“America Slides Deeper Into Depression”
The Telegraph wrote on January 10:
“December was the worst month for US unemployment since the Great Recession began… [Is] History repeating itself? President Obama has been accused by some economists of making the same mistakes policymakers in the US made in the Great Depression, which followed the Wall Street crash of 1929… The labour force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad U6 category of unemployment rose to 17.3pc. That is the one that matters…
“The home foreclosure guillotine usually drops a year or so after people lose their job, and exhaust their savings. The local sheriff will escort them out of the door, often with some sympathy… defaults and repossessions have been running at over 300,000 a month since February [of 2009]. One million American families lost their homes in the fourth quarter. Moody’s Economy.com expects another 2.4m homes to go this year…
“The home seizures are occurring despite frantic efforts by the Obama administration to delay the process… It takes heroic [naivete] to think the US housing market has turned the corner… The fuse has yet to detonate on the next mortgage bomb…Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research said the Fed is baking deflation into the pie later this year, and perhaps a double-dip recession…”
Even though overly optimistic “experts” are telling us that the RECESSION is over, the reality is that we are sliding deeper into DEPRESSION! Irresponsible sugar-coating notwithstanding, we must face the facts. Almost two years ago, we warned in our StandingWatch program that DEPRESSION for the USA is a distinct possibility, and we gave advice to our viewers as to how to prepare for the times ahead.
Will Americans Flirt Soon With Bankruptcy?
The Financial Times wrote on January 11:
“When Americans are asked what they want – lower taxes, more lavish social spending or the world’s best-funded military machine – their collective answer tends to be ‘all of the above’. The result is that the US is piling up debt… What should worry Americans is that, with entitlement spending set to surge, there is no credible plan to bring the budget deficit under control over the medium term.
“But if the US keeps running huge deficits, sooner or later the country will start flirting with bankruptcy… Sometimes, if a government is truly rotten… it is a good thing if a fiscal crisis leads to political collapse. But for most normal countries, it is much better to get close to the edge of national bankruptcy than actually to go over the Niagara Falls of sovereign default… An actual sovereign default… can destroy confidence and trust among citizens and investors for years.”
It is perhaps beyond imagination that the greatest nation on earth might have to face the possibility of economic ruin! But as we are moving farther and farther away from God, our economic prosperity is by no means guaranteed.
Politics and Racism in America
The Wall Street Journal wrote on January 12:
“[U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid is apologizing to all and sundry for saying in private in 2008 that Barack Obama should run for President because he was ‘light-skinned’ and spoke with ‘no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.’ Republicans are calling for Mr. Reid to resign, on grounds of the Trent Lott precedent.
“When the Republican leader in 2002 joked at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond that America might have been better off had the one-time Dixiecrat won his 1948 Presidential campaign, Democrats demanded Mr. Lott’s resignation… Mr. Lott resigned, notwithstanding his profuse apologies.
“In contrast, Mr. Obama and various black Democrats have rushed to Mr. Reid’s defense… here’s hoping the President will be equally quick to absolve the next Republican who says something stupid about race… it would be edifying to the American public to hear this President say so on behalf of someone who isn’t a partisan ally.
“Some Americans, white and black, might be more insulted by Mr. Reid’s implication that most Americans—45 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964—are still so residually racist that they would only vote for a black candidate who isn’t really . . . black. In reality, we saw in November 2008 that Americans were more than ready to elect a black politician who campaigned to be President of all Americans…
“The irony is that Democrats are increasingly the victims of this kind of racial politicking. Bill Clinton’s dismissal of Mr. Obama as a Jesse Jackson-style ‘black candidate’ hurt his wife’s candidacy in 2008. Democratic Congressman Artur Davis, vying to become the first black governor of Alabama, has been declared a traitor to his race for having voted against Nancy Pelosi’s health bill.
“Mr. Reid’s allies are even now responding to critics by playing the race card. Democrats are pointing to the NAACP’s voting assessments of Republicans who have called on him to resign. ‘Senator Reid’s record provides a stark contrast to actions of Republicans to block legislation that would benefit poor and minority communities—most recently reflected in Republican opposition to the health bill,’ says Congressional Black Caucus leader Barbara Lee (D., Calif.). Thus do Mr. Reid’s ill-chosen words morph into the accusation that Republicans are racist for opposing government health care…”
Politicians of all “color” are indeed looking for whatever “argument” or accusation they could use for their advantage. Politics is indeed a dirty business.
Religious Exemption from Mandatory Health Care Insurance?
The Watertown Daily Times wrote on January 9:
“Federal health care reform will require most Northern New Yorkers — but not all, it turns out — to carry health insurance or risk a fine. Hundreds of Amish families in the region are likely to be free from that requirement.
“The Amish, as well as some other religious sects, are covered by a ‘religious conscience’ exemption, which allows people with religious objections to insurance to opt out of the mandate. It is in both the House and Senate versions of the bill, making its appearance in the final version routine unless there are last-minute objections…
“Lawmakers reportedly included the provision at the urging of Amish constituents, although the legislation does not specify that community and the provision could apply to other groups as well, including Old Order Mennonites and perhaps Christian Scientists…
“Marci A. Hamilton, who teaches at the University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, wrote at Findlaw.com in August, ‘If the government can tolerate a religious exemption, then it must do so evenhandedly among religious believers with the same beliefs…
“Congressional aides said the exemption is based on a carve-out the Amish have had from Social Security and Medicare taxes since the 1960s. Whether Amish businesses, however, would fall under the bill’s mandates is still an open question. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., who was a key negotiator on the Senate bill, supports the religious exemption, said a spokesman… who called the provision a ‘no brainer.'”
Major Earthquake in Haiti
ABC News reported on January 12:
“A major earthquake struck just off the coast of Haiti late this afternoon, reportedly causing extensive damage in the capital of Port-au-Prince… The quake had a magnitude of 7.0…”
AFP added on January 13:
“Already the poorest nation in the Americas, Haiti has been hit by a series of disasters recently and was battered by hurricanes in 2008… Seventy per cent of Haiti’s population lives on less than two dollars per day, and half of its 8.5 million people are unemployed… food insecurity already affects more than a quarter of Haiti’s population.”
The Associated Press wrote on January 13:
“The strongest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday… USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti. In 1946, a magnitude-8.1 quake struck the Dominican Republic and also shook Haiti, producing a tsunami that killed 1,790 people… ‘Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed,’ [President Rene] Preval told the Miami Herald… Even the main prison in the capital fell, ‘and there are reports of escaped inmates,’ U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva. The Roman Catholic archbishop of Port-au-Prince was among the dead, and the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission was missing.”
The Los Angeles Times wrote on January 14:
“On Wednesday, President René Préval described the destruction as ‘unimaginable.’ Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said a preliminary assessment led him to fear that the number of dead could be ‘well over 100,000.'” The German press reported that the number of dead could be over 500,000.
Der Spiegel Online wrote on January 14:
“US Secretary of State Clinton has compared the catastrophe to the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia… the Red Cross estimates that a total of 3 million people have been affected… Police and soldiers from the UN peacekeeping troops cleared the rubble, directed the traffic and security. But they were unable to prevent the looting of the many damaged shops.
“Meanwhile, there were fears of more plundering in the city. ‘At present, people are only thirsty, but when they start to starve we will have an apocalypse here,’ German journalist Anne Rose Schön said in an interview over Skype. During her journey to Port-au-Prince, she said she had witnessed a rising aggression among the city’s inhabitants. ‘Half of this city has been devastated,’ said Schön, who has lived in Haiti for more than a decade. She warned of an increase in the risk of disease…”
Major Earthquake in California
The Los Angeles Times wrote on January 10:
“The day after a powerful earthquake rocked the Northern California city of Eureka, residents woke today to a mess: toppled chimneys, downed traffic signals, and shattered nerves as minor aftershocks continued to rattle windows… there were no reports of major injuries caused by the magnitude 6.5 temblor, which struck offshore at 4:27 p.m. about 33 miles southwest of the coastal city of 26,000. More than 25,000 people were initially left without power…
“Centered about 13 miles deep, the quake was felt as far north as central Oregon, as far south as Santa Cruz and as far east as Reno, the U.S. Geological Survey said. ‘It was a monstrous one,’ said Phil Burns, owner of Mity Nice Bakery Cafe Restaurant in Eureka, which is about 80 miles south of the Oregon border. ‘Usually, they’re sharp, but this one was very wiggly. It was rolling in all directions.’
“In the south Eureka fishing village of King Salmon… residents raced to the only access road to the closest higher ground, the 150-foot-high Bell Hill, in case of a tsunami… None materialized, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Residents of Northern California coastal communities have reason to worry about tsunamis. In 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake off the Alaskan coast sent a catastrophic tsunami to Crescent City, north of Eureka.
“… the area where the earthquake occurred was in the Mendocino Triple Junction, where three tectonic plates collide: the Pacific, North American and Juan de Fuca. It is one of the most seismically active parts of the San Andreas fault system that runs through the state… The last major quakes in the offshore region… were magnitude 7.2 and 6.6 temblors in June 2005.”
God warns of major earthquakes here and there in these end times. These will be one sign of the “beginning of sorrows.” We can indeed expect big earthquakes to rattle this globe in the not-too-distant future.
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 12:
“The so-called P5+1 nations (UN Security Council permanent members the US, Russia, China, Britain and France together with Germany) are set to meet later this week to discuss Iran’s failure to agree to a solution that would assuage concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program…
“The meeting has been called after Tehran did not meet a deadline set by the US at the end of 2009 to accept a deal that would have seen uranium being taken out of Iran and returned as enriched fuel rods needed in the production of nuclear energy…
“But chances of any progress toward… punitive measures are slim. China, in particular, does not see eye to eye with the US on the potential threat posed by Iran… The Chinese leadership is also no great believer in sanctions in general.
“… the question of sanctions is not the only issue on which Beijing is closer to Tehran than to Washington… the popular protests in Iran that arose last year after the controversial reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad probably remind Chinese leaders of the pro-democracy demonstrations in China in 1990, which Beijing suppressed with military force…
“Iran is China’s third-largest supplier of crude oil… Iran also supplies the Asian giant with significant quantities of natural gas… China is also one of the leading exporters of products to Iran, and the relationship between the two countries has rapidly been growing closer in recent years.”
With the possibility of China’s veto, we should not expect anything meaningful resulting from the meetings of the P5+1 nations. Israel and the USA are being pushed more and more into the position of having to attack Iran militarily.
Iran Accuses USA and Israel of Terrorist Attack
BBC News reported on January 12:
“Iranian state media have accused Israel and the US of being involved in a bomb attack which killed an Iranian physicist in Tehran… saying there were signs of Israeli and US involvement ‘in the terrorist act’. The US state department dismissed the allegation as ‘absurd’.
“Masoud Ali Mohammadi… was killed by a remotely-controlled bomb. Reports in the Iranian media described Mr Mohammadi as a nuclear physicist, but it appears that his field of study was quantum theory… reports said his name appeared on a list of academics backing opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi before the 2009 presidential election.
“Tensions have been high in Iran since the disputed election led to mass protests against the government… The opposition in Iran will fear that Tuesday’s blast will be used against it as part of a crackdown…”
The current Iranian regime might indeed try to “capitalize” on the death of Ali Mohammadi–as Hitler justified the “Reichskristallnacht” (“Night of the Long Knives”) against Jews after a Jewish socialist had allegedly burned down the Berlin Reichstag building. We might see further terrible oppression and violence in Iran, as well as terrorist attacks against Israeli and American facilities. Iran has vowed that Mohammadi’s murder will have “consequences” for Iran’s enemies.
Science Fiction Nightmare–Armies of Robots…
The Wall Street Journal wrote on January 13:
“Israel is developing an army of robotic fighting machines… In 10 to 15 years, one-third of Israel’s military machines will be unmanned, predicts Giora Katz, vice president of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., one of Israel’s leading weapons manufacturers…
“Over 40 countries have military-robotics programs today… Even Hezbollah… flew four Iranian-made drones against Israel during the 2006 Lebanon War… U.S. forces have around 7,000 unmanned vehicles in the air and an additional 12,000 on the ground… In 2009, for the first time, the U.S. Air Force trained more ‘pilots’ for unmanned aircraft than for manned fighters and bombers…
“Military analysts say unmanned fighting vehicles could have a far-reaching strategic impact on the sort of asymmetrical conflicts the U.S. is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and that Israel faces against enemies such as Hezbollah and Hamas. In such conflicts, robotic vehicles will allow modern conventional armies to minimize the advantages guerrilla opponents gain by their increased willingness to sacrifice their lives in order to inflict casualties on the enemy.
“However, there are also fears that when countries no longer fear losing soldiers’ lives in combat thanks to the ability to wage war with unmanned vehicles, they may prove more willing to initiate conflict… Israel and the U.S. have already faced backlash over civilian deaths caused by drone-fired missiles in Gaza, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those ethical dilemmas could increase as robots become more independent of their human masters.”
There does not seem to be an end to man’s ability to devise weapons and machines for war. In the end, man will cause a time of such Great Tribulation that no “flesh” would be saved alive, if it weren’t for God’s intervention. But God will make an end to man’s war-like ambitions, and Christ will come to “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18) and to make “wars cease to the end of the earth” (Psalm 46:9).
The Wild West of Afghanistan
ABC News reported on January 12:
“Guns displayed in public in this part of the world [Afghanistan] are not usually reason for a second glance. They’re everywhere… Lawlessness is part of the culture, and everyone seems to own at least one weapon. Centuries ago, the Silk Road, the major trade route between Europe and Asia which passed right through here, helped eventually [turn] this place into the eastern version of the Wild West.
“Today, there is a virtual arms race among the nearly 2,000 militias which abound in this country, all armed to the teeth. The Northern Alliance alone, historically one of the most powerful militias, is still said to have more than 7,000 weapons. To fill the void created by inadequate police and courts, guns settle many disputes here, whether tribal, domestic or personal — and there is often little doubt who the winner is.
“… there is not much of a gun control debate here… Cultural change in this part of the world is glacial. ‘The vision of a gun free Afghanistan,’ says the UN, ‘remains as elusive as ever.'”
This Satan-inspired world believes that guns are a major solution to our problems. When Jesus Christ rules this earth, then man will understand the error of his ways. Then, the people will “beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).
Slaves Did Not Build the Great Pyramid
Times on Line wrote on January 11:
“The long-held image of slaves toiling in the Egyptian desert to build the Great Pyramids of Giza was challenged this week by the discovery of new tombs along the pyramids. Egypt’s chief archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, said that the tombs supported the view that the pyramids were built by free, paid workers — not slaves. ‘These tombs were built beside the king’s pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves,’ said Mr Hawass. ‘If they were slaves, they would not have been able to build their tombs beside their king’s.’
“The 4,150-year-old tombs belonged to workers who toiled on the pyramids of Khufu and Khafre, he said. Graffiti on the walls of the tombs calls them ‘friends of Khufu’. Experts say that workers’ tombs from the 4th Dynasty were cone-shaped constructions of mud bricks covered in white plaster — probably meant to mimic the nearby pyramids of the kings.
“The discovery sheds new light on the labourers of that time, said Hawass, showing that the makers of the pyramids ate and toiled. The men who took part in building the pyramids ate well — consuming meat regularly. Hawass said that the ten thousand labourers working on the pyramids ate 21 cattle and 23 sheep sent to them daily from farms in northern and southern Egypt. The work was done in three-month shifts, after which labourers were given the honour of building their mud tombs within the shadow of the pyramids…
“The Greek historian, Herodotus, visited Egypt several thousand years after Khufu’s pyramid was built. He wrote that Khufu forced his people to ‘labour as slaves for his own advantage’ thus prompting the first accounts that the pyramids were built by slaves.
“The myth that Jewish slaves built the pyramids began towards the end of the first century AD, when the Jewish historian Josephus listed pyramid building among the hardships that ancient Hebrews had to endure during their years in Egypt. His idea has persisted, though modern-day historians have concluded that the Great Pyramids were built thousands of years before the Hebrews would have arrived in Egypt.”
We have said for many years that the Great Pyramid of Giza was possibly built by the biblical Job–long before the Israelites became slaves in Egypt. Biblical indications can be found in Job 38:4-7, where God compares the creation of the earth with the building of a pyramid. As a righteous man, Job would not have forced slaves to build the Pyramid. For more information, please watch or listen to Norbert Link’s two video-and audio-recorded sermons, titled, “Lessons from the Book of Job,” Parts 1 and 2, as posted on our Website, dated April 25 and May 2, 2009.