29 April 2017

The Plight of Christians in Laos

This is a heartbreaking story but one that we need to hear and follow. There is perhaps another story here... a growing nationalist/Sacralist tendency within Theravada Buddhism. We've already seen it in Sri Lanka but it's definitely on the rise in places like Burma, Thailand and indeed Laos.

27 April 2017

Americans Cashing In: Uganda's For Profit Schools

I've heard quite a few Christians advocate this model for the United States. They believe that if parents had some investment in their children's schooling they would be more pro-active in managing their conduct and making sure they take time to study etc.

24 April 2017

Bulgaria: Parliamentary Coalitions and Potential Dangers

This is the means by which some of the Far-Right and fringe parties are able to enter government. Under the parliamentary system (which I still think is better than the US model) a party who wins the election without a clear majority must form a coalition government.

20 April 2017

Violence in Context

Prashad is always interesting. I was first introduced to him on Democracy Now! I find his writings scattered here and there and he's always worth a read.
While certainly not a Christian, he is nevertheless insightful. This piece exposes the dual logic and ethics at work in how violence is perceived in the West.

19 April 2017

Theresa May's Gamble

I must say Theresa May has left everyone a bit shocked and there's a scramble on the part of pundits and commentators in attempting to interpret her actions.
Obviously frustrated, May wants to strengthen her hand which at the moment is hindered by divisions within the UK political Establishment. The Brexit negotiations are proving very complicated and difficult. The attempt to form an even closer alliance with Washington has proven dubious and has not strengthened London's hand when it comes to dealings with the Continent.

16 April 2017

Spanish Evangelicals and Reformation Reflections

I'm afraid this article coming out of Spain is just more rubbish from some of the Lausanne-affiliated groups.
They misrepresent Luther and his focus on the Gospel. It's a stunt but one that will get them some media attention in this anniversary year.

11 April 2017

Bucer's Magisterial Reformation: The Social Gospel of Sacralism

https://calvinistinternational.com/2016/11/28/bucer-civil-education/

When one hears about educators, educational reform and the push for compulsory universal public education one might be tempted to think about the Progressive Era or in Christian circles the advocates of Social Gospel.

And yet this impulse while tempered, to some degree secularised and certainly affected by the age of industry was no novelty. The idea of compulsion and a push toward an engineered uniform society is as old as Babel. The Reformation is often touted and celebrated as the foundation of modern Western Civilisation, the genesis of human rights and modern representative democracy, its reality and legacy are in fact more complicated.

07 April 2017

The Watchtower Society versus Orthodox Sacralism

I've said it before and it saddens me, but the Watchtower Society has more of the type of testimony the Church should have. Pressure is growing on them in Russia but for the right reasons. They're feeling the beginnings of persecution for their doctrinal witness and life... not because they're connected to Western values and the agendas of Washington and Wall Street.
They are hated because they reject nationalism, they refuse to be involved in civics and the military and they raise their children to be 'other' than that which the increasingly Sacralist Russian state would want them to be.

03 April 2017

Vault 7 and the Deep State

The Nozomi Hayase piece on Wikileaks Vault 7 is the article I've been looking for. Since the leak, the story has of course permeated the media but it has often been shrouded in confusion and politicisation. The Hayase article does a good job summarizing the leaks and providing analysis of the issues.

02 April 2017

Musings on the Nobel Prize and Selling Out

It was a big news story and something of a shocker. Bob Dylan receives the Nobel Prize for Literature? While at first the Nobel committee was surprised and insulted by Bob Dylan's silence he came around... sort of.

30 March 2017

The Musings of Mutti Merkel

The Trump Administration is making Europe nervous, even frantic but it is also opening doors. From a European military force to a new Brussels and Berlin defined IMF, to new autonomy in trade, the instability is laying great weight on Merkel... but at the same time she's more powerful than ever.

The Heritage Howse of Cards

Brannon Howse runs a popular 'discernment ministry'. Of course the only discernment one requires is to determine that he's something of a charlatan.
I stumbled on his worldview survey and from the get-go I knew what it was. It was a scam. It's the same kind of survey that The Heritage Foundation sends out. The questions are completely rigged.

27 March 2017

Soros, Orban and the Struggle for Hungary

George Soros is demonised by many in the alternative media, but especially in the Right and Alt-right sectors. Viewed as a liberal globalist they consider him to be a 'Dark Lord' type figure working behind the scenes to manipulate world events.

19 March 2017

Dirty Oil Deals and The Italian Connection

This is a link to a remarkable if incomplete story regarding oil corruption and money laundering. What is of particular import is that it points to the overlap between the corporate and finance sectors and strategic interests.  

Dominionist Scripture Twisting on Display

This article authored by a PCA pastor completely misrepresents the position of Two-Kingdom advocates, especially those within his own Reformed circles. Most of the Two Kingdom advocates in Reformed circles are actually Kuyperians and his criticisms are invalid. He falls into the classic straw-man argument, projecting 'dualism' on to people who aren't dualists. He accuses Two Kingdom theology of a world-abandonment mindset that no one actually advocates.

17 March 2017

Condor Convictions

Operation Condor was a project of cooperation between various Right-wing Latin American governments. They collaborated in the sharing of intelligence and a commitment to destroy Left-wing movements. This included kidnappings, assassination, torture, terror and secret prisons. Spanning the 1970s and 1980s the Condor legacy resulted in the deaths of thousands and the traumatising of whole societies. Even US apologists will admit that Washington knew about it and yet the evidence suggests that not only was the United States in the know, it was managing the project, funding it, as well as arming and training the death squads.

The Mainstreaming of Sodom

Obviously this is little more than the culmination of a long-standing trend within our culture. What is sometimes most disturbing to me is that I look at my children's generation and realise they're growing up in a time when this sort of thing is becoming normative.

15 March 2017

Neo-Nazis and the German Intelligence Services

The nebulous Nazi connection lives on or so it would seem. Even this Guardian article openly admits the connections between the American formed post-war German intelligence services and ex-Nazis. The question is, as Neo-Nazi groups have acted and continue to act (often with impunity) are they being facilitated by the state intelligence apparatus? It would seem so.

12 March 2017

Max Boot has joined the CIA

Boot recently produced an article entitled Wikileaks has joined the Trump administration at Foreign Policy, the largely Neo-conservative magazine founded by Samuel Huntington of Clash of Civilisations fame.

Tolkien Cosmology Update

I recently updated The Cosmology of Tolkien on The Pilgrim Path/Proto-Protestantism website. The link is here if anyone is interested, followed by the additions I made.

11 March 2017

The Latin American Pseudo-Left Revolutions and the American Backlash

The Bush years afforded a rise of a new Latin American Left. From Argentina, to Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and even some of the nations in Central America, the people reacted to over a century of US imperialism and voted in governments that were openly hostile to American interests. It was a New Leftist Revolution, or was it?

10 March 2017

Brave Christians on the Tumen Frontier

There's an ongoing, heroic and very moving story that's been taking place in North Korea and in China's nearby region of Manchuria. It's a story of missionaries, refugees and an underground railroad. It's often a sad and very cruel story and yet there are some real shining lights, people who are labouring as Christians to reach out to escapees and in some cases help them embark on the long road to a new life in South Korea.

09 March 2017

The Intercept: The Good, Bad and Ugly

It's hard to deny The Intercept is an exciting online magazine. Launched in 2014, it came on the scene in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill were the big names associated with its launch. Poitras has since departed to focus on her film-making.
Since its start the magazine has put together an impressive team of journalists and they literally churn out articles and analysis. The website has become a wealth of information and due to their high-profile in the alternative media world they are getting a lot of tips and leaks which facilitate their reporting. 

Economic Warfare and the US Justice Department

There are so many stories like this floating around if you go looking. The US is waging a war against companies that do business in places and with people not liked by the Washington Establishment.

06 March 2017

Croatian Proxies and the Balkan Strategy

The article proclaims the Croatians ignored well-founded concerns the arms they sold to Saudi Arabia would end up in Syria.
These concerns weren't ignored. This was the whole point.

Greece, NATO and Moscow

Greece has often been one of the most volatile members within the NATO alliance. Under the Karamanlis government which came to power in 1974 after the US-backed Junta of Colonels was ousted, Greece left the military structure of NATO and did not return until the 1980s. And even then under Andreas Papandreou the relationship was less than brilliant.

04 March 2017

Deutsche Welle (DW): Turkish Intelligence (MIT) Hunting Down Dissidents in Turkey... but there's more to the story

The Turkish intelligence agency, the MIT is hunting down Kurdish dissidents affiliated with the PKK, Gülenists and others beyond its borders. Germany with it large Turkish population, which includes numerous Kurds is the special focus of the operation. Germany was a nation without colonies and thus when it looked for cheap labour, it couldn't import Africans, Indians or other Asians. Instead a deal was cut.

Proxy Espionage and Empire

This article fails to connect its own dots. Der Spiegel has already reported on US dominance of the German intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). In light of that we must ask, why is the BND spying on foreign journalists?

01 March 2017

The Pull of the CIA: Italy Capitulates

I've been following this story, especially as it has been in the news the past few days. How frustrated the Italian prosecutors and investigators must be. They've laboured to bring this to trial, to hold someone accountable for what was done within their borders, in violation of their nation's sovereignty. They're trying to demonstrate that America cannot act with impunity.

Carlson on Capitalism

LPR's Issues Etc. usually frustrates me but this segment was a pleasant surprise, although I'm not sure if the host or most of the audience was equally enthused.

26 February 2017

The Trump Liturgy

This was passed to me recently. I think it's starting to generate some attention.
I don't have a lot to say about this Washington Post article but I think readers will find it interesting. I suppose one of the reasons is due to the fact that this Nazarene pastor, while thoroughly patriotic and supportive of Christian America... all the things I'm not.... still has enough, what shall we say... sanctified common sense?... to realise something is very wrong.

24 February 2017

Buried Secrets of the Balkan Wars

Not a few will be watching these Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) trials for clues and indications of US Deep State involvement. Numerous military contractors as well as indication of intelligence services involvement have been identified as working within Croatia and Kosovo before and during the 1995 and 1999 wars that were the death of Yugoslavia.

Balkan Tensions: A Generation After the Wars of the 1990's

This story points to two realities. One the situation in the Balkans has never fully been resolved. The tensions still exist and with Brussels' hand growing weak, NATO is attempting to step in and fill the gap. The NATO diplomatic intervention indicates something of a brewing crisis. With the exception of Slovenia and Croatia, the countries of Former Yugoslavia have not joined the EU and so it represents this pocket within Europe wherein Brussels cannot wield full control and has limited influence.

22 February 2017

Right-wing Femininity and Leadership

The Right-wing and Populist proclivity toward Romantic-style feminine figures continues with Nye Borgerlige the latest party to form in Denmark. From Yulia Tymoshenko's nationalist hair-style to the rather dishy M5S mayor of Rome, to the host of American Right-wing Sarah Palin-esque sleeveless short-skirters and even to some degree Marine LePen, the tendency to look to these ultra-feminine matronly/desire figures continues.

21 February 2017

John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Politicised Integrity and Delusion

Trump's team is definitely in disarray and yet it seems to me that in the past if someone spoke this way about a president they would be severely criticised.
If they spoke this way overseas to a foreign audience their allegiance would be called into question. McCain has always been part of the faction that makes such accusations.

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.