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Venezuela, not Russia, will be the First Domino to Fall With the Price of Oil
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
Keith Naughton
Categories: Contemporary Issues

The oil price collapse has brought about excited speculation that the end may be near for Putin, Iran and the American oil shale industry. While the oil price downturn will definitely stress these three players, the prime candidate for political collapse is Venezuela – with significant ramifications for the United States.

And it’s likely the Obama administration is not prepared at all.

Venezuela has all three factors present for an imminent political implosion: 1) severe and worsening economic distress, 2) an organized political opposition, and 3) disunity in its security services. Russia and Iran may be in tough economic straits, but the political opposition in both countries is weak and the armed forces and police are clearly under the control of the existing regime.

For over 15 years Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro have pursued absurd socialist economic policies liberally mixed with heavy-handed repression, and an anti-American foreign policy. Private property has been expropriated. Political opponents have been harassed and jailed. The crime rate is soared. 

Essential items have disappeared from store shelves. Maduro himself flat-out stole the last presidential election (of course the leftist leaders in Latin America just shrugged it off — showing yet again that the left only likes democracy when they win).

Now Venezuela is at the end of its financial rope. Tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue have been wasted away and now that the price of oil has cratered, the country’s fiscal deficit is unsustainable. Maduro is cutting spending, unloading debt at cut-rate prices, and arresting his political opponents. Tension is rising between the armed forces and the Maduro’s Chavista paramilitary thugs.

If there is a place on the planet primed for civil war and collapse, it’s Venezuela. Not that anyone in the mainstream news media or the Obama administration seems to notice.

Such a collapse would be a much bigger deal for the United States than what is happening in Russia or Syria. An economic and humanitarian disaster in Venezuela will have immediate and substantial effects.

What are the possible effects? Here are five:

1. The price of oil goes up: Unrest takes Venezuelan oil off the market. America imported 750,000 barrels of oil per day in 2013. The price of oil would increase more for the United States, since its imports from Venezuela and its refineries are calibrated for Venezuela’s particular type of high-sulfur content crude. (This would be less of a problem is the Keystone XL pipeline were in place, making supply to America more robust)

2. Refugee crisis: Thousands of Venezuelans could flee fighting and shortages for Colombia, Panama, the Netherlands Antilles and Trinidad. Accompanying legitimate refugees would be criminals, drug smugglers, and paramilitary forces. Such a crisis could destabilize Colombia, one of the most impressive economic and social success stories in Latin America – and a staunch American ally. A crisis could boost the terrorist gang who calls itself FARC, which are really a bunch of sociopathic criminals who claim to be revolutionaries.

3. Immigration crisis for the U.S., Part II: Venezuela has been providing cheap oil for nations in the Caribbean and Central American for the past decade. Many poor nations have become dependent on this subsidy. So, what happens in the Caribbean and Central America when economic conditions worsen? They make tracks for the U.S.

4. Cuba intervenes: Cuba is heavily dependent on Venezuela for cheap oil and cash. In exchange, the communist nation has provided health care assistance and, more importantly, stuffed the Venezuelan security services with its own “advisers.” Cuba may not be able to survive without Venezuelan largesse. It is possible that Cuba will send its own armed forces to block the replacement of the Chavistas by a true democracy. Is America prepared to stand by while the Cuban dictatorship colonizes Venezuela?

5. China takes over Citgo: Venezuela owes China a whopping $50 billion. That sum simply cannot be paid. Citgo, the old Cities Service, has been owned by PDVSA, the Venezuelan national oil company since the 1990s. It is one of the few valuable assets the country owns. China could demand Citgo as part of debt re-payment or restructuring. As a political move to stick it to the United States, China might be willing to pay a premium for the oil company. Will Obama and Congress stand by while China acquires a highly visible presence in the U.S. energy industry?

What can the U.S. do to deal with this budding crisis? Truth be told, there is little the U.S. can do proactively except to prepare for a probable collapse. Sanctions (the typical, know-nothing, public relations move) would be a big mistake. The economic damage would be more than made up for by the political boost given to the Chavistas. The U.S. needs to start building a coalition of support in Latin America to oppose Cuban intervention, support a restoration of democracy and develop a basis for an arms blockade against the failed Chavista government.

The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute have offered plenty of advice on how to help out Central America and the Caribbean. Aggressive engagement, innovative programs and political realism would go a long way not only in preparing the U.S. for a Venezuelan collapse, but would benefit these countries in our neighborhood regardless – and, by extension, benefit America.

Of course the Obama administration has neither the time nor the expertise to actually anticipate crises and work on prevention. It’s safe to assume that a Venezuelan collapse will leave the president flat-footed and scrambling again.

The Vanishing Gospel
Jan 1st, 2015
Commentary
Dave Hunt
Categories: Warning

One of the greatest sorrows for lovers of God is the fact that the vast majority of mankind selfishly and ungratefully live day after day without even thinking of the Creator to whom they owe their existence and who holds their eternal destiny in His hands. So it is even with many who claim to know Him. How often do you tell God you love Him, and thank Him for His love and grace and the salvation He has given you in Christ? When was the last time?

The miracle of our bodies, with their trillions of unfathomable cells and chance-defying organs such as the eye and brain, the ingenious design displayed in nature, and the mystery of soul and spirit loudly declare: “[I]n the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen:1:1) and He made man “in his image” (1:26-28). Yet most people embrace the outrageous fraud of evolution.

This world’s contemptuous disregard of its Creator makes me weep for His sake; and, as the old song says, “causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble” for the judgment that is coming upon mankind! “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps:9:17). And forget God they surely have.

Paul declared: “even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind...[to] all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness...[They are] haters of God...inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents...without natural affection...who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death...do the same, [and] have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom:1:28-32). The connection is undeniable between the evil foretold for “the last days” (2 Tim:3:1-7) and the godless “lifestyles” popularized on trendy TV shows.

Hollywood has long glorified and exported all manner of ungodliness. The marketing of evil provides billions of dollars in profits through promoting youth rebellion; sexual “freedom” and wanton perversion; mutilation of the body; obscene, suicidal, and murderous lyrics; and gangland and satanic clothing. Could Sodom and Gomorrah have been much worse?

Homes are invaded and families destroyed by immoral, corrupting media, leaving consciences “seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim:4:2). Many Christians enjoy what would have shamed and embarrassed them a few years ago. An estimated 50 percent of professing Christians have been attracted to internet pornography.

And to attract those thus corrupted, many of the largest and fastest-growing churches mimic the world in “seeker-friendly” and “youth-oriented” services that exploit sensuality and compromise the truth. The Christian Science Monitor (12/30/03) reported that “megachurches are good at reaching young people raised in an entertainment-saturated culture....Many have...a rock-concert feel to them....[At the] largest congregation in the United States, with more than 25,000 attendants each weekend...Victoria Osteen steps to the podium in front of 16,000 cheering Sunday worshipers and proclaims: ‘We’re going to rock today!’” Worship Leader (Nov-Dec ’03) reported, “...the Jesus People erected [a] worship ritual...from the preeminent communal ceremony of their generation—the rock concert.”

Through “contemporary Christian music” and “contemporary worship,” the church has been converted to the “religion” of the world! Some of the largest presumably evangelical churches have designed their Sunday morning services based upon what the ungodly want. Missing are the fear of a holy God’s wrath against sin, trembling repentance, and grateful faith in Christ, the eternal God who became man through the virgin birth to suffer the full penalty of God’s judgment in our place. Seeker-friendly churches must not “offend” with the Truth, but pamper with the flattering “gospel” of self-esteem, self-love, and positive thinking—a “gospel” that cannot save. As Paul foretold, “they will not endure sound doctrine...” (2 Tim:4:3).

Creating large, rich churches is not new. In A Woman Rides the Beast , we show that the Roman Catholic Church—the world’s largest and wealthiest—grew out of a marriage between the Roman world and the church, making “Christianity” the state religion. Historian Will Durant explains, “...the world converted Christianity....[Paganism] passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome captured her conqueror” ( Caesar and Christ , 657, 672).

Roman Catholicism grew by wed-ding itself to the dominant pagan religion in Italy, Spain, Latin America, Africa, the Philip-pines, etc. Haiti is said to be 85 percent Catholic and 110 percent Vodoun. New Orleans, “the most Catholic city in America,” ( Our Sunday Visitor , 10/15/95) is its voodoo capital.

And now, “Protestantism” is creating megachurches by merging with the “new paganism” in today’s culture—a culture that is becoming ever more anti-Christian and anti-Israel.

In blatant defiance of God and His Word, the nations have robbed Israel of most of the land God gave His chosen people as “an everlasting possession” (Gen:17:8). In further insolence, and sadly under the leadership of America’s Christian president, the world is determined to give more of Israel’s land to Arabs/Muslims as a reward for their hatred of Christ and religious vows to exterminate the Jews. And Islam intends to take all.

Today’s world doesn’t need more entertainment and “positive” messages assuring the “hurting” that God loves, forgives, “accepts them as they are,” heals their “inner child,” and has an exciting plan for their lives. Mankind needs the changeless convicting truth that leads sinners to repentance and salvation. God’s holy character has not changed; the separation between man and God caused by sin—and the judgment to come—have not changed; nor has God’s remedy in Christ been outdated and revised. On these basic facts the Bible is clear and uncompromising.

Like the father with the “prodigal son” (Lk 15:11-32), a gracious God is ever eager to embrace repentant sinners. But His holiness and justice allow pardon only for those who accept the blood of Christ poured out upon the Cross on their behalf.

We must preach the gospel everywhere to everyone (Mk 16:15). It must be believed for anyone to be saved from eternal separation from God: “the gospel of Christ...is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom:1:16); “there is none other name...whereby we must be saved (Acts:4:12); “what must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ...” (Acts:16:30,31). The warning is solemn and clear: “he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn:3:36).

Yet Robert Schuller (whose Hour of Power reaches 20 million viewers weekly) declares, “We have to find God in our own way...” ( Larry King Live , 12/19/98).

Rewriting the Bible, Schuller turns God’s solemn warning, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” into Believe in the God Who Believes in You (Thomas Nelson Publishers). Paul had “no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3)—but God believes in us?

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim:1:15). Yet Schuller, self-proclaimed “founder of the church growth movement” (his annual Institute for Successful Church Leadership has attracted tens of thousands of pastors from around the world), claims that “attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition” is an “unchristian strategy” which is “destructive [and] counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise...” ( Christianity Today, 10/5/84)!

David F. Wells writes, “In another age, Robert Schuller’s ministry...might well have been viewed...as comedy....Sin, he says with a cherubic smile, is not what shatters our relationship to God [but] that we do not esteem ourselves enough. In the Crystal Cathedral, therefore, let the word sin be banished....Christ was not drawing a profound moral compass in the Sermon on the Mount; he was just giving us a set of ‘be (happy) attitudes’...” ( No Place for Truth , p. 175).

We are commanded to “preach the word...reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine ” (2 Tim:4:2). God’s Word is the foundation of our faith—yet that foundation is being undermined. “Christian psychology” takes the theories of atheists such as Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow, et al., and repackages their lies as truth that improves God’s holy and perfect Word.

Bruce Narramore, following in his uncle Clyde’s footsteps, admits, “Under the influence of humanistic psychologists like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, many of us Christians have begun to see our need for self-love and self-esteem. This is a good and necessary focus” ( You’re Someone Special , Zondervan, p. 22). Yet Paul warned against thinking too highly of oneself (Rom:12:3) and urged, “let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3). But that was before today’s church surrendered to the surrounding culture.

Attempting to build large and successful churches, many of today’s pastors draw upon secular motivational speakers’ advice designed to foster worldly success. Tragically, this is the basis of much that is offered by Rick Warren (a graduate of Schuller’s Institute), the most popular and influential “church growth” guru today, whose methods and example are being followed by literally tens of thousands of fellow pastors worldwide—and by millions of lay readers of his books.

Warren does offer much sound advice in The Purpose Driven Church and The Purpose Driven Life . Commendably, he attempts to support most points with “nearly a thousand quotations from Scripture” ( Life , p. 325). But the “scriptures” he quotes are speculative paraphrases such as The Message (see TBC Q&A Oct. ’95) by Eugene H. Peterson (NavPress).

“Every word of God is pure” (Prov:30:5), we “live...by every word of God” (Lk 4:4), and are “born again...by the word of God...which by the gospel is preached...” (1 Pt 1:23-25). Yet The Message , like other paraphrases, substitutes man’s words for God’s words! Peterson says that The Message is “not...a word-for-word conversion” of God’s Holy Word into modern language but what he thinks God’s Word means —not a translation but an interpretation (Introduction). What audacity to rewrite the Bible! Yet such shameless perversions of God’s Word are Warren’s major support for his thesis.

Paraphrases based upon “dynamic equivalency” partake of two destructive errors: 1) instead of translating the words of Scripture, they interpret in modern language what they believe are the ideas presented; and 2) they dumb down the language to make it “understandable.”

Interpretation is proper in sermons and commentaries, which listeners/readers can compare to the Word of God. The Message , however, is offered as “This version of the New Testament...” (p. 7), misleading readers into thinking they have the Scriptures in their hands. Even J. I. Packer and Warren W. Wiersbe praise The Message as Scripture (back cover)—which it is not.

John:3:17, for example, “that the world through him might be saved,” reads, “He came to help, to put the world right again.” “Saved” means redeemed from the judgment we deserve for our sins, and fitted for heaven—but “to help” merely assists our efforts. And “to put the world right again” sounds like social or political reform! Such flagrant perversion of God’s Word permeates The Message —and Warren turns to it for support.

Such paraphrases rewrite Scripture in simple language to make the ideas understandable. But there is much depth in God’s Word that even the most mature Christian finds difficult. The “deep things of God” are revealed by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor:2:10), not by simplifying God’s words. Peter said that in Paul’s epistles were “some things hard to be understood...” (2 Pt 3:16). Obviously the depth of Scripture is lost in simplifying it.

The Purpose Driven Life never presents the biblical gospel, which alone saves. Readers are told to “learn to love and trust God’s Son, Jesus” (p. 37); that if they “have a relationship with God through Jesus,” they needn’t fear death (p. 40); that “your identity is in eternity, and your homeland is heaven” (p. 48); and that “Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ. If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe ” (p. 58).

None of the essential elements of the gospel—that man is a sinner under God’s judgment, that Christ is God and man through a virgin birth, that He paid the penalty for our sins, that He resurrected the third day—is given (1 Cor:15:1-4). Readers are offered “friendship” with God through believing in a “Christ” who went to the cross because He “would rather die than live without us” (p. 79)! That is not the gospel!

The reader is told that his genetic makeup, physical features, talents, personality, the details of his daily life, etc., are exactly what God has foreordained: “God prescribed every single detail of your body....He planned it all for his purpose...” (pp. 22, 23). “You’re just what he wanted to make” (p. 25). Not so. The cumulative effects of man’s rebellion have created a pool of genetic distortions in humanity resulting in a deformed world with distorted beings that God never intended.

Warren justifies this fatalistic view from The Living Bible : “You [God]...scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe” (Ps:139:16)—not even close to what that verse actually says! Is every sinful thought and deed exactly what God has planned?! Men are not sinners but puppets if everything is exactly what God has decreed.

Let us be careful to “preach the word” and “obey the word” and allow Christ the “living word” to live through us as we offer sinners the biblical “gospel of God” (Rom:1:1) that truly saves. And let us “earnestly contend” for this unchangeable faith (Jude 3).

Stop Conversions, Stanford Religious Dean Tells Churches
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
WND - Bob Unruh
Categories: One World Church

The newly appointed dean for religious life at Stanford University has some advice for churches.

They should stop doing all those conversions and shouldn’t even “do religion” all the time, contends Rev. Jane Shaw, who plans to teach “empathy” in her religion classes.

The school explained her duties are to provide “spiritual, religious and ethical leadership to the university community, serve as minister of Memorial Church and also teach undergraduates and graduate students as a professor.”

Provost John Etchemendy praised her as “both a charismatic leader and an accomplished academic.”

“Dean Shaw is equally committed to the educational mission of the university and the ecumenical mission of Memorial Church,” he said.

It was in a taped interview when she complained that churches should be more into art, global warming and the like.

They should be less “churchy,” she said.

“I think people are always slightly surprised that I’m not very churchy as a person,” Shaw said in the interview with Palo Alto Online. “I don’t think church is to be more churchy. I think church is about, anyone should be welcome. I’m really interested in how you welcome many different kind of constituencies, certainly not convert them, not even necessarily to do religion all the time.”

Her comments drew the attention of talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.

“She ‘advocated that the church welcome people more, without converting them,’ and the way to do that is just drop all this religion all the time. It’s not necessary to do religion all the time in the church. The church can do art. The church can do global warming. The church can alert people to climate change. The church can do a lot of public good if it would just drop all the religion,” Limbaugh said.

“What does it even mean, ‘not necessary to do religion’? What do you mean, do religion? What does that even man? Stop praying? Stop singing? Stop doing sermons? Stop reading the Bible? What does it mean? Oh, by the way, she happens to be an LGBT activist and a lesbian. And she’s the dean of religious life.”

He said stories like this indicate “we are so screwed that there’s no coming back.”

The whole point, Limbaugh said, is to make worshiping earth a religion.

“If you gain control of people and you convince them that religion, the religion of God needs to take a backseat because churches are too religious and start getting into art. What does that mean? Well, global warming and climate change. You then convert these people to believing in the earth and the environment as a religion. 

And then it becomes inarguable. Once you invest your faith outside the religion of God, make it the religion of climate change, global warming and the earth, well, then you can’t be converted. It’s your religion. It’s offensive for anybody to even try. It’s your religion. It’s your faith. Nobody can argue with your faith.”

Under the headline “Genuine Mental Derangement on the Left,” he warned that when the first few such people moved into academia, people laughed.

Now, he said, they taken over the university.

“They’ve taken over academies. They’re in the media.”

At Campus Reform, Kaitlyn Schallhorn wrote that Shaw, 51, arrived from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

In the Palo Alto Online interview, Schalhorn noted, Shaw said she believed “the great crisis of our day is climate change and the environment.”

“So I rather hope that more people would take that seriously and begin to think and reflect on what they are doing with their own lives and how they can bring some pressure to bear to change things,” she said.

Shaw was ordained in the Church of England and earned degrees from Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley.

Editors Note.....Welcome to the harlot church, the new religion.

Russia, Iran and the End Times
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
Britt Gillette
Categories: Prophecy

I ran across an article last week about the recent drop in gasoline prices. While the recent decline could be attributable to a number of factors, this particular article speculated that Saudi Arabia and the United States are working together to increase production and lower oil prices. Their goal? To punish Russia and Iran economically.

Now, I don’t necessarily accept the article’s hypothesis, but I had to do a double-take when I read that. Why? Because the article inferred that two strategic geopolitical alliances have formed: One featuring the United States and Saudi Arabia and the other featuring Russia and Iran. And why is this such a big deal?

Because 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel stated that an alliance of nations will form in the latter days, just before Christ returns (Ezekiel 38), and that alliance will include Russia and Iran. Historically, Russia and Iran have never been a part of such an alliance (at least until recently).

The Gog of Magog Alliance

Ezekiel identifies the nations in this alliance as “Magog, Rosh, Meschech, Tubal, Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah” (Ezekiel 38:1-6). I don’t blame you at all if none of these names make any sense. After all, these don’t sound like the names of any nations on earth today. But keep in mind that Ezekiel named the nations of this alliance as they were known in his day, and each one represents a clearly identifiable nation currently in existence.

In fact, long before Russia became a world power, scholars identified Rosh as the nation of Russia and Gog as its ruler. And of course, right up until the day of March 21, 1935, the world knew the nation of Iran as Persia – the same Persia referenced in the Gog of Magog Alliance. So Persia is a clear reference to Iran.

Below is the list of nations cited by Ezekiel. The Old Testament name is listed first, followed by its modern day equivalent:

Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey

In the history of the world, such an alliance of nations has never existed. But today we see it coming together right in front of us. Don’t believe me? Just check your history books.

In the 2,600 years since Ezekiel recorded his prophecies, the nations of Russia and Persia have never been part of an alliance of any sort. Until around 1989, economic and military cooperation between Persia (Iran) and Russia had never taken place.

Today, that cooperation continues. Iran and Russia are strong allies. For example, in 1995 the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy signed an agreement with Iran to finish the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Construction on the plant had come to a stop following the 1979 Islamic revolution. But today, thanks to Russia, work is once again in progress. The two nations continue to strengthen their economic and military ties, and Russia is one of the few world powers that consistently defends the existence of Iran’s nuclear program.

When Will This Alliance Form?

The Bible says this alliance will form and come against Israel “in the latter days” (Ezekiel 38:8). The Hebrew word used in this passage is “acharith,” and it generally translates as the “after-part, latter part, last, close, or end.” In other words, this alliance will form in the last days just prior to the return of Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel uses this same word “acharith” again, when God says He will bring the alliance against the land of Israel “in the last days” (Ezekiel 38:16). And, at the beginning of verse 8, he reveals that this will happen “a long time from now” or “in the distant future.” In other words, this is not a prophecy fulfilled in Ezekiel’s day.

But that’s not all that’s said. Ezekiel provides us with additional clues. In the same passage cited above, God reveals the exact time when this invasion will occur. In verse 12, Russia’s ruler (Gog) says to himself, “I will attack the once abandoned cities that are now populated with the Jews who returned from exile among the nations” (Ezekiel 38:12). Did you catch that? The ruler of Russia (Gog) will attack the land when it’s filled with the exiles who return from among the nations. The target of this future invasion is the modern day state of Israel.

God Himself confirms this when He says the invasion will occur “after Israel’s people have been gathered from among many nations” (Ezekiel 38:8). He says it will happen “when I bring my people home from among the enemy nations” (Ezekiel 39:27). This return home from among many nations has happened only once in all of human history. And our generation is a witness to that event – the 1948 gathering of the Jewish people and the restoration of Israel in the Promised Land.

Today’s headlines point to the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies in the near future, and those prophecies point to the fulfillment of all the Second Coming prophecies in short order – within the expected lifetime of many of the people reading this article.

Never before have so many signs of the Second Coming been present. And never before has it been more important to share the Good News. So make sure to tell everyone you know “the Messiah you’re looking for is Jesus” (Acts 5:42), and He’s coming soon (Revelation 22:20)!

Paying Down the Debt is Now Almost Mathematically Impossible
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
Tyler Durden
Categories: Contemporary Issues

Exactly 199 years ago, in 1815, a “temporary” committee was established in the US Senate called the Committee on Finance and Uniform National Currency.

It was set up to address economic issues and the debt accrued by the US government after the War of 1812.

Of course, because there’s nothing more permanent than a temporary government measure, the committee became a permanent one after just one year.

It soon expanded its role from raising tariffs to having influence over taxation, banking, currency, and appropriations.

In subsequent wars, notably the American Civil War, the Committee was quick to use its powers and introduced the union’s first income tax. They also detached the dollar from gold to help fund the war.

This was all an indication of things to come.

Over the subsequent decades there was a sustained push to finally establish the country’s central bank that will control money and credit, as well as institute a permanent income tax to feed the expanding aspirations of government.

They succeeded in 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed and the 16th Amendment ratified, binding the country in the shackles of central banking and taxation of income.

Over the century that followed, the US has gone from being the biggest creditor in the world to its biggest debtor.

Decades of expanding government programs, waste, endless and costly wars, etc. have racked up such an enormous pile of debt that it has become almost impossible to pay it down.

A lot of folks don’t realize that, since the end of World War II, the US government’s total tax revenue has been almost constant at roughly 17% of GDP.

In other words, even though the actual tax rates themselves rise and fall, the government’s ‘slice’ of the economic pie is almost always the same - 17%.

I’ve worked out a mathematical model which shows that, even with absurd assumptions (7%+ GDP growth for years at a time, low interest rates, etc.), it is simply not feasible for the US government to ‘grow’ its way out.

Default has become the only option. And that could mean a number of things.

They could default on their creditors (other governments like China who loaned money to the US government). But this would spark a global financial and banking crisis.

They could default on the Federal Reserve, which owns trillions of dollars of US debt. But this would create an epic currency crisis for the US dollar.

They could also default on their obligations to their citizens—primarily to future beneficiaries of Social Security (who collectively own trillions of dollars of US debt).

Or they could choose to default on their obligations to every human being alive who holds US dollars… and engineer rampant inflation.

None of these is a good option. And simply put, the US government has reached a point of no return.

Editors Note....Materialism has been the false god, the idol of our culture, the love of things. It would be fiting judgment on our society if the Lord were to allow an economic collapse to happen in 2015.

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
From the internet
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues

Jeb Bush, in Clear Nod to 2016, Quits All Corporate Positions
It is the latest in a series of moves that point to the likelihood that the former Florida governor plans to seek the GOP nomination to run for president in 2016. The surprisingly fast and bold move, Bush is now more committed to running than the presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton — will force his fellow Republicans to declare earlier than many of them had been prepared to do.  

Report: Gulf States Fear Iranian Takeover of Yemen
An Arabic-language newspaper in London reported Thursday that pro-Iranian militias in Yemen have tightened their grip on the country – to the extent that they have taken over the country's national bank. As a result, Gulf states have withdrawn their support for Yemen, leaving the road open for a full takeover by Iranian-backed groups.  

Horrifying ISIS 'Guide for Jihadi Mothers' Surfaces Online
The handbook titled "Sister's Role in Jihad" recommends showing children jihadi websites, reading jihad tales before bed, practicing sports that require good hand-eye coordination, like darts, and going on camping trips to teach the children how to survive outdoors. "It is important for the West to understand that all these groups want the world to know that this indoctrination is taking place," MEMRI said in a statement.  

Victorious Netanyahu Lauds 'The Best List of All Parties'
"We have proved to the citizens of Israel that the democracy of Likud is much stronger than the dictatorship of populist parties that fall like mushrooms after rainfall,"  

Earthquake off Coast Shakes Northern California
The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a 5.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern California. The USGS says the quake was centered in the Pacific Ocean, about 70 miles west of Ferndale, California, and struck about 4:16 a.m. PST Thursday.  

The Ethnic Cleansing of Jesus
Christian Palestinianism has a done a great deal to try to undermine this. The Palestinian Jesus falsehood is a shocking return to the “Jesus was an Aryan” falsehood of the Far Right or the Church-sanctioned portrayal of Jesus as a fair-skinned, blue-eyed gentile. The identicide of the Jewish Jesus is also redolent of an ancient heresy known as Gnosticism, sometimes described as a metaphysical anti-Semitism.  

Aliyah Hits Ten-Year High: Approximately 26,500 New Immigrants Arrived in Israel in 2014
... aliyah hit a ten-year high in 2014, with the arrival of some 26,500 new immigrants. This marks a significant 32% increase over last year’s number of approximately 20,000 immigrants.  

Islamic State to Systematically Target Europe in 2015
In an interview with Sputnik, well-known French journalist and Middle East intelligence services expert Jean-Michel Vernochet said that he foresees an impending Islamic State group attack on Europe in the very near future.  

Netanyahu set to lead a strikingly hardline Likud
Netanyahu has not been banned from competing for, and presumably retaining, the Likud party leadership on Wednesday. Predictably, a compromise was engineered under which various Netanyahu advisers, whose services should not have been used to promote his campaign, have been placed on temporary leave. The party bureaucrats have been appeased. The prime minister sails smoothly on.  

WAITING FOR THE FIRST FLARE OF 2015
Solar flares are unpredictable. However, we know where the first flare of the New Year will probably come from: AR2253. The fast-growing sunspot has doubled in size since yesterday, and it has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for moderately strong explosions.  

NYPD arrests plummet: Slowdown in policing from NYPD officers after executions
NYPD arrests plummet, and the cause is not hard to guess. Tensions are high among the rank and file in the aftermath of the assassination of two NYPD officers, and coupled with the perceived anti-police rhetoric by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, police unions have called for an active slowdown in an organized protest.  

Peter King on MSNBC: ‘The Less Al Sharpton Has to Say,’ The Better
"Quite frankly, I know I’m on MSNBC. I think the less that Al Sharpton has to say about running the police department, interfering with the police department, the better everyone would be. Because I believe the decent people in both communities, in the NYPD, in the African-American minority communities do want to find a way to work together.  

Malik Shabazz to Black Panthers: 2015 Time to Build Army, Go to Gun Range
What am I saying? Right now it’s time to build up that army. Right now it’s time for us to build up those corps, those troops. It’s time to get strong. It’s time for lifting weights and working out and going to the gun range and all of that.”  

Russia Starts A New Economic Union On New Year's And It Already Looks Like A Disaster
A huge new economic union will begin on New Year's Day. You might not have heard about it, though, because its biggest member — Russia — has been a little preoccupied with its own economy recently. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEA), which succeeds the Eurasian Economic Community and customs union, begins on Jan. 1, 2015. It's made up of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.  

Shemitah year of 2015 may bring financial upheaval
What would you do if you knew that divine judgment on your country and the world was imminent? If you are Jonathan Cahn, you write two best-selling books that detail the revelations that you have received about how the United States is already undergoing judgment and has been for more than a decade.

U.S. says it is deeply troubled by Palestinian move
WASHINGTON - The United States said on Wednesday the move by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sign on to 20 international agreements, including the International Criminal Court, was of deep concern and unhelpful to peace efforts in the region.  

Israeli PM Netanyahu wins internal elections in Likud party
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to lead his right-wing Likud party, according to initial results of the party's internal elections held Wednesday. Knesset (parliament) member Danny Danon, who served as the party's central committee chairman, and was the only one who challenged Netanyahu's leadership and ran opposite him, conceded his loss on Wednesday night.  

Palestinians sign up to join International Criminal Court
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed papers to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). He signed the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty, at a Ramallah meeting. Membership could see the Palestinians pursue Israel on war crimes charges, and the move was quickly condemned by Israel's prime minister.  

Liberal Judge Dumps Constitution - Orders Drivers Licenses Be Issued to Illegals
If anyone in America has suspicions that communism, in the more friendly, yet more deviously illegal, form called Socialism is commandeering our civil rights, in fact, ALL of our rights, he or she is absolutely spot on target.  

Kurds in new Islamic State group offensive in Iraq
A suicide bomber killed at least 26 people in central Yemen on Wednesday when he blew himself up at a cultural center where students were celebrating the Prophet Mohammad's birthday, a security official said.  

HarperCollins Publishes Maps In The Middle East That Omit Israel
HarperCollins, one of the world's largest publishing houses, sells English-language atlases to schools in the Middle East that omit Israel. Collins Middle East Atlases show Jordan and Syria extending to the Mediterranean but do mark the position of the West Bank.  

N. Korea's Kim says open to 'highest-level' talks with South
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said Thursday he is open to the "highest-level" talks with South Korea in a surprise overture delivered during the communist supremo's traditional New Year message.  

Israel hails highest immigration figures in a decade
Jerusalem - The number of Jews moving to Israel leapt in 2014 to its highest figure in a decade, with western Europe leading the way, the immigration ministry said Wednesday.  

Impact of Porn on Young Men and Marriage
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
Billy Hallowell
Categories: Moral Decline;Contemporary Issues

Researchers Have a Major Warning About the Impact of Porn on Young Men and Marriage

A new study analyzing porn use among young men has found that those who consume it are potentially less likely to get married.

The study, titled, “Are Pornography and Marriage Substitutes for Young Men?” which was conducted by economics and finance professor Dr. Michael Malcolm of the University of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and George Naufal of Timberlake Consultants, found that smut has become a replacement for marriage for many of the 18 to 35 year old males who use it, the Christian Post reported.

Published by the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, a German economics organization, the research determined that “substitutes for marital sexual gratification may impact the decision to marry,” according to the abstract.

Internet porn has become a cheap alternative to marriage when it comes to sexual gratification, potentially impacting the decision of some men to marry, Malcolm and Naufal concluded.

“We investigate the effect of Internet usage, and of pornography consumption specifically, on the marital status of young men. We show that increased Internet usage is negatively associated with marriage formation,” the abstract reads. “Pornography consumption specifically has an even stronger effect. Instrumental variables and a number of robustness checks suggest that the effect is causal.”

The study highlights some of the shocking variables that cause concern surrounding porn’s potential impact on marriage, including the fact that the proportion of men today between the ages of 25 and 34 who have never walked down the aisle is six times higher than it was in 1970.

“Traditionally, one of the reasons to enter into a marriage was sexual gratification. But as options for sexual gratification outside of marriage have grown, the need for a marriage to serve this function is diminishing,” the study reads. “The NIH reports that the fraction of 20 year-olds who have engaged in premarital sex grew by about 50% between the late 1950s and the late 1990s. Besides premarital sex, another option is consumption of pornography, which has become widely more accessible since the proliferation of the Internet.”

Malcolm and Naufal explored data from the General Social Survey captured between 2000 and 2004, looking at parameters surrounding Internet usage and marital status. They found that heavy Internet usage and the use of pornography were associated with lower marriage rates. And when they dug deeper into the data, the authors determined that this relationship was causal, according to the study.

This is only the latest information to emerge surrounding the potential impact of porn use. As TheBlaze previously reported, Donna Rice Hughes, CEO and president of Enough Is Enough, a nonprofit devoted to ensuring the Internet is a safe place for children, recently wrote a research article on the subject titled, “The Internet P*rnography Pandemic.”

In the piece, which was published in the Christian Apologestics Journal, Hughes provided an overview of the research that has been done on the subject of pornography, calling the findings “eye-opening” and claiming that Internet smut has a “harmful impact on the emotional, mental and sexual health of young children, tweens and teens.”

“Every child deserves a protected age of innocence and the opportunity to thrive during childhood. Their hearts and minds are innocent, tender, and trusting and need to be safeguarded from the negative influences of increasingly violent and sexualized media,” Hughes wrote in the article. “Unfortunately, online pornography damages children, and the consequences are mostly irreversible. Pornography is ‘deforming the sexual development of young viewers and is used to exploit children and adolescents.’”

Hughes argued in the piece that porn sometimes overshadows parents in teaching kids about sex, leading to what she believes are some profoundly damaging effects.

“Powerful lies portrayed in exploitative pornography can take the lead in educating children on very important life issues,” she wrote. “Pornography teaches sex without love, intimacy, tender touch, responsibility, and commitment.”

Earlier this summer, statistics also showed that an almost identical proportion of Christian men report watching smut each month as their non-Christian counterparts — research that has concerned many faith leaders.

Editors Note......In my humble opinion this is the most damaging situation that has ever hit the church of Christ. I believe it is the major cause of the disapperance of male leadership in the body of Christ and in the family. It is soul-destroying and alienates men from God. Pastors are criticized when they speak out but they need to bite the bullet and go after it all-out. My brother pastors take courage and fight for the souls of your men!

Aliyah Hits Ten - Year High: Approximately 26,500 New Immigrants Arrived in Israel in 2014
Jan 1st, 2015
Daily News
The Yesheva World News
Categories: The Nation Of Israel

According to end-of-year figures released on Wednesday, 9 Teves by The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Absorption, aliyah hit a ten-year high in 2014, with the arrival of some 26,500 new immigrants. This marks a significant 32% increase over last year’s number of approximately 20,000 immigrants. For the first time ever, France tops the list of countries of origin for immigrants to Israel, with nearly 7,000 new immigrants in 2014, double the 3,400 who came last year. This development has spurred The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption to encourage aliyah from France and facilitate French immigrants’ absorption into Israeli society, as well as to expose young French Jews to life in Israel via Israel experience programs run by The Jewish Agency. Additionally, some 5,840 new immigrants have come from Ukraine over the course of the year, compared to some 2,020 in 2013. This dramatic 190% increase is due primarily to the ongoing instability in the eastern part of the country. The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption are meeting the challenge posed by the situation on the ground by expanding operations in Ukraine and offering immigrants special financial assistance.

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky said: “2014 was a year of record-breaking Aliyah. This year also saw a historic shift: for the first time in Israel’s history, the number of immigrants who came to Israel from the free world is greater than that of immigrants fleeing countries in distress. This trend is evidence of Israel’s attractiveness as a place where it’s good to live, as well as of the success of our joint efforts to promote Aliyah and strengthen connections between Jews around the world and the State of Israel. As we forecast further increases in Aliyah from around the world, I very much hope the next government continues to join The Jewish Agency in maintaining Aliyah encouragement and immigrant absorption as top priorities.”


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