ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail,
none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his
spirit it hath gathered them.”
None Shall Want Her Mate
Greetings! Many Bible scholars and teachers interpret the above verse to mean that no prophecy given in the Bible will go unfulfilled. Each prophecy will have its fulfillment, or mate.
Interestingly in checking nineteen different Bible translations of this verse, nine of the translations, including the King James version, use the feminine pronoun “her”. Most of the remaining translations use the translation “its mate”.
If a prophecy, which the Bible states, “came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”, is referred to in the feminine then what or who would be the masculine fulfillment or “her mate”.
Revelation 19:10 states: “..the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Another clue may be the words “gathered them” in the above verse.
Matthew 24:31 says, “He (Jesus) shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:31
Could it be the prophecy that is given by the Holy Ghost is given in the feminine and the fulfillment given in the masculine, Jesus?
Is there really a possibility that this could be true?
The book of Genesis, chapter one, would seem to confirm this is a possibility.
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27. Every major Bible translation uses the words “male and female”.
When speaking of “her” there is a “her or she” that is very favorably spoken of in the Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs. The name given to 'her' in the Bible is 'Wisdom'.
The following verses from Proverbs, chapter three, helps to bring this point forward.
“She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.” Proverbs 3:15-19
Since it is written that God created man in His image, male and female, one might ask is there a possibility the Holy Ghost, the third person of the Trinity is Wisdom.
You can decide and see what you think.
Below are more verses on Wisdom.
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words. Proverbs 1:20-21
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, Proverbs 2:2-4
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Proverbs 4:5-9
Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: Proverbs 7:4
Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Proverbs 8:1-3Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Speaking of prophecies, this weeks articles include information concerning the coming persecution or Christians, the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the coming cashless society, the implantations of chips in the body, the coming war of Ezekiel 38 and 39, the collapse of the dollar headed by Russia, and the continued spreading of radiation in the Pacific Ocean which one commentator says puts the whole earth in peril. Sounds similar to Trumpet number two, in Revelation, chapter eight, verse eight and nine. Not saying that it is, only similar.
Then there is an article about Pope Francis inviting Palestinian President Mohmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to the Vatican to pray together for peace in the Middle East. Could this lead up to a “Holy Covenant”? We'll have to watch and see.
Jesus cautions us all...“What I (Jesus) say unto you I say unto all, Watch”. Mark 13:37
With what looks like a sea change in Europe with the recent European elections, plus Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas, and the Euro in possible real trouble, along with Russia and China dropping the dollar for energy purchases could it be possible we are soon to witness the fulfillment of the following verses from the books of Revelation and Daniel?
“The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Revelation 17:12-13
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” Daniel 7:8
We'll have to keep watching and see how these events develop.
Can you imagine even a few years ago seeing these events coming to pass?
You probably could, if you knew Bible prophecy.
Two thousand years ago Jesus said; “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3.
The book of Revelation is the only book in the Bible that promises a blessing to those who read and hear the words of this prophecy.
Have a great week ahead.
“Yet when it comes--and it will definitely come--then they will know that a prophet has been among them." Jeremiah 33:3 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Your Faith is Now Intrinsically Offensive. Are You Ready for the Fallout?
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
“The world of 1906,” wrote Violet Bonham Carter in her biography of Winston Churchill, “was a stable and a civilized world in which the greatness and authority of Britain and her Empire seemed unassailable and invulnerably secure…. Powerful, prosperous, peace-loving, with the seas all round us and the Royal Navy on the seas, the social, economic, international order seemed to our unseeing eyes as firmly fixed on earth as the signs of the Zodiac in the sky.”
Think of it: living before the devastation and slaughter of World War I, before the rise of Communism and the upheaval of the Russian Revolution, in an age far more innocent than our own. The prosperity and stability of the British Empire in the Victorian Era would, people thought, only grow stronger with a new king, in a new century, enlightened by the bright beams of progress.
Of course, not everyone was fooled.
In 1907, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, reading the signs most people didn’t noticed, published his dystopian End Times novel, Lord of the World. Set in the early twenty-first century, Benson foresaw a time when busy workers “had learned at least the primary lessons of the gospel that there was no God but man, no priest but the politician, no prophet but the schoolmaster.” He envisioned a world in which Christianity had all but vanished with little hope of resurgence, a world where the marginalization of Christians morphed into persecution and finally genocide.
In the novel, an elderly statesman explains the situation to an young priest: “First, you see, there was Materialism, pure and simple that failed more or less—it was too crude—until psychology came to the rescue. Now psychology claims all the rest of the ground; and the supernatural sense seems accounted for. That’s the claim. No, father, we are losing; and we shall go on losing, and I think we must ever be ready for a catastrophe at any moment.”
Lord of the World came to mind (mine and others) last Tuesday after hearing Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Dr. Robert George at the tenth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC.
“My message for you today is a somber one,” he began. “The days of acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past. It’s no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, a faithful witness to the truths of the Gospel.”
Comparing our era to the events of Jesus’ Passion, he noted, “Things were easy in those Palm Sunday days, standing with Jesus and his truths was the in thing to do, to be part of the crowd, waving the palm branches, shouting ‘Hosanna!’” But Palm Sunday has passed; Good Friday looms with the crowds beginning to cry for crucifixion.
On Good Friday, he said, most of the disciples fled in fear and shame. Only the beloved apostle, John, and Mary, his mother, stayed with Jesus as he hung on the cross. George challenged each of us to decide whether or not to stay with them. “The question each of us must face is this: am I ashamed of the Gospel? And that question opens to others: am I willing to pay the price that will be demanded if I refuse to be ashamed? Am I willing to give public witness to the massively politically incorrect truths of the gospel?”
Standing for biblical teaching—specifically teaching about sexuality, marriage, and life—is no longer acceptable as Brendan Eich who lost his job as president of Mozilla, David and Jason Bentham who lost their show on HGTV, and others have discovered.
“They threaten us with consequences if we refuse to call what is good, evil, and what is evil, good,” said George, “They demand [we] conform our thinking to their orthodoxy, or else say nothing at all.” Break their rules and, like the beleaguered Christians in Benson’s novel, we could pay a steep price in our careers, our social standing, our friendships, our fortunes, and our futures.
Nonetheless, as Msgr. Benson knew and as Dr. George reminded the crowd, the story doesn’t end on the Cross. “We would much rather be acceptable Christians, comfortable Catholics. But our trust in Jesus, our hope in his resurrection, our faith in the sovereignty of His heavenly Father, can conquer fear. By the grace of almighty God, Easter is indeed coming.”
In 1907, many thought Benson’s novel too negative and pessimistic and, no doubt, many still do. In 2014, many think George’s address too negative and pessimistic. Perhaps they are, but I doubt it.
(Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 2:15)
ON THE ALTAR
The Coming War Between Christian vs. Christian Part 4
by Thomas Horn
Lest anyone think the writers of Human Dignity in the Biotech Century are overly paranoid, consider that NBIC (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology, and Cognitive Science) Director Mihail Roco, in the US government report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, wrote,
Humanity would become like a single, distributed and interconnected “brain” based in new core pathways in society. A networked society of billions of human beings could be as complex compared to an individual being as a human being is to a single nerve cell. From local groups of linked enhanced individuals to a global collective intelligence, key new capacities would arise from relationships arising from NBIC technologies. Far from unnatural, such a collective social system may be compared to a larger form of biological organism. We envision the bond of humanity driven by an interconnected virtual brain of the Earth’s communities searching for intellectual comprehension and conquest of nature.”[iv]
Nowhere will the struggle to resist this human biological alteration and machine integration be more immediate than in those religious homes where transhumanism is seen as an assault on God’s creative genius, and where, as a result, conservative Christians will seek to maintain their humanity. Yet the war against such believers is poised to emerge over the next decade as much from inside the “organized church” as it will from external social influences.
Already, the Internet “has unlocked something dark in humanity,” says acclaimed author Anthony Horowitz in a recent newspaper interview.[v] Horowitz, a best-selling children’s fiction writer in the UK, was speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival when he described how parts of the Internet are “foul, disgusting and cruel” and that “evil is getting the upper hand.”[vi] His passionate comments came on the heels of relentless and vicious online feedback he received following a television appearance. Mr. Horowitz is certainly not alone in this experience, as any notable writer can attest—especially Christians who pen edgy, newsworthy, or prophetic material.
And yes, that includes me and people like me. In fact, every leader with whom I am associated in news, print, television, and social media has been under growing attack the last few years, and not from those you would expect. Religious Christians, not unbelievers per se, form the largest part of the swelling ranks of warfare aimed at silencing our work. Because such discontents cannot (yet) stop people from hearing our voices, they (and/or the spirit behind them) at a minimum seek to divide and confuse ungrounded babes in Christ who, while seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus, end up online. Those who would destabilize these believers have always existed, of course. I witnessed ingrates in every town where I pastored throughout the 1970s–1990s. But today the Internet has given such malcontents a place to hive and to hide behind screens while using spiritual-sounding titles and websites to voice their ungraciousness. And while their audiences are very small at this time, their contaminated spirits threaten to take root and could explode under the coming legions that will fuel the empire of the Son of Perdition. In fact, I can say unequivocally from decades of experience that the most powerful instruments of satanic conflict by far are those demons of religion who can infect and infest institutional Christianity. As we noted in Forbidden Gates:
Just as a lying spirit filled the mouths of the prophets in 2 Chronicles 18, and just as Jesus confronted unclean spirits inside the synagogue (Mark 1:23) and connected some of the priestly leaders of the Temple to the strongest power of Satan on earth (John 8:44; Matt. 13:38 and 23:15), robust echon daimonion exists today from the lowest to the highest levels of denominational establishment among institutional members who are possessed (whether they perceive it as such or not) by luciferian ambition. This will come as no surprise to seasoned spiritual warriors, as it is the result of a common military strategy. The church represents the single establishment on earth capable of undoing Satan’s plans, and is therefore the natural enemy of the kingdom of darkness and the epicenter against which all spiritual wickedness must ultimately be focused. The church, through its hierarchies and institutional constructs, is therefore the primary target for infiltration by agents of darkness wherever human weakness allows for penetration by daimonions. Among others, the apostle Paul recognized this specific danger, warning the church in Corinth that “false apostles” were masquerading among them as ministers of Christ. “And no marvel,” he revealed, “for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:13–15).[vii]
Writing about such activity within evangelical institutions, Rev. David Wilkerson reported a short while before his death that:
A number of [former] witches are warning that Satanists are infiltrating the church—especially charismatic churches. Some of these [are] telling of a diabolical plot by evil witches to enter congregations posing as super-spiritual Christians. Many of these evil witches, they say, are already firmly established in numerous churches, controlling both the pastor and congregation and causing great confusion, wickedness, divorce—even death. We have received many letters in our office from people who say they believe their pastor must be under some kind of demonic influence—and I believe many of these letters are very legitimate.[viii]
Wilkerson, who at one time was a member of the same organization we [Tom and Nita Horn] served, was correct in asserting that some of those who pose as super-spiritual Christians, online “teachers,” department leaders, pastors, and even state office holders and denominational headquarters executives are in fact instruments of evil. Thankfully, there are other church members, pastors, and leaders who, as sincere believers, have become increasingly aware of this sinister invasion into organizations by daimonions and in recent years have made special efforts to teach their congregations how to identify the differences between “religious spirits” and true Christianity.
[iv] Mihail Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, ed. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance (New York: Kluwer Academic, 2003) emphasis in original.
[v] Rebecca Evans, “The Internet Unlocked Something Dark in Humanity,” March 24, 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298600/The-internet- unlocked-dark-humanity-Top-author-Anthony- Horowitz-uses-speech-make-claims.html.
[vii] Thomas Horn, Nita Horn, Forbidden Gates (Crane, MO: Defender, 2010) 92.
[viii] David Wilkerson, “Witchcraft in the Church,” Believers Web, May 2, 2003, http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=735.
The Great Deception in the American Church
7:00AM EDT 5/19/2014 BERT M. FARIAS
What's at the root of the deception in the American church?
Consider these statistics of Christianity in America: Eighty-four percent of the inhabitants of this nation say they believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, according to Barna Group, and 45 percent claim to be born-again Christians. Other studies show it is closer to 33 percent.
Either way, these numbers are high. Seventy-seven percent believe their chances of going to heaven are excellent. Thirty-three percent believe one day everyone will go to heaven. Yet America has the highest percentage of single-parent families in the industrialized world, the highest abortion rate, the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases, the highest rate of teenage birth by far, the highest rate of teenage drug use and the largest prison population per capita than any country in the world.
Consider also the great moral decline of the last generation (50 to 60 years) and these telling statistics in America. The divorce rate has doubled, teen suicide has tripled, reported violent crime has quadrupled, the prison population has quintupled, the percentage of babies born out of wedlock has risen sixfold, couples living together out of wedlock have increased sevenfold, and gay marriage is now a legalized reality in a number of states, with many believing the end is not in sight.
In this past generation, we have experienced an overwhelming increase in lawlessness, permissiveness and selfishness, even among Christians. Moral actions that were unthinkable a few decades ago are now commonplace—Christian leaders indulging in sexual sin and grossly immoral scandals, addicted to pornography and accompanied by an exploding divorce rate have greatly factored in the rapid decrease of morals in the American church. And as the church goes, so goes the world. In fact, the results of a survey among young American adults showed that the percentage who follow biblically based values for living has now dropped from 65 percent to a mere 4 percent since World War II.
There has never been a society in the history of mankind whose moral values have deteriorated so dramatically, in such a short period of time, as those of Americans in the last 50 years. And so far it shows no sign of stopping. These statistics are eye-opening, and they serve to warn us that something is terribly wrong with our brand of Christianity. They reveal how poorly the church has communicated the true gospel to mainstream America, and thus the reason for so much deception in our culture.
When the rich man died and went to Hades (Luke 16:19-31), he was surprised to find himself there. In the Jewish culture, they equated wealth with godliness, so this man thought God favored him. The common thought, especially among the Jews, was if you were blessed financially, then you were a good person and therefore favored by God and on your way to heaven. This also explains the disciples' astonishment when Jesus told them how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:23-25).
Similarly, there was a church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22) who, due to their wealth, thought they too had attained God's favor. Jesus expressed great disapproval over their spiritual condition as well, which they were totally unaware of. They were deceived.
Are you in touch with your true spiritual condition? Or are you allowing the pop culture around you to dictate your standards? Are you conforming to the world's standards or to the Bible? Are you deceived? How can a nation of people among whom a large percentage claims to be born-again Christians experience the kind of degradation the above statistics reveal? Such deception is the state of America today, and the above statistics reveal the fruit of it.
The problem has been that the real gospel has not been preached nor lived. Both the profession and the practice of many so-called Christians in this nation have not matched up. Our substandard message has produced substandard believers. Our departure from the preaching of the cross, repentance, holiness, and the real empowering grace of God has increased the level of deception in the church. How else can we explain the disparity of the above statistics in the church and the nation?
But what is really at the root of this deception? This is what we need to carefully discern. In one word, it is humanism—the glorification of self. Humanism has crept into much of the modern-day church and is diluting the power of the real gospel.
Israeli, Palestinian leaders accept Vatican invite to discuss peace efforts
Published May 25, 2014Associated Press
May 25, 2014: Pope Francis waves upon his arrival at the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mohamad Torokman, Pool)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank – Pope Francis plunged Sunday into Mideast politics during his Holy Land pilgrimage, calling the current stalemate in peace efforts "unacceptable" and winning the acceptance from the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to pay a symbolic visit to the Vatican next month to pray for peace.
Francis issued the surprise, joint invitation after landing in Bethlehem, the cradle of Christianity, in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state. In another unscripted moment, he prayed at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding the biblical West Bank town and briefly donned the checkered black and white headscarf that is a symbol of the Palestinian cause.
Jubilant Palestinians cheered Francis as he arrived in Bethlehem's Manger Square, shouting "Viva al-Baba!" or "Long live the pope!" Giant Palestinian flags in red, white, green and black and the Vatican's yellow-and-white flags decorated the square, which is home to the Church of the Nativity, built over Jesus' traditional birth grotto.
At the end of Mass in the square, Francis invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray with him for peace, saying: "I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer."
The offices of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents quickly confirmed that they had accepted the invitation, with the Palestinians saying the meeting would take place in June.
The invitation -- and the acceptances -- were unexpected given Francis' insistence that his three-day visit was "strictly religious" pilgrimage to commemorate a Catholic-Orthodox anniversary. But it showed that the pope, who is named after the peace-loving St. Francis of Assisi, has been able to channel his immense popular appeal to be a moral force for peace, even though the proposed meeting will be largely a symbolic affair.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in late April, and there have been no public high-level meetings for a year.
Peres, a 90-year-old Nobel Peace laureate, is set to step down over the summer, and the meeting would take place shortly before he leaves office.
Peres, whose job is largely ceremonial, has no authority to negotiate peace, and the meeting will be merely symbolic. But he nonetheless risks upsetting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the move.
Netanyahu has expressed anger with politicians that have reached out to Abbas at a time when the Palestinian leader is reconciling with the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group. There was no immediate comment from Netanyahu's office.
Francis started out the second day of his three-day Mideast trip with a deeply symbolic decision to land in at a Bethlehem helipad, arriving from Jordan aboard a Jordanian helicopter. Previous popes have always come to the West Bank after first arriving in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Palestinian officials hailed Francis' decision to arrive first in Bethlehem, and to refer to the "state of Palestine." In its official program, the Vatican referred to Abbas as the president of the "state of Palestine," and his Bethlehem office as the "presidential palace."
"It's a blessed day," said Samar Sakkakini, 52, a Palestinian-American from Canton, Michigan, who attended the Mass in Manger Square. "Coming to Bethlehem and flying to Bethlehem from Jordan shows solidarity with the Palestinian people, which is wonderful. We need that."
In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized a "state of Palestine" in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem -- lands Israel captured in the 1967 war -- as a non-member observer. The recognition still has little meaning on the ground, with Israel remaining in full control of east Jerusalem, which it annexed in 1967, and the West Bank.
Israel objects to the Palestinian campaign, saying it is an attempt to bypass negotiations.
Standing alongside Abbas at a welcome ceremony, Francis declared: "The time has come to put an end to this situation which has become increasingly unacceptable."
He said both sides needed to make sacrifices to create two states, with internationally recognized borders, based on mutual security and rights for everyone.
"The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous and creative in the service of the common good," he said, urging both sides to refrain from any actions that would derail peace.
In his remarks, Abbas voiced his concerns about the recent breakdown in U.S.-backed peace efforts and lamented the difficult conditions facing the Palestinians. He also expressed hope for peace.
"Your visit is loaded with symbolic meaning as a defender of the poor and the marginalized," he said.
Abbas listed a series of complaints against Israel, including continued settlement construction, the plight of thousands of Palestinian prisoners, Israel's control of east Jerusalem -- the Palestinians' would-be capital -- and Israel's construction of the "ugly wall" that encircles Bethlehem.
"We welcome any initiative from you to make peace a reality in the Holy Land," Abbas said. "I am addressing our neighbors -- the Israelis. We are looking for the same thing that you are looking for, which is safety, security and stability."
Security was lax by papal standards, even for a pope who has shunned the armored popemobile that his predecessors used on foreign trips.
Only two bodyguards stood on the back of Francis' vehicle keeping watch as Palestinian police kept the crowd at bay. Francis waved and warmly smiled as his car made its way through the crowd in Manger Square, at one point holding a child passed up to him.
In addition to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Francis also sought to encourage Palestinian Christians, whose numbers have dwindled as the conflict drags on.
Currently, Christians are roughly 2 percent of the population of the Holy Land, down from about 10 percent at the time of Israel's establishment in 1948. In Bethlehem, they are less than one third of the population.
Francis acknowledged the Palestinian Christian hardship and in his homily sought to encourage the younger generations with a strong plea for children around the globe to be protected and defended from war, poverty, disease and exile as refugees.
"All too many children continue to be exploited, maltreated, enslaved, prey to violence and illicit trafficking," he said, a mural depicting the Nativity scene with the baby Jesus wrapped in the black-and-white checkered Palestinian headdress behind him. "Today in acknowledging this, we feel shame before God."
After Mass, Francis had lunch with Palestinian families and visited a Palestinian refugee camp before flying by helicopter to Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport for the Israeli leg of his trip.
(Could this be the beginning of a “holy covenent”? We'll have to wait and see.)
REBUILDING GOD'S TEMPLE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
Israeli women are weaving Holy of Holies veil
Published: May 28, 2014
A depiction of first-century Jerusalem
If the Jewish Temple is ever to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, the massive curtain – 66 feet high by 33 feet wide and 2 inches thick – that once hung in the Second Temple and was consumed by fire in A.D. 70, will need to be recreated.
That task is already underway in the Jewish community of Shiloh, located in biblical Samaria about 40 minutes north of Jerusalem, reports Israel Today.
For more than two years women from the community have been working to assemble the materials and learn the techniques needed to weave the veil that will hang between, and separate, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.
While the command given to Moses at Sinai – “You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen … with an artistic design of cherubim” (Exodus 26:31) – may have been clear to the people of Israel in the mid-15th century B.C., the techniques for weaving the required six-cord threads and the proper way to recreate the needed dyes are unknown today.
The scarlet is believed to have been made out of an oak aphid, reported Israel Today, and the blue from a special sea snail. The purple was also animal-derived, but which animals is unknown.
In some ways Shiloh as the place for “the women of the veil chamber” to pursue their task is a natural one.
Ancient Israel’s Tabernacle – precursor to the First Temple built in Jerusalem by King Solomon – stood in Shiloh for over 300 years. It was to Shiloh that the tribes of Israel came for annual festivals. One of those occasions is the biblical setting for the begining of the ministry of the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1). It was from here the Ark of the Covenant was sent into battle against Israel’s arch enemy, the Philistines, and captured (1 Samuel 4). Some 300 years later, in the time of the Prophet Jeremiah, the city was in ruins.
In 2013, archaeologists announced they had found the site at Shiloh where the Tabernacle had stood. Hewn holes that once supported wooden beams, large stoves not meant for home use, structures dating to the period between Joshua and King David and proximity to the city gate led to their identification. Past findings in the surrounding hills include what researchers say are the bones of sacrificed animals that were eaten during those times when thousands of Israelites would assemble at Shiloh, reported Israel National News. The bones have been dated to the same biblical period.
The synagogue of the modern community of Shiloh is designed as a replica of the Tabernacle.
The veil project mirrors another that has been underway for four years, recreating the priestly garments needed for Temple worship. Some Jews who claim priestly lineage have already purchased the special clothing.
The weavers of the veil see their work as a “holy activity” that hastens the time of Israel’s redemption.
The Gospel of Matthew records that upon Jesus death, the great veil of the Temple “was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” (Matthew 27:51)
Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language
May 26, 2014
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words on Monday over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.
Like many things in the Middle East, where the pope is on the last leg of a three-day visit, modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.
A Jew, Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the Roman-ruled region of Judea, now the Israeli-occupied West Bank. He grew up in Nazareth and ministered in Galilee, both in northern Israel, and died in Jerusalem, a city revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, and to which Israelis and Palestinians lay claim.
Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.
Israeli linguistics professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann told Reuters that both Netanyahu, son of a distinguished Jewish historian, and the pope, the spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, had a point.
"Jesus was a native Aramaic speaker," he said about the largely defunct Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. "But he would have also known Hebrew because there were extant religious writings in Hebrew."
Zuckermann said that during Jesus' time, Hebrew was spoken by the lower classes - "the kind of people he ministered to".
(Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Additional reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Louise Ireland
Government Plan Would Transform Israel Into The World’s First Cashless Society
May 26th, 2014
By Michael Snyder
Will Israel be the first cashless society on the entire planet? A committee chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has come up with a three phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel”. Individuals and businesses would still be permitted to conduct cash transactions in small amounts (at least initially), but the eventual goal is to force Israeli citizens to conduct as much business as possible using electronic forms of payment. In fact, it has been reported that Israeli officials believe that “cash is bad” because it fuels the underground economy and allows people to avoid paying taxes. It is hoped that requiring most transactions to be conducted in cash will reduce crime and help balance the national budget. And once 98 or 99 percent of all transactions are cashless, it will not be difficult for the Israeli government (or any other government) to go the rest of the way and ban cash transactions altogether. But is a cashless society actually desirable? This is a question that people all over the world will have to start asking as governments increasingly restrict the use of cash.
Back in September, it was announced that the Israeli government had formed a committee to “examine ways to eliminate cash from the Israeli economy”…
PLANNED PARENTHOOD TELLS WOMEN GOD IS FINE WITH HAVING AN ABORTION
by DR. SUSAN BERRY 23 May 2014 605
Abortion giant Planned Parenthood has stepped into the pastoral counseling business: A letter sent by the organization's Clergy Advocacy Board lets prospective clients know that God is fine with their decision to have an abortion.
Planned Parenthood’s “Pastoral Letter to Patients” states:
The decision to have an abortion is personal. Though your reasons may be complicated and private, you’re not alone. As religious leaders from a number of religious traditions, we’re here to support you in your decision.
Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion. The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the Scriptures—Jewish or Christian—and there are clergy and people of faith from all denominations who support women making this complex decision.
The beliefs of each person are deserving of respect, and each person deserves care and compassion, [sic] No one should be allowed to force their faith teachings on anyone else.
“God loves you and is with you no matter what you decide,” the letter states.
The letter then invites women and young girls to contact their local Planned Parenthood health center for a referral to a clergyperson “who will be supportive of you and your decision.”
“Our hope for you is for peace in your heart,” the letter concludes.
According to Planned Parenthood’s Clergy Advocacy Board (CAB), its group of clergy members was launched in 1994 and “leads a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health and justice.”
“CAB members are dedicated pro-choice clergy from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S. who work with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive freedom for all women and men,” the CAB states.
In its “Statement of Beliefs,” the CAB says, “We believe that clergy have a special responsibility to bear witness in support of reproductive rights so that the public and their elected representatives may understand the theological and moral basis for reproductive rights.”
The statement continues, "We believe that both men and women have an inherent right to reproductive freedom, that this freedom includes the right to abortion, and that abortion is a complex moral and ethical issue that cannot be resolved by solutions that are simplistic or cruel."
Members of the Planned Parenthood CAB include: Chairperson Rabbi Jon Adland (Reform Jewish); Vice Chair Rev. Susan Russell (Episcopal); Rev. David Ames (Episcopal); Rev. Tom Davis (United Church of Christ); Rev. Dr. Gawain de Leeuw (Episcopal); Rev. Kevin Jones (Baptist); Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter (Unitarian); Rev. Vincent Lachina (American Baptist); Rev. Jeremy Lopez, United Church of Christ; Rev. Janet Maykus (Christian Church DOC); Rev. Mark Pawlowski (Presbyterian); Rabbi Dennis Ross (Reform Jewish); Dr. Scott Sattler (Universal Sufism); Rabbi Peter Stein (Reform Jewish); and Ani Zonneveld (Muslims for Progressive Values).
(Talk about wolves in sheeps clothing! "In thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents.”) Jeremiah 2:34
The Washington Post
‘Smart pills’ with chips, cameras and robotic parts raise legal, ethical questions
Nick Otto/for the Washington Post - Mary Ellen Snodgrass describes how the smart pills she takes daily interact with her tablet computer.
By Ariana Eunjung Cha, Published: May 24
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Each morning around 6, Mary Ellen Snodgrass swallows a computer chip. It’s embedded in one of her pills and roughly the size of a grain of sand. When it hits her stomach, it transmits a signal to her tablet computer indicating that she has successfully taken her heart and thyroid medications.
“See,” said Snodgrass, checking her online profile page. With a few swipes, she brings up an hourly timeline of her day with images of white pills marking the times she ingested a chip. “I can see it go in. The pill just jumped onto the screen.”
Snodgrass — a 91-year-old retired schoolteacher who has been trying out the smart pills at the behest of her son, an employee at the company that makes the technology — is at the forefront of what many predict will be a revolution in medicine powered by miniature chips, sensors, cameras and robots with the ability to access, analyze and manipulate your body from the inside.
As the size and cost of chip technology has fallen dramatically over the past few years, dozens of companies and academic research teams are rushing to make ingestible or implantable chips that will help patients track the condition of their bodies in real time and in a level of detail that they have never seen before.
Several have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including a transponder containing a person’s medical history that is injected under the skin, a camera pill that can search the colon for tumors, and the technology, made by Proteus Digital Health, that Snodgrass is using. That system is being used to make sure older people take their pills; it involves navigating a tablet and wearing a patch, which some patients might find challenging.
Scientists are working on more advanced prototypes. Nanosensors, for example, would live in the bloodstream and send messages to smartphones whenever they saw signs of an infection, an impending heart attack or another issue — essentially serving as early-warning beacons for disease. Armies of tiny robots with legs, propellers, cameras and wireless guidance systems are being developed to diagnose diseases, administer drugs in a targeted manner and even perform surgery.
But while the technology may be within reach, the idea of putting little machines into the human body makes some uncomfortable, and there are numerous uncharted scientific, legal and ethical questions that need to be thought through.
What kind of warnings should users receive about the risks of implanting chip technology inside a body, for instance? How will patients be assured that the technology won’t be used to compel them to take medications they don’t really want to take? Could law enforcement obtain data that would reveal which individuals abuse drugs or sell them on the black market? Could what started as a voluntary experiment be turned into a compulsory government identification program that could erode civil liberties?
In 2002, when silicon chips containing their medical records were injected into some Alzheimer’s patients, it was deeply unsettling to privacy advocates. Several states subsequently passed legislation outlawing the forced implantations, and the technology never took off.
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, said he worries about the coercive use of the chips — whether they are implanted for a few months or permanently, or are swallowed and last in the body only about a day.
“There’s something very troubling about a chip being placed in a person that they can’t remove,” he said.
Proponents of the technology, however, say the devices could save countless lives and billions of dollars in unnecessary medical bills.
Eric Topol is the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and has written a book about the digital revolution in health care. He said he believes the science is moving so quickly that many of these gadgets will be ready for commercial use within the next five years.
“The way a car works is that it has sensors and it tells you what’s wrong. Why not put the same type of technology in the body? It could warn you weeks or months or even years before something happens,” Topol said.
Refining the technology
The ingestible chip that Snodgrass is using — it was the first smart pill to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the European Union, in 2012 and 2010, respectively — is still being tested by a handful of doctors and hospitals, as the company continues to refine its software. Proteus officials say they hope to make it more widely available within the next few years.
Britain’s National Health Service has begun using the technology with heart patients to figure out whether it can increase compliance with prescribed medication. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has said it would seek FDA clearance to use the Proteus chips in the medications it makes for transplant patients to minimize the chance of organ rejection.
In the United States, the focus has been the elderly.
Made entirely of edible ingredients, the one-square-millimeter chip has copper on one side and magnesium on the other, and it is activated when it comes into contact with stomach acids. It’s used in conjunction with a patch, which is shaped like a large Band-Aid and worn on the torso. For five minutes after being swallowed, the chip sends out a unique 16-digit code that is picked up by the patch, which in turn beams the information to a nearby smartphone or tablet — where it can be shared via the Internet with family members, doctors and the company.
The patch contains additional sensors that track things such as temperature, heart rate, movement (whether someone is standing, sitting or lying flat) and sleep.
George Savage, a co-founder and chief medical officer of Proteus, said studies show that 50 percent of patients do not take their medications as prescribed and that allowing doctors to see whether patients actually take the drugs — and their reactions to the medicine — could help physicians figure out better treatments.
“It may be wasteful for an oncologist to see a particular patient every few months. Maybe all they need is a nurse if everything is going well,” Savage said. “Or, maybe if they are not taking their medications, they need a psychologist or social worker instead.”
On a recent weekday, Snodgrass’s son, Doug Webb, a 62-year-old electrical engineer, brought up a Web page with his mother’s name and a slew of charts and numbers. Snodgrass is in good health for her age and pretty good about taking her medications, but she lives alone. Webb worries that she might accidentally skip some doses as she gets older.
“With all the traffic here, I can only make it down to see her once a week, so this is a way for me to check in on her more often,” Webb said.
His mother has been taking the smart pills since December, so Webb knows her schedule well. A few months ago, after Webb’s stepfather was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, Webb could see the effects of that news in his mother’s data: She was sleeping irregularly and sometimes could not get in her daily walk around the golf course near her house because she didn’t want to leave his side. One day, she forgot to take her pills and didn’t realize it until Webb pointed out a gap in her data.
“Sometimes I see very strange numbers and I’ll call her up and say, ‘What’s going on?’ ” he said.
On this day, Webb could see that his mother has taken one set of pills shortly after 6 a.m. and another at 10 a.m. It appeared that she had been reading in her chair in the morning, as usual, and was pretty active the rest of the day, taking more than 5,000 steps. All in all, he thought, it looked like she had had a good day. But just to make sure, he made it a point to remind himself to call her during his commute home.
The Boston Globe
Sports wearables are the wave of the future
By Shira Springer |GLOBE STAFF MAY 25, 2014
As he stretched and twisted the clear, plastic Band-Aid-like patch, Grant Hill marveled at the way its embedded, gold-colored sensor contorted. He wondered aloud how this budding technology might have changed his 18-year NBA career.
Hill was visiting MC10, a tech start-up in Cambridge, and playing with a prototype of its Biostamp. The device, a barely visible 2-square-inch patch, is designed to stick on any body part like a second skin and record biometric data from heart rate and hydration levels to muscle activity and sleep patterns.
With Biostamp monitoring, the patch might have saved the retired forward from overtraining and injuries, and its scientific feedback might have improved his preparation for games.
“To touch [the Biostamp], to go through a demonstration, you realize this is pretty amazing stuff,” said Hill, one of nine athletes on MC10’s Sports Advisory Board. “You almost wish you were a rookie again so you could take advantage of what the future has in store.”
If all goes as planned, the Biostamp will make its public debut next year and become commercially available. MC10 is one of roughly a dozen companies reimagining wearable, body-tracking technology, developing less-intrusive devices, and expanding the capabilities of current products.
All of this signals what Dr. Kim Blair, founding director of MIT’s sports innovation program, calls “a wearable revolution.” Bulky chest straps and large wristbands may soon be part of the past, looked upon like flip cellphones among smart phones. In the near future, it may be commonplace for athletes to wear Biostamps or smart T-shirts with embedded sensors during practices, games, and even sleep.
Engineers, athletes, and others invested in the world of competitive sports believe that revolution will radically change how players train and compete, how coaches plan practices and strategize during games, and potentially how fans view all the action.
Given the hypercompetitive nature of tech start-ups, MC10 will not divulge exactly what the first commercially available Biostamp will monitor. But inside a conference room at MC10’s offices, company leaders throw out the possibility of a field goal kicker with a Biostamp tracking his heart rate. Moments before a big kick, his heart rate could be broadcast on a stadium Jumbotron and television screens. It’s not as fanciful or faraway as it might seem. Last season, television broadcasts of Australian Rules Football featured heart rate and distance-traveled data gathered from a wearable technology system developed by Melbourne-based Catapult Sports.
For smaller-scale use of the data, dashboard-like screens on phones, tablets, and computers give real-time feedback on how a player is functioning. An athlete dashboard can display heart rate in the conventional beats per minute, but also potentially feature a fuel gauge that indicates when an athlete runs low on fluids and a check engine light that flashes red when an athlete is overworked and at risk for injury.
“We’re at the start of what’s possible here,” said Blair, who also serves as president of the International Sports Engineering Association and vice president at technology development firm Cooper Perkins in Lexington. “As we move forward, we’ll see better refinement in user experience and better refinement in application and better integration with apparel or, as is the case with MC10, sticking it on the body. When wearables become ubiquitous and part of our lives, that’s when they’ve really arrived.”
At the moment, sports wearables are more prevalent in Australia and Europe. Every player on every team in Australian Rules Football and in professional Australian rugby uses Catapult’s product in every game. European soccer clubs were early adopters, too, starting to measure the overall workload placed on players more than five years ago.
Simultaneously summing up what MC10 learned from Hill’s visit and articulating a guiding philosophy for sports wearables, Isaiah Kacyvenski, who played seven seasons in the NFL and runs the company’s sports division, said, “Let’s get away from feeling our way through the day and put hard metrics to some of these things [in an athlete’s daily routine] and guide us through our day.”
Input from athletes
Today’s data-driven sports world craves more in-depth information about athletes, the kind of statistical feedback that increasingly comes most reliably and most conveniently from wearable devices. Teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL are exploring wearable technology options, recognizing the value of tracking a player’s fitness around the clock and throughout a season.
Paul Robbins, director of elite performance for Stats LLC, which tracks data from wearable devices for 12 NBA teams and two NFL organizations, says, “We’d love to get as many hours of the day as we can monitored by wearable devices and collect more data.”
Companies such as MC10 with its Biostamp, Catapult with its beeper-sized monitor sewn into apparel or attached to compression tops resembling sports bras, Basis with its wristband, and Athos with its smart shirts and shorts coming out this summer, are eager to make that happen. They are pushing the evolution of wearables way beyond popular, fitness-oriented products such as FuelBands and Fitbits and GPS watches, and thinking more about what serious athletes want.
Bharat Vasan, Basis cofounder, said sports wearables are “going to be driven by the ground up,” meaning that the wish lists of athletes, coaches, and teams will largely determine how products develop.
To figure out what athletes want from wearable technology and design better devices, MC10 hosts brainstorming sessions with its Sports Advisory Board members. Last Monday, that brought Hill and Georgetown men’s basketball coach John Thompson III to Cambridge. In late February, a larger gathering included Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck, women’s soccer great Kristine Lilly, and four-time Olympic women’s ice hockey medalist Angela Ruggiero.
Against a backdrop of cluttered whiteboards, the athletes and college coach, who all have equity stakes in MC10, detailed daily routines and tossed out product ideas. Company engineers, designers, and investors asked questions and took notes. Nothing was out of bounds.
“With the athletes, we want to leverage the thought processes around how they prepare and take care of their bodies,” said Kacyvenski. “We want to have that collective mindshare. We’re using their entire body of knowledge to really innovate and think differently about how we deploy technology and use that to change behavior, approaches to training, and games. It’s unique not to use the athletes for their bodies the way they do in sports, but to use their minds and translate their experience to what we do.”
When it comes to form, it’s an easy call for athletes: They unanimously prefer smaller, flexible devices such as the Biostamp. The less they notice wearables, the better. The more unobtrusive the product, the more likely they will wear it during competition, practice, and recovery. The more they wear a device, the more data they generate.
MC10 believes part of the Biostamp’s appeal will be that it can stick anywhere — arms, legs, chest, back, face — all depending on what data an athlete wants and what body part can produce the most accurate read. To collect a variety of feedback, players can wear multiple Biostamps at the same time. Or, one Biostamp can hold multiple sensors.
With function, the board members all saw value in monitoring heart rate, hydration, sleep patterns, movement, and muscle activity. They also wanted better ways to track recovery from workouts and from injuries. And companies already sell products offering much of that data.
Catapult, the biggest presence in sports wearables worldwide with clients on six continents including in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and college ranks, invented GPS wearable technology for team sports. Basis prides itself on the extensive sleep analysis provided by its wristbands. The Athos smart shirts and shorts track muscle activity, letting wearers know if they favor one side over another and, in the process, helping self-correct form. MC10 is best known for developing the Reebok CHECKLIGHT, a wearable head impact indicator.
Given CHECKLIGHT’s ability to alert athletes to potential head injuries, it’s clear why the medical field and military also have a strong interest in wearables. The same body monitoring that helps athletes can also assist patients dealing with chronic conditions and soldiers training for war.
As the sports side of the technology progresses and athletes enjoy a wider selection of wearable devices with more functions, Athos cofounder Dhananja Jayalath predicts that “everything is going to become more personalized” and that products “will be geared toward giving athletes a more personalized training experience.”
What the future holds
In his MC10 brainstorming session, Luck saw that future quite clearly.
When asked what data he would find most valuable, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft imagined a wearable device that could accurately count practice throws and help quarterbacks better manage their workloads outside of games. Someday, Luck could place a Biostamp on his throwing shoulder that does exactly that. At this stage in the sports wearables game, anything is possible.
After spending last Monday at MC10 headquarters, Thompson called the Biostamp “a game-changer that’s going to improve real-time analysis of the body.” He found its ability to quickly, easily establish physical baselines for players most intriguing. Thompson figured those baselines and the biofeedback that followed could help him better coach players back from injury.
“Everyone is looking for an edge and the wearable products will help give us an edge,” said Thompson. “It’s so versatile that I need to go back with the experts I have at home and figure out what we need. We’re going to be able to use these products, but what’s the best way to do that?”
Despite all the information sports wearables provide, the technology often presents more questions than answers. Beyond smaller, thinner products and more granular data, it’s uncertain exactly what shape the wearable revolution will take in the years ahead.
Athletes on the MC10 Sports Advisory Board voiced concern about who owns the information that wearable devices collect. Will the data be employed in trade and contract negotiations? And what about the field goal kicker with his heart rate potentially broadcast to millions of viewers? When it comes to very personal, biometric data, where are the lines between fan engagement and player improvement and privacy? And who draws those lines?
Consider this: To promote more competition among his players, an Australian Rules Football coach posted athlete data gathered by the Catapult system on the Jumbotron at his team’s training facility.
“There are some really cool applications, but it’s going to take a conversation about who owns the data,” said Ruggiero. “There’s definitely going to be some debate.”
Additionally, some athletes might find wearable technology gives them too much feedback. While Lilly found the Biostamp “cool” and “amazing” compared with the chest straps she wore as a player, the two-time World Cup champion doesn’t want data relayed to her in real time because too much information might take away from her soccer instincts or dictate practice habits.
“There should be a balance with what you share with the athlete and when you share it,” said Lilly. “You don’t want to say to an athlete, ‘Oh, you’re not working hard because your heart rate is this.’ ”
Ultimately, fans may be the biggest beneficiaries, gaining true inside access to professional athletes.
“I’d love to see what is going on with LeBron James during games and I’m sure the rest of the fans would, too,” said Hill. “I think that’s the wave of the future. You have in-game interviews with coaches, access with cameras in locker rooms. Fans want more ... the more you can take them into the world of the athlete the better.”
Catapult marketing manager Boden Westover sees opportunities to take fantasy sports to a new level with data from wearables, as well as “compare what you did playing pickup with your friends with what Tony Parker is doing in the NBA playoffs.”
But before helping fans match up with Parker, companies need to keep figuring out the most useful information for athletes like the Spurs point guard and the best way to deliver that information. If wearable devices don’t provide meaningful, easily interpreted data to users, then they lose their value. It’s a lesson from the past. Although heart rate monitors debuted in the mid-1980s they did not gain widespread acceptance until a book that explained heart rate training was published several years later.
By comparison, the adoption of wearable technology at all levels of sports is proceeding at warp speed. In the next two to five years, Robbins believes all NBA, NFL, and NHL teams will be using some form of wearable training system. Growing up with the technology, young athletes might not think twice about wearables when they reach the top ranks. A smart T-shirt may be simply called a T-shirt.
“We’re in early days,” said MC10 cofounder Benjamin Schlatka of the wearable revolution in sports. “The quality of the device, the quality of data, and the experience with both the device and the data is going to evolve in the same way you saw the mobile trend evolve ... [Devices] will become more comfortable to wear. They’ll produce insight and not just data. Ultimately, they’ll blend into the context of your life. We’re not there, but that’s where the future will take us.”
Earth, is in peril
At 2:45 in
Hiroshi Kawauchi, former Japanese house representative: The havoc Fukushima has wrought is not acknowledged by the government. [Fukushima Daiichi] emitted airborne radioactive cesium levels that exceed the Hiroshima bomb by 168 times. But we’re always told everything is OK.
Vikram Ghandi, Vice: [We were] wondering why radiation levels 168 times worse than Hiroshima could ever be perceived as OK.
At 11:00 in
Anonymous Tepco Employee: There are many more problems that we have here [other than contaminated water]. The equipment that we brought 3 years ago, like pipes, hoses, the buildings themselves, all of these have started to break down. Even the cooling system ceasing to function is a possibility.
At 13:00 in
Ghandi: The future of Japan begins to look even more bleak.
Kawauchi: It will become harder to access the truth [because of the new state secrets act].
Ghandi: The government trying to silence people cannot change the dark reality of radiation that may only rear its head in generations to come.
Kawauchi: If we continue, not only Japan, but also Earth, is in peril.
Paul Craig Roberts
US hegemonic drive makes war with Russia/China inevitable
Mon May 26, 2014 11:59AM GMT
Memorial Day is when we commemorate our war dead. Like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day is being turned into a celebration of war.
Those who lose family members and dear friends to war don’t want the deaths to have been in vain. Consequently, wars become glorious deeds performed by noble soldiers fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Patriotic speeches tell us how much we owe to those who gave their lives so that America could remain free.
The speeches are well-intentioned, but the speeches create a false reality that supports ever more wars. None of America’s wars had anything to do with keeping America free. To the contrary, the wars swept away our civil liberties, making us unfree.
President Lincoln issued an executive order for the arrest and imprisonment of northern newspaper reporters and editors. He shut down 300 northern newspapers and held 14,000 political prisoners. Lincoln arrested war critic US Representative Clement Vallandigham from Ohio and exiled him to the Confederacy.
President Woodrow Wilson used WWI to suppress free speech, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt used WWII to intern 120,000 US citizens of Japanese descent on the grounds that race made them suspect. Professor Samuel Walker concluded that President George W. Bush used the “war on terror” for an across the board assault on US civil liberty, making the Bush regime the greatest danger American liberty has ever faced.
Lincoln forever destroyed states’ rights, but the suspension of habeas corpus and free speech that went hand in hand with America’s three largest wars was lifted at war’s end. However, President George W. Bush’s repeal of the Constitution has been expanded by President Obama and codified by Congress and executive orders into law. Far from defending our liberties, our soldiers who died in “the war on terror” died so that the president can indefinitely detain US citizens without due process of law and murder US citizens on suspicion alone without any accountability to law or the Constitution.
The conclusion is unavoidable that America’s wars have not protected our liberty but, instead, destroyed liberty. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”
Southern secession did pose a threat to Washington’s empire, but not to the American people. Neither the Germans of WWI vintage nor the Germans and Japanese of WWII vintage posed any threat to the US. As historians have made completely clear, Germany did not start WWI and did not go to war for the purpose of territorial expansion. Japan’s ambitions were in Asia. Hitler did not want war with England and France. Hitler’s territorial ambitions were mainly to restore German provinces stripped from Germany as WWI booty in violation of President Wilson’s guarantees. Any other German ambitions were to the East. Neither country had any plans to invade the US. Japan attacked the US fleet at Pearl Harbor hoping to remove an obstacle to its activities in Asia, not as a precursor to an invasion of America.
Certainly the countries ravaged by Bush and Obama in the 21st century–Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen posed no military threat to the US. Indeed, these were wars used by a tyrannical executive branch to establish the basis of the Stasi State that now exists in the US.
The truth is hard to bear, but the facts are clear. America’s wars have been fought in order to advance Washington’s power, the profits of bankers and armaments industries, and the fortunes of US companies. Marine General Smedley Butler said, “I served in all commissioned ranks from a second Lieutenant to a Major General. And during that time, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.”
It is more or less impossible to commemorate the war dead without glorifying them, and it is impossible to glorify them without glorifying their wars.
For the entirety of the 21st century the US has been at war, not war against massed armies or threats to American freedom, but wars against civilians, against women, children, and village elders, and wars against our own liberty. Elites with a vested interest in these wars tell us that the wars will have to go on for another 20 to 30 years before we defeat “the terrorist threat.”
This, of course, is nonsense. There was no terrorist threat until Washington began trying to create terrorists by military attacks, justified by lies, on Muslim populations.
Washington succeeded with its war lies to the point that Washington’s audacity and hubris have outgrown Washington’s judgment.
By overthrowing the democratically elected government in Ukraine, Washington has brought the United States into confrontation with Russia. This is a confrontation that could end badly, perhaps for Washington and perhaps for the entire world.
If Gaddafi and Assad would not roll over for Washington, why does Washington think Russia will?
The Bush and Obama regimes have destroyed America’s reputation with their incessant lies and violence against other peoples. The world sees Washington as the prime threat.
Worldwide polls consistently show that people around the world regard the US and Israel as posing the greatest threat to peace. (see here and here)
The countries that Washington’s propaganda declares to be “rogue states” and the “axis of evil,” such as Iran and North Korea, are far down the list when the peoples in the world are consulted. It could not be more clear that the world does not believe Washington’s self-serving propaganda. The world sees the US and Israel as the rogue elements.
The US and Israel are the only two in the world that are in the grip of ideologies. The US is in the grip of the Neoconservative ideology which has declared the US to be the “exceptional, indispensable country” chosen by history to exercise hegemony over all others. This ideology is buttressed by the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines that are the basis of US foreign policy.
The Israeli government is in the grip of the Zionist ideology that declares a “greater Israel” from the Nile to the Euphrates. Many Israelis themselves do not accept this ideology, but it is the ideology of the “settlers” and those who control the Israeli government.
Ideologies are important causes of war. Just as the Hitlerian ideology of German superiority is mirrored in the Neoconservative ideology of US superiority, the Communist ideology that the working class is superior to the capitalist class is mirrored in the Zionist ideology that Israelis are superior to Palestinians. Zionists have never heard of squatters’ rights and claim that recent Jewish immigrants into Palestine – invaders really – have the right to land occupied by others for millennia.
Washington’s and Israel’s doctrines of superiority over others do not sit very well with the “others.” When Obama declared in a speech that Americans are the exceptional people, Russia’s President Putin responded, “God created us all equal.”
To the detriment of its population, the Israeli government has made endless enemies. Israel has effectively isolated itself in the world. Israel’s continued existence depends entirely on the willingness and ability of Washington to protect Israel. This means that Israel’s power is derivative of Washington’s power.
Washington’s power is a different story. As the only economy standing after WWII, the US dollar became the world money. This role for the dollar has given Washington financial hegemony over the world, the main source of Washington’s power. As other countries rise, Washington’s hegemony is imperiled.
To prevent other countries from rising, Washington invokes the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines. To be brief, the Brzezinski doctrine says that in order to remain the only superpower, Washington must control the Eurasian land mass. Brzezinski is willing for this to occur peacefully by suborning the Russian government into Washington’s empire. “A loosely confederated Russia . . . a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” In other words, break up Russia into associations of semi-autonomous states whose politicians can be suborned by Washington’s money.
Brzezinski propounded “a geo-strategy for Eurasia.” In Brzezinski’s strategy, China and “a confederated Russia” are part of a “transcontinental security framework,” managed by Washington in order to perpetuate the role of the US as the world’s only superpower.
I once asked my colleague, Brzezinski, that if everyone was allied with us, who were we organized against? My question surprised him, because I think that Brzezinski remains caught up in Cold War strategy even after the demise of the Soviet Union. In Cold War thinking it was important to have the upper hand or else be at risk of being eliminated as a player. The importance of prevailing became all consuming, and this consuming drive survived the Soviet collapse. Prevailing over others is the only foreign policy that Washington knows.
The mindset that America must prevail set the stage for the Neoconservatives and their 21st century wars, which, with Washington’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine, has resulted in a crisis that has brought Washington into direct conflict with Russia.
I know the strategic institutes that serve Washington. I was the occupant of the William E.Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, for a dozen years. The idea is prevalent that Washington must prevail over Russia in Ukraine or Washington will lose prestige and its superpower status.
The idea of prevailing always leads to war once one power thinks it has prevailed.
The path to war is reinforced by the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Paul Wolfowitz, the neoconservative intellectual who formulated US military and foreign policy doctrine, wrote among many similar passages:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere [China] that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
In the Wolfowitz Doctrine, any other strong country is defined as a threat and a power hostile to the US regardless of how willing that country is to get along with the US for mutual benefit.
The difference between Brzezinski and the Neoconservatives is that Brzezinski wants to suborn Russia and China by including them in the empire as important elements whose voices would be heard, If only for diplomatic reasons, whereas the Neoconservatives are prepared to rely on military force combined with internal subversion orchestrated with US financed NGOs and even terrorist organizations.
Neither the US nor Israel is embarrassed by their worldwide reputations as posing the greatest threat. In fact, both are proud to be recognized as the greatest threats. The foreign policy of both is devoid of any diplomacy. US and Israeli foreign policy rests on violence alone. Washington tells countries to do as Washington says or be “bombed into the stone age.” Israel declares all Palestinians, even women and children, to be “terrorists,” and proceeds to shoot them down in the streets, claiming that Israel is merely protecting itself against terrorists. Israel, which does not recognize the existence of Palestine as a country, covers up its crimes with the claim that Palestinians do not accept the existence of Israel.
“We don’t need no stinking diplomacy. We got power.”
This is the attitude that guarantees war, and that is where the US is taking the world. The prime minister of Britain, the chancellor of Germany, and the president of France are Washington’s enablers. They provide the cover for Washington. Instead of war crimes, Washington has “coalitions of the willing” and military invasions that bring “democracy and women’s rights” to non-compliant countries.
China gets much the same treatment. A country with four times the US population but a smaller prison population, China is constantly criticized by Washington as an “authoritarian state.” China is accused of human rights abuses while US police brutalize the US population.
The problem for humanity is that Russia and China are not Libya and Iraq. These two countries possess strategic nuclear weapons. Their land mass greatly exceeds that of the US. The US, which was unable to successfully occupy Baghdad or Afghanistan, has no prospect of prevailing against Russia and China in conventional warfare. Washington will push the nuclear button. What else can we expect from a government devoid of morality?
The world has never experienced rogue elements comparable to Washington and Israel. Both governments are prepared to murder anyone and everyone. Look at the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and the dangers thereof. On May 23, 2014, Russia’s President Putin spoke to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a three-day gathering of delegations from 62 countries and CEOs from 146 of the largest Western corporations.
Putin did not speak of the billions of dollars in trade deals that were being formalized. Instead Putin spoke of the crisis that Washington had brought to Russia, and he criticized Europe for being Washington’s vassals for supporting Washington’s propaganda against Russia and Washington’s interference in vital Russian interests.
Putin was diplomatic in his language, but the message that powerful economic interests from the US and Europe received is that it will lead to trouble if Washington and European governments continue to ignore Russia’s concerns and continue to act as if they can interfere in Russia’s vital interests as if Russia did not exist.
The heads of these large corporations will carry this message back to Washington and European capitals. Putin made it clear that the lack of dialogue with Russia could lead to the West making the mistake of putting Ukraine in NATO and establishing missile bases on Russia’s border with Ukraine. Putin has learned that Russia cannot rely on good will from the West, and Putin made it clear, short of issuing a threat, that Western military bases in Ukraine are unacceptable.
Washington will continue to ignore Russia. However, European capitals will have to decide whether Washington is pushing them into conflict with Russia that is against European interests. Thus, Putin is testing European politicians to determine if there is sufficient intelligence and independence in Europe for a rapprochement.
If Washington in its overbearing arrogance and hubris forces Putin to write off the West, the Russian/Chinese strategic alliance, which is forming to counteract Washington’s hostile policy of surrounding both countries with military bases, will harden into preparation for the inevitable war.
The survivors, if any, can thank the Neoconservatives, the Wolfowitz doctrine, and the Brzezinski strategy for the destruction of life on earth.
The American public contains a large number of misinformed people who think they know everything. These people have been programmed by US and Israeli propaganda. They are led to believe that Islam, a religion, is a militarist doctrine that calls for the overthrow of Western civilization, as if anything remains of Western civilization.
Many believe this propaganda. The US has departed Iraq, but the carnage today is as high as or higher than during the US invasion and occupation. The daily death tolls from the conflict are extraordinary.
The West has overthrown itself. In the US the Constitution has been murdered by the Bush and Obama regimes. Nothing remains. As the US is the Constitution, what was once the United States no longer exists. A different entity has taken its place.
Europe died with the European Union, which requires the termination of sovereignty of all member countries. A few unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels have become superior to the wills of the French, German, British, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Greek, and Portuguese peoples.
Western civilization is a skeleton. It still stands, barely, but there is no life in it. The blood of liberty has departed. Western peoples look at their governments and see nothing but enemies. Why else has Washington militarized local police forces, equipping them as if they were occupying armies? Why else has Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, and even the Postal Service and Social Security Administration ordered billions of rounds of ammunition and even submachine guns? What is this taxpayer-paid-for arsenal for if not to suppress US citizens?
As the prominent trends forecaster Gerald Celente spells out in the current Trends Journal, “uprisings span four corners of the globe.” Throughout Europe angry, desperate and outraged peoples march against EU financial policies that are driving the peoples into the ground. Despite all of Washington’s efforts with its well funded fifth columns known as NGOs to destabilize Russia and China, both the Russian and Chinese governments have far more support from their people than do the US and Europe.
In the 20th century Russia and China learned what tyranny is, and they have rejected it.
In the US tyranny has entered under the guise of the “war on terror,” a hoax used to scare the sheeple into abandoning their civil liberties, thus freeing Washington from accountability to law and permitting Washington to erect a militarist police state. Ever since WWII, Washington has used its financial hegemony and the “Soviet threat,” now converted into the “Russian threat,” to absorb Europe into Washington’s empire.
Putin is hoping that the interests of European countries will prevail over subservience to Washington. This is Putin’s current bet. This is the reason Putin remains unprovoked by Washington’s provocations in Ukraine.
If Europe fails Russia, Putin and China will prepare for the war that Washington’s drive for hegemony makes inevitable.
King World News
Paul Craig Roberts - Putin’s Threat Just Stunned U.S. & Europe
Today former US Treasury official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, warned King World News that the threat made by Putin today just stunned the United States and Europe. Dr. Roberts also discussed how the threat unfolded today at the International Economic Forum in Russia. Below is what Dr. Roberts had to say in this powerful interview.
Eric King: “Dr. Roberts, there is this International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg (Russia). I know the U.S. has pulled out, but does the high level of attendance, despite Washington’s pressure, indicate fading U.S. influence?”
Dr. Roberts: “Yes. One of the advisors to Putin had publicly complained that Washington had put unprecedented pressure on American and European countries not to attend. But it turns out that present at this forum, which began yesterday and continues today and tomorrow, there are official delegations from 62 countries, and the CEOs of 146 of the major companies in the world....
“Last year trade deals were made that totaled $263 billion -- more than a quarter of a trillion dollars. And I suspect that there will be an equal success in trade deals this year. For example, the heads of BP, Total (SA), Shell, Exxon, Phillips, Caterpillar, they’ve all gone to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, despite Washington’s pressure. So what we are seeing is that it’s OK to cooperate with Washington’s absurd foreign policy, until it starts to effect the bottom line. (Laughter ensues). If it affects the bottom line, the Germans (as an example) aren’t so interested. You may have seen that the French have said they are going to continue their military sales to Russia, regardless of Washington.
And so I think this is an indication that the world thinks Washington is overreaching, trying to control the affairs of too many countries and too many companies, and I don’t think this is going to be tolerated.”
Eric King: “What about the implications for U.S. financial hegemony? We have this St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where everybody basically blew off the United States, and Asia showed up en masse as well as a bunch of other countries and companies. And now we have this move away from the U.S. dollar.”
Dr. Roberts: “Well, I think the most interesting part of this forum so far was President Putin’s speech today at the forum. He explicitly criticized the United States for bringing such a strategic threat to Russia. He spoke very diplomatically, but the implication is there that he’s simply not going to tolerate the Ukraine as a member of NATO, with American missile bases on Russia’s border.
He doesn’t say it in so many words, but (it was) the way he emphasized the fact that Washington thinks they can just ignore Russia. And he also explicitly criticized the Europeans for being Washington’s puppets. He didn’t use the word ‘puppet,’ but he criticized them for being unresponsive to Russian efforts to resolve the crisis, and for telling Russia that it was none of Russia’s business.
And he accused the Europeans for being snobs, thinking that they are too good to talk to Russians. So whatever hopes Russia had for the for the deals at the economic summit, the most important thing for Putin was to send this message to the powerful American firms and to the powerful European firms that if this continues, if their governments ignore legitimate Russian protests about policies and continue to disregard the aspect of the Ukrainian crisis, and the meaning of it for Russia itself, that there was going to be further trouble.
So I think that message will go back to the idiots in Washington and to Washington’s vassals in the Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande governments. And then they will have to decide who’s interests are really on the line. Is it in Germany’s, France’s, and the UK’s interests, to create a situation for Russia that does not benefit Germany, France, or the U.K., but merely serves the purpose of American hegemony over the world?
So I think that this was a strategic move by Putin at this conference. And that’s probably the most important aspect of the conference, not that so many firms from 62 countries appeared ready to do business with the Russians, despite Washington’s threat of sanctions. Instead, that the occasion was used by President Putin to send a message.
Of course Washington is full of hubris and arrogance and will ignore the message, but I think it’s going to be harder for Merkel and Hollande. They have too many jobs and too much of their industry dependent on economic relations with Russia. And they won’t want to sacrifice that just so Washington can continue to be the sole superpower and prevent other countries from rising.
So that’s the most important thing. And if I’m correct in this judgment, it does mean that the dollar will be more vulnerable because the exercise of the United States, publicly, by its power, has been diminished by the response of other countries.”
The Jerusalem Post
Russia mulling deal to build up to 8 nuclear reactors for Iran
Moscow and Tehran may sign intergovernmental deal this year for construction of 4-8 new reactors, including two more at the Bushehr power plant where Russia formerly built the Islamic Republic's only operating nuclear reactor.
Bushehr nuclear power plant south of Tehran. Photo: REUTERS
MOSCOW - Russia plans to sign a contract with Iran this year to build two more nuclear reactors at its Bushehr power plant as part of a broader deal for up to eight reactors in the Islamic state, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.
It was not immediately clear how this might affect six global powers' talks with Iran addressing disputed aspects of its nuclear program. Iran has resisted demands for cuts in its uranium enrichment capacity, pointing to plans for a future network of nuclear power stations.
Western powers want any lasting agreement with Iran to put to rest suspicions that it could develop nuclear weapons-making ability through enrichment. Iran denies any such intent.
The talks ended last week with little progress; they are to resume in Vienna in June.
Russia, one of the six powers, built Iran's only operating nuclear power reactor, at Bushehr.
"Russia and Iran may sign an intergovernmental agreement this year on building from four to eight nuclear reactors, and, under the deal, the contract for the construction of the first two reactors as additions to Bushehr," the source said.
Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said earlier it was in talks with Iran on the potential construction of more reactors there but revealed no details. Rosatom officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.
Longstanding Western fears that the Bushehr project could yield spent fuel of use in nuclear weapons - something it denies it is seeking to do - receded after Iran promised to send the material back to Russia.
Moscow voted for four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran over its contested nuclear activity but has sharply criticized additional measures imposed by the United States and European Union, calling them a hindrance to diplomacy in search of a permanent settlement with Tehran.
How Brussels elite was stunned by a flurry of right (and left) hooks from disgruntled Europeans
By DOMINIC SANDBROOK
PUBLISHED: 18:53 EST, 26 May 2014 | UPDATED: 02:49 EST, 27 May 2014
There has never been a night like it. Early on Sunday evening, even before the last polls had closed, the first tremors were shaking the pillars of European power.
Then came the full force of the earthquake. And by the time the dust had settled, it was clear that something had fundamentally changed at the heart of Europe’s body politic.
In Britain, the headlines belonged to Ukip. For more than a century, no party other than the Conservatives or Labour had won a national election.
But on Sunday night, Nigel Farage’s little band of rebels turned history on its head, topping the polls with almost 28 per cent of the vote. Nobody, surely, doubts now that Britain has entered an age of four-party politics.
Successful night: Marine Le Pen arrives to attend a meeting gathering party leaders at the FN's headquarters in Nanterre, outside Paris
The really significant thing about Sunday night, though, was that Ukip’s victory was merely part of a wider trend. Across the Continent, millions of voters have turned their backs on the European political elite.
The bare facts make extraordinary reading. In France, the governing Socialist Party, crippled by the wretched performance of President Francois Hollande, sank to just 14 per cent of the vote, while the big winners were Marine Le Pen’s openly Far Right National Front, which took a record 25 per cent.
Given France’s unusual circumstances — a Socialist government sunk in economic stagnation, a mainstream Right discredited by posturing former president Nicolas Sarkozy — it might be tempting to dismiss Madame Le Pen’s triumph as a local fluke.
But the results elsewhere tell a different story. Just look at the picture in Scandinavia, which is so often held up as a model of European democracy.
In steady, sensible Denmark, the Far Right stormed to victory, winning almost 27 per cent of the vote and doubling its number of MEPs.
In moderate, well-meaning Sweden, the populist Far Right Sweden Democrats won their first ever European seat. Even the Finns clambered aboard the anti-European bandwagon, with the anti-immigration Finns Party doubling its number of MEPs.
And then there is Greece, battered and bruised after the unprecedented austerity of the past few years, with unemployment at almost 30 per cent and many experts predicting it will take 20 years to rebuild its economy.
The Greeks have paid a terribly high price, not merely for their own disastrous profligacy, but for the European elite’s determination to preserve the euro. And now we are seeing the political consequences.
With 26 per cent of the vote, it was the Far Left, anti-austerity, anti-European Syriza party that topped the polls.
But even more shocking was the performance of the nakedly neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which has won almost 10 per cent of the vote and will send three MEPs to Brussels.
The success of Golden Dawn could hardly be a more damning sign of the gulf between Europe’s governing elite and the ordinary people they lead.
This is a party that has brawled, robbed and murdered its way across Greece. A third of its leadership is in prison. Yet one in ten Greeks still saw fit to entrust it with their votes.
One factor in all this, of course, is a Continent-wide reaction against recession and austerity.
In much of southern Europe, Brussels and Berlin have never been forgiven for their indifference to the economic suffering of millions of ordinary people.
Three years ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her country’s parliamentarians that only the euro could ensure ‘another half-century of peace in Europe’.
‘If the euro collapses, Europe collapses,’ she added. ‘That can’t happen.’
So it was that the Greeks — as well as the Irish, the Portuguese and the Spanish — were forced to pay a heavy price in unemployment for the survival of the single currency.
Little wonder, then, that so many of them have taken out their frustrations at the ballot box.
But there is, I think, a bigger story. For decades, Europe’s politicians have insisted that only closer political and economic union can bring lasting peace and prosperity.
So it is that the EU has steadily and silently accumulated more responsibilities and more power, to the fury of observers on both sides of the political spectrum.
And at every turn, whatever problems have presented themselves, the political elite’s answer has always been the same: more Europe.
The fact is, however, that millions of people do not want more Europe.
Most people like the idea of a common market, but they are outraged by the EU’s flagrant corruption and infuriated that they are never given a real say in its direction and policies.
Yet when they try to object, they are dismissed as racists and xenophobes (which most are not) or simply ignored.
The classic example was Brussels’s attempt to impose a European constitution. In 2005, the constitution was rejected by the French and Dutch voters.
So the European elite dreamed up a way of introducing it by the back door in the form of the Lisbon Treaty, which would avoid the need for more pesky referendums.
Ireland, however, did hold a referendum, and its people voted against the treaty. But then what happened? Brussels held the political equivalent of a gun to Ireland’s head and demanded that its people vote again.
So a year later, after a pro-Treaty campaign lavishly backed by big business, the Irish reluctantly agreed to approve the treaty.
What better example of the arrogant indifference of the Brussels elite? What better example of their contempt for ordinary people — and, indeed, for democracy itself?
One fact speaks volumes. Ever since 1979, when the first European Parliament elections were held, turnout at elections has been steadily declining. In 1979, turnout was 63 per cent.
Yet this year it was just 43 per cent — a truly shameful figure for a continent that was once the crucible of democracy.
And you can see why. Whichever way you vote, the same characters remain in power.
The current European Commission, led by the Portuguese politician Jose Manuel Barroso, has been in office since 2004, while the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, has been in power since 2009.
If you’d like to get rid of them, forget it. You can’t.
The sad irony is that the European project ought to be the supreme expression of democracy’s virtues.
After all, representative government was born in ancient Athens, while Iceland boasts the world’s oldest parliament and Britain has its strongest and most inspirational democratic tradition.
Yet to ordinary people across the Continent, the EU seems remote, aloof and totally unrepresentative. Its guiding principle appears to be a chronic distrust of its own people, while notorious corruption — the auditors have refused to sign off its accounts for a staggering 19 years — continues unchecked.
As the election results showed, however, the voters’ patience is not inexhaustible. Millions of people have clearly lost faith in their political masters’ attachment to the dream of an ever closer union.
The European elite have, I believe, one last chance. Their folly has unleashed the very forces that the European Union was supposed to have banished to the history books.They must learn the appropriate lesson. For if they continue to ignore the will of the people, then I believe the European project itself may be destined for the scrapheap — with potentially devastating consequences for our peace and prosperity.
'A grave moment for France': National Front sweeps to victory in Paris leaving Socialist government fighting for life - and in Germany a neo-Nazi is elected for first time in decades
Exit polls have placed the hardline party as the country's most popular
The ruling socialists appeared to trail well behind with just 14 per cent
FN leader Marine Le Pen heralded victory for 'sovereign people of France'
Prime Minister Manuel Valls described result as 'a shock, an earthquake'
Le Pen called for French parliament to be dissolved to 'control borders'
Valls says he will not resign following European result
President Francois Hollande holds 'urgent' talks with ministers after poll
By DANIEL MARTIN, WHITEHALL CORRESPONDENT and LUCY CROSSLEY
PUBLISHED: 14:13 EST, 25 May 2014 | UPDATED: 04:40 EST, 26 May 2014
Francois Hollande is holding an emergency meeting with his ministers this morning after a far-Right 'earthquake' saw the National Front triumph in France and voters across Europe turn to extremists and anti-EU parties.
Exit polls suggest the anti-immigrant party led by Marine Le Pen took more than a quarter of the vote, pushing President Hollande’s Socialist Party into third place with just 13 per cent.
It is the first time the party – which wants to cut immigration drastically and reduce the influence of Islam – has come first in a nationwide election in its 40-year history. Projections show it could take 25 of France’s 74 European Parliament seats.
Jubilant: French National Front leader Marine Le Pen reacts to exit polls revealing her party won the election
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said it was ‘a political earthquake in France’ and ‘a very grave moment for France and for Europe’, while ecology minister Segolene Royale said: ‘It’s a shock on a global scale.
Mr Valls later said that the verdict of voters showed how important it was for his government to push through the spending cuts and tax cuts it has been promising, and vowed to reduce income tax for workers.
'There is not a single minute to lose,' he said, appearing on French television.
'I owe you the truth. We need to show courage because France must reform. For too long, left and right together, we have avoided deeply addressing things.'
Mr Valls said that he would not resign following the vote, despite Ms Le Pen's suggestion that he should step down, and that his policies would not change as a result.
'I am convinced that Europe could be re-oriented to increase support for growth and employment, which it hasn't done in years,' he told French radio.
MEANWHILE IN SWEDEN... ANTI-FASCIST FEMINISTS WIN SEAT
Exit polls suggest Sweden's Feminist Initiative Party has entered the European Parliament for the first time.
Poll results by the public service broadcaster SVT suggested 7 percent of Swedes backed the feminist party, which wants to boost the rights of women and minorities in the European Union.
The party has presented itself as counterweight to EU right-wing movements with the slogan 'Out with the racists! In with the feminists!'
The poll showed far-right Sweden democrats with 7 percent support compared to 3.3 percent in 2009.
The Green Party surged to 17.1 per cent from 11 per cent in 2009, possibly surpassing the ruling Moderate Party as the second most popular Swedish party after the Social Democrats.
'We need time and I demand this time. We must not let down our guard, to refuse our responsibilities, to make place for the extreme right.'
'We are not going to add to the identity crisis, the moral crisis that France is going through.'
He added: 'Our only mission is to continue our work to repair the country. If we don't do this, we would not live up to our responsibilities.'
President Francois Hollande's office said he would hold urgent talks today with top government ministers in what French media called a crisis meeting.
The French result was the most striking of a number of successes for far-Right and anti-EU parties. Chillingly, there were signs a neo-Nazi candidate for the NPD party could be elected in Germany, giving the far-Right a foothold for the first time in decades.
In Greece, the anti-Europe Syriza party topped the poll with 26.49 per cent of the vote and the extreme right Right Golden Dawn looked set to enter the European Parliament for the first time, with three seats and 9.3 per cent of the vote.
The party – which denies claims it is a criminal organisation with a neo-Nazi ideology – came third overall in Greece.
The anti-Islam Danish People’s Party came first in that country’s elections.
In the Netherlands however, the right-wing Eurosceptic Party for Freedom surprisingly dropped a seat from five to four. Its outspoken leader, Geert Wilders, said his party looked forward to working with Ms Le Pen in Europe, calling her 'the next French president'.
The Dutch also returned one representative for the Party for the Animals.
In Italy, the Eurosceptic Five Star movement (M5S) was tipped to come second.
An exit poll for the ANSA news agency showed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) scoring between 29.5 and 32.5 percent, compared to firebrand ex-comedian Beppe Grillo's M5S with 25 to 28 percent.
Mr Grillo has said in the past his movement would not ally itself with Ms Le Pen's party, claiming the 5-Stars had a different 'DNA'.
Up to a third of voters across Europe were expected to opt for fringe parties opposed to the very institution of the EU in the European Parliamentary elections.
A surge in Euroscepticism led to an increased vote for protest parties – mirroring the impressive showing by Ukip in Britain.
The extreme nature of many of the parties will cause deep concern.
In Germany the anti-Brussels AfD party, which wants to stop using the euro, could get six MEPs, a huge blow to established parties which championed the currency and have branded AfD an unelectable mix of academics and nationalists.
The National Front came a full 11 percentage points ahead of the ruling Socialists in the vote. Miss Le Pen hailed a ‘historic victory’, saying: ‘The sovereign people of France have spoken loud and clear.’
She called on President Hollande to dissolve the government and call elections. She added: ‘The people have taken back the reins of their own destiny. This means policies of the French, for the French, by the French. They do not want to be ruled from outside.’
Miss Le Pen, 45, took over the party founded by her controversial father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 2011.
She claims to have detoxified it, taking it away from its racist and anti-Semitic roots. She called the EU public enemy No 1, and insisted she is no longer a mere loudspeaker for protest voters. She said: ‘The EU nowadays is like the old Soviet Union - it can’t be improved.
‘We need to let it crumble and build after it a Europe of free and sovereign nations.’
Europe has an even bigger crisis on its hands than a British exit
British people will vote to leave the EU unless offered a new dispensation, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Brexit would change the chemistry of the union, leaving Germany in a hegemonic role it does not want, and leaving France in a very awkward 'menage a deux' Photo: Reuters
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
9:02PM BST 28 May 2014
If Europe's policy elites could not quite believe it before, they must now know beyond much doubt that they have lost Britain. This island is no longer part of the European project in any meaningful sense.
British defenders of the status quo were knouted on Sunday. UKIP won 27.5pc of the vote, or 29pc after adjusting for the negligence - or worse - of the Electoral Commission in allowing a spoiler party with much the same name to sow confusion. Margaret Thatcher's Tory children are scarcely more friendly to the EU enterprise.
Britain's decision to stay out of monetary union at Maastricht sowed the seeds of separation, as pro-Europeans fully understood at the time, though almost nobody expected EMU officialdom to clinch the argument so emphatically by running the currency bloc into the ground with 1930s Gold Standard policies and youth unemployment levels above 50pc in Spain and Greece, and above 40pc in Italy.
European leaders must henceforth calculate that the British people will vote to leave the EU altogether unless offered an entirely new dispensation: tariff-free access to the single market along lines already enjoyed by Turkey or Tunisia; and deliverance from half the Acquis Communautaire, that 170,000-page edifice of directives and regulations that drains away sovereignty, and is never repealed.
Ideological hardliners would prefer to see Britain leave rather tolerating any reversal of the one-way Monnet Doctrine, and some talk of shutting British goods out of the European markets. They are fanatics. Others know that the EU's global credibility would be shattered if one of its largest states - and twin-leader in projecting military power - were to walk away in disgust, as Germany's Wolfgang Schauble has repeatedly warned.
Brexit would change the chemistry of the union, leaving Germany in a hegemonic role it does not want, and leaving France in a very awkward "menage a deux". It would deprive the smaller free-market states of their policy champion and risk a chain reaction. A looser trading sphere might all too quickly emerge as a more alluring prospect along the Nordic-Protestant rim. Eurosceptics won the vote in Denmark, just as they did in Britain.
It is a fair bet that EU leaders would search for an amicable formula, letting Britain go its own way while remaining a semi-detached or merely titular member of the EU. Let us call it the Holy Roman Empire solution.
Yet Britain is the least of their problems. The much greater shock is the "Séisme" in France, as Le Figaro calls it, where Marine Le Pen's Front National swept 73 electoral departments, while President Francois Hollande's socialists were reduced to two.
Mr Hollande's address to the nation on Monday night was mournful. He had no answers beyond a few pro-forma utterings about "growth, jobs and investment", instantly undercut by his vow to press on doggedly with the same contractionary policies that led to disaster. His premier, Manuel Valls, even had to announce that the president would see out his five-year term, as if this were already in doubt.
It is widely claimed that the Front is eurosceptic only on the surface. Perhaps, but when I asked Mrs Le Pen what she would do on her first day in office if she ever reached the Elysee Palace, her reply was trenchant. She would instruct the French Treasury to draft plans for the immediate restoration of the franc, that great symbol of emancipation from the English occupation (franc des Anglais).
She vowed to confront Europe's leaders with a stark choice at their first meeting: either to work with France for a "sortie concertee" or coordinated EMU break-up, or resist and let "financial Armageddon" run its course. "The euro ceases to exist the moment that France leaves, and that is our incredible strength. What are they going to do, send in tanks?" she said.
She said there can be no compromise with monetary union, deeming it impossible to remain a self-governing nation within the structures of EMU, and impossible to carry out the reflation policies necessary to defeat the economic slump. "The euro blocks all economic decisions. France is not a country that can accept tutelage from Brussels. We have succumbed to a spirit of slavery," she said.
The EU authorities are now in a near hopeless situation. The logic of EMU is a further erosion of nation states. The "Two Pack", "Six Pack" and "Fiscal Compact" are all coming into force, and national regulators are losing control over their banking systems. The euro will inevitably lurch from crisis to crisis without some form of fiscal union and debt pooling. Yet voters have just let forth a primordial scream against any further transfers of power.
With the exception of Germany, the elections were a broad repudiation of EMU austerity. The two dominant parties of the post-Franco order in Spain saw their share of the vote drop to 49pc from 80pc last time, with the Podemos radicals coming from nowhere four months ago to win 8pc with a campaign to "stop Spain being a colony of Germany and the Troika".
The austerity coalition that has pushed the Netherlands into debt deflation crashed to 21pc. The ruling enforcers of EU-IMF Troika policies fell to 31pc in Greece and 28pc in Portugal.
Italy's new leader, Matteo Renzi, bucked the trend with a record vote of 41pc for the centre-Left, but his triumph is no less a threat to the EMU policy regime. After watching fellow Socialists in Europe destroy themselves trying to perform root-canal surgery on their economies without anaesthesia, he is going for growth whatever they may say in Brussels about EMU deficit rules. If anybody has the panache to lead a reflation revolt, it is this irrepressible Tuscan gambler.
Yet the elections have thrown up another wild card. Germany's Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) has stormed onto the scene with 7.5pc of the vote. For the first time the anti-euro movement has an electoral platform to rail against bail-out policies or any deviation from orthodoxy by the European Central Bank. It is now even harder for Chancellor Angela Merkel to yield ground, whether on a debt redemption fund to chip away at legacy debts, or on the pace of fiscal retrenchment.
Strasbourg's Hemicycle is to become a chamber of militancy and protest where a Babel of voices shout down all action in languages the others don't even understand, like the Habsburg Empire's Cisleithanian parliament in its final years as the polity was falling apart.
Europe's leaders are counting on recovery to rescue them, relying on the rest of the world to generate the necessary demand, but creating none itself. This is courting fate at a time when China is choking its credit boom, most of the Brics are in trouble and the US Federal Reserve is tightening.
Italy, Holland and Portugal fell back into contraction in the first quarter, and France stalled again. The latest data show that the M3 money supply shrank again in April. It is the new normal of perpetual stagnation.
Europe's "Fiscal Compact" has set in motion a doomsday machine, requiring states to retrench for year after year by law until their debts are ground down to 60pc, and we are all dead. The best that can be hoped for is 1pc growth in southern Europe through the decade, too little to prevent a lost youth or to halt the rise in combined public and private debt ratios.
Claims that all is well are belied by strong hints that the ECB will venture into the unknown next week by cutting the discount rate below zero and launching asset purchases. Central banks do not embark on such policies unless something is badly wrong. The stimulus will not be enough, of course. The ECB's structure makes it incapable of acting with the overwhelming force of the Fed or the Bank of Japan, and it will therefore fail to break the recessionary psychology.
At some point the global cycle will roll over, leaving this crippled zone facing the prospect of another downturn before it has eked out any worthwhile recovery. It is a sobering thought. Unemployment may jump to yet higher plateaus. The European elections of 2019 may see the annihilation of the existing party system, if we get that far.
Let us not lose sight of what has occurred. The root cause of this social, political and economic disaster is EMU. As Nobel economist Paul Krugman said this week: "Depression-level slumps didn’t happen in Europe before the coming of the euro."
Monetary union first destabilised the South with massive capital flows. Now its contractionary bias blocks recovery.
Oxford Professor Kevin O'Rourke has called for an end to the misery in a remarkable cri de coeur for the International Monetary Fund. What shocks him is that EU officials seem to treat it as a matter of course that unemployment should be stuck at 1930s levels, or that Italian GDP should still be 9pc below peak after half a decade. "These are not minor details, blemishing an otherwise impeccable record, but evidence of a dismal policy failure," he said.
"If economic historians learned anything from the Great Depression, it is that adjustment based on austerity and internal devaluation is dangerous. Britain ran large primary surpluses throughout the 1920s, but its debt-to-GDP ratio rose substantially thanks to the deflationary, low-growth environment."
Prof O'Rourke said he has been waiting five years for Europe's leaders to forge the new instruments needed to make the failed experiment work, but it is by now obvious that Germany will not allow fiscal union or shared banking liabilities, and others will not accept a federal political Europe. It therefore pointless to protract the agony.
"The demise of the euro would be a major crisis, no doubt about it. We shouldn’t wish for it. But if a crisis is inevitable then it is best to get on with it, while centrists and Europhiles are still in charge. If the euro is eventually abandoned, my prediction is that historians 50 years from now will wonder how it ever came to be introduced in the first place," he said.
May 27, 2014 by APRIL McCARTHY
Hot Peppers Prevent The Number One Cause of Death
Capsaicinoids found in cayenne pepper, jalapenos, habaneros and other chili peppers already have an established treatment role in creams to address joint and arthritis pain. They also promote fat burning, increase metabolism and even kill cancer cells. Scientists have now reported the latest evidence that chili peppers are a heart-healthy food with potential to protect against the No. 1 cause of death in the developed world. Past research suggested that spicing food with chilies can lower blood pressure in people with that condition, reduce blood cholesterol and ease the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form. Researchers in Korea recently published evidence that suggests the mechanisms behind why capsaicin may aid weight loss. Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can also curb appetite, especially for those who don't normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University. The component that gives jalapeno peppers their heat may also kill prostate cancer cells. Capsaicin is present in large quantities in the placental tissue (which holds the seeds), the internal membranes and, to a lesser extent, the other fleshy parts of the fruits of plants in the genus Capsicum. The seeds themselves do not produce any capsaicin, although the highest concentration of capsaicin can be found in the white pith of the inner wall, where the seeds are attached
"Our research has reinforced and expanded knowledge about how these substances in chilies work in improving heart health," said Zhen-Yu Chen, Ph.D., who presented the study. "We now have a clearer and more detailed portrait of their innermost effects on genes and other mechanisms that influence cholesterol and the health of blood vessels. It is among the first research to provide that information."
The team found, for instance, that capsaicin and a close chemical relative boost heart health in two ways. They lower cholesterol levels by reducing accumulation of cholesterol in the body and increasing its breakdown and excretion in the feces. They also block action of a gene that makes arteries contract, restricting the flow of blood to the heart and other organs. The blocking action allows more blood to flow through blood vessels.
"We concluded that capsaicinoids were beneficial in improving a range of factors related to heart and blood vessel health," said Chen, a professor of food and nutritional science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "But we certainly do not recommend that people start consuming chilies to an excess. A good diet is a matter of balance. And remember, chilies are no substitute for the prescription medications proven to be beneficial. They may be a nice supplement, however, for people who find the hot flavor pleasant." Capsaicin is used as an analgesic in topical ointments, nasal sprays, and dermal patches to relieve pain, typically in concentrations between 0.025% and 0.25%. It may be applied in cream form for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis, backache, strains and sprains, often in compounds with other rubefacients. It is also used to reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy such as post-herpetic neuralgia caused by shingles. In direct application the treatment area is typically numbed first with a topical anesthetic; capsaicin is then applied by a therapist wearing rubber gloves and a face mask. The capsaicin remains on the skin until the patient starts to feel the "heat", at which point it is promptly removed. Capsaicin is also available in large bandages (plasters) that can be applied to the back.
Chen and his colleagues turned to hamsters for the study, animals that serve as stand-ins for humans in research that cannot be done in people. They gave the hamsters high-cholesterol diets, divided them into groups, and supplemented each group's food with either no capsaicinoids (the control group) or various amounts of capsaicinoids. The scientists then analyzed the effects.
In addition to reducing total cholesterol levels in the blood, capsaicinoids reduced levels of the so-called "bad" cholesterol (which deposits into blood vessels), but did not affect levels of so-called "good" cholesterol. The team found indications that capsaicinoids may reduce the size of deposits that already have formed in blood vessels, narrowing arteries in ways that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Capsaicinoids also blocked the activity of a gene that produces cyclooxygenase-2, a substance that makes the muscles around blood vessels constrict. By blocking it, muscles can relax and widen, allowing more blood to flow. April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.
next week...keep on believing.
gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great
amount of spices and precious stones. Never again did such abundance
of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave King
(1 Kings 10:10)