Rather, about my hometown of Grimsby, which was at one time the world’s greatest fishing port. That’s based on the fact that a greater tonnage of fish was landed there than anywhere else in the world.
In fact, now, no fish is landed in Grimsby.
The EU happened.
The Common Fisheries Policy enabled the then 9 member EU (now 28) to fish in British territorial waters. Many of those countries are low wage countries. They simply took the business from the British. Ports along the east coast suffered greatly. Is there any wonder they voted to “Leave” the EU?
Many factories closed as they moved their operations to the continent. Cadbury’s is, perhaps, the most famous one. The British chocolate factory moved some years ago to Poland.
At the same time, Britain lost a great deal of its international trade.
Prior to the EU (or EEC as it was called back then (the European Economic Community), Britain’s trade was directed more internationally. “Imperial preferences” gave access to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Other former colonies lost access to Britain, but later signed the Lome Convention, which gave them lower tariffs when trading with the EU.
It’s doubtful any of these countries will want to go back to Britain when they have access to over 500 million in the European single market.
When Britain applied to join the EEC (originally only six members), other countries did so much trade with Britain; they also applied to join. Denmark and Ireland joined at the same time, January 1st, 1973. When (if) Britain leaves, these two will remain in the EU. This will complicate relations between Ireland and England, as they share a common border. Ireland, which formerly used the British currency, now uses the Euro.
The driving force behind Britain’s application to join the EU was British business. Whereas some businesses lost out, others stood to gain from easier access to the single market. Those companies today are vigorously fighting to “Remain” in the EU. Today (March 29th) was the day Britain was to leave, but the government is still trying to get a “Deal” with the EU, giving them easier access to Europe.
It’s not all one sided, though you would think so from the press. The British have been warned about shortages, long lines of trucks transporting goods to and from Europe, and long lines at airports as they will have to show their passports like everybody else.
The EU will suffer, too, without Britain. The long lines will be just as long at Calais as they will be at Dover, shortages work both ways and airport delays will affect Europeans as much as the British. Additionally, the Europeans will have some serious financial problems, as Britain has been a net contributor to the EU, to the tune of 350 million pounds per week (that’s $462 million). The Germans will feel Britain’s loss more than the others – 20% of German car sales are to the UK. They are also net contributors and will have to come up with more money.
There’s absolutely no reason why Britain has to get a deal with the Europeans now. They should end the uncertainty and just get out, now.
One thing in their favor is that the US, which encouraged Britain to join, is now encouraging the UK to leave. A trade agreement with the US would go at least some of the way to replace the EU.
Facebook has banned white nationalist websites.
“Until yesterday, white nationalism was not banned on Facebook. The social network made a distinction between white nationalism and white supremacy, banning the latter and allowing the former. It said nationalism, which advocates for a separation between races, was allowed, while supremacy, which argues that white people are superior to people from other races, was not.” (Daily Telegraph, 3/29)
Now that’s changed. They are both banned.
All this will do is drive white nationalism underground, making it more dangerous.
The solution to white nationalism is to do something about immigration!
The situation on the US-Mexico border is a grave crisis, with more and more families (big families) arriving each day, This is overwhelming for US authorities and will overwhelm schools and health services if everybody is allowed in.
This is going to happen more and more as the high birthrate countries send millions to low birthrate western countries.
One solution is for people in the West to have more children.
Churches should encourage people to “go forth and multiply” (Gen 9:7), thereby addressing the imbalance, and providing the West with the people it needs for expanding economies. They would not then be encouraging so many people to come here.
I’m going to finish here, as I have a serious computer problem. The second vowel in the alphabet is not printing, making it next to impossible to write anything. I have to go back over what I’ve written and fix it, taking a long time to make a correction.
A visit to the Apple Store should fix it, or I will be looking to buy a new computer
The deaths of 50 attendees at a New Zealand mosque a week ago shocked the world and have led to international condemnation of right-wing extremism.
The attack follows similar attacks on a synagogue and on churches in the US. It seems that houses of worship are now targets. Such attacks have a long history in the Middle East, but now in the West, too.
Hasty judgments and decisions have been made in the last few days that may make things worse.
New Zealand has been spared the horrors of international terrorism, but neighboring Australia has not. The perpetrator of the NZ shootings was an Australian. While attacks in Australia have been relatively small, they have mostly been perpetrated by people of Middle Eastern origin.
The one common denominator in these attacks and Friday’s attack in Christchurch are the country’s immigration policies. Islamic immigration has led to attacks on non-Muslims in many western nations; while the perpetrator of the mosque attack was reacting to that same immigration. People seem increasingly inclined toward extremism as a reaction against immigrants from other cultures.
Change the immigration laws and these attacks would not take place.
Instead, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, has changed the gun laws. While it is commendable that New Zealand’s parliament can act so quickly, in contrast to the US Congress, if there is more sectarian violence, this will make it more difficult for people to defend themselves. Where criminals are concerned, it will drive the price of guns up, as people will always find a way to get what they want.
On Monday, a Turkish immigrant in Utrecht, Holland, held up a tram and murdered three people.
On Wednesday, a Senegalese immigrant bus driver in Milan, was set to blow up a school bus with 51 people on board, most of them school children. He planned on setting the bus on fire in protest at Italy turning away migrants. Fortunately, one boy called his parents who contacted the police. There were, however, some casualties, with children slightly burned.
The number of sectarian attacks seems to be increasing.
Matthew 24 is a chapter in the Bible that predicts end-time events. In verse 7 we read that: “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” A kingdom is a political entity whereas nation is from the Greek “ethnos” – it describes sectarian violence increasing as we approach the end of the age.
It should also be noted that, in Holland, a populist anti-immigrant party was elected to the Senate in the last 24 hours. Populism is gaining more support across Europe, in reaction to multiculturalism. Diversity is not appreciated by everybody. Not all of these people are extremists. If leaders really want to end extremism, they should do something about immigration.
BREXIT – WILL IT HAPPEN OR WON’T IT?
With just a few days to go until Brexit, scheduled for March 29th, Mrs. May is asking the EU for an extension. Latest reports say they will let her have until May 22nd, which is the day before the European elections. However, it is unlikely that it will make any difference, as the search for a “deal” remains elusive.
Division in the British parliament is the worst anybody can remember. It does not bode well for the future of the country.
“EU leaders will today try to achieve the impossible: navigating a cliff-edge Brexit with a prime minister already in freefall.” (Jim Brunsden, “The Brexit Slalom,” Brussels Briefing, Financial Times, 3/21)
NATO @ 70
”Reaching 70 is an extraordinary achievement for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Most alliances die young. External threats change; national interests diverge; costs become too burdensome. Russia’s pact with Nazi Germany survived for only two years. None of the seven coalitions of the Napoleonic Wars lasted more than five years. A study in 2010 by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank, counted 63 major military alliances over the previous five centuries, of which just ten lived beyond 40; the average life-span of collective -defense alliances was 15 years.” (The Economist, NATO at 70, 3/16).
President Trump is to recognize the Golan Heights as a part of Israel. They have been ruled by Israel since 1967 when they were captured by Israel during the Six Day War.
The strategically important Heights should make Israel stronger and easier to defend. The decision goes against the United Nations policy on the Golan.
SYRIA’S THREE CIVIL WARS
“Three new wars have started in Syria. They are taking place in the three de facto independent areas whose boundaries are becoming apparent as the smoke from the previous battle clears: the regime-controlled area, guaranteed by Russia; the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are primarily composed of Kurdish fighters protected by the United States and Western air power; and finally the area controlled by the Turks and their Sunni Islamist allies in Idlib province.” (Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, 3/18).
Australian PM pillories Erdogan for ‘reckless’ and ‘vile’ Christchurch comments
(Australian prime minister) Scott Morrison says he will review ties after Turkish president said anti-Muslim Australians would be ‘sent back in coffins’ like in WWI.
On March 15, 2019, the Al-Azhar Mosque in Belmore, a suburb of Sydney, Australia hosted an emergency panel discussion following the massacre at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of the speakers, Sheikh Jamil El-Biza, suggested that attack was the result of governments’ and politicians’ defense of freedom of speech. Sheikh Jalal Chami, another one of the panel members, said that it is an honor for the victims of the shooting to have died for Islam and that Muslims should be happy for them and pray that they are accepted as martyrs. He said: “We give our life freely for the sake of Allah and His religion.” Another panel member, Sheikh Omar Najjarine, said that people in Australia and New Zealand have thoughts of harming Muslims like the Christchurch shooter did. He also said that he felt jealousy towards the victims of the shooting because they entered Paradise, and he said that it is sad that most people would be thankful if they escaped or survived such a shooting, when they would have lost out on the blessing of dying as a martyr.
Sheikh Najjarine added: “Who would ever think that a person in a non-Muslim country [who is not waging] Jihad could attain martyrdom.” (MEMRI, No. 7088, 3/19)
US SANCTIONS WILL LEAD TO CONFLICT WITH THE EU
Newsletter – Struggle for Global Power Status
(Own report) – The United States is preparing sanctions against European companies participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to senior US government officials. German government officials, on the other hand, predict that US sanctions will lead to a confrontation with the whole of the EU. “We will do everything necessary to complete the pipeline.” At the same time, the power struggle over the participation of the Chinese Huawei Corporation in setting up the 5G grid in Germany and the EU is escalating. After the German government indicated that it would not exclude, a priori, Huawei, the US ambassador in Berlin is threatening to reduce cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services. US President Donald Trump is also considering calling on countries to pay the full cost of stationing US forces on their soil, plus 50 percent more. German government advisors are pleading for a “policy of ‘softer’ or ‘more robust’ countervailing power formation.” Europe’s “strategic autonomy” is at the core of this power struggle. (German Foreign Policy. 3/14)
DW news (German news) highlighted the fact that anti-semitic acts in the Federal Republic increased by over 60% last year. They added that France was worse, with a 70% increase.
At the same time, right-wing parties are expected to make significant gains in the election for the European Parliament, set for May. It should be emphasized that most people in these parties are simply concerned about immigration. But this could change.
A FRENCH VIEW ON AMERICA’S RETREAT FROM THE WORLD
“BHL (Bernard Henri Levy) … is a philosopher given to interpreting the world’s maladies. He is in New York for the publication on Feb 12 of his latest book, elegantly provocative, “The Empire and the Five Kings.” It describes “the new geopolitical order which is designing itself before our eyes” as a result of “America’s abdication” of global leadership.
“You have America going back,” he says, “retreating and lowering its flag, both on military and ideological terms.” In Mr. Levy’s thesis,“ five former empires which we all thought to be dead and buried, are waking up again – Russia, China, Turkey, Sunni radical Islamism and Persia (Iran). We thought they were pure ghosts but no, they are moving again; they are dancing again on the floor of the world.” They are rushing unchecked, he says, into the voids left everywhere by the retreat of the West, most notably under Donald Trump.” (“The French philosopher who loves America,” by Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 2/9)
INCREDIBLE SHRINKING EUROPE
“Last week offered fresh evidence that the most consequential historical shift of the last 100 years continues: the decline of Europe as a force in world affairs. As Deutsche Bank warned of a German recession, the European Commission cut the 2019 eurozone growth forecast from an already anaemic 1.9 % to1.3 %. Economic output in the eurozone was lower in 2017 than it was in 2009; over that same period, gross domestic product grew 139% in China, 96% in India, and 34% in the US, according to the World Bank.” (“Incredible Shrinking Europe”, by Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 12th February).
DEJA VU – socialism (again)
“If you’re not a socialist by age 20, you’ve got no heart; if you’re still a socialist by age 40, you’ve got no head.” So said Winston Churchill. It explains Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, at 29, very well. But how do you explain Elizabeth Warren, aged 69? Or Bernie Sanders, who’s 8 years older!
50 years ago, it was all the rage. Students across the world wanted socialism, government control of the means of production (and everything else). It didn’t work. It made a much bigger mess of the world. Thirty years later, people realized that instead of government solving the problem, the reality was that government IS the problem!
But now, thanks to young voters, we’re back to socialism being the solution to everything.
This year, a number of socialists are in the US Congress. And they all have expensive ideas. Medicare for all; the Green New Deal; a guaranteed job for all; a new system for corporate control; vastly higher taxes. These are all part of the program. The cost to the tax-payer would be horrendous. A guaranteed job for all would make government even more inefficient.
That isn’t to say it won’t happen.
Democracy in Africa? What democracy in Africa?
Note from The Editor: Branko Brkic, Daily Maverick, 20 January 2019
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Constitutional Court in the early hours of 20 January upheld the victory of Felix Tshisekedi by rejecting appeals by his rival, Martin Fayulu. Fayulu has rejected the court ruling and called on his supporters to organize non-violent protests.
It is becoming increasingly clear for everyone to see: Democracy in Africa is an idea to which almost nobody is subscribing. Once more, another country’s clear majority chose its president, only for the land that was once Mandela’s to accept the clearly fake presidential and parliamentary results, people’s will be damned. This time, it’s Congo’s turn. So, why have elections at all? The polls in Congo have come and gone, another one in the wall of denying the people’s true will. The “results,” if they could be even considered that, have clearly been cooked. (Daily Maverick, South Africa, January 2019)
FIGHTING FOR THE KING IN AMERICA’S FIRST CIVIL WAR
Recently, I’ve read four books on the American Revolution. All four books were written by Americans — and all four describe the Revolutionary War as “America’s first civil war.” Indeed it was.
Most of the battles did not involve any British troops. And for two years after the British defeat at Yorktown, fighting continued between Americans. The conflict was between American Tories (Loyalists) and American Patriots (Rebels). In some areas (notably South Carolina) 80% of the citizenry supported the Crown. In fact, at one point the Patriots were ready to give up on the South as they were solidly loyal.
One thing is clear – the more conservative you are now, the more likely you are to have been a Loyalist!
Out of the war came three nations, the United States, Canada and Sierra Leone. (The latter was established for slaves freed by the British Army.) The war was not between America and England. Note the last three paragraphs of “Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War,” by Thomas B Allen:
“Within a year after the war ended, about 100,000 Americans left their homes. Most of them went to Canada. The rest chose England, Scotland or British possessions in the West Indies. Within a generation the new Canadians had spread across the vast British dominion, taking with them the virtues and the visions that they and their ancestors had had as American colonists. Granted large tracts of land, they transformed a wilderness into a vibrant nation. Many became prosperous farmers or started mercantile dynasties. “Seldom had a people done so well by losing a war,” a Canadian historian wrote.
“Today, four to six million Canadians – about one fifth of the population – claim a Tory ancestor. Many Canadians believe that their nation’s traditional devotion to law and civility, the very essence of being a Canadian, traces back to being loyal, as in Loyalist.
“Below the border live the people who started another country, built by Rebels.
Within a generation, those Rebels would begin to forgive – and forget – the Tories. They would call the Revolution a war between Americans and the British, losing from their collective memory the fact that much of the fighting had been between Americans and Americans.” (“Tories,” Thomas B. Allen, page 333).
This obscures the fact that the war saw brother fight brother, that neighbors fought each other. We have seen this twice in our history. Now, we are dividing again. Could history repeat itself?
(The other three books are “Redcoats and Partisans,” by Walter Edgar; “Frontier Rebels,” by Patrick Spero; and “Scars of Independence,” by Holger Hoock.)
“In the United States and the United Kingdom – two of the world’s oldest democracies – national governments are at a standstill. This, for better or worse, could be the future of politics. It will be a system in which things have to get worse before they can get … worse. Perpetual political gridlock: it won’t be pretty, and for many it may be painful.
“Both the US government’s shutdown and the UK’s Brexit have become problems with no exit. Every strategy offered fails for lack of legislative support or national leadership. The American and British political classes look intellectually exhausted and clueless about a path forward.” (Gridlock is the new normal,” by Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, 1/17/19)
The above about sums it up. The two nations that have dominated the world for as long as anybody can remember are essentially out of commission.
What will this mean?
AMERICAN WITHDRAWAL FROM MIDDLE EAST
Middle East Chaos Will Escalate Following the Departure of the Americans: If America departs the Middle East, then the region will become a free-for-all for others.
The National Interest * January 17, 2019, by Tanya Goudsouzian: a Canadian journalist who has covered Iraq and Afghanistan for over fifteen years. She is former Opinion editor of Al Jazeera English Online.
The inexorable direction of the U.S. administration is towards less intervention, less engagement, and fewer “dumb wars in the Middle East.” Although Pompeo may trumpet steadfastness, the U.S. president can pivot on a dime.
The smart money is on disengagement from the region and anyone who thinks subsequent administrations will rush back in will probably be disappointed.
In filling that vacuum in Syria, expect the Russians, the Iranians and the Turks to rush in or stay in. They have kept their eyes on the prize; to them, it’s not just about Syria but the whole region.
. . . Europe must also understand the consequences of yielding significant Western influence in the region.
. . . More Russian territorial influence means less European territorial influence. More Chinese trade crowds out European trade. Iranian ideological expansion displaces Arab cultural norms. All mean “less Europe,” and certainly more instability.
. . . America’s departure will not be leaving the region to itself, but to a free-for-all for others. And to put it bluntly, the others may not (and probably do not) share the vision or values of the European experiment. If Europe is unwilling to “up its game” when the Americans withdraw, then it may find the only thing worse than U.S. hegemony is everything else
TRUMP THREAT TO ISRAEL
“The strategic reality facing the new chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, will depend largely on one factor – the political situation in the United States. More precisely, it will depend on the vagaries of U.S. President Donald Trump. At the outset of 2019, the Trump administration continues to convey uncertainty and instability. The amount of news generated by the president in one week, like this past one, is equivalent to several months’ worth with previous presidents.
“Trump hunkered down in the White House, telling interviewers that he hadn’t emerged in months, forgetting for a moment his frequent trips. He’s up to his neck in the crisis resulting from the government shutdown, continuing with his promises to build his wall on the Mexican border. But the latest crisis is only a symptom. The deluge of headlines in recent days included the following.
“The FBI investigation into Trump began right after he was sworn in two years ago, on suspicions he was a spy or acting on Russia’s behalf. There was a report he was considering an American withdrawal from NATO, an idea whose very mention sends shivers down the spines of strategic experts, Democrats and Republicans alike. There was also news of a secret plan initiated by the national security adviser, John Bolton, for attacking targets in Iran.” (“A wild card thousands of miles away,” by Amos Harel, Haaretz, January 18)
US-EUROPEAN TRADE WAR
“Transatlantic trump trading” was the title of today’s Brussels Briefing, by Jim Brunsden.
“Ideally trade negotiations between countries should begin on a note of hope: the desire to deepen economic ties, nurturing prosperity and friendship among their peoples.
But optimism and positivity are not the words that first come to mind when thinking about the talks about to start between the EU and US.
Brussels is expected today to publish its plans for negotiations with Washington that were conceived last year as a way to divert Donald Trump from initiating a full blown transatlantic trade war.”
Things aren’t looking good. Expect a full-blown trade war between the two trading superpowers.
The PM has pulled out of a scheduled appearance at Davos next weekend to handle her crisis at home. (Politico)
Mrs. May has ruled out any further delays on Brexit. Speaking with Holland’s PM, Mark Rutte, she convinced the PM that there would be no attempt to prolong Brexit beyond March 29th.
The Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbin, gave a strong anti-EU speech, finally making it clear where he stands on the issue.
Leo Varadkar, Irish Prime Minister, is a major obstacle to Brexit. Brexiteer Lord Lamont says that his refusal to amend the “Irish backstop” makes it impossible to reach agreement on other issues.
From Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail, 1/19/19:
“Current events in Britain’s Parliament are making politics in both Israel and America look positively sane and tranquil by comparison.
Around the world, jaws are dropping at the UK’s convulsions over leaving the European Union. This resembles not so much a divorce as an amputation without anesthetic using blunt knives and a broken saw, with the surgeons throwing punches across the operating table.
“This week, the deal struck between Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU over the Brexit terms was thrown out by an enormous majority in the House of Commons.
Although this was the largest prime ministerial defeat in British history, Mrs. May survived a motion of no-confidence the following evening.”
LA PUBLIC SCHOOLS STRIKE
LA teachers are on strike, demanding more pay and smaller classes. Sometimes, there are up to 35 pupils per class.
That’s definitely too many. By comparison, there are 26 in one of my grandchildren’s schools. The others are in the mid-twenties. Private schools keep theirs down to 20, which is why their children receive more attention.
One reason for the mess in Los Angeles is that the schools are overwhelmed by immigrants. One school reported on this week is 70% Hispanic, only 10% white.
It’s impossible for schools to keep up with the demand on their services.
Immigration is a major focus of Brexit – most people voted for Brexit because they wanted less European immigrants in the country. It’s the same thing here in the US – most people want to keep the country as it is, and not allow other cultures to dominate. Those at the bottom have to compete with new immigrants who are willing to work for less.
Theresa May continues to “pursue the east wind” (Hosea 12:1). If parliament approves her Brexit proposals, the United Kingdom will be a vassal state of the German-led European Union. The UK itself could also break up, losing Northern Ireland . Additionally, many Scots are agitating for independence, partly out of a desire to stay in the EU. Now Gibraltar has become a major point of contention.
The British Spectator magazine is still the best weekly read in the United Kingdom. Each week, the editor posts a “weekly highlights” column summarizing what’s inside each issue. Here’s the latest:
“The dust has settled on Theresa May’s Brexit deal – and it’s looking more dangerous than ever, says James Forsyth. Her deal means if Britain ever wants to move further from Europe, it’ll have to leave Northern Ireland behind. This choice, between sovereignty or the union, could tear her party apart. But what about the deal itself? Martin Howe QCgives the legal verdict: it’s not bad, he says – it’s atrocious. MPs who say we can change it later haven’t read the small print. In his diary, Jacob Rees-Moggrules himself out of the Tory leadership race and (almost) suggests Boris.” (The Spectator Weekly Highlights, Fraser Nelson, 11/22)
Controversy over the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar could scupper the EU/UK summit this weekend. The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, says the country will veto any deal unless Spain has a say in the colony’s future.
Gibraltar has been a British territory since 1713 when it was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Utrecht. It has been British longer than it was ever Spanish. In the past, it has been a vital military base, for the British Royal Navy and allied navies.
Successive Spanish governments have been demanding the “return” of Gibraltar. A big obstacle to that is the fact that 96% of Gibraltar’s 35,000 inhabitants want to remain British. A recent complication, giving Spain an opportunity, is that the same percentage voted to remain in the EU in the British referendum held over two years ago. This does not mean that the Gibraltarians have changed their minds on continued association with the UK; that comes first.
The Spanish are being hypocritical, a fact that the British government seems reluctant to point out. Spain itself has two overseas territories across the water in North Africa. Ceuta and Mellila are two Spanish enclaves claimed by Morocco.
Spain won’t budge on this issue – why should they expect the British to do otherwise?
At the same time, it should be pointed out that Spain is ignoring the referendum result on independence in the Spanish region of Catalonia.
European governments don’t take much notice of democracy – unless, of course, the result is to their liking.
The 2016 UK referendum on EU membership did not go as expected; so now demands are being made for a second referendum. This is an old trick. It shows how undemocratic European leaders are, including the Spanish prime minister.
Latest news: Late Saturday, after Britain made concessions on Gibraltar, Spain withdrew its objections – until next time. The EU can now go ahead and vote on the Brexit proposals. The British parliament will vote in a few days. Expect more compromise — by the UK, not the EU!
RIOTING IN PARIS OVER SECOND WEEKEND
While the price of oil is falling, it’s actually going up in France. This has led to demonstrations in Paris. The problem is not petrol – it’s the government. When governments decide the price of anything, it’s easy to add on yet another tax.
Michigan, whose first European settlement was founded by a Frenchman, Jacques Marquette, over three centuries ago, should learn a lesson here. Our new Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, promises to fix the roads. Expect a higher fuel tax. One way or another, the people will have to pay higher taxes. What’s happening to the gas taxes we’re already paying?
“The Michigan Capitol Confidential is now reporting that a large part of our gas tax is going towards paying down previous debt incurred by the Engler and Granholm administrations. This debt to improve our roads and bridges started accruing back in 1989. Apparently both Governors John Engler, a Republican and Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, promoted these major debt initiatives to improve our roads and bridges back then only for others to pay for it later; that later is today.
“Apparently each year taxes collected to improve our roads and bridges are used to pay interest and principal of that previous debt in the amount of approximately $200 million.
“To put that number in perspective let us look at the current fiscal year. In this current fiscal year, $206.0 million of the taxes Michigan spends on roads will go to repay principal and interest on this debt, according to a House Fiscal Agency memo. That means that the $206 million in gas tax will not go to improve our roads or bridges. The state tax increase that as I stated above added about seven cents to the price of a gallon of gas, starting last January 1, 2017, was projected to generate an additional $313 million for road repairs this year. Which really translates into only an additional $107 million going towards improving our infrastructure, unless they continue to fund the infrastructure improvements at the previous rate plus the additional $313 million.”
In a similar way, our property taxes are almost $500 a year higher as our township has to pay off past debt. This is set to get worse as a settlement was agreed with a teen’s family, following his shooting death at the hands of a policeman. The settlement runs into the millions and has to be paid by somebody.
The problem with debt is that it won’t go away. Eventually, it has to be repaid. Just wait until the $22 trillion federal debt falls due!
It’s not just government that is in debt. Black Friday will likely see millions added to the national private debt load. People are addicted to over-spending.
It’s not surprising that a survey this week showed Americans love money more than people (family and friends). People and God came in second and third place.
King Solomon, one of the wealthiest men in history, wrote the following advice 3,000 years ago. These words of wisdom remain valid today.
“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;
Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.
This also is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10; NKJV)
In a new program, Macron’s government is offering Arabic lessons in France’s public schools to children as young as six years old, purportedly to facilitate integration.
French authorities seem to ignore that the vast majority of terrorists from France have been French citizens, who spoke a perfect French and, unlike their parents, were born in France. They were perfectly “integrated.” They rejected it.
(“The Fracturing of France,” Giulio Meotti, Gatestone, 11/24)
HILLARY CLINTON WAKES UP
Perhaps because she was defeated at the polls by a populist, Mrs. Clinton, 2016 Democratic candidate for the presidency, finally sees the connection between the immigration invasion and populism.
“Europe’s leaders need to send a much stronger message that they will no longer offer “refuge and support” to migrants if they want to curb the right-wing populism spreading across the Continent, Hillary Clinton warned in an interview published Thursday.
‘Mrs. Clinton said that while the decision of some nations to welcome migrants was admirable, it had opened the door to political turmoil, the rise of the right and Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union.
“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Mrs. Clinton said in the interview with The Guardian, which was conducted before the United States midterm elections this month.
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message — ‘we are not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support’ — because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic,” she said.” (“Hillary Clinton says Europe must ‘get a handle’ on migration to thwart populism,” Matt Stevens, NYT, 11/22)
Does this mean that Mrs Clinton will no longer support the Democrats when it comes to illegal immigration? Not likely — most illegals eventually vote for the welfare party!
US LEADING THE CHARGE AGAINST UN MIGRATION AGENDA
“Under the Trump administration, the U.S. is leading the charge in pushing back against the U.N.’s migration agenda — in a move that is picking up support from other countries and giving political cover to those seeking to join them.” (Fox News, 11/23)
DON’T TELL THE TRUTH!
“The European Court of Human Rights ruled on October 25 that to state that the Islamic prophet Muhammad “liked to do it with children” and “… A 56-year-old and a six-year-old?… What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?” goes “beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate,” and could be classified as “an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace.” (Judith Bergman, Gatestone, 11/23)
PAGANS OUTNUMBER PRESBYTERIANS IN US
In headlines across the country, we are now being treated to the fact that modern-day witches outnumber Presbyterians in the United States. We’ve gone from a nation where our founding revolution was referred to as “The Presbyterian Revolt” by the British, to a nation where millennials are only able to construct political arguments based on Harry Potter – a fictional boy wizard invented by a British children’s author.
What did everyone expect to happen when they abandoned the founding faith of our nation? People would just become shiny secular atheists who use reason and logic to rule their lives?
Pew Research reports that the number of practicing pagans, witches or “Wiccans” now totals 1.5 million in America, compared to 1.4 million Presbyterians. These modern-day witches are noted for their adherence to radical feminism, political Marxism, and worshiping trees and plants in the forest to unlock their “higher selves.” (In fairness, a lot of Presbyterian Church-USA sermons are indistinguishable from this.) (“Paganism outstripping Christianity in America,” Christian Patriot Daily)
Bible prophecy is focused on the Middle East and Europe. There’s a lot happening in the latter right now, as the following news items show. Poland’s holocaust denial is likely to be followed by other European countries given time, as a new generation takes over and does not want to be blamed for the sins of their fathers.
“Watch therefore and pray always.” (Luke 21:36)
A few years ago, I visited Auschwitz and Krakow in Poland. I remember asking the tour guide about Polish involvement in the Holocaust. He admitted that many Poles had aided the Nazis in rounding up the Jews and worked in the camps, helping the Nazis in killing Jews.
The upper house of the Polish parliament has now made it illegal to say such things. Revisionist history now says that Poles played no role in the Holocaust. Note the following from the Wall Street Journal:
“Poland’s parliament passed a libel bill imposing jail sentences for accusing the Polish population for collaborating in the Holocaust or other war crimes, sparking concerns from Israel and the United States that a close ally was limiting free expression and flirting with anti-Semitism.
“American and Israeli diplomats condemned the legislation, passed by the upper house of the country’s legislature on Thursday which would set up to three year’s imprisonment for blaming the wartime murder of roughly six million Jews on the Polish state or people.” (“Poland pushes controversial libel law,” Wall St Journal, 2/2/18)
Under the new legislation, it will become illegal to write or talk about ‘Polish death camps.’
In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Alan M. Dershowitz of Harvard University, wrote the article: “Poland seeks to censor history.” Here’s a paragraph from the article:
“True, the Germans built Auschwitz and other death camps on Polish soil. But the Germans could not have murdered the Polish Jews, and millions of other Europeans imported to death camps in Poland, without the active assistance of many Poles in identifying and rounding up victims. This complicity was incited by generations of anti-Semitic church sermons. Poles also murdered Jews during and after the German occupation – including in the Jedwabne pogrom in July 1941 and in Kielce in July 1946.”
Merkel warns of rising anti-Semitism on Holocaust remembrance day (AFP / 27 January 2018)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of rising anti-Semitism in her country on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling the need to protect Jewish buildings “shameful.” “It is inconceivable and shameful that no Jewish institution can exist without police protection, whether it is a school, a kindergarten or a synagogue,” she said. The chancellor also reaffirmed her support of creating the position of anti-Semitism commissioner in the next German government, if her party can finalize tortuous negotiations to forge a coalition. The commissioner would be appointed to counter growing hate speech against Jews and Israel in German from both its home-grown far-right and some recent migrants in the Muslim community.
‘Verbal attacks have become part of everyday Jewish life in Germany’
The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany argued in an interview that much more educational work needs to be done in schools to combat anti-Semitism. (25 January 2018 / The Local Germany)
Dr. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews, spoke with the founder of the initiative Faces of Democracy, Sven Lilienström, about the importance of German democracy, Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and modern anti-Semitism in Germany. Surveys have shown for decades that about 20 to 25 percent of the population have anti-Jewish resentment. However, these attitudes have been articulated more openly for some time now. The internet plays a major role here. In the social networks we find a verbal lack of inhibition which is dangerous, especially on the far-right of the political spectrum. Therefore, it is good that the Network Enforcement Act now provides an instrument to better prevent “hate speech.”
Unfortunately, however, an anti-Israeli attitude is also spreading in society. It is then no longer a matter of factual criticism of Israel, but Israel’s right to exist is called into question, or Jews in general are held liable for the policies of the Israeli government. That’s anti-Semitism.
The former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, has expressed her concern at the fact that the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has entered the German Bundestag. “It pains me that a party that tolerates not just historical misrepresentation and anti-Semitism but also racism, far-right extremism and populist nationalism in its ranks was able to become the third-strongest in Germany,” Knobloch told the Passauer Neue Presse in an interview published on Saturday for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “Here, an anti-modern, anti-democratic and anti-liberal destructive power is at work that challenges the prevailing collective consensus” formed on the basis of the lessons of history, Knobloch said. Knobloch also warned of what she described as a “very strong and very aggressive” form of anti-Semitism present among Muslims living in Germany and called on Muslim associations and institutions to combat radical elements in their own communities. (http://www.dw.com/)
Son of Nazi leader’s warning about Germany — HARDtalk interviews Niklas Frank, son of Hans Frank, brutal Nazi Governor of Poland executed for war crimes
Germany could return to authoritarianism if the economic conditions were to seriously worsen in the country, the son of Hans Frank the governor general of Nazi occupied Poland during World War Two, has told BBC Hardtalk. “As long as our economy is great, and as long as we make money everything is very democratic,” said Niklas Frank, but “if we have five to 10 years heavy economic problems the swamp is a lake, and is a sea and will swallow again, everything,” he added.
Niklas Frank said he “despises” his father for the crimes he committed while he was governor-general of Poland from 1939 to 1945, and tours Germany giving speeches about his father and the legacy of the Nazi era. Hans Frank was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and executed in 1946. (Released: 25 April 2017)
Germany’s push for EU army: Merkel developing networks with EU members for military union
Germany has been pushing for greater military co-operation amongst European Union member states, setting up a network between the Bundeswehr and other Brussels partners. (29 Dec 2017 * Express UK)
German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been working on establishing the groundwork for an European Union army, in particular developing a network of co-operation between troops from Germany and others from countries that are part of Pesco – Permanent Structured Co-operation. The bloc comprises 25 EU countries with only Denmark, Malta and the UK remaining outside. The move largely comprises of co-operation in training the troops, with the Bundeswehr training a number of soldiers from various EU countries and similarly, German troops visit their counterparts. But the plan does not just comprise the army but also the navy and air force. The aim is deeper European integration in defence, which could already be realised ahead of the aims of Pesco. The German Ministry of Defence has said it is open to the creation of a single EU academy for its military elite but there has been no firm commitment to such a project due to concerns that Germany could end up paying the bulk of the cost to train soldiers from around the bloc. . . . The move by Ms. von der Leyen comes after Brussels announced EU military cooperation is a now a “tangible reality” after signing off a huge new project . . . The European Defence Fund has received its first grant from the bloc for a €1million research programme called Pythia. Named after the Priestess of Ancient Delphi, Pythia will see countries including France and Italy join forces to research cutting-edge military technology. The UK also forms part of the programme, despite leaving the bloc in 2019, alongside Bulgaria, Poland and Romania. A further €90million will be dished out from the EU budget in the next two years as Brussels chiefs look to strengthen military ties across the bloc.
Austrian right-wing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz welcomes Hungary’s Orban, says tensions have grown in the EU since the migrant crisis. (AFP•January 30, 2018)
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Tuesday that he aimed to ease east-west tensions within the European Union, as his new right-wing government welcomed Hungary’s incendiary Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna. “In particular since the start of the migrant crisis (in 2015) tensions have grown in the European Union,” Kurz told a joint news conference with Orban in the Austrian capital. “Our great aim in Austria is to be a bridge-builder in this respect between the Visegrad states and the countries in western Europe,” the 31-year-old conservative said.
. . . A rift has emerged in recent years between Brussels and the Visegrad group of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia — and in particular with Warsaw and Budapest. A sweeping revamp of state institutions by the nationalist governments in both countries have raised worries about the rule of law, judicial independence and media freedom. Both have been the subject of legal action by the European Commission and they have refused to take part in a scheme to share out migrants around the 28-nation bloc.
. . . Orban has called immigration the “Trojan Horse of terrorism” and earlier this month called migrants “Muslim invaders” of a Christian Europe. “The biggest danger today to the hopeful future of central Europe is migration of peoples,” Orban told the news conference with Kurz on Tuesday. “When I say that the future needs to be protected I mean that we have a culture, a Christian culture . . . We have a way of life, and we want to protect this way of life,” Orban said.
“215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution” around the world, according to Open Doors, a human rights organization. On its recently released World Watch List 2018, which ranks the world’s 50 worst nations wherein to be Christian, 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 abducted, and 1,020 raped or sexually harassed on account of their faith; and 793 churches were attacked or destroyed.
The Islamic world had the lion’s share of this persecution; 38 of the 50 worst nations are Muslim-majority. The report further cites “Islamic oppression” behind the “extreme persecution” that prevails in eight of the 10 worst nations. In short, the overwhelming majority of persecution that these 215 million Christians experience around the world — especially the worst forms, such as rape and murder — occurs at the hands of Muslims.” (215 million Christians persecuted – mostly by Muslims,” Raymond Ibrahim, MEF, 1/21)
REAL PROBLEM WITH MIDEAST PEACE TALKS
The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has not been an Israeli refusal to concede, or an American unwillingness to bend: it has been the ongoing Palestinian rejection of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. (E.J. Kimball, The Daily Caller, Middle East Forum, 2/2)
“Idlib province is home to a wide range of groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. His efforts to crush rebels there come after the government successfully reasserted control over large parts of the country, thanks to firepower from the regime’s Russian and Iranian allies. But the offensive on Idlib is moving into risky territory, with foreign powers maneuvering in proximity to each other as alliances that used to fight Islamic State fray.” (“Syrian Offensive strains foreign powers”, WSJ, 2/5/18).
HOLOCAUST DENIAL — 2
In a TV interview, Egyptian historian and Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa downplayed the Holocaust, saying that the figure of six million Jews killed was “disputed among historians” and that “at the time, there weren’t six million Jews in the world.” “How come nobody talks about the ‘counter Holocaust’? he asked, claiming that after Hitler’s defeat, “the Jews in Europe captured the Germans, put them in camps, and started to kill them.” The interview aired on the Egyptian Mehwar TV channel on December 17, 2017. (MEMRI)
All that matters is immigration…
Republicans who treat immigration as a backburner issue should be required to run on the issues they consider more important — in California. See how your arguments fare in a state that’s already been transformed by immigration. That’s your new country. (Steynonline)
How stupid do you have to be to carry on about taxes, defense spending, ISIS, abortion or the Ten Commandments while intentionally losing on the one issue that will determine the outcome of all these other issues? Too stupid to be of any real help. (Ann Coulter, January 2018)
In Germany, 47% of Muslims believe Sharia is more important than German law. In Sweden, 52% of Muslims believe that Sharia is more important than Swedish law.
The studies are supported by European intelligence reports. In Germany, intelligence agencies warned in the early fall of 2015 that, “We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law.”
A recent Belgian study, in which 4,734 Belgians were polled, showed that two-thirds of Belgians feel that their nation is being “increasingly invaded.”
(Europe: Making Islam Great Again. Gatestone 2/3)
Special Dispatch No. 7305
Former Basij Commander Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi: ‘The European Continent Is Gradually Giving Way To The Asiatic And African Genes; In The Next Century, They’ll Have To Look For The European Gene In Museums’
THE COST OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION By Ruthie Blum, Gatestone 2/5/18
“At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens.” — Matt O’Brien and Spencer Raley
It is also rather more than the single payment of $25 billion that it will cost to build a wall — five and a half times more, and every year.
“Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes. . . . ” — John R. Lott.
In 2015, included in the DEA’s drug-threat assessment was the fact that drug overdoses killed more people in the United States than car accidents or guns. Many of these drugs [were] smuggled in large volumes by drug cartels.”
An Italian man went on a shooting spree in the central town of Macerata, wounding six African immigrants before getting out of his car and doing the fascist salute, police said.
“The 28-year-old suspect drove through Macerata on Saturday, shooting in an area where police had arrested a Nigerian man suspected of killing an 18-year-old Italian woman, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.” (WSJ, 3/5)
BERLUSCONI WANTS TO DEPORT 600,000 IMMIGRANTS
Silvio Berlusconi has pledged to deport 600,000 illegal immigrants from Italy should his centre-right coalition enter government after elections on 4 March, as tensions simmer over the shooting of six Africans by a far-right extremist on Saturday.
The 81-year-old rightwing former prime minister said in a TV interview that immigration was a “social bomb ready to explode in Italy” and that the shooting in Macerata posed a security problem.
“Immigration has become an urgent question, because after years with a leftwing government, there are 600,000 migrants who don’t have the right to stay,” said Berlusconi. “We consider it to be an absolute priority to regain control over the situation.”
Berlusconi’s Forza Italia has forged an alliance with two far-right parties, the Northern League and the smaller Brothers of Italy, for the elections. (The Guardian, 2/5)
We’re back from Indianapolis after delivering one of our cats to our daughter and family. We stayed three nights, to see the family and for the cat to get adjusted to her new situation.
I offered to go get some cat food, but our daughter and granddaughters would not allow me near the pet food aisle after my last blog!
I don’t know what it is but whenever I visit them I go into “vacation mode” – I don’t feel like doing anything. I just want to relax. This is not fair to them. We help take care of three (sometimes, five) grandchildren in Lansing; then have four when we visit Indy.
Our family Sunday ended up being a day in front of the television with our granddaughters who introduced us to the British series “Father Brown,” available on Netflix. It was actually quite good, though some things did irritate me. For example, whenever the priest prayed in Latin, the closed-caption subtitles simply said: “Prays in a foreign language.” Don’t most people know that Latin has been the lingua franca of the Catholic church for almost 2,000 years?
Family members are all trying to be healthier, which meant no junk in the house. If I had remembered that, I would have taken some goodies to nibble between meals. I was so hungry, at one point I called our daughter in Lansing and said: “Can you come down immediately and bring some food?” I was just being humorous – it’s a 4+ hour drive; and I could have gone to a local grocery store if I thought I might expire.
Mike, our son-in-law, is a very good cook and the food was excellent. I decided to join the healthy eating and then continue it at home, which is what I’m now doing. I feel better already. I’ve had no indigestion for a week and feel more energetic. The dog food last week probably helped.
It was really nice to have a break from everything, including world news.
BACK TO MORE REALITY
The terror attack in New York on Tuesday is a reminder of the constant threat to our lives that emanates from radical Islam. It’s also a constant reminder of how hopeless our governments are – they keep letting in Muslims en masse, trying to claim that “Islam is a peaceful religion that has been hijacked by extremists.”
Trump called immediately for Congress to abolish the Diversity Visa Waiver program. This is a lottery that enables 50,000 people a year from usually poor and backward countries to enter the United States. They may then sponsor their relatives and friends to enter the US. Tuesday’s murderer brought in 23 over 15 years. Most of these people go straight to the bottom of our economic ladder, competing for jobs with low income Americans.
(Do the math. If one man brought in 23, multiply 50,000 x 23 = 1, 150,000 people per year. That’s in addition to the one million plus who get a visa the normal way.)
President Trump immediately called on Congress to change the law. That’s commendable. The law needs to be changed. But, then, why didn’t he react the same after the Las Vegas mass shooting? Changes to the law are desperately needed.
It’s been over twenty years since the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, Australia. 35 people were killed in a little over half an hour. The conservative prime minister, John Howard, immediately called on parliament to pass tough controls on assault weapons.
“Twelve days after the Port Arthur massacre, the Australian prime minister, John Howard, announced a sweeping package of gun reforms in a country where firearms had long been considered an essential prop in the national mythology of life in the bush.
“At that stage the gun lobby was the ruling lobby in Australia,” says Philip Alpers, associate professor at the University of Sydney. “What happened at Port Arthur is that they were outpaced, outflanked and outwitted by a man who had the power to move in 12 remarkable days.”
“Tim Fischer was leader of the National party and Howard’s deputy prime minister in the Coalition government, charged with persuading skeptical country voters to support, or at least accept, reforms. “Port Arthur was our Sandy Hook,” he says. “Port Arthur we acted on. The USA is not prepared to act on their tragedies.” (The Guardian 14th March 2016).
The Sandy Hook massacre of kindergarten children took place on December 14th, 2012. Congress did not pass any laws following the deaths of 26 people, including 19 children. If the country could not make any changes after the deaths of so many young children, it’s doubtful they will ever come.
President Trump and others reacted to the Las Vegas shootings by saying, “Now is not the time to discuss gun control.”
Then, when will it be the time? Immigration policies make the situation worse – the killer at Virginia Tech ten years ago was from South Korea. The Boston Marathon killings were also the work of new arrivals.
Changes can be made without encroaching on the Second Amendment, which says:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Today, the US definitely has a “well regulated militia,” so America’s needs have changed. At the same time, people do have a right to defend themselves. There’s a balance. It’s time for a national debate.
On the highly successful Australian TV show, “Janet King,” Janet, a senior employee of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS; sometimes referred to as “Crownies”), is appointed by the country’s Governor-General to head a royal commission into gun violence. It’s time the United States had a presidential commission to look into mass casualty gun violence, with the remit that it report back to the president and the public within twelve months, making recommendations to effectively reduce gun violence.
NEW ZEALAND MAKES THE NEWS
Before we leave the Antipodes, New Zealand has a new, radical prime minister.
Jacinda Ardern is only 37 and the third female leader of the country. She wants to restrict immigration into New Zealand – one of her first acts was to ban the sale of homes to people living outside of the country. She is a left-wing republican, meaning she would like to end NZ’s relationship with the Crown thereby giving greater power to the politicians, of which she is the chief! Interestingly, she is also a former Mormon who has strong views on churches that encourage families to shun former believers like herself; she left the church over its anti-homosexual stance.
QUOTE: “President Xi (of China) believes that America is in steep decline and China rising in a power game that will define our century” (Carrie Gracie, China Editor, BBC News, 11/2). President Trump is about to visit China.
Today, November 2nd, is the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in London to commemorate the celebration, boycotted by the anti-semitic socialist Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn.
The famous Balfour Declaration was announced in the middle of World War I by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, at a time when Great Britain was the dominant power in the world. It committed His Majesty’s Government to establish in Palestine a home for the Jewish people. It was one of the most important documents of the twentieth century and a major fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It led directly to the establishment of a Jewish nation in the Middle East, the country now called Israel.
An independent Jewish nation had not been in existence since Roman times. The Roman Jewish province of Judea rebelled against Rome in 66 AD. The Romans crushed the Jewish Revolt in 70 AD, destroying much of Jerusalem in the process. The Jews rebelled again from 132 AD-135 AD. Once again, the Romans crushed the revolt. This time, the Jews dispersed to other parts of the Roman Empire and beyond. For almost two millennia, they did not have their own country. But scriptures made it clear that the Jews would be back in their homeland, called Judah in the Bible (the Jews were only one of the twelve tribes of Israel).
Zechariah was a prophet 2,500 years ago. His Old Testament book is a Millennial prophecy about the Second Coming of the Messiah. Judah figures quite prominently in events at the time immediately prior to Christ’s Return.
Note Zechariah 12:2-3 – “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
And Zechariah 14:2-4 – “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
The last verse is clearly still in the future. Jerusalem, Judah, revived after almost 2,000 years is once again a central point of geographical contention, with neighboring nations and tribes wanting to destroy the country. As if perpetually drunk, they desperately try to destroy her, so far not succeeding.
Five days after the Balfour Declaration, Russia had a second revolution. Earlier in the year, the Czarist regime had fallen and was replaced by a parliamentary system. Elections were scheduled for later in the year. Two weeks before the election, the Bolsheviks (communists) staged a coup on November 7th that overthrew the interim government of Alexander Kerensky. They proclaimed the world’s first communist state. It brought seven decades of misery to the country, with despotic leaders that made the czars look like Sunday school teachers. Communism has gone, but the country remains a dictatorship, though claiming to be a democracy.
The Bolshevik Revolution was the second revolution of 1917; there was an earlier revolution in 1905, which led to the establishment of the Duma (parliament) but still left the czar with ultimate power and authority. Russia’s parliament today is also called the Duma and is the people’s assembly. However, some would say that Vladimir Putin is a new Czar, with all the power and authority.
500th ANNIVERSARY OF PROTESTANT REFORMATION
Tuesday was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg church in Germany. We should all be thankful to Martin Luther. He had the courage to stand up to the Church of Rome, ending the monopoly the Church had in western Europe. All churches today owe their freedom to Luther.
I watched a two-hour documentary on PBS recently about Martin Luther and the Reformation. He is considered the greatest theologian of all time, due to the fact that he wrote more books and articles on the Bible than anybody else. He also translated the scriptures into German.
Later in life, asked to sum up his writings, he replied: “God forgives.” That was of paramount importance to Luther, who struggled all his life with sin, as we all do. Hearing that, I thought about all the churches that have come out of Luther, directly or indirectly. Many have one thing in common – they can’t forgive. How ironic.
VISIT TO NOAH’S ARK
Earlier in the month, we were in Cincinnati, Ohio. A group of us, including four of our grandchildren, took the opportunity to visit Noah’s Ark, which is just over the state line in Kentucky. It’s well worth a visit, if only to get a better idea of the size of the original ark. This replica is built according to biblical specifications.
I’m very thankful that the enterprising Australian behind this project was inspired to build the Ark (and the Creation Museum nearby). More and more people are biblically illiterate, so it’s good that somebody has kept the story alive. I found the wall plaques explaining everything interesting, but I do not agree with his theory that the earth is only 6,000 years old.
We had been told to allow three hours for our visit. With two 5-year-old twin boys, we went through quite quickly, in exactly two hours. We left early — because it was raining!!!
The following evening we had a group of Barbadians over for dinner. Wonderful people. They had actually come from Barbados to visit the Ark. They are also Young Earthers, believing in the 6,000 years. We agreed to disagree and still remain friends. That’s the way it should be.
I’ve been asked why I quote so often from the Daily Express and Daily Mail newspapers, two Conservative British tabloids.
The answer is quite simple: they have the best web sites. Check them out sometime.
The Guardian and Independent, more intellectual papers, are constantly asking for money whenever I check their sites; whereas the Times, the Telegraph and the Financial Times make very little available.
The biggest problem with the two papers I use is that they often sensationalize news items.
I will try to find alternative sources, but, realistically I will have to use them occasionally as I don’t have the funds to pay for subscriptions to the more highbrow papers; and they have to request money as they have smaller circulations.
(This blog is a fully independent blog that has no connection to any church or secular organization. It was started to keep people informed on international affairs in light of the scriptures. Financial support comes from myself and readers who graciously donate to help cover costs.)
"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened." — Sir Winston Churchill