Outrageous Iranian “Deal”
On November 29, the Times of Israel published an article with the following headline:
“How Sloppy US Diplomacy Is Empowering Iran!”
The article continued:
“After all the hype about an interim agreement between Iran and world powers on Sunday, it became clear on Wednesday that the deal is not actually finalized. Not only has the six-month interim agreement not come into effect yet, but also Iran is free to proceed with its military program at full speed until the deal’s final ‘technical’ details have been worked out, as US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki put it…
“Psaki was speaking on Tuesday, just a few hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that his country’s interim agreement with the P5+1 — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany — does not obligate it to stop construction of the heavy-water production plant in Arak, which could be used in the production of weapons-grade plutonium. Zarif said the agreement only required Iran to cease heavy water production at the site.
“Various experts have also said that the agreement published by the White House leaves the Iranians the ability to manufacture crucial components for their nuclear program outside the Arak facility and install them if the site is reopened. The highlight came later on Tuesday when the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that the agreement Washington published was not the one it had agreed to. If it weren’t so sad, it might almost be funny.
“In her earlier announcement, Psaki explained that there is no clear timetable for implementing the signed interim agreement with Iran. If that is really the case, someone on the American negotiating team in Geneva deserves a prize for incompetence – or possibly for misleading the public. Leaving aside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contempt for the interim accord, and his now openly problematic relationship with President Barack Obama over this most acute of crisis, certain Arab countries, particularly those belonging to the Saudi-Egyptian camp, see the handling of the negotiations with Iran and the resulting agreement as part of [a] trend. The White House, they say, is reliably amateurish and clumsy when attempting to intervene in the Middle East…
“The nuclear issue is not the only one that worries various countries in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia. ‘The [Persian] Gulf countries are now concerned that the US is essentially supporting Iranian hegemony in the region… According to Susser, if these processes continue, the Arab countries will have no choice but to tighten bonds with Iran. ‘They won’t like it but they may not have any other alternative,’ he said.”
It remains doubtful whether Sunni and Shia countries will indeed form a tight confederation. It is more likely that certain Arab countries will seek support from Europe. But the article’s description of American politics in the Middle East is stunning: “sloppy diplomacy,” “incompetence,” “reliably amateurish and clumsy,” “possibly… misleading the public.”
Outrage Over Israel’s “Relocation Plan”
The Wall Street Journal wrote on November 30:
“Thousands of Israelis took to the streets across the country Saturday over a government plan to displace some 40,000 Arab Bedouins from their lands… The demonstrations are part of an ‘International Day of Rage’ against the Prawer Plan, which is expected to be approved by the Israeli parliament in its final reading by the end of this year. Demonstrations also took place in the West Bank, Gaza and about two dozen countries, including Britain, Germany and Egypt…
“On Friday, musicians Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno, along with more than 50 public figures, published a letter opposing the Bedouin relocation plan in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, calling on the British government to link its relationship with Israel conditional to ‘respect for human rights and international law.’
“The Bedouins, some 192,000, are indigenous residents of the Negev. Half of them live in some 40 ‘unrecognized’ villages, for which the Israeli government does not provide public services. Israeli National Insurance defines these villages as the poorest in Israel, which suffer from overpopulation and lack of infrastructure. According to the relocation plan, most of these villages will be dismantled and the villagers will be relocated to seven towns set up by the government in the 1950s and 1970s.”
One is, sadly, reminded of America’s policy of forcibly “relocating” American Indians and placing them in reservations—a terrible procedure which has caused and is still causing, to this day, enormous suffering for those affected by it.
Iraq’s Grim Future
The Independent wrote on November 28:
“The future of Iraq as a united and independent country is endangered by sectarian Shia-Sunni hostility says Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia religious leader whose Mehdi Army militia fought the US and British armies and who remains a powerful figure in Iraqi politics. He warns of the danger that ‘the Iraqi people will disintegrate, its government will disintegrate, and it will be easy for external powers to control the country’… he expressed pessimism about the immediate prospects for Iraq, saying: ‘The near future is dark.’…
“As Mr Sadr sees it, the problem in Iraq is that Iraqis as a whole are traumatised by almost half a century in which there has been a ‘constant cycle of violence: Saddam, occupation, war after war, first Gulf war, then second Gulf war, then the occupation war, then the resistance – this would lead to a change in the psychology of Iraqis’. He explained that Iraqis make the mistake of trying to solve one problem by creating a worse one, such as getting the Americans to topple Saddam Hussein but then having the problem of the US occupation. He compared Iraqis to ‘somebody who found a mouse in his house, then he kept a cat, then he wanted to get the cat out of the house so he kept a dog, then to get the dog out of his house he bought an elephant, so he bought a mouse again’…
“A main theme of Mr Sadr’s approach is to bolster Iraq as an independent nation state, able to make decisions in its own interests. Hence his abiding hostility to the American and British occupation, holding this responsible for many of Iraq’s present ills. To this day, neither he nor anybody from his movement will meet American or British officials. But he is equally hostile to intervention by Iran in Iraqi affairs…
“Why are Iraqi government members so ineffective and corrupt? Mr Sadr believes that ‘they compete to take a share of the cake, rather than competing to serve their people’… At the end of the interview Mr Sadr asked me if I was not frightened of interviewing him and would not this make the British Government consider me a terrorist? Secondly, he wondered if the British Government still considered that it had liberated the Iraqi people, and wondered if he should sue the Government on behalf of the casualties caused by the British occupation.”
To summarize, American and British intervention in Iraq is perceived by Iraqis as a colossal mistake. The stated goal of bringing democracy to the country has been a miserable failure.
Afghan President Condemns US Air Strike
BBC News wrote on November 29:
“Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a US air strike that killed a small child and injured two women in the southern province of Helmand. Mr Karzai’s spokesman said the raid on a house was another sign of America’s disregard for civilian life. Nato has said it will investigate the strike.
“It comes as Washington and Kabul are finalising a deal allowing US troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Mr Karzai refuses to sign the pact, seeking further assurances from the US… Earlier this week his office demanded guarantees that American troops would not raid Afghan homes and that Washington would help start stalled peace talks with the Taliban… Also among his conditions was the return of Afghan nationals held in Guantanamo Bay, according to reports.”
In the midst of “negotiations” regarding American presence in Afghanistan, the USA allegedly engaged in an attack on civilians. Even though the attack was purportedly meant to kill a terrorist, the fact remains that it could not have come at a more inappropriate time. Truly, American conduct overseas seems to be cursed.
Incredible American Incompetency
Mail Online wrote on November 29:
“For nearly 20 years, the secret code to authorize launching U.S. nuclear missiles, and starting World War III, was terrifyingly simple and even noted down on a checklist. From 1962, when John F Kennedy instituted PAL encoding on nuclear weapons, until 1977, the combination to fire the devastating missiles at the height of the Cold War was just 00000000. This was chosen by Strategic Air Command in an effort to make the weapons as quick and as easy to launch as possible…
“The Permissive Action Link (PAL) is a security device for nuclear weapons that it is supposed to prevent unauthorized arming or detonation of the nuclear weapon. JFK signed the National Security Action Memorandum 160 in 1962 that required all nuclear missiles to be fitted with a PAL system… But nuclear experts claim the military was worried about the possibility of command centers or communication lines being destroyed in real nuclear war, stopping soldiers getting the codes or authorization to launch missiles when they were actually needed. So they simply left the security code for the weapons as eight zeros, getting around the security safeguards.
“Dr. Bruce G. Blair worked as a Minuteman launch officer between 1970 and 1974. He has written several articles about nuclear command and control systems… he wrote that Strategic Air Command ‘remained far less concerned about unauthorized launches than about the potential of these safeguards to interfere with the implementation of wartime launch orders.’
“Incredibly, he also writes that the vital combination for America’s nuclear deterrent was even helpfully noted down for the officers. ‘Our launch checklist in fact instructed us, the firing crew, to double-check the locking panel in our underground launch bunker to ensure that no digits other than zero had been inadvertently dialed into the panel,’ Dr Blair wrote…
“Blair wrote an article in 1977 entitled The Terrorist Threat to World Nuclear Programs. This claimed that it would take just four people working together to launch nuclear missiles from the silos he had worked in. That very same year all the PAL systems were activated, and the nuclear codes were changed. Hopefully to something more complicated than 00000000.”
One can always hope, but must wonder…
EU Upset With Britain
Deutsche Welle reported on November 29:
“Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron wants to restrict access for immigrants to the welfare system. EU officials have harshly criticized the proposals. With his campaign, Cameron is attacking a pillar of the EU. In Brussels, Laszlo Andor is not exactly known for his explosive nature. So the interview the EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs gave the BBC on Wednesday (27.11.2013) bordered on an outburst of fury. ‘The unilateral action, unilateral rhetoric, especially as it is happening at this time, is not really helpful. It risks presenting the UK as a kind of nasty country in the European Union. We don’t want that. We have to look into the situation collectively and if there are real problems react accordingly.’
“The Commissioner’s resentment was caused – yet again – by proposals put forward by British Prime Minister David Cameron. In an article for the ‘Financial Times’ he announced plans to curb benefits for immigrants from the European Union for three months and ‘remove’ those who don’t have a job after nine months… EU law, in theory, allows for the expulsion also of EU nationals. But they can come back the following day. That has to stop, says Cameron. He has long called for a ‘re-entry ban’ – 12 months are planned for Romanians and Bulgarians.
“That will be difficult to do under existing law, policy analyst Alex Lazarowicz… believes. ‘That’s a red line under EU law.’ EU citizens can only be banned from entering another EU state under limited conditions – if they’ve committed a crime, for instance. The basic idea behind the freedom of movement is to give EU citizens the option of moving about as freely in the EU as they do in their country of origin (with certain limitations). Restrictions on the free movement of workers may apply to workers from new EU member states for a transitional period of up to seven years. That period runs out for Romania and Bulgaria in January…
“Cameron, therefore, is launching an attack against one of the EU’s fundamental freedoms, without which the internal market is not worth much, say his critics. That’s why the criticism from Brussels was instant and brusque. ‘The freedom of movement for citizens in Europe is a fundamental right which the Commission defends,’ snapped EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in charge of EU internal affairs. Her colleague Viviane Reding topped it in an interview with news agency Reuters: ‘Free movement is non-negotiable,’ the Justice Commissioner said. ‘If Britain wants to leave the single market, you should say so. But if Britain wants to stay a part of the single market, free movement applies. You cannot have your cake and eat it, Mr Cameron!’”
We are not taking political sides. However, what is interesting to note is the ongoing rift and deepening gulf between Great Britain and continental Europe. The Bible strongly indicates that Great Britain will exit the EU.
Europeans Find UK to Be Hostile to the EU
The Guardian wrote on November 30:
“… a new four-nation poll suggests the UK could be heading out of the EU. The landmark survey of more than 5,000 voters in the UK, Germany, France and Poland finds British people far more hostile to the EU and its policies than those in the other EU states, and strikingly low support for British membership among people on the continent.
“… just 26% of British voters regard the EU as, overall, a ‘good thing’ compared with 42% who say it is a ‘bad thing’. In Poland 62% say it is a good thing and 13% bad; in Germany 55% good and 17% bad, and in France 36% good and 34% bad… Just 9% of Germans and 15% of French people think the UK is a positive influence on the EU, with more Poles, 33%, taking that view.
“Only 16% of Germans and 26% of French people back the idea of a special deal being struck for the UK… The idea of Britain leaving the EU does not appear to worry our European partners unduly. Just 24% of French voters said a UK exit would have a negative effect, compared with 36% of Germans and 51% of Poles…”
The German press, including Der Spiegel and the Local, have picked up the story, saying that the “gulf widens between UK and EU nations.”
Scottish Independence Would Mean Exit from EU
The Telegraph wrote on November 27:
“[Spanish Prime Minister] Mariano Rajoy said it was important that Scots were ‘realistic’ about the consequences of a ‘yes’ vote next year and warned against ‘regions’ of member states embarking on ‘solo adventures’… it would mean Scotland having to apply from scratch for EU membership, a process that would take years, and having to negotiate its own opt-out from the euro. The Spanish Prime Minister confirmed a separate Scotland would require the consent of all 28 existing member states, including his country, to join the EU…
“His comments, made in a joint press conference in Madrid with Francois Hollande, the French President, directly contradicted this week’s Scottish Government White Paper on independence. Published on Tuesday, the document said Scotland ‘will continue as a member of the EU’ by completing accession talks in the 18 months between a ‘yes’ vote in September next year and leaving the UK in March 2016.”
Whatever Scotland may decide regarding independence from the UK, it is expected, based on biblical prophecy, that it will not remain a member in the EU.
Outrageous Conduct by Britain’s Social Workers and High Court
The Telegraph wrote on December 1:
“A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers. Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb. The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown. The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.
“The case has developed into an international legal row, with lawyers for the woman describing it as ‘unprecedented’. They claim that even if the council had been acting in the woman’s best interests, officials should have consulted her family beforehand and also involved Italian social services, who would be better-placed to look after the child…
“The case… raises fresh questions about the extent of social workers’ powers. It will be raised in Parliament this week by John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP… He said: ‘I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme. It involves the Court of Protection authorising a caesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed. I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.’
“The woman… suffered a panic attack, which her relations believe was due to her failure to take regular medication for an existing bipolar condition. She called the police, who became concerned for her well-being and took her to a hospital, which she then realised was a psychiatric facility. She has told her lawyers that when she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
“Meanwhile, Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth ‘to be enforced by way of caesarean section’, according to legal documents seen by this newspaper. The woman, who says she was kept in the dark about the proceedings, says that after five weeks in the ward she was forcibly sedated. When she woke up she was told that the child had been delivered by C-section and taken into care. In February, the mother, who had gone back to Italy, returned to Britain to request the return of her daughter at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.
“Her lawyers say that she had since resumed taking her medication, and that the judge formed a favourable opinion of her. But he ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse…”
This is a truly outrageous example of authoritarian and dictatorial conduct of alleged democratic governments. We should note the ongoing restrictions of personal liberties and freedoms imposed by totalitarian measures of governmental, medical and judicial officials.
Nelson Mandela Died at 95 – the Myths and Reality
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 5:
“Media and politicians are vying to outdo one another with their tributes to Nelson Mandela who himself disliked the personality cult… Nelson Mandela was no saint, even though that is how the media are now portraying him. Every headline makes him appear more superhuman and much of the admiration is close to idolatry…
“He repeatedly pointed to the collective achievements of the resistance movement, to figures who preceded him in the fight against injustice… When Prisoner Number 46664 was released after 27 years behind bars, he had become a brand, a worldwide idol, the target of projected hopes and wishes that no human being could fulfil alone…
“Who would dare scratch the shining surface of such a man, list his youthful misdemeanors, his illegitimate children? Who would mention his weakness for women, for models, pop starlets and female journalists with whom he flirted in a politically incorrect way when already a respected elder statesman? Who would speak out critically against the attacks he planned when he headed the ANC armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation)? And who would criticize the way he would often explode in anger or dismiss any opinions other than his own?…
“His record as head of government from 1994 to 1999 is also not above reproach… Overdue decisions were not taken, day to day matters were left to others. When choosing his political friends his judgment was not always perfect. A Mandela grandchild is named after Libyan dictator Colonel Moammar Gadhafi. Seen from today’s perspective, not everything fits the generally accepted picture of visionary and genius.
“But Mandela can be excused these lapses because, despite everything, he achieved more than ordinary human beings. His long period of imprisonment played a significant role here. It did not break him, it formed him… His youthful anger dissolved, he mellowed and acquired the wisdom of age. When he was at last released Mandela was no longer burning with rage, he was no longer a revolutionary. This is what some of his fellow freedom fighters now hold against him, although not in public. They wanted a full-blown revolution.
“Mandela wanted reconciliation, at almost any price. His own transformation was his greatest strength; the ability to break free from ideological thought processes and to be able to see the greater whole, the realisation that those who think differently are not necessarily enemies, the ability to listen, to spread the message of reconciliation…
“When Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the old world order of the Cold War era was collapsing. Mandela stood at the crossroads and set off in the right direction. How easily he could have played with fire, sought revenge, or simply failed. He could have withdrawn from public life or, like other companions in arms, earned millions. Two marriages failed because of the political circumstances. His sons died tragically long before him. It was only when he was 80 and met his third wife, Graca Machel, that he again found warmth, partnership and private happiness.
“Setbacks did not leave him bitter, because he regarded his own life as being less important than the cause he believed in. He served the community humbly, with a sense of responsibility, of duty and willingness to make sacrifices, qualities that are today only rarely encountered…
“How small and pathetic his successors now seem. Their battles for power will probably now be fought even more unscrupulously than in the past…”
Will the Events of the “Prague Spring” Be Repeated in Ukraine?
The Associated Press reported on December 1:
“More than 100,000 demonstrators chased away police to rally in the center of Ukraine’s capital on Sunday, defying a government ban on protests on Independence Square, in the biggest show of anger over the president’s refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union. Thousands of demonstrators tried to storm the nearby presidential administration building, but were driven back by riot police using tear gas and flash grenades, which produce a loud bang but are not intended to cause injury. The standoff continued, with more demonstrators arriving.
“The protest was led by prominent opposition politicians, who demanded that President Viktor Yanukovych and his government resign. They also called for a nationwide strike and for tents to be set up to allow demonstrators to remain on the square around the clock… Chants of ‘revolution’ resounded across a sea of yellow and blue Ukrainian and EU flags on the square, where the government had prohibited rallies starting Sunday.
“The crowd was by far the largest since the protests began more than a week ago. Many of the demonstrators had traveled to Kiev from western Ukraine, where pro-EU sentiment is particularly strong… The EU agreement had been eagerly anticipated by Ukrainians who want their country of 45 million people to break out of Moscow’s orbit. Opinion surveys in recent months showed about 45 percent of Ukrainians supporting closer integration with the EU and a third or less favoring closer ties with Russia.
“Moscow tried to block the deal with the EU by banning some Ukrainian imports and threatening more trade sanctions. A 2009 dispute between Kiev and Moscow on gas prices resulted in a three-week cutoff of gas to Ukraine.”
If these protests continue, will Russia militarily intervene as it did in the past, during the “Prague Spring,” when it brutally suppressed the attempts in Czechoslovakia to free themselves from the clutches of the Russian regime? How will Europe act or react? The next article gives different reasons as to why the demonstrations in Ukraine are taking place.
What Is Behind the Protests in Ukraine?
The EUObserver wrote on December 2:
“Watching hundreds of thousands of people flock to the streets of Ukrainian cities, Western audiences may have a feeling of deja vu and think that a second Orange Revolution is in the making. Hundreds of EU flags on Ukraine’s squares have prompted many to think the protest is about the country’s relations with the EU. The violent dispersal of the ‘Euromaidan’ over the weekend has led many others to believe that Ukraine is turning into another Belarus.
“The answer is much simpler. What is driving Ukrainians to the streets is the desire to change the way their country is run… What they are revolting against is the entire political system… Ukraine faces very turbulent times. Neither the opposition nor the President seem to be in control of the situation… If the Ukrainian political elites do not find a peaceful solution, the situation may get even worse and people’s appetite for radical solutions might increase…”
Jews Demand Right to Pray on Temple Mount
The Washington Post wrote on December 2:
“A small but growing movement by Jewish activists demanding the right to pray at the site of their destroyed temple, in the heart of this disputed capital’s Old City, is creating a potentially explosive clash with the Muslim world, which considers the spot holy and bans Jews from public worship there.
“Each week, hundreds of Jews ascend the creaky wooden ramp built above the Western Wall and enter what is often called the most contested real estate on Earth. Many then embark upon a game of hide-and-seek with their police escorts — whispering forbidden prayers while pretending to talk into cellphones, and getting in quick but banned bows by dropping coins and then bending to pick them up.
“Their proposals, long dismissed as extremist, are now being debated in the Israeli parliament and embraced by an expansionist wing in the ruling coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.These political leaders, many in Netanyahu’s party, want Israel to assert more, not less, control over the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Old City, including the place known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary…
“Two millenniums ago, this place was the site of the Jews’ Second Temple, destroyed in A.D. 70 by Roman legions under Titus, who cast the Jews into exile. The Western Wall, visited by 10 million people a year, is part of the remaining rampart built around the raised temple complex. Together, the wall and the site of the destroyed temple are the holiest landmarks in Judaism.
“The same courtyard is home to al-Aqsa mosque, one of the oldest in Islam, and the Dome of the Rock, the golden landmark where tradition says the prophet Mohammad made his night journey to heaven. For Palestinians and much of the Muslim world, any mention of changing the status quo at the site, the third-holiest in Islam, is incendiary…
“Non-Muslim tourists are welcome to wander freely around the grounds. But non-Muslim prayer is forbidden. Jews in religious garb are taken aside at the entrance by Israeli security officers, screened more closely and sternly warned not to pray, bow, sing, tear their clothes in mourning or display any religious items.
“Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has ruled that Jews should not enter the Temple Mount esplanade, for fear they will accidentally walk upon ground that is part of the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctum of the temple, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept and only the high priest was permitted to enter. But political leaders are urging that this stance be reexamined. Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, deputy minister of religious affairs, has proposed giving Jews an hour a day to pray there…
“A frequent visitor to the site is Rabbi Chaim Richman, a director of the Temple Institute, whose mission is to prepare for the building of the Third Temple where the Dome of the Rock now stands. He says he envisions a new temple rising toward the clouds, with underground parking, Internet connectivity, radiant heating for the sanctified floors (the priests, in accordance with Jewish law, will be barefoot), and a return of burnt offerings and animal sacrifice.
“In April, Richman’s Temple Institute moved to a large, renovated space in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Western Wall. The project was funded by Henry Swieca, the billionaire American investor, and his wife, Estee.
“Inside, researchers and artisans have created silver trumpets, wooden lyres and three-pronged forks that would turn over burnt offerings. They sewed a priest’s robe with a breastplate of golden thread and 12 precious stones, as described in the Bible and representing the 12 tribes of Israel. There is a golden menorah and an ark for the covenants. And there are architectural plans. Evidence, Muslim leaders say, that proves that the Jews have literal designs on the mount…”
Did Jesus Travel To Britain?
The Daily Mail wrote on December 3:
“A theory dating back to the Middle Ages suggests that Jesus of Nazareth traveled to Britain in his youth, settling in Priddy, Somerset, and building the first wattle cabin in Glastonbury.
“During the late 12th century, Joseph of Arimathea, the man who donated his own tomb for the burial of Jesus after crucifixion, became connected with the Arthurian cycle… Legend has it that Joseph supposedly took Christ under his wing years earlier when his mother Mary was widowed.”
Storm Hits England and Continental Europe
The Local wrote on December 5:
“Hurricane Xaver hit northern German late Thursday morning and its strength surpassed expectations. Water levels are expected to rise far high than initially thought, putting cities like Hamburg in danger of flooding… The DWD issued an extreme weather warning for the states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Bremen. Travelling from Greenland – Xaver has already hit Scotland, leaving large areas without electricity and killed one person… The storm is expected to hit at high tide leading to fears of a repeat of the floods which devastated Hamburg in 1962.”
AFP wrote on December 5:
“A fierce storm battered northern Europe with hurricane force winds Thursday, leaving five people dead or missing, disrupting travel and forcing thousands to flee their homes over fears of the worst tidal surge in decades. British authorities evacuated 15,000 homes as flooding started on the North Sea coast while Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden all boosted their flood defences.
“Winds of up to 142 miles per hour (228 kilometres per hour) were recorded in Scotland and Britain’s environment agency said the ‘surge along the east coast of England is expected to be the worst for more than 60 years.’
“Hundreds of flights were cancelled across northern Europe while rail and ferry services were shut down and one of Europe’s longest bridges — connecting Sweden to Denmark — was closed… The biggest fear across Europe was from a potentially devastating storm surge which will coincide with high tides in many areas late Thursday and early Friday.
“Police and council officials said they were evacuating 9,000 homes in the county of Norfolk, eastern England, and 1,000 in Essex, southeastern England, before three high tides over the next 36 hours… There was travel chaos as the storm barrelled across the North Sea from Britain towards Germany and northwest Europe…”
The Times added on December 5:
“The waves hit like a ‘mini-tsunami’, a rolling tidal surge that swept down the east coast of England leaving flooding and devastation in its wake. Coastal communities were left battered and underwater last night by the biggest storm surge to hit the country in 60 years – causing ten thousand homes to be evacuated and leaving tens of thousands more without power.”
Ice Storm Hits USA
AccuWeather.com wrote on December 5:
“An ice storm will affect millions of people into Friday and threaten to cut power for hundreds of thousands from northern Texas to western Kentucky… The storm is similar in size and may be similar in magnitude to a storm just several years ago… According to Jesse Ferrell, weather expert and storm chaser for AccuWeather.com, ‘This will be the worst ice storm for the United States since January 2009 and will affect many of the same areas as that storm.’
“The New York Times reported that 1.4 million homes and businesses lost power in that late January storm. Lingering, and in some cases intensifying, cold air in the wake of the storm will prevent the ice from melting quickly and can make immediate cleanup difficult, if not impossible. Many road crews have limited ice-melting compounds at their disposal.
“Adding to potential damage or complicating cleanup further, a second round of ice will follow in some areas over the weekend, as a second large storm rolls in from the Southwestern states…”
Hailstorms and Darkness in South Africa
News24 wrote on November 28:
“A massive hailstorm has hit Krugersdorp in the West Rand in Gauteng on Thursday afternoon. The area was pelted with hailstones that were reportedly as large as golf balls.”
News 24 added on November 29:
“A heavy hailstorm hit parts of Pretoria and the Witwatersrand on Thursday afternoon… During the storm motorists had to turn into petrol stations for cover. By 4pm, the sky had turned a dark grey and the rain started to pour as darkness fell… The hailstorm lasted less than half an hour, with hailstones the size of apples.”
All of this reminds us of what the book of Revelation predicts to occur in the near future on a much wider and more serious scale.
“Pope Francis Is the Catholic Church’s Obama – God Help Us”
Fox News wrote on December 4:
“Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity surge comparable to the way Barack Obama was greeted by the world in 2008. And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church… Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities.
“In his interviews with those in the left-wing media he seeks to impress, Francis has said that the Church needs to stop being ‘obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage, and instead of seeking to convert people, ‘we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.’…
“Just like Obama thought he’d won over Putin by promising a reset, Francis thinks by talking vacuously about the poor, he will be respected…Francis not only panders to enemies and professional grievance mongers, but also attacks his allies. Just as Obama snubs Britain and Israel, Pope Francis swipes at practicing Catholics…
“On world matters, Francis’ statements are embarrassing. About communism, a destructive ideology that slaughtered millions of Catholics, he said: ‘Learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized…an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.’
“Apart from the fact that there is no major nation practicing unfettered capitalism (like Obama, Francis loves attacking straw men) there is more real tyranny in socialist cesspools like Francis’ home of Argentina than in places where capitalism is predominant… Like Obama, Francis is unable to see the problems that are really endangering his people. Like Obama he mistakes the faithful for the enemy, the enemy for his friend, condescension for respect, socialism for justice and capitalism for tyranny…”
Wearing a Cross…
Mail On Line wrote on November 30:
“Wearing the Crucifix is now a fashion statement with no religious meaning, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury… Justin Welby said the Cross has been trivialised and ceases to shock or challenge people… ‘As a friend of mine used to say, you might as well hang a tiny golden gallows or an electric chair around your neck.’…
“Archbishop Welby wrote… that the fact that the early church stuck to the story of the crucifixion – despite attacks on it – proves that it is true. He added: ‘For God to be fully human, and then to die an ignominious death reserved for a criminal, seems so extraordinary and pointless as to be inexplicable. Indeed in the early centuries of Christianity many of the accusations against the church started with the assumption that you could not seriously believe in a God who undertook such a terrible and dishonourable death.’…
“Crucifixion was used by the Romans to execute robbers and other common criminals. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, abolished the practice in the Roman Empire in the 4th century AD. The Cross became the symbol of Christianity early in the history of the Church, but it had also been used… as a symbol by other religions and cultures… After a legal battle, the European Court of Human Rights issued a landmark ruling earlier this year saying that Christians may wear a cross at work.”
The article contains some truth and much error. That the cross is being worn today by many as a fashion statement, without any religious significance, cannot be denied. At the same time, wearing a cross is not anything a Christian should do, under any circumstances and for whatever reason. As it is remarked in the article, we might as well wear a golden gallows around our necks. The symbol of the cross is pagan, and as the article points out, it was worn or worshipped long before Jesus Christ’s death: “it had also been used… as a symbol by other religions and cultures.” Further, the cross, as being used and “adored” today, was in all likelihood not the instrument of Christ’s death—rather, the Bible speaks of a tree (1 Peter 2:24).