Blackout 2012

Blackout 2012
Vol: 110 Issue: 22 Monday, November 22, 2010

In January, 2009 the National Academy of Sciences issued a study, funded by NASA, that concluded that nothing is immune from the effects of solar weather.  

“Electric power is modern society’s cornerstone technology on which virtually all other infrastructures and services depend,” the report notes. “Yet it is particularly vulnerable to bad space weather.”

A geomagnetic storm begins with an enormous burst of electrically charged gas, or plasma, from the sun. The gas travels very quickly — on the order of a million miles an hour or faster — and if it happens to be aimed at Earth, can reach the planet in as little as a day.

Then, strange things happen to the Earth’s orderly magnetic field. It begins to fluctuate, creating differing electric potentials on the Earth’s surface.

From this point, a simple law of electricity follows: If the potential at one end of a transmission line is higher than the potential at the other end, dozens or even hundreds of miles away, a current will flow through the line.

Ground currents induced during geomagnetic storms can actually melt the copper windings of transformers at the heart of many power distribution systems.

Sprawling power lines act like antennas, picking up the currents and spreading the problem over a wide area. The most famous geomagnetic power outage happened during a space storm in March 1989 when six million people in Quebec lost power for 9 hours.

According to the report, power grids may be more vulnerable than ever. The problem is interconnectedness. In recent years, utilities have joined grids together to allow long-distance transmission of low-cost power to areas of sudden demand.

On a hot summer day in California, for instance, people in Los Angeles might be running their air conditioners on power routed from Oregon. It makes economic sense—but not necessarily geomagnetic sense. Interconnectedness makes the system susceptible to wide-ranging “cascade failures.”

To estimate the scale of such a failure, report co-author John Kappenmann of the Metatech Corporation looked at the great geomagnetic storm of May 1921, which produced ground currents as much as ten times stronger than the 1989 Quebec storm, and modeled its effect on the modern power grid.

He found more than 350 transformers at risk of permanent damage and 130 million people without power.

The loss of electricity would ripple across the social infrastructure with “water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on.”

The recently published book, “Aftermath” written by Lawrence Joseph, argues that more than 100 million Americans would be affected by such a blackout – which could last for months, or even years.

The problem is that the world’s power grids are like giant lightning rods for space weather blasts.  The power grid is designed to efficiently conduct electricity, which also attracts space weather shocks. 

The weakest point in the North America power grid is the transformers.  Here’s how they work.

Transformers receive power from high voltage transmission lines which in turn receive their power from substations directly connected to the main power plant, be it coal, oil, gas, hydroelectric or nuclear.

High voltage transmission lines, the ones held up by those big Y-shaped metal trellis structures that can be seen stretching along the highway, carry the current as far as 300 miles.

 The farther the distance, the higher the voltage required, just as more water pressure would be required to produce a steady, reliable stream of water out of a long hose than out of a short one.

(Volts are essentially units of pressure, while amps are units of volume. The simplest analogy is to water: volts would measure how hard the water rushes out of the hose, amps would measure how much water is flowing.)

The power from the transmission lines is fed into the transformers, whose job is to then step it down from the level of hundreds of thousands of volts to tens of thousands of volts, then split the current into several directions via a device known as a “bus.”

The bus sends the electricity through the network of power lines one sees everywhere held up by utility poles. Transformers in communities then drop the voltage down to levels used in homes and businesses, so the flow of electricity requires transformers at many points in the network and if transformers are damaged, then no electricity can flow.

The higher the voltage processed by a transformer, the more vulnerable it is to damage from a solar-induced EMP.  Here is the problem.  

Transformers weigh over 100 tons apiece and usually cannot be repaired in the field, and because of their size they cannot be flown in from overseas factories where they are now made.

Most transformers can’t even be repaired after a major EMP and would have to be replaced. Currently, there is a worldwide waiting list for new transformers of about three years!  And about half of them either fail in testing or fail prematurely in service.

Noted USAToday this week:

With the sun’s 11-year solar cycle ramping up for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on electromagnetic pulse scenarios.

“We’re taking this seriously,” says Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, which represents utilities. He points to a North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) report in June, conducted with the Energy Department, that found pulse threats to the grid “may be much greater than anticipated.”

There are “some important reasons for concern,” says physicist Yousaf Butt of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. “But there is also a lot of fluff.”

At risk are the more than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines that cross North America, supplying 1,800 utilities the power for TVs, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners in homes, and for the businesses, hospitals and police stations that take care of us all.

What is the likelihood of a major, grid-frying solar storm?  The insurance giant, Lloyd’s of London is betting on one hitting earth next year.

Two weeks ago, a massive CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) erupted, sending a blast of xrays towards the earth in what may be the first in a series of solar storms in the days ahead.

“Astronomers who study the sun have five categories of flares: A, B, C, M and X,” explained SPACE.com’s skywatching columnist Joe Rao. “The M and X flares are the most potent types and the one that erupted [Saturday] was an M 5.4 which is just about the most powerful flare we’ve seen in many years.”

At the time of the flare, sunspot group 1121 was on the limb, or the edge, of the sun’s disk, so any cloud of electrified particles ejected by the flare would not reach Earth, Rao said.

“But as the sun rotates, this active region of the sun will be turned more and more toward the center of its disk … it will be there around Nov. 12 to 13,” Rao said.

“If a similar M-class flare erupts around that time, we could be in line to see a very nice display of northern lights a day or two later when the cloud of electrified solar particles reaches Earth.”

That nice display of Northern Lights, could, however, be the only night lights we have on for awhile, unless a way is found to shield the grid from damage.

Assessment:

The National Academy of Sciences warned two years ago that power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications could “all be knocked out by intense solar activity”.

It warned a powerful solar storm could cause “twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina”.   

NASA is developing what it calls a ‘solar shield’ – although it isn’t a shield or anything like a shield.  It is more like an early warning system or a weather alert.  

But instead of warning citizens to unplug electronic devices to prevent damage, NASA will warn power companies to unplug portions of the grid likely to be damaged until after the storm has passed.

Approximately 30 minutes before the storm reaches Earth, NASA would be able to provide specific information regarding which areas of the globe would feel the brunt of the impact; power companies could then cause a temporary, regional blackout, and restore service after the CME had passed.

Will it work?  Who knows? But that is the plan.  As for you and me, we won’t know whether or not it worked until the power comes back on.   

Let’s consider the effect of a power grid failure.  First off, if the lights go out, that is all you will know until they come back on.  We will have no way of knowing if the outage will last an hour, a day, a week or a year.

We won’t know how extensive it is or even what caused it.  With no phone, no radio or TV or internet, how could you?   Gas stations won’t be able to pump gas, so you won’t be able to go far to find out.  

It is impossible to imagine what the effect of a prolonged blackout would be on North America long term. There will be no refrigeration for food and medicine. No food distribution. No clean water.  With no traffic lights, large cities will screech to a complete halt.

Hospitals and emergency services will cease.  Medicines will spoil.  Uncounted millions will die.

Wherever you are when the lights go out, that is where you’ll likely still be when they come back on. If they come back on.  And it won’t be until they come back on that we’ll be able to take stock of the damage.

How does this all fit in with Bible prophecy?   First and most obviously, such a scenario is a direct fulfillment of a specific prophecy made by Jesus Christ concerning the signs of His second coming. 

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”  (Luke 21:25-27)

Secondly, I’ve often wondered about how the enemy will come up with a believable explanation for the Rapture.  It always perplexed me how anybody could explain away the sudden disappearance of millions of people.

If the lights go out for any significant length of time, when they come back on, it will be after millions have perished in the dark from pestilence, disease, hunger and chaos.  That is simply a given.  

How many do you think would survive a year in the dark in California’s cramped coastal cities like Los Angeles? No food, no water, no traffic lights, no gas?  

What about those living out in the desert communities like Palm Springs?  It’s 100 miles to the nearest water. A long walk for a drink.

What about New York City?  Or Houston?  What about the northern cities forced to deal with winter cold, in addition to no water, no food and no gasoline? 

When the lights come back on, who will be left?  I have this mental image of the lights suddenly coming back on, together with long-dormant TV sets announcing new leadership that will help steer us back out of the chaos. 

A blackout would explain the Rapture nicely.  Nobody will be asking the question, “Where did everybody go?”  They won’t need to. 

The missing would be lumped in with the dead.  Those who are alive and remain will just be grateful that they are still here.

After a couple of years in the dark, whoever emerges as leader could wear the nametag, “A. Christ” without raising an eyebrow.

The passage in Luke draws a complete circle.  It starts, “And there shall be signs in the sun . . . “ and concludes:  “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-28)

Stupid Is As Stupid Does. . .

Stupid Is As Stupid Does. . .
Vol: 110 Issue: 20 Saturday, November 20, 2010

One of my favorite films of all time was Forrest Gump.  It says a lot about the rest of us that a movie about innocence and honesty can be so captivating. 

The most endearing aspect of the Forrest Gump character was how he navigated through life by recalling the wisdom of his mother;

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”  Another favorite gem of wisdom is this one: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Senator Jay Rockefeller, son of David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateralist Commission and former chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, called on the FCC to shut down MSNBC and Fox News.

According to the senior senator from West Virginia, the problem with an unrestricted free press is that it makes it hard for Rockefeller to do his work here in Congress.

“There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox News and MSNBC, ‘Off. Out. End. Goodbye’. It would be a big favor to political discourse; to our ability to do our work here in Congress; and the American People, to talk with each other and have some faith in their government, and more importantly, in their future.”

That is where the big problem lies.  Elected representatives aren’t sent to Congress to do their work; they are sent there to do ours.  If they were doing our work instead of advancing a predetermined elitist agenda, we wouldn’t be battling inflation, high unemployment and low productivity.

It was elitists like Jay Rockefeller that have spent the past decades stimulating the economies of South American countries at the expense of their own constituencies.   

Rockefeller’s clan has been involved for decades in stimulating the economies of Latin America, especially Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela. During the time he was governor of West Virginia, factories and coal mines closed at a dizzying pace; during the early years of Reagan’s presidency, his poor governance helped put the state’s unemployment up to 20%. He has flip-flopped about the Iraq War, waterboarding, and other issues, especially those related to Veterans Affairs during the time he headed that committee.

Rockefeller’s attack on free speech in America, and his seeming desire to keep the American people from knowing what “their” work is in Congress, rather than having a desire to do “our” work, shows in his actions and his words. Rockefeller has been in Congress since 1985.

Former Nightline host Ted Koppel evidently agrees with Senator Rockefeller.  The news is far too complicated for ordinary people to be able to figure out on their own.

We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic.    

Translation: It isn’t good for the republic to have too much information because the public who resides in the republic aren’t smart enough to process it.  Better to spoon feed them information that doesn’t interfere with the “work” of the elite.

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama explained away the public revolt against his policies by saying that it was too complicated for the ordinary guy to understand.

“Making an argument that people can understand,” Obama told CBS’s Steve Kroft.  “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that.”

The entire interview was like that.   It wasn’t Obama, it was the economy.  It wasn’t the policies, it was that the public was too thick to understand.   It wasn’t that the plan was ruinous, it was that certain unfriendly cable networks told the public it was ruinous.

Vice President Joe Biden was interviewed by GQ Magazine about why Obama is faring so poorly in selling his policies to the public.   Why is it that the public doesn’t ‘get it’? 

“I think what it is, is he’s so brilliant. He is an intellectual.  Look think about the guy. This is an African American who had a Caucasian mother, raised in a Caucasian neighborhood by Caucasian grandparents. Talk about a guy who knows what it’s like. This is a guy who gets it.”

Obama gets it.  We don’t — because we don’t know what it is like to be an ordinary person – at least, not the way the Obama knows it. 

(Have you ever been an African-American with a Caucasian mother who sent you to be raised by your grandparents? No? Idiot!)

Assessment:

This is the latest variation of the application of the Principle of the Big Lie and it’s a fairly impressive remake.  

The “Principle of the Big Lie” was most famously explained as a political strategy by no less an accomplished liar than Adolf Hitler.  I’ve quoted it verbatim in previous volumes, so I’ll just summarize it here.

Hitler theorized that the more outrageous the lie, the more likely people are to believe it, assuming nobody would tell a whopper that big if it weren’t true. 

It creates a kind of sensory overload; your eyes glaze over after awhile and next thing you know, you’re arguing in favor of raising your own taxes for reasons you can almost, but not quite, articulate.

This variation on the theme is something along the lines of;“Who are you going to believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?”  

The old lie about it being all George Bush’s fault isn’t working anymore – not because it isn’t big enough, but it’s getting a bit stale. 

The new and improved version says that it is the fault of those too stupid to grasp the nuances of Obama’s greatness.

So, how does this fit in with Bible prophecy? The antichrist, according to Bible prophecy, will be personally energized by the most seductive liar in the history of the universe.

When he takes the podium, he will have at his disposal all the charisma, style and charm that seduced Eve into disobeying God in the Garden of Eden.

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10)

THIS is the exact political climate described by the prophets for the last days. When asked what would be the sign of His coming, the first thing Jesus said was “take heed that no man deceive you.”

Everything in the last days is about deception. The antichrist is Satan’s man. Satan means “liar.”

It is hard to imagine a more audacious lie than one aimed at convincing the public that the country’s problems are the result of a too-smart Executive and a too-stupid electorate.  But there it is.

I’m not saying Obama is the antichrist – but everything about the Tribulation is a counterfeit.  In the antichrist, False Prophet and Satan we find a counterfeit unholy trinity. 

The antichrist offers false peace, the False prophet offers false hope and counterfeit miracles.

Where does Obama fit in?   Maybe he is the counterfeit John the Baptist, preparing the world for the Great Deceiver still waiting somewhere off stage for his cue. 

Or maybe he’s just a really dumb politician that got incredibly lucky.   But in any case, he proves that when the real Great Deceiver shows up, the world will be ready for him. 

That pump is primed and ready.

Mystery Babylon

Mystery Babylon
Vol: 110 Issue: 19 Friday, November 19, 2010

The other day, the question was posed in one of our forums asking if it could be that America is actually Babylon the Great of Revelation.  It’s an excellent question and well worth looking into.

“And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” (Revelation 18:21)

As one reads through all of Revelation 18 it certainly sounds like a word picture describing America; with her multi-billion dollar drug habit, multi-billion dollar porn industry, addiction to oil, and so forth.

Revelation Chapter 17 describes the great scarlet whore, a word picture of the decadence debauchery and prostitution of religious Christianity upon the earth. 

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Revelation 17:3-6)

Daniel spoke of four world empires, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.  John speaks of seven — and then speaks of an eighth.   

“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Revelation 17:11)

History records six great empires; two before Daniel (Egypt, Assyria) and four afterwards (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome).

Confused yet?  Wait. I’m not done.  Five have fallen, John says, and one is.   The one in existence in John’s day was the Roman Empire.  

John says the next empire, the seventh, which is not yet come, will be short-lived.John appears to say that the seventh is also the sixth, and simultaneously the eighth.  It’s not as confusing as it sounds. Not really. 

Revelation 17:2 interprets the ten horns on the beast as, “ten kings which have yet received no kingdom” these are future kings, not kings of John’s day.

The future beast is a government of ten kings who yield their power and strength over to the center, to an arch-regent, as described by the Prophet Daniel.

“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”

John pictures the beast as an empire. Daniel’s horn had eyes and mouth speaking great things.  Which is right? Actually, both are right. 

The beast is a system, personified by a man, but actually administered by two men, separated according to specialty.

Revelation 13:1 introduces the political beast, who rises up out of the sea (of nations).  Revelation 13:11 introduces the religious beast, “coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”

Both the first beast and the second beast derive their power from “the dragon” or Satan.   In John’s day, the seat of secular authority was Imperial Rome. 

By the 3rd century AD, Rome had become the seat of religious authority when Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the state church of Rome and the Emperor as Pontifex Maximus of the Christian Church.

“Pontifex Maximus” literally means “the greatest bridge builder” and was the title conferred on the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient pagan Rome. 

The College was ancient Rome’s most sacred priesthood of advisors to the Roman Emperor-god.

The Pontifex Maximus has been applied to the Roman popes since at least the 3rd century.  When political Rome collapsed in the early 5th century, it transferred much of the political power from the state to the Pontifex Maximus. 

The Roman Empire which in John’s day was present tense (beast that is) became the beast that was and is not and yet is. 

The papacy openly ruled Western European Christendom from early 4th century until well after the French Revolution and continues to be the single most politically powerful religious figure on earth.

Is the False Prophet the Roman Catholic pope?  I don’t know.  That often gets me accused of Catholic bashing, but that’s not a fair assessment. I believe the Rapture takes place before either the political antichrist or the False Prophet show up.  

What is a Church after all the Christians are gone?

Assessment:

Whether one wants to take issue with me over the Vatican being the seat of Satan’s power after all the Christians have been Raptured or not is secondary to the question I originally set out to answer. 

Could the Babylon of Revelation be America?  Revelation’s Babylon is presented in two parts; religious Babylon, as described in great detail in Revelation 17, and economic Babylon as described in Chapter 18.

The fall of economic Babylon could easily be interpreted as a description of America in decline:

“And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

“And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” 

It sounds like America, home of Nashville, Hollywood and Wall Street, breadbasket to the world and home to the great merchants of the earth.   Certainly, one could line America up with the deception of ‘sorceries’ (Greek, pharmakea, or use of drugs), but that’s as far as one can take America before the Bible shuts it down.

“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:22-24)

America is not soaked in the blood of prophets and saints – that honor belongs to Rome.

It is just as difficult to find a major role for America during the Tribulation Period as it is to find a role for the Church.   The Bible makes it clear that during the last days, all eyes are on the battlefield.

God’s attention will be turned to Israel and Satan’s attention will be focused on Europe.  America isn’t the Babylon of Revelation. 

Laodicea, maybe.  But not Babylon.

Prayer Request:  I was informed of a death in our family a little while ago.  My brother’s mother-in-law passed away this morning.  We are a particularly close family, and Ken and Bev were a particularly inspiring couple. 

Childhood sweethearts who married in their teens, Ken and Bev fell ill at about the same time with different illnesses. Ken was recovering from surgery when Bev, who was suffering from terminal cancer, fell and broke her collarbone the day before yesterday.

The family was able to get Ken into the same hospital as his beloved Bev last night.  I’m told that she died in his arms this morning.

Despite knowing it was coming, my brother’s family is devastated.  I cannot imagine Ken’s grief.  Please pray with me that the Lord will comfort Ken, Roy and Lorna and their kids and grandkids in the days ahead.

God bless us all.   

Bless Them That Bless Thee

Bless Them That Bless Thee
Vol: 110 Issue: 18 Thursday, November 18, 2010

In spite of the fact that most Israelis believed at the time that Bill Clinton was a great friend to Israel, until Bill Clinton presided over the Oslo signing on the lawn of the Rose Garden in 1993, Israel controlled all of the West Bank, all of Gaza, all of the Golan Heights and was largely considered by the Arab world to be invincible.

Before an enemy could hope to push through to Jerusalem, it would have to fight all the way through the West Bank from the Jordan, all the way through the Golan from Syria, all the way across the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and still be strong enough to make it across the Green Line to link up with the armies approaching from the other directions.

It was Israel’s possession of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan that prevented the surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973 from succeeding.  It took Israel almost a week to recover and launch a counter-offensive. 

Had Egypt not had to first overcome Israeli positions in Gaza, Jordan the West Bank, and Syria the Golan, Israel would have been annihilated during those first few days.  

Today, the same attack would be launched from inside Gaza, from Bethlehem and from atop the Golan.Israel would’t have days to regroup — at best it might have hours. All of Israel’s 1973 defensive perimeter has been negotiated away. 

By the end of the Clinton administration, 95% of Israel’s defensive buffer was on the table.When George Bush came to office he announced that the centerpiece of his Middle East foreign policy was to oversee the creation of a Palestinian State.  

By the end of the Bush administration, the rest of the world was already referring to Judea and Samaria as ‘Palestine’ and the main stumbling block to peace was the question of how best to divide what had only twenty years before been “Israel’s eternal and indivisible capital” in Jerusalem.

Under the Obama administration, the Israelis are barely part of the negotiation process.  Abbas whines, Obama imposes, Israel capitulates.  

And today, people are openly talking about the previously-unthinkable possibility of the impending collapse of the most powerful nation the world has ever known.   

I don’t believe in coincidences.

Assessment:

In an article in the Jerusalem Post by Isi Leibler called “Candidly Speaking: Harper and Obama on Israel“, Isia Leibler wrote this:

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unquestionably emerged as Israel’s greatest friend in the world, effectively assuming the role previously occupied by former Australian prime minister John Howard.

Harper’s principled approach to Israel was demonstrated in an extraordinary address he gave in Ottawa to an interparliamentary conference for combating anti-Semitism. Courageously dismissing the traditional political correctness expressed by many liberals, who feel obliged to distance themselves from the Jewish state, Harper made it clear that under his leadership Canada would not “pretend” to be impartial on Israel even if that meant facing negative repercussions at the UN and other international organizations.”

Wow!  Canada ‘s Prime Minister is now unquestionably Israel’s greatest friend in the world?  That’s a pretty exclusive club – “greatest” means there can be only one.   Liebler continues;

Canada was in fact “punished” for its support of Israel when it was ignominiously defeated by Portugal, an almost bankrupt country, in its attempt to obtain a seat at the UN Security Council. All 57 seats of the Organization of the Islamic Conference opposed the Canadian nomination.

For some, Canada’s defeat under such circumstances will be viewed as a badge of honor. But what made Canada’s defeat even more outrageous was the role of the US. According to Richard Grenfell, a former press officer with the US mission to the UN, “US State Department insiders say that US Ambassador Susan Rice not only didn’t campaign for Canada’s election but instructed American diplomats to not get involved in the weekend leading up to the heated contest.”

David Frum, a speechwriter to former president George W. Bush, also noted that “the US government has kept awfully quite about the suggestion that it went missing during the Security Council vote.”

The US betrayal of its neighbor and long-standing ally is a chilling indication of the depths to which the Obama administration has stooped in its efforts to “engage” and appease Islamic and Third World rogue states.

Sadly, it’s pretty hard to disagree with either Frum’s observation or Liebler’s characterization of it as a ‘betrayal’.   I could have never imagined a scenario in which America stands against Canada because of Canadian support for Israel! 

Indeed, it is hard to imagine Washington opposing Canada at the UN for any reason.  For all our nationalist pride, the two nations are inextricably interconnected.

It is almost as unimaginable as, I dunno, the US government standing against Arizona at the UN . . .  but that’s crazy talk!

The JP article continues, listing many examples of recent assaults against Israel emanating from President Obama from foreign capitals such as his criticism of Israel from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Speaking of crazy talk, here’s how Leibler concluded the piece, and then we’ll come full circle:

[It] would perhaps be an impossible dream to have someone of the caliber of Stephen Harper leading the US, but alas, today, we are becoming increasingly reconciled to the reality that the US president is no friend of Israel and is paving the way for an imposed settlement with potentially disastrous long-term repercussions on the security of our nation.

According to the UN National Debt Clock, at the time of this writing, your share of the debt as a citizen is $44,217.00.  But of course, not all citizens pay federal taxes. 

Exclude little kids, families with a single breadwinner, and more than half of all working Americans who get ‘refunds’ for taxes paid by others, and it works out to, (at the time of this writing) $124,579 – oops, $124,580 per taxpayer.

Go to the bottom of the debt clock where it includes all the unfunded liabilities (stuff we promised but don’t have the money to pay for, like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.) and the total indebtedness per US taxpayer is . . . drum roll please. . .  over a MILLION dollars. 

One million, forty-two thousand, four hundred and eight dollars, to be painfully precise.  (oops, make that four hundred and nine). 

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Back in the 1960’s Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau characterized Canada’s position as being like a mouse sleeping with an elephant – the point being that what is a twitch to the elephant can be a mortal threat to the mouse.

In every US economic downturn of my lifetime, it hit Canada harder and the Canadian version lasted longer.   But despite America’s economic woes, Canada’s business fortunes for 2011 are surprisingly optimistic.

Canada has a debt clock and it also has a debt problem.   The Canadian national debt is almost six hundred billion dollars – but since Canada’s economy and population are much smaller, and numbers like billion and trillion are too vast to contemplate, the only real comparison that is valid is the taxpayer share.

In 2009, the US individual share of the national debt was $310,000 – today it is over one million dollars per citizen. In Canada, it is $16K. 

“I will bless them that bless thee” the Bible says.  That is why I don’t believe in coincidences.

God keeps His promises. 

Special Report: Have the Jihadists Already Won?

Special Report: Have the Jihadists Already Won?
Vol: 110 Issue: 17 Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I can think of few circumstances under which I would fly aboard a commercial aircraft.  A time-sensitive emergency, perhaps.

Or a place inaccessible by any other reasonable means; you can’t drive to Europe or Israel, for example.

But barring an emergency, I prefer to drive whenever possible.  I always have preferred other means of travel, but I have pretty much removed air travel from consideration as a condition of employment. 

In other words, I won’t fly for money. Anything I can’t drive to or do over the phone or via the internet is off the table.

It isn’t that I am afraid to fly, or that I am afraid some nut-bar will set off a bomb in his underwear. 

I am a Christian. I know where I will spend eternity.  I am not afraid of death in the sense that I fear being dead.  But there are many ways to get that way, and almost all of them are pretty scary.  

(Being instantly translated from this life to the next in a blinding flash of light from 35,000 feet (to me) isn’t one of them.)

There are lots worse ways to shuffle off this mortal coil. 

It isn’t the terrorists that have ended my career as a commercial air traveler.   I decided that several years back after our last trip to Israel.  

(It was such a miserable experience that if I was afraid of anything, it was that we’d have to endure the misery all the way to New York.)

So I was just a little disappointed that I had written off air travel already so that I couldn’t quit flying all over again as a matter of principled protest after I read about the now-famous “Don’t Touch My Junk” guy. 

I have no problem with security.  I think it is a great idea. Until protecting me entails replacing common sense with political correctness at my expense. 

Using political correctness as a tactic of security is like using your own forehead to sight in a new rifle.

Ten years after 9/11 the ONE thing about the terrorist threat to air travel that has remained constant is the ONLY thing that the government refuses to consider is the identity of the perpetrators. 

John TynerFor example, the “Don’t Touch My Junk” guy.  Does he look like a brainwashed, depraved murderer of Middle Eastern descent between the ages of 17 and 35?

Does it make a difference?  I dunno – you tell me.  Look at this other picture — it ran on the Drudge Report the other day under the caption, “The Terrorists Have Won.”   

Mayby they have?  Just exactly how many middle aged Catholic nuns have been recruited by al-Qaeda, anyway? Enough to justify groping one in public?

One of the most frustrating problems for the jihadist enemy is the problem they have recruiting ordinary Americans to become suicide bombers. 

That ought to work in our favor.

Generally speaking, people that can be convinced that mass murder can be a good thing are a little bent already. 

It isn’t easy to find a guy willing to blow himself up, let alone do it on an airplane full of grannies and cute little kids, for the purpose of killing grannies and cute little kids. 

Even harder to find somebody that bent that grew up in America without raising any red flags.

So far, there’s never been an American-born non-Muslim jihadist terrorist attack against any target in America.  Or anywhere else in the world. 

(One of the rules is that you can’t be a jihadist without joining the club.)

Back to the “Don’t Touch My Junk” guy.  The TSA’s new  security rules require that passengers be singled out at random and ordered to go through the naked X-ray machine. 

John Tyner was headed to South Dakota from California with a friend when he was singled out for secondary screening.  He flipped on his cell phone recorder and left it on.  It recorded the entire exchange.

Tyner chose to “opt out” of the naked Xray scanner and was told by the TSA that in that case, he would have to submit to a full body search.

Tyner politely waited
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until the agent explained what the search would entail. New York Daily News columnist Joanna Malloy wrote that the instructions sounded like the sort of thing you’d expect to hear in a sleazy massage parlor:

“We are going to be doing a groin check. That means I am going to place my hand on your hip, my other hand on your inner thigh. Slowly go up and slide down.” 

Tyner then uttered the soon-to-be immortal words; “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

The TSA guy didn’t like that. He called his supervisor.  Tyner asked if sexual assault was a condition of air travel. 

In essence, that is precisely what the TSA supervisor told him:

“By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.”

Assessment:

One of the benchmark measures of a country’s domestic freedom is the ability of its citizens to travel freely within its borders.  The less free the indivdual is to travel, the less free the people of that nation are as a whole.

Especially if travel is restricted for dissidents who disagree with their government or it’s policies.

Ok. So Tyner doesn’t want to give up the right NOT to be sexually assaulted, photographed naked and exposed to unknown levels of backscatter radiation. 

This is America, right?  Tyner told the TSA he didn’t want to fly anymore – he wanted to leave.

The TSA told him that before he could leave, he would still be required to submit to the full body search.  Or, alternatively, he could be photographed naked and exposed to unknown levels of backscatter radiation.   

Let me recap.  Tyner opted out of the naked X-Ray so the TSA wanted to body search him, which Tyner equated with sexual assault.

Tyner’s choices seemed clear.  If you wanna fly, you have to be photographed and/or groped.   So Tyner said, “I don’t wanna fly”, but the TSA won’t let him leave without being photographed and/or groped.

So now they won’t let him fly, and neither will they let him leave, unless he submits to being groped by a TSA agent.  I listened to highlights of the recording – it was creepy.  

The agents admitted they had no authority to hold Tyner so he exercised his right to leave. TSA agents escorted him to the airline ticket window where they refunded his ticket and then escorted him out of the airport.   

Tyner didn’t get photographed naked and he didn’t get groped by TSA agents. He opted out and chose not to fly instead.  It’s over, right?

On Monday, the head of the TSA (the head of the agency!) announced it was opening an investigation – against Tyner!  It is evidently a crime to ‘opt out’ – one with a maximum penalty of $11,000.00. 

And what do you want to bet that the next time Tyner does decide to travel, he finds his name on the national “Do Not Fly” list?

Hell hath no fury like a TSA agent scorned.

Rat Lines

Rat Lines
Vol: 110 Issue: 16 Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Last month a Vatican synod on the Middle East handed over a document calling for Israel to end the “occupation” of Palestine.

In the very best traditions of replacement theology, the bishops demanded that Israel accept UN resolutions calling for an “end to its occupation of Arab lands” while fully aware that what they were really calling for was Israel’s national suicide.

The bishops warned Israel against using the Bible to justify “injustices” against the Palestinians.  The Vatican synod prompted a discussion in the OL about Christian supersessionism, or what we generally understand as ‘replacement theology’.

Supersessionism is the root and branch of Christian anti-Semitism. It is an evil. One can trace pretty much every evil done in the Name of Christ down through the ages back to that hellish doctrine. 

The Diaspora, the Crusades, the pogroms, the Holocaust — all played out in the shadow of the Cross.

The legacy of Christian supersessionism is writ large in Jewish blood across the pages of history. Essentially, supersessionists believe that God washed His hands of the Jews at the Cross and passed all the Covenant promises to the Church.

Supersessionism dominated organized mainstream religious thinking going back almost to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. 

Once the Romans destroyed the Jewish temple and flattened the city, there was no Israel.

A hundred years later, there was a Church.  But there was no Israel.   The ‘Jews’ such as they existed, kept to themselves, at first by choice to maintain their identity, and later by enforced segregation. 

Another hundred years, and the Church continued to grow despite the Roman persecution. And still no actual Israel.   

The Church continued to prosper while memory of a literal Israel faded. A hundred years later, Emperor Constantine unites Western Christendom under the banner of Rome. 

And the existence of a literal Israel is so distant a memory — and such an unlikely future – that the Christians of the time had nowhere to catalogue Old Testament promises of the existence of a literal Israel in the Kingdom Age and beyond into eternity.

You can’t just tear out huge sections of the Bible to explain away where Israel went.  For almost all of the Church Age, the Bible’s references to Israel either had to be transferred to the Church . . . or the Bible wouldn’t make all that much sense.

Here’s where faith and scholarship usually collide. 

Constantine, the Nicene Council, the Church Fathers and so on compiled the Bible – but at God’s direction.  Even if they wanted to exclude certain confusing Scriptures about the extinct-for-centuries “Israel” they couldn’t. 

They weren’t writing God’s history book, they were assembling it under the direction of the Holy Spirit. 

It is important to understand the difference between the Divine Inspiration of Scripture and human interpretative error.

To the compilers and later, to the interpreters of Scripture, Israel had no discernible place – yet the Lord put Israel at the center of everything.  You can’t get through five consecutive pages of Scripture without some running across a reference to Israel.

So if you are trying to interpret Scripture as infallible and Divinely-inspired and it talks about a place and a people as far removed from your reality as are fantasy worlds of hobbits and Middle Earth,  it creates a problem. 

A problem easily-solved by transferring the promises to a long-dead nation and it’s scattered and disconnected people to the now well-organized and institutionalized Church.  

It made great sense down through the Dark Ages when visible Christianity meant Roman Catholicism.

It made just as much sense when Martin Luther began to question papal authority, spawning the Reformation. 

The mainstream Protestant denominations that emerged from the Reformation had the same problem:

Here are these Scriptures, Divinely-inspired, upon whose authority they broke away from the traditional rituals. 

“Sola Scriptura” means “Scripture alone” and those who broke with Catholicism on that basis therefore had an even BIGGER problem with the non-existence of Israel.

They were putting ALL their faith in the promises of a Book that made equally compelling promises to a people and a nation that hadn’t existed for fourteen hundred years   — one that God had essentially abandoned. 

Israel as a nation was as literal to Martin Luther or John Wesley as Shangra-La.But here are all these promises to a long-extinct people. 

God can’t be wrong, so it must mean the Church.  Who else could it possibly be referring to?   There is no such thing as Israel and God certainly couldn’t be referring to the ghetto Jews of Europe as His Chosen People. 

In this line of reasoning, the promises made to Israel couldn’t mean literal Israel or literal, unsaved Jews. Why would God restore them later, having already transferring their blessings to the Church?

It then follows that it could only be referring to spiritual Israel, which could only be the Church.  It was the only explanation that made literal sense for seventeen hundred years.

Faith collided with human knowledge — and faith lost.

Assessment:

The challenge that Dispensationalism is a relatively new doctrine developed by C.I. Scofield, J.N. Darby, or that it was based on the visions of a Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald is a fairly powerful one.

How is Dispensationalism any different than any other breakaway 19th century Christian cult? 

But at the same time that mainstream scholarship began to question supersessionism,  God had begun to work within His actual, real Chosen People, precisely as prophesied by the Prophet Ezekiel. 

The Valley of Dry Bones began to come together, and the “problem” associated with prophecies to a non-existent Israel began to solve themselves.

Substituting the Church for Israel made a kind of sense when there was no Israel.  Claiming the status of newly Chosen People made a kind of sense when the other claimants’ to the title were the scourge of Europe, forbidden to associate with good Christian people and confined to ghettos.

But when the world’s Jewish population began to come together as one nation and one people and flock back to the Land of Promise, the logic of a substitute Chosen People and a spiritualized Israel started to break down. 

Why would God need a substitute Israel in addition to the literal one? 

Why would He need a substitute Chosen People, drawn from the Gentile world, side by side with the real Chosen People drawn from world Jewry and located in the Land of Promise and actually named Israel?

It seems a stretch — when the obvious is so blinkin’ obvious.  It baffles me. Why defend such a bitter and unsustainable doctrine? 

Look at the effort that has gone into proving that the Jews of today aren’t really the Jews of antiquity, for example.

There are people that actually are willing to believe that a person who wasn’t a Jew would impersonate a Jew – that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.   

Why would a non-Jew claim Jewish heritage?  So that when Muslims aren’t trying to kill him for being a Jew, Christians are trying to kill him for being a Christ-killer?

Can it be something as childish as spiritual jealousy?  Maybe a little bit – but that doesn’t explain how venomous the practitioners of replacement theology can get when challenged.   

Replacement theology disguises an evil as something done for God. 

 “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

It was born out of an institutionalized lack of faith in the clear prophecies of Scripture.  The idea of a literal Israel populated by literal Jews was crazy talk for seventeen hundred years. 

When the Land of Promise began to call out to the Jews, it threatened the whole structure of institutionalized Christianity. 

It also ripped away any justification that organized, institutionalized Christianity could offer for its treatment of the Jews down through the ages.

A literal, Biblical Israel today means that the Jews murdered by the Church for not converting to Catholicism during the Inquisition were literal, Biblical Jews. 

The Jews murdered by the followers of Luther were literal, Biblical Jews. 

It means all the property looted from Jews down through the centuries was taken from literal, Biblical Jews.

The Jewish Holocaust was ignored, if not directly facilitated, by the Vatican and by all the large Protestant denominations. 

The Roman Catholic Church created ‘ratlines’ through which the Vatican used its diplomatic status and its connections with primarily Catholic nations through which it resettled some of the worst mass murderers in the history of mankind and helped them escape justice.

That’s not Catholic-bashing – the truth is what the truth is.

It is well documented that German Bishop Alois Hudal in Rome operated postwar “Ratlines,” getting passports for wanted Nazis to allow them to escape justice. 

Franz Stangl, commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp, admitted to British Nazi expert Gitta Sereny that Hudal helped him get away after the Nazi defeat in 1945.

Franz Stangl was personally responsible for the deaths of 800,000 Jews at Treblinka. 

The Vatican ratlines, which could not have operated without the knowledge of Pope Pius XII, helped Stangl escape to South America, along with Adolf Eichmann, who was responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.

Josef Mengele, the notorious Angel of Death at Auschwitz, escaped through the Vatican ratlines. So did literally thousands of other wanted war criminals. 

The Eichmann files are being suppressed because members of the German government were as deeply involved as the Vatican.  Why would either the post-war Germans or the Catholic hierarchy want to protect Nazi war criminals?

The only logical reason is because it was consistent with supersessionist theology, which is; Jews are not the Chosen People, the Church is.  Those who claim to be Jews are really just trying to steal the Church’s birthright. 

The ratlines were set up to protect the defenders of the the faith.  

It isn’t too much different that the Muslim claim that Jacob stole their birthright from Esau, as justification for the use of suicide bombers against Israeli school children. (Heck, it isn’t any different.)

When it comes down to deciding which is the truth; Dispensationalism or Supersessionism, one need look no further than the fruits of each.

Truth doesn’t need justification.

Europe and The Big Picture

Europe and The Big Picture
Vol: 110 Issue: 15 Monday, November 15, 2010

A report by a leading analyst said the EU has become the most influential lobby in the United States regarding the stalemated Israeli Arab peace process.

Steven Rosen, a director at the Middle East Forum, said EU leaders were pushing Washington away from Israel and toward the Arab world.

“European leaders are the most effective external force urging the U.S. government to move away from Israel and closer to the Arabs,” the report, titled “The Arab Lobby: The European Component,” said.

Rosen, a former senior lobbyist with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said Arab countries have used Europe to pressure Washington to weaken the U.S. relationship with Israel.

He said successive U.S. administrations have regarded Europe as vital for the world economy, NATO as well as American dominance in the Middle East.

“Europe is not hostile to Israel on every issue, and not every European intervention with U.S. officials is meant to move U.S. policy in the Arab direction . . . But, on the whole, the Arab road to Washington runs through Paris, London, and Berlin.”

Rosen said the Europeans have been far more effective than the Arab-American lobby. The report also played down the so-called “petrodollar lobby,” led by Saudi Arabia, in reducing U.S. policy toward Israel.

“The strongest external force pressuring the U.S. government to distance itself from Israel is not the Arab-American organizations, the Arab embassies, the oil companies, or the petrodollar lobby,” the report said.

“Rather, it is the Europeans, especially the British, French, and Germans, that are the most influential Arab lobby to the U.S. government.

The Arabs consider Europe to be the soft underbelly of the U.S. alliance with Israel and the best way to drive a wedge between the two historic allies.”

Rosen said Britain, France and Germany wield the greatest influence over Washington’s foreign policy establishment. They said the leaders of the three EU states, which have threatened to embark on an independent policy, have easier access to the president and his senior aides than either Arabs or Israelis.

This all sounds suspiciously familiar. 

Assessment:

Daniel says the final world empire of antichrist will consist of ten ‘kings’, out of which will arise an eleventh, “with a look more stout than his fellows” and “before whom three fell”.

There are those who are dogmatic that the antichrist will be a Jewish or Muslim politician who will ascend to power via the Western European Union.

The WEU consists of ten full members and eighteen members of lesser status.

Bible prophecy scholars have identified Europe with the government of antichrist for more than a hundred years; long before Israel’s restoration and several world wars before any European unity movement took hold. Europe’s reunification in this generation fits precisely with that interpretation.

For those reasons, together with many others, the majority of mainstream Bible prophecy teachers accept the identification of the Western European Union as the revived Roman Empire of Daniel as a matter of dogmatic truth.

The Book of Daniel identifies a ten-nation confederacy. Daniel does clearly equate the antichrist with that confederacy, and he identifies the coming antichrist as a ‘prince’ of the people that would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, which was accomplished by Titus of Rome in AD 70.

Until the restoration of Israel in 1948, the Big Picture of Bible prophecy was like a jigsaw puzzle that was still in the box. 

Once Israel was restored to the Land from which she had been scattered by the Romans in AD 70, some of the pieces started coming together.   Working a jigsaw puzzle, one generally starts at the edges and works inward.

There are a lot of pieces to the Big Picture that still need to be put together. 

For one thing, the United States has been the principle peace broker between Israel and the Arabs since the Yom Kippur War in 1973 gave rise to the Camp David Accords in 1977.

One can try and make Obama fit the mold of antichrist.  It is very tantalizing.  On the day he was elected president, the winning Illinois lottery numbers were 666. 

Obama may well have been born in Kenya, making him a British subject and thus part of the Roman Empire. 

But according to the Prophet Daniel, something pushes Washington out of the way. Even if he is really a subject, Obama still isn’t a prince of the Roman Empire. 

And barring America’s dissolution and absorption into the WEU in the next couple of years, he probably won’t be.

According to the Bible, in the last days, the most important country on earth will be Israel. The most important city on earth with be Jerusalem. Given that the world is about to be plunged into global war over the existence of Israel and her possession of Jerusalem, it is hard to dispute that assessment.

The Bible says revived Israel will live in a state of war until a leader from the revived Roman Empire confirms a seven year peace treaty — predicated on the principle of land for peace.

“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall DIVIDE THE LAND FOR GAIN.” (Daniel 11:39)

The Bible represents the greatest threat to Israel in the last days as coming from an alliance led by Russia and consisting of Iran and the Islamic Mediterranean states of North Africa and the Middle East.

The Bible describes a great religious war during the Tribulation that will target Christians and Jews for forced conversion. The Apostle John says that those who refuse to convert to his economic-religious system will be executed by beheading.

The Bible predicts that war and pestilences emanating ‘from the beasts of the earth’ will kill a fourth part of mankind during the Tribulation Period.

So do most secularists.  Not because they read the Bible. But because they see the same signs pointing in the same direction which can only lead to the same conclusion.

Obama’s unconcealed dislike for Israel, the Russian-Iran alliance, the beast-borne diseases, Ahmadinejad’s obsession with starting Armageddon, the Arab-Israeli conflict over its existence, forced conversions, beheadings, the global conflict over ownership of Jerusalem . . . this is headline news ripped right from the pages of the Bible.

Reading the same headlines 2500 years ago, the Prophet Daniel asked the revealing angel what it all meant. The angel told Daniel;

“Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed TILL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. “(Daniel 12:9)