they were
delivered the first week of December, a week before a gunman killed 26 students and educators at a
Connecticut elementary school. "I think it just further solidified the need to give our officers the tools
they need to respond to an active shooter on campus," schools Police Chief Billy Green said Wednesday about
the tragedy. "If someone were to come onto one of our school campuses and kill our students ... and they were
wearing body armor or were equipped with a rifle, our officers were not properly equipped to respond to the
danger," Green said.
House GOP Anticipates Hostile Years Ahead - "We're expecting here, over the next 22 months, to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to
annihilate the Republican Party," Boehner said Tuesday at a private luncheon hosted by The Ripon Society.
Boehner lamented, recalling a moment when Mr. Obama told him that health care was a larger problem than
government spending. "It gives you some idea of the challenge that we're facing." The speaker said that as
the GOP pursues an agenda of fiscal responsibility, tax reform and economic growth, "We're going to be doing
it in an environment that is going to be far [more] hostile than anything that I think we've seen for a long,
long time. And we're going to have to make some big decisions about how we as a party take on this
Teacher Fired For Giving Curious Child A Bible - A Phillipsburg, N.J. substitute teacher has been terminated for the year after sharing a Bible verse with a student and subsequently giving the child a Bible.
The school board's Monday decision follows an October incident in which Walter Tutka quoted the Bible saying, "So the last will be first, and the first will be last" to a student who was last in line to leave the classroom, WFMZ reports. The student reportedly inquired about the origin of the statement numerous times before Tutka produced his personal copy of the New Testament to show the student.
When the student mentioned he didn't own a Bible, Tutka offered his, Fox News reports. The student accepted the gift, but later returned it to Tutka, according to The Express-Times.
Tutka's supporters argue that the Bible exchange was a gift, adding that the school board is violating its own religion policy by being hostile toward a particular religion through terminating Tutka.
Roe v Wade - 150 Years After Emancipation Proclamation - 'This year, in addition to marking the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, we also mark the sad anniversary of a court decision that is in many ways the antithesis of what was announced by Lincoln and guaranteed by the blood and struggle of our soldiers: the dignity of each human life. Forty years ago, seven Supreme Court justices declared that abortion was a "right," thereby reducing human life to a commodity that could be dissected into sterile, three-month packages and assigned varying levels of importance. The idea that the unborn child was also worthy of a similar battle didn't occur to me until I became old enough to hear in the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement the same callous arrogance that typified the conversation of slave holders. To the abortion rights advocates, who were savvy enough to kidnap the word "choice," a child is not a child until it is actually born...'
National Cathedral To Host Same Sex Weddings - The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents,
will soon begin hosting same-sex marriages. Cathedral officials tell
The Associated Press the church will be among the first Episcopal congregations to implement a new rite of
marriage for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members.
The New Year Brings New ObamaCare Taxes - The third wave of ObamaCare taxes began on January 1, the latest blitz before the tsunami of changes from the health overhaul law hit in 2014. These new and higher taxes are
being levied to partially pay for ObamaCare's massive new subsidies for private health insurance and expansion of Medicaid. The most controversial of the latest ObamaCare taxes
is the Medical Device Tax that hits entrepreneurial firms making equipment such as heart valves and hip replacement parts. They face a 2.3% profit on gross sales - a tax they
must pay even if they have no profit at all. The new Flexible Spending Account Tax limits the amount of money that workers can set aside tax-free for medical costs. ObamaCare
sets the cap at $2,500. Beginning January 1, ObamaCare also tightens the screws on Itemized Medical Deductions. The drip-drip-drip of the law's taxes, mandates, and dislocations
will continue, and 2013 likely will see a new attempt to delay, divert, defund, and dismantle the law.
U.S. National Debt Nears Dangerous Levels - The national debt clock is spinning faster every year. At last check, it was approaching $16.4 trillion. Just
four years ago, it was $10.6 trillion. As of today, every household in the United States owes about $140,000
of this debt. The country is borrowing roughly $6 billion every day, and $239 million every hour. This year,
for every dollar in revenue the federal government brought in, it spent two dollars and six cents. John
Taylor, a Stanford University economist, said because of the interest on the debt, time is running out to
deal with the problem.
"There's lots of people that will lend to us so far as long as our debt doesn't get so large they become
suspicious that we'll pay it back," he said. "If we don't correct this problem, interest will tend to
dominate our whole spending - it'll be greater than defense or Social Security. We have history to guide us.
When debt gets too high, people are skeptical about lending, then you run into a crisis like we've seen in
Greece and many other countries. So it's dangerous when it gets too high, and we are moving close to that
dangerous level every day."
Evander Holyfield's Daughter: Staying A Virgin Til Marriage - Evette, the 27-year-old stylist and designer is standing up for her convictions and beliefs when it comes to sex before
marriage. During an interview with Essence, she shared her thoughts on the spirituality her father instilled in her at
a young age and how that has influenced her desire to speak to young women about respecting themselves and their
bodies. Holyfield is one of many celebrities who have spoken openly about their choice to remain celibate. Actress
Tamera Mowry-Housley, who recently welcomed a son into the world with her husband Adam Housley, told Ebony the couple
waited until they were married to have sex. Similarly, actress Meagan Good and her husband DeVon Franklin have both
discussed their experience after choosing celibacy before their marriage.
Record Number of Americans On Foodstamps - An analysis by Breitbart News has found that the number of individuals on food stamps now exceeds the
combined populations of 24 states and the District of Columbia. In November, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture reported that a record 47,102,780 individuals receive food stamps. Since January 2009, the
number of individuals on food stamps has skyrocketed from 31.9 million to the current record high 47.1
million. By comparison, in 1969 just 2.8 million Americans received food stamps.
Why Gen. Petraeus Won't Be Prosecuted For His Affair - Several media outlets have reported that General David Petraeus could possibly face military prosecution if there's evidence contrary to his claims that the affair with
Broadwell began after leaving the military prior to joining the CIA in 2011. But, experts say it would take something really egregious - like rape or fraud - for Petraeus to
risk court martial.
"It's unlikely in this situation for Petraeus because there was no force and he wasn't with a subordinate," said Richard Rosen, a law professor who served for 26 years as a
judge advocate in the U.S Army. "I don't think it's going to happen. I would be shocked if the military took any interest in this. I don't think the military will do anything to
Adultery is a crime under the military code, which states it is "clearly unacceptable conduct, and it reflects adversely on the service record of the military member."
The UCMJ code states, "While adulterous conduct that is private and discreet in nature may not be service-discrediting by this standard, under the circumstances, it may be
determined to be conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline." Yet, if the authorities wink at Gen. Petraeus' highly publicized affair, do they not demonstrate weak
standards of faithfulness all around - to the harm of good order and discipline?
Born-Again Christian Alice Cooper Still Rockin' - Rock star legend Alice Cooper recently told The Huffington Post,"When I was at my height, I thought:
'If this plane is going down now, I'm going directly to Hell. I know that I owe my soul to Christ, but
I'm betting that I can go one more day.'" When he finally sobered up, he realized he couldn't. For a
moment, he thought he would have to give up being Alice Cooper, but luckily his pastor disagreed. "He
said," says Cooper, in the way you say something when you think you've won an argument, "'does God make
Does he believe the Bible is the literal word of God? "Yes, true each word." Does he believe the Old
Testament? "I believe the Old Testament explicitly." So he doesn't believe in evolution? "I believe
there's evolution inside the species." And does he think that the world was created in seven days? "Oh
yes." God, says Cooper, "has a plan for everybody. I look at my life and I think, 'how is it possible
that I didn't die?'"
San Francisco Weighs Outlawing Public Nudity - City supervisor Scott Wiener proposed a law Tuesday that would ban nudity in most public places across San Francisco. For years, the city has held an "equilibrium" with nudity at public events and occasionally in neighborhoods, said Wiener, but the nudity recently "has just gotten extreme."
At issue is a public plaza that regularly attracts nudists in the historically gay Castro neighborhood, prompting a debate about the limits of civil liberties in this famously tolerant city. After complaints about the naked people by some businesses and residents, Mr. Wiener proposed the bareness-busting bill.
In a nod toward compromise, Mr. Wiener's proposal would prohibit nudity in city plazas, sidewalks and public transit, but not at festivals and parades like the annual Folsom Street Fair and crosstown Bay to Breakers race, which attract naked participants from far and wide.
NYC City Schools Offer Morning-After Pill Minus Parental Consent - The New York City Department of Education is providing morning-after pills and
other birth control drugs to students at 13 city high schools. Minors cannot
get aspirin without a note, but school nurse offices supplied with the
contraceptives can reportedly dispense "Plan B" emergency contraception and
other oral or injectable birth control to girls as young as 14 without telling
their parents - unless the parents opt out of the program after receiving a
school letter informing them of the new policy.
Conservatives Give More Than Liberals - Last week, Romney released his 2011 tax returns, which cast his commitment to
the poor in a very different light. Last year, Romney donated over $4 million
to charity, or nearly 30% of his income. In addition, Romney only took $2.25
million worth of tax deductions on this charitable giving, meaning he paid
more in taxes that he was obligated to.
Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute found that in 2000,
households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30% more to charity than
those headed by a liberal. This discrepancy existed despite the fact that
liberal households earned, on average, 6% more than conservative households.
Right-wingers are also more likely to volunteer and give blood.
Bloodiest 1-Day Civil War Battle - 150 Years Later - Hundreds on Monday marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Antietam amid patriotic music and cannon fire, recalling the mind-boggling carnage and an ensuing Confederate retreat that Abraham Lincoln considered divine approval for abolishing slavery. Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation five days after the 1862 battle in Maryland, "a decision that transformed and redefined the purpose of the Civil War and ignited the modern Civil Rights movement," National Park Service Associate Director Stephanie Toothman said at the commemoration.
More than 23,000 men were reported killed, wounded or missing in the dawn-to-dusk clash at Antietam, making the battle of Sept. 17, 1862, the bloodiest day of combat on U.S. soil.
Pro-Choice Rally in Charlotte Draws Few Supporters - Katrina Trinko noted that there was easily room for hundreds, perhaps a thousand people at the pro-choice rally at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, yet few people gathered to show their support. The dominant theme was that Republicans hated women and that Obama is a champion of women's rights. The rally ended with remarks by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. "Our job," she said, "is to make sure every single woman and man in this country understands the threat to women's health care that's on the ballot." Few showed up to be inspired.
Federal Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Law - A federal court on August 30 rejected a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November. A three-judge panel in Washington unanimously ruled that the law imposes "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor" and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.
The decision involves an increasingly contentious political issue: a push to impose strict identification requirements on voters. Texas' voter ID rules, approved in 2011, had been widely cheered by conservatives statewide. Republicans around the country are aggressively seeking similar requirements in the name of stamping out voter fraud. Democrats say that Republicans are simply trying to disenfranchise minorities, poor people and college students - all groups that tend to back Democrats.
Black Pastors Stand Against Gay Marriage - The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) announced at the National Press Club on Tuesday that the grassroots group - comprised of the more than 3,000 members - is a launching a national campaign to support marriage between one man and one woman and to oppose the Obama administration's efforts to advance same-sex marriage. "The time has come for a broad-based assault against the power that be that wants to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women," CAAP President William Owens said at the press conference, held to announce the Marriage Mandate campaign, which includes a petition seeking 100,000 signatures pledging support for traditional marriage.
Chik-Fil-A Supporters Line Up to Buy Chicken - Throngs of people weighed in on the Chick-fil-A debate at stores across the United States on Wednesday, buying chicken sandwiches to show their support for the restaurant chain and its president's opposition to same-sex marriage. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee dubbed it "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."
The controversy came about after an interview with the fast food restaurant chain's president and COO, Dan Cathy, appeared in The Baptist Press on July 16 and he weighed in with his views on family.
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
President Obama's Executive Orders - President Obama has offered over 900 Executive Orders (EO) to control everything inside the US as well as to force us to submit to international regulations. In EO 13603, for example, entitled, "National Defense Resources Preparedness," Obama says (among other things) that [we must]: "be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements..." In other words, Obama has the power, through this EO, to "nationalize" (seize?) private assets in order to protect national interests. We should be wary of laws that give the government broad reaching powers in the event of a "potential threat," especially when there is no clear, set, unchangeable definition of what that means.
Phoenix Pastor Jailed Over Home Bible Study - Pastor Michael Salman and his family live on about 4.5 acres in the Phoenix area. Salman is an ordained minister who holds a number of biblical degrees, but since 2005, his family has chosen to gather like the biblical church, in homes. Today, Michael Salman is serving 60 days in jail for "creating an unsafe building environment" by holding large home Bible studies at his house. He has received a $12,180 fine for his crime and he's looking at probation. Phoenix City Prosecutor Vicki Hall said, "It came down to zoning and proper permitting. Anytime you are holding a gathering of people continuously as he does, we have concerns about people being able to exit the facility properly in case there is a fire." Police raided the Salman home on July 6, 2012, although Salman had previously reported voluntarily to the police station and had been sent home.
What the Healthcare Law Means - The U.S. Supreme Court voted last Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act, refusing to overturn the unpopular law and sending the issue back to voters to decide in the upcoming presidential election.
The 5-4 decision found the individual mandate at the heart of the law was a tax and therefore allowable under Congress' constitutional power to levy taxes.
The Supreme Court's decision leaves in place a highly complex law, many of whose most expensive provisions kick in in 2014. Here's what Forbes' Daniel Fisher believes we should expect: an invigorated Republican Party; health premiums will go up; some provisions will be repealed; government spending will increase; state Medicaid costs will soar; taxes will go up; employer-sponsored plans will shrink; pay will go up. The decision upheld all parts of the law except for the Medicaid funding formula.
Summer Jobs Scarce For Teens - Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.
And teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels, suggests a projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The drop in teen employment, steeper than for other age groups, is partly a cultural shift. More youths are spending summer months in school, at music or learning camps or in other activities geared for college. But the decline is especially troubling for teens for whom college may be out of reach, leaving them increasingly idle and with few options to earn wages and job experience.
Older workers, immigrants and debt-laden college graduates are taking away lower-skill work as they struggle to find their own jobs in the weak economy.
US Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of EPA On Global Warming - A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the first-ever U.S. regulations aimed at reducing the gases blamed for global warming, handing down perhaps the most significant decision on the issue since a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gases could be controlled as air pollutants.
The rules, which had been challenged by industry groups and several states, will reduce emissions of six heat-trapping gases from large industrial facilities such as factories and power plants, as well as from automobile tailpipes.
Carol Browner, Obama's former energy and climate adviser, said the decision "should put an end, once and for all, to any questions about the EPA's legal authority to protect us from dangerous industrial carbon pollution," adding that it was a "devastating blow" to those who challenge the scientific evidence of climate change.
Meeting Prayers To Restart in Franklin Co., Missouri - The Franklin County (MO) Commission today resurrected a practice noticeably absent from its last several meetings: prayer.
The three-member commission approved a new invocation policy that calls on volunteers from the community to offer prayers at the beginning of each meeting.
Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer previously had opened meetings by praying for the St. Louis Cardinals, for the unemployed and for rain, typically concluding each with "in Jesus' name."
But Griesheimer ceased praying after he received a letter recently from the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri demanding that he stop because it said the action violated the Constitution.
Doctor Tells Woman 4 Times To Abort A Triplet - A woman describes the multiple times a doctor coldly suggested she "reduce" the number of children growing in her womb. She states, "I was twenty weeks pregnant. How could I abort my perfectly healthy babies? That was the fourth time during my triplet pregnancy that a doctor suggested I abort one or more babies. Every time it was said as if the doctor was talking about the weather. Didn't he understand what these babies meant to me? What babies mean to a lot of people? I saw their heartbeats. They were alive..."