Remember the days when an entrepreneur would perfect their whiz kid ideas in a garage and bring them to market? Did Steve Wozniak ever envision the behemoth that Apple would become and the cult camp that worships every new product that flows from their robotic coolie assembly lines? Riots Over Rotten Apple Mania describes an example of the forbidding underbelly of corporatist business model that Apple exemplifies so dramatically. Notwithstanding this record of 21th century sweat factories, do the venture vulture capitalists of Silicon Valley interject added value in the products and services they fund or do this culture of touting IPO offerings simply game a system to print money based upon imaginary dreams?
The Economic Policy Journal article, Silicon Valley Investor Joins The Corporatism March, cites Ron Conway, a Silicon Valley angel investor, who has backed many of the tech companies that we know and love.”
“Conway wrote a piece for Techcrunch where he’s calling for the other Fascism. Remember the Fascist Mussolini from Italy. It was he who said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
“Gone are the days when the tech community can innovate and run their businesses in spite of government. As we saw with the SOPA/PIPA debate, public policy has a direct and significant impact on startups and the investors who support them.
Whether it is regulations that stifle innovation or tax policies that hinder job creation, government has a major role in the success or failure of a startup. It is critically important for the tech community to engage in public policy.”
Silicon Valley companies are not limited to IT development, just as much as investment funding is not wholly occupied from Wall Street firms. The principle is the same wherever the money comes from, as the Rise of the “venture corporatists” explores in an account about John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
“None of the alternative energy sources being developed today – solar, wind, geothermal, or biomass–is close to financial sustainability, which means that the supersize returns V.C. funds depend on will require massive government subsidies, regulations, and mandates… So Doerr has launched an audacious campaign to invest millions in handpicked political candidates and influential political action committees, to push for subsidies and pro-greentech policies and require the government to purchase the kinds of fuels and technologies his startups will be marketing. Since 2000, Doerr and his wife, Ann, have contributed more than $31 million to political candidates and causes.
In essence, Doerr is helping to create the biggest new market the world has seen since the dawn of the oil industry–and asking for taxpayer dollars to do it.”
“Green” alternative energy has more to do with replicating money than producing sustainable energy. Instead of writing code for computer-generated speech, the paradigm at play buys the ambassadors of government policy, circuitously as part of the business plan.
Lachlan Markay sums up the paradox for investors and the public in The Venture Corporatists. “As long as green technology remains not simply an economic venture but a moral one, taxpayers will continue to nobly lose money as politically connected “social entrepreneurs” reap a windfall.”
Here lies the rub. What exactly is the moral imperative? The lament of Alex Shud Bayley in No, I still don’t want to work for Google makes a universal point.
“Since I’ve been out of the Silicon-Valley-centred tech industry, I’ve become increasingly convinced that it’s morally bankrupt and essentially toxic to our society. Companies like Google and Facebook — in common with most public companies — have interests that are frequently in conflict with the wellbeing of — I was going to say their customers or their users, but I’ll say “people” in general, since it’s wider than that. People who use their systems directly, people who don’t — we’re all affected by it, and although some of the outcomes are positive a disturbingly high number of them are negative: the erosion of privacy, of consumer rights, of the public domain and fair use, of meaningful connections between people and a sense of true community, of beauty and care taken in craftsmanship, of our very physical wellbeing. No amount of employee benefits or underfunded Google.org projects can counteract that.”
The notion that Silicon Valley business enterprises automatically advance civilization and improve the human condition is one of the most disturbing viewpoints that have infected the smart phone sect. Placing the blame solely on tech executives avoids the reprehensible relationship that Ron Conway is so eager to exploit.
The article, Why DC And Silicon Valley Don’t Mix Well seems to agree.
“The thing that DC should be most focused on is “fixes to previous government efforts that tried but failed to fix a problem that turned out not to need a regulatory solution.” Other industries seem to want handouts and investments and the like, but you don’t see that much in Silicon Valley.”
However, some executives excel in screwing up a once reliable service. Silicon Valley corporatist companies often fail. The next likely candidate for a downfall is Yahoo. Marissa Mayer’s tenure as CEO may be numbered according to Eric Jackson, founder and managing partner of hedge fund Ironfire Capital.
“Jackson says that since Mayer took over she has spent $2 billion buying companies and that most of those acquisitions have been for naught.
“Can you name any other acquisition Yahoo has made besides Tumblr? If not, what does that say about them?” Jackson writes at Forbes. “If these small acquisitions were mostly talent-driven as characterized by management, why was it necessary to spend, say, $30 million to hire 3 people from a dying company? Was this really the best use of shareholder capital? Yahoo should not [be] responsible for bailing out VCs from their failed investments. This isn’t TARP.”
Deplorably, many tech corporatists are mismanaged like Yahoo. Divesting a significant portion of Yahoo’s stake at the Alibaba IPO, raises a much needed current valuation, but what does this transaction do to improve the service? The Corporatists only care about tapping the rigged markets for immediate gain.
With election time almost upon us, here’s a rather sobering thought: By spending as little as a mere two billion dollars, anyone with that amount of money can now afford to buy an entire American election — Congress, the White House, governorships and all.
“But Jane,” you might ask, “why would anyone even want to do that?” Why? Just look at all the immense amount of loot you can score with just this tiny investment. Access to national park land, bank deregulation, profits from weapons production, corporate monopoly status, pro-pollution laws, judges’ rulings in your favor…need I go on?
For instance, eleven trillion dollars has been recently spent on escalating and pursuing fake wars. So if you “invest” in American elections and still only receive, say, just ten percent of those eleven trillion singles for your weapons-manufacturing services or whatever the heck else companies like Halliburton do, you still have just grown your measly two-billion-buck investment at least a thousand times over. Forever War really pays off!
Or if you are guys like Obama, Bush and Cheney — and can’t resist playing with war toys? Then you get to buy your very own wars! Lots and lots of wars. You get to play with actual life-sized GI Joe dolls and call yourself “Commander in Chief”. You get to bomb Libya and Ukraine and Iraq and Syria. What fun! Two billion dollars can buy you a hecka lot of war toys — eleven trillion dollars worth to be exact.
Or let’s say that your net worth is approximately 100 billion dollars, like, say, the Koch brothers’ worth is. You spend less than three percent of that money on buying elections — and voila! You too get over a thousand percent return on every dollar you spend. What kind of crazy-good investment is that!
Or let’s say you are a member of the notorious WalMart family, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. You spend just a few paltry billion on election buyouts — and suddenly us taxpayers are paying for all of your employees’ healthcare. And we’re throwing food stamps into the bargain too. Brilliant idea!
Or what if you own a giant coal company, oil company, car company, power company or some other major polluter? Common sense tells us voters that we need to cut down on polluting the atmosphere so as to avoid drastic climate change that even now threatens to kill off the whole human race.
We could have been using solar power all this time for instance — and also cleaned up our rivers and even eliminated the need for fossil fuel. But no. For a few (billion) dollars more at election time, you can potentially doom the entire human race. America, are we having fun yet?
Or let’s say for instance that you are AIPAC, that Israeli political action committee. Spend just two billion dollars to buy every election in America — up to and including the dog catcher? What a deal! And since Israel is already receiving three billion dollars every year from America, guaranteed, voted by Congress, you don’t even have to risk using your own moolah. You can use ours. Fabulous investment. http://www.counterpunch.org/
Plus you also get permission to bomb Gaza, take over the West Bank, design America’s stupid “Bomb Syria” policy, have red-carpet access to the entire Middle East (as in red carpets of blood) and get away with committing all kinds of other violations of the Nuremberg precedents and Geneva war crime conventions too.
According to Middle East expert Paul Larudee, “Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu infamously bragged that ‘America is a thing you can move very easily’.” Apparently all you need is just two billion bucks. Hell, Attila the Hun never even had that kind of power. Or even Josef Stalin. All he ever got out his American investments was the freaking Cold War.
But don’t worry, Josef! The Cold War is about to heat up again, thanks to AIPAC. Hell, now AIPAC is even an unofficial member of NATO (and apparently its most influential member too). And, as such, Israeli war hawks seem hell-bent on fomenting World War III. Does the American public really want to go there? I think not.
Or you could invest your capital in running America’s prison-industrial complex? Just think of all the cheap labor you’ll get! For much less than two billion in folding money, you don’t even have to ship your goods over from China any more. Plus you get to have them stamped “Made in America” too. Definitely a win-win for you.
Or what if you are Monsanto or Big Pharma or Bank of America or CitiCorp or Goldman Sachs or General Electric? For far less than two billion dollars, you can get rid of unions, create your own monopolies, write your own “regulations”, appoint your own “regulators” and rake in the profits. And if you are Big Media, our publicly-owned airwaves now belong to you. Think Rupert Murdock. Or net neutrality up in smoke. Think AT&T. Boo-yah!
Yep, America is for sale for really cheap these days. The total assets of the United States of America is currently 188 trillion dollars. And just think. For just a mere two billion simoleons, all that can be yours! Buy a little false advertizing, do a bit of voter-suppression, get your hands on a few electronic voting machines, tell a few lies on Fox News and CNN and, boom shake the room, you can own all of that. All $188,000,000,000,000.00 worth. “Worth playing for?” Yeah.
My country these days has become like some aging cheap whore, selling herself on street corners to the first two-bit John who comes along and offers her a couple of dollars.
America these days isn’t even a high-priced call girl any more.
“French aircraft were due to begin their first reconnaissance flights over Iraq,” France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on September 15. Britain is already flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq. Several other countries – Arab ones included – say they are willing to support the air campaign. None seem interested in pledging any ground troops, however.
“Well, you will hear from Secretary Kerry on this over the coming days. And what he has said is that others have suggested that they’re willing to do that. But we’re not looking for that right now,” Chief of Staff Denis McDonough waffled on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, September 14. “We’re trying to put together the specifics of what we expect from each of the members,” he added, which is one way of saying the United States is finding it hard to persuade other countries to provide ground forces – something the self-designed leader of the “coalition” is unwilling to do. Also on “Meet the Press” James Baker noted that the biggest problem “of course, is who are our, quote, ‘partners on the ground’ that the president referred to in his speech. And I don’t know where they come from.” Let it be noted that Baker put forth an ad-hoc strategic plan that was, in fact, far better than the one outlined by Obama. He suggested joining forces with China, Russia, Iran, Syria and others, following a non-UN-sponsored international conference of genuine international leaders.
There are no “partners on the ground” for now, and those that the Administration wants to groom for the role are worse than none: McDonough conceded that ground troops are needed, “that’s why we want this program to train the [Syrian] opposition that’s currently pending in Congress.” In my curtain-raiser on President Obama’s much-heralded speech of September 10, posted two days before he delivered it (“Obama’s Non-Strategy”), I warned that he – disastrously – still counts on the non-existent “moderate rebels” in Syria to come on board, and still refuses to talk to Bashar al-Assad, whose army is the only viable force capable of confronting the IS now and for many years to come. In short, “he has no plan to systematically degrade the IS capabilities, no means to shrink the territory that they control, and certainly no strategy to defeat them.”
Obama’s address to the nation on September 10 confirmed all of the above, but it also contained numerous non sequiturs, falsehoods, and delusional assertions that need to be addressed one by one. (The President’s words are in italics.)
I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.
This is an audacious statement of intent: not what the U.S. and America’s unnamed “friends and allies” will try to do, but what they will do to destroy an effective fighting force of some 30,000 fanatical jihadists at the time of this writing, and rapidly rising – an army, in fact, which is well armed and equipped, solvent, and highly motivated. Regardless of the coherence of Obama’s proposed methods – more of that later – what he announced is the beginning of yet another open-ended Middle Eastern war in which the United States will be fully committed and in which the “job” will not be considered “done” until and unless the IS is “destroyed.” Newt Gingrich is already salivating at the prospect of America spending “half of a century or more hunting down radicals, growing reliable self-governing allies, and convincing friends and neutrals to be anti-radical.” This nightmare is good news – at home – only for the military-industrial complex, and abroad for the jihadists of all color and hue. “Half a century or more” of such idiocy can only accelerate this country’s road to bankruptcy, financial as well as moral.
Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden’s death did not make one scintilla of difference. Al Qaeda’s (AQ) leadership is not a snake but a hydra: you can “take out” a hundred of its leaders today, and another hundred will take their place tomorrow. Successfully killing scores or thousandsof jihadists should not be confused with winning against jihad. More importantly – and Obama seems to be oblivious to the fact – al Qaeda is not a hierarchical organization, but a state of mind and a blueprint for action. Its non-affiliates, too – in Nigeria, Libya, Syria, the Philippines, Kashmir etc. – follow the same guiding principles and seek the same millenarian objectives. As any counterterrorism expert can tell you, “targeted” drone killings are doing more damage than good by angering local populations – which suffer “collateral damage” – thus providing an inexhaustible pool of fresh recruits for the jihadists (quite apart from legal and moral considerations).
We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia.
It is breathtaking that Obama should imply that Yemen and Somalia are his administration’s success stories that should be emulated in the campaign against the IS. As Nicholas Kristof noted in The New York Times, “Obama may be the only person in the world who would cite conflict-torn Yemen and Somalia as triumphs.”
Yemen is an ever-growing hotbed of terrorist activity regardless of (and more likely partly due to) more than 100 American airstrikes since 2002, which killed some 500 militants and over a hundred civilians. (When Yemeni kids are disobedient, their parents have a new tool of enforcing discipline: “A big American drone will come and get you!”) The Department of state admitted in its most recent worldwide terrorism report that “of the AQ affiliates, AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) continues to pose the most significant threat to the United States and U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen.” Its success, according to the report, is “due to an ongoing political and security restructuring within the government itself” [i.e. no effective government and no reliable security forces]. “AQAP continued to exhibit its capability by targeting government installations and security and intelligence officials, but also struck at soft targets, such as hospitals,” and it continues to expand territory under its control. Somalia is an utterly failed state with no functioning government, and al-Shabaab’s terrorist base from which complex operations are launched against soft targets in neighboring countries (notably last year’s attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall, which killed at least 67 people).
If this is the model for the anti-IS campaign, then even a century of Newt’s “hunting down radicals, growing reliable self-governing allies, and convincing friends and neutrals to be anti-radical” will be a fiasco – albeit on an infinitely grander scale.
We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.
The fruits of the war in Iraq are all too visible. It cannot be stated often enough that America’s war against Saddam – who never threatened the United States, and opposed Islamic terrorism – produced the IS, which is now treated as an existential threat which requires another American war to eliminate.
In Afghanistan the Taliban is well poised to make a comeback one, two, at most three years after the end of the American combat mission. It is able to carry out attacks in the center of the capital, Kabul, the latest of which – on September 16 – killed three members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Safer, indeed.
Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.
This is surreal. Obama may have been born and raised a Muslim, but he claims not to be a Muslim now; it is therefore as preposterous for him to pass judgments on the Islamic bona fides of Muslim entities as it would be for the Saudi king to decide whether the Orange Order of Ulster or the Episcopal Church are “Christian” (a purely technical parallel, of course). In any event, Obama’s theological credentials were established with clarity in the aftermath of James Foley’s beheading by the IS, when he declared (also in the context of absolving Islam of any connection with the IS) that “no just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.” Since they did what they did, this unambiguous statement means that – in Obama’s opinion – either there is no God, or God is not just.
Contrary to Obama’s assurances, Islam does condone the killing of infidels (non-Muslims) and apostates (Shiites) – they are not “innocents” by definition. And of course Muslims have been killing other Muslims – often on a massive scale – ever since three of the four early caliphs, Muhammad’s immediate successors, were murdered by their Muslim foes. It is immaterial whether ISIS is true to “Islam” as Obama chooses to define it. It is undeniable that it is true to the principles and practices of historical Islam.
Obama either does not know what he is talking about, or he is practicing a variety of taqiyya. As Nonie Darwish put it bluntly in the American Thinker on September 12, Obama does not want to go down in history as the one who destroyed and extinguished the dream of resurrecting the Islamic State. Under his watch Islam was placed on a pedestal and that helped revive the Islamic dream of the Caliphate:
Muslims felt that Obama was their man, under whom they had a chance to achieve their powerful Islamic state. Obama himself was not happy with the military takeover and destruction of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Jihadist ambition had to move away from Egypt to war-torn Syria and Iraq. For more than two years, Islamists have carried out flagrant and barbaric mass terrorism – beheadings, torture, kidnapping, and sexual slavery of women, men, and children. Obama ignored the problem until it blew up in our faces with the beheading of two Americans.
Even if he could defeat ISIS, Darwish argues, that would turn him into an infidel enemy number one of Islam – one who supported Muslims in their dream of the Caliphate by looking the other way, only to later crush it. Obama therefore cannot be honest about this dilemma regarding ISIS; “a dilemma between his duty to the USA, the country he chose to lead, and his dream of becoming the hero of the Muslim World who taught the West a lesson on how to treat Muslims. Obama will not obliterate ISIS but will contain it, as he said. He will eventually kick the can to the next administration, not only because he hates wars as he claims, but because he does not want to be enemy number one of Islam and the Muslims.” That is Obama’s dirty little secret that explains his paralysis before ISIS, Darwish concludes: “Ironically, the man who claimed to have healed the relationship between the West and the Muslim world will go down in history as the one who helped the rise and the bloody fall of the Islamic State and perhaps America itself.”
And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.
Obama does not know the feelings of some ten million people under IS control. Many of those who did not cherish life under its black banner have already fled to Damascus, Baghdad, or Erbil. There is no doubt that it is successful in attracting thousands upon thousands of new recruits every month. And as I wrote in the current issue of Chronicles, the Caliphate is a “state” whether we like it or not:
Traditional international law postulates the possession of population, of territory, and the existence of a government that exercises effective control over that population and territory: a state exists if it enjoys a monopoly on coercive mechanisms within its domain, which the caliphate does. After all, unrecognized state entities such as Transnistria, Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh command their denizens’ overwhelming loyalty and exercise effectively undisputed control over their entire territory. Some international jurists may cite the ability of the self-proclaimed state’s authority to engage in international discourse, but that is a moot point. The capacity to control a putative state’s territory and population almost invariably leads to such ability, regardless of the circumstances of that state’s inception: South Sudan is a recent case in point, and the creation of Israel in 1947 also comes to mind.
ISIS controls an area the size of Montana in northeastern Syria and western and northwestern Iraq. It has substantial funds at its disposal, initially given it by the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Turks, Qataris, Bahrainis, UAE donors, et al., and augmented to the tune of half a billion dollars looted from the Iraqi government vaults in Mosul and Tikrit. It is effective in collecting taxes, tolls, and excise duties. With no debts or liabilities, the existing stash and ongoing cash flow makes the emerging Caliphate more solvent than dozens of states currently represented in the UN. It has enough oil and derivatives not only for its own needs, but also to earn the foreign exchange needed to buy all the food and other goods it needs from abroad.
ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.
It is not that (see above). This statement reflects a conceptual delusion which ab initio cannot provide the basis for a sound strategy. Obama’s own State Department declared as far back as July 23 that “ISIL is no longer simply a terrorist organization” – or at least that is what Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on that day. “It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates Valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.”
And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.
It does have a vision. That vision is eminently Islamic in its millenarian strategic objectives, in its tactics, and in its methods. It is no more utopian than Obama’s vision of an “indispensable” America, which – as he put it at the very end of his speech – stands for “freedom, justice and dignity,” an America which defends those “timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.”
In its self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, the IS claims – in principle – religious authority over all Muslims in the world, and ultimately aspires to bring all Muslim-inhabited lands of the world under its political control. Last June ISIS published a document which announced that “the legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.” It rejects the political divisions established by Western powers in the Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1917. Its self-declared immediate-to-medium-term goal is to conquer Iraq, Syria and other parts of al-Sham – the loosely-defined Levant region – including Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and southeastern Turkey. It is a bold, even audacious vision, but a vision it most certainly is.
In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide.
There is absolutely nothing “unique” in the IS fighters’ brutality. They are only following the example of their prophet. Muhammad executed Meccan prisoners after the battle of Badr in 624AD. He condoned the killing of women and children besieged in Ta’if in 630. He and his followers enslaved, raped and forced into marriage Jewish women after he massacred the men of the Jewish tribes of Banu Qurayzain 627 and Banu Nadir in 629. He even “married” one of the captured Banu Nadir women, Safiyya bint Huyayy captured after the men Banu Nadir were massacred. He did not “threaten” the Jews of the Arabian peninsula with genocide, he carried that genocide so thoroughly that not a trace of them remains to this day. Christians living in the IS who want to remain in the “caliphate” face three options according to IS officials: converting to Islam, paying a religious tax (jizya), or “the sword.” This choice is as conventionally Islamic as it gets, having been stipulated many times in the Quran and hadith.
But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. That’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days… I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.
The would-be coalition of Sunni Muslim “partners” includes those who had been aiding and abetting ISIS for years, and who have neither the will nor the resources to fight it. As I wrote here last week, those countries’ military forces are unable to confront an enemy which consists of highly motivated light infantry, knows the terrain, enjoys considerable popular support, and operates in small motorized formations:
On the basis of its poor showing in Yemen it is clear that the Saudis in particular are no better than the Iraqi army which performed so miserably last June. Even when united in their overall strategic objectives, Arab armies are notoriously unable to develop integrated command and control systems – as was manifested in 1947-48, in the Seven-Day War of 1967, and in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Their junior officers are discouraged from making independent tactical decisions by their inept superiors who hate delegating authority. Both are, inevitably, products of a culture steeped in strictly hierarchical modes of thought and action. Furthermore, their expensive hardware integrated into hard to maneuver brigade-sized units is likely to be useless against an elusive enemy who will avoid pitched battles.
An additional unresolved problem is Turkey, which is staying aloof and will not allow even U.S. facilities in its territory to be used for the air campaign. Erdogan is definitely not a “partner,” and Turkey continues to tolerate steady recruiting of ISIS volunteers in its territory as well as the passage of foreign jihadists across the 550-mile borderit shares with Syria and Iraq.
The most important problem in creating a coalition with Obama’s “Arab partners” is religious, however. The leaders of all Sunni Arab countries and Turkey are well aware that, contrary to Obama’s claims, ISIS is a Muslim group firmly rooted in the teachings and practices of orthodox Sunni Islam. They are loath to ally themselves with the kuffar in fighting those who want to fulfill the divine commandment to strive to create the Sharia-based universal caliphate. Those leaders are for the most part serious believers, and they do not want to go to hell.
Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy. First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts … so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.
The Shia-dominated Iraqi army is not to be counted upon, as attested by its flight from Mosul, and it cannot be counted upon to cooperate with the armed forces of the overtly anti-Shia regimes, even if in the fullness of time they provided ground troops. The Kurdish pershmerga also would be loath to treat Saudis or Qataris as brothers-in-arms. Even if they were capable of major operations, which they are not, both the Iraqi army and the peshmerga would be perceived by the Sunni Arab majority in northwestern Iraq as an occupying force with the predictable result that the “caliphate” could count on thousands of fresh volunteers. Obama’s “regional allies” could end up helping their Sunni coreligionists fight the Shia “apostates.” They regard the IS in western Iraq and northeastern Syria as a welcome buffer against the putative Shia crescent extending from Iran to the Lebanese coast. As for the “Iraqi forces,” they are devoid of any offensive potential now and that will not change for years to come.
Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition… In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.
“The Syrian opposition” is ideologically indistinguishable from the IS, militarily ineffective, internally divided, and far keener to renew its stalled fight against Bashar al-Assad than to fight the Caliphate. America’s would-be “coalition” partners have indirectly indicated that they are aware of this fact: several mentioned Iraq when announcing the proposed military measures last Monday, but none made any mention of the challenge next door.
Obama’s present heavy reliance on the “Syrian opposition” is at odds with his own doubts about its viability, which were openly expressed in an interview with New York Times’s Tom Friedman only a month earlier:
“With ‘respect to Syria,’ said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has ‘always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.’”
Now, however, Obama is rejecting cooperation with Damascus – the only realist course with any chance of success – and is relying on a “fantasy” scenario to create some boots on the ground. No lessons have been drawn from Libya’s collapse into bloody anarchy, or from the failure of America’s decade-long effort to train and equip the Iraqi army, which disintegrated when faced with the IS three months ago. Such fiascos notwithstanding, Obama wants to build up a Syrian rebel force as one of the pillars of his strategy – that same force of which he said to Friedman on August 8 that “there’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”
We will continue providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.
“Tens of thousands of Christians” is a hundred-fold reduction of the magnitude of the problem that long-suffering community has faced in the region since the start of the Iraqi war in 2003. Obama’s statement is the exact numerical and moral equivalent to saying that “hundreds of thousands of European Jews” were at grave risk at the time of the Wannsee conference. As Peggy Noonan wrote the other day in the Wall Street Journal, “genocide” is the right word to describe the plight of the region’s Christians, noting that “for all his crimes and failings, Syria’s justly maligned Assad was not attempting to crush his country’s Christians. His enemies were – the jihadists, including those who became the Islamic State.” As well as those, let us add, who are now being groomed by the President of the United States to fight the Islamic State. No wonder he is deliberately and cynically minimizing the plight of his protégés’ Christian victims.
This is our strategy.
Lord have mercy!
This is American leadership at its best: we stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.
My Administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL.
This is disputable. Obama refers to the authorization originally concerning action against al-Qaeda, treating as a blank check for starting a new war of unknown magnitude and duration.
This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
Deja-vu all over again. On the grimly positive note, more Yemeni and Somali-like “successes” may be needed to accelerate America’s eventual return home.
America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.
It would be a cliché to state that Obama is either deluded or stunningly cynical. He is both, of course, I’d say roughly 60:40.
Our technology companies and universities are unmatched; our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history.
Cringe again: tasteless, self-serving inanities that have nothing to do with ISIS or strategy. Obama’s psychopatic narcissism trumps that of the Clintons, impossible as it may have seemed.
Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists.
“The world,” indeed, minus Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, South Africa, and scores of lesser powers on all continents (save Australia) which have the capacity and the will to reject Obama’s audacious and increasingly absurd notions of global leadership.
It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny. It is America – our scientists, our doctors, our know-how – that can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola. It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so they cannot pose a threat to the Syrian people – or the world – again.
There is no “Russian aggression,” and “the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny” was brazenly undermined by the State Department/CIA-engineered coup d’etat in Kiev last February. It is preposterous for Obama to take credit for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons – it was Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic coup which got Obama off the hook when Congress and the public at large expressed their opposition to the intended bombing of Syria. But yes, American scientists and doctors definitely “can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola.” That was the only true statement in Obama’s address. Its relevance to his anti-IS strategy is unclear.
And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, tolerance, and a more hopeful future.
… especially in places like Marseilles, Antwerp, Malmo, Dortmund, and Dearborn, Michigan.
America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia – from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East – we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding.
Obama wouldn’t know the founding values if they hit him in the head. He is the worst president of the United States in history after all. That is no mean feat, considering the competition.
If I pointed out that involvement in every major 20th-century conflict the US was part of occurred on liberals’ watch, it might not be entirely fair. True, there was WWI under Wilson, WWII under FDR, Korea under Truman, and Vietnam under Kennedy and Johnson. But the second Great War needed to be fought, four conflicts aren’t exactly a scientific sample, and some could contend that these men were, to some extent, victims of timing and circumstance. It also should be said that with modernity’s characteristic flaw of relativism causing ever shifting social visions, yesterday’s liberals aren’t like today’s. As to this, some may mention that it’s a tad tendentious to limit the conflict timeframe to the 20th century, with George W. Bush getting us into Iraq and Afghanistan. But like his father, Bush was always a traditional statist, an old-line liberal in the mold of JFK. Moreover, our Middle East adventures weren’t quite like Korea or Vietnam: the wars were won fast. The problem was winning the peace.
But, fair enough, the historical record itself isn’t sufficient to indict liberals as warmongers. No matter, though, because I don’t claim liberals are warmongers. They are ignorance and naïveté mongers.
Avoiding disastrous war is the stuff of foreign policy, and foreign policy involves dealing with other humans; as such, it can only be as good as your understanding of human nature. Thus, just as in the schoolyard or the street, your ability to avoid disastrous international fights will be commensurate with your understanding of human nature. Can you read people — some of whom are potential threats — well? Can you differentiate between a gathering storm that needs to be nipped in the bud and a situation exacerbated by meddling? Do you know what’s your business and what isn’t? Can you strike the balance between projecting the strength that deters aggression and seeming as a threat yourself? Complicating matters is that foreign policy is about dealing with foreign human beings, people sharing your basic nature but not your basic conception of the world.
Given this, it’s clear that a leader can only avoid unnecessary or disastrous war insofar as he grasps man’s nature. And how do liberals measure up in this area?
During the 1990s budget battles, liberals said that with the alleged Republican “budget cuts,” the elderly would have to eat dog food to afford medicine. Spoofing this, radio host Rush Limbaugh said that he purchased a new can opener for his mother “so that she can get the dog food easier when she has to eat it.” The next day, liberal Congresswoman Pat Schroeder took to the House floor and said, flabbergasted, “[T]his is what it’s come to! …Rush Limbaugh actually said he’s going to buy his mother a can opener so she can have dog food. Wow!”
Yeah, wow. Schroeder took seriously the most obvious of jokes. Talk about an inability to read people. Talk about a foreign human being.
Exhibit B: at a 1990s feminist conference in my area, I made a rather articulate statement during the question-and-answer session, prompting some agitated feminist organizers to subsequently approach me and ask if I represented some group. Finding me unpalatable, they ultimately begged out of the conversation by offering to send me literature and asking for my address. I consented but quipped, “As long as you don’t send a hit squad to my house.”
You guessed it. Schroederesquely, they took me seriously and said sternly, “We don’t do things like that.” Bizarre. Just bizarre.
Then I think of Charles Jenkins, an American soldier who spent 39 years in North Korean captivity. After finally returning to the US, he said about his arch-leftist captors, “[W]hen you lie they think you are telling the truth, and when you tell the truth they think you are lying. You learn real quick to say no when you mean yes, and yes when you mean no.” I guess the North Koreans are just like our leftists — only more so.
My last example concerns the nuclear-war scare of 1983. When the CIA reported that the Soviets actually thought NATO command-post exercise Able Archer 83 might be a prelude to a nuclear attack, President Ronald Reagan was shocked. Reagan’s deputy CIA director Robert Gates would later write, “Was the Soviet leadership so out of touch that they really believed a preemptive attack was a real possibility?”
Yes, they were.
They were leftists.
Of course, it’s no put-down to mention that just as the Soviets misread Washington, Reagan and, it appears, all his advisors misread the Soviets. We all fail in this regard at times, mistaking a joke for a serious comment, taking offense when none was intended or something else. Discernment is a continuum. But while some people occupy the Amazing Kreskin end of the scale, others populate the Schroeder end. And having such a person in power can mean the bitter end.
And what of Obama? Is he at all a mind-reader or just a Teleprompter reader? He misread ISIS, calling it the “JV team.” He misread the tribalistic, Muslim humans in Iraq, saying they had a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” “representative government.” He misread the Middle East in general, stating “the tide of war is receding.” As the usually sympathetic New York Times wrote about the president, “Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.”
Moreover, just last week Obama said in Estonia that an attack on that nation (alluding to Russian aggression) would be considered an attack on all of NATO and be met with the “armed forces of the United States of America.” Huh? As Pat Buchanan pointed out, such a statement about Russia’s sphere of influence is unprecedented and is something Obama’s “Cold War predecessors would have regarded as certifiable madness.” Would the president really risk nuclear war over tiny Estonia? Was it prudent to enter Vladimir Putin’s backyard and saber rattle? Was Obama wise to send the message that he’s either the world’s worst bluffer or its most insane leader?
But, again, liberals are the Braille bunch of human understanding. Just consider their prescriptions for deterring criminals, disciplining children, interpreting sexual inclinations or perceived statuses, encouraging productivity, avoiding nuclear war (unilateral disarmament), dealing with bullies in schools, thwarting school shootings (gun-free zones) or just about anything else that involves understanding man’s nature. Like old Patsy, who mistook a most comedic comment for the most serious callousness, they don’t just get others wrong — they get things completely backwards.
Why is this? Because liberals live lives of rationalization, something debating them reveals. You can make an airtight point and a leftist not only won’t cede it, he’ll disgorge a completely absurd denial of reality. Of course, that’s what a rationalization is: when you lie to yourself, bend reality for yourself. And when you deny reality habitually, year after year — refusing to see one pixel here, another there, and a thousand others in different places — you never assemble enough elements of reality to see the big picture; this is called being out of touch with reality. Yet living in a Matrix of his own design, the person doesn’t know he’s thus detached. But the consequence is that he has difficulty discerning truth; he misreads people, events, life, the Universe and everything.
What explains liberals’ propensity for rationalization? Note here that by “liberals” I mean people who are relativists, who don’t believe in Absolute Truth, because this defines liberals (generally speaking) at the deepest level: the philosophical. And while we all may rationalize, there is a difference. If a person believes in Truth, he’ll likely care about it and be less likely to deny one of its inconvenient or uncomfortable aspects. He’ll be wont to say, “Okay, I don’t like reality here, but, heck, the Truth’s the Truth; I’ll just have to man up and accept it.” He also may understand, or at least sense intuitively, that denial of Truth is a moral defect.
But the person fancying that morality is just values and values are man-made, that everything is relative, approaches things differently. You can’t be denying Truth if Truth doesn’t exist; you’re just denying a different perspective. Moreover, even in matters of outright deception, such as peddling forged documents damaging to George W. Bush, what of it? A lie can’t be any worse than the “truth” in a relativistic universe. For everything there boils down to occultist Aleister Crowley’s maxim, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
So what can we expect from our detached-from-reality ignorance mongers? Well, pondering this I’m reminded of a woman whose somewhat liberal husband would be namby-pamby with their son, let him take too many liberties and allow the tension to build, until he would explode and react to the boy inappropriately. That’s the danger with leftists. If anyone would get us into a really big war, it would be someone who misreads situations and other people, fails to take necessary preventive action, and then reacts rashly. It would be a liberal.
Of course, the bigger problem is the detached ignorance mongers who would elect an Obama — twice. But, hey, perhaps they can persevere if they maintain their ability to rationalize. After all, with the onset of a nuclear winter, there would be no reason to worry about global warming.
Well lookie here. Joyce Meyer, popular women’s conference speaker; health and wealth author; radio & TV teacher (whew!) has been invited to speak at the Onething Conference that will be held this December. The 4 day weekend supposedly draws 25,000 young adults. Visit Onething and you will find that the conference is “a gathering of believers who are setting their hearts to live with passion for Jesus.” Sounds like a conference most Christians would love to attend. What sincere believer wouldn’t want to share his/her passion for Jesus?
Not so fast. The group behind the event is none other than the International House of Prayer (IHOP) an evangelical mission organization that has its home base in Kansas City. IHOP-KC’s founder, Mike Bickle, has ties to the New Apostolic Reformation aka Dominionists; Kingdom Now; Latter Rain; Joel’s Army; Manifest Sons of God – the name has been changed to protect the guilty. Their aim is to transform society into the kingdom of God on earth. How? By controlling various aspects of society.
Before I fill you in on Meyer, you’ll need a bit of background on Bickle. A couple of decades ago he was in a heretical group known as the Kansas City Prophets,
who brought grandiose claims that a “new breed” of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever. These so-called prophets were a group of men that coalesced around a church known as the Kansas City Fellowship, pastored by Mike Bickle, that attracted a following of other likeminded churches in that region. (H/T Pastor Ken Silva)
So it’s not surprising that this self-professed “prophet” has been under scrutiny for his false teaching. Google his name and you’ll discover that he believes God speaks to him in an audible voice and claims that he’s been to heaven twice.
It’s important to note that last year Reformed pastor; author; conference speaker Francis Chan spoke at Onething where he declared “I love Mike Bickle.” Chan took a lot of heat for agreeing to speak at the conference. When friends and fans urged him to decline the invite, he admitted that he didn’t know much about Mike Bickle and IHOP so,
I kinda went on the Internet and started looking things up.
Whatever he found caused him to fall in love:
I go, man, there’s a lot of great things going on [at IHOP]. And today was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle. And, I love that guy. I do. And Mike knows—we talked about this—you know, there’s people who told me not to hang out with him.
Like, you know, words like “creepy” came up. And yet, I get to know this guy and I’m going, “Man, I love his heart. And I just want to publicly say I love Mike Bickle. (Source)
As you can see, Chan professed his love for the sort of person Jesus referred to as a ravenous wolf. (Mat. 7:15)
What Francis Chan failed to turn up in his investigation is that Mike Bickle has led countless young people astray. He’s a sort of a Pied Piper to those who journey to Kansas City from all over the globe to be a part of something “significant.” Once there, they stay for days, months…even years. You’ll find them in the prayer room praying. Prayer “led from a stage full of musicians and readers chanting repetitive phrasings of faith” goes on ‘round the clock.
The false prophet has filled the young sojourners’ heads with untruths such as “an elite end-time church defeats God’s enemies, and Jesus is ‘held in the heavens’ until it happens.” So they most “go forth and make ready.”
Apologist Matt Slick tells us that the major draw of IHOP is experience:
People often come to me citing their experience and go back again and again to experience “God” and the “Spirit” – [which is] no different than an emotional high. This is analogous to mysticism, which is defined as “the pursuit of deeper or higher subjective religious experience,” and “that spiritual reality is perceived apart from the human intellect and natural senses.”
Slick goes on to say:
One of the highest criticisms would be IHOP’s insidious Gnosticism. Gnosticism is derived from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” The hallmark of Gnosticism is the idea of having “hidden knowledge” of the spiritual realm that is unavailable to others. This knowledge comes via prophecies, visions, and dreams that God specifically gives to a certain privileged group of people – in this case IHOP. In fact, IHOP has their own “prophecy rooms” where one can receive “prophecies,” and they used to have a practice of mailing out recorded tapes, of which I was asked by my friend’s mother to translate! (Source)
One last comment about Francis Chan. The name may not be familiar but he’s without question a popular speaker and author whose books sell like hot cakes. Sadly, when it comes to the questionable goings on at IHOP, Chan has shown an astonishing lack of discernment. It goes without saying that: (1) He must change direction and move away from those who involve themselves with the metaphysical cults. (2) He must spend more time researching the people he associates with.
More On Meyer
For decades Joyce Meyer has been called a false teacher. Why? Because she holds to Word of Faith/prosperity/health and wealth heresy. She mixes error with good practical information for women, which is why she’s so popular. There’s plenty of proof for those who wish to know the truth (see the links at the end), and still many women choose to believe that those who say she’s a false teacher are wrong.
Some of her fans know what’s going on at IHOP-KC, so she’s bound to get blow back both before and after her appearance at Onething. People will wonder: If I know about Mike Bickle and IHOP, how could Joyce not know? They may even conclude that it’s a sign that her ministry is about to align with the modern day “apostles and prophets” movement.
So why in heaven’s name is she hitching herself to a wagon loaded with theological garbage. As I pointed out earlier, “prophet” Mike Bickle is heavily into the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). That group’s theology is a load of garbage that should be hauled to the trash dump and burned.
But before I address the reasons Meyer has chosen to put her name on the marquee with Bickle’s, let’s follow the example set by the Bereans and compare her teaching to what Scripture says.
Truth Or Error, That Is The Question
One of the reasons Joyce Meyer is considered a false teacher is because she has taught that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins in hell:
The following quote is from her 1991 booklet, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make, she teaches a hallmark doctrine of Faith theology, namely, that Christ had to suffer in hell to atone for our sins and be born again:
“During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin…He paid the price there.…no plan was too extreme…Jesus paid on the cross and in hell….God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, “Let Him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus…He was resurrected from the dead ¾ the first born-again man.” (Source)
What she said here is not the view traditional orthodox Christianity holds to. The Bible says that Jesus atoned for our sins on the cross. Listen to John 19:30:
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus’ shed blood was sufficient for the atonement of our sins. The moment Jesus uttered the words “It is finished” our sin debt was paid in full.
As to her teaching on prosperity and success, listen to Joshua 1:8:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
So, does being prosperous mean Christians will be influential and financially secure? According to one commentary:
Many people think that prosperity and success come from having power, influential personal contacts, and a relentless desire to get ahead. But the strategy for gaining prosperity that God taught Joshua goes against such criteria. He said that to succeed Joshua must (1) be strong and courageous because the task ahead would not be easy, (2) obey God’s law, and (3) constantly read and study the Book of the Law – God’s Word. To be successful, follow God’s words to Joshua. You may not succeed by the world’s standards, but you will be a success in God’s eyes – and his opinion lasts forever.
For all you scoffers – it’s an undeniable fact that Joyce Meyer is a prosperity preacher, thus she’s a false teacher, a ravenous wolf.
Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous
It’s no secret that she has been criticized for many things but first and foremost for her “conspicuously prosperous lifestyle.” The money her ministry rakes in doesn’t bother her fans in the least which is obvious as scores of them purchase her books, tune into her TV/radio shows, and flock to her conferences. They say her message is “uplifting.” For them doctrine isn’t important –hearing a positive message is what counts. And Joyce is all about making her fans feel good. She knows that they prefer a feel-good message over hearing the gospel. I mean, isn’t Christianity all about feeling good? Doesn’t becoming a believer mean we’ll be happy, healthy and wealthy? God loves us, yes He does. And because of His great love for His kids, He’s going to provide us with several homes—Joyce has several homes– and perhaps our own private jet so that we can fly all over the globe like she does.
Joyce Meyer’s prosperity preaching is right out of the Word of Faith (WoF) play book. That a person can create his/her own reality is the fairy tale Christianity she teaches and with no apology. So, it’s not helpful when a prominent Christian leader joins her on her TV show and instead of pointing out errors in her teaching he tells her (and the audience) that she’s a “great Bible teacher.”
Well, nothing could be further from the truth, and Ravi Zacharias, who gave her the compliment, should have known better. He of all people should know that she holds to WoF heresy. The compliment he gave her made it clear that he was oblivious to the fact that he was sitting next to a heretic. So, Ravi did for her what she’s doing for Mike Bickle, lending creditability when none is deserved.
Like Chan, if he would have done his homework before agreeing to the interview, it would have been patently obvious that he was going to be the guest of the Prosperity Priestess. It’s shocking that high-profile celebs such as Francis Chan and Ravi Zacharias don’t know who the wolves in the hen house are. Moreover, how could men of their stature not be aware that the NAR and WoF movements are at best aberrant and at worst cults?
Cults? you say with steam coming out of your ears. Let there be no doubt. These movements are viewed by some as cults for the reason that they’re “false, unorthodox, extremist” sects of Christianity (dictionary.com). In a word: counterfeit.
Now getting back the primary purpose for this article, why would Joyce Meyer agree to speak at a hugely controversial event with a notorious false teacher? Perhaps it’s because the Prosperity Priestess and the Pied Piper hold the same unbiblical theology, thus they’re birds of a feather. So it’s no big deal when they sit on a wire together.
Or perhaps it’s all about prosperity – hers! After hearing Joyce’s “uplifting” message people will flock to the book table to purchase her merchandise.
But that’s speculation. The point I want to drive home is this. More and more professing Christians are uniting with wolves in sheep’s clothing. Likewise, wolves and wolverines are joining forces with wolves from different wolf packs. The pack is growing. It’s getting stronger — and they’re cunning! False teachers now play a major role in the Christian community. As I mentioned above, in order to transform society into the kingdom of God on earth, wolves and wolverines must control things, such as entertainment; government; education; business/economy; media; and family — they’re heavily involved in pro-family organizations.
I’ll close with the words of a wise man, Pastor Ray Stedman:
So in this day of confusion, of uncertainty, which voice will you listen to? The voices of the occult world around us? The false prophets who are telling visions which they claim to be coming from the voice of God? The secular voices which tell us that things are not the way the Bible says they are? Which voice will you listen to? Whom will you follow? What will be the guideline for your actions?
Research Mike Bickle:
Stand Up For The Truth wrote a piece entitled Is IHOP a cult? One intern’s story and shared the story of Arial, a young woman who was an IHOP intern.
Mike Bickle Acknowledges Catholic Contemplative Influence on IHOP-KC—My Word Like Fire
Mike Bickle/IHOP research links–Apostasy Watch
New Apostolic Reformation research links—On Solid Rock Resources
Research Joyce Meyer:
In her own words…listen to Meyer preach the prosperity gospel. Hank Hanegraaff plays the clip and responds.
Joyce Meyer—Let Us Reason Ministries
Word of Faith/Televangelists research links—On Solid Rock Resources
In 1932, the third year of the Great Depression, 25 thousand homeless and destitute WWI veterans and their families camped around Washington, DC urging the government of President Herbert Hoover to make an immediate payment of about $500 which had been authorized by the Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924 but was not due until 1945. Socialism had no yet grown roots and when these veterans lost their jobs they quickly fell into severe circumstances. They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force (BEF).
Drew Pearson wrote that they were “ragged, weary, and apathetic”. Will Rogers said they held, “the record for being the best behaved” of any “hungry men assembled anywhere in the world.” Though the soldiers and their families had no weapons and could not even be called able bodied the government acted as if it was under siege.
Yes, they were a nuisance. They stank and some of them begged. The government spread the rumor that they were Communists. Business men complained that they hurt business.
Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur and his assistants Major Dwight Eisenhower and Major George Patton were assigned to rid the city of the vermin. Eisenhower’s friend Brigadier General George Moseley suggested they arrest the BEF and others “of inferior blood” and ship them off to one of the remote Hawaiian Islands where “they could stew in their own filth”.
President Hoover announced that veterans were “entirely of the Communist element” and troops would “put an end to the rioting and defiance of civil authority”. Presently, led by Major Patton, troops of the 3rd Cavalry marched down Pennsylvania Avenue brandishing sabers followed by a machine gun detachment, men from the 12 Infantry, and six tanks. Major Patton’s cavalry turned and charged directly into the crowd of unarmed protestors shouting “clear our”. Tear gas was thrown and men women and children began a disorderly flight. Three children were killed.
The main BEF camp was across the Eleventh Street Bridge. In spite of the fact the MacArthur had been ordered not to cross the bridge, according to Eisenhower, he defied the order and allowed Patton’s cavalry to march into the camp throwing tear gas and burning everything that was combustible.
William Manchester tells this story at the beginning of his two volumes “The Glory and The Dream”. He writes that “well to do Washingtonians in yachts cruised close to look at the show. And at 11:15 P.M. they had watched Major George S. Patton, Jr. lead his cavalrymen in a final destructive charge. Among the ragged bonus marchers routed by their sabers was Joseph T. Angelino, who, on September 26, 1918, had won the Distinguished Service Cross in the Argonne Forest for saving the life of a young officer named George S. Patton, Jr.
As the book progresses Manchester supplies the detailed results of the Great Depression. In 1932, stocks listed on the Big Board had lost 80 percent of their value. General Motors and U. S. Steel were at 8 percent of their 1929 value. Five thousand banks failed. The Gross National Product fell from 104 billion dollars to 41 and 273,000 families were evicted from their homes.
Farm prices fell so that it was cheaper to burn corn than to sell it and buy coal. Thousands of mortgage foreclosures made farm families homeless. But in spite of the rural catastrophe city dwellers could still not afford .39 cent butter, .21 cent prime rib, or .20 a dozen eggs.
Men left their families and rode freight trains to other town seeking work; they got a free ride but no work. Some school teachers worked without pay and many schools were closed. One percent of the population owned 59 percent of the wealth.
While this tragic devastation was in full swing the nation’s newspapers were singing songs of recover. “BUSINESS PULSE BEATING FASTER, factories reopening all over the country”; “BOOM AWAKENS TEXTILE PLANTS IN NEW ENGLAND, capacity production reported in some cities”; “TRADE UPTURN WITHIN 90 DAYS NOW EXPECTED”. Manchester writes, “Nowhere in any of these newspapers was there mention of the remarkable fact that in the United States of America, the richest country in the world, more than 15 million men were looking for jobs that did not exist.”
The suicide rate tripled and thousands packed union square in New York to hear Communist speakers. When upstart Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected by a landslide it was noted that the popular vote for Norman Thomas tripled. In some cities mobs broke into grocery stores and rifled the shelves, state houses were occupied, in Chicago teachers broke into the banks.
Peacenik Henry Ford began to carry a gun. The moneyed gentry retreated to their country homes and mounted machine guns on their roofs. The fuse was short and the nation was near anarchy when Roosevelt took over the presidency.
The Great Depression was an effective instrument to increase control over the populace by creating a dependent class. If that was the goal, it was a great success. President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed dictatorial powers with the blessing of many elected officials of both parties. This situation was dire and volatile. Roosevelt was able to remove the fuse and to employ an array of Socialist programs that became permanent parts of American life.
Jumping ahead to the present era, the United States of America, formerly the richest country in the world, is now a tyrannical socialist state where millions of citizens depend on government welfare. The current depression is not yet as brutal as its predecessor but in spite of the propaganda that things are getting better millions of Americans remain out of work and millions more are severely under employed. Now, as then, veterans have become social flotsam and are often treated with suspicion by the government they served.
If severe economic depressions are unavoidable and not intended by devious power centers with ulterior motives, government assistance has been beneficial; so far we have survived without the guillotines of the French Revolution. Martial law would have been imposed long ago if government support had not calmed the populace. As the strong arms of government keep us from falling it must be noted that the cost of the strength of governments must be paid by its citizens – governments produce nothing.. When the wealth well runs dry the inevitable results of bankruptcy will explode and government will have secured ultimate power.
There are glaring parallels between our current situation and the 1929 debacle. Depressions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
America’s armed forces are attempting to subdue the Muslim world which forbids usury and is less susceptible to the Currency Lords. This strategy will destroy America and subdue Islam killing two major impediments to world government.
When governments wiggle out from under the dominion of the One True God (Lex Rex) and begins to see themselves in divine terms (Rex Lex) the world begins to march down a deadly road. It has been marching down that road for several decades and we are beginning to see the mother of all empires in the distance.
The current attempt to subdue the entire continent under a single Rex Lex government is a deadly misadventure that the One True God is allowing because the citizens of the world have forsaken His dominion in favor of the dominion of men.
We are living under a tyrannical government because we have chosen to rule our own lives and to appoint human rulers who rule according to their evil proclivities. When God’s people begin to humble themselves and seek His Will (obedience to His Law) instead of their own faulty reasoning we will be able to progress toward freedom.
Nations, rulers, leaders, pastors and citizens must attend to the Law of the Creator if we ever expect to see freedom again.
Appearing in part 1 is the phrase “low-information voter” (LIV) which is oft used by a popular radio talk show host. The host suggests that those who make up this population set are individuals who vote for a candidate or important issue having little or in most cases zero knowledge about either. LIVs are highly opinionated even when they have no idea what they’re talking about.
Also included in part 1 was the following quote from D. Edmund Wright. I appreciate the way he expands on the LIV concept:
But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact. Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country. And why not? (Source – emphasis in original)
His thoughts fit nicely with what I’ve come to believe about many leaders in the evangelical community. Specifically, a large number of them are uninformed people with high-profile power and/or influence. The LIVs Wright’s pointing a finger at are liberals. Likewise many of the evangelicals that came to mind for me are liberals but because liberal has a negative connotation they prefer “progressive Christian” or “social justice Christian.” Take your pick. But whichever one you go with has its roots in communism.
So to Christianize the LIV phrase I simply changed “voter” to “evangelical,” thus it became “low-information evangelical” (LIE). I defined the LIE in this way:
Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church. When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics. Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth. The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities.
More on esoteric experiences in a moment.
There’s also a group of evangelicals that fall into the category of undistinguished LIE (ordinary folk). The term I bestowed on them is u-LIE. This group is also uninformed on many things (both Christian and otherwise). They are often biblically illiterate. In part 1 I made this observation:
Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth!
Last but not least, I coined the phrase LIE-celebs. These individuals are prominent Christian leaders who are uninformed people with high-profile power and/or influence. Many of them are false teachers who do not speak for God.
LIE-celebs And Their Vain Hopes
God tells us how we are to handle false teachers:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:16).
We are to pay these folks no mind.
One example of a LIE-celeb is popular women’s Bible teacher Beth Moore. In part 1 I reported on Moore’s claim that she receives personal direct revelation from Almighty God. In other words, God tells her things. According to her, He calls her “baby” and “honey.” I’ll have more to share on this modern day prophetess in a moment.
LIE-celeb Joyce Meyer also claims that she receives extra biblical revelation or “revelation knowledge” from the Almighty. Both Moore and Meyer’s respective claims clearlydeny the sufficiency of Scripture. Equally troubling is that Joyce holds to heretical Word of Faith (WoF) theology. So naturally her students are swallowing the poisonous prosperity health and wealth gospel that does not save anyone. Following is an erroneous assertion made by her:
The Bible can’t even find any way to explain this. Not really. That is why you have got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I am telling you. I have got to just trust God that he is putting it into your spirit like he put it into mine. (Source)
Why do I say this is erroneous? Because it’s not taught in the Bible. She made it up. How do I know this? I searched the scriptures. (Acts 17:10-15) Nowhere does Scripture teach that God’s people are given special “revelation knowledge.”
“The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek ‘fresh’ revelations from God,” says Larry DeBruyn, “indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith (2 Timothy 3:16). This seeking is Gnostic and mystic. Harvie Conn …a former missionary in Korea, noted that the ‘central feature of mystical religion is its ‘belief in special revelation outside the Bible.’ Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, the coming of “new revelations” raises the following conundrum. I repeat it.
“If added revelations repeat what’s in the Bible, they are unnecessary. If new revelations contradict the Word of God, they are heresy. And if they supplement God’s Word, then the new revelations imply Scripture’s insufficiency, and about this Proverbs warns: ‘Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar’ (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).” (Source – emphasis added.)
Gnosticism is esoteric mysticism – a desire to “know the unknowable.” One of the obstacles the early church faced was Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that the masses are not in possession of spiritual knowledge, and only the truly “enlightened” can experience God. The Apostles condemned Gnosticism as a heresy.
But Gnosticism is not the issue; the issue at hand is this: how can one know for certain if Meyer’s so-called revelation came from God? “Is she on par with the apostles who received revelation knowledge from God himself?” asks apologist Matt Slick. He continues:
Or how about the Old Testament prophets? Does she, like them, also receive revelation knowledge from God? If so, how would we know if it were true or not? The answer is simple: we test what she says against Scripture, and it is obvious that she is getting a lot of things from somewhere else that contradict the word of God. (Source)
More On Moore
In part I brought the reader up to speed on Beth Moore’s slide into mysticism and also gave a heads up on her unbiblical teaching and had planned to leave it at that. But then the news came that she made an appearance on Joyce Meyer’s TV show. This is the sort of news Beth fans should be made aware of, so I decided to include a bit about it here. Just before her appearance Beth tweeted:
I have the great privilege of sitting down w/@ Joyce Meyer in her studio today to talk about unity. Pray for Jesus to be so present & pleased.
The unity Meyer and Moore espouse is man centered, not Christ centered.
Scoffers And Bullies And Meanies, Oh My!
So – Beth Moore sitting down for a chat with a WoF heretic is a problem in and of itself. But the reason she gave for appearing on the show was to talk about unity. The obvious question is why would a “solid Bible teacher,” as she is called, choose to unite with a woman who preaches a false gospel? Although their tête-à-tête is troubling it’s not the only concern people have with her. As I pointed out in part 1, she’s been under fire for, among other things, engaging in Christian mysticism, likewise for her acceptance of “charismania” which is odd for someone who’s an SBC Lifeway Bible teacher. Another problem arose when she appeared on Life Today with “Protholic” and big time promoter of ecumenism James Robison and proceeded to advise the audience to tune out the “scoffers”:
We’re going to have people that are honestly going to want to debate and argue with us about awakening and downpours … But there will be scoffers and they will be the far bigger threat, the one within our own brothers and sisters, our own family of God — far, far more demoralizing. And yes, it will come from bullies, and yes, it will come from the mean-spirited. (Source)
Beth’s attempt to shut people up who question her teaching should be concerning to Christian women who read her books and participate in Bible studies she has written.
For those of you who are Joyce Meyer fans, it’s imperative that you wake up to the fact that some of this woman’s teaching is outright heresy. Anyone who continues learning from her is choosing to remain under the teaching of what Jesus referred to in Mat. 7:15 as a ravenous wolf. Listen to John’s warning:
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 9-11)
Sadly, a growing number of LIE-celebs, likewise u-LIEs, are taking part in the wicked works John spoke of.
We are living in perilous times, brethren. It’s now common place for professing Christians to dabble in mysticism. The result? Many believers boast of having subjective magical mystical experiences such as visions; dreams; impressions; hearing inner voices; experiencing private illumination; and angel visitations. Warning! Christians who engage in esoteric mysticism deny sola Scriptura – the sufficiency of Scripture.
God’s people must come to grips with the fact that historic orthodox Christianity holds to the belief that everything we need to know about our Triune God is contained within the pages of the Bible. (Psalm 119:105)
Stranded In Spiritual Infancy
Following is an observation by apologist and author Bill Muehlenberg from a post entitled Kindergarten Christianity:
We have millions of believers who may have been saved decades ago, but are still acting like spiritual infants. They have not grown much, they have not progressed much in their walk with Christ, and their spiritual condition is rather anaemic [sic] and shallow.
They have not become genuine disciples in other words, and they are still stranded in a spiritual infancy. They can’t even handle the deep truths of God as revealed in Scripture. Indeed, many of them hardly even read their Bibles, barely pray, or engage in in-depth fellowship.
No wonder they are still floundering around as babies. They have not moved beyond the nursery. They are all stuck in day care. They are permanent residents of Christian kindergarten. Sadly this is so very widespread today in our churches.
This brings me back to the low information evangelical. As Muehlenberg pointed out, many Christians prefer milk to solid food. (1 Cor 3:1-3) Consequently they’re biblically illiterate…which is the reason for the colossal lack of discernment among Christians. So it should come as no surprise that the worst sort of unbiblical teaching has reared its ugly head in the visible church, thanks largely to diaper-wearing milk-fed u-LIEs who rarely, if ever, go to the Bible to scrutinize someone’s teaching. (1 John 4:1) These same u-LIEs are the ones who put on a pedestal/promote/pay tribute to and finance the lavish lifestyles of LIE-celebs, some of whom are prosperity preaching/health and wealth televangelists. What will it take to get professing Christians to understand that they’re propping up heretics?
Before I close I must also mention that the liberal media seems to think that all Protestants are evangelicals – and that includes WoF heretics such as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen,T.D. Jakes and Oprah’s pal New Age/New Thought/Emergent guru Rob Bell. Nowadays evangelical is such a broad term that it has lost its meaning. Even Red-letter ChristiansTony Campolo and Jim Wallis, who have abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel,” call themselves evangelicals.
Campolo, Wallis, Osteen, Bell, et al can say they are monarchs and wear a crown if they so desire. But as I’ve said many times, a mouse in the cookie jar is not a cookie.
Beth Moore recommends ‘Jesus Calling’ book—Apprising Ministries
Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources
Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources
Emergent/Emerging Church—On Solid Rock Resources
New Age/New Thought Spirituality—On Solid Rock Resources
Occult—On Solid Rock Resources
Word of Faith/Televangelists—On Solid Rock Resources
Learning is a noble pursuit, but the ancient Greek text is one of the few places where the Socratic Method survives. Sanctioned political doctrine of required thinking is the mainstay in today’s august temples of purification. Forget about a classroom, the curriculum core of New Age studies has no room for the classics, much less instructions into the process of thinking itself. Except, of course for the need to electronically check off the loan applications and assign grants to the business office. In the end, university is big business and developing intelligent graduates happens as an afterthought, if at all.
College Education Economics has become a black hole for most students. Even wealthy families bear a heavy burden to ship their offspring to an experience that continually produces diminished cash flow benefits to offset the costs. Parents know there is a profound disconnect. However, when attempts for making significant changes to the way the higher learning cartel does business, the usual suspects ride to the rescue of the established order.
Jordan Weissmann in a Slate article, Smash the System?, slams Senator Mike Lee for proposing “A dangerous plan to make college cheaper by busting “the college cartel.” What else would you expect from a DC Metro and Associate Editor at The Atlantic? Nothing is more important than defending a failed system and attacking innovative ideas on how to re-create a viable and relevant education model. Quoting Mr. Weissmann,
“In January, Lee introduced legislation that would give states a major role in the accreditation process. The bill has nods of approval from potential presidential contenders Marco Rubio, who has his own proposal on the issue, and Paul Ryan, who dedicated a little-discussed section of his anti-poverty plan to “shaking up the accreditation status quo.”
The hope is that once Washington breaks the hold of today’s accrediting agencies, new, high-tech approaches to education can flourish.”
Nor dare challenge the sacred philistines of detached inculcation, might be a more appropriate title.
Over a year ago, the Washington Examiner looked at the Higher education is a government-created cartel and focused upon how the Federal Government exerts dominance over the accreditation process.
“The Department of Education has deputized eight regional accreditation entities that serve as gate keepers for the entire higher education industry. If you are not approved by one of the Department of Education approved eight regional accreditation agencies, then none of your students can qualify for Pell grants or federally subsidized student loans. With the federal government alone pumping almost $30 billion into higher education every year, if a school is not approved by a regional accreditor, it is essentially dead.”
Why is the issue and control of accreditation of such importance? Even the most naive believer in the ritual of dunking your sheep into the college culture wants to obtain some kind of gradation certification, in the end when the money runs out. Accordingly, the Federal Government uses their time test method of bribes and sanction to shape the kind of education expected from the degree mill. Inducements of low cost loans to the students and embargos to any institution of higher learning, who dares waver from the accepted low standards of fleecing enrollees.
Debating if it is worth the investment to jump through the hoops of perpetual financial indebtedness, for the implied promise that future earning power will be the reward has certainly come into doubt in the last few decades.
Going back twenty-five years, Professor Thomas J. DiLorenzo wrote the Americas OPEC: The Public School Cartel, which describes the monopoly of state and local public school districts. When he cites a case in point of how the public schools have been a cartel designed primarily to benefit the public school bureaucracy, not the public; he could substitute the corporate trust of allied Association of American Colleges and Universities in place of public schools. The primary difference is that government schools primarily operates for the benefit of teachers unions, while a federation of colleges and universities lobby for their own profit advantages in complete cooperation with the federal government.The parents and students are stuck with the bill, just as the property owner gets to pay their school tax. The only saving difference is that attending higher learning sessions are voluntary, if you have the courage to ignore all the guilt-ridden advertisement that pushes ill equipped and confused students into financial ruin, paying for overpriced and useless schooling.
The cartel of higher learning has infected the minds of “PC” conditioned meatheads. Government bureaucrats love pushing innocent adolescents into circumstance of useless education so the acclimation process adapts them to working their lives at minimum wage.
It is crucial to separate the academia component of an educational school with their financial planning and business operations. Courses vary in content and quality depending on the skills and dedication of the instructors. However, the fiscal stability and future expansion opportunities often depend upon perpetuating the myth of the indispensible necessity of becoming an alumnus.
More families become aware of this hoax and start searching for other alternatives. Teaching, once was the staple and primary purpose of renowned traditions, now are shifting towards research as reported in the UK, Universities putting research before teaching. Major US research institutions grow into closer associations with government projects and their accompanying budgets. Distinction between the gift of teaching falls short to the science of commercialization or defense.As long as the student loan bubble keeps expanding, the windbags in the liberal press will keep defending the inept higher education establishment. The true accreditation one seeks to learn comes from the success from your own learning experience, not from some, hand- picked government board that has a budget increase when additional student loans are booked.
If cartels are bad in business, they are even worse when run as a tag team effort between universities and government. Accreditation is a state matter and the federal government has no lawful authority to curtail competition in higher learning.
Will God Allow It?
“Instead of a new order they institute disorder, and their controls lead to uncontrollable results. In the spheres of economics, politics, and education, we see the plans and works of humanistic statists rapidly spinning out of control. The dream of humanistic reason becomes a nightmare.” Rushdoony Systematic Theology Pg. 656
Wars are always conducted in a sea of chaos. Even the most well planned offensives seem to veer off into unforeseen directions and quickly get out of control. It appears that the contemporary new world order has hit a snag. Obama has ordered air strikes in Iraq. In Afghanistan an American General has been killed. The New York Times reports that “scores of these so-called insider attacks have plagued the American military in recent years”. In Iraq ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has found a popular niche and is expanding control over large parts of Iraq and Syria. Iran remains independent and presents a dilemma for the United States battle for elite hegemony.
The U. S. wants to replace their original Iraqi stooge with another stooge and the original stooge is balking. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has deployed troops to defend his regime against a U. S. effort to oust him. Read here.
It appears that the fangs of United States imperialism have been cracked if not broken and the wheels of the juggernaut have been slowed.
The object behind all this murder and mayhem is to set up a puppet government in these Arab lands that can be controlled by the new world order forces that are behind U. S. imperialism. These governments have been set up in both Iraq and Afghanistan but they have never been stable.
With the usual obsequious self-righteousness Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says “It is up to the people of Afghanistan to make these decisions, their military, their new leadership that will be coming in as a result of their new government.” He admits that “there is no guarantee” that Afghanistan’s puppet regime might collapse like floundering Iraq. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan must know that when the only candidates are stooges in what is called a “Democratic Election”, they are being subjected to fraud.
Money is the rail that supports the train of the new world order. Western societies are money oriented and ambitious humanists are vulnerable to offers of wealth and power. Societies that values religion more than money present a more difficult problem. They cling to their religious beliefs and seek to organize themselves around them. Afghans discern the duplicity and chaos that accompanies efforts to destroy their religion and bring them under the tyrannical tent of Western power. Read here.
Meanwhile in Iraq Floyd Brown of “Wall Street Daily” reports that title ISIS (Independent State of Iraq and Syria) has been changed to Islamic State and that under Sharia law Sunni Caliph Ibrahim will become head of both state and religion. This powerful organization has shaken the control of U. S. ally Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and made it impossible to continue the sham of democracy that U. S. forces had fought so hard to implement.
Problems in the U. S. military are beginning to grow as officers who fought in Iraq are disillusion with the chaos that has resulted from their efforts to bring order. It becomes difficult to maintain a proper esprit de corps when hard won victories turn into depressing defeats.
It appears that the American war party made a poor decision when they set about creating controlled democracies in nations with intractable internal conflicts. Any semblance of freedom seems to erupt into murder and mayhem.
To make matters worse knowledgeable insider David Stockman is predicting the total collapse of what he calls the “American Imperium”. He cites the impossible task of reversing massive military spending and believes American superpower status is in jeopardy. Listen here.
Most Americans now know that our nation is slated for disaster: Flying on a recent trip I was informed by my fellow travelers that they were stocking foods and had purchased weapons for their homes. A college professor, a Registered Nurse, and a New England office worker the wife a policeman all related their serious concern for the future of the homeland.
We are a nation being controlled by a mentally unbalanced cabal. The promotion of Feminism Homosexuality and Lesbianism has seriously eroded the family which is the key unit of government in the Creation.
The attempt to promote women into male equality is similar to trying to transform a cat into a dog. It provides an accurate definition of cognitive dissonance; they are weaker physically, their bodies are constructed differently, they are softer, more helpful, and have an ability to do several things at once. Men are physically stronger and aggressively sexually attracted to women. Women are designed to be helpmates to men who are vested with the duty of protecting them; first fathers then husbands. When physically inferior women are put together with predatory males they will be assaulted and laws will not prevent it.
Homosexuals and Lesbians pervert the sex act and promote their lifestyles in rebellion against the normal procedures of marriage and procreation. Sexual practices are often formed by the primary sexual experience; homosexuality usually becomes imbedded early in a person’s life. Some may be born with these tendencies but more are acquired. Questioning the sexuality of young and adolescent children can cause serious problems as they fight to grow into adulthood.
Recently on Public Radio an interviewer asked a guest if he believed Creationism should be taught in schools; his answer was “no” because Creationism is not based on scientific evidence. How any realistic human could miss the diversity and complexity of the creation and spend worthless time trying to deny it was created is beyond rationality. Living things do evolve but they do not evolve into more complex organisms. That billions of years would defy what is plainly evident is a wanton distortion of reality. Matter deteriorates over time it does not evolve into more complex living organisms. If you doubt, read here.
R. J. Rushdoony contends that the quest for freedom by humanists always ends in slavery. The weaker masses become the slaves of the powerful elite – history is replete with proof. We were created to be governed by God and to obey His Law. Maximum autonomy results from living under God’s Commandments.
We are created in the image of God to be His regents in His creation. Attempts to replace His dominion result in a flight from reality that spawns first anarchy and chaos and then grinding humanistic tyranny. “Because all reality, including man himself, is God-created and made according to God’s will and eternal purpose, man cannot have a right relationship to himself, to other men, and to the world around him except through God and His word.” Rushdoony, “Systematic Theology”, Pg.642
This is where we are in the United States of America, everything is breading down: We are hopelessly in debt, our courts no longer produce justice, civil order is tenuous, we have lost our moral standards, families are in disarray and are failing to produce enough children to maintain the race, our government is hoarding weapons while they seek to disarm citizens, our soldiers are losing the fight for world empire, and our churches are weak and full of serious theological error.
Now, let me shock you, gentle reader. From this chaos God will build His Kingdom! When the world is thoroughly tired of living in murder, mayhem, and captivity, God may change enough hearts to return the world to His justice and His peace.
When the billionaire tech jet set decides to let down their hair, what do they talk about around the campfire? According to the New Your Times, “Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues — along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea.” How quaint! . . . For the real scoop, Here’s What Went On At Google’s Exclusive Conference For The Rich And Famous In Sicily.
“Sicilian blogger Tony Siino talked to an attendee about what went on, and told Business Insider via email that the conference, dubbed “The Camp,” was three-days of intellectual discussions, relaxation, and sight-seeing.According to Siino’s source, morning discussions included a wide range of topics, including how to extend human life and the design of cities of the future.”
Reported by NBC local TV channel in the Bay Area has “guests include Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, executives from German and Spanish banks, Uber chief Travis Kalanick, Tesla boss Elon Musk, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts and Snapchat boss Evan Spiegel. Also on hand is Ben Horowitz, venture capitalist with Marc Andreessen at make-or-break Silicon Valley fund Andreessen Horowitz.”
Spending quality time with the family between sessions in the next round of tech discoveries hardly seems to be the best use of time. Yet, time may well be the ultimate objective if you can uncover the mysteries of anti-aging research. Life Extension Magazine reports that Google Life Extension is investing in a venture called California Life Company, or Calico for short, and its goal is to extend human life by 20 to 100 years.
At this point, Google is being highly secretive about their plans for Calico. All Google would reveal is that Calico will focus “in particular on the challenge of aging and associated diseases.”
Calico could produce startlingly counterintuitive breakthroughs, as a result, of Google’s strengths in the following areas:
- Non-commercial dedication — rather than a focus on commercial marketing of mediocre drugs as pharmaceutical companies now do.
- Vast consumer access and core data-handling skills — with unprecedented data gathering, pattern-matching, and causal-relationship detection.
- Ability to attract the brightest minds — potentially preferring to work on life-and-death problems instead of cutesy apps and games.
Further speculation in an essay – How’s Google Dabbling in Health, Life, DNA, and Immortality? – cites areas of research has cutting-edge technology pushing the limits of the wheel of life itself.
“A CNN article listed a few common subjects, like cryonics (a process where the body is preserved in liquid nitrogen), cryotherapy (which exposes injured patients to very low temperatures for short periods of time), cloning and body part replacement, nanotechnology (deploying small robots to overcome the problem of incorrect DNA replication, one cause of aging), and even research into telomeres, the ends of a chromosome that protect cells against degradation.”
Hidden within a “feel good” sentiment behind the altruism to elevate the life span of the human race is an unconvincing skepticism. In an article like Google Wants You to Live 170 Years, just does not seem believable to a rational observer.
“What Google brings to the table is data. “Not just one set of data, multiple forms,” says Harry Glorikian, founder of life sciences consulting firm Scientia Advisors. “Search data, GPS data, all sorts of other pieces, electronic breadcrumbs that you produce all out there to get a picture of you.”This data could be paired with each person’s genome — a partial genome can be mapped today for $99 via 23andMe (another Google investment), but many are hoping a full genome will cost as much in the next few years.”
Even if such ambitious projections that life extension might become common-place for the masses, it does not guarantee that everyone will be a candidate for future “Camp” invitations. Google hardly needs to market the secrets of the gods in order to maintain or enhance their cash flow. The Globe and Mail describes the gathering, “Like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – an annual gathering of the elite at a snowy ski resort – the upstart conference from Google projects an aura of exclusivity. Its existence has not previously been disclosed.”
Following the example of other enigmatic elitist stratagems, “The Camp” shows no signs of a charitable motivation when the onion is peeled. Michael Downey in the account, Google Wants To Extend Your Life laments that not enough is being done to achieve the holy grail of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.
“Tragically, while the government spends over $3 billion annually on “health concerns” of the elderly, it operates on the assumption that aging is not a disease. Corporations lack the longer-term view needed. And extremely few of the world’s 1,426 billionaires, with a total net worth of $5.4 trillion, have included anti-aging research in their charities.”
Do you really believe that the beautiful people, much less, the corporatist return on assets crowd, or the great democracies of the planet are eager to share any medical, genetic or nanotech leap forwards with the chattel serfs? Attending boot camp for the peasants is quite different from rubbing elbows with these Nouveau riche Sicilian Dons in the global technocratic mafia. The blueblood patricians of the banksters’ families will enlighten their newly made men into the rules and ways of the global syndicate.
The Calico family franchise promises to be more alluring than the temporary ecstasy of a drug high. Most godless souls want to live forever, since rejecting an afterlife is automatic to such atheistic masters of the universe. Google has proven to be a “New Age” android. Hence, it is natural for apps, developed to manage the life cycle, become part of the smart set. The key question is will the source code become available to the masses, or will the elites maintain the restricted knowledge only for their devil witch coven.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and thus clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” - H.L. Mencken
Whenever I read stuff like this, all I can think is: “And they call Alex Jones paranoid.”
National Review’s David French wants us to join him in his fear, among other things, that ISIS will “raise the black flag [of jihad] over the White House.”
If anyone actually believes this, you are just as gullible as those who believed Obama was going to give America free health care.
Ever since 9/11, paranoia pimps of French’s ilk have wanted us to believe that “radical Islam’s stated goal” is complete global domination. Never mind that it has been several centuries since an Islamic country conquered a non-Islamic country.
Take two minutes and watch this video. Ever since Old Testament – old, as in the book of Genesis – times, the entire history of the Middle East has been one of empires rising and falling. None of them last forever.
And here’s a stated goal: I hereby state that I will be the winning pitcher for my beloved Dodgers in Game 7 of this year’s World Series.
I guess that means it is going to happen, right?
As for ISIS “wealth”, $2 billion is chump change. The U.S. military goes through $2 billion on an average day. To put $2 billion in perspective, retail sales in Paramus, New Jersey, last year were $5 billion.
Oh, sure, ISIS may have procured a few tanks. But even if they have, do they have the technical sophistication to maintain them for long, let alone manufacture new ones?
ISIS has no ships, planes or nukes. America, on the other hand, has 473 naval ships, over 8000 tanks and over 13,000 military aircraft. We have enough nuclear warheads to kill every person on the planet several times over. And we have 300,000,000 firearms in private hands.
And why is there so much concern all of a sudden for the plight of Iraqi Christians? No one gave a rip about the mass exodus during the Bush years. As horrible as Saddam was, Christians were not abandoning Iraq en masse until after his ouster by the United States in 2003. (No group supported this war more enthusiastically than American Christians.) And how many of the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a result of U.S. imposed sanctions in the 1990s were Christians?
And if the persecution of Christians in Iraq justifies American military action, what about the persecution of Christians in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, China and North Korea?
French says ISIS is to be more feared than Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was only able to succeed on 9/11 because American airplane passengers were unable to defend themselves. Any fool knows that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
And, no, 9/11 did not happen because “they hate our freedom.” When you throw your weight around to the extent that the U.S. does, it is inevitable that a lot of people will hate you. And while third world countries can’t conquer you militarily, they will find other ways to make your life miserable.
I had an interesting conversation with a Swiss girl recently. I told her that her country does it right: they are armed to the teeth and they mind their own business. She said that it is indeed nice to live in such a country.
Right-wingers are just as prone as left-wingers to come unglued when certain buttons are pushed. To paraphrase the British historian and politician Lord Thomas Macaulay, there is no spectacle so ridiculous as the American public in one of its periodic fits of morality.
If You Don’t Have Such A Rifle, Go Buy One Now!
The recent killing of an unarmed teenager by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer incited riots in and around the northern St. Louis area. As usual, the police version and the version of several eye witnesses lie in stark contrast. The police version is, the young man was struggling with the officer and trying to take his weapon from him–and the officer fired his weapon in self-defense. Several eyewitnesses say the young man had his hands in the air and was surrendering when the officer shot him. The latter version is the more popular view of local residents, which prompted hundreds of people to riot. Yes, the victim was a young black man.
It is very unfortunate and counter-productive when race becomes the focus of any story such as this. But it almost always does. Our propaganda media, which loves to use the race card, almost always makes any such tragedy some kind of racial discrimination story. Sometimes it is; but more often than not, race had nothing to do with it.
It is also very unfortunate that among the vast majority of God-fearing, law-and-order Americans, policemen are automatically assumed to be guiltless in the face of accusations of police abuse. It’s almost like when a man puts on a badge and a gun, he becomes incapable of human misconduct.
Am I suggesting that a majority of police-killings are unjustified? I am not. I still believe that the vast majority of our men and women in blue (and brown for sheriff’s deputies) are good-hearted, sincere, law-abiding people who do a tough job outstandingly well. The vast majority–but not all.
Sadly, incidences of police abuse seem to be skyrocketing. Examples of police arrogance and overreach are ubiquitous. More and more law enforcement personnel have an “us versus them” mentality. And the “them” are the citizens they (the “us”) took an oath to protect and serve. More and more policemen have a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later mindset. And more and more of them look upon their fellow citizens as “the enemy.”
True story: A Christian policeman was recently asked to speak at a church gathering. The officer works in the traffic division of a small town. Mostly, he gives out parking and speeding tickets. As he opened his address to his fellow churchmen, he said, “I am a cop; I work among the dregs of society.” Really? People who get parking tickets and drive 10 or 15 miles an hour over the speed limit are the “dregs” of society? That statement should have disqualified everything the officer had to say after that. But, sadly, the vast majority of Christians in the audience thundered their approval with choruses of “Amen!” This illustrates the depth of the problem we are now facing.
Putting on a badge and a gun no more makes a man righteous than putting on a tool belt or a fire suit or a waitress apron or a clergyman’s frock or a welder’s helmet or a lab coat, etc. If anything, putting on a badge and a gun makes a man more accountable for his actions than an ordinary profession.
While the incident in Missouri is still being investigated, there are plenty of examples of police conduct that is either questionable at least or downright Gestapo-like at worst. Last month, an unarmed man was choked to death by a police officer in Staten Island, New York. Five years ago, an Oakland, California police officer shot and killed a young man while he was lying face down on a subway platform. Two years ago, an unarmed National Guardsman was shot and killed by a New York policeman during a traffic stop. Unfortunately, these incidents seem to be escalating. Yes, the Oakland officer was prosecuted and convicted, but this is the exception not the rule. Seldom is an offending police officer ever charged with a crime–or even removed from his post.
Add to the list of police killings the tens of thousands of people who are severely beaten or abused, often without provocation, by out-of-control rogue officers, and the picture becomes even more ominous. Again, I readily recognize that these rogue officers are the exception and not the rule, but the sad reality is that these bad cops are mostly allowed to continue their brutality with impunity. For a policeman to be removed from his job, much less face prosecution, is a rarity indeed.
And here is the kicker: after the New York and Missouri incidents mentioned above, the U.S. Justice Department has announced that it is widening its involvement in local policing in an attempt to curb the growing abuse of power.
Are you kidding me?
The reason that so many of our local and State police agencies are succumbing to increased examples of police abuse is directly due to the militarization of local and State police agencies by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is providing the funding, the armaments, the military-style vehicles, military-style tactics and training, etc. for all of these local and State police agencies. The arrogance and heavy-handed tactics of these rogue police officers is largely attributed to the influence of the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security. Now, this same U.S. government is going to “widen” its involvement with local police agencies in order to curb police violence? Get real! You know what’s happening: the U.S. Justice Department is widening its involvement in local police agencies in order to further its parochial political agendas and to further promote political correctness.
What we need are constitutional sheriffs who will courageously serve as the people’s vanguard against both the overreach of the federal government (which spawns so much police abuse, both local and federal) and against rogue officers among the police agencies of his jurisdiction. We also need partisan-free prosecutors in the local court systems. So many prosecutors are primarily motivated by partisan politics than they are “liberty and justice for all.” And we also need jurors who are truly blind to their prejudices and propensities and are willing to acquit or convict on the basis of proven fact alone. When a policeman steps over the line, he or she must be held as accountable as any ordinary citizen.
I personally believe, and would aggressively support, making all sheriff and county prosecutor’s races non-partisan (like judges). Justice should always be politically (and, yes, racially) blind. We have far, far too many political prisoners in our jails and prisons in this country. And if you don’t think that’s true, it’s because most of the local media refuses to report this kind of injustice due to the political connections and partisanship of the paper’s publishers and editors. The same is true with local television news. Accordingly, I strongly believe that sheriff and county prosecutor’s races should be non-partisan. We should probably throw in the State attorney general’s race, also. Lady Justice is supposed to be blindfolded, but political partisanship has taken away her blindfold and given her tainted glasses.
Obviously, even if the killing of the young man in Missouri was unjustified, the ensuing riots were also unjustified.
My friends, if you live in a big metropolitan area, you are one Rodney King or Hurricane Katrina event away from a potential all-out war against your family and property. As in the riots in South Central Los Angeles in 1992, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, people in northern St. Louis were subjected to the destruction of their property and the potential loss of life in the aftermath of the shooting of the young man in Ferguson.
And, just as was the case in South Central Los Angeles, business owners in northern St. Louis protected their lives and properties with–you guessed it: AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. Had President Obama and Senator Feinstein had their way a few months back, those people in North St. Louis would have been defenseless against the violent rioters that were attacking them. The presence of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle saved many a life and much property in Los Angeles, California in 1992, in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005, and in North St. Louis, Missouri in 2014.
In any kind of civil unrest, the best protection any of us have is God, the loyalty and dedication of good friends and family members who are willing to protect our backs, and a .223 or .308 semiautomatic battle rifle with loaded, large-capacity magazines. If you don’t have such a rifle, GO BUY ONE NOW! If you don’t have enough ammo, go buy it now. And if you live in a State or city that won’t let you buy one, MOVE!
Add to the chaos of civil unrest caused by either man-made or natural disasters the fact that the U.S. government is unloosing hundreds of thousands–maybe millions–of violent illegals into our country, and anyone who is not well-armed for his or her own protection is downright foolish. According to Texas State officials, there have been nearly a half-million felonies committed by illegals during the last four years IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ALONE–including over 5,000 rapes and over 2,000 murders. Remember, these are crimes committed by illegals alone in the State of Texas alone.
Border Patrol agents are warning us that violent Mexican gang members, many of whom have already committed murder, are being allowed free access into the heartland of America. Texas State Senator Dan Patrick recently reported that his State now has over 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members. Again, that’s just in Texas.
The crime rate across the United States has been declining for years, and is currently at its lowest level in recent history. But watch out! Violent illegal gang members, including members of one of the most violent and notorious gangs ever, MS-13, are pouring into this country. The crime rates in communities across America are about to explode. There is no way that local police agencies are going to be able to protect you. And, in truth, that is not their job. It is your job to protect yourself, dear friend. And you are not going to protect yourself from marauding rioters or violent gang members with a six-shot revolver. Oh, the handgun is fine defense for one or two attackers; but for more than that, you need a large-capacity semiautomatic battle rifle. How many examples of civil unrest do you need to convince you? I guess the one that breaks out next to your neighborhood, huh?
Of course, the federal government is allowing these violent illegals into our country KNOWING the crime and havoc they will unleash on this country. They WANT violence and havoc to be unleashed on this country. They must raise the crime rates in America in order to justify the expansion of the national Police State they are determined to construct. But in the meantime, tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of Americans are going to be beaten, paralyzed, robbed, raped, and murdered.
We don’t have to make it easy for these two-legged beasts: we can and should be an armed and ready populace capable and determined to protect our families, friends, neighborhoods, and communities: anything less is un-American, unmanly, and, un-Christian. Yes, you heard it right: It is un-Christian.
The Bible tells believers that any man who does not provide for his own, especially those of his own house, he has denied the Christian faith and is worse than an infidel. (I Timothy 5:8) And most certainly, “providing” for one’s own entails protection as much as it does food, clothing, and shelter. I, therefore, maintain that any Christian who is not prepared to protect and defend his family by being duly armed and trained in the use of arms has denied his faith and is truly worse than an infidel. Even heathens understand the Natural Law of self-defense. In fact, the entire natural kingdom understands the law of self-defense.
The recent killing of that young man in Missouri should serve to remind us that police, too, must abide by the law (I sincerely hope that the police officer involved did just that), that civil unrest can erupt anywhere in seconds, and that the need of the people to keep and bear, not just any arms, but semiautomatic battle rifles, is the best insurance for the survival of our lives and our liberties.
We are told throughout the New Testament to judge, to test, to discern, to assess, to rebuke, to hold one another to account, to make moral distinctions, and to pronounce judgment when and where it is due. ~ Bill Muehlenberg
The phrase low-information voter (LIV) was made popular in the mid-1990s. Although the LIV is uninformed on the issues, he casts his vote. The LIV is often highly opinionated even when he has no idea what he’s talking about. A popular conservative talk show host has labeled a segment of those who vote for liberals LIVs.
D. Edmund Wright expresses his disdain for the LIV in a rather harsh way:
But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact. Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country. And why not? (Source – emphasis in original)
While reading Wright’s rant against the organized left (and rightly so) it occurred to me that evangelicalism is dealing with the same sort of crisis – low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence. So for the purpose of this piece I’ll refer to them as low-information evangelicals (LIE).
Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church. When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics. Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth. The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities. As a side note, whenever I write a column for the express purpose of exposing a LIE-celeb’s unbiblical teaching and even though I included an abundance of evidence to support the biblical view, the LIE rarely uses logical argumentation to contest the facts and win me over to their way of thinking. Instead he resorts to personal attacks. For example I’m often scolded for being unloving…ungracious…mean spirited…hateful…homophobic…judgmental…and far worse.
Facts are stubborn things. And the fact of the matter is that it’s biblical to report on a high-profile Christian leader whose teaching is unbiblical. Much of the problem lies in the fact that oodles of LIE-celebs are unapologetically liberal in their worldview and their teaching reflects that. (For the record, “progressive Christian” is an oxymoron.)
Several influential Bible teachers started out as good Bible expositors but got off track when they became enamored with Eastern mysticism. Today the beliefs some Christians hold contain a good deal of New Age/New Thought ideas borrowed from Eastern mysticism. Bible teacher, conference speaker and founder of Living Word Ministries Beth Moore is one of those teachers.
Over the years Moore has gained substantial popularity with women, so much so that her resources line the shelves of churches and Christian book sellers everywhere. Because she’s affiliated with the SBC her overt acceptance of “charismania” surprised a lot of people. For instance, at one of her conferences she shared a vision she supposedly received of “the church as Jesus sees it.” Listen to this bombshell:
You know what He [God] told me not too long ago? I told you when I first began this whole concept, He first started teaching it to me about five years ago, and He said these words to me: “Baby, you have not even begun to believe Me. You haven’t even begun!”
You know what He said just a few days ago? “Honey, I just want you to know we’re just beginning.” Oh, glory! That meant I had begun. Hallelujah!
But He was telling me, “When this ends, we ain’t done with this. Honey, this is what we do for the rest of your life.” And He says those words to me over and over again: “Believe Me. Believe Me. And I hope it’s starting to ring in your ears, over and over again, Believe Me.” (Source)
Does that not make your hair stand on end? “He said these words to me…” is the same as saying “Thus saith the Lord!” Any discerning Christian will no doubt find Moore’s alleged chats with God troubling.
Contrary to what Beth Moore believes, when the Lord allegedly speaks to her it couldn’t be His voice she’s hearing. How do I know that? Because the way in which she claims the Almighty communicates with her is unbiblical. How does God speak to us today? We are told in Hebrews that He speaks to us by His Son through His Spirit in His Word.
In 1 Thes 5:21 Paul commands us to “test everything; hold fast what is good.” With this in mind, I challenge Beth’s fans to test her teaching by the Word of God. Those who are open to the truth will discover that this Bible teacher is feeding her followers rotten fruit!
Erin Benziger has been warning of Beth Moore’s shift into mysticism for quite some time. Erin points out that:
Beth Moore has demonstrated time and again that she cannot properly handle the biblical text. And yet, she is a mentor and teacher to many women who look to her leadership and knowledge as a foundation for their own spiritual walk.
In recent months, Moore participated as a speaker at the Unwrap the Bible conference, which was held at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. The event was hosted byWomen of Faith ministries, and also featured such dangerous teachers as Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Lisa Harper, Sheila Walsh and of course, Victoria Osteen. Nearly 11,000 women were in attendance at this event. 11,000. That is a tremendous number of women who were exposed to deceptive and erroneous Bible teaching. These are women in your Bible study and in your church. These are women who will now take the principles they learned and will begin to influence other women and girls within their church. This ought to be of no small concern to those who love and revere the Word of God. (Source)
Before I move on, I should mention that I don’t enjoy tearing down the powerful magnetic personalities professing Christians revere. My purpose for taking aim at Beth Moore is to get undistinguished LIEs (ordinary folk) up to speed on her unbiblical teaching. Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth!
The Undistinguished LIE
The u-LIE learns Scripture in a variety of ways: (1) Best-selling “Christian” books; (2) Blog posts; (3) Religious TV programs; (4) “Christian” radio/podcasts; (5) Trendy market-driven/seeker sensitive churches; (6) Family and friends (some of whom are nominal Christians at best and Bible illiterates at worst.)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the u-LIE who utilizes the above resources won’t learn anything worthwhile. He will! In fact it’s a good idea to gain knowledge from mainstream Bible scholars/theologians/apologists/bloggers and ministers of the gospel; likewise from TV, radio/podcasts of solid Bible expositors. But we must see to it that those from whom we learn, including LIE-celebs, continually guard against error. As I said above, when someone’s theology lands outside of the pale of orthodoxy it’s appropriate to challenge what’s being taught and to (gasp!) “name names.” How else will we know who to be wary of?
Christians must never lose sight of the fact that false teachers are deceptive and evil. And by the way, anyone who’s exposed as a wolf or wolverine must swallow their pride and repent of their sin against God. The objective is restoration.
What has resulted from all the abysmal teaching in the Church? U-LIEs have accepted liberal/progressive theology. Likewise, they’re up to their eyeballs in aberrant/heretical movements such as liberal/progressive/social justice; emergent/emerging; word-faith/health & wealth/name-it-claim-it; New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism/Latter Rain. Moreover they’ve become easy prey for the Kingdom of the Cults. How does one avoid becoming ensnared by the wiles of the devil? By becoming a Berean! (Acts 17:10-15)
Thanks largely to Christian mystics such as recently deceased ordained Baptist Minister Dallas Willard and Quaker Richard Foster, many u-LIEs have been introduced to spiritual formation. Sounds biblical, but I assure you it’s not. In a nut shell, spiritual formation,
encourage[s] believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, and yoga. In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology. (Source)
Ken Silva cautions that involving oneself in mysticism can lead to a “denial of the Reformation and the acceptance of apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of Christianity.”
Both Willard and Foster, as well as Rick Warren, John Ortberg, Ruth Haley Barton and Tony Campolo have encouraged believers to read the writings of Roman Catholic Trappist Monks such as Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating to name a few. From individuals like these, Eastern pagan practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches, likewise independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.
Because of books penned by Catholic monks, an increasing number of u-LIEs embrace the idea that God speaks to His people in much the same way that He spoke to the patriarchs and apostles. And this is the primary reason Christians boast that they hear directly from God.
LIE-celebs and u-Lies who are exposed to mysticism will say things such as: “I had a word from the Lord” or “God said (this or that)…” Or “God told me to do (this or that)…” And “I have received revelation knowledge.” Anyone who makes these claims is saying that God speaks directly to them! The danger in thinking this way is that when God doesn’t “speak” to a professed Christian, she worries that He’s silent because she doesn’t have enough faith, or she has a “hidden sin” in her life because if she didn’t, God would speak to her; or perhaps the Lord’s silent because He’s angry over an act of disobedience…and the list goes on.
The Silence Is Not Golden
The aforementioned monks, or Desert Fathers, allege that by engaging in a prayer method called The Silence they’ve been able to achieve a profound experience with God. “We enter the silence to consciously experience our oneness within the one Mind, God.” The idea of experiencing oneness within the mind of God comes, not from the Bible, but from Eastern mysticism. It makes no sense for God’s people to borrow from a corrupt religious system that God despises. Listen to Isaiah 2:6:
For you [God] have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with foreigners.
The Desert Fathers have so little discernment that they not only participate in recycled paganism, they encourage others to go that route! Willard and Foster and other LIE-celebs know full well that they’re “striking hands with foreigners” and they do it anyway!
Being that the Lord condemns paganism, His people are to have nothing to do with it. No dabbling! Steer clear of anything to do with mantra meditation. Methods such ascontemplative prayer…centering prayer…breath prayer…are forbidden! Even though this will ruffle some feathers, my advice is to steer clear of “Christian” yoga. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph 5:11)
Part 2, coming up!
Entering “The Silence” (Posting this with a warning)
Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources
Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources
Occult—On Solid Rock Resources
Standing In Washington’s Way…
The Obama administration is pushing for regime change in Iraq on the basis that current prime minister Nouri al Maliki is too sectarian. The fact is, however, that Maliki’s abusive treatment of Sunnis never factored into Washington’s decision to have him removed. Whether he has been “too sectarian” or not is completely irrelevant. The real reason he’s under attack is because he wouldn’t sign the Status of Forces Agreement in 2011. He refused to grant immunity to the tens of thousands of troops the administration wanted to leave in Iraq following the formal withdrawal. That’s what angered Washington. That’s why the administration wants Maliki replaced.
Check out this White House statement of support for new prime minister-designate Haider al-Ibadi (Maliki’s rival) by Vice President Joe Biden just hours after the change (coup?) was announced. The document is titled “Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi”.
“Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him on his nomination to form a new government and develop a national program pursuant to Iraq’s constitutional process. The Prime Minister-designate expressed his intent to move expeditiously to form a broad-based, inclusive government capable of countering the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and building a better future for Iraqis from all communities. The Vice President relayed President Obama’s congratulations and restated his commitment to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL. The two leaders also discussed practical steps towards fully activating the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields, including economic, diplomatic, and security cooperation. Prime Minister-designate Abadi thanked Vice President Biden for the call, and they agreed to stay in regular communication as the government formation process proceeds.” (White House)
Did you catch that part about the “bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields”. That’s the kicker right there. That’s what this is all about. Here’s one small section of that document under the heading of “Defense and Security”:
“…. Iraq Joint Military Committee (JMC),…. addressed issues such as border security, Iraqi military strategy, and engagement of Iraqi Security Forces in regional training exercises. The next JCC likely will be held in Washington this year.
Acting Defense Minister al-Dlimi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Security Cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense. This agreement represents the strong military to military relationship between the United States and Iraq, and provides mechanisms for increased defense cooperation in areas including defense planning, counterterrorism cooperation, and combined exercises.
… The Iraq FMS program is one of the largest in the world and is an important symbol of the long-term security partnership envisioned by both countries. We remain committed to meeting Iraqi equipment needs as quickly as possible.” (US Strategic Framework Agreement, US Department of State)
This is just the camel’s nose under the tent. There’s no doubt that the administration’s ultimate objective is to put US “boots back on the ground” which, by the way, is the reason why Obama is allowing the terrorist militia (ISIS) to seize 30 percent of the Iraqi landmass, capture the nation’s second biggest city, and move to within 50 miles of Baghdad without lifting a finger to help. It’s because Obama wants to create a pretext for boosting troop levels in the country. What better way to redeploy thousands of US combat troops to Iraq, then to scare Iraqi policymakers into submission with visions of bloodthirsty terrorists (ISIS) lopping off heads and slitting throats at every opportunity. It’s all about persuasion. (Note: It’s easy to see that–while ISIS may not be directly under US control–its presence in Iraq certainly serves Washington’s overall strategic aims. )
Independent researcher and journalist, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, appears to be one of the few analysts who’s figured out what’s going on. Check out this clip from Iran’s Press TV from interview with Ulrich:
“America has long-standing plans to be permanently present in Iraq, and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole”, said Ulrich. “Domination of the Persian Gulf is the lynchpin of US strategy…the presence of ISIL helps them in this goal.”
After Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki forced American forces out of Iraq by refusing to sign a Status of Forces Agreement allowing the forces to stay on permanently, US found its way back again, she added.
The government of Maliki refused to grant immunity to thousands of US troops, who were to remain in Iraq beyond 2011 under the pretext of training local forces.
The government had agreed to allow some of the US forces to stay longer for “training” purposes, but refused to shield them from prosecution. As a result, that residual force was never deployed.
According to a 2008 bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all the US troops left the country by December 2011.
Ulrich said, “It’s very interesting that ISIL has captured towns and regions that have been vital for the US policy in the region — one is the oil-rich [region], America’s training and funding of Kurds, and Israel in fact started training of the Kurds in 2005 and the thinking that oil from Iraq would go to Israel, and it’s happening.”….
“I don’t believe for a moment that America has given up the idea of having Iraq and Syria and Iran under its full control,” the independent researcher and writer empathized.” (“‘US raises ISIL specter to stay in Iraq’”, Press TV)
Bingo. The “too sectarian” trope is a fraud. This is all about Washington stationing combat troops where the oil is. It always gets back to oil, doesn’t it? U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel summed it up perfectly in July, 2007, when he said:
“People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Washington’s blog)
So how does Obama’s bombing of ISIS jihadis outside of Ebril (N Iraq) fit with his earlier comments that he wouldn’t help defend Iraq unless their was movement on the political front? (In other words, until Maliki was removed from office.)
He sure changed his tune fast, didn’t he? But, why?
Oil, that’s why. Let’s put it this way: There are 10 reasons why Obama bombed ISIS positions outside of Ebril. They are:
4–Marathon Oil Corporation
5–Hillwood International Energy
So what’s the message here? What is Obama telegraphing to ISIS about US policy?
It’s simple. “You can kill as many Arabs and Christians as you want, but if you lay a finger on even one oil well, we’ll nuke you into oblivion.” Isn’t that the message?
Of course, it is. By the way, the reason the US exited Iraq to begin with wasn’t because Obama wanted to keep his campaign promise. Oh no. That was just public relations hype. The real reason was because Obama handed the Iraq Brief over to lunkhead Biden when he first took office, and Biden flubbed the deal. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Take a look at this blurb from the New Yorker:
“When I was profiling Biden last month, his advisers argued …that they had never favored Maliki, and had backed him because he won the support of a majority in Iraq. But that reading of history underplays Biden’s activism. …. Biden predicted that Maliki would sign on to a Status of Forces Agreement to keep U.S. troops on the ground. “Maliki wants us to stick around because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise,” Biden said, according to the account. “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA.”
Neither of those predictions came true. Maliki did not deliver, and U.S. forces left Iraq in December, 2011. As the crisis deepened this spring, the White House did not openly disparage Maliki, but made it clear that it was ready for a change. By all estimates, that sentiment was long overdue, and this week, America’s protracted divorce from Maliki is nearing completion. Obama has returned American military aircraft to the skies over Iraq, authorizing strikes to protect U.S. diplomatic missions and religious and ethnic minorities, and to prevent Sunni militants from advancing on the Kurdish city of Erbil. On Monday, another political sinkhole opened in Baghdad: the President nominated a new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, to replace Maliki. But Maliki has refused to give up power; on television, he vowed to use legal action to challenge the decision, while security forces loyal to him were seen taking up positions around the city.” (“Breaking Up: Maliki and Biden“, The New Yorker)
Read that passage over again; that’s the whole ball of wax, right there. Biden botched the SOFA agreement, so Obama decided to get rid of Maliki. Soon after, the plan to replace Maliki with Haider al-Abadi was put into motion.
It’s worth noting, that Obama has been blasted in the media for more than a year for withdrawing the troops from Iraq. A simple Google search of “Maliki Status of Forces agreement” will produce hundreds of articles lambasting Obama as the man “who lost Iraq”, or who “abandoned Iraq”, or the man who organized “the tragic withdrawal”. To America’s right wing pundits, the problem was never the war itself, but the way it ended. They blame Obama for everything that’s gone wrong. That’s why Obama wants to remove Maliki and deploy troops back to Iraq. It’s an attempt to placate the right.
Naturally, the fact that Obama, Biden, Kerry and everyone else in the administration has expressed their support for the nearly-unknown Abadi, has led to suspicions that US Intel agencies (and perhaps the State Department) have been acting behind the scenes to depose Maliki. But Obama vehemently denies any involvement. Check out this article in the Guardian:
“American officials have denied participating in a plot to oust Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, despite a series of phone calls made by Barack Obama and Joe Biden to support the appointment of his successor…..
The Obama administration had become increasingly strident in its criticism of Maliki in recent weeks, accusing him of the current Islamic uprising by failing to govern in the interest of all Iraqis…..Obama had “instructed his diplomats in Washington and Baghdad to find an alternative” to Maliki. ….(Obama) also dangled the prospect of direct US military support against the Islamic State, the separatists also known as Isis or Isil, if the putative new prime minister Haider al-Abadi succeeds in forming a lasting government.
But officials rejected allegations on Monday that it was encouraging “regime change”, insisting instead that the US was merely supporting a constitutional process rather than favoring individual politicians in Baghdad.” ….(“US denies role in plot to oust Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki”, Guardian)
Obama stepped up his criticism of Maliki in the last few weeks.
Obama blamed Maliki for the “current Islamic uprising” which was nurtured by US Intel agencies that armed, trained and funded the respective wahhabi crackpots who then moved into Iraq.
Obama says the US will not help to defeat the jihadi invasion unless Maliki is replaced.
Obama told” his diplomats in Washington and Baghdad to find an alternative” to Maliki.
At the same time, US “officials rejected allegations on Monday that it was encouraging “regime change”, insisting instead that the US was merely supporting a constitutional process.”
What a joke. If it walks like a coup and quacks like a coup; it’s a coup. It doesn’t matter what Obama says. It doesn’t matter what the media say. It’s painfully obvious that the US is involved.
On top of that, we have this from the New York Times:
“Other senior Obama administration officials said American representatives in Iraq had been increasingly and deeply involved in Baghdad discussions during the last 10 days to settle on an alternative to Mr. Maliki.” (“Iraqis Nominate Maliki Successor, Causing Standoff”, New York Times)
Isn’t that an admission of guilt? If “senior Obama administration officials” had been huddling for the last ten days to decide on a successor to the current Prime Minister, then how is that different than Victoria Nuland plotting the removal of Ukrainian prime minister Viktor Yanukovych for US-puppet “Yats”? It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
Here’s something else from the NYT that’s worth mulling over:
“It was only during the past week that Mr. Abadi became a candidate. He is a onetime ally of Mr. Maliki’s, and because Mr. Abadi is from the same party his candidacy became attractive, as it recognized the legitimacy of the election victory for Mr. Maliki’s bloc in April’s national elections.
This is what “encouraged them to make a coup against Maliki,” said one of the Shiite negotiators, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss internal deliberations.”
Can you believe what they’re saying? So, it wasn’t Abadi’s position on the issues or his views on sectarianism that made him the “preferred” candidate at all. He was chosen strictly on the basis that his candidacy had the greatest chance of success. That’s it. This isn’t democracy; it’s a “dump Maliki at all cost” campaign orchestrated by the Obama troupe. That’s how desperate these people are.
But maybe Obama is right this time; is that what you are thinking, dear reader? After all, Maliki IS a vicious, iron-fisted tyrant who has fueled sectarian hatred and divisiveness. Maybe it would be better if he WAS gone. Maybe Obama is sincere in wanting (as the New York Times says) “to preserve Iraq’s cohesion while helping to stop ISIS’ avowed goal of creating a monolithic Islamic caliphate that ignores national boundaries.”
If that’s what you are thinking, you’re wrong. Changing the man at the top, will not change the system. Nor does Washington want to change the system. The US wants a savage, remorseless tyrant, (Have you taken a look at Egypt lately?) they just want one that will follow orders, that’s all. Maliki went off the reservation, so now he’s getting his pink slip. That’s all there is to it.
The idea that Abadi will reunify Iraq is ridiculous. The de facto partitioning of Iraq has already taken place. It won’t be reversed. In fact, this is what many in the political establishment (including Joe Biden) wanted from Day 1. A separate Kurdish state that will sell cheap oil to Israel and refuse to pass its oil revenues on to Baghdad, is already a reality, just as the borderless Sunni heartland (that will eventually take shape over the next few years) is a reality. Abadi will not alter these facts on the ground. Iraq is being torn apart by forces too powerful for him to contain or control. His function is merely to sign on the dotted line and allow the US to reopen its bases, redeploy its troops and get on with the business of empire.
The United States does not want a strong, independent Iraq. The US wants oil. The US wants power. The US wants Arabs killing Arabs. The US wants to extinguish Arab identity, culture, pride, literature, science, poetry, etc; anything that could lead to a reemergence of Arab nationalism, anything that could lead to an independent, sovereign state, anything that could impede the looting of Arab countries.
This is just the way that empire’s work. Maliki got in Washington’s way, so now Maliki is going to vanish. End of story.
Whether he was “too sectarian” or not, doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. His fate was sealed the moment he refused to sign the SOFA agreement.
My Money’s On Putin…
“History shows that the United States has benefited politically and economically from wars in Europe. The huge outflow of capital from Europe following the First and Second World Wars, transformed the U.S. into a superpower … Today, faced with economic decline, the US is trying to precipitate another European war to achieve the same objective.”… Sergey Glazyev, Russian politician and economist
“The discovery of the world’s largest, known gas reserves in the Persian Gulf, shared by Qatar and Iran, and new assessments which found 70 percent more gas in the Levantine in 2007, are key to understanding the dynamics of the conflicts we see today. After a completion of the PARS pipeline, from Iran, through Iraq and Syria to the Eastern Mediterranean coast, the European Union would receive more than an estimated 45 percent of the gas it consumes over the next 100 – 120 years from Russian and Iranian sources. Under non-conflict circumstances, this would warrant an increased integration of the European, Russian and Iranian energy sectors and national economies.” Christof Lehmann,Interview with Route Magazine
The United States failed operation in Syria, has led to an intensification of Washington’s proxy war in Ukraine. What the Obama administration hoped to achieve in Syria through its support of so called “moderate” Islamic militants was to topple the regime of Bashar al Assad, replace him with a US-backed puppet, and prevent the construction of the critical Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. That plan hasn’t succeeded nor will it in the near future, which means that the plan for the prospective pipeline will eventually go forward.
Why is that a problem?
It’s a problem because–according to Dr. Lehmann–”Together with the Russian gas… the EU would be able to cover some 50 percent of its requirements for natural gas via Iranian and Russian sources.” As the primary suppliers of critical resources to Europe, Moscow and Tehran would grow stronger both economically and politically which would significantly undermine the influence of the US and its allies in the region, particularly Qatar and Israel. This is why opponents of the pipeline developed a plan to sabotage the project by fomenting a civil war in Syria. Here’s Lehmann again:
“In 2007, Qatar sent USD 10 billion to Turkey´s Foreign Minister Davotoglu to prepare Turkey´s and Syria´s Muslim Brotherhood for the subversion of Syria. As we recently learned from former French Foreign Minister Dumas, it was also about that time, that actors in the United Kingdom began planning the subversion of Syria with the help of “rebels”’ (Christof Lehmann, Interview with Route Magazine)
In other words, the idea to arm, train and fund an army of jihadi militants, to oust al Assad and open up Syria to western interests, had its origins in an evolving energy picture that clearly tilted in the favor of US rivals in the region. (Note: We’re not sure why Lehmann leaves out Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or the other Gulf States that have also been implicated.)
Lehmann’s thesis is supported by other analysts including the Guardian’s Nafeez Ahmed who explains what was going on behind the scenes of the fake civil uprising in Syria. Here’s a clip from an article by Ahmed titled “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern”:
“In May 2007, a presidential finding revealed that Bush had authorised CIA operations against Iran. Anti-Syria operations were also in full swing around this time as part of this covert programme, according to Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker. A range of US government and intelligence sources told him that the Bush administration had “cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations” intended to weaken the Shi’ite Hezbollah in Lebanon. “The US has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria,” wrote Hersh, “a byproduct” of which is “the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups” hostile to the United States and “sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” He noted that “the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria”…
According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business”, he told French television:
“I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”
… Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”
So what was this unfolding strategy to undermine Syria and Iran all about? According to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to “attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years”, starting with Iraq and moving on to “Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” In a subsequent interview, Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.”
(“Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern“, The Guardian)
Apparently, Assad was approached by Qatar on the pipeline issue in 2009, but he refused to cooperate in order “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally.” Had Assad fallen in line and agreed to Qatar’s offer, then the effort to remove him from office probably would have been called off. In any event, it was the developments in Syria that triggered the frenzied reaction in Ukraine. According to Lehmann:
“The war in Ukraine became predictable (unavoidable?) when the great Muslim Brotherhood Project in Syria failed during the summer of 2012. …In June and July 2012 some 20,000 NATO mercenaries who had been recruited and trained in Libya and then staged in the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq, launched two massive campaigns aimed at seizing the Syrian city of Aleppo. Both campaigns failed and the ”Libyan Brigade” was literally wiped out by the Syrian Arab Army.
It was after this decisive defeat that Saudi Arabia began a massive campaign for the recruitment of jihadi fighters via the network of the Muslim Brotherhoods evil twin sister Al-Qaeda.
The International Crisis Group responded by publishing its report ”Tentative Jihad”. Washington had to make an attempt to distance itself ”politically” from the ”extremists”. Plan B, the chemical weapons plan was hedged but it became obvious that the war on Syria was not winnable anymore.” (“The Atlantic Axis and the Making of a War in Ukraine“, New eastern Outlook)
There were other factors that pushed the US towards a conflagration with Moscow in Ukraine, but the driving force was the fact that US rivals (Russia and Iran) stood to be the dominant players in an energy war that would increasingly erode Washington’s power. Further economic integration between Europe and Russia poses a direct threat to US plans to pivot to Asia, deploy NATO to Russia’s borders, and to continue to denominate global energy supplies in US dollars.
Lehmann notes that he had a conversation with “a top-NATO admiral from a northern European country” who clarified the situation in a terse, two-sentence summary of US foreign policy. He said:
“American colleagues at the Pentagon told me, unequivocally, that the US and UK never would allow European – Soviet relations to develop to such a degree that they would challenge the US/UK’s political, economic or military primacy and hegemony on the European continent. Such a development will be prevented by all necessary means, if necessary by provoking a war in central Europe”.
This is the crux of the issue. The United States is not going to allow any state or combination of states to challenge its dominance. Washington doesn’t want rivals. It wants to be the undisputed, global superpower, which is the point that Paul Wolfowitz articulated in an early draft of the US National Defense Strategy:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
So the Obama administration is going to do whatever it thinks is necessary to stop further EU-Russia economic integration and to preserve the petrodollar system. That system originated in 1974 when President Richard Nixon persuaded OPEC members to denominate their oil exclusively in dollars, and to recycle their surplus oil proceeds into U.S. Treasuries. The arrangement turned out to be a huge windfall for the US, which rakes in more than $1 billion per day via the process. This, in turn, allows the US to over-consume and run hefty deficits. Other nations must stockpile dollars to purchase the energy that runs their machinery, heats their homes and fuels their vehicles. Meanwhile, the US can breezily exchange paper currency, which it can print at no-expense to itself, for valuable imported goods that cost dearly in terms of labor and materials. These dollars then go into purchasing oil or natural gas, the profits of which are then recycled back into USTs or other dollar-denominated assets such as U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate, or ETFs. This is the virtuous circle that keeps the US in the top spot.
As one critic put it: “World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy.”
The petrodollar system helps to maintain the dollar’s monopoly pricing which, in turn, sustains the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It creates excessive demand for dollars which allows the Fed to expand the nation’s credit by dramatically reducing the cost of financing. If oil and natural gas were no longer denominated in USDs, the value of the dollar would fall sharply, the bond market would collapse, and the US economy would slip into a long-term slump.
This is one of the reasons why the US invaded Iraq shortly after Saddam had switched over to the euro; because it considers any challenge to the petrodollar looting scam as a direct threat to US national security.
Moscow is aware of Washington’s Achilles’s heel and is making every effort to exploit that weakness by reducing its use of the dollar in its trade agreements. So far, Moscow has persuaded China and Iran to drop the dollar in their bilateral dealings, and they have found that other trading partners are eager to do the same. Recently, Russian economic ministers conducted a “de-dollarization” meeting in which a “currency switch executive order” was issued stating that “the government has the legal power to force Russian companies to trade a percentage of certain goods in rubles.”
Last week, according to RT:
“The Russian and Chinese central banks have agreed a draft currency swap agreement, which will allow them to increase trade in domestic currencies and cut the dependence on the US dollar in bilateral payments. “The draft document between the Central Bank of Russia and the People’s Bank of China on national currency swaps has been agreed by the parties…..The agreement will stimulate further development of direct trade in yuan and rubles on the domestic foreign exchange markets of Russia and China,” the Russian regulator said.
Currently, over 75 percent of payments in Russia-China trade settlements are made in US dollars, according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.” (“De-Dollarization Accelerates – China/Russia Complete Currency Swap Agreement“, Zero Hedge)
The attack on the petrodollar recycling system is one of many asymmetrical strategies Moscow is presently employing to discourage US aggression, to defend its sovereignty, and to promote a multi-polar world order where the rule of law prevails. The Kremlin is also pushing for institutional changes that will help to level the playing field instead of creating an unfair advantage for the richer countries like the US. Naturally, replacing the IMF, whose exploitative loans and punitive policies, topped the list for most of the emerging market nations, particularly the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) who, in July, agreed to create a $100 billion Development Bank that will “will counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions and the dollar. The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation has equal say, regardless of GDP size.
According to RT:
“The big launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step to break the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollar-backed institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions BRICS countries have little influence within…
“This mechanism creates the foundation for an effective protection of our national economies from a crisis in financial markets,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.”
(“BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance“, RT)
It’s clear that Washington’s aggression in Ukraine has focused Moscow’s attention on retaliation. But rather than confront the US militarily, as Obama and Co. would prefer, Putin is taking aim at the vulnerabilities within the system. A BRICS Development Bank challenges the IMF’s dominant role as lender of last resort, a role that has enhanced the power of the wealthy countries and their industries. The new bank creates the basis for real institutional change, albeit, still within the pervasive capitalist framework.
Russian politician and economist, Sergei Glazyev, summarized Moscow’s approach to the US-Russia conflagration in an essay titled “US is militarizing Ukraine to invade Russia.” Here’s an excerpt:
“To stop the war, you need to terminate its driving forces. At this stage, the war unfolds mainly in the planes of economic, public relations and politics. All the power of US economic superiority is based on the financial pyramid of debt, and this has gone long beyond sustainability. Its major lenders are collapsing enough to deprive the US market of accumulated US dollars and Treasury bonds. Of course, the collapse of the US financial system will cause serious losses to all holders of US currency and securities. But first, these losses for Russia, Europe and China will be less than the losses caused by American geopolitics unleashing another world war. Secondly, the sooner the exit from the financial obligations of this American pyramid, the less will be the losses. Third, the collapse of the dollar Ponzi scheme gives an opportunity, finally, to reform the global financial system on the basis of equity and mutual benefit.”
Washington thinks “modern warfare” involves covert support for proxy armies comprised of Neo Nazis and Islamic extremists. Moscow thinks modern warfare means undermining the enemy’s ability to wage war through sustained attacks on it’s currency, its institutions, its bond market, and its ability to convince its allies that it is a responsible steward of the global economic system.
I’ll put my money on Russia.
During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.
E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:
Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”
Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.
Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.
– William Blum
I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. I’ve been reading the paper for 25 years – six years during Vietnam (1964-1970) and the last 19 years (1995-2014) – usually spending about three hours each day reading it very carefully. And I can say that when it comes to US foreign policy the newspaper is worse now than I can remember it ever was during those 25 years. It’s reached the point where, as one example, I don’t take at face value a word the Post has to say about Ukraine. Same with the State Department, which makes one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s wholly inconclusive and/or unsourced or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. Do they have something to hide?
The State Department’s Public Affairs spokespersons making these presentations exhibit little regard or respect for the reporters asking challenging questions. It takes my thoughts back to the Vietnam era and Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the man most responsible for “giving, controlling and managing the war news from Vietnam”. One day in July 1965, Sylvester told American journalists that they had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. When one of the reporters exclaimed: “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be handmaidens of government,” Sylvester replied: “That’s exactly what I expect,” adding: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – stupid.”
Such frankness might be welcomed today as a breath of fresh air compared to the painful-to-observe double-talk of a State Department spokesperson.
My personal breath of fresh air in recent years has been the television station RT (formerly Russia Today). On a daily basis many progressives from around the world (myself included occasionally) are interviewed and out of their mouths come facts and analyses that are rarely heard on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox News, BBC, etc. The words of these progressives heard on RT are typically labeled by the mainstream media as “Russian propaganda”, whereas I, after a long lifetime of American propaganda, can only think: “Of course. What else are they going to call it?”
As for Russia being responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Flight 17, we should keep in mind that the current series of events in Ukraine was sparked in February when a US-supported coup overthrew the democratically-elected government and replaced it with one that was more receptive to the market-fundamentalism dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Union. Were it not for the coup there would have been no eastern rebellion to put down and no dangerous war zone for Flight 17 to be flying over in the first place.
The new regime has had another charming feature: a number of outspoken neo-Nazis in high and low positions, a circumstance embarrassing enough for the US government and mainstream media to turn it into a virtual non-event. US Senator John McCain met and posed for photos with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok (photos easily found on the Internet). Ukraine – whose ties to Naziism go back to World War Two when their homegrown fascists supported Germany and opposed the Soviet Union – is on track to becoming the newest part of the US-NATO military encirclement of Russia and possibly the home of the region’s newest missile base, target Moscow.
It is indeed possible that Flight 17 was shot down by the pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine in the mistaken belief that it was the Ukrainian air force returning to carry out another attack. But other explanations are suggested in a series of questions posed by Russia to the the Secretary-General of the UN General Assembly, accompanied by radar information, satellite images, and other technical displays:
“Why was a military aircraft flying in a civil aviation airway at almost the same time and the same altitude as a civilian passenger aircraft? We would like to have this question answered.”
“Earlier, Ukrainian officials stated that on the day of the accident no Ukrainian military aircraft were flying in that area. As you can see, that is not true.”
“We also have a question for our American colleagues. According to a statement by American officials, the United States has satellite images which show that the missile aimed at the Malaysian aircraft was launched by the militants. But no one has seen these images.”
There is also this intriguing speculation, which ties in to the first Russian question above. A published analysis by a retired Lufthansa pilot points out that Flight 17 looked similar in its tricolor design to that of Russian President Putin’s plane, whose plane with him on board was at the same time “near” Flight 17. In aviation circles “near” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. Could Putin’s plane have been the real target?
There is as well other serious and plausible questioning of the official story of Russia and/or Ukrainian anti-Kiev militias being responsible for the shootdown. Is Flight 17 going to become the next JFK Assassination, PanAm 103, or 9-11 conspiracy theory that lingers forever? Will the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Syrian chemical weapons be joined by the Russian anti-aircraft missile? Stay tuned.
Will they EVER leave Cuba alone? No.
The latest exposed plot to overthrow the Cuban government … Oh, pardon me, I mean the latest exposed plot to bring democracy to Cuba …
Our dear friends at the Agency For International Development (USAID), having done so well with their covert sub-contractor Alan Gross, now in his fifth year in Cuban custody … and their “Cuban Twitter” project, known as ZunZuneo, exposed in 2012, aimed at increasing the flow of information amongst the supposedly information-starved Cubans, which drew in subscribers unaware that the service was paid for by the US government … and now, the latest exposure, a project which sent about a dozen Venezuelan, Costa Rican and Peruvian young people to Cuba in hopes of stirring up a rebellion; the travelers worked clandestinely, using the cover of health and civic programs, or posing as tourists, going around the island, on a mission to “identify potential social-change actors” to turn into political activists. Can you believe that? Can you believe the magnitude of naiveté? Was it a conviction that American exceptionalism would somehow work its magic? Do they think the Cuban people are a bunch of children just waiting for a wise adult to come along and show them what to think and how to behave?
One of these latest USAID contracts was signed only days after Gross was detained, thus indicating little concern for the safety of their employees/agents. As part of the preparation of these individuals, USAID informed them: “Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.”
It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies, who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force. But it’s this Cuba that doesn’t beat or torture detainees that is the enemy to be reformed and punished without mercy … 55 years and counting.
The United States and torture
Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America.
Thus it is somewhat to the credit of President Obama that at his August 1 press conference he declared “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.”
And he actually used the word “torture” at that moment, not “enhanced interrogation”, which has been the euphemism of preference the past decade, although two minutes later the president used “extraordinary interrogation techniques”. And “tortured some folks” makes me wince. The man is clearly uncomfortable with the subject.
But all this is minor. Much more important is the fact that for several years Mr. Obama’s supporters have credited him with having put an end to the practice of torture. And they simply have no right to make that claim.
Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”
The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, to name some of the known torture centers frequented by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business. The same for the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.
Moreover, the Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?
The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions.
After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ – picking terrorism suspects off the street and sending them to a third country. But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”
The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely because they were willing and able to torture them.
No official in the Bush and Obama administrations has been punished in any way for torture or other war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and the other countries they waged illegal war against. And, it could be added, no American bankster has been punished for their indispensable role in the world-wide financial torture they inflicted upon us all beginning in 2008. What a marvelously forgiving land is America. This, however, does not apply to Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, or Chelsea Manning.
In the last days of the Bush White House, Michael Ratner, professor at Columbia Law School and former president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, pointed out:
The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure that those who were responsible for the torture program pay the price for it. I don’t see how we regain our moral stature by allowing those who were intimately involved in the torture programs to simply walk off the stage and lead lives where they are not held accountable.
I’d like at this point to once again remind my dear readers of the words of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”, which was drafted by the United Nations in 1984, came into force in 1987, and ratified by the United States in 1994. Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity.
The Convention Against Torture has been and remains the supreme law of the land. It is a cornerstone of international law and a principle on a par with the prohibition against slavery and genocide.
“Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States.” – United States Attorney General Eric Holder, July 26, 2013
John Brennan, appointed by President Obama in January 2013 to be Director of the CIA, has defended “rendition” as an “absolutely vital tool”; and stated that torture had produced “life saving” intelligence.
Obama had nominated Brennan for the CIA position in 2008, but there was such an outcry in the human-rights community over Brennan’s apparent acceptance of torture, that Brennan withdrew his nomination. Barack Obama evidently learned nothing from this and appointed the man again in 2013.
During Cold War One, a common theme in the rhetoric was that the Soviets tortured people and detained them without cause, extracted phony confessions, and did the unspeakable to detainees who were helpless against the full, heartless weight of the Communist state. As much as any other evil, torture differentiated the bad guys, the Commies, from the good guys, the American people and their government. However imperfect the US system might be – we were all taught – it had civilized standards that the enemy rejected.
Just because you have a right to do something does not make it right.
The city of Detroit in recent months has been shutting off the supply of water to city residents who have not paid their water bills. This action affects more than 40% of the customers of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, bringing great inconvenience and threats to the health and sanitation of between 200 and 300 thousand residents. Protests have of course sprung up in the city, with “Water is a human right!” as a leading theme.
Who can argue with that? Well, neo-conservatives and other true believers in the capitalist system who maintain that if you receive the benefit of a product or service, you pay for it. What could be simpler? What are you, some kind of socialist?
For those of you who have difficulty believing that an American city could be so insensitive, allow me to remind you of some history.
On December 14, 1981 a resolution was proposed in the United Nations General Assembly which declared that “education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights”. Notice the “proper nourishment”. The resolution was approved by a vote of 135-1. The United States cast the only “No” vote.
A year later, December 18, 1982, an identical resolution was proposed in the General Assembly. It was approved by a vote of 131-1. The United States cast the only “No” vote.
The following year, December 16, 1983, the resolution was again put forth, a common practice at the United Nations. This time it was approved by a vote of 132-1. There’s no need to tell you who cast the sole “No” vote.
These votes took place under the Reagan administration.
Under the Clinton administration, in 1996, a United Nations-sponsored World Food Summit affirmed the “right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food”. The United States took issue with this, insisting that it does not recognize a “right to food”. Washington instead championed free trade as the key to ending the poverty at the root of hunger, and expressed fears that recognition of a “right to food” could lead to lawsuits from poor nations seeking aid and special trade provisions.
The situation of course did not improve under the administration of George W. Bush. In 2002, in Rome, world leaders at another UN-sponsored World Food Summit again approved a declaration that everyone had the right to “safe and nutritious food”. The United States continued to oppose the clause, again fearing it would leave them open to future legal claims by famine-stricken countries.
I’m waiting for a UN resolution affirming the right to oxygen.
- See various examples at RT.com, such as “Jen Psaki’s most embarrassing fails, most entertaining grillings”, or simply search the site for “Ukraine Jen Psaki”
- Congressional Record (House of Representatives), May 12, 1966, pp. 9977-78, reprint of an article by Morley Safer of CBS News
- “Letter dated 22 July 2014 from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General”, released by the UN 24 July, Document No. A/68/954-S/2014/524
- “Pre-WWIII German Pilot Shocker, MH17 ‘Not Hit By Missile’”, Before It’s News, July 31 2014
- Associated Press, August 4, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2009
- New York Times, February 6, 2009
- Associated Press, November 17, 2008
- Associated Press, November 26, 2008
- Washington Post, November 18, 1996
- Reuters news agency, June 10, 2002