"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come."
(2 Timothy 3:1)
Greetings. As some of the news articles below illustrate, we are indeed living in perilous times. If the world does not make sense to us, we should not be perplexed. After all we are not of this world but seek a better world wherein dwells righteousness.
Revelation 12:9, shows us that Satan is the deceiver of the entire world, and we are warned many times in scripture to be aware so that we are not deceived. We must stay close to Him and His Word which still speaks to us anew every day. This is when His still small voice whispers His instructions to us personally, in our hearts and minds.
Some of the articles we reprint below follow the warning given in 2 Corinthians 2:11, "....lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." Jesus, Himself cautioned us; "Take heed to yourselves... that day come on you unexpectedly."
The Denver Post
LOSS OF CITY SERVICES
Colorado Springs cuts into services considered basic by many
By Michael Booth
COLORADO SPRINGS -- This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops -- dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won't pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
"I guess we're going to find out what the tolerance level is for people," said businessman Chuck Fowler, who is helping lead a private task force brainstorming for city budget fixes. "It's a new day."
Some residents are less sanguine, arguing that cuts to bus services, drug enforcement and treatment and job development are attacks on basic needs for the working class.
"How are people supposed to live? We're not a 'Mayberry R.F.D.' anymore," said Addy Hansen, a criminal justice student who has spoken out about safety cuts. "We're the second-largest city, and growing, in Colorado. We're in trouble. We're in big trouble."
Mayor flinches at revenue
Colorado Springs' woes are more visceral versions of local and state cuts across the nation. Denver has cut salaries and human services workers, trimmed library hours and raised fees; Aurora shuttered four libraries; the state budget has seen round after round of wholesale cuts in education and personnel.
The deep recession bit into Colorado Springs sales-tax collections, while pension and health care costs for city employees continued to soar. Sales-tax updates have become a regular exercise in flinching for Mayor Lionel Rivera.
"Every month I open it up, and I look for a plus in front of the numbers instead of a minus," he said. The 2010 sales-tax forecast is almost $22 million less than 2007.
Voters in November said an emphatic no to a tripling of property tax that would have restored $27.6 million to the city's $212 million general fund budget. Fowler and many other residents say voters don't trust city government to wisely spend a general tax increase and don't believe the current cuts are the only way to balance a budget.
Dead grass, dark streets
But the 2010 spending choices are complete, and local residents and businesses are preparing for a slew of changes:
• The steep parks and recreation cuts mean a radical reshifting of resources from more than 100 neighborhood parks to a few popular regional parks. The city cut watering drastically in 2009 but "got lucky" with weekly summer rains, said parks maintenance manager Kurt Schroeder.
With even more watering cuts, "if we repeat the weather of 2008, we're at risk of losing every bit of turf we have in our neighborhood parks," Schroeder said. Six city greenhouses are shut down. The city spent $19.6 million on parks in 2007; this year it will spend $3.1 million.
"If a playground burns down, I can't replace it," Schroeder said. Park fans' only hope is the possibility of a new ballot tax pledged to recreation spending that might win over skeptical voters.
• Community center and pool closures have parents worried about day-care costs, idle teenagers and shut-in grandparents with nowhere to go.
Hillside Community Center, on the southeastern edge of downtown Colorado Springs in a low- to moderate-income neighborhood, is scrambling to find private partners to stay open. Moms such as Kirsten Williams doubt they can replace Hillside's dedicated staff and preschool rates of $200 for six-week sessions.
"It's affordable, the program is phenomenal, and the staff all grew up here," Williams said. "You can't re-create that kind of magic."
Shutting down youth services is shortsighted, she argues. "You're going to pay now, or you're going to pay later. There's trouble if kids don't have things to do."
• Though officials and citizens put public safety above all in the budget, police and firefighting still lost more than $5.5 million this year. Positions that will go empty range from a domestic violence specialist to a deputy chief to juvenile offender officers. Fire squad 108 loses three firefighters. Putting the helicopters up for sale and eliminating the officers and a mechanic banked $877,000.
• Tourism outlets have attacked budget choices that hit them precisely as they're struggling to draw choosy visitors to the West.
The city cut three economic-development positions, land-use planning, long-range strategic planning and zoning and neighborhood inspectors. It also repossessed a large portion of a dedicated lodgers and car rental tax rather than transfer it to the visitors' bureau.
"It's going to hurt. If they don't at least market Colorado Springs, it doesn't get the people here," said Nancy Stovall, owner of Pine Creek Art Gallery on the tourism strip of Old Colorado City. Other states, such as New Mexico and Wyoming, will continue to market, and tourism losses will further erode city sales-tax revenue, merchants say.
• Turning out the lights, literally, is one of the high-profile trims aggravating some residents. The city-run Colorado Springs Utilities will shut down 8,000 to 10,000 of more than 24,000 streetlights, to save $1.2 million in energy and bulb replacement.
Hansen, the criminal-justice student, grows especially exasperated when recalling a scary incident a few years ago as she waited for a bus. She said a carload of drunken men approached her until the police helicopter that had been trailing them turned a spotlight on the men and chased them off. Now the helicopter is gone, and the streetlight she was waiting under is threatened as well.
"I don't know a person in this city who doesn't think that's just the stupidest thing on the planet," Hansen said. "Colorado Springs leaders put patches on problems and hope that will handle it."
Verichip is now called PositiveID! Roll up your sleeve for the implantable human microchip, it's now Positive?
By Greg Nikolettos
February 1, 2010
No Verichip Campaign
As sure as the sun rises, so Verichip keeps spawning and shape shifting to gain market acceptance as people from across the globe unite and reject the IBM seed-funded, Raytheon-manufactured Human Implantable microchip company.
To "mark' a new year, Verichip is now called PositiveID!. If you have followed this company's progress as we have and cited the damning evidence showcasing a casual link between microchipping and cancerâ´, Verichip is certainly not positive. But in this world of semantics and double speak, no doubt a CEO meeting along with other top execs decided that throwing the word "Positive" in the title would make Alzheimer patients who get microchipped without their consent less hesitant as their sleeve was rolled up in the name of "wander protection'. "Was that a needle?" asks the patient? "No! it was a mosquito bite, you have Alzheimer's, remember?"
What has changed in 2010?
Well, Verichip/PositiveID has a new marketing and media relations company! Just as all actors in Hollywood require an agent to handle their image as they enter the market, so Verichip/PositiveID has decided to do the same.
The company taking over Verichips/PositiveID media relations and corporate communications is Gibraltar. A company who has close ties with the Clinton administration, expertise in biotech, energy and of course as a company who has excellent inroads into government, Gibraltar even has the mandatory Washington office!â·
Why this recent appointment?
Verichip/PositiveID has been pummeled on the NASDAQ , having been delisted in March 2009, but staging a comeback to have their stock regain NASDAQ Compliance in October 2009.
Verichip/PositiveID stock has been crushed from a high of just over $10 down to a humiliating low of $0.24 cents.
Why this backlash? It's a human implantable microchip and that does not sit well with the Ma and Pa investor. Who in their right mind invests in a company whose product causes tumors? Who in their right mind invests in a company that microchips Alzheimer patients without their consent? As Verichip/PositiveID's stock price today indicates, not many individuals and certainly not investment companies who are minimizing risk in the current economy.
Regardless of what happens on the stock market, the fact is Verichip is not going away. Why? Because their seed funding originates from the information giant IBM who has over 407,000 employees worldwide. Nothing like having a Big Blue Sugar Daddy watching over you in this financial climate, especially one that writes off a $60 million dollar loan to ensure the human microchipping agenda is in place for "future' generations. $60 million is chickenfeed to a company who turns over 100 billion US dollars a year. Yes sir, the IBM Hollerith Machine Punch Card system was very profitable in WWII, cleverly "leased" to the Nazi regime to create enabling technologies to identify and catalog non-compliant peoples.
CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones
Arms manufacturer BAE Systems developing national strategy with consortium of government agencies
Drones could be used for civilian surveillance in the UK as early as 2012. Source: BAE
Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the "routine" monitoring of antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.
The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.
Documents from the South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE, have been obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.
They reveal the partnership intends to begin using the drones in time for the 2012 Olympics. They also indicate that police claims that the technology will be used for maritime surveillance fall well short of their intended use - which could span a range of police activity - and that officers have talked about selling the surveillance data to private companies. A prototype drone equipped with high-powered cameras and sensors is set to take to the skies for test flights later this year.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates UK airspace, has been told by BAE and Kent police that civilian UAVs would "greatly extend" the government's surveillance capacity and "revolutionise policing". The CAA is currently reluctant to license UAVs in normal airspace because of the risk of collisions with other aircraft, but adequate "sense and avoid" systems for drones are only a few years away.
Five other police forces have signed up to the scheme, which is considered a pilot preceding the countrywide adoption of the technology for "surveillance, monitoring and evidence gathering". The partnership's stated mission is to introduce drones "into the routine work of the police, border authorities and other government agencies" across the UK.
Concerned about the slow pace of progress of licensing issues, Kent police's assistant chief constable, Allyn Thomas, wrote to the CAA last March arguing that military drones would be useful "in the policing of major events, whether they be protests or the Olympics". He said interest in their use in the UK had "developed after the terrorist attack in Mumbai".
Stressing that he was not seeking to interfere with the regulatory process, Thomas pointed out that there was "rather more urgency in the work since Mumbai and we have a clear deadline of the 2012 Olympics".
BAE drones are programmed to take off and land on their own, stay airborne for up to 15 hours and reach heights of 20,000ft, making them invisible from the ground.
Call for Blair to face trial in Scotland
31 January 2010
By Eddie Barnes
TONY Blair should be tried in a Scottish court for his decision to take the country to war in Iraq, according to a group of SNP MSPs.
- The Crown Office, which leads prosecutions, is examining their arguments following the former prime minister's appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry last week, in which he expressed "no regrets" over deposing Saddam Hussein. - -
A parliamentary motion calling for Blair to be prosecuted has been laid down at Holyrood and has been signed by eight MSPs. It cites the verdict of a Dutch commission of judges earlier this month, which concluded that the United Nations resolution used to go to war in 2003 was insufficient to justify military action. - -
The Nationalists claim that, as Scots law complies with international law, Scottish prosecutors have the power to investigate the findings. They say that if the Crown Office then finds that evidence compelling, they should prosecute Blair. - -
The call is being led by MSP Bill Wilson, but an SNP spokeswoman confirmed last night that it "reflects the views many still hold" about the decision to take military action. - -
But Labour claimed their opponents were guilty of trying to make "infantile political capital" out of the Iraq issue, saying they should focus their attention on jobs and the economy. - -
In his letter to the Lord Advocate, Wilson declares: "It would seem you have the power to investigate the conclusions of the Dutch commission and, should you find the evidence against them compelling, prosecute the former UK prime minister. I urge you to do so." - -
The Dutch commission, which studied the country's own political backing for war in Iraq, concluded that UN Resolution 1441 fell short of supporting full military action. -
That resolution, passed in November 2002, warned Iraq of "serious consequences" if it continued to obstruct UN weapons inspectors, offering it one final opportunity to comply. - -
Britain's own top legal adviser, the Advocate General, Lord Goldsmith, eventually decided that 1441 was enough to justify war, although it emerged last week that he had initially had his doubts. - - Wilson is citing Scots law, which declares that a rule of "customary international law" is followed automatically in this jurisdiction. - -
He said: "Those responsible for misleading the public and initiating such bloodshed should be brought to book. I look forward to seeing the detention and trial of Tony Blair, and I urge the Lord Advocate to look into the matter." -
He believes Scottish courts, and not the International Criminal Court at the Hague, should conduct an investigation.
- - His demand is being backed by fellow SNP MSPs Jamie Hepburn, Bill Kidd, Aileen Campbell, Christine Grahame, Dr Ian McKee, Gil Paterson and Sandra White. -
The move is the second time the SNP has tried to bring Blair to book over the war. First Minister Alex Salmond attempted to have him impeached as part of a move that would have seen the former prime minister effectively tried by parliament. - -
He argued that Blair had lied to the country about the case for war in Iraq, specifically on the weapons of mass destruction, which allied forces failed to find after the invasion. -
A spokesman declined to reply on whether Salmond backed the latest legal bid. - -
He said: "Mr Salmond strongly supports the Chilcot Inquiry, although it would have benefited from having more legal expertise among the questioners on the panel." - -
He added: "Nonetheless, the next stage in that process will be to examine the inquiry's conclusions.
- *** -
University of Utah Seismograph Stations
Released: February 03, 2010 10:00 AM MST
This release is a continuation of information updates building upon our five previous press releases on the ongoing earthquake swarm on the west side of Yellowstone National Park.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a period of increased seismic activity occurred on February 2, 2010 beginning at ~3:30 PM MST. This period of increased activity lasted about 6 hours and included at least 2 events that were reported felt in Yellowstone National Park. The two largest earthquakes during this sequence were magnitude 3.1 and 2.8 that occurred at 7:31 PM and 7:44 PM respectively.
These earthquakes are part of an ongoing swarm in Yellowstone National Park that began January 17, 2010 (1:00 PM MST). The largest earthquake in the swarm as of 7 AM MST, February 03, 2010, has been a magnitude 3.8. There have been 1,719 located earthquakes in the swarm of magnitude 0.3 to 3.8. This includes 14 events of magnitude larger than 3, with 135 events of magnitude 2 to 3, and 1,570 events of magnitude less than 2. There have been multiple personal reports of ground shaking from observers inside the Park and in surrounding areas for some of the larger events (for felt reports, please visit http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/). Earthquake swarms are relatively common in Yellowstone.
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientists still consider that the swarm events are likely the result of slip on pre-existing faults and are not thought to be caused by underground movement of magma. Currently there is no indication of premonitory volcanic or hydrothermal activity, but ongoing observations and analyses will continue to evaluate these different sources.
Seismic information on the earthquake can be viewed at the University of Utah Seismograph Stations: http://www.seis.utah.edu/.
Seismograph recordings from stations of the Yellowstone seismograph network can be viewed online at: http://quake.utah.edu/helicorder/yell_webi.htm.
Anyone who has felt earthquakes in the swarm are encouraged to fill out a form on the USGS Community Felt reports web site: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/.
This press release was prepared by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory partners of the U.S. Geol. Survey, the University of Utah, and the National Park Service: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/
The current earthquake swarm at Yellowstone can now be called the longest and most eventful in modern history. I include the following snapshot from today's reports:
While the debate is raging whether the intensity of these quakes is being under-reported, the more important issue of depth of these quakes is being ignored. They have been closer and closer to the surface. Starting at about 15 kilometers deep a few weeks ago to an average of 5 kilometers deep today. From 10 kilometers deep on 1/27 to 5 kilometers deep today:
Because the resistance to pressure decreases as with the amount of mass between the the magma and the earth's surface, it would be safe to project an eruption in a matter of days, or a few weeks. What remains to be seen is the nature of this eruption and whether or not it will be localized or Biblical in proportion.
p>What Now? Seen on radar by thousands today over Australia.
What is going on?
Anonymous details received today and new images seen by thousands. Select the image below.
January 22, 2010.
Two bizarre features seen on radar over the North West and South East of Australia today ( Jan 22, 2010). The ring over the south east appeared approximately 30 seconds before the bizarre red star over the north west.
I have received E-mails from all over Australia today reporting this rather extraordinary feature captured on the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology radar site. This follows a series of so far unexplained features seen on Australian national radars since the 15th. For a while radar from the Melbourne Airport facility was out of action. Another strange ring appeared today over the South East of the country as seen below.
Today has been very lively surrounding this debate over what some are suggesting are weather modification experiments now under way over huge country.
I have received data also today that shows the HAARP facility has been ramped up (see their own monitoring data below).
One anonymous source sent me details that he claims to account for the large ring which started this article, that which appeared on the 15th. I would not normally publish material from anonymous sources but in this occasion somehow it seemed right that I should.
Why I've turned to God at 70, by reformed Ringo Starr... that's 44 years after Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus
By Ben Todd - Last updated at 9:40 AM on 03rd February 2010
John Lennon caused a worldwide storm by claiming that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
Now, more than four decades on, it seems his former bandmate Ringo Starr has acknowledged a humbler place in the grand scheme of things.
The drummer says he has found God - after taking a long and winding road to enlightenment.
Enjoying life: Ringo Starr at this week's Grammy Awards with wife Barbara Bach
He admitted he lost his way when he was younger, both as a Beatle experimenting with marijuana and LSD and afterwards when he suffered alcohol and cocaine problems in the late 1970s.
But the musician, who has since become teetotal and quit his 60-a-day cigarette habit, says that religion now plays an important role in his life.
Starr, who turns 70 later this year, said: 'I feel the older I get, the more I'm learning to handle life. Being on this quest for a long time, it's all about finding yourself.
'For me, God is in my life. I don't hide from that. I think the search has been on since the 1960s.
'I stepped off the path there for many years and found my way back onto it, thank God.' Starr was speaking at an event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
'More popular than Jesus': Ringo Starr, top right, with fellow Beatles' bandmates Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison in 1965
It was in 1966 that his late bandmate John Lennon announced that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard, Lennon - who was murdered in 1980 - said: 'Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that. I'm right and I will be proved right.
'We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity-Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.'
When a U.S. magazine reprinted some of the interview, protests broke out in the Staes and Beatles records were publicly burned.
The protests then spread to other countries, including Mexico, South Africa and Spain.
The Fab Four's 1966 tour was their last and they split in 1970.
In his latest interview Starr - a vegetarian who is married to former Bond girl Barbara Bach and now splits his time between homes in Los Angeles, London and Monaco - also told how he finds it far easier to deal with life now he is approaching his 70th birthday in July.
He said: 'Seventy's not as big as 40 was. Forty was "Oh, God, 40!"
'There's that damn song, Life Begins at 40. No, it's not so big any more. I am nearly 70, and I'd love to be nearly 40, but that's never going to happen.
'I feel the older I get, the more I'm learning to handle life.'
Starr is not the first Sixties music icon to embrace religion.
In 1978, Bob Dylan became a bornagain Christian, but by 1983 this period appeared to end and the singer reportedly reverted to his roots in Judaism.
Too much choice: variety the strife of life
MODERN life is making us miserable because we have too much choice, an American study claims.
From the foods we eat to the television channels we watch, the schools we send our children to and the career we choose to pursue, society has never offered us so much variety. But while the ability to choose is generally a good thing, too much freedom of choice is crippling us with indecision and making us unhappy, the research says.
People can become paralysed by too much variety, or racked with uncertainty and regret about whether they have made the right decision. Ultimately, these people can be less satisfied by the choices they have made.
Researchers believe the problem is that when you have too much choice, you become obsessed about what your decision will say about you.
Then, when you have made the choice, you worry that it is wrong. Choice can also foster selfishness and a lack of empathy because it can cause people to focus on their own preferences and on themselves at the expense of what is good for society as a whole.
Professor Hazel Rose Markus, the author of the study, from Stanford University's department of psychology, said: "We cannot assume that the provision of choice will necessarily foster freedom and wellbeing. Even in contexts where choice can foster freedom, empowerment, and independence, it is not an unalloyed good. Choice can also produce a numbing uncertainty, depression, and selfishness."
Professor Markus said her study, which focused on Americans, applied to all middle-class Westerners. She said: "Americans live in a political, social and historical context that advances personal freedom, choice, and self-determination above all else."
Contemporary psychology has proliferated this emphasis on choice and self-determination as the key to healthy psychological functioning."
" I had the blues because I had no shoes, until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet."
Stories and testimonies such as the above do help us to keep our lives in a better perspective. If we can learn, as the apostle Paul stated he had learned, in the book of Philippians, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content," then we also can be content.
If Patrick Hughes can smile and be thankful to God in his situation...
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul even admonishes us that "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
Easier said than done, but if we have enough faith to truly believe Romans 8:28, this helps in giving thanks easier. "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
And of course to believe Romans 8:28, requires faith. Faith to believe God's love for us, and that He has our best interests at heart.
If you do not already know God and His love, then read on. You can know, right now. John 3:16 says; "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Your name is in that verse. You are part of the world, just replace the word 'world' with your name. God loves you, personally. He wants you to be happy and content and to live with Him forever. All you need to do is to personally receive Him. He is standing at the door of your heart right now, waiting for you to open the door and invite Him in, so that He can give you eternal life.
Just pray, "Dear Jesus, I acknowledge I need your love and forgiveness. I ask you to please come into my heart and give me eternal life. Amen."
If you would like more information regarding your 'born again' experience and 'new birth' we encourage you to write us via the web site or read additional information regarding salvation on other parts of the web site.
Until next week...
"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe."