- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 10, 2000

Hope after a fall

"Nobody wants to hear this message, but I want to tell you we are moving toward perilous times. We may be at the height of prosperity in the world and in America, especially today, but there is a time coming that if your hope is not in Christ, you are not going to survive.
"The Lord spoke to my heart that religious people will blow their brains out when this stock market crashes, it's going to bring billions of dollars down. And you see, when you've lost it all, when you've already crashed and burned, you've already been through the valley of the shadow of death, I'm not fearing the future. I've already lost it all and I've been there. I've already found that the material things don't hold anything.
"When I went to prison, I couldn't take a car or house with me, but Jesus Christ went there with me. And so we are ready for that place, when we can say to people, if the world starts collapsing, we can tell them, 'Don't jump out of the window or blow your brains out, Jesus will walk with you through that valley.' "
Former PTL TV host Jim Bakker in a Feb. 7 interview with journalist Dan Wooding at the National Religious Broadcasters' meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

The Net rules?

"When Bill Clinton became the first president to participate in a live Internet chat on Nov. 8, 1999, history was not made. Although an estimated 30,000 users logged in over the course of the two-hour feed to watch a transcript of the event scroll down their computers, only 27 actually were able to get their questions answered and those only after their questions were triple-screened …
"The 2000 election cycle is already being spoken of as the year the Internet will 'break though' into politics. It's even been compared to the breakthrough television made in 1960 in the Kennedy-Nixon race. But then again we heard the same pronouncement in 1998, merely because most candidates at least had put up Web sites, and we're likely to hear it again come 2002 and even 2004 before it actually comes to pass …
"Too often, Internet boosters are eager to declare cyber-victory in every arena, often years before it happens. Even when victory comes, it actually often means that a fairly minor though very demographically desirable portion of the population has begun to do something online."
Elizabeth Weise, writing on "Not Yet for the Net" in the winter issue of Media Studies Journal

Polio and reality

"The notion that any problem can be solved with will, determination and ingenuity certainly helped build the strong, powerful nation America had become by the time I got polio. It continues to inspire successful, expansive business enterprises and individual lives. It helps people get through the day.…
"And yet the refusal to recognize the possibility of failure, the refusal to accept the tragic nature of life and the knowledge that all problems do not have solutions, all this came to constitute more than a mere metaphysical error in America. It produced an entire subculture of denial and shame, where failure cannot be admitted, where those who cannot succeed must apologize and take the blame, where a vast network of institutions has been built to hide the millions who cannot pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, a culture in which failure is swept under a rug, where death is denied, where we undertake extravagant attempts to fix the unfixable in hospital rooms and in sovereign countries such as Vietnam and where those who object to this must feel themselves judged to be wanting, to be neurotic, losers, not quite good Americans, not quite psychologically robust, needing a change in their diet, their vitamins, their aerobic conditioning, their meditation techniques, their outlook on life, where we know to say of someone who doesn't go along with the program: Well of course, you know, he's been psychologically damaged."
Charles L. Mee in his new book, "A Nearly Normal Life"

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