fool says in his heart, "God does not exist."
(Psalm 14:1 Holman Christian Standard Bible)
God Does Not Exist?
Excerpted from: BLOOD ON THE ALTAR
The Coming War Between Christian vs. ChristianPosted: June 01, PART 5
by Thomas Horn
A Light at the End of the Lucifer Effect?
My good friend Dr. Chuck Missler happens to believe something very good can, is, and will come out of the lead-up to that period in history when true believers will be thoroughly persecuted. Just as he begins his chapter in the upcoming book Blood on the Altar repeating what J. Vernon McGee preached about denominational churches eventually driving the true body of Christ underground, in his must-read work, Prophecy 20/20: Profiling the Future Through the Lens of Scripture, Dr. Missler describes how so many real believers today have already started their exodus from institutional Christianity and are reemerging in home groups, just as the church began in the book of Acts. He writes:
There is presently a groundswell across America—as in many other parts of the world—in which people are meeting in small groups in homes during the week, rediscovering the Bible, and enjoying a more intimate fellowship than they find in “Sunday church.” Many of these are encouraged and supported by their formal church associations; others simply meet independently. This is especially true of many young people, to whom “Sunday church” is a spectator sport, and who seek more personal participation and accountability.
After all, this is the way it all began: twelve guys along the seashore with their Teacher. All the remarkable episodes of the early church in the book of Acts occurred in homes. It wasn’t until the fourth century that edifices began to be erected, when Christians exchanged the rags of the caves for the silks of the court. And committed ambassadors were replaced with hirelings, inserted between an attendee and the Word itself.
In more than sixty years as a practicing Christian, the place that I’ve always seen people really grow spiritually is within small group Bible studies: where they can ask questions and hold each other accountable.[vii]
Dr. Missler goes on to list caveats to be considered in small groups, including the need to network and not become insular, as well as the need to “systematically spawn new leadership, and not become an end in themselves.”[viii] This recognition of vibrant Christianity growing outside the walls of Western religious centers offers hope that the true body of Christ always has and will survive and even triumph during times of persecution. The seventh chapter of the book of Revelation is dedicated to describing a great number of people redeemed during the coming war between religionists and saints. It speaks of:
…a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.…
who came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.…
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Rev. 7: 9–17)
The apostle Peter likewise recorded in the book of Acts that:
It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams….
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:17–18, 21, emphasis added)
Do these verses imply, as some believe, that the increase in persecution of true believers around the world today may simply presage an imminent, latter-day awakening…a revival in the purest sense of the word? I sure hope so. Pray so. But one thing I’m certain of: growing animosity against the children of God is a real and present danger that is only going to worsen in the days ahead.
Between now and that climactic encounter when the supernatural battle spoken of in the Bible’s books of prophecy begins in earnest, we can expect the divide between religious and authentic Christianity to deepen. It is hard for us to imagine that in places like the United States true believers could someday be burned alive in churches, but it is happening in Nigeria now. It is hard for us to perceive that some might be beheaded, but this is a reality in Syria today. We can hardly fathom good people being crucified alive, but Pakistani Christians are living with this nightmare now. And in the United States, that city on a hill once listed among the safest locations on earth for Christians, a tide of anti-Christ sentiment has in only the last few years pushed this country into a category recently reserved for only those governments that restrict and criminalize expressions of real Christianity.
You can see the writing on the wall intensifying.
Unlike my grandfather’s America, if a US preacher today says on television that Jesus is the only way to heaven, he is derided not just by secular media but other "Christians" and megachurches.
If a Christian calls homosexuality a sin or speaks negatively about Islamism, he is branded on talk shows as “homophobic” or “Islamaphobic.”
If a Christian business owner refuses service to a homosexual couple because of religious beliefs, he or she faces criminal charges and a court order to “cease and desist from discriminating” or face fines (see example news story in the endnotes [ix]). If a judge can order an independent cake maker to go against her conscience to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, how long will it be before pastors are required to perform gay weddings or face criminal prosecution? This is the very kind of social pressure contributing to the developing chasm between religious and born-again believers worldwide. People are and will be forced to choose sides.
How many more years will I be able to publish a series like this or my upcoming book Blood on the Altar before it is banned as hate speech? One thing is sure: The tide against New Testament faith is bound to get worse, especially as we near that period called Great Tribulation. I trust the reader will carefully consider the following entries in this series and the new book by true friends and followers of Jesus and use them to draw your own line in the sand for the coming war between Christian vs. Christian.
[vii] Chuck Missler, Prophecy 20/20: Profiling the Future through the Lens of Scripture (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2006) 225–226.
[ix] “Judge Orders Colorado Cake Maker to Serve Gay Couples,” CBS Denver, December 6, 2013, http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/12/06/judge-orders -colorado-cake-maker-to-serve-gay-couples/.
Excerpted from: BLOOD ON THE ALTAR
The Coming War Between Christian vs. ChristianPosted: June 04, 2014 8:00 am Eastern Part 6 by Sharon Gilbert
World Wide Web
A system of hyperlinked documents accessed via the Internet. The World Wide Web (WWW or W3) provides a user-friendly interface allowing anyone to join the Internet with a personal computer, tablet, smart phone, or other connected device (this will soon include appliances, cars, robots, and even external and internal medical and/or personal devices). It is interesting to note that the numerical value of “www” is 666.[vii]
Also called Dark Web, DarkNet, the Invisible Web, and the Hidden Web, this realm of “stealth” websites, pages, images, files, and other documents cannot be accessed by typing in a .www URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Lying beneath the “Surface Web,” these sites are not indexed by search engines like Bing or Google, but require specific web crawlers and/or the manual submission of an Internet protocol or password. The Deep Web is estimated to be many magnitudes larger than the Surface Web. These murky depths provide cover for a shadowy world of illicit trade and criminal activities such as drug traffic, pornography, pedophilia, pederasty, snuff films, organ trafficking, and even slave trade, but they also provide deep cover for covert operations and spying. If you think the Surface Web contains disgusting imagery and ideas, you would be shocked at what slithers just beneath those Facebook “likes,” selfie-ridden Instagrams, and idle Tweets. The Internet that you and I and find so compelling contains both good and bad, but the nether regions of the DarkNet never see, nor do they benefit from, the light of day.
Now that we’ve unpacked a few definitions, let me offer a short history of the Internet, since that is where Leviathan, the monster from the Id now sleeps. ARPAnet was born from the vision of J. C. R. Lidicker, a psychologist cum computer scientist and former director of Behavioral Sciences Command and Control Research at DARPA (then called ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency operated by the US Defense Department). During the 1950s, Lidicker was a major contributor to ARPA’s “SAGE” (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) project that sought to create a defense system based on computer/human responses. Computers fed data to human operators, who then made decisions for action—hence the term “semi-automatic.” However, this exposure to the possibilities inherent in computers stayed with Lidicker, and he eventually proposed what he called the “Intergalactic Network,” which sounds rather far-fetched, but with this vision, he wrote and discussed concepts such as “point-and-click” interfaces, e-commerce, digital libraries, and more. His dreams even included “cloud computing.”[viii]
However, before ARPAnet could form, a subnetwork had to be created as a means to provide structure and connectivity while the “net” formed. This subnet was called the Interface Message Processor (IMP) and conjoined a variety of university scholars with the IPTO (Information Processing Techniques Office) at the Pentagon. Now, I won’t dwell on this, but it is interesting to note that ARPAnet is an anagram of “pan tare.” Pan, a mythological, goat-legged creature, was reputed to rape women and commit all manner of adulterous and lecherous acts. Pan has now come to serve as a prefix meaning “everywhere at once” or “worldwide,” as in “pandemic.” Tares are weeds and were used by Jesus as representing the evil that the enemy has sown in a field.
Once the subnet and basic protocols were in place, four universities (Stanford, Utah, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of California, Santa Barbara) were selected to provide feedback in four major areas: network measurement, network information, interactive mathematics, and graphics. These four schools received an IMP, and these subnets eventually connected as a Network Working Group. From these humble beginnings arose ARPAnet, Usenet, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the protocol that made modems possible), and eventually HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), which even now forms the backbone of the Internet and websites. ARPAnet grew from a tiny idea to connect computers for use by the US military into the rapid transit system deployed by citizens and soldiers the world over. This system permits Christians to share joys and sorrows, cat pictures, triumphs, cries of despair and calls for prayer, sports scores, and family memories. But it also provides the means for sins of all shapes and sizes—defiance in the face of God, a rising anger and hatred of all things Christian that threatens to erupt from out of the deep web into the sunlit surface any day now.
[vii] The numerical value of a letter is obtained by equating a sequence of letters in any language (in this case, English) to the numbers 1 through 9.
[viii] “Intergalactic Computer Network,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Intergalactic _Computer_Network&oldid=602778300 (accessed April 25, 2014).
National UFO Center
War of the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness
Astronauts have always been distinguished men of valor and exploits. A couple of years ago, Dr. Edgar Mitchell and I had a brief conversation after we spoke to about fifty Congressional staff personnel in Washington DC as part of the Disclosure Hearings. He indicated we may be visited by some type of intelligence from space. I asked Edgar, “What he thought was the real secret to all of this concerning UFOs?” He said, “The answers are all in the Dead Sea Scrolls.” I said, “You mean like the Sons of Light and Darkness?”
He said, “Yes but even now not all of the scrolls have not been revealed”. I searched the scrolls myself later to find some meaning. The text of the “War of the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness” describes where two sides are in an apocalyptic battle for Earth. “Warrior angels are in our muster, and He that is mighty in War is in our throng. The army of His spirits marches beside us. Our horsemen come like clouds or like banks of dew, to cover the earth, or like torrential showers, to rain judgment on all that grows in it. Opposing the good forces are the forces of darkness.
Dead Sea Scrolls Museum Jerusalem, Israel
But for corruption thou hast made Belial, an angel of hostility. All his dominion is darkness and guilt. All the spirits that are associated with him are angels of destruction. They follow only the laws of darkness, and their craving is directed toward it.” Pages 414-416 The Dead Sea Scriptures.
The Dead Sea Scrolls from this particular parchment also reveals that many inspired Masters as well as teachers will take the lead when that time should arise. This calls for you to exercise faith on a scale which you have never attempted before. Inasmuch as the Lord stated that He would be with us at all times; you will be a victor and never go down to defeat. The Great Creator has given every last one a measure of faith. The more you realize the potential power that has been placed within you, the more you will exercise that power which comes from above. It is also imperative that you know yourself as well as your own human limitations.
Jewish men pray in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City as Jews prepare to mark Shavuot, the annual celebration of God's handing down of the Law (the Torah) to Moses at Mount Sinai in biblical times, according to Jewish tradition, May 28, 2009. (photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner)
Temple Mount faithful lay claim to lost ark
It happens relatively frequently. Every once in a while, some daring biblical researcher or pretentious archaeologist emerges to claim that he found a clue that will lead him to the Ark of the Covenant. According to Jewish tradition, the Tables of the Covenant, on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed, were kept in the ark within the temple. On June 4, the Jews celebrate Shavuot, which is identified with the Mount Sinai revelation.
Shavuot is an occasion to consider the many theories regarding the lost Ark of the Covenant that have inspired believers, politicians and Hollywood, and fed the hopes of those yearning for the Third Temple.
Author Yuval Avivi
Posted June 3, 2014
But those who continue to search for the ark are not only Jews. The rest of the world has not yet abandoned the dream of finding the Holy Ark.
In July 2013, in an archaeological dig in ancient Shiloh, traces were found linking the place to the site of the Tabernacle, which housed the Ark of the Covenant until the construction of the temple. Two years earlier, in 2011, it had been argued that a church in Ethiopia was the secret repository of the ark.
If you ask the Temple Mount faithful, the answer is fairly straightforward: The ark is intact and well, securely protected within the Temple Mount itself. When we talked about the timing of the founding of the Third Temple, Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman of the Temple Institute told me, “There are 10 studies about the location of the Ark of the Covenant. We read them and studied all of them, and reached the conclusion that it’s buried in the tunnels under the Temple Mount. When the day comes, we will get to it.”
Friedman is not the only one who believes this. Numerous other Jews have reached the same conclusion, and in 1981 attempts were made to hasten the longed-for day and excavate under the Temple Mount to reveal the ark. This was no underground activity by the obsessed. It was an initiative involving the chief rabbis of the time, including Rabbi Shlomo Goren, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Gedalia Schreiber, the director-general of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The effort ultimately failed amid claims of a Muslim plot to thwart the discovery.
But Friedman errs in at least one way. There are many more than 10 theories regarding the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. Some of them seem totally delusional, but among them are some serious theories by erudite researchers determined to solve the ark riddle in our day.
In Steven Spielberg's classic movie, Adolf Hitler coveted the ark for its purported magical attributes, but the one who actually found it was the titular Indiana Jones. Spielberg’s theory is inherently Hollywoodian and full of holes. Another Jones did more in-depth work on the subject: Archaeologist Wendell Jones argued that the ark was moved to the Dead Sea caves, and that he was the inspiration for the Indiana of movie fame. Obviously, no ark came to light in searches conducted in the Dead Sea area.
“According to the Book of Kings, the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the temple’s Holy of Holies by King Solomon, and from that moment on we have no evidence of its existence,” said Yigal Levin, a faculty member of the department of Jewish history at Bar Ilan University.
While the evidence might have petered out there, the theories were only beginning. As we know, Jerusalem was conquered frequently over the course of history. Nations came and left; kings robbed and religious leaders coveted. There were countless opportunities for the ark to travel to the ends of the world.
“Some claim that the ark was taken by the Queen of Sheba, who came to visit King Solomon,” explained Levin. “This is the basis for the theory that the ark is to be found in Ethiopia, and there are those who claim that it was taken by Egyptian King Shishak. This is the version familiar to us from the film 'Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.'"
The Ethiopian theory takes a surprising turn in the words of librarian and researcher of popular culture Eli Eshed. In an article he published on the Hebrew-language Reading Reindeer site under the headline “Raiders of the Ark of the Covenant,” Eshed quotes from a book published by Kelly D. Alexander. Alexander claims that during the Operation Moses campaign in 1991 to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel, a parallel but very clandestine operation was conducted to return the Ark of the Covenant to Israel. According to the story, discussions were held at the highest echelons between Israel and Ethiopian generals, and the latter received some millions of dollars in exchange for permission to take the ark to Israel. Several Jewish millionaires provided the money but the generals, who escaped to Switzerland, did not know that the money delivered was fake. The Israelis were careful to report the counterfeit money to the Swiss banks, and the generals were arrested when they tried to deposit the loot. Afterward, the Israelis turned to the rebel forces that took control of Ethiopia at the time and gave them the real money. This money enabled the new rulers to fund their activities, and in exchange they gave the ark to the Israelis.
“I am very doubtful about the veracity of this story,” concluded Eshed. “It sounds like those fabricated tales that are so massively widespread on the Internet.”
“The most reasonable theory is that the ark remained in the Holy of Holies until the destruction of the temple in 586 B.C.,” said Levin, “As far as we know, the ark was not taken to Babylonia by Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed the temple, and it does not appear among the vessels returned by Cyrus, King of Persia, who authorized the rebuilding of the Second Temple.”
The argument concealed in the statement above is that it is likely that the Ark of the Covenant was destroyed together with the First Temple. But those who stand by the theory that the ark had been moved will say that it is hard to believe that the builders of the Second Temple did not find the ark if it was really buried there. They, contrary to Goren, did enjoy free access to the Temple Mount. Thus, according to their version, the ark was either destroyed or moved around the world.
But even those who agree that the ark was taken to a secret place do not agree on who took it, when it was taken and to where.
One Jewish allegation connects the temple vessels to Italy. According to this allegation, the Arch of Titus displays the carrying of the temple vessels to Rome, including the Golden Candelabra; some argue that the Talmud also brings evidence of this (Tractate Me’ilot 17b). According to this claim, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his disciple Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yossi, sailed to Rome (Tractate Gittin 56) and went to Caesar’s palace. There, Elazar glimpsed the curtain (parochet) of the temple and the golden head plate of the high priest, and Shimon bar Yochai saw the Golden Candelabra. This Talmudic story is the basis for the claim that temple vessels are still hidden in the Vatican basements to this very day. If we let our imaginations run a bit further, perhaps the ark is there as well.
This story, too, is chronologically problematic, since many people claim that no Ark of the Covenant existed in the Second Temple. In any case, there are those who took this story very seriously, and in 2009 Jewish right-wing activists asked an Israeli court to issue a stay-of-exit order against Pope Benedict XVI when he visited Israel, with the demand that he return the holy vessels.
Many hold that it is only a matter of time until the whereabouts of the ark will be revealed. The Temple Mount faithful certainly believe that its discovery will be accompanied by the coming of the Messiah and the building of the Third Temple. Others think that its detection will connect Moses and the contemporary Jewish nation once and for all. They believe that it will forge a permanent, indissoluble bond between the State of Israel and the Temple Mount, in other words affirming the right to settle in the land of Israel. Thus, we see that the Ark of the Covenant is not only a religious symbol, but a political tool as well.
“All we have are legends,” summarized Levin. “So long as no new testimonies emerge regarding the whereabouts of the ark, we have, in effect, no way at all of knowing where it is.”
(We were a little surprised the narrative in 2 Maccabees chapter 2 verses 4 thought 8 was not cited in the above article. When the following verses speak of Jeremy they are speaking of the Jeremiah the prophet. One of the major prophetic books of the Old Testament, along with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.
“It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.
Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified.”
The book of 2 Maccabees is found in a collection of books known as the Apocrypha.
“The Biblical apocrypha denotes the collection of ancient books found, in some editions of the Bible, in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments or as an appendix after the New Testament. Although the term apocrypha had been in use since the 5th century, it was in Luther's Bible of 1534 that the Apocrypha was first published as a separate intertestamental section.
Catholic and Orthodox Christians regard as fully canonical most of these books called Apocrypha, and their canonicity was explicitly affirmed at the Council of Trent in 1546 and Synod of Jerusalem (1672) respectively.”
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Netanyahu ‘loathes’ Obama, Israel’s opposition leader charges
PM’s hostility to president is ‘endangering Israel’s security,’ claims Labor’s Isaac Herzog, in rare confirmation of long-rumored strained ties between ‘Bibi’ and ‘Barack’
BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF June 6, 2014, 10:58 pm 44
US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepare for a press session in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, September 30, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Charles Dharapak)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “loathes” Barack Obama, and his hostile attitude to the US president constitutes a danger to Israel’s well-being, the head of the Israeli opposition charged on Friday night, in a highly unusual acknowledgement of the long-rumored strained personal ties between the two leaders.
In a bitter verbal assault on the prime minister, Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog slammed Netanyahu for failing to listen to the international community, failing to present peace proposals of his own for an accord with the Palestinians, and failing to work properly with Obama.
It was “a tragedy” that Netanyahu had not presented a peace plan, and was instead “dragged” into responding to other proposals, said Herzog. “The second tragedy, that endangers the security of Israel, is his loathing and hostility for Barack Obama,” Herzog went on, describing this as “one of Netanyahu’s gravest failures.
Herzog, who was minister of welfare under Netanyahu from 2009-2011, was speaking in an interview on Channel 2 news in the aftermath of this week’s formation of a new Hamas-backed Palestinian unity government. Netanyahu had called on the international community to stand up against what he described as a government backed by a terrorist organization, but instead the US led the world in making clear that it would work with the new Palestinian government, and the EU, the UN and much of the rest of the international community quickly followed suit.
Netanyahu and Obama have long been perceived as having a strained relationship, with policy differences emerging over how to stop Iran’s nuclear program, and the prime minister’s expansion of settlements, among other issues. Obama gave an interview which indicated criticism of some of Netanyahu’s key policies just as the prime minister was flying to meet him at the White House in March, and Netanyahu was seen by some in the US as having sought to bolster Mitt Romney’s prospects in the 2012 presidential elections.
But formally Israeli and American leaders have generally insisted that the two work together professionally. Obama took pains to speak of “my friend Bibi,” using the prime minister’s nickname, when he visited Israel last year, and Netanyahu reciprocated by calling him “my friend Barack.” For a figure as prominent as Herzog to use Israel’s most-watched news program to declare that the prime minister loathes the US president was unprecedented.
Sources close to Netanyahu have claimed that Secretary of State John Kerry had promised the prime minister that the US would not work with the new Palestinian government, and had thus breached understandings with Israel. Herzog charged that Netanyahu “does not listen” to the international community, and they don’t listen to him. Under Netanyahu, Israel was now “completely isolated,” he said.
As opposition leader, Herzog receives regular briefings on diplomatic and security issues from Netanyahu and other leading figures. He has been urging relatively dovish members of the governing coalition — notably the Hatnua party led by Tzipi Livni and the centrist Yesh Atid of Yair Lapid — to leave the government and back him. Herzog said Israel needed to negotiate with the Palestinians on the principle of a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines, with land swaps and “arrangements” to resolve the contested fate of Jerusalem.
When it was suggested to him that Netanyahu was prepared to go along with such ideas, Herzog retorted, “His mistake is that he’s not put a proposal on the table.
In comments earlier in the week, Herzog had blamed the US and EU recognition of the Hamas-backed Palestinian unity government on the “complete collapse of Israeli foreign policy” under Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. “Netanyahu and Liberman failed to understand the international arena,” he said.
“Netanyahu speaks [but] the world doesn’t listen,” said Herzog Wednesday, adding that the prime minister’s failure to lead a diplomatic process “let Hamas into the West Bank through the front door.”
Herzog warned that if Netanyahu did not act on the diplomatic front, “Israel will lose the support of the international community and the ability to preserve [Israel] as a Jewish and democratic state.”
The opposition leader called on the prime minister to come up with a clear plan to avoid Israel becoming a binational state with a Jewish minority.
“The man who describes himself as strong against Hamas is revealed as being strong at nothing but talking, Herzog wrote in a Facebook post.
Israel has castigated the US over its position, arguing that by maintaining ties with a government supported by a terror group, the US was indicating to PA President Mahmoud Abbas that it was okay to “form a government with a terrorist group.”
“I’m deeply troubled by the announcement that the United States will work with the Palestinian government backed by Hamas,” Netanyahu said Wednesday, noting that the Islamist group has murdered “countless innocent civilians.”
“All those who genuinely seek peace must reject President Abbas’s embrace of Hamas, and most especially, I think the United States must make it absolutely clear to the Palestinian president that his pact with Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks Israel’s liquidation, is simply unacceptable,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday, Kerry defended a US decision to work with the new Palestinian unity government, despite Israeli criticism, emphasizing that the new Palestinian leadership did not include any Hamas ministers.
Speaking to reporters in Beirut, Kerry said Abbas “made clear that this new technocratic government is committed to the principles of non violence, negotiations, recognizing the state of Israel, acceptance of the previous agreements and the Quartet principles.”
“Based on what we know now about the composition of this technocratic government, which has no minister affiliated to Hamas and is committed to the principles that I describe, we will work with it as we need to, as appropriate.”
While on an unscheduled visit to Beirut, Kerry said: “I want to make it very clear we are going to be watching it (the government) very closely, as we have said from day one, to absolutely ensure that it upholds each of those things it has talked about, that it doesn’t cross the line.”
The new Palestinian cabinet was sworn in Monday, after a surprise reconciliation deal reached in April between Hamas and the PLO.
SAINT PETER'S LIST
Nessie and the Monks via The Calum Maclean Project
4 Facts about the Catholic Saint who Fought the Loch Ness Monster
by SPL STAFF on May 13, 2014
1. Saint Columba
Saint Columba (7 December 521 – 9 June 597) was an Irish abbot and missionary credited with spreading Christianity in present-day Scotland. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. He is the Patron Saint of Derry. He was highly regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, and is remembered today as a Catholic saint and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.
In early Ireland the druidic tradition collapsed due to the spread of the new Catholic faith. The study of Latin learning and Christian theology in monasteries flourished. Columba became a pupil at the monastic school at Clonard Abbey, situated on the River Boyne in modern County Meath. During the sixth century, some of the most significant names in the history of Irish Christianity studied at the Clonard monastery. It is said that the average number of scholars under instruction at Clonard was 3,000. Twelve students who studied under St. Finnian became known as the Twelve Apostles of Ireland; Columba was one of them. He became a monk and eventually was ordained a priest.1
2. The Battle of Cul Dreimhne
St. Columba become involved in what is considered one of the world’s oldest recorded copyright disputes. The argument centered on the right to copy a psalm – a dispute that led to a full out battle entitled the Battle of Cúl Dreimhne (c. 555 AD to 561 AD). Several men died during the skirmish. The battled coupled with another incident (that led to the death of a prince) brought St. Columba under heavy criticism.2
A synod of clerics and scholars threatened to excommunicate him for these deaths, but St. Brendan of Birr spoke on his behalf. The result was that St. Columba was allowed to go into exile instead. St. Columba’s own conscience was uneasy, and on the advice of an aged hermit, Molaise, he resolved to expiate his offense by going into exile and win for Christ as many souls as had perished in the terrible battle of Cuil Dremne. He left Ireland, to return only once, many years later. Columba’s copy of the psalter has been traditionally associated with the Cathach of St. Columba.
3. Missionary Work in Scotland
In 563, he travelled to Scotland with twelve companions, in a wicker coracle covered with leather, and according to legend he first landed on the Kintyre Peninsula, near Southend. However, being still in sight of his native land, he moved further north up the west coast of Scotland. The island of Iona was made over to him by his kinsman Conall, king of the British Dalriada, who perhaps had invited him to come to Scotland in the first place. However, there is a sense in which he was not leaving his native people, as the Irish Gaels had been colonizing the west coast of Scotland for the previous couple of centuries. Aside from the services he provided guiding the only centre of literacy in the region, his reputation as a holy man led to his role as a diplomat among the tribes; there are also many stories of miracles which he performed during his work to convert the Picts.
He was also very energetic in his work as a missionary, and, in addition to founding several churches in the Hebrides, he worked to turn his monastery at Iona into a school for missionaries. He was a renowned man of letters, having written several hymns and being credited with having transcribed 300 books.
4. The Loch Ness Monster
Widely considered the first recorded story of the Loch Ness Monster,The Life of Saint Columba written by St. Adamnan – Abbot of Iona, d. 704 – in the seventh century tells of the meeting between St. Columba and a strange “aquatic monster” in A.D. 565. The following is an excerpt from chapter twenty-eight entitled “How an Aquatic Monster was Driven off by Virtue of the Blessed Man’s Prayer.”3
On another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa; and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the water; his wretched body was, though too late, taken out with a hook, by those who came to his assistance in a boat.
The blessed man, on hearing this, was so far from being dismayed, that he directed one of his companions to swim over and row across the coble that was moored at the farther bank.
And Lugne Mocumin hearing the command of the excellent man, obeyed without the least delay, taking off all his clothes, except his tunic, and leaping into the water.
But the monster, which, so far from being satiated, was only roused for more prey, was lying at the bottom of the stream, and when it felt the water disturbed above by the man swimming, suddenly rushed out, and, giving an awful roar, darted after him, with its mouth wide open, as the man swam in the middle of the stream.
Then the blessed man observing this, raised his holy hand, while all the rest, brethren as well as strangers, were stupefied with terror, and, invoking the name of God, formed the saving sign of the cross in the air, and commanded the ferocious monster, saying, “Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed.” Then at the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes, though it had just got so near to Lugne, as he swam, that there was not more than the length of a spear-staff between the man and the beast.
Then the brethren seeing that the monster had gone back, and that their comrade Lugne returned to them in the boat safe and sound, were struck with admiration, and gave glory to God in the blessed man. And even the barbarous heathens, who were present, were forced by the greatness of this miracle, which they themselves had seen, to magnify the God of the Christians.
St. Columba and the Loch Ness Monster.
Additionally, the Catholic resource website Fisheaters cites the “Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland,” stating:
Once upon a time, when Saint Columba was traveling through the country of the Picts, he had to cross the River Ness. When he reached the shore there was a group of people, Picts and Brethren both, burying an unfortunate guy who had been bit by a water-monster. Columba ordered one of his people to swim across the river and get the boat on the other side so that he might cross. On hearing this, Lugneus Mocumin stripped down to his tunic and plunged in to the water.
But the monster saw him swimming and charged to the surface to devour poor Lugneus and everyone who was watching was horrified and hid their eyes in terror. Everyone except Columba who raised his holy hand and inscribed the Cross in the empty air. Calling upon the name of God, he commanded the savage beast, saying: “Go no further! Do not touch the man! Go back at once!”
The monster drew back as though pulled by ropes and retreated quickly to the depths of the Loch. Lugneus brought the boat back, unharmed and everyone was astonished. And the heathen savages who were present were overcome by the greatness of the miracle which they themselves had seen, and magnified the God of the Christians.
St. Columba is unfortunately not considered the patron saint of the Loch Ness Monster. He is, however, the patron of Derry, Ireland, floods, bookbinders (the occupation), poets, Ireland, Scotland, and Ulster (a province of Ireland). Holy Mother Church celebrates St. Columba’s feast day on June 9th.
Resources: Biography is copied with edits from the Wikipedia article St. Columba, which draws heavily from St. Columba: Catholic Encyclopedia and EWTN: St. Columba. [↩]
The Prince: A second grievance that led him to induce the clan Neill to rise and engage in battle against King Diarmait at Cooldrevny in 561 was the king’s violation of the right of sanctuary belonging to Columba’s person as a monk on the occasion of the murder of Prince Curnan, the saint’s kinsman. Prince Curnan of Connaught, who had fatally injured a rival in a hurling match and had taken refuge with Columba, was dragged from his protector’s arms and slain by Diarmaid’s men, in defiance of the rights of sanctuary. [↩]
The Life of Saint Columba: The seventh-century except may be found on Fisheaters. [↩]
World Bank warns of food riots as rising food prices push world populations toward revolt
Friday, May 30, 2014
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Tags: World Bank, food riots, emergency preparedness
(NaturalNews) A new report issued by the World Bank (1) warns that food prices are skyrocketing globally, with wheat up 18 percent and corn up 12 percent this quarter. Ukraine, one of the largest wheat exporters in the world, has suffered a 73 percent increase in domestic wheat costs. Argentina has seen wheat prices skyrocket 70 percent. According to the World Bank, these price increases have been caused primarily by three factors: 1) Sharply higher demand for food in China, 2) U.S. drought conditions that hammered wheat production, and 3) unrest in Ukraine due to the near state of war with Russia.
Rising food prices lead to food riots
According to the World Bank, rising food prices have caused 51 food riots in 37 countries since 2007. These include Tunisia, South Africa, Cameroon and India, among other nations.
"Food price shocks can both spark and exacerbate conflict and political instability," warns the report.
A World Bank blog entry by Senior Economist Jose Cuesta entitled "No Food, No Peace" (2) warns that "It is quite likely that we will experience more food riots in the foreseeable future... food price shocks have repeatedly led to spontaneous -- typically urban -- sociopolitical instability."
Hunger leads to revolution
What the World Bank is leading to (but not quite saying) is that hunger leads to revolution. When the People are starving in the streets, there is political unrest that can easily turn violent. Because this is a fundamental human reaction, it is just as true in the United States, UK and other first-world nations as it is in Cameroon or India.
American investigative journalist Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) famously said, "There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy." He went on to explain, "It may be taken as axiomatic that a starving man is never a good citizen."
What he means is that hunger dispels the illusions of a polite society and unleashes the desperate animal-like nature that lurks inside all human beings. A starving man trying to feed his starving children will at some point abandon all law and order, doing anything necessary to keep himself and his children alive, including engaging in robbery, assault and murder.
Stated another way, the only reason most people obey laws and agree to live in a socially polite manner is because their bellies are full. Take away the food and all illusions of social friendliness vanish in about nine meals (three days). No local police force can hope to control the actions of the starving masses, regardless of how obedient the population once was when food was abundant.
The coming food collapse is now inevitable
Many are now warning about the coming collapse in the food supply. These warnings include all the following factors:
* EBT CARDS are the federal government's "food stamp" system that distributes money to over 47 million Americans who use that money on debit cards to buy food. The EBT system depends entirely on the financial solvency of the federal government, an empire steeped in over $17 trillion in debt and constantly on the verge of a financial wipeout. When the day comes that the feds stop funding the EBT cards, food riots are imminent. EBT cardholders have already ransacked a Wal-Mart store, even in good times! (Once the EBT entitlements are cut off, EBT card holders will simply ransack the same stores they used to visit as customers. Once those stores run out of food, U.S. cities will devolve into all-out street warfare.)
* HYDROLOGIC CYCLE SCIENTISTS are warning that much of the food production taking place in the world today -- across the USA, India, China, etc. -- depends entirely on fossil water extraction from underground aquifers. Those aquifers are being rapidly depleted, some dropping more than a foot each year. Once this fossil water is used up, it's gone for hundreds or thousands of years. Entire breadbasket regions of the world (such as the U.S. Midwest) will be turned into agricultural deserts. Already, much of Texas and Oklahoma is returning to Dust Bowl conditions.
* ENVIRONMENTALISTS warn that climate change will cause radical weather patterns (droughts, floods, freezes) that devastate the food supply. It is undeniable that radical weather has already caused unprecedented destruction of U.S. food production over the last 18 months. (The underlying causes of such weather patterns, however, remain hotly debated.)
* GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS are genetically vulnerable to disease because they are mono-culture crops with little genetic diversity. Nearly all corn grown in the USA, for example, is genetically modified corn with a near-identical genetic makeup. The situation is obviously ripe for precisely the kind of disease wipeout we're already witnessing with global banana crops.
* ECONOMISTS are warning that the global money supply is on the verge of collapse. Once it collapses, banking would go down with it, destroying the infrastructure that people use to buy food. If grocery stores can't conduct financial transactions, they can't buy inventory to retail to the public, for starters. To stay informed on this subject, read up at www.TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com or www.SHTFplan.com or www.SteveQuayle.com
* PERMACULTURE advocates are warning that the global seed supply has been deliberately collapsed by biotech companies which routinely buy up small seed companies and shut them down. The intention is to create seed monopolies and eliminate competing alternatives to patented, corporate-controlled seeds. The answer to all this, by the way, is found in the wisdom of people like Geoff Lawton who teaches decentralized, abundant food production based on permaculture design science. (Really, Geoff's wisdom can save our world if embraced as a replacement for corporate agriculture...)
Temporary illusions of cheap food will soon be shattered
In other words, there are economic, hydrologic and genetic reasons why today's abundant food supply will come to an abrupt end. The cheap, easy food you buy at the grocery store right now is a temporary illusion of cheap food based on unsustainable agricultural practices that use up fossil water, destroy topsoil and poison the environment.
Even the U.S. government's subsidizing of food through its runaway food stamp program is a temporary artifact of a nation headed for an inevitable debt collapse. Learn more from www.TrendsResearch.com
It is therefore a mathematical and physical certainty that this illusion of cheap, plentiful food will soon be shattered. And in its wake, we will be left with a starving, desperate population with nothing to lose by marching in the streets or staging a violent revolt.
America has abandoned food security in favor of corporate monopolies
Everywhere that this happens will see cities turned into death traps. Because of the centralized corporate farming model that now dominates first-world economies, food production (and even farm land) is controlled by very small number of corporate operations. This is the opposite of food security.
A nation practicing food security would encourage home gardens and support decentralized food production that includes urban food production. Interestingly, nations like Cuba and Russia have encouraged precisely these practices, which is why they are more resistant to a food supply collapse.
In the United States, however, home gardeners have been threatened with arrest. People who produce real food are often raided at gunpoint by government authorities. Farmers who try to produce clean, non-GMO crops are sued by companies like Monsanto whose seeds pollute their farm land.
Government and corporate entities have colluded in the United States to monopolize food production, thereby centralizing it in a way that compromises food security. The day of Americans being told to "plant Victory Gardens" during World War II are long gone. Today, we're told to obediently line up and eat genetically modified soybeans or drink hormone-contaminated cow's milk. Government now demands our food obedience and actively works against individuals who try to produce their own food at the local level.
Why the food supply is America's tactical vulnerability
This makes America wildly vulnerable to disruptions in the food supply. While many nations can manage to get by thanks to home gardens and decentralize food production, the United States of America has allowed government and corporations to structure the national food supply system into a precarious, non-fault-tolerant configuration that's practically begging for collapse.
Just one disruption in the system -- a failed power grid, failed fuel refineries or a failed financial transaction infrastructure -- would collapse food availability nationwide, sending the population into a near-immediate state of desperate starvation. Martial Law would no doubt quickly follow, after which Americans would be ordered to starve to death at the hands of FEMA instead of starving to death on their own.
On March 16, 2012, Obama declared federal control over all farms, food, livestock and seeds
The federal government already knows everything I'm telling you here. That's why on march 16, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order entitled, "NATIONAL DEFENSE RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS."
You can read the official White House press release admitting this.
This executive order states that the President alone has the authority to take over all resources in the nation (labor, food, industry, etc.) as long as it is done "to promote the national defense."
The proclamation gives the Secretary of Agriculture full authority to seize all "food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer."
The Secretary of Defense is given control over all "water resources," and the Secretary of Commerce is given control over "all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials."
The federal government sees what's coming, in other words, and has already laid claim to all YOUR food, farm land, livestock, fertilizer and farm equipment, among other food-related assets.
( Kissinger: "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.")
( But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19)
Ecuador Transfers Half Its Gold Reserves To Goldman Sachs In Exchange For "Liquidity"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/02/2014 19:04 -0400
mitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,
This is a great example of how the game works. In a world in which every government on earth needs “liquidity” to survive, and the primary goal of every government is and always has been survival (the retention of arbitrary power at all costs), the provider of liquidity is king. So what is liquidity and who provides it?
In the current financial system (post Bretton Woods), the primary engine of global liquidity is the U.S. dollar and dollar based assets generally as a result of its reserve currency status. Ever since Nixon defaulted on the U.S. dollar’s gold backing in 1971, the creation of this “liquidity” has zero restrictions whatsoever and is merely based on the whims and desires of the central planners in chief, i.e., the Federal Reserve. As the primary creator of the liquidity that every government on earth needs to survive, the Federal Reserve is thus the most powerful player globally in not only economic, but also geopolitical affairs.
The example of the so-called sovereign nation of Ecuador relinquishing its gold reserves to Goldman Sachs for “liquidity” which can be conjured up by the Fed on a whim and at zero cost tells you all you need to know about how the world works (read my post: Why Fiat Money is Immoral).
Now from Bloomberg:
Ecuador agreed to transfer more than half its gold reserves to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for three years as the government seeks to bolster liquidity.
The central bank said it will send 466,000 ounces of gold to Goldman Sachs, worth about $580 million at current prices, and get the same amount back three years from now. In return, Ecuador will get “instruments of high security and liquidity” and expects to earn a profit of $16 million to $20 million over the term of the accord.
“Gold that was not generating any returns in vaults, causing storage costs, now becomes a productive asset that will generate profits,” the central bank said in the statement. “These interventions in the gold market represent the beginning of a new and permanent strategy of active participation by the bank, through purchases, sales and financial operations, that will contribute to the creation of new financial investment opportunities.”
This isn’t the first South American country we’ve heard about sending their gold to Goldman. Recall my post from late last year: Is Venezuela Selling Gold to Goldman Sachs?
This gold is headed straight to China or Russia. Good luck every getting that back amigos. Just ask Germany.
Is The Fed's Gold Ponzi Scheme About To Pop?
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The US Dollar could crash at a finger snap under at least one circumstance: if the gold holdings at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NY Fed) are revealed to be missing. An event last week made that circumstance edge a bit closer. Austria wants to audit the 150 tons of gold it stores in the UK (some sources say 280 tons.) According to Austrian Trend magazine, “there is a rising disbelief among Austrians about the existence of the gold."
If the bullion is not there, then a flood of audit demands could reveal empty vaults around the world. But particularly in one place. A disproportionate percentage of the world's gold reserve is in the vault of the NY Fed. Or, at least, the physical gold is said to be there. A recent delivery of repatriated gold to Germany is reason for skepticism.
THE BACKDROP OF MIXED AND MISSING GOLD
The Federal Reserve website states, “All bars brought into the vault for deposit are carefully weighed, and the...markings on the bars are inspected to ensure they agree with the depositor instructions and recorded in the New York Fed’s records. This step is vital because the New York Fed returns the exact bars deposited by the account holder upon withdrawal—gold deposits are not considered fungible.”
Or, rather, the website used to offer that assurance. A few months ago, the Fed returned melted and recast bars to Germany, not the original ones that had been stored. The link to the former message now leads to "page unavailable.” The page may have been eliminated due to unwanted attention created by a blogger who noted the discrepancy in the Fed's policy and what it delivered.
A 1968 memo discovered and published by the financial iconoclast Zero Hedge in 2012 explains the need to return the originally deposited metal. The memo exposed a conspiracy between the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve “to provide the Bundesbank [German central bank] with what both knew was 'bad delivery' gold...amounting to 172 bars.” The 'bad delivery' consisted of returning gold to Germany that was below the standard of the gold deposited.
Now alarm bells are ringing over the possible absence of gold. In 2003, confidence was shaken by an announcement from the Bank of Portugal. 433 metric tons of gold -- approximately 70 percent of its gold reserve – had been lent out or swapped into the market. International banking analyst James Turk commented in the Free Gold Money Report, “[I]n either case...this gold is no longer stored in this central bank's vault and...no longer available as a monetary reserve.” Yet the policy of the International Monetary Fund is to count loans and swaps as reserves. Turk asked, “How can that be?
How can the IMF allow gold no longer in the vault to be reported as a reserve asset?”
How? Gold reserves are not audited by objective sources ... when they are audited at all. Moreover, the IMF needs to prop up confidence in a shaky web of central banks. To the banks and the IMF, the bookkeeping is all that really matters. Even the Bundesbank seemed content to enter numbers into forms and never check on the physical gold in the NY Fed. That is, the Bundesbank was content until a German federal court ruled that it must conduct annual audits and inspections of Germany's gold reserves worldwide.
The paperwork-fetish of central banks raises another “how?” How many have assumed the Portuguese position?
THE US POSITION
Also in October 2012, Germany announced an intention to repatriate 300 tons of gold held by the NY Fed by 2020. The deposit has not been audited since 1979. The German public was clearly worried about whether there is allocated gold at the NY Fed or whether Germany is just one of many creditors on a metal statement. The German people lack confidence in the US. They are skeptical about the US government and the Federal Reserve's ability to protect the value of its own dollar, they look askance at its poor track record in fiscal and monetary policy, and they doubt that the Fed has kept proper track of the gold it lends out.
The investment advisor site The Day Trading Academy described what happened when German accountability met the NY Fed. “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York...had excuses why representatives from the Bundesbank would be unable to see German gold. The response from Germany was not flattering. Accusations of corruption and dishonesty soon followed. After a rash of negative international reactions, the Federal Reserve finally agreed to give back over 600 tons of gold, but insist [sic] it will take until 2020 to be able to achieve this task.” Two other German delegations were each shown “one representative gold bar” and were not allowed to enter the rooms in which the rest was said to be stored.
By January 2014, a year after the original Bundesbank demand, the NY Fed had returned only 5 tons of the German government's gold. Again, the bars were not the original ones. German media ran wild with the allegations that the Fed took so long to return so little because it has insufficient gold in its vault.
WHERE IS THE GOLD?
An 2012 audit conducted by the US Inspector General of the Treasury established that 99.98% of the gold held by the US is housed at the NY Fed. Germany deposited 1,500 tons of gold there, yet the audit shows the NY Fed contains 419 tons in total, and that includes coins.
Now Austria is sending a delegation to audit its gold reserve at the Bank of England. The metal website The Silver Doctors asked, “We wonder how soon the central banks of Switzerland, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and countless other Western nations whose gold reserves have been leased, swapped, and hypothecated to the East over the past decade will realize that the music is finally ending, and there is more than one chair missing from this deadly game being played by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.”
There is almost certainly a dearth of physical gold in the vaults of either America, the UK or both. If so, then a run becomes likely because first-comers stand the best chance of repatriating wealth. Not all will succeed. The Italian government is the world's third largest holder of gold, after the US and Germany. The Banca d’Italia recently revealed that approximately half of its reserves is at the NY Fed ... or allegedly so. The losses will be huge and not paper ones.
What happens to the US dollar when America's vaults are seen to be as empty as its promises and moral fiber? It will crash and the suffering of average people will be terrible. The good news: privately held gold will soar. And it will be ever more important for such gold to be just that...held with privacy.
BESTSELLING 'DEATH OF MONEY' AUTHOR'S SCARY PREDICTION
Hot economic news items from top-rated market timer for precious metals
Published: June 4, 2014
MARK LEIBOVIT About
Mark Leibovit, author of the Leibovit VR Gold Letter, was named by Timer Digest as the No. 1 gold market timer for 2011, the No. 1 gold market timer for the 5-year period ending in 2010, and the No. 1 intermediate stock market timer for the 10-year period ending 2007. He served for seven years as a consultant "Elf" on Louis Rukeyser's "Wall Street Week" and over 30 years as a Market Monitor guest for PBS. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg and others, and been interviewed in Barron’s, Business Week, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.
Editor’s note: Mark Leibovit is one of the investment world’s top-rated gold timers, and helps investors anticipate and benefit from both the ups and the downs of the precious metals markets with his Leibovit VR Gold Letter
From USA Watchdog:
James Rickards: Financial collapse and massive shortages in gold coming
James Rickards’ latest bestselling book, “The Death of Money,” was released in April. Even Rickards is surprised at how fast the economic situation is unfolding, saying:
“If you ask me what has happened since you finished writing the book that comes as a surprise, I would say a lot of the things I talk about in my book are happening faster than I would have expected. Things that I thought would happen in the 2015 or 2016 time frame seem to be happening now in some ways. If anything, the tempo of events is faster than expected. Therefore, some of these catastrophic outcomes may come sooner than I wrote about.”
On gold manipulation and when it will end, Rickards says, “It will end when the physical shortage gets to the point that someone fails to deliver, which, at that point, there will be a buying panic. There could be a buying panic or what some people call a demand shock. One of the things I said about gold manipulation is if I was the manipulator, I would be embarrassed at this point. The manipulation is obvious. The evidence is coming in from all directions. … The manipulation is clear. When will it end? It will end when there is a physical shortage that pops up somewhere, or it will end with a short squeeze.”
Rickards’ new bestseller begins: “‘The Death of Money’ is about the demise of the dollar. By extension, it is also about the potential collapse of the international monetary system because, if confidence in the dollar is lost, no other currency stands ready to take its place as the world’s reserve currency. The dollar is the linchpin. If it fails, the entire system fails with it, since the dollar and the system are one and the same. As fearsome a prospect as this dual collapse may be, it looks increasingly inevitable …”
THE VOICE OF RUSSIA
Bilderbergers aim for the end game in Russia - expert
The first day of the G7 summit in Brussels, the first time in 17 years to be held without Russia, has been dominated by - Russia. The leaders were supposed to come up with a new "Russian" strategy and agree on their policies in the Ukraine crisis.
Yet, the real decision makers were discussing the issue several days back at the 60th Bilderberg conference – a media-shy annual event, held in Copenhagen last weekend. So what are the plans, carved out by the Bilderbergers? The Voice of Russia is getting an insight into the discussion at one of most secretive gatherings in the world, together with Daniel Estulin, political analyst and journalist with a special focus on Bilderberg policies.
“I think their position is very clear from their final objective and, their final objective, obviously, is the end game in Russia. Until Russia can be subjugated, you will not be able to have one world government, one world order, one World Company Ltd – call it whatever you want.
So, what we are seeing right now it is not only in Ukraine, but all around the world. We see it in Detroit how not only the city itself, but the USA is being deindustrialized on purpose. We see it in Karakas in Venezuela. We see it in Thailand. We saw it in the Soviet Union back in the 1990’es. We saw it in Yugoslavia back in the 1990’es.
It is the idea of destruction, deindustrialization, zero growth. Again, the end game is Russia and until you can subjugate Russia, one way or another, you are not going to have your one World Company Ltd, one world government. And this is basically what is behind all of these attempts.
And this actually goes back even before the WWII, except for that the Soviet Union won that war and didn’t allow the Nazi and consequently the elite take over the territory and the natural resources, something that they tried to do very-very hard during the dark period in the 1990’es with Yeltsin in power. And they almost succeeded until Putin came into power and made a very strong push back and put things at place.
Why are they talking about Russia? China seems to be a more likely enemy in the long run.
One of the key issues discussed this year at the Bilderberg conference is the fact that the European and American Bilderbergers for the first time in many years, since 2002 were actually in disagreement and were somewhat at each other’s throat. The European Bilderbergers were saying to the American delegation – you wanted us to impose sanctions, we did and now the Russians made a deal with the Chinese.
Somebody has forgot to lock the back door and now we have the Chinese and the Russians signing this enormous gas deal worth about $400 billion knowing that the nightmare scenario for the Bilderbergers, for the Western elite, is the fact that the Chinese, the Russians and now the Iranians are working closely together, and will be working closely together. This deal that the Russians signed with the Chinese will help Kremlin reduce Russia’s reliance on gas exports to Europe. And it’s proved that Putin has allies when he seeks to blunt these Western sanctions over Ukraine.
Some of the other things discussed as far as Russia and China are concerned is that both Russia and China want to assert themselves as regional powers. Both have increasingly strained relations with America, which helped them to join forces this particular way.
That said, as the American Bilderbergers reminded the rest at this year’s conference in Copenhagen, for 40 years Richard Nixon, Kissinger persuaded China to turn against the Soviet Union and ally with America. And so, there are a lot of questions asked, rhetorical questions at the Bilderberg conferences, that today’s collaboration between Russia and China amounts to a new alliance against America.
And to a certain degree they agreed that it does, but then, they also said that a silver line that they can actually see is the fact that the Russian elites can be split as a force. For example, one of the things that the Bilderbergers agreed on is that the Western banks become more reluctant to extend loans to Russia. Russia will get loans from the Chinese banks and there will show the gap.
There is another important element to keep in mind, that despite all of this Russia and China will struggle to overcome some fundamental differences. And we can see the fact that the gas deal itself, as Bilderbergers said at the conference, it took ten years to make and the deal was announced the last minute. So, how hard it was to reach an agreement?
And the European Bilderbergers from their sources were saying that the Chinese basically drove a hard bargain and got an upper hand in the deal, because Putin was desperate to reach this agreement.
There is also another element, as far as the Chinese-Russian relations where China has the upper hand, the Chinese are not only getting gas from Russia, they are getting it now from Australia and Central Asia. And when the China’s global power is growing, the Bilderbergers agreed that Russia is decline corroded by corruption and also unable to diversify its economy away from the natural resources.
These are some of the conclusions at the Bilderberg conference.
Another thing that the Bilderbergers are willing to do is actually play the Chinese against the Russians. They said that the Chinese Government will expect the Kremlin to recognize this historic shift in power, which is a recipe for Chinese impatience and also Russia’s resentment.
And while the two countries are untied against America, they also need a stabilizing influence. Needless to say, the Russians and the Chinese are tussling for an important Central Asia. You know, they have this enormous border. On the one side it is heavily populated by the Chinese who have no natural resources. And on the other side you have partially populated Russian part of the border with enormous quantity of commodities.
That is something that the Russians obviously need to keep in mind. And as one American at the Bilderberg said – despite the fact that the Russians and the Chinese have made this agreement, it will be very easy to sabotage the actual outflow of gas.
He reminded Bilderbergers that many of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons are still pointed at China. And in the long run, the Russians and the Chinese are just as likely to fallout, according to Bilderberger, as to form an alliance.
So, expect in the near future the American and the European oligarchies and governments firmly stand behind the Chinese against the Russians.
So, what is your forecast? What kind of tactics will the Bilderbergers chose vis-à-vis Russia? Is it going to be military tactics? Is it going to be financial tactics, economic or what? And the second question is – do you think that they will succeed in breaking the cooperation between Russia and China?
It will be difficult to do that, because both understand that the common enemy is the US, the common enemy if the Western oligarchy. And even if the Chinese decide to join the Americans temporarily, they understand that these are marriages of convenience and in the long run they will lose.
So, I don’t think so. I think the Chinese and the Russians, these are the civilizations on the ground for too long and they have a very strong historical tradition in diplomacy. So, to think that the Americans can actually convince the Russians or the Chinese to break this alliance in favour of something ephemeral, I think it is going to be very-very difficult to do.
I have a very difficult time believing that the Russians or the Chinese are going to jump the gun as far as military actions are concerned. They understand what the stakes are, because the next war, if there is a war, is not going to be fought with tactical weapons, it is going to be a thermonuclear war, which very well could be the end of civilization.
But what is absolutely true, is what we are seeing today (and this is, again, part of a very important element discussed at the Bilderberger conference), not only Russia-China alliance, the Ukraine’s situation, but the fact that we are seeing this rise of nationalism. Some mainstream media calls it extremism.
Marine Le Pen in France and Nigel Farage from the UKIP in England, they are not extremists at all. But we are looking at actually, and this is one of the reasons why the EU and the oligarchs on the world stage are very concerned, because we are looking at two different systems in place. One is a monetary system and the other one is a national credit system.
And whichever system wins or gets the upper hand, is the way the world is going to be run. Today the world is run by monetary system. If you are smart, you don’t want the monetary system to run the world, you want sovereign nation states to have their own credit system, which is in their currency.
And above all, it is the possibility of productive noninflationary credit creation by the state, which was stated in the American constitution and was exactly for that reason excluded by Maastricht, as a method of determining economic and financial policies.
In Europe this can’t be done, because in Europe the governments are subjected to control of private banking interests called independent banking system. And these institutions, they literally have the power to regulate governments and to dictate terms to governments. So, if you actually think about it, you are looking at the European Central Bank and the people at the Central Bank unelected by anyone in the world dictating terms to governments.
But there is no government, there is no nation, it is a group of nations run by a private bank. And it is insanity to belong to this system. And the idea is, what we are seeing right now with these particular private financial interests, basically, it grew up historically in Europe, it’s been installed this system as an authoritative instrument of Western economic policy of sovereign governments oriented towards the general welfare.
The European banking is a remnant of this feudal society in which private interests are still fought by the ancient Venetian cartels or by the Lombard League, which went down in the Dark Ages, in the 14th century when we had the first big financial collapse in 1345.
The bubble which is about to burst is much bigger than the 1345 bubble, which destroyed most of Europe, killed half of the population as a result of the bubonic plague. And what we are seeing right now is something far worse.
And needless to say that monetary crisis we are seeing right now on the world stage, it is the reflection of the insanity imposed upon a process of destroying the physical economy of the world, because, again, the idea is that progress and development is directly proportional to population density.
So, you have technology, you have progress, you have wealth and you are going to have more people on the planet. And if you are the elite, you don’t need more people, you don’t need 10-20 or 30 billion people, because there is not enough food and water for everybody.
If you are the elite, the 1% of the world, you need to destroy the population or reduce it. And the way to do it is destroying the world’s economy. And Detroit is a great example of this destruction. This is the poster child for the world economy.
We are seeing the same in Latin America, we are seeing the same in Ukraine, we are seeing the same in Thailand, and we saw the same back in the 1990’es when they split up the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. So, again, what we are seeing right now in the world stage, and Ukraine is just a symptom of this, is just another piece, it is not the end game, the end game is Russia and until you destroy all the systems around it and you can actually send Russia to hell in handbasket, in order to be able to control the nation.
And until they do that, they will keep pushing any way they can, which is why it is so important that the Russian and the Chinese keep their alliance strong and understand that their common interests are far greater than anything else they can get temporarily from the Western powers.
ITAR-TASS News Agency
Railway to connect Iran and Russia via Azerbaijan
May 30, 14:00
GORNO ALTAYSK, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Iran’s ambassador to Russia has said the construction of a railway to connect Iran and Russia via Azerbaijan will be completed soon.
Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin and Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei discussed prospects for cooperation within the Altai Forum currently underway in Gorno-Altaysk, the south-west of Siberia.
“The work is practically complete. About 40 kilometers of the railway line are to be completed. It is necessary to resume railway service between the two countries as soon as possible,” Sanaei said on Friday.
“There are another four joint projects, particularly Iranian railways’ electrification,” he said.
The meeting focused on issues related to the possibility for developing cooperation between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union.
On Thursday, May 29, Sanaei said Iran was actively discussing issues related to the Eurasian Economic Union.
“Iran pays much attention to this initiative and supports it,” he said.
“We maintain a good dialogue with Russia and other countries,” Sanaei said.
“We also discussed cultural relations between Russia and Iran, and prospects for the participation in the Dialogue of Civilizations. Moreover, Iran has initiated this process,” Sanaei said.
“We consider Russia as a friendly country. Our cooperation is very important,” he said.
(Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia...Ezekiel 38:2-4 )
THE VOICE OF RUSSIA
No one is interested in isolating Russia – German FM
© Photo: Flickr.com/Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung/cc-by-sa 3.0
No one is interested in having a prolonged vacuum in relations with Russia, least of all isolating it, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. "None of those whom I have contacted is interested in a long-lasting vacuum in relations with Russia, least of all its dangerous isolation. We should work together when it’s possible and to the extent which is possible. Russia should give us an opportunity to overcome the existing conflict. After that, we will be able to look at prospects for our future cooperation. But it’s too early to engage in those discussions now," Steinmeier said.
The interview has been posted on the German Foreign Ministry's website.
Commenting on Moscow's rhetoric towards the presidential election in Ukraine, Steinmeier noted that at first it had been harshly critical and questions had been raised over the election’s legitimacy, but after the vote, Russia said that it respected the choice of the Ukrainians.
Yet, in Steinmeier's opinion, one has to wait until the president-elect is sworn in to see what's behind that change of tone.
The minister hopes that no further sanctions against Russia will be needed.
"I hope we are in a situation where such decisions can be avoided," he said, apparently referring to the third package of sanctions targeting whole sectors of the Russian economy.
As for debates surrounding the expansion of NATO's military presence in Eastern Europe up to permanent troop deployments, Steinmeier pinpointed the importance of intensifying NATO's activity in the region. At the same time, he doubts the usefulness of some of the proposed measures.
"Not all of the proposals we've heard from NATO’s Brussels headquarters in the past weeks have been useful," the German foreign minister said.
'Slaughterhouse': Civilians die in Kiev's ruthless military attacks
Published time: May 27, 2014 17:09
Edited time: May 29, 2014 21:21
Bodies are piling up in Donetsk morgues after Kiev unleashed fighter jets and artillery on the country’s southeast just hours after the presidential election. New leader-elect Petro Poroshenko is pushing for the crackdown to become even “more effective.”
Ukraine’s southeast saw only a brief suspension of Kiev’s military operations on Sunday while the nation took to the polls. Just before the presidential election, Ukrainian MPs called for immediate troop withdrawal from the country’s southeast. Following the vote, the leading candidate – billionaire chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko – said he sees no reason why the military should stop the operation. “I support its continuation, but demand a change in its format – it must be shorter and it must be more effective, military units must be better equipped,” he said, despite earlier statements that he is ready for dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Soon after the last vote was cast, the Kiev military descended on the southeast with new energy, shelling Slavyansk and attacking the airport in Donetsk with mortars. The number of victims is not yet known. According to the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday, 100 self-defense forces and civilians died in Donetsk during the attack. Donetsk authorities reported that about 40 people died and 43 others were injured. In Slavyansk, at least three civilians died, including one woman. “We see what that means today – shelling against civilians, bombs that fall near occupied apartment blocks, fighter jets, and helicopter launches against an urban population,” analyst Daniel Patrick Welch told RT, adding that talks were never part of Poroshenko's plan.
“We came up to look at the man but he was already dead. A shell had fallen right next to a nine-story apartment block, all the glass was out. The man’s head was bleeding, his arms and legs were broken,” a Slavyansk resident told RT. Civilian quarters of the city – which is home to about 130,000 people –came under fire for the first time on Monday.
“When we went further, we found a dead woman near a teachers college, a shell hit there too,” a local added, saying that a third man was found nearby.
On Tuesday, reports appeared of a possible fourth victim among the civilians in Slavyansk. A woman was also killed near the Church of the Reigning Mother of God, according to a message on the website of the Gorlovsk and Slavyansk Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It added that the building of the church was damaged along with an apartment building and student dormitory nearby.
“A bomb fell just 10 meters from the church. Fortunately, there were no people in the church at that time," the message reads.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian fighter jets and helicopters were unleashed at armed self-defense forces occupying the airport in the city of Donetsk.
Kiev's ‘indiscriminate shelling of residential areas’ must be stopped – Russia
Published time: June 03, 2014 01:23
Edited time: June 03, 2014 08:18
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations (AFP Photo / Stan Honda)
The humanitarian situation in Ukraine needs to be addressed immediately, without the usual “theoretical exercises" from the UN Security Council’s “usual suspects," ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed-door meeting on a Russian draft resolution.
“The draft is not politicized and is of a purely humanitarian nature,” Churkin told reporters in New York, stressing that the document is aimed at “alleviating human suffering.”
“Every day civilians get killed, among them women and children,” Churkin said. “Ukrainian military and paramilitary forces impede the peaceful population, leaving besieged cities or sending their children to safe places. Buses of children are turned back.”
A swift reaction is absolutely necessary, Churkin said, as Kiev continues its full scale military operation in southeastern Ukraine with “heavy and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas” using both artillery and aviation.
Just on Tuesday alone, at least five civilians were killed in a Ukrainian air raid on a local administrative building in Lugansk, the aftermath of which was shown in numerous horrific videos posted online.Yet authorities and pro-Kiev media deny the incident, even claiming that self-defense forces were behind the attack on their own headquarters.
Churkin said the new draft demands “an immediate cessation of hostilities, urges parties to commit themselves to sustainable ceasefire, and calls for the establishment by the parties of humanitarian corridors in order to allow the civilian population to leave safely and to ensure humanitarian assistance.”
Firefighters put out fire that broke out in the building of Lugansk regional administration after the air attack by Ukrainian air force. (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov)
The draft emphasizes the Geneva statement of April 17, which urges all parties in Ukraine to refrain from “violence, intimidation, or provocative actions,” as well as OSCE roadmap for Ukraine that stresses a need for dialogue and calls for a ceasefire and de-escalation of tensions.
Churkin said the draft was submitted because “we believe for the situation in Ukraine not to deteriorate further, something needs to be done now in order to stop the violence.”
He cited the joint statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which expressed “extreme concern about the humanitarian situation resulting from the current crisis in southeastern Ukraine” and called on everyone to allow Red Cross workers and volunteers to perform their humanitarian duties.
‘Usual suspects’ see no humanitarian crisis
Yet some of the council’s members seemed to be deliberately trying to stall any real action, he added.
The “usual suspects” in the Security Council are “showing no urgency” when it comes to dealing with the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, Churkin said.
The Russian envoy said that while the Ukraine crisis was developing, “every time there was procrastination, every time there was a delay of stopping and preventing” further escalation of the conflict. Instead, Churkin said the West often views Ukraine's turmoil as a “theoretical exercise.”
“How come we talk all the time, as you know, theoretically about the need of preventing diplomacy, about the need to stop conflict, and then some colleagues sit in the Council and sort of shake their heads and say, 'Well, maybe they are doing the right thing, this military thing, they have the right to do that.' Looking for various legal frames for this kind of an attitude is wrong. It is our duty to stop the conflict as quickly as possible, to try to stop violence as quickly as possible,” he said.
A member of the local self-defense forces covers the body of a person killed during the air attack on the building of Lugansk regional administration by Ukrainian air force. (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov)
One of the apparent suspects – the US State Department – has called the Russian draft resolution “hypocritical,” blaming Moscow for instigating the unrest in Ukraine.
“It is hypocritical of the Russian leadership to call for an end to violence and the creation of humanitarian corridors when, at the same time, armed irregular forces are entering Ukraine from Russia, weapons are being brought illegally from Russia into Ukraine, Russian-backed separatists are attacking new targets and holding OSCE monitoring teams hostage, and Russia is doing nothing to stop these activities. So if they are going to call for or would support a reduction in tensions and a de-escalation, it would be more effective for them to end those activities,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a daily press briefing.
When confronted by AP reporter Matthew Lee about photographic evidence of “severe destruction and civilian – at least what appear to be – civilian deaths,” Psaki replied that she stands by previous statements that the US has no concerns about Kiev's military actions in southeastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Churkin said that some of the 15 members of the Security Council do support Russia's initiative.
“There were some positive reactions from some members of the Council. However, others were asking so many questions that if we were to try to answer them then we would be talking about things for weeks,” he said, adding that “We have not yet decided what out next move is going to be in terms of working on this resolution.”
British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant and his French counterpart, Gerard Araud, claimed there are key elements missing from the new draft.
“We must be clear that the crisis in Ukraine is a political security crisis. It's not a humanitarian crisis,” Lyall Grant told reporters.
“There were things missing like the reference to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine for instance, the right of Ukraine to defend its territorial integrity,” said Araud, adding that a UN report on the situation is needed because he is unaware that there is a “major crisis” in Ukraine.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that despite Western assurance that Ukraine's turmoil will be reversed after its May 25 presidential election, “everything is happening in exactly the opposite way.”
alakhbar english (We are unable to verify the authenticity of this article.)
A new Turkish aggression against Syria: Ankara suspends pumping Euphrates’ water
Top: "The decrease in water levels" Bottom: "Tishrin Dam" (Photo: Al-Akhbar)
By: Suhaib Anjarini
Published Friday, May 30, 2014
The Turkish government recently cut off the flow of the Euphrates River, threatening primarily Syria but also Iraq with a major water crisis. Al-Akhbar found out that the water level in Lake Assad has dropped by about six meters, leaving millions of Syrians without drinking water.
Two weeks ago, the Turkish government once again intervened in the Syrian crisis. This time was different from anything it had attempted before and the repercussions of which may bring unprecedented catastrophes onto both Iraq and Syria.
Violating international norms, the Turkish government recently cut off the water supply of the Euphrates River completely. In fact, Ankara began to gradually reduce pumping Euphrates water about a month and half ago, then cut if off completely two weeks ago, according to information received by Al-Akhbar.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that water levels in the Lake Assad (a man-made water reservoir on the Euphrates) recently dropped by six meters from its normal levels (which means losing millions of cubic meters of water). The source warned that “a further drop of one additional meter would put the dam out of service.”
“We should cut off or reduce the water output of the dam, until the original problem regarding the blockage of the water supply is fixed,” the source explained.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controlling the region the dam is located in did not suspend the water output. Employees of the General Institution of the Euphrates Dam are running the lake under the supervision of al-Qaeda linked ISIS, but they don’t have the authority to take serious decisions, such as reducing the water output. In addition, such a step is a mere attempt to ease the situation, and it will lose its efficacy if the water supply isn’t restored to the dam by Turkey.
The tragic repercussions of the new Turkish assault began to reveal themselves when water levels dropped in al-Khafsa in Aleppo’s eastern countryside (where a water pumping station from Lake Assad is located to pump water through water channels to Aleppo and its countryside).
The reservoirs are expected to run out of water completely by tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest.
Meanwhile, water supplies in auxiliary reservoirs in al-Khafsa are close to being depleted and the reservoirs are expected to run out of water completely by tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest. This threatens to leave seven million Syrians without access to water. Also, Tishrin Dam stopped receiving any water which blocked its electricity generating turbines, decreasing the power supply in Aleppo and its countryside, further intensifying the already severe imbalance in the power supply.
In Raqqa, the northern side of Lake Assad is today completely out of service. Two million Syrians living in the region covering the villages of Little Swaydiya to the east until al-Jarniya to the west could lose their drinking water supply. “Losing water supplies in the dam means that the silt in the lake will dry off which would pressure its structure, subjecting it to fissures and eventually total collapse,” Al-Akhbar sources warned, adding “it is crucial to shut down the dam to stop its collapse.”
However, shutting down the dam (if ISIS agrees) will only lead to a human and ecological (zoological and agricultural) catastrophe in Syria and in Iraq.
According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Aleppo locals (who had already launched many initiatives to reach solutions for a number of local issues) began a race against time to recommend solutions for the problem, including putting the thermal plant at al-Safira back to work, which may convince ISIS to spare the Euphrates Dam turbines, and in turn preserve current water levels in the lake.
In case it succeeds, such a step would only rescue whatever water and structures are left, and would ward off further repercussions of the crisis that has already started. A halt to the water supply is now inevitable and can’t be resolved unless the Turkish government takes the decision to resume pumping Euphrates water.
In any case, it is worth mentioning that the water in the lake would take about a month, after resuming pumping, to return to its normal levels.
A historical conflict
The Euphrates River has historically been at the center of a conflict between Turkey on the one hand and both Syria and Iraq on the other. Ankara insists on considering the Euphrates a “trans-boundary river” and not an “international river,” hence it is “not subject to international laws.” Also, Turkey is one of the only three countries in the world (along with China and Burundi) that opposed the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1997.
In 1987, a temporary agreement between Syria and Turkey was signed to share the water supplies of the Euphrates during the period when the basin of the Ataturk Dam was being filled. In virtue of the agreement, Turkey pledged to provide an annual level of over 500 cubic meters of water a second on the Turkish-Syrian borders, until reaching a final agreement about sharing the water supplies of the river between the three countries. In 1994, Syria registered the agreement at the United Nations to guarantee the minimum amount of Iraq and Syria’s right to the water from the Euphrates River.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
(And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. Revelation 16:12)
The Washington Times (Edited from longer article.)
Inside the Ring: Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens
President Barack Obama salutes military service members while watching the inaugural parade from the reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
By Bill Gertz
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.
The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest.
“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive.
Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”
“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.
“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” under two conditions.
The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”
“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.
Military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive states clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest.
A U.S. official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters.
Mr. Bundy is engaged in a legal battle with the federal Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees. Along with a group of protesters, Mr. Bundy in April confronted federal and local authorities in a standoff that ended when the authorities backed down.
The Pentagon directive authorizes the secretary of defense to approve the use of unarmed drones in domestic unrest. But it bans the use of missile-firing unmanned aircraft.
“Use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” the directive says.
The directive was signed by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn. A copy can be found on the Pentagon website: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/302518p.pdf.
Defense analysts say there has been a buildup of military units within non-security-related federal agencies, notably the creation of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. The buildup has raised questions about whether the Obama administration is undermining civil liberties under the guise of counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts.
Other agencies with SWAT teams reportedly include the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department.
The militarization of federal agencies, under little-known statues that permit deputization of security officials, comes as the White House has launched verbal attacks on private citizens’ ownership of firearms despite the fact that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens.
A White House National Security Council spokeswoman declined to comment.
President Obama stated at the National Defense University a year ago: “I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen — with a drone or with a shotgun — without due process, nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.”
A Pentagon official who defended the directive said it was signed in December 2010 after four years of thorough consultations within the Pentagon and with other federal agencies The 2010 directive replaced several previously published directives in 1980, 1991, and 1993. The last time military forces were used to quell civil unrest was 1906 following the San Francisco earthquake to protect the federal mint and restore order in the city.
The official said: “I suppose that in a very extreme case, one can imagine a combination of natural and man-made disasters that result in the cascading failure of communication infrastructure, or some electro-magnetic pulse that shuts down all electronic communication.”
“In the event that it should happen in today’s day and age, we would want our senior military leaders in the field to do all they can to assist their fellow Americans to prevent significant loss of life or malicious destruction of property and to protect federal property or federal governmental functions,” the official said.
Apple unveils iOS 8
By David Goldman @DavidGoldmanCNN June 2, 2014: 3:02 PM ET
Apple rolled out iOS 8, OS X Yosemite and other new features at its developers conference.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday to announce the latest features for iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Apple (AAPL) unveiled iOS 8, an update to the operating system that powers iPhones and iPads. It will be available for download in the fall.
One of the biggest additions to iOS 8 is a new HealthKit application. The app will monitor users' heart rates, sleep, weight and blood pressure among other health-related information. HealthKit will allow clinicians at the Mayo Clinic to send health information to a user's app, which can in turn send that data to a user's primary physician. It also syncs with third-party fitness devices and apps.
Apple also unveiled Home Kit, a new platform that would enable people to control all the items in their homes with the iPad or iPhone. That means iOS 8 will let people manage their lights, cameras, door locks, switches, plugs, thermostats and other connected devices.
But other changes are far more subtle than in years past. After last year's complete makeover, iOS 8 includes oft-requested fixes, such as interactive notifications, suggested words when typing, quicker access to contacts, widgets and inter-app communication.
With interactive notifications, iOS 8 will allow users to respond to texts or like something on Facebook (FB) directly from the notification -- even on the lock screen. A double tap on the home button reveals several frequent contacts, allowing you to call, message or email those people with two quick taps. And a new predictive text feature allows you to type, and iOS 8 will suggest the next word based on your typing history.
For the first time, iOS will also feature widgets in the notification center. Widgets will allow users to view app information at a glance, including sports scores and weather data. Inter-app communication means that iOS 8 users will soon be able to install third-party keyboards and let translation apps automatically translate text in other apps.
The new iOS 8 also will include improved group messaging. Users can send audio and video messages and leave a group text with a new do not disturb feature. There also is a self-destruct feature similar to social media startup Snapchat.
A family sharing feature allows parents to track their kids' locations and seek approval on their iPhones or iPads before their kids can purchase new apps on their own devices. And the new photos app displays all photos on iCloud -- even those that aren't stored on a user's device.
Amazon deploys 10,000 robot workers, a year after Obama’s famous Amazon jobs speech
By David Cardinal on May 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm
It is clear that no sense of irony is needed to be successful in politics. If it was, then President Obama’s team might have thought more deeply about their choice of an Amazon warehouse as a showcase for one of his key speeches about jobs in the United States. Leaving aside whether warehouse jobs are great jobs or not, no company has been more aggressive as Amazon when it comes to eliminating human labor in the supply chain. When we first covered Amazon’s acquisition of warehouse-robotics company Kiva for $775 million in 2012, Amazon bragged of having 1,000 robots in its warehouses. Now CEO Bezos has said the number will be closer to 10,000 by the end of this year. Amazon claims that current employees won’t be sacked because of the additional 9,000 robots, but obviously the robots are doing a lot of work that would otherwise have required additional human employees.
Watching videos of the step-stool-shaped orange bots race around the warehouse floor, it’s easy to see that they are faster and more efficient than humans trying to do the same job. By realizing that making the shelves come to the pickers instead of the pickers go to the shelves, Kiva made it possible to deploy relatively simple robots to automate a big part of pick-and-pack operations. The actual packing of products into boxes is still done by hand, but specific products are pointed to by a computer using a small laser, so the human packer is unlikely to make a mistake. Big data crunching going on in the background makes the system even more efficient than a traditional warehouse. The robots are guided to shelves that are nearest them, and frequently-used shelves are put back near the packing station. Since that process is dynamic, the warehouse reconfigures itself based on seasonal demand. For example, before the Christmas rush, toys and ornaments will be stored near the packing station, while in the summer it might be sports and camping equipment.
One other cost savings with the semi-automated system is a lower utilities bill. Amazon has been criticized before for sub-standard working conditions in its warehouses. Well, the robots don’t care and don’t complain. Amazon only needs to heat and cool the small area where the packers are doing their job. The rest of the warehouse can stay dark and the temperature can be allowed to drift across a much wider range than if humans were spending an entire shift there. This attention to detail in its operational efficiencies is a big piece of why Amazon can deliver a huge range of products to your door faster and more cheaply than any other company on the planet. It is also why it generates nearly three times the revenue per employee of retailers Walmart and Safeway. That’s good for its customers, and its shareholders, but doesn’t bode well for the job market for unskilled and semi-skilled workers whose tasks are ones that can be done with some clever innovation and a pack of tireless robots.
Google and Foxconn working on displacing factory workers with robots
The world’s largest manufacturing company, Foxconn, is also investing very heavily in robots. The first 10,000 of its “Foxbots” were deployed around the same time Amazon bought Kiva, and Foxconn has been reported to be working closely with Google’s new robotics effort to deploy many times that number of robots in its factories that currently employ over a million people. Here too, Foxconn has often been criticized for poor working conditions, stressful hours, and low pay, but the answer may be less jobs instead of better jobs. Foxconn has said that some of its workers will get new, better jobs as technicians or engineers, but certainly not most of those displaced. As always with advanced technology, you sometimes need to be careful what you wish for.
Fasting for three days can regenerate entire immune system, study finds
A person's entire immune system can be rejuvenated by fasting for as little as three days as it triggers the body to start producing new white blood cells, a study suggests
Researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells Photo: PEGAZ/Alamy
By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent
7:51PM BST 05 Jun 2014
Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as "remarkable".
Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists for being unhealthy, new research suggests starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing new white blood cells, which fight off infection.
Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.
It could also help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective as they age, making it harder for them to fight off even common diseases.
The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create brand new white blood cells, essentially regenerating the entire immune system.
"It gives the 'OK' for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Prof Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of California.
"And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.
“Now, if you start with a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or ageing, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system."
Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.
During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells.
In trials humans were asked to regularly fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.
Scientists found that prolonged fasting also reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumour growth.
"We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system," added Prof Longo.
"When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged," Dr Longo said.
"What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?"
Fasting for 72 hours also protected cancer patients against the toxic impact of chemotherapy.
"While chemotherapy saves lives, it causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy," said co-author Tanya Dorff, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.
"More clinical studies are needed, and any such dietary intervention should be undertaken only under the guidance of a physician.”
"We are investigating the possibility that these effects are applicable to many different systems and organs, not just the immune system," added Prof Longo.
However, some British experts were sceptical of the research.
Dr Graham Rook, emeritus professor of immunology at University College London, said the study sounded "improbable".
Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at UCL, said: “There is some interesting data here. It sees that fasting reduces the number and size of cells and then re-feeding at 72 hours saw a rebound.
“That could be potentially useful because that is not such a long time that it would be terribly harmful to someone with cancer.
“But I think the most sensible way forward would be to synthesize this effect with drugs. I am not sure fasting is the best idea. People are better eating on a regular basis.”
Dr Longo added: “There is no evidence at all that fasting would be dangerous while there is strong evidence that it is beneficial.
“I have received emails from hundreds of cancer patients who have combined chemo with fasting, many with the assistance of the oncologists.
“Thus far the great majority have reported doing very well and only a few have reported some side effects including fainting and a temporary increase in liver markers. Clearly we need to finish the clinical trials, but it looks very promising.”
next week...keep on believing.
thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear
not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy
Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”