Tag Archives: slavery

CROSSING THE LINE

We Just Crossed the Line Debt Hawks Warned Us About for Decades

21 Aug 2020, DNYUZ – At the end of last year, the United States was about $17 trillion in debt — roughly 80 percent of the gross domestic product.  In January, government analysts predicted that debt would approach 100 percent of the G.D.P. around 2030.  But by the end of June, the debt stood at $20.53 trillion, or roughly 106 percent of G.D.P., which shrank amid widespread stay-at-home orders.  (These numbers don’t count trillions more the government owes itself in bonds held by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.)  That more than 25 percentage-point surge would represent the largest annual leap in American indebtedness since Alexander Hamilton founded the nation’s credit in the 1790s, outpacing even the debt growth at the peak of World War II, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office.  And it’s not over yet.  (https://dnyuz.com/2020/08/21/we-just-crossed-the-line-debt-hawks-warnedusaboutfordecades)

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Allister Heath in The Daily Telegraph on a vicious circle of higher taxes — Britain is about to be sucked into a catastrophic economic doom loop

“For the first time in years, I’m turning bearish on Britain.   Our economy, trashed by Covid and the lockdown, is about to be sucked into a catastrophic doom loop, with no escape hatch.   Forget about a V-shaped recovery:   the future is a truncated square root, with years of stagnant growth to follow a partial rebound next year.   We are leaving the EU, but are set for Eurozone-style semi-stagnation. It’s a tragedy.   Why such negativity?   Savage tax increases of a kind ordinarily associated with Left-wing governments now seem almost inevitable, and I fear that one entire plank of what should have been the Johnsonian renewal agenda – supply-side, pro-growth tax relief – will never materialize.  Remember how Boris Johnson talked about raising the threshold for the higher income tax rate to £80,000 during his leadership campaign (though it was omitted from his manifesto)?

Or the inspirational way in which he cited Ibn Khaldun, the true father of supply-side economics?

. . .  All of this now sounds like ancient history, pledges from a world that has disappeared forever.”  (Daily Telegraph, 8/20/2020)

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COVID-19 HAS IMMOBILIZED THE WORLD

“Planes are grounded, borders are closed, people are hunkered down at home.   Every country has restricted travel because of the coronavirus – issuing more than 65,000 rules in total.   Some countries are starting to open up but it will be a long time before people can globetrot as freely as before.

“For tourists who have to take a domestic holiday instead of a glamorous foreign one, global immobility is annoying.   For would-be migrants, it can be life-shattering.   Millions who would have set off to start a new life this year cannot.   Workers who might have quadrupled their wages will remain poor.   Students who might have stretched their minds on foreign campuses will stay at home.

“Ten of millions of migrants who have already moved now face deportation, having lost their job, according to the International Labor Organization.   Millions have gone home to places like the Philippines, India and Ukraine.  Millions more are stranded, sometimes in crowded conditions that foster the spread of the virus.

“Locals are not always sympathetic.  Malaysia, which used to welcome Muslim Rohingya refugees, has started pushing their vessels back into the sea.  Italy has stepped up efforts to turn back boatloads of Africans.   A Kuwaiti actress suggested that migrant workers, who are 70% of the labor force in Kuwait, be thrown into the dessert to free up space in hospitals.”  (“Tearing up the welcome mat,” The Economist, 8/1/2020)

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POST-COVID IN THE US

  • “Television viewing has increased to 41 hours/week on average (up almost 30%).
  • Americans spend twice as much money online shopping since the pandemic began.
  • For eight consecutive weeks, beer sales have topped $1billion – the highest ever.
  • Cigarette smoking has made a comeback during the pandemic.
  • Video game usage has increased 50%.
  • Unhealthy sleep patterns have emerged for 67% of Americans.
  • And 76% of Americans have gained weight from mid-March – up to 16 pounds so far.”

(“A loving Nudge toward healthier habits,” The Epoch Times, 8/12/2020)

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Virginia to Issue Statewide Mandate for COVID-19 Vaccine

For some time now, Americans have maintained concerns about forced “mandatory” vaccination.  This is one reason why face mask mandates have been met with so much resistance. It turns out that these concerns have merit.  A new report confirms that Dr. Norman Oliver, the Virginia Commissioner of Health, will be imposing a statewide mandate for all Virginia residents to take the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.

Oliver also maintained that he’s opposed to possible legislation that would allow Virginians to opt-out of the vaccination for religious reasons.

However, others, like Dr. Fauci, have stated that the government cannot force the general public to take a vaccine.   Many Americans have called mandatory vaccinations unconstitutional, stating that people in this country have the right to decline the vaccine for religious reasons.

Last month, doctors penned a USA Today op-ed calling for compulsory vaccination for all Americans, stating that those who refuse should face “severe penalties” and be denied access to tax benefits, services, transportation, employment, etc.   The op-ed was later edited to soften some of the language, yet the overall message remains the same.

(https://www.rightwingheadlines.com/virginia-to-issue-statewide-mandate-for-covid-19-vaccine/)

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TV NEWS OVERWHELMINGLY ONE-SIDED

“Evening news has aired a plethora of negative stories against President Donald Trump while virtually ignoring presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a study found.

“NewsBusters, a project of watchdog Media Research Center, analyzed ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts from June 1st through July 31st.   Analysts found that the shows spent 512 minutes of airtime on Trump, nine times more than the 58 minutes they allotted to Biden.

“But that extra airtime was almost entirely negative toward Trump.

“Analysts at the center found 634 of 668 evaluative statements about the president were negative, compared to 4 of 12 for Biden.”

(“Broadcasters air 150 times more negative news on Trump than Biden:   Study,” Zachary Stieber, Epoch Times, 8/19/2020).

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Europe’s Geopolitical Awakening — The Pandemic Rouses a Sleeping Giant                                                                                                                   by Max Bergmann, August 20, 2020, Foreign Affairs (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2020-08-20/europes-geopolitical-awakening)

 Europe has been a geopolitical nonentity since the 1990s.  With the largest economy in the world, 450 million people, and defense spending comparable to Russia’s, the continent could be a colossus. Yet Europe has never come close to equaling the combined clout of its constituent countries.  Beset by chronic economic, political, and institutional limitations and crises, the European Union has for the last three decades exerted remarkably little influence on global affairs.   Europe’s most powerful member states, meanwhile, have either seen their sway diminish, as France has, or, like Germany, resisted taking up the mantle of international leadership.

(Now, suddenly, Europe is stirring . . .   Introduction to article in Foreign Affairs)

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JAPAN MAY CHANGE CONSTITUTION

Tokyo:  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing some of the toughest challenges of his record-setting tenure, with persistent flare-ups of the coronavirus, an economy mired in recession and a public fed up with his government’s handling of the crises.

Yet his administration is focusing on a different threat, one that lines up with a long-running preoccupation: the prospect of ballistic missile attacks by North Korea or China.

This month, Abe’s political party began publicly considering whether the country should acquire weapons capable of striking missile launch sites in enemy territory if an attack appeared imminent.

Such a capacity would be unremarkable for most world powers. But for Japan, which on Saturday commemorated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II — and 75 years of renouncing combat — the proposal is fraught. In considering loosening restrictions on the ability to attack targets in other countries, the party has revived a protracted and politically sensitive debate.

The discussion is taking place as Japan finds itself caught between China, whose rising military aggression has reverberated across Asia, and the US, whose once-ironclad commitment to guaranteeing the region’s security has come into question.

(“A missile proposal is challenging Japan’s vow to renounce war,” Motoko Rich, Sydney Morning Herald, 8/20/2020)

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VIOLENT CRIME SET TO RISE WITH DEFUNDING

“After the Lansing Police Department lost 36 officers in the summer of 2011 due to city budget cuts, reports of vehicle thefts, violent crime and rape significantly increased.   From 2012 to 2013, both rapes and vehicle thefts rose 38%, according to 2013 FBI data.   Violent crime rose 12%.   In fact, 2012 and 2013 saw the biggest increase in violent crime, rape, motor vehicle theft and robbery since at least 2008.

“Although 2011 crime levels were down overall, violent crime jumped the next year.

“Lansing Police Chief (African-American) Daryl Green said that data is a sign of what’s to come if the Lansing City Council moves forward on a proposal that, if passed, could cut funding to the department by 50% over the next five years.

“It’s extremely reckless to use a national cookie-cutter strategy to abolish the police department.   To think reducing the police department budget by 50% will improve public safety in the city of Lansing is fundamentally flawed,” Green said.   “(In 2012) . . . we paid for it dearly.”

City Council Member Brandon Betz’s defunding proposal came after calls from protesters, activists and Black Lives Matter Lansing to defund the police department and reinvest in resources that support communities of color.”   (“Violent crime rose after ’11 budge cuts”, Kara Berg, Lansing State Journal, 8/24/2020).

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WHO ARE NEW GUN BUYERS?

“Those working in the gun industry and gun owners themselves say the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is spurring increased interest in gun ownership.   Some firearm owners believe the upcoming presidential election and the need to assert gun rights contribute, too.

“In the midst of these changes, gun owners are becoming more diverse.   Nearly 15% of those who bought guns during the first six months of the year are Black, an increase of more than 50%, according to a survey from the trade organization National Shooting Sports Foundation.

“The survey of the foundation’s members also found that between mid-March and May, women accounted for over 40% of their customers.

“Gun sales are up around the country.   Gun retailers saw a 95% increase in firearm sales and a 139% increase in ammunition sales in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2019, according to National Shooting Sports Foundation.”   (Grand Ledge Independent, 8/23/2020)

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TRUMP HIGHLIGHTS PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

According to President Donald Trump, Christians in the Middle East are being treated in a manner that is “beyond disgraceful;” Christianity is being “treated horribly and very unfairly, and it’s criminal.”

He said this during his August 13 news conference, in response to the question, “How does the accord today between Israel and the UAE help struggling and persecuted Christians in the Middle East?”   (Raymond Ibrahim, MEF, 8/20/2020)

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MODERN SLAVERY

The protesters of historical slavery could well be wearing clothes produced by the marginalized, victimized modern slaves who have no access to the justice and equality for which the protesters claim to be fighting.

It is telling that both public and private resources, as well as endless media coverage, are being dedicated to the issue of “racist statues” and historical slavery, while the plight of living, suffering modern slaves — an issue that needs tremendous effort to be tackled to even some degree — barely interests anyone.  (Judith Bergman, Gatestone, 8/20/2020)

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SIGNIFICANCE OF COUP IN MALI

Who’s watching outside Mali?  France sees its former colony as a key battleground in its “Forever War” against Islamist armed groups in the region.   Other EU countries and the US are concerned about further deterioration of security in the region, which could stoke a fresh refugee crisis that might affect Europe.

Regional organizations like the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States are also worried about further regional instability, but lack the tools to do much about it.   And although there is no word (yet) from either al-Qaeda or ISIS, both stand to benefit from any uncertainty to make further inroads in Mali.

The thing is, we’ve been here before.   Eight years ago, a similar coup created a power vacuum for jihadis to take control of most of northern Mali . . . until they were expelled by French soldiers.   Could it happen again now, or will the military and the protesters restore political stability before Islamic militants exploit the situation to wreak further havoc?   (Gzero Signal, 8/20/2020)

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LETTER FROM MOZAMBIQUE (where ISIS briefly took control of Mocímboa da Praia)

Life in Mozambique is still fine except for the pandemic and as you mentioned, the threat of ISIS in the north of the country.   I am about 200km south of the districts being attacked and I believe we are still safe,   i.e.   Pemba is a bigger city and well protected.   So far the attacks were targeted at the most north districts of Mocimboa de Praia.  We all hope that the situation can be controlled before spreading to the rest of the province.

We had at least 3 months of “state of emergency” restrictions but the government has now decided to open up the economy.  Churches and schools meeting the Covid recommended hygiene and social distancing are now being allowed to reopen.   I am however still working from home because the company I work for is taking additional precautions before allowing the office to re-open.   (IM)

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IMPERIAL REDUX

“And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”  Genesis 48:19

“As someone who grew up in India, I often hear people ask, ‘What have the British done for us?’   Until I read this book, I didn’t have the full answer.   And here is Crocker’s answer:   ‘Apart from roads, railways, ports, schools, a parliamentary system of government, rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, the rule of law, and the English language . . . nothing!’”

— Dinesh D’Souza, President of the King’s College and best- selling author of The Roots of Obama’s Rage   (Mr. D’Souza was born and raised in India.  He now lives in the US.)

(The Politically Incorrect Guide to the British Empire, by HW Crocker, 10/2008)

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TO THE POINT

  • “Somalis generally believe all Somalis are Muslims by birth and that any Somali who becomes a Christian can be charged with apostasy, punishable by death.” — Morningstar News,July 9, 2020 (Gatestone, 8/23/2020)
  • HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS INFLATED  –  The number of patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 was over-reported at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, an investigation for the government’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has revealed.  (The Week, 8/21/2020)
  • Afghan Taliban Mark Afghanistan’s 101st Independence Day: ‘The Time Is Not Far When The Pride Of America Like That Of The British Colonialists Shall Be Shattered’ (MEMRI 8/23)
  • At the Democratic convention it was firmly stated that Joe Biden has the solutions to all this country’s problems.  If that’s the case, how come he didn’t share them with Obama when he was VP?

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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“The Man who couldn’t be killed” is the true story of “Mr. Wong,” a Chinese convert to the Seventh Day Adventist Church.   Mr. Wong endured never-ending persecution for his religious beliefs, especially the Sabbath.  He often spoke to fellow inmates about the Sabbath command (Ex 20:8) and “The Ten Regulations.”

The cover reads:  “The Man who couldn’t be killed” is an unforgettable story of faith and miraculous deliverance in Communist China at the height of the Cultural Revolution.   Mr. Wong’s unflinching courage for the Savior and the miracles that saved his life will inspire you to believe in a God who is greater than any problem or circumstance.”

The book is by Stanley Maxwell and is published by Pacific Press.   It was purchased from Amazon.

In these trying times, the book is a positive inspiration.   It makes all our problems and challenges seem very superficial.

 

THE SOMERSET DECISION ENDED SLAVERY

I wrote recently about the British Empire abolishing the slave trade in 1807, the first major country to do so.  I overlooked the Somerset ruling, a decision by a British court which ruled that nobody could be held as a slave within the British Isles.  This effectively ended slavery in Great Britain.   It had a profound effect on the colonies.

“The year 1772 was a watershed of sorts in the history of slavery-it might be called the beginning of its end, as the legal framework upon which slavery was based began to crumble, at least in England, beginning with the landmark decision in Somerset v. Stewart.  James Somerset was a slave bought in Virginia by Charles Stewart, a Scots merchant and customs official with quite close Chesapeake ties. Stewart left Virginia for England in 1768, taking Somerset with him. In 1771, Somerset took his leave of Stewart and refused to return to a state of permanent servitude.  He was soon arrested and imprisoned, but his case was taken up by Granville Sharp, an inveterate opponent to the institution of slavery as antithetical to the British constitution and English common law.   In a decision handed down by William Murray, Baron (later Earl) of Mansfield and Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench, the court narrowly held that “a master could not seize a slave in England and detain him preparatory to sending him out of the realm to be sold” and that habeas corpus was a constitutional right available to slaves to forestall such seizure, deportation and sale because they were not chattel, or mere property, they were servants and thus persons invested with certain (but certainly limited) constitutional protections.   Although Mansfield took great care to phrase his holding in such a way that it could not be used for a broader precedent in determining the legal status of slaves or their rights, it was widely perceived quite differently on both sides of the Atlantic: Many, including many slaves, understood Somerset to have effectively abolished slavery in England (Somerset himself believed so).   Its impact was profound in the colonies as some slaves invoked it to seek their own freedom. ” (ouramericanrevolution.org)

This decision sparked a revolution on the other side of the Atlantic.  American land-owners, including many of the founding fathers of the United States, were not about to give up their slaves.   A book by two American historians, Alfred W. Blumrosen and Ruth G. Blumrosen, reveals the panic that went through the colonies after the Somerset decision.  The book is “Slave Nation: How slavery united the colonies and sparked the American Revolution”.

If it were not for the Somerset decision, slavery could very well still be the norm across the world.  Is there any wonder that the British-Israelites, who came to prominence in the nineteenth century, saw this as one of the blessings that came to the world through the British Empire?

Genesis 12:2-3 —
2”I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So, why then are people demanding the British pay reparations for slavery?   This includes  Prince Harry, dabbling in politics over this issue.

“Jamaica’s High Commissioner has joined Prince Harry‘s call for an ‘open discussion’ on Britain’s role in the slave trade, saying Commonwealth countries ‘need to address the elephant in the room.’

Seth George Ramocan said that while today’s generation is not responsible for ‘dehumanizing’ people taken into slavery from Africa and the Caribbean, the same mindset ‘still exists in a more subtle form’.

He told the Today program:  ‘This really should be a matter of open discussion and acknowledgement of what the wrongs were, particularly through the slave trade and how we come to a common understanding about this.’

It comes a day after the Duke faced criticism for an apparent swipe at the British Empire by saying the history of the Commonwealth ‘must be acknowledged’, even if it’s ‘uncomfortable’. “     (Daily Mail, 7/15/2020)

The Duke of Sussex, who made himself irrelevant by leaving the Royal Family earlier this year, and the High Commissioner for Jamaica (equivalent of Ambassador), are overlooking Britain’s leading role in the abolishing of slavery.   The High Commissioner represents Jamaica, an influential Commonwealth Realm.  He is also a minister in the Church of God, International, which gives him further influence beyond his ambassadorial role.   Both men should think about the ramifications of what they are saying, before making such a demand.

I have a solution.

Why doesn’t the British government use ALL of its money devoted to overseas aid to end the present–day slave trade, estimated to be three times as big as the slave trade of the eighteenth century?

This would continue Britain’s historic role as THE leader in the anti-slavery movement.

After the Somerset decision and William Wilberforce’s successful campaign to end the slave trade, the British West African Squadron patrolled the coast of West Africa stopping all ships (of every nationality) and freeing the slaves.   In a fifty-year period, a quarter of a million slaves were freed.

Men like David Livingstone went into Africa in the nineteenth century specifically to end slavery.

The power of the Royal Navy also helped end the white slave trade in North Africa.  One million white people were being held by Arab slave traders.

With the end of the British Empire, slavery is now back in every single African country, according to UNESCO.

What would money for reparations buy?  Flashy cars and lots of consumer goods!  Far more important is to end slavery again, just as Britain did before!

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A NEW ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA?

New Zealand’s Deputy PM has suggested that the royal family should have a new Royal Yacht, over twenty years after Tony Blair scrapped the old one.   It would help sell Britain and restore Britain’s image around the world, particularly in Commonwealth Realms like New Zealand and Australia.

Why not take it a step further?

Strengthen the ties that bind Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain?   These four Commonwealth countries are all constitutional monarchies, sharing Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State.

They need to strengthen trade ties, weakened when Britain joined the EU.

They need to strengthen defense and intelligence cooperation.

Eighty years ago, together with South Africa and Rhodesia, they were the only countries fighting Nazi Germany.  It was the same in World War I when fighting the Kaiser.

They made a great difference.

They were an “association of free peoples.”  They can still be.

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Hard up: American banks brace for losses

This will be a grim week for America’s banks, which today start reporting their second-quarter earnings.  The four biggest booked almost $25bn in provisions for loan losses—expected to pile up as firms and households struggle to stay afloat through the pandemic—in their first-quarter results.  They are expected to double this in their second-quarter accounting.  These anticipated defaults will not bankrupt the banks, but they will hurt profits.  Earnings are forecast to drop by more than 60% year-on-year at Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, three of the top four; the other, Wells Fargo, is expected to incur a loss.  The relative bright spot should be supplied by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Principally investment banks, they make fewer direct loans and therefore need not book large provisions.  Morgan Stanley’s profits are expected to fall by just 15%. Some banks are more immune to the pandemic than others.  (The Economist, 7/14/2020)

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TURKEY TURNS HAGIA SOPHIA INTO A MOSQUE (AGAIN)

Turkey’s nationalist and Islamic fundamentalist government is moving to reopen the Hagia Sophia as a mosque.  Originally built in 537 by the Emperor Justinian, the church remained a Christian church until the Ottoman conquest in 1453.   It was then turned into a mosque and continued until Ataturk’s secular movement made it a museum.   It’s now a mosque again, reflecting Turkey’s new priorities.

Other anti-Christian measures taken by Turkey include:

“The Turkish government has seized the historic Armenian Surp Giragos Church, a number of other churches and large swaths of property in the heavily damaged Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, saying it wants to restore the area but alarming residents who fear the government is secretly aiming to drive them out.

Turkish tourism companies have built a lucrative industry exploiting “Christian tourism.”   Yet it’s very clear the Turkish government has no respect for Christianity or its history.   In fact, it’s clear Turkey has blatant disdain for the Christian faith.”

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QUEEN DID NOT DISMISS AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

For 45 years, Queen Elizabeth II was blamed by Australian Republicans, for dismissing the government of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.   Now, it turns out it was not her decision.   The following exchange of letters proves that Sir John Kerr, the Governor –General, the Queen’s representative in Australia, dismissed Whitlam and then notified the Queen.

On November 11, 1975, Kerr wrote to Buckingham Palace:   “I decided to take the step I took without informing the Palace in advance because under the Constitution the responsibility is mine and I was of the opinion that it was better for Her Majesty not to know in advance, though it is, of course, my duty to tell her immediately.”

On November 17, Sir Martin Charteris, the Queen’s private secretary, wrote back:   “I believe that in NOT informing The Queen what you intended to do before doing it, you acted not only with perfect constitutional propriety but also with admirable consideration for Her Majesty’s position.”  (The Australian, 7/15/2020)

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TO THE POINT

  • ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born
    A global drop in births is set to have a “jaw-dropping” impact on societies, say researchers.  As fertility rates fall, nearly every country could have a shrinking population by the end of the century and 23 nations are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.   The study also found that countries will age significantly, with as many people turning 80 as there are being born.  (The Week, 7/15/2020)
  • Rishi Sunak: the next Tory leader in waiting?    As recently as six months ago, few outside of the Westminster bubble had heard of Rishi Sunak.   But since taking over from his mentor Sajid Javid at 11 Downing Street, Sunak has seen his status rocket amid widespread approval of his handling of the coronavirus economic fallout.  Indeed, a poll last week put the free-spending chancellor’s approval rating “ahead of everyone in the government – including Boris Johnson”, The Telegraph reports.  (The Week, 7/10/2020)
  • Behind Britain’s ‘shock and awe’ Brexit campaign Boris Johnson’s government will urge the UK to prepare for the “changes and opportunities” of Brexit in a £93m campaign to draw attention to the consequences of leaving the EU. Behavioral scientists have been called in to draw up a “shock and awe” program of messages intended to provoke action from businesses and the broader public.  “The term, more often used to describe a military strategy of overwhelming force and closely associated with the Iraq War, is contained in a document setting out the government’s communications plan,” Politico says.  (The Week, 7/13/2020)

 

AMERICA CHANGING HANDS

A protester carries an Antifascist Action flag at a rally following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in Boston, Massachusetts, US, May 31, 2020. (Reuters)

The Lessons of History

Empires rise and empires fall.  They usually don’t end with a bang. They end with a whimper.  Revolts become revolutions when those sent by the authorities to put them down instead join the revolt. Is that what we’re beginning to see as police and National Guard troops kneel in submission before BLM and ANTIFA?  Many who railed against those who kneeled for the playing of our national anthem now kneel before those who showed their contempt for America.  Are the reins of power about to slip from the limp hands of the descendants of the Minutemen, the Grand Army of the Republic, and all the heroes who won the wars and enforced the peace?  Are the cultural, financial, social, and political structures we’ve known all our lives about to be upended?   (Dr. Robert R. Owens, Canada free press, 7/5/2020)

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FRANCE AND GERMANY DIFFER

Serious conflicts between Berlin and Paris over foreign policy overshadow the beginning of the German EU Presidency.   French President Emmanuel Macron’s ongoing endeavors to cooperate more closely with Russia are being met with resentment in the German capital.  During a recent two-hour long video conference with his Russian counterpart. he agreed to soon visit Moscow.  In fact, the German government lays claim to leadership in determining the EU’s policy toward Russia.  There is also the conflict between France and Turkey, which had considerably escalated after a Turkish naval vessel carried out radar targeting of a French frigate in June. Paris therefore withdrew from a NATO operation and is demanding tougher EU sanctions being imposed on Ankara.  This runs counter to Berlin’s intention to seek the kind of cooperation with Turkey that can safeguard the refugee pact and serve its own geostrategic interests.  The dispute could escalate next week when the EU foreign ministers meet.  (German Foreign Policy, 7/6/2020)

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ILHAN OMAR CALLS FOR DISMANTLING US

In the most recent brazen ideological attack on the country that took her in from a war zone, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called for the “dismantling” of the U.S. economic and political system.

Those who feared the Islamist threat to undermine the United States would come via “creeping sharia” can put that worry to rest. The threat is coming from a Marxist alliance, which includes the Far Left and its social justice rage mob paired with movements attaching itself to the George Floyd murder.

Of course, this political millieu is giving Islamists fertile ground to further destabilize and sow chaos in the American landscape.

In a press conference yesterday called by the Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous caucus, Omar said that the push for change can’t stop with criminal justice or policing reform.  “We are fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in housing, in education, in health care, in employment, in the air we breathe,” said Omar.

It’s a nod to dismantling the American system of government — the same government that gave Omar shelter as a refugee.  Notably, Omar’s statements also systematically called out the disparities between “white families” and black families, making her speech not just about oppression, but about white privilege as well.  (Clarion Project, 7/8/2020)

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CHURCHES SPREAD VIRUS

The virus has infiltrated Sunday sermons, meetings of ministers and Christian youth camps in Colorado and Missouri.  It has struck churches that reopened cautiously with face masks and social distancing in the pews, as well as some that defied lockdowns and refused to heed new limits on numbers of worshipers.

Pastors and their families have tested positive, as have church ushers, front-door greeters and hundreds of churchgoers.  In Texas, about 50 people contracted the virus after a pastor told congregants they could once again hug one another.  In Florida, a teenage girl died last month after attending a youth party at her church.

More than 650 coronavirus cases have been linked to nearly 40 churches and religious events across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic, with many of them erupting over the last month as Americans resumed their pre-pandemic activities, according to a New York Times database.    (NY Times, 7/8/2020)

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PLOT TO BLOW UP ST. PAUL’S

An unrepentant Muslim convert who was on course to become the UK’s first female homegrown suicide bomber has been jailed for a minimum of 14 years for plotting a terror attack at St Paul’s Cathedral.

But it is only good news for now, since Western leaders continue in their willful ignorance about jihad; jihadis go to jail and return to society unchanged or even more hardened in their violent beliefs than they were before.  Jihadis use the prison system to spread their messages of jihad and Islamic supremacy.   Anywhere they go, they view themselves as committed servants of Allah on the mission to expand and conquer, as per Islamic teachings.   British prisons are now grounds for radicalization; Muslim prison gangs have even been caught beating prisoners who won’t convert to Islam.  Female jihadis are no different from their male counterparts, although they are often presented in the media as victims.  The reality is that they victimize as much as the men do, and if they have children, they train them to be hardcore jihad fighters.  (Jihad Watch, 7/5/2020)

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The Implications of Withdrawing American Troops from Germanyby Alexander Luck: who received his MA in Political Science from the University of Leipzig.FPRI (Foreign Policy Research Institute) Philadelphia, June 2020, A nation must think before it acts.

. . . Whatever the cause of the decision, the proposal has led to renewed debate over the significance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), German contributions to the Alliance, and the security benefits that Berlin derives from being a member.  The potential reallocation of forces has also caused European national security observers to take a closer look at the relevance of American military assets for national foreign policy and the benefits—actual or perceived—to its European partners. . . . the current American effort appears to have significant flaws in the limited impact on Germany, should redistribution simply mean troops remain in Europe, and the near impossibility of expecting Bundeswehr to be funded to the tune of 2% GDP any time soon . . . any drastic reductions would appear to pose a significant problem for unilateral U.S. military operations in support of its sovereign foreign policy execution.(https://www.fpri.org/article/2020/06/the-implications-of-withdrawing-american-troops-from-germany/)   (6/30/2020)

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AUSTRALIA PLANS FOR ARMED CONFLICT

Australia must and will prepare for the real risk of armed conflict in its region: that was the bracing message of the new defense plan launched by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday.

The document is innocuously titled the Defence Strategic Update.  But that is a euphemism for something of profound significance to the nation’s future – a blueprint for a military capable of fighting major wars, and thus in principle helping to prevent them from breaking out.

At one level, this is simply about government executing its first duty: providing for the security of the nation, its interests and values.

What has changed is that the government now recognises a rapidly worsening horizon of risk and knows it can no longer defer hard choices about what the Australian Defence Force is for.

The landscape of strategic hazard is much to do with the way in which the People’s Republic of China has not only strengthened its armed forces, but projected power right across the region that Australia calls home – the Indo-Pacific.

Depressingly, the opportunity for co-operation that came with the COVID-19 pandemic – in theory, a shared challenge that should compel nations to suspend their rivalry – has been lost. The reality is that China has chosen this window to intensify its push for dominance, from Hong Kong to Taiwan, from Japan to the South China Sea, from the Indian border to economic leverage against Australia.

China is increasingly active as a military power in south-east Asia, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.   Much of the arc to Australia’s north is now a region of contestation and power plays, not only between China and America but increasingly between China and others such as Japan, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

And Canberra has responded to this with the unequivocal statement that deterring threats to Australia’s interests in this arc – these northern, western, and eastern approaches – is the foremost priority for our forces’ sovereign capability that demonstrates an intent to allow Australian forces to operate more independently of our American ally is the new plan’s commitment to build a dedicated Australian satellite network and ground stations.

In other words, Australia is finally getting serious about being able to find and target potential adversaries without heavy reliance on the United States.

The government is also committing to stockpile much larger quantities of ammunition and fuel on Australian soil, so that in a future crisis this nation’s military would be able to sustain a long conflict or blockade.

The overall plan is a paradox of both less and more reliance on America.   Despite these steps towards more independent Australian deterrence and war-fighting capacity, the continued modernization of the force – longer-range missiles, more advanced aircraft, ships and unmanned systems – will depend fundamentally on US technology and supply.

And Morrison is certainly not writing off the future of the US alliance.   Despite all the awful vicissitudes of the Trump presidency, it is clear that the Australian strategic establishment remains convinced that the United States will remain engaged in our region.

After all, if the US is serious about competing with China – and there seems bipartisanship on this in Washington – then it is going to need to remain active in the Indo-Pacific and to sustain the alliances and partnerships that have been a unique American strength.  (Rory Medcalf, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/2/2020)

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BLACK LIVES MATTER IS A MARXIST ORGANIZATION

Black Lives Matter is a Marxist revolutionary movement aimed at transforming the United States into a communist dystopia.   BLM states that it wants to abolish the nuclear family, police, prisons and capitalism.   BLM leaders have threatened to “burn down the system” if their demands are not met.   They are also training militias.

“Cutting the LAPD budget means longer responses to 911 emergency calls, officers calling for backup won’t get it, and rape, murder and assault investigations won’t occur or will take forever to initiate, let alone complete.” — Los Angeles Police Protective League, the city’s police union.

“White people are so confused in America . . .   If there is systematic racism today it is a racism against white people, in the sense that white people are told that they are responsible for all the evils in the world . . . ”  (Dr. Carol M. Swain, university professor and advisory board member of Black Voices for Trump.  Gatestone, 7/2/2020)

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BLACK ON BLACK VIOLENCE ONLY GETS WORSE

Chicago has long struggled with violent crime, and Democratic leaders in the city haven’t been able to do anything about it.   Over the Independence Day weekend, that violence truly became out of control, with more than 70 people shot in the city, 14 of whom died.

It comes at a time when Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot faces increased scrutiny over her running of the city, and her constant pandering to the most far-left elements of the Democratic Party.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that some 74 people were shot over the weekend, 14 fatally, by 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.  If you believe the Chicago Tribune instead, the number was actually 80 people shot, and 17 people killed, by 5:29 p.m. on Sunday.

Whichever number is accurate, it’s too high.  (The Liberty Revolution, 7/8/2020)

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LATEST STATS ON MODERN SLAVERY

  • There are an estimated 136,000 people living in modern slavery just in Britain.  Slavery in the UK takes the form of forced labor, and domestic and sexual exploitation.   Albanians and Vietnamese are among the groups that constitute the majority of slaves. — Global Slavery Index, 2018.
  • There are currently an estimated 9.2 million black slaves in Africa.  Slavery, according to the index, includes forced labor, forced sexual exploitation and forced marriage. — Global Slavery Index, 2018.
  • “According to the U.N.’s International Labor Organization (ILO), there are more than three times as many people in forced servitude today as were captured and sold during the 350-year span of the transatlantic slave trade,” Time Magazine,March 14, 2019.

(Judith Bergman, Gatestone, 6/27/2020)

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TO THE POINT

  • Mauritanian Anti-Slavery Activist Maryam Bint Al-Sheikh: Slavery Still Exists in Mauritania; Slaves Can Be Bequeathed From Father To Son.  (MEMRI 7/5/2020)
  • South African Farm Murders are ‘National Emergency’ Says DA, Calls for Urgent Parliamentary Debate — The Democratic Alliance (DA) has requested a debate in the National Assembly on the “scourge” of farm attacks and murders across rural South Africa, many of which have been “particularly heinous in nature with brutal torture”.   These attacks, they say, are a “national emergency” which must be addressed as a matter of urgency.(https://www.sapeople.com/2020/06/25/sa-farm-murders-are-          national-emergency-says-da-and-calls-for-urgent-                                        parliamentary-)
  • South Africa To Borrow $7 Billion Globally as Debt Rises by SAPeople Staff Writer – Jun 24, 2020 — The government will need to borrow $7 billion from international finance institutions as one of the measures to cover the budget hole brought about by South Africa’s response to COVID-19,   Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said today during his supplementary budget.(https://www.sapeople.com/2020/06/24/south-africa-to-                         borrow-7-billion-globally-as-debt-rises/)
  • King Leopold’s legacy:   The lingering chaos in DR Congo60 years after independence, traces of the system of exploitation and violence that Leopold II and colonial-era Belgium created still remain in DR Congo.  The propensity for violence is inherited, experts say. — More than a century of looting and terror began in 1885 when King Leopold II and Belgium were granted then barely developed Congo Basin at the Berlin Conference.   The “Congo Free State” served solely to enrich the monarch.   Congolese labor oiled this machine.   Anyone who resisted or stood in their way was brutally punished — photographs and reports of hands chopped off bear testimony to the stories.   This is how it largely remained, until Congo was given independence on 30 June 1960.   Yet, even 60 years later —with the exception of a small elite —many children are still born into bitter poverty.              (https://www.dw.com/en/king-leopolds-legacy-the-lingering-chaos-in-dr-congo/a-53982357)
  • “RUNNING THE WORLD SINCE 1776” was the message on a Tee-shirt I saw this morning.   Are people really that ignorant?  The US did not become the leading power in the world until 1948!  A lot of people won’t even question it.

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AFTER THOUGHT

I finally got my malaria pills!

I ordered them over three months ago when I was given a new prescription.

I’ve been coming down with malaria for over 40 years.   It still comes back.   It was coming back once a year but it’s been three years since I’ve had it.  I was tempted to not bother buying the pills as they are quite expensive.  But there’s nothing worse than the shakes from malaria and I feel better knowing there’s a pill there I can take.  Just one and I’m usually ok.

But there was a complication this time.   Thanks to President Trump millions of people are taking chloroquine for Covid-19.   This led to a shortage and the price went up.   $132 for 24 pills.

Malaria remains the number one killer in the world.  Maybe Covid-19 has overtaken it temporarily.   But the pesky mosquito will be back, I’m sure of it.  All those aggressive females will be biting us wherever we go, taking every opportunity to suck the blood out of us.  (Only the females spread the disease.)

It used to be said that on the first day with malaria you’re afraid you are going to die.  On the second day, you’re afraid you’re going to live!

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.” (Psalm 38:9-10)

 

 

DON’T RUN WITH THE HERD

WEIMAR PRECEEDED HITLER

When we lived in Africa, I used to advise people that, if they wanted to live a long life, they should stay out of politics.   I’ve now started to do the same in the United States.

Demonstrations and riots all too often end in violence.  Rise to prominence and there’s always the prospect of assassination.   Play it low key and you might live to old age.

I’ve never been one to run with the herd.   The fate of the herd is too likely to be that of the gadarene swine.   In the biblical account, two demon-possessed men have the demons cast out of them by Jesus Christ.  The demons then ask to enter a group of pigs.  The pigs then head straight for a cliff and instant death.

Politics is a bit like that.  Certainly, it is right now.

Most people, companies, even churches, are tripping over themselves trying to distance themselves from the wrongs of the past; asserting how they are not racist and proclaiming their love for Black Lives Matter.   Past American leaders are out of favor.  Even the British Empire has come under attack (would they rather be goose-stepping?   The British Empire was the only force standing up to Hitler while the US and Russia continued to sleep.  Historians have shown that, if Britain had fallen, the US would have followed and we would now all be speaking German.)

When we consider the tenor of the times, people need to remember that Weimar preceded Hitler, with a Depression in between; that a very liberal and decadent brief period of history was quickly followed by an administration of the extreme right.  Economists are already talking about another Depression, with our economies in a collapsed state through the corona virus.  Could history repeat itself?  Of course it could.  In America?  Of course.  As fascism consumed many countries in Europe, the US saw a big expansion of government power during the same period.

When people are hungry and have no jobs, they look for alternatives.

The Bible talks about an end-time combination of ten nations.  These have the hallmarks of a fascist conglomeration, embarking on world conquest.  You can read about it in Revelation 17:12-14.  (Incidentally, when European nations in the past went down a similar path, it was the British Empire that defeated them.   It will be different next time as the British Empire is no more.)

So, avoid the herd.  You never know where the herd will be a few months from now.  Robespierre or Napoleon (another “nut job”  who was defeated by the British Empire!)?   Liberal or Very Conservative?  It doesn’t depend on an election.   The herd is emotional.   Like those pigs, there’s very little thought, just an instinct that drives them toward the cliff.  Today, it’s liberal socialism.  Tomorrow?  Who knows?

Remember the pigs in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”?   They started out liberal.  But after over 100 pages, they were very different!

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ANOTHER TERROR ATTACK IN UK

Three men were killed (and three injured) in Reading, outside of London, when a Libyan asylum seeker stabbed them.

The British government said they will learn from this.   The most important lesson is the risk in allowing asylum seekers into the country.  Once again, this asylum seeker is a follower of the “Religion of Peace”.

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AMERICA IS SOCIALIST, DUMMY

“Every American state decrees that all its children shall be educated at state expense, no matter how rich or poor.  The idea began with Horace Mann in Massachusetts back in the 1830’s and eventually caught on nationwide.”

“Second, the entire American highway system is built, paid for, and maintained by the state and federal governments.

“Third, estate taxes were introduced in 1916, in the name of equality and to prevent the children of successful parents from becoming a parasitic leisure class.

“Fourth, in the 1930s Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal established the principle that the federal government should intervene on behalf of distressed citizens everywhere.  It introduced Social Security (old-age pensions) and a growing array of farm subsidies to prevent rural depopulation.   In the 1960’s Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs went further, introducing healthcare for the poor (Medicaid) and for the elderly (Medicare).  Poor citizens in every city gained access to public housing complexes and were offered food subsidies and welfare benefits.

“During wartime emergencies in 1917 and 1942, the major industries were organized and run by central government departments in the name of efficiency and to prevent wasteful duplication.”  (“America is socialist, dummy,” Patrick Allitt, Spectator US edition, April 2020)

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WHITE LIVES MATTER

Burnley Football Club bosses have vowed to slap lifetime bans on supporters who flew a “White Lives Matter” banner over the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

A light aircraft towing the banner appeared in the skies shortly after players from Burnley and Manchester City had kneeled in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) ahead of kick-off.

Speaking to reporters after the game, which ended in a 5-0 defeat for his side, Burnley captain Ben Mee said that he and his teammates “were embarrassed, disappointed, upset” about the stunt.  (The Week, 6/23/2020)

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NEXT PHASE FOR COVID-19

Covid-19 has thus far taken its most serious toll on rich, peaceful countries.  America, Britain, Italy, France and Spain, five of the six worst-affected, have collectively borne over half of recorded deaths from the virus worldwide.  But the disease is now rippling through less stable places.  What will happen as it does?  There are reasons to fear not only that conflict will help the virus to spread, but also that its’ spread may worsen wars.  The two could feed upon each other, creating a cycle of misery it is difficult to arrest.

At the outset of the Peloponnesian war with Sparta, which raged from 431bc to 404bc, Athens was ravaged by a plague that swept through the city for three years, killing thousands of soldiers and a third of its inhabitants.  “Such was the nature of the calamity, and heavily did it weigh on the Athenians; death raging within the city and devastation without,” recalled Thucydides, a Greek historian and general.  The Spanish flu of 1918, another world-shaping pandemic, festered in the trenches and barracks of the first world war and killed more people than the conflict itself.  Over 36,000 American soldiers died before ever reaching France, with 12,000 dying on troop transports.  In total, more American soldiers, sailors and Marines died of flu and pneumonia than bullets and bombs.  (“Covid 19 raises the risk of global violence,” The Economist, 6/23/2020)

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ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY OVER WEST BANK                                             TV:   Trump, top aides to decide this week whether to back Netanyahu’s annexation ‘Decisive’ White House meeting, to be attended by Pompeo, Kushner, Friedman, said set to determine whether US okays PM’s July 1 plan for sovereignty over settlements, Jordan Valley.  (Times of Israel, 20 June 2020)

The White House will this week hold a “decisive” meeting on whether to approve Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declared plan to start from July 1 annexing the 132 West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley — the 30 percent of the territory allocated to Israel under the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, Israel’s Channel 13 reported Saturday night.

Citing unnamed American and Israeli sources, the report said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is to fly home on Sunday for the pivotal meeting, which is scheduled for Monday or Tuesday, and which is also to be attended by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and National Security Adviser Richard O’Brien.  Friedman may meet with Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz before he leaves.

Trump himself is “likely” to join the session, the report said, since “he’s the one who will ultimately decide” on whether to approve Israeli annexation, and if so on what scale.

A central issue in the White House meeting is likely to be the internal disagreement in the Israeli coalition over annexation now, which Netanyahu is vigorously championing, while Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi have said the Trump plan should be implemented in coordination with Jordan and the Palestinians.

A joint US-Israel committee has been mapping out the West Bank areas set to come under Israeli rule, and has not yet completed its work, having been delayed in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Times of Israel was told earlier this month that the committee was weeks away from finishing the job, and that the US was “highly unlikely” to green-light annexation by Netanyahu’s July 1 target date.

Netanyahu’s vows to push ahead with unilateral annexation have been condemned internationally, with European and Arab states, as well as senior members of the US Democratic Party, warning the Israeli government against doing so.

(https://www.timesofisrael.com/tv-trump-top-aides-this-week-to-decide-whether-to-back-netanyahus-annexation/)

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Worst of crisis now behind us, says Germany’s chief banker
Germany has turned the corner on the worst of an economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and is now on the path to recovery, the central bank chief of Europe’s biggest economy said Sunday.  (AFPnews, thelocal.de, Germany, 21 June 2020)

“We experienced in the last months the deepest economic slump in Germany’s (post-war) history,” Jens Weidmann told Sunday’s edition of the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.  “The good news is:  the trough should be behind us by now, and things are looking up again. But the deep slump is being followed only by a comparatively gradual recovery.  “Weidmann, who has never minced his words against expansionary policies ramped through in the past by the European Central Bank, on Sunday also voiced support for the unprecedented economic rescue and stimulus packages unleashed by Berlin to shield German companies and jobs.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had stunned observers in March when it unveiled a rescue package worth 1.1 trillion euros, smashing through a long-held no new debt dogma to fund the measures.  Earlier this month, it said it would plough another 130 billion euros into various schemes, including a cut in VAT, to stimulate the economy.  Reacting to comments that Germany, once known as a “frugal” nation, was now dramatically loosening its purse strings, Weidmann said:   “The image of the Swabish housewife is often wrongly portrayed.  “She is not saving for the sake of saving, but so that there is money that can be spent sensibly and in case there are difficult times.  And that is precisely the case here.

“Like nations across Europe, Germany shut schools, shops and sent workers home from mid-March to halt transmission of the coronavirus.  The impact of the health crisis has pushed the economy into a deep recession believed to be the worst since World War II.  After the rate of new infections dropped sharply, Europe’s biggest economy began easing restrictions in early May although social distancing rules are still in place and huge events banned.  Nevertheless, the improved health situation and the huge government support have helped lift sentiment, with a closely-watched survey showing confidence among investors surging to its highest level since before the financial crisis.”

(https://www.thelocal.de/20200621/worst-of-crisis-now-behind-us-says-germanys-chief-banker)

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NATO EXPANDS INTO ASIA

NATO should systematically expand its military exercises and operations into the Asia-Pacific region, an expert of Washington’s Atlantic Council think tank proposes in the intensifying debate on the posture the western war alliance should assume in relationship to the People’s Republic of China.  China’s “presence in the Arctic, in Africa and in the Mediterranean” calls for a response, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.  Think tanks suggest that NATO should more closely monitor Chinese investments in the European infrastructure, because “civilian roads, ports and rails” under construction with Chinese participation “are an integral part of NATO’s plans for military mobilization.”  NATO is also strengthening its relations with “global partners” such as Japan, South Korea and Australia.  For the first time, Australia’s defense minister participated at the meeting of the NATO Ministers of Defense that ended yesterday.  The Atlantic Council is also suggesting the establishment of a NATO military headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.   (German Foreign Policy, 6/21/2020)

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WHEN EVERYONE KNEELS, WHO WILL STAND UP FOR THE WEST?

“We are afraid that anything we do is colonial. There’s plenty of countries willing to step into that global governance gap: China, Iran, Russia, Turkey.” — Bruce Gilley, The Times, May 10, 2018.

British post-colonial guilt is, however, having repercussions far larger than statues.  There is, for instance, still total silence about persecuted Christians, according to a UK bishop leading a government review into their suffering.

Western history is seemingly being remade to portray all of Western civilization as just one big apartheid.  It is as if we should not only pull down statues but also pull down ourselves.  A successful democracy, however, cannot be built on just erasing the past.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”  (George Orwell, 1984)

(“When Everyone kneels, who will stand up for Western history and culture?” Guilio Meotti, Gatestone, 6/21/2020)

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US military in Germany:   What you need to know

A decision to move US troops out of Germany would mark a major change in the defense relationship between the two countries and reshape the basis of American military presence in Europe since World War II.  (Deutsche Welle, 16 June  2020, by Ben Knight)

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UK DEBT EXCEEDS SIZE OF ECONOMY

The UK’s debt is now worth more than its economy after the government borrowed a record amount in May.

The £55.2bn figure was nine times higher than in May last year and the highest since records began in 1993.  The borrowing splurge sent total government debt surging to £1.95trn, exceeding the size of the economy for the first time in more than 50 years.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the figures confirmed the severe impact the virus was having on public finances.

“The best way to restore our public finances to a more sustainable footing is to safely reopen our economy so people can return to work.

“We’ve set out our plan to do this in a gradual and safe fashion, including reopening high streets across the country this week, as we kickstart our economic recovery,” he added.

Income from tax, National Insurance and VAT all dived in May amid the coronavirus lockdown as spending on support measures soared.

This is the first time debt has been larger than the size of the economy since 1963, but it is not as high as the post-war peak of 258% in 1946-47.  (BBC 6/19/2020)

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STATUES AND RHODES

“I come from a country with no statues.

“It is not that Morocco never had statues.  Not that long ago it had statues of French officials – of which only one remains, hidden in a consulate garden.  It had, a bit earlier, statues of Christian saints and Roman dignitaries, of which there is no trace. Before that, it must have had statues of Phoenician deities.  All have been destroyed, and with them visible proof of the complex history of North Africa.

“There is nothing new about submitting statues to the trial that their subjects escaped.  In the Roman Empire, when a Caesar fell out of public grace and was murdered, his successor’s first thought was about statues.  Faces were erased, then redrawn in the new emperor’s image.  Tearing down statues is not new, either.  People re-evaluate the past, but when it comes to re-evaluating individuals, things get trickier.  How much did a person’s representation owe to its own time?  Frankly, almost everything.

Cecil Rhodes was not particularly loved in his own day; his wealth was admired, but not his half-avowed homosexuality.   He might have been too forward-thinking, for what business of his was it to create a scholarship that could be awarded regardless of race or creed?  The language of his will is clear and obvious:   “no student shall be qualified or disqualified for election to a Scholarship on account of his race or religious opinions.”

If Rhodes was the racist we assume he was, then surely he knew what “race” meant?  Five years after Rhodes’s death, in 1907, in the wake of the election of the first black Rhodes Scholar, Alain LeRoy Locke, the Rhodes Trustees argued that when Rhodes used the term “race” he might have meant “Dutch, English, Jew, and the rest.”  Perhaps Rhodes was simply more progressive than his trustees, and than most people of his time.

Rhodes endowed my college at Oxford, Oriel, with the means to further its work and fulfill its vocation as “The Provost and Scholars of the House of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford, commonly called Oriel College, of the Foundation of Edward the Second of famous memory, sometime King of England.”  Rhodes is included in the daily college prayer said after dinner in hall, and in the yearly benefactors’ service.  Does that mean that we, as a community, condone the horrors he engaged in?

It is alright for hands to be dirty.  No hands are clean in history.

The first colonizers of North Africa wiped out all its Christian and Jewish heritage, and thrived on the slave-trade.  They had black slaves as well as white slaves.  Any neutral view of history tells us that oppression is a matter of military power, and not of race.  (6/19/2020)

(Marie Daouda is a stipendiary lecturer in French at Oriel College, Oxford)

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TO THE POINT

  • Sajid Javid warns against a return to austerity
    Former chancellor Sajid Javid has warned against a return to austerity.  With the government grappling with the effects of the coronavirus crisis, Javid has called for low taxes on business to aid the UK’s recovery.  He said “early hopes of a V-shaped recovery” had “proved optimistic.”  Javid also predicted that “some long-term damage to the economy” had become “unavoidable.”  (The Week, 6/23/2020)
  • Pulling U.S. troops from Europe won’t save any money but it will make America less safe.  (Bloomberg 6/22/2020)
  • At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a fight with Chinese troops on a disputed border, though no shots were fired.  The incident took place during what India had described as a “de-escalation process,” more than a month into a series of punch-ups in Ladakh, a Himalayan region over which the two countries fought a war in 1962.  Today both armies are nuclear-tipped; senior Indian and Chinese officials met to discuss the situation.  (The Economist, 6/17/2020)
  • “The British relied on Indians to carry out the heavy lifting of imperial occupation and governance.  As late as 1921, there were only 156,000 British citizens living in India, one for every 1,500 Indians (Copland 3).”    (How can one oppress 1500? MR)
  • “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”   (Leo Tolstoy)
  • Vera Lynn, the singer who entertained British soldiers during the second world war, has died at the age of 103.   Known as the “Forces’ Sweetheart,” she made the white cliffs of Dover a symbol of home in a popular song.   The Queen referenced another, “We’ll Meet Again,” in an address to the country during the covid-19 lockdown.  (The Economist, 6/18/2020)
  • For his first foreign trip since France went into lockdown, President Emmanuel Macron will head to London today, where he will be welcomed by Prince Charles.   The official purpose is to mark the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle’s “appeal from London,” a BBC broadcast in which the general urged the French to resist Nazi occupation, as well as to award the British capital the Légion d’honneur.   But Mr. Macron will also squeeze in a meeting with Boris Johnson, the prime minister, at a time of tension over unresolved Brexit negotiations.  The French president was keen to keep this trip in the diary, even though Britain is still largely under lockdown and had to exempt him from its 14-day quarantine rule.   Macron hopes the visit will remind the French of the resistance spirit embodied by de Gaulle, even if historical figures—le général included—have recently become objects of conflict rather than conciliation.

DOES BLM WANT A RETURN TO SLAVERY?

A poster advertising a special chapel service to celebrate the Abolition of Slavery in 1838.

Some little-known facts on slavery:

Before 1800 slavery was universally practiced.

Britain became the first major power to abolish the slave trade in 1807.   (Haiti and Denmark had already abolished it in 1804-5).  Britain went on to abolish slavery completely in 1833, with a four year transition period.

The British West Africa Squadron of the Royal Navy patrolled the coast of West Africa for almost 60 years, stopping ships and freeing slaves from 1808-67.   It is estimated that 250,000 slaves were freed.

David Livingstone was a famous Scottish missionary who went out to central Africa determined to bring Christianity to the people and to end slavery in that part of the world.

In the eighteenth century there were one million white slaves held in Muslim countries.

The US abolished the slave trade in 1808, only one year after Britain.   It was not able to abolish slavery itself until it had fought a four-year civil war (1861-65).   Over 400,000 men are now believed to have died in the War fighting for the Union.  That’s 400,000 mostly white men who all died to free the slaves.

It was the US Republican Party that supported the abolition of slavery.  The Democrats took a pro-slavery position and held back the development of African-Americans until well into the 1960s.

Since the end of the British Empire in Africa sixty years ago, slavery is back in every single African country, according to UNESCO.

The modern slave trade is considered the biggest trade in the world, accounting for over 10% of global business.  The Bible talks about this universal trading system.  Revelation 18:13, NIV:   “cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.”

If the United States and Britain are brought down by riots and revolution, there will be no restraint on the practice of slavery.

The irony is that Black Lives Matter and other groups will have taken the world back over 200 years to a time when slavery was universally practiced.

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THE DANGERS OF VILIFYING ALL POLICE

“The people condemning law enforcement in America and advocating for the defunding of police are not the ones who will have to face the deadly results of their proposals, says former civil rights activist Bob Woodson.

“Let’s do a survey of these communities where crime is the highest and find out what the people there want, before we rush to accept the recommendations of people who don’t have to suffer the consequences,” Woodson said.

“The killing of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests demanding reform as well as cases of looting, arson and vandalism. Reform proposals vary, with some groups such as Black Lives Matter and Democratic Socialists of America calling for a nationwide defunding of police.

“In Woodson’s view, crime will likely increase without funding cuts, because vilification of the police as agents of white suppression makes them more reluctant to enforce the law.

“After surveying 200 officers across six agencies in the southern United States,  Shetali Patil, an assistant professor of management at the University of Texas-Austin, found that when officers felt the public didn’t understand or appreciate them, they became less proactive.

“The result is more blacks being killed by other blacks, Woodson said.”   (The Dangers of Vilifying all police,” Epoch Times, 6/11/2020).

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LANSING MAYOR AGREES TO SIGN POLICE REFORM PLEDGES

“Mayor Andy Schor is promising to sign national police reform pledges, increase transparency in the police department and hire a diversity officer to address racial injustice in the city.

“The announcement Tuesday follows weeks of local protests against police brutality.  Some residents, including members of Black Lives Matter Lansing, have been calling for Schor’s resignation after he was criticized for defensiveness in response to questions from the group about the treatment of Black residents by police.

“Schor’s plans include:   “Promoting a city employee to the position of “diversity and inclusion officer”……..improve transparency…..hire an  attorney  to create a citywide diversity, equity and inclusion plan…..”   (Sarah Lehr, Lansing State Journal, 6/17/2020).

It should be noted that all of this will cost money, which will mean a raise in taxes or cuts to the police.

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DEMOCRACY IN DANGER

“The corruption of its democracy is one of America’s oldest yet most surprising habits.  Edgar Allan Poe, it is believed, died after the ordeal of ‘cooping’:   an informal exercise in getting out the vote, in which an often forcibly inebriated man was marched from booth to booth and made to vote for the same candidate each time.

“The voters of Massachusetts 4th District, compelled by a party machine to endorse Joseph P. Kennedy III, will know the feeling.  Indeed, John F. Kennedy’s victory in the 1960 elections is said to have depended on the stuffing of ballots in the Chicago of Mayor Richard J. Daley – and possibly on the intervention in Cook County by the crime boss Sam Giancana.  Kennedy went on to win Illinois by 8,000 votes and to take the White House.

“However endemic electoral corruption was in the past, nothing quite matches the scale of today’s disillusionment with democracy.   Americans are raging against the electoral machine in a way they have never done before.   Whoever wins the White House in November is going to have an uphill struggle convincing a skeptical public that he or she is the genuine choice of the American people and has got there by fair means.”   (Democracy in Danger, The Spectator (US edition), March 2020).

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U.S. National Pride Falls to Record Low                                              by Megan Brenan, 15 June 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — American pride has continued its downward trajectory reaching the lowest point in the two decades of Gallup measurement.  The new low comes at a time when the U.S. faces public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

* 42% “extremely,” and 21% “very,” proud to be an American.
                      * Republicans’ pride is down sharply in the past year.
                                        * First time extreme pride among whites below 50%; nonwhites’ is now  24%.

At the same time, 15% of Americans say they are “moderately proud,” 12% “only a little proud” and 9% “not at all proud.”

These latest data are from a May 28-June 4 poll, which also found 20% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and presidential approval fell back to 39%.   The poll’s field period encompassed the arrests of the police officers charged in Floyd’s death as well as the nationwide protests that were sparked by the incident and President Donald Trump’s controversial responses to them.

(https://news.gallup.com/poll/312644/national-pride-falls-record-low.aspx)

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THE FUTURE OF THE US

The United States of America will never be the same, it will be a much worse place to live and work.   Amid a three-month pandemic there has been a three-week cultural revolution, ignited by the brutal death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis, that has changed our country forever.

Our country is a great experiment, a diverse nation of 50 states united by a founding document that enshrines God given rights that people in other countries can only dream of realizing.   The United States has become not only the world’s only superpower, but also a country that has been a beacon of hope and freedom to the world.   (America is “Gone with the wind,” Canada Free Press, 6/14/2020)

Gone with the Wind has been banned by HBO.

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NORTH KOREA BLOWS UP

First, they stop taking your calls.   Then they blow up the house.   But this isn’t a love affair gone wrong, it’s what’s happening right now along one of the tensest borders in the world, between North and South Korea.   Last week Pyongyang quit answering a daily phone call from the South that was set up in 2018 to keep the peace and further reconciliation.   Then, yesterday, North Korea quite literally blew up a building just north of the border which both sides had used for the past two years as a meeting place for officials from the North and the South.   And earlier today, for good measure, Kim Jong-un moved some of his troops into several recently-shuttered inter-Korean economic cooperation sites located just north of the border.

Why now?

The immediate issue seems to be Seoul’s failure to stop North Korean defectors (“human scum” as they’re known in Pyongyang’s state media) from sending anti-Kim leaflets over the border using balloons and drones.

But there’s a larger context. North Korea’s economy is suffering under crippling international sanctions tied to its nuclear program, and the coronavirus pandemic almost certainly isn’t helping.   With nuclear talks largely stalled, there’s no relief in sight.  (Gzero Signal, 6/17/2020)

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 Virus-Immune Rioters Latest Coronavirus Con

Something the mainstream and social media hope you will never come to realize:   Most everyone other than the street protesters remains under coronavirus lockdown.

While the majority of civilized society is held under government-imposed lockdown, meaning with no place to work, no place to worship, no place to go—purportedly for their own safety in a raging pandemic—hundreds of thousands of ‘protesters’ — (millions if counted worldwide) are allowed out to protest, pillage and burn cities down.

Let that sink in if only in order to clearly see how a pandemic panic can be used to help take down Western society.    (Canada Free Press, 6/17/2020)

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TO THE POINT

  • “Liberals will fight for the right of Marxist radicals to burn the American flag to show their hatred of it but cannot tolerate working folks flying the battle flag of the Confederacy to show their love of it.”   (Pat Buchanan, 6/16/2020)
  • NEW PARTY FOR AUSTRALIA:   “On immigration, it says our annual intake is “unsustainably high”, multiculturalism is “cumbersome and inorganic” and refugees should be given temporary asylum rather than permanent homes.   It also calls for “ethnic enclaves” in our cities and schools to be “broken up.”  (The Sensible Center, Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald, 6/14/2020)
  • The two destabilizing events recently occurring back-to-back, the response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd rioting, illustrate well how America is now institutionally incapable of making decisions in her own best interests.   That is, the overreaction to the disease and under-reaction to the rioting reflect a country long demoralized.   Moreover, if that’s not troubling enough, know that this is a state of being that usually leads to tyranny.   (2020-06-11, Selwyn Duke, Canada Free Press, 6/12/2020)
  • Meanwhile the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic was “accelerating” in Africa.   Hitherto the continent has escaped relatively lightly, recording just 200,000 or so cases and 5,000 deaths (compared with over 170,000 deaths, for instance, in Europe).  The WHO mentioned South Africa, Cameroon and Algeria as likely hotspots for the spread of the disease. (The Economist, 6/12/2020)
  • British GDP plunged by 20.4% in April—by far the biggest month-on-month drop since the series began in 1997 (see main stories). This followed a 5.8% shrinkage in March, itself the previous record drop.   The construction industry was particularly badly affected, showing a 40.1% fall.   May’s figures should be better, as some economic activity was able to return.  (The Economist, 6/12/2020)
  • Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s autocratic president, sacked his prime minister, Imad Khamis.   The country has been hit by five days of protests, centred around the city of Suweida, as a collapsing currency has led to stinging price increases.   Civil war, Western economic sanctions, covid-19 and a crisis in neighbouring Lebanon have all helped to impoverish the country.   (The Economist, 6/12/2020)
  • “At the heart of the Democrats’ problems is a growing spirit of insurgency against political elites.”   (Spectator, March 2020)

SLAVERY NOT A CRIME

Overview of domestic legislation prohibiting human exploitation.  Many of the 193 U.N. member states have not gone on to explicitly criminalise slavery and other exploitation.  Researchers noted that almost all countries had some form of domestic anti-trafficking legislation in place.   Image: Katarina Schwarz and Jean Allain

Slavery is not a crime for almost half the countries in the world.  Although laws allowing slavery have been scrapped worldwide, many of the 193 U.N. member states have not gone on to explicitly criminalise slavery.                                                                                                                                     by Sonia Elks | @SoniaElks | Thomson Reuters Foundation, 12 Feb 2020

“Slavery is far from being illegal everywhere and we hope our research will move the conversation beyond this popular myth,” said Katarina Schwarz, a researcher at the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, which led work on the slavery database.

“It will surprise many people to learn that in all of these countries there are no criminal laws in place to prosecute, convict and punish people for subjecting people to the most extreme forms of exploitation.”   More than 40 million people are held in modern slavery, which includes forced labor and forced marriage, according to estimates by the International Labour Organization and the anti-slavery group the Walk Free Foundation.

There is no criminal law against slavery in 94 countries – almost half of U.N. states – said researchers at Rights Lab, which reviewed the study’s findings with the Castan Centre for Human Rights at Monash University in Australia.   It found almost two thirds of countries apparently failed to criminalize any of the main four practices associated with slavery – serfdom, debt bondage, forced marriage, and child trafficking – except in the context of human trafficking.

“Slavery in its nature looks to exploit people who fall slightly outside the rule of law,” Jakub Sobik, a spokesman for the charity Anti-Slavery International told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.  “There is a need for wide-ranging policies that address the wider context and systemic reasons why people are made vulnerable to being tricked and trapped and controlled by another person.”  (http://news.trust.org/item/20200212132545-vdpzu)

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GM PULLS OUT OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, THAILAND

General Motors has been in Australia since 1856 when it first sold saddles to Australians.   In the 1960’s and 70’s they produced Holden cars, a popular brand that really caught on.  Now, they are selling up and moving out.   The big benefactor?

China.

It’s symbolic of what’s happening to American capitalism.  The US is losing out to competitors, especially the Chinese.

And it’s not just cars.   In the same week, President Duterte of the Philippines tore up the defense treaty with the US, preferring Beijing over Washington.   One reason may be Duterte’s stance on human rights, which has led to criticism from Americans.   China doesn’t care about human rights.

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CORONAVIRUS “MADE IN CHINA”

The Chinese Communist Party calls it “discourse management.”  It’s more than mere censorship and bigger than propaganda.   And Beijing is pretty good at it.   The party uses it to control its own people, but also to manage foreign governments.

Take the new coronavirus, for instance.   It may be a made-in-China global pandemic, and China might have bungled its handling of it, but that’s somehow irrelevant and China’s government says it’s “unhappy” with Australia.   Come again?

The outbreak is classified by the World Health Organization as a global health emergency.   It was created in China, of course.   The consensus among virologists is that the likely cause was the Chinese authorities’ persistent tolerance of unsafe animal and food handling practices.

After the 2003 outbreak of a novel coronavirus, the SARS epidemic, the Chinese government banned all trade in wild animals.  Once the crisis had passed, the authorities relaxed the ban, announcing 54 types of exemption.   In other words, it was going to happen again one day.   Then, once this outbreak was discovered, the Chinese authorities seriously mismanaged it.   This is now the subject of frenetic blame-shifting inside China.

When the first cases started turning up in the city of Wuhan in mid-December, two weeks before the official disclosure on December 31 that there was a new virus, sick people were turned away from local hospitals and sent home to infect other people and die.  The hospitals were told to report “zero infections.”

Why?   Because an important meeting of provincial and city officials was under way in Wuhan and only good news was permitted.   The cover-ups and delays were “reprehensible” according to an eminent Australian virologist, John Mackenzie.      (Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 2/18/2020)

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GOG AND MAGOG  — COULD RUSSIA ATTACK ISRAEL?

Russia’s ambassador to Syria this week issued what some saw as a veiled threat should Israel continue bombing Iranian assets in the war-torn country.

On February 6, an aerial attack on a target near Damascus killed 20 Syrian and Iranian military officials.   It also caused Syrian air defenses to inadvertently fire on an airplane carrying 172 passengers.   The plane managed to safely land at a nearby airport.

Israel Defense Minister Naftali Bennett later hinted that the attack was just another in a long series of Israeli strikes against Iranian assets that are admittedly in Syria for the purpose of threatening the Jewish state.

But Russian Ambassador Alexander Yefimov wasn’t interested in Israeli justifications.

In an interview with Sputnik Arabic, Yefimov called the Israeli raids “provocative and very dangerous.”   He further cautioned that “this increases the possibility of conflict over Syria.”

Since Syria is already in conflict, his warning was taken to mean that the ongoing Israeli raids could eventually result in an armed clash between the Jewish state and Russian forces in the region.

Israeli political and military officials have never been shy about referencing the biblical “War of Gog and Magog.”   It’s something they believe is going to happen.  (Israel Today, 2/17)

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GERMAN CRITICISM OF US BREAKING INTERNATIONAL LAW

In reference to the US drone-murder of Iran’s General Qassem Suleimani, German government advisors are warning against a growing number of violations of international law by the United States.   For years, “the foreign policy of the Trump administration has demonstrated that it has been a particular strain on international law,” observes an analysis published by Berlin’s German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).  Suleimani’s murder suggests that Washington is now beginning to extend its “war on terror” tactics, that had already become common-place under President Barack Obama – such as drone-murders – to leading representatives of foreign nations, it considers to be “a threat.”  In the future, “state representatives should fear for their lives, when they travel outside their country,” because “the consequences for international diplomacy are hardly predictable.”  The SWP advises the German government to take a clear stand.  Of course, in its attempts to implement its globalist policies over the past few decades, Berlin, too, has repeatedly violated international law, often as an accomplice of the USA.    (German Foreign Policy, 1/28)

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Watch Israel’s new laser weapon shoot drones out of sky                   by Yaron Steinbuch, 12 Feb 2020

An Israeli drone defense system fit for “Star Wars” has shot down multiple maneuvering targets with a high-powered laser beam, according to reports.   “The system achieved 100 percent success in all test scenarios,” defense technology company Rafael said in a statement about its Drone Dome C-UAS, or Counter-Unmanned Aerial System, the Times of Israel reported.   “The stages of the interception included target detection, identification and interception” with the laser beam, it said in a video of a recent demo of the system.   In the footage, a vehicle-mounted system is shown engaging the targets, including zigzagging drones.   In one test, three drones flying in formation were downed in rapid succession.  “Drone Dome is designed to address threats posed by hostile drones both in military and civilian sites,” Rafael said.

Drone Dome refers to a package that includes a search radar, drone radio command detector, an electro-optical sensor, and command-and-control system, according to Popular Mechanics.  The system can detect objects as small as 0.021 square feet at 2.1 miles.  Once detected, it locks onto the drone, keeping it in its cross hairs as it maneuvers in any direction.   When the laser is blasted, it melts away the drone’s plastic housing and destroys its electronics, sending it to the ground.     (https://nypost.com/2020/02/12/watch-israels-wild-new-laser-weapon-shoot-drones-out-of-sky/)

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 Munich Security Conference:  France’s Macron envisions new era of European strength                                                                                                  The French president projected a vision of a Europe with new military power at the Munich Security Conference.   As the only nuclear power in the EU, he also foresaw greater European sovereignty.

“We cannot always go through the United States, no, we have to think in a European way as well,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on stage at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) on Saturday as he continued a theme of his presidency: projecting bold European sovereignty onto the international stage.

He was referring specifically to Europe’s nuclear assets, pointing out a key difference to the Cold War era when Europe’s nuclear shield was primarily coordinated by the US.   “Now we have to be able to say clearly that if we want a sovereign Europe, if we want to protect our citizens, then we do need to look at that aspect, also with a view to Germany,” he said.   To show his commitment, Macron has already invited Germany to take part in a strategic dialogue over France’s nuclear weapon policy.

The UK’s exit from the European Union has shifted added responsibility onto France.   Though the UK and France are of course still NATO partners, along with the US and Germany, France is now the only nuclear power in the EU, which leaves the Paris government balancing its nuclear defense strategy between, as Macron put it, “the ambitions of NATO and Europe.” (Deutsche Welle, 15 Feb, 2020)  (– Extract from:  (https://www.dw.com/en/munich-security-conference-frances-macron-envisions-new-era-of-european-strength/a-52389586)

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Munich Security Conference:   African leaders absent from Sahel talks
Germany and other world powers meeting in Munich raised concerns about the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel region.  But African heads of state who had been invited were conspicuously absent.

Not a single head of state from the continent attended, despite the growing threat of terrorism and the armed conflicts tearing it apart.

A report by Save the Children, published as world leaders convened in Munich, Germany, said at least 95,000 children had been killed or maimed across the world since 2005.  Tens of thousands were abducted and millions were denied access to education.

Germany makes a case for the Sahel:   In the absence of African leaders, to bring the matter to the table, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for an increased effort in the fight against Islamists in Africa.   “The Sahel is a key region for Europe, for example, when it comes to migration or the threat of terrorism,” she said, adding:   “That is why it is so important that Germany remains committed there, militarily as well.”  Kramp-Karrenbauer’s statement was encouraging to the Central African Republic’s defense minister, Marie-Noelle Koyara.   “I take this opportunity to thank the German government for making such a wise decision,” the CAR defense minister told DW.

African children were the worst affected, according to Save the Children.   Some 170 million across Africa and the Middle East are living in war zones.  “You will see that most of the violent conflicts do not feature,” Dan Smith, director of SIPRI, an international think tank dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control, and disarmament, told DW.

Smith is disappointed the international community is not paying attention to the crisis unfolding in Africa.

“They (Africans) are not part of the thinking of the security community that is gathered here,” Smith adds.  “That doesn’t mean that this community’s concerns are irrelevant, but they’re not focused on the Sahel; they are not focused on the Horn of Africa.”(https://www.dw.com/en/munich-security-conference-african-leaders-absent-from-sahel-talks/a-52398078)

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 EU’s Franco-German axis will stutter without the Brits, says Vestager
“I think we will see a new dynamic in the union, but it will take some time before we fully recover,” the EU competition and digital chief said.            by Simon Van Dorpe, Politico.eu, 30 Jan 2020

France and Germany will struggle to drive the EU without the British “energy” that helped Paris and Berlin work together, EU competition and digital chief Margrethe Vestager said today.  “One of the things we will be missing is of course the energy.   Because we have a French-German axis – but part of the energy to make that axis work comes from, came from, the U.K.,” Vestager said when asked what she would miss about Britain.    Vestager said that other member countries, “maybe changing coalitions of member states,” would have to step into that void.  “I think we will see a new dynamic in the union, but it will take some time before we fully recover,” she said. Vestager attended the Brexit vote in the parliament on Wednesday, which she said was “really touching because you see it is real.”  Vestager also said she would miss the sense of humor of the Brits, which she said was similar to the Danish.

“I was very close to [former U.K. Commissioner] Jonathan Hill; I was sitting next to [Hill’s successor] Julian King when he was the Commissioner here and I miss them, because they come with a U.K. culture,” she said.   She told an anecdote of how she struggled to communicate in English at the start of her first mandate and when she asked Hill if he didn’t find it exhausting how the other commissioners treated his language, he said: “Of course not, I’m so honored that you’re all trying.”
(https://www.politico.eu/article/eus-franco-german-axis-will-stutter-without-the-brits-says-vestager/)

Brexit punches 12-bln-euro hole in EU finances
by Agence France-Presse, 30 Jan, 2020

Brussels – When Britain leaves the European Union at midnight on Friday the bloc will lose the second-biggest net contributor to its budget, leaving a 12-billion-euro ($13-billion) hole in its finances.  The United Kingdom will continue making budget contributions this year under an agreed post-Brexit transition period.   But from 2021 Europe will have to look elsewhere.  This further complicates an already fraught debate between the remaining member states over the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget, called the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).   The European Commission has had a proposed MFF on the table since May 2018, and its new president Ursula von der Leyen is keen to get it approved soon.   But a so-called “Frugal Five” of wealthy mainly northern countries — Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden — are seeking to limit EU expenditure.   And a rival “Friends of Cohesion” group of 16 eastern and Mediterranean countries wants to defend the budget rules.

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Frustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petitioned to leave the state – by moving the border with Idaho westward.

The movement secured initial approval from two counties and aims to get enough signatures to put the proposal on ballots in November, according to the group called Greater Idaho.  If the group succeeds, voters in southeast Oregon may see a question on whether their county should become part of Idaho by redrawing the border.   “Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” Mike McCarter, one of the chief petitioners, said in a news release. “We tried voting those legislators out, but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored.  This is our last resort.” (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/02/17/oregon-idaho-border-petition-secede/4789936002/)

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TO THE POINT

  • After a five-month delay, Afghanistan’s electoral commission named Ashraf Ghani as the winner of the country’s presidential election.   The result was delayed after supporters of Mr. Ghani’s leading challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, accused the commission of bias and threatened to form a parallel government.  The victory gives Mr. Ghani a second five-year term as president.  (The Economist 2/19/2020)
  • Three of Britain’s remaining overseas territories are under constant threat from Spain (Gibraltar), Argentina (Falkland Islands) and Mauritius (Diego Garcia, home of a big US naval base in the Indian Ocean).   Vladimir Putin, soon to be proclaimed dictator of Russia, has given his support to Argentina’s claim on the Falklands.   At one time, the three territories would have had nothing to fear as they would have been protected by the Royal Navy.   Not any more – Italy’s navy is now bigger than Britain’s.  Quite a comedown for what was the world’s greatest navy before World War II.   The navy is not even going to be big enough to stop Europeans fishing in British waters, post-Brexit.
  • The British government announced the first details of its post-Brexit plans for immigration policy.  It promised that there would be no more visas for low-skilled workers and no freedom of movement between Britain and the rest of the European Union.  Visa applications will instead be judged on a “points-based” immigration system.  (The Economist 2/19/2020)
  • German man leaves €7 million fortune to far-right AfDAn engineer who died in 2018 has donated his entire estate of gold, property and patents  to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The endowment is one of the largest ever given to a German political party.
  • A locust plague which has now reached coronavirus-struck China may be the “fifth trumpet” prophesied in the Book of Revelation, according to wild claims.  (https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1243557/locast-swarm-china-coronavirus-book-revelation-seventh-seal-trumpet-jesus-christ-god-)

SLAVERY IS BACK, BIG TIME

Many of the victims were chained to car hubcaps. Picture: Nigerian police – Source:Supplied

When the first Europeans arrived in Africa in the late fifteenth century, they found a thriving slave trade along the west African coast.   UNESCO reported some years ago that the slave trade was back, in every single country.   President John Kufour of Ghana apologized for the fact that African leaders had been involved.   Without them, there could have been no slave trade.   Now, it seems that the trade is back.   See the following two reports from Nigeria.   Kaduna is a Muslim city in the north of Nigeria.

Nearly 500 men and boys have been rescued from a building in the northern city of Kaduna, where the detainees were allegedly sexually abused and tortured, Nigerian police said.

Children as young as five were among those in chains at what was thought to be an Islamic school, officers said.   Kaduna police chief Ali Janga told the BBC the building was raided after a tip-off about suspicious activity.   He described it as a “house of torture” and a place of human slavery.

Eight suspects, most of them teachers, were arrested.   The police chief said the detainees – some with injuries and starved of food – were overjoyed to be freed. (BBC 9/27)

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BABY FACTORIES

Police rescued 19 pregnant girls who had been kidnapped and raped from properties in Lagos dubbed “baby factories.”

Most of the women, aged between 15 and 28, were abducted and forcibly impregnated so their babies could later be sold.   The girls had been promised employment as domestic workers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.   Instead they were held in the properties and forced into sex slavery.   They were also forced to bear children, which were then sold.   (Independent, 10/1)

It’s likely that these babies were intended for western markets.

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GLOBAL ECONOMIC PROBLEMS

Manhattan apartment prices suffered their worst slide in almost a decade in the third quarter as buyers stayed away from multimillion-dollar purchases while newly-built luxury properties continued to flood the market.  Median prices fell 12 per cent in the quarter from the year earlier, the worst drop since the last three months of 2009, according to Core, a New York City real estate broker.   The median price fell to $999,950, the first time it dipped below $1m in four years, according to Core’s data.

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Vacancies in US shopping malls have hit an eight-year high but new data show that some areas are coping with the retail upheaval far better than others and the gap is widening.   The proportion of units lying empty in some cities, including Indianapolis and Birmingham, Alabama, is about four times higher than the economic hotspot of San Francisco, according to new data from Reis, part of Moody’s Analytics.   The signs of difficulty in local retail property markets come as landlords brace for a wave of store closures following the bankruptcy of Forever 21 this week.   The fast-fashion retailer, which has 32,800 employees globally, has earmarked 178 locations for closure across the US.  (Alistair Gray, Financial Times, 10/3)

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Global stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, with the UK market having its worst day in more than three years, after poor US jobs data compounded weak manufacturing reports and geopolitical fears — a pile-up of risks that sets the stage for a rocky fourth quarter.   The UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 closed 3.2 per cent lower, the largest one day fall since January 2016 and exceeding the decline that followed the UK referendum in June 2016.   The US S&P 500 fell 1.8 per cent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 1.6 per cent.   The sell-off continued in Asia on Thursday morning. Japan’s Topix slid 2.1 per cent, on track for its worst day in almost two months, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.2 per cent, setting up the bourse for worst one-day performance in seven weeks.   Stocks in Hong Kong opened down 0.8%. (Financial Times, 10/3)

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The World Trade Organisation gave America the green light to impose $7.5bn of tariffs on imports from the European Union.   The Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on a smorgasbord, from Scotch whisky and parmesan to aeroplane parts.  The WTO had already ruled that EU subsidies for Airbus, a plane-maker, amounted to illegal state aid harming Boeing, its American rival.                          (The Economist, 10/3)

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IRAN TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE MAP

ISRAEL MUST BE ‘WIPED OFF MAP’ AND IRAN HAS ‘THE CAPACITY’ — Iran Guards chief:   Destroying Israel now not a dream but an ‘achievable goal’

In a claim prominently reported in Iran, Major General Hossein Salami declares Tehran able to annihilate ‘the impostor Zionist regime.   ’Four decades on from Iran’s Islamic revolution, “we have managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the impostor Zionist regime,” Major General Hossein Salami was quoted saying by the IRGC’s Sepah news site.    “This sinister regime must be wiped off the map,” Salami said.

Salami’s comments Monday came two days after Abbas Nilforoushan, the deputy commander of operations of the IRGC, threatened that if Israel attacks Iran, it will have to collect “bits and pieces” of Tel Aviv from the Mediterranean Sea.

“Iran has encircled Israel from all four sides.   Nothing will be left of Israel,” said Nilforoushan in an interview with the Iranian news agency Tasnim on Saturday.   “Israel is not in a position to threaten Iran,” he said according to a translation published by Radio Farda, the Iranian branch of the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   (https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-guards-chief-says-destroying-israel-is-not-a-dream-but-an-achievable-goal/)

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AUSTRALIAN PM GIVES MAJOR SPEECH ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned against “negative globalism” that could restrict his government from acting on its election promises, pushing back against global bodies in areas like climate change and border control.

Mr. Morrison used a major foreign policy speech to reject isolationism but said his government could not accept decisions by an “unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy” at odds with the will of the Australian people.

The Prime Minister insisted Australia did not have to choose between its friendships with the United States and China, one week after he took a position on global trade talks that triggered objections in Beijing.

In a key statement about Australian alliances, he praised a “quadrilateral” meeting between the United States, Japan and India last week as an important advance on regional cooperation.

And he announced his intention to visit Japan and India early next year, cementing relations with both countries at a time of public strains with China, which has strongly opposed the “quadrilateral” forum for more than a decade.   (David Crowe, 10/3)

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CANADIAN ELECTION

“. . . parts of the coalition that brought Mr. Trudeau to power are looking shady. In 2015, eight out of the ten constituencies with the highest proportion of immigrants went for his party.   The blackface scandal could put some immigrants voters off, although Mr. Trudeau’s support for high levels of immigration will weigh in his favor.   Just over 321,000 permanent residents were admitted in 2018 (0.9% of Canada’s population) and the target for 2021 is 350,000.” (The Economist, 9/28).

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CHINA’S 70th BIRTHDAY

The Chinese Communist Party celebrated 70 years in power on Tuesday, October 1st.   The “People’s Republic of China” was founded on that day, seventy years ago.

Celebrations were marred by on-going rioting in Hong Kong, where protestors celebrated a “Day of Grief.”   Sources say that the military display Tuesday was the biggest in history, showing that China is a military superpower.

President Xi declared that “no force can shake this great nation.”

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SINO-GERMAN RELATIONS

Since Berlin’s ceremonial reception of a secessionist from Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China has been reducing its working relations with Germany.   Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi canceled a series of bilateral meetings with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas.   China’s easing customs restrictions for German automobile companies are in jeopardy.   Maas recently met with Joshua Wong, General Secretary of the Demosisto party, which is campaigning for a referendum on Hong Kong’s secession from China. Germany, which is thus blatantly interfering in the People’s Republic of China’s domestic affairs and is strengthening those forces, hostile to the Chinese nation’s continued existence, had already been one of those European powers, which, at the turn of the 19th century, had sought to weaken China, to colonially subjugate regions of the country – including Hong Kong – and to plunder the Middle Kingdom.   From the outset, German colonial troops had committed massacres of countless civilians, to crush the fierce resistance within the population. (German Foreign Policy, 10/2).

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FACEBOOK — END OF FREE SPEECH?

EU courts can demand Facebook actively monitor and delete illegal material such as hate speech, Europe’s top court has ruled.

In a landmark ruling that Facebook has warned threatens freedom of expression, the European Court of Justice on Wednesday said there is nothing in EU current law stopping Facebook from searching and deleting duplicate posts of content that has been declared illegal.   The court said the searches and deletion can be done in the EU but also worldwide should national courts demand it.

The judgment upholds a non-binding opinion from an ECJ adviser in June, which Facebook said “undermines the longstanding principle that one country should not have the right to limit free expression in other countries.”

In its ruling, the ECJ said there is nothing stopping Facebook “from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal.”  (Mehreen Kah, Brussels, Financial Times, 10/3)

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TO THE POINT

  • “For three years, the media-deep state axis has sought to overturn the election of 2016 and bring down Trump, starting with Russia-gate.   Now it appears to have tailored and weaponized the impeachment process . . .   This is what the deep state does to outsiders Middle America sends to Washington to challenge or dispossess it.”  (Pat Buchanan, 10/1)
  • SYNAGOGUES IN GERMANY
    Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin:   The Jewish community in Berlin with more than 11,000 members is once again the biggest in Germany.   Its main synagogue is on the Rykestrasse, a red-brick building in a Neo-Romanesque style dating from 1903/04. With seating for over 2,000 it is the second largest synagogue in Europe after the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest.
  • In February 2019 . . . Pope Francis travelled to Abu Dhabi after receiving an invitation from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.   It was there that on 4 February the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, signed a historic Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. Abrahamic Family House:   Immediately, the newly signed document took on flesh. Just one day later on 5 February, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince announced the construction of the Abrahamic Family House on Saadiyat Island.   The complex will eventually house a Christian church, a mosque and a synagogue as well as an educational centre.   . . . Committee member Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak says that this latest proposal to “bring world cultures together” is rooted in an overall desire on the part of the United Arab Emirates.
  • A village in New Zealand has banned a replica of Captain Cook’s ship from docking there to mark 250 years since the explorer’s arrival after an outcry from the local Māori community.   The vessel is part of a flotilla circumnavigating New Zealand next month for the Tuia 250– a NZ$13.5m (£7m) series of events that “acknowledges the first onshore encounters between Māori and Pākehā in 1769-70.”    It was due to visit Mangonui, in the North Island, but the stop was cancelled by the ministry of culture and heritage after complaints from indigenous figures.   Anahera Herbert-Graves, the head of Northland’s Ngāti Kahu iwi, or tribe, told RNZ:    “He [Cook] was a barbarian.   Wherever he went, like most people of the time of imperial expansion, there were murders, there were abductions, there were rapes, and just a lot of bad outcomes for the indigenous people.   “He didn’t discover anything down here, and we object to Tuia 250 using euphemisms like ‘encounters’ and ‘meetings’ to disguise what were actually invasions.”   In Gisborne, nearly 800km from Mangonui down the east coast and the starting point for the flotilla’s months-long voyage, iwi said they would refuse to hold pōwhiri, or welcoming ceremonies, for those ships linked to colonization. (Graham Russell, The Guardian, 9/17)
  • BORIS JOHNSON’S PLANS FOR BREXIT                                              Boris Johnson on Wednesday finally published the plan he hopes will end Britain’s three-year Brexit agony, winning plaudits from Eurosceptics at home but prompting serious doubts about whether it could unlock a deal with the EU.   Mr. Johnson closed his Conservative party conference with a flourish, despatching to Brussels what he called “fair and reasonable” proposals to address the vexed issue of the Irish border, intended to broker an exit deal by October 31.   The prime minister’s allies said Mr. Johnson would negotiate with Brussels, but if his plan was rejected outright he would break off all talks and start preparing for a no-deal exit.   He could also refuse to attend an EU summit next month and fight any future election blaming Brussels, opposition parties and Remainers for stopping Brexit.  (Financial Times, 10/3)

 

QUESTION TIME

I’m now able to watch BBC Question Time on a regular basis.  This is courtesy of Britbox, a streaming service.  The one-hour program is shown on British television on Thursday evening and I can see it Friday morning. We’ve come a long way in the last few years.

The program is not one I can say I enjoy.  It raises my blood pressure alarmingly!  But it’s a clear reminder of how far the British people have gone astray.  As it says in the Book of Hosea:   My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).   There isn’t even a basic grasp of Biblical knowledge.

Typically, there are five panelists and a supposedly random audience, made up of members of the public.   Members of the public put questions to the panel, who then answer them.   Only two of the panelists gave reasonable answers.   One was a Ghanaian member of the British parliament, the other the head of Witherspoons’, the country’s biggest pub chain. In the audience, only one supported Brexit, whereas 51.7% did in the country as a whole.

One panelist was a raving leftist loonie.   She was the most vocal.

Fortunately, the panelists differ from week to week, but it’s doubtful they will ever have one made up of five conservatives.

Which brings me to the Democratic Party’s ten contenders last night and ten tonight.

Age is obviously a hindrance for me.  I can remember when the Democrats were simply a left of center party claiming to fight for better pay and conditions for working men.   That was 50 years ago. Now, they are the main party advocating infanticide, excessive spending that would wreck the economy, an alien invasion and a total transformation of the social lives of the people, replacing the norm with LGBTQ adherents.

I can’t help feeling that a backlash is coming, one way or the other. Perhaps it will come after national bankruptcy.   It’s not just that the party lacks ideological sense;  it also lacks common sense.

>>Mark Steyn, 6/27:   “Bernie comes up with an action plan for American student debt: PRINT MORE MONEY”.

>> A report in today’s USA Today shows that young people are turning against the LGBTQ community.   It’s another sign that liberalism has gone too far.

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LONDON KILLINGS

One question that came up on “Question Time” was the issue of London’s outbreak of stabbings.   All kinds of theories were brought up to explain why they have seen an increasing number of stabbings in recent years.

One theory that was not mentioned seems the most likely.  That’s the fact that London is the most multicultural city in the world.  With people from every country, and with 50% of the population made up of immigrants, many people have formed gangs along ethnic lines. These gangs are very territorial and constantly fight each other. Over drugs, too.

For generations, when the British had colonies all over the world, they kept hostile tribes apart.  Now they have to do the same at home.  They seem to be failing.

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FOUR MORE MONTHS = 40

The number 40 is of Biblical significance, separating one epoch from another. It can show God’s intervention in human affairs.

At the end of October, it will be forty months since the vote on Brexit.   October 31st is the day by which the UK is set to leave the European Union.

Knowing what is to come in Europe, this may be God’s way of delivering the modern Israelites from the prophesied European Beast power, which is to come.

This most likely means that Boris Johnson will be the next prime minister.   He has promised Brexit by the due date.

Alternatively, if it’s Jeremy Hunt, the Europeans will have to kick Britain out.   They have already made if clear there can be no more negotiations, so why bother?

>>Carrie Symonds, Boris’ girlfriend, turns out to be a feminist and an environmentalist.  No wonder they had a blowup last week!   Meanwhile, the liberal leftist neighbours who reported on this to The Guardian, are in hiding, after having received death threats. Brexit is nasty.

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REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY

It’s not surprising that the Democrats are in favor of reparations for slavery.   As the party of slavery, they have a lot to atone for.

Of course, slavery was a long time ago.   But, even in my lifetime, the Democrats were instrumental in depriving African-Americans in the south of the vote and, therefore, their civil rights.

True to form, the welfare reforms brought in by LBJ, have destroyed the African-American family.

What will they do next to make life harder for the country’s second biggest minority?

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A WORLD WITHOUT THE US

“If one wanted to see what a world without US influence looks like, you could have been an observer at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek on Friday, and then gone to Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe the next day for the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

Together, these summits include more than 30 member and observer states and provided a forum for an emerging alliance of Russia, China, Turkey and Iran to discuss regional and global issues without Western powers present.   This is important because all of these countries, for different reasons, have faced challenges from Washington in recent years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jingping met on Friday with leaders of Central Asian states, as well as India and Pakistan, to discuss regional and global issues.   They adopted the Bishkek Declaration that sought to emphasize the need to fight “three forces of evil,” including separatism, terrorism and extremism. Russia’s Tass News Agency felt this was important to note. In addition, the countries are working to challenge “cross-border crime” and “build a multi-polar world order.”

(“Two central Asia summits challenge the United States,” Seth Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, 6/15 Middle East Forum).  (Original title: “The Central Asia summits that show Washington is losing its grip.”)

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G20 SET TO DISCUSS TRADE

President Trump and world leaders are meeting in Osaka, Japan.   World trade is certain to be discussed.   On Saturday, Mr. Trump meets with China’s President Xi.   Hopefully, they can resolve their trade dispute.   If they fail, the world seems headed for a full-scale trade war.

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A SIGN OF THE TIMES

“A lie can travel around the world quicker than the truth gets out of bed.” (Tony Dokoupil, CBS This Morning)

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EU DIVISIONS OVER ARMAMENTS

In the arms industry, tensions between Berlin and Paris are growing as new steps are made to develop the next-generation of EU aerial combat systems.   The signing of new agreements concerning the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) on Monday in Paris was overshadowed by warnings from the German Bundestag that companies from Germany must be granted at least 50 percent of the contracts for the development and construction of the FCAS.

At the same time, Berlin is seeking to shift the balance of forces involved in the development and construction of a new Franco-German battle tank to Germany’s advantage.   The battle tank is conceived to be part of the future Main Ground Combat Systems (MGCS), which – like the FCAS – should operate in close conjunction with other weapons including unmanned systems.   While the German government is aiming to establish the Franco-German combat systems as a standard within the EU, to channel as much profit as possible to Germany, Great Britain, excluded from the German – French project, is developing its own rival combat aircraft.   (German Foreign Policy, 6/20)

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ANGELA MERKEL’S HEALTH

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seen trembling once again during a ceremony in Berlin on Thursday, eight days after a similar incident.

Video showed Mrs. Merkel, 64, gripping her arms as her body was shaking on Thursday.   After about two minutes, she looked steadier and shook hands with the new justice minister.

She was offered a glass of water, but did not drink it.   Mrs. Merkel had blamed the previous incident on dehydration.

She later set off for the G20 summit in Japan as planned at lunchtime.

“All is going ahead as planned.   The federal chancellor is fine,” spokesman Steffen Seibert said.   (BBC 6/27)

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SARCASM GETS POINT ACROSS ON TRUMP AND HITLER

Trump Derangement Syndrome:   Hitler Hitler Hitler!   Trump could be Hitler except he has a Jewish daughter, son-in-law and Jewish grandchildren.   He could totally be Hitler except for moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem.   And he could certainly be Hitler except for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Worst anti-Semite ever.   (Mark Steyn, 6/27)

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I’m writing this while seated in a Tim Horton’s coffee and donut shop (I only had a drink!). On TV, Dr Phil’s subject of the day is “My husband’s face is used for catfish bait”!   TV doesn’t get any better. 

Fortunately, I can’t hear it.

BRITISH EMPIRE WAS A BLESSING

It has been suggested that citizens of the sixteen Commonwealth Realms be given their own “fast lane” at UK Points of Entry.   This will be good news for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the smaller realms.   If the idea is approved, it will be a first step toward restoring closer Commonwealth ties that ended when Britain joined the EU.

While Britain has been a member of the European Union, EU citizens were able to go through the fast lane, while the rest of us waited for up to two hours, slowly inching forward in the “Aliens” line.

Post-Brexit, it will certainly be in Britain’s best interests to enter into closer trade and defense ties with the countries that share Britain’s parliamentary system and all have the same Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II.   Other Commonwealth countries have opted for a republican form of government, recognizing the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth but not retaining her services as their own sovereign.

It will also mean that, for the first time, the United Kingdom is reversing five decades of history and turning its attention again to its former Empire.

The word “Empire” has been a pejorative for two generations.   Before World War One, there was a great deal of enthusiasm for the British Empire around the world in territories that constituted the “empire upon which the sun never set.”   Over a quarter of the world’s people lived under the British flag.   Imperialism was in vogue and inspired millions of people to help develop other nations.

Today, people forget what a blessing the Empire was.  Let’s take a look at a few of those blessings.

1.  The Bible and religious freedom.

The fourteenth century philosopher and theologian, John Wycliffe, was the first man to translate all the scriptures into English.   His favorite verse was Philippians 2:12: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”   He struck the first blow for religious freedom and democracy by encouraging people to study for themselves and make up their own minds.

Two centuries later, the English Queen Elizabeth I, secured the Protestant Reformation by bravely sending her smaller fleet against the Spanish Armada.   England defeated the Spaniards, thereby thwarting an attempt by the pope to force the country back into the Catholic Church.

In the nineteenth century, the British and Foreign Bible Society, took the Bible into dozens of different countries.   The Wycliffe Bible Translation Society still exists, sending volunteers into poor and backward countries to develop a written language and then translate the Bible so that all may read it.

The most famous British missionary, David Livingstone, took the Bible with him into central Africa, to “bring light into darkness.”  He was also motivated by a desire to see the end of slavery, perpetrated by Arab slave traders, who were seizing black Africans as slaves.

2.  Britain was the first major country to abolish slavery.

Slavery was universal and had not been questioned until the eighteenth century.   It wasn’t just Africans who were taken as slaves.   One million white people were being held by Muslim slave traders at this time.   (“White Gold”, Giles Milton, 2004.)

In 1772, the Somerset decision by an English court, ruled that British people could not hold slaves, that all people in Britain were free. It took another 35 years before the slave trade was abolished and a further 27 years before slavery itself was ended throughout the British Empire.  (Denmark banned the slave trade in its territories a few years before Britain.)

One year after the abolition of the slave trade, the British government authorized the Royal Navy to stop ships on the high seas and free all the slaves.   Wikipedia has this to say about the West Africa Squadron:

“The Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron (or Preventative Squadron) at substantial expense in 1808 after Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807.   The squadron’s task was to suppress the Atlantic slave trade by patrolling the coast of West Africa.   With a home base at Portsmouth, it began with two small ships, the 32-gun fifth-rate frigate HMS Solebay and the Cruizer-class brig-sloop HMS Derwent. At the height of its operations, the squadron employed a sixth of the Royal Navy fleet and marines.

“Between 1808 and 1860 the West Africa Squadron captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans.[“1]

Because of its role in fighting slavery, Britain was seen as a Liberator around the world.  Many tribes in Africa asked to be annexed into the British Empire, seeking protection from slave traders.  At one point, so many African tribes were asking to join the Empire that the British were overwhelmed. “The Dualla chiefs of the Cameroon repeatedly asked to be annexed, but the British either declined or took no notice at all.”  (Pax Britannica, James Morris, 1968, page 43)

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, Victorians were caught up in an enthusiastic desire to see slavery ended in Africa, and the Bible, Protestant Christianity, democracy and the rule of law introduced (“Africa and the Victorians,” Robinson and Gallagher, 1961)

Sadly, in the sixty years since the end of the British Empire, slavery is back in every single African country, according to UNESCO.   The former Ghanaian President, John Kufour, condemned slavery in Ghana a few years ago on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade throughout the British Empire; he also apologized for the role Ghana’s own chiefs had played in promoting slavery by selling their own people and members of other tribes.

3.  British capital developed many nations.

The definitive books on British investment around the world are the two volume “British Imperialism” by Cain and Hopkins.  The books highlight “London’s role as the chief provider of economic services during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries” (back cover, volume one).   London remains the world’s number one financial center (New York has the world’s biggest stock exchange).   Not only did British capital develop every country in the Empire, it was also responsible for developing the United States, Argentina, Brazil,Chile, the Ottoman Empire and China.

Interestingly, one reason that members of the European Union are upset over Brexit, is that Britain has been a net contributor to the EU, helping to finance development in other member nations.  When the UK leaves, where is the money going to come from?

4.   Another blessing of British rule was its governmental system and the administration of its various colonies.

Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its constitutional monarchy is the most stable political system in the world.   It was successfully exported to all its colonies and dominions.  Sixteen of those countries have retained the same system since independence, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of majority black countries in the Caribbean.  Queen Elizabeth remains as Head of State in all of these countries.

38 other countries, former colonies of Great Britain, did not retain the Queen as Head of State but still look to her as the Head of the Commonwealth.  Many of these nations have suffered through coups and counter-coups and periods of military rule.  In many, corruption is rife and the people are worse off than they were when colonies.

Interestingly, it was recently suggested that the United States join the Commonwealth, as an Associate member.  The Royal Commonwealth Society is opening a branch in New York City.

5.   The free world’s first line of defense.

For two centuries Great Britain was the “policeman of the world.”  The country brought down Napoleon, after which she was the undisputed leader of the world.  A century later, with her dominions and colonies, she brought down the Kaiser.  In World War Two, the British Empire was the only power that was in the war from beginning to end.   With later help from the Soviet Union and the United States, the Empire defeated Hitler and his monstrous Third Reich that was the most racist regime in modern history.  The Empire’s forces also kept the peace on the North-West frontier of India, in what are now Pakistan and Afghanistan and in other trouble spots around the world.

America’s pre-eminent historian, James Truslow Adams, wrote his history of “The British Empire 1784-1939” in the year that World War Two started, 1939.   This is the final paragraph in his book:   “In this world crisis, we in America have a great stake.  We know that stability is impossible without respect for law and order, for the honesty of the written and spoken word.  Without liberty of thought, speech and press, progress is impossible.  What these things mean to the world of today and tomorrow has been amply demonstrated by the negation of them in certain great nations during the past few years.   Different peoples may have different ideals of government but for those who have been accustomed to freedom of person and of spirit, the possible overthrow of the British Empire would be a catastrophe scarcely thinkable.  Not only would it leave a vacuum over a quarter of the globe into which all the wild winds of anarchy, despotism and spiritual oppression could rush, but the strongest bulwark outside ourselves for our own safety and freedom would have been destroyed.”  (page 358)

The Empire has indeed been replaced by “the wild winds of anarchy, despotism and spiritual oppression.”

It’s no wonder that, at the height of the Empire, during Queen Victoria’s reign and the first few years of the twentieth century, many people in Britain and its overseas territories, believed the Empire was a fulfillment of biblical promises made to Joseph, one of the twelve sons of Israel.  In Genesis, chapter 48, we read of howJoseph’s descendants were to become a great “multitude of nations” and a “great (single) nation,” the British Empire and Commonwealth and the United States.  They were to be a physical blessing to the world (Genesis 12:3).  In the late Victorian period, believers published a weekly newspaper called “The Banner of Israel”  — they enthusiastically tracked the daily growth of the British Empire and the United States at the time.

This belief was widely held in the trenches of World War One.  It’s ironic that those same trenches shattered the religious convictions of many, who witnessed the carnage first-hand.

No empire was perfect.  Britain made mistakes.  Often listed by anti-imperialists is the Amritsar massacre of 1919.  This was not deliberate government policy, but rather the misjudgment of the commanding officer.  The 1943 Bengal famine is also often mentioned; overlooked is the fact that this was in the middle of World War II when other nations also experienced famine. Historical mistakes were made in Ireland, which caused problems to this day.

Imperialism had been in vogue before 1914; after two world wars, there was great disillusionment.   Additionally, the colonial powers had serious financial problems.  Decolonization followed.  It was the end of the European empires.

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IS A MUSLIM BAN DISCRIMINATORY?

abe-lincoln-slaves

The fuss over the executive order relating to Muslims entering the US once again highlights just how ignorant most people are of history.   This is especially true of the left, who keep on repeating the mantra that discrimination is un-American.

Perhaps they have never heard of slavery, or maybe they just want to forget it as the Democrats were the party of slavery.

Anyway, discrimination has been common in American history, going right back to the first settlements in Jamestown and Massachusetts Bay.   Both colonies were founded by WASPs, for WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants).   The location of Jamestown was chosen to hide from Catholics intent on kidnapping Protestants.   At the time of independence from Great Britain, the thirteen colonies were 98% Protestant, 1% Catholic and 1% “Other,”  including Jews.

In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled that African-Americans could not be American citizens.   Again, remember, by this time the Republicans were campaigning for the end of slavery, while the Democrats were in support; this blatantly racist decision was made by a Court that was siding with the Democrats.   Right up until the 1964 Voting Rights Act, Democratic politicians in the South deprived blacks of the vote; while the whites voted for the Democrats as the party that supported the Old (pro-slavery) South.

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress.   The law was against ethnic Chinese, as even Chinese from British territories were not allowed.   The Act was renewed in 1892.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has self-righteously announced that Canada will take in refugees America doesn’t want. Canada is another country going soft, also wallowing in ignorance of history.   His predecessor, Stephen Harper, apologized in 2006 for the 1923 Act of the Canadian parliament that banned Chinese immigration. Australia had a “White Australia” policy before 1972. Muslim countries routinely discriminate – it’s impossible for whites to settle in their countries and become citizens.   The same is true of most African countries.

As the first mosque was opened in the US in 1929, there were clearly few if any Muslim immigrants before that date.   Non-white immigration was strictly limited before the 1965 Immigration Act, which literally changed the face of America.

It should be remembered that in 1942, a Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, issued Proclamation No. 2537 “requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality.   A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month.”  (History magazine)

More recently, President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, banned Iranians (Muslims) from entering the US during the 1979-80 hostage crisis.

So, clearly, it is possible for the US president (and even Canadian and Australian governments) to put an end to Islamic immigration, if they want to.

And what about Europe?

A Muslim army tried to conquer Europe in the eighth century.   It was defeated in 732 at the gates of Paris, by the grandfather of the future Emperor Charlemagne.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Muslim armies tried to take Vienna, at the heart of Europe.   They were defeated by Catholic armies.

There is no record of Austrians demonstrating to let them in!   That had to wait until 21st century liberalism, where half the population is besotted with ignorance of both history and comparative religion. The Catholics of 1683 knew that Islam was a pagan religion – they were terrified the Muslims might win and take over, ending their way of life.   Not so today’s churches who are more inclined to welcome immigrants and refugees.   Even the pope took in a family or two at the Vatican and has said that the building of walls is unchristian – it was walls in the Middle Ages that kept the pagans out, enabling citizens to stay safe.   It was Roman Catholics who built those walls.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called on the nations of Western Europe to launch a “Crusade” against Muslims who were killing and harassing Christians on pilgrimages to the Holy Land.   He called for Christian forces to retake the Holy Land.   Again, there were no demonstrations in the streets in support of Muslims – everybody knew the horror stories from the Middle East.   It’s true that Christians perpetrated horrendous acts against Muslims during the two centuries of the crusades, illustrating how the two religions cannot exist peacefully side by side.   This is another lesson not taught in today’s public schools!

It’s sad that the issue of immigration from Muslim lands has become a political football.   It would be a lot better if there were bipartisan agreement on the matter, but this is not going to happen. Consequently, the invasion will continue.   The Gatestone Institute revealed this week that Muslim immigrants arriving in Italy are shouting “Allahu Akbar” when they see the coast.   Why else would they be risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea when they could simply walk into a neighboring Muslim country?   They see themselves as part of the Muslim army that is going to conquer Europe and the West.

Unless the Church and a political populist come together to try and save Western civilization!

Could Donald Trump lead the charge?   Or is it more likely that a European figure like Charlemagne will emerge to unite Europe and defeat the Muslims?   The biblical Book of Revelation speaks of a final revival of the Roman Empire (Revelation 17:12-14) that will deal with the Islamic threat from the “king of the south” (Daniel 11:40-43).

Footnote:    I would like to write an eye-witness report from a couple of European countries on the Muslim invasion of the continent. If you can donate frequent flyer miles (60,000) or money to cover expenses, please contact me at rhodesmf@gmail.com