18 February 2018

Evangelicals in Brazil

It is undisputed that Evangelicals are on the rise in Brazil. It's being talked about and the subject is even coming up in regular mainstream newscasts. Just the other morning, there was a brief story about how Marcelo Crivella the Evangelical mayor of Rio de Janeiro created a somewhat odd moment with his half-hearted inauguration of the Carnival bacchanal. An opponent of the pagan festivities, he has made considerable cuts to the funding earning the ire of many of his constituents.

14 February 2018

Mainstream Media's Apologia for Empire

This Fresh Air interview is related to a Chinese surveillance project I mentioned in a previous article:
For those that think that Left-wing thinkers and advocates like Terry Gross and NPR are anti-American, they need to reconsider. These people are thoroughly invested in the American project. I was left somewhat astounded listening to the New Yorker's Osnos paint China's aggressive expansion in terms that made them look somewhat sinister and conniving, even while ignoring US actions and the massive footprint it already possesses. This is never questioned, it's simply assumed and presumed to be a good thing.

11 February 2018

Modi's Empire: ASEAN, OBOR and Washington

Despite what the one contrary commentator says near the end of the article, this is indeed largely about China. And the reason it has been cranked up a few notches is because of the US withdrawal from the TPP. Some are trying to salvage the treaty but without the US it is but a shadow.

10 February 2018

Italian Fascism Tolerated

In light of the recent shooting of African immigrants I immediately thought of this DW story I saw. Of course it would be a mistake to automatically equate the once secessionist Lega Nord (The Northern League) with fascism but there are overlaps. Lega Nord's nationalism and anti-immigration positions will resonate with Italy's fascist element and it provides a legitimate political outlet for those who are flirting with fascist ideology.

OBOR in Laos... and Thailand

The One Belt One Road (OBOR) or New Silk Road initiative has been in the news a lot as of late. This brief piece cites yet another instance of OBOR's expansion. The fact that Beijing would collaborate with Laos is hardly a surprise but Thailand's inclusion points once again to the weakened hand of the United States. The US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has reduced its standing in the region. While Thailand was not one of the original members of the TPP, the longtime US ally had aspirations to join the framework. Where the TPP stands now is still up in the air but without the US, it won't in any way represent what it once did.

07 February 2018

Government Smoke and Mirrors

The news has reached new heights of absurdity as once again the Establishment media fails to report or contextualise the following recent stories.

Trump +382:DNC Hypocrisy

I think this article demonstrates that despite the rhetoric and posturing, Trump is not really the outsider he's painted to be. And indeed much of the protest emanating from Democratic circles is largely false. Yes, they would like Trump to be gone and yes, they are using the campaign against him to wage war on several fronts and yet they are not nearly as upset with him as they pretend to be. His views of immigrants and poor countries are largely shared with the Establishment but these are things that are not to be said out loud. Trump's main problem is that he's uneducated, crude and utterly lacking any kind of finesse or class. He may be a millionaire and grew up with money, but his mindset resonates more with the blue-collar street. That's why so many of that class embraced his message. If George W Bush resonated with the 'country boys' and Midwesterners, then Trump resonates with the urban working class. As one who lives in an area where the Rust Belt and Appalachia overlap, an area in which Trump has overwhelming support I can tell you that people voted for him, not because of some Russian plot on Facebook but for one simple reason... they thought he was going to bring jobs and industry back to America and restore the communities and values of old. They were utterly deceived and some of them are starting to realise it. The cynicism is like a cloud choking the very air we breathe.

Somali Civilian Deaths: Yet Another Cover-Up

The US war in Africa is a poorly kept secret. It isn't too hard to piece together the various theatres, actions and agendas. This is despite the fact that the US mainstream media continues to largely ignore it and is content to keep the public in a state of ignorance.
That said, with no front line and given the fact that the war is being fought in the dark with intelligence agencies, drones, special ops and through proxy forces... it's hard to suss out just what is happening on a day-to-day basis.

01 February 2018

The Establishment's Pro-Robotics Propaganda and its Manipulation of the Political Spectrum

We are told in this article to welcome the robot revolution and to not be concerned with either the technological implications... which are not really addressed... or the social impact.
In fact robots replacing workers are viewed as a solution to workplace problems and by implication it could even help with the social tensions regarding immigrants!
What we really have here is a Right-wing piece that's meant to promote the interests of the capitalist class.

30 January 2018

New Data on Angleton and Cold War Counter-Intelligence

I don't have much to add to this article but I did want to post the link. Angleton's name is well known to those familiar with the unrestrained years of the CIA, the period extending from its founding in 1947 to the congressional investigations of the mid-1970's. Prompted by Watergate and the growing unease surrounding rumours of dark deeds and assassinations, many hoped the investigations would turn a new leaf and begin a new era of legality and transparency. The recent death of J Edgar Hoover in 1972 also prompted such hopes from those within and critical of the FBI.

28 January 2018

21st Century Editions: A Warning

This book review warrants a reading because it reveals a growing trend... revisionist republications.
Regardless of one's opinion of Stott or the book, the reviewer does a great job exposing what these publishers (and editors) are up to. It's dishonest and potentially harmful to both the legacy of the author and the larger body of ideas they represent.

27 January 2018

Microsoft, Ireland and the EU

Europe is socialist. Socialism means the government regulates and controls everything.
That's what I was taught growing up. These messages came not only from the public education system but from within my own Right-wing home.
Of course I later came to question this and understand that it's not that simple. Socialism can mean regulation and control and certainly does when it comes to certain aspects of business and society.

22 January 2018

Italian Masonry and the Mafia

Freemasonry carries a mystique in the United States but most people discount any notion of conspiratorial activity. Few are able to understand the role it played in the Revolution and the formation of American society.
Italian society on the other hand has direct historical proof of Masonic conspiracy, and not just in the 19th century but in modern times. No one doubts its nature.

20 January 2018

MI5, Ulster Loyalist Paramilitaries and an Assassination Plot

This article raises more questions than it is able to answer. It suggests there were elements within the British Establishment that were less than happy with Thatcher's overtures vis-à-vis the Irish Republic.

16 January 2018

History Rears its Head: The Revival of German Militarism

There is nothing remarkable about this article. It is but part of a growing chorus calling for German militarism and rearmament. Aside from that ominous call, it tries to dress up the arguments with diplomatic lingo and pretentious ethics. It's a call for Germany to rise up and become once again... the master of Europe.
These are strange words to hear post-1945 but history has come full circle or to put it another way, it has reared its head.

13 January 2018

Can Western Evangelicals Condemn the Kremlin's Ban on The Watchtower Society?

There's a sad irony here. Russian Evangelicals are right to condemn and reject the state's ban on The Watchtower Society. While the Watchtower represents a rejection of the Biblical Gospel it nevertheless should be allowed to exist and its followers should be permitted to pursue their own path.
Western Evangelical condemnations of the ban, instigated by the Anti-Western Kremlin and the anti-Evangelical campaign flowing from the Orthodox Patriarchate, are often more rooted in pragmatics and politics.

11 January 2018

Libyan Betrayals

Some will find it shocking that in order to make peace with Gaddafi in the wake of 9/11, the British (and Americans) were willing to help him in his dirty work and eliminate his enemies.
I don't find it shocking at all but I reckon the episode (as reported in this Guardian piece) instructive in this regard. When Gaddafi was an enemy, especially during the 1980's, Britain gave refuge to his political enemies. Washington did the same as some of the figures opposing Gaddafi were directly supported by the CIA.

09 January 2018

The Politicisation of Christianity in Pakistan

Christians in the Subcontinent are suffering. Of that there can be no doubt, and yet this move by the Trump administration is unfortunate. It once again puts them in the middle and gives Islamabad every reason to look the other way when jihadists attack Christian gatherings.

07 January 2018

Brazil is Heating Up

This article makes for a disturbing read and while I don't wish to dwell on the particulars I simply wanted to post something about the changes taking place in Brazil. The Evangelicals are on the rise and it would seem Brazil is headed toward a culture war.

The First Shot: Brussels vs. ÖVP Austria

The ÖVP has introduced its first attempt at nationalist legislation. They're not the first to do so, but others have backed down. The Austrian Right is trying to keep Austrian money within Austria which of course undermines the larger EU project and the authority of Brussels.

06 January 2018

Plan Honduras

As I'm just finishing a book on the School of the Americas I stumbled across this Intercept article on Honduras. Since the US backed coup in 2009, the entirety of Latin America has been experiencing an episode of 'Rollback'. Right-wing governments are coming into power and as this Honduras episode demonstrates, it would seem the old playbook has been dusted off and reactivated.

01 January 2018

Trump +346: UN Funding, the American Empire and the Rise of Multipolarity

The Trump administration recently declared it would further cut US payments to the United Nations. This is particularly damaging to the international body as the US pays a significant portion of its budget. American conservatives have long argued that the UN works against American interests and thus they are particularly bitter about the fact that US tax money helps to fund the organisation.

31 December 2017

Evangelicalism Divided and Destitute

updated 6 January 2018

Labeling leading Evangelicals as enemies seems a bit extreme to some, even if they will grant that most of the names on the Newsmax list are problematic.
And yet as I've mentioned on numerous occasions, Iain Murray all but did the same back in 2000. And yet he did it in such a way that few seemed to grasp the full import of what he was saying.

30 December 2017

The Nepal Elections and OBOR

For nations like Nepal, caught between the larger powers, the side to choose is becoming obvious. A move toward India would mean inviting in the financiers and New Delhi's war footing-policy based on the new alliance with Washington. Kathmandu doesn't want to be caught in the middle of India's conflict with Beijing.

29 December 2017

Eco-Technology and the Resource Wars: Congo and Afghanistan

Below is a link to a brief video clip from Al Jazeera's business programme 'Counting the Cost'. There have actually been a lot of stories and reports about Cobalt, Lithium and the costs of supporting the new tech economy but I wonder how many people know or care?
I don't believe it's something that gets a lot of attention in the mainstream press.
But what to do? I don't know, but it just adds another layer to the moral component of technology... the aspects and questions of the debate that few seem to wrestle with. Not only are there ethical implications for how we use technology but we should also consider the sources and the larger question of human cost.

26 December 2017

Influential Evangelicals: The Enemies List

Most in Confessional circles will be less than pleased by the majority of the names placed on this list. Many are outright heretics and others, despite their abundant popularity are a source of frustration with regard to the testimony and goals of both the Evangelical and Confessional Protestant Churches.  

24 December 2017

Michael of Romania (1921-2017)

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago. I apologise for the seeming lack of productivity. I have barely had time to sit down lately. Sometimes days go by and I don't even turn my computer on. When I do I often just keep labouring on whatever project I have going, take a look at the news and avoid everything else. I know I have emails to get to and I will try to do so.

20 December 2017

Dominionism on the March in Spain

I'm not sure why, but it continues to amaze me. A re-worked form of Dominionism is rapidly extending to Evangelical communities in Europe. The Lausanne Movement has really done its work.
Modern Dominionist teaching insists that Medieval Catholicism split the sacred and the secular. They will point to the fact that to be 'holy' one had to become a cleric or live in a monastery.

16 December 2017

Humanitarian Politics and Myanmar

Beware the so-called humanitarians arguing for war.
Humanitarian politics has become a basis for war in the post Cold War era. This was a growing theme during the 1990's as the US intervened in places like Somalia and NATO began to rapidly expand in Europe. Even the disastrous genocide in Rwanda was spun as a call to arms for future interventions.

11 December 2017

09 December 2017

Update on La Guerra Sucia or Argentina's Dirty War

The mid-1970s were by many reckonings a dark time. For the United States it was the Post-Vietnam/Post-Watergate era of economic depression and cultural decline. The Cold War wasn't going well and America's future was uncertain.

06 December 2017

False Narratives Regarding the War in Yemen

The War in Yemen has taken some radical turns in recent days. The death of Saleh represents a possible watershed in the larger war. The war is but a facet within a larger geopolitical puzzle which encompasses not only the Middle East but the entirety of the globe.
The Cold War was simple by comparison.

04 December 2017

Controversies Surrounding Bergoglio (Francis)

For those interested in following the struggles and intrigues of the Vatican this article from The Guardian warrants a look.
It helps to explain some of the recent battles, actions and rhetoric taking place between the Papacy and groups like the Knights of Malta. These events have received what could be described as somewhat muddled coverage.

29 November 2017

Mladic and ICC Hypocrisy

Mladic is undoubtedly a criminal. Personally I think all combat commanders are, but even by the twisted standards of 'legal' or 'just' war, the Serbian general was guilty of wanton slaughter.

28 November 2017

Indonesia: A Forgotten Genocide by Proxy

This is another ghost from the past, another story that has for the most part been flushed down the memory hole. The BBC retains some value in that it will at least provide some coverage to stories like this but for real investigative journalism one must turn elsewhere. As is so often the case, their coverage allows them to retain journalistic credibility... but then functions as a 'move-along, nothing to see here' piece.

25 November 2017

Neo-McCarthyism, the First Amendment and the Compromise of the Humanitarian/NGO Complex

I offer this link as an excellent summary of what has aptly been described as Neo-McCarthyism. The current climate is a strange one and while the Establishment media has always played fast and loose with the truth there are seasons in which the lies seem to be pervasive, dominant, oppressive and overbearing.

23 November 2017

The Challenge to Christianity in China

I'm not a fan of World Magazine. It's been a Dominionist publication from the beginning. That said, like all news media it is not without some value, sometimes for reasons the editors and publishers don't intend.

18 November 2017

Assange's Game and The Atlantic's Fraud

Of course the previously linked Washington Post story regarding the Brazile revelations keeps changing, as indeed they will continue to 'update' the story. Such updates can themselves be a subject of study.
I wrote the Brazile post on 6 Nov and it's been sitting in my folder for almost two weeks. Already the story has faded and the current buzz is over Donald Trump Jr. and his contacts with Wikileaks.

Brazile's Challenge to the Clinton Narrative

Bernie Sanders is either corrupt, stupid or some kind of megalomaniac. Of course these categories are not mutually exclusive and he may be all of these things. The 2016 election was a farce on so many fronts and while the Trump people are dirty and corrupt and clearly sought (and seek) to profit on every relationship and diplomatic exchange, the Clintons and the people heading the DNC have demonstrated they are cut from the same cloth.

14 November 2017

Reflections on a Russian Conference Report

In some ways this was a rather disappointing read.
I can only say that I've experienced a great deal of disappointment in the writings and opinions of Roberts. I think he has a poor grasp of the issues he addresses as well as the tradition he purports to represent. And while he and others seek to protect the Russian Reformed community from errors they are in fact doing damage themselves. They misrepresent Historical Theology, the nature of doctrine and the teaching of Scripture.

12 November 2017

Suspicions Everywhere: Radiation Clouds and Fire at the SVR

While at this point there's no evidence of arson, the fire at the headquarters of one of Russia's top intelligence agencies (the SVR) is suspicious. Yes, there was remodeling work being done which may explain its origin but it must also be admitted that construction and renovation provide one of the easiest and most convenient scenarios for sabotage. This is especially true when subcontractors are used.

Niebuhrian Transformation: Anabaptists in the Wake of WWII

What can we say about modern Mennonites? They have lost their way. Despite what differences I might have with them I could say that Anabaptist theology used to focus on Bible.

10 November 2017

The India-Israel Alliance

This episode of Inside Story is noteworthy in that the relationship between Israel and India is beginning to become more overt. A longstanding reality it is based on mutual interests.

Remembering The Sand Pebbles

This article caught my eye because it referenced The Sand Pebbles and I immediately thought of the old Steve McQueen movie. I remember watching it many years ago and being baffled... why were American troops in China during the 1920's? It got me to digging.

07 November 2017

A Kosovar Ploy

This story is actually somewhat amusing. Thaci, long a US asset is now president of a nation created by and wholly dependent on Washington's support. Thaci fears a fall from power because he has a lot of enemies and potentially faces charges for the war crimes he was involved in.

05 November 2017

NATO on the Korean Peninsula

This story is something of a stunner and it has received almost no coverage in the West, certainly not in the American mainstream news.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has been touring Japan and South Korea and even visited the contentious DMZ. What is the head of NATO doing in Northeast Asia on the Pacific Rim? The timing is also noteworthy as he's passing through just days before Donald Trump's visit to the region.

04 November 2017

Berlusconi and Leaden Ghosts

Obviously this story is still up in the air and there are a lot of unanswered questions. The Wikipedia article on the Via dei Georgofili bombing is quite unsatisfactory and presents the issue as concluded, when it's clear that not even the authorities actually believe that to be the case.

01 November 2017

The Intercept, the Israeli Lobby and Selective Ethics

The story is merited in that it attests to the tremendous power wielded by the Israel lobby which continues to shape and affect legislation. The growing movement challenging Israel has been a cause for concern for the leaders of the Zionist state.

30 October 2017

The Mueller Indictments

What a soap opera. This story is hard to write about because it constantly changes. But despite the clamour in the media, it's pretty safe to say that virtually every angle of the Russia Conspiracy has all but collapsed.
And then today, three indictments were handed down. But what does it mean?

29 October 2017

Fiendish Facebook

This article/extract should be read by all. Franklin Foer does well in explaining the transformational nature of power in our new social dynamic and how people [sic] like Zuckerberg are able to wield it.

25 October 2017

The Trump Transformation of Evangelicalism

Trump just plays these people like a fiddle. Drunk on power and the prospect of it they are incapable of understanding how hypocritical they look, how foolish they are, indeed how heretical is their understanding of the Kingdom and its ethics.
While heresy and apostasy were already rampant in the American Church it has (if possible) gotten worse over the past year and a half. The Trump effect was of course already bringing about its rotten harvest during the 2016 campaign.

23 October 2017

Iraqi Kurds Betrayed Again: A Quick Summary

The Kurds of Iraq were backed by the US through the Shah of Iran during the 1970s. This was when Tehran was a close US ally and Saddam Hussein had been pushed into the arms of the Soviets and thus had become Washington's enemy.

21 October 2017

The Sin of Transgenderism

I watched some of the video clips of the parents on the news in the UK. I was struck by their confusion and inability to articulate their concerns. They appeared petty, arbitrary and unprincipled. Perhaps they're timid? I don't know. Perhaps they fear the ferocious backlash were they to speak out in a more direct fashion.
If they were trying to take an easy road, they have certainly learned by now that it didn't work.

19 October 2017

Syria and the Media Dilemma

This Fisk article raises several points of interest.
Apart from the very suspicious evidence that someone is collaborating with ISIS... which could just as easily be the Israelis as it is the Americans, it also presents a view of the Syrian War absolutely unknown in Western media.

16 October 2017

Murder and the Panama Papers

We've had countless incidents like this in the United States. Investigators and journalists have been killed under the most suspicious of circumstances and they're deemed accidents.
Of course a car bomb cannot be written off and yet once again in the US I would not be surprised if it were chalked up as a leaking fuel line or something to that effect. There have been some pretty outrageous rulings that beggar belief.