Germany–The Economic Model
Spiegel Online reported on March 21, 2012:
“It wasn’t so long ago that many viewed Germany’s economic model as outdated and the country as the ‘sick man of Europe.’ These days, however, even the Americans have come to praise parts of it, though they still doubt whether they would be able — or willing — to adopt it wholesale…
“…US newsweekly Time writes that the wide range of German economic and social reforms have been ‘farsighted’ and that German firms, together with those reforms, have forged ‘the most competitive industrial sector of any advanced economy.’ The New York Times, meanwhile, says that: ‘The German economy has been one of the wonders of the world over the last couple of years.’
The article continues:
“…As America groans under the aftereffects of the financial crisis and recession, Germany’s economy continues to steam ahead, even becoming an object of study. ‘Americans, including policymakers, are increasingly taking an interest in Germany’s reforms and what it managed to accomplish in the last 10 years,’ says Michael Spence, an American economist and the 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics.
“‘We need to be more like Germany’ concurs GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt. And former President Clinton has praised Germany for what he described as a correct response to the crisis. More than anything, Germany is considered a role model for its successes as an exporting nation. While Germany enjoys a foreign trade surplus of €120 billion ($158 billion), America has a trade deficit of €423 billion.”
The contrast between Germany, the new economic leader, and the United States, the nation in financial crisis, is a glaring testimony to problems that have become too large to ignore; however, it appears that the U.S. will continue to do just that very thing!
German Parliament Gains Decision Role
Spiegel Online wrote on March 27, 2012:
“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition reached a compromise with opposition parties on Tuesday to give the Bundestag lower house of parliament a greater say in euro bailout decisions, in line with a requirement by the country’s highest court for stronger parliamentary involvement.
“According to legislation drafted by the ruling conservative Christian Democrats and Free Democrats, along with the opposition Social Democrats and Greens, the whole parliament will decide on bailouts, even in urgent cases, contrary to earlier plans for a small parliamentary panel to give swift approval.
“Only when secret steps need to be taken, such as the purchase of government bonds in the secondary market to aid troubled states, will approval be left to a small panel representing parliament. That will ensure the confidentiality required for the operation to have the desired impact on financial markets.”
The impressive aspect of this report is that opposition parties were able to come together and to forge a decisive way of handling their role in bailing out the weaker nations of the EU. This stands in stark contrast to the U.S. government’s constant quarreling and unending disagreements!
Disagreement Deepens Over EU Carbon Tax
AFP, on March 23, 2012, reported:
“India has barred its airlines from complying with the European Union carbon tax scheme, joining China in resistance to plans that have caused a backlash among the EU’s trade partners.
“The European Union imposed a carbon levy on air travel with effect from January 1, but no airline will face a bill until 2013 after this year’s carbon emissions have been tallied.
“Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told parliament on Thursday that ‘the imposition of carbon tax does not arise’ because Indian airlines would simply refuse to hand over their emissions data.
“‘Though the European Union has directed Indian carriers to submit emission details of their aircraft by March 31, 2012, no Indian carrier is submitting them in view of the position of the government,’ he said.
“India’s resolution to boycott the scheme follows China’s decision last month to prevent its airlines from complying with the EU directive.
“The two Asian giants have attacked the EU scheme, calling it a unilateral trade levy disguised as an attempt to fight climate change.
“According to a so-called Moscow declaration adopted last month by countries opposed to the tax, governments have decided on a list of retaliatory measures to be taken if necessary, including banning their airlines from participating.
“It also allows governments to take tough retaliatory measures against EU carriers and aviation companies and impose their own taxes on EU airlines.”
The overview gained from this article points to tremendous influence being exerted from the European Union. In matters small and large, it appears that Europe’s growing power positions it to be the rule-maker–and not everyone is happily submitting!
Tensions Rise Over Defense Shield
The Mainichi Daily News filed the following report for March 30, 2012:
“A U.S. led NATO missile defense plan that Washington says is aimed at deflecting potential Iranian threats will break existing nuclear parity with Russia and prompt it to retaliate, President Dmitry Medvedev warned Friday.
“Moscow rejects Washington’s claim the plan is solely to deal with any Iranian threat and has voiced fears it will eventually become powerful enough to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent…
“‘I will say honestly that no matter how warm relations between me and my colleagues are, no matter how advanced relations between Russia and NATO member states are, we will have to take that into account and, under certain circumstances, respond,’ Medvedev said.
“Earlier this week, he told the top Russian military brass that the armed forces must prepare to counter U.S. missile defense plans even as talks between Moscow and Washington are continuing.
“‘By 2017-2018, we must be fully prepared, fully armed,’ Medvedev said, referring to his earlier threat to aim missiles at the U.S.-led NATO missile shield if no agreement is reached…
“Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister in charge of the military industries, was more hawkish in his remarks at the conference, saying the NATO shield has an ‘openly anti-Russian vector.’
“‘The system that is being developed is intended to intercept heavy intercontinental missiles blasting off from the Russian territory,’ Rogozin said.
“‘Missile defense isn’t the best way to ensure security,” he added. “Those who are smart know that the defensive arms race is no better than the offensive arms race. Strengthening of the shield entails strengthening of the sword.'”
In spite of ongoing dialogue, all parties continue to arm themselves and to prepare for the worst. The potential for global devastation is increasing, yet few recognize the emerging interests of a powerful and united Europe and the role destined to be played out by this growing super-power. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe In Prophecy–The Unfolding of End-Time Events.”
No Defense Against Hackers
From an article in The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2012, the title sums up the status of this nation’s computer networks: “U.S. Outgunned in Hacker War”–here are some further comments reported in this article:
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation’s efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: ‘We’re not winning,’ he said.
“Shawn Henry, who is preparing to leave the FBI after more than two decades with the bureau, said in an interview that the current public and private approach to fending off hackers is ‘unsustainable.’ ‘Computer criminals are simply too talented and defensive measures too weak to stop them,’ he said.
“His comments weren’t directed at specific legislation but came as Congress considers two competing measures designed to buttress the networks for critical U.S. infrastructure, such as electrical-power plants and nuclear reactors. Though few cybersecurity experts disagree on the need for security improvements, business advocates have argued that the new regulations called for in one of the bills aren’t likely to better protect computer networks…
“‘I don’t see how we ever come out of this without changes in technology or changes in behavior, because with the status quo, it’s an unsustainable model. Unsustainable in that you never get ahead, never become secure, never have a reasonable expectation of privacy or security,’ Mr. Henry said.
“James A. Lewis, a senior fellow on cybersecurity at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that as gloomy as Mr. Henry’s assessment may sound, ‘I am actually a little bit gloomier. I think we’ve lost the opening battle [with hackers].’ Mr. Lewis said he didn’t believe there was a single secure, unclassified computer network in the U.S.”
Gun Sales Surge
The Washington Free Beacon reported on March 22, 2012:
“Despite calls for stricter guns laws in response to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, firearm stocks are soaring as gun companies struggle to keep up with high demand.
“Shares of Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR) were up as high as 14 percent Thursday afternoon after CEO Michael Fifer announced the company was temporarily suspending its acceptance of new orders in an effort to meet a dramatic surge in demand for its products.
“’Despite the company’s continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders,’ Fifer said in the statement late Wednesday.
“Ruger received more than a million order requests in the first quarter of 2012.
“Shares of rival firearm maker Smith & Wesson (SWHC) were similarly up about 13 percent Thursday — a sign, gun proponents say, that Americans are not swayed by the recent protests.”
More guns in the U.S. have not led to more safety for its citizens. While our society grows more and more violent, the real answer to peace and personal safety remains illusive. Jesus Christ warned that “‘…all who take the sword will perish by the sword'” (Matthew 26:52). Our free booklet, “Should You Fight In War,” addresses the real solution for personal safety and the promise of a true and lasting peace among all people.
CNN.com posted the following report on March 21, 2012:
“A Washington advocacy group training in-the-trenches religious leaders to speak out on hot-button issues like abortion is nothing new.
“But a liberal beltway group training left-leaning clergy to speak out for abortion rights is.
“’Religion does support a woman’s personal decision-making about whether she is ready to become a parent,’ said Sally Steenland, director of the Faith Initiative at the Center for American Progress, a progressive group that launched its Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute on Tuesday.
“’We felt that the harsh anti-choice rhetoric dominating the public debate stigmatized women making these important decisions and claimed a monopoly on God, morality, and family values,’ Steenland said in an e-mail message.
“The Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute ‘will provide new and seasoned leaders with the resources they need to be effective faith advocates for women’s reproductive health,’ according to a Center for American Progress press release.”
So now, ungodly murder is called “progressive” Christianity!
Newsmax wrote on March 29, 2012:
“Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has called Americans in his country ‘demons’ and says the burning of Qurans by U.S. troops will ‘never be forgiven.’
“Karzai met on Friday with relatives of the 16 Afghan men, women and children killed allegedly by an American soldier and said the massacre ‘was not the first incident, indeed it was the 100th, the 200th and 500th incident,’ The New York Times reports.
“He also said: ‘Let’s pray for God to rescue us from these two demons. There are two demons in our country now,’ clearly referring to the United States and the Taliban, according to the Times.
“And he referred to the accidental burning of Qurans on Feb. 20 as ‘Satanic acts that will never be forgiven by apologies.'”
Preparing For the Apocalypse
The Independent wrote on March 25, 2012:
“A mountain looming over a French commune with a population of just 200 is being touted as a modern Noah’s Ark when doomsday arrives – supposedly less than nine months from now.
“A rapidly increasing stream of New Age believers – or esoterics, as locals call them – have descended in their camper van-loads on the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach. They believe that when apocalypse strikes on 21 December this year, the aliens waiting in their spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach will save all the humans near by and beam them off to the next age.
“As the cataclysmic date – which, according to eschatological beliefs and predicted astrological alignments, concludes a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar – nears, the goings-on around the peak have become more bizarre and ritualistic.
“For decades, there has been a belief that Pic de Bugarach, which, at 1,230 metres, is the highest in the Corbières mountain range, possesses an eery power. Often called the ‘upside-down mountain’ – geologists think that it exploded after its formation and the top landed the wrong way up – it is thought to have inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Since the 1960s, it has attracted New Agers, who insist that it emits special magnetic waves.
These kinds of reports–like so many other false predictions—only mask the truth of what is about to happen when God intervenes in world affairs and sends His Son, Jesus Christ, back to this earth to establish the Kingdom of God. Our booklets, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God,” and “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” address the true biblical facts of the end of this age and the magnificent promises God has given for mankind’s future.
A Warning To Drug Users!
The Associated Press reported on March 22, 2012:
“Whitney Houston was a chronic cocaine user who had the drug in her system when she drowned in a hotel bathtub, coroner’s officials said Thursday after releasing autopsy findings that also noted heart disease contributed to her death…
“She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, but Houston’s drug use derailed her career and took a heavy toll on her once pristine voice.
“But by the end of her career, she was a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming. Her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills and was eventually unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.”
This tragic death is sad testimony to the ever-increasing use of drugs throughout society. Now, states in the U.S. are relaxing the laws relating to use of drugs. Drug abuse is simply one more “war” that is being lost!
Papal Visit to Mexico and Cuba
CNN reported on Mach 29, 2012:
“In a farewell speech just before boarding the plane, he criticized the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, saying ‘restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people.’
“Benedict, whose office has routinely cast the trip in the context of a spiritual pilgrimage, at times addressed political issues — often subtly, and on occasion more overtly.
“At the start of his visit, aboard a flight from Rome, he denounced violence caused by the drug war in Mexico and blasted Cuba’s Marxist political system by saying it ‘no longer corresponds to reality.’
“Later, he prayed for ‘those deprived of freedom’ while in Cuba’s southeastern city of Santiago de Cuba. And he made several references to freedom in his final sermon in Havana, addressing a nation that human rights groups have routinely denounced for its abuses.”
Benedict’s influence is clearly substantial in these predominately Catholic regions. There was abundant press coverage throughout his most recent trip, and the papal office is looked upon as being decisive among Catholics. Biblical prophecy indicates that a great world religion will appear in the not-too-distant future–one led by a religious authority who will arise with great deceptive power. This is discussed in detail in our free booklet: “Is That In the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”