It’s Time You Read ‘America Under Attack’

It’s Time You Read ‘America Under Attack’

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The White House is engulfed in scandal. Why now?

America Under Attack. That’s the title of the latest book by Gerald Flurry, editor in chief of the Trumpet. The book was published last month. It’s free and you can read, or request a free hard copy, here.

There’s a lot to be impressed by in this book, but for me one of the most striking is the way events since its release have so powerfully vindicated its message.

America Under Attack is a smartly structured, well-researched, hard-hitting exposé of a terribly destructive war currently being waged on America, a war that is being waged, sadly, from the inside. The book has some pretty condemning observations which are delivered with some uncompromising, refreshingly straightforward language. Mr. Flurry explores and explains the sinister and destructive actions of America’s leadership, including the behavior of both political parties but especially the radical left, the mainstream media, the White House and President Obama. Unlike the many other books on this subject, criticizing the president and his men, or the media and radical left, is not the central purpose of the book.

What makes America Under Attack so profound—and so entirely unique—is the way Mr. Flurry gets to the central cause of America’s internal conflict. The book doesn’t merely criticize the decisions or behavior of America’s leaders: It gives the reason America’s leaders think the way they think and act the way they act.

But again, it’s the way this book has been so powerfully punctuated by events that I find especially remarkable, and that I want to write about here.

First, think back on that horrible week in April that began with a terrorist bombing in Boston—the first successful attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, followed by a massive explosion at a fertilizer factory in Texas two days later, and concluded with two failed bio-attacks on the government. Remember that week? That was also the week America Under Attack began landing in mailboxes.

I remember thinking to myself while reading about the Boston bombing, Wow, what a rough week for the States. America is really under attack. And I remember that same day opening an envelope that arrived in the mail and experiencing an adrenalin rush as I read the title of the book that fell out: America Under Attack.

Since then, the message of America Under Attack has been punctuated over and over and over.

We’ll review some of these events in a moment, but first let’s highlight just a few statements from this book. Here’s what Mr. Flurry wrote about U.S. foreign policy, which is essentially designed to shrink America’s global presence, ruin relations with friends and allies, and empower the enemies of the West (emphasis his throughout):

[I]n looking at the decisions this administration is making, I’m hard-pressed to think of any that don’t have the effect of weakening America, and strengthening the forces of evil in this world.

There’s a chapter in America Under Attack on the growing tendency among many of America’s politicians, journalists and intelligentsia to reject, circumvent and undermine the U.S. constitution. Why is this happening? Mr. Flurry answers:

It is because the Obama administration is taking actions just about every week that raise constitutional questions and that threaten to undermine America’s foundational document.

In another section, Mr. Flurry explains the level of deceit and deception coming from the Obama administration, and inflicting U.S. politics in general.

We are seeing bold, blatant lies become a bigger and bigger part of today’s political landscape.

The book quotes Mr. Obama assuring the American people, “You know where I stand. You know what I believe. You know I tell the truth.” To that, Mr. Flurry delivered a bold and frank response:

Does the president tell the truth? Is anyone paying attention?

Think on that last question, “Is anyone paying attention?” When Mr. Flurry wrote this book, and even when it was released last month, it’s safe to say most Americans were not “paying attention,” at least not nearly as seriously as they ought to have been. In fact, a good number of people, were they to read America Under Attack even as recently as April, might have felt Mr. Flurry’s evaluations were over the top and exaggerated.

Yet today, just a few weeks later, many Americans—some even on the left—find themselves coming to the same conclusions!

Since America Under Attack was released, we’ve seen one scandal on top of another engulf Washington and the White House. These aren’t minor scandals either. And they aren’t low level. Each scandal is taking place within the federal government. Each involves high-level figures, congressmen, senators, White House employees, cabinet leaders—most of whom were appointed by the president—committing despicable acts, acts of outright deception and lying—acts that directly impacted the well-being of America and its citizens.

And, perhaps most significantly, each scandal directly incriminates President Obama.

Phonetapping the Press

Last week, it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department—headed by Eric Holder, an Obama appointee—secretly obtained telephone records of Associated Press reporters and editors. According to AP attorneys, the Justice Department seized records from about a year ago for more than 20 telephone lines used by the news organization. The Justice Department was interested in records of outgoing calls from the work and personal telephones of individual reporters, as well as calls from AP offices in New York, Washington and Hartford. More than 100 journalists work in the offices the Justice Department targeted. “They haven’t told us what they are looking for and nor have they explained why we got no prior notice, which our lawyers tell us is not only customary but required,” stated Kathleen Carroll, AP senior vice president and executive editor.

AP said it received a letter from the Justice Department last Friday that notified it of the seizure but offered no explanation. In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation.

The White House and Mr. Obama have tried to distance themselves from the Justice Department. The fact is, besides Eric Holder having been appointed by Mr. Obama, the Justice Department has for four years been a key appendage of the White House. As Alberto Gonzales, the former attorney general, stated: “It would surprise me that the White House would not have received some type of heads-up. [Something like] ‘Hey, we’re about to do this, there’s going to be some type of negative reaction.’”

Unleashing the IRS

Then there’s the Internal Revenue Service scandal, which grows with each passing day, and which Peggy Noonan, George Will, and others, have stated could be as significant as Watergate.

The irs recently admitted that it targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election season. Lois Lerner, irs director of Exempt Organizations, admitted to flagging groups that used the name “tea party” or “patriot” for review and had their tax returns examined. Groups that advocated education about the American Constitution were also flagged.

Lerner claimed that this was not “out of any political bias.” That’s poppycock. As the Wall Street Journal wrote: “If there was no political bias, why were only conservative groups targeted?” The Journal goes on to explain the significance of the irs’s actions: “It’s important to understand that the timing of these requests, in the middle of the 2012 campaign, had the effect of stifling political activity. The targeted groups had tax-exempt status that allowed them to participate in certain kinds of political messaging. But any such group receiving irs missives is immediately going to become cautious, lest it risk the arbitrary wrath of some tax official. The speech-squelching effects may have been especially important in Ohio, which was ground zero in the battle for the White House.” (emphasis added).

In other words, the actions of the irs may have assisted the re-election of Barack Obama!

At first, the irs claimed only a few individuals were responsible. Now even Lerner herself has been implicated, and it’s clear that this was the work of more than a couple of rogue employees. USA Today wrote: “In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the irs in 90 days, no questions asked. That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months. In that time, the irs approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA Today review of irs data shows.”

This week two U.S. congressmen claimed that nearly 500 groups were affected. The whole truth probably hasn’t emerged yet. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the irs’s actions “inappropriate.” My favorite commentary on this comes from veteran commentator George Will. “No, using the salad fork for the entrée is inappropriate,” he wrote. “Using the Internal Revenue Service for political purposes is a criminal offense.” His article was titled: “In irs scandal, echoes of Watergate.”

Benghazi

Benghazi is not a new story. What is new, however, is the level of attention finally being given to the actions of the White House that awful night. Details have now emerged showing that leaders at the very top of the U.S. government not only refused to dispatch the military to help rescue consulate employees during the terrorist attack, but that they knowingly, carefully orchestrated a cover-up.

Last Friday, abc Newsnot exactly a conservative source—revealed that the U.S. administration had tried to cover up the extent of their failure and had lied to the press.

Immediately after the September 11 attack last year, UN Ambassador Susan Rice described what happened using a set of talking points put together by the intelligence community. At the time, we were told that these talking points were barely edited. According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions was changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

We now know that Mr. Carney, the president’s spokesman, was telling a bald-faced lie. The State Department heavily edited and even censored the talking points—or at least heavily leaned on the intelligence community to do so. Statements about links to al Qaeda were cut out, as were references to the cia giving advanced warning of the attack. The attack on the embassy became a “demonstration.” America’s leaders said the attack was sparked by a demonstration about a YouTube video, even though there was no demonstration.

Last week, the deputy head of the mission, Gregory Hicks, said that the YouTube video was not a big deal in Libya, and no one saw the attack as a demonstration. Here’s how the Weekly Standard summarized the White House’s behavior: “After pushing the intelligence community to revise its talking points to fit the administration’s preferred narrative, administration officials would point fingers at the intelligence community when parts of that narrative were shown to be misleading or simply untrue. …

[F]resh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults” (emphasis added).

Together, these three scandals seem to be changing the perception of Mr. Obama and his administration, even in the mainstream media and among some of his liberal supporters. After four years of being blindly loved and embraced, and being given a free pass on its many indiscretions and flaws, the Obama administration appears to be under real pressure. More and more people are coming to see the lies and deceit.

Richard A. Epstein wrote in Foreign Policy:

The very president who has pledged himself to be the most open and transparent administration ever is now perceived on all sides of the political spectrum as a secretive soul who skulks about in the shadows, so sure of his own moral rectitude that he thinks that it is alright to ignore the procedural safeguards that the U.S. Constitution wisely puts in the path of less wise and omniscient presidents. Long ago, James Madison warned in Federalist No. 10 that the Constitution had to be rigged for bad times because it is in the nature of politics that ‘Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.’ Madison’s time has come.

Again, it’s the timing of these scandals that is especially remarkable. Eight weeks ago, Gerald Flurry released a book explaining that America’s government is run by immoral, dishonest figures who are pursuing policies and actions designed to ruin America. Since then, not one, or two, but three enormous scandals have broken that vindicate every detail of his message. Pretty extraordinary, isn’t it?

It makes me want to read America Under Attack again.

Tornadoes Kill Six in Texas

Multiple tornadoes swept through North Texas on Wednesday night. In Granbury, Texas, six people were killed and about 50 were injured. At least 250 were left homeless.

Approximately 50 people were taken to a local hospital. Fourteen were admitted for treatment of injuries, while two were transferred to a hospital in Fort Worth.

As of Thursday morning, Granbury officials were still trying to locate 14 people. They don’t yet know if the people are missing or just not in the area.

The tornado littered Granbury with debris and aluminum panels. About 20,000 homes and businesses lost electricity.

Police set up roadblocks on Thursday morning near the stricken areas. People affected by the devastation congregated in public areas.

Elizabeth Tovar: “We were all, like, hugging in the bathtub, and that’s when it started happening. I heard glass shattering and I knew my house was going. We looked up and then, like, on top of the bathtub, the whole ceiling was gone. And that was when we knew we were, we were probably gone—we were in trouble.”

Last May, an F5 tornado swept through Joplin, Missouri, demolishing the southern part of the city and killing over 150. Hurricane Sandy ravaged much of the eastern United States in October, killing nearly 300.

Why is so much violent weather striking America? Those personally affected by these storms need answers. You need answers. These answers can be found in our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?

IRS: An Abuse of Power

IRS: An Abuse of Power

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What the IRS scandal reveals about the state of the U.S. administration

Investigations into the dealings of the Internal Revenue Service have begun after irs officials confirmed on May 10 that they had targeted groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. From 2010 to 2012, at least three officials, one in Washington and two in California, directly targeted these groups, which were seeking tax-exemption status. The actions of the irs run diametrically opposite to what is expected of the agency. It is supposed to remain free of bias.

There were at least 75 such groups that were targeted merely because of their names. They make up almost one quarter of all groups that were singled out for further analysis by the irs in Washington in that time period. Some of the targeted organizations were burdened with questionnaires that were designed to determine, among other things, the extent of their voter outreach. Not only were these questionnaires time consuming, they forced the conservative groups to give up valuable, confidential information.

In a Jan. 9, 2012, letter to the Richmond Tea Party, for example, irs officials asked questions about “the names of donors, contributors and grantors,” as well as how much money they gave, and when they gave it. According to Richmond Tea Party officials, the harassment led to a drop in donors, because the donors were concerned about remaining anonymous.

Other groups were frustrated by the irs after being blocked and delayed for two years. The Wetumpka Tea Party of Alabama was delayed in its acquisition of tax-free exemption before being hounded with more questionnaires that asked for the names of all its volunteers and contributor amounts, as well as the names of legislators it had been in communication with. This questionnaire came in 2012, in the lead-up to the presidential elections. Political conservatives are calling it an intimidation tactic.

The organizations with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name were not the only ones singled out. There were groups that opposed the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—that also came under heightened scrutiny. This raises concerns that the scandal goes beyond the irs, to the White House. Recent U.S. history proves that the irs isn’t immune to manipulation by the government.

Presidents have used the irs to harass political opponents in the past. In 1969, President Nixon agreed to use the irs to examine left-wing tax-exempt organizations. In the ’90s, conservative non-profit organizations accused the Clinton administration of targeting them through the irs.

The irs is not only selective with individuals and organizations, but also with states. A study published in the Economics and Politics journal in 2001 stated that “the percentage of tax returns audited by the irs is markedly lower in states that are important to the sitting president’s reelection aspirations. We also find that the irs is responsive to it oversight committees.” The pattern was noticed between 1992 and 1997. It shows that the irs is willing to be less troublesome to states that the president wants in his electoral camp.

As soon as the latest irs scandal started making headlines, Republicans across the board began calling for heads to roll. However, there are few in the irs that can take the blame. The commissioner at the time, Douglas Shulman, stepped down in November 2012. He could hold partial responsibility after receiving a briefing from the treasury inspector general for tax administration that gave a rundown of how the irs was targeting specific groups. He received the briefing in May 2012. His assistant, Steven Miller, was also made aware of the situation at that time. As the White House began to respond to the scandal, one of the first steps was for the Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, to request and accept the resignation of Mr. Miller. Since Mr. Shulman stepped down, Mr. Miller fulfilled the role of acting-commissioner.

Both men were supposedly informed numerous times about the problem within the irs. “I wrote to the irs three times last year after hearing concerns that conservative groups were being targeted,” said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

Now it is time to ask, Did the White House know? With the White House condemning the irs scandal and distancing itself from it, it is not yet clear what role it had in the irs’s targeted investigations. The president claimed he first heard of the story on May 10. It was on the same day the irs acknowledged it was targeting specific groups.

Lois Lerner, the irs official overseeing tax-exempt groups, said the targeting was “a misguided effort to come up with an efficient means of dealing with a flood of applicants from organizations seeking tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.” Another way of saying that would be to give pro-liberal organizations a free pass, and burden the opposition with as many questionnaires and delays as possible.

Lerner may try to hide behind “misguided” efforts, but her actions speak louder than her words. When President Obama’s half-brother applied for tax-exempt status for his organization, Mrs. Lerner approved the application within a month. This is despite the fact that it operated illegally for years prior to that time. The application was submitted on May 23, 2011, and Lerner signed off on it on June 26. That is a stark contrast to the three years that other non-profit organizations had to wait. The situation has continued to stir controversy between Washington’s chief political parties.

Republican and Democratic political parties view each other as wrong, if not evil. When a political party holds such a mindset, then it is likely to do whatever it can to stop its opposition. Obviously such a mindset should be intolerable at the governing level, particularly for the president. Yet, as Peter Morici from Fox News said, “President Obama cultivates a culture of anything goes to defeat opponents and advance his liberal agenda.” This is evident in the way his subordinates within the irs have singled out certain groups for questioning.

At the outbreak of the scandal, President Obama responded by saying, “If you have the irs operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions.”

The traditions that the president is referring to are the national laws which state that the federal government is not allowed to target specific people for tax purposes without a valid cause.

Here’s more on the response of the president and other policymakers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGAT336ECfc&feature=youtu.be

The irs is a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The commissioner is elected by the president of the United States for a five-year term. He reports to the secretary of the treasury. When the highest official in the irs is directly involved in the cover-up of the scandal (the acting commissioner responded to concerns from Congress last year by assuring it no such groups were being targeted), it shows a level of corruption that has permeated the government of the nation.

This latest scandal—the latest of many—has come just after the Philadelphia Church of God released a booklet titled America Under Attack, which highlights the corruption within the U.S. government, the judicial system and the attack on the law of the land. If the administration used the irs to attack its political opponents, that is an outright violation of constitutional law. In the booklet America Under Attack, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes, “This type of anti-Constitution reasoning is suddenly becoming quite popular. Do you know why? It is because the Obama administration is taking actions just about every week that raise constitutional questions and that threaten to undermine America’s foundational document.”

If you haven’t already, order a free copy of the booklet. It will show you how the administration has been systematically undermining to the point where it is working to bring down the very nation that it governs! The booklet will show you the reason behind society’s deadly decline, as well as where the attack is coming from, and how it is undermining the Constitution.

The irs investigation is the latest in a slew of scandals that lead right up the steps of the White House. Watch as this pattern of corruption continues as the Obama administration disregards the laws that were set in place to provide safety, and instead chooses to continue down its destructive path.

Is France Europe’s Next Crisis?

Is France Europe’s Next Crisis?

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France’s economic collapse has destroyed the Franco-German alliance. That means the end of the EU as we know it.

“The trouble with socialism,” said Margaret Thatcher, “is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Although a bit of an oversimplification—it ignores the major role of the euro—it sums up France’s economy.

France’s citizens face the highest tax burden in the eurozone. Public spending makes up 57 percent of the overall economy—also the highest in the eurozone—yet the country can’t get its debt under control, and its economy is shrinking.

No wonder the French are currently the world’s biggest pessimists. But the consequences reach far beyond France. This is about a fundamental change in the most important relationship in Europe—the Franco-German axis.

The collapse of the French economy is part of a trend catapulting Germany to the forefront of Europe.

The bad news seems to come out of France on a daily basis. The latest was on May 15, when France’s statistics office revealed that the economy had shrunk 0.2 percent over the first three months of 2013, putting France in a “triple dip”recession. The International Monetary Fund said earlier this year it expected France’s economy to shrink over the course of 2013, putting it on a list of countries that includes Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

After publishing a poll of European nations on May 14, Pew Research concluded that “No European country is becoming more dispirited and disillusioned faster than France.” On the same day, the Financial Times wrote, “Whereas Spain and Italy are suffering from a severe credit crunch and drastic austerity, France’s biggest problem appears to be the generalized gloom infecting businesses and households.”

Unemployment is at 11 percent—double Germany’s. For youth, it’s 26.5 percent, compared to Germany’s 7.6 percent. At 3.2 million, the number of unemployed is setting new records. And it’s been rising every month for nearly two years. Many in France are cutting their spending, as they fear they could soon add to those statistics. “Scarcely a week goes by without another factory closure or a redundancy plan,” wrote the Economist last month.

Under eurozone rules, the French government cannot borrow more than 3 percent of gross domestic product each year. With borrowing at 4.8 percent, it was forced to ask permission from the European Commission to miss its target for the next two years.

French President François Hollande has painted himself into a corner. As a result, he is the most unpopular president in France’s history. He is a socialist, and was elected based on promises to reverse the austerity of the previous government. But now that he’s in office, he can’t get around the fact that the government has run out of other people’s money. With the tax burden already so high, he can’t raise taxes to increase revenue. Since he came to power opposing spending cuts, he’s stuck.

All of this could push France onto the list of problem countries. “France could get into a situation that is not too dissimilar to Spain if you see the economy contract a couple of percent from where we are now,” said the cio of Armstrong Investment Managers, Patrick Armstrong.

But the French aren’t just worried about the short-term economy. Only 9 percent think their children will be better off than they are, according to the Pew survey.

The unhappiness is so bad that Le Point magazine recently published an article titled, “How revolutions are born: Are we in 1789?”—referring to the year the French Revolution began.

Some argue that it’s not that bad. The French government can still borrow money cheaply. With Japan printing money, investors are desperate to put their cash anywhere they can avoid losing money. They assume France is “too big to fail,” and that Germany will always back it up.

They could be right. France may not ever request a bailout. But that doesn’t matter. Spain and Italy on their own could force a revolution in the eurozone.

The fact is, France is now a problem for Europe. Economists debate how big a problem it is, but almost no one disputes that it is a problem. It’s not one of the strong economies that will pull Europe out of this mess. It’s actually dragging the euro down.

In the long term, this gives more power to Germany. In the short term, it’s having the opposite effect as France sides with southern Europe against Germany. This shift in the balance of power makes it harder for Germany to gets its way.

However, in the long term, the golden rule applies: He who has the gold rules. France has run out. The borrower is servant to the lender. And France is a borrower.

The director of global economic attitudes at Pew Research Center, Bruce Stokes, says that its survey on economic attitudes in Europe suggests that France and Germany, “which have for decades been the driving force behind European integration, increasingly see the world through different lenses.”

“The Franco-German alliance was based on rough equality between these two continental powers,” he continues. “In the 1980s, West Germany’s economy and population were slightly larger than France’s, but not overwhelmingly so, and French economic growth actually exceeded its neighbor’s.”

Three decades later, this rough balance between Germany and France no longer exists,” he writes. “Germany’s population is now a quarter larger than that of France, the German economy is 38 percent bigger” (emphasis added).

“Today the French and the Germans differ so greatly over the challenges facing their economies that they look as if they live on different continents, not within a single European market,” he writes.

“This new evidence of a dramatic divergence of public opinion across the Rhine on the problems now facing Europe and the merit of the European Union itself raises new questions about prospects for the European project,” Stokes concludes.

He’s right. Pew’s study shows that before the euro crisis, France and Germany were in broad agreement about the advantages of the EU and its future. Now there’s a huge difference. The French are now more Euroskeptic than the British—only 22 percent believe they’ve benefited from European integration.

This news comes just weeks after a public spat between the two countries. Last month a French government paper on European policy was leaked. It scolded Germany for “the selfish intransigence of Chancellor Merkel, who thinks of nothing but the deposits of German savers, the trade balance recorded by Berlin and her electoral future.” Merkel’s coalition partners, the Free Democratic Party, hit back, publishing an internal report titled “France—Europe’s biggest problem child”—which somehow made its way to the German press.

There is no more Franco-German axis. This means the end of an era and the end of the EU as we know it.

As both the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and think tank Open Europe’s director, Mats Persson, point out, this isn’t a temporary falling-out that will go away if a left-wing party wins the German elections. There’s a broad agreement between all of Germany’s major parties when it comes to Europe and the euro. Germany won’t become more like France after the election.

The direction of Europe will no longer be decided by meetings of French and German leaders, who used to get together ahead of EU summits. Instead it will be a clash of wills—the future of Europe will be dictated by whoever can get their own way.

Germany, with its healthy economy, holds most of the cards. It doesn’t hold all of the cards, so it will have to make some compromises. But with the French economy weakened, France can no longer compete with Germany for leadership of Europe.

“Germany has more economic weight and political will to determine Europe’s future than it has had since World War ii,” wrote Reuters’s Fred Kempe. “Now, though, it lacks a partner that can replace France’s pivotal importance.”

France and Germany used to share the driving seat, listening to the demands of the other EU passengers and choosing the overall direction. France is out of the driving seat—it is now occupied by Germany alone.

However, there’s still a limit on what Germany can do alone—the passengers can still get out of the bus. The Trumpet has pointed before to the growing role of the Catholic Church in speaking up for southern Europe’s unemployed masses. The Vatican will supply the glue Germany needs to keep the EU together. The Catholic Church will soon take France’s place as Europe’s second driver.

The decline of France is a major milestone on the road to a new Europe. The next one will be the rise of the Catholic Church.

For an overview of what to expect from this crisis, see our 2008 article “Did the Holy Roman Empire Plan the Greek Crisis?

Detroit’s Financial Woes Worsen

Dave Bing announced Tuesday that he will not seek a second term as the mayor of Detroit. Bing has been unable to bring the city out of its financial free fall. The crisis has been so bad that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a powerful emergency manager to try to fix what Bing could not.

Detroit was once the heart of a successful American auto industry. But the Motor City is now careening toward bankruptcy. Decades of corrupt leadership, poor management, high crime rates, selfish unions, high taxes and excessive spending have taken their toll.

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr reported on Monday that the city’s finances are even worse than expected. Its deficit is expected to rise to $386 million before July 1. Long-term liabilities are calculated to exceed $14 billion.

Officials are hoping that Orr can do for the city what others did for one of its biggest automakers.

Daniel Little, chancellor of University of Michigan, Dearborn: “When General Motors went into bankruptcy, it was able to eliminate its fixed costs and its future liabilities, and it had cars to sell. But the city of Detroit doesn’t have cars to sell. Really, what it has to sell are high-quality services, which people will then be willing basically to pay taxes for.”

However, about half of Detroit’s property owners don’t pay taxes.

East-side homeowner Fred Phillips asked, “Why pay taxes? Why should I send them taxes when they aren’t supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came.” On Phillips’s block, only five people paid their taxes in 2011.

Bible prophecy shows that Detroit’s problems are coming to cities throughout the United States. For insight into this city’s slow-motion financial demise, read “Detroit Has a Spending Problem.”

Temperatures and Violence on the Rise

Ten shootings occurred within 48 hours in Chicago over Mother’s Day weekend. The shootings left three people dead and 11 injured. Three of the injured remain in critical condition.

Recent figures suggest a correlation between Chicago’s crime rate and its temperatures. As the temperature has increased, so has violence. As summer approaches, Chicagoans are becoming more concerned about their safety.

Lucy, a senior at Columbia University, said:

“I’ve been a victim of violence in Chicago. I was shot by a stray bullet in 2007, like a month before I went off to college. So I definitely feel the weather does have an impact on whether [there’s] gonna be more violence or not. … [I]t’s sad. And something needs to be done about it.”

Lucy’s family lives in southern Chicago. The frequent crime there makes her worry about her brothers and sisters, who attend middle school in the area.

Statistics confirm her concerns. Last year, more than 500 people were murdered in Chicago. That’s more than in Afghanistan, where 310 U.S. soldiers died during the same period.

Tragically, Bible prophecy indicates that what is now happening in Chicago will soon spread to many more American cities. To stay informed about where these crime trends are leading, subscribe to our free newsletter, the Trumpet Weekly.