thought evil against me; but
God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it
this day, to save much people alive.”
God Meant It Unto Good
Greetings. We thought we would open this week, as we go into the new year, with an article we felt appropiate. The article is titled “Fog Lights”.
January 10, 2013
By David Bolick
I read a post by Rabbi Evan Moffic the other day that made a lot of sense to me. Here’s the last paragraph:
“Life,” philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “is lived forward and understood backward.” The power to understand the backward part of lives lies within us. We can’t change what happened, but we can change what it means. What we choose to remember helps shape who we decide to become.1
A good example of someone who did that was Joseph in the Old Testament. He said to his brothers, “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people.”2
I have noticed that, like Rabbi Moffic, I also tend to rewrite history, and that I use what you could call a “nastiness filter” that airbrushes out a lot of the bad stuff, or even if it leaves it in, relegates it to a place of less prominence than it had at the time. A lot of this isn’t something I consciously choose to do; it just happens, I think, as a corollary of Romans 8:283—one of the many perks that come with the territory of belonging to the Lord.
There are some things, however, that I have to make a conscious effort to reframe by catching myself when I notice I’m heading toward the dark side of memory lane and rerouting my thoughts so that even if there’s nothing particularly bright about what I’m remembering, I make some brightness shine on it by deliberately giving the person or the situation that’s bothering me the benefit of the doubt, or by pointing out to myself that even if I can’t see anything great about it right now, that doesn’t invalidate Romans 8:28.
A tactic that has proved very effective for me in bummer neutralization is to say something like, “So-and-so really rubbed me the wrong way, but I’m sure I must have rubbed her the wrong way too, and it was probably every bit as hard for her to live with me as it was for me to live with her.” This might be likened to using a flashlight to navigate when there’s no natural light. It’s not as good as sunshine, but it sure beats stumbling around in the dark. And I’ve found that if I keep it up with my artificial lighting, it’s not usually very long until my normal, natural perception of that previously gloomy patch takes on a more positive tone.
I have found this principle to be effective not only with scenarios that had cast me as the victim, but even with those in which I was the villain. In fact, my biggest breakthroughs have come when I spotted the wolf beneath my sheep’s clothing and recognized that my need for forgiveness was every bit as real as my need to forgive.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn made a similar point when he returned to Russia after his long exile and made an extensive tour of the country, meeting with many who were ideologically aligned with those responsible for his exile. His supporters criticized this and did not approve of his associating with that kind of people. Solzhenitsyn said, “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
It’s been dawning on me more and more how very nuanced and complex an affair living life is. I’ve had to acknowledge that I’ve been simplistic in many of my assessments and embrace the reality that I am not well enough informed at present to be able to pass truly righteous judgment on many matters. Paradoxically, this has actually helped me be more understanding of people and situations.
Perhaps this could be likened to the way our peripheral vision is more acute in dim light than our central vision. Perhaps by easing off on my attempts to understand people and situations via my own limited powers of perception and relying more on what I know to be true of them from what God’s Word has to say, I am actually able to comprehend a lot more.
In most of the foot races I participate in, there are usually a few visually impaired runners right in there with the rest of us. If they had to rely on their own vision, they wouldn’t advance any faster than the stereotypical blind man tapping his way slowly along with his cane. But each of these legally blind runners is connected, via a band on his or her wrist and a 12- to 15-inch-long tape, to a sighted runner’s wrist. The two run alongside each other, the sighted runner navigating for both of them, and they get along just great.
“We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know … but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”4
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”5
2 Genesis 50:20 The Message.
3 We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (NKJV).
4 1 Corinthians 8:2–3; 13:12 The Message.
5 1 John 3:2 NASB.
My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God
January 5th, 2013
Editor's note: Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .
By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.
You know the image. It's the one where Jesus is walking like he's floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He's polished, manicured, and clearly - God.
But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.
He was the "earthly" son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.
To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.
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What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.
Someone said, "You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?"
"Yep," I replied, "That's exactly what I mean."
It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was "fully God" and "fully man" (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.
But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.
I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that's one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.
They could relate to him.
He was the teacher from a small town who knew and understood the economic insecurity that was common in the first century. Times must have been rather tough for Jesus at points in his life, for he even spoke of being homeless, having to sleep on the ground with no roof over his head.
He also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, "Isn't this the carpenter's son?" Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.
The real Jesus had dirt underneath his fingernails and calluses on his hands. He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem, and Jesus was, without a doubt, rumored to be a hypocrite or absolutely mad for all the time he spent with prostitutes and those afflicted with leprosy.
Not exactly have a clean-cut image.
He had a rather shady reputation.
Some people thought he was a revolutionary. The religious leaders called him a heretic, and others even accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton - in no small part because of the vagabond group of disciples he had with him. No serious religious leader of his day would have ever recruited such people.
For his core 12 disciples, Jesus included a tough-as-nails, bombastic fisherman (Peter), a chief tax collector named Matthew (the most hated popular figure of the time), an eventual traitor who was stealing money out of the offering bucket (Judas), a prolific doubter (Thomas), two jocks nicknamed the "Sons of Thunder" (James and John) and Simon the Zealot, a member of a radical political party which believed in using violence to kick out the Romans.
Jesus was sarcastic, too.
He often snapped back at the Pharisees with a tone fit for late-night television, and in a terribly embarrassing moment for all those around him, Jesus even called these respected religious teachers "snakes" that were probably sons of "Satan."
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That's not exactly the behavior of a sweet, self-help teacher with a halo over his head.
It's the behavior of a frustrated man who might also be divine, but sure knows how it feels for annoying people to get under his skin.
Christians believe that Jesus chose to be born fully human, too, but why?
Lots of theologians have laid out opinions over the centuries, and in their opining they have tried once again to hijack Jesus' humanity by defining it in philosophical terms. I believe it's simpler than the philosophy and church councils and centuries of argument.
The brilliance of Christianity is the image of a God, named Jesus, arrived with dirty hands.
Jesus came in a time period when Greco-Roman gods were housed in gigantic temples and portrayed with superhuman powers and with superhuman physiques. Gods were believed to be far away from people on their mountains or hemmed up in their sanctuaries.
Jesus arrived in defiance of this prevailing imagery.
Jesus didn't come flinging lightning bolts from a mountaintop, or playing politics in Rome. He came to live in a typical Middle Eastern village called Nazareth that was home to a couple hundred typical people. He didn't decide to brandish his power, but to spend most of his time with the powerless and disenfranchised. And when he started a religious movement that reshaped history, he did it in the most profound and anticlimatic way:
He let himself be killed, and then he busted open a tomb.
In Jesus we meet a Savior who understood the desire to sleep just a few more hours, and who had to control his temper sometimes. In Jesus we find a God we can relate to because he chose to relate to us.
He was the God who became dirty so that the world's souls might be made clean.
A Rampant and Growing Madness
By Gary Stearman on January 2, 2013
What’s going on? There is a creeping irrationality that’s becoming a new norm. It is seen in politics, education, religion and a society gone wild in commercialized frenzy. Remember the last “Black Friday,” with legions of crazed zealots charging their local shopping malls in search of cheap possessions? Christians often comment that the old stability – commonly known as “common sense” – has all but disappeared.
One is reminded of the poet Robert Frost who, many years ago, commented upon the societies of the World War I and II era. He said, “A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.” Truly, we have become civilized, in the secular sense of that word.
A first-grade boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; grade-schoolers expelled for bringing aspirin for headaches, or mouthwash to use after lunch. Yet in middle-school, there have been cases in which pregnant teenagers were denied the right to notify their parents, when counseled to have an abortion.
At every level of society, lying, prevarication, deception and mendacity have become acceptable behavior. Politicians do it routinely. The new rule: It’s okay to lie. Today, even the “good guys” lie. Of course, politicians have lied for decades – for centuries. But there’s something a little different now. They actually think they’re telling the truth. And they really seem to believe that spending trillions of dollars will somehow put more money into the public coffers! Insane!
Across the world, swelling waves of street demonstrators spread a mixture of fire and hatred, demanding support by their respective governments. But having engaged in decades of obsessive socialism, those regimes are bankrupt. Cycles of violence will continue to increase, leading to totalitarian governments.
Then there’s the music business. Back in the sixties, the Beatles (despite their preoccupation with Eastern Religion, drugs and spiritualist experimentation) were the picture of innocence. Their schoolboy suits, pleasant melodies and well-groomed manner covered the roots of a movement that has become full-fledged debauchery. Rock is pornographic madness. Rap is an endless stream of profanity and blasphemy. Recently, a music star addressed the current President as “God … and my Lord and Savior.” Sadly, he probably didn’t know any better. But perhaps he did, and was driven by an almost psychotic fixation upon the idea that God has become a human being.
The movies have become careening mélange of fast cuts, cursing, gunfire, when they’re not engaged in the steady propagation of anti-social culture and sexual mayhem.
Television brings all of the above into virtually every home on Earth.
Intelligence and intellectual discipline has been distilled into a never-ending barrage of new electronics: Tablets, phones, gaming and texting are the new measure of culture. True education is no longer needed – you can look it up. In his hot hand, a third-grader has as many electronic facts at his fingertips as a college professor, and he knows it.
Respect for social discipline has almost disappeared. Worst of all, society is breaking down into tribal territories and well-guarded boundaries.
The result: Gang warfare, drug wars and a hard-rock mentality have permeated the new generations, producing social instability … or worse. Drive-by shooting or mass murders by crazed gunmen are now almost a common phenomenon. Society has become crazed … ragingly insane.
In the context of the foregoing paragraphs, there is a fascinating term, used only twice in the Greek New Testament. It is calepoV, spelled in English as chalepos, and pronounced with an initial “k”, as in kalepos.
In this study, we shall look at both instances of its usage. In combination, they reveal a prophetic truth that is at once exciting and foreboding. At first glance its two usages, in two very different contexts, seem unrelated. But in combination, they bring us a remarkable prophetic insight.
The first time this term is encountered, it is found in the context of a familiar episode related in the Gospel of Matthew. It is the centerpiece of a series of seemingly unrelated events. But in fact, they are woven around a common theme.
As the scene opens, Jesus had healed many people. When the word spread, a crowd gathered, at which time Jesus commands His disciples to prepare a boat, so that they could sail to the east side of the Sea of Galilee. As they departed, Jesus announced that from this point on, His home would be defined, not by a specific place, like his home town, but by His ministry, which would expand into the world. The sea and the boat become a metaphor for that ministry.
In the following narrative, pay particular attention to the word, “fierce,” which is represented by chalepos:
“Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matt. 8:18-34).
In this account, the events on and around the Sea of Galilee can be likened to the human drama of the whole world. They offer a microcosm of faith, family and the service of discipleship in a world gone mad. They center about the person of the One who, Himself, is the center of all creation.
In the narrative above, as the people begin to find out about Him, Jesus is in demand. In the midst of this growing excitement, a scribe rashly professes his intention to be an unwavering disciple. Jesus informs him that there will be no security in the endeavor.
Another disciple wishes to take care of family business … the funeral of his father. Jesus informs him that such business is of the world, not of his calling as a disciple.
Departing from the commotion of the crowd, they enter the boat and the sea (May we say, the world?). Like the sea of humanity, it is stirred up by winds and weather, themselves metaphors of conflict on the spiritual level. By extension, it depicts the troubled condition of the whole world. His disciples fear for their lives in the maelstrom, but Jesus calms them, with a reminder that they must hold to their faith in all circumstances. Then, he demonstrates to them that He is in control of the tempest.
On the east side of the sea, Jesus makes landfall in an unclean land, symbolized by demonic possession and the dominance of swineherds, eking out a living in an unclean world. Both these conditions are typical of humankind living in sin, which finally rejected Christ.
And so it was with the Gergesenes. After Jesus cast demons out of two possessed men, the people begged Him to leave. And no wonder, In Mark’s account of this incident, we learn that about two thousand swine were drowned! In any event, their reaction was totally inappropriate.
In the other accounts of this incident, we are also told that the possessed men displayed supernatural strength, and were controlled by many demons. They broke chains and fetters; no one could control them.
This brings us to the use of that term mentioned above. Here, in Matthew’s account, demon-possessed men are called, “fierce.” This is a translation of the Greek term chalepos [calepoV], meaning “violent.” It is coupled with a modifier, “exceeding fierce.” This term suggests more than violence, reaching even to the level of uncontrolled, raging and brutal insanity.
And here, we come face-to-face with the world, driven by an inner darkness, out of control and furiously rejecting the message of Christ. The east bank of the sea offers a compact view of the depraved world. For those who have eyes to see, it displays a blatant truth. Jesus’ followers were fishermen, not swineherds.
Chalepos also carries the meaning of ferocity. In the social context, it indicates uncivilized behavior, ranging all the way to savagery.
This was the scene on that ancient day when Christ sailed the sea of Galilee. On one side, tumultuous crowds sought His blessing. On the sea, winds and waves buffeted His disciples. Upon their landing, they came to a world gone mad, subsisting in a state of spiritual depravity.
The Far Future
This brings us to the second use of chalepos. And here, its application is plain and simple. It sets the tone of a prophecy given to Timothy by Paul … his final epistle, written to Timothy just before his death. It is written from a cold Roman cell. Winter is coming. Paul has been convicted by Caesar – confined as the leader of an illegal religion. The prison setting portrays the long, cold winter night that lies ahead for Christianity as a social and cultural force.
His epistle is an exhortation and warning to the young pastor, who may not have developed deep insight into that which lies ahead. Its tone is solemn and thoughtful, befitting the difficulties that Paul knows will define the future. Pay particular attention to the word, “perilous,” noting that the subject revolves around “the snare of the devil,” and the subsequent effect he has upon the world:
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was” (II Tim. 2:24 – 3:9).
Here again, we find the Greek word chalepos, this time translated as “perilous.” As used in Matthew, it described the actions of men possessed by demons. They were out of their minds, uncontrollable and violent. And here, in Paul’s word of prophecy to Timothy, we find exactly the same meaning!
This time, however, it does not merely apply to two men on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. As Paul envisions the world of the latter days, he sees that it is characterized by the same insanity.
Paul urges the young preacher, Timothy, to exercise a quiet strength in his daily ministry. He emphasizes the importance of teaching the strong doctrines of Christianity. He knows that only correct and thorough doctrinal teaching offers the strength to withstand the coming social subversion that the devil and his followers will bring upon the world.
That world is symbolized in the book of Matthew by Galilee’s eastern shore … the swineherd culture and the demoniacs who raged among them. Paul’s letter says that it will become a reality. Of course, he was correct. The past two thousand years have brought a cavalcade of narcissistic, vain, despotic, blasphemous, criminal usurpers to leadership in every country of the world.
Though the last three or four centuries have brought enlightenment to the West, darkness is quickly closing in upon the last vestiges of Christian influence. Europe has reverted to paganism, as a tiny minority of Christians holds on for dear life. Radical Islam is fast becoming the dominant force there.
Godlessness is sweeping across the United States. The result is just as Paul’s words foretold. The worldwide web – the Internet – is a bubbling porridge of mixed information. Though amazingly useful, with a potential for great good (particularly in the spread of the Gospel), evil has, in fact overtaken it. The electronic culture is now dominated by pornography, corruption, thievery and crass commercialism that threatens to undermine the last vestiges of civilized behavior. The mind of this generation is all but enslaved to its seduction.
In the outside world, it is even worse. The sordid underbelly of culture crawls with serial killers, drug pushers, sexual predators and a wide variety of self-serving criminals who will resort to any means to enhance their own wealth. Increasingly, we are seeing the emergence of behavior that, only a few short years ago, would have been unheard of … simply beyond belief.
And then there is the world of public communications. For the Christian, television has become all but un-viewable. Radio is becoming lewd and coarse, as the public debate of issues devolves into endless harangues, diatribes and rants, sometimes touching upon subjects that send one racing for the volume control, lest the ears of the children be subjected to corrupt and perverse notions that were once confined to the conversations of social outcasts.
Public life has, itself, become a parade of insanity. Think of the last few elections. Both nationally and locally, they increasingly seem to be dominated by money and demagoguery – emotional speech without a thread of logic. Think back; have you recently heard a public figure make a statement that you found simply insane? Where is the voice of logic and rational ideas? To argue from fact is to be found lacking in compassion.
Raging criticism among political factions has reached an uncivilized level.
Increasingly, the godless ones scheme to save the world through the application of various social programs that will reshape society through a global bureaucracy. To apply more of the strategies that caused the initial problem is simply insane. And almost two thousand years ago, Paul accurately predicted it.
The Times of Israel
Jordanian minister accuses Israel of planning to erect the third Temple
Islamic endowments minister says Israel wants to partition the Temple Mount
By ELHANAN MILLER
January 3, 2013
A Jordanian minister accused Israel on Wednesday of planning to partition the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount plaza surrounding it in order to erect the third Temple.
Islamic Endowments Minister Abdul Salam Abadi told a visiting clerical delegation from Australia that he received instructions from the "Hashemite leadership" to safeguard the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem, Jordanian media reported.
Abadi said Israel was planning to divide the mosque from its courtyards with a 144-dunam structure.
Jordan, which extended its sovereignty to East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1950, continues to administer the Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount. Abadi told the Australian delegation that his ministry employs 600 civil servants in Jerusalem and oversees 40 Jerusalem schools.
According to the independent Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, Abadi stressed the need to support the residents of Jerusalem "in their steadfastness in the face of the repeated Israeli attacks on the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem."
He did not expand on what he meant.
Jordan and Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994.
Jews are banned from praying on the Temple Mount by the Jordanian department of endowments, known as the Waqf, which administers the plaza surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Putin second to 'Nobody' on world's most powerful list - thinktank
Published: 04 January, 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (RIA Novosti / Sergey Guneev)
International political thinktank Eurasia Group has ranked Russian President Vladimir Putin second on its list of the world's most powerful people. The first position is held by 'Nobody,' reflecting the perception of a world without a clear leader.
The list, published by Foreign Policy magazine, ranks individuals' ability to singlehandedly "bring about change that significantly affects the lives and fortunes of large numbers of people."
Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer explained that he left the fist position empty because the modern world has no clear leader, and those in power are focused on domestic or regional issues rather than global challenges.
Vladimir Putin -
Ben Bernanke -
Angela Merkel -
Barack Obama -
Mario Draghi -
Xi Jinping -
(tie). Ayatollah Khamenei -
8. (tie). Christine Lagarde -
King Abdullah Bin Abd al-Aziz
Putin's second-place rank is due to "Russia's personalized system," and the influence the country wields in regional affairs.
Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke holds the third position because of the number of levers he can pull to influence the US economy, and by extension the global economy.
Other individuals mentioned are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for policies that are "the glue that binds Europe," US President Barack Obama, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and China's new leader Xi Jinping.
Tied for 8th place are Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
The ailing ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Bin Abd al-Aziz, rounded the list for his ability to determine the succession of leadership in the hydrocarbon powerhouse.
Russian PM Was Not Joking? Extraterrestrials Live Among Us According To MIB Documentary
Russian PM Was Not Joking? Extraterrestrials Live Among Us According To MIB Documentary- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's off-air comments that Russian Presidents are given a secret file about extraterrestrials living among us created much media interest. Most news reports claimed that Medvedev was simply joking. His apparent reference to the Men In Black movie as a source of information on a super secret agency that monitors extraterrestrials on Earth was commonly cited as key evidence that he was in fact joking. The reasoning is that no political leader would refer reporters to a comedy to clarify national policy. It has now emerged that Medvedev was not referring to the Men in Black comedy after all, but to a recent Russian television documentary titled "Men in Black" that reveals many details about an extensive cover up of extraterrestrial life visiting Earth. After completing an on-air interview with five television reporters on December 7, 2012, Prime Minister Medvedev continued to respond to reporters and made some off-air comments without realizing that the microphone was still on. He was then asked by one reporter if "the president is handed secret files on aliens when he receives the briefcase needed to activate Russia's nuclear arsenal,"...
They Are Getting Ready: "No Obvious Reason" For Why China Is Massively Boosting Stockpiles of Rice, Iron Ore, Precious Metals, Dry Milk
Mac Slavo - -
Jan 10, 2013
If there were ever a sign that something is amiss, this may very well be it.
United Nations agricultural experts are reporting confusion, after figures show that China imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2012, substantially more than a four-fold increase over the 575,000 tons imported in 2011.
The confusion stems from the fact that there is no obvious reason for vastly increased imports, since there has been no rice shortage in China. The speculation is that Chinese importers are taking advantage of low international prices, but all that means is that China's own vast supplies of domestically grown rice are being stockpiled.
Why would China suddenly be stockpiling millions of tons of rice for no apparent reason?
Perhaps it's related to China's aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in central Asia.
If a 400% year-over-year increase in rice stockpiles isn't enough to convince you the Chinese are preparing for a significant near-term event, consider that in Australia the country's two major baby formula distributors have reported they are unable to keep up with demand for their dry milk formula products. Grocery stores throughout the countryhave been left empty of the essential infant staple as a result of bulk exports by the Chinese.
A surge in sales of one of Australia's most popular brands of infant formula has led to an unusual sight for this wealthy nation: barren shelves in the baby aisle and even rationing of baby food in some leading retail outlets.
We'd be more apt to believe the Chinese were panic-buying baby formula had the Chinese milk scandal occurred recently. The problem is that it happened four years ago. Are we to believe the Chinese are just now realizing their baby food may be tainted?
In addition to the apparent build-up in food stocks, the Chinese are further diversifying their cash assets (denominated in US Dollars) into physical goods. In fact, in just a single month in 2012, the Chinese imported and stockpiled more gold than the entirety of the gold stored in the vaults of the European Central Bank (and did we mention they did this in one month?).
Their precious metals stockpiles have grown so quickly in recent years that Chinese official holdings remain a complete mystery to Western governments and it's rumored that the People's Republic may now be the second largest gold hoarding nation in the world, behind the United States.
We won't know for sure until the official disclosure which will come when China is ready and not a moment earlier, but at the current run-rate of accumulation which is just shy of 1,000 tons per year, it is certainly within the realm of possibilities that China is now the second largest holder of gold in the world, surpassing Germany's 3,395 tons and second only to the US.
But the Chinese aren't just buying precious metals. They're rapidly acquiring industrial metals as well.
Spot iron prices are up to an almost 15-month high at $153.90 per tonne. The rally in prices, which started in December 2012, is mainly due to China's rebuilding of its stockpiles as the Asian giant gears to boost its economy, which in turn, could improve steel demand.
The official explanation, that China is preparing stockpiles in anticipation of an economic recovery, is quite amusing considering that just 8 months ago Reuters reported that China had an oversupply, so much so that their storage facilities had run out of room to store all the inventory!
When metals warehouses in top consumer China are so full that workers start stockpiling iron ore in granaries and copper in car parks, you know the global economy could be in trouble.
At Qingdao Port, home to one of China's largest iron ore terminals, hundreds of mounds of iron ore, each as tall as a three-storey building, spill over into an area signposted "grains storage" and almost to the street.
Further south, some bonded warehouses in Shanghai are using carparks to store swollen copper stockpiles - another unusual phenomenon that bodes ill for global metal prices and raises questions about China's ability to sustain its economic growth as the rest of the world falters.
Now, why would China be stockpiling even more iron (and setting 15 month price highs in the process) if they had massive amounts of excess inventory just last year?
Something tells us this has nothing to do with an economic recovery, or even economic theory in terms of popular mainstream analysis.
Why does China need four times as much rice year-over-year? Why purchase more iron when you already have a huge surplus? Why buy gold when, as Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben Bernanke suggests, it is not real money? Why build massive cities capable of housing a million or more people, and then keep them empty?
It doesn't add up. None of it makes any sense.
Unless the Chinese know something we haven't been made privy to.
Is it possible, in a world where hundreds of trillions of dollars are owed, where the United States indirectly controls most of the globe's oil reserves, and where super powers have built tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and spent hundreds of billions on weapons of war (real ones, not those pesky semi-automatic assault rifles), that the Chinese expect things to take a turn for the worse in the near future?
The Chinese are buying physical assets - and not just representations of those assets in the form of paper receipts - but the actual physical commodities. And they are storing them in-country. Perhaps they've determined that U.S. and European debt are a losing proposition and it's only a matter of time before the financial, economic and monetary systems of the West undergo a complete collapse.
At best, what these signs indicate is that the People's Republic of China is expecting the value of currencies ( they have trillions in Western currency reserves) will deteriorate with respect to physical commodities. They are stocking up ahead of the carnage and buying what they can before their savings are hyper-inflated away.
At worst, they may very well be getting ready for what geopolitical analyst Joel Skousen warned of in his documentary Strategic Relocation, where he argued that some time in the next decade the Chinese and Russians may team up against the United States in a thermo-nuclear showdown.
Hard to believe? Maybe.
But consider that China is taking measures now, in addition to their stockpiling, that suggest we are already in the opening salvos of World War III. They have already taken steps to map our entire national grid - that includes water, power, refining, commerce and transportation infrastructure. They're directly involved in hacking government and commercial networks and are responsible for what has been called the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. Militarily, the PRC has been developing technology like EMP weapons systems, capable of disabling our military fleets and the electrical infrastructure of the country as a whole, and has been caught red-handed manufacturing fake computer chips used in U.S. Navy weapons systems.
If you still doubt China's intentions and expectations, look to other governments, including our own, for signs that someone, somewhere is planning for horrific worst-case scenarios:
The Russians have scheduled 5,000 underground bunkers for completion this year.
Europe rapidly designed, built and stocked the so-called Doomsday Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, which contains tens of thousands of varieties of seeds and is supposed to preserve them in the event of Armageddon style events like asteroid impacts or nuclear war.
The United States government has been stockpiling tens of millions of emergency meals and other supplies and regionalizing their emergency distribution centersacross the country (curiously, those supplies never made it to Hurricane Sandy victims)
The government has purchased nearly 2 billion rounds of ammunition in the last few years.
The Pentagon has been Actively War Gaming 'Large Scale Economic Breakdown' and 'Civil Unrest'
China recently made a call, through their Xinhua news agency, for the complete disarmament of the American population (Behind every blade of grass...)
Perhaps there's a reason why former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has warned, "those who can, should move their families out of the city."
As Kyle Bass noted in a recent speech, "it's just a question of when will this unravel and how will it unravel."
Given how similar events have played out in history, we think you know how this ends.
It ends through war.
Governments around the world are stockpiling food, supplies, precious metals and arms, suggesting that there is foreknowledge of an impending event.
Should we be doing the same?
Drought Threatens the Mississippi River, Your Gas Tank, and Pantry
January 5, 2013
Earl Griffin, Contributor
A coyote suns on the bed of the Mississippi river.
The mighty Mississippi river is beautiful to behold, terrible in its fury, and of tremendous importance for shipping. The United States is both fed and fueled by the commodities shipped on that great river.
Like any river it depends upon the run off from regular rain to sustain it. Ongoing, persistent, and worsening drought interrupts the regular feeding of the Mississippi.
In the photograph above a coyote rests in the sun on the bed of the Mississippi river. Notice in the background the red buoy laying on its side on the dry ground. It should be floating in the water marking the channel for the boats navigating the river.
Drought now threatens shipping via barge traffic on the Mississippi river. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, "Commerce on the river could come to a halt between Jan. 5 and Jan. 15, when the nine-foot draft required for most towboats will fall to an eight-foot draft," (JOC).
Have you ever seen towboats moving barges deliberately up and down the river? It is a sight to behold. Each fuel barge holds 30,000 barrels of fuel. A towboat may have as many as six going at once. For those of you counting, that is 180,000 barrels of fuel being moved by a single boat. That one boat is typically operated by a crew of just six.
Keep in mind that a barrel of fuel holds 42 gallons. A single barge moves 1,260,000 gallons of fuel at a time. A towboat handling six barges at once is moving 7,560,000 gallons of fuel.
A tow boat moving corn up and down that critical waterway may easily handle thirty barges at once. Each barge holds 1,500 tons of corn for a total of 45,000 tons (more than 1,750,000 bushels) of corn carried in thirty barges.
A barge on the inter-coastal waterway. This is the same kind of barge used on the Mississippi river.
There are hundreds of towboats moving many more hundreds or thousands of barges on the Mississippi river everyday. It is difficult to imagine the volume of food and fuel being moved gently along that river. Food and fuel that may stop moving if the Mississippi's water level continues to drop.
If river traffic stops - everything stops.
Think about that a moment. If, for whatever reason, barge traffic on the Mississippi river stops moving, the commodities that Americans depend on also stop. There is no other infrastructure in place to move that much food and fuel. There isn't enough road to hold all the trucks that would be required. Never mind that there are neither trucks nor drivers enough to move it anyway. There aren't enough trains either.
Oh some of it would go on road and rail, and the cost of moving it would go way up. Remember, each towboat is crewed by six people. That is to say that just six people are being paid wages to move all of those commodities per boat. It would take far more than six to move an equivalent amount of goods by road or rail.
If barge traffic stops, you can expect the price of food and fuel to go up. If barge traffic stops for more than a few days, you can expect the price of food and fuel to to through the roof followed by shortages of both.
What will you do if you can't get fuel? I expect you will do the same thing the rest of us will - walk or stay home.
What will you do if there are food shortages? When food is in short supply people get hungry. Hungry people grow desperate in short order. Desperate people do desperate things - like riot in the streets and perpetrate violence on other people.
It is outside the means of most people to prepare for an ongoing fuel crisis. It is a good idea to keep your vehicle's tank full if you think fuel may be in short supply. Beyond that, you can certainly keep a few cans of gas or diesel handy, but for most of us that is about it.
The same is not true for a food crisis.
There are many foods that will store well for years at a time if put up properly: Rice, beans, cooking oil, wheat, powdered milk, and sugar are a few examples. If you buy it in bulk and store it yourself there is a great deal of money to be saved for your effort. If money is less important to you than your time, there are many companies who will be glad to ship it to you already packaged.
Are you a gardener? If so - great! If not, this is a great year to learn to garden. In doing so, you become less dependent upon a system that appears to be less and less dependable. I believe there is no greater path to self reliance than growing your own food.
The Mississippi river is very low. Traffic on the river may be halted if it drops any more. Is this just a short-term problem? Will 2013 bring an abundance of rain, or will it be yet another drought-plagued year? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the river will be at a historic low on January 15, (Weather.gov).
If drought conditions persist through the year, shipping on the nation's important waterways - including the Mississippi river - may become an ongoing problem.
More and more the weather is less predictable; less reliable. Climate change, geo-engineering, and solar maximum are all possible influences on global weather patterns. In the end, the cause of unpredictable weather is less important to practitioners of self-reliance than the reality that we face: If we are to ensure that our families have access to the basic necessities of life, we must must not rely on the unreliable.
We must rely on ourselves.
Burning 'Deep Purple': Australia So Hot New Color Added to Index
An 'unparalleled setting of new heat extremes' continues
- Jon Queally, staff writer
Published on January 8, 2013
Deep purple... the Bureau of Meteorology's interactive weather forecasting chart has added new colors. (Photo: Bureau of Meteorology)
Wild fires continue to rage across Australia Tuesday and temperatures have become so hot the country's Bureau of Meteorology was forced to add a new color--deep purple--to show areas that have exceeded all-time heat records.
Previously the Bureau's heat index was capped at 48°C (118.4°F), but now recorded temperatures of over 50°C (122°F) have pushed the limit of the scale to an unheard of 54°C, which is equivalent to 129°F.
''We are well past the time of niceties, of avoiding the dire nature of what is unfolding, and politely trying not to scare the public." - Liz Hanna, climate scientists
"The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau's model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees," David Jones, head of the bureau's climate monitoring and prediction unit, told reporters.
Indicating that the worst may yet to come, Jones added that, "The air mass over the inland is still heating up - it hasn't peaked."
Climate scientists in Australia--with Jones among them--say the fires and the heat are unprecedented in scale and intensity, but that Australians should understand the destructive temperatures and ensuing fires across Tasmania and southern sections of the country are the new normal of runaway climate change.
'The current heatwave - in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent - is now unprecedented in our records,'' Jones was quoted as saying in The Age.
Respect the Ladder!
By Mike Fortson
Whether you work with a ladder every day or you are an occasional user of a ladder, I ask you to please read this father's experience of an accident which never had to happen, if only my son had more - respect for the ladder.
Joey has been working with a ladder in his business for over 18 years. He installs and repairs Voice/Data/Phone/Fiber lines for businesses setting up their IT rooms and setting up their computer and voice lines. Nearly everything is cable and almost all cables are above the ceilings, thus his ladder is a major part of his business.
The following is a true, factual account of recent events:
5:31 pm Friday Dec 28, 2012- I received call from my daughter in law. She was crying and hysterical. Joey had fallen off his ladder and was injured. Paramedics said he was going to St. Joseph hospital in Phoenix.
5:36 pm Friday Dec 28, 2012- Called my wife at work. I told her to tell her immediate supervisor that there is a medical emergency for her son and to come home.
I had GOOGLED St. Joseph's Hospital and found the quickest route. My wife arrived home, I explained all I knew to her and we were on our way. The trip to Phoenix was quiet. Not knowing was the scariest. My phone was quiet.
It took nearly 45 minutes to get to the hospital. Security at the Emergency entrance did not have my son's name. He was not in the system. We knew he was in the Trauma Center, but they as well did not have Joey on their roster. We were going nuts. Joey was entered into the Trauma Center as "John Doe" because he had no ID on him. He leaves is wallet in his truck. (Mistake #1 always have your ID on you)
We got inside Trauma Wing where we found Joey's wife, Sanja. In tears and uncertain of what's going to happen, we were all a mess. She said the paramedics struggled to locate her because he had not entered information needed for contacts in case of emergency (Mistake #2. Go to Contacts in your cell phone. There is In Case of Emergency, your ICE Contacts. If you do not have ICE contacts, please reconsider)
After several hours in the Trauma Wing, he was finally entered into the system by his name and wheeled to the Intensive Care Unit. We finally met his ER doctor. He said Joey had fallen off the top of an 8' ladder. He landed on his head and left shoulder. He has many skull fractures, and bleeding on his brain. There is a blood clot forming in his brain. He has a punctured lung and 8 broken ribs. He has a broken collar bone. He has several cracked vertebrae. He is on life support (breathing tube) and in a medically induced coma. They drilled a small hole in his skull to relieve pressure and allow drainage off the brain due to severe swelling. He has bleeding in his left ear.
We finally got to see our son. It was some three or four hours after the accident. His body full of tubes and sensors. His breathing was machine forced. He had nine bags of drips going into his arms. He was swollen and bruises were becoming darker and purple in color. We tried hard not to show it but we thought we may lose our son.
Family, tears and prayers for the next several days is all we had. The effects of this accident stretched half way around the globe.
Pain and hurt became anger and rage for me. My son made an error. He lost his balance on the ladder and fell. I have seen him do his thing on a ladder for several years. I have worked with him. I have seen him "fly" up the ladder. I have seen him recklessly not RESPECT THE LADDER. Please do not make this same mistake my son made.
Respect and obey safety warnings on your ladder. Make sure your ladder can support your weight and handle the task needed. Never stand on the top of the ladder. Don't own the cheapest ladder, but one that is solid and safe and designed for your job needed.
I ask myself today, what if Joey had a 10' ladder instead of the 8' ladder he was using. He wouldn't have been standing on the top. Maybe he wouldn't have had his accident. All we can do is learn from our mistakes.
I am certain Joey will survive all this. It has been 1 week since we got the frantic call from our daughter-in-law. Joey is still on life support. He is still in a medically induced coma. The brain tube may be out in a couple days. He is still bruised and swollen. Brain tests yesterday show normal function activity and when they occasionally wake him from the "sedative coma" he does move on command. He is not paralyzed and not brain dead. He is lucky. He is very lucky. He is looking at another 2-3 weeks in intensive care. Then he has months of rehab. Yes, months.
Fortunately Joey has excellent medical insurance and disability coverage.
Soursop Fruit 100 Fold Stronger At Killing Cancer Than Chemotherapy
January 5, 2013
The Soursop is a flowering, evergreen tree native to tropical regions of the world. It also contains a long, prickly green fruit which happens to kill cancer up to 10,000 times more effectively than strong chemotherapy drugs, all without the nasty side effects and without harming healthy cells.
According to Cancer Research UK, Annona muricata is an active principle in an herbal remedy marketed under the brand name Triamazon. The licensing for this product in the UK is not accepted due to its enormous healing effects on the body and potential loss of profits for competing pharmaceutical cancer drugs.
This tree is low and is called graviola in Brazil, guanabana in Spanish and has the uninspiring name "soursop" in English. The fruit is very large and the subacid sweet white pulp is eaten out of hand or, more commonly, used to make fruit drinks and sherbets.
Besides being a cancer remedy, graviola is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent for both bacterial and fungal infections, is effective against internal parasites and worms, lowers high blood pressure and is used for depression, stress and nervous disorders.
Deep within the Amazon Rainforest, this tree grows wild and could literally revolutionize what you, your doctor, and the rest of the world thinks about cancer treatment and chances of survival.
Research shows that with extracts from this miraculous tree it now may be possible to:
* Attack cancer safely and effectively with an all-natural therapy that does not cause extreme nausea, weight loss and hair loss - * Protect your immune system and avoid deadly infections - * Feel stronger and healthier throughout the course of the treatment - * Boost your energy and improve your outlook on life
The source of this information is just as stunning: It comes from one of America's largest drug manufacturers, the fruit of over 20 laboratory tests conducted since the 1970â€²s. What those tests revealed was nothing short of mind numbing...Extracts from the tree were shown to:
* Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer. - * The tree compounds proved to be up to 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug! - * What's more, unlike chemotherapy, the compound extracted from the Graviola tree selectively hunts down and kills only cancer cells. It does not harm healthy cells!
The amazing anti-cancer properties of the Graviola tree have been extensively researched - so why haven't you heard anything about it?
The drug industry began a search for a cancer cure and their research centered on Graviola, a legendary healing tree from the Amazon Rainforest.
It turns out the drug company invested nearly seven years trying to synthesize two of the Graviola tree's most powerful anti-cancer ingredients. If they could isolate and produce man-made clones of what makes the Graviola so potent, they'd be able to patent it and make their money back. Alas, they hit a brick wall. The original simply could not be replicated. There was no way the company could protect its profits or even make back the millions it poured into research.
As the dream of huge profits evaporated, their testing on Graviola came to a screeching halt. Even worse, the company shelved the entire project and chose not to publish the findings of its research!
Where Can You Find It?
As far as the fruit goes, you may be able to find it at some grocery and health food stores in your area. There are several different soursop juice manufacturers, distrubutors and suppliers worldwide. Caution would be warranted in purchasing from any company unless you have researched their reputability and extraction methods.
"And one of us He commanded that we should teach Noah all their medicines; for He knew that they would not walk in uprightness, nor strive in righteousness. And we did according to all His words: And we explained to Noah all the medicines of their diseases, together with their seductions, how he might heal them with herbs of the earth. And Noah wrote down all things in a book as we instructed him concerning every kind of medicine."
(The Book Of Jubilees - Chapter 10)