This Week in the News

US Midterm Elections Result—Gridlock for Sure!

The Algemeiner wrote on November 7:

Trump and his fellow Republicans expanded their control of the US Senate in Tuesday’s midterm elections, following a divisive campaign marked by fierce clashes over race and immigration. But they lost their majority in the House, a setback for Trump after a campaign that became a referendum on his leadership. With some races still undecided, Democrats were headed for a gain of more than 30 seats, beyond the 23 they needed to claim their first majority in the 435-member House in eight years.

“The Democrats had never looked likely to win control of the Senate… The party with the presidency often loses House seats in midterm elections. Former President Barack Obama’s Democrats suffered what he called a ‘shellacking’ in congressional elections in 2010.

“With divided leadership in Congress and a president who has taken an expansive view of executive power, Washington could be in store for even deeper political polarization and legislative gridlock…”

Business Insider wrote on November 7:

“‘Welcome to gridlock,’ Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Wealth Management said on Wednesday morning. ‘Trump may now fall back on policy areas that do not require Congress, like trade…. Donovan’s view was issued by his colleagues in the chief investment office who note that an ‘increase in gridlock is likely, making it difficult to pass legislation.’”

There will be no meaningful cooperation between House and Senate Republicans and Democrats. Legislative gridlock appears inevitable. However, many of Donald Trump’s foreign powers are not restricted by Congress, and that is extremely worrisome to many.

Trump’s Ongoing Unrestricted Powers

Politico wrote on November 6:

“U.S. President Donald Trump will retain much of his power to shape America’s global policy… Like presidents before him, Trump has wide authority to act unilaterally on some of the issues that Europe and other countries care the most about — foreign policy, defense and trade. And Trump has displayed a broad interpretation of presidential authority and willingness to go around a gridlocked Congress…

“Trump can still quit treaties, negotiate bilateral agreements and make significant changes to U.S. priorities abroad if he so chooses. Congress can’t force the president and his aides to fill the vacant diplomatic posts that dot the globe, for example. And it can’t constrain Trump’s rhetoric about foreign countries, the United Nations or NATO…”

US Midterm Elections from a European Perspective

Deutsche Welle reported on November 7:

“… officials in Germany and other European Union countries said they do not believe the results will prompt a change in US President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy. ‘It would be a mistake to expect a course correction from Donald Trump now,’ German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter… Manfred Weber, a German politician who heads up the European Parliament’s center-right European People’s Party (EPP), said the results were a ‘mixed signal.’”

Even before the results of the midterm election had become known, Deutsche Welle wrote the following on November 5:

Never before have the US midterm elections attracted so much interest abroad. Many in the EU hope that the vote will weaken US President Donald Trump. However, observers say, that could prove dangerous internationally… Currently, the Republicans hold the majority in both houses of the US Congress…

“Elmar Brok, the former chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, told DW that it would be good for ‘checks and balances’ for the Democrats to win control of at least one chamber of the bicameral legislature — most likely the House of Representatives. Brok acknowledged, however, that such an outcome could have a downside: ‘President Trump would then concentrate entirely on foreign policy because he would no longer be able to push through any domestic reforms. That could make us even more nervous.’

The president’s attitude toward the European Union is clear. In trade matters, he regards the EU as an ‘enemy’ of the US — not a rival or even competitor, but an enemy. For example, the president’s realignment of US trade policy has resulted in fiery clashes with the leaders of almost all industrialized countries worldwide. And, after Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, he began threatening the European Union with punitive duties on cars as a measure to protect US automakers.

“… German observers of US politics fear that Trump could… [order] a military strike on Iran or North Korea… Whatever happens [on Tuesday], little would likely change for the better, Brok said. Trump is so unpredictable in his dealings with NATO allies that all conceivable scenarios in the wake of the US midterm elections are possible, Brok added.

“Braml, of the German Council on Foreign Relations, had a similar take. ‘The US, the “checks and balances,” will not do for us,’ he said. ‘We must think for ourselves: We must learn to think more confidently as Europeans.’ That has been the recurring theme in Germany and the European Union ever since Trump won the presidency in 2016, Braml said. Now, he added, the EU must come up with a coherent and credible strategy for global politics — regardless of who sits in the White House or the US Congress.”

Democrats Will Shoot at Trump

Mother Jones wrote on November 6:

“Here comes the flood. With the Democrats having won control of the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump and his crew in the White House and assorted federal agencies can expect to be hit by a wave of investigations and subpoena requests from Capitol Hill…

“The House Intelligence Committee… will certainly revive aspects of the Trump-Russia probe that House Republicans smothered. The House Foreign Affairs Committee surely will consider examining the Trump-Saudi relationship in light of the grisly murder of Jamal Khashoggi. You can bet the Homeland Security Committee will investigate the Trump administration’s family-separation policy, and the Armed Services Committee will examine whether there was any reason for Trump to send 15,000 troops to the border to deal with a migrant caravan…

“Since Trump entered office… congressional Democrats have been demanding the chance to investigate him… Republicans, though, constantly blocked them and protected Trump… Now the House Democrats have a golden opportunity—and, perhaps unfortunately for the nation, an embarrassment of riches to choose from.”

Trump Will Fire Back

The Washington Post wrote on November 7:

“President Trump threatened Wednesday to retaliate with a ‘warlike posture’ should the new Democratic House majority use its subpoena power to launch investigations into his administration, warning that any probes would jeopardize prospects for bipartisan deals…

“The president, who had demonized Democrats in apocalyptic terms and attacked Pelosi on the campaign trail, said he looked forward to working with her on ‘a beautiful bipartisan-type situation.’… But Trump said that he would react aggressively to any attempt to look into possible corruption in his administration or investigate his personal finances or conduct in office, as Democratic leaders have said they are planning to do…”

Trump Fires Sessions

CNBC wrote on November 7:

“Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the ‘request’ of President Donald Trump on Wednesday after more than a year of public criticism from the president. Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, will serve as acting attorney general, Trump announced. Whitaker also will assume oversight of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by Trump’s campaign in that meddling… Whitaker, who has publicly criticized the Mueller investigation, by law can serve as acting AG for a maximum of 210 days. He will have the power to fire Mueller ‘for cause’…

“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein up till now has had oversight over the Mueller probe, as a result of Sessions’ move to recuse himself from the investigation in 2017… Sessions’ resignation was expected to happen sometime after Tuesday’s midterm elections, particularly given the drumbeat of the president’s repeated criticism of the attorney general… But the abruptness of the move, less than 24 hours after the close of the polls Tuesday, stunned Trump’s closest allies both inside and outside of the White House.”

Hannity’s Inappropriate Conduct

Newsmax and The Associated Press reported on November 6:

“Sean Hannity spoke from the stage of President Donald Trump’s last midterm election rally on Monday, after Fox News Channel and its most popular personality had insisted all day that he wouldn’t. Hannity appeared on the podium in a Missouri arena after being called to the stage by Trump. Another Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, also appeared onstage with the president…

“Hannity has been rebuked by Fox in the past. In 2016, he was part of a Trump political video, which Fox said it had not known about in advance and told Hannity not to do so again. When Fox found out in 2010 that the Tea Party had advertised that Hannity would be appearing at one of his fundraising rallies, Fox said it had not approved the arrangement and ordered him back to New York… Despite Fox’s disavowal, the Trump campaign continued to list Hannity as a guest throughout Monday at the link where people could seek tickets to the event.”

The Week wrote on November 6:

“Fox News on Tuesday issued a statement saying it ‘does not condone’ the participation of show hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro in President Trump’s Monday night campaign rally in Missouri. ‘This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed,’ the statement said, not detailing what consequences the pundits were handed. Before the rally, the network and Hannity alike insisted he was there in a journalistic capacity, but at the event he went up on stage with Trump and, pointing to the journalists present, told the crowd: ‘By the way, all those people in the back are fake news.’ Hannity said in a tweet midday Tuesday his appearance on stage was ‘NOT planned.’”

Especially prior to the midterm elections, both arch-liberal and anti-Trump CNN and MSNBC as well as arch-conservative and pro-Trump Fox News engaged in an unparalleled partisan advertisement approach for either the Democrats or the Republicans which had nothing to do with informative, fair and objective reporting.

Trump’s Unprecedented War with the Media

CNN Business reported on November 7:

“In a stunning break with protocol, the White House said Wednesday night that it’s suspending the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta ‘until further notice.’ The move came just hours after Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, drew the ire of President Donald Trump and his allies by asking multiple questions at a post-midterms news conference. Trump insulted Acosta and called him a ‘terrible’ person.

“CNN said in a statement that Acosta has the network’s full support. The revocation of his pass ‘was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference,’ the statement said. ‘In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.’

“The removal of his pass is a sharp escalation of tensions between the Trump administration and CNN. It immediately stirred concerns within the White House press corps. Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, said on Twitter: ‘This is something I’ve never seen since I started covering the White House in 1996. Other presidents did not fear tough questioning.’ …

“Acosta has been one of the most aggressive reporters on the Trump beat, winning him huge numbers of fans but also huge numbers of critics… ‘President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,’ [Sanders] said. ‘We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable.’…

“CNN said in a statement: ‘This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American…”

Bild Online commented about the “insane Trump show”: “The President completely lost it at the press conference after the US election.” Die Welt Online added that it was Trump who provoked the fight and that the statement by the White House was untrue because the video clearly showed that Acosta did not touch the person, but only held on to the mic, and even apologized to her for not returning the mic to her. Stern Online and Spiegel Online agreed and described the incident in extremely unflattering terms for Trump.

Deutsche Welle described Trump’s attack on journalists in this way:

“He angrily attacked a White House correspondent of Haitian descent, telling her that her question about whether white nationalists might be emboldened by him labeling himself a nationalist was ‘a racist question’ and ‘insulting.’ Things were no better for foreign correspondents, with the president consistently complaining he couldn’t understand them. He had especially harsh treatment for a Japanese reporter; Trump, after asking the reporter where he was from, said ‘Say hello to Shinzo … I’m sure he’s happy about his tariffs on his cars.’…”

The upshot of the matter is that due to incidents like these, Trump’s reputation in other countries, especially Germany, went from extremely bad to unbelievably worse. 

CNN Business wrote on November 8:

“White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders seized on a misleading video… it appeared to have come from Paul Joseph Watson, an editor-at-large for InfoWars… it did not accurately portray what happened — it appears to show Acosta’s arm moving in a downward motion towards the intern’s faster than it actually did…

‘On Twitter, Watson strongly denied having edited the video in a deliberately deceptive fashion… Watson did provide a clue as to how the video may have inadvertently come to show a misleading version of the incident… He said that the basis for the video he posted was not raw footage or even a clip taken directly from a network. Instead, Watson said, he had downloaded a GIF, edited it, and exported the final product as a video. A GIF is a media file that compresses video by removing a significant number of frames from it. It allows individuals to show moving images without uploading large files…

“In a Thursday afternoon statement, Whitney Shefte, president of the White House News Photographers Association, said, ‘As visual journalists, we know that manipulating images is manipulating truth. It’s deceptive, dangerous and unethical. Knowingly sharing manipulated images is equally problematic, particularly when the person sharing them is a representative of our country’s highest office with vast influence over public opinion.’”

This is all very troublesome indeed. As has been confirmed by most news outlets, the unaltered video clearly shows that Acosta did NOT “place his hands” on the female intern. Trump’s war with the media will not end any time soon, and truth or fake news is on the line.

Merkel’s Past Influence on Germany and Europe

The Week wrote on October 31:

“It is almost impossible to convey the significance of Angela Merkel’s announcement that she will not run again for the chancellorship of Germany… No other figure in German politics born since the conclusion of the Second World War has enjoyed anything like Merkel’s influence, and it could be argued that her ultimate significance as architect of the post-9/11 European order will be greater than that of any modern politician in her country save Konrad Adenhauer, a man born at the zenith of the Hohenzollerns.

“For more than a decade Merkel has controlled the destiny of Europe. The continent in the period from the beginning of the Iraq war until now has been made in her personal image. The European Union began as many things, but in practice it has meant what Peter Hitchens has called ‘the continuation of Germany by other means,’ which is to say, the modern German desire, born long ago in the forge of Prussian ambition, to dominate Europe. It was the dream of the Kaiser, of Bismarck, of Frederick the Great, of the Hohenstaufen emperors…

“Merkel’s departure signals the end not only of the immediate post-Cold War era in German politics but the final twilight of… Christian values that she and her party embodied, however imperfectly, in a world that has moved past them… Looking at Europe now, it is hard not to be reminded of those immortal words of Wilhelm II contemplating the ruin of Germany from his exile, who saw ‘a nation of poets and musicians, of artists and soldiers’ becoming ‘a nation of hysterics and hermits, engulfed in a mob and led by a thousand liars or fanatics.’”

Reuters reported on November 7:

“More than three out of five Germans want Chancellor Merkel to step down in January and hand over the reins of government to whoever is elected chairman of the CDU at the party convention next month, according to a survey by Insa for the Bild tabloid newspaper.”

French President Macron Warns Europe

Euractiv wrote on November 1:

“French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Europe of a return to the 1930s because of the spread of a nationalist ‘leprosy’ across the continent…I am struck by similarities between the times we live in and those of between the two world wars,’ he [said,] urging people to be aware of the threats… ‘In a Europe divided by fears, the return of nationalism, the consequences of economic crisis, one sees almost systematically everything that marked Europe between the end of World War I and the 1929 (economic) crisis,’ [he was] quoted… as saying…

“‘Europe faces a risk — that of being broken up by nationalist leprosy and of being pushed around by foreign powers. And thereby losing its sovereignty,’ he said. ‘That is to say having its security depend on US choices, having China play an ever greater role when it comes to essential infrastructures, and Russia sometimes tempted to try its hand at manipulation, and have financial interests and markets sometimes play greater roles than that of states.’”

Macron Calls for “Real” European Army

The Guardian wrote on November 6:

“Emmanuel Macron has used the first world war armistice centenary commemorations to call for a ‘real’ European army, warning that rising nationalism and populism threaten the fragile peace on the continent. ‘We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,’ Macron said as he visited the sites of the western front battlefields in northern France on Tuesday… ‘When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euromissile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,’ he said in a radio interview to mark 100 years since the end of hostilities…”

Express wrote on November 6:

“Nigel Farage accused the European Union of ‘lying to us for 50 years’ after French President Emmanuel Macron called for a ‘real European army’ to reduce Europe’s dependence on the United States for defence. Nigel Farage warned a European army would be ‘very dangerous’ and ‘deeply insulting’ to the United States.”

European Defense Coalition

Reuters reported on November 7:

“A coalition of European militaries ready to react to crises near the continent’s borders was launched on Wednesday with Finland becoming the 10th country to join, amid calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for a ‘real European army’. The French-led initiative would not conflict with the almost 70-year-old, U.S.-dominated NATO alliance, proponents say, but reflects in part concerns about a more isolationist United States under President Donald Trump.

“The European Intervention Initiative took official shape in Paris after months of negotiations with Germany, who France wants at the center of the force… Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal have all given their green light for the French-led move. It will see members collaborate on planning, on the analysis of new military and humanitarian crises, and on eventual military responses to those crises.

“‘In an environment where threats and upheavals of a geopolitical or climatic nature are multiplying, the initiative must send the message that Europe is ready, that Europe is capable,’ a French defense ministry official said. The imminent departure from the EU of Britain, long opposed to EU military collaboration outside NATO, has revived talk of defense cooperation – as have concerns that Trump might prove less willing than his predecessors to come to Europe’s defense in the face of a newly assertive Russia.”

The ten countries referred to in the article are: France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Estonia, Spain, Portugal and Finland. We know from the Bible that Britain will not stay in this coalition, while Italy will join soon.

Brexit—“Abandon All Hope!”

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 6:

“The Sunday Times really got our hopes up over the weekend. A Brexit deal was imminent, the paper wrote. The European Union had given in to Prime Minister Theresa May’s demands and was letting her stay in a sort of customs union in order to solve the vexed Irish border question…

“What seemed reasonable has, however, now become impossible. At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, May was forced to declare she would not close a Brexit deal ‘at any cost.’ Clearly the cost is too high for her Brexiteers, who want at best a time limited customs union, or to be able to leave it at any time… No new cabinet meeting has been scheduled. Ministers will come together again only after what the PM calls ‘the best deal for Britain’ has been reached. The continued stalemate scuppers May’s plan to get a deal done this week. That’s needed to call an EU summit for the end of November and push the whole thing through Parliament before Christmas…”

German Ex-Spy Chief Maassen Fired

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 5:

“German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Monday that he was temporarily relieving former domestic spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen of his duties after Maassen made ‘unacceptable remarks’ in a farewell speech to representatives of international intelligence agencies. Seehofer, who has previously supported Maassen, said that a ‘cooperation based on mutual trust’ was no longer possible in view of the remarks.

“Maassen’s critical view of the government’s policy on refugees… has highlighted and contributed to rifts within Germany’s coalition over the past few months. In his address, Maassen spoke about ‘radical left-wing elements’ in the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the junior partner in the ruling coalition, who had, he said, seized gladly upon his controversial remarks about protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz in August to provoke divisions in the government. He also criticized Germany’s current policies on refugees and security as ‘naive and leftist.’

“… Maassen, 55, came under fire… when he questioned well-documented reports of far-right violence against foreigners during the Chemnitz protests. There have also been media reports that he passed sensitive information about Islamic extremism to the anti-immigration and anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The outcry prompted the government to fire Maassen as the head of the BfV.  An initial compromise between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the SPD would have seen Maassen essentially promoted to deputy interior minister. But that deal met with such opposition both from politicians and the public that he was instead to be made a consultant reporting directly to Seehofer…

“The AfD responded to the news by offering Maassen the chance to join its ranks. ‘He would fit well into a democratic, constitutional party like the AfD,’ chair Jörg Meuthen told newspapers of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, and also described Maassen as ‘a conscientious, excellent and thorough public official.’”

US Broad Sanctions Against Iran (and Many Other Nations)

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 4:

“All business with Iranian oil companies will be prohibited, as are insurances of any kind, including policies on oil shipments… all financial transactions with Iran’s central bank and a number of other banks will be banned

“Oil sales account for some 80 percent of all state income in Iran and since 60 percent of Iran’s budget expenditures are distributed to state-run businesses and institutions the country is extremely dependent upon the revenue they produce…

“Washington’s one-sided… implementation of unilateral sanctions have deepened the trans-atlantic divide. Now, Europe is standing side by side with Beijing and Moscow and against Washington in one of the central international questions of our day.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 5:

“As US sanctions against Iran came back into effect on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that several countries secured oil import exemptions, including: India, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, and Italy… The US decided to reimpose the sanctions after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.

“Pompeo told reporters that the eight countries secured temporary waivers to continue importing oil from Iran. The exemptions were granted with the understanding that the countries will seek to reduce their imports to zero. Waivers were also issued to allow European firms to continue conversion work on two of Iran’s nuclear facilities…

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he expects European nations to honor the sanctions, but that certain transactions — particularly humanitarian ones — will continue to be allowed.”

Handelsblatt Global wrote on November 5:

“German and European resistance to US sanctions on Iran appears to be failing, in an apparent victory for Donald Trump’s foreign policy… Germany’s economics ministry admitted the almost total ineffectiveness of European countermeasures to date… The new sanctions threaten any company or individual, American or not, who buys Iranian oil, invests in its energy sector, or uses Iranian banks or shipping lines. They specifically pressure financial payments systems, like the Belgian-based SWIFT network, to cut Iran from international transactions.

“When Trump announced a first round of sanctions in May, the German government and the European Union promised they would shield German and European companies from the effect of the measures… Germany and the EU have tried to circumvent the embargoes, but Berlin conceded its measures have done little to protect continued trade with Iran…

“This situation offers little immediate hope for German companies looking to trade with Iran. As a result, many large international companies, including Daimler, Siemens, Bayer, Henkel and Wintershall, left Iran earlier this year. They are fearful of legal action against their American businesses… German and European banks are spooked by American threats, and nearly all remaining German banks cut ties with Tehran. Some German companies are already unable to access funds paid by their Iranian clients…

“Still, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas phoned with his Iranian counterpart last week and assured him that the European Union continued to ‘make intensive efforts’ to keep economic channels open.”

Europeans recognize their current inability to stand up to the USA. This will prompt and force them to unite powerfully in the not-too-distant future to be able to decide “their own destiny.”

Iranians “Respond”

The Algemeiner and Reuters wrote on November 4:

“Iranians chanting ‘Death to America’ rallied on Sunday to mark both the anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy during the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the imminent reimposition of US sanctions on Iran’s key oil sector. Thousands of students in the government-organized rally in the capital Tehran, broadcast live by state television, burned the Stars and Stripes, an effigy of Uncle Sam and pictures of President Donald Trump outside the leafy downtown compound that once housed the US mission.

“Hardline students stormed the embassy on Nov. 4, 1979 soon after the fall of the US-backed Shah, and 52 Americans were held hostage there for 444 days. The two countries have been enemies, on opposite sides of Middle East conflict, ever since.”

Frightening Prospects for the American-Mexican Border

The Sun wrote on November 2:

“Trump-supporting Texans are taking up arms and heading to the Mexican border in a bid to head off the migrant caravan bound for the US. Up to 200 volunteers from the Texas Minutemen are heading to the Rio Grande River to join US Army troops dispatched by the president. They say they are guarding their country against drug cartels and criminals who they think are amidst the migrants marching north. But others say their involvement has raised fears of vigilantism in border towns, with the US border patrol warning residents to beware of ‘possible armed civilians’

“The Minutemen regard themselves as part of a grand tradition of Americans defending freedom… Donald [Trump] revealed this week he may send up to 15,000 soldiers, as many as are serving in Afghanistan… The militia members said they plan to bring guns and equipment such as bulletproof vests and lend a hand to the Border Patrol to protect against people unlawfully entering the country.

“Their presence has led to conflict in some cases. A militia member killed two people in 2009 during an invasion of what she thought was a drug house near the border in Arivaca, Arizona. Residents in that same city have been posting signs in recent weeks warning that militia members are not welcome… Marianna Trevino Wright, a South Texas resident who is director of the nonprofit National Butterfly Centre, said she is more fearful of the militias than the caravan. ‘We go about our business here every day in a peaceful manner,’ Wright said. ‘The idea that we could be invaded not by illegal immigrants but by militia groups … is regrettable, and it will end badly.’”

These developments are deeply unsettling indeed.

A Nation in Turmoil

The New York Times wrote on November 4:

“The tumultuous 2018 midterm campaign [has been] shaped by conflicts over race and identity and punctuated by tragedy

“There was an unmistakable dissonance between the relative health of the economy and the dark mood of a country… after a wave of attempted mail bombings and a massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead. ‘The nation is in political turmoil,’ said Representative Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican… ‘The economy is roaring but the mood is so sour. It’s a very sad time in this country.’…”

The Ghost of Civil War

The Daily Mail wrote on November 4:

“Spotsylvania [in Virginia is] among the most hallowed of all Civil War battlegrounds. In 1864, it was the scene of the most brutal fighting of the most brutal campaign of the conflict. When it ended, 30,000 men lay dead or wounded and the Confederacy had suffered the losses which would ultimately force its surrender… America’s Civil War ghosts are stirring again…

“The Civil War of 2018 is creating many scars… For many observers, the backdrop to these [midterm] elections has been the letter bombs posted to Democratic politicians and the Squirrel Hill synagogue shooting last weekend which left 11 Jewish people dead. But here in Virginia another bloody legacy overshadows this campaign [with] violent clashes between anti-fascists and neo-Nazis that resulted in the death of activist Heather Heyer…

“Like their forefathers 150 years ago, the warriors of both sides in the new US Civil War believe in the absolute justness of their cause.”

The Civil War Did Not End

The Guardian wrote on November 4:

“In the 158th year of the American civil war, also known as 2018, the Confederacy continues its recent resurgence

“If you are white, you could consider that the civil war ended in 1865. But the blowback against Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, the myriad forms of segregation and deprivation of rights and freedoms and violence against black people, kept the population subjugated and punished into the present in ways that might as well be called war. It’s worth remembering that the Ku Klux Klan also hated Jews and, back then, Catholics; that the ideal of whiteness was anti-immigrant, anti-diversity, anti-inclusion…

“Another way to talk about the United States as a country at war is to note that the number of weapons in circulation is incompatible with peace. We have 5% of the world’s population and 35%-50% of the guns in civilian hands, more guns per capita than anywhere else – and more gun deaths, too. Is it any surprise that mass shootings… are practically daily events? Many synagogues, Jewish community centers, black churches and public schools now engage in drills that are preparations for the gunman who might arrive…”

Ongoing and increasingly violent confrontations in today’s deeply divided USA are more than just mere fiction.

Ongoing Misconceptions about Birthright Citizenship

Recently Ann Coulter, a prominent anti-immigration author, wrote the following:

Whether the children born to legal immigrants are citizens is controversial enough. But at least there’s a Supreme Court decision claiming that they are — U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. That’s ‘birthright citizenship.’ It’s something else entirely to claim that an illegal alien, subject to deportation, can drop a baby and suddenly claim to be the parent of a ‘citizen.’  This crackpot notion was concocted by liberal zealot Justice William Brennan and slipped into a footnote as dicta in a 1982 case. ‘Dicta’ means it was not the ruling of the court, just a random aside, with zero legal significance… No Supreme Court has ever held that children born to illegal aliens are citizens…”

This conclusion is false. The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

 In United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)], the Supreme Court said by a 6-2 vote, that the 14th Amendment applied to virtually everyone born in the U.S., except for children of enemies of the U.S. or of foreign diplomats, or children born on Native American reservations, which were considered sovereign entities.

The meaning of that clause “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is plain, decreeing that all children born in the United States are citizens of the United States [and thereby subject to its jurisdiction], with the exception of those listed above.

In Plyler v. Doe [Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)], the court said in a footnote that “no plausible distinction with respect to 14th Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.” Even though dicta, all nine justices agreed that the Equal Protection Clause protects legal and illegal aliens alike. And all nine reached that conclusion precisely because illegal aliens are “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S., no less than legal aliens and U.S. citizens. It would be preposterous to say that illegal aliens are not subject to US jurisdiction. If so, the US could not hold them accountable for any crimes they commit in this country. Coulter’s comment that it is controversial enough whether children born to legal immigrants are citizens is deeply unsettling and disturbing. It reflects a mindset which is absolutely contrary to long-standing American values. Please view our recent StandingWatch program, “The TRUE FACTS about America’s Birthright Citizenship”.

The Nonsense of Daylight Saving Time… Who Came Up with this Crazy Idea?

Deutsche Welle wrote on October 27:

“In the early hours of Sunday, almost all of Europe will change the clocks… once again the public will debate whether all this makes sense or not, this time more fiercely and controversially than ever, because time could be up for changing the clocks…

“The Brussels-based authority wants to put an end to the journey through time that has been going on for 38 years. It urges that the practice be scrapped in 2019 already. Each EU member state is to decide whether it would permanently remain on summer time, or the standard winter time. However, none of this is official yet, as the European Parliament and the EU member states still have to give their approval…

“So Sunday’s changing of the clocks could be the last of its kind. Which is a good thing. For the permanent tampering with the clocks has led to nothing! The alleged advantages of saving energy? Never materialized, according to scientific studies…

“A look back at history can help us make the right decision. The idea of daylight saving time was first implemented by the last German emperor, Wilhelm II. When millions of soldiers were slaughtered in the bloody trench warfare of the First World War and German armament factories faced fuel shortages, he had the clocks switched to summer time on April 30, 1916. The aim was to save energy, in order to be able to continue the war. Germany’s opponents, Great Britain and France, followed suit during the same year. But summer time – already unpopular with contemporaries – was abolished again in 1919.

“In 1940, summer time was reintroduced by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler – for the same reason as in 1916. His dictatorial brethren, Italy’s Benito Mussolini and Spain’s Francisco Franco, followed suit with their country’s clocks, and the Nazis forced much of Europe to change as well. 1949 saw the end of that experiment. In 1980, at the time of the second oil crisis, the summertime changing of the clocks was revived in both parts of then-divided Germany. Since 1996, daylight saving time has applied in all EU member states.

“In short: a clueless emperor and a dictator with delusions of grandeur, responsible for two world wars, tampered with the clocks to facilitate their military operations. For this reason alone I say: the changing of the clocks can cease to be. Goodbye, winter time – and thanks for nothing!”

The USA followed Germany’s lead, starting with daylight saving time in 1918. It was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. After the War ended, the law proved so unpopular that it was repealed in 1919. During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt, following Hitler’s lead, instituted year-round daylight saving time, called ‘War Time,’ from February 9, 1942 to September 30, 1945. From 1945 to 1966, there was no federal law regarding daylight saving time, until Richard Nixon resurrected it again in 1974 (compare Arizona and Hawaii refused to adopt daylight saving time… good for them.

“A Snake, the Temple, and the Messiah”

Breaking Israel News wrote on November 1:

“A snake wriggling out from between the stones of the Western Wall in search of a meal brought with it a message straight from Jewish mystical teachings; connecting the archetypal enemy of man with the High Priest in the Temple, and also, perhaps, serving as a harbinger of the Messiah… A Hebrew language blogger quoted by Ynet News noted the serpent made its Jerusalem appearance during a hotly contested mayoral election, connecting it to the destruction of the Second Temple

“Pointing to the pigeon that fled the snake in the video, Sod1820, a Hebrew language kabbalah site, cited Midrash [where] Israel is compared to a pigeon or dove… The site also claimed the appearance of a snake coming out of the stones of the Temple Mount could be seen as an auspicious sign… The Zohar (the basis of Jewish mysticism) explained that the evil inclination, personified by the snake in Eden, will make a resurgence in the days before Messiah… According to Jewish tradition, the curse of Eve, represented by menstrual blood and labor pains, will be canceled out in the Messianic era. Before the Messiah, God will kill the archetypal snake, removing the curse of Eve… The Zohar states that the tikkun (fixing) of the snake would be accomplished in the Third Temple by way of the breastplate…

“It does indeed seem like the Temple Mount is trying to speak to the Jewish people. About four months ago, a large piece of one of the stones weighing several hundred pounds suddenly fell, barely missing one of the women who came to pray at dawn. Another sign appeared on Hoshana Rabba, the last day of Sukkot, when a large cloud of mist began billowing up from the ground inside the Temple Mount Compound, surrounding the Dome of the rock for several minutes.”

All this superstitious nonsense has one thing in common… the Jewish belief in the building of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount prior to the coming of the Messiah. For more information, please view our StandingWatch program, “Netanyahu’s Announcement of a Third Temple?”

Large Earthquakes in California Renew Fears of the Big One

Zero Hedge wrote on November 3:

“A series of large earthquakes has rattled California over the last 24 hours, and scientists are telling us that the shaking was the result of ‘movement along the San Andreas Fault system.’ In recent months there has been an alarming amount of seismic activity all along ‘the Ring of Fire’, and there have been times when the number of global earthquakes has been way above normal… experts are telling us that we are overdue for the ‘Big One’ to hit California…

“A 2008 report by USGS described the Hayward Fault, which runs to the east of San Francisco, as a ‘tectonic time bomb’ which could threaten the city’s seven million residents. And when ‘the Big One’ does strike, it could potentially be far worse than most people have ever imagined… a recent study that concluded that a major earthquake could potentially ‘plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly’

The fact [is] that our planet is entering a time of unprecedented seismic activity… Down in southern California, a ‘moving sinkhole’ is now traveling up to 60 feet a day, and it is ‘destroying everything in its path’…

“Of course this is not just a west coast phenomenon.  We have been witnessing unusual seismic activity all over the world, and it has become very clear that our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. Natural disasters are going to continue to grow worse and worse, and that is going to have extremely serious implications for all of us.”

This is sadly, very true, and it is prophesied to occur in the Bible. Please view our recent StandingWatch program, Is California’s Big Earthquake About to Strike?”

The Next Generation of Deadly Weapons… Genetically Engineered Viruses

Zero Hedge wrote on November 2:

“Genetically engineered viruses could very well become the next generation of warfare. Deadly viruses modified in labs could be released eliminating entire communities of people as they infect making them a valuable asset to militaries worldwide.

“As dystopian as that sounds, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is already working on a project called Insect Allies which will use insects to infect crops with genetically modified viruses that edit the crops’ genetic profile to make them more resilient against disease, as well as natural and manufactured threats to the food supply.

Joe Joseph of The Daily Sheeple said a quick Google search would give you enough information to let you know how horrific this kind of technology can be. ‘…and you’ll find it fascinating just at how unbelievable a weapon this could be, how unintentionally mistakes can be made that can cause irreversible damage…irreparable damage…to the human race. And I mean, FAST!’ Joseph said. ‘A gene drive…if let’s just say there’s a mistake, you could feasibly wipe out the human race in a very very short period of time. It’s an unbelievable tool at the disposal of madmen.’

“DARPA attempted to squash rising fears about their Insect Allies project and issue reassurances after German and French scientists voiced questions and concerns about the program’s efficacy earlier this month.  Those scientists also suggested that it could be ‘widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery, which—if true—would constitute a breach of the Biological Weapons Convention.’

“If the know-how and means exist to transmit genetic viruses that supposedly create beneficial crop mutations, the opposite will also be possible.  DARPA will be able to use insects to deliver gene editing viruses that destroy crops, ruin harvests and adversely affect the wider ecosystem… This means that those who fear this program are not far off at all for doing so.

“Another project receiving DARPA funding involves releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys area to transmit a sterilizing genetic virus to their malaria-carrying counterparts. Apart from the unknown effects upon the wider ecosystem, the knowledge gleaned from such research could one day make it possible… to accidentally or deliberately use insect vectors to unleash a variety of biological agents and genetic viruses upon an unsuspecting population.”

It is entirely possible that the use of these kinds of weapons will contribute to the fulfillment of Christ’s warning for these end times that nobody would survive unless Christ were to intervene.

AI to Replace Worship of God?

The Daily Star wrote on November 4:

“It is already predicted that AI will soon be present in all areas of the workplace, with industry experts saying it will eventually do millions of jobs currently done by people. It is thought that every field – from publishing to factory work – will eventually be dominated by intelligent robots as men and women become increasingly obsolete.

“But now experts believe more than jobs are at risk in the Artificial Intelligence revolution. Novelist Dan Brown previously warned people may no longer worship God or pray to Jesus – instead putting all their faith in an AI messiah. Speaking about the advent of this technology, the Da Vinci Code writer said: ‘Humanity no longer needs God but may with the help of artificial intelligence develop a new form of collective consciousness that fulfils the role of religion. Are we naive today to believe that the gods of the present will survive and be here in a hundred years?’

“According to Daily Galaxy, MIT physicist and cosmologist Max Tegmark also said that once this new superintelligence is vastly greater than that of a human, the fate of mankind will depend on it…”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God