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.