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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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).
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)
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)
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).
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
“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)
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?
“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.