-And the LORD answered me, and said,
             Write the vision,and make it plain upon tables,
                    that he may run that readeth it. 
                   - (Hab 2:2)

News And Commentary are UP for Insiders - Click Here!!



Watson's
                Web Lighthouse
_________

That He May Run That Readeth it

This is a book I wrote many years ago and was the genesis of this site. It is still available from my publisher Infinity Publishing.







Mark's Latest
articles can be found in



format
What is RSS?

在 這樣的世代裏

那 鴻書﹕神懲 罰報應的概述

你 所獲的禮品伴隨的代價太高

神為什麼要 求信 心

pdf 七個教會

scrollProphetic Page



__________



An Open Letter To Black Lives Matter:
How to avoid being ensnared in the ongoing Federal operation 'Ni&&er Catcher' and 'Black Snare', run out of the US intelligence community and certain sections of Law Enforcement. These operations do exist, though naturally not with those pejorative titles. They are not legal, nor are they officially recognized but key people in high positions run these operations that specifically target Black Americans and certain White Americans who seek justice, truth and use their rights to bring these things back to our once great nation. The impetus comes from the US Intelligence community - LE does the footwork. This is what they did to so many civil rights leaders back in the 60's and 70's. They have honed their skills for the technology of the 21st century.

pdfIran Nukes And Regional Staility


The Harvest


An Open Letter To Senator Mikulski And The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence

pdfPaths Of Righteousness - For His Name's Sake

pdfIn Times Like These
pdfEconomic Crisis Report: Models Of Destruction
Where is our economy heading and why can't the US and global economy find its footing nearly six years after the of economic crisis of 2008? These are some of the questions we will attempt to ask ourselves in this report. The problems in the developed world today stem from deep troubles in

pdfWill America Go To War With China?
This is a look at the possibility of this happening and some of the drivers that could tip these nations into war.  Those key drivers may not be what many analysts think.
pdfEconomic Crisis Report III: Between Two Shutdowns
Government shutdowns? Inflation? Deflation? QE? Joblessness? Obamacare?

pdf National Security: What Is America Doing In Secret?

pdf  Watson's Economic Crisis Report - II

 pdf
Eyes On Russia: Watson's Economic And Political Report



pdfPolitical And Economic Review #2
This issue is mostly about American oil and leadership. It is a 30 page overview of America's oil situation.


pdfPolitical and Economic Review
The first in a new series of secular articles. One way to support this site is to get a copy of these inexpensive reports (click link aboue). Another is to hit the donate button.

_____


Ezekiel and the Spirit of Stubbornness/The Sardis Syndrome

Christ, Family and Persecution

When The Bottom Falls Out Of Your Boat

NSA Spying:
The Future, Black Madness and the Prophetic imperative.

How God Measures Us
He does it very differently that the world does.

Trends In Africa
A quick look at some troubling trends in Africa

Brothel Politics, The Church and First Things
Recent trends in the nation, including Obamacare are indicative of something much deeper that is wrong with America

While I Was Away...
A word about my month long hiatus

Shutdown Note:
A look at how the criminally insane 'pay' their bills.


Times And Seasons (09-13)
 Faith and patriotism in the last days... and what kind of fruit is  Christ going to find on your tree?

7 Churches Of  Revelation
Light for seeing, ears for hearing. Most commentaries on these chapters miss this most important point.


The Devil, Catholics And Internet Protestants
Catholic bashing is a foundational stone of so much of todays internet Christians faith. Is this really a pastime God approves of, especially when the Catholics are doing their best to reform?

Unwise Faith
- It is most unwise to place your faith in the wrong things.
 
Obadiah: Divine Geopolitics
- Is the Lord concerned about geopolitics?

The Assyrian
- Damascus and the Assyrian in Bible Prophecy

End Time Personal Notes
- Just some notes to true believers as to things to watch for on a personal level and consider in these times.


 - What I See...

A quick look (15 pages) at some trends I see and don't see. Trends in the economy, trends in 'people control' and spiritual matters


 - Collision Course

Each and every passing day,

we who know Christ can see our nation is on a collision course with God. On a number of fronts the nation has just decided to set its face against the God who blessed us and move its spiritual foundations towards the spiritual foes of both God and man.


      - Prison Labor Industry

      Slave labor cleverly

      disguised.


 - Special Report: Watson's Economic Crisis Report 

   

This issue of my new series of paid reports deals with the ongoing global economic crisis. Its about 40 pages and deals with a wide range of issues that face the western world. This touches on America's decline, Obama's new Treasury pick, the ongoing debt crisis, the Fed and Treasuries debt monetization operations, currency wars, scenario's for major troubles in China, Europe's ongoing crisis and ...

 - 3 Short Commentaries

   

Entitled Not Afraid, Tough Decisions and Job's Sufferings. God will take care of his people. Just make sure brothers when its our time to pass over our own spiritual 'river Jordan', that we make our deaths count for something, that being Christ. If we are to die as Christians for the gospel and the word of our testimony (Rev 19:10, 12:17, 12:11), let us rejoice because we have a long and honorable heritage of those who went before us.

 -  Lamentations Are Coming 

   

I think we as Christians need to keep in mind and prepare our souls for what is really coming. Mr. Leal has done a good job of laying out that a time of great sorrow will sweep America.

 -  The Curse 

   

When a nation decides to put the stamp of approval on those things God hates, it invites a curse. And be certain of this, without some real soul searching repentance, a curse is what is going to hit us. America has enjoyed prosperity like no other nation on earth. Military power like no other nation on earth. Good will and diplomatic strength like no other nation on earth. Why? We as a nation respected ...

 -  I Have A Dream Vs. I Have A Drone 

   

I think it should be noted that while some people will say they find something 'highly offensive' when they do not really mean it, I want to make clear that I really do mean it, it is personally highly offensive to compare Dr. King and President Obama. If a person wants to worship Obama and idolize him, that is their business, not mine. But before anyone attempts to cast dispersions on Dr. King by ...

 -  Mali: Africa Must Take The Lead 

   

This crisis in Mali... first off, this is not just 'another war'. This is a very serious and potent threat to African continental security.

  Watson's Economic And Political Review (WEPR) #2 

   

This issue is mostly about American oil and leadership. It is a 30 page overview of America's oil situation and new claims that America will one day surpass the Saudi's in Oil production and become energy independent. The question is an extremely important one and could really alter the whole geopolitical landscape... if true. Are these claims real and credible? Are there any problems with them? This ...

 - Watson's Economic And Political Review (WEPR) #1 

   

This is going to be bad news for many of my readers, but a small portion of my secular writings are going to have to go pay. I have done a pretty good job with this update (if I do say so myself!) dealing with issues that I know many care about. Namely Iran and what a war or 'regime change' is likely to bring about, the EU crisis and how the ongoing economic crisis could deeply effect the US. Keep ...

 -  The Holiday Season 

   

Christmas has been a matter of some controversy for a number of reasons. First off, one of the few things we can be certain of about Christmas is that Christ was not born on December 25th, or anywhere near it. When was Christ Born? We do not know, though some scholars have said that it was more likely an event that occurred in the Fall, though the evidence for this is rather scant. What we do know ...

 -  There Is A Generation... 

   

What does it mean to live in our times, having been touched by God's spirit and understanding what God requires of us? It means that we are going to have a hard time fitting in with the current generation. This is the way it should be, since we are of a very different heritage. The scriptures talk about times like ours and what kinds of people will inhabit the earth just before Christ returns. We ...

  The Way Back 

   

For many of my readers, the way back to God is the road you are on. Many of you have fallen away and for whatever reason, personal tragedy, hard times or just a dissatisfaction with worldly 'satanic' living that did not make you nearly as happy as you thought it would. I find it interesting that so many people here in America have just about everything and yet are totally miserable. I am struck by ...

 - What's Expected Of Son's And Heir's 

   

What should we as Christians should be doing in these times? As these days grow darker and increasingly rejects Christ and genuine Christianity, we who wish to get into the kingdom must know what God wants us to do. What does God expect of us, we who are determined no matter what comes, to get into God's kingdom and avoid his holy wrath, which I bear witness, is coming to this world and will usher ...

 - In The Kingdom Of The Blind 

   

Today, it is extremely important that we know what is happening in our world, particularly from a prophetic standpoint. Why? The return of Christ is our blessed hope. God spoke clearly and insistently that we are to be watching and ready for our Lords return. Yet as I speak to Christians, I just don't see any level of spiritual discernment in their lives or minds Mind you there are always some exceptions ...

 - We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Broadcast To Bring You... 

   

But when it comes to the times and seasons and understanding them, Christians I know as well are floundering. They are often confused and unsure about what to believe. They listen to their pastors, read the news, but more and more are seriously questioning both. This is a good thing at least as a first step, but often leads to confusion, depression and can lead to apostasy. Why? Because such Christians ...

 - Culling The World's Population 

   

Yes, there is a plan afoot to reduce the human population. Most of the plan is hidden in plain sight.

 -  Political, Economic And Spiritual Review (Summer 2012) 

   

Fifty-three pages that looks at several issues facing our world today. From the economic crisis to food and eugenics to Syria as well a look at what a Mitt Romney Presidency may look like.

 -  Judge Not! 

   

...Lest ye be judged.

 - The Blessings Of Obedience 

   

Has the devil fooled you into thinking you can be saved and not obey the Lord?

  From Another World 

   

Christians, real ones that is, must conduct themselves as though they are from another world. A real Christian, is not of this world but of the Kingdom of God and his Christ.

 


-  From The North 

   

A prophetic look at the Arctic. The Arctic you ask? Yes the Actic and how it may relate to Babylon's fall.


Other Resources
(most are in PDF format)


Select Congressional Committee Investigating Illegal Practices In The Abortion Industry

Congressional Report On STOPPING TERROR FINANCE:
SECURING THE U.S. FINANCIAL SECTOR

LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP AND FRIGATE
Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions


Defense Business Board Outlines Savings Of $125 Bln Annually


Iran: Ministry Of Intelligence And Internal Security - LOC

Global Trends 2030 - NIE

High Unemployment And GDP - CRS

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

DOJ Lethal Force Justification Against US Citizens

Global Trends 2030
- NIC

US Vulnerabilities To Money Laundering, Drugs And Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History
- US Senate

Intelligence Committee Report On Huawei

Major Arms Transfers - CRS

The Crisis In Mali - CRS

The Crisis In Syria - CRS

 Posse Comitatus - CRS

Iran: Nuclear Intentions And Capabilities

Official Japanese Diet Report On Fukushima

State Department Report On Religious Persecution

State Department Report On Religious Persecution (Constitutional Review for OIC) - 2012

US-China Policy Issues - CRS

US Naval Modifications For China's Rise - CRS

UAE: US Policy Issues - CRS

Senate Report On Counterfeit Parts In DOD Supply Chain


2012 Annual Report To Congress On Chinese Military - DOD

Water Security - CIA/NIC

Syria's Phase Of Radicalization - ICG

Oil Imports And Exports - CRS

Pivot To The Pacific - CRS

Challenges To EU's Energy Security - CRS

Official US Military Report On Nazi Germany's IG Farben- DOD

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Isreal's Possible strike On Iran - CRS

Iran Policy Concerns - CRS

Food Aid To NK - CRS

Aid To Pakistan

(Senate Hearing)

DOD Missing Trillions

(official audit)

GAO's Audit of the FED Report

(audit)

Chinese Naval Modernization - CRS

Human Rights In China - CRS

US-China Trade Issues - CRS

US-China Miliary Contacts - CRS

US- Taiwan Arms Sales - CRS

China's Currency: Analysis Of Issues - CRS

The Debt Limit ∓mp; Gov't Operations - CRS

China's Acquisition of US Technology - Congress

Secret Law And the Threat To Democracy - Senate Judiciary Comm.

OSS/CIA Images Of Auschwitz During the War

Nuclear Terror In The US - FEMA


More Resources



Links I Like
From all over the Christian spectrum!
***

Last Days Of The Age
___
The Endtime Pilgrim
___
The First Trumpet
___
The Last Trumpet
___

Spirit Daily

(Catholic... great news links)

Orthodox Today
(A look at today from an Orthodox Perspective)
___
The Assyrian News Agency
(A look at events in Iraq)
___
The Barnabas Fund
___
China Aid
(A look at events inside China, from a Christian Perspective)
___
Gay Christian Movement Watch
(A hard-hitting blog talking about the growing sin of Homosexuality inside the Church)
___
Independent Catholic News
___
Jihad Watch
(Not Christian, but gets into important trends in the Islamic world)
___
Compass Direct
(Persecution news)

Babylon Today


Mark's Audio Page

Selected Audio

Paradigm Shift: Capitalists ∓mp; Dissenters

Part 1 and Part 2

Emerging Viruses - Dr. Horowit untrz

- Lo-fi version here

Think You Have Property Rights?

The Real Purpose Of Public Education - John Gatto

Alex Jones Talks On Bilderberg 2005

Stan Goff On The Military-Monetary System

On War: A Veteran NYT Journalists Views

Mad Cow And Alzheimer's: The Link

Vote Rigging In 2004 (A 2 Hour Look) -
Part 1And Part 2

Hard Evidence Of Vote Fraud In Ohio - 2 Min Update

Bev Harris Interviewed On Ohio Vote Fraud

Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man
Part 1And Part 2

Announcement On Ohio Vote Legal Action

Seymour Hersh On Abu Gharib

Mike Ruppert/TUC Radio: Across The Rubicon
Part 1And Part 2

What Is Wrong With The American Mind: Corporate Media Consolidation
Part 1And Part 2

Lethal Injections: The Hidden Dangers Of Vaccines


Bush Blocked Bin Laden Probes

Truth And Lies Of 911

911 Road To Tyranny (low bandwidth)

Afghanistan, jihad and oil in Central Asia

Biowarfare: Leaps In Technology

An intelligent look at the future of the Oil Based Economy

Natural Resources and Global Conflict

Plan Colombia

Corporate Propaganda

Gore Vidal On Terrorism

The Bush's Oil War

America The Babylon

Part 1 And Part 2

A Look At Peak Oil

Black Box Voting

The Evidence Is A Farce

The Bilderbergs

The Doctrine Of Incorporation

Wheat Receipts: The Federal Reserve

American Dynasty: The Bush Family

The Pentagon Crash Investigation.

Trenton Parker On The Oil Crisis Of The 70's

Earth changes, HAARP, Non-Lethal Weapons
Part 1 And Part 2

A very interesting Presentation on War Crimes in Vietnam

Why Is Africa Starving?

Financial Collapse: What Does Greenspan Really Think - FSO?

The 911 Cover-Up Commission

The Mafia, CIA And Bush


_______

Last Updated
  7 Dec 2017

-
This Site has become a PRIVATE Site

99% of all future commentary are now private.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
(Luk 9:26)



“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression.
In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged.
And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air
– however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
 ― Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas


I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
(Psa 16:8)

***

Mark can be reached here.


7 Dec


Consumers Need A Hero, Not A Hack At The CPFB

Sen. Paul writes a piece on the CPFB. Trump seems determined to destroy the agency and that will be a big mistake. Not just for you and me, but for him. The agency is very popular with consumers and hated by the crooks who have been committing all manner of crimes while Law Enforcement slept and was busy shooting unarmed Black men and acquitting the cops who did it.

But two things I will say about what Trump is doing now. This move with the CPFB and the move against Net Neutrality -  these are moves that target the ordinary guy. Moreover moves against Net Neutrality will hit a lot of folks at home... They are going to feel that and you know what? They will associate it with Donald J. Trump.

It is not like Trump won by some great landslide, key swing state were the key.

One thing about Net Neutrality and Title II that many folks don't know, is that it helps people in Rural area's get internet access. Title II meant a lot more than most people know. But in a few days, it will be gone. Many think Pai is in favor of expanding into rural areas and that this will help, rather than hurt those efforts. If their dreams don't pan out those rural areas were crucial to Trumps election and could be a problem. I say again, people will forgive politicians a lot, but hit them at home where they live in their monthly bills and where they can go in the internet? If this goes sour for those consumers Trump is going to pay a price for it.

But the reality - the political reality is this - Trump has ramrodded these two major policies and each move can hardly be called popular. For a President who won on a populist platform, this could cost him a lot more than transitory poll numbers.

But the CPFB, if reports are true needs to have more oversight than we have had so far. Why?

Read this.

But the real story is this. Who was it who uncovered Wells Fargo's schemes? The CPFB. The anti-CPFB propaganda is out there in force. You can find it all over the web. All the CPFB does is protect you and me from those who would victimize us. That's it.

Who do you think is pushing for the agencies demise?

I don't think that is too hard to figure.

If I were a crook looking for a way to steal from Americans, I would want to do away with the agency too.

How 'evil' is the CPFB?

CFPB Orders Citizens Bank to Pay $18.5 Million for Failing to Credit Full Deposit Amounts

CFPB Orders EZCORP to Pay $10 Million for Illegal Debt Collection Tactics

CFPB Fines Experian $3 Million for Deceiving Consumers in Marketing Credit Scores

CFPB orders student-loan company to pay at least $19.1 million

CFPB Issues $1.25 Million Fine to Servicemember Auto Lender for Violating Consent Order

CFPB secures $27.7 million judgment against foreclosure relief scammers

How dare they look out for us consumers? How dare they!! Issuing fines for those who break laws, our trust and commit crimes? What do they think this is? A nation of laws and justice?

Well, I will not be too hard on this new director, who has lambasted the agency and now is running it. Perhaps he will continue on the tradition of protecting consumers. But I freely admit, I am very, skeptical.

What’s Christian in the Season of Trump?

(The Marshall Project) Heather Rice-Minus, vice president of government affairs for Prison Fellowship, concedes the current climate makes it harder to persuade Christians — 81 percent of white evangelicals cast ballots for Trump — to consider reducing mandatory minimum sentences, increasing prisoner education programs and reforming other areas of the criminal justice system.
“In some ways it’s more difficult because of the law-and-order narrative that’s promoted, but at the same time I’m hopeful,” she says.

“Outrageous Justice” is a six-session plan designed to be spread across six weeks. The first week, participants would discuss how they can “pursue justice that restores” in the criminal justice system. By the sixth week they are considering whether the members are ready to accept ex-prisoners into their communities.

“Once someone has made amends for their past wrongdoing and repented, are we willing to extend a hand in practical ways?” the study guide summary asks. “Are we, who have been given a second chance, willing to give similar opportunities to others who only want to reach their full potential?”
Small groups are a more informal, modern and intimate version of the traditional Sunday or Wednesday night Protestant prayer service. The gatherings in church members’ living rooms are occasions to strengthen friendships, to share snacks, Biblical inspiration and prayer requests.

Rice-Minus said about 375 groups have tried the study guides. The initial feedback has been so enthusiastic that Prison Fellowship has set a goal of producing a million copies... Continues At The Marshall Project


The Marshall project looks at the issue of prison and incarceration in a more just and merciful way that many White Evangelicals do. This piece is enlightening as the the challenges some face in getting them to see things outside of the 'White suburban' mindset.

I am a strong law and order person, but one that is also fully persuaded in the ideas of mercy and a system that ceases to look at skin color and the amount of money one has when determining sentences and fines. Our system has become totally perverted by men and women who lack the Christian virtues they claim to adore.

But those who show no mercy will be shown none by Christ, who castigated the religious hypocrites of his time.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,
and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done,
and not to leave the other undone.
(Mat 23:23)


The Pharisees were concerned with the outward show of religion, the rituals but the substance was not present and by their actions they showed who their real father was.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows'
houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall
receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
 hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte,
and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child
of hell than yourselves.
(Mat 23:14-15)



Here we see just how high a value God places on things like mercy and faith as well as judgment, which is also essential. Mercy is a Christian virtue and any person who does not have it can call himself a Christian all day long and cite scripture chapter-and-verse backwards and forwards, but in reality he is no Christian but is little more than a modern day Pharisee.

Trump's stance on law enforcement is not a good one. More power, more arms to cops many of whom have little more than a high school education and more than a few are avowed racists and even criminals. This is hardly a solution that a just person would want to implement.  He is also rolling back many of the bi-partisan police reforms that were being conducted by the last administration.

Where is the understanding of many of the deeper problems that exist in these communities and the way many (not all or even most) cops have behaved? To Trump it does not even signify.


***

You know, I get a rash of you know what from people and am called a 'fundamentalist'. Well, I accept that title. I believe in the fundamentals of the faith if Jesus Christ.

One of those fundamentals is the principle of mercy.


Others are love, obedience to God's commandments and faith in God's word.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
- Jesus Christ


Saleh's Death Could Make Yemen's Crisis Worse

(International Crisis Group)What exactly happened and what led up to this sudden twist in Yemen's devastating war?

On 4 December, Huthi fighters killed Yemen’s former president and their erstwhile ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh. His violent death and the military defeat of his loyalists in Sanaa were the culmination of months of growing tensions between Saleh’s General People’s Congress party (GPC) and the Huthis. Before coming to blows, the Huthi-Saleh alliance had fought the Saudi-led coalition, which is backing the internationally recognised government of Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to a stalemate. After nearly three years of war, including a punishing air campaign and a policy of economic strangulation, they still controlled the north, where the majority of Yemen’s population lives. It came at a high human cost: Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world with seven million on the brink of famine, over three million internally displaced and an expected one million cases of cholera by the end of the year.

The Huthis and Saleh had a history of distrust and violence, fighting six rounds of conflict between 2004 and 2009. As partners against the Saudi-led coalition, they fought over positions in the government, accused each other of corruption and engaged in an off-and-on again war of words in the media. Overtime, the Huthis consolidated control over the military-security apparatus, but the exact balance of power in the tribes and loyalties within some military units were unclear. By August 2017, when Saleh staged a rally in Sanaa to celebrate the GPC’s 35th anniversary, the Huthis suspected he was planning to turn against them with the help of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To his followers’ disappointment, Saleh failed to act, but four months later he did, a decision that would cost him his life and confirm the Huthis’ military superiority.

The trigger for the violence was a 29 November clash between Saleh fighters and Huthi loyalists over control of the Saleh Mosque, a major landmark in the capital that was built and opened by Saleh a decade ago. Local mediation failed to cool tensions and on 2 December, Saleh lit a match by calling his followers to take up arms against the Huthis. He also announced his willingness to “turn a new page” with the Saudi-led coalition, a statement that confirmed his treachery to the Huthis and played poorly with some of his base, who oppose the Huthis but Saudi military actions in Yemen even more.... continues at the International Crisis Group

Trump's Jerusalem Move: An Israeli View

MEForum looks at the issue in one of their backgrounders. Naturally this piece will go 180 degree counter narrative to what we will read in our MSM. But it is good and worthy of the read.

Trump Finally Calls On Yemen To End Blockade

Finally a step in the right direction. This may have more to do with the status of Jerusalem and KSA's response than anything else. Talk is cheap. If he really wants to end the blockade there are ways to get the Saudi's full attention.

Like stopping our support to their operations in ways like this.


4 Dec

Zephaniah (chapter 1)

(this was written back in 2015 for insiders - I post it here for your edification)


The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

(Zep 1:1)


As with most of the minor prophets, the man of God, to whom this word is given gives a brief description of who he is. What the prophet is doing here is showing his descent, weather he is a prophet, a son of a prophet or if he happens to have some kind of royal connection. In Zephaniah's case, he may indeed be an offspring of King Hezekiah. This is a subject of some debate, noting that no such Amariah is mentioned as a son of Hezekiah and the number of generations between him and the old king seems to be in dispute. Yet others note that this does not preclude a Royal connection Here is what Albert Barnes says.


Nor is it impossible that Zephaniah should have been the great grandson of the King Hezekiah, for although Holy Scripture commonly names the one son only who is in the sacred line, and although there is one generation more than to Josiah, yet if each had a son early, Zephaniah might have been contemporary with Josiah. - Albert Barnes


Despite this list of ancestors, not much is really known about him. What does seem clear is that even if he was not a decedent of Hezekiah, his antecedents were probably men of note in the Kingdom of their day. Wesley says this about him.


He is thought to have been the great - grandson of king Hezekiah. In the days of Josiah - So he was contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and foretells what Jeremiah and Ezekiel did. - John Wesley


The prophet makes plain when he prophesied and it was in the reign of the king Josiah. Here are the genealogy reigns of the kings of Israel

Those desiring a chart with kings and their respective prophets can find a chart here.


Josiah, was a good king and was responsible for what was known as the Deuteronomic Reform which included removing all (or most of) Israel's pagan alters. Yet even in light of his significant reforms, the sins of Israel were very great and it is not clear from reading Zephaniah's utterances, just how far those reforms really went in the hearts of the people, who seemed fully determined to worship the host of heaven and partake of the idolatrous worship of those nations around them.


I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.

(Zep 1:2-6)


Zephaniah does not waste time or mince words about what the Lord is going to do this people. He utters this judgment right after he identifies himself and tells all that he is a prophet of the Lord.


While this judgment was indeed directed at Ancient Israel for her wicked behavior, it is also clearly to be taken in a far more apocalyptic context. The Lord will


Consume all things from off the land.

All flesh is to be removed

The Stumbling blocks of the wicked are to be consumed

Man will also be cut off

He will stretch out his hand against Judah and Jerusalem

He will cut off the remnant of the false religion of Baal

He will cut off the name of the Idolatrous Priests (chemarims) as well as by inference those priests of the Lord who no more did right.


Three false religious systems are identified for destruction

a – those that worship the host of heaven (star worshipers)

b – those who had the 'many paths lead to God' mentality; those who swore by the Lord and also swore by false God's (Malcham who was the idol of the Ammonites)

c- Backsliders and apostates


Yes, the Lord was also going to hit the backsliders and apostates as well. Brothers, I say this with great sadness, there are today, just not that many real, genuine Christians who are truly walking in the Spirit of the Lord.


For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

(Rom 8:14)


These first few passages set the tone for both the prophet's divinely appointed task as well as shows us, in these times, just what God things of these things.


These days, I am often amazed at the laxity of Christians today in the west towards God and what he has commanded us all to do. While it is true that American Christians often show considerable prejudice towards other faiths, yet this prejudice is not based upon any love for God and his son Christ Jesus, but more often than not is more of a manufactured fear of 'terrorism' or the cultural or racial dilution that comes with the influx of other faiths. Not any love for God or the deeply Christian traditions of America.


As an American I have learned to be tolerant of the faith of others. This is not ancient Israel, nor is it some new 'Kingdom of God' on earth as some preach. As a result of that, as a Christian I must respect that this nation has always had a strong streak for religious tolerance. In many ways it has made this nation the envy of the world. But such tolerance has taken new forms that now enforces that tolerance on things and people's who do not show the same tolerance to Christians and who have shown a remarkable propensity for violence both abroad and also here at home. So how can we as Christians safely apply this passage in our times?


There are two ways. First, that as God led the Children of Israel out of the wilderness and into a promised land, our nation too was founded by men and women who fled the old world, braved hardships in order to build a new one. It was because of the religious intolerance of the 16th, 17th and 18th century that was found in places like England that these men and women came by ship to America to escape religious bigotry and a state enforced religious system that was the cause of many a conflict and trouble in the UK at the time.


But just like Israel of old, this nation grew fat and rich; became arrogant with military might and victories and though she has made herself strong with questionable military alliances they would not preserve her in the day of trouble.


As those idolatrous faiths who undermined Jewish worship began to get more and more influence in the life of the Kingdom of Israel, serious error resulted and the Lord using his prophets let the people know that the God who brought so much blessing, can and will also bring a curse should they choose not to repent.


Zephaniah's word is one that appears to have a connotation that is directed at Judah specifically but the whole world, in general. Here is how the most excellent K&D commentary breaks out these first few versus.


The announcement of the judgment upon the whole earth not only serves to sharpen the following threat of judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem in this sense, “Because Jehovah judges the whole world, He will punish the apostasy of Judah all the more;” but the judgment upon the whole world forms an integral part of his prophecy, which treats more fully of the execution of the judgment in and upon Judah, simply because Judah forms the kingdom of God, which is to be purified from its dross by judgment, and led on towards the end of its divine calling. As Zephaniah here opens the judgment awaiting Judah with an announcement of a judgment upon the whole world, so does he assign the reason for his exhortation to repentance in Zep_2:1-15, by showing that all nations will succumb to the judgment; and then announces in Zep_3:9., as the fruit of the judgment, the conversion of the nations to Jehovah, and the glorification of the kingdom of God. The way to salvation leads through judgment, not only for the world with its enmity against God, but for the degenerate theocracy also. It is only through judgment that the sinful world can be renewed and glorified. - Keil And Delitzsch


Zephaniah's word seem a bit depressing but I think the commentary above sets the tone correct, any redemption that will come to mankind will only come after they have been burned and sufficiently scorched by the fires of God's holy judgment. Not in the lap of luxury watching a 70 inch 4k flat screen. This word is meant for Judah in particular but the whole world in general. God has a plan to do just what this prophet describes.


False religion, backsliders and apostates as well as the 'many paths lead to God' heretics are clearly identified for the exact same judgment. God does not like any of these false systems of religion, they are nothing more than the fuel that drives them on to a spiritual shipwreck on the shoals of false religion. Not even the animals are spared from God's fierce and holy wrath. What is described here is total desolation. I find this comment in Matthew Henry's commentary rather interesting.


I will consume the beasts, the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea (v. 3), as, in the deluge, every living substance was destroyed that was upon the face of the ground, Gen. vii. 23. The creatures were made for man's use, and therefore when he has perverted the use of them, and made them subject to vanity, God, to show the greatness of his displeasure against the sin of man, involves them in his punishment. The expressions are figurative, denoting universal desolation. Those that fly ever so high, as the fowls of heaven, and think themselves out of the reach of the enemies' hand--those that hide ever so close, as the fishes of the sea, and think themselves out of the reach of the enemies' eye--shall yet become a prey to them, and be utterly consumed. 2. The children of men: "I will consume man; I will cut off man from the land. The land shall be dispeopled and left uninhabited; I will destroy, not only Israel, but man. The land shall enjoy her sabbaths. I will cut off, not only the wicked men, but all men; even the few among them that are good shall be involved in this common calamity. Though they shall not be cut off from the Lord, yet they shall be cut off from the land." It is with Judah and Jerusalem that God has this quarrel, both city and country, and upon them he will stretch out his hand, the hand of his power, the hand of his wrath; and who knows the power of his anger? v. 4. Those that will not humble themselves under God's mighty hand shall be humbled and brought down by it. - Matthew Henry Whole Bible Commentary


Yes, this I think is another one of those Old Testament previews of the ultimate day of the Lord, not just the Babylonian desolations which were in view in the prophet day. Did not our Lord say that in the day of his coming that if those days were not cut short, no flesh, not just man but no animal life at all would be saved? God's horrendous judgment when it comes is going to correct the one of the biggest mistakes that God made that is recorded in the Bible. That being his creation of the race of men (Genesis chapter 6). If I had to sum this important spiritual passage and the principle behind it it would be this, Do right and receive mercy at God's hand, otherwise you are going into the spiritual garbage dump.


Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

(Zep 1:7-8)

After the prophet tells the people just what the Lord has proposed to do, he asks his hearers to stand in awe and keep silent before the Lord, for his day is at hand, the day of the Lord. The king and his children (the Royal Family) are marked here for special consideration on the day of the Lord. The Lord is going to make a great sacrifice on that day, and he has made out his guest invitations. The reference to strange apparel is probably a reference to the love of luxury that the kings household had, but also may be a reference to the foreign social and even religious influences on the kingdom. The word strange here is


H5237
נכרי
nokrîy
nok-ree'
From H5235 (second form); strange, in a variety of degrees and applications (foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful): - alien, foreigner, outlandish, strange (-r, woman).


This apparel may refer to clothing that was not befitting for men, to wear that being women's clothing on a man (Deut 22:5). Yet Gill has a more interesting view on this passage, that I think is probably more fitting.


and all such as are clothed with strange apparel; either which they put on in honour of the idols they worshiped, as Jarchi; so the heathens wore one sort of garments for one idol, and another sort for another; or these were men of a Pharisaical cast, who wore garments different from others, that they might be thought to be very holy and religious, which sense is mentioned by Kimchi; or they were such, which he also observes, who, seeing some to have plenty of good clothes, stole them from them, and put them on; or such who arrayed themselves in garments that did not belong to their sex, men put on women's garments, and women clothed themselves with men's, and both strange apparel; or rather this points at such persons, who, in their apparel, imitated the fashions and customs of foreign nations; which probably began with the king's children and courtiers, and were followed by others. - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible.


In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.

(Zep 1:9-10)



God is going to do something else on that day, he is going to punish those that 'leap on the threshold'. What does this mean? This is probably a reference to some kind of dance or ecstatic display by false prophets and others who may have possessed a spirit of divination and did their little 'devil dance' on the rooftops to predict the future. The fish gate was a gate of Jerusalem which suffered when the Babylonians did come in and destroyed the city. It was rebuilt in the days of Nehemiah (Neh 3:3).




Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof
(Zep 1:11-13)

Maktesh was probably located between Mount Zion and Mount Olivet and was apparently place of great commerce. Though the actual location of this ancient place is in dispute. The name actually means 'mortar'. The passage continues with God having a plan to search out the men that said that the the Lord would not do good or evil, in other words God would not intervene in human affairs. This is quite reminiscent of what Ezekiel said in his day about those in Israel.




And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.

(Eze 8:9-12)


This may have become a fashionable religious group in the days just before the exile as both prophets make reference to it - a kind of religious apathy.


There was a growth of false religion and idolatry in the land and in the passage in Ezekiel, we see that this worship was done secretly by the elite and nobility of Israel's political and religious structure. Do we not see the same things in America today, where many famous persons, political leaders and Christian ministers go into secret organizations? Think Freemasonry – what I would call the secret religion of the devil. Masonry has always been a foundational cornerstone of the American political system. The reference to “the lee's” is rather obscure but probably reference to the sediment at the bottom of a wine barrel.


H8105

שׁמר

shemer

sheh'-mer

From H8104; something preserved, that is, the settlings (plural only) of wine: - dregs, (wines on the) lees.


The Lord's judgment on them was severe; that all they stored up would go to others as war booty and their homes and mansions would become a desolation – probably razed to the ground. This word is very much like the one uttered by Amos.


Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them. For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. (Amo 5:11-12)


What I note in these verse in the above passages is the combination of commerce and false religion. Both were in the Lord's cross-hairs. The truth is that Freemasonry has deep hooks into local commerce in many places in America. People don't know or understand that there is the public 'good works' side of Freemasonry, but that is just a pose, a front to hide the evil it does in secret. This is why I think many of these prophecies are more important than it may seem for our times, for the same sins and evil are being done in secret today. Only this time, what we are dealing with is something global in scope and here I refer to the Global debt crisis and the first salvo in Greece, which just handed over its banking system, its infrastructure and some of its national treasures to its creditors. When the Lord utters his voice and judgment in these last days, it will not just be confined to Judah, but to the whole world for the wickedness it has committed against the Most High against a global system of commerce typified in the Babylonian system that pollutes the whole earth (Rev 17 & 18).


The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

(Zep 1:14-18)


Here, God's prophet makes something very clear, God was going to move against this sinful kingdom and that there was nothing good about that dreadful day. It is an evil day, a day of darkness gloom and wrath. The theme of the day of the Lord is one talked about before. There are many days of the Lord. But there will be one final day of the Lord when the Messiah comes to judge the earth and redeem his people. When prophets speak of the 'day of the Lord', there is usually a dual fulfillment - one for the hearers of the prophets time, and one for those who dwell in the last days, just before the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ on the great day of the Lord. Blood will be spilled, confusion and death will reign supreme and a man's wealth will not save him. Nothing can or will. Once they reject the Lord's counsel, they are destined for the spiritual dung heap.


As I wrote last week (this was written back in May 2015) in the short piece on 'Eight Souls', God is most patient hoping that men will repent, but once that patience is over, there is no delay - things happen, very, very quickly. The Lord will make an end and get rid of the diseased part of the human family...


once and for all.


There is only one cure and that is faith and obedience to the Lord and savior Jesus Christ.


Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

(Act 4:10-12)



1 Dec


Somali Muslims Break In, Beat Children of Christian Widow in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Hard-line Muslims on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya attacked a Christian widow’s children, ages 13, 17 and 21, leaving two of them seriously injured and still in pain 11 days after the assault, sources said.

Hadiya (surname withheld), an immigrant from Somalia, had not yet returned from a trip to a funeral when the assailants of Somali descent broke into her home at a town (undisclosed for security reasons) outside of Nairobi, at 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 17. - Continues At Morning Star News Service

Kidnapped Optician ‘shot dead after singing Amazing Grace’

The British optician kidnapped and killed last month in Nigeria died in a hail of bullets after singing the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ to lift the spirits of his fellow hostages, two of them said.

Ian Squire, 57, was killed instantly by shots fired by one of four gang members who abducted him and three other aid workers from their clinic in the country’s lawless southern Delta region on 13 October, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reports.

David Donovan, a doctor, and his wife Shirley, a teacher, set up a medical training charity, New Foundations, and four years ago teamed up with Ian Squire, who ran his own eyesight charity, Mission for Vision.

The circumstances surrounding Squire’s death were not made clear in accounts published earlier this month when the other three hostages were released, and some suggested he had died of an asthma attack.

However his fellow hostages told The Telegraph he was killed on their first morning in captivity – in a 16’x10’ bamboo hut in a remote swamp. - World Watch Monitor

The sad tale of the kinds of hatred that is out there against those of us who bear witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is considerable hate for the message. The other day I saw posting where one of the terrorists the US has been arming in Syria smashed up a statue of the virgin Mary. Yes, this is what the hoopla was about when Trump Tweeted the other day. The irony of that is that this was a US backed group, calling for the exact same things ISIS has been calling for.

But even as President he has had a hard time reigning in what can only be dubbed 'the satanic wing' of the deep state, who is still hell bent (right words) on continuing to support these groups. More here.

I don't want to get off subject here, but if you want to know why John McCain is going out of his way to undermine the Presidents health and tax plans in the Senate, perhaps this is the real reason why. His whole tenure and political posture these past years has not been looking out for the problems inside our own nation, but finding new groups of terrorists to train and arm to overthrow a government that as bad as it may seem to him, has had strong Democratic legitimacy.

It is men like McCain  as well as the Sunni gulf Sheikdoms who are very much to blame for the carnage that has hit Christians in the region and I am not the only one who see's it.

More here

..and here (full of cartoons, satire, but excellent info)

 and here.

Mass Grave Found In Mosul

Yet another mass grave containing the remains of 340 individuals executed by ISIS has been found in Iraq. The grave was discovered just outside of Mosul, and it is believed that the remains are Yazidi Kurds. It is well-known that ISIS targeted religious minorities, particularly Yazidis and Christians. Each time a grave is discovered, it represents both closure and heartache for the families’ of the victims. These graves are a somber reminder that ISIS’s brutality will have far reaching consequences beyond the militants’ military defeat. - ICC/IBT

Pastor Murdered in His Home in Lagos by Cultist Group

A Pastor in Lagos, Nigeria, was murdered yesterday by a group known as the Badoo Group. They are a cultist organization known for murdering people in their homes or in churches. They use stones as their weapons and leave ritualistic markings at each of their murders. In this case, the Pastor was at home, and was beaten with two stones. They then tattooed his arm with a skull and left. The police are investigating the crime and have even arrested several people for questioning. We pray that the culprits are found and that the Badoo Group’s violence can be ended. - Persecution.org/Vanguard

Sudan: Persecution Is The Fertilizer Of The Faith

The economist looks at the phenomenon of the rising number of Christians in Sudan, despite the governments attempt to stamp it out.

Truth  be told, many Muslims remain so because they are 'Muslims at Gunpoint' if they convert away from the faith, the state often takes measures, often extreme to prevent it. This piece is from the UK's Economist and it is pretty good.

Mother Of Chinese Pastor Killed In Pakistan

The mother prays for the forgiveness of those who killed her son and gives a good testimony to Jesus Christ. We can thank God for souls like this who can so readily forgive. May God richly bless this Chinese woman of faith!

The persecution is not having an effect on attracting Missionaries. There are still many who are ready to go out to the field. and preach the Gospel.

Bangladesh Priest Goes Missing On Pope's Visit


Eritrean evangelicals targeted by whole-family arrests

This piece done by the Mission News Network piggybacks on some work done by Voice Of the Martyr's and talks about how Christians are arrested in Eritrea and some of the tactics the government is using. One way they do it is go into homes of Christians and then arrest the whole family.

We are not so far from that here. This ministry as well was targeted by US government officials operating in gray area's of the law so that they could (and did) break into my home and plant spyware and malware on by computers.

The enemies of the Gospel are not only in Eritrea. They are just trickier and more deceptive about how they do it here and find an 'alternative reason' to cover for the real one...

...persecution.

God is Moving Amidst Stories Of Christian Persecution

This piece looks at Persecution in India, which has an abysmal record on the subject of persecution. The piece is good, but fails to mark how the rise of Modi and his political party has significantly contributed to the rise of Hindu fanatics in his far right Hindu Nationalist Party, the BJP.

VOM also has a piece in their latest magazine on the situation there. One of the things a pastor called 'Moses'  has had to face is false accusations. This Evangelist was noticed by the RSS (this is the parent organization of Modi's BJP) and they accused him of being a gangster and molesting kids, and brought forth a slew of false witnesses.

The Voice Of The Martyrs gives support to pastors and workers of the Gospel, just like this.

IED Aimed at Christian Guesthouse on Church Property Misses Target

11/30/2017 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - An improvised explosive device (IED) targeting residential houses, inside St. Michaels Catholic Church in Mandera town, exploded outside the church's perimeter wall on November 26. International Christian Concern's (ICC) representative in Kenya was able to speak with several Christians living in Mandera about the incident.
 
Reverend Daniel Musemi of Pentecostal Assemblies of God, who has been ministering there for 40 years, said, "We thank God that the explosive missed the target. We have been praying for God's protection upon the main terrorist's target in northeastern Kenya which includes churches, police stations, quarry workers, residential places, public service vehicles and government institutions. The Christians in Mandera have never felt this insecure before, a good number of worshipers have stopped coming to church and several churches might just close down if the threat persists."
 
Mandera town lies close to the Kenyan border with Somalia and is one of the most heavily attacked places in Kenya. There have been major attacks on Christians in Mandera over the past several years. In November 2014, 28 Christians were removed from a bus and executed by al-Shabaab terrorists. Then, in December 2015, al-Shabaab stopped another bus, this time only killing two, because other passengers protected the Christians onboard. Finally, in October 2016, al-Shabaab killed six Christians and claimed it was aimed at forcing Christians out of the area. 
 
"We have been on a high security alert for a month now and the last two Sundays we did not gather to worship. More than 100 al-Shabaab militants are suspected to have crossed over from Somalia through the porous border and are planning to carry out a series of attacks. This failed attempt to blow up a church-owned property could be one of their missions." Reverend Daniel continued.
 
Tito Gathai, a non-local in Mandera spoke with ICC and confirmed the incident: "I have lost nine of my close friends previously when the terrorists attacked Mandera in 2015 and 2016. We live knowing that anytime it can be us. But whatever will happen now or in the future will be because the Lord will have allowed it. Meanwhile, we will continue to labor in prayer for protection and change of heart to our Muslim friends."

ICC's Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, "We hope to see the Kenyan government take this threat seriously. The continued attacks on Christians in Mandera county have shown that there is still a great need for the government to protect its citizens from the threat of violent extremism. Al-Shabaab has shown itself to be a threat to the stability and safety of Christians living near the border with Somalia. If not confronted, al-Shabaab's continued reign of terror will hurt many more Kenyans in years to come."

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

 You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.


Law And Disorder News

NSA Secretly Helped Convict Americans Documents Reveal
The intercept does one of its usually excellent piece that tell us how the Intelligence Community is now in the Law Enforcement business, naturally things like warrants and due process are of little importance. Perhaps guilt or innocence is held in equally low regard.

The DOJ? Since this guy was not rich and white, they felt they could bend whatever law they could to get him.

He should have changed his last name to Clinton, he could done all he was accused of and gotten away with it...

...with an apology from the Justice Department.

Judge Orders Government Disclosures Of American Held By US Military
The long and short of it is that an American who allegedly went and fight for ISIS is now in custody. But he has been denied a lawyer.

This hearkens back to the old Bush-Cheney argument that an accusation of terrorism precludes any right to due process (like consultation with a lawyer). It was a wholly un-American and Nazi way of looking at the law. Those rights help define what we are as Americans... that all have a right to be heard in a court with counsel.

...with liberty and justice for all.

Those are the watchwords for our system of law.

I am not defending what he allegedly did. If he went to fight for ISIS he needs to be charged with Material support to Terrorism - as do many others inside our own government who pushed policies that aided and abetted the spread of Jihadist terrorism with FULL KNOWLEDGE of what they were doing.

But rights are rights. I don't want to live in a nation where a sitting President can say all Muslims are terrorists and thus deny them their legal rights - like legal counsel.

The only reason why you would want to deny someone his rights is that guilt or innocence may not be the real issue - just the ability to haul anyone they want off the streets and detain, torture or even kill them just because they can.

'All blacks are terrorists' or 'All gun owners are terrorists' or 'all Muslims are terrorists'.... the rights you deny one person today are the very rights you will be denied tomorrow.

Give him his lawyer and a fair trial. Let's make sure the DOD isn't hiding something about this guy they don't want us to know.

Flynn Pleads Guilty, May Turn States Evidence
A few days ago, he severed all ties with Trump. It looks like they got their canary. Depending on what he knows and what kinds of evidence he can provide, this could be Trumps undoing.

But then again... maybe not.

Where The Poor Face The Death Penalty Without A Lawyer
It has become an annual ritual in Louisiana: Nearly every winter, the state’s public defenders run out of money. Last year, 33 of the state’s 42 local indigent defense offices cut staff or placed thousands of poor defendants on a wait list. The New Orleans public defender’s office began refusing clients, leaving hundreds to sit in jail without representation.

This year, there is another wait list. At least 11 Louisiana defendants facing the death penalty — including five who have already been indicted — have no defense team and may not have one until new money becomes available in July. The list is likely to grow. In Louisiana, all first-degree murder defendants face execution unless a prosecutor explicitly decides otherwise.
The latest crunch in Louisiana emerged from a law passed last year to try to patch up the system. The legislation, signed by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in June 2016, required Louisiana’s state-level indigent defense agency to spend more on the overloaded local defenders — the ones who handle regular felony and misdemeanor cases — by spending less on lawyers in death penalty cases. The law successfully delivered about $5 million in additional cash to indigent defense offices around the state, including a $1.5 million boost for New Orleans, which has since ended its hiring freeze and reduced its wait list to essentially zero.

But funding for capital defenders was cut to $5.5 million from $8.5 million in just a year.
“They robbed Peter to pay Paul,” said Jay Dixon, chief defender for the Louisiana Public Defender Board, which is scheduled to hold a statewide meeting Thursday to discuss the waitlisted capital defendants. - Marshall Project

A Questionable Acquittal In San Francisco
Illegal immigrant has illegal gun, shoots American woman kills her and it's ruled 'an accident'

29 Nov

News Scan

Aid Slowly Enters Yemen After Blockade Eased
WHO Delivers Medical Supplies To Tackle Diphtheria
UK PM Goes To KSA, Cannot Reign In MBS
Yemeni Gov't Official Accuses Militia's Of Stealing Aid
This had to be a major concern that some had before they delivered it. That the aid would not reach those who needed it but rather go to combatants. Is it surprising that this is happening? No. It would surprise me if it didn't. This is not the first time this kind of accusation has been leveled.

It bears comment that it was after a conversation Tillerson had with the Saudi's that the aid began to flow. What was said is not known, but whatever it was, it worked.

Thank you Mr. Secretary.
More Aid Flows Into Yemen As Plan Being Worked On
UN Buying Fuel Pump To Sanitize Water As 'Last Resort'

Trump's Tweet Sparks Outrage In UK

Trump circulates a video by a person who has been convicted of Hate crimes, according to this DW report.

White House Denies Jared's Role In Hariri Episode

The denial comes after a report from the American Conservative that Jared acted without consulting the State Department.

Libya's Slaves: I was Kidnapped, Sold And Thrown Into Prison



26 Nov

Hypocrisy, Corruption and American Christians


That issue is corruption, plain and simple is one of the biggest issues in our very troubled times. It is the corruption of its economic and banking systems, the corruption of its political system, its military procurement systems and particularly, the criminalization of its legal and judicial apparatus and its Churches.  The key check that is supposed to forestall corruption more and more in the west, particularly America is behaving more and more like its primary facilitator. American Christians as well are perhaps even more to blame than the secularists (those who make no religious profession) because they are often led by charlatans whose primary goal is not to get them into the Kingdom of God, but to get a corrupt political candidate into the White House or Congress. The wickedness of this kind of corruption infects the Church as much as any other place in America.

"They won't let me in either"

There is an old anecdote of a Christian who was looking for a Church home and could not find one, but was often told to leave when he went in. I can testify that this has happened to me more than once. I did nothing but show up, sit in the pew and listen to the sermon. One day, I asked the Lord about it and he only reminded me of the anecdote I had heard years before when the Lord replied to the rejected Christian - "they won't let me in either, so don't feel bad".

The American Church today is often a facilitator of a great many abominations and crimes within our once great nation. They consistently choose the evil over the good and have the temerity to call it 'Christianity'.  What would Jeremiah, Isaiah, Micah and Amos say about what is happening to America today and the religious establishment who have all the perks of power that the Pharisee's of old have as long as they continue to support the corrupt political order? We Christians are the the Church the Ekklesia - the called out ones. God has called us out of sin and corruption, not to wallow in in it and give our support to it.


Political Corruption Starts With Spiritual Corruption

I often think on what the Lord showed Ezekiel in his day about the corruption and vileness of the religious leaders of his day. If you want to know why ancient Israel went off the spiritual rails back in his day, Ezekiel's book tells us one key reason.

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there,
according to the vision that I saw in the plain. Then said he unto me,
Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north.
So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold
northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do?
even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here,
that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again,
and thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the
door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when
I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me,
Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things,
 and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel,
pourtrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before
them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in
the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every
man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of
the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery?
for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see
greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door
of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and,
behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me,
 Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt
see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the
 inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple
of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about
five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the
LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped
the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this,
O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations
which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned
to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither
will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice,
 yet will I not hear them.

(Eze 8:4-18)

Ezekiel was being shown the hidden religion of the key spiritual leaders of Israel. This was all done in secret. Brothers if our nation is dealing with major issues of corruption, powerful men who violently assault women, bribes, treason, dropping arms to terrorists, starting race wars (as America did in Ukraine); it stems from a deep moral and spiritual degradation inside the nation. The Church who should be a siren against such activities at best, sits silent when great wickedness occurs or worse gives its full support to it - when the money is right and the right partisan label or skin color is on the wicked deeds. Corruption as it spreads its tentacles in America and the world would not be nearly as pervasive if the corporate Church were real (as in born again and part of the Lord's kingdom) and it was doing its job of being a beacon of divine light upon the hill instead of a red light outside a brothel.
***
This short piece will look at a few issues but mostly deal with some solutions that could be instituted if our political leaders in key parts of government were the least bit interested in dealing forcefully with political, financial and legal corruption in this nation. It is deeply ingrained. We have watched this whole situation with the Mueller investigation target Trump and his entourage, but when even worse crimes and violations implicated the former DNC Presidential candidate and her actions when she acted as Secretary of State; yet charges never seem to materialize. Bribery for nuclear materials that helped the very Russians Mrs. Clinton now rants and raves about in her accusations against Trump, it demonstrates a deep corruption within our body politic.

 Related: Kevin Spacey Flew on ‘Lolita Express’ With Bill Clinton

The message now seems to be those who have the power to control DOJ investigations can betray the nation and its citizens without consequence and with considerable political arrogance.How can this happen? Brothers it's pretty simple, key leaders in the Senate have to be in on this and keep in mind that Hillary Clinton used to be a Senator and many within the GOP establishment said publicly they would vote for Hillary than Trump in the election. Indeed, a few days ago Bush I said as much in public. The establishment elements in both parties have worked tirelessly to remove Trump. They gutted the power of the DOJ to investigate Hillary's ties to Russia when the AG recused himself. The fix has been in for a long, long time but only those who know the wicked ways of Washington had enough sense to really see what was going on or had the guts to say it. I mean, while the Media is going after Trump, look at what is going on in the DNC! Read it and check the links. Russian links with Hillary? They are flashing red in our faces... no one is being charged.

Why? Clinton is Establishment, Trump is not. Trump must go so that 'Establishment' can retake the White House.  That in a nutshell is what all this hate against Trump is really all about. So they whip up Joe Sixpac into a rage with fake news and exaggerations on the MSM about anything they can dig up about Trump to get a movement going to remove him from office. Yes, I think they will eventually get him. They want his head on a political spike just that bad.


Look at Mueller -  this seriously compromised 'investigator'. In my view, putting him in charge of this is like putting a  mafia boss in charge of cleaning up corruption in 1930's Chicago. The only thing he will do is go after the other crime 'families' using his power. Go back and look at his record -  What I see is a man who is nothing more than a plastic tarp that covers up the donkey and elephant dung left on the political ground. If you have any doubts about who this man really is, slide on over and read a little history. He was part of the team who 'investigated' the BCCI investigation, the international bank that was so crooked they called it Bank of Crooks And Criminals International.


"BCCI was becoming a cash conduit for drug traffickers, terrorists, despots arms merchants and other scam artists and law breakers."  - From the Book A Full Service Bank (page 87)

There were several books written about it as well as a massive Senate Investigation. The Anthrax Investigation? It was Mueller who looked into it. When he ran the FBI, it was he who turned up the surveillance of American citizens to Nazi level proportions. Like I said, this man from all I have read about him seems to indicate that he is nothing more than a plastic tarp that covers up political crimes. The rich and powerful who are connected with with the establishments brothel will never be taken to task for their crimes and treason - that is rule number one for anyone who runs the DOJ, the FBI or runs any kind of 'special investigation'. No establishment figure is to ever be charged with a crime. The criminal rackets that run DC must be left intact and unscathed.

Related: Power Corrupts: A Culture of Compliance Breeds Despots and Predators

DC is a cesspool of political corruption. Our elite here like to cast dispersions on the corruption in places like Russia and China but only when those nations don't do the things that we tell them to. Then they go onto a list of 'corrupt nations'. But the corruption in this nation is far, far worse on many levels. We have had sitting Presidents sell key nuclear tech (guidance system tech) to foreign nations that now use that very same technology in Nuclear Missiles pointed at our cities. We have cops who shoot citizens for no good reason and they get away with it, prisons full of people guilty of no other crime that the fact that they could not afford a good lawyer, we have banks who launder dope money, create fictitious accounts in the name of clients in what may one day may prove to be a sophisticated money laundering scheme.. America's corruption, the sewage that once bubbled in the sewer is now fulminating onto the pavement and sidewalks... while her citizens sit mesmerized/immobilized in front of the flat screen TV.


This is the kind of corruption and treason that has  been going on or decades. No one in either party has any intention of stopping it. Selling out the nation to the highest bidder has become one of the key goals of the political establishment in Washington. It's why so much money flows into our political system from overseas. Foreign money knows who to pay to get what they want and get it they do. Do drug cartels want the names of DEA informants in their midst? That can be had with a price. Do the Russians want key technology to build new and better nuclear submarines? That can be had with a price. Do the Saudi's want US military support to help them bomb a neighboring country into the stone age? This too can be had for a price. The American political leadership has ceased to be a body of political representatives of a free people, but a brothel with an auctioneer calling out bids for a few hours with a political prostitute who is infected with every venereal disease known to man.

Is that too harsh an assessment for you?  Our political establishment has and will continue behave corruptly and it will go uncorrected until that political establishment is sent packing. That means the Pelosi's and the McConnell's; the McCain's and the Shumer's; the Rubio's and the Feinstein's. These fossilized entities represent the very political disease that has deeply infected our political system. I don't mean to just cast dispersions on them as though they all are seriously corrupt. No, but the simple fact is that each has become too comfortable with the corruption that exists even if they don't partake of it themselves. Political and financial corruption never stands still, it either grows with impunity in direct relation to the money that can be made or it is fought by the powerful until it's size and scope are diminished. 

We have no one fighting it in power.

Those of you who think President Trump is somehow trying to clean it all up, should read this so that you too may have a little better perspective on just how deep and pervasive political corruption goes in this nation. The weak and often unenforceable corruption laws that effect overseas activities of American businesses, is under assault by the Trump administration. This is pretty significant and clearly has been in the works for some time. The US is a nation that implements the EITI initiative (the Extractive, Industries Transparency Initiative.) The key here is transparency.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. It seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors.

The EITI Standard requires information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how the revenue makes its way through the government, to how it contributes to the economy.

This includes how licenses and contracts are allocated and registered, who are the beneficial owners of those operations are, what are the fiscal and legal arrangements are, how much is produced, how much is paid, where are those revenues allocated, and what is the contribution to the economy, including employment.

The EITI Standard is implemented in 52 countries around the world. Each of these countries is required publish to an annual EITI Report to disclose information on: contracts and licenses, production, revenue collection, revenue allocation, and social and economic spending. - Wikipedia
Home page of EITI can be found here. So forget about Donald Trump as somehow being the savior of American democracy or viewing him as some kind of anti-corruption fighter. He isn't. Those who back him politically will get the same kinds of perks that any foreign nation who pays into our system will get. Donald Trump clearly is in bed with Big Energy and they no longer want their hands tied when they go to places in Africa and South America. If they have to pay a bribe to throw off some poor African off their land so they can explore for oil, who cares?  The victim to far too many with power has always been and always will be viewed by them as "just another Nigger Or Spic" who got in their way.  I use those pejorative terms because despite the flowery language that is often used by these entities when talking about citizens of nations where their extraction takes places, their actions belie their true view of these peoples. I refuse to use pretty words to describe an ugly thing and that kind of racism is pretty darn ugly.

But don't kid yourself, these rich elements can always find a few political 'house boys' and 'lawn-jockeys' in these nations who will screw over their own people in favor of rich international interests. The problems are indeed systemic in nature. There is a plethora of literature on this subject, written by activists, victims, academics and others.

But let us be fair, Corruption in our world is a global problem and in different nations it takes different forms. Our nation has the most corruption because it has the most money. Corrupt influences are attracted to money, not poverty -  they are drawn to it like flies to freshly laid dung. This is why we have so much of it here and most of it located within the Federal government, its bureaucracies and its contracting - this is where the money is.

***

Today, (this was written a few weeks ago - ed.)  there was a massive release of data rivaling that of the Panama Papers. The release is called the Paradise Papers. These papers reveal the tax haven secrets of the world's richest elitists, including Queen Elizabeth II. The database is massive and they have done a good job of organizing it into a way that is easily searchable. So those of you wanting to start to look up names of the rich and famous, should slide on over and check it out and bookmark the site. But keep in mind this is mostly about tax havens.

Other financial flows are dutifully reported periodically by the people over at Global Financial Integrity.

Overview

Transnational crime is a business, and business is very good. Money is the primary motivation for these illegal activities. The revenues generated from the 11 crimes covered in this report—estimated to range between US$1.6 trillion and $2.2 trillion per year—not only line the pockets of the perpetrators but also finance violence, corruption, and other abuses. These crimes undermine local and national economies, destroy the environment, and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of the public. Transnational crime will continue to grow until the paradigm of high profits and low risks is challenged. This report calls on governments, experts, the private sector, and civil society groups to seek to address the global shadow financial system by promoting greater financial transparency.




Drug Trafficking

The global drug trafficking market was worth US$426 billion to $652 billion in 2014. It represents about one-third of the total retail value of the transnational crimes studied here. Cannabis was responsible for the largest share of drug trafficking, followed in order by cocaine, opiates, and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). ATS and cannabis are produced all over the world, while the production of cocaine and opiates is concentrated in South America and Afghanistan, respectively. Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), organized crime groups (OCGs), guerrilla groups, and terrorist organizations are all involved in drug trafficking. OCGs in West Africa have increased their control of the drug market in the region, and the volume of heroin trafficked from Afghanistan through East Africa is escalating, stoking consumption.

Arms Trafficking

The trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is one of the least profitable transnational crimes studied in this report, but it is also one of the most consequential for human security in developing countries. This market was worth US$1.7 billion to $3.5 billion in 2014, which represents 10 to 20 percent of the legal arms trade. Three main factors drive prices: an area’s level of conflict, political unrest, and political tension; the distance over which the items are smuggled; and, the levels of enforcement traffickers must overcome. Internet-based trafficking represents a growing challenge to combatting SALW smuggling. Decommissioned weapons that had been sold and then illegally reactivated were used in several recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe and represent another trending threat of arms trafficking.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, for labor and for sex, is one of the fastest-growing transnational organized crime markets. Twenty-one million men, women, and children around the world are currently thought to be victims of human trafficking, which the International Labor Organization estimates generates US$150.2 billion in profits each year. The Asia-Pacific region is responsible for US$51.8 billion of this market, with around 11.7 million victims. Developed Economies and the European Union is responsible for another third of the market value with US$46.9 billion, even though there are “only” 1.5 million victims, one-eighth as many as the Asia-Pacific region. Human trafficking is playing a growing role in terrorist and insurgent activities and groups, and the spread of the internet has provided traffickers with additional, far-reaching means to reach both victims and victimizers.

Illegal Organ Trade

Organ trafficking conservatively generates approximately US$840 million to $1.7 billion annually from around 12,000 illegal transplants. This estimate comprises the “sales” of the top five organs: kidney, liver, heart, lung, and pancreas. Kidneys are the most common for legal and illegal transplants and are the least expensive on the black market, because they can come from living donors. Brokers/scouts operate within sophisticated and specialized networks to recruit the vendors, the recipients, and the necessary medical professionals in traditional models of organ trafficking. In many cases the donor participates willingly, whereas there are further scenarios where they are pressured or forced into the transaction. Organ traffickers coerce migrants and refugees to sell kidneys to pay for passage to Europe, among others.

Cultural Property

The global annual revenue generated from the illicit trade in cultural property is estimated at approximately US$1.2 billion to $1.6 billion. This criminal market covers a range of illegal activities, including the theft of cultural property from museums, the illicit excavation and looting of archaeological sites, and the use of faked or forged documentation to enable both illegal import and export as well as illicit transfers in ownership. Estimates of ISIL’s profits from the illicit antiquities trade cover a wide range, from several million dollars to a few billion each year. China is one of the fastest growing art markets, legal and illegal, fueled in part by capital flight.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

The trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is the most valuable illicit trade examined in this report at US$923 billion to $1.13 trillion annually. An estimated two-thirds to three-quarters of counterfeit and pirated goods come from China. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals represent 10 to 30 percent of available drugs in developing countries. Worldwide these illicit goods are estimated to be worth between US$70 billion to $200 billion annually, which represents up to 25 percent of the total counterfeit market. Hazardous counterfeit food and useless and/or toxic counterfeit medicines endanger the health and safety of the public. For organized crime groups, counterfeiting provides an ideal avenue for laundering the profits of other transnational organized crime as well as financing other crimes.

Illegal Wildlife Trade

Estimates place the annual retail value of the illegal wildlife trade between US$5 billion and $23 billion. Ivory and rhino horn are two of the biggest components of the market value and receive the most public attention, yet the pangolin is actually the most trafficked animal in the world. Per kilo, the retail revenues for ivory or rhino horn can be equal to or greater than the equivalent amount of cocaine or heroin, yet the legal penalties are considerably more lenient. The illegal wildlife trade relies on a sophisticated global supply chain, run by well-funded organized crime groups. In developing countries wildlife trafficking robs local communities of much-needed revenue streams and has deleterious impacts on the environment, security, and rule of law, and little of the profit goes into the domestic economy. - Transnational Crime and the Developing World By Global Financial Integrity


Thankfully there are many out there who are looking into these issues and do the research and hard work to bring these issues to light. Yet one of the primary problems is that even when they are brought to light, the issues are not properly contextualized for voters, particularly in America. In the developing world, they are often moved by these things as the corruption has a much deeper effect on their day to day lives. This is not the case so much in the US (except with certain ethnic minorities who feel the brunt of it).

In DC they can hide it well because all the stolen money gets 'lost' in crooked contracts, political bribery and if the money is not in the Treasury, not to worry.... they  can borrow the money to give it to the crooks who buy our politicians and add it to the national debt... with no immediate effect on  Joe and Jane Sixpac. So we don't feel the immediate effect of the systemic corruption in DC like someone in Zimbabwe or Peru would.

Fixing it

How can we in this country fix out political corruption? Is it possible? Frankly, given what now holds power in the Congress and Senate, the answer is no. I do not think so, but a serious President, Speaker of the House and Senate Majority leader, backed up a a few Justices in the Supreme Court could make a real difference if they really wanted to. How could this be accomplished?

There are two tracks that could be taken and one is not mutually exclusive of the other.

The first track goes like this - there needs to be a special office and procedures to investigate political corruption at the federal level.  This new entity or office needs to have special powers to both investigate and prosecute cases. Let's call it the Federal Corruption Special Inspector General. FCSIG. Let's say he has a team of about 200. Maybe 50 or so 'foot investigators', guys who go out and do the foot work in investigations, maybe 100 or so lawyers they would build the cases against corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Another 30 or so lawyers who would try cases and a competent administrative staff - the rest could perform tasks such as Security and personal/witness protection.. The whole thing would need to be 'sealed off' politically and administratively from all of the Federal Government. Other than the number of successful prosecutions, how the money that gets allotted to them and cases that have already been tried, no one, not Congress, not the Senate, not the President, not the head of the FBI or DOJ should be allowed to know what they are working on.

Political interference often begins with hearings on the Hill. Leaks to the criminals being investigated often start with elected representatives who may be 'on the take'. This is why oversight must be minimal and only to ensure that they are indeed doing their job. They could take a page out of the Special IG for Afghanistan, which has been quite successful because it has both the power to investigate and prosecute. For some of you, this may not seem like a big deal but it is. Because no matter how much evidence investigators uncover, a bought off political hack in the DOJ can decide not to prosecute. This was the problem with Comey. He was writing the conclusion/exoneration to his investigation before key witnesses were interviewed. The way to prevent that is to ensure that those who investigate can themselves decide to prosecute and get it out of the hands of corrupted 'justice' officials. This would be one day to deal with the internal political corruption that so far has remained unprosecuted and is unprosecutable in our present leprous legal system.

Related: Corruption Of The Law (Truthdig)

The second track goes like this. Investigations into Federal corruption can begin with the DOJ and FBI. However, should any State government at any time during an investigation deem an interest in rooting out the corruption, they too may partake in or take over any investigation into political corruption. If the DOJ or FBI decide they do not want to prosecute, then the State government can take up the mantle and prosecute the Crimes under Federal Statute with the same powers and authority as a Federal Prosecutor.

For example, lets say that a major contractor for the DOD in Nebraska was paying bribes to a General Officer in DOD contracting on orders from someone in Congress and the Senate. Let's say that bribe cost Arkansas and California defense jobs. Any of the effected states could then decide to take up the prosecution even if the DOJ decides not to prosecute. Here is the key - any and all investigative materials that the DOJ and FBI have on file must be turned over to the new investigative body and any destruction of evidence can be considered obstruction of Justice and officials at the FBI and DOJ can be tried in court by these State entities who now have legal power of Federal prosecution in the case. No more 'get out of jail' free cards and get a million dollar job at a Wall Street bank as a reward for obstructing Justice. Now they have to face a judge and may to do some hard time for it... and have a new job and a new kind of 'Wall Street'  - the walls that are on three sides with bars in the front.

These things are not likely to happen until voters make them happen and that isn't going to happen as long as they keep saying they decry corruption and keep voting the same politicians who won't do anything about it back into office.

So I cannot decry the evil that I see as anything other than what most Americans have been asking for. They won't be satisfied unless they can keep the wheels of corruption spinning. You see, I honestly don't think most Americans care. They make noises like they do, but when it comes right down to it, they support it, 100% as long as corruption does not touch them personally. As long as it's only the other guy who gets screwed, they are more than satisfied with the sewage running onto the sidewalk...

After all, its only on the south side of the street. No one on the north side cares. But again the problem with Corruption is that it never stands still, unless fought with determination...


...it always gets worse.

Xi in China is cleaning things up. Others are as well. The descent of empire always begins at home and corruption is always part and parcel of it - look at Rome in both the early and later empire (Byzantium). History is a great teacher to all but those with learning disabilities.

I submit to you that our political class has developed such a disability. That is the only reasonable explanation if one does not want to consider the very real possibility of an organized assault on our nation by a foreign power using our politicians (treason) against us. Such a thesis is not psychologically palatable to many of us, but for those who are really in the know, they know that this is where the real threat against our nation is coming from.

If there is little outrage at this, should be Christians be surprised? What is happening now; Lo, it has happened before.


The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is
none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood;
they hunt every man his brother with a net.  
¶ That they may do evil with both hands earnestly,
the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward;
and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire:
so they wrap it up.  The best of them is as a brier:
the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge:
the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh;
now shall be their perplexity.  
¶ Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence
 in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from
her that lieth in thy bosom.  For the son dishonoureth
the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother,
the daughter in law against her mother in law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.   
Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation:
my God will hear me. 
(Micah 7:2-7)
In our era of hyper-partisanship and identity politics where people want to attach a label to themselves like some item of a grocery store shelf ("Gay. Black progressive", or "White, Christian Patriot", etc)  everyone thinks that God is on their side and twist scripture in order to fit their own personal, racial, sexual, political or economic agenda. In their lust for such a false spiritual affirmation, they forget issues like corruption (which is sin).

But I am here to testify that God is not on any one of these sides. He is not on the side of the Black man or the White man, the Christian right or the Christian left, he is not on the site of the millennials or the baby boomers. God is not looking to get on anyone side down here. No. Rather God is looking to find men and women who have fully chosen no matter what to be on his side - even to the death. Christ did not say that he will follow us and our petty often wicked agenda's to the death. He told us to follow him to the death.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will
lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited,
if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man
give in exchange for his soul?
(Mat 16:24-26)


One way you can tell a true man or woman of God is that he will find corruption like that cited above utterly revolting. He or she will not become party to evil.

Such men and women are rare in our times - but thankfully there are a few out there who have not soiled their spiritual garments.


Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch,
 I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour
 I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis
 which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk
with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh,
 the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot
out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name
 before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
(Rev 3:3-6)


Let us not soil our garments down here for the temporal pleasures of this transitory life. Let us lay hold to eternal life that is in Christ Jesus by doing that which he commands and flee all forms of corruption.

I realize this piece is not going to cause me to 'win friends and influence people'. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, not in these times. This subject is far too important to worry about some hurt feelings and the scowling faces of those to whom this message is directed.




23 Nov

Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving Weekend!


KSA: US Mercenaries Are Reportedly Torturing Prince Al Waheed

Tragic but hardly unexpected. I have talked quite a bit about events in Saudi Arabia for insiders from both a secular and prophetic standpoint and will certainly do so much more in the coming weeks.

But this is probably just the tip of the iceberg of goings on inside the kingdom. Keep in mind that this Prince is the single largest individual shareholder in CitiBank and has stock and shares in numerous US companies like Lyft.

By the way, the Mercenaries named in the story are a firm formerly known as Blackwater.

Taking Authority

Today, we are going to look at our Authority in Christ for just a brief moment. Then we will take a gander at the news in narrative form perhaps later this PM.


And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils
are subject unto us through thy name.
 (Luke 10:17 [KJVA])

We have a powerful heritage and much authority in the spiritual realm as Christians. This is a fact that the devil has worked very hard to hide from true believers - those who have been born into the kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have enormous authority over the spirits of darkness that rebelled against God and have not yet been placed into the abyss (let the reader understand). Christ has give it to us. Why? Because we are in a battle, a war and he did not leave us down here without spiritual weapons to fight with. I want to make this point clear - this war has noting to do with buying or using guns, bombs or other instruments of physical violence. There are many and shall be many more who will attempt to gather supporters to 'take America back' via force of arms using militia's and other informal armed groups. Christians have no business becoming involved in such groups. They will only lead to great disappointment, defeat and perhaps even the loss of ones soul should one take the life of another in such an unwise undertaking.

Paul laid out the lines of our battles.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
 (Ephesians 6:12 [KJVA])


When God really gets hold of a person and they fall in line with the will of God; evil and wickedness will become more and more revolting to that person. They will want nothing to do with murders, lies, hate, killings, thefts frauds and other works of darkness. Why? Because the Holy Spirit that indwells every real believer will bear witness within that person of God's revulsion -  utter revulsion for these things. One reason I kind of 'go off' on some of the things our nation does in secret is that I see the powers of darkness doing their work behind the scenes. The devil loves to do his work under the cover of darkness and secrecy. Those of us who know what is going on and are attuned to the things of the spirit are correctly and deeply alarmed by the things that are going on.

On another level,  I know my fellow man well enough not to expect much from him especially those who have rejected the knowledge of God and move in the realm of the "what's in it for me" kind of morality. So for those of you who wonder why I spend time on these issues it is because these are powerful demonic spirits operating in our world and are more and more getting control of our government in order to commit great abominations. But it is hardly just America. It's much of the world, to greater or lesser degree's and one tell tale sign of the move towards 'abominable government' is the mass accumulation of wealth. Once that happens, two things take over national policies - keeping the wealth one has and acquiring more of it -  by just about any means necessary. Today, this can sum up much of the trouble we see today; from Syria to Iraq to Africa to Asia and elsewhere. When money gets into the mix the hounds of hell will not be far behind and certainly will not be left out.


Today, however rather than look at the wickedness in high places, lets take a quick look at how God has endowed us with great authority over the powers of darkness. When Christ sent in his disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he gave his disciples great authority over the powers of darkness.


  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:
freely ye have received, freely give.
(Matthew 10:6-8 [KJVA])



We learn of the success of their ministry in the book of Mark who also records the temporal spiritual reaction to this assault on the kingdom of darkness.

  And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
  And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil
many that were sick, and healed them.
  And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:)
and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead,
 and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
(Mark 6:12-14 [KJVA])


One thing you can be certain of - when you begin to take the attack directly on the kingdoms of darkness and the devils that control their human interlocutors, the devil will take notice and do what he can to mount a successful counter attack. In the above passage and the versus that follow, we see that the governor of Judah, Herod was very afraid at what was going on because he had murdered John the Baptist, the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets (Luke 7:28). He thought perhaps John had risen from the dead. When God's saints move against the kingdom of darkness, they will take notice. This is why when we do battle against these spiritual principalities we must be fully prepared for a counter assault against us. They will work against you one way or another. Satan is relentless when it comes to attacking powerful saints. I know about his first hand and how people within our own government work against those Christians who speak truth and will not be secretly controlled, threatened or intimidated by these dark spiritual forces.  Know that when you pray against these powers you have just fired an 'artillery shell' in the kingdom of darkness. They will one day fire back - count on it.

But this is what is meant by Prayer Warrior. A man or woman of God who spends considerable time on his or her knee's praying to the Lord and or taking down spiritual strongholds and principalities by taking the authority given to us by Christ. I have known many a prayer warrior in my time and most have gone to be with the Lord and they were all women. They were always nondescript people of humble means. But when they prayed and lifted up things - serious things began to happen. I saw it time and time again. Moreover I always saw a strange protection over these people. Things always worked out for them. Trouble may have come, but strangely would work itself out. Those people who worked against them? Major troubles followed the enemies of these humble praying women, even death.

So while the devil will attack us, God will protect us. He will look out for those who are his.

But I caution all of you, the power he gives is sons of men over the devils are for God's children who know him and walk with him... alone. One must have the authority that comes from God before one should embark on a life of spiritual warfare. One cannot just use the name if Jesus as though it is a magic talisman. No, a person must know him, walk with him and do the things that please him. When one has been born into the Kingdom and has gained a part of the inheritance that belongs to God's children, then and only then can we effectively fight the devil and his kingdom. Do the scriptures tell us what happens when someone decides to try and attack the devil who is not a Christian? Yes.

 
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to
call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus,
saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief
of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said,
 Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them,
and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they
fled out of that house naked and wounded.
  And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus;
and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
  And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
  Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books
 together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the
price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
  So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
(Acts 19:13-20 [KJVA])




This is what happens when one approaches the devil who is not one of Christ's own. They are prey to him and can be attacked by the him in this manner.

But even in this incident the name of Christ Jesus was magnified. When it was so lifted up, all those who worked their black arts, almost certainly occultism, came forward and confessed their sins.

Adam Clarke says this about verse nineteen.

Verse 19. Which used curious arts] ταπεριεργα. From the use of
this word in the Greek writers, we know that it signified magical
arts, sorceries, incantations,  Dio Cassius, speaking of the Emperor Adrian, says, οαδριανος
περιεργοτατοςηνκαιμαντειαιςκαιμαγγανειαιςπαντοδαπαιςεχρητο.
"Adrian was exceedingly addicted to curious arts, and practised
divination and magic." These practices prevailed in all nations
of the earth.

Brought their books together] The εφεσιαγραμματα, or Ephesian
characters, are celebrated in antiquity; they appear to have been
amulets, inscribed with strange characters, which were carried
about the body for the purpose of curing diseases, expelling
demons, and preserving from evils of different kinds. The books
brought together on this occasion were such as taught the science,
manner of formation, use,
Once the fame of Christ was known to them they changed their ways and got rid of all of the works of darkness. Today, sadly that is not the case. more and more people have turned on God and Jesus Christ. Witness the story I posted yesterday on the satanic monument someone wants to erect. If you read that article you will see that the person who wants to do it does so, not so much because he does not believe in God, but because he hates Christianity and the message of Christ. These things are more and more common in our world - there is an enormous hatred of God out there and  thus we may know that we are in the last days.

So what does that mean for us Christians? It means that if they hate God they will hate us as well. We are of another family, another kingdom, we are not of this world.
 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because
ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you,
The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me,
they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying,
they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you
for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin:
 but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me
hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them
 the works which none other man did,
they had not had sin: but now have they both seen
and hated both me and my Father.  But this cometh to pass,
that the word might be fulfilled that is
written in their law,
 They hated me without a cause.

(John 15:17-25 [KJVA])



When we embark on our spiritual battles we must remember that men for the most part, in our times, particularly in the west have firmly rejected Christ - the real Christ. Churches may be filled with people, but a careful hearing of the messages coming from pulpits across America and any mature, born again believer can see there are some serious issues with what passes itself off as Christianity today. Let a real prophet or preacher come into the sanctuary and start to preach a Holy Spirit inspired sermon and he is likely to be cast out or mocked.

This is where powerful spiritual battles are being fought right now. It's not in the red light district or the drug house on the street corner. No, the real battles are now taking place in the Church and also in mainline 'acceptable' culture. The most dangerous though is in the Church, where false workmen bringing in doctrines of devils are now enthroned into positions of prominence, placed there by the devils workmen who operate in a tightly organized fashion inside and outside the Church.

Let the reader take note and heed. These are dangerous times. But we who know our God can have tremendous spiritual victories in Christ if we decide we want to take up sword and shield of faith and begin to wage spiritual  battle in these last days. Let us not seek worldly wealth, power, fame and the things of this world. God will give us the things we need if we trust him, obey him and rely on him. Here is the exhortation that Paul gave Timothy.


But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing
into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men
in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the
root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have
erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with
many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things;
and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience,
meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,
whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good
 profession before many witnesses.  I give thee charge
in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before
Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 
That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable,
until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Which in his times
he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings,
and Lord of lords;  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no
man can approach unto;
whom no man hath seen, nor can see:
to whom be honour
and power everlasting. Amen. 
Charge them that are rich in this world,

that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches,
but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute,
willing to communicate;  Laying up in store for themselves
a good foundation against the time to come,
that they may lay hold on eternal life.
(I Timothy 6:6-19 [KJVA])


Let us all take Paul's charge to Timothy to heart and place our faith in God, our faithful and loving creator.

Let us also remember this. Man of satan's workmen don't even know that they are working for the devil. They think they are working for an intelligence agency, or a corrupt part of Law enforcement or they think they are working for atheism or sexual liberation. They don't know because the devil is a master deceiver - there is none better. So when you pray against spiritual strongholds, remember that the people whom the devil uses are often just useful idiots in his cause. Pray accordingly!


Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be upon all here at Watson's Web!

Brother Mark

21 Nov

Is A Russian Spy In Charge Of The Russia-Gate Investigation?

A Treasure Trove of data linking a crooked, perhaps treasonable deal to Russia and Mueller is still trying to make mountains out of molehills against Trump. The above link gives us some background.

There is only one reasonable explanation for no one bringing charges against Clinton and that whole entourage. Top officials at Federal Law enforcement and perhaps the Special Counsel look like they may have been corrupted by one or both sides in this bizarre Uranium deal.

Yes even key witnesses are threatened.

Let me put it to you this way, If Trump sold Uranium to the Russians with a briefcase full of cash how do you think Mueller would react... I mean honestly? How do you think the bobble-headed 'fake news' boys on cable news would react?

Mueller's probe is a witch hunt and more and more it looks like a cover up to far, far more damaging things than a meet Trump campaign officials had with some mid level-Russian officials. Here we have what looks like the former President and former Secretary of State and Former head of the Justice Department involved in selling uranium (used in nuclear weapons) to the Russians and/or covering it up.

I mean until very recently Clinton's own Campaign manager was in Russia, working for them! What would happen if Trump had done the same thing?

The corruption in DC - the stench of political sewage is pretty rank and even now some Democrats are starting to ask pointed questions about a whole host of things.

I will grant you I do not have all the facts on this Uranium deal, none of us do. But this I know, if anyone else were doing these things, they would not need 'all the facts' to lock them up for the rest of their natural lives. There looks to me to be more than enough here to prosecute.

Why is it not happening? Everyone seems to think that our Federal Law enforcement (including political appointees) cannot be blackmailed, bribed or threatened.

That to me looks like what is happening here. They have been illegally influenced to persecute Trump and exonerate Clinton, regardless of any evidence they find and at any and all costs.

Obstruction of Justice anyone?

***

I am not a Democrat and I am not a Republican. I did not vote for Hillary or Trump; Obama, McCain, Romney either Bush or Bill.

I am looking at this whole situation with a cold objectivity that less than 5% of the US population posses. The other 95% are far too influenced by party, gender, sexual preference, race, economic standing, sexyness... etc to stop and look at these things fairly, with a clear, fair and open mind.

And you know what? The corrupt in DC are counting you staying just that way because it is the only way they can stay in power. By manipulating the dull and ignorant into a political frenzy about the corruption of the other guy when his own house stinks to high heaven.

Many people hate it when I delve into what is called 'politics'. But this is as much about spirituality and morality as any sermon on love or sin. The prophets of old issued scathing rebukes to the leaders of their times about these very issues, corruption, bribery, treachery, etc.

While I do not claim any prophetic anointing in the OT fashion, I can tell it like it is and that I will do.

God hates corruption and treachery and he is not concerned about which political party is engaged in it.

This is one reason why so many Christians have and will turn their nose up when a true Christian speaks. They are not interested in God's standards of behavior, just their race, party affiliation, gender, economic standing or (insert your IDOL here).

 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers,
children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD,
they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger,
they are gone away backward. 
(Isaiah 1:4)


20 Nov

60 Minutes, Barred From Yemen, Still Got The Footage

Yes, CBS and journalists are barred from Yemen, where the US backed Saudi Coalition is starving the nation out. This is the story of how they got in and out with footage, the 60 minutes report is included in the above link.

It's good to see that somewhere in the US some real investigative reporting is still done. I am no big fan of 60 minutes for reasons I will not get into, but still from time to time they do some excellent work.

What this new Crown Prince is doing to these people with American military support is despicable, it is evil and this President's policy here is wholly UNAMERICAN. Not even the Russians or the Chinese would stoop to such devilry and perversity. More and more we can see that it is America that is the primary problem in the world today, not her enemies.

President Trump (and his predecessor) have done irreparable long term harm to American interests and the lives of millions of people with this morally bankrupt war. It's not just Trump, it's the whole so called 'national security' apparatus, that appears more and more to be under the control of those who wish to do as much harm to our nation, her image and her global reputation as they can get away with.

Who are they really working for? Whose interests are they really serving? America's.... or her enemies?

When I see situations like this I cannot honestly give you a good answer.
An Answer? Yes. A good one?

No.

Dear readers, all that foreign money flowing into our political campaigns, let me tell you something - they would not be writing checks if they were not getting something in return.

 And yes, they are still writing checks.

The real traitors to this country are not holed up in Embassy's overseas or exiled abroad, they sit in top position of power within our government.

We are never going to change this by just switching one of the two sold out parties into a majority in Congress or the White House. You are just switching one group of sold out politicians for another.

We Americans have taken the freedom's we have for granted. But if the interests who back the two party system get their way, you won't have them... that includes the right to keep your hard earned money, your property or even your freedom to move about.

Just know this... once you lose your freedom's. You are not going to get them back... not in your lifetime or that of your children.

I am not so sure in the digital age that they will ever be able to  be won back under any circumstances.

17 Nov

This May Be The Answer To Net Neutrality's Demise

This poor community, ignored by Big Telecoms is building their own internet! Read this, it is very interesting. Please note that it is primarily a black city that the Big Boys don't want to have access to the internet - they can't afford it.

Consider that a sign of things to come when they pull Title II from Big Cable.

What needs to happen is at the State level, this is encouraged. But Big Telecom is already working the state legislatures to prevent any competition to this massive cartel who will very soon have the power to cut, control, interfere with, undermine and destroy anyone they want to - and the Donald Trump is about to let them do it.


No, this is not an overreaction and they are smart enough to phase in their plans over many years. But once Title II is gone, the internet as we know it will go with it. Like watching NetFlix? Going to Amazon? Visiting Alex Jones? Your Cable company could one day say, no you can't, flip you the bird and raise your rates in the process. They can get away with it because in many markets, there are is only one, maybe two providers. There is no real competition and with this move by Trump, there will be much less.

There are ways around this move by the Trump administration and Detroit has the right idea. This kind of thing is exactly what is needed to make sure that everyone EVERYONE has access to the internet and what it offers -  information, learning, the opportunity to make money, be activists, pray, minister, educate, inspire, dream, joke, communicate, conduct commerce and just have fun using this wonderful tool called the internet.

There are those who don't want to see that and want to control all that you see, hear and do on the net, where you can go and how much you pay them, rather than those who create content.

Those interests are represented by Trump, FCC Chairman Pai and a host of others in the GOP.

This is what happens when private billion dollar corporate interests win out over the Public interest.

There are better solutions that this blanket removal of Title II, creating solutions that allow the big companies to expand without resorting to these 'street ball' tactics. One is to make sure that in any market where there are less than three competitors, there is no throttling. Make the rules conditional on market conditions and making sure that there is a choice - a REAL choice.

There is indeed too much at stake. What if your ISP decides they don't want you paying your bills online? Or decides that they don't like the fact that a major bank did not lend them money and decides to strike back by making sure that no one on their networks can reach their site to pay their bills?

No one is asking the hard questions in this mad dash to handing over the internet to a few big massive firms.

130 Kids Die In Yemen Everyday

So says 'Save The Children'. They die of extreme hunger and disease.


15 Nov

Africa Watch

Libyan Slave Markets Operate With Abandon

CNN does an insightful investigative report on a subject that this site has covered before. The slave markets going on in Libya after Obama and Hillary overthrew the Ghadffi regime in a NATO led effort.

Few wanted to hear it. I know I told one Black American about it and they mocked like it wasn't even happening. Obama and Hillary were 'saviors' of Black folks, their brainwashing (that is what it was and is) programmed them to say.  These same folks weep and whine about 'reparations' were more than willing to see other Black Africans sold into slavery.

If I sound a little upset about it, I am. This was an atrocity that many pointed out and hardly anyone cared. I posted video's of Africans locked up in cages in these Libyan slave markets like animals and few paid the slightest attention.

I cannot help but fault Obama and Hillary for this. But in his defense, he later expressed clear regrets for this policy.
Zimbabwe: Miliary Steps In, House Arrests Mugabe
Military denies 'coup' after seizing power. Mugabe has been in power for nearly four decades. He is popular in rural areas but loathed in urban areas. His popularity with rural areas probably stems from his early African 'liberation' days. Mugabe is blamed/credited with expropriating land from White farmers.

Mugabe's government emphasised the redistribution of land controlled by white farmers to landless blacks, initially on a "willing seller-willing buyer" basis. Frustrated at the slow rate of redistribution, from 2000 Mugabe encouraged the violent seizure of white-owned land. Food production was severely impacted, generating famine, international sanctions, and drastic economic decline. Opposition to Mugabe grew, particularly through the Movement for Democratic Change, although he was re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2013 through campaigns dominated by violence, electoral fraud, and nationalistic appeals to his rural Shona voter base. Internationally, Mugabe sent troops to fight in the Second Congo War and chaired the Non-Aligned Movement (1986–89), the Organisation of African Unity (1997–98), and the African Union (2015–16). - Wikipedia
Four Major Players In Mugabe Drama

China Denies Relationship Between Recent Visit And Zimbabwe Coup

Five Ways China Is Building Influence In Zimbabwe

CFR Gives Views Of Coup Just Before It Happened
The CFR always has some good background material, this one is no exception.
Zimbabwe: Mugabe To Step Down, Wife To Be Exiled

Nigerian President Speaks On Zimbabwe Situation

Trump Seeks To Withdraw Global Food Aid

Sun, Wind, Renewables Set To Soar In Africa
More Africans are getting access to energy because of renewable energy
UN Authorizes Israel To Expand Tech Support To Central African Republic

UN Opens Probe Into Peacekeepers During CAR Violence

Seven Dead In Concert Attack In CAR
Heavy gunfire follows and reprisals. The real tragedy was that the concert was designed to bring in reconciliation between Christians and Muslims.
Both Sudans, CAR sign Anti-Drug Agreement

A View From CAR
This very interesting little piece gives us a human look at the crisis in the country.
Gov't Warns Ugandans Of 'Kaveera' Use
No, its not some new drug. Rather it is cooking food in Polythene bags. Cancer is the big risk here.
US Conducts Missile Strike In Somalia
The strike is reportedly against Al Shabab the AQ linked group that operates in the region.
Somalia: Drought Sitrep
22.9 million people affected by drought in the region
Madagascar Plague Shares Ebola Similarities

Chinese Medics Treat Thousands In Mozambique Plague

Kenyan Court Hears Petition Against Kenyatta's Election
This time the basis is the accusation that the reforms that nullified the first election have not been made.
South African Utility Is Running Out Of Cash
Quarterly financials paint a disturbing picture of this important African utility company.
Nigeria Recovers $65m In Electricity Debt From Niger, Benin

Kenyans Join Boycott Of Telecom Company -  Airtel Gains 11,000 Subscribers In 2 Weeks


Kazahkstan Seeks To Help Africa Out Of Poverty

Other News


China To Invest $83 Billion In US Shale

KSA Walks Back Escalations In Yemen, Lebanon

This looks to be a fairly dramatic move, with the reported re-opening of aid as well as a return of Hariri to Lebanon.


13 Nov

Yemen



   Image Source: Famine Early Warning System

I do realize this is a subject I talk about a little more than some of you wish, but it is indeed, I think a very important one. Both Yemen and Sudan are places where food is a major issue, but right now, the situation in Yemen is much more acute. Yemen has always been a very poor country but since the Saudi's invaded and brought their military operations to the nation, food has become very scarce and the situation is becoming dire. Last week aid agencies lifted up a warning and appeal to the world that the situation was pushing the nation to the worst famine in decades. Presently, according to the the UN's OCHA, 14.1 Million people are in need right now of assistance. Out of a current population of 27.4; 10.3 million of those people are in acute humanitarian need.


    Source: OCHA


The OCHA also has a great interactive map that can be found here that shows where within the country the need is the greatest. The menu (upper right hand corner in previous link) of the previous link has a host of very informative resources on the crisis.  I will not repost the maps and links here today. What I do want to talk about is why this crisis is so out of hand.

Related: Yemen Market Update - United Nations World Food Program
Pictures The Saudi's And Donald Trump Don't Want You To See

Yemen: border closure threatens aid effort

The Saudi's have tightened an already pretty air-tight blockade (its been in the news for many long months) of Yemen that disallows critical supplies from entering the nation. They are doing this with clear public, if not well advertised American support. The Saudi's have been bombing the country since 2015 and the raids have been very indiscriminate and frankly appear to have specifically targeted mosques, schools, hospitals, etc very much like the terrorist organization ISIS, which had direct links to the Saudi and Gulf kingdoms.

Now this is a new form of siege warfare. In the middle ages, the Knights would come and surround a castle and try and starve it out, get their siege engines and throw giant stones at the castle walls. This is the same kind of warfare but it is being conducted on a national scale. Yemen is under siege by the Saudi's who have attacked it. Why? The Saudi's don't like the Houthi government and now seek to impose their own on the nation to their liking. I will give you the official USGOV narrative as put forward by Wikipedia

It began in June 2004, when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, a leader of the Zaidi sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. Initially, most of the fighting took place in Sa'dah Governorate in northwestern Yemen, but some of the fighting spread to neighbouring governorates Hajjah, 'Amran, al-Jawf and the Saudi province of Jizan. Since 2014 the nature of the insurgency has changed with the Houthi takeover in Yemen and then into the ongoing Civil War with a major Saudi-led intervention in Yemen beginning in 2015. - Wikipedia

The whole entry is a good one if you take a little time to read it, it does give a fairly good overview of the situation, even if it is a little too generous with the Hadi government that was overthrown. It had 'international support' as the Americans like to say. In reality it robbed the nation blind and this was and is one of the poorest nations on earth.

Now again, I want to show you how disinformation works. If you read the Wikipedia entries, the reasons for the overthrow of the government are intentionally nebulous. They go out of their way to downplay or just plain ignore that the President who has 'international support' was accused by international agencies of being... well... a thief. One can responsibly wonder who was paid off and with how much of all of that money in order to garner such 'international support'.

Yemen ex-leader Saleh 'amassed up to $60bn' - UN probe

Yemen ex-president amassed up to $60 billion, colluded with rebels: U.N. experts

The Battle To Recover Yemen's Lost Billions

Corruption in Yemen is a highly serious problem. Yemen is the most corrupt country in the Gulf region.[1] It is also the poorest country in the Middle East, “with an exceptionally high birth rate, acute rates of child malnutrition and rapidly dwindling reserves of oil and water.” In Yemen, according to Chatham House, “corruption, poverty and inequality are systemic”;[2] in the words of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, corrupt activity is “so entrenched and pervasive” that many citizens feel powerless.[3]

Absent any “system of control and accountability,” corruption is now present throughout the public and private spheres, so much so that in the words of the World Bank, “[c]orruption and patronage networks are running the country’s public affairs.” This ubiquitous corruption has resulted in weak government and “corrupt power blocs that control public resources.” As a consequence of civil-service corruption, there are large numbers of so-called ghost workers. Corruption in the energy, communications, and health and education sectors have resulted in inadequate service or no service at all. - Wikipedia

While Corruption is hardly the only problem in Yemen, it is one of the primary underlying causes of the conflict - though frankly US sponsored think tanks will be loath to admit it. They are far more prone to blame as much of the conflict on Iran as possible, even though their real influence is minimal. The 'Blame Iran' narrative plays well with defense contractors and other policy wonks as it gives considerable impetus to further military operations there to bomb one of the very poorest people on earth and garner considerable defense dollars in the process. The constant refrain must be 'Iranian backed' in think tanks doing their level  best to scare up defense dollars. When the guy who stole all that money was running Yemen he tried to gain support for his kleptocracy by claiming Iran was the real enemy, not himself or those who for years supported corrupt governments there. But how much is Iran really involved or perhaps more relevantly was from the beginning? More and more it looks like the US government, under the leadership of Barak Obama deceived us into yet another military misadventure.

Here is a piece that I think many of you will find of great interest. Another here shows you the lengths the 'Armageddon faction' that operates within the bowls of the deep state will go to blame someone else to start a war.


I give all of this to you as background to help you better understand who is pushing what line of propaganda to escalate the war that is literally starving out the people by the millions.

While the world is doing its best to pull a rabbit of its hat to convince us all about massive Iranian interference, somehow when the Saudi's interfere in the most evil and disgusting ways into the affairs of the nation,  the issue is framed somehow as a good thing - worthy of US military support. The good news is that not everyone in the west is buying the devil's dung (propaganda) on the situation in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia Is Committing War Crimes in Yemen - Foreign Policy

Yemen: UN agrees to investigate alleged war crimes amid conflict between Saudi Arabia-led coalition and rebels
Those of you wanting a more detailed assessment of the nefarious activities the Saudi's and the US under both Obama and Trump have been up to can read the recent report out of Human Rights Watch.

The real issues in this war have little to do with anything you are going to read in the english language. Blogs and other sites often have been infected with money and influence that comes from the bowels of the deep state. But suffice it to say that Saudi paranoia over Iranian influence in Yemen will become a self fulfilling prophecy before too long. Consider that everywhere the Gulf states have started some geopolitical violence (Syria, Iraq) to counter Iran - Iran's hand was strengthened considerably. This looks to eventually be the case in Yemen as the months and years pass and victory in Yemen eludes the invaders.

My point here is hardly to paint Iran as some innocent bystander, nor to take sides in this internal Islamic spat between the Sunni and Shi'ite wing of Islam. Rather it is to say this and say it for the record. It is impossible for me to have much respect for any religious system that treats its own adherents with such systemic violence and hatred. To watch this new Saudi Prince blow these poorest of Muslims into oblivion and to starve the rest of them out, is a warning to the world as to the real face of Sunni Islam and the keepers of Mecca. Let the Saudi King and the crown prince show their fellow Muslims some respect and treat them like members of the Human family and allow much needed aid into the nation. Let the truth be told - there are few people on earth who would let a dog starve to death as the people of Yemen are being now. So why are the Saudi's doing it to other Muslims? Correction MILLIONS of other Muslims?

I generally do not like to denigrate other religious systems here. I let the Buddhists and Muslims; Taoists and Pagans do what they want without much comment. I am not a 'dominionist' (an adherent to doctrine of  Christian Dominionism) and do not seek to impose my beliefs on others, other than to preach and make others aware of the Gospel.  But when their actions lead to the deaths of so many people in such an abominable and systemic way, it's time to put the blame where it lies. The Saudi's and their hatred and paranoia of Iran and Shia Islam.  That and a US establishment so craven with greed they are willing to play along as long as the weapons sales to the Saudi's continue to grow in size with each passing year.

Apathy in America

What troubles me as much as Saudi paranoia, is American apathy. How we can support such secret wars that kill so many? First, by not letting the people know what is going on (disinformation via willful omissions). Second by creating a false narrative to garner support (i.e., "Iran is coming to murder us all in our beds!"). These tricks are tried and true and to a population far more interested in the latest sex scandal in Hollywood, the football game and where they plan in getting their next opium fix, what is happening in Yemen simply does not signify. Far too many Americans honestly could not care less.

So the atrocities continue. But God will not hold such men and women blameless and one day, all of the innocent blood this nation has shed, the lies we have told to shed it, the people we have set up, imprisoned and murdered to hide the truth will be required of the leaders and people of this nation.

There is a spirit behind this.  A powerful one and it is described at length within the book of Revelation. Let the reader understand for the hour is late.



And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints,
and of all that were slain upon the earth.
 (Revelation of John 18:24 [KJVA])

God has not changed and his word is sure. That we have this great nation who is so accurately described in Revelation 17 and 18 now sitting on top of the world today shows us the accuracy of God's holy word.

I ask all true Christians to take some time out today and pray for the people of Yemen that aid, medicine and food can come into the nation so the people who are on deaths door from starvation can eat and be satisfied. That those who are sick with Cholera can get the medical help they need; that those children who have been crippled and disfigured because of the munitions the Saudi's have used can get what they need.

I beg you all to really pray for the people of Yemen and to not let the fact that most of them are Muslims cause you to show less concern for those in such dire circumstances. What a powerful witness it would be of Christian charities were allowed into Yemen to treat these people!

When our Lord was asked who his neighbor was he told us all this parable
. This is a powerful word on caring for others and having mercy on those in need.

 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped
him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving
him half dead  And by chance there came down a certain priest
that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked
 on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan,
as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him,
he had compassion on him,  And went to him, and bound up
 his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his
own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence,
and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him;
and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again,
I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou,
 was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him.
Then said Jesus unto him,
Go, and do thou likewise.

(Luke 10:30-37 [KJVA])


Are you going to mimic the Priest, the Levite or the Samaritan? For many of our pastors in this nation, they behave too much like the Pharisee's of old - utterly without mercy for others. For too many Americans, they don't even care if these people live or die - the latest installment of their favorite TV show, their booze, dope and sex are far, far too important to even bother to even make themselves aware of this ongoing human tragedy.

But one day within a single hour...


Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying,
Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city!
for in one hour is thy judgment come.
 (Revelation of John 18:10 [KJVA])

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.
And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors,
and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

 (Revelation of John 18:17 [KJVA])

And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing,
 saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had
ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour
is she made desolate.

 (Revelation of John 18:19 [KJVA])
How can Americans obtain mercy in that terrible hour? I will give you one good first step.

Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.

 (Matthew 5:7 [KJVA])

I ask all Christians who truly know their God to take some time out and pray for the people of Yemen and for those of you who don't know how to pray for them ask yourself this question: If you had not had a decent meal in a month and little water and some of your family had succumbed to Cholera as a result of this war, what would you, sitting in a hospital - little more than skin and bones and on deaths door want to see happen?

Let your answer to that question be the guide to how you pray!




11Nov

News Scan

Man Made Global Warming? Antarctic Polar Caps Melting Has Another Cause
Over a Decade Ago, I had a vert popular earth changes blog and I posited just such a theory (in above link) as to the real reason for rising Ocean temps and polar icecap melting.

I still say to everyone to keep an open mind about the cause of the warming trends we are seeing. Too much money from too many different sources are trying to gain control of the narrative because hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake in regulations and trade. Billionaires with deep, deep pockets are funding the pro-warming side and fossil fuel companies are funding the other side. Where the truth lies is anyone guess. So those of you who have already made up your minds as to what is or is not the case, perhaps you need to either get a Phd in Environmental affairs rather than pretending you have one or do something novel...

...like keep an open mind.

I do not wish to sound condescending, but too many people are spending too much money trying to convince us all and more and more the blogosphere is being infected with what I will call 'environmental fundamentalists' who think they know it all because they read a story on CNN.

Equifax: Nervousness, Restlessness, Profits, Lawsuits and State Attorney Generals
India: Rising Food Inflation Caused By Unexpected Rains
29 States Pass Seed 'Gag' Orders In Favor Of Big Ag
Former Wholefoods Exec Joins Surplus Food Reseller
Higher Food Prices?
Remember The Sacrifices Of Our Veterans
GM Crops Grown Illegally In India
Afghanistan: US Accused By Former President Of ISIS Collusion
America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse’ Is Really Just Beginning
Next Phase Of Carmegeddon - The Banks
LAPD Shuts Down Pedophile Investigation After Two Days
Is Kapersky Being Set Up By The CIA?
Decade after Church Burnings in Nigeria, Officials Forbid Rebuilding
Fulani Herdsman Ambush, Kill Nine Christians
Al-Shabaab Publicly Execute Four Men as Spies

USA 'Liberty Act' Won't Fix What Broken In NSA Spying
(EFF) A key legal linchpin for the National Security Agency’s vast Internet surveillance program is scheduled to disappear in under 90 days. Section 702 of FISA—enacted in 2008 with little public awareness about the scope and power of the NSA’s surveillance of the Internet—supposedly directs the NSA’s powerful surveillance apparatus toward legitimate foreign intelligence targets overseas. Instead, the surveillance has been turned back on us. Despite repeated inquiries from Congress, the NSA has yet to publicly disclose how many Americans are impacted by this surveillance.

With the law’s sunset looming, Congress is taking up the issue. The USA Liberty Act, introduced by Representatives Goodlatte (R-Va.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), and others, may offer a chance to address some of the worst abuses of NSA Internet surveillance even as it reauthorizes some components of the surveillance for another six years.

But the first draft of the bill falls short.

The bill doesn’t effectively end the practice of “backdoor searching,” when government agents—including domestic law enforcement not working on issues of national security—search through the NSA-gathered communications of Americans without any form of warrant from a judge. It doesn’t institute adequate transparency and oversight measures, and it doesn’t deal with misuse of the state secrets privilege, which has been invoked to stave off lawsuits against mass surveillance. 

Perhaps most importantly, the bill won’t curtail the NSA’s practices of collecting data on innocent people. - continues at EFF.org


10 Nov

(Note: This was posted about 10 days ago for insiders. Yes, Watson's Web still look at a host of issues, like the crisis in Saudi Arabia, the military actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere as well as Biblical and Prophetic issues for those who are granted access to the insiders page. - MSW)

Fed, Economy, Taxes

Today, we are going to spend a little time looking at the US economy focusing on the above items.

As you all may or may not know, President Trump is expected to replace the Ms. Yellen over at the Fed. The official rumor has it that Jerome Powell will replace her.

A survey of 30 economists in March 2017 noted that Powell was slightly more of a monetary dove than the average member of the board of governors. However, The Bloomberg Intelligence Fed Spectrometer rated Powell as neutral (i.e. neither a hawk or a dove). Powell has been a skeptic of round 3 of quantitative easing, initiated in 2012, although he did vote in favor of implementation.
Financial regulation

Powell “appears to largely support” the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, although he has stated that "“we can do it more efficiently". - Wikipedia
Is this anything radical? Nope, but given the fact that the GOP and Democrats on the Hill are in a mood to destroy just about anything Trump proposes, he needs a person that will be easily confirmed; a person that it will be hard to suddenly 'find' create and/or manufacture evidence that he too is 'Russian spy' planted by the Kremlin to destroy us all. The way to do that is to get this man already on the board and appointed by a Democrat (Obama). These days, one fake news story from CNN about Russia will send the Senate into a McCarthy-esque tizzy.


What would a Powell Chairmanship mean? Opinions differ. Some see him as a low interest rate hawk, others not so much. Here is how Mises.org sees it.

Going forward, we should expect to see the Fed continue its tediously slow normalization of its balance sheet – what George Selgin has cleverly dubbed Operation SNAIL. Whether the Fed continues with its projected interest rate hike in December may itself depend on Congress. The legislature’s knack for kicking the budgetary can down the road as led to yet another “fiscal cliff” scenario at the end of the year. While we can be ensured that outcome will be more spending (and more debt), the bout of yet another round of arbitrary drama may give the Fed enough of an excuse to follow their lead and hold off until 2018.   - The Swamp Wins: Trump Expected to Nominate Powell to Replace Yellen

Reuters, one of America's establishment (officially sanctioned) news services see's Powell's potential appointment as a good thing. They think it will be good for smaller lenders.

Related: Jerome Powell On Role Of Bank Boards (BIS)
Where Powell may exert a more powerful influence is in one of the most important economic issues facing America outside of its national debt. That being the economic mantra of the elite in DC of 'too big to fail' financial institutions. A policy whereby bad businesses are propped up with taxpayer money when they get into trouble. Mr. Powell has spoken on this key issue in the past. Here is some of what he had to say back in 2013.

Today I will discuss “too big to fail” and the ongoing work since the financial crisis to end it.1 More than three years into this effort, there have been sweeping reforms to the regulation of large financial organizations in the United States and around the world. Substantial proportions of the new rules are designed to end the practice of bailing out such firms with taxpayer money. The too-big-to-fail reform project is massive in scope. In my view, it holds real promise. But the project will take years to complete. Success is not assured.

In the meantime, some urge the adoption of more intrusive reforms, such as a return to Glass-Steagall-style activity limits, more stringent limits on size or systemic footprint, or a requirement that the largest institutions break up into much smaller pieces. I believe that public discussion and evaluation of these ideas is important. At a minimum, we need to thoroughly understand these alternatives in case the existing reform project falters.

It is worth noting that too big to fail is not simply about size. A big institution is “too big” when there is an expectation that government will do whatever it takes to rescue that institution from failure, thus bestowing an effective risk premium subsidy. Reforms to end too big to fail must address the causes of this expectation.

In broad terms, these reforms seek to eliminate the expectation of bailouts in two ways – by significantly reducing the likelihood of systemic firm failures, and by greatly limiting the costs to society of such failures. When failures are unusual and the costs of such a failure are modest, the expectation at the heart of too big to fail will be substantially eliminated. My focus today is principally on the second of these two aspects of reform – containing the costs and systemic risks from failures, a goal being advanced by work to create a credible resolution authority....

...Bailouts may have been more tolerable in the early 1990s when they were rare and their use for a failing bank was uncertain. That is no longer the case. Recent years have seen large and numerous bailouts as a result of the financial crisis. The public, the regulatory community, and large financial institutions themselves all agree now that too big to fail must end.

As I said earlier, reforms to end too big to fail must wage the fight on two fronts. First, we need enhanced regulation to make large financial institution failures much less likely. Second, we need a credible mechanism to manage the failure of even the largest firms, without causing or amplifying a systemic crisis. - Ending "Too Big to Fail"Governor Jerome H. Powell

Trump's pro-business mindset clearly does not entail endless public bailouts for private institutions with incompetent or corrupt leadership. Risk is part of business and losing when one risks badly is also part of business. Giving one group of people billions of taxpayer money in bailouts because of their own failures is a reward for bad business. Bad business puts people out of work and drives out good business when the playing field is rigged up so that some can't lose no matter how badly they play the game.

This kind of twisted economic non-thinking that has been part of our economic malaise. I heard the other day on CSPAN a person bemoaning the lackluster business creation environment and that we should have created a lot more businesses but haven't. The speaker then went on to decry the fact that no one wants to take risks. There is a modicum of truth to in this view. Taking risks is indeed part of business. Yet, one of the bigger problems I see with small businesses is that today more and more business is described as 'the internet economy.' Just a few firms dominate the vast majority of traffic (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc). Cross them and you have just dug your own digital grave. We have created too big to fail internet companies as well, as many of them are not what they appear to be (let wiser readers figure out what I mean). It's the whole idea of a fair field for businesses. It must be fair and perceived to be so, otherwise people will not take risks. No one is going to gamble their hard earned money in a rigged up casino. Not unless they just can't wait to get a bed at the local homeless shelter. I don't know many people like that.

Related: Fed taps Jerome Powell to head oversight of 'too big to fail' banks


Now the problems here that Mr. Powell is describing is not 100% on this point,  but in some ways they are. Lending is something that needs to be done more and in a way that allows for business creation. Not just business creation for young, white liberals who just got out of college, but for others who want to start other kinds of business. A new way for people to communicate in the internet, a Plumbing business, a local delivery service. When a bank is too big to fail, he is not nearly as worried about letting others get businesses and making money from that kind of lending. Not when he can make much more in gambling in derivatives. So on the occasional times when he lends to businesses, he does so with an eye towards helping his friends and other interests that may be associated with the institution, its board or his  buddies. Those of economic and racial groups of whom he does not approve will be turned down, or given "special loans" that are designed to make sure they cannot afford and put them out of business. He does not need or want their business, not when they know Uncle Sam will bail him out when his firm gets into trouble. 

If America wants to have a strong business creation environment, then she needs to make sure that the playing field is level and perceived to be so. Let me give you a personal aside.

One of my readers here a few years ago, queried me about what was needed to get an internet privacy service going. This was about the time of the Snowden revelations. There was clearly a demand for it and still is. He asked a few things and I had to tell him why I wished him luck but his idea would fail.

We have seen all the revelations about how pervasive all the spying is (not was). I made it clear to them that any effective privacy service that really was impregnable to the NSA would come under attack from forces they would never see. They would find a way to shut it down. There was once one I had many years ago, run out of Panama. It was pretty good, but after years of work, the 'deep state' finally got to the owner and his service turned into a honey pot. The sad part is that once that happens, they often won't even allow you to go out of business! This is a legal tactic they tried before though I am not so sure it held up in court. In short, the Deep state is all over this. Taking a financial risk to protect your fellow countrymen in this manner is a non-starter - a person could literally wind up dead for trying.

For the person who asked, he did not see the risk. I did. I am glad he did not try because I like hearing from this reader from time to time. The issue here is the 'too big to fail' environment of big-data and big NSA combining together to make the playing field uneven - to make sure all the data on the internet goes through Government approved data centers which can be tapped and surveilled at will - no warrant, no probable cause and as little choice as possible to escape their digital matrix. Big data, big banking, big oil, Big pharma - they do not brook competition or a level playing field and will find ways of making sure it's always tipped in their favor. One of the biggest problems here is the power these entities have over the regulatory and legal environment.

Trumponomics.

So what can we expect over the next few months? Well as we all know President Trump and Congress are working on a Tax plan. Here is the gist of Trumps reforms.



Source: US Treasury

You can read more about the plan here - it's a pretty fair piece. That piece from The Balance dutifully, points out how this plan is anything but deficit neutral. It adds to the deficit and debt and allows us all to borrow money from our children and grandchildren's future earnings provided that the debt bubble does not blow up in our faces before then and given what China and Russia have been up to, that really could happen in an unforeseen and ugly fashion one day in the not too distant future.

My view of this is pretty straightforward. This is the same old Voodoo that has put us into this economic mess. A mess so bad we have to shut down the government from time to time while Congress debates about borrowing yet more money. Money we have to borrow or we close down our government. For a President who makes noises about National Security, being dependent on foreigners to buy our debt to keep our doors open seems like a 'Trojan Horse' economic security plan, as it gives these foreign entities tremendous leverage over our nation. Some of them has used it in the past to demand our nation change policies.

The national indebtedness aside, the national interest payments aside, the economic ship that is now taking on water aside - the tax plan will indeed provide plenty of liquor, food and entertainment to the passengers of the economic Titanic. Everyone will be happy as long as they don't go below decks and notice all of the furniture floating on top of a few feet of water and that strange rushing sound coming from the other side of the bulkhead. Clearly this is what Trump and the whole DC establishment hope all will do when the shrimp and cocktail sauce are passed around (tax breaks).

Conclusion

But all in all, truth be told no one is about to really touch the deficit or debt. A candidate will always run on it, but never deliver it. To do so would mean someone would have to start paying it down -  benefits would go down and taxes would go up or to use the Titanic analogy  - everyone would have to roll up their pants legs, get a bucket and start bailing the water out of the ship. Now, who is going to do that when the main course of Steak and Lobster is about to be served! The rich would try and force the poor and vice versa and that is where we stand today. No, to keep your seat in Congress or your place in the White House, let's not talk about buckets, water and soggy trousers - too depressing. So for dessert we're gonna have... tax break cake, after the lobster is served...

... while that strange rushing sound from the bulkhead keeps getting louder. What kind of economic policy is this?

It comes from Mr. Zee.

Mr. Cray Zee.

The whole Zee family infests the House, Senate and anywhere the government's budgeting is conducted.


8 Nov

Persecution Watch

Christian Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Escaped, Recaptured
NK: Children Forced Into Hard Labor

Vatican Hosts Summit On Human Trafficking, Slavery
India: Violence Against Christians Increases As Election Draws Near
China Deports Hundreds of South Korean Christians for Helping Persecuted North Koreans
The Persecuted Church in America & Abroad
Christians In Pakistan Flee Homes After False 'Blasphemy' Accusations
Eritrean Forces Use Live Ammo To Enforce New Church Edicts
Letting Egypt's Persecuted Know They Are Not Forgotten
UK Charity Says Church Facing Worst Persecution In History
Kazakhstan Baptist convicted for refusing to pay state ‘expert’ to analyse his Christian books
Israel Politicizes Christian Persecution
   This piece gives us a look at who really persecutes them the most.
“We Are Going to Burn You Alive!” Muslim Persecution of Christians, June 2017
   This monthly update, which often runs many months late gives us a synopsis of persecution events around
   the world that hit the newswires. Remember many many others never hit anyone's news cycle.
Call For Trump To Tackle Religious Freedom In China
   US business leaders are signing billions of dollars worth of deals, where does Christian Persecution
   and Human Rights fit into the mix?
No Persecution, Including Shootings, Will Silence the Church


6 Nov

Psalm 126

Today, we again will take a break from the news beat and get back to the scriptures. This time, we will continue our look at the Songs of Ascents.

When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion,
we were like them that dream.
(Psalms 126:1 [KJVA])

This Psalm fits perfectly with the things we saw in the book of Nehemiah. After their long exile in Babylon, hearing the news that they could return to their homeland must have seemed like they were dreaming. Finally the edict went forth from Cyrus, that they could return. The person who brought them the news in the outlying areas were probably not easily believed  - but there it was, they could come home. Some scholars while certainly noting that this was for the captives in Babylon have attempted to also say that this passage has a prophetic significance for the last days and that the captivity of Babylon is also a type of last days redemption.

Here is how John Gill puts it.
This deliverance of the captives, though it was by Cyrus as an instrument, yet it was the Lord's work; which he employed him in, and stirred him up to do, and therefore is ascribed to him. And though this is expressed in the past tense, yet it may be put for the future; and be considered as a prophecy of it, and which the following word seems to confirm; and especially the prayer, Psa_126:4; for the return of the captivity seems to require it should: and may not only literally respect the return of the captives in Babylon, but the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, and their deliverance from their present captivity; which is expressed sometimes by the Lord's bringing again Zion, and returning the captivity of the Jews, and their being turned to the Lord, Isa_52:8; and may be applied to spiritual and eternal redemption by Christ, of which the deliverance from Babylon was a type; and is sometimes expressed in the same language, Psa_14:7; and the people redeemed are often signified by Zion, and are by nature captives to sin, Satan, and the law; from whence they are redeemed by Christ, whose work alone it is, Isa_1:27;  - John Gill
The passage, I suppose in a broader sense could indeed refer to the last days ingathering of God's people. However such an extrapolation of the passage, I think to a small degree takes away from the genuine and simple joy the captives in Babylon must have felt when they were told they could return to Jerusalem. It was like a dream they could hardly believe that they were really awake hearing this news, it was so incredible!

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing:
then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath
done great things for them.
(Psa 126:2)

There must have been singing and dancing. They were clearly very happy at this news. God moved in the heart of the King and caused him to make this most anticipated proclamation, which is recorded for us in the book of Ezra.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD
by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit
 of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his
 kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia,
The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth;
and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him,
and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house
of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.
And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men
of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts,
beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
(Ezr 1:1-4)


So Cyrus did not just allow the Jews to return, but also to build a new Temple at Jerusalem. Again, we can understand why the Psalmist says they thought they were dreaming. You mean we don't have to sneak in? Don't have to fight the kings Army? Don't have to secretly transport the materials for the Temple? Are you sure Jehud? You aren't just kidding us? You haven't been sipping on that jug of wine have you? But those who checked could discover, that yes, the king himself commanded this thing at the stirring of the Spirit of the Lord.

Mind you, there would be many struggles ahead and God's promises does not mean that there will not be opposition as we saw in Nehemiah and when we get to the book of Ezra as well.

This edict was one that even caused the heathen to take note, saying that God had done great things for them. How is it that this 'heathen prince' had made such a dramatic move on behalf of his people? Yes, even the Chaldean's saw the mighty hand of the God of the Jews in this thing, they were amazed at his power and recognized the great hand of God who moved in favor of his people.

The LORD hath done great things for us;
whereof we are glad.
(Psa 126:3)

This verse is rather self explanatory, but is a brief parallel to the way the heathen reacted, here we see how the Jews here acknowledge the work of God that brought joy their long downcast hearts.

Turn again our captivity, O LORD,
as the streams in the south.
(Psa 126:4)



As the whole passage is about the fulfillment of the return of that captivity, this may have merely been a repetition of a long uttered prayer by the Jews who were captive in Babylon and in anticipation of the actual culmination and accomplishment of the Kings edict. The mention of the streams of the south is rather obscure, some thinking it refers to the Nile river. Here is what Adam Clarke says about it.

As the streams in the south - Probably the Nile is meant. It is now pretty well known that the Nile has its origin in the kingdom of Damot; and runs from south to north through different countries, till, passing through Egypt, it empties itself into the Mediterranean Sea. It it possible, however, that they might have had in view some rapid rivers that either rose in the south, or had a southern direction; and they desired that their return might be as rapid and as abundant as the waters of those rivers. But we know that the Nile proceeds from the south, divides itself into several streams as it passes through Egypt, and falls by seven mouths into the Mediterranean. - Adam Clarke
This may be the meaning, but I think the Cambridge Bible may be more spot on as to the meaning the Psalmist was trying to convey.

as the streams in the South] The Negeb, or ‘South’ country, literally ‘the dry region,’ was the arid waterless district to the south of Judah (Jdg_1:15), where in summer all the brooks dry up, and are only filled by the autumn rains. Thus far the restoration of Israel has been only as it were a scanty thread of water trickling among the stones, but as in the due season Jehovah refills those stony stream-beds with abundance of sparkling rushing water, so He can re-animate the feeble community of Israel with fresh and vigorous life, and multiply its scanty numbers into the crowds which the prophet’s vision saw streaming to Jerusalem (Isa_49:18).

I think this catches the meaning the Psalmist wanted to convey.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth,
bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
bringing his sheaves with him.
(Psa 126:5-6)

This passage I think gives us a sense as to what the Songs of Ascents are really all about. They are about a people making a pilgrimage to Mount Zion. Now again, Scholars have long differed as to what is meant by the term Song of Ascents and while I hesitate to link to Wikipedia on such an issue, this brief little snippet I think gives us the range of views.

Many scholars believe the title indicates that these psalms were sung by worshipers as they ascended the road to Jerusalem to attend the three pilgrim festivals  (Deuteronomy 16:16). Others think they were sung by the Levite singers as they ascended the fifteen steps to minister at the Temple in Jerusalem.One view says the Levites first sang the Songs at the dedication of Solomon's temple during the night of the fifteenth of Tishri 959 BCE.Another study suggests that they were composed for a celebration after Nehemiah's rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls in 445 BC. Others consider that they may originally have been individual poems which were later collected together and given the title linking them to pilgrimage after the Babylonian captivity.

They were well suited for being sung by their poetic form and the sentiments they express. "They are characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e., repetition], and by their epigrammatic style.... More than half of them are cheerful, and all of them hopeful." As a collection, they contain a number of repeated formulaic phrases, as well as an emphasis on Zion. - Wikipedia

The Psalm seems to confirm the view above on Nehemiah, at least for this Psalm. But frankly the last is probably most accurate, being a collection from various times and then set together as a collection.

But the last two passages itself really show what is beautiful about this Psalm and occation. Sorrow first, but those who bring their sorrows to God will reap in joy. The Jews had waited 70 long years while the land was cleansed from their polluted behavior (Eze 22:24, Eze 36:18, Jer 3:2). But now that it was, God sent a call out to his people to return, God had not forgotten his people and had respect to his promises. It was time for him to act, the days of sorrow and longing were over, now was the time of joy. Waiting on the Lord, while not stated specifically is implied by the long exile the Jews had to endure.

For those of us who await our pilgrimage to the new Jerusalem where Christ will reign. Let me quote from another Psalm that embodies these thoughts from a sightly different perspective.

 
Wait on the LORD, and keep his way,
and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land:

when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. 
I have seen the wicked in great power,

and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
 Yet he passed away, and, lo,

he was not: yea, I sought him,
 but he could not be found.

(Psalms 37:34-36 [KJVA])

Let us all wait upon our God, for his timing is not ours, and his ways are higher than ours and his plans are not known to us.

Wait, I say upon the Lord.

4 Nov

(Note: This was posted for insiders on the 13th of Oct.)

Spiritual Trends

There are a great many trends now transpiring in our world, particularly in America. These trends show a remarkable decline in the underpinnings of the Christian traditions of the west. Today, we will look at a few of those trends.

Sodom And Gomorrah California

First off, I am watching what is going on in California. It's the state I was born and raised in. It was once a great place to live and I am sure in many parts of the state, it still very much is. But I recently saw a story where it is no longer a felony to deliberately infect a person with Aids. Before Gov. Brown signed the law, it was a felony punishable for up to eight years in jail, now it is a misdemeanor. The reduction of penalties for sex crimes appears to at be the top of Gov. Brown's agenda. In California, the laws for soliciting sex from minors have been duly muddled by him. Other trends of note is that he is now going to fine or even jail health care workers who refuse to call sex-change patients by their new name.

For we who know our God, we understand what is going on here. There is a powerful demonic stronghold that has full control of the State's government. The LBGT/Hollywood and yes the Baphomet/Satanic crowd are forcing the devils agenda on the State.  California is the abortion (child sacrifice) capital of the nation. This is not a new phenomenon. This spirit, this demonic stronghold goes back a few millennium. What do I mean?


There has been a connection between abortion and homosexual advocates within the state government of California.  They fight against restrictions on abortions and pass a long list of pro-homosexual measures within the California Assembly [source].

Ironically, the goddess pagan worship has a historical demonic connection between homosexuality and child sacrifice. The goddess worship included the celebration of same-sex relationships, cultic sex (both heterosexual and homosexual), child sacrifice, and witchcraft.  The San Francisco Bay Area has a history of not only homosexuality, but an extensive history of the occult.

The Church of Satan was started in San Francisco in June 6, 1966 by Anton Lavey. It promotes sexual lust over spiritual love and heavily promoted sexual perversion as a practice of Satanism. Lord Egan, a former member of Anton Lavey church, formed the First Church of Satan in the 1990s.    He took up the satanic mantle after Lavey’s death in 1997. Egan admitted on the church’s website that he had a strong interest in pedophilia and subscribed to North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).  NAMBLA represents men who want to have the age of sexual consent reduced so that may have sex with boys. San Francisco also has a well-established witch coven called “The Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco.”  It is 501c3 Non-Profit Religious Organization that promotes the unity of the spirit and politics.  It teaches and makes magic through workshops and classes as well as conducts public rituals. Overall it is estimated that there maybe as many as 50,000 pagans and witches living in the Bay Area.   In addition, Southern California is home to countless psychic and tarot card reader businesses, and botanical stores in both southern and northern California that sell potions and charms.

The occult presence in the Bay Area fuels Spiritual wickedness in high places.  This branch of the kingdom of darkness has charge over the spiritual and religious atmosphere. Child sacrifice (abortion) helps fuel demonic powers.  And the demonic world requires blood sacrifice to invoke the spirits and favor from these demonic beings.  A good example of this is in 2 Kings 3:27 when Moab was in the process of losing a battle against Israel.   When King Mesha of Moab saw this, he sacrifice his eldest son to the Moabite, the god Chemosh.  This was done to aid the Moabite army in winning the battle against the backslidden army of Israel.  After King Mesha sacrificed his son, the battle turned in favor of Moab. - The Principality Of California And Spiritual Warfare

Once we get past the political (which I do spend a lot of time on), then we can better understand just what is going on in the Spiritual. There are some of the darkest spirits in the satanic kingdom operating at the highest levels of California government. These spirits mean business - satanic business and that business will always involve his for principle goals -
Steal
Kill
Destroy
Deceive
Pervert
Once you understand his methodology, it's not hard to figure who is behind the work, no matter how many flags, crosses, burka's and other trappings these spirits use to deceive the unsuspecting. Satan always comes in on the wings of seemingly innocent change that leads to bigger less innocent ones. He does this until you have a society that is in total rebellion against the God of heaven. For this is his ultimate goal with the sons of men,  to turn us all against God and have us either knowingly or unknowingly join the celestial rebellion against heaven he started long before Adam was made. Satan wants to get (and will get) vast swaths of mankind to rebel against God and worship him. This is what is now, not so slowly happening in California. In the final system, we see that this is what is marked by that system.

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast:
 and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?
who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto
him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was
given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his
mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his
tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him
to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was
given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell
upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the
book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
If any man have an ear,
let him hear.
(Rev 13:4-9)



How many of you have been keeping up with the Weinstein Sex scandal? None of what has happened should surprise any of us. The whole 'Hollywood set' has been infected by too many men who are not at all unlike the deeds we have heard about with Mr. Weinstein. Now this man is a mover and a shaker in DNC circles. He was a big donor to political causes. He was co-founder of Miramax studios. From my impression of what I have read, it appears in many instances to be a case of 'if you want that part in my new movie, you got to let me sleep with you', kind of thing, but that is just my impression. This kind of thing is hardly new in Hollywood, it goes back decades. I used to watch TCM a lot and they often did their own shorts and films about the backstage goings on in Hollywood. But the lines of political power in the Golden State are paved with money out of Hollywood and Hollywood has its own agenda.

There is a very powerful demonic stronghold that has its tentacles sunk in deep into the golden state, but only a few can really see it.

But that is hardly the only place such evil exists today. The devil is getting bolder and bolder. Secularists place belief if satan into the superstition category, not knowing just what they are dealing with - a very ancient, and very powerful evil. In South Carolina late last month, satanic symbols were found on an historic South Carolina Church. You can read the story here. Then there was the case of the teen who was murdered by her lesbian ex-lover in some kind of satanic ritual. Yes, the devil is very busy.

I need not give you the goings on in our federal government as I talk about it quite a bit.

In Britain, the 'witchfest' international festival has been cancelled due to 'financial challenges'. Well, that is the good news. The bad news is that they are regrouping for one in 2019. We have the same thing here. Ever heard of the 'Burning Man' Festival? You should. It too is one of those festivals with serious pagan undertones conducted here in the US. More here.

In other news of elite involvement in these things, most charges against Sir Edward Heath have been dropped. He was accused of being involved in child molestation and satanism. Weather or not he was truly innocent or has (rather his family has) very powerful friends who covered this all up will be of course debated for a long time.

There has long been a rather substantial body of evidence that many of those in positions of power engage in these things. One can ignore it and call it all 'conspiracy theory', but I can tell you that these things do exist and happen and some of those who engage in them are names you know. Moreover, it is important that we all realize that the rich and powerful are very, very different. They pretty much do what they want when the camera's are not rolling and do it knowing they can get away with it. For the most part, the wheels of justice stop dead in their tacks when it comes to their activities.


Times and Seasons

Brothers, I could inundate you with links to scare you half to death, but that is not the purpose here today. I want to impress upon all of you how far the world we live in, the nation we live in is turning against God and what that means for us and them. I want to impress upon all of you just what it means to be one of the very, very few real born again, blood-bought, Holy Spirit walking Christians. I make these clear delineations because most of what passes itself off as Christianity today in the west simply isn't. It's a carefully decked out deception that can only keep lost souls lost while thinking they will be saved. We are in a battle; a serious knock down, drag out spiritual battle and there will be winners and losers. The good news is that if we maintain our faith, keep walking the straight and narrow and do the things Christ  commanded us to do we will be saved.


And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
(Mat 10:22)


If we maintain that faith (not belief but faith - let the reader understand the difference)  we will discover that we have already won, for Christ has conquered the enemy - death. We who know him will be resurrected in due time and be forgiven of the sins that earned us all that fate.

We Christians must always remember this - we are never going to fully fit into this world. If it is hard for us to rise in our places of employment or find jobs, we have to remember that more and more, demonic strongholds control many of your top job givers and corporations. They can find out a lot about you when you apply for a job. If they don't want Christians working for them, they can see to it that none are hired. As the devil gains more and more control over the money system and the economic lifeblood of our nation and world, we must remember these things.

We must always be vigilant and aware of the times brothers and not get lulled to sleep, which will be a major problem in the very last days.


Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,
as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same
afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are
in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called
 us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye
 have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,
 strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and
dominion for ever and ever.
Amen.
(1Pe 5:8-11)


I give solemn testimony, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that the devil is indeed roaming about, looking for ways to destroy Christians, their ministries, their Churches, their families, their business, etc. He is very adept and finding ways 'in' to accomplish his nefarious purposes. False brethren and false friends are one, but only one way he does that. He is already making enormous progress in the realms of government and economics. He has also not been slack in getting his wicked servants into the Church and its leadership. So let us all be spiritually sober, mentally aware, spiritually awake and know what time it is.

Grace and peace to you all in Christ.


3 Nov



Anti-Semitism Watch

This is a very real problem in the world today. It may not be covered much, but powerful forces in our world have always hated the Jews. Today is no different. It always starts out with seemingly little things, but later they get uglier and uglier. Read your history.

Anti-Semitic incidents in football are a warning sign to society

Gov. Hogan Is Right To Oppose Anti-Semitic BDS Bill
This is a very interesting and well written piece and response by the Gov. of Maryland. 

Jewish Leaders Urge Italian Sports Authorities To Fight Anti-Semitism

Normalizing anti-Semitism in student governments

David Hirsh Looks At Anti-Semitism, Soviet Ideology, Putin And Today

Russian Jews Point Out To Patriarch Krill's Opposition To Anti-Semitism

Labour activists compare Israel to Nazi Germany as Jeremy Corbyn accused of behaving like 'ostrich' over anti-Semitism

How the left got sold on the idea that Zionism is racism

Cornell: Hundreds Stand Against Anti-Semitism

Former Google Guy To Give 'Big Data' Break Down Anti-Semitism Online

EU Diplomats Hear Testimony On Anti-Semitism In Knesset...

..US Declines To Attend.

Luther At 500: Many Want To Talk About His Anti-Semitism

UK, Teens And Anti-Semitism

Jewish film director Brett Ratner– ‘More Must Be Done to Fight Bigotry, Prejudice and Anti-Semitism’

Antisemitism & Calls For Israel to be Destroyed at Auckland Mosque (With Video)

When Old And New Anti-Semtism Come Together

1 Nov

Refugee Watch

US Assistance To Syrian Refugee's

The ongoing conflict in Syria has contributed to the largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 5 million Syrians displaced to neighboring countries. The United States has taken a leading role in providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Syrian conflict, obligating more than $3 billion, primarily in the form of voluntary contributions and grants to PIOs (Public International Organizations). Given the challenges of implementing projects during an emergency, the importance of financial oversight— which includes understanding the risks that implementing partner organizations face and monitoring their activities to mitigate these risks— is elevated.






Source: GAO
UN: Most Indonesian Refugee's Will Never Be Resettled.
These are mostly from the Rohingya crisis.
Four Rohhingyans Drowned As Boat Capsizes

Bangledesh Offers Voluntary Sterilization To Rohingya's

Papau New Guinea Prepares To Shut 'Illegal' Australian Refugee Camp Down
They plan on cutting water and power to the camp.

Syrian Refugee Crisis: A UNHCR Snapshot

600,000 Refugee's Displaced Inside Central African Republic
“I lost everything: my home, my flesh, my identity. My kids sleep on the floor.” 
-  Zainaba, widowed mother of four displaced in Bangui

How Europe Exported Its Refugee Crisis To North Africa
EU leaders have found a way to disrupt the flow of refugee's from North Africa

Over Half Of Refugee Children Not In School
The UN has done a great report on the subject. There are lots of kids who are refugee's with no reasonable possibility to return to their homeland anytime soon. This is a major problem.

USA: White Nationalists Stage Anti-Refugee Protests

France: French Police Tear Gassing Refugee's, Children In Aggressive Campaign

Canada Shows Concern For Developing Refugee Crisis In Venezuela

Greek Refugee Camps See Surge In Migration

Lebanon: Cyprus Can Help With Refugee Crisis

South Sudan Refugee Crisis

30 Oct

Once or twice a month for insiders, I post links of interest - usually government and think tank reports to help readers get the  background they need so they do not become victims of fake news, false narratives, lies and other forms of disinformation.

We are in an information battlefield - this is an information war and most Americans are completely unarmed because they choose to be. They would rather buy 'blanks' (fake news) on Fox and MSNBC than get the hard data else where.

Pick up a little informational 'ammo' here.

National Archives Issues JFK Files
Yes, they finally did it. Most of them are now available on line and can be found on this link. President Trump at the last minute bowed to pressure from the FBI and CIA about some of the files, reportedly  about 2800 that they think could compromise sources. Search information and methods can be found here.

John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. Almost 30 years later, Congress enacted the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The Act mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).   The resulting Collection consists of more than 5 million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts (approximately 2,000 cubic feet of records). Most of the records are open for research. - National Archives

What do I expect from these records? Not much really. I think they will shed light on a whole range of theories about the assassination, but will never tell us exactly who ordered him killed - and no I don't think LHO shot him or even if he could make such an impossible shot, did so on his own. The kind of shooting required is simply not possible where he was at a moving target.

I am often asked who I think killed JFK. I will tell you this. I don't think it was one person or group. I am fairly well convinced that there were many forces who wanted him gone, the CIA (for the bay of pigs) The FBI (because Hoover hated Bobby and the whole Civil Rights movement) and the Mob, (because Bobby was giving them hell even after they helped him win the Presidency with 'antics' in Chicago - the book double cross written by A Giancana tells the story. ). The DOD wanted him gone because he was very hesitant to escalate in Vietnam among other things.

Then there are lesser known aspects to this - the fact that JFK may have been a drug addict (yes, lets see if those files are included) he was in considerable pain. And then there is the issue of unauthorized contact with the Russians. JFK may have been working secretly with Khrushchev in an under the table fashion to bring peace - and keep in mind that this was at the height of the cold war and anti-Russian hysteria was at a fever pitch back in those days.

I am fairly certain that with the full knowledge of key players in DC, they decided to take him out, put LBJ in office and let him do a U-Turn on these issues and other than on the issue of Civil Rights, he did.

I have done considerable research on the subject over many long years, from my early 20's and still have quite a few books on the subject.

No, this was a planned well executed coup and it was essential that the coup plotters got away with it and a patsy was found to take the blame - Enter Lee Harvey Oswald. The coverup as well took in all three branches of government - Remember it was the Chief Justice (Warren) who was charged with investigating covering it all up. The coup was complete when that deceitful report was issued.

As we all know there was considerable drama about the release and the spy agencies cried a river of tears to stop the release of some of the material. Trump relented and then relented on his relenting - all files - saving informants names who are still alive - will now be released - Probably on the 30th (Monday). For years everyone laughed at 'grassy knoll conspiracy theorists' those accusers were often merely  whoring for the elements who covered up his murder.

More here.

But some of the files that have come to light show us all that there was nothing crazy about those theories.

If you really want to understand why this nation is so (expletive deleted)ed up, go back to that day  - there was a coup back then and the deep state took over the US government - they have been running it ever since. We had a chance once to make a significant change for the better and  return the government to the people...


...but they murdered him too.

***
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, October 20, 2017

Human Trafficking: New Global Estimates of Forced Labor and Modern Slavery, CRS Insight, October 18, 2017

U.S. Withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), CRS Insight, October 17, 2017

NAFTA Renegotiation and Modernization, October 12, 2017

Overview of “Travel Ban” Litigation and Recent Developments, CRS Legal Sidebar, October 23, 2017

States’ Obligations Under Additional Protocols to IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements, CRS memorandum, October 23, 2017

Defense Primer: Military Pay Raise, CRS In Focus, updated October 10, 2017

The Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Program, CRS Insight, October 10, 2017

U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts, updated October 11, 2017

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2017, updated October 12, 2017

Poverty in the United States in 2016: In Brief, October 25, 2017




EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Plan, CRS Legal Sidebar, October 25, 2017

Who Earns Pass-Through Business Income? An Analysis of Individual Tax Return Data, October 24, 2017

Tracking Federal Funds: USAspending.gov and Other Data Sources, October 24, 2017

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal, October 23, 2017

Comparison of the Bills to Extend State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding, October 23, 2017
Second Treasury Report on Regulatory Relief: Capital Markets, CRS Insight, October 19, 2017

Federal Lifeline Program: Frequently Asked Questions, October 19, 2017

The Opioid Epidemic and Federal Efforts to Address It: Frequently Asked Questions, October 18, 2017

How many Americans abuse opioids? In its annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) does not collect data using the category “opioids”; rather, it collects data on use of heroin and misuse of prescription pain relievers. In 2016, SAMHSA estimated that 329,000 Americans age 12 and older were current users of heroin and approximately 3.8 million Americans were current “misusers” of prescription pain relievers.

According to the same survey, an estimated 11.8 million people aged 12 and older misused opioids in the past year (i.e., the year preceding the date on which the individual responded to the survey) including 11.5 million misusers of pain relievers and 948,000 heroin users.5 In its annual survey of adolescent students, the Monitoring the Future Survey measures drug use behaviors among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. In 2016, 0.2% of surveyed adolescents were current users of heroin; 5.4% of surveyed 12th graders6 were current users of “narcotics other than heroin.”

What is the harm associated with opioid abuse?

There are short-term and long-term effects of abusing opioids, but the most severe among them is the risk of overdose and death. Drug overdose deaths more than tripled from 1999 to 2014.8 In 2015, more than 52,000 people died from drug overdoses, and approximately 63% of those deaths involved an opioid.9 More than 15,000 overdose deaths involved prescription opioids, representing almost half of all opioid overdoses.
 Also, while U.S. life expectancy (at birth) increased by 2.0 years overall (due to decreasing death rates related to heart disease, cancer, etc.) from 2000 to 2015, researchers have found that the increase in opioid-related drug poisoning death rate reduced overall life expectancy by 0.2 years during this same time.


Reports indicate that recent increases in overdose deaths are most likely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl and heroin.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that fentanyl is largely to blame for the sharp increases in overdose deaths over the last several years. Further, NIDA explains that the number of fentanyl-related deaths is likely underestimated because some medical examiners do not test for fentanyl and some death certificates do not list specific drugs.




Fentanyl Supply

Exacerbating the current opioid problem is the rise of non-pharmaceutical fentanyl33 on the black market. Diverted pharmaceutical fentanyl represents only a small portion of the fentanyl market. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl largely comes from China, and it is often mixed with or sold as heroin. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, and over the last two years, reported prices ranged between $30,000 and $38,000 per kilogram. The increased potency of non-pharmaceutical fentanyl compounds, such as the recently emerged “gray death,” is extremely dangerous. Law enforcement expects that the fentanyl market will continue to expand in the future as new fentanyl products attract additional users. - CRS

Who is behind the Fentyal crisis here in the states? This report out of the US  Government will answer that question for you.



Chemical flows from China have helped fuel a fentanyl crisis in the United States, with significant increases in U.S. opioid overdoses, deaths, and addiction rates occurring over the last several years. Unlike previous opioid epidemics, including a temporary spike in U.S. fentanyl use in 2006 that was traced to a single clandestine lab in Mexico, fentanyl sold in the United States is now being produced by individual distributors across the country. The diffused nature of fentanyl distribution and the drug’s high potency have complicated U.S. counternarcotic efforts and necessitated new policies aimed at reducing flows of fentanyl and other synthetic opiates to the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the federal government’s primary counternarcotic authority, working with state and local law enforcement to regulate and enforce controls on illicit drugs and chemicals. According to U.S. law enforcement and drug investigators, China is the primary source of fentanyl in the United States. Along with shipments sent directly to the United States, fentanyl is shipped from China to Mexico and, to a lesser degree, Canada, before being trafficked across the U.S. border. In response, the U.S. and Chinese governments have taken steps to increase counternarcotic cooperation and strengthen regulations governing chemical flows. However, these efforts have not adequately adapted to drug exporters’ increasingly sophisticated production and distribution methods. - Fentanyl: China’s Deadly Export to the United States/USCC

The CFR has a great one here as well.

Congress Faces Calls to Address Expired Funds for Primary Care, CRS Insight, October 18, 2017

Workers' Compensation: Overview and Issues, October 18, 2017

The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks, October 17, 2017

Gun Control: Silencers under the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3668), CRS Insight, October 16, 2017

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities, October 16, 2017

Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, October 19, 2017

Iran Sanctions, October 13, 2017

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response, October 13, 2017

Arms Sales in the Middle East: Trends and Analytical Perspectives for U.S. Policy, October 11, 2017

Syria's Chemical Weapons: Continuing Challenges, CRS Insight, October 11, 2017

Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy, October 3, 2017

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity in the Armed Services: Background and Issues for Congress, October 24, 2017

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2017, October 12, 2017

Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress, October 12, 2017

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), October 11, 2017

U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts, October 11, 2017

Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress, CRS Insight, October 5, 2017

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress, October 2, 2017
U.S. Air Force Pilot Shortage, CRS Insight, September 11, 2017

Jailing Jihadist Returnee's - CSS

Arctic Rivalries: Friendly Competition or Dangerous Conflict?
Will the melting of Arctic Ice bring conflict and a war over resources?

Zapad 2017: Beyond the Hype, Important Lessons for the US and NATO
Getting past the hype, hand-wringing and hate, this paper looks a the Russian exercises with a degree of objectivity that is sorely missing these days. These drills shows Russians traditional strengths with a few new twists. They also made clear that if need be, Russia will use tactical nukes to defend it from invasion.
Colombia’s Armed Groups Battle for the Spoils of Peace
Colombia’s 2016 peace accord has brought over 10,000 FARC fighters to the cusp of civilian life, but in their wake rival armed groups are battling for control of vacated territory and lucrative coca crops. In order to roll back booming drug production and expanding non-state groups, the Colombian government should provide local farmers with alternative livelihoods while developing grassroots security and local governance. - ICG

Cameroon’s Far North: Reconstruction Amid Ongoing Conflict
Cameroon has been officially at war with Boko Haram since May 2014. Despite a gradual lowering in the conflict’s intensity, which peaked in 2014 and 2015, the continuing violence, combined with the sharp rise in the number of suicide attacks between May and August 2017, are reminders that the jihadist movement is by no means a spent force. Since May 2014, 2,000 civilians and soldiers have been killed, in addition to the more than 1,000 people kidnapped in the Far North region. Between 1,500 and 2,100 members of Boko Haram have reportedly been killed following clashes with the Cameroonian defence forces and vigilante groups. - ICG

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): A Dangerous Stalemate
The grave socio-economic crisis, harsh repression by security forces and lack of confidence in political elites make for a potentially explosive cocktail of resentment and frustration. Beyond urban centres, violence is escalating in many provinces, adding to concerns for regional stability.

Kabila’s government has engaged in a two-pronged strategy: violent repression and closure of political space at home on the one hand, intensive regional diplomacy to defuse U.S. and European Union (EU) pressure on the other. The latter track appears to have been particularly successful. African and especially Southern African powers now largely accept the government’s interpretation of the agreement (notably its unilateral choice of prime minister). While they have been more critical behind closed doors and acknowledge that the political manoeuvring and delay tactics increase the risk of violence, their public positioning has given the regime vital breathing space. - ICG

China: Alternative Models for the Central Military Commission
The CMC is the supreme national organ in charge of military and defense affairs. Its major functions include formulation of military strategy, handling contingencies, building effective military forces, coordination of military, economic, political, and diplomatic strategies, and formulating military guidelines and policies. [1] Despite this consistent mission, the size and structure of the CMC have varied widely over the years, adapting to new strategic and political contexts. Party Congresses and associated plenums have typically been the occasion for major decisions on the CMC’s structure and membership. - Jamestown Foundation/China Brief.

FYI, these are issued about every two weeks and the entire pdf brief can be found here.

Election leaves western Kenya angry and bitter

Trump At Ten

Today we are going to look at the Trump Presidency at 10 months. Rather than write a detailed piece with a lot of links and elite opinion, I prefer today to write just a piece on general impressions - where he is taking us and how many impediments he will face in the days ahead and if some of those challenge will be a good thing or not so good.

Domestic Impressions

First of all let me state that I never thought Trump was Presidential material, not by a long shot. I still don't think he has the right stuff for that job. This is not said to denigrate him personally nor to undermine his office. Rather, it is just to say that there are people who are cut out for certain jobs and the Presidency requires a special kind of person. The qualities that made Trump, 'Trump' are not the qualities I think make a good and effective President.

Yet having said that he is it for the next four years as specious calls for his impeachment for imaginary crimes created out of the DNC headquarters and certain 'sour grapes' Republicans have finally died down. Donald Trump won fair and square and what the establishment in both parties have failed to grasp is why - what have they been doing wrong for so long that would cause millions of Americans to reject firmly the usual field of establishment candidates and elect Mr. Trump. They still don't get it, or perhaps more accurately, they have no intention of 'getting it'. But to me what Trump represented was a silent revolution - a revolution of millions of Americans whom the mainstream media ignored and denigrated for years. That silent electoral majority got up off of their hind legs and brought in change that was not approved by the elite. Mind you, that revolution did not represent my interests as I am not a Republican, but I think that those on the left who fail to understand why Trump is in the White House and continue to fall back on comfortable lies and half truths to kid themselves about how badly they have failed millions of Americans -  they can fully expect more Donald Trump's to sail into power on the winds of their own fake news and political incompetence in the future.

Donald Trump's combative, 'Reality TV' Presidential style is an affront to many. They don't like his near daily feuds with top lawmakers and world leaders. These days, he is locked in a pitched 'twitter battle' with Senator Corker. Corker, like many leaders are dead set against unilateral military action against North Korea. He has stated so publicly and made it plain what he thinks of Trump in public statements about a 'day care center'. This feud is rather telling in that as we note in the previous link, Corker was once a strong supporter of Trump when much of the GOP establishment treated him like a political leper.

That’s a dramatic and ironic turnaround, because Corker’s word and credibility, as a senator respected for his principles and seriousness, was instrumental in paving the way for mainstream Republican acceptance of the Trump candidacy.... - The Atlantic

Trump has a penchant for picking fights and airing them right into the mainstream media, much like a reality TV show, rather than a sitting President. This has harmed his image with a great many Americans and his polls number show it, with the last polls I saw he had about a 38% approval rating. He has taken on the NFL, mainstream media, key Senators and others in his late night twitter storms.

My view of Trump just from a PR perspective goes like this. We need a President who can inspire, give positive messages, bring hope and essentially be a positive image for the nation. Donald Trump, in my view just does not have the capability to be that. In the heat of controversy when emotions run high, a President should be able to say something that heals divisions and tones down the hate rather than pour gasoline on a raging wildfire. President Trump too often does not understand the need to put personal image, needs, hurts aside and do and say what is best for the country.

In fairness to the President, I have never seen the kinds of hate and disrespect for a President in my lifeftime directed at him. It is truly off the scale. Even before he went into the White House the vitriol against him was in full swing and in mainline media circles, he had very few defenders.

He was forced to run counter-spin operations himself. Consequently to some degree, I understand why he has been forced to be more combative than most Presidents in the past. But this President needs to stop, take stock of what he tweets and says in public and let his press office deal with the day to day controversy. In short, President Trump needs to be more President and less Trump. He needs to be wiser and understand the complexities of the world, something he clearly so far has lacked the capacity to understand... this opinion coming from his own cabinet members. A look at some of the things that go on behind the scenes can be gleaned from pieces like this (scroll down below the asterisks) gives one considerable trepidation.

Then there the lesser known things, like his change of EPA that seek to roll back some of the Obama administrations energy policy. For the most part, I supported Obama's move towards clean energy, not because of 'greenhouse gases' but because of simple pollution. Our world is pushing near its maximum carrying capacity demographically speaking and there are more people on the way - energy sources need to be diverse, not just fossil fuel driven and it needs to be clean so that you and I can breath. This is why I have supported much of Obama's climate initiatives. The talk of Greenhouse gasses is a great catchword that our elite have used adeptly to get the world thinking along different lines - I remain wholly unconvinced of the man-made global warming debate. I am on the other hand, wholly convinced of the manmade pollution/destruction debate. The more people we have, the more pollution we will have... of all kinds.

The real problem with the way this President is handling himself in my view is that he is adding to the deep divisiveness the nation is now experiencing. The nation's political landscape is becoming increasingly volatile. Trump's statements need to be moderated accordingly.

Foreign Policy Impressions

I think Trump's foreign policy has got a lot of problems. First because it is based on a false premise. That premise in my estimation is that by making America's military bigger and more lethal, he will be on the road to making America 'great again'. Our nation needs a strong military. I have never denied that. We need to ensure that our country can be defended. The basic problem with Trump's foreign policy and that of much of the US establishment is that it seeks imperial control of as much of the global landmass and waterways as possible, using military means. In the period immediately after WWII, such thinking had its basis in geopolitical realities. The world needed a policeman in the post war world and with Japan and Europe in shambles from war, Russia in not much better shape, even though she won, America emerged from WWII largely unscathed and her military and industrial power were unmatched.

This all lead to the creation of the post war system of security and economics (NATO,and Bretton Woods, etc), That system let America play a kind of 'capital of the world' with the United Nations being housed in the nations commercial center, New York. This has been the so called 'new world order' that no one really saw while all were warning about it! It has always been here and is indeed the post war economic and military order that was imposed upon the the world after WWII. This is the system that is now slowly coming apart, thanks to the BRICS nations, particularly China and Russia. Each is now chafing hard at at the bit of American leadership and are making serious inroads to breaking free of American post war, geopolitical dominance.

Donald Trump's policies while often full of verbal bombast and threats, in my view have not fully congealed. Yes, he wants to step up the war on Islamic terrorism. Yes he wants to deal with North Korea's missile and nuclear program. Yes, he wants to get out of the Iran deal, but these are all basically tactical moves that seem less part of a grand strategy than it is to appease domestic audiences and payback political favors. Trump made fighting Islamic extremism and curtailing the inflow of Muslims into the US a cornerstone of his campaign.

But his Iran policy troubles me the most for in it I see the hand of Israel and yes, the Mossad. We have heard a great deal about how Trump has been 'turned' by Moscow, but nothing about how he and parts of his cabinet may have  been turned by Israel and the Mossad. Links between Jared Kushner and Israeli billionaires (of which few are not tied in deeply with Israel's secret services) have come to light. Whatever Mr. Steinmetz's connections are to the Israeli 'deep state', it does not seem to have afforded him much protection from an arrest and an investigation. Well, here is a more pejorative and juicy bit of background on Mr. Kusher written by the Russia linked Strategic Culture. Just remember, just because it's Russian does not necessarily make it false. It just often contains information that American officials would rather not have us know. What I do NOT want to say is that Mr. Kursher has been turned by or is in actuality a Mossad agent. But what I do want to say is that if he were, he would not the first person in a very high position who was. But the ties to Israel's Mossad and this administration are pretty clear for any and all to see, if they choose to.

Now I am a strong supporter of Israel it's right to exist and its right to govern itself in peace. I have always had a deep love and sympathy for the Jewish people, that will never change, whatever mistakes and policies the Israeli government makes.  But I am not in favor of Israel or any nation having too strong a say in how our nation runs its policies. Our national security apparatus should not be an arm of Israel's Mossad. Too often, quite frankly it has been. One thing about the last President was he really went after those lobbies in the US who were abusing their special relationship with the US by making our nation and our military into a national 'condom' for the geopolitical goals of other nations.

The Israeli's and the Saudi's were by far the worst offenders and during Obama's turn in office, he dialed back the hooks both networks had into the US security networks. It showed in the high amount of tension that existed in both relationships. Israel and the Saudis could not wait to see the back of Obama. Trump has reconstituted the 'condom' factor into US foreign policy. One of his first visits as President was to Saudi Arabia, in a showy and in my opinion rather disgusting display of semi-subservience to the keepers of Mecca which has too long been a hallmark of US policy. He also went to Israel and as we have later found out, now the US has established its first (official) US military base in Israel. Now don't get be wrong, this is not in and of itself a bad thing. In fact, overall I see a permanent base in Israel as a good thing. So it's not so much a criticism of the policy but one that goes to the mechanisms that brought that policy about. No, rather one has to ask the question of who is running our polices now. This brings us to the next point.

The Iran Deal

President Trump has made not one ambivalent statement about it, he hates the Iran deal and is using all of his considerable power to break the deal. Many in his cabinet do not agree and have stated so publicly. Why is he so bent on breaking that deal? Is it really that bad? I don't see it. Most others don't see it. But certain Neoconservatives do see it as a very bad thing. Many of those names are indeed of men who have strong ties to Israel. Lest you think I am on an anti-Israeli rant, please understand, there is a strong dislike for what is going on even in American Jewish circles  - I do recommend this read. As the piece states, this does matter to Jewish America and all of America. Let that article be a jumping off point for what I have to say here.

Israel hates that deal. They fought it tooth and nail when it was being debated in the Senate. Israel had sent out its Mossad honey-pot sex patrol to ensnare key members of Congress and elsewhere in their net of blackmail should one of them get the 'hornies' and sleep with one of them. They were prepared to do whatever it took to kill that deal. No, I am not making this up. From what little I understand, Obama had to intervene to slow that operation to a crawl. How he did it or what threats he issued Israel are not known to me. But a sudden curtailment of Intelligence sharing would certainly do the trick. The point is that they hate that deal enough to do whatever it takes to get the US to renege on it. I will not get into the reasons for their hatred of it, they are many, and in my view not all of them are rational. Indeed the hatred that exists between the two (Israel and Iran) also has a high degree of irrationality that exists on both sides - each nations security apparatus seems dedicated to the destruction of the other.

Now, with Trump in office, they have what, in my view, is their 'wind-up doll' who will implement Israeli policy with every request made on the Presidential hotline from Tel-aviv  - via Mr. Kushner. Jared is now 'it' now that Bannon is out. From where I sit that puts Israel at the center of American foreign policy.

But what will the world be like if the deal falls apart? The Israeli's will then do what they have long wanted to do. Commit a unilateral attack on Iran to destroy it using as much of the American military their influence here can muster. Take a look at how the US is dealing with North Korea. It seems clear that Trump wants to take them out in a unilateral display of geopolitical neanderthalism. Almost certainly triggering a resounding and powerful military response from both China and Russia, igniting what would be WWIII if cooler heads do not prevail. This too is part of the feud Trump has with Senator Corker.

Keep in mind that Corker is no partisan reactionary, he sits as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. This is a man who knows foreign policy and has a lot of power and he is deeply concerned about the President.

When a person like McCain blasts the President, I see that as being a good thing, as McCain is not a person I have a lot of respect for, politically speaking. Corker, on the other hand is highly regarded and once was a supporter of Trump. The NYT piece notes that Corker feels that Trump has not made the transition from show business and frankly this may indeed be part of his problem. Corker also calls the President presents an 'acute risk'. That is a pretty strong statement and coming from Corker, it carries 10 times more weight than comments made by 'Jihad John' McCain (more here).

Trump, in my view so far has made more mistakes as President than even the worst political novice. He has only survived because the GOP is scared to death of a  backlash at the polls if they try and remove him.

But the nation needs significant change in the realm of foreign policy and needs to re-organize itself better for a more multi-lateral, less US centric world. President Trump, with his America first policy seems disinclined to comprehend the need for this and wishes to attempt maintain an empire that is even now crumbling at the foundations - militarily and fiscally. The nation needs wise, capable leadership who can understand the future needs of the nation and prepare it accordingly, not an angry man with delusions of an empire that he hopes to maintain with a flash of a mushroom cloud.

Prophetic Impressions

Trump's Presidency is I think one of the last gasps for empire. Not that I think America is going to fade away soon... I don't think so. Rather I think as she begins to slowly lose her empire, more desperate and foolhardy actions will be taken in order to attempt to shore it up. This will bring in enormous hatred from many quarters in our world. We have already seen considerable consternation around the globe with our allies at the election of Trump. Germany being one, Mexico another, but hardly the only examples.

Trumps bombast and threats are frightening. But they could have quite a prophetic significance for it is ten kings, ten rulers who will hate the harlot and will destroy her. The key here is that there is a hate and the passage does not say that the hate is unjustified. Indeed, given the description of the great whore and what she does, it seems that their hatred of her may have some clear and significant justifications. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah when speaking of the spiritual entity in control of Babylon (King of Babylon) said this.

That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say,
How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!  The LORD hath
broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. 
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted,
and none hindereth. 
(Isaiah 14:4-6)

The passage seems to indicate that the continual violence of the nation against others is a serious issue with Babylon. That her constant anger and striking of the nations will one day turn on her. What is that spirit - the spirit of the King of Babylon? It's in the following versus that follow the ones above.

Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols:
the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. 
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 
For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:
 I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High. 
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee,
saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof;
that opened not the house of his prisoners?

(Isaiah 14:11-17)

No, I am not blaming Trump for all of America's sins. Presidents of both Parties have been guilty of feeding this 'beast' and it is not just President's, but a whole system of war and highly profitable paranoia, masquerading as National Security - this has put the nation on this self destructive course. Rather, I am saying that Trumps rhetoric, actions and attempts at action seem to indicate a kind of tragic 'capstone' on 70 years of American imperial policy.

So this is my own impressions of not just Trump, but of where America is in our times. If anger and hatred more and more mark our political discourse and our social cues, is it really so strange that we have this 'angry' President whose war proclivities are worrying many in government, on both sides of the aisle?

Finally, Trump''s love affair with "name it and claim it" evangelicals, troubles me (non-Christian site) more here and here. This form of Christianity may win votes in White suburbia, but it about as far away from the gospel of Jesus Christ as the Pharisees were from Jehovah way back when. I say this not so much as a criticism of Trump but of those religious 'hucksters' who surround him.

Yes, it concerns me greatly, not that I want to play judge because I don't. But that the gospel of Christ is being used in such a way and millions of Christians are being duped, or rather are allowing themselves to be duped by teachings that are not of the God of the Bible or of the Jesus Christ they claim to adore.

Conclusion

Rather than give you a short closing paragraph, I think I will give him a grade for my conclusion.

So far, overall grade for Trump's Presidency?

D+

Conservatives will say it is too low and liberals too high. I am neither so I will tell you why I gave him this grade.

First all I have no animosity toward Trump - never have. I see him as a rich older guy who cares deeply about the America he grew up in. Like me he is bewildered at some of the nutso things this nation allows and does. I rate him low because so far he has been pretty ineffective. The policies he wants to bring about (regardless of how I feel about them) have not been passed. The Immigrant vetting was struck down, the Obamacare repeal, it failed. He is trying and these are not theatrical attempts made to appease voters. For this, I give him high marks - he wants to remain true to those who voted for him - this makes him evil in the eyes of the kleptocracy and corruptocracy that has ruled DC for too long.

I could have given him a C- but a C grade means average and whatever you can say about him - there is nothing 'average' about Trump!

Second he is very inexperienced never having held office before, he had a lot to learn, and still does. But now I think he is understanding his power better and perhaps next year we may see more care taken in how he gets things done so they are accomplished.

Finally he has guts - I like that in any person  - man or woman. I loath moral cowards of which this once great nation is filled. Bobble heads, yes men, kiss-behinds and men who crawl on their knees.... can't stand them - I've got more respect for the beasts of the field than I do for 'men' like that. Trump is going to stand and fight for what he believes is right. That in my view may one day make him, once he gets more experience, a remarkable President.



27 Oct


Nigeria: Nine Day Massacre By Fulani Terrorists

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – The church elder in Plateau state, Nigeria saw the Muslim Fulani herdsmen storm into his village at 11 p.m. the night of Oct. 13, shooting in all directions.

“Every one of us ran to save his life,” Dauda Samuel Kadiya, 38, of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Zanwrua, told Morning Star News. “I was shot at, but the bullet only bruised my hand. You can see the wound yourself.”

The assailants destroyed eight houses in the attack, one of several assaults in Plateau state that went on uninterrupted from Oct. 8 to Oct. 17, killing 48 Christians, survivors said.

“All Christians in villages around here have been displaced, and worship buildings have been abandoned,” Kadiya said. “Some of the church buildings were destroyed by the attackers.”

In Zanwrua village, 62-year-old Agado Aura recounted how he and his wife narrowly escaped death... - Continues At MorningStar News

Niger: A Preliminary Assessment

Jamestown gives us their take on what happened. It's rather interesting.

I Served 26 Years  For A Murder When The Real Killer Already Confessed

A very sad story that shows how legal ethics left this man to languish in jail for decades.

Disabled And Vulnerable

This is a really tragic story on how bad people really manipulated a mentally disabled man who spend a long time in jail for a crime he did not commit.

The state of North Carolina paid each of the brothers $750,000 in October 2015. If invested in an annuity, the money could have paid each $3,000 a month or more for the rest of their lives, according to several annuity calculators.

But seven months after receiving the award, McCollum had run out of money. He took out a $60,000 loan at 38 percent annual interest, with Megaro’s approval. Oct

At a hearing in August, Megaro (the Lawyer Representing the exhonerated brothers) refused to reveal how much he took of the $1.5 million the state paid to the brothers. “You know, I'm assuming you took half a million dollars because that might be what the contract was,” said Boyle, clearly irritated. “It might have been 750, it could be 250. I have no idea because you won't tell me.”

After that hearing, McCollum told a court-appointed psychiatrist that his legal team received half or more of his state compensation. - The Marshall Project

Sad, sad story and shows you how hard it is for the disabled in this country. They are also targeted for crime and violence here in the US. My mother had a neighbor who lived next door and he was a an estate lawyer that specialized in protecting people just like this, the handicapped, etc. He told me once you simply could not believe the evil things people did to their OWN RELATIVES who had money but could not take care of themselves.

How we treat these kinds of people is a reflection of what we are as a people.

Nepal Criminalizes Christian Conversion And Evangelism

As the message of Christ grows, so does opposition to that message. Let none of this surprise us. This is a primarily Hindu nation. There is also a link to a Nepal Christian site that may be of interest to you all.

Here is what the ICC comment has to say about this...

"Last week, Nepal's president signed into law a bill passed by the country's parliament that would make religious conversion illegal. The law, which is set to take effect in August 2018, is something long lobbied for by Nepal's radical Hindu nationalists who would like to see the growth of Christianity curbed. Nepal's Christian community is one of the fastest growing communities in the world. Hindu nationalists see this growth as a threat to the dominance of Hinduism. Many Christian rights advocates fear that this law will be widely abused, like similar laws enacted in India." - ICC (image edited from Wikipedia/Shahid Parvez)

Sudan: Will End Of Sanctions End Shortage Of Bibles?

(World Watch Monitor) Measures by the Sudanese government to prevent Bibles from entering the country are leaving the churches there with a serious shortage of Scripture and teaching materials.

One senior church leader, who has overseen the import of hundreds of thousands of Bibles and other pieces of Christian literature to Sudan, told World Watch Monitor the Bible Society has not had Bibles to distribute in Sudan since around 2013.

He said there are about 1 million Christians in Sudan, around five per cent of the population, disputing the official figure of three per cent.

“They need Bibles, they need materials. It’s very difficult for them to get them now,” he said. “The government is denying their right to know their own belief and study their own religion.”

Sudanese Christians point to a 2011 speech by President Omar al-Bashir in which he said wanted to adopt a “100 per cent” Islamic constitution after the Christian-majority south had voted to secede. Since then, foreign missionaries have been expelled, churches confiscated or demolished, and leaders harassed and arrested.

The church leader listed ways in which the government has restricted access to Christian literature. The Logos bookshop in Khartoum was shut down in 2013 after almost 20 years and its books were confiscated... Story Continues At World Watch Monitor (image credit same)



25 Oct

Militant Atheism Watch

The Coach Who Lost His Job Over A 15 Second Prayer
US Courts: Can't Pray At Work Or Home
Churches Banned From Receiving Federal Aid After Hurricane
USAF Hides Info On Assault Over Retired Veteran's Use of Word 'God'
Government Refuses To Allow Prayer Before Football Game... at a Christian School!
WWI 'Peace Cross' Memorial Ordered Removed By Appeals Court
The Little-Known History of American Religious Freedom
Atheists Demand Removal Of HS Christian Flag
Christians responded by bringing their own flags and putting them on their vehicles!
Xi: The Most Powerful Leader Of China Since Mao
This piece done by the BBC looks at the Phenomenon of 'Xi  Thought' which has now been officially enshrined into the Chinese Constitution. What is Xi Thought? Mr. Lam, at the Jamestown Foundation gives us some background on it. After reading it and other literature, what this actually means is not 100% clear.
The core idea is Xi’s “Chinese dream,” which is a super-nationalistic narrative about China becoming a superpower. The “two fundamental points” refer to “comprehensively deepening reform and upholding the mass line” (China.com.cn, November 6, 2015; People’s Daily, July 17, 2014). Given the lack of concrete political or economic reforms in the past five years, as well as the gaping rich-poor divide among the populace, it is difficult to avoid the impression that Xi’s publicists are merely regurgitating hackneyed slogans. For example, the Chinese dream about the “renaissance of the Chinese nation” has been talked about by intellectuals since China’s first effort at Western-style political reform in the 1890s. “Upholding the mass line” or similar slogans such as “serving the people,” were first coined by Mao in the 1950s (Sichuan Daily, May 25; Thepaper.com [Shanghai], October 24, 2014). - What is Xi Jinping Thought (China Brief) By: Willy Wo-Lap Lam
You can read the whole piece as Mr. Lam's insights are always particularly excellent. Another piece that many of you may find of interest is this one on Military Thought. Another interesting development that relates to this is the inclusion of Xi's "Belt And Road" Initiative within the Party Charter (Constitution).

Now many of my readers wonder why I spend so much time on issues like this when many Christian sites and their narratives are looking at a lot of domestic issues -  the NWO, Trump, the latest headline posted to spark outrage and anger in its readers. I suppose there is a time and a place for that but I think if we were to rephrase this issue in China like this - "The Consolidation Of Power By Militant Atheist Over the Worlds Most Populous Nation and Who That the Worlds largest Military", that may be an attention getter, because truth be told, that is exactly what is happening in China and is the result of this twice in a decade Party Congress.

We must keep in mind just what is really happening in China which is a part that is not always covered well by Christians who are often being misdirected by wild eyed conspiracy theories and Madison Ave. Generated stories to create hate and anger at key parts of our own political system...

There are a lot of Christians in China and the numbers keep growing. Let's keep China's Christians and its leaders in prayer!
Xi Set To 'Sinicize' Religions In China
In short, the Chinese Communist Party is set to move into the realm of Religion and 'harmonize them' with Communist party dogma, which as Xi has made clear, is decidedly atheist. This is not just directed at Christianity, but other faiths as well, Buddhism has a long and significant history in China as well as Islam. Let's keep our perspective here. As a Christian I hate to see the persecution that has come to pass in China as a result of Xi's 'reforms'. It is a whole slew of brown-noser party officials who are trying new and better ways to 'deal with' religious groups in the nation to win points with the 'Xi gang'. But we also must at least to some degree try and look at it from his/Xi's perspective. In the past foreign nations have worked with religious groups within China to stir up trouble and even violent revolution.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Tibetan program was a covert operation consisting of "political action, propaganda, paramilitary and intelligence operations" based on U.S. Government commitments made to the Dalai Lama in 1951 and 1956.[1]

Although it was formally assigned to the CIA alone, it was nevertheless closely coordinated with several other U.S. government agencies such as the Department of State and the Department of Defense.[2]

Previous operations had aimed to strengthen a number of isolated Tibetan resistance groups, which eventually led to the creation of a paramilitary force on the Nepalese border with approximately 2,000 men. By February 1964, the projected annual cost for all CIA Tibetan operations had exceeded US$1.7 million.[2]

The program was gradually discontinued in the late 1960s, and finally ended with President Nixon's visit to China in 1972.[3] - Wikipedia

China is like an elephant - she does not forget. We Americans should not forget... that she does not forget.

What wrongs we have done to them they will recall at the proper moment. Right now, Xi is going to make sure that western interests do not use religion to stir up trouble within China and one way to do that is to get as much control over all of them as possible. In my view, this looks to be at least part of what Xi is up to.


_____
Donate To Watson's Web

Watson's Web has been here for going on 18 years (February 2000)! Giving you a watchful view of our times with a solid biblical basis. Giving all who come here a look at our times from a prophetic perspective. This site does not receive money from anyone other than its readers and has survived because of the generous gifts them.

Make no mistake, blogging is work. It may start off as fun but if you are having any real impact you will certainly be very busy and make many enemies, some of them very powerful, as I have done over the years. The devil hates truth and exposure.

Watson's Web will continue to 'stand upon the wall' and watch and when so directed, place biblical and spiritual teachings for all who come by here.

If you come by here regularly, please... give regularly!



"Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful
 but the workers are few". 
(Matt 9:37)


Your donations and gifts here are deeply appreciated.




___


23 Oct


Psalm 125


We continue our look at the Psalms of Ascents (degrees). FYI, this time I will use the ASV rather than the KJV.

A Song of Ascents.
They that trust in Jehovah Are as mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abideth for ever.

(Psa 125:1)

This Psalm is about steadfastness and God's protection. It is a Psalm of the praise of those who put their trust in the Lord as well as a warning to those who trust in evil. This Psalm speaks of the power of God to protect and preserve his people. This is a Psalm of simple trust in the Lord. Here the Psalmist compares the people of God, all who truly put their trust and faith in him are like Mount Zion. In case we were wondering in just what way the Psalmist wants us to make that comparison, he tells is in the second stanza, like Mount Zion -  they cannot be moved. They will abide forever. This is such an important concept especially today. That we have a strong protector who looks out for us and if we put out trust in him, he will look out for us. We become immovable. We become impregnable. We become a fortress against our enemies. It does not mean they will not attack, it means that we have the protection of an eternal and most powerful God.

When God gave Joshua his charge, he told him that no man would be able to stand before him all of his days.

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life:
as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
(Jos 1:5)

God made Joshua a mighty warrior. He was like Mount Zion, he could not be moved. Though he had to fight many battles, God was with him. In his ministry and life, Joshua was immovable.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, So Jehovah is round about
 his people From this time forth and for evermore.
(Psa 125:2)

Here, using poetic similitude, the Psalmist likens the protection of the Lord to the mountains around Jerusalem. Again, the Psalmist does not leave much to the imagination, as he tells us that as those mountains stood forever, so will God's protection of his people. Here is how the Cambridge Bible comments.

“All around Jerusalem are higher hills: on the east, the Mount of Olives; on the south, the Hill of Evil Counsel, so called, rising directly from the Vale of Hinnom; on the west the ground rises gently … while on the north, a bend of the ridge connected with the Mount of Olives bounds the prospect at the distance of more than a mile.” Robinson, Biblical Researches, 1. 259. This girdle of mountains is an ever-present symbol to the dweller in Jerusalem of Jehovah’s guardianship of His people. Cp. Zec_2:5, “I will be unto her a wall of fire round about.” - Cambridge Bible

This is the sense the Psalmist is trying to give us, that all around the righteous, God has protection for them. For just a moment, let us talk a bit about how God sends his angels to protect us and help to make us, his people immovable and impregnable.


And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out,
and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand:
 and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
(2Ki 19:35)



And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour,
and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria.
So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was
come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels
slew him there with the sword.
(2Ch 32:21)


The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him,
 and delivereth them.
(Psa 34:7)


Let them be as chaff before the wind:
and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
(Psa 35:5)


Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
(Psa 35:6)


Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians
 a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning,
behold, they were all dead corpses.
(Isa 37:36)


Brothers, God will protect his own and knows how to do it, but woe be unto those who harm his people!


For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous;
That the righteous put not forth their hands unto iniquity.
(Psa 125:3)

This is an interesting passage. First it says that the rod or scepter of wickedness will not rest upon the righteous. What this means could be that the instruments of chastisement and trouble from a wicked ruler will not befall the righteous.

The word translated scepter is this one.
H7626
שֵׁבֶט
shêbeṭ
shay'-bet
From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, that is, (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (figuratively) a clan: -  X correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.
Total KJV occurrences: 190

Here I think Albert Barnes gets the gist of the meaning right.

God will not deal with the righteous as the wicked are often dealt with: that is, God will not give his people prosperity as he does them. The righteous will be afflicted, and will be placed in circumstances to keep them from putting forth their hands to iniquity; that is, from indulging in iniquity. They will be afflicted; they will be kept in the ways of virtue and religion by trial; they will not be left to act out the depravity of the heart as the wicked are. - Barnes

The lot of the righteous is also a phrase that bears comment. It can mean the belongings and fate of the righteous man. In this the wicked have no say. We can remember how God protected Israel and the patriarchs in their time. Remember when Abraham's wife was kidnapped by Pharaoh? Abraham and a real looker for a wife and knew that if he went out and about with her in a foreign land, they might kill him to steal his wife. Lets go and review that passage, if you don't mind the slight digression.

And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into
Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was sore in the land.
And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt,
that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art
a fair woman to look upon: and it will come to pass, when the Egyptians
shall see thee, that they will say, This is his wife: and they will kill me,
but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister;
that it may be well with me for thy sake, and that my soul may live because of thee.
And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt,
the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
And the princes of Pharaoh saw her, and praised her to Pharaoh:
and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And he dealt well with
Abram for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he-asses,
and men-servants, and maid-servants, and she-asses, and camels.
And Jehovah plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai,
Abram's wife. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast
done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
why saidst thou She is my sister, so that I took her to be my wife?
now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. And Pharoah gave
men charge concerning him: and they brought him on the way,
and his wife, and all that he had.
(Gen 12:10-20)

Note how God protected Abraham and even from a great king! Sarai (before her name was changed to Sarah) was bound to one of God's servants. God afflicted the King in such a way as to he understood that he had crossed the living God. He protected Abram and Sarai in a foreign land not just from roaming, marauding slave traders, but from Pharaoh himself. In this case, the scepter of Pharaoh did not hit Abram.

Do good, O Jehovah, unto those that are good, And to them that are upright in their hearts.
But as for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, Jehovah will lead them
forth with the workers of iniquity. Peace be upon Israel.

(Psa 125:4-5)

The final two verses are what is known as an antithetical parallelism and is common in the Hebrew wisdom literature, particularly in the proverbs. The two passages compare and contrast the fate of the righteous and the wicked, by first uttering a small prayer for those that do good. The Psalmist then speaks against those who turn aside and away from the Lord. The Psalmist notes that their fate will be with the lost souls, which is just what those who work iniquity are.  The word 'turn aside' is this one in the Hebrew.

H5186
נָטָה
nâṭâh
naw-taw'
A primitive root; to stretch or spread out; by implication to bend away (including moral deflection); used in a great variety of applications: -    + afternoon, apply, bow (down, -ing), carry aside, decline, deliver, extend, go down, be gone, incline, intend, lay, let down, offer, outstretched, overthrown, pervert, pitch, prolong, put away, shew, spread (out), stretch (forth, out), take (aside), turn (aside, away), wrest, cause to yield.
Total KJV occurrences: 214

The word as used here has the general connotation of apostasy. Here is how the Cambridge Bible puts this verse and it fits in well with the series on Nehemiah I just completed.

But as for such as turn aside &c.] Renegades who forsake the straight course of duty to their God and country for tortuous courses of intrigue with enemies: the disloyal party in Jerusalem, some of whom, like Shemaiah, took bribes from Sanballat and Tobiah to entrap Nehemiah, while others kept up a treasonable correspondence with them. See Neh_6:12-13; Neh_6:17.

shall lead them away] To share the judgement of those whose hostility to Israel they have chosen to abet. Cp. Mat_25:41. - Cambridge Bible


The doxology is a simple prayer for and acknowledgment of the peace that God will give to Israel.


20 Oct

Russia In The Spotlight: Links Of Interest

The shift in the middle east slowly away from America will have enormous geopolitical and prophetic ramifications in the years ahead. Note that Watson's Web will never be used as a disinformation platform for ANYONE, but will always listen to and give space to different and intelligent viewpoints that may or may not necessarily be looked upon favorably by the US.



Russia, North Korea And China: Moscow's Game Plan
There are three main actors in the Korean nuclear crisis: Pyongyang, Washington and Beijing. However, Moscow may be seeking a more prominent role in the game. In pursuing its North Korea diplomacy, Russia has displayed increasingly close collaboration with China. Russian and Chinese aversion to Kim Jong Un and his nukes is eclipsed by their shared animosity to US hegemony. Ultimately, the North Korean nuclear menace is a symptom of the dysfunctional state of the current international order, in which its premier players are not capable of working together. - ISN/CSS

Why Would Saudi King Visit Russia

Last week Moscow was visited by Saudi ruler Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud accompanied by an entourage of a hundred people carried out in order to hold meetings with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Several rounds of negotiations were held with the Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, the Minister of Energy along with the head of the sovereign foundation of the Kingdom who is in charge of Riyadh’s overseas investments. From the beginning it was clear as to why the Saudi king would decide to come to Moscow for the first time since 1926. Only two matters are of any importance to Riyadh today: Iran and its policies in the region and collective oil pricing. Everything else is treated as secondary concerns by Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis do fear Tehran, since they believe that Shia influence is growing across the region, as the Islamic Republic of Iran implements a plan to create a Shia arc that would unite Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia that is home to a Shia minority. Riyadh is truly concerned about the close bilateral relations that exist between Russia and Iran, especially in the field of military cooperation. For over a decade Riyadh has been trying to persuade Moscow to cut all military ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran in exchange for massive purchases of arms that were allegedly to be made by Saudi Arabia in Russia. When Moscow supported anti-Iranian sanctions within the UN framework in 2010 and refused to fulfill its obligation to deliver S-300 anti-air systems to the armed forces of Iran, Saudi Arabia failed to fulfill its own obligations. Predictably, there’s been no other investments from Saudi Arabia in other areas of the Russian economy. - Image and text credit New Eastern Outlook/Peter Lvov (copyright info located on bottom of this link)

New Silk Road - EIR

EIR lays out the positives of the Chinese led economic initiatives which Russia will play an important role.

Russia-US Relations And The Future Of Syria
In light of the Saudi Kings visit to Russia last week, this piece written in August is especially relevant.

Putin’s Syrian Gambit: Sharper Elbows, Bigger Footprint, Stickier Wicket
Russia has profited from a hard core of Alawite and Christian support for Asad inside Syria. At the same time, U.S. reluctance to become militarily involved in Syria facilitated the move of Russian forces into the country. Russia also benefited from the disunity among the diverse opposition to Asad and their external patrons. While Saudi Arabia and Turkey were both early proponents of ousting Asad, Saudi Arabia is now more focused on defeating Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Turkey on fighting Kurdish separatist forces in northern Syria. In return for help from Putin in resolving its Kurdish problem, Turkey in 2016 helped Putin resolve Russia’s Aleppo problem.

As President Donald Trump considers and implements a way forward on working with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and toward peace in Syria, events of the past several years underscore several fundamental constraints under which Putin will be operating and some challenges that have been overstated.  - National Defense University (DOD)

Zapad-17: Lessons Learned

(Jamestown Foundation) It bears noting that the combat experience Russia gained over the past decade from its military operations in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria directly affects the evolution of the military-political leadership’s vision on forms and methods of modern war. This is why the focus of Russian strategic exercises in recent years have changed accordingly. Zapad 2009, for instance, in a carry-over from Soviet tradition, emphasized the “repulsion of NATO aggression” (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, September 17, 2009), even though nobody in modern Europe was planning to attack Russia. But eight years later, the Zapad 2017 exercise scenario was significantly different: a fictitious non-aligned country, “Veishnoriya,” located in northwest Belarus, supported by “Vesbariya” (drawn in the official exercise map over western Lithuania and central Latvia) and “Lubeniya” (composed of the Suwałki corridor and the northeastern part of Poland), attacks Belarus; the Russian military then comes to its ally’s support and carries out massive and deep air, naval and land strikes across “Veishnoriya’s” entire territory (Deutsche Welle—Russian service, September 8).

It is not difficult to deduce from this fictitious exercise scenario that the Russian military was practicing waging a conventional war against the North Atlantic Alliance that NATO had purportedly started. In this regard, the Kremlin’s key lessons related to the practical testing of Russia’s vision of modern warfare—featuring combined symmetrical and asymmetrical operations, conventional and nuclear forces, as well as hidden and overt threats/operations. For Moscow, mastering these elements of how wars are fought today is a prerequisite for preserving Russian control or dominance over zones of the world it considers as falling within its “vital interests” (and these are not limited to Russia’s so-called “near abroad”) in addition to blocking further NATO enlargement.

During this year’s Zapad drills, Russian troops trained for deep combined air-ground and joint naval operations as well as achieving air and sea superiority. Russian units also tested advanced “command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” (C4ISR) systems, particularly at the operational level. The exercise featured the newest radio-communication equipment, electronic warfare tactics, and the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) into reconnaissance and target-acquisition systems. Participating units also tested long-range precision-guided munitions as well as the combat sustainability of Russia’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) “bubble” (see EDM, September 20; The Wall Street Journal, September 19). - Jamestown Foundation/Eurasia Daily Monitor by Ihor Kabanenko



18 Oct

Iran Nukes

In light of the fact that President Trump is backing away from the Iran deal. I thought I would repost this piece that has some of the background issues not discussed in MSM news sources. This was written some time ago. But one one reads it the whole aspect of energy/oil/gas comes much more in focus.

Trump And NAFTA

(FYI: This was posted for insiders last month)

This is not a story that has been much in the headlines, but it is an important one. Trump has talked loud and often about NAFTA and free Trade but did dial back his rhetoric soon after assuming office this after getting some pressure from GOP leaders. The issues with such negotiations are always rather complex and as we all know, the strictest secrecy is applied to them while they are being negotiated. Their Secrecy that is far better respected than a thousand classified markings at the NSA or the CIA. They do keep those things secret and the leaks regarding these trade deals we have seen in the past, were shall we say 'semi-officially' blessed.

So we are not likely to hear much about what exactly they are negotiating about, but two things are certain to be at the center of the agenda. The first is auto's and the second is agriculture. President Trump's Commerce Secretary has singled out the Auto Industry as being a key item on the new round of NAFTA negotiations.

However, some have stated that this key issue may be put off until later. This new round is being set off (sort of) because the fast track authority  That particular trade authority runs out next year and who knows what mood Congress swill be in in an election year. So what are the issues. Well, I will be a little lazy today and rather than give you a long text based narrative, I will give you some excellent graphics that will help lay out to you what is at stake and what is not at stake. These charts all come from the Congressional Research Service and the Fed.

Before we begin, let us keep in mind that NAFTA's whole purpose was to integrate the North American Continent and was designed to take the economies of the three nations and meld them into one. This would in turn put in place the momentum to integrate the political systems as well. This was one day to be followed by a new currency. Remember the Amero and all the talk about that? That name was what was given to a future currency unit that the three nations would have used. I know there is a whole slew of conspiracy literature on this, but there is more than a a little scholarly literature on this as well. But even in the halls of Congress these things were discussed. Here is an old CRS report that may show you what I mean.

Common Market or Economic Union

 Deeper integration of the North American economic space would imply some form of common market or economic union. A common market area would add free movement of labor and capital; thus, immigration and investment regulations would need to be harmonized or mutually recognized. In addition to a common tariff policy and free trade in goods and services, a common market would imply free movement of capital and labor. At this point, harmonization of certain investment and immigration issues would need to be agreed upon. A type of economic union approaching that of the European Union would also require harmonized or mutually recognized standards and regulations and perhaps some supranational institutions. Although the United States and Canada share many developed country level standards, this form of integration would still need to be meticulously worked out. For example, would the United States adopt the metric system to fulfill its obligations to harmonize standards? Could the two nations adopt common forestry prices and management policies and thereby help resolve the softwood lumber dispute? Would either nation allow supranational entities to overrule laws passed by Congress or Parliament? These questions illustrate the extent to which North American economic integration would affect the governance of the United States, Canada, and possibly Mexico.

Monetary Union

Another discussion recurrent in many Canadian policy circles is that of monetary union with the United States. This potential goal has been discussed in many forms. The Canadian dollar could be linked in value to the U.S. dollar; Canada could adopt the U.S. dollar; or a new North American currency (called the Amero by one proponent) could replace the U.S. and Canadian dollars, and perhaps the Mexican peso. Generally, talk of monetary union north of the border is strongest during times of relative weakness of the loonie vis-a-vis the U.S. dollar. The recent strength of the loonie has diminished such discussion, although the idea still has some proponents.

Those who support monetary union argue that it would force Canada to make the necessary structural adjustments that would make it more competitive with the United States. In other words, dollarization or a currency union would remove the ability to cushion adverse economic conditions through depreciation of the currency. By tying the loonie to the U.S. dollar or by adopting the dollar outright, Canada would be making the unmistakable commitment to converge with U.S. macroeconomic policy. Then Canada would be able to reap the benefits of U.S. policy, which traditionally have been lower inflation, lower interest rates, and higher levels of growth than Canada has experienced. In addition, the savings in trade transaction costs would be significant for the volume of trade the two nations conduct.   - United States-Canada Trade and Economic Relationship: Prospects and Challenges

Well things have changed significantly since then. The runaway globalization train has slown down to a veritable crawl and was in serious peril of derailing altogether. But there appears to be some momentum now in place to not undo all the previous hard work done before.






As noted above, one key issues is auto parts. This issue is not easily soundbite-able, so I will lift a bit out of the CRS report that shows you some of the issues that are at stake.

Under Mexico’s Border Investment Program, maquiladoras operated under the following special rules:

  • lower trade and foreign investment restrictions than other sectors in Mexico;
  • access to duty-free imports of intermediate materials with the condition that a percentage of the final production was exported;
  • duty-free import of manufacturing equipment with the condition that it would be exported if the company ceased to operate under the program; and
  • exemption from Mexican laws requiring majority Mexican ownership and from prohibitions on foreign ownership of real estate near borders and coastlines.
Maquiladora operations increased rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s. As Mexican labor costs were very low compared with those in the United States, U.S.-based automotive manufacturers initially used maquiladoras to make labor-intensive products such as wire harnesses, assemblies of wires that carry electricity to lights, dashboard indicators, and other components. Over time, manufacturers began producing more sophisticated components, such as brakes and suspensions, in maquiladoras. Maquiladora production of auto parts was intended to supply auto assembly plants in the United States and Canada, and it was not integrated with domestic assembly of automobiles in Mexico. At the time, companies such as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Volkswagen, which were assembling vehicles in Mexico, were subject to trade and investment restrictions under a series of Mexican auto decrees that also required a minimum proportion of Mexican content. (See box below on Mexico’s Auto Decrees.) Automobiles produced in Mexico were generally not exported to the United States and Canada and in some cases did not meet U.S. or Canadian safety and emissions standards. Imports of new vehicles from the United States and Canada into Mexico were not allowed prior to 1989.


After NAFTA took effect, Mexico merged the maquiladora operations and Mexican domestic assembly-for-export plants into one program called Maquiladora Manufacturing Industry and Export Services (IMMEX). NAFTA regulations continued to allow maquiladoras to import products duty-free into Mexico, regardless of the country of origin of the products. This phase also allowed maquiladora operations to increase sales to the Mexican domestic market. However, in 2001, rules of origin established in NAFTA replaced the previous special tariff provisions that applied only to maquiladora operations, so that any products that qualified as North American origin could be imported duty-free into Mexico for any purpose. At the same time, some inputs imported by maquiladoras from non-NAFTA countries became subject to Mexican tariffs, raising costs for maquiladoras that imported from countries such as Japan or China. NAFTA Provisions and the Auto Sector The market-opening provisions of NAFTA gradually eliminated all tariffs and most nontariff barriers on goods produced and traded within North America over a period of 15 years starting in 1994. Most of the market-opening measures of NAFTA resulted in the removal of tariffs and quotas applied by Mexico on imports from the United States and Canada. Mexican tariffs were substantially higher than those of the United States at the time NAFTA was negotiated. Moreover, many Mexican products entered the United States duty-free under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences. Prior to NAFTA, the United States assessed the following tariffs on imports from Mexico:
  • 2.5% on automobiles,
  • 25% on light-duty trucks, and
  • a trade-weighted average of 3.1% for automotive parts.

In comparison, Mexico’s more restrictive tariffs on U.S. and Canadian automotive products were 20% on automobiles and light trucks and 10%-20% on auto parts.

NAFTA helped lock in Mexico’s automotive-industry reforms by phasing out the restrictive auto decrees. It also included the gradual removal of many nontariff barriers to trade, provided for uniform country-of-origin provisions, enhanced protection of intellectual property rights, required less restrictive procurement practices by the Mexican government, and eliminated performance requirements on investors from other NAFTA countries. -
NAFTA and Motor Vehicle Trade

This CRS report is especially informative because it gets down to many of the details that are rather boring but do drive the trade and manufacturing agenda. 

Related: In Mexico, $2-per-hour workers make $40,000 SUVs

But while we Americans like to talk about how NAFTA has effect the US and our jobs market, we have forgotten how the agreement has effected Mexico and it has done so in a profound way, both good and bad.

Many of us remember the Zapatista's (EZLN). These were a group of rebels in Mexico who drew their ranks from the poorest and most neglected parts of Mexico, particularly the most southern part of Mexico. The Zapatista's came out against NAFTA from the beginning who viewed NAFTA as a new form of colonization of their nation. NAFTA has done a lot for Mexico economically but not in all areas and for all people. Many areas have seen little real benefit. In fact, there have been protests in Mexico to abandon the agreement. There have been winners and losers and those who have lost are making their voices heard. Moreover Mexico has not so quietly threatened to begin dealing more with Latin America and also with America's geopolitical competitors as a result of trade and other tensions.

In Canada, right now there is an automobile strike transpiring at GM. That Bloomberg story is an interesting one and shows you some of the travails going on in Canada with regards to jobs.

One thing we must keep in mind is that those who were closely watching NAFTA's introduction and implementation back in the 90's and early 2000's saw one thing about it - that it was a clear move against organized labor and laws that were set up to protect workers. Those who wrote on this made it plain that the trends in Globalization were designed to make sure that when labor costs got too high, it was no longer very difficult for corporations to move to a place where labor was cheaper and benefits were non-existent, leaving a hole in the ground where there were once jobs before. NATFA was set up to protect big business from the ability of laborers to organize successfully for better wages, benefits, etc.

Sometimes nations put incentives in place to get companies to move to their nation. Consequently, those with high paying jobs with good benefits, particularly manufacturing jobs, lost out.

Yet having said that, it is probably unfair to blame NAFTA for all of the turmoil with the loss of manufacturing jobs, not at this stage of the game. Automation as well is playing a key role in the destruction of manufacturing Jobs in the US.



Graph are hotlinked.

Conclusion

These are complex issues. Much of the debate these days about jobs is being overtaken by the issue of robotics. Many if not most of those jobs just are not going to come back. But the deeper issues for us Christians are the trends described above that talk of regional political integration and currency union. We are not there yet, not by a long shot as this current administration's combativeness will preclude that kind of deeper political and economic union.

Nevertheless this will have prophetic significance for us. Why?

The globalizers may have taken a major beating in the past few years, particularly with the advent of the crisis of 2008, the Islamic refugee crisis and various moves around the world of movements to break free of larger supranational political and economic unions (Brexit, the attempt at Grexit, now moves in Catalonia, Calexit, etc) are still running at full force. The recent setback in the German elections for Merkel with the Parliamentary seating of the AfD party (Alternative for Deutchland) shows a growing dissatisfaction for the way many issues have been handled with the globalizers.

But under no circumstances do I think the trends in globalization will end. One thing about the global elite is this - they are determined. They never give up. But they will, I think take a different tact in the future. There will be significant resistance to a currency union as discussed back in the '90's. So I do not see an Amero in the near, medium or even long term future. The troubles with the Euro are not lost on the elite, not least of which is the deep political, near revolutionary resentment many have on the way the system has worked them over.

Rather, what is more likely is that somehow a global currency will come into being outside of the purview of national governments or even national Central Banks. This is where I think Cryptocurrencies will eventually make their mark. A digital Currency that is very difficult, if not impossible to counterfeit, cannot be printed up at will by national governments but can be quietly regulated by a supranational entity.

This is what I think the future may hold for us. The rage today over crypto-currencies looks to me to be much more than a passing fancy. More governments are seriously exploring them as well as the BIS (the world's coordinating body for Central Banks). They key for the globalizers is to get control of the global method of trade (currency) for then they have a key lever of economic and later political control of the world economy.

Given leaps and bounds in biometrics and man's deep exploration of DNA, it seems quite possible that one day they will have a cryptocurrency that will be based on an  encryption algorithm  that is  based on each individual's DNA.

And then we may see....


And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,
to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark,
or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom.
Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
for it is the number of a man; and his number is
Six hundred threescore and six.
(Rev 13:16-18)

17  Oct

Fulani Militants Raid Village, Kill 28 Women and Children

Villagers Hiding in School, Found by Militants and Slaughtered

10/17/2017 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Fulani militants raided Nkedoron community in Plateau State, Nigeria. During this raid, the militants attacked and killed at least 28 people, mostly Christians, including many women and children. This struggle between Fulani militants and Christian farmers has been an ongoing and bloody struggle for years. As the Fulani continue to migrate south, militants clash with more Christian villages. This year alone, there have been more than 30 attacks on these Christian villages, leaving more than 250 killed and hundreds of homes burned down.

Rev. Andrew Okebe, the Zonal Coordinator of Christian Association of Nigeria, Miango District, told ICC, "The soldiers had told the women and children to go and hide in the primary (elementary) school class at night while the men in the village constituted a vigilante group and join[ed] the soldiers in patrolling the area. Sadly, the militia descended and the soldiers fled, leaving the defenseless villagers to be massacred by the terrorists."

According to Rev. Okebe, these persistent attacks have left villagers feeling like the security operatives assigned to their communities are not committed to protecting and securing their lives from the aggressors whom they believe to be Islamic jihadists who want occupy their land. This attack followed only a few weeks after a Fulani militia invaded Ancha, a neighboring village to Nkedoron, where 20 members of a Baptist church were murdered in cold blood.

The most disturbing part of this attack is that there were members of the military stationed in the village. These soldiers are a part of Operation Safe Haven, which is the government's attempt to confront the Fulani militant violence in the Middle Belt. Even though these soldiers were on the scene before the attack, they did nothing to prevent this terrible atrocity. It has left many questioning the dedication of these men to protecting the communities they are charged with protecting.

ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, stated, "We pray for those who are suffering the pain of loss. This unbelievable act of violence is becoming all too common for Christian villages in Nigeria's Middle Belt region. The government of Nigeria must not only condemn the violence, but take the necessary steps to ensure that the perpetrators are punished and unable to commit these acts again. Until then, Christian villagers in the Middle Belt will be left to wonder if their community will be next."
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org


***

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church.

Blogging Can Be Deadly

The lady behind the Panama Papers loses her life to a car bomb.

12 Oct


Godly Separation

In our times, out is it that we should be living? We Christians who truly know our Lord via experiential knowledge of him by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we must understand that Holiness, true Holiness demands separation from evil. This is not a request, but a demand our Lord makes upon us. We as Christians must not be partakers in evil deeds or be too close to evil people. Those individuals whose wickedness is clear for all to see, we must not let their sinful acts rub off on us. There is a healthy degree of separation that is a requirement for us to be blessed of the Lord.

I believe David, who wrote the first Psalm for us summed up very well what is expected of us saints in a beautiful poetic fashion.
 Blessed is the man
that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
 nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2)

The three basic positions mankind takes while he lives. David makes it clear that we are not to have part in the deeds of the ungodly, the sinful or the scornful which is probably a great way to describe today's militant atheists and secularists or the haters of God (satanists). We are not to take their counsel (advice) nor are we to stand in the way of sinners Lets take a look at three key words in the passage.

We are not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The word translated counsel is this one.


H3045
יָדַע
yâda‛
yaw-dah'
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.): - acknowledge, acquaintance (-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, [un-] awares, can [-not], certainly, for a certainty, comprehend, consider, X could they, cunning, declare, be diligent, (can, cause to) discern, discover, endued with, familiar friend, famous, feel, can have, be [ig-] norant, instruct, kinsfolk, kinsman, (cause to, let, make) know, (come to give, have, take) knowledge, have [knowledge], (be, make, make to be, make self) known, + be learned, + lie by man, mark, perceive, privy to, X prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have [understanding], X will be, wist, wit, wot.
Total KJV occurrences: 946


This is a rather complex word that has many different connotations, but the translator did use the correct word here. But as we can see it also means many other things. I see this verse as being one that would preclude a Christian from becoming a Freemason. A person must take oaths and partake of their doctrines and accept other Freemasons, as brothers. Those who become Freemasons actually are taking counsel with and from the ungodly. I say this because for the Freemasons, they have their own God which they call the 'great (or grand) architect of the universe' which allows for any and all religions into its body. They have their own 'understanding' and their own set of doctrines which a person is slowly initiated into higher levels if they get the 'blessing' of the higher Masons. One rises faster the more money and or business connections one has that helps enrich their brother Masons. Then one gets to know the higher 'counsels' of this secretive group.

Additionally we Christians can be influenced by others who want to give their ungodly and often satanic advice. Often those who give such advice have no idea that they are working under the power of the devil. They will tell you what they think you should do, who you should see, where you should go, how you should do this or that. I know I have had that problem many times in the past when those who have turned on the Lord and have gone aside to wickedness start to tell me how I should run my site and how I need to be more this or less that and generally tell me in a subtle way, "come with us, don't follow that Jesus stuff anymore, help us bless Nazi's, help me steal this $5000 air conditioner, link over to this new age site, etc". This is the kind of counsel ungodly people will eventually give to you, given enough time. To take their ungodly counsel is the first step off of the path of life. This is why the Psalmist tells us not to walk in their counsels. Perhaps we should take a quick look at the world walk as well.

H1980
הָלַךְ
hâlak
haw-lak'
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively): - (all) along, apace, behave (self), come, (on) continually, be conversant, depart, + be eased, enter, exercise (self), + follow, forth, forward, get, go (about, abroad, along, away, forward, on, out, up and down), + greater, grow, be wont to haunt, lead, march, X more and more, move (self), needs, on, pass (away), be at the point, quite, run (along), + send, speedily, spread, still, surely, + tale-bearer, + travel (-ler), walk (abroad, on, to and fro, up and down, to places), wander, wax, [way-] faring man, X be weak, whirl.
Total KJV occurrences: 1545

The idea the Psalmist seems to have wanted to covey was to have familiarity with, to go down the same path and to 'hang out' with or to be at ease with those who know not God. One mistake I will never make again is to be at ease and share any confidence with a person who has not shown a consistent love of Christ and his ways. I strongly exhort you all to do the same. Be careful of friendships with godless people particularly in these troubled times. At work of course we must all have some kind of professional associations and even some social interaction is expected or required. Nevertheless, keep in mind who you belong to and what he expects of you and know that when the spirit of Judas appears, it always comes in the form of a friend or family member. Take great care who you walk with and whom you take counsel from.

The next stanza warns about who to stand with or rather, who not to stand with. We are not to stand with sinners. The word for stand is this one.

H5975
עָמַד
‛âmad
aw-mad'
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively): - abide (behind), appoint, arise, cease, confirm, continue, dwell, be employed, endure, establish, leave, make, ordain, be [over], place, (be) present (self), raise up, remain, repair, + serve, set (forth, over, -tle, up), (make to, make to be at a, with-) stand (by, fast, firm, still, up), (be at a) stay (up), tarry.
Total KJV occurrences: 521

Brown Driver Briggs Dictionary gives us this definition.
H5975
עמד
‛âmad
BDB Definition:
1) to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to stand, take one’s stand, be in a standing attitude, stand forth, take a stand, present oneself, attend upon, be or become servant of
1a2) to stand still, stop (moving or doing), cease
1a3) to tarry, delay, remain, continue, abide, endure, persist, be steadfast
1a4) to make a stand, hold one’s ground
1a5) to stand upright, remain standing, stand up, rise, be erect, be upright
1a6) to arise, appear, come on the scene, stand forth, appear, rise up or against
1a7) to stand with, take one’s stand, be appointed, grow flat, grow insipid
1b) (Hiphil)
1b1) to station, set
1b2) to cause to stand firm, maintain
1b3) to cause to stand up, cause to set up, erect
1b4) to present (one) before (king)
1b5) to appoint, ordain, establish
1c) (Hophal) to be presented, be caused to stand, be stood before
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
Same Word by TWOT Number: 1637
The connotation is broad but I find the idea of 'making a stand' with those who know not God as being an important but hardly the only connotation. When the wicked make their stand, we must not be with them. This is I think an important one for we Christians today in our heavily politicized environment. We need to hold fast to that which is good and to stand fast with God, not the godless.

The next stanza uses the sitting metaphor. The word sitteth is this one in the Hebrew.


H3427
יָשַׁב
yâshab
yaw-shab'
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: -  (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.
Total KJV occurrences: 1081

Here the connotation has a slightly more permanent effect than one of walking or standing. Sitting means to remain, to and as noted above, it could mean settling down in a home or marriage. Such associations are forbidden unto us especially with the scornful. 

Here lets take a look at what he BDB dictionary says about the word scornful.
H3887
לוּץ
lûts
BDB Definition:
1) to scorn, make mouths at, talk arrogantly
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to boast
1a2) to scorn
1b) (Hiphil)
1b1) to mock, deride
1b2) to interpret (language)
1b2a) interpreter (participle)
1b2b) ambassador (figuratively)
1c) (Hithpalpel) to be inflated, scoff, act as a scorner, show oneself a mocker
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
Same Word by TWOT Number: 1113
Have you ever been around an arrogant prick who loves to mock and cast dispersions on you? A guy or gal who never has anything good to say about anything? Or one who has the deepest contempt for your faith in God and takes every opportunity to say something negative about you and your God? The scriptural admonition almost seems moot, but is stated nevertheless. Don't live with, sit with, dwell with marry or otherwise get to close to such. In not sitting with such so you will be blessed by the most high. You know, when I get rid of bad relationships I feel like a giant load is taken off of my shoulders. Like a dark cloud has been removed from around me or a painful boil or wound has been suddenly healed. The best bet for all of us is to not let that dark cloud get next to us in the first place.

The sum of this little spiritual aside can be found in the New Testament in the book of 2nd Corinthians.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath
he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath
the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God;
as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
And will be a Father unto you,
and ye shall be my sons and daughters,
saith the Lord Almighty.

(2Co 6:14-18)

May God grant you all wisdom in your relationships and may he guide your footsteps more gently than he was forced to deal with me on this issue! Take the Lord's advice and watch who you Stand, Walk and Sit with and receive the blessing of the Lord for so doing!

But what also must be made plain is that we must not give into Pharisee-ism and take on a spiritual arrogance that makes us think we are better than others. This was the downfall of the religious establishment in Christ's time.  No, better a quiet humility, full of love and grace  - this should be the cornerstone of our character.

Grace and peace to you all in Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark

11 Oct


Humanitarian Watch

Probably better called the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse Watch...

Ethiopian Famine Watch
A surge in food insecurity – now affecting 8.5 million people, up from 5.6 million in January – and staggering malnutrition rates in drought-affected areas are in large part a consequence of insufficient livelihoods response, which remains just 43% funded. - FAO

South Sudan Operational Overview
A look at what is being done in South Sudan, rather than just how bad the situation is.

This report does look at the dire circumstances of the region.

Source: Famine Early Warning System (FEWS)

Fearsome Epidemic Hits Madagascar
This is pretty bad and some are comparing it to the West African Ebola outbreak not so long ago. This is the Pneumonic plague and kills much faster than the bubonic type. Public facilities are closed. Another link on this can be found here.

Sudan: Cancer Increase In River Nile State
Here a toxin is suspected as there are other widespread anomalies in the area; crops not growing, miscarriages, etc.

India: Unknown Disease Effects Crops
Nothing they have used to stop the spread has thus far worked.

Famine In Yemen
A link to the FAO's Yemen page with the latest resources.

Yemeni's  Cholera Outbreak About To Break Record
Stars and Stripes looks at the deadly outbreak of the disease during this long and violent struggle.

8 Oct

Ruth Part IV


(Right now, I am going through the book of Ruth for insiders. Here is one section done a couple of weeks ago of one of the more wonderful passages in the OT.) - MSW


And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee:
 for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me,
and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that
she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

(Rth 1:16-18)

As we left off last time, Ruth and her two daughters-in-law were getting ready to part, probably forever as Naomi was preparing to make her way back to Judah. One of them was going to go back to her people of Moab (Oprah) but the other, Ruth, as we read in the above passage, was steadfast in her determination to go to Judah with Naomi. There was obviously the deepest regard for Naomi and her ways that both women held for her, but with Ruth it was clearly deeper. Ruth deeply honored her mother-in-law and was determined to stay with her, come what may. Here is how Adam Clarke sums up what I think is one of the most beautiful and wonderful passages in scripture.
And Ruth said - A more perfect surrender was never made of friendly feelings to a friend: I will not leave thee - I will follow thee: I will lodge where thou lodgest - take the same fare with which thou meetest; thy people shall be my people - I most cheerfully abandon my own country, and determine to end my days in thine. I will also henceforth have no god but thy God, and be joined with thee in worship, as I am in affection and consanguinity. I will cleave unto thee even unto death; die where thou diest; and be buried, if possible, in the same grave. This was a most extraordinary attachment, and evidently without any secular motive.
This powerful attachment was in reality one of both love and honor for Naomi, but also one of faith. She obviously saw something very different in her mother-in-law than what she was used to in other Moabite women. I say this attachment was particularly powerful because she had to know of the dangers that awaited her, a childless widow of Moabite persuasion going into Judah. The journey as well would not be easy, not for two unattached women traveling alone. Yet and still despite all of this she was willing to go wherever Naomi went. This in many ways is a quite prophetic passage of scripture it shows a person who was willing to give up all to follow after a person of  God to a place she could not be sure of... demonstrated something important - faith. Not the sit around and wait for a miracle belief, but a get moving, roll up your sleeves kind of faith.

This was the kind of faith Abraham had when he pulled up stakes from Ur and went to a land that was only described as a place the Lord would show him. This was faith. I would also add that this idea of following someone like this so unconditionally is so thoroughly is reminiscent of the way the 144,000 follow after Christ.



And they sung as it were a new song before the throne,
and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn
that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand,
which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which
were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
These were redeemed from among men, being the
firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth
was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(Rev 14:3-5)

These special men who are the first fruits of God follow the Christ wherever he goes. Just like Ruth did with Naomi. When we are born into the kingdom and place Christ as our Lord - Lord by the way, not being some meaningless title - we in essence do the same. We agree to be commanded by him and go wherever he sends us, even if we don't really want to do it. I never wanted to come back to America from Germany and were it not for the command of my God to return, I would never have come back here - no joke. But when I rededicated by life back to the Lord I knew it was a major test to see if I would obey him and do the things that he commanded or go after my own ways and in essence rebel. I was faithful to God and did as I was commanded. I could easily have remained where I was. But I knew what God wanted me to do. God was testing my faithfulness and my obedience. He will do the same with all of his true children one way or another as time passes. When I decided to return to Christ over three decades ago, I made up my mind that wherever he sent me, I would go and whatever he wanted me to do, that would I do. NO MATTER WHAT.

The kind of steadfast faithfulness we see in Ruth is exceptionally rare. Husbands and wives rarely have this kind of dedication to one another in our divorce ridden, selfish and throw-away society. Too many will continue to love you only if they.... [name your 'love' conditionality here]. There was no such conditionality with Ruth and there should be none with us and our Lord. He may very well require our lives of us one day and warned us all before hand to count the cost.

But this passage to me only goes to show that like the wise man said, there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
(Pro 18:24)


Blessed is the man who finds such a friend. Doubly blessed is a person who can find a mate who has the dedication and faith of a Ruth to brave all hardship in order to remain faithful to his or her mate. Have you found such a mate or friend or fellow traveler in Christ? You may count yourself doubly blessed.

The last part of the passage says that she was steadfastly minded to go with her. The word for steadfastly minded is a very interesting one as it demonstrates a little more than just determination. Here is the Strong's word.

אָמַץ
'âmats
aw-mats'
A primitive root; to be alert, physically (on foot) or mentally (in courage): - confirm, be courageous (of good courage, stedfastly minded, strong, stronger), establish, fortify, harden, increase, prevail, strengthen (self), make strong (obstinate, speed).
Total KJV occurrences: 41

This is the same word that the Lord used with Joshua when he told him to be strong and of good courage (Josh 1:6,9,18). Ruth was going to be strong and courageous and deal with the travails and troubles that would come as they came, with faith.

One thing my mother always passed on to me was this - God always honors faith. Real faith. Put your trust in the almighty. Trust God always and fully in obedience and faith and he will never fail or forsake you.  I will quote here from the Biblical illustrator.

Decision a safeguard
If a man is seen to be decided in his stand for Christ, antagonists will give over assailing him. There is nothing in the use of which men are more discriminating than entreaty, argument, or influence. So long as the object of their solicitude is wavering, they will bring all their batteries to bear upon him, for there is still the hope that he will yield. But when he comes openly and determinedly out for Christ, they will waste no more ammunition on him. They leave him thenceforth alone, and attack some one else. Thus decision, while it may require an effort to make it, is, after it is made, a safeguard against assault, So long as a vessel has no flag at her mast-head, the sea-robber may think it safe to attack her; but let her hoist the flag of this nation, and that will make the assailant pause. In like manner, the hoisting over us of the banner of the Cross, being a symbol of decision, is also an assurance of protection. (W.M. Taylor, D. D.) - Biblical Illustrator

We will continue this work in Ruth next week, God willing as we see how things go when she returns to Judah.

US, Nigerian Troops Ambushed, Killed

Map Source: KDE Marble (Public Domain)

(ICG) According to U.S. and Nigerien security sources, on 4 October 2017 a mixed patrol of U.S. and Nigerien special forces was ambushed near Tongo Tongo, a village located in the Tillabery region (about 120km north of the capital, Niamey), a few kilometres from the border with Mali. The precise death toll is still uncertain but at least five Nigerien and three U.S. soldiers were killed. Several others are wounded or missing, and Nigerien sources say the patrol’s vehicles were looted or destroyed.

The patrol may have been attacked by jihadists operating in the region, but there was no early claim of responsibility and what happened may only become clear over time. U.S. troops are supporting Nigerien armed forces fighting jihadists in at least two locations in the country, Aguelal and Diffa. The U.S. also is present elsewhere in Niger (and the region): it is establishing a drone and airbase near Agadez (northern Niger) and its forces are present at Niamey airport where they share space with French and Nigerien forces.

This is not the first attack against security forces in the area. Indeed, Nigerien forces have suffered repeated attacks there since early 2017, including against the special counter-terrorism unit whose men are trained by the U.S. But this is the first attack to have claimed the lives of U.S. soldiers.


Who Was Responsible?


In July 2017, alone, local representatives of the Fulani community – one of the largest ethnic group in West Africa comprised mostly of herders – claimed that militias of rival ethnic groups, the Tuareg and Doosaak (a nomadic group close to and often confused with the Tuaregs but with a distinct language) killed some 46 civilians, purportedly as part of counter-terrorism operations. Conversely, Tuareg representatives repeatedly accuse local Fulanis of murdering members of their communities with jihadist support.

In reality, jihadist violence often intertwines with local intercommunal tensions related to competition over natural resources and trafficking, making it difficult to distinguish the real nature and motives of many incidents.- International Crisis Group

Comment: It remains to  be seen who is really responsible, but I find it interesting that this piece brings out the links between the Fulani and Islamic militants. Keep in mind that the Fulani have been harassing and even killing Christians.

Another Green Beret's death has been announced in this incident making the total US killed to four.


6 Oct

Sudan: Trump Set To Permanently Lift Sanctions

The Sudan Tribune covers the story and the official reasons why.

FYI, Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the UN on the state of human rights in Sudan, it can be found here. Numerous violent attacks have been perpetrated by the Sudanese regime in Darfur and elsewhere that have made few news headlines here in the US.  The HRW, piece covers some of the key points.

The Persecution Project also has some stories on it as they focus on this issue for the region. This article, written last July, talks about the crisis there from the perspective of a Sudanese Pastor.

China Detains Two Christians And Young Child For Missionary Work

They were preaching the gospel in public squares, sang and danced and were arrested.

172 Montagnard's To Be Deported

They sought asylum in Cambodia but according to officials are not eligible for refugee status. They have been on the receiving end of considerable persecution in the past. It is unclear how they will be treated when repatriated.

16 Year Old Coptic Girl Rescued After Islamists Kidnapped Her

(World Watch Monitor) A 16-year-old Coptic Christian girl kidnapped on 28 June to be “converted to Islam, then married off or sold”, was released and returned to her family on 30 September after police found her and arrested her kidnappers in a city just outside Cairo.

Marilyn was recovered from a city named 10th of Ramadan, but she is from a village several hundred kilometres south, in the governorate of Minya...

One of many

Her kidnapping was part of a series of disappearances in which Coptic girls were targeted by Islamist networks, who kidnap and force them to convert to Islam and then either marry them off or sell them for large amounts of money, as World Watch Monitor reported last month.

According to ‘G’, a former kidnapper who said he actively targeted Coptic girls before he left Islam, the group he was part of “rented apartments in different areas of Egypt to hide kidnapped Coptic girls. There, they put them under pressure and threaten them to convert to Islam. And once they reach the legal age, a specially arranged Islamic representative comes in to make the conversion official, issue a certificate and accordingly they change their ID”.

‘G’ said one of the strategies they used to gain the girls’ trust was for the kidnapper, a Muslim man, to tell the Christian girl he loved her and wanted to convert to Christianity for her...

Story Source: World Watch Monitor


3 Oct


Micah Chapter 7


Note: This was posted a year or so ago, but as I have started the Micah series here, I will re-post this again to finish it up in sequence. - MSW 3 Oct 2017

Filthy, Rotten People - Then and Now


Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits,
as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat:
my soul desired the firstripe fruit. The good man is perished
out of the earth: and there is none upright among men:
they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh,
and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man,
he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.

(Mic 7:1-3)


How many Christians really know what time it is? It is a hard time.


Those were hard times, the spiritual condition of the nation was not just some kind of prophetic mumblings, it was seen and felt in the everyday living of those who walked with God. The Judges were taking bribes in Micah's time. It was no aberration, this was the way thing were done back them and this much I know, that Gay marriage ruling we had a few days ago was worked out long ago. The political wheels were greased, the right case was heard by the court and now you have all of this Sodomy. Obamacare? The same thing. One Justice took a bribe to make sure it passed and ensure any challenge to it was duly put down.


The US Supreme Court is probably the most corrupt court in the world. Bribery rules in the American legal system, just like it did in Ancient Israel. The people of the day worked earnestly, very hard to do evil. They were evil times. Times very much like today in so many parts of the world. The West in the past used to not be quite as corrupt as she has become in the past 20 years or so, but it has gone off the rails these days. Even a former Senator has railed against the corruption in Washington Brothers, it is far worse that anyone on the web can tell you. Micah is relaying the same spiritual rot that he sees in his times. Then he goes on to tell Godly folks how they should operate in those days. Brothers, last days America is 70% there already and rapidly moving in the wrong direction. In many ways, the American nation is worse, but its worse crimes and bloody abominations are hidden behind the wall of government classifications.

Look at the kinds of news we have seen, police shooting people down unarmed people in cold blood, lying in wait for the Black man to gun him down. The good men were very few and far between, Micah was living in a generation of vipers. We also in America more and more are living among a generation of vipers. Many of them in uniform. 

The prophet is just relaying to his hearers what it is like to live in times when sin rules and what God's people should and should not be doing. The first thing is to not be a trusting soul who opens his mind and heart to even his closest companions. Micah goes on to observe and then exhort,

The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper
than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh;
now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend,
put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of
thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom
. For the son
dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against
her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law;
 a man's enemies are the men of his own house.

(Mic 7:4-6)

Men were thoroughly treacherous. Even those who were righteous in the eyes of other wicked men were worthless. This passage is very reminiscent of the times that Christ warned about in the last days. Here is what our Lord had to say about them. Look carefully at the passage for in it are many clues and I think give light to the times that are coming for us.

But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils,
and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall
be brought before governors and kings for my sake,
for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when
they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall
speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what
ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father
which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the
brother to death, and the father the child: and the children
shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death
.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

(Mat 10:17-22)

Christ is not telling us to be some happy-go-lucky, all trusting half-wit in dangerous times. He is warning us of future treachery in the world's most treasured and trusted personal relationships. He says BEWARE OF MEN. Micah's warning indeed was for those of his time, but they can be safely applied in a more general sense to our times as well. I know this much - Over the past few years I have just noticed a different spirit in Americans. People I know, they just seem to have no love for right anymore, they are far more interested in their political, financial and sexual agenda's. Morality has become obsolete to so many people, or their morality is 180 degrees opposite to God's... the God who raised up and blessed this nation above all others. The God of all things the nation has now forsaken. Now granted I have a somewhat limited scope of people I see regularly, but do you know what I rarely see on the face of Americans in their day to day living? I'll tell you. A smile. Its a rare thing these days. People just don't smile, they don't take kindness kindly (except those of lower economic estate, they often appreciate simple kindness). Brothers our nation has just entered the outer rim of the devil spiritual no-mans land. Micah is giving us a strong and important exhortation if we are to be victorious in such a time and place. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. I used to keep this saying in my heart for years and these days I have pulled it out and keep in in the front of my mind these days. “Trust is the occupation of fools, and its wages are disappointment” Yes, it is overboard in its generalization but still, in times like these when someone asks me to trust them, especially (sadly) other Christians, I just have to keep that saying in mind, go into my closet and get that steel plate to put under the back of my T-shirt(!).


I want to relay this to you as an aside – I think it important. Before I started this last chapter of Micah, I bowed my head and the Lord just said to me - those relationships had to go, it was needful for the times we are in. Then he told me to tell all of you just what he told me. They were both bad news and a danger to me personally and this humble ministry in particular. But I have to tell you that long before it happened the Lord warned me that it was going to happen and told me why. I was stubborn, not rebellions, just stubborn... I did not believe that these people would do me wrong.

They did though I don't think out of any maliciousness, just souls that are lost, thinking they are God's work and doing the devils. One I know and the other I think just stopped believing in the God of the Bible, that Christ is really the only and true way into the Kingdom. One just apostatized, the other I think has gone down a path of spiritual compromise in the devil's agency, never to return, deceiving and being deceived.

But I am not putting the whole fault on them. The problem was not all their fault. What I did that was wrong was that I trusted both to begin with, and did not heed the Spirit of God when it was no more whispering but as much as God's Holy Spirit can, was shouting in my soul... Danger!!! This guy is poison! Judas alert! Not in those exact words, but the effect on my spirit man was the same. The problem is I don't think these kinds of Christians and so many nominal Christians really know God. One of these men (who claimed Christ) told me one of the last times we spoke that 'We All Worship the same God'. I told him that what ever God the nut jobs in ISIS is worshiping, I am not, nor do I think their victims would claim such demon spirits as deities. He could not say anything, and I am almost certain he indirectly aided their rise to satanic power, even if peripherally, knowing what he was doing. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”, so saith the scripture and when he said that to me and tried to argue it, I knew that I had to start listening to what the Spirit of God had been saying to me or trouble was on the Horizon.

Trusting these men; that was my failing. Truly a failing in these treacherous times that I think Micah in the first part of this chapter lays out for his time. He is pointing out just what is wrong with the people of his time and that anyone who puts their trust in such people is behaving most foolishly.

Brothers and sisters, I know that it is hard to let go of some relationships, it is hard to break with a well worn and comfortable routine. What Micah in the first verse is telling his hearers is that he lives in place where the people are rotten... rotten to the core. It is like Micah is looking for some good wholesome fellowship, an honest, good companion and cannot find it. The number of good people are few and far between. He is looking for someone to trust, and cannot find it. It's like he is looking for a rose and can only find poison ivy. He's looking for water and can only find vinegar; he's looking for a friend, and can only find the Old Testament version of Judas.


Yet having said that brothers we do need to understand that being an overly suspicious person can lead to bitterness and a terrible Christian witness and even make you into the kind of people the scriptures tell us to be wary of. If I had to sum it up, I would say that intelligent and consistent caution should be exercised in all of your relationships from here on. BEWARE OF MEN – means exactly what it says. Don't try and reinterpret it to no effect and don't turn your back on or put too much faith in folks who have not shown a consistent, long and deeply Christian walk.


This fake western GOP-esque or liberal left-wing Christianity does not count as a Christian walk. I am talking about people who have walked the walk, made deep scarifies for the kingdom and are fully and completely Christ's...even to the death! If you do trust people too much in these times you are likely to be betrayed and at the worst possible moment.


Yes, this is a hard saying. It goes contrary to the 'happy happy' gospel that is preached in western Churches - pray up a Cadillac and roll into the kingdom in a Rolls Royce. Let the wiser souls (most of your here) in the Lord digest what Micah and Christ are telling us in dangerous times.... and apply them.


Micah makes reference to the day of thy watchmen and of the visitation. Micah is telling the people that all the prophecies that were told about those days were going to come to pass. Big trouble would be on the horizon, even as God revealed to his prophets. God was going to move and all those who mocked God's watchmen and holy prophets would regret it and wish they had listened. People rarely do and that is why so many souls are lost. God sends his watchmen and prophets and no one listens. He warns them and they mock and laugh and go right on sinning, often worse than before... often in defiance and mockery.


Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the
 God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me,
O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness,
the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of
the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause,
and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light,
and I shall behold his righteousness.

(Mic 7:7-9)


Micah then tells how he will behave in times like these. He is not going to be like the lost souls, he is going to look to the Lord and he is going to wait for the God of his salvation. This is the mind we have to have in these times. Brothers, the world is going to turn against us. We must not put our trust in men, not mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sisters or brothers. We must put our trust fully and completely in the Lord. Brother, we have no better friend that Christ.


Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you
(Joh 15:14)


And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God,
and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:
and he was called the Friend of God.
 (James 2:23)

Try and understand what I am saying to you. Each of you who know Christ are very, very precious in his eyes. He loves you deeply and sincerely. Much too much to let a snake in the grass mess up your walk with him. The snakes in the grass are going to multiply like rabbits in the years ahead. When God and the Holy Spirit senses danger, listen to what God has to say. Don't do like I did and wait until it was almost too late. Listen and heed, rather than ignore and bleed!

Micah's utters his deep unyielding faith in God that he would hear him in the day of trouble. Micah would look to the God of his salvation in faith! What is interesting is that Micah's prayer makes no request for immunity from the troubles of life or from Divine Chastisement. No, his faith knows that these things do come but he looks to God for his help and salvation. Every prophet and minister has to endure trails and tribulations to complete their ministry. Micah and all the prophets knew that. At times their work seems vain and utterly hopeless. Even the Apostles of the NT had the same problem. Look at Paul's life. Look at the book of Hebrews, where the saints were thinking about forsaking the gospel. Paul could have gotten discouraged during all those years in jail. But you know what he did? He wrote most of the NT while in prison! There is a saying I have always liked and it says that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Don't mope about with a 'poor pitiful me' attitude. Sometimes hard things come into our lives, often to redirect us. Take your redirection humbly. God knows what he is doing. It may not seem like it in the natural realm but as time passes, if you are faithful to him, he will show you how important your redirection was. Faith is the key, faith and obedience.

There is no easy road into the kingdom brothers and sisters and if you are having a hard time of it and have maintained your faith and have not walked away, be assured, you are not alone and that your experiences are par for the course! Don't let your circumstances depress you brothers, God knows what you are going through and what is to come!

The prophet then gives an exhortation to Israel's enemies, that they should not rejoice over her fall when it comes to pass. This is because while her punishment is severe, it is only temporary. God will still be a light to his people, even in their darkest hour. God was still with them, even though he had to severely chastise them. The prophet uses his prose in the first person and describes the sins of the people which he probably is also identifying at least partially with himself. Prophets are not perfect and the problem with so many of the devils accusers is that when one slips and falls, all of the satanic accusations from hell and demonic pointing fingers are there to point out the Man of God's human failings. Here is how John Gill's Commentary puts this passage, I think it fitting for us in these times, I will cut and paste it here.

...the Chaldeans or Edomites, or both, who rejoiced at the destruction of Jerusalem, and the calamities the people of the Jews were brought into at it; see Psa_137:7; spiritually, Satan the great enemy of mankind, and especially of the church and people of God, to whom it is a pleasure to draw them into any sin or snare, and to do them any hurt and mischief; and also the Inert of the world, who hate and persecute the saints; and watch for their haltings, and rejoice at their falls into sin, and at any calamity and affliction that may attend them, though there is no just reason for it; since this will not always be the case of the saints, they will be in a better situation, and in more comfortable circumstances; and it will be the turn of their enemies to be afflicted, punished, and tormented: - John Gill's Exposition Of The Entire Bible


Brothers, how I know what Mr. Gill is talking about. How many people in power want to set me up and tried and almost succeeded. The only thing I can say to each of you is this. God knows our failings. I know mine and so does God. If God has to chastise you, as he almost did with me then sit quietly and put your trust him God, he knows your affliction and knows how long it will last, he will not let your enemies rejoice over you forever. He's got something very 'special' prepared for the enemies of his people.


When God is finished with chastisement, he will indeed bring you out of the darkness and back into the light of his love and salvation, often with a blessing. I always remember the trials of Job. Job at the end of his horrendous trail (how many people could survive that one brothers!) was greatly blessed. How did God bless Job?


And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed
for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much
as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren,
 and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his
acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house:
and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil
that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him
a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the LORD
blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:
 for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels,
and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the
name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second,
Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the
land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job:
and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons,
and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died,
being old and full of days.

(Job 42:10-17)


Yes, the Lord will afflict and allow affliction to come into our lives. But he is always constant to those who are constant with him and often bless his people at the end of that affliction, if they are faithful to him throughout it. What gives us this constancy? Faith brothers, faith!


Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall
cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God?
mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down
 as the mire of the streets. In the day that thy walls are to be built,
in that day shall the decree be far removed.

(Mic 7:10-11)


Then there are the God mockers. Yes, there were many of them in Micah's day. They dwelt in the lands where Israel's enemies dwelt.


The 'she' referred to is probably Ancient Babylon. She was at the height of her power and arrogance. They rejoiced over Israel's fall and mocked their faith in Jehovah. Have we not heard this kind of mockery in our society today? I can remember some one making a comment about California's Gay Marriage Amendment. I cannot remember who it was but his comment went like, 'well, the ground has not opened up because of this!' This mocking spirit is very much with us today. It is of the devil. It is most prevalent in major empires who enjoy prosperity and pleasures and consistently use violence to get the goods that they want, not at all unlike end times Babylon (America). We have heard the God mockers and can see them in a great many websites and postings. This is no longer the fringe of American society, but more and more it is becoming mainstream. This is why Gay Marriage is now the law of the land and satanic monuments and temples are being erected. There is increasingly outright scorn and mockery for God in our Nation.


Mockers will always mock when things are at their worst for us Christians. The demon spirits enter into them (yes, they do) and begin to mock and rail and spit their hate at the God in heaven who has pronounced his eternal judgment on these fallen beings; eternally consigning these spirits into everlasting darkness. This is why they hate the Lord so much and seek to destroy man as well. Even Christ had to deal with these demonic utterances when on the Cross (Matt 27:43). We are not immune to it brothers, let them mock. God is giving mankind a full and complete opportunity to show whose side it is on, God's or the devils. So when they mock remember this, God see's it and shall forever remember it.

And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men
that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die,
neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an
 abhorring unto all flesh.

(Isa 66:24
)

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
(Mar 9:44)


Micah then makes clear that just as the chastisement of Israel was foretold and came to pass, so shall the destruction of this arrogant Babylon come to pass. Brothers, as the scriptures say, God is not mocked.


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.

(Gal 6:7)


The devil may drive men to mock God, but the devils know that God is, and are very, very afraid of him.


Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well:
 the devils also believe,
and tremble.
(Jam 2:19)


Yes, if the devil is getting people to believe there is no God, it is only consistent with the devil and his character; to lie, misdirect, be evasive and be false. His main goal, to get you to act based upon a lie.


In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the
decree be far removed. In that day also he shall come even
to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from
the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from
mountain to mountain. Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate
because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.

(Mic 7:11-13)


This prophecy is clearly for Israel when God brings them back from where they were captive. The day that the Walls are rebuilt is almost certainly a reference to Nehemiah (Neh 2:17). The decree that is to be removed is probably the unrighteous decree's of Babylon when she falls.

However some think the passage is too broad and all encompassing to refer just to that time and see perhaps some kind of end time fulfillment. The people (probably Israelites, but it is not 100% clear from the passage) come from


Assyria

The fortified cities

From the fortress even to the river

From sea to sea

From mountain to mountain


Yet Barnes says this and I think it most enlightening.


The destruction, captivity, restoration, were parts of one and the same decree of God, of which the restoration was the last accomplished in time. The restoration was not the removal, but the complete fulfillment, of the decree. He means then probably, that the decree of the enemy, whereby he held her captive, was to remove and be far off, not by any agency of her’s . The people were to stream to her of themselves. One by one, shall all thy banished, captive, scattered, children be brought quite home unto thee from all parts of the earth, whither they have been driven, “from Assyria, and from strong-land”. - Albert Barnes


This is what leads others (and myself) to think this passage has a dual meaning, both to encourage the Jews of Micah's and later Nehemiah's time, but also for a larger more grand fulfillment just before the time of Christ's return. But verse 13 reminds them that there is going to be time of desolation for the land because of the sins of the people. Ultimately the prophet is reminding the people that Babylon and Edom are footnotes and asterisks in Israel's fate. They are merely the tools that God used to chastise Israel for her wickedness and as a result of those sins, the land would remain desolate for an appointed time. This is why the following verse changes track from one of hope back to one of severe chastisement.


Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage,
which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel:
let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt
will I shew unto him marvellous things. The nations shall see
and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their
hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.

(Mic 7:14-16)


The day of this deliverance (from Micah's time) is a ways off. Micah is telling them basically, 'don't rejoice yet, you have not paid the piper for your evils and pay him you shall'. Micah's prayer/utterance goes on to remind the hearer how God took Israel of old out of Egypt and how Israel was to dwell alone (separate – in the world but of it) . The reference to Bashan and Gilead is also a reference to Israel in its early days and where she dwelt.

When these things happen, all of the people come flowing into the holy land, God restores his people and they dwell in a land of plenty, The nations (gentiles/lost peoples) will see it and be shocked and confounded. They would be put to shame. When God moves in his powerful ways, no man can stop it. Those who worked against God, mocked him and spat at God's people shall be ashamed. Nothing or no one can hinder God's purposes.

Yea, since the day was I am he; and there is none that can
deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who can hinder it?
Thus saith Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I will bring down
all of them as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships
of their rejoicing.
(Isa 43:13-14)

No one can deliver out of God's hands and his purposes shall be established.


They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move
out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be
afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.

(Mic 7:17)


The reference to the snake is probably meant both as a reference to their humiliation and their spiritless pedigree. The passage is an interesting one and another one that makes this author believe that these passages are referring to the end times. Note that reference to the holes, where creeping things dwell. Could this be an oblique reference to the end times when...


And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men,
and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every
bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us,
and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his
wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

(Rev 6:15-17)


These kings and rich men of the last days are sore afraid of the God of heaven and his Messiah. Why? Because of their evil deed and the way that they treated God's holy people (Jew and saved gentile– all Israel (Rom 11:25-26). These passages need little comment. The living God shall surely return and give full and complete recompense to the evil men who have mistreated, imprisoned and even killed God's Holy people.



Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity,
 and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?
 he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth
 in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us;
 he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their
sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob,
and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our
fathers from the days of old.

 (Mic 7:18-20)


The final doxology of Micah is one of uplifting promise of God's forgiveness, constancy towards his people and his love for them. God delights in mercy. God is indeed going to return good things to his people. Their sins will indeed be forgiven and their iniquities forgiven and forgotten.


God is always true to his word. He made many promises about the redemption of mankind, from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham to Moses – God was indeed going to send in a messiah who would purge the iniquity from God's people. The people of God have this most wonderful promise, that if we are faithful to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our iniquities.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we
have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

(1Jo 1:9-10)


The major themes of the Old Testament prophets can be clearly found in those of the New.

Micah is another one of this Old Testament Jewels. In our world where men more and more mock God and turn on his people, we who know God can take comfort that many men of God in the past faced similar situations, were able to minister and do God's work even in evil times. Micah preached to a nation steeped in idolatry during the days of that wicked King Ahaz, who was instrumental in leading his nation away from God. Here is what Eaton's dictionary says about Ahaz.


He gave himself up to a life of wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and warnings of Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help against Rezin, king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, to the great injury of his kingdom and his own humiliating subjection to the Assyrians (2Ki_16:7, 2Ki_16:9; 2Ki_15:29). He also introduced among his people many heathen and idolatrous customs (Isa_8:19; Isa_38:8; 2Ki_23:12).


Let those of us who can see the growing rank apostasy of our nation (America) and the kinds of leaders we now have in positions power pause and consider this. It is nothing new. This has happened before. If we have nation-wide acceptance of homosexuality and adultery it is because we have leaders who have forsaken God and gone aside to follow after other religions, mainly Freemasonry and increasingly, Islam and even devil worship. So let those of us who know our God be wise as serpents, the days are evil and are going to get much more so as the crescendo of sin reaches its climax before the return of our Savior and Messiah Jesus Christ.


Even so, Come Lord Jesus!!


1 Oct

BEA Releases GDP By Metropolitan Area For 2016
This pdf report is what it says, it lays out how much GDP is produced in various cities across the nation. A map below gives us one look at the trends, but the folks at Howmuch.net have a better one. The BEA one is found below.


The more visually descriptive chart at the Cost Information Web site HowMuch is below (copyright info here)

I think charts like this better describe at least part of the so called 'culture war' the nation is now undergoing. The places where Trump won are represented by the lower GDP number and where Hillary won, the higher, with some notable exceptions (Florida and Texas), the higher GDP areas. A clickable 2016 Election map can be found along the right hand column of this page.


Western Persecution Watch

The September Issue of Persecution Magazine has a special section looking at issues here in the west.

You can find the whole pdf of this done by International Christian Concern here (35MB) in pdf.



The State Of STD's In America (PDF)




This is a report done by the CDC and can be found here or here. I will not make any spiritual commentary on this, I don't really think it is needed.

The incidents of STD's in married couples who are faithful to each other is near to non-existent.

What these stats show quite simply is that in our nation the incidents of adultery and fornication is very, very high. The report is quite informative as it breaks it down by race, metropolitan are and sexual preference.


I am Not Ashamed:  A Barnabas Fund Devotional

(Barnabas Aid) The I Am Not Ashamed daily devotional resource has been specially designed for SCAW. It includes daily readings and prayers based on the theme for the week, “I Am Not Ashamed”. For each of the eight days you will find a reading, a comment and a suggested prayer.  Download I Am Not Ashamed devotional booklet PDF

For praying Christians like me, this booklet may be of great use.


28 Sept


Palestine: Concern Over Coptic Christians

(ME Concern) Palestinian Christians request renewed prayer for nuns of the Coptic Orthodox church and convent in Bethlehem involved in legal action over a property dispute. The family that has  misappropriated convent property continues its aggressive stance, and has filed a complaint against one of the nuns, falsely accusing her of physical assault.

In the 1980's an elderly blind Palestinian woman was given a room on the church property adjacent to the convent, but in 1998 her family moved in and took over more of the property by breaking into the convent. The church filed a complaint but a judge dropped the case in 2015 due to "lack of evidence". The case was referred to a higher court.

On 30th April 2017 the nuns called the police after a physical assault by Rania, the granddaughter of the original occupant (the blind Palestinian lady). A policeman arrived and asked the nuns and two witnesses to make a statement at the police station. As they were on the way by car to the police station, two men cut in front of them and started hitting the nuns' car with a metal bar and car jack. The assailants were unaware of the presence of the policeman inside the car, who made himself known and stopped the attack. The nuns and those accompanying them continued to the police station and filed a complaint. A court hearing was set for 11th July, but was re-scheduled for 10th October.

On 11th September, Rania filed a complaint against Sister Maria (the nun who had been assaulted) accusing her of physical assault. The Civil Court in Bethlehem has set a date for 31st October for a hearing. Sister Maria believes that this is another attempt by the family to persuade the nuns to withdraw their complaint of 30th April.

It is known that the family which is illegally occupying parts of the convent has influential connections with the Palestinian Authorities and it is believed that the justice process is being hindered as a consequence.

Please pray:
a. for protection, courage and God's peace for the nuns
b. that justice will be done, and that there will be no "cover-up"
c. that the property disputes will be resolved in favour of the church
d. for wisdom and strength for church leaders and state officials to stand firm and not bow to pressure that would compromise justice
e. that the perpetrators of the assaults will repent of what they have done

---------------------------------
Middle East Concern
meconcern.org
twitter.com/MiddleEConcern
facebook.com/middleeastconcern

URL for this prayer request: http://www.meconcern.org/2017/09/28/palestine-growing-concern-for-coptic-church/

Crown of Life

Today, we are going to talk about what we as Christians strive for but also what it will cost many of us to obtain it.

  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty,
(but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which
say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.  
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil
shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have
tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life.
(Revelation of John 2:9-10)


The Crown of life was a promise made to the Church at Smyrna. This was one of the seven Churches of Asia which the Apostle John addressed the book of Revelation. Smyrna was one of the blessed Churches in that in Christ's message was no word of rebuke. He praised the Church at Smyrna and acknowledged that he recognized their poverty and understood it but that their true state contradicted the outward appearance of that poverty. Christ told them they were rich towards God (see Luke 12:21).

Christ is well aware of the suffering and tribulations of his people. In fact, he says so in verse nine. For those of us who are struggling on many fronts, know that God knows our troubles. He is fully aware of them as he was with the Church at Smyrna.

I think we need to understand something here. Today, especially in America and particularly during hard times, like the depression, being poor was a shame and in some places even was even a crime (vagrancy). In a nation dominated by riches, wealth, gadgets, toys and unbridled materialism, being poor is looked down upon. I always find it telling that in many conversations today especially when it comes to those who are of an age to date, the issue of income always comes up. Like a price tag on a piece of merchandise in a store, the potential love interest's 'economic value' must be ascertained before things can move forward.

People flock in similar economic circles and as a person who I do business with once opined to me as we both reflected on getting older, we see potential mates with very different eyes that we did when we were younger.... like how much that very pretty woman is going to cost us... the idea he wanted to convey was the prettier, the more expensive, as in all honesty you just don't see  many 'drop dead gorgeous' women with poor guys; nor rich men with homely mates or love interests. My point here is to get all to understand that our society is money obsessed and because we live here in the US, many of us are also money obsessed but are not aware of it or just how our actions reflect that ungodly obsession.

As I read the prayer request that one reader here had last week, I am reminded that he may be feeling low, but that even in this, God is in it. It may not seem like it at the time, but he is with him through all of this. One reason why being stretched financially can be good for us is that it teaches us to be totally reliant on God. This was a hard habit for me to break as my whole life I have always had a very strong independent streak. I don't like crowds or following them, I don't like to be dependent on anyone and have a very strong, 'make my own way' kind of mind set. Like my mother, I am very much a trailblazer and one who is pretty unconcerned with the opinion's of others.

But some of that had to go as God wanted and still wants me to be dependent on him.... for all things. A person who has a rich husband or a well paying job or was born into wealth learns to be dependent on his source of living and not God. Hence, we as Christians must always look to God for our guidance and 'supply line'. You can always tell who really trusts God and who is just making religious noises by how he earns and more importantly spends his money (stewardship).

The Church in Smyrna obviously did not have much of wealth, but yet Christ told them there were rich. Even so, the troubles of poverty was not the end of their woe's. Christ foretells to them that some will be cast into prison for 10 days and that they had to be faithful even unto death. The long and short of it was that Christ was aware of their troubles, but that more were on the way. They two keys were this - the Lord was well pleased with them, but that further trials were ahead. Here is how Barnes sums up this.
That ye may be tried. That the reality of your faith may be subjected to a test to show whether it is genuine. The design in the case is that of the Saviour, though Satan is allowed to do it. It was common in the early periods of the church to suffer religion to be subjected to trial amidst persecutions, in order to show that it was of heavenly origin, and to demonstrate its value in view of the world. This is, indeed, one of the designs of trial at all times, but this seemed eminently desirable when a new system of religion was about to be given to mankind. Compare Barnes on "1Pe 1:6-7". - Barnes
This to me is one of the fundamental virtue's of Christianity. Christians are willing to suffer severe persecution to keep their faith, yes even death. But in our world non-Christian religions are passing laws to force people to stay in the state religion (Islam, Hinduism, etc - via increasingly common anti-conversion laws and Apostasy laws) and put penalties on those who leave the faith. This speaks volumes as to the power of the gospel. Other religions sometimes have to force their worshipers at near gunpoint or with a sword, even an economic one (loss of job, position for 'apostasy') to keep them 'faithful'. But with Christians we know that as soon as we come to the cross, we are going to suffer or it and those with genuine faith endure will to the end. To me, there is little real spiritual power in forcing someone to bow down in a religious organization at the threat of prison, a beating, or even death.

It should also be noted that Smyrna was the place where one of the early Church's martyrs was killed. His name was Polycarp.whose execution seems by way of a prophetic fulfillment of the words the above passage. Many more would go his way in those days for Christians were truly hated and feared in Ancient Rome.

But more and more in our times, in many places Christians are facing many of the same travails. This site has covered these issues with great regularity. Some may think perhaps a bit too much, but I don't think so. We Christians need to be fully cognizant of the trials of our brethren elsewhere and the severe persecution that Christians endure and the deep hatred satan's ministers (witting and unwitting) have for us. We in the west are insulated from most of that. It is my hope that Christians here never get complacent about this issue; either for brethren, or ourselves when the time comes for us to face these kinds of tribulations.

The passage above denotes a specific period of trial, 10 days. What the number 10 represents is not clear, some feel it is to denote just a few days. Others see them as 10 separate persecutions under the Roman Emperors
the "first" was under Nero, in the year 64 or 66;
the "second" was under Domitian, about the year 93;
the "third" was under Trojan, in the year 104;
the "fourth" was under Hadrian, in the year 125;
the "fifth" was under Marcus Antoninus, in the year 151;
the "sixth" was under Septimius Severus, in the year 197;
the "seventh" was under Maximinus, in the years 235, 236, 237;
the "eighth" was under Decius, in the year 250;
the "ninth" was under Valerianus, in the year 257;
and the "tenth" was under Dioclesian, in the year 303.
 - John Gill

I tend to think the number has two connotations, both brevity and one that is 'set' (fixed period of suffering) by God - that he is in this and will only allow it to go on for so long. The number 10 may be a way of denoting a divine appointment and appointment with a trial of faith. But here there is suffering denoted "fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer". The reason? God has a promise to the overcomer and that promise is the Crown of life. The word for Crown is this one.

G4735
στέφανος
stephanos
stef'-an-os
From an apparently primary “stepho” (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, G1238), literally or figuratively: - crown.
Total KJV occurrences: 18

This is may just a figurative term for the rewards of all righteous men and women who endure to the end and are saved, but I think a literal crown is one that at least some of us shall posses once we overcome (see Rev 4:10) The crown of life is also mentioned in James.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried,
he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him.
(Jas 1:12)



What is noted about this crown in both passages is that they are given to those who endure temptation or trial.

It is probably very similar or the same to the Crown of Glory, the Crown of Righteousness, and even the promise to sit on a throne (See 1Pet 5:4, 2Tim 4:8 and Rev 3:21). The connotation is of a great reward not just of eternal life but one of honor and heavenly favor granted by our God. The sense particularly in Rev 3:21 is one of the full weight of authority that goes with a crown and not just some garland of honor as the Greek word above could have meant. It is also possible that these are all various degree's of reward in the form of a crown.

One key here to remember is that these trials come from the devil and this fact is made plain in the passage. This is a common theme and Job is probably our best Old Testament example as he too was tried by the devil and came through it even more blessed than before. The key here I think is to remember who is behind these things, who is bringing  trouble into our lives, but also who allows it and why. God is trying our faith.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be,
 ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith,
 being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,
 might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
(1Pe 1:6-7)

The crown of life goes to all of us who endure temptation and tribulation, particularly when we are called on to deny our faith or turn away from God at the threat of some severe punishment. When we stand fast and take what the devil throws at us and keep our faith - the crown of life is our reward. We must be overcomers to receive the rewards.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory
that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(1Jn 5:4)

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that
 Jesus is the Son of God?
(1Jn 5:5)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
 To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
(Rev 2:7)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
(Rev 2:11)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give
him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
(Rev 2:17)

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will
 I give power over the nations:
(Rev 2:26)

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
(Rev 3:5)

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem,
which cometh down out of heaven from my God:
and I will write upon him my new name.
(Rev 3:12)

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
(Rev 3:21)

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God,
and he shall be my son.
(Rev 21:7)

27 Sept

News Scan

NAFTA Salvo: Trump Levies Massive Tariff Of Canada Aircraft

WTO Salvo: Trump Moves Against Trade Body Adjudication Process
This move by Trump has gone largely unnoticed but could have great ramifications for global trade.
The Hookers With PhD's: Venezuela's Crisis Sending Skilled Women To Work 'On their Backs'
As one woman in the piece states, she would never have thought she would have fallen into this if you asked her four years ago. Now these women are really struggling just to feed their kids and are forced into prostitution.

When crisis hits, it hits hard and fast. None of us knows what a day may bring. Those living high now may find that life changes and does so in a sudden and inexplicable fashion. Let those of us who know our God and walk with him remember those in need today for in so doing, the Lord will remember us in our hour of need.
DHS: No, The Russians Did Not Hack Wisconsin Elections
A conflicting press released that appears to tell at least part of the truth but keeps enough doubt to keep the anti-Russian hysteria going in America so critical to Democratic electoral hopes (they think) in 2018. But I think it is folly to have this hope. I really do. Look at what just happened in Alabama. The establishment GOP candidates need to take note of it. This 'Russia is evil' narrative is