April 22, 2008

News for April 22, 2008

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Pastor David Ortiz telling the story of what happened to his son and family in Israel - Ami is a Jewish Israeli teen who was critically injured by a bomb that was disguised as a Purim gift package on March 20, 2008. This link is to a video of his father's testimony regarding that event and its aftermath.


California foreclosure "surge": Up 327% from '07 levels Los Angeles Times (April 22, 2008) - The number of California homes lost to foreclosure in the first quarter surged 327% from year-ago levels -- reaching an average of more than 500 foreclosures per day -- DataQuick said in a report, warning that the widening foreclosure problem could "spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans." From DataQuick's report on California foreclosures in the first three months of 2008: "Trustees Deeds recorded, or the actual loss of a home to foreclosure, totaled 47,171 during the first quarter. ... Last quarter's total rose 48.9 percent from 31,676 in the previous quarter, and jumped 327.6 percent from 11,032 in first quarter 2007." That translates into 517 foreclosures every day in the first quarter of 2008. DataQuick president Marshall Prentice: "The main factor behind this foreclosure surge remains the decline in home values. Additionally, a lot of the 'loans-gone-wild' activity happened in late 2005 and 2006 and that's working its way through the system. The big 'if' right now is whether or not the economy is in recession. If it is, the foreclosure problem could spread beyond the current categories of dicey mortgages, and into mainstream home loans." From The L.A. Times' Peter Hong: "Sinking home values and the collapse of flimsy mortgages sent a record number of California homes into the foreclosure process in the first three months of this year, a real estate information service reported today." Default notices -- which mark the beginning of the foreclosure process -- increased sharply, but not as rapidly as outright foreclosures. From Bloomberg News: "California mortgage defaults more than doubled in the first quarter to the highest in 15 years as a drop in sales and prices prevented some homeowners from selling their properties to pay debt, DataQuick Information Systems said. More: "Homeowners received 113,676 default notices in the first quarter, up 143 percent from a year ago, La Jolla, California- based DataQuick said today in a statement. The level was the highest since at least 1992, when DataQuick's statistics begin." Despite well publicized federal efforts to reach out to homeowners in default, the odds that they will ultimately lose their homes appear to be increasing. DataQuick reports that, of the homeowners in default, "an estimated 32 percent emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing, or selling the home and paying off what they owe. A year ago it was about 52 percent.
| America | Economic Crisis |


MEPs to use budget power over EU president perks EU Observer (April 22, 2008) - Members of the European Parliament are prepared to use their hold over the bloc's purse-strings to try and make sure that the proposed new EU president does not wield too much power. "The treaty is very clear about the duties [of the president]," the head of the parliament's budget committee, Reimer Boege, told EUobserver, noting that it says the person can have an administrative role, "but not take over an executive function." "Budget power is always used as a weapon. This is a principle," said the centre-right German MEP. The parliament, wary of upsetting the fine balance of power between the EU institutions, will have a chance to use this weapon when it comes to negotiations later this year on the 2009 budget. Mr Boege said that MEPs will looking out to see that if any extra perks for the president – a private plane and a residence are rumoured to be under consideration – would be "linked to lowering the communitarian level in the treaty", meaning reducing the power of the European commission and boosting inter-governmental politics. The MEP urged member states who are due to deliver a draft budget to the parliament before the summer to show a "flexible and responsible approach" and indicated that euro-deputies would be inclined to accept a staff set-up for the president that does not exceed that of the immediate staff of the European commission president (around 20). The first reading of the budget is due in October, but MEPs are already fretting about the institutional implications of the Lisbon Treaty, which is supposed to come into force by the beginning of next year. Earlier this month, senior MEPs, including parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, met European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to raise certain points about the treaty, particularly concerning the remit of the proposed president. The treaty foresees a purely administrative role for the President of the European Council – the formal title of the post - organising the meetings of EU leaders. However, there is the potential for external representation overlap with the foreign minister and the commission president, while the role is also set to be defined by the person who gets the job. A powerful EU president that is neither subject to parliamentary control nor elected by citizens "would lead us to a pre-democratic situation," German centre-right MEP Elmar Brok told the constitutional affairs committee earlier this month. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Al Qaeda No. 2: Attacks on Western nations in works CNN (April 22, 2008) - Al Qaeda still has plans to target Western countries involved in the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden's chief deputy warns in an audiotape released Tuesday to answer questions posed by followers. The voice in the lengthy file posted on an Islamic Web site could not be immediately confirmed as al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri's. But it sounded like past audiotapes from the terror leader, and the posting bore the logo of As-Sahab, al Qaeda's official media arm. The two-hour message is billed as the second installment of al-Zawahiri's answers to more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al Qaeda supporters, critics and journalists in December. Responding to a question of whether the terror group had plans to attack Western countries that participated in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent war, al-Zawahiri said, "My answer is, yes. We think that any country that joined aggression on Muslims must be deterred." Al-Zawahiri also denied a conspiracy theory that Israel carried out the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., and he blamed Iran and Shiite Hezbollah for spreading the idea to discredit the Sunni al Qaeda's achievement. Al-Zawahiri accused Hezbollah's al-Manar television of starting the rumor. "The purpose of this lie is clear -- (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it," he said. "Iran's aim here is also clear -- to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. "Iran's aim here is also clear -- to cover up its involvement with America in invading the homes of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq," he added. Iran cooperated with the United States in the 2001 U.S. assault on Afghanistan that toppled the Taliban, an al Qaeda ally. The comments reflected al-Zawahiri's increasing criticism of Iran, which al-Zawahiri has accused in recent messages of seeking to extend its power in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and through its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon. Until recent months, he had not often mentioned the Islamic republic. Al Qaeda has previously claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. The anti-Iranian rhetoric could reflect an attempt to exploit majority Sunnis' fears of Shiite Iran's influence in the region and depict al Qaeda as the main force opposing it. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

I would like to add regarding September 11, 2001 that I have some valid suspicions that more than Al Qaeda was involved and the question arises from what we all saw that day. Thousands of man-hours go into preparing buildings to be brought straight down within their own footprint, with precisely placed and timed charges in strategic areas so that the buildings don't topple into their surrounding neighbors. How is it that three buildings in the course of one day all fell with that same precision without all the man-hours necessary to bring other buildings down with that kind of precision?

Keeping in mind that we don't fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, and given the result of the attacks on that day in taking freedoms in the name of peace and security and intensified global harmonization of laws toward that same end, could it be that those pushing for a global control have players on both sides of the field, creating the chaos then providing the answers to that chaos through government? For Al Qaeda, it is in their best interest to claim responsibility and those who had to put the time into the precise bringing down of those three buildings have it in their best interest to let them take responsibility for it. There is some questions I still have as to their connection to the CIA. And the history of the CIA in things like the Iran-Contra affair seems to have been involved in much of the foundation of current conflicts. The Bible says that in the end times there would be a global government headed by the man of sin centered in Europe. We are marching toward that legal control right now through the war on terror and other things such as free-trade through NAFTA and the WTO. America is ceding sovereignty to Europe while Canada and the US have signed an agreement so that in the event of an emergency, Canadian military forces can be deployed in America and visa-versa. Part of the design of the current system is to unite military and civilian authorities in the event of an emergency.

So am I just a kooky conspiracy theorist? Combined with my previous belief in the Bible and what it says about global governance in the end and what I'm seeing in the news as a result of these events and those in Spain and London among others, I would say 33rd degree Mason Albert Pike was either a prophet (I don't think so) or the mystery of iniquity truly is at work to bring about the end that the Bible foretold. Terror works to the end of creating the chaos that the planned New World Order is supposed to rise out of. Whether the enemy of mankind has his marionettes in all societies and in all places of power is for you to decide based on information, I believe he does and that is what the trail has been leading me to see.

I don't like what I'm seeing and while I don't think there is anything we can do, we are told to watch and so as a watchman I share with you what I'm seeing, pretty or not. I have no political agenda as I trust few of them and even then cannot be sure. I try to judge by the fruits of their labors. BTW, I'm not saying our whole government is corrupt, but I am saying that there are elements with great power within government that know the ropes and how to remain hidden in the shadows of government. Government is necessary according to the Bible, but in the end times, that system will be handed to and headed by a dictator who will have the destruction of mankind in mind. These are just more signs leading to the end prophesied, now seen in greater detail as they unfold around us. We're still in the stages that can be dismissed by many, but I believe that will soon change.


"Functional" Sovereignty and the Common Heritage of Mankind Reshaping the International Order Part 3 Knowledge Driven Revolution (April 21, 2008)

"The achievement of this global planning and management system calls for the conscious transfer of power - a gradual transfer to be sure - from the nation State to the world organization. Only when this transfer takes place can the organization become effective and purposeful." - RIO: Reshaping the International Order, 1976 (p185)

This article addresses the redefinition of sovereignty from "territorial sovereignty" to "functional sovereignty" by The Club of Rome. Also discussed is the use of the concept of the "common heritage of mankind" to gain international control of not just the oceans, atmosphere and outer space but also all material and non-material resources. Part 1 of this series gives an overview of the proposed new international order described by the RIO report as "humanistic socialism". This includes: collective neighbourhood armies, a fully planned world economy, global free trade, public international enterprises, proposed changes in consumption patterns among other topics. Changes to the financial system including international taxation and the creation of a World Treasury, World Central Bank and World Currency are examined in part 2.

Territorial Sovereignty versus Functional Sovereignty From RIO: Reshaping the International Order: [Italicised text is original emphasis and bolded text is added by author.]

"Given the growing list of problems confronting mankind, every effort must be made to stimulate processes which point in directions which can be deemed desirable. This would certainly apply, for example, to the tendency towards the increasing centralization of decision-making involving issues beyond national frontiers should be viewed as a logical continuation of the process of change and a precondition for the effective assertion of national sovereignty." - 103

The "increasing centralization of [international] decision-making" being a "precondition for the effective assertion of national sovereignty" may seem contradictory. The reason for this misunderstanding is your definition of sovereignty is based on an apparently outdated "territorial sovereignty" instead of the much more modern and politically correct "functional sovereignty".

"In other words, the traditional concept of territorial sovereignty should be replaced by the concept of functional sovereignty, which distinguishes jurisdiction over specific uses from sovereignty over geographic space. This would permit the interweaving of national jurisdiction and international competences within the same territorial space and open the possibility of applying the concept of the common heritage of mankind both beyond and within the limits of national jurisdiction."- 172

That is right, "sovereignty" no longer involves governmental control within a geographic space, rather it refers to governmental control of specific functions within a geographic space. Which functions would depend on the dictates of a world authority.

"Acceptance of these elements calls for a reinterpretation of the concept of national sovereignty. Participation and social control suggest a functional rather than a territorial interpretation of sovereignty, or jurisdiction over determined uses rather than geographical space. Conceptually, this interpretation will make possible the progressive internationalization and socialization of all world resources - material and non-material - based upon the 'common heritage of mankind' principle. It also permits the secure accommodation of inclusive and exclusive uses of these resources, or, in other words, the interweaving of national and international jurisdiction within the same territorial space... Ultimately, we must air for decentralized sovereignty with the network of strong international institutions which will make it possible." - 82

Common Heritage of Mankind as "Functional Ownership"

"... the new concepts of functional sovereignty and functional ownership (common heritage of mankind)." - 314

"The [Communist Yugoslavian] concept of social ownership and its attributes are clearly applicable to the 'common heritage' concept." - 81

"Effective planning and management calls for the fundamental restructuring of the United Nations so as to give it broad economic powers and a more decisive mandate for international economic decision-making... It is also hoped that major changes in the United Nations structure will be made over the next decade so that it is not only able to play a more forceful role in world political affairs but it is also able to become more of a World Development Authority in managing the socio-economic affairs of the international community. ... The most effective way of articulating the planning and management functions of this organization would be through a functional confederation of international organizations, based upon existing, restructured and, in some instances, new United Nations agencies - to be linked through an integrative machinery. This system and its machinery, if it is really to reflect interdependencies between nations and solidarity between peoples, should ultimately aim at the pooling and sharing of all resources, material and non-material, including means of production, with a view to ensuring effective planning and management of the world economy and of global resource use in a way which would meet the essential objectives of equity and efficiency." - 185

"In the long term, and assuming progress towards the creation of an equitable international economic and social order leading to a pooling of material and non-material resources, mineral resources will need to be viewed as a common heritage of mankind. This concept implies both a real world market for all mineral resources and a system of world taxation to replace national mining taxation. The revenues collected should be redistributed among Third World countries - possibly through such an agency as IDA [International Development Association - World Bank group]...

This tax could, for instance, be introduced as one of a moderate rate and gradually be raised to something in the order of 70 per cent of profits on fossil fuels and 50 per cent of the value of production of ores (including uranium).

Such a tax would, like the present taxes on oil products, in fact be paid by the consumers...

Such a tax, at the rates proposed, would probably induce consumers to restrict their consumption of mineral raw materials..." - 148

This concept includes the manipulation of the Third World "national liberation" movements in the post colonial era. These are only stepping stones toward "functional sovereignty".

"[Third World territorial sovereignty] is a weapon which must be used in the struggle for a new international order." - 247

"After the exercise of national sovereignty by Third World countries over their national resources has helped to establish more equality between mineral producing and consuming countries, a switch to the concept of the 'common heritage of mankind' is recommended and a gradual transformation of the principle of territorial sovereignty into functional sovereignty. This must be viewed as the most desirable approach to the world management of national and other resources, material and non-material." - 150

"Sovereignty and the Common Heritage of Mankind... the first objective to be achieved is the attainment by Third World countries of full sovereignty over their resources in compliance with the UNCERDS [United Nations Charter of the Economic Rights and Duties of States]. Only after this objective has been achieved can the concept of the common heritage of mankind, traditionally limited to resources considered as res nullius such as the oceans and outer space, be expanded to new domains such as mineral resources, science and technology, means of production and other sources of wealth. After the exercise of national sovereignty has contributed toward the creation of a more equitable international order, the aim should be to pool all world resources - material and non-material - with a view to ensuring effective planning and management of the world economy and of global resource use in a way which would meet the dual objectives of equity and efficiency. In this perspective resources would need to be managed on the basis of decentralized planetary sovereignty. Proposals contained in the following chapters for the application of the common heritage concept to particular fields should thus be viewed in this broader context." - 123

Remember when you hear the term "Common Heritage of Mankind" it does not just refer to the oceans, atmosphere and outer space, it refers to all material and non-material resources. Anything that might be considered a source of wealth would be brought under strict international authority. Keep in mind non-material resources includes, among other things, the education of "human resources". more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |

Boy this brings to mind the article from the last newsletter: Minerals: Crumbling Bedrock of U.S. Security.

Hamas’ new strategy YNet News (April 21, 2008) - It’s already clear by now – Hamas has changed its combat strategy. In recent weeks the organization diverted its main effort from “statistical” rocket terrorism, aimed at indiscriminately hurting Israeli civilians both physically and mentally, to what can be characterized as focused and complex “guerilla operations” mostly targeting IDF forces operating along the fence. The organization’s strategic objectives have remained unchanged: First, to force Israel, through military and propaganda pressure, to lift the economic siege on the Strip. The siege threatens Hamas’ survivability in power. The second objective is to squeeze out of Jerusalem a lull in the fighting under terms that would enable Hamas to grow stronger militarily and politically and to prepare for a large-scale round of fighting in the future. The reason for the change in combat strategy is the fact that the organization’s leadership recently reached the conclusion that the statistical terror directed at civilians – rockets, mortar shells, and machinegun fire – does not result in the required political and psychological “yield.” It even damages Hamas when it comes to international and Palestinian public opinion and grants Israel legitimacy to hit the group and its leaders, and even to embark on a large-scale operation in the Strip. Hamas wants to prevent this as well, and therefore the group decided to focus its efforts on “high quality” operations against the IDF. The greatest aspiration of group leaders, who prefer guerilla operations against the IDF, is the abduction of an Israeli soldier or soldiers. The Hizbullah experience and their own experience taught them that more abducted soldiers would not only significantly boost the organization’s bargaining power in the negotiations on securing the release of prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, but would also provide them with a powerful pressure lever. Should Hamas possess several IDF captives, the Israeli government would carefully weigh an order to assassinate Hamas leaders in the Strip or instruct the IDF to embark on a large-scale operation – for fear of Hamas revenge. Even in cases where Hamas men are unable to abduct soldiers, but can cause many casualties among IDF troops, the group benefits. We saw an example of this last week, when almost half of a Givati force was hurt in an ambush laid by Hamas men. Three soldiers were killed and four were wounded. The Israeli media rushed to slam the force’s conduct and did not fail to note Hamas’ ability to kill eight Israelis in the current year, as opposed to only three last year. Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus who are carefully, if not passionately, following Israeli media reports apparently concluded, just like Hizbullah realized in the Second Lebanon War, that the Israeli public is sensitive to casualties among troops more than it is sensitive to moral and physical damage caused to civilians as a result of the Qassams and Grads in Sderot and Ashkelon. Such successful guerilla attack initiated by Hamas also grants it more points and broad support on the Palestinian street. Therefore, this is the channel where efforts should be directed at, both in order to negotiate a lull from a position of strength and to boost Hamas’ political power and prestige. more...
| Israel | Islam |


Zimbabwe recount deepens crisis Christian Science Monitor (April 21, 2008) - As President Robert Mugabe's handpicked Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recounts votes in 23 constituencies, human rights groups say his militias are setting up "torture camps" to beat opposition supporters and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has fled the country in fear for his life. Mr. Mugabe's government announced a delay in the partial recount of the disputed March 29 election on Sunday, raising opposition concerns that his ruling ZANU-PF party intends to rig the recount to overturn the results of the parliamentary vote, which showed ZANU-PF losing its majority to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for the first time. In Nairobi, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in town to celebrate the successful peace deal in Kenya that created a coalition government, called on African leaders to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis. "On the question of Zimbabwe there has been substantial international attention," Mr. Annan told reporters. "The question which has been posed is: Where are the Africans? Where are their leaders and the countries in the region, what are they doing? It is a rather dangerous situation. It's a serious crisis with impact beyond Zimbabwe."

MDC rejects recount

With a government crackdown now well under way, the political crisis following the elections is escalating sharply. Leaders of the MDC say that they will not accept the results of the recount and that they will reject calls for a runoff vote against Mugabe. In a new report, Human Rights Watch says pro-government militias – including hundreds of so-called "war veterans" – are arresting and beating anyone suspected of having supported MDC. And as the ongoing "quiet" mediation efforts by South African President Thabo Mbeki lose credibility, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has called for a meeting of African leaders in Ghana next week to discuss Zimbabwe. Many Africans see this as the first step toward a Kenya-style mediation process, led by Mr. Annan. "What this shows is that Zimbabwe may be getting sufficient momentum that we might see a continental [African] approach toward Zimbabwe," says Chris Maroleng, a Zimbabwe expert at the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa. "But I think that any actor will find that it is difficult to engage Zimbabwe. I doubt [Mugabe] would create the space for [Annan] to come in. He would discredit him, calling him a neo-imperialist proxy of the West."

Will regional countries intervene?

While the Southern African Development Community has been criticized for endorsing the "quiet diplomacy" of Mr. Mbeki, that regional body has a better chance than the African Union or the UN of engaging Mugabe in dialogue, says Mr. Maroleng. "I think the SADC has the best shot here. If they let the situation deteriorate further, that regional body is going to be judged very harshly." Last week, Zimbabwe's high court ruled that the ZEC could begin a partial recount in 23 of the 210 constituencies, where Mugabe's supporters allege that the ZEC had miscounted votes. Most of the constituencies are those where the ruling ZANU-PF lost to the MDC, according to preliminary vote counts posted at polls soon after March 29. MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the opposition party has discovered that some ballot boxes had been opened and seals broken, meaning that they had been tampered with while they were in the hands of the ZEC. The MDC also says its polling agents were chased away from counting centers by soldiers and pro-Mugabe militiamen, leaving the recounting solely in the hands of the ZEC and ruling party officials. Meanwhile, human rights activists warn that the current wave of anti-opposition violence may be just beginning. A Chinese ship carrying arms, turned back at the South African port of Durban, now appears to be sailing to Angola, for onward shipment to Zimbabwe. The powerful South African Transport and Allied Workers Union refused to offload the ship's cargo, out of concern that the weapons may be used against opposition members and dissidents in Zimbabwe. The cargo included 3 million rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 1,500 rocket propelled grenades, and 2,500 mortar rounds Already political violence has killed 10 opposition supporters since the elections, according to the MDC and Human Rights Watch, while more than 3,000 people have been displaced. Over 200 houses of opposition supporters have been burned as political violence takes root. "It's a time bomb because people are unhappy and they are bottling up their anger," says Eldred Masunungure, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. "Mugabe is underestimating the power of the people."


Defining a better Mediterranean union The Daily Star (April 21, 2008) - Next July 13, in Paris, Europe will better define the Union for the Mediterranean (UM), its latest venture in the Middle East. Initially proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the idea has undergone radical transformation, so that the current incarnation bears little resemblance to the initial proposal. The shape of the UM will only be clear once the July summit is over, but as things now stand, the union holds many challenges, but also some promise, for the Middle East. The original idea, floated during Sarkozy's presidential campaign, was highly nebulous. Seen as a means of rebuilding France's role in the Middle East, the plan was also a way for Sarkozy to appeal to voters of North African origin. Initially, it involved the 10 Mediterranean states and only the southern states of the European Union. However, Germany, fearing the creation of a power block within the EU, vociferously objected. Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed the plan as "very dangerous," arguing it would release "explosive forces in the EU that I would not like to see." As a result of German lobbying, the UM idea has since been watered down. Whereas initially the union was to be independent of existing EU instruments, such as the Barcelona Process and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), it has now been reconfigured, as Hans-Gert Pottering, the president of the European Parliament, has described it, to "strengthen and further the Barcelona Process." The UM is now attached to the EU and involves all 27 member states. Additional EU funds will not be forthcoming, although it is rumored that Qatar and private donors will be contributing money. The UM, however, does still maintain its project-specific nature, with an opt-out clause for those states who do not wish to take part in the projects being offered, which currently center on energy, pollution, and civil security cooperation issues. But even the new, expanded project is drawing a fair amount of flak. As one commentator noted, the involvement of the 27 EU states may lead to a danger of "too many meetings, with too many participants that achieve too little." Such concerns compound fears of duplication and an expansion of an already overly bureaucratic European system, unless extreme care is taken in overseeing the linkage with the ENP. Pessimists point to other potential stumbling blocks - primarily the acrimonious relations between the Middle Eastern partners in the UM. Chief among these worries is the simmering Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but hostile Syrian-Lebanese relations and Moroccan-Algerian tensions are also predicted to place limits on what the UM can realistically achieve. Supporters, however, liken this to the EU model, whereby shared interests might generate conflict resolution, with French Minister for European Affairs Henri Guaino arguing that "it's through concrete cooperation ... that we can create solidarity between nations." As observers have noted, most of the areas marked for projects have been those where collaboration has taken place under the Barcelona Process. Closer regional relations, therefore, will have to result not from a novel approach, but from revived association - a question of degree, not content. Yet if Guaino's argument is correct, then the UM might do more than enable Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. Collaboration on various projects may also provide a helpful platform in aiding rapprochement in North Africa, vital in light of rising violence by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Another point of criticism is the lack of clarity regarding the relationship of the UM with the EU's political basket - namely the need to enhance democracy and rule of law in the Middle East. So far, the UM appears focused on business-oriented initiatives, leading human rights activists to fear the sidelining of democracy and rule of law requirements within the framework of the EU's relationship with the Mediterranean states. Yet the silence over governance issues can cut both ways. For the Arab counterparts, it's a welcome relief. Combined with the shared presidency of the UM (one European country will hold the post together with a Mediterranean country), this could go some way toward addressing regional resentment of the Barcelona Process and the ENP - viewed by many as unfairly weighed in favor of the EU. Redressing this imbalance will enable a sense of appropriation by the Mediterranean counterparts, providing for more enthusiastic European-Middle East relations. more...
| Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Bloody Weekend: 32 Shot, 2 Stabbed, 6 Dead CBS Chicago (April 20, 2008) - A violent and deadly weekend continues in Chicago. At least 12 people have been shot, two of them killed, since Saturday morning. Two others were stabbed in a home invasion. This comes after at least 20 people were shot, four of them killed, from Friday night through early Saturday. A 28-year-old man was shot and killed at an auto body repair shop on the Southwest Side Saturday morning. Raul Lemus was shot in the stomach at 2520 W. 59th St. at about 11:20 a.m. Lemus, of 4630 S. Talman Av., died several hours later at Stroger Hospital, making him the sixth person killed in Chicago since Friday night. Police said the shooting appeared to be gang related. Also Saturday morning, Michael Giles, 26, was shot and killed inside his home at 336 N. Avers Av. Harrison Area detectives are investigating. In another case, a suspect toting an AK-47 has been charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder after allegedly killing a man and shooting at police. Bennie Teague, 39, was denied bond in the case Sunday afternoon. It's amazing no one was hurt during the shootout between police and Teague, who was firing an assault rifle. Police say the gunman opened fire on them Friday night at 110th and South Union. They tracked him down after he allegedly shot and killed 34-year-old Marcus Hendricks inside a plumbing business a few blocks away. The 34-year-old from Flossmoor died after being shot just blocks from a police-involved shooting on the Far South Side. He died at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn at 8 p.m., a Cook County Medical Examiner's office spokesman said. "All I could say is he's a nice guy," said neighbor Amos Williams. The recent gunfire has rattled nerves throughout the Roseland neighborhood. "It's not that all the area, all the streets are bad," Williams said. "It's that you get bad elements coming through your street." Also, Friday night, two teens were gunned down in front of a church in the 7500 block of South Phillips. Police say gunmen jumped out of a car and opened fire in front of the Free Salvation Methodist Baptist Church. One of the teens suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and back, the other was shot in the neck, police said. Melvin Thomas, of 14922 Washington Ave. in Harvey was pronounced dead at the Stein Institute at 1:20 a.m. Rhonell Savala, of 9750 S. Hoxie Ave. in Chicago, was pronounced dead at 12:50 a.m. Saturday at the Stein Institute. "I was in my house and my friend came and got me and he said two boys was laying outside on the stairs...dead," said neighbor Tamara Roberson. "To put the shooting in perspective, you have to consider this was a 17-hour window," said Chicago Police spokesperson Monique Bond about the number of shootings. Chicago police are now stepping up patrols in areas that they call "hot zones." Police blame the warmer temperatures for the spike in violence. "We know that we're approaching warmer weather, the summer season. We know that this is going to be a very busy season for the Chicago Police Department. There's no doubt about that," Bond said. Chicago Police have also recently started using helicopter patrols to try to curb gang violence. Choppers will be flying over areas prone to gang activity, especially on weekends when more shootings seem to occur. Other shootings included, a 65-year-old man being shot dead outside his home on the Southeast Side during an attempted robbery. more...
| Signs of the Times | America |


Brown deal bars Blair from top EU job The Independent (April 20, 2008) - Tony Blair's chances of becoming the first president of the EU have been dashed under a secret veto deal Gordon Brown has struck with France and Germany, it emerged last night. The former prime minister is said to be "interested" in the £200,000-a-year job if the terms are right. But the British, French and German governments have all privately agreed not to back a candidate if any one of them has objections to him or her, diplomats have revealed. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has lobbied on behalf of Mr Blair, but the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is against the move. Mr Brown has said Mr Blair would make an "excellent" EU president, but has not explicitly backed him as a candidate. The deal means the decision is now out of the Prime Minister's hands. "We have agreed with France and Germany not to back a candidate one of the others doesn't want," a British diplomat said. Yet there is new speculation from senior EU sources that Mr Blair is lining himself up for the role of high representative for foreign affairs – the second permanent position created under the Lisbon Treaty. The job, effectively the EU's foreign minister, has more real power than the presidency. Mr Blair has recently let it be known in the highest circles of the EU that he would want a "full-time" job similar to his current post as Middle East envoy.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |


Children's hospital launches sex change for kids program Natural News (April 19, 2008) - A doctor at the renowned Children's Hospital Boston has launched a new program to drug children to delay puberty so they can decide whether they want a male or a female body, according to a report today in the Boston Globe. Pediatric endocrinologist Norman Spack, 64, says he started the Gender Management Service Clinic because he found himself encountering 20-somethings who were "transgendered" and in good shape socially, "but they were having trouble getting their physique to conform to their identity. "I knew the 20-somethings could have better chances of passing if they were treated earlier," he said. "We don't think that demonic is too strong a word to describe this," said a statement from the pro-family Mass Resistance organization. "It brings us thoughts of the Nazi doctors who thought they were doing good things." WND has reported previously on some of the controversies prompted by the belief that a man can be born in a woman's body, or vice versa, including in Montgomery County, Md., where county officials have adopted a law that precludes those who provide public accommodations from discriminating based on that "gender identity." Voters there have petitioned to have a vote on that law because they fear men who "decide" they are female walking into women's restrooms and locker rooms. "Is this our future?" asked Mass Resistance in a commentary. "Dr. Norman Spack runs a clinic for young children who've 'decided' they are transgendered. Among other things, the clinic administers powerful hormones to delay (or even stop) puberty in order that the children more easily undergo operations that mutilate their bodies to 'change' them to the opposite sex." "This is going on at the world-renowned Children's Hospital in Boston – not some backwater clinic. This is the elite of the medical profession," the organization said. In a question-and-answer session with Globe columnist Pagan Kennedy, she starts the apologetic for doing surgery on children by saying, "Little boys sob unless they're allowed to wear dresses. The girls want to be called Luke, Ted, or James." "Until recently, children with cross-gender feelings rarely received modern medical care – and certainly not hormone shots. After all, who would allow a child to redesign his or her body?" she asks. But Spack, she wrote, has started a clinic that "is one of the few in the world to give children treatments that change their bodies." more...
| Signs of the Times |


North American Union: PR Was Focus of Recent Secret Meeting of the SPP Natural News (April 19, 2008) - An internal memo from Canada's Foreign Affairs and Internal Trade ministry, obtained by World Net News under the Access to Information Act, documents the agenda at the most recent secret summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) in Montebello, Quebec, held on August 20-21, 2007. The central activity of the meeting was to figure out a way to get the American people to swallow the idea of the collaboration leading to the North American Union, and to squelch the growing criticism surrounding it. Present at the meeting were U.S. President George Bush, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon, and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The SPP consists of 20 working groups plus the attending cabinet officers from each country and the heads of state. Also present were members of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), the only participants invited to meet behind closed doors with the SPP bureaucrats. The NACC is a largely secretive advisory council to the SPP consisting of representatives from 30 North American corporations selected by the Chambers of Commerce in the three nations. The NACC issued no press releases disclosing specific recommendations made to them by the SPP trilateral working groups tasked with "integrating" and "harmonizing" administrative rules and regulations into a unified North American format. However, the memo documents that the NACC was urged to launch a public relations campaign to counter growing criticism of the trilateral cooperative that is seen by many as a major step toward the North American Union, see (http://www.naturalnews.com/022707.html). "Leaders had a successful meeting with the members of the NACC, which had been launched at the leader's meeting in Cancun in March 2006, to counsel governments on how they might enhance North American competitiveness," the memo begins. As discussion continues, the members of the NACC were urged to "assist in confronting and refuting critics of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America". According to paragraph four of the memo, the public relations theme continued during the meeting. "In closing, all leaders expressed a desire for the NACC to play a role in articulating publicly the benefits of greater collaboration in North America." Further on, according to the memo, "Leaders discussed some of the difficulties of the SPP, including the lack of popular support and the failure of the public to understand the competitive challenges confronting North America." The memo continues, "Governments are faced with addressing the rapidly evolving competitive environment without fueling protectionism, when industry sectors face radical transformation." The memo documents a comment by the U.S. President. "In terms of building public support, President Bush suggested engaging the support of those who had benefited from NAFTA and from North American Integration (including small business owners) to tell their stories and humanize the impressive results." Regarding import safety, the document says, "President Bush underlined the importance of tackling the issue more broadly and showing that governments are ahead of this issue in order to prevent a trade protectionist backlash, especially against China." The memo again reinforces the public relations theme, emphasizing, "NACC members should have a role in communicating the merits of North American collaboration, including by engaging their employees and unions." Meanwhile, a policy of secret, closed-door meetings where the press and the public is not invited to participate or observe the process continues to characterize meetings of the SPP and trilateral working groups. A meeting of the SPP that was virtually unreported in the U.S. and Canada on February 27-28, 2008 in Los Cabos, Mexico, was disclosed in the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada. According to the newspaper, the Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez visited Mexico City prior to the Los Cabos meeting "to renegotiate NAFTA" by offering the information to Mexico that undisclosed U.S. corporations and the U.S. government are planning to place as much as $141 billion in new investments in Mexico under the Mexico National Infrastructure Project 2007-2012. In a press release published February 21 on the U.S. Trade and Development Agency website, the agenda for the February 26-28 meeting in Mexico City was presented. At this meeting Secretary Gutierrez planned to announce United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grants totaling more than $1.7 million made "to promote the development of transportation, energy and environmental projects under Mexico's National Infrastructure Program". Another press release on the USTDA website documents the launching by President Calderon of Mexico's National Infrastructure Program in July, 2008. Its goal is to create $141 billion dollars worth of new infrastructure investment opportunities for U.S. firms by 2012. more...
| NewWorldOrder | America |


British prime minister calls for global 'interdependence' Associated Press (April 18, 2008) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his first foreign policy address in the United States, called on the U.S. and Europe on Friday to lead a new era of global "interdependence" aimed at solving international problems such as terrorism, poverty and climate change. "We urgently need to step out of the mindset of competing interests and instead find our common interests, and we must summon up the best instincts and efforts of humanity in a cooperative effort to build new international rules and institutions for the new global era," Brown said in a speech to about 350 invited guests at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Brown cited Kennedy's Independence Day speech in 1962, when the president proposed a "new and global declaration of interdependence." Brown said Kennedy's call for public service "still reverberates around the world and always will." Noting Kennedy's creation of the Peace Corps, Brown called for the creation of "a new kind of global peace and reconstruction corps," which he described as an organization of trained civilian experts available any time to rebuild states. Brown also talked about U.S. leadership following World War II, include the Marshall Plan that funneled millions in economic aid and technical assistance to help rebuild Europe. "We must summon inspiration from the vision, humanity and leadership shown by those reformers to guide our actions today," he said. Brown reiterated his call for reform of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and United Nations to give emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil more say in the international institutions. He called on the World Bank to intensify programs to reduce poverty and said the institution should become a bank for both development and the environment by transferring billions in loans and grants to encourage the poorest countries to adopt alternative sources of energy. The British leader, who has set a mandatory target in the U.K. to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2050, insisted that a new global pact on reducing carbon emission must be agreed on by the end of 2009. He said the deal, which would replace the Kyoto Protocol that was rejected by the U.S. and expires in 2012, should be led by the United Nations and needs to set binding targets for all developed countries. Brown, who has overseen some U.K. troop withdrawals in Iraq and sought to soothe public anger in Britain over the unpopular war, did not mention Iraq directly. But he insisted he would support future military action to intervene in failing states. He praised President Bush for leading the world in an attempt to root out terrorism and "our common commitment that there be no safe haven for terrorists." Brown said the United States and Europe should act as "hardheaded internationalists," and use "diplomatic, economic, and yes, when necessary military action -- to prevent crimes against humanity when states can no longer do so."
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |


Small state, small job and a safe pair of hands European Voice (April 18, 2008) - Having Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Council would best suit the interests of the EU's powerbrokers, says John Wyles. I have long thought that Jean-Claude Juncker could be a good prospect to win the new role of president of the European Council. While I would not bet my house on him, he must be the front runner following the recent publication of a Harris Interactive online poll conducted in five EU countries plus the US. Tony Blair may still be the candidate of French President Nicolas Sarkozy (though I doubt it) and others may think Angela Merkel prefers a European to a national role, but the smart money must be on Juncker. In the Harris poll he attracted 1% support in France as a candidate for the presidential role, 2% in Germany, 1% in Italy and even less in Spain and the UK. The Luxembourg prime minister is favourite not because he is uniquely qualified for the job. Nor is he a likely winner because his voice would command attention in Moscow, Washington or Beijing, where he may be accorded no more than a polite hearing. The prize will probably be his because, with the kind of public support and recognition unearthed by Harris, he is a perfect combination: no threat to the powers-that-be in national capitals while also a safe pair of hands. These advantages have earned several Luxembourgers top jobs over the last 50 years and have already made Juncker chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers. It has always seemed to me infinitely improbable that the leaders of the big member states would choose a political heavyweight such as Tony Blair as their first president of the Council. It seems equally unlikely that a political heavyweight would want the job, although good authority says that Blair aches for it. As one of the political godfathers of the Treaty of Lisbon and, therefore, presumably familiar with its contents, his ambition is difficult to credit. No matter how hard you try to stretch language, the tasks allotted to the president of the Council are perfectly suited to a retired Rotary Club chairman who knows how to drink his soup quietly. Formally, he/she has to prepare and preside over meetings of the Council and represent the Union on those formal occasions (signings of trade agreements, political protocols etc) at home and abroad that, in some people, sap the will to live. When they embraced the draft Lisbon treaty, there is no evidence that it was in the minds of the heads of state and government to appoint someone “who might actually walk tall on the international stage” as Philip Stephens, the Financial Times commentator, so hotly desired in a recent article. There are other reasons for opting for Prime Minister Juncker or his equivalent from another small member state. Damaging turf battles between the presidents of the Council and the European Commission and the High Representative (who is bound to be known to the media as “Europe's foreign minister”) will be an ever-present danger, but rather less likely if the Council is led by someone who is not aspiring to be a master of the universe. It will be difficult enough to establish clear institutional coherence and responsibility with a High Representative anchored in both the Commission and the Council of Ministers, without the complication of a Council President competing for power in that narrow space occupied by a common foreign and security policy. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |


5.2-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Midwest Fox News (April 18, 2008) - Residents across the Midwest were awakened Friday by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake that rattled skyscrapers in Chicago's Loop and homes in Cincinnati but appeared to cause no major injuries or damage. The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., and 45 miles from Evansville, Ind. It was felt in such distant cities as Milwaukee, Des Moines, Iowa, and Atlanta, nearly 400 miles to the southeast. "It shook our house where it woke me up," said David Behm of Philo, 10 miles south of Champaign, Ill. "Windows were rattling, and you could hear it. The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California." In Mount Carmel, Ill., 15 southeast of the epicenter, a woman was trapped in her home by a collapsed porch but was quickly freed and wasn't hurt, said Mickie Smith, a dispatcher at the police department. The department took numerous other calls, though none reported anything more serious than objects knocked off walls and out of shelves, she said. Also in Mount Carmel, a two-story apartment building was evacuated because of loose and falling bricks. Police cordoned off the building, a 1904 school converted to residences. Bonnie Lucas, a morning co-host at WHO-AM in Des Moines, said she was sitting in her office when she felt her chair move. She grabbed her desk, and then heard the ceiling panels start to creak. The shaking lasted about 5 seconds, she said. The quake is believed to have involved the Wabash fault, a northern extension of the New Madrid fault about six miles north of Mount Carmel, Ill., said United States Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin. The last earthquake in the region to approach the severity of Friday's temblor was a 5.0 magnitude quake that shook a nearby area in 2002, Baldwin said. "This is a fairly large quake for this region," he said. "They might occur every few years." more...
| Earth Changes |


Lessen focus on eternity, McLaren says at Willow Creek student ministries conference Baptist Press (April 18, 2008) - The emphasis Christians place on the traditional Christian doctrines of hell and the second coming of Jesus inhibits believers from living effective lives of service in this world, according to speaker and author Brian McLaren. McLaren explained his views April 9-10 at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., as a featured speaker during the Willow Creek Association's annual Shift student ministries conference. During the conference's opening session, Bo Boshers, executive director of student ministries for the Willow Creek Association, said he does not agree with all McLaren's views but that all youth ministers should consider his thoughts. In his most recent book, "Everything Must Change" (Thomas Nelson), McLaren commends Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels as one of only a handful of evangelical leaders properly addressing global poverty and equity for the world's population. "Some of us came from a religious tradition or a religious background where our main role was to recruit kids to go to heaven," said McLaren, a controversial leader within the emerging church movement. "And that's a good thing. Mortality rates are still pretty high, and we all have to face that decision. But I'm here to challenge you to think bigger and deeper and in more layers and dimensions about your role." In a later conference breakout session, McLaren elaborated, "There are some ideas that are not truly ideas of the Gospel but are ideas of the modern understanding of the Gospel. The problem isn't the Bible. The problem is modern rings that we put around the Bible. And what we need to do -- some of us in our thinking -- is to find the courage to snip the ring so that our faith ... can really have a future." Though he did not specify at Willow Creek which traditional doctrines need revision, McLaren wrote in his 2007 book "Everything Must Change" that the doctrine of hell needs radical rethinking. He argues that people who believe in hell may be inclined to dominate and take advantage of other people, rather than help them. "Many of us have been increasingly critical in recent years of popular American eschatology in general, and conventional views of hell in particular," he wrote. "Simply put, if we believe that God will ultimately enforce his will by forceful domination, and will eternally torture all who resist that domination, then torture and domination become not only permissible but in some way godly." The orthodox understanding that Jesus will return at a future date and forcefully conquer all His enemies also needs rethinking, according to McLaren. "This eschatological understanding of a violent second coming leads us to believe (as we've said before) that in the end, even God finds it impossible to fix the world apart from violence and coercion; no one should be surprised when those shaped by this theology behave accordingly," McLaren wrote. The book of Revelation does not actually teach that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, he wrote, but that a new way of living is possible within this universe if humans will follow Jesus' example... Citing the Lord's Prayer, he told conference attendees that youth ministers must shift their thinking and teach teens that involvement in earthly matters is more pressing than focus on eternal matters. "As youth workers, a shift is happening and a shift is needed," he said, "that you become agents of recruiting people, young people, to consider devoting their entire lives to living not just for themselves and their own selfish interests, not just for their nation and their own national interests, but to work as agents of the Kingdom of God, joining with Jesus Christ in His good news of the Kingdom of God." In the breakout session, McLaren said the world is moving from an era of modern thinking to an era of postmodern thinking and youth ministers must transition their teaching accordingly. While modern thinking emphasizes analysis, postmodern thinking moves beyond reason and analysis to a focus on larger realities, he said. "We're in a period of profound shift in our world today," he said. "And what has been familiar to us and our churches is in some ways shaking and crumbling and being reconfigured." more...
| Apostasy |

I must say that hell and the second coming are central to truly understanding reality as events continue to unfold to the prophetic fulfillment written in the Word of God. The idea of "kingdom now" theology where we must bring the kingdom of God prior to the second coming misses what the Bible says about the future when the man of sin will be given power by Lucifer to rule the earth for 3 1/2 years. This is the "New Age" kingdom where a "New Age Christ" will rule with signs and lying wonders deceiving the whole world. Without the foundation of scripture regarding this, how easy would it be for someone without understanding to be deceived to believe the lies? The truth doesn't change to accommodate the people listening, God tells it like it is and will be as a warning to not be deceived. To be honest, I don't know McLaren's position in detail, but from this article, it sounds like he supports ignoring plain scripture to appease the audience, something the Bible warned would happen.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
The Gospel has never changed and we don't need to change the message to get God's point across. If people don't accept the message as given, that is their choice. It is not our place to shift the message for the hearer and the Bible is God's message, complete with the warning of hell (eternal separation from God, who is Love) and the second coming of Christ who will judge the quick and the dead at His appearing with sudden destruction like the days of Noah and Lot. Matthew 24:36-39 | Luke 17:24-33 I think this understanding is central for Christians to be aware of, especially since we are most likely living in the generation of His return! We were warned to watch, so I think its best to understand what we're watching and be aware of the signs of the times.
At the same time, realizing the times in which we live, it is important to share the hope that is in us through the salvation freely given so that we may live. Freely we have received, freely let us give! Do you know someone who could use the hope we have in Christ through His sacrifice for our sins? Let us watch and have an answer for the hope that is within us. 1 Peter 3:15

Across globe, hunger brings rising anger International Herald Tribune (April 18, 2008) - Hunger bashed in the front gate of Haiti's presidential palace. Hunger poured onto the streets, burning tires and taking on soldiers and the police. Hunger sent the country's prime minister packing. Haiti's hunger, that burn in the belly that so many here feel, has become fiercer than ever in recent days as global food prices spiral out of reach, spiking as much as 45 percent since the end of 2006 and turning Haitian staples like beans, corn and rice into closely guarded treasures. Saint Louis Meriska's children ate two spoonfuls of rice apiece as their only meal recently and then went without any food the following day. His eyes downcast, his own stomach empty, the unemployed father said forlornly, "They look at me and say, 'Papa, I'm hungry,' and I have to look away. It's humiliating and it makes you angry." That anger is palpable across the globe. The food crisis is not only being felt among the poor but is also eroding the gains of the working and middle classes, sowing volatile levels of discontent and putting new pressures on fragile governments. In Cairo, the military is being put to work baking bread as rising food prices threaten to become the spark that ignites wider anger at a repressive government. In Burkina Faso and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, food riots are breaking out as never before. In reasonably prosperous Malaysia, the ruling coalition was nearly ousted by voters who cited food and fuel price increases as their main concerns. "It's the worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years," said Jeffrey Sachs, the economist and special adviser to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. "It's a big deal and it's obviously threatening a lot of governments. There are a number of governments on the ropes, and I think there's more political fallout to come." Indeed, as it roils developing nations, the spike in commodity prices — the biggest since the Nixon administration — has pitted the globe's poorer south against the relatively wealthy north, adding to demands for reform of rich nations' farm and environmental policies. But experts say there are few quick fixes to a crisis tied to so many factors, from strong demand for food from emerging economies like China's to rising oil prices to the diversion of food resources to make biofuels. There are no scripts on how to handle the crisis, either. In Asia, governments are putting in place measures to limit hoarding of rice after some shoppers panicked at price increases and bought up everything they could. Even in Thailand, which produces 10 million more tons of rice than it consumes and is the world's largest rice exporter, supermarkets have placed signs limiting the amount of rice shoppers are allowed to purchase. But there is also plenty of nervousness and confusion about how best to proceed and just how bad the impact may ultimately be, particularly as already strapped governments struggle to keep up their food subsidies... "Why are these riots happening?" asked Arif Husain, senior food security analyst at the World Food Program, which has issued urgent appeals for donations. "The human instinct is to survive, and people are going to do no matter what to survive. And if you're hungry you get angry quicker." Leaders who ignore the rage do so at their own risk. President René Préval of Haiti appeared to taunt the populace as the chorus of complaints about la vie chère — the expensive life — grew. He said if Haitians could afford cellphones, which many do carry, they should be able to feed their families. "If there is a protest against the rising prices," he said, "come get me at the palace and I will demonstrate with you." When they came, filled with rage and by the thousands, he huddled inside and his presidential guards, with United Nations peacekeeping troops, rebuffed them. Within days, opposition lawmakers had voted out Préval's prime minister, Jacques-Édouard Alexis, forcing him to reconstitute his government. Fragile in even the best of times, Haiti's population and politics are now both simmering. more...
| 3rd Seal | Economic Crisis |

This increased anger and frustration could also contribute to the peace being taken from the earth described in the second seal as well, hunger is a powerful force as is self-preservation. In places with a philosophy of "every man for himself" and "look out for number one," it could easily get ugly. And in America as economic woes increase, we could see an increase in crime as well.

France seeks more ambitious EU globalisation strategy EurActiv.com (April 17, 2008) - The EU's growth and jobs strategy needs to be supplemented by a global arm if Europe wants to remain competitive in the future, argues a new report for the French government , which could become official policy when the country assumes the EU Presidency on 1 July. Although the Lisbon Strategy is delivering initial results, the EU needs to "quicken the pace" and "adopt a global viewpoint" or it will be "out of the race by 2020", argued Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, the author of the report, in an interview with EurActiv France before the official presentation of the report to the government on 15 April. Admitting that the Lisbon Strategy has been "visionary" in giving Europe a "head start over the rest of the world," the author criticises its failure to achieve the intrinsic goal of reducing the competitiveness gap with the US. Now Europe even risks being overtaken in certain sectors by major emerging countries such as China, India or Brazil if it chooses to maintain the current status quo, argues Cohen-Tanugi. "Europe is once again behind in a world that is developing at unprecedented speed," he says, resulting from its failure to implement the promised reforms.

A new 'Lisbon Plus'?

The report calls for the Lisbon Strategy to be renamed "Lisbon Plus" and integrated into a broader "EuroWorld 2015 Strategy" which would produce a "more comprehensive strategy" than the Lisbon Agenda. While "Lisbon Plus" would become the EU's internal component of this "strategic vision", the second pillar would rely on common external policies, such as trade, agriculture or the internal market, to help shape globalisation, according to the report. "The importance given to external policies is intended to signal the start of a new phase in the history of European unification in which Europe is no longer centred on itself but on its relationship with the rest of the world," the author claims, highlighting a "genuine paradigm shift".

"Competitiveness through innovation"

The focus of Lisbon Plus should be on "competitiveness through innovation," the report suggests, linking the different economic, social and environmental dimensions. Moreover, the author expresses his hope that the French Presidency (to begin on 1 July) will stimulate the so-called "knowledge triangle" (higher education, research and innovation), enhancing the value of Europe's human capital and promoting a new "green economy". "The real global challenge with which Europe is confronted is to stay in the race, in terms of prosperity and international influence, in a world that is destined to be dominated by an America/Asia duopoly," says Cohen-Tanugi. "It is now up to the French EU Presidency to start carrying through this new strategic vision," the report concludes.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder |

From Constance Cumbey's Blogspot:

According to a recent article appearing in EurActiv.com, the gentleman at the left, Laurent Cohen-Tanugi has been delegated by the French government for its upcoming 6 month EU presidency to make plans to vastly project European power -- far beyond the "sweeping reforms" Javier Solana has declared the in ratification progress "Lisbon Treaty" will make. Msr. Cohen-Tanugi says that the "Lisbon Strategy is an inadequate answer to globalisation." I found 87 google hits of Solana's and Laurent Cohean-Tanugi's name together. I have not yet had time to analyze all. According to Euractiv:

Although the Lisbon Strategy is delivering initial results, the EU needs to "quicken the pace" and "adopt a global viewpoint" or it will be "out of the race by 2020", argued Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, the author of the report, in an interview with EurActiv France before the official presentation of the report to the government on 15 April.

It is hard to say if this is being done at Solana's behest or to upstage him. As I recall the prophecies, whoever and whatever "the beast" ends up being would trample the whole earth underfoot. It certainly sounds like the European aspirations are decidedly global.


Jet Streams Are Shifting And May Alter Paths Of Storms And Hurricanes Science Daily (April 17, 2008) - The Earth's jet streams, the high-altitude bands of fast winds that strongly influence the paths of storms and other weather systems, are shifting--possibly in response to global warming. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution determined that over a 23-year span from 1979 to 2001 the jet streams in both hemispheres have risen in altitude and shifted toward the poles. The jet stream in the northern hemisphere has also weakened. These changes fit the predictions of global warming models and have implications for the frequency and intensity of future storms, including hurricanes. Cristina Archer and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology tracked changes in the average position and strength of jet streams using records compiled by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the National Centers for Environmental Protection, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The data included outputs from weather prediction models, conventional observations from weather balloons and surface instruments, and remote observations from satellites. Jet streams twist and turn in a wide swath that changes from day to day. The poleward shift in their average location discovered by the researchers is small, about 19 kilometers (12 miles) per decade in the northern hemisphere, but if the trend continues the impact could be significant. "The jet streams are the driving factor for weather in half of the globe," says Archer. "So, as you can imagine, changes in the jets have the potential to affect large populations and major climate systems." Storm paths in North America are likely to shift northward as a result of the jet stream changes. Hurricanes, whose development tends to be inhibited by jet streams, may become more powerful and more frequent as the jet streams move away from the sub-tropical zones where hurricanes are born. The observed changes are consistent with numerous other signals of global warming found in previous studies, such as the widening of the tropical belt, the cooling of the stratosphere, and the poleward shift of storm tracks. This is the first study to use observation-based datasets to examine trends in all the jet stream parameters, however. more...
| Earth Changes |


Earthquake Hits Aleutian Islands China View (April 16, 2008) - An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit Aleutian Islands at 02:04 p.m. local time ( 0604 GMT) on Wednesday, according to a bulletin released by the Hong Kong Observatory. The epicenter was initially determined to be 52.0 degrees north latitude and 179.1 degrees east longitude, about 870 km west of Unalaska Island, Alaska of the United States.
| Earth Changes |


Berlusconi "wants more EU influence" Reuters (April 16, 2008) - Italian prime minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi said on Wednesday he would help the EU regain the influence he said it had lost since he was last in power and called for the European Central Bank's mandate to be broadened. Speaking on one of his own television channels after winning Italy's April 13-14 election, Berlusconi said the EU needed a "top leadership squad" to make it count in the world. "There is a need to reconstruct a Europe that has a leading role in the Western world that can tackle with determination the problems facing the world," said the 71-year-old conservative media mogul, who is expected to take office next month. In later comments that could anger some of Italy's European Union partners, for whom ECB independence is sacrosanct, Berlusconi said its mandate should be widened beyond keeping inflation in check. He did not specify what he meant, but in the past he has urged the central bank to support economic growth. Rules set out in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty give the ECB the power to pursue its primary goal of maintaining price stability free of political influence. "I believe the ECB's functions need to be widened beyond the power to control inflation," Berlusconi told a news conference. Italy's third-richest man and owner of AC Milan soccer club, Berlusconi said during the election campaign he wanted to "intervene" with the ECB and would discuss it with EU leaders such as France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel. Sarkozy has repeatedly called for action to curb the sharp rise in the value of the euro, while Germany has vigorously defended the ECB's independence from politicians. Berlusconi often blames the euro for the underperformance of Italy's economy, echoing the opinion of many Italians who say their spending power has waned since they gave up the lira. Exporters complain the strong euro makes them less competitive. Berlusconi's victory had been expected to deal a final blow to the sale of loss-making Alitalia to Air France-KLM, which has been blocked by unions. Berlusconi wants a home-grown rescue, but has left the door open to the foreign bid if Alitalia is given equal footing in any future international airline group. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Putin in Libya to close $2.5b arms deal The Jerusalem Post (April 16, 2008) - Only few weeks before he leaves office, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Libya on Wednesday for a two-day visit likely to be dominated by discussions on energy cooperation, arms deals and debt negotiations. Putin's visit may bring closure to several large arms deals totaling $2.5 billion, which are aimed at bolstering Libya's aging weapons arsenal, Russian media outlets reported. The deals will include anti-aircraft systems, MiG and Sukhoi aircraft, helicopters, submarines and warships, the Russian news agency Interfax said. "The media are always interested in arms deals… but the main issue for Russia will be Libya as a trading partner, which is something that almost every country in the world is interested in, because Libya, with a high oil price, has a lot of money to spend," Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, and currently deputy chairman of the Libyan British Business Council, told The Media Line. Last week, the state-run Russian gas company, Gazprom, revealed it was negotiating with its Italian partner, Eni, about a potential asset swap involving projects in Libya. The heads of the two companies have met with Putin recently, although the content of their discussions has not been fully disclosed. International competition over foreign investments in Libya has been heightened as a result of the country's recent moves to open up. "There are many things that we in Britain, for example, or the French, or other exporting countries, would wish to sell to the Libyans, and naturally we see the Russians as competitors," Miles said. Regarding the military aircraft deal, Miles explained there was direct competition between France and Russia, which are "probably the most likely suppliers of military aircraft to Libya." The former ambassador explained that a French-Libyan deal for the purchase of military aircraft was considered a done deal at the time of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's recent visit to Libya. more...
| Gog/Magog |


Irish government embarrassed by leaked EU treaty email EU Observer (April 15, 2008) - German chancellor Angela Merkel has called on Irish voters to back the EU treaty on the same day that the Irish government was embarrassed by a leaked email outlining what a UK diplomat says is Dublin's strategy for holding and winning a referendum. In a state visit to Ireland, the only country to hold a public poll on the treaty, Ms Merkel on Monday (14 April), said "To my mind, the Lisbon treaty offers the best preparation for Europe's future." "To the sceptics, I can only say that if everything remains as it is now, your concerns will definitely not be better addressed," she told the National Forum on Europe. Ms Merkel also reassured Ireland, as a small country, that it will have an equal seat at the EU table noting that the new majority voting system in the treaty "is actually more of a problem for the bigger states." During her visit the Irish government was forced to contend with a story in the Irish Daily Mail which gives details of an email sent by a British official based in Dublin after a briefing by a civil servant in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. According to the article, the email says that the Irish government had ruled out having a referendum in October although it would have been better procedurally because they were concerned about "unhelpful developments during the French presidency – particularly related to EU defence." The email noted that French president Sarkozy was considered "completely unpredictable." The defence issue is extremely sensitive in neutral Ireland. Irish voters rejected the EU's Nice Treaty in 2000 largely on the back of a heated debate about neutrality and European defence issues. The email also alluded to what has been quietly admitted in Brussels since the beginning of the year – that much of EU politics has been put on hold until after the Irish referendum, scheduled to take place on 12 June. It said that EU communications commissioner Margot Wallstrom had reassured foreign minister Dermot Ahern during a visit to Dublin earlier this Spring that the "commission was willing to tone down or delay messages that might be unhelpful." Reacting to the article, prime minister Bertie Ahern denied there had been any strategy on Brussels' part. "On the article today, of course officials from Foreign Affairs, and my department as well, meet our European colleagues on a very regular basis, but the suggestion that Europe will somehow deliberately change announcements ahead of the referendum is without any foundation," he said, according to the Irish Times. The leaked email – which was not reproduced in full in the newspaper article – has been seized upon by 'no' campaigners. Declan Ganley, chair of anti-treaty organisation Libertas, said that the most damning part of the email "was the admission that the Government hoped that very few people would actually read the text of the Treaty, and would simply vote with the politicians they trust." The revelation also came on the same day that a new poll showed that the treaty remains an enigma to most Irish voters. Some 65 percent of the 1001 people surveyed by the Irish Sun said they had very little or no understanding of the treaty, 28 percent claimed to have some understanding while 6 percent said they fully understood it. Meanwhile, 60 percent do not know how they will vote on the treaty while 28 percent said they were planning to vote in favour and 12 percent against. But the same poll also confirmed what has regularly been shown by EU-wide surveys – that Irish voters are the most positive about effects of the European Union. Some 89 percent surveyed said membership of the bloc had been good for the country.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |


Europe or Eurabia? Daniel Pipes (April 15, 2008) - The future of Europe is in play. Will it turn into "Eurabia," a part of the Muslim world? Will it remain the distinct cultural unit it has been over the last millennium? Or might there be some creative synthesis of the two civilizations? The answer has vast importance. Europe may constitute a mere 7 percent of the world's landmass but for five hundred years, 1450-1950, for good and ill, it was the global engine of change. How it develops in the future will affect all humanity, and especially daughter countries such as Australia which still retain close and important ties to the old continent. I foresee potentially one of three paths for Europe: Muslims dominating, Muslims rejected, or harmonious integration.

(1) Muslim domination strikes some analysts as inevitable. Oriana Fallaci found that "Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam." Mark Steyn argues that much of the Western world "will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries." Such authors point to three factors leading to Europe's Islamization: faith, demography, and a sense of heritage. The secularism that predominates in Europe, especially among its elites, leads to alienation about the Judeo-Christian tradition, empty church pews, and a fascination with Islam. In complete contrast, Muslims display a religious fervor that translates into jihadi sensibility, a supremacism toward non-Muslims, and an expectation that Europe is waiting for conversion to Islam. The contrast in faith also has demographic implications, with Christians having on average 1.4 children per woman, or about one third less than the number needed to maintain their population, and Muslims enjoying a dramatically higher, if falling, fertility rate. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are expected to be in about 2015 the first large majority-Muslim cities. Russia could become a Muslim-majority country in 2050. To employ enough workers to fund existing pension plans, Europe needs millions of immigrants and these tend to be disproportionately Muslim due to reasons of proximity, colonial ties, and the turmoil in majority-Muslim countries. In addition, many Europeans no longer cherish their history, mores, and customs. Guilt about fascism, racism, and imperialism leave many with a sense that their own culture has less value than that of immigrants. Such self-disdain has direct implications for Muslim immigrants, for if Europeans shun their own ways, why should immigrants adopt them? When added to the already-existing Muslim hesitations over much that is Western, and especially what concerns sexuality, the result are Muslim populations that strongly resist assimilation. The logic of this first path leads to Europe ultimately becoming an extension of North Africa.

(2) But the first path is not inevitable. Indigenous Europeans could resist it and as they make up 95 percent of the continent's population, they can at any time reassert control, should they see Muslims posing a threat to a valued way of life. This impulse can already be seen at work in the French anti-hijab legislation or in Geert Wilders' film, Fitna. Anti-immigrant parties gain in strength; a potential nativist movement is taking shape across Europe, as political parties opposed to immigration focus increasingly on Islam and Muslims. These parties include the British National Party, Belgium's Vlaamse Belang, France's Front National, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Danish People's Party, and the Swedish Democrats. They will likely continue to grow as immigration surges ever higher, with mainstream parties paying and expropriating their anti-Islamic message. Should nationalist parties gain power, they will likely seek to reject multiculturalism, cut back on immigration, encourage repatriation of immigrants, support Christian institutions, increase indigenous European birthrates, and broadly attempt to re-establish traditional ways. Muslim alarm will likely follow. American author Ralph Peters sketches a scenario in which "U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe's Muslims." Peters concludes that because of European's "ineradicable viciousness," its Muslims "are living on borrowed time" As Europeans have "perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing," Muslims, he predicts, "will be lucky just to be deported," rather than killed. Indeed, Muslims worry about just such a fate; since the 1980s, they have spoken overtly about Muslims being sent to gas chambers. Violence by indigenous Europeans cannot be precluded but nationalist efforts will more likely take place less violently; if any one is likely to initiate violence, it is the Muslims. They have already engaged in many acts of violence and seem to be spoiling for more. Surveys indicate, for instance, that about 5 percent of British Muslims endorse the 7/7 transport bombings. In brief, a European reassertion will likely lead to on-going civil strife, perhaps a more lethal version of the fall 2005 riots in France.

(3) The ideal outcome has indigenous Europeans and immigrant Muslims finding a way to live together harmoniously and create a new synthesis. A 1991 study, La France, une chance pour l'Islam (France, an Opportunity for Islam) by Jeanne-Hélène Kaltenbach and Pierre Patrick Kaltenbach promoted this idealistic approach. Despite all, this optimism remains the conventional wisdom, as suggested by an Economist leader of 2006 that concluded that dismissed for the moment at least, the prospect of Eurabia as "scaremongering." This is the view of most politicians, journalists, and academics but it has little basis in reality. Yes indigenous Europeans could yet rediscover their Christian faith, make more babies, and again cherish their heritage. Yes, they could encourage non-Muslim immigration and acculturate Muslims already living in Europe. Yes, Muslim could accept historic Europe. But not only are such developments not now underway, their prospects are dim. In particular, young Muslims are cultivating grievances and nursing ambitions at odds with their neighbors. One can virtually dismiss from consideration the prospect of Muslims accepting historic Europe and integrating within it. U.S. columnist Dennis Prager agrees: "It is difficult to imagine any other future scenario for Western Europe than its becoming Islamicized or having a civil war." But which of those two remaining paths will the continent take? Forecasting is difficult because crisis has not yet struck. But it may not be far off. Within a decade perhaps, the continent's evolution will become clear as the Europe-Muslim relationship takes shape. The unprecedented nature of Europe's situation also renders a forecast exceedingly difficult. Never in history has a major civilization peaceably dissolved, nor has a people ever risen to reclaim its patrimony. Europe's unique circumstances make them difficult to comprehend, tempting to overlook, and virtually impossible to predict. With Europe, we all enter into terra incognita.
| Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

In my study of Bible prophecy, the possibility that the false prophet of Revelation 13 is the Islamic 12th Mahdi has come to light. According to scripture, the false prophet directs worship to the man of sin, commonly known as the antichrist, and has power to call fire from heaven among other things. With these signs and wonders, many people will be deceived into following these two who are given power by the dragon, Satan. The fact that those who refuse to worship the beast are beheaded, that Islam is spreading throughout the world and that the religious leaders have much sway over the Islamic populations, all lead me to conclude this is certainly a possibility even though it may seem far-fetched at the current time. I believe both Islam and Judaism have dramatic changes coming in perceptions that could make many impossible things possible. Time will tell, keep watching!

Putin accepts leadership of party Associated Press (April 15, 2008) - Vladimir Putin agreed Tuesday to take command of the United Russia Party when he steps down as president, enhancing the power he will wield as prime minister and bolstering his platform for a potential return to the Kremlin. At a party congress that mixed promises of a bright future with traditions from the communist era, more than 550 delegates unanimously approved Putin as chairman of Russia's most powerful political faction. Speaking just three weeks before he will cede the presidency to his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, Putin said the move would help ensure that Russia's political bosses and bureaucrats functioned as a "single organism" for the good of the people. "Today even more than before, we need the consolidation of political forces and the spiritual unity of our people," he told the congress in an exhibition center off Red Square. Putin cast the move as a step toward European-style democracy, saying that for the head of a party to be prime minister is "a civilized, natural, traditional practice for democratic states." But the analogy was not precise because in Russia, the prime minister is appointed by the president, unlike the European parliamentary democracy system in which the chairman of the leading party is generally chosen as premier. Critics dismissed Putin's argument as a bid to lend legitimacy to a process engineered from the top down, saying it was more like a step backward toward Soviet times, when the Communist Party had no rival and its chief was the supreme leader. Some analysts called Putin's decision the strategic maneuver of a control-minded leader determined to head off potential challenges, and said it would undermine Medvedev by boosting the authority of Putin and parliament. In terms of imagery, Putin eclipsed Medvedev at the congress, staying firmly in the spotlight in his final weeks of an eight-year presidency marked by carefully choreographed events that have helped enhance his popularity. In less than an hour, Tuesday's proceedings capped a year of maneuvering by Putin to maintain power after he leaves the presidency. Constitutionally barred from seeking a third straight term, he anointed Medvedev as his favored successor and announced he would become prime minister. Putin has promised not to shift any presidential powers to the prime minister, who is a distant No. 2 under the constitution. But he has made no secret of his plans to use the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, to ensure that his will is carried out. more...
| Gog/Magog |


Iran: We'll 'eliminate Israel' if it launches attack The Jerusalem Post (April 15, 2008) - Iran will eliminate Israel if it attacks the Islamic Republic, Iran's deputy army chief warned Tuesday in words conjuring up Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threats to wipe Israel off the map. "Should Israel take any action against Iran, we will eliminate Israel from the scene of the universe," Gen. Muhammad Reza Ashtiani said in Teheran on Tuesday. Ashtiani's statement followed Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's comment last week warning Iran that any attack on Israel would result in the "destruction of the Iranian nation." Ashtiani claimed Israel was "very vulnerable" and dismissed allegations that Iran was worried about Israeli maneuvers. "Due to its special conditions, Israel is very vulnerable in the region," he said. "The aggressors will face a crushing response." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev responded by saying "these hateful and extreme statements from the Iranian leadership are unfortunately routine. The sad reality is that these statements expose the mind set and political agenda of the leadership in Teheran. Unfortunately these hateful words are backed up by very dangerous actions." Foreign Ministry spokesman Aryeh Mekel said that these comments illustrate the need for the international community to "work with more determination" and take steps to keep Iran, which is threatening to destroy another UN member state, from obtaining nuclear weapons. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

I believe Iran will follow through on this threat. However, I also believe God will follow through with His promised intervention when it takes place as well.

Reshaping the International Financial Order Reshaping the International Order Part 2 Knowledge Driven Revolution (April 14, 2008)

"Among the instruments of implementation at the international level, I attach the highest priority to the introduction of international taxation and the establishment of an international central bank." - Mahbub ul Haq, Director of Policy Planning World Bank (1970-1982) and RIO Member (p321)

The Club of Rome is a premiere think tank composed of approximately 100 members including leading scientists, philosophers, political advisors, former politicians and many other influential bureaucrats and technocrats. This series of articles describes the major conclusions of the 1976 book Rio: Reshaping the International Order: A Report to the Club of Rome [1] coordinated by Nobel Laureate Jan Tinbergen. The RIO report "addresses the following question: what new international order should be recommended to the world's statesmen and social groups so as to meet, to the extent practically and realistically possible, the urgent needs of today's population and the probable needs of future generations?" Part 1 of this series gives an overview of the proposed new international order described by the RIO report as "humanistic socialism". This includes: collective neighbourhood armies, a fully planned world economy, global free trade, public international enterprises, proposed changes in consumption patterns among other topics. Below is a summary of some of the changes to the financial system proposed by The Club of Rome.

Creation of a World Reserve Currency From RIO: Reshaping the International Order: [Italicised text is original emphasis and bolded text is added by author.]

"Phasing out of national reserve currencies as well as gold from reserve creation, confining increasingly the latter to SDR [Special Drawing Rights] type assets created by joint decisions..." - 128

"The residual use of gold as a reserve stock for central banks should and will be phased out gradually." - 199

"The creation of an international reserve currency by an international authority, such as an International Central Bank, which should be under international management without being dominated by the interests of one particular group of nations;" - 184

"Fundamental reforms in the international monetary system so that international liquidity is not created in such an unplanned fashion that it generates alternate cycles of inflation, stagflation and depression. If national reserve currencies are replaced by an international reserve currency, to be created and managed by the international community in line with the genuine needs for the growth of the international economic system and with special regard to the pressing needs of the Third World, it can considerably help in avoiding some of the present unplanned fluctuations in economic activity." - 183

Some tricks never seem to get old. Prevention of "alternate cycles of inflation, stagflation and depression" is exactly the same hogwash used to sell the Federal Reserve Act to the Americans in 1913. How well did that work?

Creation of a World Treasury and Global Taxation

"It also follows that some groups must today devote their efforts to the preparation of long range proposals in order to ensure that they will be operative on time. This applies especially to investigations into the feasibility of the more ambitious long range proposals, such as the creation of a World Treasury." - 125

"The gradual introduction of a system of international taxation which should be handled by a World Treasury, both to meet the current as well as the development needs of the poorer nations;" - 184

"The statutes of transnational enterprises should be under the supervision of, and their profits taxed by, an inter- or supranational authority." - 160

"international commons... ocean-tolls and air-tolls should be considered..." - 165

"these observations would suggest that, in the long run, a World Treasury could form an effective instrument for attaining some of the aims of an international community. In that it would operate from a current budget of expenditures, it would require a current budget of income. This would be derived from two obvious sources: revenue from international taxes and from the world community's ownership of productive resources. Taxes and incomes, profits, the use of scarce resources and the royalties received from concessions could figure among the most important types of revenue." - 131

"Ultimately, there is a need for the equivalent of a World Treasury, the resources of which are derived from international taxation and ownership of international productive resources (such as the resources of the oceans)." - 133

Some Techniques of Implementation

One implementation technique requires the use of "pioneering" countries to voluntarily submit to international taxation and their new monetary order.

"A desirable form of international decision-making, however, is one in which a genuinely supranational authority takes decisions on a qualified majority principle. A qualified majority may comprise a system of weighted votes, be based on a simple majority, or based on a system in which not only the total number of representatives but also the representatives of some well defined groups must together form a majority... (b) A decision-making body can be initiated by several pioneering countries on a voluntary basis and then be gradually extended. Some of the means used could first be applied at low levels, for example, a tax on consumer durables, and be gradually raised and extended to include more categories and eventually more countries. (c) Membership of an international decision-making body should be open to both public authorities and private organizations, whether non-profit or profit-making, or a combination of these categories." - 104

Another technique of implementation requires the use of organizations like OPEC to collect international taxes on behalf of the world community.

"The Financing of Development: A new framework for international resource transfers form an essential part of the effort to establish a new international order. It will take time to negotiate such a framework and put its various elements in place, but at least some of the principles on which this framework should be based can be spelt out. (I) An element of automation must be built into the resource transfer system. To be realistic, the world community is still too early in its stage of evolution and recognition of its interdependence to accept the concept of international taxation of the rich nations for the benefit of the poor nations. But the concept need not be accepted in its entirety: it can be introduced gradually over time through a variety of devices:... (b) certain sources of international financing can be developed - such as tax on non-renewable resources, tax on international pollutants... (c) if the rich industrialized nations are unwilling to tax themselves, others can collect and distribute these tax proceeds on the basis of what the rich nations consume - e.g. even a one-dollar per barrel 'development levy' by OPEC..." - 216

One World Currency

"The Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States... already lays down the fundamental principles which should govern international economic relations. The transformation, over time, of the Charter into the proposed framework treaty would greatly facilitate the establishment of a new international order. If this is to be done, some more specific provisions, omitted from the Charter, should be considered for inclusion in the framework treaty. Such provisions could include:...

(g) All States shall accept an international currency to be created by an international authority;" - 117

The Club of Rome is currently working on a project entitled Monetary Simplification Euro/Dollar: Towards a Global Currency headed by Ramon Tamames. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


EU defends biofuel goals amid food crises AFP (April 14, 2008) - The EU Commission on Monday rejected claims that producing biofuels is a "crime against humanity" that threatens food supplies, and vowed to stick to its goals as part of a climate change package. "There is no question for now of suspending the target fixed for biofuels," said Barbara Helfferich, spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. "You can't change a political objective without risking a debate on all the other objectives," which could see the EU landmark climate change and energy package disintegrate, an EU official said. Their comments came amid growing unease over the planting of biofuel crops as food prices rocket and riots against poverty and hunger multiply worldwide. UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told German radio Monday that the production of biofuels is "a crime against humanity" because of its impact on global food prices. EU leaders, seeking to show the way on global warming, have pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020. As part of a package of measures the 27 member states have set a target of biofuels making up 10 percent of automobile fuel by the same year. "We don't have an enormous danger of too much of a shift from food production to biofuels production," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel. Mann, like Helfferich speaking to reporters in Brussels, stressed that the 10 percent target would in part be achieved through higher yields and increased production. Ziegler also accused the European Union of subsidising its agriculture exports with effect of undermining production in Africa. "The EU finances the exports of European agricultural surpluses to Africa ... where they are offered at one half or one third of their (production) price," the UN official charged. "That completely ruins African agriculture," he added. In recent months, rising food costs have sparked violent protests in Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mauritania, the Philippines and other countries. In Pakistan and Thailand, troops have been deployed to avoid the seizure of food from fields and warehouses, while price increases fuelled a general strike in Burkina Faso. The European Environment Agency, advisors to the European Commission, on Friday recommended that the EU suspend its 10 percent biofuels target. more...
| 3rd Seal |

I can't say with 100% certainty that the food crisis and the bio-fuel (oil) issue is what the third seal is talking about, but it seems to fit with what Bible scholars have thought it was talking about with the addition now of bio-fuels being "not hurting the oil." Time will tell, keep watching!
Revelation 6:5,6
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

Mobilising People and Actions for War A Time, Times, And Half A Time (April 13, 2008) - This article is the second of a three part series which compares the legal and cultural changes being made by today’s global government to those made by the Nazis. Part I, Ghost of Nazi Past, Ghost of Nazi Present focused on cultural, media, parliamentary, and judicial manipulations while this part focuses on science, religion, religious education, and spiritual mobilization. The format of this post is as follows: texts in bold font are citations from Richard Evans’ book The Third Reich in Power. Italicized texts that follow Evens’ citations are quotations from global governance actors along with some of my commentary. Writing of the hostilities between the Nazis and the Catholic Church, Evans explains “…the German government repeatedly told the Vatican that its fight against Marxism and Communism demanded the unity of the German people through the ending of confessional divisions.” (pg. 241) Today, we see the identical argument being advanced by the Alliance of Civilizations, the World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality, et al. In the interest of combating extremism and terrorism we are told a global code of conduct which embraces only common spiritual and political ideologies must be adopted. Contributors to this code of conduct are groups such as the World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality which will “activate” the evolutionary process of global consciousness; the Alliance of Civilizations which is currently developing guidelines for how religions must interpret scripture; Religions for Peace which is advancing A Common Word, an initiative designed to undermine religious doctrines and hijack religion; etc. Orchestrated efforts to incite violence against those who refuse to set aside their doctrines—particularly against the monotheistic faiths – have intensified on multiple fronts. Evans writes “Nazism imbued the German language with the metaphors of battle: the battle for jobs, the struggle for existence, the fight for culture…The language itself began to be mobilized for war.” (pg. 214) We are in this same place today. Christians who dare voice an unpopular opinion are accused of having a violent ethos. The existence of the new civilization is threatened if the egocentric are permitted to continue with their “defective disconnection”. It is, as they say, a fight for civilization. Setting the stage for the new religious ethos is Karen Armstrong, Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group member. **Video at link** See use doctrine. The full version of the Karen Armstrong presentation can be found here.

Science

One criticism consistently launched against the adherents of the Abrahamic faiths’ is that the doctrines cannot be scientifically proven and the faithful have abandoned rational scientific inquiry. Yet many of the same critics who claim superiority have no problem advancing unproven occult doctrines such as notions of a “planetary spiritual hierarchy”; the existence of the Aryans and Atlantis; evolutionary advancement through Luciferic initiations; etc., etc.

“The real core of Nazi beliefs lay in the faith Hitler proclaimed in his speech of September 1938 in science – a Nazi view of science – as the basis for action.” Pg 259

“But humanity has hitherto lacked an adequate global grammar and a global lens to fully activate this integral/holistic/dialogic technology of mind; and since our living realities are co-created by out patterns of minding, the supreme technological advance in the human condition is this advance to the integral technology of minding.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

Religion

Here the comparisons I draw are between the Third Reich’s attempts to control Christianity and the global government’s plans to control the three monotheistic faiths. The below World Commission citations that refer to the egocentric mind refer to individuals who believe their religious texts to be true and are not prepared to abandon their convictions for a new revelation. The egocentric mind also pertains to political dissenters of the globalization process.

“National Socialism is not only a political doctrine, it is a total and all-encompassing general perspective on all public matters. So our entire life has to be based on it as a matter of natural assumption. We hope that the day will come when nobody needs to talk about National Socialism any more…One day, the spiritual awakening of our time will emerge from this will to culture.” - Joseph Goebbels Pg 211

“Our great spiritual traditions and teachers were all in diverse ways fostering and opening the way to the awakening of global consciousness.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“One striking result of the general global law – we are as we mind…But humanity has hitherto lacked an adequate global grammar and a global lens to fully activate this integral/holistic/ dialogic technology of mind; and since our living realities are co-created by our patterns of minding,, the supreme technological advance in the human condition is this advance to the integral technology of minding.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“As an SS plan put it in 1937: ‘We live in the age of the final confrontation with Christianity. It is part of the mission of the SS to give to the German people over the next fifty years the non-Christian ideological foundations for a way of life appropriate to their own character.’…Christianity, Himmler was to declare on 9 June 1942, was ‘the greatest of plagues’; true morality consisted not in exalting the spirit of the individual but in abnegating oneself in the service of the race. Moral values could be derived only from consciousness of one’s place in, and duty to, the chain of ‘valuable’ heredity.” Pg 252

“Perhaps the single most powerful event facing humanity today is a great awakening on a planetary scale that has been millennia in the making. We humans are in the midst of a profound advance as a species to a higher form of global consciousness that has been emerging across cultures, religions and worldviews through the centuries. This awakening…is nothing less than a shift…from more egocentric patterns of life to a higher form of integral and dialogic patterns of life.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“…it should now be apparent that global spirituality is precisely this crossing from egocentric life into the deep–dialogic life of global consciousness: this is the highest telos and consensus of our great planetary spiritual endowment…True Spirituality is the highest expression of our rational essence and is not to be confused with egocentric religious life. Spirituality is the awakening of our highest being, bringing us into direct relation with Reality as the Logosphere; it is the process of self–transformation from ego life to the awakened life of mature Integral Natural Reason and flowing in harmony with the Lawlike Moral Energy of the Logosphere. And Global Spirituality is this awakening of the Global Mind, the highest mature form of spirituality in its global power. Global Spirituality then is Awakened Critical Reason and is thus free of all ego ideology and ego dogma. Now, hopefully, the direct link between global consciousness and global spirituality should be more manifest.” – World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“By 1937 the Protestant Church was either deeply divided between the German Christians and the Confession Church…biblical fundamentalism and Nazified Christianity were equally repellent.” Pg 228

“The egocentric… mind is a stage in our human development (evolution) which tends to separate and objectify the thinking subject from the objects of though, and to remain centered in and privileging its particular worldview (religion, ideology, cultural lens) as the exclusive measure of reality (meaning, truth, fact, value, experience, existence). The egocentric mind is broken off from the Integral Field of Reality and packages, constructs, separates, divides, polarizes, fragments all its touches….ego minding is the primary cause of the spectrum of human pathologies. And the consensus prescription is that to change this mentality is the single most important factor in transforming the human condition.” - World Commission on Global Consciousness & Spirituality

“Anti-Christian writings of the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, who publicly rejected such central doctrines as the immortality of the soul and Christ’s redemption of humankind from original sin. In his book The Myth of the Twentieth Century, Rosenberg excoriated Catholicism as the creation of the Jewish clericalism” pg 238

“Robert Ley, leader of the Labour Front, went even further than Rosenberg in his disdain for Christianity and his rejection of the Divinity of Christ…” pg 251

“Jesus, whom the Muslims regard as a prophet, as in fact do many of the New Testament writers. Luke’s gospel calls Jesus a prophet from start to finish; the idea that Jesus was divine was a later development, often misunderstood by Christians.” Karen Armstrong, Alliance of Civilizations

Karen Armstrong, a apostate and former Catholic nun, is certainly aware that this is considered heresy by the Catholic church and that her words were intended to attack an entire religion. At least the Alliance of Civilizations is no longer attempting to pretend to be something they are not.

Religious Education

“Remoulding the educational system would create a new generation of young Germans who had known no alternative source of values to Nazism. Yet there was of course one area in which such values did persist…That was religion. For reasons of political expediency and caution, the Third Reich had stopped short in 1933 of attacking the Churches and their dependent secular institutions. As it became more self-confident, however, it began to turn its attention to Christianity too, and to seek a means of either converting it to a form more suitable to the new Germany, or, if that did not work, of doing away with it altogether.” Pg 218

“Nazis now launched a sustained campaign to close denominational schools and replace them with non-religious ‘community schools’…Parents were forced to sign prepared statements declaring that they ‘did not want the education of my child at school to be misused by stirring up religious unrest’ Pg 246

“By the summer of 1939, all denominational schools in Germany had been turned into community schools, and all private schools run by the Churches had been closed down or nationalized…By 1939 religious instruction in vocational schools had been reduced to half an hour a week, and in many areas it had to follow guidelines…Parents who objected to these moves…were obliged by the local authorities to withdraw their objection, summoned to special meetings at the school to pressure them to sign their children up for ideological instruction instead of religious education…” pgs 246-247

“The German Christian’s attempt to create a synthesis between German Protestantism and Nazi racism had effectively collapsed…Hitler reluctantly abandoned his ambition of convereting it into the official state Church of the Third Reich. Instead, he ordered the creation of a new Ministry for Church Affairs, established in July 1935 under the 48-year-old Hanns Kerrl…The new Ministry was given wide-ranging powers, which Kerrl did not hesitate to deploy in order to bring refractory pastors to heel…Pastors were banned from preaching, or had their pay stopped. They were forbidden to teach in schools. All theological students were ordered to join Nazi organizations.” Pg 230

Such measures are most likely to succeed if supported by religious education that is based upon a sound interpretation of religious teachings. – Alliance of Civilizations High Level Group

“Education as we understand it here makes it possible to view with equanimity the completion of the process of secularisation, first of structures, then of society itself, as just one of several possible reflections of a modern way of life. School should give children a clearer understanding of the psychosocial, cultural and sometimes political functions of religion. This sort of approach would undoubtedly help to sharpen and challenge their critical faculties and combat the wilder excesses of particularism. This has fundamental consequences for the educational system, particularly as regards the teaching of religious education. Who should teach religion? Who can make a valid comparison between the different doctrinal elements of religions? We must beware of confusion here. A clear distinction needs to be drawn between religious education in the sense understood by adherents of a faith, which consists of transmitting the values, teachings and liturgy of their religion with a view to the proper practice of that religion (e.g. the Catholic catechism), and the teaching of comparative religion which aims only to instil knowledge about religion and the history of religion. Only the latter forms one of the bases of learning for the intercultural dialogue through education. Religious education of the first kind is perfectly legitimate, but is not relevant to the objective under discussion. Comparative religion should therefore be taught by professional teachers capable of providing a comparative analysis of religions, regardless of their own religious choice, with the objectivity of an expert, not the passion of a devotee. This is an essential choice that will determine the success of the dialogue through education. The difficulty of the exercise lies in integrating religion, which is such a sensitive issue in the Euro-Mediterranean area, into the field of education, taking into account its irreducibility and its mission to provide absolute truth, but without altering the educational philosophy of mutual knowledge based on curiosity, self-respect and openness to the Other.” - Dialogue Between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area more...
| NewWorldOrder | Apostasy |

It's a little easier to see the repetition of the New Age ideology and how the use of governments to harmonize belief will lead to a persecution of those that refuse to conform to it.

Unusual earthquakes measured off Oregon Associated Press (April 12, 2008) - Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption — except there are no volcanoes in the area. Scientists don't know exactly what the earthquakes mean, but they could be the result of molten rock rumbling away from the recognized earthquake faults off Oregon, said Robert Dziak, a geophysicist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Oregon State University. There have been more than 600 quakes over the past 10 days in a basin 150 miles southwest of Newport. The biggest was magnitude 5.4, and two others were more than magnitude 5.0, OSU reported. On the hydrophones, the quakes sound like low thunder and are unlike anything scientists have heard in 17 years of listening, Dziak said. Some of the quakes have also been detected by earthquake instruments on land. The hydrophones are left over from a network the Navy used to listen for submarines during the Cold War. They routinely detect passing ships, earthquakes on the ocean bottom and whales calling to one another. Scientists hope to send out an OSU research ship to take water samples, looking for evidence that sediment has been stirred up and chemicals that would indicate magma is moving up through the Juan de Fuca Plate, Dziak said. The quakes have not followed the typical pattern of a major shock followed by a series of diminishing aftershocks, and few have been strong enough to be felt on shore. The Earth's crust is made up of plates that rest on molten rock, which are rubbing together. When the molten rock, or magma, erupts through the crust, it creates volcanoes. That can happen in the middle of a plate. When the plates lurch against each other, they create earthquakes along the edges. In this case, the Juan de Fuca Plate is a small piece of crust being crushed between the Pacific Plate and North America, Dziak said.
| Earth Changes |


EU: Europe Needs More Say in World Economy Talks As Strong Euro Gains Ground Associated Press (April 11, 2008) - The European Union's top economy official has said that Europe deserved a greater say in the global economy as the strong euro gains ground as the world's second major currency. EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Friday that the rest of the world now sees the euro currency zone as "a pole of stability" and the currency had the potential to become even more important. The euro is now second to the weak U.S. dollar as a reserve currency held by foreign investors and has risen sharply against the dollar in recent months, hitting a new all-time high of $1.5912 on Thursday. Almunia said the euro area is now "playing an increasingly important role in supporting the stability of the world economy and the global financial system." "Non-EU countries increasingly perceive the euro area and the EU as a whole as a pole of stability, a source of new capital, and also a source of advice and expertise on regulatory approaches," he said in a speech to the Petersen Institute in Washington D.C. His prepared remarks were distributed ahead of time by his Brussels office. The EU official called for the 15 euro nations to share a single seat when world leaders meet to discuss the economy at the International Monetary Fund or the G-7 group of top seven industrialized nations. In the G-7, this would come at the expense of euro users Germany, France and Italy which now represent themselves at these talks. The euro's greater role carried some risks, he warned, because it increased the region's exposure to shocks from other parts of the world and "disruptive portfolio shifts" between major currencies. "It is precisely such shocks that are likely to occur more frequently in a world characterized by financial and economic globalization," he said. He again signaled worry about the U.S.' huge current account deficit, saying a sudden "unwinding" could hit Europe hard, since its currency is still appreciating against the dollar. The euro now makes up 26 percent of foreign exchange reserves and is the second most actively traded currency after the U.S. dollar on global foreign exchange markets. Euro-dollar trades are the most popular foreign exchange deals, accounting for more than a quarter of global turnover.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |