My Two Cents--Did You Exercise Your Voting Muscle?

Written by Matt McGovern

Whether or not you are pleased withrepparttar results ofrepparttar 125926 2004 election,repparttar 125927 season of high intensity politicking has mercifully come and gone . . . for now.

This election day, tens of millions of Americans exercised their voting muscle--more than 120 million by some estimates, or 60-percent of eligible voters--and that's encouraging.

Kudos to you if you can count yourself a member of this group!

Still other tens of millions of Americans did not vote--many of them betweenrepparttar 125928 ages of 18 and 30,repparttar 125929 same people who one day will becomerepparttar 125930 future leaders for our country--and that's most disappointing.

It's clear that many Americans take their right to vote for granted, or simply don't care. They have become complacent, recitingrepparttar 125931 all-too-familiar, "My one vote won't make a difference." But tell that to Al Gore who, had 537 voters in Florida not turned out and voted for George W. Bush in 2000, would most likely have been this year's incumbent.

Luckily, not all ofrepparttar 125932 sons and daughters of previous American generations tookrepparttar 125933 right to vote for granted. Many fought and some even died to secure our ability to hold "free" elections. Starting in Revolutionary times, throughrepparttar 125934 Civil War andrepparttar 125935 scandals and corruption ofrepparttar 125936 mid- to late-19th century, through World Wars, and into present day, Americans have waged an ongoing battle to ensure that our system of voting and elections endures. They fought so women could vote; they fought so that all Americans, regardless of race, gender, or political leaning could vote. They won . . . and we andrepparttar 125937 entire world are their beneficiaries.

When we take time out of our otherwise busy lives to stop by our local polling places, we not only exercise our right--our duty--to vote, we also honorrepparttar 125938 sacrifices of these past generations.

I just don't buyrepparttar 125939 refrain, "I'm too busy to vote." No one is too busy to vote--not with absentee ballots andrepparttar 125940 relative speed and efficiency of modern voting. It took my wife and me all of 25 minutes to vote: 10 minutes torepparttar 125941 polling place, five minutes to vote, and 10 minutes back. That's not too much of a time commitment, not too much to ask to ensure that our system thrives and our way of life continues.

Of Snakes and Terrorism

Written by Maureen Metcalf

Withrepparttar passing of Arafat,repparttar 125925 Middle East will take on a slightly different face, allowingrepparttar 125926 possibilities for prophetic fulfillment to speed up. The pathway is now open for renewed efforts to procure peace inrepparttar 125927 Middle East, usingrepparttar 125928 avenue ofrepparttar 125929 formation ofrepparttar 125930 promised Palestinian State. But this window of opportunity may not remain open for long. Indeed pressure is now mounting fromrepparttar 125931 United States, encouraged by Britian, to get on withrepparttar 125932 steps necessary to implementrepparttar 125933 terms ofrepparttar 125934 "Road Map." January 9, 2005 has already been scheduled for Palestinian elections. The emerging line-up of candidates all have questionable backgrounds harking back to their various roles duringrepparttar 125935 Arafat era. It goes without saying,repparttar 125936 achievement ofrepparttar 125937 Palestinian goals will be a power struggle fanned byrepparttar 125938 more radical insurgents and hard-liner Islamic regimes. Hamas has already stated it is planning to increase pressure on Israel by escalating their terrorist activity in Gaza andrepparttar 125939 West Bank, whereas Islamic Jihad, Fatah, andrepparttar 125940 Al Aksa Brigade ( now being referred to asrepparttar 125941 Arafat Brigade) have issued statements they are planning to halt all atrocities untilrepparttar 125942 election is over. And, while Egypt and many other Arab League countries applauded Arafat's apparent achievements on behalf ofrepparttar 125943 Palestinians, Kuwait is appalled that anyone would be so short-sighted as to give any honor to an avowed terrorist murderer. So,repparttar 125944 Arab world has many issues to address, if they are to appear to mount a united front againstrepparttar 125945 West But, will sane, cool heads prevail? Will Israel use this opportunity to take decisive steps to maintain hold on her Covenant Land, or will she instead doggedly continue downrepparttar 125946 destructive path Sharon is still insisting upon? Israel hasrepparttar 125947 option of being strong inrepparttar 125948 face of her enemies, or giving in to international negative pressures. To illustraterepparttar 125949 trap Israel is in danger of falling into, I would like to share a letter I wrote to Ruth Matar ofrepparttar 125950 Women in Green, in anticipation of Arafat's demise. REJOICE, BUT DO NOT CELEBRATE! Dear Ruth, We cannot, and we definitely ought not to bring ourselves to grieve over Arafat's death. He was a terrorist -- a heartless butcher!! He was not just a criminal murderer. He went far beyondrepparttar 125951 criminal to being an avowed monster! Even Muslim regimes, (Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia,) ousted him from their countries because he was too evil to be allowed to remain within their jurisdictions! Even so, we must not seek vengeance, because that is not within our mandate. Inrepparttar 125952 Day of Judgmentrepparttar 125953 L_RD will avenge. While a man is alive, there is hope for repentance, but once he has passed beyond this earthly realm, his fate is sealed, and G_d will deal with him in due time. What is most amazing isrepparttar 125954 fact that Arafat, with his impassioned intent on annihilating Israel, was allowed to enter, let alone dwell within Israel's borders! What was Israel's premise? It is best to have your enemy where you can keep an eye on him? Great idea, but it obviously did not work overly well! Instead, he was a deadly snake in Israel's fields!! But unlikerepparttar 125955 reptile version which does not strike unless threatened, he actively, and with demonic glee, coiled against his innocent victims, effectively plotting to strike with deadly venom. And, as if that was not bad enough, his subversiveness, ideology, and methodology, was perpetuated by training and grooming slithery terrorist bands to multiply his evil schemes. So yes, we must in all honesty rejoice that such an one has been silenced. But Arafat was at least one venomous snake that was positively identified, and even caged for a time in Ramalla. What is more dangerous now, and deadly, is his serpentine ''offspring." Although he is now not just defanged, but out ofrepparttar 125956 picture, we must not let down our guard for even an instant. His larger than life persona, and legacy, will with misguided religious fervor, fanrepparttar 125957 fires of Islamic radical terrorism. We cannot allow ourselvesrepparttar 125958 glee of celebration! If only it was a simple matter to free this world of evil byrepparttar 125959 demise of one man! Unfortunately, evil does remain. Evil breeds more evil, andrepparttar 125960 legacy of evil is multiplied evil. We cannot allow ourselvesrepparttar 125961 luxury of uttering one sigh of relief, lest while we celebrate with even a hint of distracted abandon,repparttar 125962 multiplied evil slithers in to destroy. If onlyrepparttar 125963 likes of Arafat were simply an isolated anomaly! We must count onrepparttar 125964 fact that evil loves company, and when an ideology is invoked,repparttar 125965 one who is behindrepparttar 125966 stated mission will make certain his goals are perpetuated until accomplished by those following in his wake. Arafat obviously applied this premise, but not inrepparttar 125967 usual manner. He did not groom a successor. In not making certain there was an

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use