June 23, 2008

News for June 23, 2008

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Perot Charts: Charting Government Fiscal Irresponsibility - Why this web site now? Because we are running out of time. The American people must wake up and face the reality that promises made in the past will soon bankrupt this nation. These problems are explained in an easy-to-understand chart presentation discussed further at the bottom of this page. Comments to the charts and other material described to the right [at originating website linked above] are encouraged. more...
| America | Economic Crisis |


Russia Warns Israel Against Tehran Attack The Nation (June 24, 2008) - Russia, one of the world's major powers, has warned of "disasterous consequences" if Israel attacked Iran's nuclear facilities. "If things happen like threats of force and unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the [UN] Security Council, it is distracting from the negotiating process," Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, said when asked to comment on a newspaper report about a large military exercise carried out by Israel this month as a rehearsal for a bombing attack on Iran. On Saturday, The Washington Post said senior U.S. officials confirmed that Israel had held a massive operation that involved the types of warplanes, distances and maneuvers required for airstrikes on Iran, a story which was first reported by The New York Times. "A military move would have devastating consequences for the prospect of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, for the region and internationally," the Russian ambassador added. The Post said, "The mock (Israeli) operation reflected a growing policy schism over Iran among major international players at a time when U.S. politics may freeze major decisions until a new administration is in place, its officials are confirmed and a policy review is complete." more...
| Iran | Israel | Gog/Magog |


Ireland to hold second referendum The Australian (June 23, 2008) - THE Irish Government is expected to bow to Franco-German pressure and hold a second referendum to try to rescue the Lisbon treaty that voters rejected this month. The plan for a possible new vote in Ireland, being discussed by some ministers in Dublin, will be greeted with outrage by opponents of the treaty in Britain. Irish ministers say they might be able to rescue the treaty if they can secure concessions from Europe to placate voters on a list of issues. "A yes vote can be achieved if the Irish people are offered guarantees on issues like defence and taxation," said one senior Irish official. "The no campaign will be picked off one by one. Everyone has a price." The likely time for a new referendum is next spring so that the treaty can come into force before the June 2009 European election campaign for the Brussels parliament. The date is favoured by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. If the Irish vote no again, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown would have to choose between siding with Ireland to stop its citizens being turned into second-class Europeans or siding with France and Germany to push ahead with further EU integration. Concessions likely to be sought by Ireland include guarantees to protect its neutrality in the event of European armed forces being created, the reinstatement of its right to a European commissioner, and the right to set its own abortion laws and corporate tax rates. Mr Sarkozy is determined to "save" the EU as France takes over the rotating presidency on July 1. "It is not written down in the summit conclusions, but everyone agreed that we need to get out of this before next year's European elections," Mr Sarkozy said last week. He said European leaders had already mandated France to ensure the EU "does not grind to a halt". Both Mr Sarkozy and Ms Merkel have exerted subtle pressure on Ireland and its potential allies by threatening the end of the EU's enlargement east if theLisbon treaty does not come into force. The French President will visit Ireland on July 11 for talks with Brian Cowen, the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister. "We will try to make this 'no' an opportunity," he said, pledging to use "English pragmatism" to find a solution. The Irish Government has to decide its next move before the European Council meeting on October 15. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Israel on the Iran Brink Wall Street Journal (June 23, 2008) - Israel isn't famous for welcoming public scrutiny of its most sensitive military plans. But we doubt Jerusalem officials were dismayed to see news of their recent air force exercises splashed over the front pages of the Western press. Those exercises – reportedly involving about 100 fighters, tactical bombers, refueling planes and rescue helicopters – were conducted about 900 miles west of Israel's shores in the Mediterranean. Iran's nuclear facilities at Bushehr, Isfahan and Natanz all fall roughly within the same radius, albeit in the opposite direction. The point was not lost on Tehran, which promptly warned of "strong blows" in the event of a pre-emptive Israeli attack. The more important question is whether the meaning of Israel's exercise registered in Western capitals. It's been six years since Iran's secret nuclear programs were publicly exposed, and Israel has more or less bided its time as the Bush Administration and Europe have pursued diplomacy to induce Tehran to cease enriching uranium. It hasn't worked. Iran has rejected repeated offers of technical and economic assistance, most recently this month. Despite four years of pleading, the Administration has failed to win anything but weak U.N. sanctions. Russia plans to sell advanced antiaircraft missiles to Iran and finish work on a nuclear reactor at Bushehr, though spent fuel from that reactor could eventually be diverted and reprocessed into weapons-usable plutonium. Chinese companies still invest in Iran, while the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, has repeatedly downplayed Iran's nuclear threat. As for the U.S., December's publication of a misleading National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran had halted nuclear weaponization signaled America's own lack of seriousness toward Iranian ambitions. Barack Obama is leading in the Presidential polls and portrays as a virtue his promise to negotiate with Iran "without precondition" – i.e., without insisting that Tehran stop enriching uranium. All the while Iran continues to enrich, installing thousands of additional centrifuges of increasingly more sophisticated design while it buries key facilities underground. No wonder Israel is concluding that it will have to act on its own to prevent a nuclear Iran. Earlier this month, Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former army chief of staff, warned that "if Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack." Other officials distanced themselves from those remarks, but September's one-shot raid on Syria's nuclear reactor ought to be proof of Israel's determination. An Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear sites would of course look nothing like the Syrian operation. The distances are greater; the targets are hardened, defended and dispersed; hundreds of sorties and several days would be required. Iran would retaliate, with the help of Hezbollah and Hamas, possibly sparking a regional conflict as large as the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Mr. ElBaradei predicted this weekend that such an attack would turn the Middle East into a "ball of fire," yet his own apologies for Iran and the West's diplomatic failures are responsible for bringing the region to this pass. They have convinced the mullahs that the powers responsible for maintaining world order lack the will to stop Iran. Israelis surely don't welcome a war in which they will suffer. Yet they have no choice but to defend themselves against an enemy that vows to obliterate them if Iran acquires the weapon to do so. The tragic paradox of the past six years is that the diplomatic and intelligence evasions offered in the name of avoiding war with Iran have done the most to bring us close to this brink. Appeasement that ends in war is a familiar theme of history.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |


You. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Get. Food. - report on trends Culture Change (June 20, 2008) - The empire of cheap food is crumbling. You. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Get. Food. Need this be spelled out any more plainly? It is time to consider that the stage has been set for petroleum-induced famine. We have "innocently" accommodated rising population with greater and greater food production via technology and the profit motive. But now we have run out of room to grow, as biotechnology, for example, has severe limitations -- major ones being petroleum dependence and topsoil loss. The biggest wild card for our existence is climate change, as we see with floods and other extreme weather affecting our food supply. We are headed for massive shortages of food and other essentials, mainly brought about by the depletion of geological fossil reserves of cheap energy and water. The situation is demonstrated regularly with easy arithmetic based on statistical indicators from the United Nations, Worldwatch Institute, World Resources Institute, Earth Policy Institute, and numerous governments. Usually the full force of the message is offset by predictions of huge rises in future human population growth that are simple extrapolations of historical trends. No one can say with certainty that the worst effects of today's crisis will occur tomorrow or by any particular date. But it is irrational to assume there will only be gradual tightening of supplies until some solutions miraculously come to our aid. One ought to at least admit that one year ago few people thought we'd be going in the direction we're going in, this fast, today. Three days is our average food supply around the modernized world, i.e., for cities and their supermarkets. Long-term food stocks have plummeted: "Cereal stocks that are at their lowest level in 30 years," according to Worldwatch institute in its most recent Vital Signs. This is exacerbated by increasingly weirder weather, compounded by the oil price/supply pressure on food. What can interfere with the three-day situation are truckers on strike (as in Europe), extended/repeated power outages, and the inability of the work force to commute to work. I asked Chris Flavin, Worldwatch Institute president, about the escalating crisis that I assumed he was quite worried about. He told me on Wednesday,

"A lot will depend on the crop year and the weather. There is slack in the food supply system from meat consumption, for example. One steak's energy requirement is the same as one gallon of ethanol. I see the glass half full and don't have an apocalyptic view. We're seeing fuel economy improvements and other self-correcting mechanisms. There's $100 billion in renewable energy investment this year. We needed this crisis to start changing toward conservation. The pendulum is swinging again, as it did in the 1970s. We're not going off the end of the cliff on peak oil. Production declines will be gradual." I sent him my thoughts on the latter, with my thanks. I sure was surprised that he wasn't half as worried as I am. Maybe he does not see as much of a problem the fact that the nation's infrastructure is petroleum-based. He probably would not agree with me that the Earth is being murdered along with us human beings.

Zap! A global-warming heat wave kills many thousands in a U.S. city. Other cities take note, realizing their own cities are "like the one that got zapped last weekend." Between the water supply problems, energy overload for air conditioning, rising prices for food, water and gasoline, people try to escape the urban heat island effect. Too many consumers stocking up and trying to split town exacerbated the tragedy. When cities run out of food, and people want to leave en masse, they will get stuck in traffic jams the way fleeing (potential) victims of Hurricane Rita did in 2005. Will survivors be the ones who had the fullest gas tanks? Will these survivors also require guns to obtain food outside the city, whether by hunting or sticking up some hapless or well-armed locals? Culture Change's reports do not intend to add to hysteria. Indeed, if only there were no reason to be alarmed. But looking at our collective situation, it is difficult to see how wrenching shortages are avoidable. The consequence of reactions to these shortages will not be pretty. Without facing this, and taking action to prevent it, our Ship of Fools is on a course to hit the rocks. more...
| 3rd Seal |


Police chase UFO over Cardiff Telegraph UK (June 20, 2008) - A police helicopter crew gave chase to a UFO after it almost collided with their aircraft near a military base. The pilot was forced to bank sharply to avoid being hit by the mystery aircraft as the helicopter was returning to the Ministry of Defence base of St Athan, near Cardiff. The three crew, who described the UFO as 'flying saucer-shaped', then gave chase, getting as far as the North Devon coast before they ran low on fuel, it was reported. The police aircraft was hovering at 500ft and waiting clearance to land on June 7, when those onboard spotted the other craft hurtling towards them from below. A spokesman for South Wales Police said: "We can confirm the Air Support Unit sighted an unusual aircraft. This was reported to the relevant authorities for their investigation." It was reported that the aircraft closed in at great speed, aiming straight for the helicopter which swerved sharply. "They are convinced it was a UFO. It sounds far-fetched, but they know what they saw." The helicopter crew are said to have crossed the Bristol channel in pursuit of the UFO, but lost sight of it and had to turn back due to a fuel shortage. The sighting comes weeks after the most comprehensive Government files on UFO activity are opened to the public for the first time today and they disclose that even air traffic controllers and police officers have seen mysterious craft in the skies over Britain. The sightings range from incredible tales of little green men visiting the Wirral to corroborated accounts from policemen and pilots of Unidentified Flying Objects hovering above towns and cities. All were recorded on official forms, held by air bases and police stations, and compiled by the Ministry of Defence between 1978 and 2002.
| UFO |


State denies cancer treatment, offers suicide instead WorldNet Daily (June 19, 2008) - State officials have offered a lung cancer patient the option of having the Oregon Health Plan, set up in 1994 to ration health care, pay for an assisted suicide but not for the chemotherapy prescribed by her physician. The story appears to be a happy ending for Barbara Wagner, who has been notified by a drug manufacturer that it will provide the expensive medication, estimated to cost $4,000 a month, for the first year and then allow her to apply for further treatment, according to a report in the Eugene Register-Guard. But the word from the state was coverage for palliative care, which would include the state's assisted suicide program, would be allowed but not coverage for the cancer treatment drugs. "To say to someone, we'll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it's cruel," Wagner told the newspaper. "I get angry. Who do they think they are?" She said she was devastated when the state health program refused coverage for Tarceva, the drug her doctor ordered for treatment of her lung cancer. The refusal came in an unsigned letter from LIPA, the company that runs the state program in that part of Oregon. "We had no intent to upset her, but we do need to point out the options available to her under the Oregon Health Plan," Dr. John Sattenspiel, senior medical director for LIPA, told the newspaper. "I understand the way it was interpreted. I'm not sure how we can lift that. The reality is, at some level (doctor-assisted suicide) could be considered as a palliative or comfort care measure." more...


Millions displaced after east Indian floods Russian News & Information Agency (June 19, 2008) - More than two million people have been left homeless after floods swept across eastern India over the past week, national radio reported on Thursday. Unexpected heavy rain began lashing the area last Thursday, nearly two weeks ahead of the monsoon season, which usually occurs in the country from early July to September. So far, at least 35 people have been killed and some 800 villages have been flooded. Over 350,000 people from the flooded villages have taken shelter in camps set up by the Indian government. Troops have been deployed in the worst-hit areas. Weather forecasters predict more rain in the next 24 hours in West Bengal and Orissa.
| Earth Changes |


RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert Telegraph UK (June 19, 2008) - The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks. "A very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah, the bank's credit strategist. A report by the bank's research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as "all the chickens come home to roost" from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets. Such a slide on world bourses would amount to one of the worst bear markets over the last century. RBS said the iTraxx index of high-grade corporate bonds could soar to 130/150 while the "Crossover" index of lower grade corporate bonds could reach 650/700 in a renewed bout of panic on the debt markets. "I do not think I can be much blunter. If you have to be in credit, focus on quality, short durations, non-cyclical defensive names. "Cash is the key safe haven. This is about not losing your money, and not losing your job," said Mr Janjuah, who became a City star after his grim warnings last year about the credit crisis proved all too accurate. RBS expects Wall Street to rally a little further into early July before short-lived momentum from America's fiscal boost begins to fizzle out, and the delayed effects of the oil spike inflict their damage. "Globalisation was always going to risk putting G7 bankers into a dangerous corner at some point. We have got to that point," he said. US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank both face a Hobson's choice as workers start to lose their jobs in earnest and lenders cut off credit. The authorities cannot respond with easy money because oil and food costs continue to push headline inflation to levels that are unsettling the markets. "The ugly spoiler is that we may need to see much lower global growth in order to get lower inflation," he said. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |


Leading UFO Researchers Confirm Christian View Article Directory (June 19, 2008) - A general consensus has emerged among serious, science oriented UFO researchers that a certain small percentage of UFOs are real and are not figments of anyone's imagination. Furthermore, it is well known that many individuals claim to receive messages from alleged extra-terrestials aboard UFOs. The messages received from UFOs are generally occultic and steer people away from belief in Christian doctrine. Extra-terrestials tend to undermine or attack the Christian faith. Christian scholars and researchers have responded to this attack. In this article I will show that leading UFO researchers, many of whom are agnostic, have come around to generally support the Christian position on UFO phenomena. After all the UFO sightings have been carefully analyzed and most explained away as natural phenomena the remaining UFOs, called residual UFOs (RUFOs) are regarded as real. They are real yet the leading researchers say they are not metallic spacecraft from distant stars or planets. Astronomers who have devoted their careers to studying UFOs point to the fact that UFO flight patterns defy the laws of physics such as turning and accelerating so fast that any metal spaceship would disintegrate even if the metal spaceship was a solid iron ball. Furthermore, UFOs are seen in the atmosphere and not observed coming in from outer space. UFO sightings have been reported throughout history. Ancient literature describes 'aerial people' and 'cloud ships' in terms that correspond to modern UFO sightings. In 1691 a Scottish minister wrote a book describing how Scottish farmers were harassed by paranormal entities similar to the UFOs of our time. All of us are aware of the many UFO cults that have sprung up. There have even been television specials devoted to UFO phenomena. Francis Crick, Nobel prize winning co-discoverer of DNA, calculated the probability of proteins forming by random collisions of atoms in the primordial ooze. Crick found it so remotely improbable that proteins and other building blocks of life could form by chance on earth that he decided that aliens from outer space must have brought life to earth. Crick's theory that claims that aliens brought life to earth is called the "Guided Panspermia Theory" of life origins. This new theory of life origins gave momentum to UFO research. Close encounters of the fourth kind are when people (almost invariably occultists and New Agers) are actually abducted and communicate with the aliens. The aliens generally give messages with deep religious impact that steer people away from Christianity. Let's consider the following quote: "For example, 'The Urantia Book,' a tome supposedly communicated to humans by spirit dictation from 'superuniverse rulers,' spends the first two-thirds of its 2,097 pages describing a 'universe of universes' that is not subject to space and time" The quote continues: "The last third of this UFO bible denies the full deity of Jesus Christ and humanity's need for salvation from its sinful condition." (Quoted from Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFOs and Extraterrestials by Ross, Samples and Clark p. 122.) It seems plain from the above quote and from abundant other evidence that the aliens oppose Christian doctrine. This leads me to believe that the aliens are actually demons. It is also very interesting and revealing to note that many of the best UFO researchers seem to be coming around to a view that undergirds and supports the Christian view that demons are involved. Astronomer J. Alan Hynek and the late French physicist Jacques Vallee are perhaps the most respected UFO researchers in the world. Both are agnostics. No one can consider them Christians with a theological ax to grind. Both men have made what I consider to be very bold statements that clearly undergird the Christian position that spiritual entities are behind UFO phenomena. For example, Hynek said that UFOs cause physical effects "in the same way that a poltergeist can produce very real physical effects." Vallee said "The UFO phenomenon represents evidence for other dimensions beyond spacetime . . . It is a spiritual system that acts on humans and uses humans." There are many other quotes I could cite. Vallee was the leading proponent of the Interdimensional Hypothesis which is the view that UFOs come from another dimension (Christians like me would say the other dimension is the dimension of spirit) and not from interstellar travel. Many prominent born-again Christian scholars such as David Allen Lewis have done research on UFO phenomena. It seems clear to them that demons are using UFOs to deceive millions and prepare them to embrace an occultic, 'New Age' type of faith. Some say that UFOs and the teachings that proceed from them are preparing the world to receive the coming antichrist. I will close this article by mentioning the fact that there have been documented cases of close encounters of the fourth kind, which are abductions of people by UFOs, that have actually been stopped when the people involved called out the name of Jesus. In other words the people appealed to the atoning work of Christ who died for our sins. When they cried out to Jesus the demons attempting the abduction ceased their activity. The demons fear the power of Christ and must submit to the power of Christ because Christ is the Son of God. See the April 2001 issue of Charisma magazine for documentation of UFO abductions that were stopped in this way. A major source for this article was Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFOs and Extraterrestials by Ross, Samples and Clark.
| UFO |

I would like to add a link to an interview with L.A. Marzulli on Coast To Coast AM on June 19, 2008. You can listen to the interview on YouTube in 12 parts starting here. He lays out the coming deception very well. I would like to share the audio, but there are copyright issues. I tend to agree with him regarding the convergence of the New Age idea of humanism and the possibility of these UFOs, being of the dark persuasion, deceiving mankind with their appearance and claims to have created religion, causing a shift that will lead to worship of the man of sin. There are many details that could go different ways, but given the possibilities and how it fits with Biblical Christianity its something I think we should be aware of.

EU Presses Ahead With Treaty Ratification Despite Irish "No" Deutsche Welle (June 18, 2008) - Ahead of a summit in Brussels, the European Union called Wednesday for the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty to continue despite its crushing rejection by Irish voters last week. A planned two-day European Union summit which opens on Thursday, June 19, meant to focus on weighty topics such as rising oil prices is likely to be overshadowed by the institutional crisis plaguing the bloc after Irish voters last week resoundingly rejected the Lisbon treaty. Ireland plunged the European Union into chaos last week when 53 percent of voters rejected the treaty meant to streamline the bloc's cumbersome institutions and to make it more efficient after a recent eastward expansion. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who will act as chair for the last time as president of the European Union, insists that "not a single item has been dropped from the official agenda because of what happened in Ireland." "Leaders will want to show that they are paying attention to what matters to consumers, which is oil and food prices," one diplomat told news agency DPA. Yet despite their best intentions, EU leaders will inevitably focus on the institutional chaos sparked by Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on the EU heads of state and government to take time at Thursday and Friday's summit in Brussels to find a consensus together with Ireland. "We must work very closely with the Irish government to help solve this problem," Barroso told members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday after being harangued by a group of deputies wearing green sweat shirts emblazoned: "Respect the Irish Vote." But the Social Democrats warned of a "crisis of trust" in EU institutions. It was worrying that all the major Irish parties had called for a yes vote and the electorate had still voted no, Social Democrat faction leader Martin Schulz said. According to leaked results of an EU survey published on Tuesday by the Irish Independent, many of the people who voted no in the referendum did so either because they did not understand the treaty, or because they had other concerns, such as immigration and unemployment. Moreover, 70 percent of those who rejected the treaty thought it could be easily renegotiated. One possible solution is for Ireland to be granted a number of concessions before being asked to vote again, either in the autumn or early next year. In the meantime, leaders have called for the remaining eight national parliaments to ratify the treaty and have avoided talking about a "two-speed Europe," whereby some member states would go ahead with further integration, leaving the sceptics behind. "We want to continue with a one-speed Europe," Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa said on Tuesday. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Mississippi levee buckles under rising waters Breitbart (June 17, 2008) - Rising waters burst through an overtaxed levee on the Mississippi River Tuesday, sending gushing torrents into an Illinois town as the sodden US midwest reels from days of epic flooding. The levee break left Highway 34 at Gulfport, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, under water prompting officials to close a bridge to the neighboring town of Burlington and creating havoc for commuters. News reports said a flash flood warning was in effect Tuesday in Henderson County, Illinois as a result of surging waters from the levee break. More than 1,000 Illinois National Guard troops were working alongside hundreds of inmates from the state's prisons to shore up levees throughout the state, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency told CNN. "We were very, very disappointed that this levee broke today," said emergency official Patti Thompson, adding the imposing Mississippi, "is a very powerful river and it can be hard to harness" even in drier times, let alone during record flooding. Officials had anticipated that the levees could be a weak point and had sought to shore them up with sand bags, she said, adding: "We have been focusing quite a bit on all of these levees." President George W. Bush vowed Tuesday to help flood-ravaged states get back on their feet, and was due to tour neighboring devastated Iowa on Thursday. "I fully understand people are upset when they lose their home. A person's home is their most valued possession," Bush said, adding he had been briefed by administration officials on the disaster. "We want to work with state and local folks to have a clear strategy to help people find -- get back into a place that -- where they can live," the president said, adding that housing and fresh water were the top priorities. Bush, who was sharply criticized for the administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, is to visit Iowa with a federal disaster response team. "I'm going to take our team down to meet with the folks in Iowa," he said, adding, "unfortunately I've been to too many disasters as president." more...
| America | Earth Changes |

Midwest flooding spurs record corn prices

Flooding hits southern China Independent Television News (June 16, 2008) - Over a million people have been forced to flee their homes after flooding in southern China. At least 57 people have died after massive flooding across nine provinces. The flooding comes just a month after 70,000 people were killed in the earthquake in the southwest province of Sichuan. With continued tremors in the hillsides, officials have decided to relocate 50,000 residents at risk of landslides in Wenchuan County, the epicentre of the earthquake. Last week, county officials told threatened residents to move to safer areas, and troops had relocated 3,000 by Monday. Heavy rain is expected over the next ten days in the Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces which will further raise water levels downstream, especially in the coastal manufacturing area of Guangdong.
| Earth Changes |


Does God Sanction Mystical Experiences? Lighthouse Trails Research (June 16, 2008) - For many years during my research, I would come across the term contemplative prayer. Immediately I would dismiss any thought that it had a New Age connotation because I thought it meant to ponder while praying--which would be the logical association with that term. But in the New Age disciplines, things are not always what they seem to be to untrained ears. What contemplative prayer actually entails is described very clearly by the following writer:

When one enters the deeper layers of contemplative prayer one sooner or later experiences the void, the emptiness, the nothingness ... the profound mystical silence ... an absence of thought.1

To my dismay, I discovered this "mystical silence" is accomplished by the same methods used by New Agers to achieve their silence--the mantra and the breath! Contemplative prayer is the repetition of what is referred to as a prayer word or sacred word until one reaches a state where the soul, rather than the mind, contemplates God. Contemplative prayer teacher and Zen master Willigis Jager brought this out when he postulated:

Do not reflect on the meaning of the word; thinking and reflecting must cease, as all mystical writers insist. Simply "sound" the word silently, letting go of all feelings and thoughts.2

...One of the most well-known writings on the subject is the classic 14th century treatise, The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous author. It is essentially a manual on contemplative prayer inviting a beginner to:

Take just a little word, of one syllable rather than of two. With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought under the cloud of forgetting.3

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced--the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced.... So the question we as Christians must ask ourselves is, "Why not? Why shouldn't we incorporate this mystical prayer practice into our lives?" The answer to this is actually found in Scripture. While certain instances in the Bible describe mystical experiences, I see no evidence anywhere of God sanctioning man-initiated mysticism. Legitimate mystical experiences were always initiated by God to certain individuals for certain revelations and was never based on a method for the altering of consciousness. In Acts 11:5, Peter fell into a trance while in prayer. But it was God, not Peter, who initiated the trance and facilitated it.

By definition, a mystic, on the other hand, is someone who uses rote methods in an attempt to tap into their inner divinity. Those who use these methods put themselves into a trance state outside of God's sanction or protection and thus engage in an extremely dangerous approach. Besides, nowhere in the Bible are such mystical practices prescribed. For instance, the Lord, for the purpose of teaching people a respect for His holiness and His plans, instated certain ceremonies for His people (especially in the Old Testament). Nonetheless, Scripture contains no reference in which God promoted mystical practices. The gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the New Testament were supernatural in nature but did not fall within the confines of mysticism. God bestowed spiritual gifts without the Christian practicing a method beforehand to get God's response.

Proponents of contemplative prayer would respond with, What about Psalms 46:10? "Be still and know that I am God." This verse is often used by those promoting contemplative prayer. On the surface, this argument can seem valid, but once the meaning of "still" is examined, any contemplative connection is expelled. The Hebrew meaning of the word is to slacken, cease, or abate. In other words, the context is to slow down and trust God rather than get in a dither over things. Relax and watch God work.... This isn't talking about going into some altered state of consciousness!

It should also be pointed out that being born again, in and of itself, is mystical. But it is a direct act of God, initiated by Him--the Holy Spirit has regenerated the once-dead spirit of man into a living spirit through Christ. Yet, we notice that even in this most significant of experiences when one is "passed from death into life" (John 5:24), God accomplishes this without placing the individual in an altered state of consciousness.

We can take this a step further by looking at the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts, chapter 2 where those present were "all filled with the Holy Spirit" (vs. 4). Notice that they were "all with one accord in one place" (vs. 1) when the Holy Spirit descended on them. From the context of the chapter, it is safe to assume this was a lively gathering of believers engaged in intelligent conversation. Then, when those present began to speak in other tongues, it was not an episode of mindless babbling or vain repetition as in a mantra. Rather it was an event of coherent speech significant enough to draw a crowd who exclaimed, "we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God" (vs. 11). Other observers who suspected they were in an altered state of consciousness said, "They are full of new wine" (vs. 13). Notice that Peter was quick to correct this group in asserting that they were all fully conscious. Would it not then stand to reason that their minds were not in any kind of altered state? Next, Peter delivered one of the most carefully articulated speeches recorded in Scripture. This was certainly not a group of men in a trance.

So, through the lens of perhaps the two most meaningful mystical experiences recorded in the New Testament (i.e., being born again and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost), an altered state of consciousness was never sought after nor was it achieved. In fact, a complete search of both Old and New Testaments reveals there were only two types of experiences sanctioned by God where the recipient is not fully awake--namely dreams and visions--and in each case the experience is initiated by God. Conversely, every instance of a self-induced trance recorded in Scripture is adamantly condemned by God as we see summarized in the following verses:

Deuteronomy 18:9-11
When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

An examination of the Hebrew meanings of the terms used in the above verses shows that much of what is being spoken of is the invoking of spells. And a spell, used in this context, refers to a trance. In other words, when God induces a trance it is in the form of a dream or a vision. When man induces a trance, it is in the form of a spell or hypnosis. And remember, nowhere in the Bible is the silence equated with the "power of God," but the message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18) most certainly is!

Notes:
1.William Johnston, Letters to Contemplatives, op. cit., p. 13.
2.Willigis Jager, Contemplation: A Christian Path (Triumph Books, 1994), p. 31.
3.Ken Kaisch, Finding God, cited from The Cloud of Unknowing, p. 223
| Apostasy |

This came from the Lighthouse Trails Newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. I would like to add some research of scripture I did myself as well regarding meditation. In today's world, the idea of meditation seems to correlate with this altered state of mindlessness. The Eastern practices of clearing the mind have taken over many of the ideas of what meditation really should be from a Biblical standpoint. So I did a search of scripture under the word "meditation" and "meditate." A common thread through these were the fact that the meditation wasn't a blanking of the mind, but rather the focusing on God's Word and meditating on that.
Psalm 1
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Psalm 119:15; 92-101
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
Psalm 143:5
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
1 Timothy 4
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
When understanding that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Romans 10:17, we can see that faith isn't blind as is also posited by many in the world, but faith grows with our understanding of God's Word, our meditation on it. We are not blind in our faith, but our understanding of God's Word offers the evidence of Truth and in the study of Bible prophecy it shows that God says what He means and means what He says, telling the end from the beginning and ensuring His bride is not in darkness. Only by the meditation on God's Word do we have a light and the guidance to understand the signs of the times and how our lives should be led, focused on Yeshua the author and finisher of our faith.
Psalm 119:104-106
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
Mark 13:32-37
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Oklahoma to feds: Don't tread on me WorldNet Daily (June 16, 2008) - Steamed over a perceived increase in federal usurping of states' rights, Oklahoma's House of Representatives told Washington, D.C., to back off. Joint House Resolution 1089, passed by an overwhelming 92-3 margin, reasserts Oklahoma's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and, according to the resolution's own language, is "serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates." The Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Traditionally, this language has meant that the federal government is limited in its scope and cannot usurp the sovereign powers of states. In recent decades, however, as the size and reach of the federal government has expanded, many have come to question whether Washington has stepped on states' rights and gotten too big for its breeches. Charles Key, the Republican state representative who authored the resolution, told WND that he introduced it because he believes the federal government's overstepping of its bounds has put our constitutional form of government in danger. "The more we stand by and watch the federal government get involved in areas where it has no legal authority, we kill the Constitution a little at a time," he said. "The last few decades, the Constitution has been hanging by a thread." Specifically, Resolution 1089 says the following:

"The State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."

The resolution resolves that Oklahoma will "serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers." It also instructs that "a copy of this resolution be distributed to the president of the United States, the president of the United States Senate, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate of each state's legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Oklahoma congressional delegation." The resolution does not, as some have speculated, amount to secession, but it does send a warning signal to Washington: Oklahoma does not intend to be bullied by big brother government. more...
| America |


Earthquake caused strong vertical shaking Daily Yomiuri Online (June 15, 2008) - The violent earthquake that struck the Tohoku region Saturday morning reportedly caused a violent up-and-down shaking that lasted about two minutes, triggering landslides in mountainous areas. Some reports have been received of vehicles being swallowed up by landslides. The quake, which measured upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in areas including Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, also damaged hotels and stores, injured children at a nursery school, blocked roads and jolted a bus carrying 27 people heading off on vacation. It severely disrupted transport networks in many areas and sparked the automatic shutdown of the Tohoku Shinkansen line. With aftershocks continuing, the damage from the temblor seems to be worsening with the passage of time. The bus carrying 27 holidaymakers, including employees of a life insurance company from Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, was hit by the earthquake as it crossed a bridge between Natori and Sendai in the prefecture. The passengers were heading to Sendai Airport to go on a company vacation. Twenty-five passengers reportedly were injured. A pale-looking passenger who suffered a neck injury said the bus bounced three or four times as it was traveling. A landslide blocked off National Highway Route 397 near Ishibuchi Dam in Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, about 20 kilometers from JR Mizusawa Station. A 58-year-old Sendai company employee was climbing a mountain in the area when the quake struck at 8:43 a.m. "I'd been climbing for about 30 minutes when water suddenly gushed out like a fountain from the middle of a swamp," the man said from the point to which he had descended near the dam. "I thought I was going to die, but I managed to get back to the bottom after an hour." Six children and a teacher at a nursery school in Oshu were injured by broken glass from windowpanes that shattered in the quake. A wall at a store in Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, collapsed onto the pavement. "There was a huge thumping noise before the wall collapsed," said a 43-year-old woman who runs a butcher shop in the city. "I've never felt it shake like that before." more...
| Earth Changes |


Eye on the EU: The Trouble With Iron and Clay Fulfilled Prophecy (June 14, 2008) - The Lisbon Treaty was rejected Thursday by Irish voters. What does their vote mean for the EU and for the WEU Ten? Guest columnist Mishael Meir — an attorney with interest in EU legal development — answers this question. Ireland’s “No” vote on the Lisbon Treaty tells us just how brittle the EU structure really is. The existing EU treaties gave rise to a power-thirsty oligarchic government that overlays 27 sovereign democracies. It’s quite a brittle blend of iron and clay, an iron fist attempting to rule over the pliable clay of democracy. Having bullied the vote on the Lisbon Treaty out of citizens’ hands from all but one democracy, the EU heads of state concocted a bait and switch: get Ireland to say yes by hiding their plans for expansion of the EU military and security mechanisms until after the Irish had voted. See here, here and here. Up until the vote results came in early Friday morning, EU leaders had been huddled behind closed doors, divvying up the power they hoped would soon be handed over by the member states under the Lisbon Treaty. As reality sets in and finger pointing begins, the EU leaders may again pressure the Irish to reconsider and hold a second referendum, just like they did in 2001 when they agreed to insert stronger provisions to preserve Ireland’s neutrality as incentive for the Irish to approve the Nice Treaty on their second vote. More immediately, the EU will press its member states to continue with the remaining ratifications through 2008. Without these outcomes, the EU won’t be able to assess how much work is needed to fashion yet another means to what they call “institutional efficiency.” See here. But more on that later. What could deepen this crisis even further is that the EU could see more “No” votes in coming months. Thus far, 18 state parliaments have voted “Yes,” Ireland’s citizens have voted “No,” and eight parliamentary votes remain. Citizens in the UK and the Netherlands will bring increasing pressure on their governments to allow them to vote instead of their parliaments. See here and here. Without getting the Irish on board and collecting the remaining ratifications, it will be nearly impossible for the EU to enact the failed constitution/Lisbon Treaty under yet another treaty or by legislation. See here. That’s because for EU power to have legitimacy, it has to have at least the semblance of democratic consent. See here. It doesn’t look like it is going to get it. Meanwhile, the WEU Ten Is the Only Alliance Standing. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Ireland's no vote: Europe is not going away Times Online (June 14, 2008) - It took hundreds of pages of the Federalist papers, a few dozen men locked for weeks in a sealed room in Philadelphia and a bloody civil war for the US constitution to be accepted. So the little local difficulties in France, the Netherlands and now Ireland must be seen in a broader perspective. Anti-Europeans are lacing their champagne with Guinness as they celebrate the “no” vote and proclaim with W.B. Yeats “all changed, changed utterly”. Yet the EU, its Commission, existing treaties and directives will still be in place tomorrow. Europe has been here before and will be again. Ireland's “no” campaigners accused the wordy Lisbon treaty of introducing abortion and high taxes, and abolishing peat-cutting, union rights and Irish neutrality. Then Alistair Darling gave a speech saying that Ireland's beloved Common Agricultural Policy should be pruned and Peter Mandelson promised to reduce agricultural protectionism to help the Doha trade talks. The chance to kick British bigwigs and their own former prime minister, now helping the authorities with their inquires, was too tempting. As the money men, the Socialist Workers' Party, the Unite union and Sinn Fein enjoy their weekend of joy, Ireland and the rest of Europe will wake up on Monday with a headache but not much else. Not a single Eurocrat will lose his job. The bloated 27-strong Commission may even breathe a sigh of relief as a little-noticed clause in the treaty cut its size. The loss of a guaranteed EU Commission seat for Ireland was one argument used by the “no” campaign to defeat the treaty - the first time that Eurosceptics have sprung to the defence of the Brussels bureaucracy instead of wanting it slimmed down. The big losers are Turkey and Croatia. British Tory Eurosceptics hypocritically proclaim their support for Turkish accession, but know that demanding referendums on future treaties means an end to enlargement. No EU treaty can come into force until all signatory nations ratify it. But Ireland represents 1 per cent of the EU's total population and some old-fashioned democrats may feel that 1 per cent does not outweigh the rest of Europe's nations which are saying “yes” to the treaty. But the rules are clear. Had the Irish voted “yes” and the British Parliament voted “no”, it is unlikely that Open Europe and Stuart Wheeler would describe the Irish popular vote as superior to one by Britain's sovereign parliament. But amid the clamour from anti-EU campaigners in Britain and other nations to ignore sovereign parliamentary decisions, some way forward will have to be found. So what now? First, the Irish Government must tell its 26 EU partners what happened and why. Secondly, other European nations must stay calm, despite the screeching of the “no” camp for instant repudiation of the treaty. Many countries have voted not once but twice for a new EU rule book. They will be sore that the French and the Dutch, and now the Irish, have blocked new rules deemed necessary to make Europe work better. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |

It will be interesting to see how this plays into the development of Europe. With Turkey also losing even more the opportunity to join the EU, where might they turn to ally themselves if Europe rejects them?

Nicolas Sarkozy plans to bypass Irish no vote Telegraph UK (June 13, 2008) - Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, is working with European Union officials and diplomats to plan a special "legal arrangement" to bypass Ireland's referendum rejection. Mr Sarkozy takes over the EU's rotating presidency in July and will be tasked with resurrecting, for a second time, Lisbon Treaty proposals first contained in the European Constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters three years ago. Diplomats and officials have no intention of letting the Irish no vote sink a blueprint to boost the EU's powers on the international stage and to create a President of Europe. Gordon Brown has already phoned Paris to promise Mr Sarkozy that Britain will ignore Ireland to continue parliamentary ratification of the EU Treaty. Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French Europe Minister, has hinted that Paris already has a legal "fix", such as plans revealed in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, to keep the EU Treaty alive. "The most important thing is that the ratification process must continue in the other countries and then we shall see with the Irish what type of legal arrangement could be found," he said. "We must remain within the framework of the Lisbon treaty." Eight countries are still engaged in parliamentary ratification of the Treaty but are expected to have finished, without any upsets by the autumn. Plans to find a "mechanism" keeping Ireland within the EU but temporarily outside the Lisbon Treaty will then be tabled at an October or December meeting of Europe's leaders. "Ireland must not stop the process of getting the Treaty through. Then we can take stock," said a diplomat close to negotiations. Mr Brown will join Mr Sarkozy and other EU leaders at a Brussels summit next Thursday to vow that it is business as usual on pushing the Treaty through. There are advanced plans in Brussels for a "bridging mechanism" to allow Ireland to be removed from the list of signatories to the Lisbon Treaty after the EU's 26 other member states have ratified it.' Ireland will continue to remain in the euro and be covered by existing Treaties but will be left out of the creation of an EU president and foreign minister, which would proceed as planned. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Lisbon No vote: What happens next? RTE News (June 13, 2008) - With Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, politicians and pundits in Ireland and across Europe are talking about what will happen next. Government leaders have described the situation post-vote as 'uncharted territory'. Taoiseach Brian Cowen said he did not have an answer to what happens next, but would have to go to next week's European summit to see if there is a consensus on the way forward. Mr Cowen appeared to rule out a second referendum during the campaign, but speaking to RTÉ's Bryan Dobson this evening he said that at this point he could not rule anything 'out or in, up or down'. The fact that Ireland has already been made to vote again once after it rejected the Nice treaty in 2001 makes the idea improbable, but not impossible. Minister John Gormley said this treaty was Plan B and he does not know what Plan C is. Minister Gormley said it would be problematic to go back to the people because he does not know what could be added. He said that Ireland cannot gain any more concessions. He said that under Nice each country will still lose a commissioner. In the short term, the Irish vote means the new positions of a permanent president of the European Council of EU leaders and a stronger foreign policy chief with a real diplomatic service will be delayed. The EU will be weakened internationally, notably in dealings with difficult powers such as Russia and Iran, by having to limp on with dysfunctional foreign policy and defence institutions, and by the sheer loss of face, diplomats said. Pending legislation to fight climate change, promote energy efficiency and open the EU internal energy market to more competition should not be delayed by the Irish vote, they said. It remains unclear exactly what course the EU and Ireland will follow, but the ratification process in other countries looks set to continue. The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty 'must continue' in other member states despite Ireland's rejection in a referendum, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has stressed. 'The ratification process is made up of 27 national processes, 18 member states have already approved the treaty, and the European Commission believes that the remaining ratifications should continue to take their course,' Mr Barroso told journalists. France's European affairs minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet said the EU could negotiate a 'legal arrangement' with Ireland to avert a crisis. But he agreed, along with other European leaders who have made statements, that 'the most important thing is that the ratification process must continue in the other countries.' 'Then we shall see with the Irish what type of legal arrangement could be found,' the French minister said. The Netherlands, which rejected the EU constitution three years ago, will continue ratifying the Lisbon treaty despite its apparent rejection by Ireland, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said. The Head of the Socialist Grouping in the European Parliament has said he is very worried about the information coming from Ireland. Speaking in Brussels, German MEP Martin Schulz said that if there was a No vote in Ireland it would be one of the biggest problems in the EU for a long time. He said that it is now up to the Irish Government to explain to Europe how we should proceed. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek warned that the Irish result would lead to 'political complications'. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said even with a No vote on the Lisbon Treaty, the EU would look for ways to bring the treaty into effect. He said the referendum in Ireland won't disqualify the treaty. Antonio Missiroli of the European Policy Centre think tank said the vote triggered a European political crisis that required strong leadership in Ireland, in Brussels and key member states.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |


Fate of Lisbon Treaty rests on Irish referendum Telegraph UK (June 13, 2008) - The fate of Europe lay in the hands of the Irish electorate after they were given the opportunity of a vote denied to the British people. The outcome of the referendum, which will see Ireland's 2.8 million registered voters determine the future of the EU's 495 million citizens, was still too close to call when the polls closed on Thursday night. A low turnout threatened to see the major European Union (EU) reform defeated. While the Yes campaign took comfort in the fact voting levels increased from the earlier low of 20 per cent, initial indications estimated a turnout of 40 per cent. Academics who have studied earlier Irish polls predicted a 45 per cent turnout was the minimum required to deliver a Yes vote, but while in Dublin there were signs of levels reaching the 40-45 per cent, outside the capital, estimates were often lower. A vigorous "no" campaign led by Declan Ganley, the multimillionaire leader of the Libertas group and a son of Irish emigrants, had seen the rival camps draw level in opinion polls. Ireland's main political parties urged their supporters to back the treaty and the formidable political machine of the ruling Fianna Fail party rallied supporters. The contest even saw a Papal intervention, with Pope Benedict XVI appearing to encourage Catholic Ireland to vote yes. In St Peter's Square, the Pontiff paid tribute to St Columbanus, a monk from Co Meath who led a mission into Europe in AD500. "With his spiritual strength, with his faith, with his love of God and neighbour, he became one of the Fathers of Europe, showing us today the way to those roots from which our continent may be reborn," the Pope said. A no vote could delay or doom the painstakingly negotiated pact, which must be ratified by all 27 states. Implementation would see the number of EU commissioners reduced from 27 to 18 and require foreign, defence and security decisions to be taken unanimously.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | RCC |

It's not surprising that the Pope would step in to support a yes vote to the referendum. If indeed the Vatican represents the woman riding the beast of Revelation 13 and 17, the fourth kingdom, then this fits with the support of the reviving of the Roman Empire being attempted through Democratic means today. I have a feeling that it will be a yes and if not, something will happen to circumvent a no vote, there's just too much riding on this politically. Of course I could be wrong so keep watching!

The EU's options should Ireland reject the Lisbon Treaty EU Business (June 11, 2008) - Some options given in the article:

  • FORCE IRELAND TO CHANGE ITS MIND
  • RENEGOTIATE THE LISBON TREATY
  • FORGE AHEAD USING THE NICE TREATY
  • CUT IRELAND ADRIFT FROM THE EU

Major earthquake shakes northern Japan MSNBC (June 13, 2008) - A powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked northern Japan early Saturday, killing at least two people and forcing authorities to close highways and stop high-speed trains. There were also reports of injuries at a day care center, aboard a bus, and some people cut by broken glass. Authorities said two nuclear power plants in the area were not damaged and continued to operate normally, national broadcaster NHK reported. There was no danger of a tsunami. The 8:43 a.m. quake was centered in the northern prefecture of Iwate about 280 miles north of Tokyo. The meteorological agency issued a warning of a second quake, and a 5.6-magnitude aftershock hit the same area, but it was unclear whether the warning preceded the aftershock. Japan was experimenting with an earthquake warning system. Footage from the closest large city, Sendai, showed the quake shook surveillance cameras for 30 seconds. NHK interviewed an official from Miyagi prefecture, where Sendai is located, who said he saw tiles coming off the roofs of some homes. "It was scary. It was difficult to stand up," said Sachiko Sugihara, a convenience store worker in the town of Oshushi in Iwate prefecture in a separate interview with NHK. "The TV fell over and the refrigerator shook." more...
| Earth Changes |


Flooding Hits Historic 500-Year Levels in Iowa Fox News (June 12, 2008) - The National Weather Service called flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a "historic hydrologic event" Thursday as the swollen river poured over its banks at 500-year flood levels, forcing the evacuation of nearly 4,000 homes. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the Cedar River in east central Iowa Thursday, saying residents should expect "unprecedented river crests" and calling the situation serious. One of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, levees already has broken. "The rest of the levees in the city have not broken down but what the problem is is the water went way up over the top — well over a foot over the top of the levees," Dave Koch, the city's public information officer, told FOX News, adding "it's a 500-year flood and it just overwhelmed us." The Midwest has been inundated with floods in recent days, with a man dying Thursday in Albert Lea, Minn., after his vehicle fell into a flooded stream. Two others were rescued. Officials estimated that 100 blocks in Cedar Rapids were under water. "We're just kind of at God's mercy right now, so hopefully people that never prayed before this, it might be a good time to start," Linn County Sheriff Don Zeller said. "We're going to need a lot of prayers and people are going to need a lot of patience and understanding." The problems in Cedar Rapids came a day after frantic sandbagging enabled the upstream cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo to narrowly avoid widespread flooding. Despite several days spent preparing for the approaching high water, Cedar Rapids couldn't avoid being hit hard. Rescuers had to use boats to reach many of the residents stranded in 3,900 homes. "There are homes, there are businesses, police department, fire department — we're all under water," Koch said. more...
| America | Earth Changes |


Worries Mount as Farmers Push for Big Harvest NY Times (June 10, 2008) - In a year when global harvests need to be excellent to ease the threat of pervasive food shortages, evidence is mounting that they will be average at best. Some farmers are starting to fear disaster. American corn and soybean farmers are suffering from too much rain, while Australian wheat farmers have been plagued by drought. “The planting has gotten off to a poor start,” said Bill Nelson, a Wachovia grains analyst. “The anxiety level is increasing.” Randy Kron, whose family has been farming in the southwestern corner of Indiana for 135 years, should have corn more than a foot tall by now. But all spring it has seemed as if there were a faucet in the sky. The rain is regular, remorseless. Some of Mr. Kron’s fields are too soggy to plant. Some of the corn he managed to get in has drowned, forcing him to replant. The seeds that survived are barely two inches high. At a moment when the country’s corn should be flourishing, one plant in 10 has not even emerged from the ground, the Agriculture Department said Monday. Because corn planted late is more sensitive to heat damage in high summer, every day’s delay practically guarantees a lower yield at harvest. “This is pushing my nerves to the limit,” Mr. Kron said one recent morning, the sky as dark as the unplanted earth. Last winter, as the full scope of the global food crisis became clear, commodity prices doubled or tripled, provoking grumbling in America, riots in two dozen countries and the specter of greatly increased malnutrition. As the world clamors for more corn, wheat, soybeans and rice, farmers are trying to meet the challenge. Millions of acres are coming back into production in Europe. In Asia, planting two or three crops in a single year is becoming more common. American farmers are planting 324 million acres this year, up 4 million acres from 2007. Too much of the best land is waterlogged, however. Indiana and Illinois have been the worst hit, although Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota were inundated last weekend. Bob Biehl, whose farm is near St. Louis, has managed to plant only 140 of the 650 acres he wanted to devote to corn. Some farmers in his area “haven’t even been able to take the tractor out of the shed,” he said. United States soybean plantings are running 16 percent behind last year. Rice is tardy in Arkansas, which produces nearly half the country’s crop. “We’re certainly not going to have as good a crop as we had hoped,” said Harvey Howington of the Arkansas Rice Growers Association. “I don’t think this is good news for anybody.” Harvests ebb and flow, of course. But with supplies of most of the key commodities at their lowest levels in decades, there is little room for error this year. American farmers are among the world’s top producers, supplying 60 percent of the corn that moves across international borders in a typical year, as well as a third of the soybeans, a quarter of the wheat and a tenth of the rice. “If we have bad crops, it’s going to be a wild ride,” said the Agriculture Department’s chief economist, Joseph Glauber. “There’s just no cushion.” As every farmer knows, trouble can come at any point before the harvest is complete. Danny and Karen Smith get up in the middle of the night at their wheat farm in Milton, Kan., whenever they hear thunder. In a few weeks, the wheat they planted last fall will be ripe. A bad storm or, worse, a tornado could destroy it. Last year, the Smiths lost nearly all their wheat to a late freeze compounded by too much rain. more...
| America |


Fighting for Turkey's soul International Herald Tribune (June 10, 2008) - Reading the Western press, one would think that there is a fight in Turkey between the democratic - yet religious - governing party and the secular - but anti-democratic - opposition. This is not the case. The ultimate battle is for Turkey's soul: Will Turkey become a liberal democracy and remain an important member of the Euro-Atlantic community, or erode into an illiberal one, moving towards the Russia-Iran axis? Turkey is undergoing a complex political and social transformation. It is unique, and thus it is impossible to understand what is happening in Turkey today by comparing it with any other Muslim or Western country. Turkey is 99 percent Muslim, yet it was founded in 1923 as a secular republic. The ending of the caliphate and the Islamic Shariah legal system - thus separating religion and the state - was a truly revolutionary move. Most Muslim countries still have Shariah law enshrined in their constitutions. This has been a huge impediment to their democratic evolution because Shariah, encoded in the 8th century, is not compatible with democracy. For its part, Turkey has evolved as a democratic country because it has kept religion out of politics. The nation's founding fathers charted the country's course toward the West. However, succeeding generations failed to spread the values and ideals of the republic to the masses. The institutions of democracy remained weak and democratic political culture failed to take root. Today's fight in Turkey can be described as a power struggle to decide the future of this unique, Western, democratic, secular-but-Muslim country. The governing party and its supporters are labeled as "democrats" committed to reforms and expanding freedoms while those in opposition are branded as "fascist seculars" resisting change. However, a critical look at the governing party's record would make clear that, while the government has indeed undertaken important political and social reforms, these were overwhelmingly in areas that expanded the freedoms of the conservative religious base. Little attention has been given to the concerns of liberal Muslims, such as the Alevi community, which makes up about 20 percent of Turkey's population. Moreover, women are increasingly disappearing from the work force - except for those areas traditionally seen as the "women's sphere." For example, the current government has only one female member. Not surprisingly, she is the Minister Responsible for Women's Affairs. A recent study found that female participation in the work force dropped from over 34 percent in 1990 to just over 22 percent at the end of 2007. Equally disturbing is the various forms of pressure put on women to "protect" the social fabric. In many cases sexual harassment or abuse is viewed as the woman's fault for not having dressed more "Islamic" or for sharing the public space with men. Another dangerous trend is the systematic undermining of the military, the judiciary and the education system, the three critical institutions of Turkey's secular and Western identity. Most recently, pro-secular rulings by Turkey's highest court (based on the Constitution) have been labeled as "judiciary coups," even by some Turkish liberals and their Western supporters. What these well-intentioned supporters of democracy don't seem to recognize is that they inadvertently strengthen hard-line Islamists, who argue that the current legal system is illegitimate and that Muslims need to be ruled under Shariah. more...
| Islam | Gog/Magog |


U.S. stops following foreign money trail WorldNet Daily (June 9, 2008) - Foreign investment in the United States is on the rise and key U.S. businesses and infrastructures such as roads and airports are being sold to foreign investors. Now comes word from the U.S. Department of Commerce the Bureau of Economic Affairs will stop publishing a key report tracking those foreign dollars. WND reported earlier on a decision by the Federal Reserve to quit publishing M3 data, a money-supply measure watched closely by economists. Last month, econometrician John Williams reported on his subscription website, "Shadow Government Statistics," that the M3 statistic he compiles from available government data shows the growth of M3 at historically high rates last seen in June 1971, two months before President Nixon closed the gold window and instituted wage and price controls. Charles McMillion, president and chief economist at MBG Information Services in Washington, D.C., also has expressed concern over the recent decision by the Department of Commerce to discontinue publishing foreign investment data and warned that may forecast an unprecedented surge in foreign investment anticipated by the Bush administration. In the announcement, BEA claimed funding limitations necessitated halting future reports. The most recent report, released Wednesday, showed direct foreign investment in U.S. businesses reached $276.8 billion in 2007, the second largest amount recorded and the highest since 2000, when new foreign investment outlays peaked at $335.6 billion. Of the direct foreign investments in the U.S. in 2007, only about 10 percent, approximately $21.9 billion, established new U.S. businesses, while foreign investments to acquire existing U.S. businesses totaled $255.0 billion. Nearly 37 percent of the foreign investments in 2007 involved European investors, although the BEA noted investments from Asia and the Middle East rose substantially. McMillion noted in an e-mail that the BEA decision to discontinue publishing foreign investment data comes at a time when public and congressional concerns have increased over the acquisition of U.S. assets by foreign investors McMillian referenced the recent attempt by "China's mysterious but closely state-aligned Huawei" to acquire 3Com, a key supplier of Internet security technologies to the U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with Boston-based Bain Capital, a private equity firm founded by Republican 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In March, Bain pulled out of the deal after learning that the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, organized in the U.S. Treasury Department, planned to block the deal. In May, during a four-day trip to the Middle East that included Saudi Arabia and Dubai, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson encouraged foreign investment in the United States, arguing the controversy over Dubai Ports in 2006 did not reflect an adverse U.S. attitude toward foreign investment. "I have met with many leaders from the Middle East who ask if the United States really continues to welcome investment," Paulson said in a speech to the U.S.-United Arab Emirates Business Council, according to Bloomberg.com. "As we seek to open new markets abroad, America will keep our markets open at home to investment from private firms and from sovereign wealth funds." WND previously reported that since the beginning of the year, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two of the largest United Arab Emirate states, have been in discussions with the U.S. Treasury, offering reassurances that their investments in U.S. banks and security firms would not impose restrictions usually dictated by Islamic law, commonly known as sharia. WND also has reported sovereign wealth funds in six Persian Gulf countries, including Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have now amassed $1.7 trillion, positioning them for attempts to control major banks and securities firms in the United States. In September 2007, Dubai acquired 19.9 percent of Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the United States. WND also reported last month the top bid to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike on a long-term public-private-partnership, or PPP lease, for a bid of $12.8 billion was submitted by Spanish infrastructure management company Abertis Infraestructuras of Barcelona.
| Islam | NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |


Forecast: Dead zone off La., Texas coasts to grow Associated Press (June 9, 2008) - Researchers predict a "dead zone" of oxygen-depleted waters off the Louisiana and Texas coasts could grow this summer to 10,084 square miles, making it the largest such expanse in at least 23 years. If the preliminary forecast holds, the researchers say, the size of the so-called "dead zone" would be 17-21 percent larger than at anytime since the mapping began in 1985 — and about as large as the state of Massachusetts. Another forecast is planned next month. The report Monday from scientists at Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium is based on May nitrate loads on the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge. Excess nutrients can spur the growth of algae, and when the algae die, their decay consumes oxygen faster than it can be brought down from the surface. As a result, fish, shrimp and crabs can suffocate, threatening the region's commercial fishing industry. R. Eugene Turner, who led the recent modeling effort, said in a statement that intensive farming — including working land for crops used to make biofuels — has contributed to the high rate of nitrogen loading. Researchers say the largest dead zone measured was 8,894 square miles in 2002. It was about 7,900 square miles last year.


Hillary Waits for Obama to Stumble NewsMax (June 9, 2008) - Hillary’s suspension of her campaign, and her omission of any release of her delegates, makes her a factor for Obama to consider for the next three months until the Democratic nomination is officially and finally his. Absent an actual statement to her delegates urging them to vote for Obama on the first ballot, Hillary’s candidacy cannot be said to have ended. Rather, the former first lady will be slowly circling overhead during June, July, and August waiting for Obama to make a mistake or stumble. Throughout the next three months, there will always be the possibility that he errs so badly that Hillary gets back into the race. Should another pastor rear his head or if one of the mythical tapes that are said to be about to emerge does, in fact, exist, Obama cannot rest secure in the nomination as long as Hillary is overhead, waiting. Even if all of the superdelegates desert Hillary, as most will now do, she still has 1,639.5 pledged or elected delegates to call her own. While these men and women can legally vote for either candidate, regardless of the slate on which they were elected, one must assume that they are true Hillary believers, who would not have been put on her slate to begin with. These pledged delegates mean that she is always just a step or two away from the nomination, should Obama commit a faux pas. And there will be many opportunities for Obama to err over the next three months. With John McCain keeping up the pressure by suggesting 10 town meetings between now and the conventions, at which the two putative candidates appear side by side, a weak debate performance or a decisive McCain win in any one of them could trigger a crisis for Obama, which Hillary could move to exploit. General election candidates usually try to move to the center after they have won their party nominations, but Obama may find his maneuvering room cut by Hillary’s hovering overhead. Any move to suggest that he might re-engage in Iraq should things fall apart or that he may not raise taxes for ambitious healthcare plans during a recession — any departure from Democratic Party orthodoxy — could lead to grumbling by Hillary supporters and crimp Obama’s flexibility. Oddly, McCain finds himself in a parallel predicament. Republican leaders are worried that he is not a true Republican and concerned about his liberal positions on issues like climate change, alternative energy sources, torture of terror suspects, and corporate governance reform. His ability, too, to move to the center is handicapped while he awaits his coronation in Minneapolis-St. Paul. But Obama’s is the deeper predicament since, unlike McCain, he does not have a rival whose vote share begins to equal his at his party convention. Is Hillary deliberately creating such an insecure position for Obama? more...
| America |


Japan Reeling from Stabbing Spree Time (June 9, 2008) - Tokyo's Akihabara district, a popular shopping area for consumer electronics, was still in shock on Monday following a killing spree by a 25-year-old man who plowed a rented truck into an intersection full of pedestrians, then began stabbing bystanders at random. The rampage, which left seven dead and 10 injured, was another reminder of a violent side of Japan that is not often discussed. Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the developed world, yet the country still sees spasms of stunningly brutal, often random killings. The June 8 Akihabara massacre occurred exactly seven years after a former school janitor with a history of mental illness stabbed eight children to death and injured many others at their elementary school near Osaka. The nation has seen a spate of stabbings already this year, including a shopping-mall knife attack in March in which one was slain and seven were injured. Such crimes are often perpetrated by mentally unstable men in their 20s and 30s, but experts say that gruesome acts committed by adolescents and teenagers have been on the rise for the last five years. The infamous 1997 Kobe case of a 14-year-old boy who strangled and decapitated an 11-year-old friend of his brother and displayed the child's head on a school gate was followed last year by a 17-year-old boy who cut off his mother's head as she slept and delivered it, wrapped, to the nearest police box the following morning. In January, a 16-year-old boy attacked five people with kitchen knives in Tokyo. In an attempt to make sense of the senseless, experts point to many possible reasons for these violent outbursts. Because of the stigma of mental illness that exists in Japan, the mentally ill often go untreated. Economic conditions are also blamed. "The gap between wealth and poverty has widened for the past five years," says Mitsuyuki Maniwa, professor emeritus of criminal sociology at Shizuoka University. Society's have-nots "lose everything, from hope to motivation in life, pride, and self-esteem." Maniwa points out that the alleged Akihabara killer, whom police identified as Tomohiro Kato, was "not making an easy living" as a temporary factory employee. "This kind of society and the way it works causes this kind of crime," Maniwa maintains. Japanese youth face similar pressures because of the country's demanding and competitive educational system. "Young people have been pushed into a corner," says Maniwa. Teachers and parents hold children personally responsible for their failures, so kids "blame themselves and run into a brick wall." more…
| Signs of the Times |


We can reduce risk in the financial system Financial Times (June 8, 2008) - Since last summer, we have lived through a severe and complex financial crisis. Why was the financial system so fragile? What can be done to make the system more resilient in the future? The world experienced a financial boom. The boom fed demand for risk. Products were created to meet that demand, including risky, complicated mortgages. Many assets were financed with significant leverage and liquidity risk and many of the world’s largest financial institutions got themselves too exposed to the risk of a global downturn. The amount of long-term illiquid assets financed with short-term liabilities made the system vulnerable to a classic type of run. As concern about risk increased, investors pulled back, triggering a self-reinforcing cycle of forced liquidation of assets, higher margin requirements, increased volatility. What should be done to strengthen the system in the future? First, when we get through this crisis we have to increase the shock absorbers held in normal times against bad macroeconomic and financial outcomes. This will require more exacting expectations on capital, liquidity and risk management for the largest institutions that play a central role in intermediation and market functioning. They should be set high enough to offset the benefits that come from access to central bank liquidity, but not so high that they succeed only in pushing more capital to the unregulated part of the financial system. Second, we have to improve the capacity of the financial infrastructure to withstand default by a big institution. This will require taking some of the risk out of secured funding markets, increasing resources held against default in the centralised clearing house, and encouraging more standardisation, automation and central clearing in the derivatives markets. Third, the regulatory framework cannot be indifferent to the scale of leverage and risk outside the supervised institutions. I do not believe it would be desirable or feasible to extend capital requirements to leveraged institutiions such as hedge funds. But supervision has to ensure that counterparty credit risk management in the supervised institutions limits the risk of a rise in overall leverage outside the regulated institutions that could threaten the stability of the financial system. And regulatory policy has to induce higher levels of margin and collateral in normal times against derivatives and secured borrowing to cover better the risk of market illiquidity. Fourth, we need to streamline and simplify the US regulatory framework. Our system has evolved into a confusing mix of diffused accountability, regulatory competition and a complex web of rules that create perverse incentives and leave huge opportunities for arbitrage and evasion. The blueprint by Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary, outlines a sweeping consolidation and realignment of responsibilities. The institutions that play a central role in money and funding markets – including the main globally active banks and investment banks – need to operate under a unified framework that provides a stronger form of consolidated supervision, with appropriate requirements for capital and liquidity. To complement this, we need to put in place a stronger framework of oversight authority over the critical parts of the payments system – not just the established payments, clearing and settlements systems, but the infrastructure that underpins the decentralised over-the-counter markets. Because of its primary responsibility for the stability of the overall financial system, the Federal Reserve should play a central role in such a framework, working closely with supervisors in the US and in other countries. At present the Fed has broad responsibility for financial stability not matched by direct authority and the consequences of the actions we have taken in this crisis make it more important that we close that gap. The big central banks should put in place a standing network of currency swaps, collateral policies and account arrangements that would make it easier to mobilise liquidity across borders quickly in a crisis. As we reshape the incentives and constraints for risk-taking in the financial system, we have to recognise that regulation has the potential to make things worse. Regulation can distort incentives in ways that may make the system less safe. One of the strengths of our system is the speed with which we adapt to challenge. It is important that we move quickly to adapt the regulatory system to address the vulnerabilities exposed by this financial crisis. We are beginning the process of building the necessary consensus here and with the other main financial centres. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |

This was authored by New York Federal Reserve president Timothy Geithner. It seems to me that international cooperation in business and finance is just another step toward a global economy with a centralized power structure like that which will be necessary to fulfill Bible prophecy such that nobody will be able to buy or sell without participation in this system. Ultimately this will involve the "security" provided through technology so that transactions can be cashless and locked to the individual. The perfect technology for this is Somark's RFID tattoo ink.


Earthquake swarm picks up again in northern Nevada Breitbart.com (June 8, 2008) - A months-long swarm of earthquakes picked up again Sunday as a string of minor temblors rattled Reno, causing downtown high-rises to sway and knocking items off walls and shelves. There were no immediate reports of injuries or major property damage after about 20 minor quakes reported on the western edge of Reno over 12 hours ending about noon. Magnitude-3.9 and 3.6 quakes struck within a couple minutes of each other shortly before 11 a.m. and were preceded by 3.2 and 3.0 quakes early Sunday, said researchers at the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno. "I was thinking, 'Here we go with the big one,'" said Daryl DiBitonto, a Reno resident who felt the quake at home. "Late in the morning, I thought the whole house was going to come down. Every time I feel a 3, I think it's going to be the big one. Totally, everyone is on edge again." Diane dePolo, a lab seismologist, said it was the strongest sequence of quakes in the past month and signaled a pickup in activity after a recent lull. "We had a little pickup in activity on Tuesday and nothing significant until today," dePolo said. "We are monitoring them, but we can't say if it'll get better or worse. There is no way to predict earthquakes." Seismologists had urged residents of northern Nevada's largest city to prepare for a bigger event after a 4.7 quake on April 25, the strongest in a swarm that began Feb. 28. That quake swept store shelves clean, cracked walls in homes and dislodged rocks on hillsides, but there were no reports of injuries or widespread, major damage. The swarm, which has produced thousands of mostly minor quakes, had prompted some residents in the densely populated quake zone to spend nights outside in campers and trucks. "We live in earthquake country, and the threat is never over," dePolo said. "We encourage people to be prepared." Nevada is the third most seismically active state in the U.S. behind California and Alaska. Reno's last major quake measured 6.1 on April 24, 1914.
| America | Earth Changes |


Iran and Syria sign missile pact Gulf In The Media (June 2, 2008) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps has created an independent missile command to be integrated with a Syrian missile program, military sources said. The DEBKAfile news agency reported Sunday that the joint command was formalized in a treaty signed by the Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani in Tehran last week. Under the agreement, Syria's missile units would come under the new Iranian missile section and their operations would be fully coordinated with Tehran. Iranian officers are to be attached to Syrian units, while Syrian officers are posted to the Iranian command. Military sources told DEBKAfile that Iran's control of four hostile missile fronts would virtually neutralize the American and Israeli anti-missile defense systems in the region.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |


Bees 'killed by mobile phone signals' Telegraph UK (April 16, 2008) - An unusually high number of honey bee deaths in Britain this year may be caused by radiation from mobile phone signals, say experts. British beekeepers have called for further research following the release of a German study showing that radiation can interfere with bees' navigation systems. In some cases, 70 per cent of bees exposed to radiation failed to find their way back to the hive after searching for pollen and nectar, according to the research by Landau University. The researchers placed cordless-phone docking units, which emit electromagnetic radiation, into bee hives. Bee experts are struggling to determine the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD), a mystery condition in which bees suddenly abandon their hives and disappear to die. In America, 24 states are affected and losses of 50 to 90 per cent of colonies have been recorded. CCD recently spread to Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal and last week some keepers in Britain reported losses exceeding the 10 per cent of colonies that usually die during winter. John Chapple, one of London's foremost beekeepers, said 30 of his 40 hives were empty and that other hives around London had lost up to 75 per cent of their bees. If CCD does take hold in Britain it could have far-reaching implications for farming, as bees pollinate millions of hectares of fruit trees and crops. The pollination is worth £200 million to Britain's farmers each year. The total contribution by bees to the economy is worth up to £1 billion. Brian Dennis, of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Association, said: "There is so much being said about CCD in America and [radiation] hasn't been mentioned. "Until someone does a large study, it is hard to be sure."
| Technology | 3rd Seal |


EU foreign policy expected to enter 'new era' EU Observer (April 6, 2008) - The European Parliament is seeking to bolster its role in the bloc's common foreign and security policy (CFSP), with senior MEPs saying it is time for Europe to become a "player and not just a payer" on the world stage. Polish centre-right MEP and head of the foreign affairs committee, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, says that EU foreign is moving "from one era to another" with the new Lisbon Treaty, due to kick in next year. The proposed new EU foreign minister and diplomatic service as well as the possibility for a group of member states to move ahead in defence cooperation mean foreign policy is "one of the most innovative parts of the treaty." The fact that Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, will for the first time be present at the MEPs' annual debate on CFSP on Wednesday (4 June) is in itself a "turning point," said the Pole at a briefing on Tuesday. Euro-deputies will today debate a report that sets out principles for the EU's foreign policy - such as respect for human rights - calls for certain issues to be prioritised and says that the CFSP budget from now until 2013 is "insufficient." "Either we have to beef up foreign policy financially, or we have to rethink whether we really want to be a global player," said Mr Saryusz-Wolski, who next week will travel to Paris to discuss the issue with the incoming French EU presidency. "We ask why is nothing ready, prepared for the events that will happen if the treaty [comes into force], and we haven't had an answer," he said. "We are asking this question also: do you have any hidden reserves? What's your view? How to finance the new set up? No answer."

Democratic oversight

The report also calls for parliament to be given greater democratic oversight over the area, which to date has remained firmly the domain of member states. It suggests that the foreign minister "regularly" appear before MEPs and that the parliament be "fully consulted" on who the foreign minister should be, as well as what the diplomatic service should look like. Deputies are also urging the future EU foreign minister to inform the parliament before any "common actions" are taken. "If we start sending soldiers into danger, it is up to the parliament to give its blessing," says Mr Saryusz-Wolski. The report also takes a more long-term view of the future of common foreign and security policy, with the head of the foreign affairs committee urging the bloc to stop acting like a "fire brigade" rushing to put out emergencies here and there and to think more of the "long-term strategic interests of the Union…20–30 years ahead."

EU army

Mr Saryusz-Wolski, who believes the union will gradually develop its own army, says it is no longer enough that the bloc exercises its traditional role as a soft power. "Too often we spend money without any conditions being attached. I am against Europe being a payer and not a player," he said. But he admits there is a "fear" in the parliament that the foreign minister and the new permanent president of the European Council may add to the trill of voices of on the EU stage all claiming to speak for Europe and may not turn Europe into a player. The potential for overlap between the two posts – starting in January - and for rivalry with the European Commission president is high. Debates on the posts are expected to start in earnest in autumn and be wrapped up by December. In time-honoured EU fashion, balancing who wins the posts will have to involve the consideration of a series of factors, including nationality, whether a candidate comes from an old or new member state or a small or big member state, and the person's political hue.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder |