Current Events

Armed Drones and Government Surveillance Are Linked

On June 8, the left-wing Huffington Post published an article by Peter Scheer. The author is “a lawyer and writer [and] executive director of the First Amendment Coalition. FAC has filed suit against the Justice Department for access to classified legal memos analyzing drone strikes”:

“First came news accounts of the government’s use of armed drones in the targeted killing of suspected terrorists abroad. Then came the revelations about government surveillance programs, breathtaking in their scale, tapping into data on phone calls, emails, Internet searches and more. These activities are, in fact, linked…

“The logic of warfare and intelligence have flipped, each becoming the mirror image of the other. Warfare has shifted from the scaling of military operations to the selective targeting of individual enemies. Intelligence gathering has shifted from the selective targeting of known threats to wholesale data mining for the purpose of finding hidden threats.

“The resulting paradigms, in turn, go a long way to account for our collective discomfort with the government’s activities in these areas. Americans are understandably distressed over the targeted killing of suspected terrorists because the very individualized nature of the drone attacks converts acts of war into de facto executions — and that in turn gives rise to demands for high standards of proof and adjudicative due process.

“Similarly, intelligence activities that gather data widely, without fact-based suspicions about specific individuals to whom the data pertain, are seen as intrusive and subject to abuse. The needle-in-a-haystack approach to intelligence gathering is fundamentally at odds with Americans’ understanding of the Constitution’s promise to safeguard them against ‘unreasonable’ government searches. There is nothing reasonable about giving government secret access, in real time, to phone calls and emails of tens of millions of Americans.

“Our fear of these changes is reinforced by the absence of transparency surrounding drone strikes-specifically, the protocols for selecting targets-and intelligence operations that cast a broad net in which U.S. citizens are caught…”

Another left-wing journalist and commentator, New York Times’ Paul Krugmann, said this (according to ABC News, dated June 9):

“… there are different kinds of surveillance states. You can have a democratic surveillance state which collects as little data as possible and tells you as much as possible about what it’s doing. Or you can have an authoritarian surveillance state which collects as much as possible and tells the public as little as possible. And we are kind of on the authoritarian side.”

“Obama’s Fundamental Flaw”

The Huffington Post published a follow-up article on June 11:

“If, as the U.S. president now argues ex post facto, it was okay on balance to have the NSA (National Security Agency) monitoring process put in place, why not have that discussion with the American people in broad daylight right after he took office?… His Harvard Law School-driven government is counting on the docility of the American people… Never mind that he had advertised himself in the 2008 presidential campaign as a professor of constitutional law. We all know by now that this is just one among the many qualification boxes he ticked off in order to secure his eventual rise.

“And forget about his principled utterances as a presidential candidate about having reservations about clandestine monitoring programs being conducted on U.S. citizens. People are used to politicians fidgeting with the truth to seek higher office. What is far more disconcerting is the utter political tone deafness of Obama, the (presumed) politician. Now, he has grandiosely okayed a fundamental invasion of privacy… his fundamental flaw as a politician has been firmly established. As has happened so many times before on other issues, he excels by doing his very own opposition’s bidding. Talk about disarming yourself.”

When even the left-leaning press publishes articles like these, then we know that the Obama Administration is in big trouble. According to Newsmax, dated June 12, “actor and liberal activist John Cusack” blasted Obama and the NSA, and even extremely “Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore delivered his unsurprisingly damning verdict, tweeting, ‘the administration has now lost all credibility.’ He implied hypocrisy on the part of the president by highlighting a 2007 Obama quote: ‘that means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more (spying) on citizens…No more tracking citizens…’”

For more information and analysis, please read our Editorial in this issue, and view our recent StandingWatch program, “How Your Government Is Spying on You” and “Prism Spying and Its Consequences.”  

Reaction of Obama Administration and Further Response by Rand Paul

Please note the reaction of the Obama Administration to the revelation of their secret spying and apparently unconstitutional activities on innocent American citizens, as reported by Fox News, dated June 9:

“The Obama administration has taken a first step toward opening a criminal investigation into the purported leaking of classified documents related to the federal government tracking Americans’ phone calls and emails, a source familiar with the high-level discussions told Fox News on Saturday. The source said James Clapper, the director of U.S. national intelligence, had filed a ‘criminal report’ with the Justice Department and the FBI, which begins the process…

“The FBI and Justice Department would likely be involved in such a probe, which is expected to focus on British and U.S. newspapers including The Guardian. The British newspaper reported late Wednesday that the U.S. government had collected the phone records of millions of Verizon customers.”

Others are not easily intimidated.

As Fox News reported on June 9, “Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday he wants to mount a Supreme Court challenge to the federal government logging Americans’ phone calls and Internet activities. Paul, R-Ky., a leading voice in the Libertarian movement, told ‘Fox News Sunday’ he wants to get enough signatures to file a class-action lawsuit before the high court and will appeal to younger Americans, who appear to be advancing the cause of less government and civil liberties… ‘If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at, then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington.’…

“Paul, a first-term senator and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said he disagrees with President Obama’s argument that the National Security Agency collecting 3 billion calls daily and other information [is] a modest invasion of privacy…

“Washington officials have acknowledged all branches of the federal government – Congress, the White House and federal courts – knew about the collection of data under the Patriot Act. Paul also said the government should be using a specific warrant, not a general warrant, to get the data, arguing the Fourth Amendment prevents unreasonable search and seizure. ‘The Founding Fathers didn’t want that,’ he said….”

Rand Paul, a Republican, made headlines before when he became the lonely voice in refusing to cast his vote for one particular governmental appointee, speaking non-stop for hours in the Senate, until the government broke their usual silence and showed a touch of transparency by providing a few answers to his questions.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with his view points, at least here is someone who is willing to stand up for what he believes to be right, while most politicians don’t dare, are too cowardly or just too complacent to do so… behaving as proverbial “politicians” are expected to act. But since Rand Paul is willing to stand up for his convictions, there is virtually no chance that he will become the next President of the United States in 2016. Chances are, he would not even get the necessary support from intimidated or unconcerned colleagues in his own party.

Traitor or Not?

While many Republicans and Democrats declared whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed the clandestine worldwide spying activities of the NSA,  to be a traitor of the country, Newsmax reported on June 12:

“Former GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul insisted on Tuesday that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is not a traitor, but he fears the U.S. government may send drones or a cruise missile to kill the 29-year-old, who has fled the United States. ‘Everybody’s worried about him and what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to convict him of treason, and how they’re going to kill him, but what about the people who destroy our Constitution?’ the former Texas Republican congressman asserted. ‘What kind of penalty for those individuals who just take the Fourth Amendment and destroy it? What do we think about people who assassinate American citizens without trials and assume that that’s the law of the land? That’s where our problem is.’

“Paul said that ‘our problem isn’t with people who are trying to tell us the truth about what’s happening’ as in the case of Snowden, and he fears that the U.S. government may try to kill the former contractor. ‘I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a Cruise missile or a drone missile,’ Paul said. ‘I mean we live in a bad time where American citizens don’t even have rights and that they can be killed, but the gentleman is trying to tell the truth about what’s going on.’… He pointed to the case of a CIA agent who was imprisoned for acknowledging that torture takes place at Guantanamo.”

Another lonely voice, Republican Governor Rand Paul, also stated that he is reserving judgment as to whether or not Snowden is a traitor, but as reported above, he vehemently charged the Obama Administration and the NSA with breaking the law by acting illegally and unconstitutionally. According to Reuters, dated June 12, its poll revealed that “Some 23 percent of those surveyed said… Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.”

German and European Reactions

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 10:

“29-year-old ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden has admitted to making one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history. He now faces severe consequences — but President Obama also has a lot to answer for.

“… the US’s virtual surveillance network is nearly all-encompassing — and that citizens are powerless against it… Obama now faces a huge public relations problem. Wasn’t it he who said that he welcomed the debate on government spying? And yet now he has decided to pursue the very man who triggered this debate…”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 11:

“The world has been scandalized to learn about Prism, the broad data surveillance program used by the US at home and abroad. German commentators say that both Berlin and Brussels must defend Europe from this invasion of privacy…

“Germany, which has particularly strict data privacy laws, is reportedly one of the most heavily monitored countries in the surveillance program… European politicians are also worried about the surveillance…The scandal has revealed state surveillance of a previously unimaginable scope by the US both at home and abroad…

“Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘It may be that US citizens can defend themselves under the US Constitution. But that doesn’t apply to foreigners. Facebook users in Germany have as little protection from the US Constitution as those in Afghanistan. Germany is the country in Europe whose telephone and Internet communications are being spied on the most intensely by the US… The only good thing about the NSA spying is that it exposes the principle tenet of domestic security that has been used to justify the rebuilding of the security system since Sept. 11, 2001: That those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. This is simply a stupid idea.’…

“Left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes: ‘Basic civil rights around the world, which are taken for granted far too naively in Western democracies, are being placed under attack by state “security architecture” such as the US spying program Prism…’

“Conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: ‘Whether it’s with Facebook, Google, Yahoo or Microsoft — user confidence has been shaken… all users should be asking whether they themselves, and especially their personal data, are in good hands with these companies.’”

On June 11, der Spiegel Online published a Commentary by German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger:

“With its Prism spy program, the US has crossed the line… On the weekend, President Obama reacted by saying that it is impossible to have 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. I don’t share this view. The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is. In a democratic constitutional state, security is not an end in itself, but serves to secure freedom…

“We should remember that the strength of the liberal constitutional state lies in the trust of its citizens. Constitutional guarantees protect this trust and pursue two objectives: to punish the guilty and to protect the innocent or those who are unjustly suspected of a crime against wrongful actions by the government. These are precisely the tenets Germany adopted in 1949 from the tradition of the American Constitution of 1776 — namely that in a free and open democratic process, it is important to avoid the impression that the protection of basic rights is not being taken seriously enough…

“The suspicion of excessive surveillance of communication is so alarming that it cannot be ignored. For that reason, openness and clarification by the US administration itself should be paramount at this point. All facts must be put on the table…”

AFP wrote on June 12:

“The EU has warned President Barack Obama’s administration of ‘grave adverse consequences’ to the rights of European citizens from a huge US Internet surveillance programme, officials said Wednesday.

“Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, wrote a letter on Monday to US Attorney General Eric Holder demanding ‘swift and concrete’ answers about the spy scheme when they meet in Dublin on Friday… Her questions to Holder include whether EU citizens were targeted by the US programmes, whether Europeans would be able find out whether their data has been accessed, and whether they would be treated similarly to US nationals in such cases. The EU official also warned that the European Parliament ‘is likely to assess the overall transatlantic relationship also in the light of your responses’”.

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 12:

“The US government is using ‘American-style Stasi methods,’ Markus Ferber, a member of the European parliament, told Reuters, referring to the former communist East German secret police. ‘I thought this era had ended when the [German Democratic Republic] fell.’”

The EUObserver wrote on June 12:

“The German government is demanding explanations from the US after it emerged that its secret spying programme Prism collected more information from Germany than any other EU country… Data privacy is a very sensitive topic in Germany and the cluelessness of Merkel’s government about the affair may become an issue in September’s elections… The ministry of interior is working on a questionnaire for the US government to find out the extent and the legal basis for the collection of data from Germany…  Similar information requests will be sent to Internet firms such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Apple, which were targeted by Prism, but which deny that US security staff got unlimited access to their servers…

“German data protection chief Peter Schaar said on the WDR public broadcaster that Prism amounts to ‘almost total surveillance.’… The German opposition is also outraged by the news…  ‘This looks to me like it could become one of the biggest data privacy scandals ever,’ Greens leader Renate Kuenast told Reuters.”

These are strong words and reactions. America is really doing everything imaginable to make themselves unpopular in the eyes of the world.

Secrecy also in the UK

Mail On Line wrote on June 7:

“David Cameron is to attend a meeting of the secretive Bilderberg Group tonight – but will not say who he meets. The Prime Minister will take part in a debate on the global economy with an unknown group of ministers, business leaders and academics from around the world.

“But his attendance at the heavily-guarded event is certain to spark controversy after Mr Cameron once promised to lead the ‘most open and transparent government in the world’.”

Prime Minister Cameron sounds and behaves just like President Obama. As Deutsche Welle reported on June 6, “On his first day in office President Obama vowed to create the most open government in history. But after five years his administration has brought more espionage cases against leakers than all other presidents combined…”

A New Monarchy for Germany?

The Local wrote on June 6:

“Germans might not know it, but they desperately need the moral guidance of a re-instated royal family, the great-great grandson of the last Kaiser, Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia [said]… ‘Subconsciously, I think young Germans wants something they can orientate towards,’ said Prince Philip. The 45-year-old father of six may work as a Protestant vicar, but he has become one of the loudest voices out of those who want to see Germany revive its monarchy. Second in line to the throne Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in 1918, Prince Philip believes that a royal family with divine right conferred by God could offer Germany what it is missing. ‘When a leader answers to himself, and not God, an atheist-led country ends in disaster. Look at Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin,’ he told The Local. Religion, ‘tames the selfishness naturally present in all of us.’

“For the prince, a country guided by politicians and a ceremonial president means not only is there no strong family to look up to, nor is there anyone to rally up enthusiasm for family life. ‘A presidential head of state is not enough…what Germany needs is moral guidance and a friendlier face,’ which, he added, ‘people do not get, and shouldn’t expect, from politicians.’ Indeed, this appears to be what [an] increasing amount of young Germans want, after a survey for news agency DPA revealed last month that as many as one in three 18-24-year-olds would like the Kaiser back on the throne…  ‘Looking up to a king or queen would be much better for Germany’s young people than to pop stars or football players,’ Prince Philip said. He lamented that people were putting too much value on consumerism and material goods…

“He cited the increasingly popular face of European royalty as being partially responsible for boosting interest among younger Germans…  For the prince, a presidential head of state simply does not cut it. Being voted in ‘doesn’t deign them the same respect’ as a king, who is chosen by God. This is why he thinks his career as a protestant vicar would mix well with being royal. ‘All people are born equal but some are born to lead, and others to follow. This is not a human made concept, but a God-made one.’ …

“Eventually, the country will need more than its finances and infrastructure being taken care of. It needs spirituality and religion and… God, Prince Philip added…”

This renewed interest in European monarchies, especially among Germans and Austrians, is worthwhile noticing. Revelation 17:9-10 speaks of the last ten leaders of the final revival of the Roman Empire as “ten kings.” Whether this is just a reference to ten “rulers,” who will give their power and authority to the beast, or ten literal “kings” or “emperors,” will remain to be seen.

Equal Rights for Gay Unions in Germany

The Associated Press reported on June 6:

“Gay rights campaigners won a victory over the German government Thursday as the country’s top court ruled that homosexual couples in civil unions should receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that treating the two forms of partnership differently for tax purposes violates the country’s guarantee of equal rights.

“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right government had long resisted granting the same tax benefits to gay couples in civil unions. Those unions – officially certified by a notary and carrying similar rights and duties to wedlock – are widely accepted by Germany’s gay community as equivalent to marriage…

“Married couples in Germany are able to jointly declare their taxable incomes, which can significantly lower their overall tax burden especially when one partner has higher pay… The court ordered the government to retroactively amend the relevant laws dating back to 2001, when civil union status was first introduced by a previous center-left government… The government vowed it will seek to get the necessary legislation passed by this fall to implement the court decision…

“Granting more rights to homosexual couples is relatively uncontroversial among the wider public in Germany…”

This development might look, at first glance, as being in total contradiction with the previous article. But this only seems to be the case. As we suggested, it is very likely, based on a Scripture in Daniel 11:37, that the prophesied “beast” in the book of Revelation—the last leader of the final revival of the ancient Roman Empire–may be homosexual. We read in Daniel 11:37 that he “does not regard the desire of women.” The Elberfelder Bible translates that he does not care for the love of or towards women (“Frauenliebe”). This could be a reference to other than normal sexual preferences. The commentary of Henry speaks of “unnatural lust” in the context (compare Romans 1:24-28).

But longing for the return of a godly-appointed monarch who would allegedly give moral guidance and be a good example of strong family life, and supporting homosexuality is not viewed by most Germans as a contradiction. They know that other “respected” European and Roman emperors were homosexuals, while they were “married” and had children. In addition, many Germans had no problem with electing a homosexual foreign minister and a homosexual mayor of Berlin.

Gay Lobby in the Vatican

Newsmax wrote on June 11:

“Pope Francis has acknowledged the existence of a ‘gay lobby” in the Vatican and says he is consulting advisers on what to do about it.

“Speaking informally to a confederation of religious groups from Latin America and the Caribbean, he said…:  ‘The “gay lobby” is mentioned, and it is true, it is there… We need to see what we can do.’… Rumors over the existence of such a group in the Vatican have circulated for years and the extent of the problem is thought to have partly influenced Benedict to resign. But until now, successive popes never have publicly acknowledged it.

“Some Catholics believe such a lobby pervades much of the Church in the West, weakening its proclamation of the Gospel and compromising the Church’s integrity and authority.  They also blame bishops for not speaking out more forcefully against such groups… Informed Vatican sources tell Newsmax that Francis has been holding a series of brainstorming sessions with Vatican-based cardinals and other senior Vatican officials on how to reform the Curia.”

The homosexual lobby in the Vatican will not like any such reforms, and it will have to be seen what they will do to prevent the pope from going through with his intentions.

Aachen—the New Rome

The Local wrote on June 11:

“In 786 AD Charlemagne dreamed of creating a ‘new Rome’ when he ordered the construction of the Church of St. Mary and its Palatinate chapel in his main residence of Aachen. He thus laid the foundations for one of the most important buildings in Europe, making the city the focal point of his Roman empire in 800 AD.

“The cathedral is of universal importance in terms of art and cultural history. 30 German kings were crowned there over a period of 600 years (936-1531), and the cathedral treasury is one of the finest in Europe… Since the Middle Ages, Aachen Cathedral has been one of the leading pilgrimage sites in the Christian world because of its famous reliquaries – the four holy shrines.

“Charlemagne was buried in the palatinate chapel following his death in 814. His ancient sarcophagus can be found in the central drum of the Gothic chancel.”

Our recent series in our Q&As on the ten revivals of the Roman Empire sheds more light on Charlemagne and the city of Aachen.

Obama’s Newest “Change”: Now Morning-After Pills for Girls of Any Age

Newsmax wrote on June 10:

“The federal government on Monday told a judge it will reverse course and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions. But the decision isn’t likely to end President Barack Obama’s troubles with the issue, as anti-abortion advocates are certain to be unhappy with the reversal.

“The Department of Justice, in the latest development in a complex back-and-forth over access to the morning-after pill, notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling. Last week, the appeals court dealt the government a setback by saying it would immediately permit unrestricted sales of the two-pill version of the emergency contraception until the appeal was decided… The government had appealed the judge’s underlying April 5 ruling, which ordered emergency contraceptives… be made available without a prescription, over the counter and without point-of-sale or age restrictions.

“It asked the judge to suspend the effect of that ruling until the appeals court could decide the case. But the judge declined, saying the government’s decision to restrict sales of the morning-after pill was ‘politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency precedent.’ He also said there was no basis to deny the request to make the drugs widely available…

“It appears the Justice Department has decided it might lose with the appeals court and then would have to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court, The New York Times noted… Obama can expect to see a renewed political debate on the issues at a time when his administration already is beset with multiple scandals and controversies, the Times noted. The president, who has two young daughters, said last year he felt uncomfortable with the idea of them being able to obtain the drug without a prescription.

“The morning-after pill contains a higher dose of the female hormone progestin than is in regular birth control pills. Taking it within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent, but it works best within the first 24 hours. If a girl or woman already is pregnant, the pill, which prevents ovulation or fertilization of an egg, has no effect.”

Rather than teaching young girls (of any age) not to have sexual relationships outside (future) marriage, this now makes it easier for unmarried girls of any age to sin, thinking they can get away with it. Surely, this world has it upside down and backwards.

Obamacare and IRS Absurdities

The Washington Post wrote on June 12:

“It is reassuring that amid so much government dysfunction, the Internal Revenue Service has resolved the question of when and whether to tax tanning beds under the Affordable Care Act… Obamacare… calls for a 10 percent sales tax every time some pale face exposes himself to potentially harmful, cancer-causing rays, thus affecting everyone’s health-insurance premiums… But, wait, there’s an exception:  If such beds are offered as part of a gym or fitness center at no extra charge, no tax will be imposed…

“Despite the IRS’s impressive resolution of the tanning bed conundrum, one is struck by the unfortunate timing of its several displays of (a) incompetence and/or (b) ideologically driven harassment — just when the agency is charged with implementing and overseeing large swaths of Obamacare… [it]  includes at least 47 new tax provisions. Also, recall that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the ACA’s individual mandate (you must buy insurance or else) by categorizing the mandate as a tax.

“Which is to say, the IRS has some big work ahead… In addition to deciding which organizations qualify for tax-exempt status, as in the case of tea party and patriot organizations recently targeted for prolonged, special scrutiny,  our nation’s revenuers will also be redefining ‘religious.’ Determining whether a religious or charitable institution qualifies for tax-exempt status has always been part of the IRS’s dubious bailiwick, but Obamacare has upped the ante by requiring some religious affiliates to provide health care — such as contraception — that violates their conscience.

“Whatever one’s personal positions on reproductive matters, the historically higher standard of individual conscience has been scuttled by the Obama administration in deference to a universal health-care plan that leaves the definition of religious organization and, therefore, conscience to a bureaucracy of accountants… Those deemed not truly religious will be denied conscience protections, as has already occurred… freedom of conscience is fundamental to other freedoms we similarly take for granted. Obamacare largely dismisses such considerations…

“Come next January, as insurance rates climb and many businesses opt to pay government fines, sending their workers into government exchanges, all those people who believed, as promised, that they could keep the insurance they like will learn otherwise… At the center of these disappointments and revelations will be the nation’s new, expanded army of tax enforcers — this time examining not just your beliefs but also your medical records.”

Of course, there are still some… if not many… (uninformed) Americans who do not (want) to see the horrendously absurd problems with Obamacare.

Turkey in Deep Trouble

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 12:

“Tuesday’s crackdown has drawn criticism from the international community. ‘With its reaction to the protests so far, the Turkish government is sending the wrong signal — both within the country and to Europe,’ German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin on Wednesday…

“The developments come at an awkward time for the European Union, which is considering steps later this month to move forward accession talks with Turkey…  Editorialists at leading German newspapers and across the political spectrum are roundly critical of Erdogan’s heavy-handed response to the protests, with a number ridiculing the Turkish leader as an ‘autocrat.’

“Center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

“‘Ever since he became prime minister, an air of distrust has surrounded Ergodan. How democratic is this man? Initially, it was Erdogan’s religious roots that fueled this distrust, especially the religious character of his moderate Islamist AKP. Fears of an Islamization of Turkey dominated the first phase of a reign that has already lasted a decade. During this time, he used brutal means to subjugate the military stronghold of the generals to the primacy of politicians… Today, it is clear that Islam isn’t really Erdogan’s greatest temptation. It is power itself — a pure lust for power that has gone to his head. Erdogan has continuously expanded his power base. His party men now hold positions in the judiciary and in the business sector, and the media seem to try to outdo each other to glorify him. There doesn’t appear to be any opposition left within the apparatus. … Erdogan is playing a dangerous game. … At the most important moment of his time governing, he has decided to become a total autocrat.’ 

“Financial daily Handelsblatt addresses Erdogan’s claim that speculators are among those inciting the violence: ‘Whatever Erdogan’s motives may be, his wild attacks against investors, bankers and investors are a risky gamble… Erdogan is playing with fire on his path of confrontation. The prime minister threatens not only the political stability of his country, but also its economic future.’

“The conservative Die Welt writes: ‘Taksim Square will go down in history not as an environmental project, but as the scene of a clash of cultures that divides the Western-oriented secular Turkey from the Islamic-conservative Turkey. Here, tensions are being discharged that run right through Turkish history — before and especially after the founding of the Turkish state by Kemal Pasha Atatürk, a revolutionary act that shattered the country’s traditional forms and remains traumatic to this day.’”

Turkey will still play a major role in prophetic events. Their actions against the state of Israel will greatly anger the God of the Bible.

Israel’s Isolation

The Times of Israel wrote on June 11:

“In Jordan, perceived Israeli violations of the status quo of Jerusalem’s holy sites, over which Jordan maintains a custodianship, have angered Amman, and the parliament there recently voted to expel Israeli ambassador Daniel Nevo — a symbolic but resonant step… Israel’s relations with Jordan are now at a low point, [an unidentified] diplomat said, though not the lowest they’ve ever been. He was likely referring to the crisis that followed Israel’s botched assassination attempt of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal in Amman in September 1997, when King Hussein came close to severing ties… ‘Israel and Jordan are on a strategic collision course,’ said Assaf David, who teaches Jordanian politics at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University…

“The situation in Egypt is even gloomier. Israeli officials tacitly indicate that Israel has grudgingly agreed to forgo the pleasures of normalization with Egypt… Yitzhak Levanon, who was serving as Israel’s ambassador to Cairo when the mob stormed his embassy, told The Times of Israel last September that the gradual deterioration in relations began as early as Mubarak’s rise to power in 1981, but has accelerated since the election of President Mohammed Morsi last June.”

The Invasion of the “Crazy Ant”

On June 10, 2013, Mail On Line reported the following:

“A new and annoying species of ant is terrorizing the U.S. and chemicals that kill off other types of the insect are proving ineffective against it. The ‘crazy’ ant, named for the erratic trail it leaves as it makes its way across the country, originated in Argentina and Brazil.

“But since it was first spotted in Houston in 2002, it has spread to some 21 counties in Texas, 20 counties in Florida and a few locations in Mississippi and Louisiana…. University of Texas researcher and co-author of a study on the creatures Ed LeBrun said the omnivorous ants attack and kill other species as well as monopolizing food sources to the detriment of the entire ecosystem. He said everything from cattle to songbirds are at risk of the tiny ants, despite them being at the bottom of the food chain…

“The insects, bizarrely, are attracted to electrical wiring and components and in one year alone caused $146.5 million in damages in Texas… The devastation occurs when one ant discovers the transformer then gets electrocuted when it touches it, and ‘waves its abdomen in the air’ omitting a certain scent. The scent lures for ants to the scene and they too are electrocuted, again sending the scent into the air to attract their friends. Eventually, there are so many dead ants that the electric switches get stuck or the insulation fries and the system shuts down.”

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