monday, july 1, 2002 11:02 a.m. edt

2 biblically-predicted signs o' the end times

a public school in byron, calif., is being sued after forcing christian students to pretend they were muslims for three weeks.

as part of an "islam simulation" project, students prayed in the name of allah, chose a muslim name and played a "jihad" dice game, according to the group that filed the lawsuit. the michigan-based thomas more law center is representing parents and children in the lawsuit against byron unified school district.

"what's at issue is the true meaning of the establishment clause," said richard thompson, the law center's chief counsel.

while it's perfectly legal for schools to teach courses in comparative religion, in this case, thompson said the school district "crossed the line ... by using taxpayer dollars to teach students how to worship as a muslim."

the seventh-grade students "became muslims" as part of their world history class, much to the surprise of parents, who said they were caught off guard.

according to the lawsuit, students were encouraged to dress as muslims and to use such phrases in their speech as 'allah akbar,' which is arabic for 'god is great.' students were required to memorize muslim prayers, fulfill the five pillars of faith and fast during lunch period to simulate fasting during the islamic holy month of ramadan.

where's aclu?

"public schools would never tolerate teaching christianity in this way," said thompson.

"just imagine the aclu's outcry if students were told that they had to pray the lord's prayer, memorize the ten commandments, use such phrases as 'jesus is the messiah,' and fast during lent."

washington – money won’t be around anymore in just a few years, according to trend watchers. and the same globalist taxers that are already trying to confiscate your hard-earned money can’t wait for the cashless era to begin.

leading the pack is the organization for economic cooperation and development (oecd), which issued a recent report hailing the prospect. last year exposed the oecd’s scheme to penalize countries that offer (comparatively) low taxes. nations that cut taxes and thereby boost their economies are supposedly unfair to europe's socialist welfare states.

if this is 'harmony' ...

the argument is not that the welfare states should position themselves so as to be more competitive by also lowering their own tax rates. rather it is the low-tax countries that are viewed as "unfair.” thus, in the interest of seeing that everyone shares the misery, all countries must "harmonize” their tax policies; i.e., the low-tax countries should get with it and raise their taxes too.

this supposition by the paris bureaucrats at oecd raises all kinds of economic and sovereignty questions. after pursued this issue last year, treasury department bureaucrats lost out to the bush appointees. secretary paul o’neill scrubbed some of the worst aspects of the "pro-harmonization” plans left over from the clinton administration.

the widely expected onset of a "cashless society” raises concerns, not so much because of the idea itself, but because of some of those now promoting it.

"the cashless society is coming,” says riel miller, an author of the oecd report. and the sooner the better, as far as he is concerned.

that in turn, has raised suspicions on the part of people who otherwise welcome the idea.

eileen ciesla, warren brookes fellow in journalism at the competitive enterprise institute, sees some merit in a cashless society, given that we already do so many of our transactions without cash.


"but i’m a little suspect of the oecd pushing this notion, given the fact that they’ve had a history of endorsing projects favoring the eu [european union],” at the expense of the united states, she told newsmax.

for example, what if someone decides that a "cashless society” would lend itself to facilitating the oecd goal of getting at the wallets of those "undertaxed” americans?

the idea of a cashless society has been around for decades. even back in the 1960s, as bank cards were beginning to come into vogue, it was clear the trend was already on the horizon.

but the cashless society now envisioned goes beyond that. it would involve a digital system of currency where people can exchange credits and debits by computer "just as they would pass a $20 bill from one wallet to another,” explained an article june 20 in the toronto globe and mail.

the issue, then, is not whether a cashless society is coming, but how it will be administered and toward what ends. some of its cheerleaders are in fact trusted by advocates of free enterprise.

potential for good

in his book "the end of money,” richard rahn, a senior fellow at the discovery institute, notes positive potential for a society without coins or dollar bills or even writing checks. under this system, according to a 1999 review of the book in the wall street journal, "you choose which transactions you wish to be on record and which you wish to be anonymous.”

"this world is not science fiction but the world that increasing numbers of people will come to enjoy over the next couple of decades,” the journal stated.

indeed, prosperous singapore is planning to rid its system of "old-fashioned money” by 2008.

in his own comment on rahn’s "the end of money,” empower america co-founder jack kemp says the author "persuasively argues how the coming digital money revolution will make lower tax rates and radical tax simplification inevitable.”

if it works out that way, few would have any problems with a cashless society. one can hope that when it emerges, it will be just as rahn and kemp foresee it.

what makes some observers wary is that others whose histories are suspect also see a cashless society working to their advantage.

easier to collect (and raise) taxes

miller, the co-author of the oecd report "the future of money,” looks forward to a digital system that will "make it easier for government to collect taxes,” according to the globe and mail.

that raises red flags, given oecd’s obsession with boosting taxes to a level it deems "fair.”

privacy under attack

already, as ciesla of the competitive enterprise institute pointed out to newsmax, the globalist bureaucracy has pressured seven carribean nations into agreeing to change their financial privacy laws so that the international bureaucrats can rummage around in private accounts. failure of sovereign nations to bend their privacy laws, the paris bureaucrats had warned, would result in sanctions.

the fact that oecd welcomes a plan whereby collecting taxes would be made easier and the fact that this same oecd favors the eu in its disputes with the united states are troubling for another reason: the "savings tax initiative.”

american 'vassal tax collectors' for european socialists

this scheme is described by dan mitchell, senior fellow at the heritage foundation, as "a tax harmonization proposal that would require american financial institutions to act as vassal tax collectors for europe’s welfare states.”

again, the eu wants the u.s. and other relatively low-tax countries to get with it and adopt their high-tax program.

the savings tax initiative, ciesla told newsmax, "sort of underlies some of the oecd’s projects. it’s sort of motivating the oecd with their own harmful tax harmonization initiative.”

attack on u.s. sovereignty

the paris bureaucrcy, she says, is "trying to override some of our own agencies and challenge the authority of the congress … in the area of regulation and taxation. in that way, they’re a threat” to the u.s.

which brings us back to the cashless society. a few questions:

  • would a world without money work in favor of international bureaucrats who want to "make it easier for government to collect taxes” to get their hands on your dollars despite the wishes of congress?

  • to what extent will legitimate economic, sovereignty and privacy concerns be satisfied?

  • will this system make it easier for someone to plunder your bank account?

    these and other questions enter the mix in the discussion of "a world without money.” as in all things, "the devil is in the details.” advocates of free enterprise and low taxes are convinced they need to get in on the ground floor of the debate.

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