Saturday, April 2, 2011

Golan Heights

I was going to include this in my last post, but I didn’t want it to get lost in the rest of the news. This is something that I kept tripping over last week. I was waiting for it to get bigger coverage, but it’s not. Maybe it will turn out to be nothing, but with the rest of the news about Syria, it may not.

So, with all of the uprising in Syria, the Druze, who live in the Golan Heights, have come out in support of President Assad. The Druze are an ethic minority in Israel and other countries. There are approximately 20,000 in the Heights.

That’s here:

That in itself is curious, as the Druze typically don’t involve themselves in these issues.

The other story is the quiet one behind the scenes. It would appear that the White House is still meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, particularly ones that don’t appear to be healthy for Israel. It seems that Obama and his ilk believe giving, or leasing the Golan Heights back to Syria would be good for Assad’s image.

That’s here:

“The White House is pushing an agreement whereby Israel would either evacuate much of the Golan Heights, or Syria would agree to lease the territory to Israel for a period of up to 30 years.”

It’s getting more difficult to know which hand to watch. This could mean suicide for Israel, with a strategic location for attacking the country. It could also have its water supply cut off.

What most troubles me about all of these stories about Israel, and the ones I will post later tonight, is that the leaders are not quite sure what direction to turn these days.  They may soon turn to a peace accord of some type...

Continuing Syrian unease

I’ve been thinking about Syria a lot these days. I know they’re part of Biblical prophecy and of critical import to Israel. I looked back in Dennis’ archives and found out that I had written about the country the last time I guest-blogged in February. So, what is going on over there that keeps disturbing me, other than the obvious?

Let’s start here:
"Syrian President Bashar Assad blames the uprising in his country as an attempt by Israeli to enforce their ‘Israeli agenda.”

Read that here:

Ok. That’s fairly typical for Middle Eastern leader to blame their woes on Israel. However, if you look at Israel, it seems that the enemy they know is better than the enemy they don’t know. It appears that some Israelis are cheering for Assad’s victory over the opposition.

That one’s here:

It reminds me of the many Old Testament stories about bonding with rulers that you really shouldn’t. Because they can turn on you.

This is my least favorite line of the piece, “It seems Assad has wall-to-wall support here, as though he were king of Israel”.

You can read it here too:

The same fear of Arab democracy shared by Assad and Israel - Politics -

Let’s keep going; we seem to be on a trail of something. Naturally, as they share a large land border, Turkey is leaning heavily on Assad’s ear.

“As one of Syria's key allies, with a close political relationship and extensive economic ties, Ankara is much better placed to influence Syrian decision making, even though Damascus jealously guards its sovereignty over domestic policy.

Mr Erdogan is considered to be one of the world leaders closest to Mr al Assad, an affinity that has led to a quick strengthening of their countries' links. Turkey has supported Syrian foreign policies, including its combative stance towards Israel, something for which Damascus is chastised by the US and, to a lesser degree, the EU.”

None of that bodes well for Israel, despite their regretful trust in Assad.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mammon Goes Mainstream

A few of us are aware the Jesus told us that we cannot worship God and Mammon at the same time.  For regular readers of this blog, you are familiar with the word "Mammon"....but my guess is that only 1 out of 100 people walking around America would have ANY idea what you were talking about if you threw out that word.

If you are a new reader, Mammon refers to the god of wealth, material things and money.  That being said, it is pretty obvious that America has been overrun by Mammon worship.

So today a reader sends me an article written by the founder of PIMCO which is one of the largest mutual fund providers in the world....and HE refers to Mammon.

Money would also become the economic and political wedge for profound changes in American society. Fifty years ago, the highest paid and most prestigious professions were that of a doctor or a 707 airline pilot who flew the “golden” route from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Today the yellow brick road begins on Wall Street or the City. Aside from supernova innovators such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, the money is made from securitizing things instead of booting and rebuilding America. The tallest buildings in almost every major city are banks, with tens of thousands of people shuffling and trading paper for a living. One of this country’s premier investment banks paid each of its 26,000 employees an average of $370,000 in 2010, nearly ten times the take-home pay of other American workers. Almost a quarter of the 400 wealthiest people on Forbes annual richest list make their money from money, whereas only 8% could make that claim in its first issue in 1982, and probably close to 0% when I first read my economic primer in 1966.

Having been part of this process and even a member of the rogue’s gallery itself, I know one thing for sure: This is not God’s work – it has the unmistakable odor of Mammon. PIMCO, while Mammonesque, is a company to be proud of. I can say with confidence that there are very few clients who have not benefited from our investment management over the years. Some of the rest of this industry, however, I’m not so sure of: rating agencies that perpetually fail at commonsensical quality judgments, bankers that make loans to subterranean credits and then extend the beggar’s bowl for themselves, and 80% of active money managers that underperform the market. As a profession we have failed miserably at our primary function – the efficient and productive allocation of capital: The S&L debacle of the early 1980s, the Asian crisis, LTCM, dotcoms, subprimes, Lehman and the resurrection, instead of the reformation, of Wall Street, are major sins of the modern era of money. Hang your heads, moneychangers. And no, it is not yet time to move on, as many banking CEOs suggest. How can bond traders make ten, one hundred, one thousand times more money than an engineer or social worker given their dismal historical performance? Why is it that some of today’s doctors are using food stamps while investment banking executives complain about millions of dollars in compensation that might be deferred in case of a future bailout?

See it here;

Interesting that this article is titled Devil's Bargain. Also notice that he uses the word, "moneychangers"....which was used by Jesus when he chased the moneychangers off the Temple Mount.  I think it is fairly clear that this PIMCO dude is reading his Bible.

Hat tip to Jared F.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Greece Downgraded Again

Of course when the rest of the world realizes that a country can't possible repay all the money it borrowed....the interest rate on all their future borrowing goes up.  This makes it much more expensive for a government to borrow.

Today Greece had their credit rating lowered again and the rate they are now forced to pay to borrow any more money is about 12.6%  This makes everything cost more....and the people don't like to be told that their lifestyles are going to have to change drastically....because all the social programs are in the process of being cut.

And of course this leads to unrest.

Yields on Greek 10-year bonds climbed sharply to 12.568 percent, up from 12.499 percent, while Portugal saw its yield increase from 7.818 percent to 7.881 percent.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou reacted angrily to the move.
"We have seen the ratings agencies go from the bubble of euphoria to the panic of risk," he said after a gathering of MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament who were meeting in the Greek capital.
Meanwhile, civil unrest in Greece appears to be returning along with the spring weather.
So the foreshadowing continues.
How much quicker would we sink if WE had to pay 12.6% on the $15 trillion that we already owe?  

China Blasts Dollar Dominance

The U.S. has had the extreme blessing, since the end of WWII, of owning the printing press to the world's ONLY reserve currency.  Ever since the mid 1940's, if any other country wanted to buy ANYTHING on the international markets, they had to come up with U.S. dollars.

The talk of changing that system continues to grow louder and louder.

BEIJING (Reuters) – Dollar dominance is sowing the seeds of financial turmoil, and the solution is to promote new reserve currencies, a Chinese government economist said in a paper published on the eve of a G20 meeting about how to reform the global monetary system.

Although not an official policy statement, the paper by Xu Hongcai, a department deputy director at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, offered a window onto the domestic pressures bearing on Beijing to move away from a dollar-centric global economy.

The China Center, a top government think tank, has represented the Chinese government in organizing a forum on Thursday in Nanjing that will bring together finance ministers, central bankers and academics from the Group of 20 wealthy and developing economies.

Xu's paper, "Reform of the international monetary system under the G20 framework," was published in Chinese on the center's website this week (

"Nations around the world have no way of restricting dollar issuance by the Federal Reserve. The current international monetary system lacks both stability and fairness," Xu wrote.

See it here;

Did you catch that?  China is now saying that it's not fair or stable to allow the Federal Reserve to have the printing press for the world.

And how much money do we owe China?  How much longer will we be able to threaten them with military might around Taiwan when we both know that we are reliant on their loans to keep our aircraft carriers sailing?
Just imagine if the U.S. Congress had to figure their budget knowing they had to pay all their bills using Euros and we needed to have the hard currency in hand?  Today's congress couldn't even agree on a $6 billion budget cut...which is the equivalent of ONE DAYS EXPENDITURES!  What would happen to our nation if we had to come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts THIS YEAR because we didn't have the luxury of the Federal Reserve turning on the printing press to buy all of our needs with made-up money?

Please remember that the word "A-N-A-R-C-H-Y" is spelled using a "C" and an "H".

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bond Auction Meltdown?

We have talked many times about how the U.S. Treasury raises money for the Federal Gov't to spend by selling I.O.U.'s at auctions. Foreign governments, national banks, mutual funds and other finance houses all show up to bid on the bonds...and the one who bids the lowest interest rate actually gets to purchase the bonds. So what happens when the interest rate is deemed too high?

They send the Federal Reserve in to bid on bonds and the result is to shove the interest rates down. Yep! Classic Ponzi scheme...because the Federal Reserve doesn't have any money! But we all just agree to look the other way and HOPE that it all works out. Today the National Inflation Association had this to say;

Harvard economics professor Gregory Mankiw wrote an article that was published in the NY Times yesterday entitled, "It’s 2026, and the Debt Is Due". In this article, Mankiw gave a hypothetical Presidential address the President of the U.S. might make in the year 2026 after a failed bond auction. Mankiw's hypothetical Presidential address takes place in a scenario where in the year 2026, the U.S. Treasury "tried to auction its most recent issue of government bonds" but "almost no one was buying." According to Mankiw's hypothetical speech, during this 2026 crisis the President will admit, "The private market will lend us no more." Unfortunately, Professor Mankiw fails to understand that the U.S. has zero chance of surviving until the year 2026. What Mankiw predicts will happen 15 years from now is already happening today right under his nose, but somehow he fails to realize it. The public today has already stopped buying U.S. treasuries. The Pimco Total Return Fund, which was the largest private holder of U.S. government bonds, has just reduced their holdings down to zero. The private sector was buying 30% of U.S. treasuries, but today is no longer buying at all. The Federal Reserve is currently buying 70% of U.S. treasuries. If it wasn't for the Federal Reserve buying U.S. treasuries, we would already be experiencing failed bond auctions today.

What?? Can it be possible?? Could the USA be about ready to go down in a ball of smoke like we are already seeing in Greece, Iceland, Portugal others? Is it possible that our comfy lives of vacation homes, lavish vacations, 4 cars in every garage and ski trips over spring break are soon all going to come to a crashing end??

I read in a devotion recently that idolatry is anything that leads us away from our first love of Jesus Christ. Is it possible that most of us have been woefully guilty of idolatry and our jealous God is soon going to purify us from all these things that have taken us from our claimed first love? Will we still glorify God if He takes away our idols?

We may soon find out.

Iranian Video Claims Mahdi is Near

We have been blogging about the 12th Imam (also known as the Mahdi) for some years now. The discussion has gathered steam ever since Joel Rosenberg released his book titled "The 12th Imam" in 2010.

Just a quick reminder for those who are new to the 12th Imam talk. Islamic believers believe that the 12th Imam will come in the Last Days to usher in the 13th caliphate and will slay all infidels (everyone who isn't a Muslim). They believe that he will "emerge" onto the world scene when the world is in a state of utter chaos. To go one step further, Iran's president believes that HE was put on the world stage to CREATE the chaos necessary to further the return of the 12th Imam.

Are you still with me??

New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi--or Islamic messiah--is about to appear. CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place -- and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times. While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand. The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government. It's called The Coming is Near and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the mythical twelfth Imam or Mahdi -- the messiah figure who Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.

See it here;


And Iran is currently clamoring for a nuclear weapon. Might they already have one? After all, we knew nothing about Pakistan's or North Korea's atomic bombs until they blew them up.

Also remember our blessed hope; 2 Thessalonians is clear that the Antichrist won't be revealed until AFTER the rapture of the church. So IF the Antichrist may be much closer MIGHT be the rapture? Do you have your flying shoes on? Sing with me now..."One glad morning, when this life is over...I'll fly away! To a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away!"

Hat tip to Lisa H. and Mike S. They both sent me the same article within obviously the Holy Spirit is leading many in the same direction. To God be the glory!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why Do Great Nations Fail?

Some of you may have seen this commercial because I just saw it today on Fox News.

The video commercial is set in China 20 years in the future and it shows a Chinese professor explaining to his Chinese college students why the USA collapsed.

The commercial ends with the professor saying, "So now they (USA) work for us." And all the Chinese students begin to laugh.

Father, forgive us. We took the blessings you gave us and have squandered them by not being content and by not living by the clear instructions of Your Word. We know not what we do.

Debt Loads at Brink

How many earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and other natural disasters can the world's financial system afford? After all, we are not creating NEW wealth when we are forced to rebuild, but merely spending our treasure to rebuild things that were already functioning.

In today's Wall Street Journal, that very question was asked. And of course the answer is less than encouraging.

The financial strains created by crises in Japan and Europe highlight a growing problem: The rich world is getting close to the point where it won't be able to bear the costs of another disaster.

"Can we afford another crisis? I think the answer is no," says Raghuram Rajan, an economist at the University of Chicago who served as chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2003 to 2007. "We simply don't have the government capacity in many countries to bail out the system again."

Meanwhile, rich nations' ability to pay is waning. Their mature economies are growing at slower rates than the emerging world, aging populations are leaving them with less potential to earn the money needed to pay rising medical and pension bills, and the kind of taxes that would fund their ambitions face stiff political opposition.

"There's an expectation that government will always be there to bail you out and there's an expectation that tax rates will always be kept low," says Mr. Rogoff. "Those are inconsistent."

See it here;

Is this more evidence that the world is near a tipping point? Are we standing at the edge of the abyss....or have we already fallen into yet and we just haven't realized it quite yet?

Europe is already reeling with the possibility that Portugal will need a bailout. What will happen if Japan cashes in it's U.S. treasuries and America has to find someone else to loan us the money to pay them back? Do we have another $trillion sitting around to write them a check?

Can you at least now see how the world's financial system could implode? Can you see how the world may soon need a charismatic leader who could offer us the "solution" of a one-world currency?