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.