Current Events

Building the Third Temple on the Temple Mount

The Times of Israel reported on July 5:

“A government minister from a nationalist religious party called Thursday for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The statement from Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) breaks a long-standing taboo on high-ranking government officials speaking about changing the fragile status quo on the holy and contested esplanade, and will likely draw ire from official Israeli circles and anger the Arab and Muslim world… Ariel called for a third Temple to be built on the site, which today is home to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest…

“The Jerusalem site was home to Judaism’s first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed, the second one in 70 CE… Last year, Jewish Home MK Zevulun Orlev also called for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, saying that removing the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque would mean that the ‘billion-strong Muslim world would surely launch a world war.’ However, he added, ‘everything political is temporary and there is no stability.’

“Jews are currently banned from praying on the Temple Mount by the Jordanian department of endowments, known as the Wakf, which administers the plaza surrounding the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.”

The Bible indicates strongly that the third temple will be built in Jerusalem, prior to Christ’s return.

Pope’s Waivers for Sainthood in Catholic Church

Thomson/Reuters reported on July 5:

“Pope John Paul II… who led the Catholic Church for nearly 27 years, and Pope John XXIII, who called the reforming Second Vatican Council, will be declared saints… The Vatican said Pope Francis had approved a second miracle attributed to John Paul, a Pole who was elected in 1978 as the first non-Italian pope in 450 years and who died in 2005. His progression to sainthood is the fastest in modern times.

“The Vatican also said Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963… would be made a saint even though he has only been credited with one miracle since his death… Francis waived the customary rules requiring a second miracle after beatification… John XXIII was beatified in 2000…

“John Paul went down in history as the ‘globe-trotting Pope,’ visiting every inhabited continent in more than 100 trips outside Italy. His successor, Benedict, waived a Church rule that normally requires a five-year waiting period before the preliminaries to sainthood can even begin.”

Popes are Popes and can therefore do whatever they want—it seems.

“Vatican Issues First Text Co-Written by Two Popes”

AFP wrote on July 5:

“The Vatican on Friday issued an unprecedented religious text co-written by Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI in which the two popes… restated their opposition to gay marriage. Francis paid tribute to pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the encyclical, saying that the ex-pontiff had ‘almost completed’ the text before stepping down in a historic resignation this year and that he himself had merely added ‘further contributions.’

“Francis and Benedict, who both live within the walls of the Vatican City and wear the white papal vestments, met publicly on Friday at a ceremony in the Vatican for the unveiling of a new statue. [Zenit reported on July 5 that the statue, sculpture or monument represented “Saint Michael the Archangel, patron of Vatican City State.”] Benedict became the first pope to resign of his own free will in 700 years in February and Francis was elected to succeed him in March as the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years…

“Encyclicals are papal circular letters addressed to the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church that are intended to summarise a pontiff’s thoughts on a particular aspect of Church life. Some of them have gone down in history as significant landmarks in Church history.

“Pope Leo XII in 1891 published ‘Rerum Novarum’ in which he undertook to engage the Catholic Church in social issues, denouncing living conditions for the working class and encouraging workers to organise themselves into associations. In 1914, Benedict XV denounced the horrors of World War I in ‘Ad beatissimi apostolorum principis’ and Pius XI in ‘Mit brennender Sorge’ in 1937 condemned Nazi racism. In Paul VI’s ‘Humanae Vitae’ in 1968, Paul VI condemned all forms of contraception, while John Paul II in ‘Evangelium Vitae’ in 1995 called for opposition to laws legalising abortion and euthanasia.”

Pope Angers Establishment

ABC News reported on July 6:

“It appears Pope Francis truly wants to change the Catholic Church. He’s reforming the Vatican Bank first, but he’s also circumventing the old guard wherever he can. The establishment is up in arms… When, in autumn 2010, fresh suspicions of money laundering to the tune of triple-digit millions emerged, then Pope Benedict XVI promised stricter rules for his financial managers. In fact, though, nothing changed. In the so-called Vatileaks scandal, secret documents that had been smuggled out of the Vatican shed light on bizarre intrigues inside the papal state. Often, the Vatican Bank [IOR] played a role in those intrigues. Benedict XVI was appalled, but also overwhelmed. He failed to prevail over the powerful cardinals who backed the IOR. His resignation was the logical outcome.

“His successor is taking more decisive action. First, he fired Nunzio Scarano, the top accountant in the Vatican office that oversees Vatican property and investments, after he was accused of money laundering and corruption and arrested. Then, practically overnight, he forced out IOR Director Paulo Cipriani and his deputy. Now the bank will be led by Ernst von Freyberg, a German baron and former consultant, member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the president of the IOR supervisory board since mid-February… ‘Did we actually vote for someone who really believes in what he preaches?’ some within the Curia are now whispering.

“Once again, Francis has taken them fully by surprise. In an almost demonstrative manner, he has been excluding the Vatican apparatus in every way he can. Most recently, this happened with the trip the pope announced he would take on Monday to the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, first learned of the planned trip through a papal press release. And instead of the kind of months of advance-team work used by heads of the Catholic Church for trips in the past, Francis has dispensed with that. Instead, the eccentric Argentinian pope ordered his staff to prepare a plane so that he could fly there in the morning and be back by midday… The pope has announced that he doesn’t want to meet with the mayor or other authorities. He also ordered church officials to stay away.”

Obama’s Waiver of Lack of Waiver for Egyptian Aid

JTA reported on July 5:

“When it comes to foreign assistance, American law couldn’t be clearer: A coup d’etat suspends funding, period. But that directive, which has persisted for years in federal appropriations bills, is now clashing with another congressional priority: the apparent desire to foster an alternative to Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s democratically elected Islamist president who was removed from power this week by the Egyptian military.

“In recent months, Congress has intimated that it would be happier if his secular foes in the military were running the country. But the law ties Congress’ hands. On July 3, President Obama said he would ‘review’ what the coup means for American aid…The United States provides some $1.55 billion in aid to Egypt annually, most of it defense assistance conditioned on Egypt’s observance of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Congressional leaders cited those circumstances in suggesting that the Obama administration work with the interim government. But other lawmakers… underscored that the language in the appropriations bill left virtually no wiggle room…

“Unlike many other spending provisions, the language regarding a coup d’etat does not include a presidential waiver. That leaves the Obama administration three options for working around the provision: Obtain congressional agreement to add a waiver within the next few weeks; accelerate the democratic replacement of Egypt’s interim government; or use executive privilege to work around the lack of a congressional waiver…

“The first two options are unlikely. Congress can barely agree on a budget, let alone a waiver on a sensitive issue like Egypt. And with Egypt already roiling with violence, its military would be loath to facilitate the return of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to power through a hastily arranged election. The third option — exercising the prerogative of the president to advance foreign policy — could undercut U.S. credibility overseas, conveying an impression Obama has tried to correct: that the United States supports the powers it prefers, regardless of the will of the people.”

The Daily Caller added on July 5:

“The $1.5 billion in U.S. foreign aid slated for Egypt next year is in jeopardy after the Egyptian army deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday. Section 508 of the decades-old Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that ‘none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup or decree.’ A clause in the 2011 omnibus bill strengthens the provision, excluding from American aid any nation experiencing a ‘coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.’

“Although events in Egypt appear to conform perfectly to these criteria, it’s unclear whether the Obama administration will cut off revenue to the strategically important nation anytime soon… the president also refused to call the takeover a coup, indicating his administration’s wariness to label events in Egypt before deciding how to proceed.

“Time reports that the $1.3 billion marked for the Egyptian military in 2014 is around 20 percent of that organization’s total budget. Without that money, the army may be unable to keep the peace should an extended confrontation develop between Morsi’s supporters and opposition activists. ‘The Egyptian military has long been a key partner of the United States and a stabilizing force in the region, and is perhaps the only trusted national institution in Egypt today,’ House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said… The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee echoed that sentiment… Their comments indicate that the administration would face little protest from congressional Republicans if they decide to ignore or circumvent the law on foreign assistance.

“But politicians from the president’s own party may be less forgiving. ‘Our law is clear: U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree,’ said Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chair of the budget committee which oversees foreign aid.”

Somehow, it can be expected that Congress and the Obama Administration will be able get around the “clear language of the law” to do what they want to do–if they can agree on WHAT to do.

America Clueless on Egypt

On July 5, CNN published an editorial by Christian Whiton, former State Department senior advisor from 2003-2009:

“That’s twice Washington was caught slack-jawed amid revolution in the world’s biggest Arab-majority state. But don’t blame the Obama administration exclusively for twice being on the losing side of events in Egypt. Reality in Egypt has also eluded Beltway Republican foreign policy mavens and America’s dysfunctional and distracted intelligence bureaucracies. That makes shaping events in Egypt nearly impossible.

“The first shock for Washington came in January 2011, when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demanding secular democracy filled town squares. According to Washington and its $80 billion-per-year intelligence bureaucracy, these people did not exist in the Middle East…  Even as it became clear that Mubarak would not survive, Vice President Joe Biden said supportively, ‘I would not refer to him as a dictator.’ Of the nation that historically has been the political bellwether of the broader region, then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, ‘We’re not advocating any specific outcome.’

“These officials should be afforded some pity. The information and advice they were getting came partially from State Department experts who are perennially wrong about major developments in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the CIA was distracted. Originally created for the crucial tasks of stealing secrets and waging political war on America’s foes, the CIA has spent the last decade becoming a second military. With what amounts to a second American air force around the globe and a ground force now focusing on arming Syrian rebels – inexplicably so for a mission that isn’t conceivably covert – the CIA drifts ever farther from helping policymakers grasp and influence foreign political developments.

“And so the first Egyptian revolution came and went. Despite being caught flatfooted before the uprising, surely officials across Washington would be excited at the emergence of a bloc in Egypt that wanted a modern democracy, wouldn’t they? Unfortunately, Washington has a way of not allowing new facts to tamper with long-held assumptions. If Egyptian secular liberals did not exist in theory then they couldn’t exist in practice.

“So when Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham went to Cairo in February 2011, they held high-profile meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, lending it credibility. According to the Wall Street Journal, Graham remarked, ‘After talking with the Muslim Brotherhood, I was struck with their commitment to change the law because they believe it’s unfair.’ Later, in April 2012, White House spokesman Jay Carney cited the McCain-Graham engagement with the Brotherhood as justification for the Obama administration’s own engagement with the Islamist group…

“Enter Egypt’s second revolution.  Is it any wonder that the Obama administration has chosen to remain reticent about the matter?  Egypt’s Islamist president is gone, but his supporters still exist and their secular opponents don’t yet appear to be more organized.  Worse still, the will for America and its allies to help them organize, and the tools to do that with, both appear to be in mothballs. So once again the most titanic political contest of our era takes a dramatic turn – one that will have an impact in every Muslim-majority nation and beyond, but with America largely on the sidelines. Washington will again leave crucial matters to chance.”

That is the picture which is being painted increasingly by Washington—when it comes to world affairs, it seems to be clueless, standing on the sidelines, leaving it to others to lead. The time when America was respected as a leader in the world is gone. See also the next article.

Obama’s Mideast Policy Ineffective

The Los Angeles Times added on July 5:

“The military overthrow of the democratically elected government in Egypt, for decades America’s most important Arab ally, has rekindled a fierce debate about whether the Obama administration’s Mideast policy has been too passive and ineffective…

“The critics, who include Democratic foreign policy stalwarts as well as Republicans, say the upheaval in Egypt, on top of the administration’s inability to stem the civil war in Syria or persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program, adds a blot to Obama’s foreign policy record. They blame, in part, Obama’s desire to reduce America’s overseas commitments after a decade of war, along with his apparent effort to pull back from a leadership position in favor of a more supporting role in the Middle East…

“Critics now say the U.S. focus on security meant the White House was unwilling to push back when Egypt’s military abused human rights, including ordering military trials for 10,000 civilians accused in connection with the 2011 protests, and when the Morsi government began trying to monopolize power. ‘Washington was embarrassingly quiet,’ said Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a nonpartisan think tank…

“Martin Indyk, a former U.S. diplomat and advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, said the administration’s failure to object more loudly was a serious mistake. ‘Our failure to stand against Morsi when he began trampling on minority rights convinced the secular opposition that we were now in his corner,’ Indyk wrote in Foreign Policy magazine. ‘We appeared to be shifting our support from one authoritarian Pharaoh to the next.’…

“U.S. officials and European governments, in particular, talked about developing an international aid framework to assist Egypt’s struggling economy, but it never got off the ground. Egypt ultimately turned to Qatar for a $3-billion annual subsidy.”

Kerry on Yacht—Why These Constant Lies?

CNN reported on July 5:

“After the emergence of photographs showing Secretary of State John Kerry on his 76-foot yacht ‘Isabel’ on Nantucket Sound on Thursday, the State Department issued an embarrassing correction Friday morning, back-tracking and acknowledging that the Secretary was in fact on the yacht on Wednesday, the day the Egyptian military staged a coup against democratically-elected Egyptian President Mohamed [Morsi].  Originally, State Department officials were quick to deny a Wednesday tweet from CBS News’ Mosheh Oinounou that: ‘A CBSThisMorning producer just spotted Secretary of State Kerry on yacht in the Nantucket Boat Basin…’

“State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a statement Wednesday saying ‘any report or tweet that he was on a boat is completely inaccurate. Since his plane touched down in Washington at 4 am, Secretary Kerry was working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt… He participated in the White House meeting with the President by secure phone and was and is in non-stop contact with foreign leaders, and his senior team in Washington and Cairo.’

“But overnight, photographs emerged showing Kerry on ‘Isabel’ and taking in some kayaking on Thursday… On Friday morning, Psaki issued a second statement, acknowledging that Kerry was ‘briefly on his boat on Wednesday.’…”

This is just another nail in the coffin of the lack of trust in the American government’s truthfulness.

The Important Role of Egypt’s Military

Deutsche Welle reported on July 5:

“Within two years and with the help of the army, the Egyptians have overthrown two presidents… The period between Mubarak’s fall and the election of his successor, Mohammed Morsi, was marked by continued unrest. Initially, some people welcomed the role of the army, but the Supreme Council soon found itself accused of maintaining the old power structures and of carrying out numerous human rights abuses…

“From the start, Morsi’s presidency was marked by a battle for power with the military. In August 2012, he suspended articles of the constitution which limited his power in favor of the military… Morsi’s attempts to increase his powers led to increasingly vocal protest from society and the opposition. In the course of his presidency, he found himself accused of turning Egypt into an Islamic state…

“The Egyptian army is one of the most important actors on the country’s political stage. Since the end of the monarchy in 1952, all the Egyptian presidents have come from its ranks: Mohammed Nagib, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar al-Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. At the same time, it was the military which was crucial in Mubarak’s overthrow…  The military has once more played an important role and taken the upper hand in the fall of Morsi… it… announced Morsi’s arrest and appointed the president of the constitutional court, Adli Mansour, as interim president to replace him.”

On July 5, the Huffington Post published the following comment by Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Emmy-Nominated Producer/Host:

“I understand why so many (namely President Obama) are careful not to call this a coup. But whatever we call it, we must acknowledge the basic facts: A president elected in unprecedented free and fair elections was overthrown by an ever-powerful military that took its cues from an unprecedented mobilization of millions of Egyptians challenging his rule. Morsi failed at nearly everything the Egyptian people had hoped and entrusted him to do, chief among them, uniting a divided Egypt. But Egypt’s military has failed for far longer, with a lot more blood on their hands. And no one is more ruthless in suppressing the rights of others in Egypt than the American-made military.”

Egypt’s Turmoil Ongoing

Fox News and The Associated Press reported on July 10:

“Egypt ordered the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader and nine others for allegedly instigating violent clashes with the military this week that left more than 50 Brotherhood supporters dead…

“Newly appointed Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi was to begin forming a Cabinet on Wednesday, and has said he will offer the Brotherhood — which helped propel Morsi to the presidency — posts in a new government. But a Brotherhood spokesman dismissed any talk of joining a military-backed administration, and said talk of national reconciliation is ‘irrelevant.’…

“Interim President Adly Mansour called for a reconciliation process called ‘One People’ to begin in Ramadan, traditionally a period for Muslims to promote unity. It called for parties and movements to hold meetings. But there was no sign the Brotherhood and its allies would attend, much like Morsi’s opponents rejected his calls for dialogue, which were dismissed as empty gestures…

“Egypt still remains deeply polarized with heightened fears of violence, especially after Monday’s shootings… Tens of thousands of Islamists massed on Tuesday for another day outside a Cairo mosque.”

Persecution of Christians in Egypt

F24 wrote on July 6:

“Violent clashes across Egypt have been taking place not just between the supporters and opponents of deposed President Mohammed Morsi of late. During times of upheaval, the Coptic Christians in Egypt always suffer abuse, and now is no exception. The Coptic community comprises roughly 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 80 million. They belong mostly to the Coptic Orthodox Church although some subscribe to Greek Orthodoxy. The Copts live primarily in Egypt’s largest cities, Cairo and Alexandria.

“Since the beginning of the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, they have suffered constant harassment, and dozens have lost their lives to violence. Their churches have been torched. Coptic women have been beaten, forced to wear hijabs, or forcibly converted to Islam, according to human rights organizations. The Muslim Brotherhood has taken a public stance against the targeting of Copts. Not only did Morsi condemn violence against the group during his presidency, he appointed numerous Copts as ministers and advisers in his government. The main group antagonistic to the Copts has been the Salafi movement, a conservative Islamic group that recently joined the liberals in coalition against Morsi.”

The New York Times reported on July 11:

“The military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi has unleashed a new wave of violence by extremist Muslims against Christians whom they blame for having supported the calls to overthrow Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first Islamist elected leader, according to rights activists.  Since Mr. Morsi’s ouster on July 3, the activists say, a priest has been shot dead in the street, Islamists have painted black X’s on Christian shops to mark them for arson and angry mobs have attacked churches and besieged Christians in their homes. Four Christians were reported slaughtered with knives and machetes in one village last week.  The attacks have hit across the country, in the northern Sinai Peninsula, in a resort town on the Mediterranean coast, in Port Said along the Suez Canal and in isolated villages in upper Egypt.

“After Mr. Morsi’s ouster, Islamist mobs in the village of Dagala in that province looted one church, burned a building belonging to another and surrounded Christian homes, shattering their widows with rocks and clubs, EIPR said.  After one Christian man shot at the attackers from his roof, they dragged his wife from the house, beat her up and shot her. She is currently hospitalized, according to EIPR.  ‘The police came the day after the events and they didn’t do anything,’ Mr. Ibrahim said [Ishaq Ibrahim documented the violence for the Cairo-based Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, or EIPR.] ‘People prevented the fire engines from coming in so they couldn’t do anything.’

“In the village of Naga Hassan near Luxor, Muslim mobs invaded Christian homes and set them alight while besieging other Christians in their homes. Security forces arrived to evacuate the women, but left the men, four of whom were subsequently stabbed and beaten to death, Mr. Ibrahim said…  Dozens of Christian homes were reported burned in the Naga Hassan attacks, and most of the village’s Christians have fled or are believed to be hiding in the local church.”

“NSA and the Germans ‘In Bed Together’”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on July 7:

“SPIEGEL reporting… indicates that cooperation between the NSA and Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, is more intensive than previously known. NSA, for example, provides ‘analysis tools’ for the BND’s signals monitoring of foreign data streams that travel through Germany. Among the BND’s focuses are the Middle East route through which data packets from crisis regions travel. In total, SPIEGEL reported that the BND pulls data from five different nodes that are then analyzed at the foreign intelligence service’s headquarters in Pullach near Munich. BND head Gerhard Schindler confirmed the partnership during a meeting with members of the German parliament’s control committee for intelligence issues.”

The EUObserver added on July 8:

“The German intelligence service (BND) has been co-operating ‘for decades’ with the US, but only within legal boundaries, a German government spokesman said on Monday (8 July)… Liberal politicians in Germany have demanded for Snowden to be granted asylum – but not the Liberal foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, who points out that the US is a democracy and the justice system there is independent, which gives no grounds for political asylum… An opinion poll carried out by Emnid end of June showed that 50 percent of Germans consider Snowden to be a hero and 35 percent would hide him in their homes.”

Trust in US at Lowest Level Since Bush

Der Spiegel Online wrote on July 5:

“Ongoing revelations about the NSA spying scandal have pushed German trust in the US to its lowest level since the presidency of George W. Bush… Early in [Obama’s] first term, some 78 percent of Germans saw the US as ‘a country that could be trusted.’… A survey released late on Thursday found that only 49 percent of Germans now view the United States as trustworthy… Fully 78 percent agreed with the statement that German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘must protest more unequivocally to the US.’

“The reputation of the United Kingdom — which was also revealed to have been engaged in tight Internet surveillance — has also suffered according to the survey. Only 63 percent of Germans now see the country as a trustworthy partner…”

The Frightening Militarization of US Police and Increasing Criminal Prosecution of US Citizens for Noncriminal Acts

The website of wrote on July 5:

“Elizabeth Daly went to jail over a case of bottled water. According to the Charlottesville Daily Progress, shortly after 10 p.m. April 11, the University of Virginia student bought ice cream, cookie dough and a carton of LaCroix sparkling water from the Harris Teeter grocery store at the popular Barracks Road Shopping Center. In the parking lot, a half-dozen men and a woman approached her car, flashing some kind of badges. One jumped on the hood. Another drew a gun. Others started trying to break the windows. Daly understandably panicked. With her roommate in the passenger seat yelling “Go, go, go!” Daly drove off, hoping to reach the nearest police station. The women dialed 911. Then a vehicle with lights and sirens pulled them over, and the situation clarified: The people who had swarmed Daly’s vehicle were plainclothes agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The agents had thought the sparkling water was a 12-pack of beer.

“Did the ABC’s enforcers apologize? Not in the slightest. They charged Daly with three felonies: two for assaulting an officer (her vehicle had grazed two agents; neither was hurt) and one for eluding the police. Last week, the commonwealth’s attorney dropped the charges. The agents’ excessive display of force is outrageously disproportionate to the offense they mistakenly thought they witnessed: an underage purchase of alcohol. But in a sense, Daly got off easy. A couple of weeks after her ordeal, a 61-year-old man in Tennessee was killed when the police executed a drug raid on the wrong house. A few weeks later, in another wrong-house raid, police officers killed a dog belonging to an Army veteran. These are not isolated incidents…

“They are, however, part and parcel of two broader phenomena. One is the militarization of domestic law enforcement. In recent years, police departments have widely adopted military tactics, military equipment (armored personnel carriers, flash-bang grenades) — and, sometimes, the mindset of military conquerors rather than domestic peacekeepers. The other phenomenon is the increasing degree to which civilians are subject to criminal prosecution for noncriminal acts, including exercising the constitutionally protected right to free speech…

“[Remember] the case of Jeff Olson, who chalked messages such as ‘Stop big banks’ outside branches of Bank of America last year. Law professor Jonathan Turley reports that prosecutors brought 13 vandalism charges against him. Moreover, the judge in the case recently prohibited Olson’s attorney from ‘mentioning the First Amendment, free speech,’ or anything like them during the trial. In May, a Texas woman was arrested for asking to see a warrant for the arrest of her 11-year-old son. ‘She spent the night in jail while her son was left at home,’ reports Fox34 News. The son never was arrested…

“Federal prosecutors also recently used an anti-terrorism measure to seize almost $70,000 from the owners of a Maryland dairy. Randy and Karen Sowers had made several bank deposits of just under $10,000 to avoid the headache of filing federal reports required for sums over that amount. The feds charged them with unlawful ‘structuring.’ Last week, they settled the case. Authorities kept half their money to teach them a lesson.

“‘I broke the law yesterday,’ writes George Mason economics professor Alex Tabarrok, ‘and I probably will break the law tomorrow. Don’t mistake me, I have done nothing wrong. I don’t even know what laws I have broken. … It’s hard for anyone to live today without breaking the law. Doubt me? Have you ever thrown out some junk mail that … was addressed to someone else? That’s a violation of federal law punishable by up to five years in prison.’ Tabarrok notes that lawyer Harvey Silverglate thinks the typical American commits ‘Three Felonies a Day’…

“As The Wall Street Journal has reported, lawmakers in Washington have greatly eroded the notion of mens rea — the principle that you need criminal intent in order to commit a crime… ‘What once might have been considered simply a mistake,’ The Journal explains, is now ‘punishable by jail time.’ And as 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly has now learned, you can go to jail even when the person making the mistake wasn’t you.”

The Huffington Post added on July 10:

“Despite campaign promises to the contrary, Obama has not only continued the Bush and Clinton administration policy of sending SWAT teams to raid medical marijuana growers, shops, and dispensaries in states that have legalized the drug, he appears to have significantly increased enforcement. Just two years into his presidency, Obama’s administration had conducted about 150 such raids. The Bush administration conducted around 200 medical marijuana raids over eight years. Obama has also stepped up the heavy-handed raids often used to enforce immigration laws. In 2012, his administration deported more people than in any prior year in American history. He’s on pace to deport 2 million people by 2014, a figure equal to the total number of people ever deported from America until 1997…

“In 2011, an armed team of federal agents raided the floor of the Gibson guitar factory in Nashville, Tenn. The raid made national headlines and picked up traction in the tea party movement, largely because it had been conducted to enforce the Lacey Act, a fairly obscure environmental law — not the sort of policy most people would think would be enforced by armed federal agents. The same year, a SWAT team from the Department of Education conducted a morning raid of what they thought was the home of a woman who was suspected of defrauding federal student loan programs — again, not the sort of crime usually associated with a SWAT action. (They also got the wrong house — the suspect had moved out months earlier.)

“The Obama administration has defended the use of aggressive, militaristic police actions in court. In the case Avina v. U.S., DEA agents pointed their guns at an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old during a drug raid on the wrong house. The agents had apparently mistaken the license plate of a suspected drug trafficker for the plate on a car owned by Thomas Avina. Obama’s Justice Department argued in federal court that the lawsuit should be dismissed before being heard by a jury because the agents’ actions were not unreasonable… there was a time in America when even the original tough-on-crime administration was appalled enough at the idea to hold such overly zealous drug cops accountable…”

This incredible injustice in the land of the free and the brave is most certainly an abomination in God’s eyes… But this should come as no surprise because God prophesied in His Word that we would reach the time when there is NO MORE JUSTICE in the land (compare Isaiah 59:9-15; Hosea 4:1). It appears more and more that time HAS arrived.

Largest Joint Naval Drill Ever Between China and Russia

The Washington Times reported on July 5:

“Chinese and Russian navies have partnered for the countries’ largest joint naval drill in history… Military analysts see the joint drill as yet another sign of the countries’ growing friendship… The drill… [is] aimed at giving the countries the chance to practice anti-submarine warfare and naval maneuvers at a close range. The drills are the largest in scope that China’s ever held with a foreign nation. The country has been actively building up its navy, AP reported.”

The New York Times wrote on July 10:

“An armada of Chinese and Russian warships sailed in ceremonial formation in the Sea of Japan, off the port of Vladivostok, on Wednesday in what was the high point of joint naval exercises intended to show the growing unity between [the] two countries…  State-run news media gave widespread coverage to the action, which included live firing drills…

“From Beijing’s point of view, there was a message for Washington, too: As China rapidly builds its maritime power and the United States begins to deploy more of its naval and air assets back to the Pacific Ocean as part of its new focus on Asia, China will not stand alone… ‘This shows unprecedented good relations between China and Russia,’ said Professor Wang Ning, director of the Center for Russian Studies at the Shanghai International Studies University. ‘It shows that the two countries will support each other on the global stage.’ Both countries want a more multipolar world in which the United States is less dominant, he said.”

The Bible speaks of an end-time military collaboration between Far Eastern countries, including China, Russia, Japan, India and others, which are referred to as the “kings of the East.” For more information, please read our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”

Latvia to Be 18th Member of the Eurozone

Deutsche Welle wrote on July 9:

“The European Union has officially approved Latvia as the 18th member of the eurozone, which uses the bloc’s common currency. The Baltic country is set to adopt the euro on January 1, 2014. European Union finance ministers from the 28-member bloc gave their final approval for Latvia to join the eurozone…  Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis confirmed the news… adding that it was ‘good news not only for Latvia but also for Europe and the eurozone.’”

The “Euro Zone Beast” May “Bite”

Reuters wrote on July 3:

“Portugal [and] Greece risk reawakening [the] euro zone beast… EU officials have been at pains to talk down any unrest, buoyed by the tranquility in financial markets since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi made good on his pledge last summer to do whatever it takes to protect the euro via a bond-buying program. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has spoken of the worst of the crisis being over, and the economic affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, has often dismissed ‘doomsayers’ who once predicted the euro would collapse.

“But despite the desire to project calm, EU officials quietly acknowledge that all is not well and that any number of problems could throw the region back into turmoil. ‘There are always issues simmering under the surface,’ said an EU diplomat who has been dealing first hand with the crisis since it erupted in Greece in early 2010. ‘It’s far from over. The immediacy may have ebbed away, but I think we’re all aware that under the surface, there’s still a lot of stuff that can come back to bite us.’”

We are not quoting the article because we believe that a major euro crisis will throw the region back into turmoil, or that the euro will collapse. The Bible shows otherwise. But the language used in the article is quite revealing: the euro zone is a beast that may bite. According to the Bible, it is indeed a beast—the last revival of the ancient Roman Empire, referred to as the “beast” in Scripture, which will finally consist of ten core nations or groups of nations that will in turn give their authority to a military leader who is ALSO called the “beast” in the Bible. This last revival of the ancient Roman Empire will at first be a collaboration between the Catholic Church and the states, but the ten nations or groups of nations—the “beast”–will subsequently turn against the church and “bite” it.

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