I know that the Lord has saved his Christ:
he shall hear him from his holy heaven: the salvation of his right
hand is mighty.”
Savation Of His Right Hand
Greetings! Were you aware the term “Christ” appears six times in the Old Testament? Many may not know if they have not read the Septuagint version of the Bible.
Below are the six verses in the Old Testament where the word “Christ” appears.
As we have pointed out before the term “Christ” is not so much of a name but more of a job title.
The Lord has gone up to the heavens, and has thundered: he will judge the extremities of the earth, and he gives strength to our kings, and will exalt the horn of his Christ.
And I will raise up to myself a faithful priest, who shall do all that is in my heart and in my soul; and I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before my Christ for ever. 1 Kings 2:10, 35 (1 Samuel 2:10,35 KJV)
The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered themselves together, against the Lord, and against his Christ. Psalm 2:2
Now I know that the Lord has saved his Christ: he shall hear him from his holy heaven: the salvation of his right hand is mighty. Psalm 20:6
And thou shalt know and understand, that from the going forth of the command for the answer and for the building of Jerusalem until Christ the prince there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks; Daniel 9:25
For, behold, I am he that strengthens the thunder, and creates the wind, and proclaims to men his Christ, forming the morning and the darkness, and mounting on the high places of the earth, The Lord God Almighty is his name. Amos 4:13
The Jewish people at the time of Jesus were well aware that God was sending His Christ to bring about salvation, not just to the Jews but to the Gentiles. This is clearly pointed out in the following verses.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. Luke 2:25-32
Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?John 7:26
The version of the Bible that the vast majority of the Jewish nation would have read and heard read in the synagogues at the time of Jesus would have been the Kone Greek Septuagint version of the Bible.
So, why doesn't the word Christ appear in the version of the Bible that you may be familiar with?
It was because the Kone Greek version of the Bible was retranslated between 600 AD and 1000 AD by a Jewish community called the Masoretes and the Old Testament became known as the Masoretic version of the Bible.
In the Masoretic Bible the word “Christ” was simply expunged and in many Bibles replaced by the words, anointed, messiah, and thought.
Incidentally the dictionary definition for “expunged” is “ erase or remove completely (something unwanted or unpleasant)”.
Wikipedia has this to say concerning the Masoretic text: “The Masoretic text is widely used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles, and in recent years (since 1943) also for some Catholic Bibles, although the Eastern Orthodox churches continue to use the Septuagint, as they hold it to be divinely inspired”.
So this is why you won't find “Christ” in the Old Testament of your Bible.
It should also be noted that modern Hebrew which has vowels bears no resemblance to ancient Palio Hebrew which was more of a pictographic script common in the Levant at the time of the early Hebrews.
Have a great week ahead.
History of the Septuagint
Here is a little background on the Septuagint. This is from the Preface and Introduction to the Septuagint itself written by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton in 1851:
"The Septuagint (from the Latin septuaginta, meaning "seventy," and frequently referred to by the roman numerals LXX) is the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The name derives from the tradition that it was made by seventy (or seventy-two) Jewish scholars at Alexandria, Egypt during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.).
"The earliest version of the Old Testament Scriptures which is extant, or of which we possess any certain knowledge, is the translation executed at Alexandria in the third century before the Christian era.
"The Septuagint version having been current for about three centuries before the time when the books of the New Testament were written, it is not surprising that the Apostles should have used it more often than not in making citations from the Old Testament. They used it as an honestly made version in pretty general use at the time when they wrote. They did not on every occasion give an authoritative translation of each passage de nova [which means anew], but they used what was already familiar to the ears of converted Hellenists, when it was sufficiently accurate to suit the matter in hand. In fact, they used it as did their contemporary Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, but not, however, with the blind implicitness of the former.
The Jews upheld the Septuagint very strongly for the first 300 years as the Word of God, but when the Christians took a hold of it, then the Jews rejected it. Then the Jews started rewriting the Septuagint in the 2nd and 3rd centuries to suit their purposes. They were "Making the word of God of none effect through [their] tradition " (Mark 7:13).
The following is from the introduction of the book called "Grammar of the Septuagint Greek" by Connie Bearer and Stock, written in 1905: "The work of Origen might enlighten the learned but it did not effect the unique position held in the church by the Septuagint ever since it was taken over by the Hellenistic Jews. We are familiar with the constant appeal made by the writers of the New Testament to quote scripture, an appeal couched in such words as "it is written" or "as the scripture saith." In the great majority of cases, the scripture thus appealed to is undoubtedly the Septuagint. Seldom, if ever, is it the Hebrew original. We have seen how, even before the Christian era, the Septuagint had acquired for itself the position of an inspired book. Some four centuries after that era, Augustine remarks that the Greek speaking Christians, for the most part, did not even know that there was any other Word of God than the Septuagint.
"So, when other nations became converted to Christianity and wanted the scriptures in their own languages, it was almost always the Septuagint which formed the basis of the translation. This was so in the case of the early Latin version, which was in use before the Vulgate, and it was so also in the case of the translations made in Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, and other languages.
The only exception to the rule is the first Syriac version, which was made direct from the Hebrew. This Syriac version, by the way, when translated into English, lines up harmoniously with the Septuagint when translated into English. When, at the close of the fourth century, Jerome had recourse to the Hebrew original and revised it in the acceptable Latin text, the authority of the Septuagint stood in the way of the immediate acceptance of his work. The churches of Christ, said Augustine, do not think that anyone is to be preferred to the authority of so many men chosen out of the high priest Eliasar for the accomplishment of so great a work."
For those who favor the King James, the King James Bible, printed in 1810, called the "Potters Standard Edition", happens to talk about the Septuagint. Here is what that King James Bible said.
"The most remarkable translation of the Old Testament into Greek is called the Septuagint, which, if the opinion of some eminent writers is to be credited, was made in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 270 years before the Christian era. At any rate, it is undoubtedly the most ancient that is now extant. The five books of Moses were translated first in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, King of Egypt, and others were added until the whole Old Testament was finished, and the version dates about 270 years before the birth of Christ. The transcendent value of this version may be seen from the extensive usage that it had attained in Jewish synagogues, from the fact that our blessed Lord and the apostles habitually quoted from it, and also from the fact that it helped to determine the state of the Hebrew text at the time when the version was made. Besides, it establishes, beyond all doubt, the point that our Lord and his inspired apostles recognized the duty of rendering the Word into the vulgar tongue of all people so that all men might, in their own speech, hear the wonderful things of the Lord.
All the authors of the New Testament appear to have written in the Greek language. That this tongue was already familiar to them as a vehicle to express God's inspired Word is evident from their frequent use of the Greek translation, the Septuagint, in quoting the Old Testament and from the remarkable accordance of their style with the style of that ancient and precious version."
The reason the Septuagint came about is because in Alexandria, Alexander the Great had come through and conquered many of those nations, and Greek became the predominant language. So they took the original Law, and translated it into Greek for those Jews that no longer spoke Hebrew, and also to convert many of the Greeks over to Judaism. They translated the original into the Greek at approximately 285 BC. Basically, you see many of the quotes from the New Testament and they're direct quotes from the Septuagint, you don't find the same terminology in the original Hebrew.
This is one of the reasons the Septuagint has been buried. A Maxim of Law states, "the law is sometimes hid but it never dies".
ORTHODOX JEWS SEE BLOOD MOON AS BIG DEAL
Teachers say phenomena historically 'mark turning points in history'
Published: September 20, 2015
It’s not just evangelical Christians, messianic Jews and Hebrew roots believers touting something big, something significant in the tetrad of blood moons set for a grand finale “supermoon” show Sept. 28 in a week.
Increasingly, Orthodox Jewish leaders and teachers are saying the event is significant historically and for the future of Israel and the Jewish people.
Bob O’Dell and Gidon Ariel, founders of Root Source, an educational program in which Orthodox Israelis teach Christians about the Bible and Judaism, say the closing blood moon on the first day of Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, should not be ignored or dismissed.
For the fourth time in two years, a blood moon will occur on either Passover or Sukkot. Previous blood moon tetrads, four lunar eclipses in succession over an 18-month period, occurred in other historically significant times for the Jewish people – 1428-1429, 1493-1494, 1949-1950, 1967-1968 and now 2015-2015.
The blood moons patterns were discovered by Mark Biltz, a Tacoma pastor who emphasizes the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. He is the author of the bestselling “Blood Moons” and is featured as the presenter in a documentary movie about the phenomenon.
Making the latest tetrad more significant for some is the fact that it takes place at the end of a Shemitah cycle – the seven-year period leading to God’s commandment for resting the land and release of debts in Israel. O’Dell and Ariel also believe this one occurs in a Jubilee year – kind of a super-Shemitah that comes every 50 years.
The Shemitah cycle has become big news all over the world as a result of the work of Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi from New Jersey who wrote the No. bestselling books, “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” and collaborated with WND Films on “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” the bestselling faith movie of 2012 and 2013.
“We are not at all predicting the end of the world or the arrival of the Messiah in September,” O’Dell told Breaking Israel News. “If you look at all the blood moons that have occurred in history, you see that every time they arrive, they mark turning points in history – major new trends involving the Jewish people.”
The tetrad in 1428-1429 marked the end of a wave of forced conversions for the Jews in Spain, and the tetrad in 1493-1494 signaled the end of the Spanish inquisition, which concluded with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.
"We can now look back and see that the nation of Spain was peaking in power, while God was preparing a new home for the Jews with the founding of America through Christopher Columbus," O'Dell said. "The blood moons occurring on those Jewish feast days were a witness that God had not forgotten His promise to return the Jews to their homeland."
More modern Blood Moons tetrads have come at significant times for the reborn state of Israel.
"With the blood moons of 1949-1950, 1967-1968 and 2014-2015, when we take them all together they are marking the three phases of the rebirth of the nation of Israel," explained O'Dell.
According to O'Dell, the dates mark the creation of Israel as a nation in 1948, the unification of Jerusalem in 1967, "and as for 2015," he said, "we will need to wait and see. But our guess is that it has to do with Israel being now able to stand upon its own without help from the United States. We also see the coming together of Christians and Jews in love and support of each other as a new spiritual trend as well."
Gidon Ariel, the Israeli co-founder of Root Source, provided a historical perspective on the lunar occurrences.
"I think that Jews paid more attention to the skies in previous eras. In Ethics of the Fathers 3:18, Rabbi Eliezer ben Hisma states that tekufot, seasons, referring to all astronomical sciences, are parparaot lachochma, side dishes of wisdom. Maimonides also went to great lengths to document lunar tables and the like," he said.
Ariel pointed out that this trend has been largely neglected by modern Jews.
"Today, some astronomy buffs might pick up on [the blood moons], but it is still pretty esoteric for the mainstream," he told Breaking Israel News, adding, "That being said, I would mention there are more and more individuals and organizations dedicated to charting lunar data, some of them in preparation for renewing the Jewish lunar calendar based on r'eeyah, sighting, as part of the return to Temple service."
O'Dell and Ariel have co-authored a book entitled "Israel FIRST!" in which they highlight the importance of blood moons and other fascinating biblical phenomena. They hope to give the topic more appeal for both modern Jews and Christians to raise awareness and interest in the subject.
"For those who follow end-times prophecies, the blood moons are fascinating," said O'Dell, explaining, "Heavenly signs are mentioned in some of the end-times Bible passages and moons specifically."
O'Dell pointed out that the current blood moon is different from previous ones in that it will be visible in both Israel as well as in North America.
"The four eclipses in 1949-1950 were all visible from Israel," he said. "The four in 1967-1968 and the four in 2014-2015 are all visible from the USA – an extremely rare occurrence. But this very last blood moon in September is visible from both Israel and the USA simultaneously. It is something to ponder."
Toll from Hajj stampede outside Mecca reaches 2,000: Sources
Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:9PM
The death toll from a deadly crush during Hajj pilgrimage rituals in Mina, outside the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, has soared to about 2,000, says the head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, citing Saudi sources.
“Based on the latest announcement by Saudi Arabia’s officials, the number of those who were killed in the Mina incident is around 2,000,” Saeed Ohadi said on Friday.
The incident occurred on Thursday, after huge pilgrim processions were joined in their course, leading to the catastrophic entanglement.
It has been reported that the convoy of Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the son of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, had arrived at the site, forcing the pilgrims to change their original directions.
Ohadi added that imprudence, irresponsibility and mismanagement of Saudi authorities are the main factors behind the tragic incident in Mina. He said the Saudi army blocked access to all medical centers Thursday evening.
The Iranian official said four committees have been tasked to investigate the latest situation of the Iranian pilgrims wounded in the event.
He said two planes are ready to transfer the bodies of the killed Iranian pilgrims to their home country after legal procedures are completed, which could be September 28 or 29.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Thursday called on Saudi Arabia to shoulder the responsibility over the deadly incident in Mina, declaring three days of national mourning. At least 131 Iranian nationals are among those killed in the deadly stampede.
According to Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, 80 Iranian pilgrims have been confirmed injured in the catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the head of Iran’s Hajj mission, Ali Ghazi Askar, said on Friday that 366 Iranian pilgrims are still missing after the tragedy. He added that a number of the missed pilgrims are due to be identified later Friday.
“Saudis do not allow our forces to identify the corpses and this is the reason that the figures are announced by delay,” Askar said.
Special task force
In a Friday message, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani ordered the formation of a special task force to address the incident in Mina.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said on Friday that a delegation comprising senior officials of Iran’s Foreign Ministry and the Iranian Red Crescent Society would be dispatched to Saudi Arabia soon.
He told IRNA that the delegation would set off for Saudi Arabia immediately after receiving visa.
He added that the delegation is duty-bound to investigate the situation of those who are still missing and to transfer the bodies of the dead to the country.
Qashqavi emphasized that teams in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the Supreme National Security Council and the cabinet are also investigating the incident.
The cabinet held an emergency meeting Friday to investigate the incident.
During the meeting, presided over by Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, the latest situation of those killed and wounded was discussed and necessary decisions were made.
Summoning Saudi diplomat again
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday once again summoned Saudi Arabia’s charge d’affaires over the tragedy in Mina.
The Saudi diplomat was summoned to the ministry following a sharp rise in the number of Iranians killed in Mina.
Iran called on the Saudi envoy to Tehran to work for facilitating the return of the bodies to the country and transfer the wounded Iranians to medical centers for treatment.
The Saudi diplomat was first summoned on the day of the tragedy to hear the Islamic Republic’s protest over the mishandling of the deadly incident by Saudi authorities. He expressed regret over the fatal incident and offered condolences to the Iranian government and the families of the killed pilgrims.
Ancient manuscript pieced together after Cairo Museum find
The 2.5 metre, 4,000-year-old artefact, containing spells and depictions of gods, is both the longest and oldest leather manuscript from ancient Egypt
Rescued from oblivion … the Cairo Museum in Egypt, where the manuscript was found among a mix of ancient fragments. Photograph: Alamy
Thursday 17 September 2015 12.30 EDT
Last modified on Thursday 17 September 2015 12.33 EDT
A leather manuscript more than 4,000 years old has been painstakingly reconstructed by a scholar after it was rediscovered in the Egyptian museum in Cairo.
Containing religious spells as well as colourful depictions of divine and supernatural beings, predating those found in the Book of the Dead manuscripts, the leather roll is around 2.5 metres long, with text and drawings on both sides. It is both the longest surviving leather ancient Egyptian manuscript and the oldest, according to Egyptologist Dr Wael Sherbiny, who found the roll in a mix of small and large fragments on the Cairo Museum’s shelves and announced his discovery at the International Congress of Egyptologists in Florence in August.
“The document was completely forgotten, probably because those who had direct contact with it died during or right after the second world war. Since then, it was stored among hundreds of other manuscripts and ancient papyri in the Cairo Museum,” Sherbiny said. “The moment I laid my eyes on the manuscript, I was thrilled.”
The artefact’s provenance is not known, but according to Sherbiny it was bought by the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology from an antiquities dealer after the first world war, and then donated to the Cairo Museum two years before the outbreak of the second world war, where it subsequently “fell completely into oblivion”.
“After a long and difficult study of the details of each of these fragments, I managed to reconstruct them and discover the original layout of these segments,” he said, comparing the process to that of completing a jigsaw puzzle. “I did not make any restoration work on the document, but managed to reconstruct the entire segments based on my familiarity with the similar texts and drawings attested on the insides of some coffins.”
He dates the roll to between 2,300 BC and 2,000 BC, from the late Old Kingdom up to the early Middle Kingdom, and says it contains many new religious texts, including a large pictorial-textual segment from the so-called Book of Two Ways, known from the floorboard decorations of Middle Kingdom coffins, as well as religious spells formulated in the first-person singular, probably intended for recitation by a priest.
“In the segment that was used in the so-called Book of Two Ways, the speaker is approaching an elaborate architectonic structure with a highly restricted access,” said Sherbiny. “A certain holy place that is protected by multiple gates and their powerful guardians. These latter are characterised as supernatural beings with immense magical powers. The texts in the scroll contain this specific and magical knowledge that is required to pass safely by these dangerous beings and get access to the divine restricted area behind the gates.”
Sherbiny says that only six other portable manuscripts have survived from ancient Egypt, which could have been created around the same time as the leather scroll; all are papyri. According to the scholar, although leather was a precious writing material in ancient Egypt, the country’s dry climate has preserved papyrus over the millennia, while leather has not survived.
Sherbiny, who has a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Leuven in Belgium, is now preparing the manuscript for publication.
'NEO-PURITANS' WANT TO PUNISH YOU FOR 'SIN'
'If you disagree with one, you're not just wrong, you're deserving of punishment'
By Paul Bremmer
Published: September 19, 2015
If you think the Puritans of the 1600s were intolerant, you haven’t met modern American “neo-Puritans,” according to author Jack Cashill.
“[Nathaniel] Hawthorne described his 17th century forebears as ‘the most intolerant brood that ever lived,’” Cashill told an audience at the Kansas City Public Library recently. “But his Puritans were the picture of moderation compared to the progressive neo-Puritans who have dictated our morality now for the last few decades.”
Such people do not call themselves “neo-Puritans,” Cashill noted, but they wish to put the force of law behind their own conception of “morality” and punish those who “sin.”
This makes them similar to the Puritans. However, their idea of sin is different than that of the Puritans, or any other world religion for that matter.
Cashill recently wrote a book, “Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism Exposed,” in which he identified the seven intolerable sins against the progressive “neo-Puritan” worldview: racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and climate-change denialism.
He warns neo-Puritans do not take kindly to those who commit one of these “sins.”
“If you disagree with one, you’re not just wrong, you’re not just unenlightened – you’re immoral, you’re sinful, and you’re deserving of punishment in the here and now,” he said. “Not in the afterlife – there is none of that – in the here and now.”
Cashill, whose Kansas City library speech was broadcast on C-SPAN 2's "Book TV," said he came up with the idea of a religious theme for his book while watching a documentary on former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey. At one point in the documentary, a sign next to a church appeared onscreen that read, "Jesus liberates us from our sins of sexism, homophobia, racism, and classism."
This caught Cashill's attention.
"Now if the signboard had been a little bit bigger, it would have had 'Islamophobia,' 'xenophobia,' and 'climate-change denialism,'" he quipped. "Those are the seven deadly sins of our era, and God help the man or woman who violates one."
Cashill, a WND columnist, pointed out hatred is the one sin that underlies the other seven: racists hate black people, sexists hate women, homophobes hate homosexuals, and so on. But if you think the neo-Puritans themselves are all about love, you would be wrong.
"Now the neo-Puritan elect, and this is the odd thing about them … they have less interest in celebrating their own values than they do in condemning those people who resist the celebration," Cashill said. "They take joy in that. For them it's almost as good as eating organic or occupying something."
One example he cited was that of Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian bakers in Oregon who declined to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Rather than simply finding another baker willing to bake them a cake, the lesbian couple filed a complaint, and an Oregon commissioner eventually ordered the Kleins to pay the couple $135,000 for emotional damages. He even slapped a gag order on them. But that was after intense public pressure from "gay marriage" supporters forced the Kleins to close their bakery.
The Kleins even tried to set up a GoFundMe page to help pay their fine, but the website shut it down, saying it would no longer allow campaigns in defense of "discriminatory acts."
Cashill noted sadly that Aaron Klein drives a garbage truck now that the neo-Puritans have destroyed his bakery. He said the Kleins' case exemplifies the neo-Puritan model.
"It's just not enough to share your offense," he said. "You've got to enlist the state in your cause. This is where it begins to really approach the Puritan model, but the Puritans were a picture of mercy and rationality compared to what's going on right now."
The author pointed out Hester Prynne, the protagonist in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter," at least knew she had committed the sin of adultery. She knew why she was being punished. But he said it's hard for modern people to know when they've offended the neo-Puritans. In fact, it's too easy to offend them.
Case in point: former NFL quarterback Brett Favre received criticism from the Left for not clapping long enough or enthusiastically enough as the transgender Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner approached the stage to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs this year. Cashill said Favre was a recipient of the newest scarlet letter – "T" for "transphobia."
He said the fairly recent invention of this new sin shows progressive neo-Puritans have no fixed ideology like the liberals of old.
"Progressives have no set fixed values today," he charged. "They don’t. At the risk of tautology, progressives progress. If they believe in anything, they believe in progress, and they're like sharks. They have to keep swimming forward because if they stop, they die… So they're constantly finding new sins, new laws, new ways to [be offended]."
Cashill said he believes most progressives are actually nice people, but the radical front edge of the movement wants to destroy Western civilization as we know it.
"We're not in a totalitarian state right now," he asserted. "We're not in a fascist state. We never will be… But the totalitarian impulse is surely within our neo-Puritan friends."
He noted mere tolerance is never enough for neo-Puritans. After the public learned Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich had donated to Proposition 8 in California, through which voters banned "gay marriage" in the state, progressives weren't satisfied knowing Eich's personal beliefs had no bearing on how he treated his employees.
Nearly 75,000 people signed a petition demanding Eich make "an unequivocal statement of support for marriage equality" or resign. Eich eventually resigned under intense national pressure.
Cashill said there's no use in apologizing to the neo-Puritans, as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers found out. As president of Harvard University in 2005, Summers spoke at a conference about why he thought women were underrepresented in top-level science and math professions. He speculated that part of the reason was success in those fields requires a huge time commitment that women with babies or young children simply can't make. He also said the top 1 percent of IQ scores were statistically dominated by men.
Word of Summers' comments leaked out to the media, and people accused him of sexism. Summers apologized repeatedly, but it didn't satisfy the neo-Puritans, and Summers resigned his position a few months later. And several years later, President Obama passed him over for the Federal Reserve chairmanship in favor of a woman, Janet Yellen.
"If you apologize, that's not enough," Cashill said."They'll want you to grovel, and that’s not enough; they want your head. And when they get your head, they’re going to keep your head for the rest of your life."
Cashill actually believes the neo-Puritans may soon lose their grip on the culture. He senses there are many good liberals out there who fear they, too, may become targets of the neo-Puritans' ire. He also takes heart from the series of undercover videos that have exposed Planned Parenthood's callousness.
"Those videos seriously threaten the neo-Puritan moral hegemony," Cashill said. "I mean, they've been dictating to us for the last 30 or 40 years how we should think and feel about any number of issues.
"But young people have got to be asking themselves, having seen this… 'Why is it a worse sin to refuse to bake a cake, or why is it a worse sin to say 'Bruce' Jenner than it is to kill and dismember a totally viable unborn baby and to sell her body parts? Shouldn't that at least deserve a [scarlet] letter?'"
We're doomed: EU chief fears union will COLLAPSE over migrant crisis
THE European Union has lost control of its borders and risks total collapse if they are not sealed, a senior Brussels diplomat has warned.
By TOM BATCHELOR
PUBLISHED: 10:00, Thu, Sep 24, 2015 | UPDATED: 19:20, Thu, Sep 24, 2015
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, warned the EU was now facing a "critical point" and that the migrant crisis hadn't even reached its peak.
As he chaired an emergency meeting of EU leaders in Brussels last night Mr Tusk painted a bleak picture of the EU's future, saying the 28-member bloc was on the verge of breakdown with "recriminations and misunderstanding" pitting nations against one another.
The future of free movement was at stake, he said, as the continent had lost control of its borders as well as a "sense of order".
He added: "The most urgent question we should ask ourselves...is how to regain control of our external borders.
"Otherwise, it doesn't make sense to even speak about common migration policy."
He appeared to lay much of the blame with Germany, accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of exacerbating the problem by sending the signal to desperate Syrians fleeing their war-torn homeland that Germany had no limit on the number of migrants it would accept.
He added: "We need to correct our policy of open doors and windows.
"Today we are talking about millions of potential refugees trying to reach Europe, not thousands.
"It is likely that more refugees will flow towards Europe, not less. Especially as almost all of them feel invited to Europe."
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But Ms Merkel responded: "Setting up fences between members states is not the solution.
"Faced with a great challenge, it can not be that Europe says we can't handle this.
"That's why I say again and again, we can do this."
As deep divisions continue to show between EU nations, French President Francois Hollande offered a stark assessment of the crisis engulfing the continent.
He said: "Those who don't share our values, those who don't even want to respect those principles, need to start asking themselves questions about their place in the European Union."
Mr Cameron said: "We must make sure that people in refugee camps are properly fed and looked after, not least to help them but also to stop people wanting to make, or thinking of making this very, very difficult and very dangerous journey to Europe."
EU leaders have pledged €1billion (£734m) to help countries bordering the war zone in a bid to stop refugees from wanting to make the journey to Europe in the first place.
35 MILLION migrants heading to Europe, says Hungary as it builds second fence
SHOCK estimates predict up to 35 MILLION refugees could head for Europe due to hugely unstable situations across the world.
By ROB VIRTUE AND AGNES KEGL
PUBLISHED: 05:54, Sat, Sep 19, 2015 | UPDATED: 08:17, Sat, Sep 19, 2015
Migrants seen rioting at the Serbia/Hungary border this week
The huge figure was revealed today by Hungary's minister for foreign affairs and trade Peter Szijjártó.
Speaking as the country begins work on its second fence to stop migrants heading across its border he predicted the current crisis will continue for years.
Mr Szijjártó told the Hungarian Times: "The name of the fence is 'Temporary Security Border Fence' but I think there is no question that in this case temporary means years.
"It's a self delusion to call this situation a migration crisis; it is a massive migration of nations, with inexhaustible reserves.
"I don't think that the analysis results, stating that 30-35 million people out there could possibly become migrants, would be an exaggeration.
"Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are all countries with a huge population and an extremely unstable situation."
The Hungarian government also defended itself from criticism over its fences.
It comes as a ten-year-old migrant boy with a severe lung condition died in Hungary.
His mother and siblings successfully made the journey to Germany but his father stayed behind with the poorly youngster, who was buried on Friday.
The first barrier was put up at its border with Serbia but, after migrants changed their route, they have now begun erecting a 41 kilometre fence at Croatia.
Migrants look to break through to Hungary as that sees them enter the European Union's Schengen Zone which offers free movement between member countries.
He said: "The recent international political decisions created an unstable situation around Europe that makes sure that the amount of people won't decrease.
Peter Szijjártó said estimates of 30-35 million were likely true GETTY
"This is why it's extremely important to protect our borders.
"This issue wasn't this important until now, so the European Union neglected it a little bit.
"It became clear that - though its the border of Schengen - Greece couldn't protect the border of the European Union.
"The Hungarian/Serbian border is another border of Schengen. If we want to follow the orders of Schengen, we have to build a physical obstruction, because this 175 km long area is quite easy to cross.
"The European Union just realised what the Schengen border means.
"If we want to keep the freedom of movement in the European Union, we have to protect the outer borders.''
Gaddafi's Grim Prophecy Comes True: Countless Refugees Swarm Europe
16:12 17.09.2015(updated 20:31 18.09.2015)
Millions of refugees storming European borders have definitely come as a surprise to Western politicians. They would not have, if the West only listened to what Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi said months before he was brutally executed.
In fact, some of these people would not be seeking shelter in Europe if their homes were not destroyed as a result of short-sighted aggressive Western policies.
In March 2011, Gaddafi warned that without unified and stable Libya there would be no one to control countless migrants from Africa and the Middle East from fleeing to Europe. Unlike Western leaders, he apparently understood that millions, not thousands will come, should Tripoli fall.
"There are millions of blacks who could come to the Mediterranean to cross to France and Italy, and Libya plays a role in security in the Mediterranean," he told the France 24 television station.
Gaddafi's son Saif, once considered the heir apparent and now on death row awaiting execution, echoed the sentiment in the same interview.
"Libya may become the Somalia of North Africa, of the Mediterranean. You will see the pirates in Sicily, in Crete, in Lampedusa. You will see millions of illegal immigrants. The terror will be next door," he noted.
Another quote, attributed to Gaddafi, paints a vivid picture of what the late colonel expected to happen: "The Mediterranean will become a sea of chaos."
No one listened. Instead, the West launched a military intervention to oust Gaddafi and look at what has become of Libya. The country is torn apart by rivaling factions and radicals.
Just like Gaddafi prophesied, the Mediterranean still remains a sea of chaos as thousands of refugees crammed into boats head to the shores of Italy. For many this journey becomes the last one they will ever make.
The Arab Spring, supported by the West, and the US-led military interventions across the Middle East and beyond are largely considered the main factors, which caused the current exodus of refugees. If Western capitals fail to understand the real causes of the overwhelming influx of migrants, increasingly more people will be forced to risk their lives trying to find shelter outside their home countries.
EASTERN EUROPEAN LEADERS DEFY EU EFFORT TO SET REFUGEE QUOTAS
Compulsory quotas are illegal
Image Credits: UN Refugee Agency.
by THE GUARDIAN | SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
Central and eastern European leaders have defied attempts by Brussels and Berlin to impose refugee quotas ahead of two days of high-stakes summits in Brussels to try to decide on what already looks like a vain attempt to limit the flow of refugees and migrants into Europe.
After months of being consistently behind the curve in grappling with the EU’s huge migration crisis, interior ministers will meet on Tuesday to focus on the highly divisive issue of mandatory quotas to share refugees across the union. There will then be an emergency summit of leaders on Wednesday.
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, who is chairing Tuesday’s meeting, failed to reach a breakthrough in Prague on Monday with his counterparts from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Latvia.
The Czech government wrote to Brussels arguing that compulsory quotas were illegal and that it could take the issue to the European court of justice in Luxembourg, while the anti-immigration Hungarian government brought in new laws authorising the army to use non-lethal force against refugees massing on its borders.
Putin’s Line in the Sand: No Regime Change in Syria
by MIKE WHITNEY
SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
“Obama administration officials, who have been negotiating with Turkey for months, said Thursday that they had reached an agreement for manned and unmanned American warplanes to carry out aerial attacks on Islamic State positions from air bases at Incirlik and Diyarbakir. The agreement was described by one senior administration official as a “game changer.”
New York Times, July 23, 2015
The Syrian war can divided into two parts: The pre-Incirlik period and the post-Incirlik period. The pre-Incirlik period is roughly the four year stretch during which US-backed Islamic militias and al Qaida-linked groups fought the Syrian army with the intention of removing President Bashar al Assad from power. This first phase of the war ended in a draw.
The post-Incirlik period looks like it could produce an entirely different outcome due to the fact that the US will be able to deploy its drones and warplanes from a Turkish airbase (Incirlik) that’s just 15 minutes flying-time from Syria. That will boost the number of sorties the USAF can able to carry out while increasing the effectiveness of its jihadi forces on the ground which will conduct their operations under the protection of US air cover. This will greatly improve their chances for success.
The New York Times calls the Incirlik deal a “game-changer” which is an understatement. By allowing US F-16s to patrol the skies over Syria, Washington will impose a de facto no-fly zone over the country severely limiting Assad’s ability to battle the US-backed militias that have seized large swaths of the countryside and are now descending on Damascus. And while the war cannot be won by airpower alone, this new tactical reality tilts the playing field in favor the jihadis. In other words, the Incirlik agreement changes everything.
The Obama administration now believes that regime change is within its reach. Yes, they know it will require some back-up from US Special Forces and Turkish combat troops, but it’s all doable. This is why Obama has shrugged off Russia’s plan for a transitional government or for forming a coalition to defeat ISIS. The US doesn’t have to compromise on these matters because, after all, it has a strategically-located airbase from which it can protect its proxy-army, bomb cross-border targets, and control the skies over Syria. All Obama needs to do is intensify the war effort, put a little more pressure on Assad, and wait for the regime to collapse. This is why we should expect a dramatic escalation as we begin Phase 2 of the conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin knows this, which is why he’s sending more weapons, supplies and advisors to Syria. He’s signaling to Washington that he knows what they’re up to and that he’ll respond if they carry things too far. In an interview with Russia’s state Channel 1, Putin said, “We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.”
The administration is very nervous about Putin’s plans which is why they keep probing to see if they can figure out what he has up his sleeve. Just days ago, Secretary of State John Kerry phoned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to express his concerns about “an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup” in Syria. The call was a clumsy attempt to trick Lavrov into volunteering information that might shed light on what Moscow intends to do if Washington goes ahead with its regime change strategy. But Russia’s foreign minister didn’t take the bait. He stuck to his script and didn’t tell Kerry anything he didn’t already know.
But the fact is, Putin is not going to allow Assad to be removed by force. It’s that simple. Obama and his advisors suspect this, but they are not 100 percent certain so they keep looking for confirmation one way or the other. But Putin is not going to provide a clear answer because he doesn’t want to tip his hand or appear confrontational. But that doesn’t mean he’s not resolute. He is, and Washington knows it. In effect, Putin has drawn a line in the sand and told the US that if they cross that line, there’s going to trouble.
So it’s up to Obama really. He can either seek a peaceful solution along the lines that Moscow has recommended or push for regime change and risk a confrontation with Russia. Those are the two choices.
Unfortunately, Washington doesn’t have an “off” switch anymore, so changing policy is really not in the cards. Instead, the US war machine will continue to lumber ahead erratically until it hits an impasse and sputters to a halt. Once again, the immovable object will prevail over the unstoppable force (as it did in Ukraine), albeit at great cost to the battered people of Syria, their nation and the entire region.
Keep in mind, that the imperial plan for Syria is subtler than many people realize. As the Brookings Institute’s Michael E. O’Hanlon states in his piece titled “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war”:
“The plan… would not explicitly seek to overthrow him (Assad), so much as deny him control of territory that he might still aspire to govern again. The autonomous zones would be liberated with the clear understanding that there was no going back to rule by Assad or a successor. In any case, Assad would not be a military target under this concept, but areas he currently controls… would be. And if Assad delayed too long in accepting a deal for exile, he could inevitably face direct dangers to his rule and even his person.” (“Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war”, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute)
This is the basic plan: To seize major cities and large parts of the countryside, disrupt supply-lines and destroy vital civilian infrastructure, and to progressively undermine Assad’s ability to govern the country. The ultimate goal is to break the state into a million disconnected enclaves ruled by armed mercenaries, al Qaida-linked affiliates, and local warlords. This is Washington’s diabolical plan for Syria. It is strikingly similar to the Zionist plan to “effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states.” (“The Zionist Plan for the Middle East”, Israel Shahak) In fact, it is virtually identical.It’s clear that Obama is emboldened by the Incirlik deal and believes that, with Turkey’s help, he can achieve US imperial ambitions in Syria. But it’s not going to happen. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are prepared to defend their ally Assad and stop Washington dead-in-its-tracks. Obama will have succeeded in destroying another sovereign nation and scattering its people across the Middle East and Europe. But the US mission will fall short of its original objectives. There will be no regime change in Syria. Putin, Nasrallah and Khamenei will make sure of it.
Russia ready to consider any Syrian request for troops: Kremlin
Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:38PM
Spokesman for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov (Photo by AP)
Russia says it is ready to consider any request from the Syrian government for the dispatch of military forces to the Arab country, which is involved in heavy battles with foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists.
“If there is any request, then it would naturally be discussed and evaluated through bilateral contacts and dialogue,” spokesman for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov said Friday, adding, however, that “It is difficult to talk about this hypothetically.”
The comments came a day after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Damascus would ask for the deployment of Russian forces to Syria if need be.
“There is no joint fighting on the ground with Russian troops, but if we felt such a need, we would study it and demand,” Muallem said, adding, however, that the Syrian army and volunteer forces are still capable of fighting militants without foreign assistance.
‘Nothing to hide’
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied recent claims by the United States and its allies that Russia has boots on the ground in Syria.
Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said her country has never tried to hide its military cooperation with Syria, saying Moscow has openly sent “military specialists” to the Arab state.
She also said Russia is supplying military equipment to Syria in line with previously signed agreements between the two sides on bilateral defense ties, saying such a move is aimed at helping the Arab nation in its anti-terror fight.
On opposite sides
Moscow has also slammed the West for creating hysteria over Russian interactions with Syria.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied speculations that Russia is engaged in a military buildup in Syria as suggested by the United States and the NATO military alliance.
Russia and the West are deeply divided over the Syrian crisis, which has claimed the lives of at least 240,000 people in Syria since its outbreak in March 2011. While Russia has been supporting Damascus in its fight against militants, the Western states want to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power.
The US, along with its Western and regional allies, has been among the staunch supporters of the militant groups operating against the Syrian government over the past four years.
‘Perfectly legitimate for Russians to help Syria’
Press TV contacted author Dean Henderson to ask for his take on how the potential deployment of Russian troops would change the equation on the ground in Syria.
“There is no doubt that Russian troops would alter the balance of power drastically in Syria,” Henderson said. “The Syrians along with Hezbollah are already having a lot of success in retaking some of these ISIL positions.”
He also said, “It is perfectly legitimate, when you have this terrorist organization in Syria, to request this sort of help... Russia is an ally of Syria.”
“For the Russians to step in and defend a legitimate democratically-elected government with troops if need be, it’d be just,” Henderson said.
PUTIN SENDS TANKS TO SYRIA: “LARGEST DEPLOYMENT OF OUTSIDE RUSSIAN FORCES SINCE USSR COLLAPSE”
Arrival of Russian tanks arguably goes beyond the purely ‘defensive’ equipment
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons.
by MAC SLAVO
SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
Now that Syria is back in the news with the refugee crisis, Russia appears poised to raise another round of alarm bells about the prospect of wider war.
The pending deal with Iran could be broken at any time by all sides, including a preemptive nuclear strike by its enemies. The tensions over Syria – triangulated between Assad’s forces, ISIS terrorists and Western-backed “rebels” – are equally likely to boil over, as the attempts to oust Assad have been stymied.
The attempts to condemn Assad in international public opinion have largely failed, as the accusations of a chemical weapons attack did not stick or even carry credible evidence. Likewise, Russia has stuck up for the Syrian regime, and vowed to oppose a Western agenda to overrun it without proper justification.
However, the announcement of tank shipments from Russia takes it to a whole new level.
Russia’s military build-up in Syria has grown to include the shipment of a half-dozen highly sophisticated battle tanks — and more troops — a defense official told Fox News, in what the source called the “first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria.”
The Pentagon has now tracked a total of 15 Russian Antonov-124 Condor flights into Syria, reflecting a steady stream of military cargo into Syria. According to the latest intelligence, this also includes the arrival of two more Russian cargo ships, containing the tanks.
The cargo is for Russian soldiers, not Syrian government forces, but is seen as a build-up to aid Bashar Assad’s embattled regime.
The defense official, briefed on the latest satellite photos of the Syrian coastline, said: “This is the largest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union since the collapse of the USSR.”
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters on Monday that the activities “suggest the establishment of a forward air operating base.”
The arrival of Russian tanks arguably goes beyond the purely ‘defensive’ equipment that Putin has delivered in the past, giving clear reasons to believe that hostilities have deepened to the point of a wider war and an all out conflict.
For those on all sides of the conflict looking for an excuse to bring in outside troops – from the U.S., NATO, Russia or other armies located in the region, it would seem that the pretext has arrived.
With these new factors trigger a larger and renewed conflict? And would toppling Assad now be only the beginning of wars to come?
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to pass… and that World War III remains only the dismal fantasy of observers and critics.
Russia’s ultimate lethal weapon
Published time: 17 Sep, 2015 12:59
Edited time: 18 Sep, 2015 16:06
Let’s start with some classic Russian politics. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is drawing up Russia's economic strategy for 2016, including the government budget. Siluanov – essentially a liberal, in favor of foreign investment - will present his proposals to the Kremlin by the end of this month.
So far, nothing spectacular. But then, a few days ago, Kommersant leaked that Russia's Security Council asked presidential aide Sergei Glazyev to come up with a separate economic strategy, to be presented to the council this week. This is not exactly a novelty, as the Russian Security Council in the past has asked small strategy groups for their economic assessment.
The Security Council is led by Nikolai Patrushev, the former head of the Federal Security Service. He and Siluanov are not exactly on the same wavelength.
And here’s where the plot thickens. Glazyev, a brilliant economist, is a Russian nationalist – sanctioned personally by the US.
Glazyev is arguably going no holds barred. He is in favor of barring Russian companies from using foreign currency (which makes sense); taxing the conversion of rubles to foreign currencies (same); banning foreign loans to Russian firms (depending if they are not in US dollars or euro); and – the smoking gun - requiring Russian companies that have Western loans to default.
Predictably, some sectors of US ‘Think Tankland’ went bonkers, stating with utmost certainty that “the Russian energy sector would not be able to find much financing without connections to the West.” Nonsense. Russian firms would easily find financing from Chinese, Japanese or South Korean sources.
Whatever measure of attention Glazyev will get inside the Kremlin, the whole episode already means that Moscow harbors no illusions in the near future regarding the exceptionalists (one just has to look at the presidential candidates, from ‘El Trumpissimo’ to ‘The Hillarator’); as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov recently put it, "[we] should expect toughening of the sanctions pressure."
Once thing though is absolutely certain; Moscow won’t bend over backwards to “pacify” Washington.
One might be tempted to see Glazyev drawing up plans to return to some sort of Tsarist self-sufficiency while cutting off ties with the West. Assuming some version of that would be approved by the Kremlin, what’s certain is that it may turn into a huge blow the EU might not recover from.
Imagine Russia defaulting on all its foreign debt - over $700 billion – on which Western sanctions have raised extra, punitive costs in terms of repayment.
The default would be payback for the twin Western manipulation of oil prices and the ruble. The manipulation involved unleashing on the oil market over five million barrels a day of excess reserve production that were held back by a few usual suspects, plus derivative manipulation at the NYMEX, crashing the price.
Then, the derivative manipulation of the ruble crashed the currency. Almost all imports to Russia were virtually blocked – as oil and natural gas exports remained constant. In the long run though, this should create a significant balance of trade surplus for Russia; a very positive factor for long-term growth of Russia’s domestic industry.
Vladimir Yakunin, the former head of Russian Railways, now out due to a reshuffle, recently told AP in no uncertain terms how the aim of US sanctions was to cut off Russia economically from Europe.
Sanctions, coupled with speculation on oil and the ruble, pushed the Russian economy into recession in 2015. Yakunin, like most of the economic/business elite, expect Russia’s economic troubles to last at least until 2017.
Currently the only products that the West needs from Russia are oil and natural gas. A possible Russian default on its debt would have no effect on that demand in the short-term; and most probably in the long-term as well, unless it would contribute to a new financial crisis in the West, something that nearly happened in 1998.
We all remember August 1998, when a Russian default shook the entire Western financial system to the core. If a Russian default is now the object of serious consideration by the highest powers that be – and that includes, of course, the FSB, SVR, GRU - then the specter of The Mother of All Financial Crisis in the West is back. And for the EU, that would be fatal.
It’s your fault we can’t loot
Enter Iran. The lifting of sanctions on Iran – arguably by early 2016 – ultimately has nothing to do with the nuclear dossier. It’s a ‘Pipelineistan Great Game’, as in having everything to do with oil and natural gas.
The US – and EU – wet dream remains to replace Russia with Iran in terms of natural gas and oil imports to the EU. Every serious analyst knows this might take at least a decade, and over $200 billion in investment; not to mention Gazprom would fight it with the formidable – commercial – weapons in its arsenal.
At the same time Western financial powers in the New York-London axis did not anticipate that Moscow would not bow down and accept their demands that Putin lay off Ukraine - so that they could loot Ukraine’s mostly agricultural lands at will. They obviously didn’t learn from history; Putin also did not back off when he stopped them from looting Russia.
So the entire, sorrowful Kiev episode, as much as an infinite NATO expansion gambit, was also an attempt to stop Putin from preventing the Western looting of Ukraine.
What we had as a result was a tectonic geopolitical shift; the reconfiguration of the entire world balance of power as Russia and China deepened their strategic partnership - based on a mutual external threat coming mostly from the US, with the EU as accessories. Russian intelligence very well knows the alliance now makes Russia and China invulnerable, whereas separately they could easily fall victim to trademark Divide and Rule.
As for the counter-NATO angle, Russia has had plenty of time to remilitarize, focusing on defensive and offensive missiles; the key to the next major war, and not obsolete US aircraft carriers. Russian defensive missiles such as the state-of-the-art S-500 and the offensive Topol M - each with ten MIRVs - can easily neutralize whatever the Pentagon may have in store.
After Russia, Western financial ‘Masters of the Universe’ went after China for allying with Russia. The usual financial suspects rigged the Chinese stock market in an attempt to crash the economy, using Wall Street proxies manipulating cash settlement mechanisms to first raise up the prices of the Chinese A shares, creating a giant boom, and then reversing the cash settlement rig to crash the market.
No wonder Beijing, very much aware of what was happening massively intervened; is actively studying cash settlement moves; and is carefully reviewing the records of major stock operators in China.
Round up those central bank suspects
The Kremlin’s got to do something about the Russian Central Bank.
The Russian Central Bank kept interest rates high, forcing Russian oil and natural gas producers to finance their operations from Western sources, and thereby plunging the Russian economy into a debt trap.
These loans to Russia were part of the New York-London financier axis control mechanism. Were Moscow to “disobey” the West, the West would call in their loans after crashing the ruble, making repayment almost impossible, as they did with Iran.
This is the mechanism through which the West – and its institutions, the IMF, World Bank, BIS, the whole gang – rule. Beijing is moving either to complement or replace this set-up with new and more democratic international institutions.
If the Russian Central Bank had operated under sounder principles, it would have lent money at interest rates below the West’s, and linked each loan to productive investment. A modus operandi totally different from the US - where much of the central bank credit goes to banks and financiers for their speculative scams.
Michael Hudson, among others, has already made the case that the entire Fed only serves the interest of its financial rulers and does not give a damn about American industrial infrastructure, which was progressively shifted to colonies and/or vassals, as well as to China.
So the ‘Masters of the Universe’ thought hardcore pressure on both Russia and then China would work. It did not. There are reasons to be alarmed; the ‘Masters of the Universe’ will keep raising the ante, higher and higher.
The scenario ahead spells out Russia further moving east while simultaneously moving to extricate itself from most of the West’s institutional architecture.
The merger of the China-driven New Silk Roads, a.k.a. One Belt, One Road and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, although slow and full of pitfalls, is irreversible. It’s in their mutual interest to invest and develop a pan-Eurasian emporium.
Iranian natural gas will go mostly to the Asian part of Eurasia, and not the EU. And the Chinese economy will at least triple over the next fifteen years as the US continues to de-industrialize.
Whatever Putin and Obama discuss at their possible meeting at the end of the month in New York, exceptionalist pressure over the bear won’t abate. So it pays for the bear to keep a lethal financial weapon in storage.
The Economic Collapse
The Stock Markets Of The 10 Largest Global Economies Are All Crashing
By Michael Snyder, on September 24th, 2015
You would think that the simultaneous crashing of all of the largest stock markets around the world would be very big news. But so far the mainstream media in the United States is treating it like it isn’t really a big deal. Over the last sixty days, we have witnessed the most significant global stock market decline since the fall of 2008, and yet most people still seem to think that this is just a temporary “bump in the road” and that the bull market will soon resume. Hopefully they are right. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 777 points on September 29th, 2008 everyone freaked out and rightly so. But a stock market crash doesn’t have to be limited to a single day. Since the peak of the market earlier this year, the Dow is down almost three times as much as that 777 point crash back in 2008. Over the last sixty days, we have seen the 8th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history on a point basis and the 10th largest single day stock market crash in U.S. history on a point basis. You would think that this would be enough to wake people up, but most Americans still don’t seem very alarmed. And of course what has happened to U.S. stocks so far is quite mild compared to what has been going on in the rest of the world.
Right now, stock market wealth is being wiped out all over the planet, and none of the largest global economies have been exempt from this. The following is a summary of what we have seen in recent days…
#1 The United States – The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 2000 points since the peak of the market. Last month we saw stocks decline by more than 500 points on consecutive trading days for the first time ever, and there has not been this much turmoil in U.S. markets since the fall of 2008.
#2 China – The Shanghai Composite Index has plummeted nearly 40 percent since hitting a peak earlier this year. The Chinese economy is steadily slowing down, and we just learned that China’s manufacturing index has hit a 78 month low.
#3 Japan – The Nikkei has experienced extremely violent moves recently, and it is now down more than 3000 points from the peak that was hit earlier in 2015. The Japanese economy and the Japanese financial system are both basket cases at this point, and it isn’t going to take much to push Japan into a full-blown financial collapse.
#4 Germany – Almost one-fourth of the value of German stocks has already been wiped out, and this crash threatens to get much worse. The Volkswagen emissions scandal is making headlines all over the globe, and don’t forget to watch for massive trouble at Germany’s biggest bank.
#5 The United Kingdom – British stocks are down about 16 percent from the peak of the market, and the UK economy is definitely on shaky ground.
#6 France – French stocks have declined nearly 18 percent, and it has become exceedingly apparent that France is on the exact same path that Greece has already gone down.
#7 Brazil – Brazil is the epicenter of the South American financial crisis of 2015. Stocks in Brazil have plunged more than 12,000 points since the peak, and the nation has already officially entered a new recession.
#8 Italy – Watch Italy. Italian stocks are already down 15 percent, and look for the Italian economy to make very big headlines in the months ahead.
#9 India – Stocks in India have now dropped close to 4000 points, and analysts are deeply concerned about this major exporting nation as global trade continues to contract.
#10 Russia – Even though the price of oil has crashed, Russia is actually doing better than almost everyone else on this list. Russian stocks have fallen by about 10 percent so far, and if the price of oil stays this low the Russian financial system will continue to suffer.
What we are witnessing now is the continuation of a cycle of financial downturns that has happened every seven years. The following is a summary of how this cycle has played out over the past 50 years…
It started in 1966 with a 20 percent stock market crash.
Seven years later, the market lost another 45 percent (1973-74).
Seven years later was the beginning of the “hard recession” (1980).
Seven years later was the Black Monday crash of 1987.
Seven years later was the bond market crash of 1994.
Seven years later was 9/11 and the 2001 tech bubble collapse.
Seven years later was the 2008 global financial collapse.
2015: What’s next?
A lot of people were expecting something “big” to happen on September 14th and were disappointed when nothing happened.
But the truth is that it has never been about looking at any one particular day. Over the past sixty days we have seen absolutely extraordinary things happen all over the planet, and yet some people are not even paying attention because they did not meet their preconceived notions of how events should play out.
And this is just the beginning. We haven’t even gotten to the great derivatives crisis that is coming yet. All of these things are going to take time to fully unfold.
A lot of people that write about “economic collapse” talk about it like it will be some type of “event” that will happen on a day or a week and then we will recover.
Well, that is not what it is going to be like.
You need to be ready to endure a very, very long crisis. The suffering that is coming to this nation is beyond what most of us could even imagine.
Even now we are seeing early signs of it. For instance, the mayor of Los Angeles says that the growth of homelessness in his city has gotten so bad that it is now “an emergency”…
On Tuesday, Los Angeles officials announced the city’s homelessness problem has become an emergency, and proposed allotting $100 million to help shelter the city’s massive and growing indigent population.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti also issued a directive on Monday evening for the city to free up $13 million to help house the estimated 26,000 people who are living on the city’s streets.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the number of encampments and people living in vehicles has increased by 85% over the last two years alone.
And in recent years we have seen poverty absolutely explode all over the nation. The “bread lines” of the Great Depression have been replaced with EBT cards, and there is a possibility that a government shutdown in October could “suspend or delay food stamp payments”…
A government shutdown Oct. 1 could immediately suspend or delay food stamp payments to some of the 46 million Americans who receive the food aid.
The Agriculture Department said Tuesday that it will stop providing benefits at the beginning of October if Congress does not pass legislation to keep government agencies open.
“If Congress does not act to avert a lapse in appropriations, then USDA will not have the funding necessary for SNAP benefits in October and will be forced to stop providing benefits within the first several days of October,” said Catherine Cochran, a spokeswoman for USDA. “Once that occurs, families won’t be able to use these benefits at grocery stores to buy the food their families need.”
In the U.S. alone, there are tens of millions of people that could not survive without the help of the federal government, and more people are falling out of the middle class every single day.
Our economy is already falling apart all around us, and now another great financial crisis has begun.
When will the “nothing is happening” crowd finally wake up?
Hopefully it will be before they are sitting out on the street begging for spare change to feed their family.
The third world side of the American dream: In Los Angeles, the 60,000 homeless are everywhere as municipal officials declare a "state of emergency."
Thursday, 24 September 2015
On Tuesday, after acknowledging their failure in stemming the surge of homelessness in the city, municipal officials in Los Angeles, California took the drastic step of announcing they were declaring a "state of emergency."
In Los Angeles, the homeless are everywhere.
From encampments in freeway underpasses, to the high-value streets of Venice, they live in clusters of tents, or under tarpaulins spread over shopping carts, in parking lots and neighborhoods from downtown's skid row to Studio City and beyond, this is where the homeless live.
The announcement from Mayor Eric Garcetti and seven members of the City Council was powerful in that it resonated loudly in a city that has seen an 85 percent increase in the homeless in just two years.
Besides opting to declare a state of emergency over the crisis, the Mayor also wants to "free up" $100 million to devote to the problem.
The announcement comes after the mayor's directive made Monday evening that the city free up an additional $13 million over the next few months to help those people living in the streets.
Fox News reported the mayor said, "These are our fellow Angelinos.
They are those who have no other place to go, and they are literally here where we work, a symbol of our city's intense crisis."
Councilman Jose Huizar, who co-chairs the City Council's homelessness and poverty committee told Fox News that six blocks away from City Hall is the largest concentration of homeless people in the country.
"There are about 4,000 of them living in Skid Row," he said.
"Unfortunately, that is just a small percentage of the city's homeless population," he continued.
"Yes, 85 percent of the city's homeless population lives outside of Skid Row, throughout the city." Councilman Mike Bonin was quoted by the LA Times:
"It's time to get real, because this is literally a matter of life and death."
He spoke of the failure at every government level in dealing with a homeless problem that has been going on for years.
He added, now it had grown into an explosive issue.
But not all is well with the Mayor's plan.
To give you an idea what 60,000 people look like, the Arsenal football stadium in England holds 60,000
Some lawmakers are wondering just where in the city's coffers he expects to find the money.
Added to the concerns over funding is the fact that the mayor has yet to release his "sweeping plan," first announced by Garcetti over two months ago, and now, is two weeks overdue.
"This is all simply words," said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Assn., which has argued for a more aggressive approach to clearing encampments and housing the homeless.
"Again, it shows an ongoing lack of leadership on behalf of the city," reported the LA Times.
The announcement also comes after an ordinance was passed by City Council in May, authorizing police to remove homeless encampments from the sidewalks in the city.
The mayor wants people to know that despite the ordinance, the city is willing to to devote resources to housing as well as other services to the homeless.
Homelessness is not an issue just in Los Angeles or New York City.
It is an issue seen in most American cities across the country, as well as in other nations.
New York City's 60,000 homeless number just a little above the 59,000 of the homeless in Los Angeles.
We need to look deeper, into how the homeless crisis is handled, and not just look at the numbers. Housing in today's economy is the biggest roadblock to getting off the streets for many families. Affordable housing is needed, and this will be the most difficult issue to overcome.
Actually, some lawmakers have already voiced concerns over the amount of money the mayor wants to devote to the projected plan.
They say the city need billions, and that is a lot more than $100 million.
OBAMA NOMINATES OPENLY GAY MAN TO LEAD ARMY
'He understands how the Pentagon works'
Published: September 18, 2015
Then-Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning meets and greets F-35 Airmen July 8, 2013, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Fanning has since been appointed secretary of the Army (Photo: U.S. Air Force)
President Obama just ensured the Navy will no longer hold a monopoly on jokes about “gay” servicemen.
Eric Fanning has been nominated by Obama to lead the Army. The decision opens the door for Fanning to be the first openly homosexual civilian secretary of one of the military services.
“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,” Obama said in a statement, the Washington Post reported Friday. “I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.”
Fanning has served as acting undersecretary of the Army since June 2015. He was also acting Air Force secretary for a short time.
“He understands how the Pentagon works and how to get things done in the Pentagon,” said Rudy de Leon, who was deputy defense secretary in the Clinton administration, the Washington Post reported. “He knows what works and what doesn’t work.”
Obama’s move continues a trend of making the military more LGBT-friendly. The president signed legislation Dec. 22, 2010, to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was then officially implemented by the services Sept. 20, 2011.
“I am committed to removing all of the barriers that would prevent Americans from serving their country and from rising to the highest level of responsibility that their talents and capabilities warrant,” Leon Panetta, then-defense secretary, said during a Pentagon news conference at the time.
The Obama administration also acted earlier this summer to allow transgender troops to openly serve.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the decision July 13.
“We must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Carter said in a statement, Politico reported July 13. “Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military’s future strength depends on it.”
The Pentagon is currently undertaking a six-month study into the implications of allowing transgender troops to openly serve.
Carter said every job will be open “except where objective, practical impediments are identified,” Politico reported.
Independent Catalonia will be kicked out of the eurozone, warns central bank governor
Newly independent region would have its banks cut off from the eurosystem and its EU membership revoked, warns Spain's top monetary policy-maker
By Mehreen Khan
4:00PM BST 21 Sep 2015
Spain's Catalan region will be automatically ejected from the eurozone and its banking system brought to collapse, if voters choose to back independence for the region this weekend, the country's central bank governor has warned.
Luis Maria Linde, head of the Bank of Spain, said the region would not be able keep the single currency and its position in the European Union as a whole would be under threat should it decide to break away from Spain.
"The exit from the euro is automatic, the exit from the European Union is implied," he said.
Catalan banks would also "stop having access to the European Central Bank's facilities", cutting off the last remaining link between the financial system and the eurozone.
Latest polls show the region's separatist movement, led by president Artus Mas, is on course for a narrow win in local elections at the weekend.
A majority in the Catalan parliament would set the separatists on course to launch a full-blown referendum on independence. Nationalist leaders have promised to declare independence within 18 months if they win the vote.
Mr Linde added the central government could also impose capital controls on the banking system.
"It's clear that if there are serious tensions there could be a freeze on deposits as has been seen in Latin America and in Greece. In that respect it's a possibility, a risk," he said.
Spain's banking association has also warned of the profound legal uncertainty that would hit lenders in the event of Catalan secession.
European Union vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said any independent region would no longer be subject to EU treaties but could re-apply for membership.
Madrid, however, has vowed to block any accession application from the Catalans.
The warnings from Spain's top monetary policymaker echo those made during Scotland's independence referendum, when the Treasury's most senior civil servant said any independent nation would not be allowed to continue to use sterling.
Earlier this year, the German head of the European Parliament Marin Schulz told Greeks that voting "no" in a bail-out referendum would also mean an automatic ejection from the EU.
Even if it is outside economic and monetary union, Catalonia could still use the euro as its currency "but at the expense of control over its monetary policy" said Yvan Mamalet at Societe Generale.
End of Japan’s pacifism? Parliament approves war bills allowing troops to fight abroad
Published time: 18 Sep, 2015 17:30
Edited time: 19 Sep, 2015 07:22
The upper house of Japan's parliament has approved legislation giving more power to the armed forces. This includes permitting the military to fight overseas – something banned for 70 years since WWII.
The Upper House’s final session was called late Friday night and finished early Saturday morning with the enactment of the two controversial security bills. The laws are expected to mark a significant departure from Japan’s postwar pacifism.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose ruling block extended the session to Sept. 27 and voted down all the motions from the opposition to ensure that the legislation was passed, says that Japan needs to be up to the challenge in today’s world, taking into account a rising threat from China.
The Lower House passed the bills on July 16 – an act, which was followed by a wave of protests across the country. A panel discussion in the Diet on Thursday was marked by scuffles.
The legislation deals with 10 security laws that are currently in force, one of them prohibiting collective self-defense. Japan will now have a constitutional right to deploy troops overseas and assist during military operations involving a foreign or multinational force in cases where Japan faces a "threat to its survival". The shift may force Japan into US-led conflicts.
This "is necessary to protect the people's lives and peaceful way of living and is for the purpose of preventing wars," Abe told reporters Saturday morning. "I want to keep explaining the laws tenaciously and courteously."
The majority of Japanese people were against enacting the militaristic laws. A media survey published by Asahi Shimbun newspaper on Monday found that 54 percent of respondents opposed the bills, with just 29 percent in favor.
The unpopular bill has sparked a wave of indignation among the Japanese still standing for a more peaceful policy. Thousands of people took to streets in Tokyo on Sunday holding banners, saying “War Is Over”, “Peace, Not War” or carrying the portraits of Shinzo Abe with “No War” words on them. A 120,000-strong demonstration was also staged last month.
China is not happy about the move and before the final vote urged the Japanese government to take into account the anti-war moods in the country.
"Recently we have noticed that voices in Japan opposing the bill have become louder by the day," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told at a briefing on Friday. "We demand that Japan earnestly listen to these just voices domestically and internationally, learn the lessons of history, uphold the path of peaceful development, speak and act cautiously in security and military matters and take actual steps to maintain regional peace and stability."
THE DAILY SHEEPLE
2.3 Million Applicants Fight for 368 Menial, Low-Wage Office Jobs in India
September 21st, 2015
There’s been a lot of talk of unemployment here in the U.S., with overqualified, college-educated people falling out of the workforce because they’ve been searching for a job for so long and others working two part-time minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet at all.
Many of us worry over a future where it is predicted that eight out of the top 10 jobs that employ millions of people in this country are soon to be replaced by robots in the coming years.
So, is this what the future will look like?
When the government of Uttar Pradesh in India recently announced openings for 368 low-level, low-paying office jobs, the kind where people run basic errands or fetch coffee, they received an astounding 2.3 million job applications, completely overwhelming the system.
Hundreds of thousands of respondents were overqualified with college degrees to apply for a job that requires not much more than a fifth grade education. Two hundred thousand people who applied held graduate-level degrees. Over 250 candidates even held doctorate degrees. The job itself only pays $240 a month. If Uttar Pradesh interviewed all of these people, it would take four years.
What’s worse is this is being done on purpose. It has nothing to do with “overpopulation”. Normally a growing population should drive economic growth, and preparing for a drop in the population is actually devastating to the economy. This is forced austerity… and it’s spreading.
Dog stands guard for week protecting second dog trapped in water tank
Published September 18, 2015Associated Press
VASHON ISLAND, Wash. – A Washington state animal shelter says a dog dutifully stood guard for a nearly a week on Vashon Island to protect another dog that had fallen in a cistern.
Tillie, a setter mix, only left Phoebe's side to try to alert people of her trapped friend.
Amy Carey of Vashon Island Pet Protectors says the two were found Tuesday after they were reported missing by their owners last week. Vashon Island Pet Protectors says volunteers looking for the pair received a call about a reddish dog being seen on someone's property a few times before promptly heading back into the ravine.
Carey says the Pet Protectors followed the tip and found Tillie lying beside an old cistern. Inside rescuers found Phoebe, a basset hound, on a pile of stones above the water.
The dogs were cold and hungry but otherwise unharmed.
"It's really quite remarkable," Carey said.
The NZSO & Keeping The Flame
By Lindsay Perigo
In my essay, Music of the Gods, extolling the supremacy of the Romantic genre in music, I noted:
... in the Romantic period (nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) composers and performers pushed the boundaries of every musical element, primary and secondary, achieving an unprecedented emotional expressiveness while avoiding the descent into the atonal anarchy that followed. New instruments, bigger orchestras; new forms, and the expansion of old forms; the coming of age of opera and ballet; virtuoso stars, like our modern-day “celebs” only with talent; the cult of the conductor; more inventive melodies using bigger intervals between notes; greater dynamic range—fff (fortississimo: very, very loud) to ppp (pianississimo: very, very soft); more daring harmonies (chromatic and dissonant, without recourse to the sabotage or assassination that became de rigueur later); more frequent modulation into other keys; more rhythmic variety, including greater use of syncopation, rubato (bending of the rhythm), accelerando (speeding up) and ritardando (slowing down), changing of the time signature within movements, etc. They honored, but were not straitjacketed by, the formalism of classicism, stretching but not eschewing the rules that make music cohere. They knew with their predecessors that coherence was integral to integration, integration to harmoniousness, harmoniousness to beauty. They exercised freedom within the rule of law—the perfect mirror of what was going on politically.
Thus did they bring individualism to music—they were each distinguishable from the other; each imposed his distinctive stamp upon the form without going out of it (at least not to the point of disintegration). They united the idiomatic with the idiosyncratic, reason with emotion, Apollo with Dionysus (albeit with a leaning towards the latter, via, it must be admitted, that villain Rousseau). They transformed the “universal language” into an individual language. ...
[Romantic music] speaks and appeals to the best within us. It awakens our capacity for rapture. It is appreciated and adored by the passionately enlightened. It is inspired by and inspires the most intensely life-affirming value-swoons possible to man. If the expression, "total passion for the total height" means anything, it finds that meaning in Romantic music. In terms of what went into it and what can be taken out of it, Romantic music is simply the best.
With Classical Hits, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is currently touring the country playing some familiar lighter pearls from this genre (plus an item not strictly from the genre, Aaron Copland's Rodeo—Four Dance Episodes). The orchestra's performance on Saturday night at the Michael Fowler Centre duly spoke to the best within us. Maestro James Judd displayed total passion for the total height, both as conductor and MC. The passionately enlightened were enraptured. There was an orgy of value-swooning. Life was affirmed intensely. This reviewer, however, was disconcerted by some broad considerations not of the orchestra's making but troubling in their implications for its future.
First, the hall was only about two thirds full. For the best that civilisation has to offer! A headbanging caterwauler would no doubt have filled the Westpac Stadium, let alone the Michael Fowler Centre. Has humanity really sunk to so low a point, I wondered, that the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture will lure very few out while sub-human filth screaming "suck my d, B****" and the like will pack 'em in? And as the irresistible strains of The Blue Danube filled the air, I reminded myself that this was the "rap" of its time: how infinitely superior a time culturally that must thus have been!
Second, the age of the humans who did attend. I looked down on a sea of grey hair on heads that were otherwise bald. And that was just the women. I counted all of two "millennials" there, and they were both with me, and not typical of their generation. If the orchestra repeats this programme ten years from now (and I hope it performs many such programmes between now and then), will anyone go along? As a rule, "millennials," thanks to the postmodern atrocity that is our "education" system, are as culturally uncouth and sociopathically Narcissistic as they are technologically precocious—a truly apocalyptic combination. In a future in which these aliens have fully taken over, will there be an orchestra? Will there even be a future?!
Third, if there is still an orchestra, will it have to survive by having players deconstruct their instruments rather than play them? Or play compositions backwards? Will "melodism"—discrimination in favour of tunefulness—be the latest politically incorrect anathema (if it isn't already!)? Will all Western music have been dismissed as a "macro-aggression," the creation of Dead White Males with sexist, racist, etc. agendas? Lest anyone think my concerns are overblown, reflect on the fact that human speech has now, in the name of the self-same prevailing politically correct theology, been significantly supplanted by sub-human quacking and droning all over the western world; equivalent decoherence must surely be inevitable in music.
In the meantime, thankfully, there remains every opportunity to savour the grandeur that the best of humanity once composed. Residents of Rotorua, Hamilton, Auckland and Whangarei can still get to hear Rossini, Offenbach, Johann Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Wagner (yes, he wrote tunes too, on occasion) and Elgar (Nimrod is to die for, and people frequently do—it's very popular at funerals). One suggestion I'd have for the orchestra: be more generous than just one encore when, as was the case on Saturday night, there is a clear clamour for more. That way you can do even more for the preservation of musical landmarks. And since the Maestro likens the occasion to Last Night at the Proms, why not make the last of those encores Pomp and Circumstance? Yes, I know, P and C is un-PC, but, as already discussed: all the more reason to include it! Civilisation's faltering flame will burn brighter for it, and the future of civilised things like symphony orchestras might just be that little bit more secure!
Until next week...keep on believing.
“And there was one voice in the trumpeting and in the psalm-singing, and in the loud utterance with one voice to give thanks and praise the Lord; and when they raised their voice together with trumpets and cymbals, and instruments of music, and said, Give thanks to the Lord, for it is good, for his mercy endures for ever:—then the house was filled with the cloud of the glory of the Lord.”
(ll Chronicles 5:13)