19 February 2017

Religious Symbols in Austria

It is noteworthy to consider how the European Right focuses less on a specific Christian narrative and instead casts Christianity in terms of the overall Western 'intellectual' heritage. The Christianity they wish to preserve is the synthesis that occurred in the 18th and 19th century when orthodox forms of Latin Christianity (both Roman and Protestant) underwent a transformation and were blended with Enlightenment epistemology and ultimately classically Liberal values.

Trump: Netanyahu's Dream and Nightmare

This Ynet op-ed spells out the realities and difficulties of a Likud government operating in parallel to the Trump administration.
On the one hand, it's their dream come true. They finally have a US president that has effectively given them a blank check. Not only is there agreement when it comes to policy, there are actual personal relationships.

17 February 2017

Trying to Keep Focused in a Spinning World

Steel Mills, Fighter Jets, Leaks and Fake News
This isn't about keeping our eyes on Christ amid a world that seems bent on chaos. That goes without saying.
I'm talking about what's happening on the street.

Military Accounting Tricks and The Eastern Front

Notice the game being played. The troops aren't supposed to be there on a permanent basis so they get around it by rotating the troops every six months.
The US does this all the time. They'll list a base as having say... 500 personnel but then they might have 2000 more there on a more-or-less permanent basis but can avoid the designation by having them on a rotation. It's an accounting trick.

Polakow-Suransky Provides Background on Europe's Far Right

Polakow-Suransky offers a succinct but reasonably thorough narrative and analysis of the rise of the Far Right in Europe.

14 February 2017

NATO's Test: The Montenegro Flash Point

Once again the Trump administration has indicated that it is not going to follow a pro-Russia line. Pushing for NATO to expand into Montenegro represents yet another hostile move by the US-dominated alliance. Montenegro is part of the Orthodox-Slavic orbit that has historically been allied to and dependent upon Moscow.

13 February 2017

12 February 2017

The Korean Peninsula: Stealth Ships and Military Exercises

The tensions continue to escalate. The statements issued by the Trump White House have only added to already existing tensions that have been brewing since Obama's announced 'Pivot' in 2011.

10 February 2017

THAAD in South Korea

Once again, the West portrays this as the US making a prudent move to 'block' Pyongyang. While there are legitimate fears when it comes to North Korea, the missile system placement is as much about Beijing and Moscow... and they know it.

Both China and Russia are being slowly encircled.

08 February 2017

07 February 2017

Dominionism Infecting Romania's Evangelicals

Romanian Evangelical leader and aspiring political player Adrian Petrice claims he isn't looking for a theocracy or seeking political control but he's using all the language and concepts found in Dominion Theology. It's obvious that he has picked up these concepts from Western Evangelical influence.

Italian Cyberspies: Who are they working for?

That has yet to be revealed but there are some rather intriguing angles to the story. The Italian authorities were aided by the FBI but they also traced servers to the United States. Guilio Occhionero founded a financial advisory firm which certainly looks like a classic front company.

The story cannot be told as of now but it bears watching.

05 February 2017

Moral Equivalency: Probably Trump's Greatest Sin Yet

Trump shocked both his detractors and supporters when he admitted to FOX news spinmaster Bill O'Reilly that Putin was a 'killer' but that the United States was guilty of the same and something less than innocent.
O'Reilly was clearly dumbfounded and tried to suggest that no American political leaders are killers.
Trump wouldn't back down and he was right.
This is the most honest thing he's said yet.

NPR and the Establishment Line: Fetid Narratives on Laos and Russia

NPR's interview programme Fresh Air is something of a mixed bag. At times it's very interesting. The interviews and guests are informative and I've benefitted and enjoyed listening to many episodes. For me, this is generally true when it comes to domestic social and political issues. The show also provides a great deal of time to pop culture figures which are not usually of interest to someone like me. Altogether I listen to maybe a third of the shows.

04 February 2017

02 February 2017

The Gospel and the Proxy War in Yemen

http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2223/Yemen_Faith_is_flourishing_in_the_midst_of_war

I found this article to be both moving and inspiring as I considered the plight of the suffering Church in Yemen. The fact that out of the suffering and bloodshed of the US-backed Saudi campaign (which has all but destroyed their society), a Church is being built, testifies to the grace and glory of God.

Süddeutsche Zeitung and Stratfor: Poroshenko and the Escalation in Eastern Ukraine

For the most part the Western Media continues to insist that Russia, emboldened by the new Trump administration rapprochement with Moscow has ordered the Kremlin-backed Separatists to re-ignite the Donbass conflict.
A different take is to be found in the Süddeutsche Zeitung which reports that Berlin is blaming Kiev for the escalation.

29 January 2017

Re-Alignments Underway: The Brexit and Trump Effect

Theresa May after visiting Donald Trump and solidifying 'The Special Relationship' has flown to Turkey to meet with president Erdogan. They immediately cut a £100 million deal for fighter jet development.

The NSC Shake-Up and Shockwaves Across Washington

At the end of World War II the United States created the National Security Council or NSC as a means to re-organise the nature of the American war machine and national defense. The nuclear age and the era of total war had changed the nature of 'defense'.
Standing armies and a techno-industrial sector were now essential to the way in which modern war would be fought and power maintained. The Military-Industrial Complex was in the process of being created and through the NSC (it could be argued) it would now have a place at the table. The council ostensibly headed or guided by the National Security Advisor consists of top cabinet officials and is also staffed by various appointees who usually come from the military-industrial and academic establishments. This ruling mechanism operates largely outside of congressional oversight or accountability.

28 January 2017

Indian Cotton and Farmer Suicides

Some will stumble because this link is to a documentary produced by RT. But if you can get past that, there's some helpful information and certainly some contextualisation with regard to GMO cotton and its place in contemporary India.


No doubt at this point many have heard about the thousands of farmers committing suicide. While this phenomenon antedates the Modi administration, his market friendly policies if anything are exacerbating the problem. It's a controversial issue and a great deal of ink is spilled arguing over statistics and causes.

27 January 2017

The Economist: Right Wing Movements and Medievalism

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/01/medieval-memes

This tendency to romanticise and even glorify the Middle Ages was already at work within the Christian Right during the 1990s and certainly received a boost in the climate created by the 9/11 attacks.

26 January 2017

Revertere ad Tenebras: The Black Sites are Reborn

I have never been remotely convinced that all of these sites are actually closed. Considering that Obama and various figures within his administration have been caught repeatedly telling absolute lies and did all they could to hide and obfuscate regarding their various illegal programmes... why should we believe that these practices weren't reinstated?

20 January 2017

Varieties of Christian America

http://michaeljkruger.com/taking-back-christianese-7-america-is-a-christian-nation/

While I cannot fully agree with all his conclusions, Kruger is certainly on the right track and once again displays considerable wisdom in how he addresses the issue. He gets the answer right even if he's unwilling to put it as strongly as I would. In the final analysis, America is not a Christian nation.

Health Insurance: Risk or Access?

As it would seem Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as ObamaCare is under attack and faces repeal, I've noticed a certain way of speaking is starting to crop up once again.

Insurance is being referred to as a question of calculated risk and this definition is being used to discredit concepts like comprehensive coverage and even the idea of access.

And yet it must be remembered that the latter is actually the key issue. For the working class and the poor, health insurance is not a question of calculated risk. This is how the upper class and some of the middle class approach the question.

17 January 2017

Obama's Gesture and Bradley Manning

Obama's commutation of Bradley Manning's prison sentence will probably be the one gesture that is genuinely appreciated by the Left, not the DNC-style Left, but the actual Left that has been mostly opposed to Obama and his many betrayals. Obama the president that has more than any other crushed whistleblowers, leakers and investigative journalists, the president who has empowered the NSA and accentuated the domestic spying apparatus, has in his final hours shown a degree of magnanimity.

16 January 2017

Christopher Steele, the US Deep State, the UNSG and Bulgaria

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/the-uk-spy-behind-trumps-kompromat-also-investigated-eus-georgieva/

Anyone following international news in the latter half of 2016 would have known something about the disturbance with regard to the selection of a new UN General Secretary. At the time Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva was in the running and yet it was a candidacy born in controversy as Sophia had switched gears and disavowed a former candidate due to perceived controversies.

11 January 2017

Slovakia: Right-Wing Paramilitaries and the EU

https://apnews.com/cd66f0f8a51b416b93460e37368b42f7

America has been dealing with such paramilitary movements since at least the 1990s but it's startling to see them beginning to appear in Europe as well. Needless to say Europe's history with such groups cannot help but remind one of the Fascist era.

08 January 2017

Franklin Graham and Trump's List of Heretics

http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2017/01/religious-wild-cards

Some Evangelicals will be disappointed by Franklin Graham but after spending twenty years learning that Billy Graham (and by extension Franklin) doesn't represent what I was raised to think he did... nothing surprises me anymore.

07 January 2017

Michael Horton on Trump, Paula White and the Prosperity Gospel

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/01/03/evangelicals-should-be-deeply-troubled-by-donald-trumps-attempt-to-mainstream-heresy/?utm_term=.387655a782a6

I must say I was surprised to find this in the Washington Post. As I've made clear in recent posts on both websites as a Two-Kingdom adherent I take exception to the Westminster California variety of Two Kingdom theology of which Horton is a part if not a representative. That said, there is much they stand for and express that is to be appreciated.

Horton presents a helpful summary and analysis of Trump, White and the context of Christian theology and values that have led these people to the 2017 presidential inauguration.

A Vision of China's Future Crisis

This is a link to a somewhat heartbreaking 25 minute video about the children in China that are left behind in the villages while their parents go off to the city for work.


The United States has been in the process of destroying the family and thus the foundation of the social fabric for more than fifty years. China has unintentionally embarked on the same project since the 1980s and yet with far greater zeal. In both the United States and China, the quest for money has played no small part in this unintended consequence and China has yet to really reckon with the fruit of this awful and immoral mistake.

03 January 2017

India's Coal Monopoly

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-coal-modi-idUSKBN13Q45W?il=0

It is important to understand that while breaking up monopolies is perceived as anti-market and an imposition of the regulatory state, it can just as easily prove a boon to the corporate Establishment.

Breaking up a nationalised public-private monopoly is a means of extending privatisation. Union contracts are negated and can be dismantled. It's yet another application of divide and conquer.

01 January 2017

The Church in Central Asia: Caught in the Middle of Islamic Struggle

http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2106/The_Secret_church_in_Central_Asia

While the 1990s brought an era of cultural libertarianism and market economics, the sudden onslaught of Capitalism, its values and effects, led to a degree of social reaction.

One unforeseen aspect of the collapse of the USSR for Central Asia was a revival of Islam, and this was in no small part affected by the jihadist fervour just to the south of the Soviet border. Though the Afghan War ended for the United States in 1989, it did not end for Central Asia. The United States had funded numerous groups, some of which agitated even within the borders of the USSR, something largely forgotten today. The spread of Salafi, Deobandi and Wahhabi forms of Islam greatly affected the region and there was something of a revivalist spirit in the air.

31 December 2016

M5S Leader Calls for Mass Deportations

Beppe Grillo is the leader of the 5-Star Movement, a rising power in Italian politics. While not technically part of the European Far Right Grillo is also calling for the mass deportation of refugees.

M5S represents a new type of political model. It's populist and yet in many ways defies the Left-Right divide. It's pulling from all sides of the spectrum and while this particular position sounds reminiscent of Donald Trump, many of M5S positions would strike a chord with Bernie Sanders followers.

29 December 2016

The Labyrinth of Drugs and Weapons Smuggling: The Balkans, Latin America and the Strategy of Tension

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/30/did-the-dea-nab-an-international-weapons-dealer-or-a-cia-asset-hung-out-to-dry/?comments=1#comments

Due to the inconclusive nature of the story I'm not sure why The Intercept chose to publish it. Perhaps it's for the same reasons that I'm passing it on. It provides an opportunity to expose readers to the confusing mess and double-dealing that's going on in government agencies and in the back alleys. I think we all know these things go on, but sometimes it's helpful to read something like this that fleshes it out a bit.

28 December 2016

Apple, Ireland and the EU

Apple has formally appealed its €13billion tax bill which was levied when it was determined that Ireland had given the Silicon Valley giant illegal tax breaks. Apple employs thousands within the Irish Republic and has invested millions of dollars into its economy. And Apple is by no means the only American company to do so. Altogether American firms employ over 100,000 people in Ireland and have invested close to $200 billion.

Ireland wants to retain this investment and in particular wants to keep Apple on their shores. The fact that they're using the Republic as a tax shelter and means of asset protection is well known in Dublin. But they're happy to forego the revenue to keep the jobs and investment.

27 December 2016

Peeling Back the Curtain on Recent Israeli Machinations

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/26/inquiry-launched-palestinian-fugitive-omar-zayed-death-embassy-bulgaria


This story is from earlier this year and involves a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) fugitive who was murdered while hiding out in the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria.

Conformity and the German Judiciary

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/07/german-court-rules-against-muslim-girl-in-burkini-case

Disgusting.

As Christians we should support religious freedom for all. It only benefits us as well. Germany has grown hostile to homeschooling and other educational alternatives. Some of this is due to hostility to Biblical Christianity but unfortunately a lot of the grief is something of a side-effect, a result of Berlin's policy with regard to the Muslim community.

It's long past time for Christian families to get out of Germany.

26 December 2016

Right-Wing Crises and Setbacks within Europe

Poland continues to struggle with Brussels and the conflict is reaching a point of crisis. Neither side is willing to back down.



The Right-wing PiS currently controls the Polish parliament (Sejm) and has come into conflict with the EU over its politicisation of judicial appointments and its moves toward censorship and restrictive pro-Catholic social policies.

25 December 2016

Underground Catholics in China

The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) is Beijing's answer to Papal authority and its parallel to the Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM). These are the state-sanctioned organisations that govern both the Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations within the People's Republic of China.

The Underground Church rejects Beijing's jurisdiction and forms what the government considers to be illegal worship cells. Usually the news if it focuses on the Underground Church tends to report on the Protestant side of things.

24 December 2016

UN Sanctions and Israeli Settlements

Obama finally did it. He stood up to Israel's Likud Party.


Nothing has happened as of yet. The UN condemnation is symbolic at this point but you can be sure Netanyahu and the Israeli Establishment are somewhat shocked and certainly livid.

Obama, frustrated and angered by his dealings with Netanyahu fired something of a Parthian shot as his administration fades into the sunset.

He didn't 'do' anything. It's what he didn't do.

Geopolitical Chess: The Language of War

I have sometimes referred to as the 1991 Gulf War as something of a 'signal' to other nations. The timing of both the 1989 Panama Invasion and the 1990-1991 Gulf War are essential to understanding the 'meaning' they communicated in geopolitical terms. One might even speak of a geopolitical language.

23 December 2016

Protestant Rosaries are Next

http://www.fln.org/news/features/detail/inside-out-celebrate-all-of-christmas/

How do you beat the post-Christmas blues? Recover the ancient tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Of course the author neglected to mention that they culminate in Epiphany. That might be a little too much for some Evangelicals.

But I don't know why? At this point they've embraced Advent and many have also embraced Lent. Why not embrace it all then?

21 December 2016

Real World Elements in Jason Bourne (2016)

For those already initiated into the world of Jason Bourne and the re-booted movies of the 2000's, the story elements reflecting the MK-ULTRA revelations and many other aspects of the US Deep State are nothing new.

However I noticed several elements woven into the plot of the 2016 Jason Bourne film that were of interest and thus far I have not detected a great deal of online comment with regard to these points.

These themes grabbed my attention even though I must confess the movie was something of a disappointment. It had a lot of potential but failed to deliver in several areas. My intention here is not to write a review but simply highlight a few points that were of particular interest to me and my readers.

For those interested in the film, consider the following...

19 December 2016

The Russian Hack or Leak... and Why it Matters

These articles are must reads for anyone who is wrestling with the Russian Hack narrative promoted by the Mainstream Media. This line is being utilised to promote a new wave of legislation, possible censorship, a culture of Red Baiting and possibly an escalation in US foreign policy aggression toward Russia.

Federalist Author's Lies about Santa Claus Facilitated by LPR's Issues Etc.

http://issuesetc.org/2016/12/06/3415-incorporating-the-real-santa-claus-into-the-celebration-of-christs-birth-holly-scheer-12616/

This 14 minute piece was completely misleading on multiple fronts. Contrary to Scheer, Santa Claus is not merely a secularised version of the Roman Catholic St. Nicholas and thus in today's context a bankrupt and hollow form of virtue-appeal minus the theological substance. It's a convenient narrative but one that is less than accurate.

18 December 2016

Wikileaks: Greenwald v. Klein

I listened to this friendly debate when it was first released back in October. The argument is essentially between the Naomi Klein approach to activist journalism vs. the Julian Assange approach of what can be almost described as indiscriminate leaking of information.

Inbox: How do you protect yourself from Fake News?

or: How to respond to the Fake News hysteria and protect yourself from being brainwashed by the Establishment or manipulated by activists or those with other than truth-seeking agendas?

I hope to offer some practical points. I'm not going to shroud this discussion in the facade of so-called Christian Worldview which all too often promotes false understandings of both the news and history.

17 December 2016

14 December 2016

Fake News out of Aleppo

The Western Mainstream media continues to rely on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the White Helmets as primary sources for news coming out of Syria and Aleppo in particular.

11 December 2016

Western Media Clampdown and the Cyber-Power Grab

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/german-spy-agency-warns-of-rise-in-russian-propaganda-and-cyber-attacks/

The media is filled with calls for investigations into Russian hacking but no evidence is produced. Instead we're provided with 'secret assessments' and calls to trust the intelligence apparatus, despite the fact they have a long and proven track record of lying and attempting to manipulate the public.

Like the many narratives strung together in the wake of 9/11, this present attempt at spin is false and patently so on many levels.

09 December 2016

The CIA and Ivory Coast

This Wikileaks file dates from 2012 but it's instructive with regard to Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). What is sometimes referred to as the 2nd Civil War took place only the year before in 2011. France was the official backer of current president Alassane Ouattara and helped to track down and capture former president Laurent Gbagbo who is now being held by the ICC.

Even a cursory glance at this file makes it pretty clear that Ouattara is a creature of Washington. His biography reveals significant Western connections (Ivy League and IMF) and it's clear that both France and the United States wanted Gbagbo out of office. His time of usefulness had come to an end and from the West's perspective, a leader looking West rather than toward China was desirable.

06 December 2016

R Scott Clark's Obfuscations and Westminster West's GOP-friendly Two Kingdom Theology

https://heidelblog.net/2016/11/the-media-flyover-country-betsy-devos-the-new-yorker-and-the-truth/

There are two reasons I wish to respond to this piece by R Scott Clark. One is I think it provides an example of Westminster West's Two Kingdom Theology in action and demonstrates that its views (especially in application) are a far cry from 'radical' or 'Anabaptist'. This is to correct the false assertions of both Lutheran and Theonomist theologians.

Second, I think his piece is misleading on several points and deserves a response.

04 December 2016

Italy: Shaken by Earthquakes both geological and political

2016: It's a year of earthquakes in Italy. Earlier this year, several villages crumbled into the dust, broken by the force of the earth. Today, Italy's political order has been shaken and its Establishment finds itself under a cloud of uncertainty and threat.

Inbox: How will Trump's presidency affect the progress of Dominionism within the American Church?

A good question.

As of December 2016, I don't really know. On the one hand the Christian Right turning to Trump seems like a defeat of their principles and thus to some extent a self-inflicted death-wound to their movement.

European Nationalism and NATO

https://www.euractiv.com/section/security/news/divided-austria-unites-in-opposition-to-eu-army/

The issue of creating an EU Army command is dividing the nationalists of Europe. On the one hand it affords an opportunity to break free of NATO and US dominance, or more properly can initiate a process toward that end. No one is suggesting that NATO is going to just go away. It is already becoming apparent through the Trump's cabinet picks that an Anti-NATO or Anti-Atlanticist doctrine is not going to govern his administration.

02 December 2016

The Sacralist Two Kingdom Theology of Westminster West (Escondido)

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1131692171

I include this as a supplement to the Lutheran Two Kingdom piece which extensively referenced and interacted with the Two Kingdom theology advocated by Westminster Theological Seminary (West) in Escondido California.


I rather enjoyed this 45 minute talk. Though I did not agree with everything said, I appreciated the reflections and found it worthwhile.