Lawless Government – The Great Non-sequitur Of The Last Days

The idea of lawless government seems like a non sequitur but through the eyes of Biblical prophecy it is not. Indeed it is a promise of scripture and a description of a time when government will be at a peak but the laws governing personal moral behavior will have reached all new lows beyond anything in past history.

It is interesting that the call to this non sequitur will be much like the slogan of the Obama campaign catch phrase used in the 2008 election. Put simply it is the call for change: the definition, final outcome or stated purpose of the change does not have to be clarified. It is akin to the exasperated cry of the weary worker who says to his wife “We just need to get out of here for a while and maybe take a little vacation.” The feeling that a change is desired comes long before it is actualized or planned. The call for change is seeking only agreement not necessarily a definition or any specifics.

The promised rise of the world’s last and worst dictator says that he too will be a man that calls for change. He will think to change the very way we perceive time and history. Not possible you say? Consider Adolph Hitler’s call for a thousand year rule of the Third Reich. He pulled that one out of the little hat that housed his very large megalomaniacal head and actually got thousands of Germans on board with his idea of Nazi supremacy.

The antichrist will do pretty much the same thing but rather than waiting for a new millennial period to begin he will simply propose that we rearrange the history preceding him and all the events that follow. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Dan 7:25)

It could be said that one of the chief reasons Hitler failed and antichrist does not is because Hitler came before his time. The antichrist however comes at exactly the right time. The world will have been well prepped in his time. Religion will be apostate having replaced the call to salvation with ceremonial and traditional beliefs that leave out accountability to the creator God and his singular Savior who rather than being a great teacher or leader is the very incarnation of the living God, in the form of a man, namely, Jesus Christ.

The world banded together to defeat Hitler but due to moral conditions in the last day the world will join with the antichrist to bring in their own all new version of the thousand year reign. It will not look as militant and aggressive as the schemes of Hitler but will be a seemingly homogenous meld of political correctness, global cooperation, environmentalism and happy days of worldwide brotherhood. John Lennon would be delighted.

The antichrist’s rise will be predicated on the need to solve worldwide problems such as war and economic instability. He will be a man who knows full well the meaning of yet another slogan that came into vogue during the 2008 election year, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

The world is mesmerized by pop figures that seem larger than life in our culture and problem solvers who are larger than life in our leadership and government. Antichrist happens to fit the profile for both. He will, for a time at least, find a way to cut back warfare in various parts of the world and stabilize a teetering worldwide economy. It might be said that; to the world he looks just too good to pass up.

Lawless government is hard to understand apart from a clear understanding that law has different levels and administrations. The best example to explain these levels is in the ancient Law of Moses. Comprised of three basic divisions the Mosaic Law is the perfect example of how nations can split the hairs just as ancient Israel has done, by picking the part of the law they found easiest to enforce, they brought their nationhood to an end.

Mosaic Law is comprised of the ceremonial law, the hygienic law and the moral law. Ceremonial law spoke to the methods and practice of religious ceremonies and concerned itself with proper procedures in the practice of the ancient temple system of worship. Hygienic law had to do with washing of hands, temple vessels and what meats were clean or unclean.

The third and most important aspect of the Mosaic Law was the moral law but this is where Israel failed the most. At the top of the moral law were the Ten Commandments.

The moral law was fully incorporated by Christ into a singular and final law sometimes referred to as “The Royal Law of the Scriptures.” That law is defined by a single verse of New Testament scripture, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27)

The Royal law held God as the main focus of our love and our neighbors as well. No one goes after his neighbor’s wife if he loves his neighbor. No one steals from someone they love. No one murders anyone, if they love them.

In the hands of secularists, the deviant and the generally disobedient this law has been twisted to mean that if you love people you will not charge anyone with immoral behavior because that would be overtly un-loving and thus not in keeping with the Royal Law of Scriptures.

It is the Royal Law that comes under serious attack as the last days approach. Speaking of conditions that will prevail near the end of the age Christ said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Mt 24:12)

To proclaim that God’s pronouncements against homosexuality are binding moral laws will be detested, challenged and rejected as un-loving. Following those objections many will conclude that such proclamations are contrary to civil rights, first amendment freedoms, or injurious and defamatory to the homosexual.

To reiterate, preach, or attest to God’s proclamations will be seen as un-loving and defamatory yet all the while the real reasons for proclaiming his laws are exactly the opposite. To the Christian, not telling someone of a behavioral choice that will cost someone their eternal destiny is extremely irresponsible and anything but loving. Proclaiming the moral laws that are intrinsic to the Royal Law is an ultimate act of love.

The ultimate master of lawlessness and anarchy in the last days is called the “man of lawlessness.” (2 Thess 2: 3 NAS) The height of perversion will have been reached and surpassed because he will actually be ruling the world from one end of the globe to the other. (Rev 13: 7) Here is where the incongruity reaches critical mass. How can a lawless individual propose, legislate or enforce any laws if he is “lawless?”

The kinds of laws that are loosened, changed or disregarded are all those that have to do with our personal behavior and matters of choice. We are now accustomed to abortion on a world wide scale (150 million to date) and nationally (50 million) and now it is no longer considered a hot button topic but is often covered with a simple; “It’s the law of the land.” I’m not sure where the word originated but someone of late has referred to abortion clinics as “abortuaries,” a term that should invoke national shame.

Stretching the credulity of the humblest minds today’s stop academics and scientists send probes across our solar system looking for the source or beginnings of life but don’t seem to know when life begins in a mother’s womb. Most children know that life begins at the beginning (conception) without studying Hegel’s Science of Logic. Today’s top minds say the God who can’t lie (2 Tim 1: 2) must have been mistaken when he referred to himself as the creator of everything well over forty times in the scripture. The convulsions of the modern mind do not end here but the final chapter is yet to come.

Every choice regarding gender, trans-gender, sexual preferences or the promotion and promulgation of sexually deviant materials will have almost no limits. Prurient interests will fly on every level from Hollywood to the classroom. The sense of the big party will create euphoria for a while, until people are forced to pause long enough to see that while they were reveling, the biggest political farce in world history is forming like a giant tsunami and is about to break out just behind them.

The pursuit of riches will take up the slack for the rest and out of that mindless hot pursuit will come a come a worldwide economic system that will enter and meddle with the details of virtually everyone’s personal finances. It will be a mandatory system without which no one will be able to buy or sell so much as a postage stamp unless they are included in it. George Orwell’s 1984 will come into its own and then we will see the only thing he may have had wrong in his un-nerving prognostication was the date.

Those with a gut sense that things are about to burst open have begun to take measures to avert the worst, howbeit, they have sought the wrong path. Today there is a flurry of gold sellers selling the public the idea that buying gold will assure their future financial security. I cannot help but make them angry by saying that gold will be worthless when these events are in full swing.

We hear the repeated claim that gold has never gone down in value. This is a complete lie because those who stocked up on gold when it hovered around $400.00 per ounce in the eighties saw it plunge rather than rise to the expected $800.00 per ounce that was predicted. But let’s go further back than the eighties. From 1933 to 1975 Americans were not permitted to own or hoard gold, gold coins, gold bullion or gold certificates under the executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 5, 1933. The antichrist’s complete control of our personal finances will also be subject to executive orders of the same kind.

If all of this sounds dastardly we must remember that no one ever said that prophecy was meant to titillate. Of the 167 Messianic prophecies that are found in the Old Testament all were fulfilled completely during the life of Christ but none of the less attractive aspects of them was left out. The brutal slaying of Christ on a cross was the worst death the ancient Romans could conger and every detail of that death was both prophesied and fulfilled in the last twenty four hours of Christ’s life.

There are about one hundred times more pre-millennial (Second coming of Christ) prophecies than Messianic prophecies and every one of them will be largely fulfilled in the last seven years of human history as we now know it. So why doesn’t everyone just tune in to these dire warnings and turn it all around?

Nothing new here; the first reason that we don’t pay heed to the warnings is because we will not take them into account. Science, academics, the media, apostate churches and the general attitudes of most people is one of skepticism and doubt. The second prevailing reason they are not heeded is that age old matter of unbelief. The “seeing is believing” crowd will get what they want but, it will be a moment too late.

I usually appendage my work with an appropriate scripture passage to complete or embellish the points and drive home a sense of urgency to my readers. This time I will use a message garnered from the annals of American southern gospel music. In 1917 the song “Life’s Railway to Heaven was copyrighted and later was printed and popularized in Chicago in 1933. The words came from the pen of M.E. Abbey and the music was written by Charlie D. Tillman.

Abbey says that all of life is like a mountain railroad a metaphor few people find hard to understand.

Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the fills, the tunnels; never falter, never quail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

The question that is posed by Abbey’s prose is, just how could anyone keep a powerful fast moving train from de-railing in times that are roaring louder than the old train whistle itself? As with so many of life’s best solutions for problems the answer is simple yet profound. In the next verse Tillman explains.

You will often find obstructions; look for storms of wind and rain;
On a fill, or curve, or trestle, they will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus; never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Your weight is found on what or whom you trust. If you trust government, your riches, gold, the antichrist, the new liberalism or apostate churches the result will always be; a ditched train.

Anarchism For A Post-modern Age

“The thin and precarious crust of decency is all that separates any civilization, however impressive, from the hell of anarchy or systematic tyranny which lie in wait beneath the surface.”

Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963), British writer

I. Overview of Theories of Anarchism

Politics, in all its forms, has failed. The notion that we can safely and successfully hand over the management of our daily lives and the setting of priorities to a political class or elite is thoroughly discredited. Politicians cannot be trusted, regardless of the system in which they operate. No set of constraints, checks, and balances, is proved to work and mitigate their unconscionable acts and the pernicious effects these have on our welfare and longevity.

Ideologies – from the benign to the malign and from the divine to the pedestrian – have driven the gullible human race to the verge of annihilation and back. Participatory democracies have degenerated everywhere into venal plutocracies. Socialism and its poisoned fruits – Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism – have wrought misery on a scale unprecedented even by medieval standards. Only Fascism and Nazism compare with them unfavorably. The idea of the nation-state culminated in the Yugoslav succession wars.

It is time to seriously consider a much-derided and decried alternative: anarchism.

Anarchism is often mistaken for left-wing thinking or the advocacy of anarchy. It is neither. If anything, the libertarian strain in anarchism makes it closer to the right. Anarchism is an umbrella term covering disparate social and political theories – among them classic or cooperative anarchism (postulated by William Godwin and, later, Pierre Joseph Proudhon), radical individualism (Max Stirner), religious anarchism (Leo Tolstoy), anarcho-communism (Kropotkin) and anarcho-syndicalism, educational anarchism (Paul Goodman), and communitarian anarchism (Daniel Guerin).

The narrow (and familiar) form of political anarchism springs from the belief that human communities can survive and thrive through voluntary cooperation, without a coercive central government. Politics corrupt and subvert Man’s good and noble nature. Governments are instruments of self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement, and the reification and embodiment of said subversion.

The logical outcome is to call for the overthrow of all political systems, as Michael Bakunin suggested. Governments should therefore be opposed by any and all means, including violent action. What should replace the state? There is little agreement among anarchists: biblical authority (Tolstoy), self-regulating co-opertaives of craftsmen (Proudhon), a federation of voluntary associations (Bakunin), trade unions (anarcho-syndicalists), ideal communism (Kropotkin).

What is common to this smorgasbord is the affirmation of freedom as the most fundamental value. Justice, equality, and welfare cannot be sustained without it. The state and its oppressive mechanisms is incompatible with it. Figures of authority and the ruling classes are bound to abuse their remit and use the instruments of government to further and enforce their own interests. The state is conceived and laws are enacted for this explicit purpose of gross and unjust exploitation. The state perpetrates violence and is the cause rather than the cure of most social ills.

Anarchists believe that human beings are perfectly capable of rational self-government. In the Utopia of anarchism, individuals choose to belong to society (or to exclude themselves from it). Rules are adopted by agreement of all the members/citizens through direct participation in voting. Similar to participatory democracy, holders of offices can be recalled by constituents.

It is important to emphasize that:

” … (A)narchism does not preclude social organization, social order or rules, the appropriate delegation of authority, or even of certain forms of government, as long as this is distinguished from the state and as long as it is administrative and not oppressive, coercive, or bureaucratic.”

(Honderich, Ted, ed. – The Oxford Companion to Philosophy – Oxford University Press, New York, 1995 – p. 31)

Anarchists are not opposed to organization, law and order, or the existence of authority. They are against the usurpation of power by individuals or by classes (groups) of individuals for personal gain through the subjugation and exploitation (however subtle and disguised) of other, less fortunate people. Every social arrangement and institution should be put to the dual acid tests of personal autonomy and freedom and moral law. If it fails either of the two it should be promptly abolished.

II. Contradictions in Anarchism

Anarchism is not prescriptive. Anarchists believe that the voluntary members of each and every society should decide the details of the order and functioning of their own community. Consequently, anarchism provides no coherent recipe on how to construct the ideal community. This, of course, is its Achilles’ heel.

Consider crime. Anarchists of all stripes agree that people have the right to exercise self-defense by organizing voluntarily to suppress malfeasance and put away criminals. Yet, is this not the very quiddity of the oppressive state, its laws, police, prisons, and army? Are the origins of the coercive state and its justification not firmly rooted in the need to confront evil?

Some anarchists believe in changing society through violence. Are these anarcho-terrorists criminals or freedom fighters? If they are opposed by voluntary grassroots (vigilante) organizations in the best of anarchist tradition – should they fight back and thus frustrate the authentic will of the people whose welfare they claim to be seeking?

Anarchism is a chicken and egg proposition. It is predicated on people’s well-developed sense of responsibility and grounded in their “natural morality”. Yet, all anarchists admit that these endowments are decimated by millennia of statal repression. Life in anarchism is, therefore, aimed at restoring the very preconditions to life in anarchism. Anarchism seeks to restore its constituents’ ethical constitution – without which there can be no anarchism in the first place. This self-defeating bootstrapping leads to convoluted and half-baked transitory phases between the nation-state and pure anarchism (hence anarcho-syndicalism and some forms of proto-Communism).

Primitivist and green anarchists reject technology, globalization, and capitalism as well as the state. Yet, globalization, technology, (and capitalism) are as much in opposition to the classical, hermetic nation-state as is philosophical anarchism. They are manifestly less coercive and more voluntary, too. This blanket defiance of everything modern introduces insoluble contradictions into the theory and practice of late twentieth century anarchism.

Indeed, the term anarchism has been trivialized and debauched. Animal rights activists, environmentalists, feminists, peasant revolutionaries, and techno-punk performers all claim to be anarchists with equal conviction and equal falsity.

III. Reclaiming Anarchism

Errico Malatesta and Voltairine de Cleyre distilled the essence of anarchism to encompass all the philosophies that oppose the state and abhor capitalism (“anarchism without adjectives”). At a deeper level, anarchism wishes to identify and rectify social asymmetries. The state, men, and the rich – are, respectively, more powerful than the individuals, women, and the poor. These are three inequalities out of many. It is the task of anarchism to fight against them.

This can be done in either of two ways:

1. By violently dismantling existing structures and institutions and replacing them with voluntary, self-regulating organizations of free individuals. The Zapatistas movement in Mexico is an attempt to do just that.

2. Or, by creating voluntary, self-regulating organizations of free individuals whose functions parallel those of established hierarchies and institutions (“dual power”). Gradually, the former will replace the latter. The evolution of certain non-government organizations follows this path.

Whichever strategy is adopted, it is essential to first identify those asymmetries that underlie all others (“primary asymmetries” vs. “secondary asymmetries”). Most anarchists point at the state and at the ownership of property as the primary asymmetries. The state is an asymmetrical transfer of power from the individual to a coercive and unjust social hyperstructure. Property represents the disproportionate accumulation of wealth by certain individuals. Crime is merely the natural reaction to these glaring injustices.

But the state and property are secondary asymmetries, not primary ones. There have been periods in human history and there have been cultures devoid of either or both. The primary asymmetry seems to be natural: some people are born more clever and stronger than others. The game is skewed in their favor not because of some sinister conspiracy but because they merit it (meritocracy is the foundation stone of capitalism), or because they can force themselves, their wishes, and their priorities and preferences on others, or because their adherents and followers believe that rewarding their leaders will maximize their own welfare (aggression and self-interest are the cornerstone of all social organizations).

It is this primary asymmetry that anarchism must address.

Corruption And Transparency

I. The Facts

Just days before a much-awaited donor conference, the influential International Crisis Group (ICG) recommended to place all funds pledged to Macedonia under the oversight of a “corruption advisor” appointed by the European Commission. The donors ignored this and other recommendations. To appease the critics, the affable Attorney General of Macedonia charged a former Minister of Defense with abuse of duty for allegedly having channeled millions of DM to his relatives during the recent civil war. Macedonia has belatedly passed an anti-money laundering law recently – but failed, yet again, to adopt strict anti-corruption legislation.

In Albania, the Chairman of the Albanian Socialist Party, Fatos Nano, was accused by Albanian media of laundering $1 billion through the Albanian government. Pavel Borodin, the former chief of Kremlin Property, decided not appeal his money laundering conviction in a Swiss court. The Slovak daily “Sme” described in scathing detail the newly acquired wealth and lavish lifestyles of formerly impoverished HZDS politicians. Some of them now reside in refurbished castles. Others have swimming pools replete with wine bars.

Pavlo Lazarenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister, is detained in San Francisco on money laundering charges. His defense team accuses the US authorities of “selective prosecution”.

They are quoted by Radio Free Europe as saying:

“The impetus for this prosecution comes from allegations made by the Kuchma regime, which itself is corrupt and dedicated to using undemocratic and repressive methods to stifle political opposition … (other Ukrainian officials) including Kuchma himself and his closest associates, have committed conduct similar to that with which Lazarenko is charged but have not been prosecuted by the U.S. government”.

The UNDP estimated, in 1997, that, even in rich, industrialized, countries, 15% of all firms had to pay bribes. The figure rises to 40% in Asia and 60% in Russia.

Corruption is rife and all pervasive, though many allegations are nothing but political mud-slinging. Luckily, in countries like Macedonia, it is confined to its rapacious elites: its politicians, managers, university professors, medical doctors, judges, journalists, and top bureaucrats. The police and customs are hopelessly compromised. Yet, one rarely comes across graft and venality in daily life. There are no false detentions (as in Russia), spurious traffic tickets (as in Latin America), or widespread stealthy payments for public goods and services (as in Africa).

It is widely accepted that corruption retards growth by deterring foreign investment and encouraging brain drain. It leads to the misallocation of economic resources and distorts competition. It depletes the affected country’s endowments – both natural and acquired. It demolishes the tenuous trust between citizen and state. It casts civil and government institutions in doubt, tarnishes the entire political class, and, thus, endangers the democratic system and the rule of law, property rights included.

This is why both governments and business show a growing commitment to tackling it. According to Transparency International’s “Global Corruption Report 2001”, corruption has been successfully contained in private banking and the diamond trade, for instance.

Hence also the involvement of the World Bank and the IMF in fighting corruption. Both institutions are increasingly concerned with poverty reduction through economic growth and development. The World Bank estimates that corruption reduces the growth rate of an affected country by 0.5 to 1 percent annually. Graft amounts to an increase in the marginal tax rate and has pernicious effects on inward investment as well.

The World Bank has appointed last year a Director of Institutional Integrity – a new department that combines the Anti-Corruption and Fraud Investigations Unit and the Office of Business Ethics and Integrity. The Bank helps countries to fight corruption by providing them with technical assistance, educational programs, and lending.

Anti-corruption projects are an integral part of every Country Assistance Strategy (CAS). The Bank also supports international efforts to reduce corruption by sponsoring conferences and the exchange of information. It collaborates closely with Transparency International, for instance.

At the request of member-governments (such as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania) it has prepared detailed country corruption surveys covering both the public and the private sectors. Together with the EBRD, it publishes a corruption survey of 3000 firms in 22 transition countries (BEEPS – Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey). It has even set up a multilingual hotline for whistleblowers.

The IMF made corruption an integral part of its country evaluation process. It suspended arrangements with endemically corrupt recipients of IMF financing. Since 1997, it has introduced policies regarding misreporting, abuse of IMF funds, monitoring the use of debt relief for poverty reduction, data dissemination, legal and judicial reform, fiscal and monetary transparency, and even internal governance (e.g., financial disclosure by staff members).

Yet, no one seems to agree on a universal definition of corruption. What amounts to venality in one culture (Sweden) is considered no more than hospitality, or an expression of gratitude, in another (France, or Italy). Corruption is discussed freely and forgivingly in one place – but concealed shamefully in another. Corruption, like other crimes, is probably seriously under-reported and under-penalized.

Moreover, bribing officials is often the unstated policy of multinationals, foreign investors, and expatriates. Many of them believe that it is inevitable if one is to expedite matters or secure a beneficial outcome. Rich world governments turn a blind eye, even where laws against such practices are extant and strict.

In his address to the Inter-American Development Bank on March 14, President Bush promised to “reward nations that root out corruption” within the framework of the Millennium Challenge Account initiative. The USA has pioneered global anti-corruption campaigns and is a signatory to the 1996 IAS Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, and the OECD’s 1997 anti-bribery convention. The USA has had a comprehensive “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” since 1977.

The Act applies to all American firms, to all firms – including foreign ones – traded in an American stock exchange, and to bribery on American territory by foreign and American firms alike. It outlaws the payment of bribes to foreign officials, political parties, party officials, and political candidates in foreign countries. A similar law has now been adopted by Britain.

Yet, “The Economist” reports that the American SEC has brought only three cases against listed companies until 1997. The US Department of Justice brought another 30 cases. Britain has persecuted successfully only one of its officials for overseas bribery since 1889. In the Netherlands bribery is tax deductible. Transparency International now publishes a name and shame Bribery Payers Index to complement its 91-country strong Corruption Perceptions Index.

Many rich world corporations and wealthy individuals make use of off-shore havens or “special purpose entities” to launder money, make illicit payments, avoid or evade taxes, and conceal assets or liabilities. According to Swiss authorities, more than $40 billion are held by Russians in its banking system alone. The figure may be 5 to 10 times higher in the tax havens of the United Kingdom.

In a survey it conducted last month of 82 companies in which it invests, “Friends, Ivory, and Sime” found that only a quarter had clear anti-corruption management and accountability systems in place.

Tellingly only 35 countries signed the 1997 OECD “Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions” – including four non-OECD members: Chile, Argentina, Bulgaria, and Brazil. The convention has been in force since February 1999 and is only one of many OECD anti-corruption drives, among which are SIGMA (Support for Improvement in Governance and Management in Central and Eastern European countries), ACN (Anti-Corruption Network for Transition Economies in Europe), and FATF (the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering).

Moreover, The moral authority of those who preach against corruption in poor countries – the officials of the IMF, the World Bank, the EU, the OECD – is strained by their ostentatious lifestyle, conspicuous consumption, and “pragmatic” morality.

II. What to Do? What is Being Done?

Two years ago, I proposed a taxonomy of corruption, venality, and graft. I suggested this cumulative definition:

The withholding of a service, information, or goods that, by law, and by right, should have been provided or divulged.
The provision of a service, information, or goods that, by law, and by right, should not have been provided or divulged.
That the withholding or the provision of said service, information, or goods are in the power of the withholder or the provider to withhold or to provide AND That the withholding or the provision of said service, information, or goods constitute an integral and substantial part of the authority or the function of the withholder or the provider.
That the service, information, or goods that are provided or divulged are provided or divulged against a benefit or the promise of a benefit from the recipient and as a result of the receipt of this specific benefit or the promise to receive such benefit.
That the service, information, or goods that are withheld are withheld because no benefit was provided or promised by the recipient.
There is also what the World Bank calls “State Capture” defined thus:

“The actions of individuals, groups, or firms, both in the public and private sectors, to influence the formation of laws, regulations, decrees, and other government policies to their own advantage as a result of the illicit and non-transparent provision of private benefits to public officials.”

We can classify corrupt and venal behaviours according to their outcomes:

Income Supplement – Corrupt actions whose sole outcome is the supplementing of the income of the provider without affecting the “real world” in any manner.
Acceleration or Facilitation Fees – Corrupt practices whose sole outcome is to accelerate or facilitate decision making, the provision of goods and services or the divulging of information.
Decision Altering Fees – Bribes and promises of bribes which alter decisions or affect them, or which affect the formation of policies, laws, regulations, or decrees beneficial to the bribing entity or person.
Information Altering Fees – Backhanders and bribes that subvert the flow of true and complete information within a society or an economic unit (for instance, by selling professional diplomas, certificates, or permits).
Reallocation Fees – Benefits paid (mainly to politicians and political decision makers) in order to affect the allocation of economic resources and material wealth or the rights thereto. Concessions, licenses, permits, assets privatized, tenders awarded are all subject to reallocation fees.
To eradicate corruption, one must tackle both giver and taker.

History shows that all effective programs shared these common elements:

The persecution of corrupt, high-profile, public figures, multinationals, and institutions (domestic and foreign). This demonstrates that no one is above the law and that crime does not pay.

The conditioning of international aid, credits, and investments on a monitored reduction in corruption levels. The structural roots of corruption should be tackled rather than merely its symptoms.

The institution of incentives to avoid corruption, such as a higher pay, the fostering of civic pride, “good behaviour” bonuses, alternative income and pension plans, and so on.

In many new countries (in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe) the very concepts of “private” versus “public” property are fuzzy and impermissible behaviours are not clearly demarcated. Massive investments in education of the public and of state officials are required.

Liberalization and deregulation of the economy. Abolition of red tape, licensing, protectionism, capital controls, monopolies, discretionary, non-public, procurement. Greater access to information and a public debate intended to foster a “stakeholder society”.

Strengthening of institutions: the police, the customs, the courts, the government, its agencies, the tax authorities – under time limited foreign management and supervision.

Awareness to corruption and graft is growing – though it mostly results in lip service. The Global Coalition for Africa adopted anti-corruption guidelines in 1999. The otherwise opaque Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is now championing transparency and good governance. The UN is promoting its pet convention against corruption.

The G-8 asked its Lyon Group of senior experts on transnational crime to recommend ways to fight corruption related to large money flows and money laundering. The USA and the Netherlands hosted global forums on corruption – as will South Korea next year. The OSCE is rumored to respond with its own initiative, in collaboration with the US Congressional Helsinki Commission.

The south-eastern Europe Stability Pact sports its own Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative (SPAI). It held its first conference in September 2001 in Croatia. More than 1200 delegates participated in the 10th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Prague last year. The conference was attended by the Czech prime minister, the Mexican president, and the head of the Interpol.

The most potent remedy against corruption is sunshine – free, accessible, and available information disseminated and probed by an active opposition, uncompromised press, and assertive civic organizations and NGO’s. In the absence of these, the fight against official avarice and criminality is doomed to failure. With them, it stands a chance.

Corruption can never be entirely eliminated – but it can be restrained and its effects confined. The cooperation of good people with trustworthy institutions is indispensable. Corruption can be defeated only from the inside, though with plenty of outside help. It is a process of self-redemption and self-transformation. It is the real transition.

The Second Fundamental Law

In one of my prior articles, I addressed the First Fundamental Law which states “do all you have agreed to do”. This law was the basis for “contract law.”

The Second Fundamental Law according to Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard J. Maybury is “do not encroach on other persons or their property.” These two laws were derived from political and scientific law. Scientific law grew from court decisions. “Do not encroach on other persons or their property” is the basis for criminal and tort law. Both laws are the foundation for common law. We do not learn about these laws and their foundation in school; however, we do learn about political law!

Both Judaism and Christianity believe that, “Thou shalt not steal.” And, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” Let’s look at “Thou shalt not steal” a little more.

Can the Second Law affect karma? If we take something that doesn’t belong to us without the owner’s permission, it is breaking the law and starts the wheel of karma in motion. We are well aware of that and accept it. We know that stealing or breaking and entering are punishable events and can land us before a judge and then jail time. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I will do to jeopardize my freedom. Freedom is a most precious gift.

An interesting thought is that when we pick up money (even though the owner is nowhere around) that we find on the street, we are taking on some of that person’s karma. That’s something to really think about!

Entering onto someone else’s property without their permission is also breaking the Law. We keep on building karma! We’ve been talking about encroaching on someone else’s property. Let’s discuss the use of the telephone!

I really believe that a telephone is an invasion of privacy. This is stretching the law; however, when the phone rings, isn’t that invading my time, my peace? I don’t know how easy it is for others to not pick up the phone; I find it very easy. After all, if I’m doing whatever it is that I am doing, I have choices. What about you? Do you have to pick up the phone? Take notice and see what you do and share.

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Thought And The Law Of Life

It does not matter what the seeming law outside of life is, that law is also known as human conceived political law also. It does matter what your thoughts, intentions and realities are. Those laws are genuine principles that cannot be broken in any genuine way. Sure, I begin this article in that way, but, there are a couple of things I would like to mention about goals before I go on with this article and get to the center of the matter of this article.

Immoral or moral, you can have goals, but you benefit more from moral goals, you ultimately pay more even in subtle ways for immoral goals when really thought about logically and honestly. Life and existence are all give and take, what you give, you do take without matter to how long it takes for you to get back what you give. Good is beneficial, bad is harmful; both in objective and honestly definable terms. The good things of life are what is positive and lifting, the bad, it does not matter how the bad is justified is draining.

So, there may be some right political laws and there may be some wrong political laws, but one thing is for certain: The law of cause and effect is not a breakable law of nature by even the most amazing stretches of the imagination. Thus, the substantial law of cause and effect relates to goals, achievement and doing what needs to be done in every way. It does not relate to anything outside ourselves except in effect, every cause relates to what our intention is, what is inside us. The ultimate reality is within us, the effect we see is what we intended from within from when we had the original idea. Some things may waft and waver from the original intent, but rest assured, if it does exist, the model was there to begin with. What we give, we get. What we are, we have. Thought directed by the law of creates a result. Scattered and unfocused thoughts lead to scattered and unfocused results.

The law of life, if you are curious is the law of cause and effect. Not any other law matters unless you are doing the bad or harmful over the beneficial. Only when there is confusion, there needs to be a political straightening of concepts. That is the real role of political law, not taking arbitrary, harmful and destructive power, but to guide from going astray in a bad way.

Sure, in a way, I am over simplifying matters. Consider this, though: The simplest and most easily worked concept is usually the most beneficial in life. While Ponzi schemes, complex political tricks and such are usually not the most beneficial in life, in fact they are completely harmful without any matter to the seemingly quick benefit to the person initiating it. Long term benefit can only come from what really works when it all realistically comes down to it. Our goals make us, our vices break us. Vice is what does not work. A goal is what does work ultimately without matter to the seeming hardships within the implementation. All that has to be done is to think clearly, act succinctly, and generate what needs to be implemented in that order with total and logical consideration of cost and ultimate benefit. Sure, I may sound coldly rational to some, but existence and life are that exact in their functioning ultimately. Our thoughts may not be that exact, our human nature may not seem that exact, but the objective functioning of reality is that exact.

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Understanding your letter of appointment

Please do not resign before you receive a copy of your letter of appointment. Make sure that you read it carefully and that you query anything that concerns you. You have the right to negotiate your terms of employment. This is sage advice from somebody who has been recruiting in the industry for many years. I have seen offers withdrawn leaving the candidate unemployed and I have seen changes to letters of employment which were not agreed to in discussions.

You also need to understand your rights in terms of the BCEA (Basic Conditions of Employment Act) to ensure that nothing in the contract takes away your basic rights in terms of labour law.

Everyone who goes into an employee relationship is expecting that there will be great opportunities and success, but just as we go into marriage expecting that we will be happy forever after, there is an anti-nuptual agreement which gives guidelines on what will happen if you have to get divorced. When you read your letter of appointment make sure that it protects you when the relationship is no longer rosy and you are wanting to resign, or worse, the company wants to dismiss you. Query those parts of the contract which don’t seem fair before you finally accept the employment offer.

These are the ten things to check before you sign your letter of appointment:

Is there a restraint of trade and exactly what does it mean if you resign and work for a competing company? (Where else are you going to be able to use your skills).
Does it have a clause requiring that you compensate the employer for the cost of your recruitment if you leave before the end of a determined period. (This is illegal).
What are the terms of the probation clause? Do they seem reasonable?
What is the disciplinary code and the terms of dismissal? (Many letters still have a 24 hour notice period in the first month. The minimum notice period in the BCEA is 7 days).
What does the letter say about the right to search, test for drugs or undergo polygraph testing?
Does it have a clause requiring that, should you have a dispute with the Company, you have to pay for private arbitration? (Effectively preventing you from approaching the CCMA).
Do you fully understand the bonus and/or commission clauses?
Does the letter prevent you from having other sources of income? Do you have to get written permission for any business interests you may have outside of your full-time job?
Does the letter have a clause relating to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI)?
Does the letter ask for you to comply with policies that you have not been able to read?

Letters of appointment (or Contracts of Employment) have, in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), to contain certain details. These are listed in clause 29 of the Act and refer to an employee’s conditions of employment. However, what employees often miss are the clauses in a letter of appointment that are designed to protect the employer. They also fail to understand that once they have signed the letter they have agreed to these clauses and that, as with any other contract, the agreement is enforceable in a court of law.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is just a glorified PR officer, SABC tells court

The SABC on Thursday downplayed Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s influence at the public broadcaster, saying his position as group executive of corporate affairs was equivalent to that of a “glorified public relations officer”.
Image via SA Breaking News
Image via SA Breaking News
The High Court in Cape Town was hearing an application brought by the DA to have Motsoeneng removed from the SABC. He was recently reappointed to the position of group executive of corporate affairs, the post he held before becoming chief operating officer.

The DA’s application lists the SABC as the second respondent. The public broadcaster’s lawyer, Stephan du Toit, argued that it was not for the courts to dictate to the SABC who it could employ.

He said SABC acting CEO James Aguma was entitled to allocate the portfolio to any SABC employee.

“Him [Motsoeneng] holding that position is really a business decision taken by the CEO. He [Motsoeneng] is a glorified public relations officer; [this] is not a defining role as he had as chief operating officer, he now has a subordinate role,” Du Toit said.

Motsoeneng was reappointed to the position after he lost his job as operations chief in September when the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed his application for leave to appeal against a ruling by the High Court in Cape Town, setting aside his permanent appointment as the operations chief.

His reappointment as an executive precipitated the resignation of two board members in Parliament in October.

The board has just one member left and Parliament is due to hold an inquiry to look into the crisis at the SABC later in November.

The DA argued on Thursday that Motsoeneng is an “unethical, manipulative fraudster who has destroyed any semblance of good corporate governance at the SABC”, and should therefore not hold any influential position.

“The DA trying to prescribe to the SABC who they may employ, it will set a bad precedent if a political party comes along and tells us who to employ,” said Du Toit.

Anton Katz for the DA argued in court that Motsoeneng was a “toxic cancer that needs to be cut from the body [of the SABC]”.

He said Motsoeneng was still very much an influential figure at the SABC even though he held a different position. Motsoeneng was still in the same physical office as when he was chief operating officer, said Katz.

The office of the public protector argued in court that Motsoeneng should not hold any position of influence that requires honesty and integrity at the SABC because he was found to have been dishonest.

Motsoeneng’s legal troubles stem from former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings against him in 2014.

In her report, When Governance and Ethics Fail, Madonsela found Motsoeneng had fabricated his matric qualification and had increased his salary irregularly, from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year.

A disciplinary hearing cleared Motsoeneng of wrongdoing, but the DA says the process was a “sham and a charade”.

The disciplinary inquiry was one of the remedial actions directed by Madonsela in her report.

The SABC is challenging the public protector’s report and further argues that it will be premature for the courts to make a decision on Motsoeneng’s future until its review application has been dealt with.

Tiger Brands turnover soars

Tiger Brands saw turnover from continuing operations jump 11% to R31.7bn as group operating income rose 5% to R4.2bn in the year to September, despite what CEO Lawrence MacDougall called “one of the most challenging trading environments we’ve seen in a long time”.
Lawrence MacDougall.
Lawrence MacDougall.
Picture: Supplied
MacDougall said on Wednesday the period had been underpinned by unpredictable foreign exchange markets, weak consumer confidence and “abnormal” raw material inflation, that was worsened by drought.

“The year has been unprecedented in terms of volatility in the market,” he said.

“Despite this, we achieved a solid set of results from continuing operations.”

Headline earnings per share from continuing operations were up 2%. Total headline earnings per share rose 19%, boosted by the disposal in February of Tiger Branded Consumer Goods, formerly Dangote Flour Mills, in Nigeria.

The venture had been a millstone around the company’s neck, costing shareholders billions of rand in writedowns.

“There is absolutely no further exposure to Dangote — no impact on continuing operations,” chief financial officer Noel Doyle said on Wednesday.

The company declared a final dividend of 702c per share, up 12% on the previous year.

Domestic operations, which account for the bulk of group income, grew overall volumes by 2% and revenue by 11%.

The international business, which accounted for about 20% of all group operations, grew revenue by 7% on pricing and forex gains, MacDougall said.

He cited disciplined price and volume management and continued cost savings and investments as key drivers of performance. Tiger Brands had made R700m in cost savings in procurement activities in the past three years, he said.

Ron Klipin, a Cratos Capital portfolio manager, said on Wednesday he had a cautious outlook for the fast-moving consumer goods producer.

“Price volatility and high levels of inflation, especially in the grains division, impacted on profits as the company was unable to pass on costs [to cash-strapped consumers],” he said.

But consumer brands such as beverages, home care, groceries and baby products showed solid results, Klipin said.

The group’s ability to balance pricing and volumes in “difficult and competitive markets” had mostly proven to be sound business practice.

The group’s Koo food brand was voted the number one brand in SA.

The group’s eight top brands — including Black Cat, Jungle Oats and All Gold — provided annual turnover of more than R1bn, MacDougall said.

Tiger Brands had announced the resignation of chairman Andre Parker effective February 2017. Khotso Mokhele, a director of the group since 2007, would succeed him. The group had also appointed Kevin Hedderwick, former CE of Famous Brands, as an independent nonexecutive director from November.

Klipin said that Tiger Brands needed to become “more nimble in clawing back market share” from competitors such as the Rhodes Food Group. But it had a strong presence in the informal market, which had good growth potential and the dividend increase of 12% was a positive signal, he added.

A Conceptual Look At Political Marketing

Political marketing is the process by which candidates up for election and all their ideas are put together in a campaign and directed at voters. The idea is to further a candidate’s political agenda as well as gain support of the masses. Just as in regular marketing, there is the concept of seller, product and buyer. A political candidate offers voters products in the form of ideas that will ensure economic betterment, an improved society and all of this done for votes.

At the center of political marketing are the consumers. Without them there can be no campaign and no voting. They are the stimuli and the campaign has to be tweaked in order to appeal to their right side. Just as one would do in the selling of a product, the consumer market is analyzed and its behavior understood. Literature is made up, concepts are created and perception is gauged. Communication can be through selective exposure or through multiple phases.

Political marketing makes use of the concept of market segmentation as well as target groups in order to increase their successes at voting. Market segmentation is where potential vote banks are identified and target groups identified in them. This can be on the age, sex, annual income, residential location, race, personality, belief system and lots more.

Voting banks then are selected and the kind of communication targeted at them is different. Depending on this the kind of promotion aimed at the group will revolve around themes such as law and order, employment, foreign policy etc. Mediums of advertising, canvassing etc are ways in which to communicate.

Marketing a political candidate is all about creating an image or recall just as you would with any other product. This image is built up in multiple ways and given to the public. It is a concept and is based on a great deal of research. Loyalty to a particular brand is the same as loyalty to a political party. There is a need to identify voters loyal to the brand and utilize them to help swing votes your way.

A political campaign is worked on the basis of a great deal of research. The product, that is the candidate and his idealogy are promoted in the campaign and this in turn is sent out to the people in order to influence them to vote for a particular candidate. The success of a brand or in this case the political candidate is the culmination of a political marketing campaign.

Voting banks then are selected and the kind of communication targeted at them is different. Depending on this the kind of promotion aimed at the group will revolve around themes such as law and order, employment, foreign policy etc. Mediums of advertising, canvassing etc are ways in which to communicate.

Marketing a political candidate is all about creating an image or recall just as you would with any other product. This image is built up in multiple ways and given to the public. It is a concept and is based on a great deal of research. Loyalty to a particular brand is the same as loyalty to a political party. There is a need to identify voters loyal to the brand and utilize them to help swing votes your way.

Leading Political Essay Writing Company

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The second pertinent guideline of all political essays involves the use of diplomatic language. This language conforms to the essential international standards of academic research. The diplomatic tone is highly respected even in conflict resolution among different nations. Consequently, the use of diplomatic language is essential towards achieving professionalism. The third pertinent guideline in the academic documents involves the authentic framework. The scholars of international law and conflict management must be creative. This attribute helps in the achievement of authenticity. The professor awards bonus marks for all authentic political essays.
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